If you like to cook or bake you probably like these tv competition shows looking for the best chef or baker.
My favourite, Chopped Canada has just started a season of special themed competitions on Food Network.
We have to wait until February to see more of Masterchef Canada again...
Or if you prefer baking, you could try watching the Great British Baking Show, now available in Canad and the US as well. We are waiting for the local version!
I know, my title is probably very confusing! But I thought, as I was making arancini this week, of all the other types of food I have ever made that are basically balls of food fried in breadcrumbs. I could think of four, but maybe you know more? I wonder if they have something like this is Japan too, made with katsu crumbs. My four recipes are these:
2: Fried Fish Balls
This recipe is completely from the other side of the world, Malaysia. This recipe is a bit harder because you need some special ingredients for it that you can't find in every grocery store here.
This is not an original recipe but I like it anyway, it is from a New York chef: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8816-spicy-fried-fish-balls
I have used the cook book but luckily it available for free online. Isn't the internet great?
3: Scotch Eggs
4: Plum Dumplings
In honour of the victims of the earthquake in Italy this week: a recipe for pasta Amatriciana. This is a classic. It is originally made with a kind of bacon made from pork cheeks, but you can make it wit normal bacon. The pasta to use with it is bucatini: long like spaghetti, but thicker and with a hole in the middle.
The recipe is very simple:
Ingredients for 4:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces thinly sliced guanciale pancetta (made from pork cheek), or good bacon (pancetta)
1 red onion,chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 pound Bucatini pasta
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan)
Recipe from Mario Batali:Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, combine the olive oil, guanciale, onion, garlic, and re pepper flakes; set over low heat and cook until the onion is softened and the guanciale has rendered much of its fat, about 12 minutes. Drain all but 1/4 cup of the fat out of the pan (and set aside to cook you eggs for tomorrow's breakfast). Add the tomato sauce, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and allow to bubble for 6 to 7 minutes. While the sauce simmers, cook the bucatini in the boiling water for about a minute less than the package directions, until still very firm; drain. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce and toss for about 1 minute to coat. Divide the pasta among four heated bowls and serve immediately, topped with freshly grated pecorino.
Let me introduce another one of my favorite recipe web sites: BBC Good Food . This one is from the British Broadcasting Corporation and they also have a magazin. You can get the magazine some places online, like Zinio or order it even straight from England.
Their recipes are sorted in every way you can think of: ingredients, occasion, special diet and so on. I think they are really good and they always work well for me. Some of their recipes are really quick and easy for weekdays others are really amazing, like the summer wedding cake! If you create an account then you can save your favorite recipes. Also another really good thing is that you can create a shopping list to print out and take with you from the recipe page.
But the site is not just about recipes. There are also articles and videos about different techniques to use and try out in your kitchen, like how to fillet a fish, make bread, eat healthy or cook on a budget. There is also a big table that tells you what fruit and vegetable is in season when. I find you can still use this in Canada. They also review lots of different products so this is a good place to look first if you want to buy something.
You should try it! It is amazing what you get for free on the internet ;-)
My favorite baking web site has to be Joy of Baking. This website is so good, it is like having a free cook book that keeps growing and growing. And it's not just recipes on their own, there are also videos if you are not sure about anything, like this one:
The recipes are divided into categories: types of food like cookies and muffins and ingredients like apple or chocolate. I like lemon cakes best! All the recipes I have tried from here so far work. What are my favourites? I'll give you my top three and then go try yourself!
1. Black forest cake. I always thought this one was very scary to try, but here it is explained very well.
2. Red velvet cupcakes. These are a big favorite in our family.
3. Sugar cookies. For when you need something super quick with few ingredients. Also good for decorating.