Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marry Me, Vij?

Giddyup, I'm back on the Foodie Train!  I forgot to mention the other day that I also bought Canadian Living's The Vegetarian Collection - I was at Chapter's and saw it while I was in the line up and had to go check it out.  I generally prefer to buy cookbooks from tried and true sources like Canadian Living vs. the rando on sale cookbooks written by someone who I've never heard of...I've done that before, and the results generally aren't great.   I'm not a cookbook snob, I just hate wasting my time and spending money on quality ingredients to have the results fall flat!  That's not to say that all cookbooks by well known chefs are all great either - I've had a few duds too (sorry Nigella - you need to season your food more...a little salt won't kill anyone!). 

Anyways, I tried three new recipes this week - an Asian Noodle Salad (yum!) and Golden Onion Tart (made the onion filling, but will put it together when we decide to eat it) from the Canadian Living cookbook, and the Coconut Vegetable Curry from the Vij at Home cookbook.  The curry really made an impression on me - really delish with clean flavours, but not complicated at all.  And I'm in love with this cookbook - he does a little narrative before each recipe and they're all so interesting.  The next time I'm in Vancouver, I MUST go visit his restaurant.  We were going to go back when the Olympics were on, but we couldn't get there early enough...he doesn't take reservations, so basically if you're not there right when they open, you're waiting at least two hours.  And best thing yet...his kitchen is all women!  Check out this video about Vij:

Coconut Vegetable Curry - from Vij's at Home

1/3 cup cooking oil
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 cups pureed tomatoes (4 medium)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp crushed cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 cup water
2 lbs celery root, pelled and cut in 1 inch dice
1 large cauliflower, cut into medium florets
1 cup coconut milk
7 oz rapini, cut into 1/2 inch lengths

In  large pain, heat oil on medium high for 45 seconds.  Sprinkle in asafoetida and allow it to sizzle for 30 seconds.  Carefully add tomatoes, then stir and add salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric.  Saute for 5 minutes or until oil glistens on top.

Add water, stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, stir in celery root, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.  Pour in coconut milk, then bring back to a boil and stir in rapini.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, while stirring, then turn off the heat.  Eat in big bowls over rice.  Makes 6 - 8 servings, prep and cooking time 40 minutes.

My adjustments - I didn't use the asafoetida, because I didn't have any - must go get some!  I've seen a really good Indian spice selection at Superstore, so will go there next time to pick some up.  I also cut back on the oil, and used maybe 1 tbsp...and also cut back on the cayenne - 1 tbsp is a lot!! 

A hint - when you're buying coconut milk, shake the can - you shouldn't hear the liquid sloshing around.  The one that I used came highly recommended by Heidi Fink, a local chef, is the Arroy-D brand...I've used the Thai Kitchen and other store brands but this one has a lot of the hard cream on top, which adds a lot of flavour (and fat....but whatev).  You can get it in your local Chinatown as it's a fairly common brand.

Try this curry!  Soooo delish.

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