Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Chicken Salad with Lime Dressing

Fajita seasoning for chicken (see below)
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

6 to 8 cups shredded lettuce (or salad mix of your choice)
1 large chopped red or yellow pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Monterrey Jack cheese)
One 15 ounce can pinto or red beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, diced
8 black olives
1 Avocado, chopped
Creamy lime dressing (recipe below)

Place a large skillet coated and tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot
Add chicken and sprinkle chicken with fajita seasoning and sauté 8 minutes or until chicken is done (no longer pink inside) and browned on the outside
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Set aside

In a mixing bowl, combine lettuce, pepper, cheddar cheese, olives, avocado, tomato and beans and toss with chicken
When serving drizzle with lime dressing

Fajita Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all seasonings well.

Creamy Lime Dressing


1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Combine all ingredients, and stir well with a whisk
Cover dressing and refrigerate

Sunday, 27 April 2008

One Pot Wonder

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 large chopped onion
3 cloves garlic crushed /
   chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 cup of frozen corn
1 bell pepper, any colour,
   chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped.
1 lb ground meat of your choice,
   or thinly sliced chicken or pork
   fillet, or for vegetarians,
   ground soya meat
1 boullion cube (flavour
   depending on meat you used)
   plus 1-1/2 cups hot water
   (you can use broth [your
   choice] with the equivalent liquid measure)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper.
Please note, you can also add any other of your favourite spices or herbs, i.e. I usually add a
   teaspoon of cajun or taco spice
1 cup uncooked pasta
1 cup grated cheese
Handful of fresh Basil Leaves


  • Peel & chop onion, garlic and other vegetables, then add to a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. 
  • Lightly cook until the veggies are softer.
  • Add your meat and cook for a bit, stirring the pan with the other ingredients.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (includes RAW pasta) EXCEPT the basil leaves. When you add the liquid / stock, the amount should be enough to cover the surface. If it isn't, add some hot water to top it up.
  • Stir it all together and leave to simmer on a low heat until the pasta is cooked.  
  • If you need more liquid / hot water, add a little until it is the consistency is as you like it. 
  • Turn off the heat and add cheese.
  • Just before serving tear the basil leaves into the sauce and give it a little stir.  
  • Have a taste to see if you need more salt & pepper.
  • Add more cheese to the top after serving if desired.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Chicken Kale Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:
2-3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp high quality mustard
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
2 boneless, skinless chicken
   breasts
1 large bunch of kale, ribs
   removed
salt to taste
2 chopped apples
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled

  • Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, then cook to your desired doneness. 
  • When the chicken is done, set aside and let cool briefly while you prepare everything else.
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together except for the salt and pepper, then add salt and pepper to taste at the end. 
  • Slice the ribs from the kale and chop the leaves into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Rinse well, then place in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt to taste over the leaves, then scrunch the leaves vigorously with both hands until the leaves turn a vibrant, dark green.
  • Drain any liquid from the bowl, then add the dressing and continue to massage until the dressing is evenly distributed. 
  • Chop or shred the cooled chicken breast, then add to the kale the chicken, apple, walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese.  
  • Mix thoroughly and serve. 


Shrimp Salad with Spicy Almond Dressing

For the Spicy Almonds:
1/2 cup whole almonds
3/4 teaspoon maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
    (may substitute brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon paprika
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons unsalted natural
   almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
For the Salad:
1 pound wild shrimp, tails removed, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup cucumber, julienned
4 cups arugula
4 cups mixed baby greens
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup dressing
1/2 cup spicy almonds, chopped


  • To make the spicy almonds: Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  • Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Then spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with any remaining sauce. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. 
  • Cool completely, then roughly chop.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing: Place all of the ingredients in a blender except for the olive oil.
  • Blend until smooth. 
  • With the blender running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender in a steady stream. 
  • Add one tablespoon of water, to help keep the dressing liquid when refrigerated.
  • Store in a jar for later use.  
  • To assemble the salad: Toss the shrimp in the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat and cook the shrimp for two minutes on each side, until pink throughout. 
  • Set aside to cool. 
  • Mix the remaining salad ingredients. 
  • At time of serving divide salad into separate bowls/plates/what-have-you and just before serving garnish each with the shrimp and about 1 tablespoon chopped spicy almonds. 
  • Shake the dressing jar vigorously and apply as desired to each salad.  


Friday, 25 April 2008

Brazilian Lemonade

4 limes
1 cup white sugar
6 cups cold water
6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Wash limes thoroughly and then cut the ends off the limes.

Cut each lime into quarters.

Place 1/2 of the limes into a blender.

Add 1/2 of the sugar, 1/2 of the water & 1/2 of the sweetened condensed milk and blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a pitcher.

Repeat.

Refrigerate and enjoy!

Corn Salad

3 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
   of the cobs
1 red bell pepper, cored and
   chopped so the pieces are
   about the same size as corn
   kernels
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
   or combination
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/4 cup (packed) chopped
   parsley
1/4 cup crumbled hard cheese
1/2 lime, for squeezing
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil/butter over medium-high heat. 
  • Fry the corn kernels, pushing them around with a spatula or wooden spoon occasionally, until the corn is popping and browning slightly, 6 to 10 minutes. 
  • Add the peppers and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes, keeping peppers crunchy.
  • Pour in Sriracha and toss to coat. 
  • Remove pan from heat. 
  • Add parsley and cheese and squeeze the lime half over everything; mix to combine. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Thursday, 24 April 2008

Antipasto Salad I

16 oz. pkg fresh/frozen cheese tortellini
4 ounces chopped salami
4 ounces provolone cheese, cut into 2 x 1/4" strips
11 oz. can corn drained
9 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed squeezed to drain (Can used fresh cooked as well)
6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts drained/chopped
6 ounce can pitted ripe olives drained/sliced
1 1/2 cups prepared creamy Italian salad dressing
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounce jar diced pimiento, drained if desired.

  1. Cook tortellini to desired doneness as directed on package; drain, rinse with cold water. 
  2. In very large bowl, combine tortellini, salami, provolone cheese, corn, spinach, artichoke hearts and 1 cup of the olives. 
  3. In small bowl, combine salad dressing, mustard and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese; blend well. 
  4. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently. 
  5. Top with remaining olives and Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Cover; refrigerate 1 - 2 hours to blend flavors. 
  7. Just before serving, garnish with pimiento.

Vegetable Squares

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese (strong cheddar cheese grated)

3 - 6 zucchini depending on size (3 large, 6 small)
1 or 2 carrots
1 large red pepper
1 small red onion
2 garlic cloves 
2 tbsps fresh parsley

4 eggs (slightly beaten)
2 quick shots of hot pepper sauce

1 cup flour
1-1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp dried oregano (leaves)

1/4 cup butter (melted)

1.   Heat oven to 350ºF.
2.   If necessary, run cheeses through food processor to grate.  Set aside.
3.   Run zucchini, carrots, red pepper, garlic cloves, parsley and onion through
      food processor to grate.
3.   Wrap mixture in paper towels.
4.   Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
5.   In a medium bowl, mix eggs, cheeses, pepper sauce, parsley and vegetables*.
      *NOTE: By hand squeeze as much of the moisture out of the vegetable mixture
      as you can before using.       
6.   Add dry ingredients and mix well.
7.   Stir in melted butter.
8.   Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking dish.
9.   Bake about 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown.
10  Cool slightly, cut into tiny 1" squares (if using as appetizers or larger if using
      as a side dish), serve warm or cold or room temperature.

Chicken Kiev

6 boneless chicken breast
   halves
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room
   temperature*
*Do not substitute margarine
3 tablespoons chopped curly
   parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped
   dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped
   chives
1 minced garlic clove
Juice of one-half lemon
Salt and pepper
4 whole eggs, beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs;
   panko or homemade are
   best for crunch
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Additional 1/4 stick (one ounce or two tablespoons) butter


Herb Butter:

  • In a small bowl, mix the half-cup of butter, parsley, dill, chives, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. 
  • Put the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a one-and-a-half-inch thick roll. 
  • Wrap and place in the freezer for one hour or do this part the day before and place in fridge overnight.
  • You end up with what looks like not a big enough roll -- but it is.


Chicken:

  • Place one chicken breast into a medium-sized plastic baggie and gently pound until about one-eighth of an inch thick. 
  • Remove from bag and lightly season with salt and pepper. 
  • Repeat with each chicken breast.
  • Remove the frozen herb butter roll from the plastic wrap and cut into 6 equal pieces. 
  • Place one on each chicken breast and roll the chicken breast up around it. 
  • Secure it with a toothpick.
  • Prepare 3 shallow bowls, one with flour, one with the beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumbs. Roll each chicken breast first in the flour, then dip generously into the beaten eggs, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs, applying gentle pressure to ensure good breading coverage.
  • Over medium heat, pan-fry the chicken in the vegetable oil and additional butter until golden brown. Bake the chicken in the oven at 325°F for about 40 minutes; the temperature inside the chicken should reach 180°F. 
  • Remove the toothpicks and serve immediately.


Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Cream Cheese & Cherry Brownies

3 1/2 oz Dark chocolate
4 1/4 oz Butter
5 1/2 oz Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 or 5  Eggs
5 1/2 oz Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
300 grams of cream cheese
   (softened)
10 1/2 oz Frozen Cherries

  • Chocolate break into pieces.
  • Melt the butter together with chocolate in the microwave or over hot water bath
  • Beat 2 eggs and 2 ounces of the sugar with a mixer, add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Add to the whipped eggs and sugar, the butter and melted chocolate. Mix.
  • Add the flour and baking powder.  Mix.  If quite thick, adjust with yet another egg and a tad more flour if needed.
  • For the curd cream, in a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese with 3 1/2 oz of sugar, and the remaining 2 eggs.
  • Use an 8 x 8 pan with high sides greased with butter or Pam.  Add 1/3 of the chocolate dough. Spread as best as possible
  • Spread half of the curd mass.
  • Distribute half of the cherries over the curd mass. 
  • Next: chocolate dough, curd, cherry, chocolate dough.  Try to distribute evenly.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes in a preheated 180 degree oven. 
  • Let cool in the pan.
  • Then, remove from pan.  


Monday, 21 April 2008

Roasted Vegetable Salad

1 large bunch of broccoli, stalk
   removed, and cut into medium
   florets
4 medium cloves of garlic,
   chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and
   cut into smallish chunks
1 largish zucchini cut into bite
   size pieces
1/3 cup slivered (or sliced)
   almonds
4ish tablespoons extra virgin
   olive oil, divided
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cup smallish sized pasta
   freshly squeezed lemon juice
   from one largish lemon
2 ounces finely grated tangy-ish
   cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets, sliced/diced garlic, carrots & zucchini, and sliced almonds with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the mixture tossing them every every 10 minutes or so, for 20 - 40 minutes or until lightly caramelized and fork tender. Add a little more olive oil while cooking if it seems necessary.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally, and drain. Rinse the pasta immediately with cold water until cool, and then transfer to a large bowl. 
  • Add the roasted (and slightly cooled) vegetable mixture, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and cheese and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Sunday, 20 April 2008

Crab Salad

3 eggs
300 g of crab sticks
1 can of niblets corn
1.5 cups of ground nuts
   (walnuts, peanuts, almonds,
   what-have-you?)
150 g of cheese
Mayonnaise and sour cream


  • Boil eggs and when cooled, then grate.
  • Cut crab sticks cut into small cubes. 
  • Grate cheese.
  • Add all the above ingredients, plus the corn and ground nuts, and mix well with mayonnaise and sour cream. 
  • Let the salad stand in the fridge for a bit before serving.


Cranberry & Brie Filo Turnovers

1 roll filo dough, defrosted
Cooking spray or melted butter
3 oz. Brie cheese, cut into 1-inch squares
3 tbsp cranberry sauce or chutney


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Unroll the defrosted filo dough and place it under a damp kitchen towel to stop the dough from drying out. Cover whenever the dough is not in use.
  • Lay 1 sheet of the filo on a large cutting board. Lightly coat with cooking spray or melted butter. Top with another sheet of fillo dough, coat with cooking spray or butter, and repeat one more layer of fillo dough and coating.
  • Cut the dough lengthwise in thirds. Place 1 piece of Brie cheese and ½ teaspoon of cranberry sauce about 1-inch from the bottom of one section of dough. 
  • Fold the dough over top of the Brie and cranberry sauce to form a triangle. Continue to fold, maintaining the triangle shape until the end of the dough is reached. 
  • Repeat with the other two strips of dough. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, Brie cheese and cranberry sauce.
  • Bake until the turnovers are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. 


Cherry Charlotte

4 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup white flour
Baking soda - just on the tip
   of your knife
1 tsp vanilla
300 - 350 g cherries (fresh or
   frozen), pitted
About 2 tablespoons of butter
Breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 190 C.
  • In a deep container mix the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Thoroughly beat with a mixer until pale yellow mass.
  • Next, carefully add to the egg-sugar mixture flour, baking soda and vanilla.
  • Gently stir with a spoon.  The dough should have the consistency like thick cream. 
  • Coat 8 x 8 cake pan with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Pour about half of the batter into cake pan.
  • On top of that, neatly lay out cherries, sprinkle berries with sugar.
  • Pour in the remaining batter and place remaining cherries on the top.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. 
  • The cake should be checked in the normal way, i.e. the dough should not stick to a toothpick -- but note: the consistency in the middle will be more like pie than cake.
  • Once out of the oven, place thin slices of butter on the cake and allow to melt and then spread and the sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Completely cool cake before cutting or eating.


Stuffed Breaded Pancakes with Ham, Eggs & Cheese

For the dough:
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
bunch of dill
1 tsp sugar
salt
butter or oil
For filling:
3 hard boiled eggs
6 oz of ham
4 oz of cheese
For the Coating
2 eggs
breadcrumbs
salt
  • For the dough: Mix flour with eggs, milk, salt.
  • Add chopped dill. Carefully stir.
  • Pan fry crepe like thin pancakes in butter or oil.
  • For the filling: Cut hard boiled eggs cut into circles and ham into thin slices. Grate the cheese.
  • Put ham on top of two circles eggs, sprinkle with cheese. Fold crepes letter envelopes style.
  • For the Coating: Beat eggs with salt. Take rolled up crepes and moisten in egg, then in bread crumbs.
  • Fry the stuffed envelopes until golden brown


Saturday, 19 April 2008

Chicken Ramen

Package of boneless chicken thighs
Salt and black pepper, to season
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp fresh garlic, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine) or
   any white wine
4 cups rich chicken stock (or 4
   chicken boullion, plus 4 cups of
   water)
1/2 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
Fresh or jarred jalapeño slices
   (to taste)
1 cup of semi-precooked chopped
    veggies (what have you?) optional
1 - 2 tsp sea salt, to taste
2 - 4 large eggs
2 (3 oz) packs dried ramen noodles
small bundle of chives cut into tiny pieces

  • Slice chicken into thin pieces.
  • Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. 
  • Melt the butter in a large deep skillet or pat over medium heat. 
  • Add the chicken and cook through, flipping from time to time.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate until ready to add to Ramen dish.
  • Make the ramen broth: Heat the oil in the same pot as you cooked chicken in - no need to clean pot.
  • Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes until softened. 
  • Add the soy sauce and mirin, and stir to combine. 
  • Cook for another minute. 
  • Add the stock, cover, and bring to boil. Remove the lid, and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, jalapeño slices, and veggies.
  • Simmer gently for another 10 minutes, and season with salt, to taste.
  • Add the chicken to Broth.  
  • Make the soft-boiled eggs: Fill a medium sized pot with enough water to cover the eggs, and bring to a boil. Gently lower the eggs (still cold from the fridge) into the boiling water, and let simmer for 7 minutes (for a slightly-runny yoke) or 8 minutes (for a soft, but set-up yoke).
  • Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When the timer finishes, transfer the eggs to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. 
  • Wait at least 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, then carefully peel away the shell and slice in quarters. 
  • Set aside.
  • When the eggs are finished cooking, add the ramen noodles to the boiling water. 
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft, then divide the noodles into large bowls. 
  • Add the ramen broth. 
  • Top with the chives, and the soft boiled egg. Serve immediately.


Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Cheddar Cheese Broccoli Tots

12 ounces Broccoli
1 large egg
1/2 cup sliced green onions or
   chives
1/2 cup panko or homemade bread
   crumbs
salt and pepper and what-have-you?


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then immediately shock with cold tap water or an ice bath. 
  • Drain very, very well.
  • Run broccoli through a food processor or chop finely and then mix throughly with the egg, green onions/chives, cheddar, and panko. 
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and maybe other spices you may have on hand              ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  
  • Scoop about 1.5 tablespoons of mix into your hands and shape into a tater-tot shape. It helps if you keep your hands wet while you’re shaping. Or... you can use a small ice cream scoop to do the job. 
  • Place on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the tots are made. 
  • Bake until golden brown and crispy, 18-20 minutes, turning the sheet half way. 
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy hot with ketchup or sriracha or other dipping sauces.


Sunday, 13 April 2008

Cranberry Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, optional and
   to taste

For the Frosting and Topping
1 cup chocolate chips, melted and divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups+ confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the Bars

  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, spray with cooking spray; set aside. 
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
  • In mixing bowl add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and if cool enough melted butter and stir to combine., taking care not to over-mix or the bars will be tough. 
  • Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup cranberries, optional orange zest, and stir to combine. 
  • Put batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
  • Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. 
  • Allow bars to cool before frosting them. While they cool, make the frosting.

For the Frosting and Topping

  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate until it can be stirred smooth. 
  • Combine cream cheese, about three-quarters of the melted chocolate, 2 cups confectioners' sugar vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy. 
  • Add more additional confectioners' sugar based on taste preference and desired frosting consistency. Frost the bars when cool; if you have excess, it will keep quite nicely in the freezer for a long time.
  • Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. 
  • Evenly drizzle bars with remaining melted chocolate, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave if it has set up. 
  • Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Friday, 11 April 2008

Skillet Potatoes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 russet potatoes, skin left on
Salt
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. 
  • Add the butter; when melted, add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Slice the potatoes on a mandoline. 
  • Place the potatoes in a large bowl; add the melted garlic butter and sprinkle with salt. 
  • Toss well to ensure all the slices are coated.
  • Carefully layer the potato slices in the skillet used for the butter, overlapping them in a circular pattern starting from the edge of the skillet and working towards the center. Continue until you have about five layers of potatoes.
  • Place the skillet over low heat. 
  • Set a medium pot lid or pie pan directly on top of the potatoes. Then place a heavy pot on top of the lid to weight it down. 
  • Adjust the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes on the stovetop, then transfer to the oven and bake until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, another 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and let the potatoes rest for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the pot and lid, and place a plate upside down on the skillet. 
  • Using oven mitts, carefully turn the skillet over to release the potatoes onto the plate. 
  • Garnish with thyme leaves and serve.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Ricotta & Cream Cheese Cheesecake

1 tablespoon butter - room temperature
1/4 cup crushed cookies (your choice!)
30 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
16 ounces cream cheese – softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 lemon – zested and juiced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Butter a 10” springform pan. Add crushed cookies just to coat. Tap off excess. Set aside.
  • Mix together ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar until well combined and creamy in consistency. Add flour and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Add: eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined and then pour mixture into prepared springform pan.
  • Place largest pan that you have that will fit in bottom of oven filled with water.
  • Place sprinform pan on higher level and bake in 425 F (220 C) oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 250 F (120 C) and bake for 35 (or more) minutes until you are able to insert a knife into the centre of the cheesecake and have it come out clean.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cover pan with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Top with fresh fruit, pie filling or jam prior to serving.

Dragon Eggs

3 c shredded sharpish cheese
4-5 jalapeños chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream or cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs, dry
crushed red pepper to taste
salt & pepper to tase
cornmeal & a teaspoon of seasoning:  what-have-you that's hotish & spicy
2 or 3 eggs
oil for frying - I use coconut oil (★^O^★)


  • In large bowl, combine cheese, peppers, cream, and breadcrumbs. 
  • Mix well by hand, then form into small egg shapes.
  • Dip the “eggs” in mixture of beaten eggs and a bit of milk and then roll them in cornmeal and seasonings.
  • Freeze for at least 30 minutes so they will stay together in hot grease.
  • After removing from freezer, again dip the “eggs” in mixture of beaten eggs and a bit of milk and then roll them in cornmeal and seasonings.
  • Fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes). 
  • Drain and serve with your favourite dip.


Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/2 cup rice or white vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sherry or red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tbsp. dried crushed chili
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved
   in 3 to 4 tbsp. cool water


  • Place all ingredients - except the cornstarch-water mixture - in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture. 
  • Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.  If it doesn't thicken, try a little more cornstarch, again mixed with a dab of water.  
  • Remove from heat and taste-test. You should taste sweet first, followed by sour, then spicy and salty notes. If the sauce isn't sweet enough, add a little more sugar. If not spicy enough, add more chili.
  • Pour sauce into a small bowl or jar and serve as a condiment, dip or marinade.


Veggie Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil + more
   for drizzling, if desired
1 medium onion, diced (about
   2 cups)
4 medium carrots, diced (about
   1 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about
   1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
   black pepper
1 medium or 2 small zucchini,
   diced
1 (14-ounce) can diced
   tomatoes
Got any other veggies hanging
   around?  Add those too!
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups white beans (such as cannellini) or pinto beans (or 1 [15-ounce] can)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Additional salt and pepper to taste


  • Set a large saucepan over medium heat. 
  • When hot, add the olive oil. 
  • Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  • While these veggies cook, chop the garlic, zucchini, parsley, (other veggies), and add.
  • Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring, for one more minute. 
  • Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and beans. 
  • Increase heat to medium-high. As soon as the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in red wine vinegar. 
  • Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. 


Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Spicy Southwestern Chicken Rolls

2 cups (3/4 lb) cooked, shredded chicken
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 diced onion
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pizza dough recipe (see below)
½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 ounce) cans Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 - 4 hot chiles, diced
½ - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat to 425 degrees F. 
  • Generously coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Season chicken with 1.5 tablespoons taco seasoning. 
  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. 
  • When the oil is very hot, add the onion, bell pepper, corn, and remaining taco seasoning. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are slightly charred. 
  • Turn heat to low, add garlic and stir to combine until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.


Pizza Dough

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll out pizza dough to approximately a 12x15-inch rectangle. 
  • Top with chicken, veggies, beans, diced tomatoes, and cheese. 
  • Press down to flatten. 
  • Roll the dough up very tightly, pulling the dough towards you as you roll. 
  • Cut into twelve 1-inch rolls and place into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until dough is golden around the edges.


Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 12 ounce cans of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced & chopped
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
cooked white rice

  • Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. 
  • Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion, frozen peas and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  • Stir in lime juice and serve in a bowl with white rice at the bottom of the bowl. 

Shrimp Appys

6 slice white bread, crust removed
12 larger shrimp, peeled and deveined
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 can water chestnuts or palm centres,
   chopped
1-2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
1 large egg
2 tsp cornstarch
coconut or canola oil


  • Slice crusts off of each slice of bread and cut into 4 triangles. Set aside.
  • Peel, remove tails, devein & clean raw shrimp. Pat dry and set aside.
  • Finely chop chives, water chestnuts or palm centres & garlic cloves.  Place in mixing bowl.
  • Finely chop shrimp into a paste by rocking a large chef knife back and forth across the surface of the shrimp. This will take a few minutes.
  • Add to chives, water chestnuts & garlic and mix together
  • Add red pepper flakes, soy sauce, garlic powder & ginger to the shrimp paste and stir to combine.
  • In a separate dish whisk together egg, 1 tsp soy sauce & cornstarch until smooth and pour into shrimp paste. This is the glue so stir together really well.
  • Spread one side of each bread triangle with a small amount of the shrimp mixture.
  • Heat skillet with 1/4 inch of coconut or canola oil to about 350 degrees and place the bread shrimp side down in the hot oil.
  • Fry for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on one side then turn and fry for 1 minute and remove onto a paper towel for draining. They should be golden brown. 
  • Warm by nuking in microwave for 1 - 1-1/2 minutes.
  • Serve alone or with a dip:  sweet & sour sauce, chinese duck sauce, chinese mustard or what have you (?)  

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Winging It Cherry Jam

As many cherries as you feel you can pit.
1 or 2 lemons
Several cups of sugar (see below*)
1 - 4 tablespoons of rum, depending on
   how many cherries you pitted.  (I
   usually end up with about 4 cups of
   cooked cherries & liquid and for that I
   use 3 tablespoons of rum.)


  • Pit as many cherries as you can (I usually sit in front of the TV doing this with the bag of cherries, large pot and another bag or bowl for the pits).  
  • After pitting cut up some of the cherries -- not all of them -- less than half.  
  • Cook the cherries in a large pot with just a 1/4 inch or less of water on the bottom just until they're starting to cook. The pot should be pretty big since the juices bubble up. 
  • Add the zest and juice from one or two fresh lemons -- and heck throw in the left over lemon carcasses with the cooking cherries -- to be removed later.  Lemon juice adds pectin as well as acidity, and will help the jam gel later on.
  • Cook the cherries some more, stirring once in a while with a heatproof spatula, until they’re wilted and completely soft, which may take about 20 minutes, depending on how much heat you give them. 
  • Once everything is all soft and cooked, take the lemon halves and throw them away.
  • Eye ball how many cherries you have (including the juice) and use 3/4 of the amount of sugar*. For example if you have about 4 cups of cooked cherry matter, add 3 cups of sugar. It may seem like a lot, but that amount of sugar is necessary to keep the jam from spoilage.
  • Stir the sugar and the cherries in the pot and cook over moderate-to-high heat. The best jam is cooked quickly. While it’s cooking, put a small plate in the freezer. Remain vigilant and stir the fruit often with a heatproof utensil. Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir as well.
  • Once the bubbles start to subside and the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel, (it will coat the spatula in a clear, thick-ish, jelly-like layer, but not too thick) put a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a minutes, when you nudge it, if it wrinkles, it’s done.
  • If not, cook it some more and keep testing until done.  If you overcook your jam, the sugar will caramelize and it won’t taste good and there’s nothing you can do. Better to undercook it, test it, then cook it some more.
  • Once it’s done cool just a bit and then add your rum.
  • Ladle the warm jam into clean jars and cover. 
  • Cool at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator where it will keep for several months.


Basque Cherry Pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. (5 oz.) butter,
   softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs, divided
1 large egg yolk
1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cherry
   jam (I've also tried this
   with BlackBerry & Straw-
   Berry Jam)



  • Add the butter and sugar to a medium sized bowl; beat on medium-high speed until light and airy, about 3 minutes. 
  • Scrape down the bowl and add 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk; beat on medium-low speed to combine. 
  • Add the 1 cup of flour together with the baking powder and salt.  Mix beating on low speed until just incorporated.  Add second cup of flour and again mix just until incorporated.
  • Form the dough into two equal balls using your hands (do not over handle). Place 
  • one ball between two large sheets of parchment paper, and roll out the round to about 11 inches in diameter. (Do not remove the paper). 
  • Repeat the process with the other ball of dough, rolling it out to about 9 inches in diameter. 
  • Stack the 2 dough disks and refrigerate until firm but still flexible, 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 375°. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. 
  • Add a parchment round to cover just the bottom of the cake pan.
  • Retrieve the dough rounds and let rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes. 
  • Carefully peel away the paper around the larger round of dough. 
  • Place the dough in the prepared pan and press it gently into the corners; trim so that the dough reaches halfway up the sides. 
  • Add the preserves to the center of the dough, and spread with the back of the spoon to coat evenly, leaving a 3⁄4-inch border around the edges. 
  • Remove the paper around the smaller round of dough, then place it atop the cake pan. 
  • Trim the edges so that the dough just fits inside but still touches the sides of the pan. 
  • Using fingers, press down around the edges, tucking the dough ends in and fusing the two doughs together.
  • In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a few drops water. 
  • Brush the top of the dough generously with the egg wash. 
  • Then, using a small, sharp knife, create a pattern of crisscrossed lines.
  • Bake until the top is golden, 30-35 minutes. 
  • Remove to a rack and let cool 5 minutes. 
  • Use a paring knife to dislodge the cake's edges from the pan. 
  • Gently invert onto a flat plate, then invert again onto another plate or stand. 
  • Let cool completely. 
  • Slice into wedges and serve.


Sunday, 6 April 2008

Pizza Rolls

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm (not hot) water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tbsp basil leave chopped
1 tbsp thyme chopped
Small onion chopped
2 - 4 garlic cloves
Small green peppers chopped
2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 - 3/4 cup Grated Cheddar (or what have you?)


  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.  
  • Stir in flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough into the tray in rectangular shape. 
  • Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in small pot.  Add basil, thyme, onion, minced garlic, green peppers, parsley and salt & pepper. Cook on high heat for just a couple of minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir just until mixed.
  • Spread the tomato paste evenly over the crust. 
  • Sprinkle more herbs on top if desired.
  • Roll up the dough from the long side and cut each roll evenly.
  • Arrange them on the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. 
  • Serve warm with any choice of dips if you like.


Saturday, 5 April 2008

Apricot Chicken Breasts with Veggies

Chicken
4 boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup fresh basil
1-3 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces brie, cubed
2 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs (1 & 2)
1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Panko bread crumbs

Veggies
1/2 pound small red and purple
   potatoes, halved
1/2 pound cut up broccoli
1/2 pound cut up cauliflower
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
zest of 1 lemon
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place deboned, de-skinned chicken breasts on a large sheet of saran wrap, over top of a kitchen towel.  
  • Pound each breast with a gavel or some such thing until about twice the size.
  • Place walnuts, basil and garlic in food processor and slowly add the olive oil until mixture becomes paste like.
  • Next add brie, cream cheese and egg to the food processor and pulse until mixed well. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread about 1-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of your chicken) of pesto mixture on each breast. 
  • Place 2 eggs in shallow bowl and mix.
  • Place panco breadcrumbs into another bowl.
  • OK... here it gets messy.  Have you pan ready.
  • Roll each breast around the pesto, then dip in egg wash and then cover with panco breadcrumbs. Place each chicken roll around your large sheet pan.
  • Add the potatoes & veggies in various spots around the chicken on your sheet pan.
  • Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, garlic and lemon zest. 
  • OK - messy over - you can now wash your hands.
  • In a bowl, combine the apricot preserves, balsamic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spoon the mixture all over the chicken breasts.
  • Roast in the oven  for 40-60 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes golden. 



Friday, 4 April 2008

Coconut Curried Short Ribs

Ribs
3 pounds beef short ribs (or more if the ribs do not look meaty)
2 tablespoons olive oil
good pinch of salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon ginger, grated or finely chopped
large can of stewed tomatoes juice and all
1/2 cup soy sauce
1-3 tablespoons thai red curry pasted
   (depending on heat preference)
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves torn off
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded + chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
bunch of chives, chopped
3/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 chopped avocado
a pinch of salt and pepper

Peanut Sauce
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons curry paste


  • Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high-heat and add the olive oil. Add the ribs to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the ribs on all sides for about 1 minute per side. Remove the ribs and place them in the crockpot bowl.
  • To the bowl add the garlic, ginger, stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, and curry paste.
  • Cover and cook for about 8 hours on low (5-6 on high), or until meat is falling off the bone.
  • Rotate short ribs once or twice during cooking. The cooking times will vary depending on the size of your short ribs.
  • To make the mango salsa toss the mango, jalalpeno, lime juice, parsley, chives, tomatoes & avocado, and a pinch of salt and pepper in small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your likings. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • To make the peanut sauce add the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce and thai red curry paste to a medium size pot. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a low boil, stirring until the peanut butter melts into the coconut milk and the brown sugar has dissolved to make a smooth peanut sauce. Set aside.
  • When ready to eat remove the short ribs from the crockpot and shred with a fork. Divide the meat among the lettuce cups and spoon some of the sauce that is sitting in the crockpot over the meat. Top with mango salsa and then drizzle on the peanut sauce. Sprinkle the peanuts over top.


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Broccoli Pesto

1 large broccoli (around 2 cups)
A couple of stems fresh basil or sage
1/2 lemon, juice
1/2 cup hazelnuts (roasted chickpeas if you’re allergic)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp water
salt & pepper

The above is therefore vegan.  You can also add a bit of whatever cheese you like if you are so inclined. 

  • Throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse for about a minute. Taste it. 
  • Add more olive oil or water if it feels too dry and salt & pepper according to taste.
  • Serve with pasta, in a salad, on a sandwich or in a wrap, as a dip or in tiny pastry cups with sun dried tomatoes, a bit cheese and perhaps a cooked shrimp (& then warm in microwave for 2 minutes) for an appetizer. 

Asparagus Roll Appetizers

8 slices white bread (fresh)
4 ozs cream cheese
4 ozs blue cheese (crumbled)
3 ozs sour cream
tsp dill weed or if dill weed unavailable, chop small amount of pickle into miniature pieces and add
   
1 tsp pepper
1 small can asparagus (spears drained)
3 tbsp melted butter

Remove crusts from bread and flatten slices very thin with a rolling pin.
With an electric mixer, blend cheeses, sour cream and seasonings together and spread on one side of bread slices.
Place an asparagus spear on each bread slice and roll up jelly roll style.
Brush each roll-up with melted butter.
Cut roll-ups
Place seam side down on a cookie sheet and bake 5 to 10 minutes at 450 degrees until pieces are lightly browned.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

M&M Oreo Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
18 Oreo cookies, roughly
   chopped
1/2 cup M&M's


  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power.
  • Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, don't overmix.
  • Add the Oreos and stir to combine.
  • Add the M&M's and stir to combine.
  • Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula and pushing it into the corners. 
  • Place a few Oreos and M&M's on top for visual appeal.
  • Bake for about 18 to 21 minutes, or until top is set in center and done; don't overbake. Bars firm up as they cool. 
  • Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 90 minutes before slicing and serving.