Thursday, 28 March 2013

Chicken Parmigiano Casserole with Fresh Basil

Use fresh herbs whenever possible.  They make a world of difference!  From Food and Drink Winter 2001

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
1 carrot, very finely grated
28 oz can diced tomatoes (796 ml)
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 to 6 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 cups fresh Italian or French bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
8 oz (250 g) mild provolone cheese, sliced or grated

  1. To make sauce, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.   Saute 2 or 3 minutes or until fragrant.  Add red pepper, carrot and tomatoes, including juice.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Partially cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in sugar, basil and black pepper.  Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
  2. Remove fillets from chicken breasts.  Place each piece of chicken, including fillets, between pieces of plastic wrap or inside a heavy plastic bag.  Flatten to 1/2 inch thick using a flat mallet.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Stir flour with salt.  Lightly flour 3 to 4 pieces chicken at a time.  Saute 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Chicken may not be fully cooked.  Remove and repeat with remaining chicken adding more oil as needed.  Spoon some of the tomato sauce into hot frying pan to deglaze.  Stir back into sauce in pot.
  3. Stir garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl.  Add bread crumbs, half of grated Parmesan and chopped basil.   Toss crumbs until coated.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or coat with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup of sauce in bottom.  Arrange chicken in a single layer, overlapping pieces as needed.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and provolone cheeses.  Spoon another cup of sauce over top.  Sprinkle evenly with crumbs.  You may refrigerate covered casserole and remaining sauce for several hours if making ahead.
  5. Bake uncovered in centre of oven for 40 to 45 minutes (10 minutes longer if casserole has been refrigerated) or until bubbly and top is golden brown.  Reheat remaining sauce.  Place a small amount of sauce on warmed serving plate.  Top with a portion of casserole.  Pass remaining sauce.
Serves 8

Monday, 25 March 2013

Frangelico Hot Chocolate

A great combination…Amaretto is nice also.

1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or 1 square semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 to 3 tsp Frangelico

Whipping Cream
Cocoa powder

  1. Place milk and sugar in a saucepan and heat until piping hot.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted.
  2. Pour into a large mug, add the Frangelico to taste and top with whipped cream.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Serves 1

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bailey's Creamy Chocolate Pudding

An easy dessert that takes very little time this recipe combines two of my favourites…chocolate and Bailey's!  Use the best chocolate you can get and vary it from a dark bittersweet to a creamy milk chocolate.  This is from Food and Drink Winter 2001

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 cup light or whipping cream
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
1 bar (85g) chocolate or 3 squares sweet chocolate, chopped

Cocoa powder
Grated chocolate or chocolate curls
Whipped cream, optional

  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.  Pour in milk and whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch.  Whisk in cream and egg yolk.  Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, for about 4 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil and thickens.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in Bailey's.  Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  3. Pour pudding into four individual ramekins or serving dishes.  Let cool slightly then cover surfaces with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate for two hours or until chilled.
  4. To serve, sprinkle with cocoa powder and garnish with chocolate.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Hot and Sweet Chicken Wings

We don't indulge in chicken wings often, but this is an easy recipe that was enjoyed by all.  The recipe is for the grill…but I "chickened" out and put them in the oven…the weather here right now is decidedly NOT conducive to barbecuing.  If you choose the oven, just line a baking pan with foil and place in a 425F oven for approx. 20 minutes - sauce and all.  The recipe also calls for Ancho chili powder - which I could not find in my little town.  I just used regular chili powder but if I ever find Ancho chili powder I will give it a whirl and let you know how it goes.  If you want to add a little heat to these add 1 tsp Asian Hot Sauce.  If you are barbecuing these don't add the sauce too early or it will burn (yuk).   From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

2 kg chicken wings, separated, wing tip discarded
 **There are 2 methods for preparing chicken wings for the grill or for roasting.
     1.  Cut off wing tips and separate drumettes and wing.  This is the easier method
     2.  Twist wint tip under wing and grill the wing and drumette together.  this takes a little longer and  although they look beautiful, it is a little harder to get them cooked evenly.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Toss chicken wings with oil, salt and pepper.  Reserve.
  3. Combine ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, garlic ginger and chili powder in a small pot over high heat.  Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat and stir in oil.  Place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Season chicken wings with additional salt, pepper and chili powder to taste.  Brush with additional vegetable oil.  Place chicken wings on grill and grill for 3 minutes, turn over and grill another 3 minutes.  Brush liberally with sauce and turn over again.  Repeat, turning and brushing with sauce every 3 minutes or until chicken wings are cooked through, about 12 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the wings.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Pork Souvlaki

I really like the yogurt dip with this recipe.  Souvlaki means little skewers in Greek and in Greek cooking refers to skewered meats, typically chicken, pork, lamb, beef or veal.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped garlic
750 g pork tenderloin, cut in 1 inch cubes

Yogurt Sauce
2 cups plain yogurt, drained to yield 1 cup thick yogurt ( I just used 1 cup Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup grated cucumber, liquid squeezed out
3 tbsp chopped green onion
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp chopped garlic
 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic in a bowl.  Add pork and toss to coat.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Divide pork between 4 skewers or 8 rosemary spears and set aside.
  2. Combine yogurt, grated cucumber, green onion, coriander, garlic, vinegar and olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat grill to high
  4. Place pork skewers on grill and grill all four sides for 2 to 3 minutes a side, 8 to 12 minutes total, or until pork is cooked through with just a tinge of pink in the centre.  Serve with warmed pita breads and yogurt sauce.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Mustard Mint Grilled Chicken with Tomato Dressing

You just can't beat grilled Chicken…hopefully old man winter will go away soon so BBQing is more fun.  This is  a great recipe from Food & Drink 2011

1/3 cup roughly chopped lime (skin on)
1/4 cup mustard
1 cup mint, basil or coriander leaves
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Tomato Dressing
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

1 head Boston Lettuce
2 Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp slivered mint

  1. Place lime, mustard, mint, garlic, soy sauce and oil in a food processor and process until slightly chunky.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with marinade.  Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  2. Place tomato, lemon juice, sugar and oil in a food processor or mini chop (or blender).  Process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare a serving platter by lining it with Boston lettuce.  Scatter onions, cucumber and 1/4 cup mint over lettuce.  Pour over half of dressing.
  4. Preheat grill to medium.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper.  Place on grill, skin side down, close lid and grill for 5 minutes, then turn chicken over and grill another 8 to 10 minutes or until juices run clear.
  6. Place chicken on a board and slice into thick slices or leave whole.  Add to platter and sprinkle everything with remaining dressing and 2 tbsp slivered mint.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Oatmeal and Carrot Muffins


1 cup buttermilk (I use 1% milk soured with vinegar)
1 cup quick cooking oats (not instant)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
grated rind of 1 orange
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Pour buttermilk over oats in a bowl.  Add egg, sugar, butter, carrots, vanilla and orange rind.  Mix thoroughly.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.   Add to oat mixture, stirring just until moistened.  Stir in nuts or chocolate chips.  Fill greased muffin cups two thirds full.  Bake until browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Garden Vegetable Platter

1 lb fresh asparagus
1 lb yellow squash, peeled and cut into 2 cm slices
1 medium zucchini, cut into strips
3 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
1 red pepper cut into slices
salt and pepper to taste

Wash asparagus and snap off ends.  Place all vegetables on a cookie tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Place in 400F oven and roast for 10 minutes, flip and roast for another 5 minutes or until done.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Creamy Crab Dip

Serve with chopped veggies or crispy pita chips.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp Indian Masala
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 6oz can white crabmeat, drained and picked over
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped red bell pepper
Freshly ground pepper

  • In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, seasoning and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Add crabmeat, green onions and bell pepper; stir until ingredients are well combined.  Season to taste with pepper.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mushroom and Ricotta Crostini

Choose a mix of mushrooms for this to give it some flavour!  This is so easy.. vary the flavour by switching up your bread or the type of pesto.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove, pushed through a press
5 mushrooms, chopped
Baguette, whole grain, sliced
3 tbsp ricotta cheese
4 tsp basil pesto

  1. Saute mushrooms with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic until mushrooms are slightly crispy.  
  2. Toast baguette slices
  3. Spread each slice with some Ricotta, then pesto then mushrooms

Friday, 15 March 2013

Sticky Hoisin Wings

A great Asian inspired recipe for chicken wings.  From Food and Drink 2002.

1 kg chicken wings
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp finely chopped peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  For easy cleanup, line a shallow baking sheet with foil.  Set a large greased cookie cooling rack over baking sheet.  Cut and discard wing tips, then separate wings at joint.
  2. In a large bowl, stir hoisin with vinegar, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic until well mixed.  Add wings and toss to coat.  Place wings, skin side up on cooling rack.  Wings can be placed close together but they should be in a single layer, use two baking sheets if necessary.  Spoon any sauce left in the bowl over wings.
  3. Bake uncovered in centre of oven for 20 minutes.  Increase heat to 450F and continue to bake uncovered until wings are richly glazed, about 10 minutes.
Serves 6

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Onion Soup with Port

I love Onion Soup!  This is a nice variation…if you don't have Port a Red Wine will suffice.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
3 onions, chopped
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup port or red wine
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper
8 slices crusty white bread toasted (use a good quality french bread or a baguette)
1 cup shredded Emmenthal or Swiss cheese (for something different get a smoked cheese)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil and butter in heavy bottomed saucepan.  Saute onions; sprinkle with flour.  Stir in port; simmer to reduce volume by half.  Stir in tomato paste.  Gradually stir in broth; add salt and pepper.  Heat to boil; simmer for 20 min.  Divide mixture among 4 oven proof bowls.  Top each with 2 slices bread and 1/4 cup shredded Emmenthal cheese.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Place under preheated broiler until cheese is golden brown.  Serves 4.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Adult Ice Cream Sundae for Two

Make this sundae to your own taste…the recipe called for coffee ice cream (which I think would be wonderful) however they were out of that at my local grocery store so I got a creme brulee instead.  The butterscotch sauce is best if slightly warm.

1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp toasted chopped pecans (almonds are also very good)

1/2 cup coarsely crumbled meringue pieces (or use a biscotti cookie)
Coffee ice cream …or your favourite
1/2 cup whipping cream whipped
Fresh Berries for garnish

  1. Place butter, corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan.  Heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, add cream, then bring to a boil.  Boil 1 minute.  Add pecans and pour into a pitcher and allow to cool.  Keep refrigerated, but use at room temperature.  Makes about 1 cup.
  2. Take a large bowl or tall glass.  Layer half the meringue pieces in the base.  Top with scoops of ice cream and butterscotch sauce.  Repeat, then top with cream and fresh berries.  Serve with two parfait spoons.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tipsy Laird

This is a Scottish trifle flavoured with Drambuie.  It is rich and creamy and worth the extra work.  Take the time to make the spongecake and especially the Ratafia biscuits.  The Creme anglais is easy and is best home made.

9 inch sponge cake
1/2 cup raspberry jam, warmed
1 cup crumbled ratafia biscuits
1/2 cup Drambuie
2 cups creme anglaise

1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp Drambuie
1/4 cup slivered almonds

  1. Dice sponge cake into 2 inch cubes.  Use half the cubes to fill the base of an 8 cup glass bowl.  Top with raspberry jam and half the crumbled cookies.  Add the remaining cake and the remaining ratafia biscuits.
  2. Pour Drambuie over cake mixture.  Spoon over creme anglaise.  Chill.
  3. For garnish; place cream in bowl and stir in Drambuie.  Whisk with electric beaters until cream holds soft peaks.  Spoon over trifle.   Decorate with slivered almonds.
Sponge Cake

3 eggs separated
Pinch Salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper.  Butter and sugar the sides.  Stir together egg yolks, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.  Reserve remaining 1/4 cup sugar for the egg whites. Beat mixture with electric beaters until it triples in volume.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, slowly beating in reserved sugar a tablespoon at a time.  The mixture will hold stiff peaks and be thick and glossy when the beater is removed.
  4. Stir in one quarter of egg whites into yolk mixture to lighten it.  Fold in half of flour, remaining egg whites, then remaining flour.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool right side up on the rack.  When cool, cut into 2 inch cubes.
Makes 6 cups sponge cubes

Ratafia Biscuits

A nutty crisp cookie, easy to make and easy to eat!

1 cup ground almonds
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 drop almond extract

  1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Combine almonds, egg whites, sugar, flour and extract in a bowl.  Whisk with electric beaters until thick and slightly pasty.
  3. Drop by 1 tbsp measures onto cookie sheet.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a pale gold.  Cool on a rack.  The cookies will become crisp as they cool.
Makes about 15  cookies

Creme Anglaise

Creme anglaise is a pouring custard frequently served in Britain over tarts and with fruit.  This version is slightly thicker but is still runny.  It smothers the cake and jam for wonderful flavour.

2 cups milk or 10% cream
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Heat milk in pot over medium heat until hot.  In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together until well combined.  Slowly beat in the warm milk.
  2. Transfer back to pot and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of spoon or spatula, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.  Sprinkle sugar lightly over top to prevent a skin from forming.  Cool then chill.
Makes 2 cups

Friday, 8 March 2013

Roast Sirloin of Beef

This is a recipe for a Robbie Burns dinner.  The sirloin is a famous Scottish roast left on the bone.  A New York strip with the fillet tucked underneath - it is actually a very large porterhouse steak.  Boneless New York strip will work as well.  Use an instant read thermometer because size and thickness vary so much.  Serve a crisp green vegetable with the main course.  From Food and Drink Winter 2002

3.5 kg sirloin roast
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp dry mustard
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp black pepper
Salt to taste

1 tbsp flour
3 cups beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Score fat on top of roast.  Combine oil, flour, mustards, garlic, black pepper and salt.  Rub over roast.  Marinate for 1 to 4 hours refrigerated.
  2. Preheat oven to 500F.  Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan.  Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to 350F and roast another 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 120F for rare or 140F for medium rare. Let rest for 15 minutes while making the gravy.
  4. Drain fat from pan, leaving 1 tbsp.  Stir flour into the pan and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Whisk in stock and tomato paste.  Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Season to taste.
  5. Slip a sharp knife along the bone and remove the sirloin.  Turn roast over and carve out fillet.  Slice sirloin and fillet into slices, serving some of each cut to each guest.  Serve with gravy and horseradish.
Serves 8

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Goat Cheese, Dill and Lemon Spread with Lavash

A simple and delicious dip!  Lavash is a flat cracker like bread but you can use any crisp cracker.  If you make the dip ahead of time just cover and refrigerate, it will keep for a couple of days.  From Food and Drink Winter 2002.

205 G plain creamy goat cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 larg garlic clove, minced
finely grated peel of 1 lemon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill

Dill sprigs or lemon peel
Lavash, broken into large pieces

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat goat cheese with yogurt, garlic, lemon peel and pepper until well combined.  Stir in dill.  Scrape into a serving bowl.  Garnish with sprigs of dill or lemon peel.  Serve with lavash.

Makes 1 cup

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Mediterranean Veal Chops

Not really a good one for the kids but I love the flavour of artichoke and olives!   Braising blade chops in wine makes them delicious and tender.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 veal blade chops
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced lengthwise
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 can artichokes, drained and halved
1 each sweet red and yellow pepper, cut in strips
Black olives

Season chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  In skillet, heat half of oil over medium heat; brown one chop for about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer to large shallow baking dish.  Repeat with remaining oil and veal chop.  Add garlic, onions mushrooms, basil and thyme to skillet and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is released from mushrooms and they start to brown.  Pour in wine and bring to bil, scraping any brown bits stuck to pan.  Spread mushroom mixture over chops.  Bake in 325F oven for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle artichokes and sweet peppers over top; baste with juices.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer until veal is fork tender.  Cut meat from bones and serve with vegetables and pan juices.  Sprinkle each serving with black olives if desired.  Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Individual Coconut Cream Pies

This is made in two 4-inch rings.  If you don't have these rings, you can still make the pies.  Draw two 4 inch circles on parchment paper, then place paper on a baking sheet and use as a guide to form the bases of the pies.  Once baked and cool, wrap a double thickness 1 1/2 inch parchment strip around the base and secure with tape or a paper clip.  From Food and Drink 2002.

1/2 cup graham crumbs
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 egg yolks
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp coconut liquor, optional
1/4 cup toasted coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place two 4 inch rings on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Mix crumbs, butter and ginger together.  Place half the mixture into each ring and press down to form a base.  Bake 10 minutes.
  2. Leave rings on baking sheet and when cool, line each ring with a strip of parchment paper.  Secure end of strip with a piece of tape.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar together until light and sugar is dissolved.  Add cornstarch and vanilla.  Whisk until well mixed.  In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil.
  4. Gradually pour hot coconut milk onto egg mixture.  Whisking continually.  When completely mixed pour back into saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking.  Boil for 1 minute then divide between prepared rings. Smooth top, then cover by pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface.  Chill.
  5. Whip the cream with remaining sugar and liquor, if using, until stiff.  Top tarts with cream and toast coconut.  Chill until ready to serve.
  6. To serve, place on plates using a spatula.  Remove rings and parchment.
Serves 2

Monday, 4 March 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Pudding

This is a rich flavourful dessert.  I couldn't find a brioche so I substituted an egg bread and it came out just fine.  From Food and Drink Winter 2002.

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 oz (30 g) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 slices brioche or egg bread, cubed
2 tbsp chopped, toasted hazelnuts

1/3 cup whipping cream
2 oz (60g) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

  1. Butter two 1 cup ramekins.  Bring milk and cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir to melt chocolate.
  2. Whisk eggs and sugar together, gradually whisk in chocolate mixture.  Divide bread and hazelnuts between prepared ramekins.  Pour over chocolate mixture, let sit at least 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.  Bring the cream for the sauce to a boil in a small pan, add chocolate and stir until melted.  Pour into pitcher.
  4. Take baking dish, large enough to hold the two ramekins.  Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the pudding.  Serve pudding with sauce on the side.
Serves 2

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Onion Bourbon Chili Sauce

This sauce varies greatly in heat depending on the chili powder you use.  If you like it hot add some cayenne.  This sauce works well for meatloaf, baked chicken, spareribs or on a hamburger. Cooking onions are your best choice here.  From Food and Drink 2002

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped cooking onions
1 tsp chopped garlic
One 28 oz (798 ml) can pureed tomatoes
1/4 cup brown sugar
Grated rind and jucie of 1 lime
1/2 cup bourbon
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano

Place all ingredients in pot on medium heat.  Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes or until thickened.

Makes about 3 cups.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Onion Confit Tarts

These onions caramelize beautifully.  They taste wonderful on puff pastry but if you want to be calorie wise try serving on toasted whole grain bread or pita.  You can use any sweet onion available if you have a hard time finding Vidalia.  From Food and Drink 2002.

1 - 397 g package frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cups Vidalia onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup red wine
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cut puff pastry in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out each rectangle into a thin rectangle, approximately 11 x 12 inches in size.  Cut 3 inch circles to fit into small muffin or tart tins.  Press into tins, prick and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add onions and toss together for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add wine, sugar and stock.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook onions for 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are very soft and liquid has almost evaporated.  Add thyme, season well with salt and pepper and add cream.  Cook together for 5 minutes longer or until onions are a creamy mass.  Stir in parsley.
  4. Remove tart shells from refrigerator and fill each with about 1 tbsp onion mixture.  Sprinkle top of each tart with 1 tsp Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is crisp and onions are heated through.