Food Hero


Stir-Fried Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms by Katy K
February 24, 2009, 1:50 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Katy K, quick fix | Tags: ,

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The next time you are in the mood for something a little different at breakfast time try Stir-Fried Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms. This dish is delicious and a little exotic. The aroma is wonderful. It is a slight modification of a recipe in Low Carb 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold. This interesting cookbook consists entirely of three-ingredient recipes for all times of a day but I added a fourth ingredient to this breakfast. Stir-frying shiitake mushrooms in toasted sesame oil lends a more substantial “meaty” element to simple scrambled eggs. I top it all with some sliced Canadian bacon because I think the tang complements the flavours and makes it more of a meal – but you can always keep it vegetarian if that’s what you like. Rozanne Gold calls this dish suave.  According to the dictionary this adjective means “having a sophisticated charm”. I quite agree.

Ingredients (per serving)

2            eggs
1/2 tsp   toasted sesame oil
3            big shiitake mushrooms
1            slice of Canadian bacon 

img_2581Slice the mushrooms. Fry some Canadian bacon until turning golden and a little crispy in places. Slice the bacon into batons (a little bigger than matchsticks which are a little bigger than a julienne). Mix eggs with a splash of water using a fork or whisk. I think adding a little water to scrambled eggs makes them more tender when they are cooked (more tender than when you use milk, I find). Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan, add mushrooms and cook until they soften a little, about 2-3 minutes, add some salt and pepper, and continue to cook until soft.  Add the whisked eggs and cook, stirring, until scrambled to the right consistency. Serve on a warm plate with the sliced bacon scattered on top.

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Happy Hour – Lemon Drop by Katy K
February 11, 2009, 3:19 am
Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K | Tags: , ,

photoI had my first Lemon Drop at the same establishment that served me my first Cosmopolitan – the once funky, and now defunct, Seattle Catch Bistro in Fremont. This restaurant had a nice atmosphere, it was fun to sit at the bar, and they had a delicious linguine with clams and white wine that they made with a roux and served in the saucepan at the table.  I asked our cute and charming waitress for some suggestions because I wasn’t in the mood for a Manhattan, or a gin and tonic, or a Margarita. She suggested a Cosmopolitan, which was awesome, and then she brought me a Lemon Drop, which was too sweet.  I commenced my years-long affair with the Cosmpolitan that night. More recently I have had some delicious, not too sweet, Lemon Drops out and about on the town, and so I have been trying to make them at home.  I was using lemon-flavoured vodka but they tasted awful! Last Friday night I had a conversation with my new favourite bartender at the fun and delicious brand-new restaurant in my neighbourhood, Cantinetta.  As a result of this consultation I made some good Lemon Drops this weekend. No flavoured vodka was involved. He told me how to infuse my own lemon vodka if I really wanted flavoured vodka. He said to slice lemons, spread them on a baking sheet, put them in the oven to heat them up, and then cover them with vodka and allow to cool. Pour the vodka off the lemon slices, and you have your lemon-infused vodka.  He said that heat was the key but I would have believed anything he said, he has the the most distracting dimple…I’ll try infusing vodka some day, but until then, the recipe I came up with this weekend is delicious…

Ingredients per drink

1                    tsp  sugar (superfine)
1/4 to 1/2       a lemon (depending on the size of the lemon)
1  1/2             oz   vodka (Ketel One)
1/2                 oz   Cointreau 

This is like a Cosmopolitan with lemon instead of lime (I guess that’s why I like it). Put a teaspoon of superfine sugar into a glass, put pieces of lemon into glass and crush with a muddler. Add ice and pour the vodka and Cointreau over it. Invert a cocktail shaker into the glass and shake, shake, shake. Strain the Lemon Drop into a cocktail glass rimmed with superfine sugar. Lately I’ve been straining my Cosmos, and now Lemon Drops, through a tea strainer – it results in a more…refined…sip of vodka.



Cumin-Flavoured Carrot Salad by Katy K
February 2, 2009, 3:29 am
Filed under: Katy K, Salads, Side Dish | Tags:

img_2546I made this salad for the first time several years ago when I prepared a Spanish-themed Christmas dinner for the family. I made paella and a selection of tapas instead of turkey. The recipe is from the great cookbook Tapas by Penelope Casas. This preparation of carrots tastes surprisingly exotic to me. For some reason, the glow of carrots with paprika and the taste and smell of the smoke and cumin make me  fancy that I am eating carrots in a much warmer place…perhaps at a table outside, with a slight breeze coming off the ocean,  resting my shoulder against a Moorish wall…
Yes, I like this salad. I have made it as a side for potlucks and, most recently, I brought it to a Spanish wine-tasting party.  It always elicits pleasantly surprised and complimentary remarks. I think it surprises people because it looks like it’s just a cold carrot salad but it’s really so much more.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/2     lb         carrots (about 4 medium)
                      broth
2        Tblsp   white wine vinegar 
1 1/2  Tblsp   water
1        clove    garlic, pressed
1/4     tsp        oregano
1/4     tsp        cumin, freshly ground
1/4     tsp        paprika, Spanish, smoked, sweet 

Peel carrots, place in a saucepan, whole, and fill with broth until carrots are just covered.  I use a broth made from vegetable bouillon cubes. The original recipe calls for chicken broth, which is probably delicious, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t keep chicken broth on hand.  I keep vegetable bouillon cubes in my freezer to use when I’m not making a stock or a court bouillon.  Bring to a boil and simmer carrots until just done but slightly crisp, about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the carrots.  I have trouble getting this just right. The carrots keep cooking a little after you take them out of the broth because they’re still hot, so it’s kind of tricky. After they cool, slice into 1/4-inch slices. Mix the vinegar, water, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Toss carrots in this dressing and allow to marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.  The salad in my pictures was made with some multicoloured rainbow carrots – aren’t they pretty?