Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Lime Mayo

Sunday's dinner consisted of flank steak sandwiches - homemade whole wheat bread, Boston lettuce and the juices from the sliced steak - and sweet potato fries. Now, sweet potato fries have been a pain in the butt for me. I haven't been able to get them crisp enough. Today, though, I think I finally got the recipe right!

Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Mayonnaise
Photography by Matthew Kimura (Canadian Living)
 Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Lime Mayo

2 sweet potatoes cut into strips 3/8 inch wide
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp coarse salt
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy

2 tbsp mayonaise
2 tbsp sour cream
juice from ½ lime
¼ tsp curry powder
salt and pepper and sugar to taste


1) Preheat over to 425 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
1) Blanch the sweet potato strips in boiling water for 1½ minutes. I did this in two batches.
2) Remove from water and dry on paper towel (or, if you're out, use a tea towel).
3) Mix flour and paprika together in a bag or any sealable container you might have on hand, add potato strips in batches. Remove from bag, shaking off excess flour. Gently toss in egg whites mixture and place on baking sheet. Be sure to make sure you've left lots of room between each fry. This will help make sure they get nice and crispy instead of steaming.
4) Sprinkle with coarse salt and place in oven for 20-25 minutes, turning fries over half way through.
5) Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6) Remove fries from the oven, and serve with the flavoured mayonnaise.
7) Marvel at your culinary ability and bask in the awe of your husband.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This week has been a total washout for cooking. All of my carefully planned menus went the way of the dodo - I was just too tired to think straight. My drama students had a presentation on Wednesday and we went on a field trip on Thursday. When I'm home alone on Monday and Tuesday nights, it's hard to get enthused about cooking for one, you know?

So tonight, this glorious Saturday, I'm emptying out the fridge (something smells in there, and I intend to find out what it is - my suspicion is it's old beet greens) and using leftovers to make some Singapore Noodles.


Sauce: Mix together the following ingredients and set aside.

¼ c. chicken/veggie stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

Omelet Topping

2 eggs
2 tbsp water

1) Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat.
2) Make a simple omelet by whisking the eggs with water and cooking.
3) When cooked, remove from pan and roll up. Slice thinly and set aside.


½ package rice vermicelli
1 tbsp canola oil
½ tbsp sesasme oil
1½-2 tbsp curry powder
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger
1 hot red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
one good handful beansprouts
two good handfuls sliced mixed veg (I'm using baby pak choi, sliced carrots, and some onion)
2 green onions chopped in ½ inch pieces
diced tofu (I'm using a 6oz package of smoked tofu from Wild Wood)
1 lime, cut into wedges
a palmful of chopped cilantro

1) Rehydrate rice vermicelli in boiling water until soft. Drain and set aside
2) Heat a skillet or wok over high heat. Add canola & sesame oils and heat until smoking. Add curry powder, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for one minute. Add peppers and all vegetables to the pan, cook 2-3 minutes until tender crisp.
3) Add tofu, drained noodles and sauce. Cook until just heated through.
4) Remove from heat, and serve. Top with sliced omelet and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Serves three starving adults or four to six reasonably hungry ones.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This past weekend, I went a little nuts on the baking. With Lent having begun this past Wednesday, I made a promise that I would start tracking what I was eating every day. This is, of course, all in a bid to become bikini ready for the summer.

Realistically, I know that I'm not going to get ripped, or lose those twenty pounds I've been slacking off about. I do hope that I walk out of the next six weeks with more accountability and less binging on sweets.

Okay, back to what I was originally talking about: this weekend. Saturday I made Maple Walnut Quick Bread. I was really hoping the recipe was going to be worth the effort because I had to drop seven dollars on walnut oil. The result? Delicious, moist bread with a pronounced maple flavour. P. and I had it toasted with some of this summer's Pear, Maple & Walnut Conserve. Definitely a winner.

While P. was still sleeping this morning, I whipped up a batch of Lime-Raspberry Muffins based on this recipe from Cooking Light. I replaced 1/3 of the all purpose flour with whole wheat and mistakenly mixed in the raspberries instead of placing them on top of the batter. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a) the raspberries didn't sink and b) the addition of the whole wheat flour didn't make the muffins heavy at all. Frankly I feel like the texture was more cupcake like than muffin like. In any case, I'll definitely make them again.

Later today, I whipped up a batch of Honey Oatmeal Bread using the recipe that I got in the instruction book with my Kitchen Aid mixer. This one resulted in a very heavy, dense bread that was a bit leaden. But, that's possibly my fault as I may have gone overboard with my whole wheat substitution here. I used it for ½ of the flour called for. Either way, I think I'll stick with my Canadian Living recipe from now on.

Finally, I roasted a chicken (free-range and local and only 1.99$ a lb!) using a recipe from an old Fine Cooking magazine and that was the best I've made in ages... perhaps ever! I've never been able to afford a free range bird before, so I suspect that the way the bird was raised has a lot to do with the taste. Anyway, the short version of the recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place bird right side up on roasting rack, rub with ½ tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp each salt (I used some of my fancy pants Cyprus Sea Salt from Williams Sonoma because I didn't have any coarse salt in the hosue) and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Flip bird over, so the breast is facing down. Rub back with ½ tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 30 mins. Then, pull out of the oven and turn the bird over so the breast is now facing up. I used sturdy tongs to do this.
  5. Roast another 30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165 when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  6. Let rest on plate, tented with foil for about 10-15 minutes before carving.
Oh! And here's how to carve a chicken! P. did that for me while I was whisking the gravy.

I've never done started a roast upside down before, but it makes so much sense! The result spoke for itself. Nom. Nom. Nom.
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