Sunday, 28 September 2014

Honey Roasted Apricots, Chilled Icewine Sabayon and Linzer Cookies

This takes a  bit of work to prepare but it is worth it!  There were also lots of the linzer cookies left over and everyone was happy about that.  I didn't get icewine but used a Riesling and it worked out well.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink 2014

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup ground almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves

6 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean
12 fresh apricots cut in half and pits removed

4 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup icewine or late harvest Riesling
2/3 cup whipping cream

  1. For the linzer cookies, preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and all the sugar together in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment.
  3. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and light.  Add the egg and yolk, then the vanilla and continue beating scraping down the bowl 1 or 2 times.
  4. Combine the flour, ground nuts, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl and with the mixer on low speed, add to the butter mixture.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined.
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.  Pipe the dough in 2 inch lengths, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or just until golden.  These cookies freeze well.
  7. For the honey roasted apricots, combine the honey, water and lemon juice in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the honey mixture.  Add the vanilla pod.
  8. Place the apricot halves in the dish and toss gently to coat with the liquid.
  9. Arrange cut side up and roast in 350F oven, brushing occasionally with the juices until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  10. For the sabayon, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and wine in a medium stainless steel bowl.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.  Set the bowl in another bowl filled with ice water, whisking occasionally until cool.
  11. Whip the cream to stiff peaks in a separate bowl, then fold into the egg mixture.  Refrigerate until serving.  The sabayon should be prepared the same day.
  12. To serve, place 2 apricot halve in the bottom of each serving bowl.  Top with sabayon, then another apricot half.  Finish with another spoonful of sabayon.  Place cookies on the side and serve.
Serves 8

Friday, 26 September 2014

Dumplings with Crispy Sage and Sherry Brown Butter

I could make this a whole meal!  Another recipe that makes me glad I try new things.  Based on a recipe from Food & Drink Winter 2012.

2 medium sweet potatoes, totalling 500g
8 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
70 g goat cheese
1 tsp salt1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
30 wonton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
18 fresh sage leaves
3 thin slices prosciutto torn into 1 inch shreds
3 tbsp sherry vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pierce potatoes with a fork; place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until very tender and soft.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes and mash in a bowl.  Melt 2 tbsp butter and combine with sweet potato, cheese, salt, pepper and spices.
  4. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with plastic wrap and a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out) brush edges of wrapper with egg white.  Spoon a scant 1 tbsp potato mixture into centre of each wrapper and press edges together to seal, forming a triangle.  Make sure all air pockets have been pushed out or dumplings will burst when boiled.  Trim dumplings if edges are uneven.  Repeat, filling and sealing dumplings with remaining wonton wrappers. Cover dumplings with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook.
  5. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When butter stops foaming, add sage leaves and fry until crisp but still green, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer sage to paper towel to drain.  Increase heat and fry prosciutto until crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain and crumble.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and continue heating butter until it turns brown; about 3 minutes.   Keep butter warm over low heat while cooking dumplings.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add 15 dumplings to pot at a time and cook 2 minutes; dumplings will float to top of water when done.  Drain well and transfer to a lightly greased platter and keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings.
  8. When all dumplings are cooked, increase heat to high to warm brown butter.  After 60 seconds remove pan from heat, add sherry vinegar and cover with lid to contain sputtering.  When pan stops sputtering, season sauce with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Serve dumplings with a drizzle of hot brown butter sauce and garnish with crumbled prosciutto and crispy sage leaves.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Peameal Bacon on a Bun

A Canadian sandwich!  Use Ontario cheddar to make it extra special.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

Bourbon Mustard
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp bourbon
2 tsp brown sugar

Corn Relish
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup seeded and chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 to 16 slices peameal bacon
1 tbsp bourbon mustard

4 kaiser buns warmed
1 1/2 cups shaved jalapeno Gouda
4 crisp lettuce leaves

  • Combine mustard, bourbon and sugar in a small bowl and stir until uniform.  Reserve.
  • Combine corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions and jalapeno peppers in a food processor and process until chunky or chop together by hand.  Stir in sugar, cider vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Working in batches, add vegetable oil and bacon to pan and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned.  Brush with bourbon mustard and turn bacon slices over.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until underside is browned and bacon is cooked through.
  • Spread each bun with bourbon mustard.  Top with peameal, cheese and corn relish.  Finish with lettuce.  Cut in half before serving.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pepper Crusted Salmon

I really like using Maple Syrup with Salmon, the natural sweetness of the syrup really seems to go well with the fish in this dish.  Since we make our own syrup I enjoy finding recipes that use it.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink 2012.

2 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 salmon fillets
1/8 cup fresh coarsely ground pepper
2 tsp canola oil

In a shallow dish, combine maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic.  Place salmon fillets in marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Place ground pepper on a large plate.  Remove salmon from marinade and firmly press fillet into pepper.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Place Salmon in pan, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Pea Falafel Sliders with Curried Mango Chutney

This recipe is a good example of why I try new things.  I wasn't hopeful that this would be a great dinner…especially for the kids…but I was wrong.  This has amazing flavour and texture and every bit was eaten! Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 small ripe but firm mango, finely chopped
1 small red chili, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cloves garlic
4 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 cups cooked and cooled peas
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

12 slider buns, toasted

Pea sprouts to garnish

  1. To make chutney, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium low and cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Stir in curry powder and turmeric, cook for 30 seconds.  Add mango, chili, vinegar, sugar and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until mango is very tender but not yet broken down.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  2. For the falafel, whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.  Combine garlic, green onion, mint and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until herbs are roughly chopped.  Add peas, cumin, coriander and salt.  Process until peas are finely chopped with some texture remaining.  Turn out into bowl containing flour mixture and stir to combine; refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Form into 12 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry patties for 2 minutes per side or until browned and crisp.  Place 1 patty on each bottom bun, top each with a generous spoonful of chutney, pea sprouts and bun tops; serve while hot and crunchy.