Thursday, 14 December 2017

Baked Potato with Corn, Pepper and Bacon

A great side dish to any meal.  The crisp bacon pairs beautifully with the corn and pepper for a decadent topping.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Autumn 2017.

4 large baking potatoes (Red if you are able to get them)
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
1 tbsp chopped thyme or oregano
2 tbsp butter

  • Preheat oven to 350F and arrange rack in centre.
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil; season to taste with salt and pepper (I omit the salt entirely). Place directly on rack and bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile cook bacon in a large skillet over medium low heat until lightly crisped, about 8 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set bacon aside.  Measure out 1/4 cup drippings and return to pan; discard excess.
  • Add garlic and corn to skillet, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Stir in roasted pepper, thyme and reserved bacon; cook an additional 4 minutes, stirring often, or until corn is tender.  Remove from heat, add butter and stir until melted.
  • Split top of potatoes and fluff flesh with a fork; divide corn mixture between potatoes.
Serves 4

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal seems more like a treat than a breakfast!  This recipe calls for apple but you could substitute it with any fruit.  I have used blueberries and I think strawberries would also work well.

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 cups fat free milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large apple, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower kernels or pepitas

  • Preheat oven to 350F.  In large bowl, mix first five ingredients.  In small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, syrup, oil and vanilla until blended; stir into dry ingredients.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in apple.
  • Transfer to an 11x7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with sunflower kernels.  Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. 
8 servings

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Roasted Pepper, Bacon and Egg Muffins

A quick recipe for breakfast (or breakfast for dinner).

1/2 medium sweet red pepper
1/2 cup sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp butter
6 large eggs
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp pepper
2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 whole wheat English Muffins, split and toasted

  • Remove and discard seeds from pepper half.  Place cut side down on baking sheet.  Broil 4 inches from the heat until the skin blisters, about 6 minutes.  Immediately place pepper half in small bowl; cover and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.  Peel off and discard charred skin; chop pepper.
  • In small skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender.  In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and pepper.  Pour into pan.  Add bacon and chopped pepper; cook and stir over medium heat until eggs are completely set.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until cheese is melted.  Spoon onto English muffins.  Serve immediately.
Serves 2

Friday, 8 December 2017

Indian Iced Chai

I made 1/2 of this recipe but if you have a group over for the holidays this would be a great iced tea cocktail to enjoy.  Based on a recipe in Food and Drink Spring 2016

3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
8 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves, crushed
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 cups cold milk
14 Chai tea bags
1 cup white rum

Garnish: Cinnamon Sticks

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and honey to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey.  Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods and black pepper.  Cool mixture to room temperature and strain into a glass pitcher and stir to combine.  Refrigerate overnight.
  • Next morning remove the tea bags, squeeze them over the pitcher and discard.  When ready to serve, stir in the rum.  Add ice and stir to combine.  Garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Serves 8 to 10.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Blueberry Chai

A wonderful warm drink for a cold night.

1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Amaretto
1/4 oz fresh orange juice
3 1/2 oz Chai Tea
Orange wheel

Pour brandy, Cointreau, amaretto and orange juice into a warm brandy snifter  Fill to taste with hot tea.  Garnish with orange wheel and blackberries.

Makes 1 drink

Monday, 4 December 2017

Matcha Mint Profiteroles

Matcha brings this recipe to a different level.  This is from Food and Drink Spring 2016.

1 cup (250 mL) water
⅓ cup (80 mL) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
4 eggs

1¼ cups (310 mL) 35% whipping cream
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) matcha green tea
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh mint
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

1 tbsp (15 mL) coarse sugar
Pinch of matcha green tea
Mint sprigs
1 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2 Combine water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add flour all at once. With a wooden spoon, stir until incorporated. Cook, stirring vigorously, for about 2 minutes or until a ball of dough forms and comes away from the sides of the pan and a film covers the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.

3 With wooden spoon, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, stirring vigorously until incorporated and until dough is smooth, paste-like and shiny. (Alternatively, transfer dough to a warmed bowl of a stand mixer and beat with paddle attachment to incorporate eggs.)

4 Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a piping bag fitted with a ½‑inch (1-cm) tip, pipe mounds about 1½ inches (4 cm) in size, onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart, to make about 24 profiteroles. With moistened fingers, smooth surface. If you don’t have a piping bag, use moist spoons to drop mounds of dough onto sheets.

5 Bake in top and bottom thirds of the oven for about 20 minutes, switching the position of the baking sheets on oven racks halfway through, until puffed and golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn oven off. Remove baking sheets from oven. With the tip of a paring knife, poke a slit in the side of each profiterole. Return to oven; let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Profiteroles can be stored in a cookie tin at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

6 For custard, heat ¾ cup (175 mL) of the cream in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge. Whisk together sugar and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until well blended. Whisk in flour. Remove cream from heat and whisk in matcha. Gradually pour hot cream mixture into egg mixture while whisking constantly. Return to pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes or just until thick. Pour into a clean shallow bowl and stir in mint and vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled, or for up to 1 day.

7 Whip remaining ½ cup (125 mL) cream in a chilled bowl until stiff and fold into custard until almost blended, leaving a few white streaks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until set, or for up to 12 hours.

8 To serve, combine coarse sugar and matcha in a small bowl, stirring until sugar is partially coated with matcha. Cut profiteroles in half crosswise, almost, but not all the way through. Brush tops lightly with water. Spoon the filling into profiteroles and replace lid. Place 3 on each serving plate, sprinkle with matcha sugar and garnish with mint.
Serves 8

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Rhubarb and Ricotta Tart

An elegant dessert that is tangy and rich.  From Food and Drink Spring 2016

1 lb (500 g) fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed
½ cup (125 mL) water
¼ vanilla bean
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar, plus more for crust
1 cup (250 mL) full-fat ricotta
1 large egg, beaten, 2 tsp (10 mL) set aside to brush crust
6 tbsp (90 mL) icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest
Frozen pre-rolled puff pastry, a 10-inch (25-cm) square, thawed, or ½ lb (250 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled into 10-inch (25-cm) square
1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°F).

2 Cut rhubarb into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths. Arrange in a single layer inside a large roasting pan, convex side up. Pour water into pan. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl with granulated sugar. Mix thoroughly and sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake until the tip of paring knife slides in easily but the rhubarb still holds its shape, 10 to 12 minutes. (Watch carefully—it’s a short window between perfect and mush.) Remove from oven and cool. Carefully transfer rhubarb to parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour juices into a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat; reduce until syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

3 In a medium bowl, beat ricotta, egg, icing sugar and orange zest. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°F).

5 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place rolled puff pastry on sheet. With the tip of a pairing knife, score a ¾-inch (2-cm) border. Brush border with reserved beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Spread ricotta mixture over tart, staying within border. Arrange cooked rhubarb overtop, trimming pieces to fit. (There will likely be more rhubarb than you need.) Bake on bottom shelf until puffed and brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Move tart to upper shelf if crust is browning too quickly on bottom. If rhubarb is weeping a lot of liquid during baking, dab overflow with paper towel so crust doesn’t get soggy.) Remove from oven and cool completely. Brush rhubarb generously with reserved syrup and serve at room temperature.
Serves 6