Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bonnie Stern’s The Best of HeartSmart Cooking

If your heart is going a whumpa-thump after a heavy date with your snow shovel, perhaps it’s time to be a little kinder to your ticker in 2010 with a few heartsmart recipes. Now, make no mistake, I am no Julia Powell, nor do I have the exotic romantic life she now pursues but I would have enjoyed meeting Julia Child and cooking my way through her mastery of French cooking, nonetheless. Instead—being a loyal Canuck—I have chosen to cook my way through Bonnie Stern’s The Best of HeartSmart Cooking in the mindset of: “Peace, Order and Good Government.” Since proroguation has overcome Parliament in Canada, once again this January, I suggest the only parts of the motto we can truly uphold as Canadians are Peace and Order. Once the pork-bellied parliamentarians sit again, they can do their part to uphold Good Goverment. So, in the meantime, to get you started on your ticker-friendly quest, I suggest this non-meaty recipe for Rainbow Trout handsomely curled into a red pepper. While this proroguation recipe isn’t from Ms. Stern’s cookbook it is easy to prepare, low in sodium and very tasty. Served with couscous and cooked spinach, sprinkled with a few Saskatoon berries and toasted have a meal suitable for a Queen or even better the Governor General herself, should she happen to be visiting your neighbourhood! How much more peaceful and orderly could you get with that multi-Canadian culinary combo? My favourite recipe from Bonnie Stern’s, The Best of HeartSmart Cooking (ISBN 0-679-31412-1) is on pg 150 (see pic above) and it involves a hot date with Penne, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini cheese and whatever other fixins’ (scallops, cooked bacon, proscuitto, pine nuts, etc) you might have lurking in the leftover drawer of your fridge.

Happy Cooking in these times of prorogation!

Peppers Stuffed with Rainbow Trout

Makes 2 servings

2 Red Peppers

2 Rainbow Trout approx. ½ lb (250g) each *Note: President’s Choice Frozen Trout fillets are perfect!

Mix together: 1 tsp paprika and ¼ tsp garlic powder


1 cup Cilantro leaves-finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves

3 tbsp white-wine vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

Note: I found this sauce made enough to service this dinner twice! It also freezes well in case you want to make the recipe at a later date.

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut Peppers in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom). Remove seeds and membrane. Place cut-side UP on a foil lined baking sheet with a rim around the edge. Wash trout and pat dry. If using the PC fillets, cut in half lengthwise. Roll each piece in paprika mixture. Fold each piece of fish and stuff into pepper half. Roast in centre of oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Finely chop cilantro and place in a bowl. Mince garlic and add to cilantro. Whisk in vinegar, then oil. Or place all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée. When fish is ready, plate and serve with sauce drizzled over top. Excellent served with couscous and cooked spinach, garnished with hazelnuts and currants.

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