What’s hot in the culinary world for the New Year.
Written By Kimberley Haugh
Ethnic foods continue to be a trend in 2014, particularly Indian food. Think coconut milk, exotic spices and flavors that are as rich as their color. As a Filipino-Canadian, it excites me to see such a cultural mosaic forming in the culinary world. And as a caterer I am looking forward to pushing the envelope even further as I mélange a bit of Bollywood flair into my farm-to-table cuisine. I love that ethnic food has finally come of age.
On that note, I predict that we will be far more adventurous with not only flavor combinations but with using humble cuts of meat into our dishes such as shank, short ribs, and chuck to name a few. Not only do these cuts pack big flavor, but they can provide up to a 40% savings on your grocery bill.
Another trend that I see gaining momentum is using hot or cold tea in alcoholic drinks. The health benefits to it along with the earthy notes have really had me put the wine glass down and take a closer look at the cocktail lists at restaurants.
The trend that excites me the most is replacing shrimp and salmon which are considered to be 80s and 90s by my standard. These over-priced seafood options are being replaced with fish found much closer to home, which is in line with the continuous trend of “buy local” along with more adventurous underwater treasures like sea beans also known as salicornia, is used in salads.
Lastly, I am happy to see bacon get the boot. The National Restaurant Association has put nutrition at the top of the list for 2014. As a caterer, bacon is always a crowd-pleaser. I’ve used it to wrap, stuff and even top cupcakes.
Are any of these trends that your taste buds will follow in the New Year? Let us know and share your recipes.
- 1 large russet or Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas, (chana dal)
- 1 cup cauliflower florets, (1-inch pieces)
- 1 cup green bean pieces, frozen or fresh (1-inch pieces)
- 1 small (8 ounces) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
- 1-3 fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise (do not seed)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 long thin slices fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
- Juice from 1 medium lime
- 1 teaspoon ghee, or butter
- 1. Place potatoes in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Place split peas in a large saucepan. Fill the pan halfway with water and rinse the peas by rubbing them between your fingers. (The water will become cloudy.) Drain. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain.
- 2. Add 4 cups water to the split peas and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Drain the potatoes and add to the peas. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- 3. Stir in cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, carrot, salt and turmeric. Return to a boil; cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fork-tender and the peas are soft but firm-looking, 7 to 10 minutes more.
- 4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Stir in garlic and chiles to taste and cook, stirring, until the garlic is light brown and the chiles are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- 5. Stir the garlic-chile mixture into the cooked vegetables. Scoop a ladleful of cooking water from the saucepan to the skillet; swish it around and pour the “washings” back into the saucepan.
- 6. Whisk cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid in a small bowl until smooth. Stir it into the stew along with cilantro and ginger. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer the curry, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and ghee (or butter), if using.