Thursday, 30 July 2015

Roasted Squash and Kale Cannelloni with Miso Cream Sauce

This is from Food and Drink Holiday 2014..a really nice flavour and a different take on traditional Cannelloni.

1 medium buttercup squash, about 1 kg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 large bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
20 oven ready cannelloni shells, about 175 g

2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup white miso
1/4 cup flour
5 cups hot water
1 cup whipping cream

1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup panic bread crumbs
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Cut squash into quarters and discard seeds.  Place on a baking sheet and brush with 1 tbsp oil.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add kale and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often or until wilted.
  • Spoon squash into pan with kale and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Press squash mixture into cannelloni.  Place in prepared dish.
  • Melt butter with miso over medium heat.  When butter begins to of, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in 1 cup hot water.  Continue whisking in water 1 cup at a time until smooth.  Whisk in cream.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Pour sauce over cannelloni, they will be fully covered.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  To make garnish, melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add bread crumbs and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.  Remove format and stir in parsley.  When cool, stir in Parmesan.
  • Remove foil from cannelloni and top with bread crumb mixture.  Return to oven and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes or until bubbling and golden.  Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Serves 4

Monday, 27 July 2015

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake

Salty and sweet this is an excellent recipe for a special get together!

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
2 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup butter melted
4 pkgs (250 g each) brick cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butterscotch flavoured liquor
5 eggs
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Combine pretzel crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter, press onto bottom and 22 inches up side of 9 inch springform pan.
  • Reserve 2 tbsp of the remaining sugar.  Beat remaining sugar with cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until blended.  Add liqueur, mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended, pour into crust.
  • Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min or until centre is almost set.  Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake, col before removing rim.  Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
  • Spoon caramel sauce over cheesecake, spreading to within 2 inches of edge.   Bring 1/4 cup whipping cream to boil in small saucepan.   Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips, stir until melted.  Let stand 10 min or until slightly thickened.  Pour over cheesecake, spreading to completely cover top.
  • Beat remaining cream in medium bowl with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.   Add remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.  Spoon into pastry bag fitted with star tip, use to pipe whipped cream onto cheesecake just before serving.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Son In Law Eggs

I am not sure how these got their name...but I enjoyed the recipe.  I found this in Food and Drink Spring 2015 and while I didn't get a chance to use Quail Eggs this time I fully intend to at some point.  This worked well with regular chicken eggs.

Tangy Chili Sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 can good quality diced tomatoes (398 ml)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp Asian chili sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

18 Quail Eggs (I used chicken and only cooked up 6)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
Pinch salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

  • Heat canola oil in a large pot on medium low heat.  Add garlic and sauce for 1 minute or until golden.   Add tomatoes, sugar, cider vinegar, fish sauce and chill sauce, and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring frequently or until mixture is thick and jammy in texture.  Add balsamic vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes longer or until flavours have come together.  Remove from heat and reserve.  Makes about 1 cup.  Chili sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered for about 2 weeks.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Working in batches use a large serving spoon to carefully lower quail eggs into water and boil for 2 1/2 minutes (eggs will be soft boiled).  Immediately drain and transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further.  Carefully peel eggs and blot dry with paper towel.
  • Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium low.  Working in batches add shallots and fry for 2 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Working in batches add eggs to hot oil and fry, turning frequently for 1 minute of until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels.
  • To serve place 1 heaped tsp tangy chili sauce in the bowl of an Asian soup spoon.  Cut quail eggs in half and place on top of sauce, sprinkle with fried shallots and top with cilantro.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Turkey Chow Mein

From Company's Coming - Casseroles..a simple family meal.  I have changed it slightly.

Minute Rice 2 1/2 cups
Water 2 1/2 cups

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
Water chestnuts, sliced, drained 284 ml
Celery stalks, sliced thinly on angle - 2
Chopped Green Pepper 1/4 cup
Chopped fresh green onion tops 1/3 cup
Chopped pimiento or strips  2 tbsp
Cooked turkey, cut up  2 cups
Onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup
Butter 1/2 cup
Eggs, fork beaten 3
Salt 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Canned Bean Sprouts with juice 540 ml
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp

Prepare minute rice, cool.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add mushrooms.  Cook until browned.  Remove and cool.  In large bowl combine mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, green pepper, green onions, pimiento, turkey and sliced onions.  Set aside.

Melt butter in frying pan, add slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper.  Fry for a few minutes, stirring with fork to keep broken up.   Do not allow eggs to become too firm.  Add rice and meat mixture.  Stir to combine over low heat.  Add a bit of water to simmer if to dry.

Stir in sprouts and soy sauce.  Simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes until hot.  If too dry, add 2 tbsp butter.  Serves 8.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Spicy Steak Kabobs

A simple recipe that works well on a warm summer day when you just don't want to turn on the oven.  I got this recipe from Canadian Living - the Barbecue Collection.

Half white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece fresh ginger, chopped
3 tbsp Tomato paste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
450 g grilling steak, cut into cubes
1 each sweet red and green pepper, each cut into pieces

  • In a blender (I used my mini blender for this) pulse together onion, garlic and ginger until coarse paste.  Add tomato paste, vinegar, chill paste, sugar and salt; pulse until smooth.
  • Transfer onion mixture to bowl; toss with steak until coated.  Marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Discarding tomato mixture, alternately thread beef and red and green pepper pieces onto 8 skewers.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning occasionally until medium rare, 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes before using to keep them from charring or catching fire.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Sauce

A great dish for the holidays!

2 kg sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
2 cups orange juice
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 orange, thinly sliced

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Overlapping slices, arrange in rows in a shallow 3L baking dish.  Set aside.

In a small pan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Stir in orange juice until well blended.  Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until thick and clear, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat; add butter and peel.  Pour over sweet potatoes.  At this point you may cover and set aside until ready to bake.  Bake at 400F for 45 to 50 minutes.  Uncover and baste thoroughly with sauce.  Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes more or until tender and well glazed.  Arrange orange slices over top to serve.

Serves 10 to 12

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Beef Satays

I really enjoyed this flavourful and easy to prepare barbecue dinner.  I was not able to buy kecap manis in my rural community so I did the homemade version of it.

1 tsp finely grated or minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
450 g beef sirloin grilling steak or lamb or pork cut into 3 x 1  x 1/4 inch strips

Sweet Soy Satay Sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped Thai birds eye peppers or other hot peppers
1/3 cup kecap manis
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp finely chopped peanuts (I used almonds)

Homemade kecap manis
Boil together 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 1/2 tbsp fancy molasses until sugar is dissolved

  1. SWEET SOY SATAY SAUCE:  in small saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat; fry shallots until golden.  Remove with slotted spoon.  Add garlic to pan; fry until golden.  Remove with slotted spoon, reserving oil.  In mortar with pestle, pound Thai peppers to paste; add shallots and garlic and pound until almost smooth.  (or finely mince Thai peppers; add shallots and garlic and mince until almost smooth.) Mix in kecap manis, lime juice and peanuts.
  2. Mix together 1 tbsp of the reserved oil (save remainder for another use), ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and cumin; toss with beef until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 8 hours.  
  3. Thread onto skewers.  Grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once, until desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium.  Serve with sweet soy satay sauce.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Spiced Sugar Cookies

These are a nice twist on a regular sugar cookie.

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing and sprinkles to decorate

  • Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.  Refrigerate 2 hour or overnight until firm.
  • Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  Placed on greased baking sheets.
  • Bake in preheated 375F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheets 1 minute.  Remove to wire racks, cool completely.
  • Decorate with icing and sprinkles.  Place on wire rack to dry.
Makes 6 dozen

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Banana Rum Bread Pudding

This is a Michael Smith recipe that I got from Readers Digest.  I didn’t use the Whipped Cream, but will include it in case you decide you want to.  Ice Cream would also go well.

Servings 8

Bread Pudding
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup rum
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed but still chunky
1 loaf your favourite bread, cubed

Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly oil a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  2. To make pudding:  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  
  3. Add milk, cream, rum, brown sugar and vanilla.
  4. Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Stir in banana.  It is okay if banana makes mix a bit lumpy.
  5. Stir in bread cubes, evenly coating every piece. 
  6. Allow to rest until bread absorbs all the custard, about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  8. Bake until pudding is set and cooked through and top is golden brown, about 40 minutes
  9. To make the whipped cream: Whip cream with sugar, nutmeg and vanilla until soft and pillowy.
  10. Serve and share with mounds of whipped cream