Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Spicy Sausage Puffs

These are easy and fun to make, I used a regular sausage..cooked and crumbled..instead of the Chorizo.  I put them on top of some baked beans for the family and they were devoured.  Really they are supposed to be appetizers though..from Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 fresh chorizo sausages (about 300 g)
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup chopped parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease two baking sheets.  Remove sausage meat from its casings.  Place in skillet over medium high heat and brown.  Stir to break up into small pieces.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add water, butter and salt.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  The butter should melt before the water boils.  Remove from heat and add all the flour at once.  Return to heat, stirring until mixture forms a smooth ball and comes away from the sides of the pan.  This should take 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Place mixture in food processor with plastic blade.  Process 15 seconds.  Add eggs and process 40 seconds.  Scrape down sides, add sausage and parsley and process another 5 seconds or until mixed.
  4. Using a wet spoon, drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and cooked inside - they should be moist but not wet inside.  Serve warm.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Pie with Cheddar Pastry

Lots of veggies and fantastic flavour.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

8 cups 1/2 inch cubes butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
1 large banana shallot, finely chopped (I could not find a banana shallot so I just used two regular ones)
4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (14g) dried porcini mushrooms
250 g sliced brown mushrooms
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
2/3 cup crumbled soft goat cheese

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 cup each cold unsalted butter and lard, cubed
1 1/3 cups shredded extra old cheddar cheese
1/3 cup ice water
1 tbsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1 egg
1 tbsp cold water

  1. For filling, preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large shallow roasting pan, toss squash, shallot and garlic cloves with 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Roast, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves out of skins and mash smoothly.  Add garlic to squash and toss well.
  4. Combine porcini mushrooms and 1 cup water in a 2 cup glass measure.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and pierce plastic wrap in several places with the point of a knife.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove mushrooms, squeezing out and discarding soaking liquid.  Rinse and drain mushrooms, then chop finely.
  5. IN a medium nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium high heat.  Add brown and porcini mushrooms and remaining salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until tender.  Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Boil stock until it has almost completely evaporated.
  6. Scrape mushroom mixture into a large bowl.  Stir in squash mixture and sage and let cool completely.  Stir in goat cheese.  Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  If you're not completing the pie immediately, cover and refrigerate the filling until ready to proceed, removing it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before assembling the pie.
  7. For cheddar pastry, pulse flour, paprika and salt in a food processor until combined.  Add butter and lard and pulse 3 or 4 times just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add cheese and pulse just until combines.  (I just do this by hand with a pastry cutter)
  8. In a small bowl, stir together water and vinegar.  With motor running, add to food processor through feed tube and process just until dough holds together, adding a little more ice water if necessary.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it forms a ball.  Cut dough in half and pat out each piece to a disc.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of pastry to a 12 inch round.  Carefully roll pastry around rolling pin and transfer to a large lightly greased baking sheet.  Spoon butternut squash mixture onto pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border around edge.
  11. In a small bowl, beat together egg and water to make egg wash.  Brush edges of pastry on baking sheet with egg wash.  Roll out second piece of pastry to 12 inch round.  Carefully roll pastry around rolling pin and transfer to top of pie.  Seal edges well and trim them, reserving trimmings. Crimp edges decoratively.  Cut 2 or 3 holes in top of pie for steam to escape.  Cut decorative shapes from reserved trimmings and use to decorate top of pie, using egg wash to make them adhere.  Brush top of pie with egg wash.
  12. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Serves 6 to 8

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Sour Cream Fudge Layer Cake with Chocolate Rum Frosting

This is a delightful, rich, moist cake.  Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or on its own.  From Food and Drink Winter 2001.  I made mine with rum but the Kahlua or even an amaretto would be nice.

2/3 cup strong coffee
4 squares, 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup dark rum or Kahlua
1 cup regular sour cream
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp dark rum or Kahlua
1 to 2 tbsp sour cream or milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter pans well and dust with cocoa power, shaking out excess.
  2. Combine coffee and chopped chocolate in a large glass bowl and microwave at High for 1 to 2 minutes or until piping hot and chocolate is melted.  Whisk in rum until smooth.  Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Place sour cream in a bowl and stir in baking soda and salt.
  4. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.  Beat in chocolate mixture until smooth.  Beat in half the flour alternately with half the sour cream mixture, beat in remaining flour and sour cream mixture to make a smooth batter.  Spread evenly in prepared pans.
  5. Bake on rack in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake feels firm in the centre and edges begin to pull away from sides.  Leave in pans for 5 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool.  Cake layers can be wrapped well in plastic wrap, then foil and frozen for up to 1 month.
  6. For frosting, sift icing sugar and cocoa powder together through a fine sieve into a large bowl.  Beat in butter and rum using an electric mixer, starting at a slow speed, until smooth.  Beat in enough sour cream to make a smooth spreadable frosting.
  7. Arrange one cake layer on a large plate and spread with some of the frosting.  Top with second cake and spread tops and sides with remaining frosting.
Serves 8

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Grilled Beef with Red Curry Coulis

I really enjoyed the flavour in the sauce and glaze.  Make sure you buy a good quality steak.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2003
One 14 oz (398 ml) can coconut milk
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp grated lime rind
2 tbsp finely chopped lemon grass (or rosemary if you can't find lemon grass)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped coriander

1/2 tsp red curry paste
Pinch sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 - 175g fillet steaks

1 tbsp ginger in syrup
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce

  1. Without shaking the can, pour out thin coconut milk and set aside, leaving the creamy thick milk.   Add thick milk to skillet and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half, about 3 minutes.  Add curry paste, lime rind, lemon grass, fish sauce, sugar and tomato paste.  Cook together until milk nearly evaporates, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add remaining (thin) coconut milk and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Stir in lime juice and chopped herbs.  Reserve until needed.
  3. For marinade, combine curry paste, sugar and 2 tbsp oil and brush onto steaks.  Marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. To make glaze, add ginger, vinegar and soy sauce to a small pot.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.  Reserve.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F.
  6. Brush an ovenproof skillet with remaining oil.  Heat over medium high heat.  Add fillets and fry 2 minutes per side to sear.  As an alternative to baking fillets you may also grill them about 5 minutes per side.  (this is what I did)
  7. Place in oven and bake 5 minutes longer for medium rare.  Place steaks on carving board and brush with glaze.  Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Serve surrounded by sauce.
Serves 4

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Potato, Spinach and Chive Frittata

A frittata is a flat omelette.  I like to eat it warm, but you can serve it cold.  Vary the fillings with bacon, smoked salmon, sausage or your favourite.  The method stays the same.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2003.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch spinach
10 eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (smoked if you like)
1/2 cup chopped chives

  1. In a 10 inch skillet on medium high heat, heat oil and 1 tbsp butter. Add potatoes and saute until brown and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary, season with salt and pepper and reserve.  Wipe out skillet.
  2. Wash and stem spinach.  Place in saucepan on medium high heat.  Cover and steam until spinach is tender, about 2 minutes.  Place spinach in colander, cool slightly then squeeze out all excess water.  Chop.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, cream, cheese, chives, salt and pepper.  Add potatoes and spinach.
  4. Preheat broiler to high.  Place skillet on medium low heat and add remaining butter.  When melted, add egg mixture.  Cool slowly until bottom is set, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  The top will be slightly liquid.
  5. Place skillet under broiler and broil until top is just set.  Turn out onto serving platter and cut in wedges.  Garnish with a chive flower, if available.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Lentil Salad

A healthy salad with tastes from the Mediterranean.    This is a great side for grilled chicken.  Use green lentils in this recipe as they hold their shape when cooked, red lentils do not.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2003.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chili flakes
1 1/2 cups green lentils
Water to cover
1 bay leaf
2 slices lemon about 1/2 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

175 g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced

  1. In a pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Stir in chili flakes.
  2. Add lentils and cook, stirring, until lentils are coated with the seasoning mixture.
  3. Add water to cover lentils, add bay leaf and lemon slices, squeezing them gently.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  SEason well with salt and pepper.  Drain off any excess water and remove the lemon slices and bay leaf.
  4. Mix together dressing and toss with warm lentils.  Cool and then sprinkle with feta cheese, black olives, oregano and peppers.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve on platter.
Serves 8

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Veal Saute with Apples

A hearty dish that works well this time of year.  I couldn't find stewing veal so I just used pork tenderloin and it worked quite well.  For the apple choose a tart variety.  From Food and Drink Autumn 1999.

2 tbsp olive oil
500 g stewing veal, cut in 1 inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch cayenne
1/3 cup alcoholic cider
1 cup chicken or veal stock
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp chopped parsley

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat.  Add veal in batches, season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 2 - 3 minutes per batch.  Remove veal.  Add more oil if needed.  Reduce heat to medium low and add carrots, celery and onions.  SAute, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute until vegetables are very soft, about 2 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in cinnamon, ginger and cayenne.  Add cider and stock and bring to boil.  Return meat to skillet, cover and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or until veal is tender.  Remove meat and strain sauce back into skillet.  Add apples and cream and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.  Return veal and adjust seasonings.  Sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Asian Salmon Noodle Salad

Great for some left over salmon.  From Food and Drink Autumn 1999.

250 g Spaghetti, broken in half
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 cup shredded carrot
2 cups matchstick size cucumber pieces
300g grilled salmon, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Cook spaghetti in boiling water until cooked al dente.  Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.  In a large bowl, toss together spaghetti, carrots, cucumber, salmon and coriander.  Pour in dressing and toss to coat salad.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Chicken Olive and Arugula Sandwiches

Simple if you have some leftover roast chicken.

10 kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 crusty whole grain rolls, split in half
4 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch arugula, washed and trimmed

  1. Blend together olives, light mayonnaise, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Spread 1 tbsp of the olive mixture on one half of each roll
  3. Add chicken and arugula.  Top with second half of the roll.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Lemon Balm Shortbread

This is another recipe that I almost didn't do.  I just wasn't sure about herbs in my shortbread.  I could not find lemon balm in my little town so I had to go with Rosemary, which worked out beautifully! I did not dip in the coarse sugar. From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour (spooned in and levelled off)
2 tbsp minced lemon balm or rosemary
Coarse sugar for decorating

  1. Cream butter, sugar and salt together with an electric mixer.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.  Add flour and lemon balm and beat until just incorporated.  Knead lightly to bring into a ball.  Chill until firm enough to work with, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 300F.
  3. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.  Using a ruler and the point of a knife, cut dough into 1 1/2 inch squares.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet; prick each cookie with a fork.  Chill again until cookies are firm.
  4. Bake cookies for 20 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges.  While cookies are still warm, dip half of the cookie into coarse sugar to coat.  Let cool completely.
Makes about 30 cookies

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Apple Almond Tart

The is a really easy tart to make and has great flavour.  I really liked the almond base on this, almost like having some marzipan on the bottom, but not as sweet.  This would be a great dessert for upcoming Thanksgiving!  From Food and Drink winter 2013.  Pastries with flaky crusts such as pies and tarts, tend to be laden with fat and calories.  While phyllo can also supply a wallop of fat (due to each sheet being well buttered) using egg whites instead can trim hundreds of calories from the dessert.  Use the same technique with phyllo for savoury pastries as well.

1/2 cup natural almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp butter
Pinch salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp amaretto or almond liqueur
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Vegetable oil cooking spray
4 phyllo pastry sheets, thawed overnight in refrigerator
1 egg white
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices tossed with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp apricot jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Pulse almonds with 2 tbsp sugar in a food processor until finely ground.  Add butter, remaining sugar and salt to almond mixture and process until well mixed.  Whisk together egg, egg yolk, liqueur and extract in a small bowl and add to almond mixture, processing until combined well.
  3. Prepare a 10 or 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom by spraying with nonstick vegetable oil spray.  Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough in the tart pan and press into sides of the pan.  Tuck edges down towards bottom so that they will not burn during baking.  Keep remainder covered with a damp towel to prevent drying.  Brush sheet with egg white.  Repeat with each of phyllo, criss-crossing to give length to all sides and covering any holes in phyllo.  Brush each layer with egg white.
  4. Spread almond mixture over prepared phyllo, making sure that filling is evenly spread.  Place apple slices in concentric circles (may be slightly overlapping).  Using scissor, trim excess phyllo so that the phyllo is even with the top of the tart pan.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden.  Just before removing tart from the oven, melt jam in small sacuepan over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes; strain.  Brush tart, both top and crush with apricot jam.
Serves 8

Per serving
Calories 203
Carb 23 g
Fibre 2 g
Protein 4 g
Total fat 10 g
Saturated fat 3 g
Sodium 90 mg

Friday, 4 October 2013

Spinach and Shrimp Soup

I almost didn't make this one… it just doesn't sound appetizing does it.  I got this recipe from Food and Drink Winter 2000…wow that is already 13 years ago..I really need to get rid of these magazines.  So while considering not making the recipe I looked and the ingredient list and it intrigued me, also my husband and I went to Jamaica a year ago and I love the food and of course the people, so I thought I would give this one a try.  This is a Jamaican recipe and in Jamaican cooking the whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper is often used to add a more subtle heat.  Jalapeno peppers may be substituted.  I loved the flavour of this recipe.  You must try it!

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch spinach, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup coconut milk
250 g peeled shrimp
1 tbsp lime juice or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large soup pot on medium high heat.  Add onions.  Saute for 3 miutes or until onions soften slightly.
  • Add green onions, garlic, thme, allspice, and Scotch bonnet pepper.  Saute for 1 more minute.  Add broth and bring to boil.  Add spinach and coconut milk.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until spinach is limp.  Remove pepper and discard.
  • Add shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes or until pink and curled.  Add lime juice season well with salt and pepper.
Serves 6