Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

Canadian Christmas Cocktail

Yup, the Christmas posts have begun. 

Does this make me behind the times? It is, after all, nearly the middle of December. 

My tree’s not up, and I’ve only baked one batch of Christmas cookies so far. It’s possible I’m behind, but I’m honestly not that bothered by it. 

Canadian Christmas Cocktail.

Truth is, there are too many other things going on right now. Christmas is going to have to take care of itself. I’m buried in marking, I’m writing press releases like there’s no tomorrow, and scheduling social content for 5 different channels. It’s nutty, kids. 

But that’s okay. All of this frenetic energy is going to come to crashing stop when I get on a plane at the end of the week to go somewhere where it’s not raining 24/7. Where it’s warm and sunny. 

The problem is, to get to that point, so that I don’t have to worry or work while I’m away, is an immense amount of work. 

It’s all gonna be worth it, though! 

So let’s have a cocktail, shall we? 

I recently started working with Maple Water. Now, you might be wondering (as I was), what the heck is maple water??? Well, my friends, it just might be the most Canadian thing, um… ever. 

Basically, when they tap the maple trees in the spring, they are collecting the sap inside the trees. That is maple water. Once they have enough of it, they boil it down and make it in the syrup you know and love on your pancakes. It takes 40 litres of maple water to make one litre of syrup. 

But in the meantime, some smarty-pants discovered that this stuff tastes good, and when they had it analyzed, it turns out it contains electrolytes, amino acids, and ABA, a plant hormone that may help to balance blood sugar levels. Basically, if you have been a fan of coconut water, you’re going to love this stuff. If you have not been a fan of coconut water (ie, me), you’re going to love this stuff. 

So what can you do with it? It’s great for making coffee (c’mon, now, coffee and maple??!), you can put it in your smoothie, I’ve been using it to make overnight oats. And… cocktails! 

For me, this stuff pretty neatly takes the place of a simple syrup. It’s not a sweet, and it has a touch of acidity. I’ve been liking experimenting with it a lot. 

Canadian Christmas Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1 oz maple water (I’m using Pure Maple Water)
  • .5 oz pomegranate juice
  • splash of grenadine
  • twist of orange

Cheers! 

 

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Cauliflower.

Humble. Hearty. Arguably–bland. And yet, at the same time, the hottest vegetable around these days.

You can blame the Paleo-Keto-ists. Or the vegetarians. Or the Vegans. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Cauliflower is hot.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

From Cauliflower mash replacing mashed potatoes, to pizza crusts, “steaks,” “wings” and more…

Cauliflower gnocchi is something I’ve been curious about for a while. I mean, I love gnocchi. I make it all the time, and this time of the year, I mostly make it from yams or squash. It’s become one of those things I’m finally starting to get the hang of, and not need to look up a recipe for.

I was entranced by Amanda Cohen’s appearance recently on Iron Chef Canada. Her vegetarian NYC restaurant, Dirt Candy, is now on my bucket list. They do, it’s said, a Cauliflower and Waffles that is to die for.

On Iron Chef, the secret ingredient was… wait for it… Cauliflower! And one of the dishes Chef Cohen made was Cauliflower Gnocchi.

I tried to do this one gluten free, but was unable to make it work. I’ll experiment some more and perhaps come back to you with a gluten-free version.

I was most impressed by the texture of this gnocchi. It’s pillowy and soft in the middle, but because you finish it in a frying pan, it has a nice crispy edge. It needs very little accompaniment. I serve mine tossed in a little pesto, with a grating of parmesan.Gnocchi

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • additional parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Start by removing the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut out the core and separate into florets.
  2. Place half the florets into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is coarsely ground and resembles rice. Remove to a bowl and repeat for the second batch.
  3. Add a couple tablespoons of water to the bowl of cauliflower rice and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir, and microwave for another 5 minutes. If you don’t have a microwave, spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray, and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and allow to cool enough so you can handle it.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a kitchen towel or a cheesecloth, and begin to squeeze the water out of it. Continue until you get as much moisture out of the cauliflower as possible.
  6. Place the cauliflower back in the bowl and add the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
  7. Now add the 2 tbsp of corn starch and 1/2 cup of flour, and stir to combine. Continue adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time until your dough is the right consistency. You’ll need to turn it out onto a board to knead it. The final consistency should be still a little tacky, but it shouldn’t be gooing up all over your hands. You may not need the entire 2 cups of flour, or you may need a bit more, depending on the wetness of your cauliflower.
  8. Once the dough is the right texture, place it back in the bowl and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the fridge and divide in half. Roll each half out into a long rope, then using a bench scraper or a butter knife, chop off 1″ chunks.
  10. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the individual gnocchi into the pot one at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. You’ll need to work in batches. Mine took four batches. Stir the gnocchi well once they are all in the pot. You know they are done when they rise to the top, about 4-5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon or spider, and allow to drain.
  12. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil and an equal amount of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add your gnocchi to it, and allow to brown a little on the outside, stirring occasionally. Add more oil if needed. Stir in a couple tablespoons of pesto and toss well to combine.
  13. Plate the gnocchi with a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of parmesan cheese.
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