Friday, April 24, 2009

Lecso - A Hungarian Dish

Many years ago my friend Aggie made this meal for us. It was a staple in her home and a common Hungarian dish - I absolutely loved it and begged her for the recipe. Ever since I make this about four times a year, and while it is a little too hot for my children, Greg and I love it because it is comfort food with a kick!
1 large onion, cut lenthwise and into slivers
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 to 3 green and red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 to 3 banana peppers, cut into strips
1 package of smoked sausages
  1. Heat EVOO in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Make sure you stir constantly so the garlic does not burn.
  2. Add both bell and banana peppers and saute for approximately 5 minutes, or until peppers are softened.
  3. Add can of tomatoes, juice and all, and stir. Turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Slice sausages and add to the skillet. Cover and simmer for approximately 40 mins, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve with mashed potaotes
  6. ENJOY!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kale & Chickpeas!

In an attempt to get more collared greens into our diet, I decided to buy some kale - a great source of calcium as well as a ton of other vitamins and minerals! But what to do with it? That's when I decided to turn to 'Canadian Living' (as I often do!) and found this fantastic recipe...even my father-in-law Allan, who eats very few vegetables, asked for second helpings of this dish!


3 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp each of salt & pepper
10 cups packed chopped kale
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Heat 2 tbsp EVOO over medium heat in a large shallow Dutch oven.
    Saute onion, garlic, salt & pepper for approximately 4 mins. until softened.
  • Stir in kale and lemon rind and cook, stirring for approximately 2 minutes, until slightly wilted.
  • Pour in 3/4 cup of water, cover with a lid and cook stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the kale is soft and wilted.
  • Stir in chickpeas and lemon juise and cook over medium-high for a couple of minutes, or until no liquid remains.
  • Drizzle with remaining oil and serve.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We recently returned from a family vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica and I was delighted to sample some of the local fare - jerk chicken & pork, ackee & salt fish, plantains, rice and peas, starfruit and star apples...YUM!

Instead of the usual touristy tours that are offered, we decided to take the "John's Hall Tour" which promises to show you the 'real Jamaica'. It was wonderful! Not only did we get to visit a school, and see a sugarcane plantation, but we also visited a local farm where we had a chance to taste some of the local fruits and dishes. This was my first time tasting ackee (which look like minature foie gras), and the jerk chicken was amazing! The fruits were all freshly picked and we had a chance to taste an immature cocoa pod seed (it was sour like a citrus fruit when sucked - apparently if you bite it your teeth will go purple...note to self!!!) The other first for us was to drink coconut water and taste fresh coconut jelly from an immature coconut (although refreshing, it was a little bitter for my taste and with the jelly, it reminded me of drinking bubble tea!)

Of course I would be amiss if I didn't talk about the coffee that we drank all week! Jamaican coffee is fantastic and comes from the Blue Mountain region. It was dark and rich and the Jamaicans often choose to sweeten it with 'sweet milk' or Eagle Brand condensed milk to you and I (definitely NOT a lo-cal drink, but oh-so yummy!)

Thanks to the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables which were not only available everywhere on our resort, but also often blended into smoothies at breakfast I managed to sample most of the wonderful cuisine and only gain 2lbs for the week!!!