Lemon Pistachio Loaf

Lemon Pistachio Loaf

I made this cake a while ago, but misplaced the recipe, so it’s been on hold for a while. I finally tracked the recipe down, in Cakes and Loaves by Ilona Chovancova. The bottom of the cake has a bit of a green colour to it from the pistachios – I made it because I liked the colour contrast, and also enjoy a lemony loaf. At first I was hesitant to post this recipe because the colour didn’t turn out quite as green as it looked it the cookbook. But it ended up being really tasty, so I have almost gotten over the disappointment of the colour. And it still looks pretty good.

I just changed a little bit of the process of mixing this cake. The cookbook asks you to add the baking powder and soda at the end of the mixing, but I worried that I might have pockets of these ingredients that would cause an unpleasant eating experience. So I added the flour in two portions, with the baking powder and soda mixed in.

The only other thing I might change is to add a little more lemon zest, because I really like a more pronounced lemon flavour.

What you need:

  • 100 grams (3 & 1/2 ounces) shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

What you do:

  1. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grind the pistachios into a powder in a food processor or spice grinder.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, and doubled in volume.
  5. Gradually add 1/3 cup of flour, salt, melted butter, lemon juice and zest. Combine the last 1/3 cup of flour with the baking powder and baking soda, then gently fold in to the batter.
  6. Divide the batter into two portions, folding the pistachios into one part.
  7. Pour the pistachio batter in first, then the other one on top. Swirl together with a fork gently.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick – there should be some crumbs clinging to the toothpick, but no wet batter. Let  the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan to cool.


Brick Oven Pizza with Arugula and Shaved Parmesan

arugula and parmesan pizza - trustinkim

Continuing the tradition of making pizza up at the cabin, and inspired by pizza I ate on a recent trip to Italy, this is one of the pizza we made this summer.

A successful pizza really depends on an awesome crust. I start this one two or three days before making the pizza. It gets taken out of the fridge the morning that it gets used – so this does take some planning ahead! It is totally worthwhile, and not any extra work, as the dough just sits in the fridge most of the time. The recipe for the crust comes from the A16 Food and Wine cookbook by by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren.

The pizza sauce is really simple, just canned tomatoes and a little salt.

You can do any toppings you like, but keeping it simple is the way to go – too many toppings and you get a soggy pizza.

If you don’t happen to have a brick oven sitting around, you could just fire your oven up to 500F. This will make really good pizza too.

What you need for the dough:

  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 & 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups “oo” flour or all-purpose

What you need for the rest of the pizza:

  • semolina flour for sprinkling on the baking sheet
  • one 28-ounce can of tomatoes (San Marzano preferably)
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • fresh buffalo mozzarella
  • sweet onion, sliced
  • baby arugula
  • a chunk of good quality parmesan

What you do:

  1. Begin preparing the dough two or three days before you want to make the pizza. You can do this by hand, but it’s a bit more work than using a machine. Pour the warm (not hot – just body temperature) water into a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and then sprinkle the yeast on top.  Leave it for about 10 minutes and it should dissolve and become foamy – if it doesn’t your water was the wrong temperature, or the yeast is dead, so you need to try again with new yeast.
  2. Stir in the olive oil and salt.  Add most of the flour and mix on low for 2 minutes.  Knead on medium-low for about 10 minutes – it will pull away from the bowl and begin to look smoother.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes. Knead once more on medium-low for 10 minutes – it will be smooth and quite soft.  If it seems much too sticky you can add a little more flour, but don’t add too much since the finished product should be quite soft and workable.
  4. Coat a large bowl with a little olive oil, and then coat both sides of the dough with olive oil, placing the dough in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge over night (or two or three nights). Each morning you can punch the dough down and then cover and refrigerate it again.
  5. On the morning of the day you are going to make your pizza, remove the  dough from the fridge and punch it down.  Fold the sides of the dough under and put it back in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it sit in a warm (not hot) place until about 2 hours before you are going to use it.
  6. Punch the dough down again and divide it into 4 pieces.  Form each piece into balls and cover them with a damp towel for about 2 hours.  By this time the dough should have doubled in volume.  Checking from time to time throughout the two hours, see if it starts to get a skin on it, in which case you can spray it with a little bit of water.
  7. To prepare the sauce, just put the tomatoes and their juice into a bowl and squish them into little bits with your hands.  Stir in the salt.
  8. Preheat the oven to 500-550 F or heat the brick oven. It takes a few hours to get the brick oven up to the right temperature.
  9. To form the crusts, shape the dough into a disk with your hands.  I like to pick the disk up and let the weight of the dough stretch it into its larger pizza shape, moving my fingers around the edge of the circle until I have a pizza crust that is about 25-30 cm in diameter with a slightly raised edge. Dust your baking pan generously with the semolina (or cornmeal, or more of the oo flour) and place the crust on it.  I don’t have a proper pizza stone or pan, and the baking tray I used worked just fine.
  10. Spread some tomato sauce onto the crust, then add the onion and some of the buffalo mozza broken into chunks.
  11. Bake for 6-7 minutes, until the crust is crisp, golden, with some dark blistering, and the top is bubbling.
  12. Top with a mound of arugula, then shave some parmesan on it. You could add a drizzle of olive oil if you like.


fox licking his lips - trustinkim
This fox was watching us make the pizza; here he is licking his lips.

Thug Kitchen’s Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

thug kitchen enchiladas - trustinkim

This vegan recipe comes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, which came out of the Thug Kitchen blog. It’s a great recipe, but since the book is full of expletives (a lot of f***ing this and that), I’ve written up a clean version for those who prefer that.

It’s a super tasty recipe, and I enjoyed my leftovers for a few days.

For those who feel they really need some meat in their enchiladas, Mexican chorizo would be a nice addition.

I serve this with lots of Cholula hot sauce, along with some Mexican cotija cheese sprinkled on top for those who are not vegan.

What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

What you need for the filling:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), chopped into nickel-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a pack of tortillas (mine were a corn and flour blend)
  • sliced avocado (garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

What you do:

  1. First make the enchilada sauce, which can be done ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat.
  2. To make the filling, begin with the sweet potato. Put a few centimetres of water into a medium pot and place a steamer basket in it. Bring the water to a boil. Place the sweet potato in a steamer basket to steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender. When the sweet potato is done, put it into a bowl and mash it. It’s okay to leave some chunks.
  3. While the sweet potato is steaming, heat a large frying pan and add a little oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until it begins to brown, then add the zucchini and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and black beans and cook for another few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sweet potato and maple syrup.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan or microwave. Dip each tortilla in a bit of sauce so the bottom of it is coated. Fill the tortillas with a few spoons of the filling, then roll and place it seam-side down on the baking dish.
  5. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  6. Top with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce or your favourite salsa.


Cabbage Slaw with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

seedy cabbage slaw - trustinkim

After making a batch of borscht I always have some leftover cabbage, so I like to make a coleslaw with it. A while ago I found a few awesome recipes in the cookbook Mamushka by Olia Hercules. The unrefined sunflower oil she uses in the recipe has a more pronounced sunflowery taste than the refined stuff, so it’s worth a try.

I added red bell pepper to mine for a little extra colour.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 0ptional: 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped

What you do:

  1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan on medium heat. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn! Remove the seeds from the pan to cool down.
  2. Mix the sunflower oil, vinegar, sugar and a little salt together in a salad bowl. Add the onion and let it sit in the dressing for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the flavour of the onion to mellow a little.
  3. While the onion and dressing are getting to know each other, prepare the cabbage, carrots and optional bell pepper. Add them to the bowl, and mix to coat them in dressing.
  4. Garnish with the dill and toasted sunflower seeds.

Very Chocolatey Zucchini Cookies

triple chocolate zucchini cookies - trustinkim

Because these cookies contain zucchini, we can pretend they are healthy. Because they contain three kinds of chocolate, we can call them delicious.

This summer I had a bumper crop of zucchini, so a gardener friend suggested I grate and freeze some of it. I grated and froze it in two cup portions, because my awesome zucchini loaf calls for that amount of zucchini. The other day I was looking for something to bring to work for my somewhat stressed-out colleagues (let’s just say the beginning of the school year isn’t just hard on the students) and I found this recipe. People liked the idea that they could trick themselves into thinking it was a somewhat healthy recipe, but mostly they loved the intense chocolaty-ness of the cookies. I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips because I think their quality it quite good!

The one change I will make next time I make these is in the fineness of the grated zucchini. I used the thicker side of my box grater, but I found that there were pieces of zucchini that stuck out of a few of the cookies, so next time I will use the finer grater.

The only thing I did differently from the original recipe was to bake for a minute or two less, and I put a little sea salt on top of each cookie before baking for an awesome chocolate and salt combination!

What you need:

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded and drained zucchini
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet, semi- or bitter-sweet chocolate chips
  • optional:sea salt

What you do:

  1. Grate the zucchini and let it drain in a sieve. Press the zucchini down to extract some of the liquid.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl whip the butter, granulated and brown sugars for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for about a minute. Stir in the grated zucchini.
  4. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix.
  5. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost combined. Stir in the chocolate chips until everything is just incorporated.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough using a tablespoon or small ice-cream scoop, and place  them a few centimetres apart on the cookie sheets. Add a little sea salt to the top of each cookie before baking – optional but awesome!
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes until just set.

Taglitelle with Sicilian Meat Sauce

tagliatelle with sicilian meat sauce - trust in kim

This summer I had the great pleasure of traveling to Sicily for a holiday. I ate so many amazing foods, and some of the best were at Resort Borgo san Rocco in Sicily, where I was able to spend some time in the kitchen. I got to make a whole lot of tagliatelle pasta (recipe to come one day!), and I also got to watch a whole lot of other foods being created.

For this meat sauce I did my best to remember what they put in and the method they used. I know that my recipe isn’t quite the same, since I can’t remember everything, and I’m sure the meat is a little different, but this turned out to be a really really tasty sauce nonetheless.

This isn’t a difficult sauce to make, but you do need quite a bit of time for it to cook down and let the flavours mingle, so I started about two hours before I was serving dinner. Alternatively, it could be made a day ahead of time.

What you need:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 mild Italian sausages (I bought these at Bosa Foods in Vancouver)
  • 500 grams, or so, of beef short ribs
  • 1-680mL jar tomato Passata
  • 1/2 bottle of a decent red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan or Pecorinco cheese for serving

What you do:

  1. Chop the celery and carrot into chunks that are about 3 cm long. Chop the onion and garlic. Heat a large pot on medium-high and add a few glugs of olive oil. Add the veggies and whole sausages, and sauté them for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the Passata and wine. Add a little water to the Passata jar and give it a little shake to get all the tomato out of the jar; add this to the pot. Heat to bubbling, then let it sit on low heat, stirring from time to time, for an hour and a half to two hours.
  4. Remove the sausages and beef from the sauce. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the carrot and celery, then stir it into the sauce.
  5. Cut the sausage into bite-sized chunks. Remove the beef from the bone and pull it into bite-sized pieces. Add the meat back to the pot and let it heat up again.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook your pasta and toss it with some of the sauce. Grate some cheese on top and enjoy!
View from Resort Borgo san Rocco - trustinkim
A view from my room at Resort Borgo san Rocco in Savoca, Sicily

The Kitchen at Borgo san Rocco - trustinkim


Chicken Marbella

chicken marbella - trustinkim

Chicken Marbella is a delicious dish that you begin by marinating the day before, and then just pop it in the oven before dinner. It’s a great balance of salty and sweetness, and the sauce is awesome when mopped up with a piece of bread! The figs and prunes melt away into the sauce, and make it beautifully rich.

I have posted this recipe before, but I slightly changed the instructions. Plus I was never happy with the old photo. It’s hard to take photos of food in an apartment with very little natural lighting!

The recipe I use is from the Whitewater Cookbook, but it originally came from the Silver Palate Cookbook .

What you need:

  • 5 lbs chicken pieces (I used bone-in skinless thighs and some drumsticks)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 cup green olives (I used extra)
  • 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • parsley for garnish

What you do:

1. Combine all the ingredients except the parsley, brown sugar and wine, and pour it over the chicken in a shallow dish. Coat all he chicken in the marinade. Cover the dish and marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge.  Turn the chicken pieces once in a while to coat them, if you have time.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar and pour the wine around it. Bake the chicken, uncovered, for 50 minutes.  Baste frequently. The chicken should be a deep golden brown colour when it’s done.

3. Garnish each plate with some parsley. I served mine with a fresh crusty baguette, steamed broccoli, and a salad on the side.It is also nice on rice.

This one makes some awesome leftovers!