Monday, May 22, 2017

Spring Tex Mex Corn Fritters

SPRING TEX MEX CORN FRITTERS


Today is Victoria Day and it's been a crazy weather washout of a weekend.  Very hard to plan outdoor activities because of the unpredictable weather.  Even though it's Spring the weather has tiptoed in and out of it so far.  Because I was off work today because of the Victoria Day Holiday I had time to do a little fridge/freezer clean Spring recipe.  I have been really trying to find different ways to use or preserve my fruits and vegetables a lot more to save money and food waste which has become one of my missions to get better at.  In the photo below is the corn mixture for the beginning of my fritter recipe and using the onions and cilantro and soft tomatoes I also made a Pico De Gallo salsa and chopped garlic in oil and added the ends of green onions to water to regrow.  I have extra chopped tomatoes and onions ready for quick prep of other recipes in the next couple of days.


This week I had a chance to attend a Taste Canada event at the Hudson's Bay and one of the Chefs doing a demo was Joel McCharles the author of the cookbook Batch and Blog Well Preserved.  I didn't pick up a copy but hope to get a copy soon.  He had a few tips for preserving and other ways of maximizing your produce but admitted that even he is trying to figure out the challenge of not wasting food.    We waste more than 40% of our food from farm to table.  Each step has produce that is wasted from the not so perfect produce to the stuff that spoils in your fridge. This recipe was an idea that I thought up while taking inventory of my freezer.  Joel talked about different tips to preserving some fruits and vegetables but if you have a chance pick up a copy of his cookbook. I am sure it will save your food from the garbage bin.


I made some Tex Mex Corn Fritters.  Even though the corn season is coming soon I decided to use some frozen corn that I had in the back of my freezer knowing that I will be able to pick up fresh corn really soon.  You can also used drained canned corn or fresh corn if you have it.

As usual I didn't follow a recipe and only really follow measurements strictly when I am baking and even then I try and wing it with twists if I can.

I decided to write it up right away so that it's fresh in my mind in case anyone asks or I want to make it sometime again in the winter months when I am craving spring flavours.


TEX MEX CORN FRITTER RECIPE

1 small bag of frozen corn
2 tbsp chopped red onion
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 lime juiced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 whole medium eggs
1/2 cup of milk or cream

1 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

1 cup of Canola Oil

Directions:

Rinse and drain frozen corn until it is fairly dry.   Mix in chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, salt, cumin and chipotle pepper and mix well to distribute.
In a separate small bowl mix 2 eggs and add 1/2 milk or cream.
In a large bowl add 1 cup of flour, salt and baking powder and whisk to distribute evenly.
Add the milk and eggs to the flour mixture and mix until smooth batter like consistency.  Add more milk if needed.  Almost like a pancake batter consistency.  Add the corn mixture and mix until combined evenly.

Heat Canola oil in a Cast iron Skillet or a non stick frying pan or a heavy bottom deep pan.   Heat on medium high heat and test with a wooden spoon if bubbles form around the end of the spoon it's hot enough.

Using a medium ice cream scoop to scoop up the corn mixture and gently place in the heated oil.  Cook for about 2 minutes and when it starts to cook up the sides flip it using a slotted spoon or fish spatula.   Cook for another couple of minutes on the other side and once they are golden brown remove them to a plate and if you wish line it with paper towel to absorb excess oil but if cooking at the proper temperature they shouldn't be excessively oily.  

You can cook them all lightly and then warm them all in a low oven until ready to serve.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Food Revolution Events


As I am writing this post today is May 19, 2017 and it should have been FOOD REVOLUTION DAY around the world but Jamie Oliver's UK team decided to cancel the Global Day in light of the political events regarding school lunch programs in the UK as put forth by UK's Theresa May.

Jamie had plans to launch a campaign against junk food marketing to kids but put everything on hold because it didn't align with what was going on politically in the past couple of weeks.  I would imagine Jamie is hopping mad and has told the UK press that "Axing free school meals is a disgrace". You can read more about it in this BBC article.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-39969155

More here on the Food Revolution
Website:  http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org/news/all-eyes-on-the-small-print-for-our-kids-health/

Some Food Revolution Ambassadors have carried on with their planned events around the world and have just removed the Global Day in favour of just a Food Revolution Event.


I didn't plan a public event this year but I organized a Healthy Workplace Lunch event at my office on May 12th.  We were going to do a Cinco De Mayo event but the timing wasn't good so we just changed it to Fiesta Friday.  This event was a no brainer for me because I had a Public Food Revolution Mexican Fiesta event in 2013.  You can look into the archives to read about that event.  I knew I had some things in storage but didn't even know what I had until I dug it out of my storage locker on the morning of the event.  I was happy to find 2 Sombreros that I forgot about and some plastic Maracas and a sign and some other decorations.


With our Boardroom decked out in Festive decorations and set up with the Taco Shells and all the fixings everyone was ready to dig in.  I wish I had video that I could post with the look on everyone's faces as they entered the Boardroom.   I set up a Photo Booth wall on the whiteboard and had fun props and the Sombrero hats and my camera for those wanting to have a little fun.
The lunch event pretty much mostly fell in my lap to organize even though it started from a Taco Tuesday idea from one of the Managers.  I was happy to take it on and approached it as I would a Food Revolution Event.

It was a bit of a mix of a Potluck and our team provided a lot of the things needed to round it out.

I set up a Potluck Sign Up Sheet and listed all of the ingredients or items needed to build a Taco Bar and anything Mexican that would fit the theme.  One of my co workers wasn't even able to attend and she made Mexican Wedding cookies for the first time and brought them in the day before after she asked me what she could make.  I found a pretty simple recipe and she was so happy with the result of it and everyone enjoyed it.


What's a Taco Bar without the proteins to put into the Tacos?  To make this work we lined up a bunch of crockpots in our hallway and had different proteins in each.   I made Chicken in a Mole sauce and other team member made Ground Beef,  another made Pulled Pork and another went outside the box with a Chicken and mixed vegetables dish.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
I also made a layered Taco Dip and a Non Alcoholic Margarita drink which was so simple but everyone went nuts over it.  It's just lime and lemon concentrate and some 7-UP and I added some lemonade later.  I also made Flour Tortillas from scratch and those were the 1st thing to go.  I also had the hard tacos and Corn Tortillas that I picked up from St. Lawrence Market for those people who are Gluten sensitive.  The thing about Mexican Food is individuals have control over the elements and can load up on things that accommodate most diets and because it's interactive it really brings people together.

I should explain that the Healthy Workplace Committee is a team of about 8 people who organize lunch time events in many of the Government Ministries in Ontario.  It's a way of team building and relieving the stress of everyday work life.  It can be a lunch, a walk or anything that will encourage positive work life experience.  Our office seems to love food even though many of my coworkers aren't cooks I tried to encourage them to either bring an ingredient or we asked for a financial contribution to try and encourage participation of more people.

It worked.  Everyone was so happy and days later people were still thanking me.  The director even submitted my name plus 2 other team members for an all day Ministry Wide Healthy Workplace event.  It's so nice to be recognized for your hard work sometimes.

Churros

The Mexican Fiesta was my way of encouraging people to contribute to a Potluck in anyway they could to bring people together and hopefully encourage some to try and cook a new dish.
We even had Churros Uber'ed to our office.  Also a big hit.  Who knew you could Uber Churros and it turns out there were a lot of people that didn't know what they were and had them for the first time.


 I was so busy organizing that I didn't even have time to take a photo of our Crockpots or the Drink table but it I did an Instagram Story of it on the day of but unfortunately I didn't save it.

But I did take a photo of my assembled Tacos as seen above and can honestly say that everyone really enjoyed the whole thing and I would encourage you to host a Potluck Fiesta, Brunch, Lunch, dinner, drinks or whatever you like to get friends, family and coworkers together and share a meal whether it's big or small.

The Food Revolution Team also wants to get you in the kitchen and to encourage you to engage with our community we have Monthly Challenges which are pretty simple but you can Win a Jamie Oliver Cookbook for participating on social media.

This is the Challenge for May! 
This month's #CookwithFoodRevTO challenge is all about healthy #breakfast! How do you like to start off your day right? Each week we'll be showcasing a healthy breakfast idea from Jamie Oliver right here to give you some inspiration - this week it's Mexican-style omelette wrap.
And hey, just by showing us your healthy breakfast ideas, you could win a Jamie Oliver cookbook thanks to HarperCollins Canada
How to enter:
Show us your breakfast! Snap a photo of your healthy breakfast and tell us a little bit about it (how you made it, what makes it healthy).
You MUST use the hashtag #CookwithFoodRevTO AND tag us either here on FB, or at @FoodRevToronto on Twitter or Instagram. That's it! Then you'll be entered to win a cookbook!
Eligibility and contest rules:
– Contest begins on May 1st 2017 at 6am EST on and closes May 31st 2017 at 6pm EST.
– Prize consists of one (1) Jamie Oliver cookbook
– Open to readers of the age of majority with a Canadian mailing address.
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winner will be chosen randomly (using random.org) from all qualified entries on May 31st 2017 after 6pm EST.
– Winner will be notified via email June 1st 2017 and will have 48 hours to respond to the email.
– Winner will be required to answer a skill testing question.








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