Thursday, July 29, 2010

Smashed Potatoes

While I love food for its yumminess and prettiness, I especially love fun food. Like dipping, which is my favourite method to eat anything. Chips, veggies, bread bits, even whole sandwiches are vastly improved if dipped in something awesome. While this recipe is not a dip, it was pretty fun to make which earns it huge brownie points in my books. Smashed potatoes are deliciously in between mashed and roasted and as already mentioned, more fun than either.

Boil mini-potatoes until just cooked.

Place on clean towel.

Using a second (clean!) towel, 'smash' (i.e. gently push down) the potato until it is about 1.5 cm thick. That's the fun part.

Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and let them cool completely at room temperature.

Heat the oven to 450C. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Make sure some oil gets underneath the potatoes so they are completely covered.

Roast until deep golden brown around the edges, about 30-40min. Flip the potatoes once mid-way through cooking. 

I served them with prosciutto wrapped chicken and warm pea salad, recipes to come!

Happy eating!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roasted Jalapeno and Lime Salsa

As a salsa-snob on a budget I could easily go broke if I didn't ration my salsa intake since I only like buying the fresh fancy stuff. So using a classic student solution, I made it myself...with great success. This will be a repeat recipe for sure!


5 tomatoes
1 fresh jalapeno
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper

1. Dice tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos and onion and spread on pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

2. Roast at 400C for about 20-30min.

3. Stir in tomato paste, lime juice, cumin, cayenne and s&p. Taste-test, season until you're happy.

* Next time I would add lime zest for a stronger flavour.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mountains and Appetites: Unlimited

A recent excursion took us hiking up every mountain in and around Atlin with the Yukon Ski Team. While still a rockin' good time, this was training-camp-style enthusiastic pace for 7+ hours, sometimes no trail to follow, and often necessary to use all four limbs plus more to get to the top!

A great side effect of so many mountain peaks is an endless appetite and constant eating. And the funny thing about camping is just about anything tastes fantastic. So while the following meals may not seem particularly unique or special, try a little pre-hike and dinner will taste ten times better.

Dinner #1: Chicken Fajitas

Whole wheat wraps
Chicken (cooked in basic fajitas seasoning)
Yellow, Orange and Red Peppers (cooked with chicken)
Mixed Greens
Mango Lime Salsa
Old Cheddar

This meal has is all... colour, flavour, nutritiousness, its easy to make and leaves very few dishes.

Dinner #2: Foil Fire Roast

This meal is a Girl Guide favourite. Even easier and less dishes than fajitas.

Just put yummy stuff in many layers of foil, throw in the fire, play some cards while you're waiting, then dig in!

We put the following in our foil roasts but the possibilities are endless...

Pre-cooked ham
Yellow and red bell peppers
Old cheddar

Many a fellow camper expressed extreme jealously over our brilliantly simple and scrumtious meal!

And you gotta have s'mores for dessert with this one...

See below for some more appetite-building action!

B. showing off her pro-river hopping skills.

A. taking the fastest route down.

Rock tossing, an infinitely entertaining game.

Stay posted for more posts. There's just been too many adventures and not enough time to share them!

Baked Zucchini Chips

This simple delicious recipe beats a bag of potato chips any day. The recipe below isn't an exact science and feel free to get creative with the spices and flavours in the bread crumb mixture. 

1-2 Zucchinis 
2 eggs
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper

How to Make'em:

1.  Lightly beat the eggs. Combine the bread crumbs, grated parm and s&p in a separate bowl.

2. Slice the zucchini in desired chip-sized pieces:

3. Dip each chip in beaten egg and then in the bread crumb mixture.

 4. Place on a tray and bake in the oven at 400C  for about 20min each side, flipping the chips over part way through. 

 5. Serve warm or cold, its all good. 

Feels good to be back at the blog. Sorry for the neglect!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ckicken Curry Crepes

If you are looking for a quick and light recipe for dinner, stop reading now. While this dinner is scrumptious, pretty and fun to make, it is rich and time-consuming. But worth it!  

Step 1: Make the crepes 

You can use your favourite crepe recipe but this one is excellent...
Basic Crepes
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk; more as needed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted butter; more, softened, for the pan

In a blender, combine the eggs and milk. Add the flour and salt and mix on high speed until smooth. Strain the batter (to remove any lumps) into a quart-size measuring cup with a spout or a pitcher. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 min.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the 6 Tbs. butter. Continue cooking the butter until it turns golden brown and has the aroma of toasted nuts, 3 to 5 min. Watch carefully and adjust the heat or move the pan around if necessary; the butter can quickly go from lightly browned to burned. Let the butter cool slightly and then stir it into the batter. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; thin it with a little more milk, if needed.

To cook the crêpes:

 Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 tsp. butter. Heat the butter, swirling it in the pan, until it stops bubbling. Pour in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter evenly over the bottom and a bit up the sides of the pan.

Cook until the center of the crêpe is set (dry) and the bottom is lightly browned, 1 to 2 min. Turn it over and cook until the center is firm and the edges underneath are lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Transfer the crêpe to a cooling rack. Proceed with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the pan as needed. Once cool, stack the crêpes between the sheets of waxed paper.

Step 2: Cook the chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
Fresh ginger

Fry chicken and ginger in a skillet until cooked through.

Step 3: Make the curry

8 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup fresh spinach
1 Tbs. curry powder, or to taste
Pinch cayenne, or to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the curry powder and cayenne and cook for another 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour has lost its raw taste, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and raisins. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper, increase the heat to high and boil to thicken for about 3 minutes. Strain about 1 cup of the mixture through a fine sieve to use as the sauce.

Combine the remaining cream mixture with the cooked chicken and stir well to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Divide the chicken filling evenly among the crepes  and roll each crêpe into a thick cylinder. Arrange the filled crêpes in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the reserved sauce over the center of the crêpes. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbly and the crêpes are lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and basil and dig in.

I served these with simple roasted bell peppers

Ta ta.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meat Balls and Mountain Roads.

Our first blog with a non-food twist will feature the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay, the greatest relay on Earth! This race starts in Haines Junction, Yukon, and finishes in Haines, Alaska. In between, riders must cover 238km of mountainous, windy and stunningly beautiful terrain. Teams can consist of up to 8 people, and even a few keeners do it solo. 

Bradele were proud members of 'That's What He Said', the 4-woman team with giant calves and endless jokes, who's enthusiasm and toughness earned them a surprising third place win! 

But at least some credit must be given to the hearty dinner made in the campground the previous night. Spaghetti and meatballs was the perfect combination of simplicity and deliciousness.

Spicy Meatballs with Cumin and Cinnamon

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. ground beef or turkey or both

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

  Mash the breadcrumbs and milk with a fork to a smooth paste. Add the beef, cumin, salt, several grinds of pepper, and cayenne to the breadcrumbs. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to them and roll a couple of tablespoons into 1-1/2-inch balls; you should have about 30.

Place on baking pan and bake in the oven at 400 C for about 20 min, until the meat is cooked through. 

We made the meat balls the day before so all we needed to do was cook the pasta and heat up the sauce and balls in the campground. 

Is was hard not to eat too many!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Party-Pleasing Dips

These two standard-but-delicious party dips are bound to wow the crowd. I recently test drove them at the little rascal's 4th birthday party and both appeared to be loved by kidlets and grown-ups alike. The recipes came from Fine Cooking, which tends to have finicky but trustfully tasty recipes.


Everyone loves Spinach-Artichoke Dip and when you read the recipe you'll find out why! Complete with sour cream, mayonnaise and asiago and/or parmigiano cheese, its not exactly 'light' but tastes SO GOOD. Here it goes.

10-oz. package frozen leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped
6 oz. can artichoke hearts, thinly sliced and patted dry
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago (I used some of both)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, mix the spinach, artichokes, 3/4 cup of the parmigiano/asiago, mayonnaise, sour cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Transfer to a 1-quart (or slightly smaller) baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmigiano/asiago.

Bake until the top browns and the inside warms through, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

I made it a day ahead and then just saved the baking part for the day of. 


Another classic, but still stellar. When there's tzatziki in the house, I tend to eat it with everything... veggies, leftover meat, as a salad dressing. Not hard to make but sometimes a challenge to find Greek yogurt but high-fat plain works well also.

Kosher or sea salt
2 medium cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Spread 3/4 tsp. salt on a cutting board. Peel the garlic and finely chop it on top of the salt. Transfer the garlic and salt to a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt.

Put the cucumber in a colander and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. Add the cucumber, vinegar, mint, dill, and olive oil to the yogurt mixture. Stir to blend and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Draining the cuc's is tres important or else the tzatziki will be watery and fall off your pita into your lap.

 Happy dippin.