Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oven Baked Spring Rolls Recipe ~The Kitchen Witch~ Take Out Classics

As recipes go, the one I'm about to share is one of my best. Not only is this dish insanely delicious, you can prepare it in a variety of different ways: Baked in spring roll wrappers like I've done today, deep fried, or tucked into lettuce for the most delectable lettuce wraps this side of, well, anywhere.

But today we're going to bake them - and at a savings of about 150 calories per roll, (these weigh in at 50 calories per) this is my favourite way to prepare them.


Visit the printable recipe here: Oven Baked Spring Rolls

And then pull up a chair and join me in the Kitchen Witch cottage and I'll show you just how easy these are to make!




Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey (can also use ground pork)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Sauce Ingredients
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha chile sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Directions
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  2. Spray a non-stick skillet with PAM and bring to medium high heat, brown the ground turkey and onion stirring often and reducing the heat to medium. 
  3. Make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch and warm water together.
  4. Add the reserved sauce, water chestnuts, and stir. Stir in the slurry and continue to saute until the meat thickens slightly and comes together. Add the green onions and remove from heat. Let cool.
  5. Wrap the spring rolls according to the directions in the video. 
  6. Arrange spring rolls in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. vegetable Spritz lightly with vegetable oil. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.
  7. To make ahead and freeze cool to room temperature wrap in tinfoil and place in the freezer. Once frozen, store in freezer bags. Re-heat in a pre-heated 400 oven on an un-greased baking tray or cookie sheet for 5 minutes a side, turning once. Place on paper towel to blot any oil.
Dip Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1/4 cup hoisin
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
Mix everything together and serve in small bowls. Dip can easily be doubled or tripled.

About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.


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Chicken Pho with Bok Choy Recipe ~The Kitchen Witch~ How to Make Pho Soup

I find this time of year to be a bit of a paradox. On one hand, the light is changing, the days grow a little shorter, and the song of crickets in the evening reminds us cooler temperatures are just around the corner. But on the other hand, these end days of summer are still languid and warm - though we may want to pull out our Autumn sweaters and boots, the temperature reminds us that shorts and t-shirts are still the better option.

The same applies to food. Around this time every year, I begin thinking about soups and stews, casseroles, and comfort but with the heat of the day, it doesn't make sense to prepare food that will stick to the ribs and warm the soul because it's still so warm out.

That's where today's soup comes in.

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, seasonings, and meat. Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. It is primarily served with either beef or chicken.

My version is made with chicken breast meat and is seasoned to perfection with a finishing taste of lime and cilantro to brighten the deep Asian inspired flavours in the broth - making the soup a perfect metaphor for the tail end of summer. It's warmth and depth would sustain us on even the coldest of days, but the brightness of the lime and cilantro remind us that the sun is still out.

In the end, though, none of that matters except for on thing: Is this soup "SLURPALICIOUS?"

And the answer, my friends, is a resounding YES!!!! If you love Asian flavours as much as I do, this is a soup you will be making again and again!

Visit the printable recipe here: Chicken Pho with Bok Choy

Or cook along with me in the Kitchen Witch Cottage and I'll show you how easy it is to make this delicious soup!




Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 4 cups chopped baby bok choy (stems and greens separated)
  • 1/2 pounds chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  •  1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 10 cups low or no sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 fresh lime
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 8 ounces Thai Rice Noodles
Directions
  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch Oven saute the onion, celery, carrot, and baby bok choy stems (the white parts) in the oil over medium high heat just until the onions begin to soften.
  2. Add the chicken and continue to saute, stirring often and moving the vegetables aside so that the chicken begins to brown, add the mushrooms and let them begin to soften. (Adjust your heat to medium if the pan gets too hot)
  3. Add the chicken stock, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the flavour into the soup.
  4. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar, Siracha chile sauce, and sesame oil and bring to the boil.  
  5. Cover, reduce heat, and continue cooking at a simmering boil for 45 minutes. 
  6. While the soup is simmering put another large pot of water on to boil. Add the rice noodles and boil for about a minute and a half and then immediately immerse in ice water. 
  7. Add the baby bok choy greens, lime, and cilantro and stir until they are wilted into the soup.
  8. Place a handful each of the cooked noodles into large bowls and top with the soup. 
If you enjoyed today's easy recipe, you HAVE to check out the dish I created to go with the soup! A Kitchen Witch original rendition of Oven Baked Spring Rolls that you just don't want to miss! Visit the recipe here: Oven Baked Spring Rolls.


About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chicken Pad Thai Recipe - How to do a Make Ahead Pad Thai Kit

After having so much fun with my Cabin Cooking series, featuring fresh, easy meals for cottage living, I thought I would carry on with the series idea and this time tackle Take Out Classics - only with a Kitchen Witch twist - classic take out meals and snacks that can be easily made at home for a fraction of the cost (and calorie/sodium/fat/sugar count) Starting today with one of my all time favourite recipes for Pad Thai adapted from the original recipe at About.com 


 One of the things I enjoy doing on the weekend is menu planning for the week ahead. This is usually done bright and early Saturday morning with a good cup of coffee. I write down Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks for all seven days of the week and then plan my meals for each day. When I do this it helps avoid certain pitfalls, like not eating breakfast because I'm running late, or falling into the take out food trap because I'm craving something delicious for lunch or dinner but don't have the energy to make it.

Armed with a plan, though, I know exactly what I need to buy when I hit the grocery store (thus saving oodles of money - not to mention calories) and I've got the fixings for amazing meals - many of which I like to prep ahead of time and Chicken Pad Thai is easy to do this with.

Your Pad Thai sauce and chicken marinade can be made in advance and put into ziplock freezer bags. So can the rice noodles. Just cook until al dente (about 2 minutes) and then rinse and leave in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and place in a ziplock freezer bag. Cut up your chicken and place it in another bag and you can freeze the whole thing as a kit - or store in your fridge for a day or two before cooking. If storing in the fridge, you can prep all your veggies and seasonings in advance too!

If cooking from frozen, thaw everything in your fridge prior to stir frying.

Visit the printable recipe here: Chicken Pad Thai

Please enjoy the first video of the series and come along on a gorgeous summer hike with me before we get to tossing those noodles!





Chicken Pad Thai
Adapted from original recipe at About.com

Ingredients
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz pkg Thai rice noodles
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp cornstarch 
  • 3 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried chiles
  • 3 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 3 sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts 
  • 1/4 cup no sodium chicken stock
  • Wedges of lime
Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients
  • 3/4 tbsp tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Siracha chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
Directions
  1. Mix the corn starch and soy sauce and set aside. 
  2. Add the tamarind paste to 1/4 cup of warm water and stir to incorporate. Add the fish sauce, Siracha and brown sugar. Stir, cover, and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and the Thai rice noodles. Boil for about 2 minutes until they're almost cooked but still have the slightest bit of crunch to them. Drain well and then immerse in cold water for 30 minutes, draining after that.
  4. Pour the the soy sauce and corn starch mixture over the cubed chicken breast meat. 
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a hot wok and add the minced garlic and dried chiles. Stir fry about 30 seconds and then add the chicken and soy sauce mixture and continue to stir fry, adding a little chicken stock a tbsp at a time if the chicken becomes dry, for about 7 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Add the Pad Thai sauce you made earlier. Add the noodles stirring well with two lifters. 
  7. Add the bean sprouts, stirring and tossing until they soften up. Add about another tbsp of fish sauce to finish, toss again, and then add 3 sliced green onions, a half cup of fresh cilantro, a third of a cup of chopped peanuts, and the juice of one fresh lime. 
Serve it up family style right from the wok and enjoy
Check Out my next blog featuring a Kitchen Witch original rendition of Chicken Pho - and it's so slurpaliciously delicious you'll be licking the bowl!!



About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cedar Planked Salmon with Mixed Berry Compote

My posts have been few and far between this summer, I know. That's because I've been spending every waking moment at the beach. But that doesn't mean we haven't been cooking! In fact, I've had a whole series going on my You Tube Channel featuring "Cabin Cooking." Shot from our favourite home away from home on Vancouver Island, the Cabin Cooking series features tried and true recipes that are perfect for the cottage!

Like today's incredible recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon with Mixed Berry Compote.

The idea came about because Vaughan and I wanted to make a meal using traditional ingredients from Vancouver Island and we were pleasantly surprised to discover how amazing blueberries and raspberries pair with salmon. The compote recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from Sonny Anderson. And the dish is simply spectacular.

Visit the printable recipe here: Cedar Planked Salmon with Mixed Berry Compote

And please enjoy the easy to follow video from our "Cabin Series"




Ingredients

  • 6, skin on, salmon filets
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 ounces each blueberries and raspberries
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon pepper
Directions
  1. Soak a Cedar plank in fruit flavoured beer for 8 hrs
  2. In a small sauce pot over medium-high heat, combine the berries, ginger, water, and the juice of half a lemon. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until berries break down, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push the pulp through.
  4. Return the mixture back to the sauce pot and add 1/4 cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes,
  5. stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Drizzle the salmon filets with extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper. Rub it in, and then pour half of the compote over all - saving the other half for later.
  7. Place the filets onto a plank on a grill heated to 350 and let cook with the lid down for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve with more sauce spooned over all. 

 About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Blueberry Orange and Lavender Ice Cream Sandwiches

I participated recently with a group of other video creators on a project featuring Ice Cream Sandwiches. The challenge was to come up with an ice cream sandwich that would be hip and fun and I thought in this warm weather, what could be better than orange ice cream infused with lavender?

I know!

Orange ice cream infused with lavender sandwiched between two luxurious blueberry cookies.

Can I get a moment of silence?












And I have to tell you, these beautiful little treats are every bit as delicious as they look in the picture - maybe even more so! Better still, they're incredibly easy to make and the blueberry cookie base - originally created by Carrie Vasios Mullins at Serious Eats  - is a to die for recipe all on its own, but sandwiching the lavender orange ice cream, the cookies are like little orbs from heaven!

Visit the printable recipe here: Blueberry Orange and Lavender Ice Cream Sandwiches

Or make them along with me, this time in my son's loft apartment in Vancouver BC!





Ingredients
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 16 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 6 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tsp dry lavender buds
  • 2 heaping tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs until combined. 
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir with a spatula until just incorporated. next, gently mix in the fresh blueberries. 
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let chill for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to bake, drop an eighth of a cup or 2 tbsp at a time, of the cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Do this to make 8 large cookies for your sandwich bases. Bake these for app 15 - 17 minutes, just until they're firm enough to turn over, and then gently turn over using a spatula. Once turned over, press them down to flatten using your spatula - this makes the perfect, slightly cakey cookie base for an ice cream sandwich! (use up the additional dough to make a plate of yummy smaller blueberry cookies!)
  6. Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes until the cookies are golden and firm. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes and then transfer to racks. Cool completely and then place in the freezer before filling. 
  7. To make the lavender orange ice cream simply add 1 tsp of dry lavender buds to 6 cups of vanilla ice cream along with 2 heaping tbsp of frozen orange juice concentrate. Mix well and then place in even amounts onto the cookie bases, using a second cookie, smoosh it all together, wrap in plastic, and freeze for an hour before serving.

About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.

Facebook Twitter YouTube