Archive for the ‘chutney’ Category

Red Snapper with Lemongrass and Sweet Chili

This is one of my favourite dishes to make. It’s really easy, involves little actual cooking and is great tasting and healthy too. Also, it’s an impressive and exotic looking dish for a dinner party, if your friends don’t mind the whole fish. Actually, most of the flavour of a fish is in the bones and the skin, so cooking a whole fish makes much more sense. Just mind the bones while eating! I’ve adapted it from a recipe from Australian Women’s Weekly (some of my favourite books are from this range) for an outdoor barbecue dish, where the fish is grilled on a barbecue in banana leaves. A bit difficult to get in Toronto! I added a sliced banana underneath the fish and it absorbs all the flavours and sticky sweet spices from the fish to make a very complimentary chutney. Serve it with a sticky rice such as Thai, to sop up all the juices, a fresh salad (recipe underneath the fish) and edamame, boiled for a few minutes in salty water.

Red Snapper with Lemongrass and Sweet Chili 2

Red Snapper with Lemongrass and Sweet Chili

1 large, whole Red Snapper, descaled and cleaned by your fishmonger
1 big fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced (to make about ⅓ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh grated gingerRed Snapper with Lemongrass and Sweet Chili in parcel
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 banana, quartered length-ways
2 Tbsp chopped Cilantro
– wash the snapper under cold water and pat dry with paper towel

– in a bowl, mix garlic, ginger, lime, soy, chili, fish sauce and sesame oil.

– lay out a piece of baking parchment with a equal size piece of foil on top, large enough to wrap the fish

– lay 3 quarters of the banana in the middle of the foil.

– put the fish on top of the banana, put the remaining quarter banana inside the fish cavity

– cut three slashes into each side of the fish. Top with ginger/lemongrass, rubbing some mixture into each cut. Sprinkle with Cilantro

– wrap the fish in the foil and then in the parchment, tie with string to secure. Rest in Fridge for 20 mins.

– pre-heat oven to 420˚F. Bake fish for 20 – 30 mins until done.

Carrot and Cabbage Salad

3 small carrots, julienned
3 0r 4 outer leaves from a fresh, green cabbage, finely sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
Cilantro,chopped to make ⅓ cup
Basil, chopped to make ⅓ cup
Parsley, chopped to make ⅓ cup


1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil


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Apple and Onion Chutney with Butterflied Pork

On a beautiful, clear and warm Sunday, what could be lovelier than a ferry trip to the Toronto Islands for a picnic brunch with some friends? I know, we’ve been having an awful lot of picnics lately, but what is one to do when the weather has been treating us so beautifully and we want nothing more than to be outside somewhere green. The Island is the perfect place for some reclining under a tree. You don’t hear any traffic, it being a car free zone (with the exception of the odd City of Toronto vehicle) and the breeze off the lake, along with the rich vegetation, keeps the air smelling sweet and fresh and truly good. It’s a good place to take your bicycle or rollerblades and do some sweating before a yummy picnic. We found a good spot under a shady willow and had a meal of pain au chocolat, bagels and cream cheese, coffee and apricot and Stilton cups I’d baked the night before. I’ll post the recipe for that at a later stage.

After all that nibbling and snacking through the day, added to some running around and plenty of sun, a good, solid meal was called for to end a great Summer weekend. Mr P and I hit the kitchen together and in record time we whipped up a dinner for two of butterflied pork, apple and onion chutney, baby potatoes roasted with baby red onions, lemon, rosemary and olive oil and a fresh garden salad. Mr P is one of those people who doesn’t like the sweetness of a plain apple sauce with his pork, so I thought this chutney, based on the cherry and rhubarb one from the duck a couple of days ago, would add be an interesting compliment with it’s slightly spicy, aromatic sweetness.

Apple and Onion Chutney

1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground sage
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
big pinch salt

1 Tbsp veg oil (I use Canola)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup

1 large white onion (I used Spanish) chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch pieces

– Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix

– Heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they start popping. Allow to pop for a few seconds, then add garlic. Don’t let the garlic brown or it becomes bitter. Remove from heat and cool slightly

– Add sugar, vinegars and syrup and heat gently until sugar dissolves.

– Add apple and onion and increase heat to simmer. Cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens, about 25 – 30 mins.

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I’m sensing a trend here with individual tarts. There’s something I truly love about individual little servings. I tend to fall in love with an idea, a theme or a genre and then horsewhip it until it’s out of my system for a while.

Our Tuesday picnic dinner was rained out by a thunderstorm, which at least lifted the hot humid conditions to something more suited to a morning game of tennis, but it meant that I had to think of something quickly for dinner in place of the cheese and baguette I’d planned. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe, adapted from one on Frenchfood, ever since I bought some fat, juicy looking Organic Duck breasts from the Healthy Butcher on Queen. It’s also nearing the end of Cherry season here, and I needed to make use of those gorgeous, almost black berries while they are still available. Plus, I still had a bunch of garden rhubarb in the fridge from the Farmer’s market last week.

I’m afraid I didn’t get a picture of the duck, though it was delicious. We just ate it up too quickly! We’re trying to make the most of the long daylight hours and wanted to get out to the park to throw ball before it was too late. Hmmm. It’s lovely being able to spend so much time outside.

Cherry and Rhubarb Chutney

makes enough for 4 – 6 people

1/4 sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
pinch Cayenne pepper, or one small red chili minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups rhubarb, chopped to 1cm pieces
2 cups black cherries, pitted (tart yellow cherries work well too)
1 medium brown onion, halved and sliced

– combine all ingredients except rhubarb, cherries and onion in a heavy based saucepan and heat gently, stirring to melt sugar.

– add fresh ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 mins until rhubarb is soft and mixture is thick. Allow to cool a few mins before eating.

– serve with grilled duck breast. Yum

Fig Tart

French Fig Tarts

makes 6

Pate Brisee (I used the whole wheat one from the Asparagus tart, but added a pinch of sugar and a pinch of cardamon before adding the chilled water)

6 – 8 black Mission figs, cut into 8 wedges each
1/3 cup ground almond
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
60 ml unsalted butter

– Set oven to 425˚F

– line tart tins with pastry, refrigerate 10 mins, bake blind for ± 10 mins, let cool

– beat almond, egg, sugar and butter until smooth. Refrigerate 10 mins until firm

– divide Almond butter between shells

– arrange figs on top of butter

– bake 25 – 30 mins

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