Kate's Cuisine

Jun 10 2016

Korean Bean Sprout Salad

Korean Bean Sprout Salad

I have a bean sprout problem. Or rather, I used to have a bean sprout problem. I don’t think any stir-fry is complete without the addition of a couple handfuls. But once that’s done, I’m left with an entire bag of bean sprouts that I don’t know what to do with, and that will turn bad in just a couple of days. But now, my problem has been solved, thanks to this Korean bean sprout salad.

Okay, I’ll admit, it does sort of look like worms (which makes me tip my hat to the Korean vendors selling it as street food every day.) But. It’s delicious with just a little bit of spice, and the sprouts don’t lose their crunchy texture, even with the blanching and dressing. I like to marinate mine in the fridge for an hour or two before serving to really boost the flavour and get everything really cold, but it will still keep for only a couple of days. That’s a bean sprout problem I have not yet been able to solve.

  • 2 cups bean sprouts $1.32
  • 1 cup water Free!
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.46
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce $0.05
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil $0.20
  • 4 green onions, chopped $0.28
  • 1 jalapeno, minced $0.30

Total cost $2.63
Cost per serving $0.65

1.) Place the water in a medium-sized saucepan, along with the salt, and bring to a rapid boil. Add the bean sprouts and blanch for one minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sprouts from the pan and place in a bowl of ice water just until they’ve cooled. Remove and pat dry with paper towels before placing the bean sprouts in a large bowl.

2.) Meanwhile, thoroughly combine the chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and jalapeno in a small bowl.

4.) Pour the seasonings over the bean sprouts and stir thoroughly to combine. Place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 03 2016

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

Mexican food is one of my very favourites, so when we featured it at the restaurant for the month of May, I was so excited I came home and started cooking what I had spent so much time on at work. My home version of pork carnitas features authentic Mexican pulled pork (which is all pork carnitas really is,) and a chipotle barbecue sauce we made for the carnitas at work, but you can leave out the sauce if you wish and still enjoy authentic pork carnitas.

Just like you can go with or without barbecue sauce, you can also eat the carnitas as is, or you can wrap them in taco shells or soft tortillas. I found these cute tortilla bowls at the grocery store, which let you first dig into the pulled pork and delicious toppings with a fork before wrapping it all together and finishing it off.

For the pork carnitas:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder $8.50
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano $0.40
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped $0.47
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped $0.30
  • 1 orange, cut in half $0.58
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil $0.06
  • Sour cream (optional) $0.30
  • Guacamole (optional) $0.75
  • Shredded lettuce (optional) $0.20
  • Red onions, chopped (optional) $0.10
  • Tortillas, taco shells, or tortilla bowls    $1.99
  • Salt $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup $0.76
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice $0.06
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped with adobo sauce $0.22
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped $0.05
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard $0.06
  • 1 teaspoon cumin $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder $0.06
  • Salt $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

Total cost $15.64
Cost per serving $3.91

1.) Generously salt and pepper the pork shoulder. Mix the oregano and cumin with the olive oil and rub all over the pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 hours.

2.) When the meat is nearly ready, place all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3.) Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the pulled pork into the oil and fry until crusty on one side.

4.) Mix the pork carnitas with barbecue sauce before piling into tortilla bowls. Top with red onion, guacamole, and sour cream, if using.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 31 2016

Sweet Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Grilled Lamb Chops

We don’t have lamb around these parts too often, and when we do I typically make it the same way – my favourite way – every time. A good sprinkling of rosemary and garlic, lots of olive oil, and maybe a squirt of lemon across them. But when lamb was on sale at the grocery store last week, I picked some up and was determined to find another delicious way of eating them. And I think I’ve done it.

I really wanted to veer away from the herby/garlicky combination that I had clung to for so long, so I went in the direction of sweet and smoky, using brown sugar and cumin as a base for the rub and then quickly searing them on the grill. The lamb loin chops I had were quite thick and meaty so they took several minutes per side to get to medium-rare. If you like your meat more on the well-done side of things, cook them for a minute or two longer but be sure not to leave them for too long. Lamb loin chops are crazy tender but if you over-cook them they will become tough and chewy.

  • 8 lamb loin chops $16.08
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar $0.03
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin $0.75
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano $0.60
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.90
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander $0.32
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $18.76
Cost per serving $4.69

1.) Combine brown sugar, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and coriander in a large bowl. Add lamb chops, pressing rub in as you do, and making sure you cover all sides. When each lamb chop has been coated, place on a baking sheet and let sit for 30 minutes.

2.) After 30 minutes, preheat the barbecue or an indoor grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the lamb chops evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3.) Place lamb chops on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking other side for another 4 – 5 minutes.

4.) Remove lamb from the grill, turn off heat, and let rest for 5 minutes.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 29 2016

Chicken and Waffle Club with Sriracha Maple Syrup

Chicken Waffle Club

love chicken and waffles. Like, love them. So when I was at one of the big chain restaurants and tried this Chicken and Waffle Club with Sriracha Maple Syrup, I knew I had to rush right home and try to recreate it. Other than the fact I didn’t leave my waffles in the waffle-maker for long enough, I think I did a pretty big job. (The secret is in that sriracha maple syrup. Mmmm….it’s perfection!)

For the fried chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, cut in half $11.60
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.14
  • 1 cup lard $1.25

For the waffles:

  • 2 eggs $0.40
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.28
  • 1 3/4 cups milk $0.49
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil $0.55
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar $0.01
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder $0.04
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.11

For the sandwich toppings:

  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese $2.75
  • 4 leaves of lettuce $0.21
  • 4 slices tomato $0.28
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup $1.12
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha $0.05
  • 8 slices bacon, fried until crisp    $2.40

Total cost $21.70
Cost per serving $5.43

1.) Start by making the fried chicken. Generously salt the chicken and place the cup of flour in a sturdy, brown paper bag. Drop the pieces of chicken in shake until the chicken is entirely coated in flour. Remove the pieces of chicken from the bag, shake off excess flour, and lay on a wire rack placed over top of a baking sheet. When finished coating all pieces of chicken, leave them untouched for 15 minutes.

2.) When ready to start making the fried chicken, melt lard over high heat in a 10″ – 12″ heavy-bottomed skillet. The fat should be at least 1/4″ deep; if it’s not, add more lard until it is. When a light haze has formed around the lard, gently drop the pieces of chicken in, skin-side down. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook chicken for about 6 – 8 minutes. Check the chicken periodically to ensure that it does not burn.

3.) Once the chicken has finished browning on one side, turn over, cover the pan again and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes. When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer to a wire rack to rest.

4.) Next, make the waffles. Preheat the waffle iron. In a large bowl, beat eggs until they are fluffy. Add flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Beat just until smooth. Don’t over-mix the batter, and don’t worry if there are a few lumps in it.

5.) Once the iron has preheated, spray the interior surface with vegetable oil. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter into the centre of the iron and, with a small rubber spatula, spread it towards the edges. Close the iron and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. As waffles are finished cooking, move to a plate.

6.) As waffles are cooking, make the Sriracha maple syrup by combing the Sriracha and maple syrup and combining thoroughly.

7.) Assemble the sandwiches. Divide the chicken pieces evenly and place them each on one waffle. Drizzle the Sriracha maple syrup on top of the fried chicken and top with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon slices, lettuce, and tomato. Top with another waffle and cut sandwich in half.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

May 20 2016

Sleepover S’mores Popcorn

Smores Popcorn

Last weekend my house was invaded by little girls. My own two had a sleepover and it was a bash to end all bashes! We tie-dyed t-shirts, decorated a cake (which inadvertently turned out to have a tie-dye look of its own), and made S’mores Popcorn. It’s just what it sounds like, popcorn topped with all the deliciousness of S’mores. I warn you, if you’re over the age of 12, you might find the sugary sweetness of this snack a bit much. But, if the kids need a snack to nosh on during their movie and you want to up the ante, this is just the thing.

  • 8 cups of popped popcorn, lightly buttered but generously salted     $0.91
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows    $0.24
  • 1 cup chocolate chips    $1.99
  • 1/2 cup honey graham cracker crumbs    $0.20

Total cost    $3.34

1.) Over a double boiler, or a heat-proof bowl set over a simmering pan, melt chocolate chips, stirring constantly and making sure the hot water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. When all of the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and allow to cool just slightly.

2.) Meanwhile, lay half of the popcorn onto a baking sheet covered in parchment. Sprinkle on half of the graham cracker crumbs and half of the marshmallows. When the chocolate has cooled slightly, drizzle half of it over the popcorn mixture.

3.) Repeat the layers, starting with the popcorn, then the graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows, and drizzle everything with the remaining chocolate.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

May 06 2016

Beef Shank Osso Buco with Gremolata

Osso Buco

Osso Buco might not be the first dish that pops into mind when you think of Italian cuisine, but it’s still one of the country’s most iconic. I’ve learned since making it that there are two types of Osso Buco – the older version, which uses wine and broth, or the more contemporary version, which uses tomatoes. This recipe uses all of the above, so I’m not sure just which category it falls into.

Traditionally Osso Buco is made with veal shanks but if your butcher, like mine, doesn’t have any, you can use beef shanks instead. The cooking time and preparation is the same, but you might find it has a bit of a meatier taste (which doesn’t have to be a bad thing,) and that they’re cheaper, too! Beef shanks will also still have that trademark marrow bone from which the dish takes its name; Osso Buco literally translates into “bone with a hole”. Whether or not you choose to slurp the marrow out of that bad boy is up to you. I have not yet found myself brave enough to do so.

  • 4 12-ounce beef shanks $22.50
  • 1 cup vegetable oil $1.10
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.14
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced $0.34
  • 2 celery ribs, diced $0.26
  • 1 onion, diced $0.47
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed $0.06
  • 1 cup dry red wine $2.57
  • 7 cups chicken stock $3.50
  • 3 cups whole canned tomatoes, drained and crushed $1.19
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme $0.50
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary $0.50
  • 1 bay leaf $0.16
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish $0.27
  • Zest of 1 lemon $0.30
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped $0.06
  • Kosher salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $33.94
Cost per serving $8.48

1.) Lay the beef shanks on a shallow casserole dish and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Heat a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the oil and let it heat until it’s just about to smoke.

3.) Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the beef shanks through it, shaking off the excess. Brown the shanks in the hot oil for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. If the oil starts to smoke too much, lower the heat.

4.) Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until reduced by half.

5.) Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf to the pan. Return the shanks to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the liquid boils, cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender and falling off the bones.

6.) Remove the herbs from the braising liquid and discard. Remove the shanks and set aside on a plate covered with foil. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan, reserving the vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until reduced slightly. Return the strained vegetables to the liquid and taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.

7.) Return the shanks to the pan, cover, and allow to reheat slightly.

8.) While the shanks are reheating, combine the horseradish, lemon zest, and chopped parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

9.) To serve, place the shanks on a large platter, replacing the bone in the centre if necessary. Ladle the sauce over top, with the vegetables. Garnish with the gremolata.

10.) Serve and enjoy!

Apr 30 2016

Maple Syrup Tarts

Maple Syrup Tarts

It’s time for the Festival of Maples here in Perth, Ontario! Today our little town becomes frantic with  maple syrup vendors and people who want the sugary stuff in any form it comes in. I too, will be playing a part, while I’m at the restaurant trying to get our maple features out to the masses as quickly as possible. Before I do though, I just had to share a bit of the maple syrup goodness with you, and these maple syrup tarts fit the bill.

Made mostly of brown sugar and maple syrup it would be easy to think that these tarts would be cloyingly sweet, but they’re a lot like butter tarts with the distinctive taste of maple syrup that lingers just long enough for you to reflect again on how much you love it.  And while you can go to all trouble of making pastry dough from scratch, for these I just pulled some tart shells out of the freezer and had half the battle fought for me already.

  • 12 frozen tart shells $3.99
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar $0.30
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature $0.40
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.44
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup $1.33
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted $0.05
  • Pinch of salt $0.01

Total cost $6.52
Cost per tart $0.54

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Separate frozen shells and place them on a baking sheet.

2.) Whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until creamy. Add cream, maple syrup, and butter, and whisk until smooth.

3.) Ladle the maple syrup mixture into the tart shells, filling them almost right to the top of the shells.

4.) Bake tarts in the lower third of the oven until pastry is golden and filling is puffed and looks dry, but still trembles slightly.

5.) Remove tarts from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring tarts to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

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