Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Chicken Crisp with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Grilled Cheese Croutons are absolutely amazing!  This is an excellent recipe you must try.
  From Food and Drink Spring 2016.

8 to 10 slices mild provolone or havarti cheese
10 slices Italian bread, not a thick sliced variety
3 to 4 tbsp soft butter

1 purchased roasted or barbecued chicken, about 900 g cooked weight
175 to 250 g thin fresh asparagus or green beans
2 tbsp butter
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
3 fresh spring carrots, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
125 g cremini or white mushrooms, sliced (about 5 to 6 large)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme or torn basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Make 5 cheese sandwiches placing a double layer of cheese inside the 2 pieces of bread per sandwich.  Lightly spread bread exteriors with butter; grill over medium low heat until bread is barely golden and cheese is just sticking to bread.  Cool and cut into 1 inch dice; there should be 8 to 10 cups.
  • Pull apart chicken into bite sized pieces.  There should be about 4 cups; discard skin and bones.  Reserve any juice for sauce.
  • Cut tips off of asparagus; reserve tips for garnish.  Slice asparagus or green beans into 1 inch pieces.  Set aside.
  • Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until bubbly.  Add leeks and carrots; sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until leeks wilt.  Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.  Slowly stir in broth and any juices from chicken; add mushrooms.  If using green beans, add now.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  • Stir in lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir in asparagus and chicken.  Spread hot filling in a 9 inch baking dish or similar size gratin dish with a capacity of 7 to 8 cups.  Evenly top with croutons, crust sides down, and tuck in reserved asparagus tips.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes in oven centre or until filling is bubbling and top is crispy and golden.
Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Layered Salmon Crumble with Gruyere Potatoes

An excellent casserole!  From Food and Drink Spring 2016

425 to 500 g skinless, boneless salmon fillets
Butter or nonstick spray
2 tbsp panko or other dry bread crumbs
1 box baby spinach mixed with other greens such as arugula, kale and chard
1/2 cup 18% cream
2 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each of Dijon mustard and chili flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pkg frozen home fries, about 2 cups
60g Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese coarsely grated, about 1 1/4 cups
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 large sweet red peppers, roasted peeled and seeded
2 green onions thinly sliced

  • Preheat oven to 425F.  Arrange rack above oven centre.
  • Cut each fillet lengthwise into 5 pieces. Butter, or coat with nonstick spray, a deep dish 9 inch pie plate or equivalent gratin dish; sprinkle with panko.  Arrange salmon laying on sides evenly over bottom.
  • Place spinach mixture on a round dinner plate; cover.  Microwave for 1 minute on high or until wilted.  Remove cover; flip like a pancake onto a double thickness of paper towel. Cover with more paper towels; press to remove moisture.
  • Lightly whisk cream with eggs, salt, mustard, chili flakes and pepper.
  • Toss home fries with cheese and half of parsley.
  • Over top of salmon, arrange roasted pepper; top with spinach pancake.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Pour over cream mixture.  Top with home fries and cheese.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until just set.  If a browner top is desired, briefly broil.  Garnish with remaining parsley.
Serves 4 to 6

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Beef and Mushroom Casserole

An easy dinner casserole.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup green peas
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Add beef, onion and peppers.  Cook until beef browns.   Stir occasionally.  Add salt, pepper, mushrooms, peas, soup and 2/3 cup cheddar cheese; heat.  Spoon into 8 cup casserole; top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.  Serve with rice.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Patatas Bravas

I got this recipe from Food and Drink Holiday 2015 and it is the first time I have heard of it.  Typically a tapa is deep fried but these are baked for a healthier choice.

750 g Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into rough 1 1/2 to 2 inch dice
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 cups pureed tomatoes
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp minced garlic or more to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp chopped parsley

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Place potatoes in a pot of salted cold water.  Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain well and shake dry in pot over turned off heat.
  • Toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and tender, turning occasionally.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with more salt.  Reserve.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium low heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes or until soft.  Stir in paprika and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.  Add sugar and sherry vinegar.  Season with salt.  Reserve until needed.
  • Combine mayonnaise with garlic and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place potatoes on serving and spoon over warm tomato sauce.  Streak with the aioli and sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Southwest Scrambled Egg Burritos

When you have a little more time for breakfast.  These also work for camping, just make them up and individually wrap in foil. Warm up over the camp fire when ready.

8 large eggs
1/4 cup water
3 links fully cooked turkey or chicken sausage
1 tbsp canola oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
4 garlic and herb flavoured soft tortillas

  • Whisk eggs and water in a large bowl.
  • Whit a sharp knife, score casing of sausage down one side and pull off.  Coarsely chop filling.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add sausage and cook just until lightly browned, 2 minutes; remove.  Wipe out skillet.
  • Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add egg mixture, then sausage over top and cook just 1 minute, until starting to set on bottom.  Start turning eggs over to scramble gently and allowing soft parts to set, cooking about 1 to 2 minutes.  When eggs are almost cooked, sprinkle with cheese and finish cooking just until set but not dry. 
  • Wipe out skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Toast tortillas in dry or lightly greased pan on wine side until golden, 1 minute.  Fill centre of toasted side of each tortilla with 3/4 cup egg mixture.  Roll up and toast seam side down until lightly golden, 1 minute more.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Mushroom Goat Cheese Frittata

This works really well for a brunch, switch up the goat cheese for whatever you favourite cheese is.

8 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups goat cheese
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
250 g button mushrooms, wiped clean
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt

  • Whisk eggs with water, 1 cup cheese and the herbs in a large bowl; set aside
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and onion; cover and cook 3 minutes.  Uncover, cook 6 to 7 minutes more, until golden; sprinkle with salt and transfer to bowl.
  • Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium high heat; add egg mixture and cook 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium low, evenly add mushrooms over top, cover, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until edges are puffed.
  • Meanwhile, heat broiler.  Sprinkle top of frittata with remaining cheese.  Transfer skillet to broiler and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source 1 minute, until lightly browned.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rosemary Butter Cookies

Great for a start to any get together.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper (optional)
2 tbsp very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Fresh rosemary for garnish

  • In a bowl, blend flour with baking powder, salt, white pepper and rosemary.  In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, beat egg with butter, sugar and vanilla for about 2 minutes.  Using low speed, gradually beat in about half the flour mixture.  Then stir in remaining mixture using a spatula or spoon.
  • Using floured hands, gather dough into a ball.  Divide into 4 portions.  On a lightly floured surface, shape each into a log about 1 1/4 inches wide and 8 inches long.  Wrap in clear wrap or waxed paper.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.  Alternatively seal in a plastic bag and freeze up to 6 months, but move to the refrigerator for a day before slicing.
  • To bake, preheat oven to 325F.
  • Remove a log from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes to make it easier to slice.  Then slice in 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Place on a large parchment lined baking sheet, dipping cookie tops into finely chopped rosemary or gently pressing a tiny sprig on each if you wish.
  • Bake in centre of preheated oven until cookie bottoms are pale golden, 9 to 10 minutes.  Remove right away to a rack to cool completely.   Repeat with remaining dough.  Cookies will keep well stored in an airtight container in a cool place up to 1 week.
Makes 120 small cookies.


Toast 1/2 cup hazelnuts on a baking sheet at 350F until skins crack, 7 to 8 minutes.  Tumble into a towel and rub to remove skins.  finely chop nuts.  Prepare recipe as above but use 1 tbsp dried leaf sage in place of rosemary, crumbling it between your fingers as you add.  Omit pepper.  After stirring in the flour, stir in nuts.  Continue as in recipe, sprinkling the top of the cookies with finely chopped nuts before baking if you like.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Veal in White Wine With Cream Sauce

A quick and elegant meal.

1 tsp cooking oil
1/4 cup flour
6 slices provini veal (thin)
1/4 cup dry white wine
Pinch salt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp butter

Heat oil in a heavy skillet.  Flour veal; cook for 1 minute over high heat, turning once.  Pour off oil.  Place veal in dish.  Add wine to skillet and over high heat, reduce liquid slightly.  Add salt, cream and butter.  Again over hight heat, reduce this mixture until it coats the back of the spoon.  Pour sauce over veal.  Enjoy.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

A great comfort food!

8 slices crusty bread
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granular sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1 - 3 inch cinnamon stick

  • Heat oven to  350 F.  Generously butter a 9 inch square baking pan; set aside.  Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes.  Place cubes in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar substitute; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cream, water, vanilla, and cinnamon stick.  Cook, stirring, until the mixture just comes to a boil.
  • Whisk hot cream into egg mixture, then pour over the bread cubes.  Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally with a rubber spatula.
  • Transfer pudding mixture to the prepared pan.  Place pan in a larger roasting pan, fill the outer pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan.   Bake for about 1 hour, until set.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.  Serve warm or chilled.