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Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn

How to re-create this recipe:

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Wood Skewers
  • 4 Corn on the Cob
  • 1 Lemon or Lime cut into 4 wedges
  • Cotija Cheese (about 1 cup worth/finely grated)
  • 3/4th of  a cup of Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable Oil as needed
  • Mesa Rosa Chipotle Seasoning as needed
  • Fresh chopped Cilantro for garnish

Putting it together:

  1. Pre-heat a grill pan on high heat and set up a little station for yourself by putting down a piece of parchment paper and setting the grated cheese, Mayonnaise , Chipotle Seasoning and chopped Cilantro next to it.
  2. Insert a wood skewer about 1-2 inches deep into the bottom of each corn ( you may have to cut the the skewer if it’s too long so the weight of the corn doesn’t snap it off). Using a pastry brush, brush each corn with a generous amount of  vegetable oil and grill them for 15 minutes, turning them occasionally so all the sides could be seared with grill marks.
  3. When corn is done, coat them with the Mayonnaise using your pastry brush over your parchment paper. Season each piece with as much Chipotle seasoning and as much Cotija cheese as you like. Set on a platter and garnish them with the chopped Cilantro. Squeeze some Lemon or Lime juice on them for added flavor and enjoy!

Nourishment for your body: Corn contains vitamins and fiber. Although it’s higher in carbohydrates then other veggies, it has a slow-to-digest type of carbohydrate which can help with weight control. It is naturally sweet (in fact contains less sugar then bananas and apples) and should not be confused with high fructose corn syrup or an inedible commodity crop that is used for highly processed sweeteners.

Tips when cooking: I absolutely love Mexican street corn! Clearly, I couldn’t wait till the summertime grilling season, when the corn is at it’s peak of season to enjoy this ! It tastes like pure creamy goodness with a flavor profile that takes traditional sweet corn on the cob to a whole other level! Growing up in a Ukrainian household,  Mayonnaise was a standard condiment. When I came across Mexican street corn garnished with Mayonnaise I was blown away the first time I tried it. Prepared this way, the corn is sweet, smoky, savory, tangy and with the hit of the lime juice it will make you feel like there’s one big party happening in your mouth!  Cotija cheese is a salty cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. It’s texture is firm and crumbly. It’s other uses are for grating on salads, tacos, into soups, and casseroles. The ‘Mesa Rosa’ chipotle spice blend is one I definitely recommend buying. It is just a combination of chipotle pepper, cumin, coriander, garlic and salt. If you don’t come across it, seasoning with smoked paprika or chili powder is typically the way to go !  

 

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Chicken Persillade With Roasted White Asparagus

Grilled Chicken Persillade w: roasted white Asparagus

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 2-3)

  • 1 Pound of skinless and boneless Chicken Breasts (I like Murray’s organic chicken)
  • 1 Pound of White Asparagus
  • Persillade Marinade (see below)
  • 1.5 Tsp’s of dried Herbs de Provence
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely grated) 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Chives 
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Thyme 
  • 2 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (plus 2 Tsp more)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  1. Make your Persillade marinade by grating your garlic cloves and finely chopping all your herbs and putting them in a small round bowl. Add your White Wine Vinegar and whisk in your Olive Oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Marinade your Chicken for 2-3 hours. 
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a small sheet tray with parchment paper. Prep your Asparagus by trimming off 1 inch from the bottoms and peel the outside layer using a vegetable peeler.
  3. Place them on sheet tray, pour the 2 Tsp’s of Olive Oil on them and the 1.5 Tsp of herbs de Provence. Add some salt and black pepper to taste and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. About 10 minutes before your asparagus is up, grill your chicken  for about 6 minutes on each side .
  5. Carve your chicken after it’s rested for a few minutes at a 25 degree angle and serve with the asparagus. Enjoy!

Tips when cooking: It is best to marinade your meat for as long as possible. Marinating overnight would be ideal .  This would also make a great chicken sandwich. Just like any good steak, letting your chicken rest after cooking allows the meat to redistribute it’s  juices.  Both Persillade and Herbs De Provence are French herb mixtures that I routinely use and can be used in so many different dishes to enhance flavors significantly. You can buy Herbes De Provence in the dried herbs section of your supermarket.  You can make Persillade and seal it in an air tight container in your fridge for weeks on end and just pop it out when ready to use. 

Nourishment for your body: White Asparagus contains antioxidants and is loaded with potassium.  In case your wondering what sets it apart from green asparagus it’s that it is grown underground, preventing the sunlight from producing chlorophyll in it which gives green asparagus it’s color .   

 

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Shrimp And Spinach Ravioli, Mascarpone Cream And A Brown Butter Sage Sauce

 

Spinach and Shrimp Ravioli 1

 

 

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 6)

  • 10 Medium sized Peeled and de-veined shrimp
  • 16 Ounces of Mascarpone Cheese
  • 8 Ounces of fresh blanched Spinach (with stems removed)
  • 48 Wonton Wrappers
  • 2  Egg Yolks (plus 1 egg for egg wash)
  • 2 Shallots (finely chopped)
  • 3 finely grated Garlic Cloves
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tsp of fine table salt (plus more for cooking Spinach and Ravioli)
  • 1 Tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh Thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of finely chopped Tarragon Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp of thinly sliced Sage leaves
  • 2 Tbsp of finely chopped chives (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
  • Parmigiano Regiano Cheese for garnish

Putting it together:

  1. Using a medium stockpot, blanch your Spinach in salted water for about 2 minutes. Remove them and set them in an ice bath. Afterwards, strain the spinach well in a colander and then wring out the excess water in a dish towel.  Give your spinach a rough chop and set in a large glass or metal bowl.
  2. To that bowl add your Mascarpone Cheese, Shrimp (that have been finely chopped), Egg Yolks, Shallots, grated Garlic, Zest of Lemon, salt , black pepper, Thyme, Tarragon and Chives. Mix all the ingredients well.
  3. While you are prepping your Ravioli, you can add 2 sticks of butter to a sauce pot that’s on medium heat. Swirl your saucepan as the butter gets frothy, add your sliced Sage leaves and stir occasionally until the butter achieves a rich nutty aroma and is speckled with dark brown spots. Squeeze some lemon in it to stop the cooking. Turn the heat off and keep warm.
  4. Have a lined parchment paper sheet tray handy, a large 4 inch deep braising pan or medium stockpot with salted boiling water ready. In addition, make a little egg wash using 1 egg in a little container.
  5. Place 2 wonton wrappers in front of you on a clean, dry cutting board. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of the Ravioli filling on top of the middle of a wonton. Brush the edges of both wontons with the egg wash, place one on top of the filled wonton and seal them closed/crimping the edges using a fork. Transfer them to the sheet tray to hold.
  6. Submerge them (4 at a time) into the boiling water. Boil on medium to high heat for about 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and transfer to a dry clean kitchen towel to collect any extra water. Transfer them to a serving dish of your choice and spoon the Brown Butter Sage sauce all over them. Garnish with some chopped chives and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!

Nourishment for your body: Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat! It is  loaded with nutrients. Spinach contains vitamins K, C, A, B1, B2, B6, folate, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Shrimps are a great source of protein, contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is best to avoid consuming them in large quantities routinely due to a higher amount of cholesterol then other types of seafood.

Tips when cooking: Using wonton wrappers will save you time on making pasta dough from scratch. To add a great textural component to the dish, you can finely chop up some  toasted nuts ( hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts are some nice ones to consider). To make an ice bath for blanching your vegetables, simply combine about a cup of ice cubes in a medium sized bowl filled halfway up with water. Shocking your vegetables retains their bright color and stops the cooking process. Having a pastry brush in the kitchen is a great tool but not a necessity. You can get away with sealing your wonton wrappers using your finger but it will take longer. I was inspired to make this dish after recently completing an online seafood course with legendary chef Thomas Keller. I was incredibly inspired and found myself in the mood to make a seafood dish using brown butter sauce (A.K.A Beurre Meunière. Making this was a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Especially with some Pink Floyd playing in the background!  This is also a great dish to make with your partner and/or your kid(s). Everyone can get in on the fun! 

I recommend the following product:

Nasoya Vegan Round Wraps

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Matcha Green Tea Cake With Orange Blossom Rambutans

Matcha Green Tea cake with Rambutans

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 8-10)

  • 6 Egg Yolks and 6 Egg Whites
  • 90 ml Whole Milk
  • 60 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 100 g  Cake Flour
  • 15 g Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of fine table salt
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cream Of Tarter

For Icing the cake and Decoration:

  • Matcha Green Tea Powder (Just enough for a light dusting)
  • 9 Rambutans (cleaned and taken out of their shells)
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Orange Blossom Water
  • 1 cup (equivalent to 2 sticks) of unsalted room temperature Butter
  • 1 cup of Confectioner Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp’s of Whole Milk
  • Edible Flowers (optional…for an added elegant garnish)

Putting it together:

  1. The first step you want to do is make your Orange Blossom simple syrup by combining 2 cups of water with 1 cup of granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring that up to  low/medium heat, add 2 Tbsp’s of Orange Blossom Water. Give that a good stir and cook just until all the sugar dissolves.
  2. When the liquid is lukewarm add your Rambutans and allow them to soak in the simple syrup for at least 2 hours. 
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 311 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 8×8 inch cake pan or 9 inch round cake pan. 
  4. In a large bowl add your egg yolks, milk and oil and using a hand held electric mixer or balloon whisk, whisk until well combined. 
  5. To that bowl, sift in the cake flour and Matcha Green tea Powder and mix until well combined.
  6. In a separate large bowl (preferably an electric mixer), pour in the egg whites and beat on medium speed until foamy. Add in your cream of tarter and beat for a few seconds. 
  7. Gradually add in your sugar and continue to beat until it forms a meringue with stiff peaks. 
  8. In three large portions, fold in your egg white meringue into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks and Matcha mix. Pour that into your cake pan and place your cake pan in a deep/large baking tray. Add hot water into that large baking tray to create a  water bath around the cake pan (about halfway up the cake)
  9. Bake for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick or cake tester after 1 hour and 20 minutes to see if it is cooked. 
  10. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack for it to cool completely. 

For the Orange Blossom Buttercream Icing:

  1. Cream the room temperature butter using a hand held electric mixer or a paddle attachment on a standing mixer until it is smooth and fluffy. 
  2. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Add 1 Tbsp  of your cooled Orange Blossom simple syrup and two Tbsp’s of Milk and continue to beat for another 3-4 minutes. 
  3. When your cake is completely cooled, Ice the cake with all the Buttercream frosting using an offset spatula.
  4. Remove the Rambutans from the syrup and pat them dry with paper towels. Insert them evenly spaced apart on your cake. Give your cake a nice dusting of Matcha Green Tea powder and enjoy! 

Nourishment for your body: Matcha Green tea powder is something that has always excited me. I consider it a superfood because it is packed with antioxidants, boosts metabolism , detoxifies your body, calms the mind, is rich in Chlorophyll and vitamins and enhances mood while aiding in concentration. Matcha powder will give you a BIG BOOST of energy comparative to a cup of coffee. 1  8 oz glass of Matcha Green tea contains 70 mg of caffeine. 

Tips when cooking: Rambutans are an exotic fruit that come from Southeast Asia. If you cannot find them you can certainly substitute them with Lychees which are similar in flavor. If you cannot find either of them, you can decorate your cake with Strawberries. You do not have to discard the leftover simple syrup you made. It can hold up well in the fridge for several weeks. I like to use this simple syrup to flavor my tea. You can also use it to make mocktails or cocktails. Orange blossom water is made by distilling fresh bitter orange blossoms for their essential oils. It is incredibly aromatic with a strong perfume like scent and used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a great addition to your pantry. Many years ago I made simple shortbread cookies with vanilla icing. Adding orange blossom water to your cookie batter will take the cookies to another level! 

Rambutans:

 

 

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Grilled Tiger Prawns With Persillade

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 4 Whole Tiger Prawns 
  • 1 Lemon cut into segments
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely grated) 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Chives 
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Thyme 
  • 2 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  1. Make your Persillade first by grating your garlic cloves and finely chopping all your herbs and putting them in a small round bowl. Add your White Wine Vinegar and whisk in your Olive Oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. 
  2. Next, you will prep your Tiger Prawns by de-veining them and butterflying them. But first cut off all the legs using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors.  On a large cutting board, cut the heads off the Prawns.  Rest your hand on the Prawn to flatten it out a little and using a sharp pairing knife or serrated knife, run your knife down the backside and middle of the Prawn.
  3. As soon as you do this you should be able to pull apart the flesh a little. Using your pairing knife take the vein out of the Prawn. Proceed to do this with all your Prawns and give them a good rinse afterwards to make sure you rinsed out all the impurities from within the cavity. Pre-heat a grill pan on medium/high heat. 
  4. Dry them off with some paper towels and using a spoon, spoon about 2 Tbsp’s of the Persillade mixture inside the butterflied Prawn, making sure to coat between the flesh and the shell if the shell has pulled apart from the flesh a little. 
  5. Grill the Prawns on each side for 3-4 minutes. They will turn bright pink when they are ready. 

Nourishment for your body: Prawns are a rich source of Selenium, an antioxidant responsible for maintaining healthy cells.  They also contain zinc and are found to strengthen your bone health 

Tips when cooking: If your guests are not too skittish you can keep the heads on the Prawns. Keeping the heads on them while cooking can add great flavor. Persillade is a French Herb Mixture that can be stored in the fridge for months. You can add it as a marinade to any type of meat or fish you make. You can also use it to flavor soups, roasted vegetables and potatoes. The sky’s the limit! If your prawns are very large and the flesh does not seem cooked all the way through, you can place them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes and the flesh should be opaque and fully cooked through by then.