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Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad

Salad of any kind is always welcome on our table, peppery arugula, buttery Bibb lettuce, baby spinach or any other greens… But we don’t limit ourselves to green leaves, especially in the winter. Adding nuts, seeds, dried fruits or cheese makes it a little more exciting.

The original recipe for this carrot salad had mayonnaise, since I prefer oil and lemon juice or vinegar type dressings, I changed it a little. The texture and flavour is best when made a few hours in advance, the raisins plump up and the flavours get a chance to meld, though it’ll still be good if eaten as soon as it’s tossed together.

  • 6 carrots
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 green apple, such as Granny Smith, chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
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    Peel and coarsely grate the carrots, toss with the lemon juice, add the raisins and refrigerate for a few hours. Add the chopped apple, green onions and olive oil, season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl and decorate with walnuts.

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Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf

Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf (4)

I have made this gluten free cranberry loaf multiple times and the result is always excellent. It has a tender crumb and a soft even texture, the flavour combination of tangy cranberries, sweet warm cinnamon and nutty hazelnut oil is just scrumptious, I am sure any nut can be substituted.

I used Sucanat to sweeten this loaf. Unlike refined white sugar, it has a coarse texture and a distinct flavour. It may not be suitable for a lemon pound cake but it was perfect in this loaf. Sucanat stands for Sugar Cane Natural, it’s basically evaporated cane juice, it tends to be less sweet than regular sugar and has a higher mineral content than other sugars.

Adapted from: Glutenfreegoddess

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts, almonds or millet flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon xantan gum
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce or plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup roasted hazelnut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts

Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf

Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf

Preheat the oven to 325F, line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with vegetable oil.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt and cinnamon.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand held mixer, combine the sucanat, applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla for about a minute.

Add the wet ingredients directly into the flour mixture and mix until combined, fold in the cranberries with a spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Bake for about 50 minutes, check for doneness, a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean, if it doesn’t continue baking for another 5-10 minutes.

Once the bread is done, remove from the oven; let it cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf

Gluten-Free Cranberry Loaf


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Root Vegetable Stew

Root Vegetable Stew

We were having a very mild winter until just a few days ago, mild for Québec that is! We have been living here for just a little over 5 years and I have to say, the word ‘cold’ has gained a whole new meaning. We quickly learned that it also meant, shovelling the snow, cleaning the snow and ice from the car and it involved many, many layers of clothing, especially for little Sara, she looks like an astronaut before she can leave the car. But the best part of this cold weather is coming home to a hearty stew like this, it’s a one pot meal with the meat and the vegetables, it’s easy to prepare and it reheats really well, in fact it is better the next day. I usually make it earlier in the day and reheat before serving.

Root Vegetable Stew

  • 1 ½ lb. stewing beef
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam
  • 1 medium rutabaga
  • 1 medium yellow beet
  • 2 medium carrots
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 Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat, add the meat and cook until it has browned on all sides, remove from the pot and add the onion, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, add the celery and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Return the beef to the pot; add the tomatoes and bay leaf. Pour enough hot water to cover the beef. Season with salt and pepper, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables, peel and cut the vegetables into about 1 inch pieces and add to the meat, add more water if necessary, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately or let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Root Vegetable Stew


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Pomegranate, Olive and Walnut Salad

Pomegranate, Olive and Walnut Salad

I made this simple, yet delicious and refreshing salad to go with the roasted leg of lamb. We eat pomegranates regularly and this salad is a great way to use it. The salad has only a few ingredients and every bite has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, crunchy and tangy.

Pomegranate molasses is available in most Middle Eastern stores or it can be made at home by reducing fresh pomegranate juice until it becomes thick and syrupy.

I adapted the recipe from Ayla Algar’s Classical Turkish Cooking, an excellent Turkish cookbook, I highly recommend it if you are looking for a Mediterranean cookbook.

  • 1 cup green olives, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat, until lightly golden, let cool, coarsely chop.

Mix the green olives, pomegranate seeds and scallions in a bowl; add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses and olive oil, season with salt, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pomegranate, Olive and Walnut Salad


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Pain d’épices

Pain d’epices

About a month ago, my dear friend K. and I were chatting about food and what we had been cooking/baking recently and she told me she was experimenting with different pain d’epices recipes, her son, the sous-chef was a great help too! It was actually his idea in the first place.

So, she sent me the recipe she made and we started exchanging recipes back and forth and after making more than half a dozen of pain d’epices in a very short period of time, trying different amounts of rye (all the way from 100% to none), with and without eggs, whole milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, only honey, some honey and some agave syrup, only agave syrup, I am now confident we have a keeper.

The process was a lot of fun and the house smelled great day and night. The recipe below produces a pain d’epice that is spicy but definitely not too spicy, mildly sweet with the honey and fragrant with the orange zest and orange blossom water. Experiment, add what you like, or omit what you don’t like. The texture remains the same but the flavour improves significantly by the second day as the flavours get a chance to meld.

In the middle ages, pain d’epices was made without leavening; the mixture was kept in wooden containers to ferment for months before baking.

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp anis seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • zest of 1 orange
  •  

     

Preheat the oven to 350F, butter and flour a loaf pan, set aside. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl mix with a whisk to combine, in another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the wet mixture and mix with a spatula until combined.

Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about an hour or a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean, let it cool to room temperature, cover tightly with plastic wrap and wait at least a day before slicing.

Serve with butter and honey.

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