Kale Chips – Tangy Sunflower, Parmesan and Spicy Cashew

It took me a while to figure out the best temperature, amount of oil and dressing as well as the length of time to get the perfect crunch on these babies, but I seem to have basically gotten the hang of it now. As usual my recipes come out a bit differently each time I make them. The latest version, which I am munching on right now, is a bit mustard-y and there isn’t quite enough salt and oil, but they are still crunchy after about 5 days in a jar, so that is a good sign.

They are very quick and simple to make with whatever you have on hand!

Cod Liver Salad

A simple, tasty, nutritious treat.

  • 1 tin 4.2 oz (120g) cod liver, sliced
  • 2 T sauerkraut
  • 2 T grebenes (optional)
  • 4-5 dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 5-6 green olives, sliced
  • 1-2 T fried lentils (substitute sunflower seeds
  • 1 limes juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried mint for garnish (optional)

Nectarine and Rocket Salad

This is one of my all time favorite salads. Very simple. Slightly under-ripe nectarines make a great substitute for tomatoes–sweet and sour with just enough firmness not to turn to mush when you mix it. The sweet-sour flavor of the nectarines goes just divinely with the peppery rocket leaves. Avocado rounds it out, the pecorino adds that extra salty tang and the sunflower seeds give dimension to the texture. Add some fresh crab to this salad and you will just die of delight.

Shan Tofu Made From Channa Dhal

I have been meaning to post this recipe for years now I feel terrible for not having posted it before–it is such a simple dish. Shan State in Myanmar (Burma) has a very unique tofu recipe which is made from channa dhal not soybeans. Channa dhal is a bean that is similar to chickpeas but smaller, more yellow and easier to digest, especially if it is properly soaked. This recipe is a delicious traditional recipe that can be made into a variety of items. From tofu nwe (a sort of warm tofu porridge with peanuts and cilantro–also used to make the delicious Shan Noodle dish), to tofu thoke (tofu salad) to tofu hnat pyan kyaw (twice fried tofu) to a sauce for the fried tofu. For a beautiful but heart wrenching true Channa Dhal Romeo and Juliet true story click here.

Morels Stuffed with Sausage and Mint

I was over at Trout Lake Farmer’s Market this morning and was delighted to find a plethora of huge blonde morels. I recently read a fascinating book about mushroom hunting which includes delicious recipes, giving me a hankering for wild mushrooms. I immediately bought the four largest ones. When I told the friendly farmer I hoped to someday find them myself, he said they are growing all over the place where the forest fires were, here in Vancouver, last year. The season is nearly up, so go now–I wish I could but we just spent the last couple weeks with family so I have to get back to work–if you find any let me know how you cook em! I stuffed these with fresh peas, cherries and sausages I picked up at the market this morning.

White Bait Fritters

It wasn’t until I moved to NZ that I first started making fritters. I consider fritters to be one of a New Zealand’s national foods. They make fritters out of anything–beets, corn, sweet potato….White bait fritters could be called NZ’s national dish. For a Kiwi, the fritters I am about to describe are not actually white-bait. They are silver fish, and Chinese, in fact even comparing the two is a sin.

NZ white bait are a whole other ball-game, any Kiwi will tell you that. They are much more expensive than silver-fish. During the white bait season in New Zealand, all ages can be found down on the beach pulling white-bait fresh out of the water, whisking them up with some eggs and right into the frying pan with some butter. Talk about fresh! This recipe is my version and we think it is very tasty even if you have to use silver fish instead of white bait. These days you may also want to know where your fish came from, because it isn’t recommended to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean because of the Fukushima disaster.

Keffir Lime and Sumac Nuts

Amounts in this recipe are not precise. Every time I make these nuts they come out very differently, which I find lovely, but I know some find annoying. The last batch tasted like buttered popcorn–although I didn’t use any butter–just turmeric and some other forgotten spices, in the meantime use whatever you have in your cupboard.

Seared Eggplant Appetizer

To celebrate the launching of our new design we had a lovely dinner. This was the appetizer and has an incredible mouth-feel with the carmelized eggplant, goats cheese and pine nuts.

Serves 4

  • 3 small eggplants
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • local goats cheese
  • pine nuts
  • coconut oil
  • pomegranate vinegar, or honey kombucha vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Coconut Crusted Prawns with Mandarin

A few years ago I was the Executive Chef for The Strand, a boutique historical hotel in Yangon Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma). I had a great time reworking the menu to use local produce and really got to know the markets of Rangoon. This was one of our favorite appetizers–it even got written up in Conde Naste along with my Passion-Glazed Pork chops! Crispy but light, these coconut encrusted prawns go perfectly with juicy honey mandarins and mixed garden greens. The Champagne Vinagrette adds the perfect complement with a light tang. Your amounts will depend on how many you are serving, but these are tasty so plan to make extra, they will go fast.

Homemade Olives

At the end of the summer I was down on Hastings in one of my favorite little stores–Como–it is run by a feisty Asian couple who speak Italian. They get in large sacks of fresh olives towards the end of the summer. This year I decided to buy one and try to figure out what to do with them. Just as I was heaving the sack onto the counter, a lovely lady behind me started asked me what I was going to do with them. I said, “Well I don’t know really.” She smiled and happily started telling me her recipe which had been handed down to her from her mother–a real traditional recipe (that’s why I love this area so much!). Her English wasn’t perfect, but I managed to get a pretty good idea of what she was saying and figured the rest out as I went along.