Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion – minced
1 medium potato – peeled and
   diced
2 stalks celery – diced
3 carrots – peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt/pepper
1/4 cup red wine
2-3 cups roasted herb chicken
   diced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken
   stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 pie crust

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Melt butter in a french oven over medium-high heat. Add: onion, potato, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms. Season with nutmeg and salt/pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes OR until vegetables are softened. Stirring as necessary.
  • Add wine and deglaze pan. Add chicken. Sprinkle flour on top. Stir to coat. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add cream and peas and stir to combine. Check for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. Transfer mixture to one large oven proof dish or several smaller oven proof ramekins.
  • Place pie crust across top of dish /dishes. Crimp edges.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes OR until crust is flaky and golden.


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Corn & Peach Coleslaw

2 ears corn
2 peaches (or apricots or
   nectarines)
Smallest head of red or
   green cabbage you can find
1/2 large cucumber, or 2-3
   small cucumbers
1 jalapeno (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh or dried
   parsley
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons neutral oil
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper,
   to taste


  • Char the corn on your grill or in a grill pan. Alternatively, wrap loosely in a damp paper towel and microwave, on a plate, for 2-3 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cob.
  • Take the cabbage and put it through a food processor on the shred setting.  Empty processor.
  • Take the pealed & seeded peaches, the peeled cucumbers and the seeded jalapeno and put it through your food processor on the thin slice setting.
  • Toss together the corn, peaches, cabbage, cucumbers, jalapeno, and parsley.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dress the salad.


Vegetable Soft Tacos

1½ tsp olive oil, divided
Green Onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped zucchini
½ cup chopped yellow squash
½ jalapeno pepper, seeds &
   membranes removed, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp oregano
1 tomato, chopped
¼ - ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
Juice of ½ lime
4 corn tortillas
¼ cup hard crumbly or grated
   cheese


  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. 
  • Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ½ teaspoon olive oil, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, jalapeno, and oregano. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato and cook for 1 minute. 
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, heat the corn tortillas, in a single layer on a paper towel in the microwave, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the vegetables evenly between the corn tortillas, and top with cheese.

  • Note: I'll often make the vegetable part early in the day and then refrigerate.  When it's time to eat, I'll place my tortillas on a plate, add a spoonful or so of the vegetables and then a sprinkling of cheese. After that I'll microwave for 1 - 2 minutes.  You end up having to eat everything with a knife and fork, but I'd rather do that anyways.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 




Saturday, 25 October 2008

Carrot-Ginger Black Sesame Loaf

1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more
   for the pan
2 cups flour, plus more for
   the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup almond or coconut milk
1 2-inch (5-cm) piece of ginger,
   peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons black sesame
   seeds, plus more as needed


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 
  • Brush the inside surfaces of an 8½ by 4½–inch (21.5 by 11–cm) loaf pan with a little oil. 
  • Dust with flour, tapping out any excess. 
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. 
  • Then add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, almond/coconut milk, ginger, vanilla, and salt. 
  • Using a rubber spatula fold in the carrots, and finally the oil. 
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds. You want it to be completely covered in seeds. 
  • Bake until the middle of the loaf has puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing. 

Friday, 24 October 2008

Beef Bourguignon

1 Cup Dry red wine
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Large Onion diced
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
2 Tablespoons Parsley chopped
1 Bay leaf crushed
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Slices Bacon (thick-cut if possible) diced
12 Small White onions
1/2 Pound Sliced mushrooms
2 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Teaspoon Salt

  • Combine first seven ingredients, mix well, add beef. 
  • Marinate at least 3 hours (overnight if refrigerated).
  • Drain meat, reserving marinade. 
  • In skillet, saute bacon and remove. 
  • Brown meat in bacon fat. 
  • Combine beef, bacon, vegetables and seasonings in slow cooker. 
  • Pour over enough marinade to cover -- add more wine if necessary. 
  • Cook on high 6-8 hours
  • Shortly before serving, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon of flour and juice from the marinade and add to crock pot.  Stir until mixed in well and cook a bit longer until mixture slightly thicker.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes. 

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Roasted Vegetables

2 large sweet potatoes
2 large potatoes
2 cups of squash, peeled
   and seeds removed and cut
   into bite size pieces
6 medium carrots
3 medium parsnips
1 medium yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed dried
   rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch salt and pepper

For the cider vinaigrette
 Bunch of green onion tops,
   chopped
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Cube the potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and parsnips into bite-size pieces and place in a large roasting plan.
  • Cut the onion into small pieces and add to the pan. 
  • Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix until all of the vegetables are covered. 
  • Heat the oven to 375 °F. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes, pulling them out halfway to stir. 
  • Prepare the Vinaigrette: Add the green onion, mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a small jar and shake until emulsified. 
  • Once the vegetables are soft, remove from the oven.
  • Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir so they're evenly coated.



Monday, 20 October 2008

Apple Cider Fritters

For the dough:
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry
   yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sea salt

For the apple filling:
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut
   into 1/4-inch dice
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Flakey sea salt or vanilla salt, to finish


  • Prepare the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the cider, water, yeast, sugar and melted butter and combine. Add 2 cups of flour. Once incorporated, add the salt and the rest of the flour. Mix the dough together for 5 minutes on medium speed. 
  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. 
  • Prepare the apples: In a large skillet, combine the apple cider, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean and butter. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium low heat and reduce the liquid by half until slightly thickened and syrupy.
  • Add half of the apples and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl to cool, then add the remaining diced apples. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.  
  • Note: Can be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator.  
  • Assemble the donuts: Add the oil to a large Dutch oven and set it on the stove over high heat.
  • While the oil climbs to 350°F, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s roughly 8 x 11 inches.
  • Add 1/3 of the cooled apples to the right side of the dough, then fold the left side over the apples. Give the dough a turn so the opening is now at the bottom.
  • Roll out the dough again and repeat the process until all the apples have been used. This is a messy process.  If at any point the dough seems reluctant to roll out, simply give it a 5 minute rest then return to a much more relaxed and manageable dough.
  • Once all the apples have been folded into the dough, roll it out one final time into a rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut the fritters into rough 1 1/2 inch squares.
  • Let them rest for a few moments before frying them in small batches.
  • Take care to keep the oil at a consistent 350°F. Fry the fritter until deeply golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes, flipping them once, halfway through.
  • Remove the fritters — and any apples that have fallen out — with a slotted spoon. Let them cool briefly on a wire rack.
  • Continue frying in this way until all the fritters have been fried.
  • Prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, apple cider, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the fritters while they are still warm. Turn and drizzle some more. Finish each side with flake salt if desired.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Chicken Fajita Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless
   chicken breasts
3 tablespoons taco or fajita
   seasoning
1 onion chopped
2-3 bell peppers chopped
1 hot pepper cleaned and
   finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz) can Diced Tomatoes
3 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Season with half of taco seasoning. 
  • In a deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. 
  • When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. 
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. 
  • When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. 
  • Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. 
  • Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.
  • In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. 
  • Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. 
  • Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. 


Thursday, 16 October 2008

Jambalaya

1 pound Chicken breasts,
   boneless - cut in 1" cubes
1 pound Smoked sausage,
   sliced 
28 ounces Crushed tomatoes
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
1 cup Chicken broth (cup of
   warm water plus chicken
   bullion cube)
1/2 cup White wine
2 teaspoons Oregano
2 teaspoons Parsley
4 or 5 dashes of hot sauce
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Chili flakes to taste
2 cups Rice, cooked
1 pound Shrimp, cooked

  • Cut chicken and slice sausage. 
  • Chop onion and green pepper.
  •  Put all in slow cooker. 
  • Add remaining ingredients, except shrimp and rice. Cook in slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours. 
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Add cooked shrimp and cooked rice; allow to heat for about 30 minutes


Friday, 10 October 2008

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

1 cup dried cranberries
juice from one fresh squeezed
   orange
16 oz cream cheese, softened
   to room temp
1/4 icing sugar
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely
   chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar


  • Add the cream cheese, orange juice, dried cranberries and icing sugar to a food processor.  Blend until all is creamed together.
  • Place onto a sheet of wax paper or saran wrap and shape in a ball (or 2 balls) the best you can. 
  • Wrap entirely and let it sit overnight to stiffen up a bit. You can shape it better the next day when it is a little harder.
  • Melt butter in a pan on medium heat add the chopped pecans and brown sugar and mix well stirring frequently. About 3-5 minutes. Do not let the pecans burn!
  • Lay out a sheet of wax paper and place pecans on the sheet spreading them out. Let them cool.
  • You can keep the candied pecans in a jar with a tightly fitted top.
  • When you are ready to eat the cheese ball(s) take it out of the fridge and shape better. Grab a handful of pecans and place them all over the cheese ball till covered. Place cheese ball on a plate and serve!
  • CheeseBalls without pecan covering can be kept in the freezer for several weeks.  


Thursday, 9 October 2008

Hungarian Pecan Apple Pie

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 1/2 ounces Butter
6 ounces Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla flavouring
3 - 4 Apples
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
   (carmalized if you like)
Cardamon to taste
Cinnamon to taste


  • Preheat oven to 190 C 
  • Whip the egg together with 1/2 the sugar (3 ounces), 1 tablespoon cold water & butter.
  • Add the flour with the baking powder and then knead elastic dough.
  • Spread into pie pan. 
  • Place the dough in preheated oven and bake until lightly browned. 
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling:  Grate apple, add to chopped nuts, remaining 3 oz sugar, vanilla and spices.  Mix well.
  • Remove dough from the oven and spread the filling on it.
  • Put back in the oven and bake until done, about 20 - 25 minutes. 


Whipped Shortbread

2 cups salted butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
½ tsp salt
3 cups flour


  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Beat butter for about 3 minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. When thoroughly whipped, turn mixer to low and add in add in icing sugar, salt and flour slowly. Once incorporated turn mixer to medium and beat for 20 seconds.  Mixture may look quite dry.
  • Using the palm of your hand form into golf ball size balls and place them onto the prepared baking sheet.  Do not press down!
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes until edges are slightly golden.
  • Alternative:  Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, remove from oven, press down the dough with a spoon, just a tad to make an indentation, and then add jam or nuts or chocolate chips or what-have-you.  Place back in the oven for an additional 5 or so minutes until edges are golden.


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Chicken Meat Loaf

1.5 lbs minced chicken
2-3 tablespoons semolina
1 egg
2 different coloured peppers -
   chopped
1 onion chopped
Chopped herbs:  dill, parsley,
   lemon balm, what-have-you?
Salt and pepper to taste
Various cheeses in slices or
   grated


  • Preheat oven to 180 C
  • Mix all the above and spread into a bread pan
  • Cover with baking paper or tin foil
  • Cook for about an hour
  • Pull out, cover with your various cheeses and baked for about 15 minutes more, until the cheese is melted.


Cherry Pie Bars

For the Crust & Topping:
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

For the Filling:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour
   cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon
   juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries,
   thawed, drained, and cut in
   half


  • Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper.  Set aside.
  • To make the crust, in a medium bowl combine butter, powdered sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest.  Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to work the mixture into a shaggy dough.  Big bits of butter will remain and the flour won’t be entirely incorporated  That’s perfect.  
  • Separate 1/2 cup of the shaggy dough and place it in a small bowl and add the oats. Work the oats into the mixture to create a crumble.  Set aside.
  • With the remaining dough, continue to stir with the spoon until it forms a homogenous ball of soft dough.  Place the dough in large chunks in the prepared pan.  Add a bit of flour to your fingers and press the dough across the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
  • Bake the dough for 12 to 15 minutes until browned around the edges.  While the crust bakes, assemble the filling.
  • To make the filling, in a medium bowl (used the same bowl you made the crust in) whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice, yogurt, and salt.  Whisk until smooth and well incorporated.
  • Place drained cherry halves across the the surface of the baked crust and slowly pour the lemon filling over the cherries.   Sprinkle the oat topping over the filling.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set through.  Give the pan a light shake and if the mixture is still very wavy in the center allow it to make for a few minutes long. A little jiggle is ok.
  • Cool to room temperature and chill for an hour before slicing.  

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Easy & Pretty Impressive Wine Mushroom Sauce

1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth (or beef bullion cube processed in 1 cup hot water)
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cold water
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Saute mushrooms in butter and oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add red wine and broth and simmer until it reduces a bit - about 5 minutes.  Combine flour and cold water and whisk until smooth.  Stir into the mushroom mixture and simmer for about 1 minutes until thickened.  If too thick, add a little more water.  Add parsley and salt and pepper.


Cassata Loaf

    1 small store bought sponge type cake
    6 tablespoons (your choice) liqueur, divided
    2 cups ricotta cheese
    2 tablespoons whipping cream
    4 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons chopped plain chocolate
    3 tablespoons cut mixed peel

    1/2 cup plain chocolate, chopped
    1 tablespoon butter
    1-1/2 cups icing sugar
    3/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • With a sharp, serrated knife, cut a thin slice from both ends of cake.  Cut cake horizontally into 4 even layers about 1/2 inch thick. Save rest of cake for another time.  Brush each layer with 1 tablespoon liqueur.
  • In medium bowl, beat ricotta cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in cream, sugar, remaining liqueur. With rubber scraper, fold in chocolate pieces and mixed peel.Place bottom layer of cake on flat plate and spread with one-third of ricotta mix. Place second layer of cake evenly on top of first layer and spread with one-third filling. Repeat with third layer of cake and filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
  • Gently press loaf into shape. Refrigerate or freeze at least 2 hours or until ricotta is firm.
  • Meanwhile make the icing. Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler, over hot, not boiling, water. Remove from water. Add icing sugar, hot coffee and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If too soft to spread, refrigerate until of spreading consistency, about 30 minutes. Spread icing over side and top of cake. Refrigerate or freeze until serving time.

Broccoli Chicken Cheddar Bread Sandwiches

Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch nutmeg, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup parmesan, grated

For the bread:
1 pastry dough, thawed if frozen
2 cups chicken, cooked
   and cubed
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into
   small pieces and steamed
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water

Sauce

  • In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
  • When the butter is melted, use a whisk to whisk in the flour. 
  • Whisk until smooth and creamy.
  • Increase the heat to high, and gradually whisk in the milk. 
  • Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, and cook - stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and is very smooth, then stir in the parmesan cheese and remove from heat.


Bread:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F and spread the pastry dough on a prepared baking sheet - making a large rectangle.
  • In a large bowl, toss the chicken, cheddar, and broccoli together with the sauce.  
  • Spread the chicken mixture down the center of the pastry dough, leaving as much dough on the sides as is possible.
  • Fold the sides up over the filling.  You can cut the sides in angled strips and then fold those in a criss-cross pattern to form a braid ~ depends on how much room you have and how fancy you want it to be.
  • Brush the egg wash over the top, and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


Note 1:  I usually cut into four pieces.  One piece per individual to be eaten with a knife and fork.

Note 2:  I wrap the completed pieces first in parchment paper and then tin foil, and they freeze
              remarkably well!  Let them thaw, a couple of minutes in the microwave and they're
              fabulous!



Tortilla Roll Appetizers

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup Sour cream softened
bunch of chopped chives
3 small chopped hot chilies
10 Black olives chopped (optional)
1 cup cheddar cheese finely grated or use a 4 cheese Mexican pre-grated blend
4 large Flour tortillas

  • Mix the first six ingredients well in a mixing bowl.  
  • Spread mixture evenly on tortillas and gently roll them up.  
  • Wrap the rolled up tortillas in damp paper towels and place them in a gallon freezer bag.  
  • Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or as long as 24 hours.  
  • To serve, slice in 1 inch pieces.  
  • Very good dipped in salsa.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Egg and Sausage Pie

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo or other sausage
   (or all ground beef)
1 onion, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach, torn in to
   smaller pieces
6 eggs
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons coconut flour


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees ΒΊF. 
  • Brown ground beef and sausage together in skillet. 
  • Add onion and pepper. 
  • When meat is almost browned, add mushrooms and spinach. 
  • Allow mixture to cool.  (I usually do this part the day before, put everything in the fridge and do the rest just before meal time.)
  • Beat eggs with salt and baking powder. Beat in coconut flour on low speed until it is all blended.
  • Add beef mixture, stir well.
  • Lightly oil cake pan with coconut oil, fill and spread evenly.  
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.  Baking time also depends on what size cake pan you used.  Obviously, a 13 x 8 pan will cook faster than an 8 x 8.  The 45 minutes is based on the larger pan.