Local ingredients for September cooking

Ease yourself back into the humdrum routine of early fall with these simple recipes, made to inspire you with our local ingredients.

Korean Style Beef and Noodles

For those of you looking for gluten free ideas, this zesty recipe is for you. Made especially easy using deli–cooked roast beef, it can be ready in minutes.

¼ cup (50 mL) tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp (5 mL) hot chili sauce
½ tsp (2 ml) finely grated fresh ginger root
8 oz (250 g) thinly sliced deli-cooked roast beef
4 oz (125 g) thin vermicelli rice noodles
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
3 cups ( 750 mL) thinly sliced mushrooms
1 ½ cups ( 375mL) thinly sliced red pepper
4 green onions, sliced
4 large leaves of leaf lettuce
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds
¼ cup (50 mL) coriander leaves

In medium mixing bowl, stir together tamari sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, hot chili sauce and ginger root. Cut beef into half-inch-wide strips; stir into marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook vermicelli according to package directions; drain well. Measure four cups and set aside.

In large non-stick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat; cook mushrooms, red pepper and half of the green onions, stirring for three to five minutes or until mushrooms are golden. Drain marinade from beef and add beef to skillet; cook for one to two minutes or just until no liquid remains.

To serve, place lettuce leaves on each plate; top each with one quarter of the vermicelli, then one-quarter of the meat mixture. Garnish with remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and coriander.

Corn and Tomato Dip

Tomatoes and corn, a summer classic, combine in this tasty vegetable dip. It is ideal served with corn chips or over steamed rice.
Smoked paprika from Spain is a perfect compliment to corn; this spice is  available in bulk food stores.

4 cups (1 L) corn kernels, sliced from 4 large cobs of corn or use frozen
2 tbsp (25 ml) butter
2 green onions, sliced
4 cloves crushed garlic
2/3 cup (150 g) low fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup (75 mL) water
¼ cup (50 mL) Parmesan cheese
2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lime juice
½ tsp (2 mL) fresh black pepper
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

Hot pepper or chipotle pepper sauce (optional)
¼ cup (50 mL) finely diced seeded tomatoes
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh coriander

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook corn undisturbed for three minutes or until starting to brown. Stir and cook for two minutes or until deep golden brown.

Stir in green onions and garlic; cook for one or two minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in mayonnaise, water, cheese, paprika, lime juice, pepper and salt until smooth. Cook stirring until slightly thickened, two to three minutes. Season with hot sauce (if using). Spoon into shallow serving dish, such as pie plate; garnish with tomato and coriander. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Blueberry Coconut Upside-Down Cake

A cake mix makes this upside-down dessert a breeze to make.

3 cups (750 mL) blueberries
1 pkg (430 g) angel food cake mix
1 ½ cups (375 mL) toasted flaked coconut
1 ½ cups (375 mL) 0% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup (75 mL) 2% milk
3 tbsp (45 mL) liquid honey
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Line the bottom of 13 by 9 inch (34 by 22 cm) cake pan with parchment paper. Rinse blueberries and pat dry with paper towel; spread evenly in pan.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions; fold in 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the coconut. Spoon batter evenly over berries. Bake in 350°F ( 180°C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 10 minutes; invert onto baking sheet or cutting board. Carefully peel off paper; let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap or foil. If making a day ahead, refrigerate.

To serve, mix together yogurt, milk, honey and vanilla.

Cut cake into squares and drizzle each with yogurt sauce.

Garnish with remaining coconut. Serves 12.

Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer janmainskitchen@yahoo.ca

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