Saturday, 29 August 2015

Steak Shish Kabobs

If you can try to use a rib eye for this, it has great flavour that makes wonderful kabobs.  When threading meat onto skewers, don’t cram the pieces up against one another, leave a little space for even cooking.  From Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

Half onion, grated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
Generous pinch cinnamon
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
675 g beef rib eye grilling steak or strip loin grilling steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
450 g cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt

  • Mix together onion, oil, lemon juice, garlic, allspice, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne; toss with beef until coated.  Marinate for 20 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 4 hours.
  • Alternately thread beef and tomatoes onto skewers, sprinkle with salt.  For rare, grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once for about 6 minutes; for medium rare to well done, grill over medium high heat until desired doneness. 10 to 12 minutes for medium
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings.

Per each of 6 servings:  about 252 cal, 20 g pro, 17 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 4 g carb, 1 g fibre, 48 mg chop, 234 mg sodium, %RDI: 2% calcium, 19% iron, 6% bit A, 17% bit C, 6% folate.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mediterranean Olive Mini Loaves

These are a great compliment to any dinner.  I love the smell of fresh bread.  It does take some time to make, but it is worth it.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 tsp finely chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes
Olive oil for brushing

  1. Pour warm water, 110F in a bowl.  Stir in sugar until dissolved.  Sprinkle yeast overtop.   Don’t stir.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir flour with rosemary and salt.  When yeast is foamy, stir in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Then gradually stir into flour mixture.  Keep stirring until dough is evenly moist.  Gather dough into a ball (this should be easy to form). If too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time; if too wet, add flour in a similar manner.  Place ball on a lightly floured work surface and, using floured hands, knead until dough is smooth and satiny on the surface, adding a dusting of flour to the work surface whenever the dough becomes sticky.  It will need about 5 minutes of kneading.  Then, continuing to gently knead, gradually add olives and tomatoes by scattering some over the dough, a few at a time as evenly as possible.  Fold dough from the top back toward you and knead again.  Repeat until all olives and tomatoes are added.  Do not stretch the dough.  This will take about 3 minutes.
  3. Form dough into a ball and place in a bowl brushed with olive oil.  Cover with an oiled piece of waxed paper and then a damp cloth.  Sit in a warm place, such as the top of the refrigerator, until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Gently deflate dough by pressing down on it and place on a work surface brushed with olive oil. Using an oiled rolling pin roll dough into a rectangle about 8 x 10 inches with the shorter side closest to you.  Slice in half lengthwise, forming two 8 inch long pieces; divide each of those into 4 2 inch wide pieces.  You will end up with 8 pieces.
  5. Working with one piece at a time gently fold in long sides and pinch seams together. Fold in ends and pinch to seal.  Place seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Repeat for all 8 mini loaves.  Make 3 shallow diagonal slices on top of each, about 1 inch long, if you like.  Cover with a piece of oiled waxed paper, then a light damp cloth. Let sit in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F.
  7. When mini loaves have risen, place pan in centre of oven.  Turn oven down to 375F and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Brush with okie oil.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 8 mini loaves.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Potato Cheese Casserole

A easy and family friendly recipe.

2 lb hash brown potatoes
Boiling water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 pt sour cream
1 can chicken soup
2 cups grated cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter
Bread crumbs

Pour boiling water over hash brown potatoes.  Pour off immediately and rinse off with cold water quickly.  Mix all ingredients together; place in greased casserole.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with butter.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Cover with foil for the first 25 minutes.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Classic Butter Tarts with Flaky Salt

The pastry here is not rich, but it works because it doesn’t overpower the filling - which is excellent.  I used a mix of hazelnuts and pecans and skipped the raisins.  Adapted from Food and Drink Spring 2015.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
2 tsp white vinegar
6 tbsp cold water

3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp flaky salt such as Maldon

  1. Stir flour with sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Grate in butter with a box grater.  Rub in butter using fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir vinegar into water.  Drizzle water mixture into flour and mix together with a fork.  Gather dough into a ball.  Turn out onto counter and knead for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dough holds together.
  2. Press dough into a disc on a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half.  Wrap one half with plastic wrap and reserve at room temperature.  Roll out remaining dough into between 1/3 and 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out six 3.5 inch rounds, rerolling dough as necessary.  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.  Fit pastry rounds into muffin tins.  If the pastry cracks, press back together and use scraps to patch any holes.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Freeze tray for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine coconut sugar, maple syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, vinegar and salt in a large bowl  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined.  
  4. Arrange rack in lower third of oven.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Drop raisins and nuts into the base of each tart shell.  Stir liquid mixture and our in each tart, filling to 1/4 inch from the top.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is puffed up and pastry is golden.  Remove from oven and sprinkle each butter tart with a pinch of flaky slat.  Let butter tarts rest in muffin tin for 10 minutes.  Run a sharp knife along the inside of each cup to loosen tarts, then allow to cool in pan for 30 more minutes.
Makes 12 tarts.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This is a great alternative to the processed spaghetti sauces you buy in the grocery store.

2 (19 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, cut fine
3 stalks celery, cut fine
1 yellow pepper, cut fine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
750 g lean ground beef.

Brown beef and drain  fat.  Add onions and mushrooms and cook until softened.  Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2 hours.  Serve over pasta of your choice.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Bacon Boursin Biscuits

These are rich and flavourful biscuits that go great with almost any meal.  I got this recipe from Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

8 slices bacon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1 pkg Boursin cheese with your favourite flavour
3/4 cup milk
Melted butter for brushing

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.  Lower heat if it starts to burn.  Remove to paper towels, then finely chop.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  
  • Place flour, then baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Blend with a fork.  Cut butter and Boursin into 8 pieces each and add.  Cut in using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in bacon.  Add milk all at once.  Blend lightly and quickly with a fork until evenly moist.
  • Flour your hands and form dough into a slightly sticky ball.  Place on a lightly floured work surface.  If any dry bits remain in the bowl, sprinkle with just enough milk to moisten, then gather up and add to the dough ball.  Gently knead dough about 8 times, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky.  Pat or roll to 3/4 inch thickness.
  • Cut out biscuits using a 2 inch floured biscuit cutter and place on prepared baking sheet.  Press scraps together, pat again and cut out.  Brush tops with melted butter.  Bake in centre of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.  Serve warm.