Spicy Jamaican Lemonade

We Called Her Sexy Lexy

An exotic creature who came to our Manitoba town from Paris one summer. She knew everything there was to know about beauty. She always took lemons to the beach. We, of course, copied everything she did and by mid-July we all had wonderful golden sun streaks in our winter brown hair. We didn’t know then that lemon oil contains furanocoumarin compounds that act as photo-sensitizing agents, which increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light. We only knew that it bleached our hair in a most natural looking way. Sexy Lexy even understood aromatherapy before it had to name. The handkerchief in the pocket of her pedal pushers was always scented from rubbing it over of fresh lemon, extracting the aromatic zest from the tiny oil globes in the rind. She’d touch her hanky to her nose. “It clears my head and makes me feel good,” she’d say. “It helps me make up my mind.” Continue reading “Spicy Jamaican Lemonade”

Chiang Mai Curry Noodle with Chicken

On a tour of Northern Thailand, a visit to the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai represents the height of luxury. Here we plant rice, dine on exquisite Northern Thai cuisine, sip blended watermelon, orange and pineapple juice, and learn to cook.

After lighting incense offerings to the Gods, our teacher demonstrates, and we follow along, pounding spices and chopping herbs into a velvety smooth bowl of richly textured Chiang Mai Curry Noodle with Chicken. Continue reading “Chiang Mai Curry Noodle with Chicken”

Stir Fried Chicken with Blue Rice

No tour of Thailand is complete without a cooking class. Our visit to the riverside Amita Thai Cooking School in Bangkok includes a stroll through a garden of edibles that serve as the pantry for our culinary needs. Donning aprons we stand behind our individual cooking stations.

On the menu: a tantalizing Stir Fried Chicken (Gai Phat Met Ma Muang Himmaphan) with blue rice – just because it’s cool. This panoply of ingredients is visually stimulating, aromatic, and will make your taste buds dance.

READ MORE: Thailand’s Tapestry of Flavour

Stir Fried Chicken with Blue Rice

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams skinless chicken fillet, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cashew nuts fried in oil until light brown
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (1 for marinade and 1 for seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 red chilies slice into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1-2 spring onions cut into 1-inch length
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Marinate chicken with 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce. Then stir-fry in medium heat until half cooked and set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Add chopped garlic and stir-fry until turn light brown.
  3. Add chicken and diced onion, stir quickly then season with fish sauce, sugar and a pinch of salt. Then add red chilies and spring onion. (If it is too dry add a little bit of water.)
  4. Put in cashew nuts and dried chilies.

For the blue rice:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Butterfly-pea flowers (you can add more for darker colour)
    – Whether using a rice cooker or pot of boiling water, simply add flowers to rice.

Yields 1 Serving

 

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Thyme for a Summer Cocktail Recipe

Patio season is upon us. It’s the time when dining out means never actually setting foot in a restaurant, but soaking up the sun outside it.

According to lifestyle expert Danielle Finestone, low-alcohol cocktails and low-carb snacks will be headlining this season’s patio menus. This shift shows patio owners are accommodating Torontonians’ commitment to healthier living and the popularity of low-carb diets. “The benefits of low-alcohol, zero sugar cocktails is that we can indulge in more than one cocktail without the guilt, and it highlights other flavours in the drink more prominently when the alcohol is lessened,” shares Finestone.

Here are Finestone ‘s top picks for a quick and easy drink to combine with snacks that patio goers can enjoy at their home patios or out on the town. Cheers!

Summer Thyme Cocktail

Ingredients

0.5 ounces Crystal Head Vodka

1 ounce pomegranate liqueur

1 ounce Schweppes Zero Grapefruit flavour

Garnish: sugar (for rim), and thyme sprig

Directions:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, liqueur and mix. Shake well. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with thyme sprig and use sugar for the rim.

 

5-minute Summer Appetizers:

 

photo by Amanda Taylor

Goat Cheese, Fig and Prosciutto Bites

Ingredients

4 fresh figs, halved

4 tbsp of goat cheese (or to taste)

4 slices of prosciutto

Topped with drizzled honey and coarse sea salt

Directions:

Halve the figs and top each fig with goat cheese. Then, wrap each fig with one slice of prosciutto and drizzle with honey. Add a dash of sea salt, to taste.

photo by Amanda Taylor

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip

Ingredients

3 ounces of canned red peppers

1/2 cup Tre Stelle feta cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

Chili flakes, to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients into blender until all items are blended entirely. Serve with vegetables or tortilla chips.

For more info and great ideas from Danielle Finestone go to: @tofoodies.

Tandoori Chicken Salad for a King

Sometimes we crave nostalgia. Time was, the Yorkville lunch spot was the Studio Cafe at the old Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto location. One day while filming the series Twice in a Lifetime, my father, Al Waxman, on a one hour lunch break, arrived to meet my mother, DINE publisher, Sara Waxman, and I for lunch in full-make up. He pre-ordered Lynn Crawford‘s “Tandoori Chicken Salad.” This was his favourite dish on the menu. It arrived just in time, and as always, hit the spot!

Tandoori Chicken Marinade
Recipe Prepared by Executive Chef Lynn Crawford, Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

FOR THE MARINADE:

330gm plain yogurt
100gm ginger paste
100gm garlic paste
100ml vegetable oil
3tbsp Garam Masala powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 drops of red food coloring
juice of 3 lemons

METHOD:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and marinate chicken breasts overnight (recommended.) Grill chicken over medium-high heat, or bake in a 400°F oven, until internal temperature reaches 170°F.

Add to salad and enjoy!

Tall Grass Prairie Grass Roots Bison Stew

Grass Roots Kitchen Bison Stew celebrates the Prairies. The Bison is sourced from Swan Lake First Nation and is entirely prairie grass fed. The Swan Lake community holds their relationship with the Bison as culturally sacred and Tall Grass prepares it in that spirit. The stew is slowly simmered with local organic root vegetables and a splash of local Half Pints Beer to deepen the flavour.

Continue reading “Tall Grass Prairie Grass Roots Bison Stew”

Tall Grass Wild Rice Bread

Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co.’s Wild Rice Bread began its life in their bakery after being approached by a Manitoban aboriginal band who were forming a co-op to market their own wild rice. Inspired by this idea, Tall Grass quickly decided to design a bread. It has had its fan base ever since.

The Wild Rice Bread is a blend that celebrates the pristine lakes of the shield country and combines it with heritage Red fife wheat. A bread that is nutty, earthy and delicious.

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. instant yeast

1 tsp. ginger powder

½ cup wheat sour (optional, if available)

1 to 1 ½ cups of water

½ cup cooked wild rice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix everything except for the cooked wild rice, adding enough water to create a workable dough.
  2. Knead dough by hand or in a small mixer for about 7 to 9 minutes, until gluten is strong. Then work in the cooked wild rice, ensuring it is fully mixed in.
  3. Let rise in a warmish place, until about double in size, approx. 1 hour.
  4. Divide into loaves, as many as appropriate for your oven size (should give about 2 average size loaves). Gently shape into loaf: can be baked in a loaf pan, or left freestanding on parchment paper. Wait until almost double in size. You will know when it is ready to bake when a floured finger pressed against the loaf still springs back but leave a distinct indent.
  5. Bake at 380°F for about half an hour. The bread should be nice and brown and have a hollow sound on the bottom when tapped.
  6. Recommend serving fresh on the side of your favourite hearty lunch or dinner, or with a healthy dollop of homemade jam.

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