Hermione’s Roast Pike

So, a quick explanation for my title should help. I am an absolute Harry Potter fanatic. This reference comes from the final book. Hermione tries her hand at cooking and needless to say, not having acquired enough magical cooking knowledge, it turns out horribly. I had an experience like that last week. I was trying to make some sort of Chinese beef, but it turned out badly. While I could spend the majority of this post describing this failure, I find that it might just be a waste of your time. Instead, I will refer back to the recipe as I give you a tweaked one of mine.

Easy Chinese chicken with gingery noodles

Ingredients

For the chicken

1 pound of chicken chopped into bite sized pieces*

½ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup soy sauce**

1 each chopped green and red bell pepper

1 onion chopped coarsely***

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

2 scallions sliced****

2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder*****

Oil as needed

Notes:

* Originally, this recipe called for beef. However, I found that the beef turned out too hard. The second time around, I used chicken breast cut up. It cut my cooking time in half. It cooked a lot faster and was very quick to prepare since I didn’t have to flatten it.

** This recipe didn’t call for this, but I found that it was a welcoming addition. However, if you want to control the salt, use the actual ingredient; it won’t have any effect on the colour or major effect on the flavour of the dish

*** Once again, it didn’t call for this but I found that this added some nice colour to the dish. While the pieces of onion can be big (and yes, you’ll cry less that way), make sure you separate the layers.

**** I’m not sure how I feel about this. Again, with the beef, this made me crinkle my nose; it was too pungent. However, when I used it with chicken, I added a little at a time, and it was just fine…

Method

  1. Heat about a tbsp. of oil in a wok.
  2. Add garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes
  3. Add chicken. Stir occasionally and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add half of the veggies (except for the onions; add all of those) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cook it longer if you wish. However, I cannot stand mushy vegetables and prefer them crunchy.
  5. Add five spice and toss to coat.
  6. Add sauces and bring to a boil. Taste; if you want it sweeter, and a teaspoon of brown sugar.

For the noodles

1 pkt fresh or dried egg noodles

1 tbsp. ginger paste

2 tbsp. soy sauce

The other half of the veggies that you prepared for the chicken

Method

  1. Prepare noodles according to package directions.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan or pot.
  4. Add ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Add veggies and sauté for 3 minutes. Same note as above.
  6. Add noodles and soy sauce. Toss it all together.
  7. Serve chicken over noodles.

This should serve 4-6 people. The noodles by themselves and a white sauce make an excellent leftover dish when baked. So what did you think? Any differences you made to the dish? I’m not sure if I was supposed to clarify this earlier, but please feel free to leave any comments – complimentary or critical. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Some Pictures

This is the chicken

 

The Ginger Noodles

 

Seafood fiesta!

Here’s the recipe I promised!

Moroccan Fish Stew

 

Ingredients

2 whole bass filets or any other firm fish, cut into bite sized pieces
6 tbsp. oil
1 large Italian eggplant, chopped
2 large onions, chopped

2 cups tomato sauce, pasta sauce, any other tomato like thing you have
2 cups water

salt and pepper
2 tbsp. green chilli paste (make it less if you don’t want anything spicy)
1 tbsp. garlic paste
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Instructions

 

In a bowl, mix the final 6 ingredients with the fish. Put it aside.

In a pan, (I used a non-stick wok, since it was a lot easier to move things around) heat half the oil. Add the garlic, eggplant and onions. Add some salt to remove the eggplant’s bitterness. Keep in moving in the pan. If it begins to stick, add just a bit of water, but the eggplant will release its own water, so you don’t want too much. It should be quite mushy after about 20 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and bring it to a boil. A note on this: I actually didn’t have any crushed tomato sauce. While I could’ve used ketchup, I remembered that I still had some sauce from the spaghetti I’d made last week. It wasn’t exactly like tomato sauce, but from what I remember, it had garlic in it, some spices and some brown sugar. Even though it isn’t on the ingredient list, I’d add some extra sugar since I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and don’t much love the acidity of the tomatoes.

Add water and bring sauce back to a boil. Add fish and stir occasionally (and carefully!) until the fish is cooked. Normally, this would be served with couscous but serve it with any grain you want, rice, pasta, etc. This will serve 6

On the fish, this dish is best cooked with fish. Fish and tomato just go together. You can try it with meat or chicken but it really doesn’t have the same flavour. The best thing I can suggest if you want to substitute the fish is to use some other seafood like shrimp, mussels, etc. This dish uses eggplant, not something usually used in this fish stew, but I added it in order to lessen the amount of tomato, and to stretch the dish. It also makes it quite thick and filling. If you don’t have eggplant, you can substitute it with other squashy like things, maybe squash or even zucchini. Just remember to cook whatever you use down until it’s entirely cooked and mushy.

Hope you enjoy this, I’ll add a picture soon!

 

Just to update!

Hi there,

 

Just to update those of you following, I know it’s a lousy time of year, and have thusly fallen ill. I do have a fabulous recipe for you all to try which I should have up within the next week!

 

Hang in there!

Winterlicious fun!

Hi there foodies!

So, each year a sure fire way to beat the winter blues is to celebrate with good food. The idea is simple. Offer good food for affordable prices. Affordable is important since the restaurants participating don’t normally offer eats that fit into a student budget.

 

Located just off Front and Church, a ten minute brisk walk from Union Station, Bier Markt offers a French-Belgian-German (almost fusion) cuisine. Walking through the thick, black curtains, into a dimly lit restaurant, immediately sets the intimate pub scene. Led to the dining area, a server immediately rushes to introduce herself. Taking our drink order (as its name suggests, Bier Markt boasts a great number of ales, beers, and ale/beer cocktails, so enjoy!), she leaves us with some time to decide on the food.

 

Deciding what you want to eat at Winterlicious isn’t the most difficult thing since there is a set out menu for one to choose from. But what happens when there are multiple tempting items on the menu that you want? Decisions, decisions. I finally decide on the Wurst Sampler for the appetizer, the Chicken Flatbread for the main, and Mango Strauben for the desert.

 

After about ten minutes of chatting with my friends, the appetizers arrive. The Wurst Sampler is an interesting selection. 3 decent sized sausages skewered to create an interesting display, complemented with tangy and spicy mustards and a mix of pimento olives and baby dills. To top it all off, a generous slice of Gouda to cleanse the palate between courses. The mildly flavoured sausages and the spicy mustard went superbly. Although, I’m not a fan myself of the grainy, tangy mustard, I can appreciate its flavour. The bright red and most flavourful sausage is the one I’m most used to, and this was arguably my favourite of the three.

 

The waiting period between the appetizer and main wasn’t very much. Appealing to the eye, the flatbread arrived on wood planks, creating an authentic Parisian feel to the food. Topped with sizeable hunks of chicken, Québec brie cheese and wild cremini mushrooms, the flatbread was authentic in taste, and gooey to boot! The earthy mushrooms will definitely appeal to the mushroom fan.

 

Below, you’ll find perfect pictures of the appetizer and main course.  The desert picture, however, is missing. Why is this, you ask? Between the main course and the arrival of the desert, we had to wait probably 20 minutes. This wasn’t a problem since I wasn’t eating alone, but I wasn’t able to snap a pic for you guys before we all attacked our deserts the minute it came. Lucky me, I got to try them all. The mango Strauben that I had ordered, in laymen’s terms were 2 wonderfully warm funnel cakes, topped with real vanilla ice cream (you can always tell!) and drizzled with a luscious mango syrup. Though that was delish, equally good was the banana crème brulée. A seared banana hid a scrumptiously creamy pudding with a crispy burnt sugar top. But neither tasted as good as the chocolate espresso cake. Now, I’m a bit biased since I have a love for chocolate and coffee; I know that this sounded like the perfect desert for me, but I really wanted to try something different. Layers of chocolate sponge cake, filled with a silky espresso cream, covered in a dark chocolate frosting. So, I know that I’ve spent a good portion of this post describing the deserts; hopefully, that makes up for the lack of desert pictures!

 

Overall, Bier Markt was an exceptionally different experience. I’ve never tried a fusion restaurant before, but I’m glad I did. If you can’t make up your mind as to where to go for Winterlicious, Bier Markt is a good bet.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

Price Range: $20 (for Winterlicious meal only)

Chicken Flatbread

Wurst Sampler

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