Recipes

Coconut Taffy Marshmallows with Pistachios and Cherries

These delightful, simple, delicious homemade marshmallows are very unique. 4 cans of coconut water are reduced to a syrup and whipped into gelatin, creating a mineral-rich, slightly salty treat that can be used in many ways. They have a flavor that reminds me of good ole fashioned salt-water taffy.

Cherry-Pecan Ambrosia Pompoms

Cherries and pecans are both incredibly high in antioxidants and the coconut cream and oil in these tasty pompoms are also very good for you. These are easy to make and hard to stop eating! They remind me of Santa’s Whiskers Christmas cookies … they taste like fresh wintery snowballs, especially if you keep them chilled. Maybe it is because I grew up in Papua New Guinea, but I always associate coconut with Christmas.

  • 1 c chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 1 c dried cherries
  • 2 pods cardamom ground
  • dash salt
  • 1 c coconut cream (manna)
  • 1/2 c butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa (optional)

Honey-Coconut Zabaglione

Many years ago I worked in an Italian restaurant during the America’s cup races in New Zealand. One of our favorite desserts that summer was a light and creamy traditional zabaglione. This version, made with a coconut water reduction and honey instead of marsala and sugar is a real treat on a winter’s night.

Technically, a zabaglione is a caudle, a hot, wine-fortified drink made as a healing draught for a sick person. The noun later morphed into the verb “to coddle,” meaning “to treat with extreme or excessive care or kindness.” Which isn’t a bad way to describe how zabaglione makes me feel. –Zabaglione Love

Honey and Coconut Glazed Sweet Potatoes

When you reduce coconut water to a syrup it results in a salty-sweet mineral rich syrup. This recipe is my version of candied yams and has the perfect balance of sweet and salty with an exotic coconut twist.

Chestnut, Pistachio and Goji Berry Stuffing

This moist chestnut, pistachio and goji stuffing makes a tasty filling for a juicy goose. The chestnuts just soak up the goose fat and the combination of sausage, pistachios and gojis makes an exotic stuffing with a powerful antioxidant punch. Our local neighborhood Italian grocher Renzullo’s gets in delicious fat Italian chestnuts this time of year and the combination of them with the prize winning blueberry sausage from Gelderman farms is a good blend of local and global flavors for our traditional dinner.

Pomegranate Kombucha Marinated Christmas Goose

We are fortunate in Vancouver to have a wonderful deli/restaurant in town that has amazing pastured geese available locally (Ethical Kitchen). We decided to have one for our holiday season this year and were very pleased with the results. I like geese as they are all brown meat (which is my favorite). Like ducks they have lots of fat which means that my colorful chestnut and pistachio stuffing goes really well with goose. Chestnuts can get a little dry without plenty of fat. Try this rich old fashioned pomegranate and cherry reduction for a delicious gluten-free sauce.

  • 1 medium pastured goose
  • 2 – 3 c kombucha
  • 2 cans (660mL) coconut water (optional)
  • 2 T pomegranate syrup
  • 1 orange zest
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 1/2 piece cinnamon

Deep and Creamy: Pomegranate, Coconut Water and Cherry Reduction

This amazing, deep, rich sauce takes a while to make but is well worth the wait.Coconut water, pomegranate juice, stock and red wine are reduced to about a third of original volume. Cream and dried cherries are added and the sauce is reduced further. This is a delicious sauce for goose, turkey or chicken and is a great substitute for gravy for guests who are gluten-intollerant or are on grain-free or paleo diets.

Freezing a Summer’s Day

Basil is funny to grow. It starts as a spindly plant, often with just a few leaves, so few in fact that to take any feels wrong. To snip a couple off for a tomato salad makes me worry that I might kill the plant. In the beginning I always straddle the line between wanting to taste and not wanting to kill. More times than not in early summer I skimp on the basil leaves or I (ahhh!) buy basil.

Then late summer rolls around and my basil plant has turned beast. There are so many leaves that I don’t know where to cut. And then I see them. The seed pods and flowers, inching their way out of the top, getting ready to turn my basil into a bitter compost addition. Not on my time.

Basil, you’re about to get whacked.

The scissors emerge from the kitchen. I grab the entire basil plant and cut it off at the ankles. Brutal to be sure, but necessary because it is at this moment, when the heat of the late summer is overbearing and I am praying for rain as if I live in a desert that I know it is time to make pesto for the winter.

Roasted Sour Cherries

Every once in a while I get lucky and today I got lucky.  I am landscaping a section of my parent’s garden, which means I have to go up to their place in North Van.  If I have a car on my trip up there and it is the summer time then I always, always, always stop at Bob’s fruit stand.  This is especially true during peach season.  I can easily eat five peaches in a sitting and allow myself to gorge on them during their short, beautiful season.  Bob’s trucks their produce up from the Okanagan so their stuff is local and absolutely gorgeous.

As I was preparing for my peach fix, I happened to notice a little something new at Bob’s.  Sour cherries.  I asked about them and discovered that the season here is about a week long, which is why I have never seen them before.

These little beauties are going to be my secret weapon in an upcoming pie competition.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  My next pie competition is coming up and the judges are not going to know what hit them!

Right now my plan is top secret so I can’t share too many details.  One ingredient that my utterly delicious pie will contain though is roasted sour cherries.  Here’s how to do it.

Directions

1) Stem your cherries, toss them with a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pop them in the oven at 350 F and stir every ten minutes or so.

2) The cherries will split and release their juice and once they are soft, they are done.  Let them cool and then remove the pits.  I am freezing mine because I didn’t want to take a chance on them spoiling if canning didn’t work.  I drained the juice before freezing and froze it separately.

Check back in September for my ultra-decadent pie entry.

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Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.

Zucchini Chips with Sumac

Our latest favorite snack is zucchini chips with sumac and black pepper. Sumac is high in vitamin C, can be wild-harvested all across North America and gives a delicious tang to the zucchini chips.

These chips are remarkably easy to make and a wonderful way to have a tasty gut-pleasing snack.

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t sumac
  • 1 t himalayan crystal salt (sea salt is ok too)
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper