Gobi Pakora, an Indian Cauliflower Fritter

Aromatic spiced bouquets of cauliflowers are drenched in batter and lightly fried. The result is a classic Indian snack called Gobi Pakora.

I still remember very clearly the first time I went to an Indian restaurant. I was probably 16 and my friend, Helen 23, had suggested it. This lunch was probably the first defining exotic meal I had, one of the first bricks of a path I built that lead me down this blog adventure. So thank you Helen! I remember I played it safe and ordered Chicken Tandoori. But I fell in love. I am not sure what else I had that time but the following Indian meals often included today’s recipe, a staple snack or vegetable side dish, Cauliflower fritters known as Gobi Pakora.

gobi-pakora Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Pan Fried Smashed Potatoes

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Heather from girlichef and the theme was most holiday season oriented – and a favorite of mine: A Christmas Story.

Happy Holidays to all from Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Food inspirations were quite limited, probably as home menus were back in the 1940s. But it is the 2nd month in a row I wanted to make something along the lines of mashed potatoes. Last month I finally opted for an ice cream so I went the potato route this time with Pan Fried Smashed Potatoes.

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Carrot Potato Mash for Remembrance Day

Today many countries around the world are paying homage to the fallen soldiers who died in the line of duty, a solemn memorial day commemorating the end of World War I. It is called Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day in the USA, and Remembrance day in the Commonwealth of which Canada is part of.

Times of war are often also times of famine, malnourishment, rations and making due with what you have. Easy things to grow were the backbone of most people’s diets: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions. A common dish people served was Carrot Potato Mash. Easy, plain, even boring. I challenged myself give it a modern look as a dedication to every soldier who has ever fought for freedom and human rights.

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Reshteh Polow: Persian Rice with Noodles

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make.

This month we are exploring Iran and I chose the Reshteh Polow, or Persian Rice with Noodles

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SRC: Fennel, Grapefruit and Shrimp Stir-fry

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time. This month’s secret: Fennel, Grapefruit and Shrimp Stir-fry.

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Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time. This month’s secret: Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes.

Basil Polenta with Roasted Spinach and Tomatoes

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

CCC: Cured Pork with Caramelized Apples on a bead of Potato Paillasson

Welcome to the second Creative Cooking Crew challenge. The theme of our first round was vegan, so when it was announced that this month’s theme was meat and potatoes…I thought that was a bit of a sarcastic choice. Opposites attract right? Well I have to say it left me really uninspired at first. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a concept.

Nothing was appealing until I came across this clever way of serving potatoes. Originally it was going to be a bigger serving with the potatoes serving as a crust for an exotic pizza-like dish. But an energy took over me: an artsy-farsty, 1960s style on a plate. The result looks both cool and silly to me but I decided to just go with the flow. After the photo shoot I could not help myself from laughing at how certain pictures looks like objects or animals. I had a little fun with those pics and photoshop, you will see below. I had fun like a child with crayons and paper, the time in my life I associate the most with meat and potatoes.

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Is it a bird?
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Is it a candle?
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Is it a fish?
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No it’s Cured Pork with Caramelized Apples on a bead of Potato Paillasson of course!

Paillasson is a French word that means straw mat, just like a Welcome mat that you place at your front door. The grated potatoes imitates the straw.  The recipes for the potato and apple below will make one portion in total. If you want to make more just multiply. You may remember this cured pork recipe which was seasoned with Parmesan, Garlic and Basil. This is a new version with a change and flavor.

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Ξ Pommes paillasson Ξ

1 yellow gold potato
2 tbs unsalted butter
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Peel, wash and dry the potato, then grate coarsely using a mandoline or a grater. Gather grated potato in a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much liquid as possible.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over a moderately high heat and then reduce to moderate. Add the grated potatoes in a pile about 3/4 inch thick, salt and pepper. Cook until bottom of cake is golden brown and crisp, pressing down with a spatula once in a while, about 10 minutes. Flip the cake back into the skillet, adding a little bit more butter in the skillet if necessary. Cook until bottom is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes more.

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Check out the Creative Cooking Crew Pinterest board to see the other participant’s creations on the Meat and Potatoes theme.

Ξ Caramelized Apples Ξ

1/2 apple, cored and sliced thin
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 tablespoon Sugar

In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter and reduce to moderate. Sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter. Cook the butter and sugar for 1 minute or so.

Add the sliced apples to the skillet. Cook until they are golden and tender but not soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

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Ξ Cured Pork Tenderloin with Garlic, Black Pepper and Oregano Ξ

1 small slim pork tenderloin
4 tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano

Prepare the pork by removing any fat or membrane. In a flat dish mix salt, garlic powder, pepper and oregano. Roll the pork tenderloin in the mixture, pressing hard and ensuring the the meat is well encrusted. Lay out a thick cotton cloth (or other natural material), spread any mixture left on the cloth and wrap the meat carefully and fairly tight half way, fold in the ends and continue wrapping , secure both ends with a rubber band. Put the wrapped tenderloin in the fridge and leave it for at least 5 days (maybe a little more if the tenderloin is thick). Slice thinly and serve chilled.