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Mu Shu Pork

Mu Shu PorkMu Shu Pork is a Beijing dish and is typically served rolled in Mandarin pancakes but I chose to serve it as a side dish.  Dishes like this pull me back to our time spent in Asia.  For a western newcomer, the Asian culinary experience delights and at the same time shocks the senses.  I recall my first time in a wet market in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (1999).  A wet market was, by far, the biggest eye opener for me and my memories of them are still vivid to this day. Continue Reading →

Butternut Squash Soup

 

Butternut Squash SoupI affectionately call my husband the fridge police and he doesn’t mind.  He’ll come into the kitchen, usually when I’m getting dinner started, and go through the contents of the fridge. “What about this?” he’ll say, or “do you think this is going off?” and “how long has this been here?”  All of which require me to stop what I’m doing and investigate his findings.  Sometimes I’m ok with it and other times…  It’s not that I mind, it’s the timing and sometimes the questions interrupt my train of thought or I lose the spot where I am in a recipe.  Continue Reading →

Coleslaw with Asian-Infused Dressing

coleslaw with Asian dressing by The Culinary ChaseJohn and I are the outdoorsy-type.  We get out as much as possible even when conditions tell us we should stay in.  Provided the temperatures don’t fall below -12c (10f), we’re happy to take our brisk, 40 minute walk around our neighborhood.  The city of Dartmouth is known as the ‘city of lakes’ and for good reason – there are 19 of them!  There are parks and natural trails that allow us to take in the scenery of these gorgeous lakes.  If you follow me on Instagram, or Twitter, you’ll have seen some of these scenic lake-shot photos.  Walking is our workout for the day and afterwards I find myself craving veggie based dishes more so than meat – go figure!  I suppose that is a good thing otherwise we could be looking very prosperous…a Chinese way of saying you’re overweight!   Coleslaw has been around since the 18th century. It’s usually dressed with mayonnaise or buttermilk but this recipe removes the heavy calories and is replaced with a light, Asian-infused dressing.

Serves 6
adapted from River Cottage Veg

small green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
handful coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped

Dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

Coleslaw Collage by The Culinary Chase1) Place cabbage and carrots in a bowl and toss to combine.
2) Whisk all dressing ingredients.
3) Pour dressing over slaw, toss to combine and let marinate for at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with chopped coriander.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Whenever sesame oil and soy sauce are used I am pleasantly reminded of our time spent in Asia.  For added crunch and texture, toss in a chopped up Granny Smith apple. Enjoy!

Molasses Cookies

molasses cookies by The Culinary ChaseNorth Americans call it molasses and the Brits call it treacle. Molasses has been in North America since the 1600’s when it was first used to make rum. Back then, it was a preferred sweetener and cheaper than refined sugar.  Refined sugar prices after World War 1 dropped and therefore became cheaper than molasses. I have a Purity Cookbook published 1967 (first edition 1917) and The Fannie Farmer Cookbook published 1979 (first edition 1906) both list a molasses cookie recipe. The 1915 edition of Five Roses Cookbook also lists a molasses cookie recipe.  These older cookbooks clearly show it’s been a favorite for generations.  While this recipe isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill and one might think the ingredients are a bit suspect, I strongly encourage you to give this molasses cookie a go.

Makes about 15 cookies
adapted from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (optional)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses

1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, baking soda, cardamom, and pepper into a bowl.

cookie ingredients2. In a bowl beat butter and grated ginger until smooth. Add brown sugar, white sugar, salt and mix until light and fluffy. Add molasses and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix.

cookie collage by The Culinary Chase3. Place dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log (about 10-inchs long). Tightly wrap and roll the log a few times, patting it as you go to make it smooth. Refrigerate until firm – at least 1 hour or up to 5 days.
4. Preheat oven to 350f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Fill a small plate or bowl with granulated sugar.
5. Remove dough from fridge and slice into 1/2-inch thickness. Roll these slices into balls and then lightly roll in the sugar. Place on the baking sheet, spaced 1-inch apart. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until crackly on top but still soft to touch. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. The surface will get firmer as they cool.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: A slight crunch on the outside with a soft interior makes these cookies irresistible.  Mr. S. has now given these cookies his royal seal of approval. 🙂 Enjoy!