Monthly Archives: March 2014

Strawberry and Apricot Crisp with Pine-Nut Crumble

A 9 1/2″ shallow round baking dish or pie plate gives this crisp the ideal ratio of fruit filling to crumble topping.

In this crisp, the apricots hold their shape.  The strawberries, in contrast, become sauce like.


  • 2                oz cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2             cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3             cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2             cup old- fashion rolled oats
  • 1/4             tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8             tsp course salt
  • 2                oz pinenuts, toasted(1/3 cup)


  • 1                lb apricots, pitted and cut into sixths (about 2 cups)
  • 12              oz strawberries (about 15) hulled and halved, or quartered if large
  •                    (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2             cup sugar
  • 2                tsp zest and lemon juice
  • 1                tsp cornstarch
  •                   Pinch of salt


         1                 pint strawberry or vanilla ice cream


  1. Combine all crumble ingredients in a medium bowl and massage together with your fingers until butter is incorporated and mixture forms small clumps.  
  2. Refrigerate until mixture is cold, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  4. Butter a 9 1/2 inch shallow round baking dish or pie plate.
  5. Combine all filling ingredients in another medium bowl.  
  6. Transfer to baking dish and top with crumble.
  7.  Bake until bubbling in centre and crumble is browned, about 40 minutes.
  8. Let cool at least 20 minutes.
  9. Serve warm or room tempreture with ice cream.
  10. Note:  you can use 12oz of dried apricots if you can not get fresh apricots.
  11. Cut apricots into quarters and soak it in cold water for 5 hours or overnight.
  12. Drain the water and use them as fresh apricots.

Chicken and Mango Salad with Glass Noodles

The light and clean Asian combination of chicken and Mango is treated to a touch of  heat from a bit of fresh chili.


  • 4             oz thin bean thread noodles
  •                (also known as cellophane, glass. Or mung bean noodles)
  • 1             lb cooked and cubed chicken
  • 4             cups chopped lettuce leaves  
  • 1             large mango(1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2- inch cubes.
  • 3             Scallions, thinely sliced crosswise
  • 1             red pepper thinely sliced
  • 2             carrots thinely sliced
  • 1/4          cup coarsely chopped fresh Serrano
  •                or jalapeño chilli, including seeds, or to taste
  • 1             cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4          cup chopped mint
  • 1/4          cup chopped basil
  • Dressing
  • 2             limes, zest and juice
  • 1/3          cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1/4          cup fish sauce
  • 2             tbsp sugar 
  • 1-1/2       tsp salt


  1. Cover noodles with boiling hot water in a large bowl and let stand  8 minutes.
  2. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Drain well, then return to bowl.
  3. While noodles are soaking, combine chicken, and the rest of the salad ingredients in another large bowl.
  4. Stir together the dressing ingredients till the sugar is dissolved, then toss half of the dressing with noodles and half with chicken salad.
  5. Spread the lettuce in a salad bowl, then noodles topped with chicken salad.  

Variation:  You can use shrimps instead of chicken.


Mediterranean Pan-Roasted Salmon


  • 2           tsp basil leaves
  • 1           tsp crushed Garlic
  • 1           tsp Oregano
  • 1           tsp crushed Rosemary
  • 1           tsp Sea salt
  • 1           lb Salmon Fillet (4- 4 oz pieces)
  • 2           tbsp olive oil
  • 2           tbsp sugar
  • 1           medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1           cup cherry tomatoes
  •              lemon wedges


  1. Mix seasoning in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle 2 tsp over salmon.  Reserve remaining seasoning mixture in a bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Place salmon skin side up in the skillet.
  3. Meanwhile add sugar and remaining 2 tbsp oil to reserved seasoning mixture; mix well.  Add fennel and tomatoes toss to coat.  Turn salmon fillets.  Place fennel mixture around salmon in skillet.  Cook six minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  
  4. Serve with lemon wedges.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice










Serves 10


  • 1               lb steak
  • 1               chicken breast
  • 1               lb prawns, medium size, peeled and deveined
  • 2               tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2               tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 2               tbsp H.P Sauce
  • 2               tbsp worstershire sauce
  • 1               tsp garlic
  • 1               tsp ginger
  • 2               carrots, cut in thin slices
  • 1/2            lb Green Beans
  • 1               small cucumber.
  • 1               green bell pepper
  • 2               medium onions sliced


  • 3              cups rice
  • 1/2           cup oil
  • 1              tsp cumin
  • 5              cardomon pod
  • 1/4           tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4           tsp saffron
  • 2              tsp salt
  • 2              oz pinenuts


  1. Cut  steak and chicken into thin strips about 1″ long.  Marinate this in ginger, garlic and all the sauces.  Let stand for about 1 hour.
  2. Cut the prawns in half lengthwise and refrigerate it.
  3. Prepare all the vegetables.  Peel and cut the carrots in half then slice them into thin slices.  Cut the green beans 1″ long.  Quarter the cucumber and cut it into thin slices.  Cut the bell pepper in quater and slice it thin.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and fry the onions till they are soft and transparent.  Add the meat mixture and cook till meat is almost done. About 10 min.
  5. Add the carrots and the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Just before serving add the prawns and cook till they are cooked.  Prawns are cooked when it changes colour and they curl up, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cucumber and bell peppers, mix and serve.

To serve
Spread the rice in a platter and put the meat mixture on top.


  1. Rinse rice in cold water and soak for half and hour.
  2. In a large saucepan heat 1/2 cup oil, add cumin, cardamon pods, turmeric powder, saffron and salt and pinenuts.
  3. Add 4-1/2 cups hot water.
  4. Add the rice and cook uncovered on high heat till it starts to boil.  Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook till almost all the water has evaporated about 10 minutes.  Cover and put the saucepan in a preheated 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Naryal Vari Kebab(Kebab in Coconut Sauce

Naryal Vari Kebab










  • 1              lb lean ground beef
  • 2              slices day old bread
  • 1              small onion
  • 1              small tomato
  • 1              tsp green masala
  • 1              tsp salt
  • 1/2           tsp freshly crushed cumin and corriander seeds


  • 2.             tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3              cardomon
  • 1/4           tsp cumin seeds
  • 1              small onion finely diced
  • 1              tsp green masala
  • 1              small tomato finely diced
  • 1/2           tsp haldi(turmeric powder)
  • 1/2           tsp salt
  • 2              can coconut milk
  • 1              medium potato cubed into 3/4″ 
  • 1              lemon(juice)
  • 1              tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. In a food processor make crumbs with the bread and add it to the meat.
  2. Finely chop the onion and the tomato and add it to the meat.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well.  
  4. Make small balls about 1″ round.
  5. In a large saucepan on medium heat, heat the oil and add cardamom and cumin seeds.
  6. Add the finely chopped onions and fry stirring till the onions are soft and transparent.  About 5 minutes.
  7. Add the green masala, chopped tomatoes, haldi and salt and fry for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the coconut milk and mix well.  When the curry starts boiling add the kebabs and cook for about 5 min.(do not stir the mixture otherwise the kebabs will break).
  9. Add the potatoes and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until the kebabs and potatoes are cooked(kebabs are cooked when the colour changes to grey) and they are hard to the touch.
  10. Add lemon juice.
  11. Sprinkle cilantro before serving.
















Thai-Style Steak Salad


  • 1/4            cup fresh lime juice
  • 1               tbsp soy sauce
  • 1               tbsp sugar
  • 1/2            tsp red-pepper flakes
  • 3               tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2               boneless rib-eye steaks(each 8 oz and 3/4 inch thick)
  •                  Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2            lb carrots(3-4 medium)
  • 1               medium head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1- inch ribbons
  • 1/2            cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1               cup fresh bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1/3            cup salted peanuts, chopped (Optional)


  1. Make Marinade:
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and oil.  Season steak generously with salt and pepper;  place in a baking dish.  Pour 1/4 of marinade over steaks(reserve remaining marinade).  Turn steaks to coat.  Let steaks marinate up to 30 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, cook steaks on medium-high heat, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium- rare.  Transfer to a cutting board; tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest, 5 a 10 minutes.  Slice steaks across the grain into 1/4 inch- thick slices;  halve slices crosswise.  Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with reserved marinade.
  4. With a vegetable peeler, cut carrots into long ribbons.   Add to steak in bowl along with lettuce and mint;  toss to combine.  Divide salad among four shallow bowls. Sprinkle with bean sprouts and peanuts, if desired, or serve it in a large serving ball.





Thai Mango salad

Serves 6

  • 4               cups torn greens
  • 2               firm mangoes
  • 1               sweet red pepper
  • 1               sweet yellow pepper
  • 2               carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/4            cup coarsely grated fresh ginger
  • 2               cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4            cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1/4            cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 1/4            cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2            cup  coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2          cup (125 mL) thinly sliced green onions
  • 2             tbsp (30 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint


  • 1/4           cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1              tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
  • 2              tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
  • 1              tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2              tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1              tsp (5 mL) minced hot pepper
  • 1/4           tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper


  1. Julienne cut all the vegetables and the mangoes. 
  2. Line a salad plate with torn greens.
  3. Add all the salad ingredients.
  4. In a bottle mix the dressing ingredients.
  5. Pour the dressing on the salad before serving.



Panaeng Curry


  • 5               large dried chillies, due seeded and soaked
  • 3/4            cup roasted peanuts
  • 1               cup coarsely chopped cilantro, including stems
  • 8               cloves garlic
  • 6               tbsp roughly chopped galangal (Thai ginger); use ginger if unavailable
  • 4               small stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and coarsely chopped
  • 4               large shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2            nutmeg seed, grated by microplane.
  • 3/4            cup fish sauce
  • 2               cups coconut milk
  • 1               cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2         lb beef sirloin tip
  • 1               tbsp oil
  • 6               shallots
  • 1-4            Thai chillies, diced(optional)
  • 4               tbsp shredded kafir lime leaves
  • 1/2            cup chopped Thai basil
  • 3               cups coconut cream (scooped off the top of a coconut milk can)      
  •                  do not shake  before                                                                                                                                    
  • 3/4 – 1      cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)


  • 1                 cup coconut cream
  • 1                 cloves garlic(diced)
  • 1/2             cup Thai basil


  1. Combine paste ingredients and grind using a mortar and pestle or pulse in a food processor until they form a paste.  Add a tiny bit of water to help blend, if necessary.
  2. Fry the paste in a wok with 1/2 cup of coconut cream.  Continue frying and adding 1/2 cup of cream at a time until all cream has been added and mixture is fragrant.  Do not burn.
  3. Season with palm sugar and fish sauce (adding small amounts at a time until it is seasoned as you like it. The curry should taste sweet and salty at this point.  Add the coconut milk and stir.  If curry is still too thick, thin it out with chicken stock.  Set curry aside.
  4. Preheat oven to  300 degree.  
  5. Cut the beef into small cubes.  Marinate with fish sauce and let sit for 5 min.  In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp oil on high heat and add beef.  Sear meat on all sides, quickly.  
  6. Add curry sauce to Dutch oven and cover.  (At this point, you can add diced Thai chillies if you wish to have your curry spicy.).  
  7. Place the Dutch oven in the pre- heated oven and braise, covered, until the beef is tender (about 1 hour).   
  8. While meat is braising, grill the shallots, skin on, until charred on the outside ( or roast for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven until soft).  Peel shallots and add to curry when it comes out of the oven.  Stir in the shredded lime leaf and Thai basil
  9. Serve over hot rice.  Garnish with thick coconut cream, fried shallots, fried garlic and fried basil.
  10. This curry should taste sweet, salty, smoky and rich.



































































Spinach Pies


 Makes 30 pies


  • 1-10              oz package frozen chopped Spinach
  • 2 1/2             cup chopped fresh Mushroom
  • 1                   cup chopped Onion
  • 2                   tbsp Butter
  • 1                   tbsp all purpose Flour
  • 1/2                tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2                tsp salt
  • 1/2                tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8                tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4                cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1                   Egg
  • 1                   recipe Short Crust Pastry


  1. Cook spinach according to package directions, drain, squeeze out excess liquid; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook and stir mushrooms and onion in the 2 tbsp butter over medium heat for 3 minutes or till onion is tender and transparent.
  3. Add spinach, 1 tbsp all purpose flour, oregano, salt, lemon juice, and garlic powder.  Cook and stir till mixture thickens.  Stir in parmesan cheese; cool.
  4. Beat the egg wth a tbsp of water for the egg wash.
  5. Roll one dough portion on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut the pastry into 4 inch square.  Brush the edge with egg wash.  Put a teaspoonful of filling and fold over in a triangle.  Press the edges with a fork.
  6. Arrange the pies on a greased baking sheet, 1/2 an inch apart.  Brush the pies with the egg wash.
  7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or till golden.  Transfer to wire racks.  Cool.

To make ahead: 

Make the pies and freeze them in an airtight container.
The pies can be any shape you like, round, half moon or rectangles.
You can use filo pastry instead of short crust pastry.