Friday, March 26, 2010

Mediterranean Rolls

Last year, my Mexican friend Mon made a scrumptious and flavorful olive bread and the taste was unforgettable. My bro and I missed the taste of this bread that we made our own Mediterranean bread. We had some leftover ingredients from the Mediterranean Risotto and incorporated into our bread. We then divided the dough into smaller portions so that we can also give it to a few of our friends. Feel free to change/add a fair amount of ingredients, but do not overload with ingredients otherwise the dough will not rise.

Makes 8 rolls or 1 loaf
Preparation Time : 50 mins
Baking Time : 25 mins
Printable Recipe


1 red onion, sliced
3 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 envelope Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup black/green olives
6-8 slices sun-dried tomatoes, sliced


1. In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until transparent.

2. Combine flour, olive oil, salt, yeast, parsley, onions, olives, sun-dried tomatoes. Add enough water to make a soft dough.

3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Put it into a bowl and cover with warm cloth. Put bowl in the oven with lights on until double in size.

4. Cut dough in half and let it sit in the oven until double in size about 20 mins.

5. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease baking sheet.

6. Shape dough into 8 small rolls. Make a cross on each roll with a sharp knife.

7. Bake for 25 mins until rolls sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Bake 30-40 mins for loaf.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mini Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I recently added the Google search applet on the left column of the blog. For those of you who haven't try it, you can search any recipes or themes that I posted since December 2008 and also, you can search recipes from Montreal Food Bloggers. Give it a try!

While searching through my blog, I noticed that I only have one cookie recipe : Coconut Macaroons. I shall add more cookie recipes in the future. I try out the oatmeal raisin cookies recipe by Two Peas in Their Pod, and it turns out pretty good and chewy. Somehow, my cookies ended up to be small compared to the original recipe. I think it has to do with the choice of oats.

Makes 24 cookies
Preparation Time : 20 mins
Baking Time : 10-15 mins


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a small bowl, cover raisins with water for 5 mins.

3. In a large bowl, mix together margarine, brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture. Blend until combined.

4. Fold in the quick oats and raisins.

5. Optional : Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 mins.

6. Line a parchment on a cookie sheet. Scoop a tablespoonful of the dough and transfer it onto the cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden. Let it cool.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Last weekend, my mother made a dish that she learned from one of her friends using vietnamese rice paper wrappers. It was the first time she used these wrappers and the amazing thing is that you only need to submerge in hot water for a few seconds and it becomes transparent, soft and ready to use. My mother's recipes tend to be guestimated, the quantities for each ingredient are more or less accurate. So, adjust the ingredients according to your liking or create your own fillings.

Serves 6
Preparation + Wrapping Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Printable Recipe


3 oz. wood ear fungus and/or cloud ear fungus
1 lb cabbage, julienned
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
100g very thin, round rice noodles (vermicelli)
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
1 package rice paper wrappers (bahn trang)


1. If using dried fungus, soak wood ear fungus and/or cloud ear fungus in warm water for 15 mins. Drain and change water. Soak for 15 more minutes until soft. Rinse in cold water and cut fungus into julienne.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook rice noodles for a minute. Drain and soak in cold water.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook cabbage and celery until soft. Stir occasionally.

4. Add in fungus and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for a minute. Stir in the rice noodle and adjust seasoning with soy sauce.

5. Transfer fillings into a large bowl.

6. Prepare a large bowl of hot water to soften the rice paper wrappers, water should be slightly unconfortable to the touch.

7. Submerge one dry wrapper in water completely and wait until it softens. Depending on the temperature, it can be as fast as 5 seconds or 30 seconds to become soft and transparent. Don't worry if you broke the first few wrappers.

8. Transfer wrapper to a tray. Put filling at the edge of the wrapper.

9. Gently roll the filling until past halfway.

10. Fold in the sides and roll it towards the end. Repeat the same procedure.

11. Serve with your favorite dipping. The classics : hoisin sauce, sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tourtières Australiennes - Pi (Pie) Day

I usually post recipes on this blog but I rarely blog about restaurant and how their food taste like. If you're interested in restaurant reviews, there are quite a few Montreal food blogs only review restaurants on their blog. Check it out in the "Montreal Foodies" section in this blog. If you are a science nerd, you know today is Pi Day (3/14), a special number to calculate round things. Coincidentally, it is the date of birth of Albert Einstein. This is a special day (for some of us) where we should only eat pies. Recently, my Australian friend brought us to a new store in Montreal where they sell a variety of hand-sized pies. Tourtière Australienne is located at the corner of Mt-Royal and avenue du Parc (4520 av. du Parc). Unfortunately, they don't sell the classic Québec meat pie. I finish this post with pictures of pies that my friends and I bought. The pie menu is found here and they also sell Tim Tam Chocolate Biscuits and Vegemite.

Update April 17, 2010 : Added pictures of Smoked Fish, Potato Top (Shepherd's Pie), Cornish Pasty, Sweet Potatoes & Curried Vegetables. For promoting their place, they generously gave us a delicious, chocolate-y, and crunchy Afghan cookie.

Spinach and Ricotta

Steak and Cheese

Steak Bacon and Cheese

Chili con Carne

Smoked Fish (left) & Potato Top (right)

Cornish Pasty

Sweet Potato and Curried Vegetables

Afghan Cookies

Tim Tam

My Australian friend showed us a cool trick with Tim Tam. You can use it as a straw, it works on any hot drinks. Basically, bite both of the chocolate biscuits and suck like a straw and eat the whole thing. I won't reveal the results, taste it yourself, you will be amazed of the results.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maltese Pudina - Chocolate Bread Pudding

Today is the official 150th post on Random Cuisine. I have a couple of great dishes that I wanted to post for this special day, but I was hesitant between two stunning dishes, the Maltese Pudina made by my Australian friend and the Tuna Samosas made by a friend from de l'Ile de la Réunion. Since this blog is after all exploring new cuisine, Maltese cuisine is very new to me and would be interested in learning more about it. It seems to be Mediterranean cuisine with some influence from Southern Europe.

Pudina Tal Hobz also known as chocolate and fruit bread pudding is similar to a "classic" bread pudding but with chocolate and candied fruits. There are several versions of this dessert, some might or might not include quick oats and shredded coconuts.

Serves 6
Preparation Time : 15 mins
Baking Time : 40 mins


3/4 loaf - day old bread, preferably Italian
1/2 litre milk
1-2 cups mixed dried fruits or simply sultana raisins
1 cup quick oats
1 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder (or hot chocolate powder)
Shredded coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a baking dish, tear the bread up and soak it in milk for 10 mins.

3. Mix in mixed fruits, quick oats, melted butter, eggs, brown sugar. Add enough cocoa powder until mixture brown.

4. Top with shredded coconut. Bake for 40 mins until firm or passes the toothpick test.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mediterranean Risotto

A tip to be creative in cooking is to use what you already have in your fridge and food storage and make a dish out of it. For this dish, I had some sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cremini mushroom, risotto rice and vegetable stock. Combine all together gives a marvelous multi-flavour dish. I love these kind of dish where each bite taste different from the previous one. I have to admit that it is not purely a mediterranian dish as I used cremini mushrooms.

Serves 6
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins


8-12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloved of garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable stock
8 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
12-16 black/green olives, sliced


1. In a large skillet, heat oil and melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion until transparent and mushrooms until soft, about 5 mins. Remove from skillet.

2. Add rice to skillet. Leave for 3-4 mins until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.

3. Add white wine and a ladle of vegetable stock. Let the rice adsorbed most of the liquid before adding more liquid, stir constantly. Continue in this manner until it gives a creamy consistency. After 3 ladles, stir in cooked mushrooms and onions.

4. Once it is almost done, stir in sundried tomatoes and olives. Finish cooking the rice. For a richer taste, add butter or olive oil. Serve.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pasta Meatball Casserole

I love making meatballs, because they are soft, juicy and a great appetizer for parties. For a while, I haven't baked a casserole dish and I felt the urge of reexperiencing the taste of a baked pasta with the cheese melted on top. A cheesy pasta meatball casserole is what was needed, a real comfort food at its best.

Serves 8
Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 1 hour
Printable Recipe


1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
400g of your favorite pasta
28 oz. can spaghetti sauce
2-3 cups cheddar, grated
Parsley to garnish (optional)


1. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion until transparent.

2. In a medium bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, bread crumbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Shape meatballs about 1'' in size.

3. In the same skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs until all browned, about 20 mins. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente.

5. Preheat oven to 350F.

6. Transfer pasta into a 13''x9'' baking pan and combine with the spaghetti sauce. Scatter meatballs into the pasta.

7. Cover and bake for 45 mins until hot. Turn heat off, remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven, uncover and cook until melted, about 3 mins. Serve.


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