Posts Tagged ‘free-range’

southwest beef jambalaya

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals on 10.25.11 at 10:16 pm

not your typical jambalaya. i guess you could call it a pantry-inspired jambalaya. read: i didn’t have time to do my grocery run that week, so i had to get creative with whatever i could find in my freezer and pantry that evening. sound familiar? :)

typically when cooking a jambalaya, i like to include a combo of spicy sausage and seafood of some sort (usually prawns). as you may have guessed, i didn’t have either ingredient on-hand that day, so i had to find an alternate protein to beef-up my dish! no pun intended… ok, maybe so. ;)

and yes, the butternut squash was another random ingredient that made its way from my freezer into this culinary experiment! i thought the chunky cubes of squash would add some great texture and a splash of colour to the dish.

the beef:
– heat up 1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evo0) in large saucepan on high heat
– sauté 1 clove garlic (peeled, rough chop) until slightly browned
– add 500g free-range, extra-lean ground beef to pan, drizzling 1/4 cup water w/ the beef
– add a dash of sea salt
– sprinkle 1.5 tsp southwest spice blend evenly over beef (combo of spices incl salt, ground cumin, ground mexican oregano, ground coriander, ancho chile pepper, black pepper, garlic)
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– divide & fold the beef into pieces as it cooks for approx 4-5min until no longer pink

the rice:
– steam 2 cups jasmine rice (i use a rice cooker to keep it simple.)

(tip: to save time, you may want to start cooking the jasmine rice at the same time as the other ingredients. or, you can also cook the rice the night before; just make sure you give it a bit of time to get to room temperature after removing from the refrigerator. you can also substitute with brown rice instead, if you’re looking for a whole-grain option and a better source of fibre.)

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In baking, culinary experiments, dinner, ethnic food on 10.08.11 at 9:29 pm

i’m a big fan of greek food. and moussaka is definitely one of my all-time fave dishes. when i’m too lazy to cook or craving comfort food, i order greek takeout from one of my fave restos in the neighbourhood. my fave dish on the menu? moussaka!

so i thought it was about time that i learn how to cook this hearty greek dish at home. perfect dinner party fare that paired nicely with ouzo prawns & fennel arugula salad (check out my recent post for the recipe). with a little inspiration from clean eating magazine, i embarked on my own greek culinary experiment. here’s how i made my (somewhat unconventional) moussaka…

– preheat oven to 425F

the potatoes:
– bring water to boil in a large pot
– place 4 large white potatoes (peeled, whole) in boiling water
– reduce heat & simmer potatoes in water for approx 15min
– remove from heat, drain potatoes & set aside

the eggplant:
– line a medium-sized baking pan w/ cooking parchment paper
– place  2 baby eggplants (stems removed, sliced) in baking pan
– lightly brush eggplant slices w/ extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
– add a dash of sea salt
– roast eggplant in oven for approx 8min at 425F
– remove eggplant from oven & set aside on plate to cool

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old-fashioned pork schnitzel & new potatoes

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, ethnic food, lunch on 07.27.11 at 9:38 pm

schnitzel, anyone? lederhosen & beer stein optional. ;)

as soon as i spotted some free-range pork schnitzel fillets from spragg’s meat shop at the local farmers’ market, i just knew that another culinary experiment was about to take place… this is a slight variation on wiener schnitzel, which is traditionally made with veal. schnitzel reminds me of backpacking travels through germany and austria — and, of course, beer halls! prost!

since the potatoes do take some time to cook through, i recommend prepping & cooking the potatoes before the pork…

the new potatoes:
– add 1/4 white onion (rough chop) & canola/sunflower oil to pan on high heat
– add 2 cups of organic new potatoes (chopped into bite-sized pieces) to pan
(tip: try an assortment of purple, yellow & red potatoes to add a punch of colour!)
– season w/ chinese five-spice & ground black peppercorns
– cook for approx 10min on high heat, until potatoes are browned and cooked. remove from pan.

(tip: try poking a potato w/ a fork. the potato should be relatively easy to poke thru w/o resistance.)

sourdough batter:
in small prep bowl, whisk the following ingredients together to create a light batter:
– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 egg
in another prep bowl, place:
– 1 cup breadcrumbs (i used old sourdough bread crushed w/ mortar & pestle.)
– season w/ chinese five-spice

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