Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spiced Nuts

This recipe can be made several months ahead and stored in the freezer and will keep well for a week in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  The recipe is not too spicy…you could always add a little hot sauce if you felt the need to add some heat.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried leaf oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup each pecan halves, macadamia nuts, blanched almonds and cashews about 500 g (mix in whatever your favourites are)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, stir butter with Worchestershire, sugar and spices until mixed.  Add nuts and mix well until evenly coated with spice mixture.
  2. Turn onto a baking sheet, spread to form a single layer.  Bake in oven 8 to 10 minutes stirring 3 to 4 times during baking.  Turn into a bowl, taste and adjust seasoning.  

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beef Dairy Casserole

The family loved this one!  From Company's Coming.

500 g Ground Beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
250 g cream cheese, softened
284 ml condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups kernel corn
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
2 cups cooked noodles
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine beef, onion and cooking oil in frying pan.  Scramble fry until meat is browned.  Drain off any fat.  Spoon meat into 2.5 litre casserole.  Set aside.

Combine milk with cheese in medium size bowl.  Blend on low until smooth with hand mixer.

Add soup, corn, pimiento, nootles salt and pepper to milk and cheese mixture.  Stir.  Pour all into casserole, stirring to distribute through meat.  Bake in 350 F oven for 40 minutes.

Serves 4

Friday, 24 October 2014

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

A different take on mashed potatoes.  Roasted garlic always makes mashed potatoes taste better and I am also a big fan of goat cheese.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

1.5 kg Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup milk
1 cup soft goat cheese
1/4 cup roasted garlic puree
1/2 cup butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Cut potatoes in even size chunks and place in cold salted water.  Bring to boil and boil until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain well, return potatoes to pot and place on turned off burner to dry.
  2. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or whisk.  Whisk in enough milk to make a thick puree, together with goat cheese, roasted garlic and butter.  Season well with salt and pepper.
Serves 8

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Deep Fried Olives

This was my first attempt at these (actually made them with my daughter and her boyfriend) and I thought they turned out well.  I used a goat cheese…because I love goat cheese.  They were a little fussy but turned out rather well.  The recipe is from Food and Drink Autumn 2011.  These are great for any get together.

8 oz pitted large green olives

125 g Brebis or soft feta or goat cheese
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (the finer the crumbs the better these will turn out)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil for frying

  1. Combine cheese, grated lemon rind, thyme, Spanish paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a separate dish.
  3. Use a butter knife to fil cavity of each olive with cheese mixture.  Roll olives in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, dip in egg and rollin bread crumb-Parmesan mixture.
  4. Add enough olive oil to fill pan 1/2 inch deep, heat to 350 F.  Fry olives a few at a time for 30 seconds, turning as needed or until golden.  SErve hot.
Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Salmon Fillets with Herb Vinaigrette

Sometimes simple is best and I believe that is the case for this Salmon recipe.  I started barbecuing salmon this year and I love it!  I am not a big fan of fish but have really enjoyed the flavour of fish over the bbq.  The herb vinaigrette enhances the salmon and I used leftover vinaigrette on my salad for work lunches.  Feel free to experiment with the herbs for the vinaigrette..substituting Basil or thyme or whatever you have on hand.  From Food and Drink Summer 2014

4 salmon fillets
2 tsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups torn, mixed lettuce

  1. If your salmon has skin, rub the skin side with vegetable, otherwise rub both sides with oil.
  2. Combine oregano,parsley, chives, grainy mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar.  Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Remove one quarter of mixture and brush over salmon fillets.  Reserve remainder.
  3. Preheat grill to high.  Place fillets, skin side down, on grill, close lid and grill for 7 to 9 minutes or until still slightly pink in the centre.  Grill a few minutes longer to completely cook through if desired.
  4. Toss lettuce with remaining vinaigrette, add 1 tbsp at a time until just coated.  With tongs place on 4 plates.
  5. Remove fillets from grill.  Place on salad.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Soup

I always love sweet potato, this is just another great way to use it.  From Readers Digest November 2013.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp each salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil for garnish, chopped

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown (I always add the garlic later - when the onions are almost done - as it can burn and then taste bitter). 
  • Stir in the potatoes, stock, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the soup with the milk.  Serve sprinkled with the basil.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

A nicely flavoured soup great for the fall and winter.  From Readers Digest 2013.

8 plum tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp spelt flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes and whole cloves of garlic with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer into a large baking dish.  Roast tomatoes for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove dish from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat  Add the onion and rosemary and saute until onion is translucent.  Add broth and roasted tomatoes and garlic.  Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree.  Return soup to the saucepan set over low heat.  In a small frying pan, melt remaining 1 tbsp of butter over low heat.  Add flour and whisk continuously until blended to make roux.  Add roux to the soup, combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer uncovered for 3 more minutes.  Serve topped with  croutons.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Firecracker Fish Sandwiches with Green Mango Salsa and Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette

This recipe is amazing on so many levels.  I have never made a Blueberry Vinaigrette before and I was pleased with how easy it was to do and the wonderful flavour of the Vinaigrette.  I had some left over and used it on my lunch salads.  The rub worked great on the fish and again there is still some left over so I have been also using it on chicken.  The salsa is a great contrast to the rub and it can also stand on its own.  This is from Food & Drink Summer 2011.

1 tbsp salt
1 tsp each of granulated sugar, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, cayenne, dried thyme and dried oregano
2 tsp each of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder and onion powder

3/4 cup blueberries, divided
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
Pinches of salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small head romaine, torn
90-125 g feta cheese, crumbled

1 medium to large underripe mango, peeled and julienned
3/4 cup julienned red onion
3/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
1/2 large lime, juice and zest
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil

4 tilapia fillets or other white fish fillets
3 to 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 Italian rolls, each about 6 to 8 inches long
3 to 4 romaine lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup chopped coriander

  1. Stir rub ingredients together; store in an airtight jar, out of the light for up to several weeks.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup blueberries into a small mixing bowl.  Mash with a fork.  Add vinegar, sugar and salt; set aside for 30 minutes or more at room temperature.  Then strain through a fine strainer, discarding solids.
  3. Whisk 2 tbsp blueberry vinegar with oil.  (Cover and refrigerate remaining blueberry vinegar for another time.) Toss with romaine just before serving.  Scatter salad with remaining blueberries and feta.
  4. Toss mango with red onion and tomato.  Stir lime juice and zest with sugar, salt, garlic and oil.  Drizzle over mango mixture; stir well.  Set aside to develop flavours for 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to half a day (bring to room temperature before serving).
  5. When ready to serve sandwiches, sprinkle each side of fillet with 1/2 tsp rub.  Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat until very hot.  Dip each fillet into flour; shake off excess.  Fry each coated fillet for 3 to 4 minutes per side, using more oil as needed, or until a fork separating fish flakes shows centre to be opaque.
  6. Meanwhile, line rolls with shredded lettuce.  Top with hot fish, cutting to fit as needed, and a heap of the mango salsa.  Sprinkle with coriander.  Serve with salad.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Grilled Chicken Satays with Late Harvest Peach Dipping Sauce

A really simple recipe that is great for summer grilling.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
24 wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour

2 shallots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp each ground turmeric and cumin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup late harvest wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup peeled and sliced peaches
Cilantro and roasted almonds, chopped

  1. Slice chicken into thin strips.  Place in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine shallots, garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric, cumin, soy sauce, wine and vegetable oil.  Blend until smooth.  Pour half of the mixture over the chicken.  Stir until well combined, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  3. Add peaches to remaining marinade and process until combined.  Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  4. Thread chicken onto wooden skewers.  Grill over medium high heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve immediately with peach dipping sauce and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and chopped roasted almonds.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Sesame Grilled Baby Bok Choy Salad

Love this grilled salad.  The toasted sesame and orange flavours blend well and the grilled bok choy is a new favourite for me.  From Food & Drink Summer 2011.

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 baby bok choy, about 750 g
250 g snow peas, trimmed
8 red radishes, halved and thinly sliced
8 large leaves curly leaf lettuce

  1. Whisk together orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, mustard 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a measuring cup.
  2. Heat barbecue to medium.
  3. Trim ends and any tough outer leaves from bok choy.  Cut in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl.  Pour in 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat.  Grill turning once, for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until grill marked and starting to get tender.  Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leat steam for about 10 minutes or until tender crisp.
  4. Meanwhile, blanch snow peas in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp.  Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water; let stand until chilled.  Drain and pat dry.
  5. Just before serving, drain any accumulated liquid from bok choy and cut each half in half again lengthwise.  Return to bowl and add snow peas and radishes.  Pour in remaining dressing and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Tear leaf lettuce into bite size pieces and arrange on a platter.  Arrange bok choy mixture on top and drizzle with dressing remaining in bowl.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Brined Smoked Salmon with Potato Salad and Green Tartar Sauce

This recipe was fabulous.  I made a couple of changes to the original from Food and Drink 2014 recipe by only soaking it for about half the time in the brine and using skinless salmon.

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup hot water
3 cups cold water
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
4 pieces salmon fillet (I used skinless)
2 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced celery
1 tbsp chopped capers
1 tbsp chopped green onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chervil
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch cayenne
Salt to taste

250 g mini gold potatoes
250 g mini brown potatoes
250 g mini purple potatoes

  1. Add salt and sugar to hot water and stir until dissolved.  Stir in cold water, bay leaves and peppercorns.  Place salmon in a baking dish.  When liquid is cool, pour over salmon.  The fish should be submerged in the brining liquid.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove salmon from brine and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Preheat grill to high.  Add smoking packages (wrap 2 cups wood chips in foil. Poke holes in foil and add to barbecue before you reduce heat.) Turn off 2 burners and reduce heat to 225 to 275 F.
  3. Rub the salmon with vegetable oil.  Place on the side of the grill that is turned off.  Close lid and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until white juices begin to appear.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  
  4. Combine all the tartar sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and reserve.
  5. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large of of salted water.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 min.  Drain and let cool.  Slice potatoes in half and then mix with 1/3 cup tartar sauce.  
  6. Serve cold or hot.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Baby Greens, Steak and Tomatoes with Chimichurri

So simple and so tasty.  From a recipe in Food and Drink Summer 2011.  Chimichurri is a sauce from South and Central America that combines fresh herbs and jalapeno. It is great on steak, pork and chicken.

1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
4 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp each coarsely chopped packed Italian parsley and coriander
4 cups lightly packed baby greens (I like baby spinach)
Thinly sliced leftover grilled steak (about 1/2 strip loin)
1 yellow or orange pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 pkg (113 g) creamy herbed goat cheese, crumbled

  1. If jalapeno is not spicy add a few of the seeds too.  Place in a small bowl along with the garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.  Whisk together, then stir in herbs.
  2. Place greens in a large bowl.  Add steak, yellow pepper and cherry tomatoes.  Toss with dressing.  Sprinkle with goat cheese, then toss gently.