Tag Archives: vegetarien

Nicaraguan guacamole vs. the mainstream stuff

9 Jun

When I first arrived in Montreal, I was about 6. There was a lot of adjusting to be done, however it didn’t take long. Children are resilient in that way. One of the hardest things to adjust to was the food available. The change in produce required a change in diet. Needless to say when I discovered that avocados were sold here and so was guacamole, things didn’t seem so grim. However the guacamole that is popular in here by no means resembled my guacamole salad I had growing in Nicaragua. The texture seemed to be totally different and it was. The puree consistency of the North American version contrasts with the chunky Nicaraguan version. For these reasons I wanted to share two traditional Nicaraguan guacamole salad recipes, one that I grew up with Doña Petrona’s, and one found in 50 Años en la Cocina.

Doña Petrona’s Guacamole

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
4 small avocados cubed
2 hard boiled eggs cubed
firm cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup of onions cubed
1 lime juiced

Directions
1. Toss all the ingredients a bit if you like. The salad is supposed to remain chunky
2. Dry crumbly feta can be added as a garnish!

Traditional Nicaraguan Guacamole

For this recipe you will need
ingredients
3 large ( 6 small) avocados in pieces
2 tomatoes skinned and seeded in pieces
1 small onion cubed
2 tsp of olive oil
2 tsp of chopped cilantro

Directions
1.Delicately toss all the ingredients

Both these salads are a variation on a party classic. Sometimes I like to put these two salads on a bed a baby spinach. My preferred one and childhood favorite is Doña Petrona’s. I grew up with this lady who would help my mother out with some cooking here and there when my mother was at work back in Managua. I am pretty sure my love of cooking is partly due to her! So this is a nod to Doña Petrona! So until then, enjoy the salads as much as I!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

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Popeye loved Olive Oil

3 Jun

and so should you. During the summer there is nothing that compliments freshly cut veggies or a salad quite like olive oil. The kind of olive oil you use makes a difference and I challenge you to go out hunting and tasting. Now for those of you that don’t believe me the type of olive used can enhance the flavors of the vegetables you are using. I recently had the chance to walk into one of my favorite stores in the Atwater Market, called Les Douceurs Du Marché to find an olive oil sampling going on. This store is great, the staff know their ABC’s regarding the multitude of spices, oils and sauces lining the store walls.

Two of my favorite oils are Nunez de Prado , a great olive oil that really compliments fresh vegetables very well. Its has a fresh light taste yet one can distinctly taste those fresh Spanish olives without it overwhelming the overall flavor. I love to use Nunez on freshly steamed asparagus, green beans or a Kale salad! The other incredibly amazing choice was Château d’Estoublon. It’s hard not to be attracted to this french Provencal olive oil when it is bottled in an old Channel no.5 bottles. This olive oil has a distinct taste and the lightness of extra virgin oil. It’s seems buttery and smooth yet it is not as sweet as Nunez. The flavor of Château d’Estoublon would compliment meats and mushrooms in marinades.

The best thing to do is go visit Les Douceurs Du Marché! The couple that owns it is charming, helpful and knowledgeable. They can maybe let you know when the next oil tasting will be! Tasting these different oils at once can help you distinguish the difference between them. Sometimes the difference is negligible and sometimes it is so different that it helps you hone in on what taste you actually do like. Like biting into a black olive versus a fresh green olive, taste is really everything. So try something different! The oil used makes all the difference. Out you go, an adventure awaits! Enjoy the olive oil quest!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

A Lovely Montreal Lady & A Singing Spring Asparagus Salad, what a duo.

29 May

This lovely Montreal lady is a good friend of mine and the one who introduced to me many recipes. This lady and I love going to the Jean Talon market to buy some market fresh seasonal ingredients. We make it into an adventure whenever we go, ask her about the time we bought some pepper plants! Her name is Teo, she is a fearless cook, who can throw herself into any recipe with a sense of enthusiasm and adventure that is almost enviable. I have invited her to share some of her recipes and she so graciously agreed! Here is Teo’s Singing Spring Asparagus Salad.
⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain, so it’s a great go-to for
those of you eating paleo or staying away from refined carbs. [So is
quinoa, actually, but more on that later if Helen wants to invite me
back.] Asparagus is synonymous with spring, and whenever I see it in
big bunches at the market I get a little giddy. It’s everywhere now,
so try to get your fill before it’s gone. If you go to the Jean-Talon
market
, there’s a man selling bunches of wild Québec asparagus, for
pennies (South side, next to the fresh eggs and where, later, the
awesome garlic will be). Mental. If you get wispy thin stalks
(smaller than a pencil) then you should chop them in
two-centimeter-ish long pieces. Anything little-finger sized and
bigger should be chopped very thin. You might want to do them on the
thickest setting of your mandolin, if you have one…ie, about the
thickness of an earlobe would be good. Enjoy!

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
4-6 leaves of fresh sage, slivered (tarragon would be good too)
1 french shallot (or a few tablespoons of onion), diced very very finely
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced as per headnote
1 handful and a half of hazelnuts
1 to 1 1/2 cups of wild rice
1-2 lemons, juiced (depending on how juicy your lemons are and how
tart you like your dressing)
1 small dollop of dijon mustard (3/4 of a teaspoon-ish)
Salt and pepper
Touch of maple syrup, agave, or raw honey
4-5 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or olive, if that’s what you’ve got)

Directions
1. Cook the wild rice, with a ratio of 1:3 rice:water. You might
want to do this the night before, it takes a while. Let it cool.
2. Roast your hazelnuts for a few minutes under the broiler or in a
pan. Once they darken, you can remove them and roll them around in
your hands if you want and the skins will rub right off. Not
necessary, but its up to you. This is especially good if you are a
notorious forgetter of nuts under the broiler, like I am. If you’ve
all about the raw, you can skip this step…but you’re missing out on
a little flavour.
3. Crush the nuts. If you’ve got a mortar, bust it out. If not, put
the nuts in a sandwich (or vegetable) bag, place it on a cutting
board, and hit it with a knife handle until you get the right
consistency. You are going for pumpkin-seed sized pieces. Stop or
you’ll get to flour.
4. Toss the salad ingredients together. Enjoy the colour combo.
5. Whisk your lemon juice with the mustard until frothy. Add your
sweetener. Your goal is to take the edge off, here, so be careful and
just use a touch. You don’t want to taste it in the final product.
6. Season to taste. Add the oil and whisk some more. Sunflower is
preferable because it is lighter and has a more muted flavour. Since
the flavours in this are subtle, you want to let them shine as much as
possible. But olive works, so don’t worry about it if that’s what’s
on hand.
7. Toss it all up! It’s a good idea to let this sit for a few
minutes before you eat it. The time to pour yourself a drink or get a
good book to read in the sun while you eat…

Enjoy! And thanks for having me.

Variations: if you’ve been to the market and have found some fresh
sweet green peas, you might try tossing them in here. If you do, I
recommend skipping the sage and opting for fresh mint instead. Fresh
mint and fresh peas is a marriage made in heaven…

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