Sunday, 30 June 2013

Grain Pilaf

The original recipe for this called for "lentils du Puy".  That is something not available in my small town, but I did have green lentils and they worked well.  Regular green or brown lentils only need a cooking time of approx 10 minutes instead of the suggested 20 in this recipe.  Some olives and Feta make a nice addition to this recipe.   From Food and Drink Winter 2001.

1/2 cup lentils du Puy
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup bulghur
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Combine lentils and water to cover.  Bring to boil on high heat, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add bulghur and quinoa, cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until grains are cooked.

Drain any extra water.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

This recipe has all the great flavour of the original Caesar salad, but is lower in fat.  Low Fat cottage cheese  and low fat mayonnaise is used instead of egg yolks and oil.  It is about 1/4 of the calories.  From Food and Drink Winter 2001.

1/4 cup 1% low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
2 anchovies chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

12 large shrimp, peeled
1 head romaine lettuce, washed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Puree cottage cheese, mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic and olive oil in food processor until smooth.  Stir in Parmesan and pepper.  Season to taste.  If dressing is too thick, thin down with a little warm water.  Toss shrimps with 1/4 cup dressing.  Marinate for 30 minutes.  Tear romaine leaves removing the thickest part of the stem.  Toss with remaining dressing.
  2. Preheat broiler or grill pan on medium high heat.  Drain shrimps and broil or grill about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until pink and slightly curled.  Divide salad among 4 plates and top each salad with 3 shrimp.  Garnish with parsley.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Meat Loaf Classic

This is so easy and a family pleaser!  Serve with a salad or some mashed potatoes depending on your preference.

700g Ground Beef
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp Dry onion flakes
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
4 tbsp ketchup

Put first 9 ingredients into large bowl.  Mix well.  Pack half into loaf pan 9 x 5 x 3 inches.

Spread grated cheese over meat.
Put second half of meat mixture over cheese.  Flatten top.

Spread ketchup over top of loaf.

Bake uncovered in 350F oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  Serves 6 to 8.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Gratin of Potatoes, Shallots and Sage

Another great recipe from Food and Drink Holiday 2000.  These are very rich.

1.5 kg (3 lbs) Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup butter
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups milk
6 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup sliced fresh sage
4 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Thinly slice potatoes.  Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  2. Combine cream, milk, shallots, sage and garlic in pot.  Bring to boil.  Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.  Strain, reserving both vegetables and liquid separately.
  3. Make a single layer of potatoes in dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle over some shallot mixture.  Repeat layers, seasoning and sprinkling on vegetables until all potatoes are used up.  Pour over liquid.  Press potatoes down to make sure the liquid comes right to top.  If not add more cream.  Dot with butter.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and liquid is absorbed.
serves 8

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Creamy Caramelized Onions on Sweet Potato Scones

From Food and Drink 2000, I loved the flavour of these onions and they would work nicely with a bbq'd steak.  Here on the scones though their flavour is front and centre.

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
1,2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or a pinch dried
1 tbsp melted butter
vegetable oil for frying

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
6 cups thinly sliced Spanish Onions or Sweet Onions
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt and ground pepper
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
20 sage leaves, slivered

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Brush potato with oil and seasonings.  roast for 40 to 50 minutes or until potato is soft.  Cool, peel and mash potato.
  2. Measure out 1 cup potato into a bowl.   Combine with flour, rosemary, butter, salt and pepper to form a soft dough.
  3. On a floured board, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick.  Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut out scones. Re-roll leftover pastry.  Brush oil on skillet over medium low heat.  Cook scones in batches for about 2 minutes per side or until flecked with brown and cooked in the centre.  Drain on paper towels.   Serve hot or at room temperature.
  4. For onions, heat oil and butter on medium heat until butter sizzles.  Add onions and saute for 3 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  5. Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. 
  6. Stir in vinegar, stock and whipping cream.  Raise heat and reduce until onions become a thick mass, about 4 minutes.  Stir in sage.  Season to taste.  Cool.
  7. Top the scones with the caramelized onions

Friday, 7 June 2013

Easy Eggnog

I know this is out of season but it is too good not to share!  The eggs are cooked so salmonella is not an issue here and the recipe is super easy.  The better the rum, brandy and ice cream the better the eggnog.  From Food and Drink 2000.

3 large eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup rum
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups milk
Ground nutmeg

  1. Place a bowl over a pot of water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl.  Bring to simmer.  Add eggs and sugar and beat over the heat until light and fluffy.  Whisk in brandy and rum, continuing to whisk until mixture has tripled in volume.
  2. Remove from heat, cool, then beat in ice cream and milk.  Pour into serving pitcher and chill until needed.  Serve each glass dusted with nutmeg.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Retro Chocolate Cream Ice Box Cake

An old fashioned dessert.  The cookies are great and if you have the time worth making.  If you are short on time just buy some.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

3 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 - 425 g packages frozen raspberries in syrup
1/2 cup sweet wine or Port


  1. With an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  eat in egg until well incorporated.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt.  Stir into creamed mixture.
  2. Divide dough in half and form two long square shaped logs about 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.  Slice chilled dough into 1/8 inch slices.  Lay on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are dry but still slightly pliable.  Cool on racks.  Store in airtight containers until needed.
To Make Cake
  1. Whip whipping cream with sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold in chocolate.  Place cookies on serving platter.  Make two rows of 6 cookies each, touching each other.  Slather cookies with about 3/4 cup cream mixture.  Top with second row of cookies and cover with cream.  Repeat until you have five layers of cream and six layers of cookies, finishing with a cookie layer.  Cover the top and sides of cake with remaining cream mixture.  Chill overnight.
  2. To make sauce sauce, combine raspberries with their syrup and wine in a small pot on medium heat.  Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes.  Puree in a food processor or blender.  Strain sauce pushing raspberries through the sieve leaving behind the seeds.  Cool.
  3. To serve, drizzle raspberry sauce on individual plates and top with a cake slice.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Roasted Chicken with Green Olives, Orange and Lemon

A wonderful Mediterranean flavour to this recipe.  From Food and Drink 2001

One 2.5 kg chicken
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 oranges
1 lemon
1 head garlic
5 sprigs thyme
5 sprigs rosemary
2 tsp herbes de provence
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry vermouth
18 large pitted green olives, washed
2 tsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Wash and dry the chicken, brush with butter and season.  Cut one orange and lemon in half.  Squeeze and reserve juice and halves.  Break garlic into individual cloves.  Place inside chicken with thyme, rosemary and one orange and lemon half.  Tie the legs and tail together and tuck neck flap under the wings.  Sprinkle with herbes de Provence and season.
  2. Place chicken on its side in roasting pan, using remaining orange and lemon halves to support it.  Pour juice over chicken, add 1 cup water to pan and roast 20 minutes.  Turn chicken on to other side and roast another 20 minutes.  Turn on to its back, baste and add more water to pan if necessary.  There should always be some liquid at bottom of pan.  Reduce oven temperature to 350F and continue to roast for one to one and a half hours, basting occasionally, until instant read thermometer reads 180F when inserted to thigh.
  3. Remove chicken from pan, place breast side down on warmed serving dish.  Cover loosely with foil and place in warm place for 15 minutes.  Skim liquid in roasting pan to remove fat.  Strain into saucepan and add the juice of the two remaining oranges, and vermouth.  Cut olives in half and add to the saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water and whisk into sauce.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Carve chicken and serve with sauce.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Grand Marnier Cafe

Simple and wonderful!

1 oz Grand Marnier
1 cup brewed Coffee

Top with whipped cream


Monday, 3 June 2013


This is such a yummy dessert it almost feels like cheating that it is so easy to make.  Make sure you roll the phyllo pastry nice and thin.  From Food and Drink Spring 2001.

1 pkg (397g) frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/4 cup cherry jam

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 400f.
  2. Divide pastry into two pieces.  On a floured board, roll each pastry out into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle.  Prick with a fork.  Place on separate cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is a pale gold.  Reverse cookie sheets halfway through baking time.  Remove pastry from cookie sheets and place on a rack to cool.
  3. Carefully spread jam over one sheet of pastry.  Top with second sheet.  Mix together icing sugar, water and lemon juice until consistency is just spreadable.  Spread over top of pastry.  Leave on counter, covered, overnight to mellow.  Cut into strips 2 x 1 inch long or cut into triangles.
Makes about 40 pieces.