Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fish Stew with a Twist

When the weather is cold, wet and dreary I usually crave a nice bowl of home made hearty stew. 
The kind that is rich with flavour, colours, a good balance of meat and veggies or dumplings and enough sauce to sop up with a chunk of home made bread. Nothing beats that. 
I am sure we all have a "favourite" stew recipe; either our own creation or from someone else. There's chicken stew with the meat falling off the bone, with soft tasty dumplings.  Beef stews on simmer for a few hours for melt in your mouth pieces of beef and potatoes soaked with flavour. Then there's fish stew with a twist.

Tilapia Fish Stew with Rice Noodles

I grew up eating fresh fish; fresh as in there's still signs of the fins, gill, and tail moving; now you can't get any fresher than that. We are fortunate to have a local wharf that we visit during the late spring to late summer to purchase fresh salmon, halibut, shrimp, and black cod. Fresh anything is always better and especially seafood; having it fresh just tastes so much better.

Anyhow back to this dish I made with help from my partner. A combination of South American and  Asian flair. 

Tilapia Fish Stew with Rice Noodles
What you'll need:
2 lbs of tilapia washed and cut into chunks
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium size onion coarsely chopped
About 4  leaves of Fresh Thai Basil
3-4 medium size ripe tomatoes diced
1 thumb nail size ginger finely chopped
6-8 bunches of bok choy washed, and chopped into large pieces
2 carrots thinly sliced
4 cups stock
3 squares of dry rice noodles
Pepper to taste

Putting it Together: 
Turn stove on to medium temperature
Add oil, and when heated add onions cooking for about 3 min to caramelize.
Add tomatoes and stock bring to a boil then simmer for 30 min.
Add carrots, ginger, basil and bok choy cooking for 5 min.
Add fish cooking for 3 min then add rice noodles cooking for 5 min.
Add pepper, remove from stove and serve hot.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Juice it Up

Juicing is neither Caribbean, North America, European or Asian. Juicing covers all ethnicities; after all who doesn't enjoy good juice, and no I am not talking about orange juice and vodka or any store bought juice, though Oasis is a juice on the market that is closest to the real thing,  why go there when you can do your own fresh, save dollars and quick to make.

I've been juicing for a number of years and it's vitally important to have an excellent juicer; not a good juicer but an excellent one which means not going cheap and doing your research. To help make things a bit easier for you I've done the research, tried and proven and comes highly recommend.

First there's Waring Pro an excellent juicer with minimal parts, and sturdy - lasted me 9 years.
The only down side is the apples or beets could not be juiced whole - not a big deal, and the second tiny downside I found was not enough pulp was sieve through with the juice extraction. Again, it wasn't a huge deal to me as I loved the machine and the clean up was a snap.

I would have replaced it with the same Waring pro juicer but unfortunately the Waring pro company does not ship outside of the USA, and that's too bad for Waring Pro:)

After much research we decided on Hamilton Beach 800watts big mouth juicer. Besides it being noisy, that's easily cured by placing a dish towel under the machine and issue solved.
We love this machine, no cutting up of the vegetables or fruit, and there's enough pulp within the juice to give it a nice balance, and cleaning up is easy.

Alright, those are my recommendations and for free also. The benefits of juicing are all positive with no negativity in place, trust me on this. Some of the benefits we enjoy from juicing

  • Juice with organic vegetables and fruit
  • rich with Live enzymes and vitamins
  • Fresh raw juice without preservatives
  • A good balance of fibre
  • Great for the skin, eyes, bones, hair, and organs
  • Inexpensive and can be stored for two days in a glass jar while maintaining it's freshness
  • Increased energy
  • Provides 2-4 servings of vegetables (depending on how much you drink)
  • Absolutley delicious

.So now you probably want to know what veggies I juice with, right? Thought so!

Kale, carrots, beets, apple, celery and ginger is my favourite blend. Sometimes I get creative and add other vegetables or fruit, but most of the time I stick with the ones mentioned.  Ok, to your health and drink up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Momma's Bread Recipe a Winner

Today, I made bread the same recipe I shared with you but this time I added margarine and I loved the texture way more that the bread baked without. A machine runs better when oiled right? Well hope you got that one:)  This time I let the dough rise for 2 hours instead of one, and this batch made two large braided loaves. The texture was just right, the feel not heavy but kinda middle of the road and the taste - impeccable.

So go ahead use the recipe I shared and add 3/4 cup margarine to the mix for a lighter loaf while maintaining the great home made taste no store brought bread can stand up to.

Rising Dough

Mamma's Fresh Baked Bread
When you try this recipe I would love to hear from you; thoughts, feed back welcome.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knead it

Just to let you know this recipe I am about to share makes a heavier solid loaf. There is no hollow sound on the tap, and when you slice into it, there is no chance you will see glimpses of what's on the other side; no matter how thin you slice it. Makes me want to sing; solid, solid as a rock, but not literally.

If you want a lighter loaf the you would have to add margarine to the mix. sorry, I did not remember to take pictures of my loaves, but with a decent imagination you can visualize the stages; from the prep process, to the kneading, to the rising, rolling out to either braid (intertwining three strands of dough) or shape into rectangle shapes, and gently places in their pans. Cover for 15 minutes to set, then it's baking time and 45 minutes later, the bread is ready, the smell that comes from the steam as you cut a thick slice and lather with butter makes your mouth water. There you go, you got the picture; now on to the recipe.
Now, this is bread making simplified.
This recipe makes 3 loaves.


You will need:
2 tbsp. or 2 packages  Instant or Active dry Yeast (whatever your preference)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Putting it together:

  1. If you are using the "active dry yeast" dissolve it in 1/2 cup warm water with sugar and let sit for 10 mins. If instant yeast is used then add it to the flour mixture directly.
  2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients, then drizzle oil, mix well and add warm water to form a soft dough. Add additional water to use up the flour.
  3. Knead until a firm smooth dough is formed; knead for about 8-10 mins. 
  4. Oil the bowl, place dough, flip to coat the other side, cover and let rise for 2 hours.
  5. Oil baking pans.
  6. Deflate the dough and turn unto a light floured board, form into desired shape,cover and let rise for 15 mins.and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake for 30-45 mins until the top is golden brown, use a skewer stick to check for to see if bread is fully baked.
  8. Remove from pans; tun unto a cooling rack.
This bread can be kept frozen for up to 2 months if properly packaged.
you can opt to use all white flour or 50/50 or 60/40 etc
Enjoy, and  your feed back, questions or suggestions are appreciated.