Blood Orange and Ricotta Pancakes with Minted Strawberries

Blood Orange and Ricotta Pancakes

 

On the weekends, my tummy and daughter begs me to make pancakes.  It’s something I have done for, let’s see, 15 years.  That is a lot of pancakes my friends.  Needless to say, I need to vary the ingredients because regular pancakes, as good as they are, get a little boring.  Now, I’ve seen multiple recipes for Lemon Ricotta pancakes, but I have a stash of blood oranges, and decided to switch it up and see what came out.

photo (7)

 

I didn’t use this many for the recipe, the juice from one was enough.  The rest were just juiced to go with our breakfast.  I was pleasantly surprised, the times I have made the lemon ricotta, I really didn’t taste that much lemon.  The blood orange juice gave it a sweeter, and slightly tart flavor.  Adding ricotta made them super creamy and just a little bit denser.  We all loved them, and as soon as blood orange season rolls around again, I know that I’ll be making this on Saturday morning!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

Juice from one Blood Orange

1/2 cup ricotta

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 tbsp mint, in chiffonade

1 tsp sugar

Butter

Maple Syrup

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In another bowl, mix the egg, milk, orange juice and ricotta until combined.  Add to the flour mixture, and whisk just until combined.  Do not overmix, it’s ok if there are still some lumps.

In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, mint and sugar well.  Let them sit until you are ready to serve.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add a tsp of oil or butter, and wipe the pan with a paper towel so there is just a film of the oil or butter.

Using a 1/4 cup measurement, or a small ladle, place the batter and cook until it bubbles, then flip over.  Repeat with remaining batter.  You should be able to make 6-7 pancakes.

Top the pancakes with the strawberries, butter and syrup.  Serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

Chicken noodle soup with lemongrassI haven’t posted  a couple of days, but it’s not because I was neglecting you my friends, I just didn’t want to bore you to tears with the mush I have eaten.  You see, last Sunday I came down with a severe tooth ache,  and all I have eaten is porridge like stuff, or yogurt, or mashed potatoes.   I mean, I assume you didn’t want a post on how to make oatmeal.  Naaaaah. So, I kind of got tired of the blandness, and once my tooth started feeling better, I decided to venture on something a little more consistent, like a noodle soup. But, I was craving taste, and something different, so I picked up this copy of Fine Cooking magazine that I had lying around, and they had this amazing noodle soup on the cover.

I have to admit, this is easy, but it has a lot of steps to it.  So, to further ease the process, I changed up the recipe a little, like instead of cooking my chicken breasts, I bought a roast chicken and used them.  Also, since I love mushrooms, I added a bit more shiitake than called for, and it gave the broth more depth and flavour, it was more umami.

chicken noodle soup with lemongrass ingredientsThis soup is a cross between Vietnamese Pho and Japanese Udon, and the combination works.  I love the acidity of the lime juice, paired with the earthiness of the shiitake.  And who doesn’t love fresh cilantro and chilies?  (Yes, a lot of people, I know.)

The subtle aftertaste of lemongrass was divine, and every two bites or so you would get this bit of basil.  I really cannot wait to make this again.  It is going to be a staple in my kitchen this winter!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Apr/May 2010

Serves 4

2 1/2 tbsp canola oil

2 small boneless chicken breasts, butterflied (or use the chicken breast of a roast chicken, or any other pre-cooked chicken you have leftover)

3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings

2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, outer layers discarded , halved lengthwise, and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife.

1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

2 tsp packed light brown sugar

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered ( I used dry, and added 3 cups, presoaked in boiling water for 20 minutes.)

9 oz. udon noodles

1 Thai bird chili (or 1 small Serrano pepper) sliced into thin rings

8 fresh basil leaves, torn

1 medium lime, half juiced, and half cut into wedges ( I used three… I love me some lime!)

1 tbsp soy sauce, more to taste

2 medium scallions, trimmed and sliced for garnish

1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks, for garnish

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

If you are using the uncooked chicken breast, heat a dutch oven over medium high heat,add the oil and add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on each side and cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and let cool, and when cool to the touch, shred it with a fork or your fingers.  If you have leftovers, just omit the step and get to shredding!

If there isn’t enough oil left over, add a little more and then add the shallots to the pot.  Sprinkle with salt, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add the lemongrass, ginger, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the ginger and lemongrass sizzle and become fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth and shiitake, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and raise the heat to medium high.  Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for 15 minutes.  Then turn off heat and let it sit for a while, so the flavours meld.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of well salted water to a boil and cook the noodles, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to cool slightly.  Drain well.

When you are ready to eat, heat the soup up again, add the chicken and noodles to the broth and cook until the noodles are completely tender, about 2 minutes.  Discard the lemongrass.  Stir in the chilies, torn basil, lime juice, and soy sauce; season with more soy to taste.  Divide noodles among 4 large, deep bowls.  Ladle the soup over the noodles and garnish with the scallions, carrot, and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges for squeezing.  Slurp away!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

Pad Ped Nua: Stir-Fried Curried Beef with Long Beans

A couple of days ago, going through my reader on WordPress, I came across The Appletizer’s blog post about Thailand’s floating markets.  That reminded me of one of my cook books gathering dust on my shelf, because the picture on the cover is what I am assuming is something to do with the floating markets.

That made me crave thai food, but I didn’t want to do my staple, Pad Thai, I wanted to venture into something different, but easy.  I have a huge job tomorrow night, which takes up a lot of my time.  But a girl still has to eat right?

I decided on this, the stir fried curried beef with long beans.  My decision was wholly based on the fact that I have always wanted to try long beans.  I am not sure what I was thinking, if they were going to taste totally different than regular beans or what, but still, I had this mild curiosity to work with them.  They just look so cool.

I truly love this series of cookbooks, now a days cookbooks all mostly have amazing pictures, but back in the day, well it was sort of a novelty.  I started collecting as much as I could, but only have 7.  When I moved to Spain, I gave away (stupidly) about 4 of them.  Oh well.  I don’t know if the recipes are super authentic, but they seem to be so.  Most of the author’s are native to the country the book is about.

The other thing that really interested me was making my own red curry paste.  It actually turned out to be more of a green paste, due to the fact that I couldn’t find any red jalapeño chilies……but the taste was divine all the same!  And in my local Asian market, I found what they labeled as “Thai Cilantro”

It was really fragrant, and I think it might be what we call Culantro in the States.  But I might be wrong.  In the end, I really loved this dish.  The ingredients in the paste were fantastic, the only thing, is that I couldn’t find fresh Galangal, so I used dry.  I didn’t soak it enough, so I did find some bits of it in the finished curry.  I suggest if you can’t get fresh, to either boil the dried galangal, or to soak it overnight.  If anyone else has any other suggestions on how to handle dried galangal, I would love to hear them!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from “Thailand, The Beautiful Cookbook”

For the Curry:

Serves 4

2 tbsp oil

1 garlic clove, minced

250 g lean ground beef

2 cups chopped long beans, in 1 inch pieces

3 tbsp fish sauce

4 tbsp ketjap manis

1 tsp red curry paste

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup sliced green pepper

1/4 cup sliced red pepper

5-8 thai green chili peppers, sliced (optional)

For the red curry paste:

1/2 cup chopped onions

8 garlic cloves

10 dried red jalapeño chilies

4 thin slices fresh galangal

2 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander root stems

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp oil

Heat a large skillet and add the oil and garlic.  Add the ground beef and sauté on medium-high heat until done.

Add the beans and all the other ingredients, including chilies if desired, and cook for about 2 more minutes or until beans are tender.

To make the curry paste:

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a blender and process until smooth.

Heat a small skillet on medium-high heat and add the oil.  Slowly fry the curry paste for 5 minutes until it is fragrant.  Remove and store in a jar for future use.  (Makes 2 1/2 cups)

Serve with some steamed Jasmine rice.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla