Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Holiday Cocktail

This is so simple and so wonderful!

1 part Carolans Irish Cream (or substitute Baileys)
1 part Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor
Serve over ice or with coffee

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mini Lentil Cakes

These cakes have the consistency of muffins.  I got the recipe from Food and Drink Early Summer 2014…but I am leaving out the cheese icing…I don't think they need it.  I did put some goat cheese on some of them though and it was very nice.  These are a nice snack for lunch or a side on a dinner plate.

1 cup split red lentils
2/3 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs

  1. Place lentils in a bowl and cover with enough cold water to come 2 inches above the lentils.  Soak 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray or oil 36 mini muffin cups.
  3. Drain lentils well and place in food processor or blender with 1/3 cup milk.  Pulse until evenly ground and then whirl until pureed.  Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, use a fork to stir flour with baking powder, cumin, sugar and salt.  In another bowl, whisk eggs with remaining 1/3 cup milk, then whisk in melted, cooled butter.  Pour into flour mixture and stir to mix.  Stir in lentil puree.
  5. Immediately spoon just enough batter into each cup to fill three quarters full, about a level tbsp for each.  Bake in centre of oven until cakes are golden and bounce back when lightly tapped, 5 to 18 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around cake edges to loosen.  Remove and place on a baking rack to cool.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate, Mango Salsa

This is from Food and Drink Holiday 2014 but it was for Halibut.  The mango and pomegranate work really well together.

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp grated lime zest
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes

4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Combine all Salsa ingredients, set aside.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium height in pan with olive oil.  
  4. Place chicken on serving dish with salsa
Serve over Quinoa or Couscous.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Huevos Rancheros

A traditional Mexican breakfast, these eggs are cooked in a fresh tomato sauce and served open faced on corn tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese.  A little bit of hot sauce on it is nice!  From the Foodland Calendar.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
pinch each salt and pepper
4 eggs
4 corn tortillas
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Hot sauce

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and yellow pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. With the back of a large spoon make 4 wells in sauce.  Break egg into each well.  Reduce heat to medium low or low; cover and cook until eggs are firm, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Heat tortillas in microwave on high until warm, about 20 seconds.  Place 1 tortilla on each plate.  Place egg on each tortilla.  Divide sauce over egg, sprinkle with cheese, and coriander, if using.  Serve with hot sauce if desired.
**flour tortillas can be used instead of corn tortillas.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Corn and Onion Flan with Feta Salad

A nice brunch or lunch meal.

3/4 cup corn
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 pie shell pre baked
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup diced feta cheese
1 tomato, diced and seeded
1/2 small red pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow pepper, diced
Balsamic vinaigrette

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Placed the corn and onion into the tart shell
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream and eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently pour the custard mixture into the tart shell to fill.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
  6. Mix feta, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers together.
  7. Toss with 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette 
  8. Place feta salad on top of each piece of flan on serving plate.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Cheesy Asparagus Frittata

I just love asparagus and it goes so well with egg and cheese.  This is a great breakfast/brunch idea.  The original recipe called for whipping cream and Aioli but I have switched it to a 5% table cream and eliminated the Aioli - I think it still works well.

12 large eggs
1/2 cup table cream 5%
1/2 tsp grainy Dijon or 1 tsp regular Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and blanched
150 g good quality cheddar, coarsely crumbled

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Add cream, mustard, salt and pepper to egg mixture in a bowl.  Whisk until evenly mixed.  Melt butter in a very large ovenproof skillet set over medium heat, swirling so it coats sides.  Alternatively, coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter.  Add asparagus.  If using a skillet, turn asparagus in butter to coat, then cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in egg mixture.  Cook until egg sets slightly on bottom.  If using baking dish, pour in egg and carefully redistribute asparagus as needed.  Scatter cheese overtop.  Bake in centre of preheated oven for 20 minutes until egg is set.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Mango Almond Tart

This is a wonderful rich tart with a cookie base and some great seasonal spices.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

250 g butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups ground almonds, toasted
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp stem ginger in syrup, minced
pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten

1 to 2 mangoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup apricot jam

  • With electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and egg yolk.
  • Sift together flour, salt, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Lightly flour a board and roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick to fit a 10 or 11 inch tart pan.  Prick with fork.  Place a layer of foil on pastry and fill with dried beans or rice to weight pastry down.  Bake 15 minutes, remove foil and beans and bake a further 10 minutes or until pastry is pale gold.
  • Combine almonds and butter.  Sprinkle in sugar and ginger and mix until mixture is lightened.  Add salt and eggs and combine.  Spread on base of baked pie shell.  Bake 20 minutes or until almond mixture is set.  Cool.
  • Toss mango slices with lime juice.  Fan mango slices over top.  Melt apricot jam and brush top of tart with glaze.
Serves 8

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Curried Squash and Apple Soup

A great soup with a bit of spice!  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry paste
4 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled chopped green apples
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped mint

  1. Heat oil in soup pot on medium heat.  Add onions and saute fro 3 minutes or until softened.  Stir in ginger and curry paste.  Saute for 1 minute, add squash and apples and saute for 2 more minutes or until vegetables are coated with spices.
  2. Pour in stock bring to boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until vegetables are softened.  Puree soup in batches in food processor or blender.  Return to heat and add coconut milk.  Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until flavours are combined.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Stir in mint.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Orchard Mist

A refreshing cocktail I got from Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

To a cocktail shaker, add 1/4 cup cranberries and 1 cup sweet red apples, peeled and chopped, Muddle well.  Fill the shaker with ice and and 1 1/2 oz Calvados, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1oz simple syrup.  Shake sharply and strain into a goblet filled with crushed ice.  Add a pinch of cinnamon and garnish with apple slices and whole cranberries.

**Simple Syrup:  Combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to boil, stir until sugar has dissolved.  Once cooled, store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Guilt Free Hot Wings

As I was boiling these wings as per the recipe I must admit I was a little skeptical…but thankfully I was wrong.  This is a delicious recipe and because the wings are marinated and simmered in stock they are as fat free as you are going to get.  From Food and Drink Early Summer 2014.

2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 kg chicken wings, wing tip discarded, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp hot pepper sauce or to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Combine chicken stock, white wine and garlic in a pot over high heat.  Bring to a boil and and wings.  Turn heat to medium and simmer wings, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked.
  3. Drain chicken wings and place skin side up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, turning once or until wings are golden brown and cooked through.
  4. While chicken wings are baking, combine vinegar, mustard, honey, hot pepper sauce and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve as a dip for wings if desired.
Serves 4