Tag Archives: cinnamon

apple almond crumble

27 Nov

Simple apple crumble.

For Minji.

xo

apple almond crumble

ingredients

crumble

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 2/3 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c demerara sugar (can be replaced with regular brown sugar)
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

apples

  • 5 tart red apples such as empire or macintosh
  • 1/4 c demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut butter into chunks and place it in a medium bowl.  Add flour, oats, salt and sugar and use hands to mix into butter until well combined.  Add almonds and mix for a few seconds more, until evenly distributed through butter mixture.  Set aside in refrigerator.

Peel the apples and slice them.  In a bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.  Add the apple slices and toss until coated.

Place 1/3 of the crumble mixture in a pie pan or small casserole and press it down until the bottom is covered in a thin layer of the mixture.  Pile the apples into the pan and top with small chunks the remaining crumble until most of the apple is covered.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust on top is golden brown.

Note: the crumble mixture will keep just fine covered in the fridge for two or three days, I often make it in advance to save some time.

malaysian chicken curry

20 Nov

I have eaten one too many curried sweet potato soups in my day and I’m tired of curry powder.  I’m sick of it.  I never want to see it again.  I haven’t used it in years because it’s so… bleh.

Thankfully, my friend introduced me to Malaysian curry powder (thanks Stacey…) and it has renewed my faith in dried curry spice blends.  It’s just better in every way than your average curry powder.

If you’re in Toronto you can buy it at this fantastic store in Kensington.  They have everything you need and more when it comes to spices and exotic sauces plus they’re super friendly and helpful.  If you are unable to find Malaysian curry powder you can just substitute the same amount of turmeric, it’s what the original recipe I used calls for.

You can get the original Gordon Ramsay recipe I used here but I’ve written down the recipe as I ended up making it.  I made a few changes: took the seeds out of most of the chilies (because I’m a pansy), used whole chicken legs (because I’m lazy), used green onion instead of lemongrass in the curry paste (because they didn’t have lemongrass at the store that day), also I added potato (because potato!!).

Maybe I probably changed / forgot other things too.

It’s fine.  Tastes good.

P.S. I used Thai bird chilies for my curry, and I cut them up, and I didn’t wear gloves, and my hands were burning for the next two days.  Wear some rubber gloves or something, ok?  I forget every time.  Learn from my mistakes.

Serves 6 as a main dish with rice.

malaysian chicken curry

from Gordon Ramsay

ingredients

for curry paste

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 red chilies, seeds removed from all but one, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil

for curry

  • 4 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 400 ml  coconut milk
  • 1/2 c water or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 large handfuls green beans, tipped and tailed
  • 3 small potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • cilantro

preparation

In a blender or using a mortar and pestle combine garlic, chilies, green onion, ginger, shallots, curry powder and salt.  Blend, adding olive oil until it becomes a smooth paste.

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat.  Add the curry paste along with 2 tsp curry powder for a minute – until fragrant.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes – until soft.  Add chicken legs.  Turn to coat in curry paste.

Add kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, coconut milk, water / stock, soy and fish sauce and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, add potato and let cook gently for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove chicken legs and use two forks to pull the meat from the bone.  It should pull away easily into manageable chunks.  Return the meat to the curry along with the green beans and simmer for a few moe minutes – until beans are just tender.

Serve over plain basmati rice, or rice and peas, topped with cilantro leaves.

don’t we all have mixed feelings about Java House / chick pea + kale soup with cinnamon

22 Aug

If you’re from Toronto and are / have been at one point young and poor you’ve probably had the… not “pleasure”… the, experience of going to Java House.  I’ve been there a lot (not recently but that’s beside the point) and I have a tumultuous relationship with the place, as I believe many do.

There are some undeniably great features – it has a huge patio just off Queen West that’s always bursting at the seams yet always has room for you somewhere, even on the most patio friendly days of summer.  The beer is cheap, like 11$ for a pitcher of half decent beer cheap, and so is the food.  One must, however, consider that the place just feels like there are cockroaches running around the kitchen and under the kegs – I’ve never had a bad experience with that but I’ve heard enough stories to be wary – it’s fairly dingy.  The service is ok-ish but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to get separate bills for your table.  Don’t. Do it.  Oh, and I mentioned that the food is cheap… it is, really really cheap.  It is not “good”.

With one exception!  There was (as I said, I haven’t been there recently so maybe it’s gone?) a tomato chick-pea soup that I believe cost about $3 a bowl.  It was not spectacular but it was really tasty.  It was especially good when, half way through an after-work session of “beer instead of dinner will be just fine”, I realize that no I need to eat at least once a day.  Probably more.

So I feel that an homage to that fine, fine soup is in order.  My soup is better.  In fact it’s unreasonably f***ing delicious, especially considering how simple it is.

makes 6 servings

chick pea + kale soup with cinnamon

ingredients

  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 400 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • 1 500ml can chick peas, drained
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • olive oil
  • salt

preparation

Cut the spine out of each kale leaf.  Rinse the leaves, bunch them together and roughly chop them; you should have about 2 generous cups of chopped kale.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sautee until they just begin to soften.  Add garlic, turmeric and oregano along with the chick peas.  Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent.  Add kale one handful at a time, stirring until it wilts.  Add tomato, broth and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick, add salt to taste and serve.

Java House on Urbanspoon

plum + cherry yoghurt cake

12 Aug

So I made panna cotta from a recipe I had used before (successfully, I might add) but made the mistake of trying to transport it to a friend’s house before it was fully set.  It ended up being less of a dessert and more of a sloppy yoghurt and cream mess.  But was I discouraged?  Nay!  I soldiered on.  I brought that mess home with me and used it, along with the compote I had made to serve with it, to make a cake.

It turned out moist and yummy and not too sweet (so it makes a good breakfast?  yes.)

You see sometimes, when a genius gets impatient and makes a mess of things, it turns into a tasty cake…

plum + cherry yoghurt cake

ingredients

compote

  • 4-5 plums
  • 2 large handfuls fresh cherries (or 2-3 extra plums if cherries aren’t in season)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract – real stuff not synthetic, it makes a big difference here)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise

cake

  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c plain greek yoghurt (I particularly like Liberté Mediterranean)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 c flour

preparation

compote

Cut the plums in half, remove pits, and cut each half into 4-6 chunks.  Put plums along with pitted cherries in a large saucepan along with sugar, star anise and cinnamon and turn heat to medium.  Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds into the saucepan then add the pod.

Once the fruit starts to bubble turn heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is soft enough to mash easily with back of a spoon.

Let it cool and it can be refrigerated up to 3 days.  Any extra compote left after the cake is made is delicious on ice cream or yoghurt.

cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter and sugar.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Whisk in baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in flour (in three parts) alternating with yoghurt (in two parts) until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ cake pan.  Place about 1/4 cup of compote in the center of each quarter of the cake (about 1 cup total) and swirl it in and around the batter with a spoon so there are ribbons of fruit throughout but it’s not fully combined.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

cinnamon + sea salt chocolate chip cookies

5 Jun

I’m not really a sweet tooth kind of person.  I like desserts.  Even candy sometimes (especially these…), but sweet always takes a back seat to my unhealthy, artery hardening passion for salt.  I love it.  I really really love it.

I used to live down the street from Ezra’s Pound and on some lucky days when I went in to get my coffee they would have these chewy chocolate chip cookies dusted with cinnamon and sea salt.  Normally, I wouldn’t get excited about cookies but these were different.  These were salty.  And sweet.  And cinnamon-y.  And just wonderful.

I moved and now I make my coffee at home and after many cookieless months I realized I could probably make them for myself.  And so I did, and I think they turned out rather nicely.  I used a basic recipe from Gourmet, as I mentioned I’m not much of a cookie person so I don’t have my own favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe… but if you do, use it.

Just one last little thing.  I’m rambling a bit, I know…  Get some flaked sea salt – such as Maldon – if you can.  The texture is perfect for the cookies.  It can be a touch pricey but it’s worth it, great to have around for any dish where a good quality sea salt is called for.

Makes about 36 cookies

cinnamon + sea salt chocolate chip cookies

adapted from Gourmet, October 2003

ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 heaping tbsp flaked sea salt

preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is creamy.  Beat in vanilla.  Add flour mixture slowly and mix until just blended, then stir in chips.

Scoop 1 heaping tbsp of batter for each cookie and roll into a ball, arranging balls 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Flatten mounds into 3-inch rounds using moistened palm of your hand.  Take a generous pinch of cinnamon (about 1 tbsp for each baking sheet) and dust over cookies lightly then sprinkle with a generous amount of flaked sea salt.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 10-11 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue making cookies in same manner until batter is used up.