Sunday, September 26, 2010

Morning Magic

Some mornings you feel like a hot shower and a pot of tea with milk and sugar. Some mornings you want an espresso, a croissant, and a collection of short stories. And some mornings you want to take some time and make breakfast. It's different than wanting to eat breakfast. The pleasure is in the time you take to think about what you want to make, in gathering the ingredients from the fridge and cupboards, and in slowly putting it all together while sipping your coffee and listening to your favorite morning show on the radio. Here's a recipe for such a morning when you feel completely up for the simple yet precise work of making lovely and delicate crèpes and some suggestions for how you might want to dress them . Remember, though, as far as toppings go, the only recipe to follow is your own feelings cravings and moods...

Recipe: Simple Crèpes
2 large eggs
3/4c milk
1/2c water
1c flour
3tbsp melted butter
butter for the pan

Pulse all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and evenly mixed (about 10sec), and refrigerate for 30min-1h. This gets rid of the bubbles so your lovely crèpes won't tear in the cooking process.

Heat a nonstick pan or crèpe pan on medium heat and coat with butter. Pour a ladle full of the runny batter in the middle and swirl to spread it thinly and evenly. Cook for about 30 seconds and using a spatula or something flat, flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.

The first crèpe is never good but it helps you gauge. Judging by the first one you can adjust the heat, the butter in the pan, and the amount of batter per crèpe. Continue cooking your crepes and stack them in a warm but not hot oven until you want to serve them. The batter keeps for 48 hours so you don't have to cook them all at once.

Suggested toppings:

˙Fresh lemon juice and brown sugar
˙Butter cinnamon and maple syrup
˙Nutella and fresh raspberries
˙Ricotta cheese and cherry preserve
˙Procuitto and fresh figs...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A fresh palate

Needless to say, we moved again. We've been holed up and cut off, without internet or a phone connection, painting and scrubbing yet another kitchen (This one was snot green!). But we've still been eating well. And fortunately we have a reserve of photos and recipes to fall back on until we can start getting our film processed.

This recipe is for a quick salad of raw veggies and tuna with fresh mint. It's very fragrant and goes well with big flavourful meat dishes or as a stand alone. It's also explosive with a crisp Chardonnay. Something about the ripeness of the late summer harvests and juicy tomatoes pops, and it's a delicious way to dress up canned tuna.

Tuna salad with celery, carrot and mint in a lemon vinaigrette

4 romaine hearts, cleaned and torn
2 cans of tuna (pick your favourite, I go for the Italian brands in olive oil)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 small pickled red peppers, roughly chopped (spicy ones work well)
1 fully ripe hot house tomato, diced
2 sprigs of mint, chopped

For the vinaigrette

1 lemon, juice of
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp dried dill
1 pinch of salt

Prep all your ingredients before hand. Gently stir together celery, carrots, peppers and tuna with a fork. Portion the tuna mixture onto a bed of greens in your serving dish or directly onto plates. Dress salads with diced tomatoes and mint and then drizzle with vinaigrette. Please drink with a crisp Chardonnay.