Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Simple French Onion Soup

A wonderful comfort food this time of the year.  As always great ingredients are what make this shine so get the best quality of bread and cheese that you can.

3 tbsp butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine mixed with 1/2 to 1 cup water
4 slices good quality thick bread slices, toasted
1/2 pound Smoked Gruyere Cheese, shredded


  • Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium low heat.  Add onions; cook 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and golden brown.  Stir in flour.
  • Slowly whisk in one can of chicken broth; pour in remaining can.  Add wine mixture.  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
  • Heat four soup bowls.  Place one slice of toast at bottom of each bowl.  Top with one quarter of the cheese.  Ladle soup into bowls.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

I love soups this time of year and this is a really good recipe to start with.  Add some different pasta or veggies to give it some variety.

2 1/2 to 3 pound chicken, quartered
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cups water
4 oz fettuccine, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp lemon juice
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


  • Place chicken, onion, carrots, celery and 4 cups of water into a large pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook fettuccine according to pkg directions.
  • Pour coup through a strainer into a smaller pot.  Reserve chicken and vegetables.  When cool enough to handle, remove chicken from bones and cut into 1/3 inch cubes.
  • Add chicken, vegetables, fettuccine, lemon rind, juice, salt, and pepper to the pot.  Stir well; cook 2 to 3 minutes over low heat to heat through.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Artichoke and Asiago Brussels Sprouts

A really nice side dish and so easy to prepare!

1 x 227 g pkg Artichoke and Asiago Dip
2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, trimmed, cleaned and halved
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp chives, chopped fine
Salt and Pepper, to taste


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine brussels sprouts with dip, balsamic vinegar and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well until brussels sprouts are well coated.
  • Spread brussels sprouts on baking tray lined with a sheet of parchment paper.  Roast in 375F oven about 15 to 20 minutes until brussels sprouts are golden.  Test with fork for tenderness.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to serving bowl.  While still warm, drizzle with more dip and top with chopped parsley and chives.
Serves about 4 people

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Chicken Tikka

This chicken kabob has wonderful Indian flavours.  From Canadian Living - the Barbecue Collection.

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp chickpea flour
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, turmeric and pepper
1/2 tsp each ground mace and nutmeg (or 3/4 tsp nutmeg)
3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 8 cubes each, or 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3 pieces each

GARNISH
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
Fresh cilantro sprigs


  • In blender or food processor, puree together cilantro, mint, lemon juice, yogurt, ginger, chickpea flour, garlic, salt, coriander, cardamom, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, pepper, mace and nutmeg; mix in oil.  Toss with chicken until coated.  Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for 3 to 4 hours.
  • GARNISH - Meanwhile, mix onion with slat; pour lemon juice over top.  Let stand for 30 minutes; drain.
  • Thread chicken onto skewers, leaving about 1/2 inch between pieces.  Grill, covered, on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Garnish chicken with onion mixture and cilantro.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Chicken and Mango Kabobs

I love barbecuing kabobs, they are so versatile and a great way to incorporate veggies and fruit into a meal.  This is a tropical take on dinner with the mango, onion and red pepper. As always the trick with kabobs is to make sure everything is the same size so it cooks evenly.

1 tsp grated lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt (I omit this)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 top liquid honey
12 red or white pearl onions, or 1 small red or sweet onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 mangoes, cut into 3/4 inch cutes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces.


  • Mix together lime zest and juice, oil, garlic, chili powder, salt and cayenne; toss half with chicken until coated.  Stir honey into remaining marinade; set aside.  Marinate chicken for 20 minutes or covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.
  • Meanwhile in saucepan of boiling water, boil unpeeled pearl onions for 2 minutes; drain.  Slip off skins.
  • Alternately thread mango and red pepper onto skewers; brush with half of the reserved marinade.  Alternately thread chicken and onions onto separate skewers.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once and basting with remaining honey marinade, until mango is softened and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 8 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Layer Cake with Whipped Cream

This cake is great with fresh fruit like strawberries!

135 ml butter
3 eggs divided
225 ml flour
100 ml sugar
75 ml milk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
300 ml sugar for topping
Slivered almonds, (optional)
500 ml whipping cream for filling

Cream butter and sugar; add egg yolks.  Sift flour and baking powder into egg mixture alternately with milk.  Grease 2 springforms well; divide dough evenly into pans.  Beat egg whites stiff.  Add 300 ml sugar.  Spread on top; sprinkle with almonds.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool completely and place on a serving plate with whipped cream between layers.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Bacon, Avocado and Cheese Omelets

A great choice for brunch.  The salsa recipe can be doubled and used for burgers or chicken later.

SALSA
1 small tomato, chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, fresh or canned (seeded and finely chopped)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and Pepper

OMELETS:
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter, divided
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
1/2 small avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese


  • For Salsa:  in small bowl, combine tomato, green onions, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice and mix well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • For Omelets:  In medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk and season with salt and pepper.  Melt half the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium high heat and when foam subsides, add half the egg mixture.  Tilt pan to coat bottom and cook 1 minute, until almost set.  Sprinkle half the omelet with half the bacon, avocado and cheese and cook 1 minute.  Fold empty half of omelet over filling and slide omelet onto a plate.  Keep warm.
  • Repeat with remaining butter, egg mixture, bacon, avocado and cheese.  Serve with salsa.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Sweet Cherry and Blackberry Lattice Pie

A nice combination of fruits that gives you enough tart and enough sweet.  I cut this recipe in half with no issues. From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

Slab Pie Pastry
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups frozen unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  Working with 1 stick of butter at a time, coarsely grate into flour mixture.  Toss to coat, then repeat until all the butter has been incorporated.
  2. Combine water and lemon juice.  Drizzle into the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring or kneading gently until all the flour has been incorporated and you can bring dough into a ball (you may need to add slightly more or less liquid depending on how much the butter has worked through the dough).  Cut ball of dough in half if you have made enough for 2 crusts; wrap in plastic, and flatten into rectangular discs.  Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
Filling
2 lbs plus 6 oz (1.175 kg) sweet cherries, halved and pitted
625 g blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice 
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch

Finish
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp whipping cream
2 tbsp turbinado or coarse sugar

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Line the bottom of a 13 x 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 15 x 9 inches.  Fit pastry into prepared baking sheet and trim so that overhanging edge is about 3/4 inches wide all around.  Chill.  Roll second piece of pastry into a similar sized rectangle, transfer to a piece of parchment, and use a ruler and a fluted pastry to cut pastry into about 13 strips about 3/4 inches wide (you will need 5 long strips and 8 shorter strips). Slide pastry and parchment onto a baking sheet and chill until filling is ready.
  • Combine cherries, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt in a bowl and stir gently to mix. Let stand 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and fruit looks juicy.  Add tapioca and stir gently until it coats the fruit and is completely moistened.  Spread fruit and any juices into prepared pastry crust in an even layer.
  • Lay 5 long strips of pastry lengthwise on top of fruit.  You are going to basket weave the pastry strips.  Fold alternating strips back onto themselves at the midpoint.  Lay 1 strip of pastry across them.  Fold the long pastry strips back into position, then fold back the other alternating strips and lay another strip across.  Continue in this manner until you have about 8 strips of pastry woven evenly spaced across the width of the pie.  Use a little water to moisten the underside of the pastry strips where they meet the crust to help them stick together.  Trim both the bottom crust and the strips to about a 3/4 inch overhang.  Lightly moisten the edge with water and fold over to create a pastry lip.  Use the tines of a fork to decoratively compress edges all the way around.  Brush all pastry with egg - whipping cream wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then turn oven down to 375F and bake for 20 minutes longer or until fruit juices are bubbling and thickened and pastry is golden and cooked through.
Makes 16 servings


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lettuce Wraps with Miso Glazed Arctic Char

Arctic Char has a wonderful delicate texture and flavour which makes it perfect for this particular recipe.  I am a big fan of Asian flavours and the Miso flavour added to this is excellent.  I put a little Wasabi Sauce on mine as well.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

2 tbsp white miso paste
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp hot water
2 fillets Arctic char, skin on and deboned, about 625 g
1 cup uncooked jasmine or other fragrant rice, cooked and cooled
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 avocado, diced
1 sheet nori
1 cup english or mini cucumbers, finely diced
1/2 cup green onion, finely sliced on diagonal
1 head green or red leaf lettuce, leaves separated and washed
Sriracha or hot sauce to garnish


  • In a glass baking dish or plastic storage bag, stir together miso paste, soy sauce, honey and hot water.  Place fillets in marinade, flesh side down and let marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Toss rice with 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar and 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • Toss avocado with remaining 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar to prevent browning, and slice nori into small 1 inch strips.
  • Heat broiler on high.  Place the Arctic char, skin side down, on an oiled foil lined baking sheet.
  • Place fish under broiler in top third of the oven.  Broil until fish is just cooked through, about 4 minutes depending on its thickness.
  • Once fish has cooled slightly, pull the flesh off the skin in long pieces.
  • Assemble all the fillings and place some of each ingredient in the lettuce leaves.  Garnish with hot sauce if desired, wrap and serve.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Carmelized Apple Brioche

This is not a Danish Pastry but it is pretty close.  It takes a couple of days to make the components of this pastry so plan ahead.  The effort is well worth it with a wonderful tasting pastry and soft vanilla custard.  You will never want to buy them again!  I did not glaze with the apple jelly as I prefer my pastry less sweet.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015


PASTRY CREAM
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsalted butter

CARAMELIZED APPLES
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup sugar, divided
4 large Royal Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 recipe Brioche (see below)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water
1/2 cup apple jelly
Icing sugar for dusting


  1. For the pastry cream, place 3/4 cup of the milk and the sugar in a saucepan.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the black seeds into the milk; add the pod as well.  Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a sumer.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth.  Slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture and combine well.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until very thick, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Scrape the pastry cream into a separate bowl.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled.  The pastry cream can be prepared 3 days in advance.
  3. For the caramelized apples, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup sugar and half the apple slices.  Cook, tossing frequently, about 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender and well caramelized but still hold their shape.  Transfer the apples to a bowl and repeat with remaining butter, sugar an apple slices.  Cool completely.
  4. To assemble the brioche, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Combine the 2 tbsp sugar with the cinnamon.
  5. On a floured surface, roll the brioche dough to a 10 x 10 inch square.  Brush lightly with beaten egg and top with the cinnamon sugar.  With a sharp knife, and cutting straight down, cut ten 1 inch wide strips.  Working with 1 strip at a time, place hands on either end of the strip and roll in opposite directions to create a tight twist of dough that encloses the cinnamon sugar.  Spiral the twist inward to create a circular shape, tucking the end under.  Place the circle of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet.  Continue with the remaining strips of dough, placing them at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F
  7. Remove the vanilla pod from the chilled pastry cream.  Whisk the pastry cream until it is smooth and spreadable.  Place a rounded tablespoon of pastry cream in the centre of each brioche spiral. To form the apple rosettes, take one slice of caramelized apple and roll it with your hands until it is tight.  This will be the core of the rosette.  Take another apple slice and roll it around the rosette core.  Keep adding one apple slice at a time, overlapping as you go, using 5 or 6 apple slices for each rosette.  Place one apple rosette overtop the pastry cream on each brioche spiral.  Bake the brioche until it is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Place the apple jelly in a small pot and place over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes.  Brush the hot jelly over the apples just to coat, then sift icing sugar over the edges.
Makes 10


BRIOCHE

Sponge
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
5 tbsp milk

Final Dough
3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes.  Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.  The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.
  • For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up.  Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times.  Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated.  The dough will be very soft and shiny.  Wrap in layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Marzipan Log

Having grown up in a Danish Heritage household Marzipan holds a special place in my heart.  It is one of my favourite treats and this is an especially easy way to enjoy it.  If you can’t find chocolate covered bars substitute just marzipan which is available in most bulk barns.  I found this in Food and Drink Holiday 2015.  The logs did not last long in my house!

All Purpose flour for dusting
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
4 dark (semi sweet) chocolate covered marzipan bars 125 g each, best quality you can find
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup sliced almonds

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Lightly flour the counter and rolling pin; lay out the thawed pastry and lightly flour it too.  Roll out into a rectangle of roughly 11 x 13 inches.
  3. With the tip of a very sharp knife, cut in half, down the middle, lengthwise .  You should have 2 pieces about 5 x 13 inches.
  4. Lay the chocolate marzipan bars, end to end, 2 pars per log, onto the puff pastry - a little off centre, about 1 1/2 inches in from one edge.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk egg with water and brush all around the edges of the puff sheets - this is your glue.
  6. First, fold the corners of the ends of the pastry up and over the ends of the marzipan bars - just like gift wrapping a box; press down a little to make it stick.  Then, starting at the edge closest to the marzipan bars, begin rolling the pastry into a log with a marzipan centre.  Lay on the parchment, seam down.  Pop the cookie sheet into the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  7. Pre heat the oven to 425F.
  8. Brush the tops and sides of cold logs with the remaining egg wash.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds - the almonds will stick if you sprinkle them carefully.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; pastry should be puffed and lightly golden.  Allow to cool completely before slicing, or it will just squish, not cut under the knife.
  10. To serve, bring to the coffee table - room temperature is best - on a platter or board with a bread knife and let folks help themselves.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Moroccan Cookies

I had these out at our Thanksgiving Dinner and they were well received.  The spices made them more of an adult treat which was fine because there was plenty of other treats for the younger guests.  I got this recipe out of Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp each of ground coriander (I substituted Cumin) cardamom and salt
1/2 tsp each of curry powder and cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup finely chopped skin on almonds
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
Chutney or apricot or pepper jam for filling


  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Combine butter and icing sugar in bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until blended.  In a bowl, stir flour with coriander, cardamom, salt curry powder and cinnamon.  Add about half to the butter mixture in food processor bowl.  Pulse until blended.  Add all remaining flour mixture and pulse until even in texture.  Then with the machine running, slowly add milk through the feed tube just until the dough forms into a ball.   You may not need all the milk.  Use floured hands to form dough into a ball.
  • Place nuts in a small bowl.  In another bowl, whisk egg white with 1 tbsp water.  Using a round shaped (rather than oval shaped) tsp measuring spoon, scoop out a rounded amount, about 1/2 tbsp of dough.  Roll into 1 inch ball.  Coat ball with egg white wash, then roll in nuts until evenly coated.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 1 inch apart.
  • Using your pinky finger or the end of a wooden spoon, make a deep indent in centre of each cookie.
  • Bake until cookie fleets firm when pressed and the bottoms are lightly browned, from 17 to 22 minutes.  While still warm, dent centres again to assure room for the chutney.  Cool on pan 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.  Serve right away or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.
  • Just before serving, fill thumb print centres with chutney or jam.
Makes 48 cookies

EASY ALMOND TOPPED COOKIES

  • Prepare cookie dough in balls as in Moroccan Cookies.  Do not coat with chopped nuts.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets and flatten cookies with your finger or tines of a fork to a 1/3 inch thickness.  Press a whole unblanched almond into the top of each.  Bake as above.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Oven Baked Pork Chops with Lemon Feta Potatoes

These potatoes are fabulous, top them with your protein of choice.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 kg pork chops
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
125 g Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup water


  • In a resealable plastic bag, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.  Insert pork chops, remove as much air as possible from bag and seal; massage marinade into pork and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight, turning over roughly midway through.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Heat a large heavy bottom skillet large enough to hold the pork, over medium heat on the stovetop.  Open bag containing pork and scrape off as much garlic as possible, returning garlic to the bag; reserve marinade.  Brown meat on all sides and remove to a plate.
  • Brush roasting pan with some of the reserved marinade.  Arrange half of the potato slices, overlapping in the bottom of the pan; brush with additional marinade and sprinkle feta evenly over.  Cover with remaining potatoes; pour water over.  Arrange meat over potatoes and drizzle all with remaining marinade.  Season with additional black pepper.
  • Roast for 1 hour or until a meat is cooked through.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Chocolate Biscuit Gateau

I remember my mother making something similar to this at Christmas.  This is a great treat to make with kids!

225 g (8 oz) plain chocolate
225 g (8 oz) butter
2 eggs, beaten
25 g 1 oz caster sugar
225 g (8 oz) digestive biscuits

To Decorate
75 ml (3 oz) whipping cream
Glace Cherries
Walnut Halves

  • Grease a 6 inch cake tin with a detachable base.  
  • Break up chocolate and put in a bowl over saucepan of simmering water to melt.
  • Melt butter gently in another pan.  
  • Beat eggs with sugar in a bowl. 
  • Pour in melted butter in a steady stream, beating continuously.  Now blend in melted chocolate.  
  • Break up digestive biscuits into small pieces; fold into chocolate.  
  • Turn mixture into cake tin; chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To serve stand cake tin on a canister at least 5 cm smaller than the base of the tin.  Push the tin carefully down onto the table, leaving the base with the cake on the canister. 
  • Slide it onto a serving plate and decorate with piped whipped cream, cherries and walnut halves.
**use unsalted butter and bitter sweet chocolate

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Omelettes with Goat Cheese and Tomato

Goat Cheese is one of my favourite cheeses.  It provides a wonderful texture and flavour to almost any dish.

4 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped


  • In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Pour in egg mixture.  Let set 1 minute, push eggs to one side with a spatula, tilt pan, and let uncooked eggs slide onto skillet.
  • Sprinkle goat cheese and tomato along set side of eggs.  Fold eggs over filling; cook for 2 minutes more.  Slide onto a serving plate; cut in two.  Serve immediately

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Coriander-Almond-Crusted Halibut with Orange, Artichoke and Olive Salad

Halibut is a wonderful mild flavoured choice for this dish but if you aren’t able to find it use a Talapia or Cod.  I really liked the mixture of flavours in this dish.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup raw untoasted almond slivers
1 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely torn
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 jar artichoke quarters, drained
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Salt
4 pieces halibut fillet, skinless
Pepper


  • In an electric grinder or small food processor, grind together the coriander, fennel and almonds to form fine crumbs (do not over grind or they will become a paste).  Place crumbs on a plate.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mint, orange segments, artichokes, olives and 2 tbsp oil.  Season with salt to taste and set aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet (I prefer my cast iron) heat remaining 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Season halibut with salt and pepper and gently press each piece into crumbs to coat well.  Place crumb side down in oil and cook until golden and the almonds are toasted, about 2 minutes.  Turn over and brown the second side for 1 minute.  Place seared fish in preheated oven (on a baking sheet, or still in pan if it is oven proof) until fish is just cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes depending on thickness.
  • Divide the orange salad between 4 plates and top each with a piece of halibut.
Serves 4.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Skillet Dutch Baby Provencal

From Food and Drink Holiday 2015 this is a wonderful recipe that highlights the benefits of cast iron skillets.  I cook in my cast iron most days and while I found it initially tricky to get the heat right now that I have mastered it I would go back to another skillet.

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp herbs de Provence
2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped, divided
Scant 2 oz (60g) goat cheese
1 dry pint (550 g) roma grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Set sliced onions in a medium bowl and pour vinegar overtop to marinate while oven is preheating.
  • Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Turn off heat once melted and frothy.
  • In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour and salt until well blended and foamy.  Pour batter into hot skillet.  Sprinkle evenly with herbs de Provence, 1 tbsp parsley and knobs of goat cheese.  Bake until pancake is puffed and browned around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  • While pancake is baking, make tomato salad topper by pouring off 1/4 cup of vinegar from marinating onions, and adding remaining 1 tbsp parsley to the bowl, along with tomatoes, olives, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Mound some of the tomato salad on hot pancake, serving the remainder on the side.  Cut pancake into 4 wedges and serve at once.
Serves 4

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Minty Bells

If you miss your summertime patio drinks this will bring some summertime pleasure to your fall days.   From Food and Drink Holiday 2015

To a Highball glass, add 3 lime wedges, 1/2 oz agave syrup and 12 mint leaves, torn.   Muddle.  Fill the glass with ice and add 1 oz amber rum.  Stir to mix.  Top with 3 to 4 oz Cava and garnish with a mint sprig.

Makes 1 drink.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Zucchini, Tomatoes and Herbs

A quick, healthy and delicious side dish!  I don’t find you need to add the salt for this but I included it from the original recipe from Food and Drink Spring 2015.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion sliced
4 medium zucchini cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
24 cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup lightly packed chopped dill
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, sliced


  • Heat oil in a large high sided skilled (love using my cast iron) over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent.  Stir in zucchini, sea on generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes or until tender crisp.
  • Pour vinegar over, sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes to pan, toss to combine, cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until zucchini are tender and tomatoes have just burst.
  • Remove from heat, stir in dill and turn out onto a platter or shallow serving bowl; sprinkle with mint.
Serves 10

Friday, 11 November 2016

Grilled Chicken Satays and Peanut Sauce

This is a really nice peanut sauce that goes well with chicken or pork.  I grilled outdoors but you could broil the satays if you do not have a bbq.

PEANUT SAUCE
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp Asian garlic chili paste or sauce

CHICKEN SATAYS
boneless, skinless chicken breast 750g
2 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 large clove garlic, grated


  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using to reduce flare ups on the grill.
  • PEANUT SAUCE:  In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, water and hoisin sauce until smooth.  Add ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili paste and whisk until combined.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Using a chef’s knife, cut chicken crosswise into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick and place into a large bowl.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic; stir to coat well.  Let stand for 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  • Thread chicken onto small soaked skewers.  Place on greased grill over medium high heat turning once for about 6 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Serve with peanut sauce.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Wasabi Sesame Grilled Chicken

I absolutely love the flavour of Wasabi and the sesame flavoured chicken really accents it well.

3 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp wasabi powder or paste
750 g boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup sticky rice
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

WASABI SAUCE
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp wasabi powder or paste


  • Wasabi sauce:  in a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and wasabi powder.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a large resealable bag, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and wasabi powder.  Add chicken, close bag and move around to coat evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  • Place chicken on greased grill over medium heat and grill for about 12 minutes turning once or until no longer pink inside and thermometer reads 77C.  Let stand 5 minutes before slicing
  • Meanwhile in a saucepan bring rice and broth to boil,  reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.  Stir in cilantro.
  • Divide rice among 6 plates and top with sliced chicken.  Drizzle with wasabi sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

I used Pistachio’s in this recipe but they could easily be replaced by toasted almonds or cashews.  It would be easy to switch them up.  Also adding a handful of dried cranberries will add a little zing to the chicken.

1 cup shelled raw pistachios
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp Greek plain yogurt
2 tbsp grainy mustard
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Roughly grind nuts in processor or chop by hand.  Add breadcrumbs and blend, using on/off turns.  Transfer to shallow baking dish.
  • Mix basil, dill, rosemary, yogurt and mustard in medium bowl.  Spread mustard mixture over both sides of each chicken breast.  Dip chicken into nut mixture, coating completely.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  • Serve with salad.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

I love a good burger and they are always best from home.  Lately I have been foregoing the bun as part of my desire to lower carbs…they are still delicious.  This is a nice change from the usual ground beef burger.  Don’t forget to grease your grill before barbecuing.

750 g ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup thick teriyaki sauce
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp wasabi paste


  • In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, green onions, sesame seeds and bread crumbs.  Shape into 6 burger patties.  Broil or grill burgers 4 to 6 inches from the broiler or over medium high coals for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once.
  • Meanwhile mix together mayonnaise and wasabi paste; spread on 6 lightly toasted burger buns
  • Place cooked turkey burgers in buns.  Serve with sliced cucumber and watercress or arugula

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Lemon Chicken Kabobs

A nicely flavoured meal that is easy to prepare.  Switch up the pepper for your favourite grilled vegetable!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 sweet green pepper or 2 banana peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces


  • Mix together oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; toss with chicken until coated.  Marinate for 15 minutes or covered and refrigerated up to 1 day.
  • Alternately thread chicken and green pepper onto skewers.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning occasionally until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside about 12 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Chicken Teriyaki Skewers

Chicken thigh meat is tender and juicy, don’t tell the kids the other meat is liver…they will never know or omit them and double the chicken thighs.  Freeze left over teriyaki sauce for later use.

225 g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
225 g chicken livers

QUICK TERIYAKI SAUCE:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp sake
2 slices fresh ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch

Quick Teriyaki Sauce:  In saucepan; bring soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, ginger and 3/4 cup water to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.  Whisk 2 tbsp cold water with cornstarch; add to pan and cook, stirring, until thickened.  Discard ginger.  Let cool

Alternately thread chicken and half the onions onto 4 skewers.  Repeat with livers and remaining onions.

Grill covered, on greased grill over medium high heat, turning halfway through and brushing with about half of the teriyaki sauce, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 8 minutes for thighs and 4 minutes for livers.  Brush with more teriyaki sauce, if desired.

Makes 4 main course servings.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Kerry Apple Cake

Use a nice tart apple for this cake as it will contrast nicely with the sweetness of the cake.  If you don’t want to do the cider sauce just drizzle a little white frosting over it and you have a great fall dessert.  I made this one for my family at Thanksgiving.   From Food and Drink Spring 2016.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 large cooking apples, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 tbsp brown sugar

CIDER SAUCE
2 cups hard cider
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup sugar


  • preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease an 8 inch cake pan and line the base with parchment.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add zest.  Beat in eggs, then milk.  Sift flour with baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add to butter mixture.  Stir until combined.  Mix in the apples.  The mixture will appear to have more apples than batter.  Spread evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Combine cider, rosemary and sugar in a pot over high heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce for 20 minutes or until syrupy.  Remove rosemary sprigs and serve sauce with warm apple cake.
Serves 6 to 8.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Strawberry, Raspberry and Toasted Coconut Crumble Pie

This is an easy and fun recipe from Food and Drink 2015.  I cut the recipe in half as it was just for our family and I switched the coconut to Toasted Slivered Almonds as we have a coconut hater in the household.  You can use either fresh or frozen fruit for this but I find fresh is usually better.

Slab Pie Pastry for 1 slab pie crust

Slab Pie Pastry for 2 slab pie crusts
5 cups , or for 1 crust 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp or for 1 crust 1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups, or for 1 crust 1 cup frozen unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups or for 1 crust 3/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp or for 1 crust 1 tbsp lemon juice



  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  Working with 1 stick of butter at a time, coarsely grate into flour mixture.  Toss to coat, then repeat until all the butter has been incorporated.
  • Combine water and lemon juice.  Drizzle into the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring or kneading gently until all the flour has been incorporated and you can bring dough into a ball (you may need to add slightly more or less liquid depending on how much the butter has worked through the dough).  Cut ball of dough in half if you have made enough for 2 crusts; wrap in plastic and flatten into rectangular discs.  Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
FILLING
1 kg strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if large, about 7 cups
750 g raspberries, about 7 cups
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup tapioca flour/starch

TOPPING
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded toasted sweetened coconut

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line a 13 x 7 inch rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) with parchment paper.  Roll pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 15 x 19 inches.  Fit pastry into prepared baking sheet and trim so that overhanging edge is about 3/4 inches wide all around.  Moisten pastry edge with a little water and fold over to create a pastry lip that stands slightly above the edge of the pan.  Squeeze pastry edge all around to seal.  Chill while making filling and topping.
  • Combine strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a bowl, and stir gently to mix.  Let stand 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and fruit looks juicy.
  • Combine flour, butter, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until all flour has been absorbed and mixture looks like cookie dough.  Add coconut and process until incorporated.
  • Add tapioca to fruit mixture and stir gently until it coats the fruit and is completely moistened.  Spread fruit and any juices into prepared pastry crust in an even layer.  Break crumble topping into large and small chunks and sprinkle all over fruit layer.
  • Bake pie in the lower third of oven for 50 minutes or until fruit juices are bubbling and thickened, and until both pastry and crumble are golden and cooked through.
Makes 16 servings

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Bubble Buns

These are delightful, fun little buns.  Just make sure that the 3 pieces are all of equal size.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 recipe Brioche (recipe at bottom)


  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Grease and flour 10 cups of a standard muffin tin and set aside
  • On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 pieces, about 45 g each.  Place in the fridge and working with 1 portion of dough at a time, dived into 3 smaller pieces, about 15 g each.  Form each piece into a smooth ball.  Brush lightly with water, or mist with a spray bottle and coat well with the cinnamon brown sugar.  Place 3 rounds of dough into each muffin cup.  Repeat with remaining dough portions.  Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.  Allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Bake the buns until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and remove from muffin tin while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.  To reheat, place in a preheated 100C oven until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.

BRIOCHE

Sponge
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
5 tbsp milk

Final Dough
3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes.  Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.  The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.
  • For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up.  Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times.  Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated.  The dough will be very soft and shiny.  Wrap in layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Citrus and Cardamom Twists

These are fabulous breakfast danishes.  A lovely pastry with a citrus flavour.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

1/2  cup sugar
Rind of 1/2 orange, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 recipe Brioche (below)
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water

LEMON GLAZE
1/2  up sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the sugar, orange rind and cardamom until the rind is finely minced.
  • On a floured surface, roll the dough to a 12 x 11 inch rectangle.  In from the 12 in h side of the rectangle, lightly mark three 4 inch strips.  Brush the centre strip very lightly with the beaten egg and spread with one half of the orange cardamom sugar.   Fold the left 4 in h strip per the sugared one.  Brush with another thin layer of the beaten egg and top with the rest of the sugar.  Fold the remaining 4 inch strip over the sugar and roll the dough gently lengthwise just to embed the sugar.  The dough should now be 12 x 4 inches.  Transfer the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm but not hard, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Place the dough horizontally on the work surface and with a sharp knife, cut twelve 1 inch strips.  Take the first strip, hold one end in each hand, and twist twice by rotating your hands in opposite directions.  Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for each strip, placing them about 1 inch apart on the sheet.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the twists until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • While the twists are baking, prepare the glaze.  Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.  Brush a thin layer of glaze over the twists as soon as they come out of the oven.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  To reheat, place in a 200F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

BRIOCHE

Sponge
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
5 tbsp milk

Final Dough
3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes.  Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.  The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.
  • For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up.  Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times.  Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated.  The dough will be very soft and shiny.  Wrap in layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

A bit of a switch from your regular burger.

750 g ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup thick teriyaki sauce
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp wasabi paste


  • In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, green onions, sesame seeds and bread brumes.  Shape into 6 burger patties.  Broil or grill burgers 4 - 6 inches from broiler or over medium high coals for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, mix together mayonnaise and wasabi paste; spread on 6 lightly toasted burger buns.
  • Place cooked turkey burgers in buns.  Serve with sliced cucumber and watercress or arugula.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Red Chili Sauce Chicken

Use any kind of white meat for this…it is very versatile and a quick stove top dinner.

1 tbsp canola oil
454 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp red curry paste
3 tbsp fish sauce
227 g long beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can bamboo shoot strips
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp brown sugar
180 g rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup cashews chopped


  • In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high heat.  Cook, chicken and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add curry paste and fish sauce and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove to plate.
  • Add beans, pepper and drained bamboo shoots. Pour in broth; cover and steam for 5 minutes.  Uncover and return chicken and accumulated juices to skillet with brown sugar and cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until well coated and chicken is no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile in a sauce pan of boiling water, cook noodles for 2 minutes. Drain well and return to pot.  Toss with oil and basil to combine.
  • Spread noodles over shallow bowl or platter and top with turkey mixture.  Sprinkle with cashews.  Let stand for 2 minutes for juices to absorb into the noodles before serving.  

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Ginger Soy Chicken Skewers

We eat a lot of chicken at our home and this is certainly a different way to prepare it.  Ginger and soy are great flavour partners and using chicken thighs keeps the meat moist.

1/4 cup sodium reduced soy sauce
4 tsp granulated sugar
4 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
1 sweet onion, quartered
8 green onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces


  • Mix together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and hot pepper flakes until sugar is dissolved; toss with chicken until coated.  Marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Separate sweet onion quarters into pieces 3 layers thick.  Toss together sweet onion, green onions, chicken and marinade until coated.  Alternately thread chicken, onion and green onions onto skewers.
  • Grill, covered, on greased grill over medium heat, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 12 to 15 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Sweet and Tangy Sausage Pepper Kabobs

Sausage is always great on the BBQ but I had never thought about putting it on a skewer.  This is an easy and delicious recipe for a great dinner.  From Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection.

450 g mild Italian sausages, cut into 24 pieces
2 Cubanelle peppers, seeded and cut into 32 pieces (I could not find these so I substituted sweet peppers)
1 Sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into 32 pieces
1 red onion, cut into chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper and dried oregano

Alternately thread pieces of sausage, Cubanelle peppers, red pepper and onion onto 8 metal skewers.

Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, salt pepper and oregano; brush half over skewers.

Grill, covered, on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once and brushing with remaining oil mixture, until sausages are no longer pink in centre, 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 4 main course servings.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Tofu Skewers with Jerk Barbecue Sauce

I am not a huge fan of tofu, however this is quite enjoyable.  Having such a strong flavour for it to absorb really helps.  From Canadian Living - The BBQ collection.

1 pkg Firm tofu or extra firm tofu, cut into 24 cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 each sweet red, orange and yellow pepper, cut into 24 pieces
6 green onions (white parts only), halved
Grilled Coleslaw

JERK BARBECUE SAUCE:
1 cup bottled strained tomatoes (passata)
2 tbsp fancy molasses
1 to 2 tbsp prepared jerk sauce
2 tsp malt vinegar
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Jerk Barbecue Sauce

  • In a saucepan, bring tomatoes, molasses, jerk sauce, vinegar and thyme to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 10 to 15 minutes.
Tofu
  • Meanwhile, gently toss together tofu, garlic, soy sauce and oil until coated; marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Alternately thread peppers, onions and tofu onto skewers; brush with some of the jerk barbecue sauce.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning and brushing with remaining jerk barbecue sauce, until vegetables are tender and slightly browned.  Serve with grilled coleslaw.
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings

Grilled Coleslaw
  • Cut 1 small cabbage into sixths; core.  Cut half red onion into 3 wedges.  Grill cabbage and onion on greased grill over medium heat until outer layers start to soften, about 10 minutes.  Thinly slice.  Toss together cabbage; onion; 1 large carrot, grated; 2 tbsp each mayonnaise and cider vinegar; and 1/4 tsp each salt pepper and celery seed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Thai Minced Pork Kabobs

A really tasty kabob!  From Canadian Living - The BBQ Collection.  A nice addition would be some grilled pineapple.

2 shallots (or 1 green onion) minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 Thai Birds eye peppers (optional) minced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
1 egg
4 tsp fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tsp minced fresh lemongrass
2 tsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp lime juice
2 to 4  tsp Thai red curry paste
450 g lean ground pork
Fresh Cilantro sprigs
Lime Wedges


  • Stir to ether shallots, garlic, peppers (if using), cilantro, 3 tbsp of the peanuts, egg, fish sauce, lemongrass, sugar, lime juice and curry paste; mix in pork
  • Using heaping 1 tbsp each, shape into small sausages; thread lengthwise onto skewers.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 12 hours.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium heat, turning once, until no longer pink inside or instant read thermometer registers 160F, about 12 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining peanuts; garnish with cilantro sprigs.  Serve with lime wedges.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Fresh Apricot Slab Pie with Thyme and Honey

I halved this recipe as I did not have 16 people to serve and as much as I enjoy dessert…I do need to fit into my clothes.  I didn’t find any issue with halving the recipe but I thought I would give you the original in case you want to do this for a party.  Apricots are an nice change from regular apple and peach pies (not that there is anything wrong with those).  Serve with a good quality vanilla ice cream.  From Food and Drink 2015.

Slab Pie Pastry for 2 slab pie crusts
5 cups , or for 1 crust 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp or for 1 crust 1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups, or furo 1 crust 1 cup frozen unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups or for 1 crust 3/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp or for 1 crust 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  Working with 1 stick of butter at a time, coarsely grate into flour mixture.  Toss to coat, then repeat until all the butter has been incorporated.
  • Combine water and lemon juice.  Drizzle into the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring or kneading gently until all the flour has been incorporated and you can bring dough into a ball (you may need to add slightly more or less liquid depending on how much the butter has worked through the dough).  Cut ball of dough in half if you have made enough for 2 crusts; wrap in plastic and flatten into rectangular discs.  Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
FILLING
3 lbs fresh firm ripe apricots
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup wilflower honey
1 tsp roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup tapioca flour/starch
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Line the bottom of a 13 x 17 inch rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) with parchment paper.  Working with 1 piece of pastry at a time, place on a flour dusted counter and roll the first into a rectangle about 15x9 inches and fit into prepared baking sheet making sure that the pastry overhangs evenly on all sides.  Chill.  Roll out the second piece of pastry to a similar size, transfer to a sheet of parchment and use a variety of small round cutters to cut decorative vents in the pastry.  Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.
  • Cut apricots in half, remove stones, then cut halves in half again.  Toss with lemon juice, honey, thyme and salt and let stand for 10 minutes or until they look juicy.
  • Add tapioca and stir gently until it coats the fruit and is completely moistened.  Spoon apricots and all juices into bottom pastry in an even layer.  Remove top crust from freezer, and carefully transfer it over top of apricot layer.  Let stand a few minutes to soften, then use a little water to seal the layers of pastry together where they meet.  Trim pastry, roll edge and crimp decoratively.  Brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with sugar.  Bake for 30 minutes, then turn oven down to 375 and bake for 20 minutes longer or until fruit juices are bubbling and thickened and pastry is golden and cooked through.
Makes 16 servings

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Brioche

A really lovely dessert loaf that my family loved.  It is a bit of work as the brioche dough takes time, but it is well worth the effort.  Hazelnut works well but could easily be substituted for walnut or almond.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

FILLING
1/4 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and skins removed
1 tsp egg white
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 recipe Brioche (bottom of recipe)
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water


  • Place hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine.  Add the egg white, icing sugar and vanilla and blend until pasty.  Add the chocolate and blend until finedly chopped.  Set the filling aside.
  • Butter the sides of an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  On a floured surface, roll the dough lengthwise, to a 7 x 18 inch rectangle.  Brush cold water very lightly over the dough.  Top with the chocolate nut filling, within 1/4 inch of the borders.  Roll over the dough once very gently just to embed the filling.
  • With the short side facing you, fold the top edge of the dough over about 1/2 inch.  Using both hands, roll the dough toward yourself, tucking it under with your thumbs to tighten as you work your way down the entire log.  As you tuck, try to keep the roll taut and even.  Wrap the dough in wax or parchment paper and place in the freezer just to firm up slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • With the seam side down and using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise.  Gently stretch each portion of dough until it is about 12 inches long.  Place the dough strips lengthwise and parallel to one another on the table making sure the filling is facing up.  Starting at the top, overlap the ends of the dough and gently pinch them together.  Cross the pieces over one another 3 to 4 times, pinching the ends together at the bottom.  Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.  Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the loaf is almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Brush the beaten egg lightly over the top of the loaf and bake until deep golden brown, about 40 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, then remove from pan.
BRIOCHE

Sponge
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
5 tbsp milk

Final Dough
3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes.  Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.  The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.
  • For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up.  Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times.  Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated.  The dough will be very soft and shiny.  Wrap in layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Roast Rack of Pork with Rosemary and Goat Cheese

I love using my cast iron for roasts like this.  I am able to sear on the stovetop and move it right into the oven.

1 pork rib roast, rack, about 1.5 kg
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallots
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup soft goat cheese


  • Pre heat oven to 350 f.  Whisk together maple syrup, one tablespoon mustard and pepper in a small bowl.  Place pork rack in an oven proof skillet.  Brush some of the maple syrup glaze over the pork and roast brushing with glaze every 15 minutes, for about 1 1/4 hours or until an internal temperature of 155F is reached.
  • Remove pork roast and tent with foil.  Allow roast to rest for at least 15 minutes while you are making the sauce.
  • Pour off fat from skillet and discard.  Place skillet over medium high heat, and melt butter.  Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add rosemary and increase heat to high.  Add white wine and bring to a boil.  Continue boiling for about 3 minutes or until there is about 1 cup of liquid left.
  • Whisk in remaining mustard, goat cheese, and any juices that have collected around the resting roast.  Remove from heat once the sauce has begun to thicken.
  • Carve roast between ribs; serve on a small pool of sauce.  Garnish with chopped chives if desired.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Roasted Whole Cauliflower

This is a delicious side that looks and tastes fantastic.


1 tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 medium head cauliflower, leaves trimmed and bottom cut flat
1/4 cup plain hummus
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp red pepper spread
2 tbsp chopped toasted pistachios
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Combine Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp salt and oil; set aside
  • Cook whole cauliflower in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender but firm, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain well; place cut side in greased baking dish.  Insert tip of sharp knife into topi f cauliflower in five random places.  Brush spice mixture all over and into crevices.
  • Roast in centre of oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and tender.  Meanwhile, whisk together hummus and 2 to 3 tbsp water to thin sauce until thin enough to drizzle if necessary.  Set aside.
  • Combine yogurt and red pepper spread.  Drizzle spoonful each of red pepper sauce and hummus sauce over top of roasted cauliflower; sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro.  Cut into wedges and serve with remaining sauces.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Layer Cake with Whipped Cream

An unusual and delicious cake.

135 ml butter
3 egg yolks
225 ml flour
100 ml sugar
75 ml milk
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
300 ml sugar, for topping
Chopped almonds, optional
500 ml whipping for filling

Cream butter and sugar; add egg yolks.  Sift flour and baking powder into egg mixture alternately with milk.  Grease 2 springforms well (I skipped this and just used one pan) ; divide dough evenly into pans.  Beat egg whites stiff.  Add 300 ml sugar.  Spread on top; sprinkle with almonds.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on serving plate with whipped cream between layers.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Savoury Apple and Turkey Sausage Tarte Tatin

This is a perfect recipe for this time of year.  Sweet and savoury with all the great fall flavours.  Serve with a side salad and a great glass of wine.  From Holiday 2015 Food and Drink Magazine

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 to 8 small fresh sage leaves
5 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cored with a paring knife
4 lean turkey sausage links, meat removed from casings
1 sheet puff pastry dough 225 g, thawed but still cold.  If using a brand with unrolled squares, roll out 1 square on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, dusting off excess flour


  • Generously butter an 8 inch cast iron skillet and then equally distribute remaining butter in small blobs around the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the butter.  Arrange sage leaves all around.
  • Snugly fit apple quarters into skillet in an overlapping spiral, working your way to the centre.  Squeeze them in as tightly as you can.  Place knobs of sausage meat on top of apples, then lay puff pastry over the sausage, tucking excess dough in around the edges, trimming away if there still too much dough.  Poke dough a dozen times with the tip of the knife.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Place skillet over medium heat until juices start to boil.  Continue cooking until theres very little liquid left in the skillet - check by gently pushing the dough in from the edge with the tip of the knife.  It will take 25 to 27 minutes for the apples to cook and most of the juices to evaporate, without having the bottom burn.
  • Transfer skillet to preheated oven and bake until pastry is browned on top and cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes.  Remove from oven and jerk pan around to release apples from the bottom.  Slide a small knife around the outer edge, making sure nothing is sticking.  Let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Right before turning over your savoury tart tat in onto a serving plate, heat the bottom of the pan over high heat for 20 to 30 seconds, jiggling it to make sure nothing is sticking.  Place the large serving plate over the top of the pan, take a deep breath and flip the tart onto the plate, slice and serve.
Serves 4 to 6


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Skillet Rosti with Smoked Salmon and Chive Sour Cream

I have a great cast iron skillet and use it almost every day.  It is perfect for this particular recipe.  If you have never used cast iron I highly recommend it.  I took a little time getting used to it because it takes longer to heat and retains heat longer than my old skillet.  This recipe is from Food and Drink Holiday 2015

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, divided
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 russet potatoes, peeled, grated and squeezed dry in clean towel
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp snipped chives plus more for garnish
1 cup sour cream
Generous 275 g smoked salmon or smoked trout

  • Add 1 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil to 8 inch skillet and heat over medium heat.
  • Add grated potatoes to a large bowl and toss with remaining melted butter, flour, salt and pepper.  Toss until well combined.
  • Tip mixture into hot pan and press down firmly with hand or spatula to help it form a solid cake.  Cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until it is golden brown underneath (you can check the colour by gently lifting up the edge of the rosti with a spatula, but don’t do this too early as the rosti may come apart).  When nicely browned on the bottom, loosen rosti from the pan with spatula and slide it onto a plate (remember the skillet handle will be hot).  Place another plate on top and holding both plates together, flip them over.  Carefully slide browned side up rosti back into the skillet and continue cooking for 6 to 7 minutes more, or until golden brown on bottom and cooked through.  Remove from heat and slide rosti onto a serving plate.
  • Stir chives into sour cream. 
  •  Top warm rosti with curls of smoked salmon and dollops of chive sour cream, plus more chives for garnish if you please.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Smoky Citrus Turkey Taco Salad

If you can’t find turkey a couple of nice chicken breasts will work well too.  The Avocado Dressing for this salad is fantastic and I am sure I am going to use this one frequently.  I am going to give you the recipe as is but I found it too thick…almost like a dip so for a true dressing I would add more water or some olive oil.

1 pkg (400g) Turkey breast slices or tenders
1/2 tsp orange rind, grated
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 chipotle pepper, minced
3 cups mixed baby greens
3 cups broccoli slaw
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cups tortilla chips
Lime Wedges

AVOCADO DRESSING
1 small ribs but firm avocado, chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Avocado Dressing:  In a small food processor combine avocado, lime juice, water, vinegar, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a bowl, whisk orange rind and juice, oil, cilantro and chipotle pepper.  Add turkey and turn to coat evenly.  Let sand for 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.  
  • Place turkey on greased grill over medium high heat for about 12 minutes or until no longer pink inside and thermometer reaches 170F.  Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • In a large bowl, combine greens, broccoli slaw, tomatoes and corn.  Toss with dressing.
  • Divide among 4 plates and top with turkey.  Place tortillas around salad and top with lime wedge to squeeze over top just before eating.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Coriander Pork Skewers With Red Onion Salsa

I really like this one, lots of great summer flavours.  Bay leaves are just for flavour as they are to hard to eat so always discard them after grilling.  If you don’t have hot paprika, mix 3/4 tsp sweet paprika with 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.  From Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection.

450 g pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp salt
12 fresh bay leaves (approx)

RED ONION SALSA
1 tomato
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch each salt and granulated sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint


  1. Toss together pork, garlic, coriander, oil, cumin, paprika and salt until coated; marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. For salsa:  cut tomato into quarters; seed, core and slice.  Toss together tomato, onion, vinegar, salt and sugar.  Stir in mint.
  3. Alternately thread pork and bay leaves onto skewers, using more bay leaves if desired.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until just a hint of pink remains inside pork, about 12 minutes.  
  4. Serve with red onion salsa.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Chocolate Biscuit Gateau

A decadent dessert that goes great with a good cup of coffee.

225 g plain chocolate
225 g butter
2 eggs, beaten
25 g caster sugar
225 g digestive biscuits

To decorate
75 ml double cream
Glace cherries
Walnut halves

Grease a 6 inch cake tin with detachable base.  Break up chocolate and put in a bowl over saucepan of simmering water to melt.  Melt butter gently in another pan.  Beat eggs with sugar in bowl.  Pour in melted butter in a study stream, beating continuously.  Now blend in melted chocolate.  Break up digestive biscuits into small pieces; fold into chocolate.  Turn mixture into cake tin; chill overnight in the refrigerator.

To serve, stand cake tin on a canister at least 2 inches smaller than the base of the tin.  Push the tin carefully down onto the table, leaving the base with the cake on the canister.  Slide it onto a serving plate and decorate with piped whipped cream, cherries and walnut halves.

**use unsalted butter and bitter sweet chocolate

Monday, 12 September 2016

Spring Cake

A great cake that you can change the flavours with by switching the Nescafe powder for orange peel.

6 egg whites
Dash Salt
Dash cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 pt whipping cream
2 tsp Nescafe powder

Beat egg whites and slowly add dry ingredients until batter is stiff.  Place brown paper on baking sheets; draw 3 large circles.  Place meringue on circles.  Bake 1 hour at 300F.  Melt chocolate chips and spread evenly on 2 cooled meringue layers.  Place in fridge.

Whip cream; add coffee powder.  Spread cream between layers and on the cake.   Leave in fridge 24 to 48 hours.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Chopped Liver and Fried Salami Sandwiches with Russian Dressing

Another great recipe to get your liver on!  I switched the salami for a proscuitto but you could also use bacon.  A good quality bread is a must for this sandwich.  From Food and Drink Spring 2016.

CHOPPED LIVER
2 large eggs
2 medium cooking onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
500 g chicken livers, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

RUSSIAN DRESSING
1 small shallot, minced about 1 tbsp
1 tbsp minced chives
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp sugar

8 slices beef salami
8 slices rye bread
Crisp leaves of iceberg lettuce
2 sour dill pickles, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, lower to a simmer and carefully add eggs to pot.  Cook, uncovered, for 12 minutes.  Drain pot and rinse eggs under cool water.  Peel eggs as set aside.
  2. In a large pan over medium low heat, cook onions in olive oil, stirring often, for 25 to 30 minutes or until deeply caramelized.  Add cleaned chicken livers to pan with onion and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until browned and cooked through (a little pink is ok).  Season well with salt and pepper.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then add eggs and contents of pan to a food processor and pulse until combined but not pasty - 2 to 3 short pulses.  Taste again for seasoning and remove to a bowl.  Cover well with plastic wrap touching the liver so that it doesn’t discolour, and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Combine all Russian dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  4. In a large pan fry 4 slices of salami at a time over medium heat for 1 to 2 mites on each side or until slightly browned and sizzling.  While this is happening, start toasting slices of rye. 
  5. Its time to make the sandwiches!  Mound 4 pieces of toasted rye with a good amount of chopped liver, top each with 2 slices of salami, then lettuce, pickle, tomato and Russian dressing.  Top each with second piece of toasted rye.  Serve with a side of potato chips or salad.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

This is a really decadent breakfast!  I got the idea from an Atkins diet book but I wouldn’t personally suggest this for weight loss.  I tis a great Sunday morning treat though.

1 loaf thick bread - I like a french or Italian loaf
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 tbsp strawberry jam
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil


  • Heat oven to warm setting.  Line a baking sheet with foil; place in oven.  Coat loaf into 8 thick slices.  Make a pocket in each slice, taking care not to cut through to the opposite side.
  • In a bowl, mix cream cheese and jam until blended.  Fold in berries and cinnamon.  Evenly dived mixture into bread pockets.
  • Mix cream mixture, eggs, vanilla and salt in a shallow bowl.  Dip bread slices two at a time into mixture until saturated.  
  • Heat 1 tbsp each butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Cook slices in batches, 5 to 6 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Do not crowd skillet.  Add more butter and oil to skillet as needed. Transfer cooked slices to baking sheet to keep warm while cooking remaining slices.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Philippine Pork Kabobs

There is lots of flavour in this marinated pork, I added some grilled vegetables as well.  From Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection.

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp pepper
Generous pinch ground cloves
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
675 g boneless pork shoulder or loin, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

BASTING SAUCE:
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Mix together soy sauce, cilantro, vinegar, garlic ginger, bay leaf, pepper, cloves and cayenne; toss with pork until coated.  Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for 2 hours or up to 1 day.  Thread onto skewers.
Basting Sauce:  Mix together ketchup, lime juice, sugar and oil.  

  • Grill pork, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning often and brushing with basting sauce, until no longer pink inside for fattier shoulder or until just a hint of pink remains inside for loin, 12 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Danish Puffs

I enjoy making these, they really aren't that difficult and look so good.  Fill these with either a pudding or whipping cream and glaze with the icing of your choice.

1/3 cup butter
200 ml water
1 cup flour
2 to 3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F.  Bring butter and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add flour; stir vigorously until mixture leaves side of pan.  Cool slightly.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Place small rounds of dough on greased baking sheet (use 2 tsp or a pastry bag).  Bake on middle rack until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes (do not open oven door the first 15 minutes or the dough will collapse). Make a slit in each to allow the steam to escape.  Cool on a rack.  Pipe some filling in each and top with icing sugar or glaze.