Friday, February 4, 2011

root vegetable chips; parsnip and carrot latkes; beet conserve; sweet potatoes and apples

Friday - and the stove actually worked tonight! Must be because I had the day off. We had seafood chowder (yum - one of the best things about moving to Nova Scotia!) and I made parsnip and carrot latkes or pancakes. These came out of the Eat Feed Autumn Winter cookbook, and were lovely. You grate up carrots and parsnips (about 4-5 of each) and squeeze out some of the moisture. In a separate bowl, mix up two eggs, 6 T flour, 2 T ground ginger, 1 T honey and a bit of salt. Stir in the grated veggies, then cook spoonful-sized pancakes in a pan with enough oil to cover the bottom. (Drop in a piece of grated carrot and when it sizzles and bubbles the oil is hot enough.)

They were really good. The cookbook said to serve with creme fraiche or yoghurt, but we didn't have any, so Kenneth suggested Thai dipping sauce and that went really well. I always feel a little sheepish about frying, but I used less oil than you would in a batch of muffins, so I don't think it's too unhealthy.

Last night was less successful. We still have a lot of root vegetables, and I really like them oven-baked as fries, but I thought I'd try a variation on that. Two summers ago Patricia sent a recipe for oven baked blue potato chips, which were really good, so I sliced thinly some beets, the largest part of some parsnips, a potato and a sweet potato and tossed them in a bit of olive oil and lime juice. I baked them at 400 spread out on a cookie sheet. But I was also trying to cook chicken and stir-fry some cabbage, and Ria was clingy and distracting, and with the different kinds of vegetables some of them ended up a little too crispy! Some of them were okay, but I think if I did it again I would cook the vegetables separately, because they seemed to take different amounts of time. And only try this when you can really keep an eye on them...

Ah, well, can't win every time. The unburnt ones tasted okay.

Wednesday we had lamb with potatoes mashed up from the roast on Sunday, a sweet-potato-and-apple dish and the beet conserve I was telling you about. It's really easy, though you need a bit of time, and even Kenneth, who loathes beets with a passion, will eat it. Ria eats it like candy. Just don't ask about her diapers.

Beet conserve - this recipe is from Lucy Waverman in the Globe and Mail
beets (the recipe says 4-5 but I use way more)
1 T olive oil
1 T water
2 small lemons, chopped with skin on
2 T fresh ginger, grated
1 c sugar

Put the beets on some tinfoil on a baking tray. Sprinkle oil and water over them and seal them in the foil. Cook at 425 for about an hour - until a fork can go easily into the beets. Let them cool then peel them. Grate them or whirl them in a chopper until they're finely chopped. Put them in a medium-sized pot with the lemons, ginger and sugar; stir. Let it sit for an hour so the flavours mix (I will admit I don't always do this since I never seem to start this recipe early enough). Cook it on medium for 5-10 minutes until the juices thicken a little. This will keep for a while in the fridge; it also freezes pretty well if you made too much.

Maple Mustard Sweet potatoes: this is a recipe my Mom makes a lot.
Cook the sweet potatoes until a fork can be inserted in them (boil or microwave). Slice up some apples (we had frozen ones) and saute them in a little butter. Let the sweet potatoes cool a bit then slice them thickly; layer them in a circle in a casserole dish, overlapping one another, and then put a piece of apple between each one (it looks really pretty - this is an 'impress the guests' recipe). Mix up about 1/4 c maple syrup and about 2-3 T grainy dijon mustard, and pour overtop. Cook in a 350 oven until heated through, about 15-20 minutes.

Parsnips - used; carrots - all used (I can't believe it!); still left: napa cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, a beet or two, and a turnip. Kenneth says he's going to make kimchee out of the cabbage ... to add to the huge pickle-jar of kimchee we already have in the fridge, I presume...

Happy weekend!


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