Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

A Sichuanese recipe involving blistering beans in a shallow dry fry method is a quite new technique to me; but the result is quite outstanding.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Chinese Soul Food

Ingredients
• ¾ pound green beans (haricots or regular)
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
• 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 ½ tsp sugar

Assembly
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel and set aside.
3. Preheat wok over medium-high heat until smoke rises from the surface.
4. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, or until it starts to shimmer.
5. Cooking in batches add beans in a single layer and quickly stir-fry until beans start to blister.
6. Once beans look wrinkled remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking tray.
7. Repeat until all green beans are cooked.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and ground pork until cooked though

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had never heard of the term dry-frying yet I think this is the way all green beans should taste and look. The slightly blistered green bean carries quite the punch. This makes a great carb-free dish or remove the ground meat and you have a vegetarian dish. A little salty a little savoury all umami.

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Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball - Candy Coated Culinista

A carb free dinner that comes together in a snap.

Yield/Serving: 4
Start to Finish Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Ingredients
• 3 tsp grapeseed or neutral oil, divided
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs, to serve
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
• 5 tbsp fish sauce, divided
• 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar, divided
• ½ cup lime juice
• 1 or 2 serrano chillies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
• Lettuce leaves, to serve

Assembly
1. Coat a large plate will 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
2. Using a medium bowl combine, pork, 3 tbsp water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar.
3. Mix vigorously until combined and let the mixture become soft and sticky.
4. With lightly moistened hands, form 20 balls and place on oiled plate.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
6. In a small bowl stir lime juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
7. Add the chilies until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
8. Line another plate with paper towels and add remaining oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
9. Add meatballs and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes and then turn and cook the other side turning meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
11. In a small bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbsp of lime juice sauce.
12. Serve the meatballs with carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping.
13. Spoon the remaining sauce onto the wraps.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my second time making Vietnamese meatballs and I remember why I enjoyed them so much. The flavours are bright, salty and exotic. Using lettuce wraps is a wonderful way to be carb-free and I have started enjoying one of two meals a week without carbs. These meatballs also freeze well for a later date.

Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Cast Iron Jerkish Pork Chops with Pineapple & Tomato Salsa

Cast Iron Jerk Pork & Pineapple & Tomato Salsa - Candy Coated Culinista

Cast Iron Jerk Pork & Pineapple & Tomato Salsa – Candy Coated Culinista

Now I may not like Jerk, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know jerk and this is why this recipe is being called Jerkish pork chops and not Jerk pork chops. I’m not Jamaican; however I have many Jamaican friends and I have tasted many a Jerk dish and if I can tolerate this dish and not complain about the spice then it’s well just not the Caribbean Jerk I am accustomed to and perhaps a Canadianized version.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Chatelaine

Ingredients
Jerk Pork
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1/2 tsp all spice
• 1/4 tsp dried thyme
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 boneless pork chops
Pineapple & Tomato Salsa
• ½ pineapple, cored & diced
• 1/8 cup red onion, diced
• ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• Pinch of ground cumin

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Preheat cast-iron skillet on high heat.
3. Using a food processor blend jalapeno, lime juice, canola oil, all spice, thyme and salt until well combined.
4. Pour into a bowl and coat pork chops and set aside.
5. In a medium size bowl put pineapple, red onion, tomato, lime juice, canola oil, sea salt, and cumin and toss.
6. Sear pork chops on all sides until a golden crust is achieved.
7. Move pork chops to the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.
8. Plate and serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The original recipe called for grilling the pork, but I didn’t want to use my indoor grill, so I opted for my cast iron skillet and sear the pork on all sides and then baked it the rest of the way through. I found the pork moist and succulent with a touch of heat. I really loved the pineapple salsa and I added some tomatoes as I felt salsa need tomatoes to be called salsa. I will make this recipe again for sure as it’s not well just jerkish.

CNE 2015 & Food Truck Frenzy

Bacon Nation - Slaw Dog Millionaire - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Slaw Dog Millionaire – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again; and as fast as the CNE arrives it means summer is almost over; but I get to try some of those crazy CNE foods and enjoy the Food Truck Frenzy once again. This year I found a sneak peak listing of the new and interesting foods available this year and some of the must tries on the list were: Cake Poutine, Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, Poutine Balls, Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese, Red Velvet Oreos, Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli, Timbit Poutine, Deep fried Cheesecake and Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick. I really wanted to taste the Frosted flake Chicken as that is my favourite cereal; but I decided not to this time around.

I went two times again this year the CNE to spread out my food consumption: once to try the CNE foods and then back for the Food Truck Frenzy with my girls. Here is a quick rundown of the foods I tried or got reviews from other tester I went with. I ate so much at the food Truck Frenzy it was criminal and I really don’t know how I managed to pack all that away and not be in a food coma.

Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli – Jack’s Lobster (Food Building) – $10
Jake’s Lobster in the Food Building was serving up snow crab over fresh cut fries and garnished with garlic aioli and fresh herbs and topped with a lemon wedge. This was one of the food items on the top of my list and it was delicious. The potion size was a little small and I could have eaten two easy; but it was delicious. The ratio of seafood to fries was bang on. I appreciated seeing some crab legs and the fries were perfectly salted. I would eat this again and again and will try to make this at home.

Cake Poutine – Culinary student from Humber College (Direct Energy Building) – $5
The cake fries are made from a rich vanilla bean infused cake and lathered in warm chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Bacon bits, marshmallows, strawberries and maple syrup are just some of the toppings. I had the O’ Canada Cake Poutine which was vanilla cake fries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips. This was a must try for me as I had to support these two ladies who created the booth that were from my Alma Mata Humber College. The cake was dense but soft and held up to the sauce. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a creative spin on a Canadian classic. I even took a little home as I was beyond full at the end of the night.

Chicken & Waffles on a Stick $8
It’s like a corndog but with the hog dog replaced with the chicken and the cornbread casing is now a waffle batter. I was told it was overrated and I still really wanted to try it but I couldn’t find the booth.

Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese – Bacon Nation (Food Building) – $10
Bacon wrapped cheddar & mozzarella sandwich served with special ketchup. A review of this sandwich was it was overpriced and shrunk a lot upon cooking and the bacon wasn’t crispy; which defeats the purpose as how can you eat a sandwich wrapped in bacon and chew through it with chewy bacon. I believe this was an opening problem as when I saw pictures as the days passed the grilled cheese started having a crispier bacon covering.

Red Velvet Oreos –3 for $8
Double stuffed Oreos dipped in red velvet batter and deep fried; dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese icing. A common review I heard was it was little pricy and wasn’t necessarily worth the price; which makes sense but you are buying this for the novelty of it.

Deep Fried Cheesecake – Pickle Pete’s -$7
A New York style cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried and served with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup on top. This was recommended to me to give a try as it was surprisingly light; but I am not a cheesecake lover.

Food Truck Frenzy

This year there seemed to be a Beer Event being held within the Food Truck Frenzy and there were beer pairings offered for foods from the trucks. I personally wasn’t a fan of this as I don’t drink beer and then all of the trucks didn’t offer drinks this year. My only option was to go to the Coca Cola stand to buy Coke products. I don’t drink pop or caffeine either so I had to wait until I found my lemonade vendor as I know they are always in the Direct Energy Building. I will say I wasn’t the only one to complain. I heard many complaints and surprisingly men to were at the top of this list to air their feelings.

Slaw Dog Millionaire – Bacon Nation – $12
Bacon wrapped hot dog with apple slaw. I never eat hot dogs and when I do they are always chicken hot dogs so this was a great change for me. I loved the saltiness of the hot dog and the crunch of the slaw.

Apple Porkfection – Bacon Nation – $12
Pulled Pork, bacon strips, apple slaw on a bacon bun. This was sweet and salty the perfect combination.

Athens Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $9

Feta, Tzatziki & gravy. I’m a sucker for a poutine without the cheese curds. I couldn’t finish this and had to share. The tzatziki is the best I’ve ever had as it was thicker, creamier and more complex. I’m not sure what they did to it but it was amazing. I would go back and buy and container if that was possible.

Feta Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $8
Just like the Athens Fries minus the gravy. I preferred my version better; but this was still amazing and the owners were so polite.

The Lumberjack – Gorilla Cheese – $10
Bacon, granny smith apple, maple syrup, aged cheddar. A sweet and salty combo that was very satisfying and worth every penny.

Shawarma Bombs – Gourmet Guyz – $7
Tabbouleh, rice and chicken wrapped inside a wonton wrapper served with dipping sauce. This was one of the more inventive food options at the food truck frenzy.

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – $3.50
A must have for me. This time I had a cherry lemonade a favourite flavour of mine. It’s never too sweet and the perfect refreshing palate cleansing drink.

Like usual I had an excellent food adventure and everything I tasted was delicious. This year I noticed those ingredients that Canadians love being: poutine, gravy, cheese bacon were available at every food truck and I’m not complaining, were in Canada eh!

Bacon Nation - Apple Porkfection - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Apple Porkfection – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven - Cherry Lemonade - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine - O' Canada - Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine – O’ Canada – Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz - Sharwarma Bombs - Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz – Sharwarma Bombs – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Athens Fries & Feta Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Athens Fries & Feta Fries – Candy Coated Culinista


Pappas Greek - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese - Lumberjack - Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese – Lumberjack – Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola - Candy Coated Culinista

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola – Candy Coated Culinista

My dad has seen all the photos I have done for my blog and the cooking club challenges; and when he heard about the Ace Bakery-Canada’s Best Sandwich Contest my dad knew he had to tell me. When he first told me I didn’t think this was the contest for me. However 3 weeks later something said give this a try. Even if you don’t get selected regionally or win I have a blog entry and a 100% all mine sandwich creation. I have never made a sandwich at a gourmet level; granted I make a mean sandwich but when I think sandwich I think deli meats.

Servings: Makes 4

Ingredients
Pickled Beets & Onions (Refrigerate for 24hrs prior)
• 2 beets, peeled and thinly sliced (match stick sized)
• ½ red onion thinly sliced
• 1 cup white wine vinegar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 large jar 750ml or (2 – 400ml jars)
Pork Loin
• 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silverskin if required.
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp garlic powder
Orange Marmalade BBQ Sauce
• 2 tbsp orange marmalade
• 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
Apple Coleslaw
• 1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
• 1 Royal Gala apple, peeled, cored & julienned
• 1 small carrot, shredded
• 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• ¼ cup honey
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp mustard
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper

Method
Pickled Beets & Onions
1. Wash and peel beets and slice into match sticks.
2. Thinly slice red onion.
3. In a small saucepan boil the vinegar, sugar and water.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour vinegar mixture into jar over beets and onion.
5. Tightly lid the jar and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Pork Loin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix paprika, salt, black pepper and garlic powder and rub on tenderloin.
3. Combine orange marmalade and BBQ sauce in a prep bowl.
4. Put rub on the pork tenderloin.
5. Brush orange marmalade BBQ on pork
6. Place tenderloin on a foil lined baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.
7. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
8. Cut into 1 cm wide slices.
Apple Coleslaw
1. Prepare the cabbage, apple, carrot and green onion and put into a medium bowl.
2. Add the cider vinegar, honey, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper to the bowl and incorporate until well blended.
Ciabatta Piccola
1. Toast ACE Ciabatta Piccola bun at 350°F for 7 minutes.

Assembly
1. Slice toasted ACE Ciabatta Piccola in half.
2. Place some apple coleslaw on the bottom of the bun.
3. Add 3 medallions of the pork loin onto of the coleslaw.
4. Finally add some pickled beets and onions on top.
5. Place the top half of bun on top and serve.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. & I loved this. “Good job babe” “This is delicious” “We have leftovers right?”.

My thoughts
This was the most time I ever put into making a sandwich. I was thinking about this sandwich from beginning to end. The concept, what region (I choose Scandinavia as Sweden is where I have wanted to live since I was a teen), what flavours, the bread, the cut, the texture, bias cuts, knife skills, bread to meat ratio and so on. I even made a second pork tenderloin rub and tested it out on Mr. C. but we decided the orange marmalade BBQ sauce worked the best. I felt like an artist putting this creation together and then taking the perfect photo to show off all my hard work. This is the most fun to date I have had creating a recipe.

Alternate Swedish Mustard Pork Loin Sandwich  - Candy Coated Culinista

Alternate Swedish Mustard Pork Loin Sandwich – Candy Coated Culinista

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