Monday, 27 February 2017

Black Bean Sweet Potato Walnut Burgers

I really enjoyed these Veg Burgers and so did my 13 year old son!!  That was unexpected.  The recipe cooks these on a BBQ but I pan fried them in my cast iron pan as I was worried about them breaking up.  The patties crisp up nicely on the outside but stay moist inside.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb (500g)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 can (540ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats or quinoa flakes
Oil fro frying
6 soft hamburger buns, split
Romaine lettuce leaves
Sliced tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Peel sweet potato and coarsely shred on the large holes of a box grater or with a shredding blade in a food processor.  You should have about 3 cups lightly packed.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Sauté shredded sweet potato and garlic for 2 minutes or until potatoes are wilted.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Uncover and boil for about 1 minute or until any excess liquid has evaporated.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes or until golden and fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.  Chop walnuts in a food processor until fairly finely chopped.  Transfer half to a shallow dish for coating and set aside.
  • Add half of the black beans, egg, lime zest, salt and pepper to remaining walnuts in food processor and puree until smooth.  Add to bowl with sweet potatoes.  Add remaining black beans and rolled oats and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until mixture is chilled and set or for up to 12 hours.
  • Shape chilled mixture into 6 equal sized patties, making them about 3/4 inch thick.  Place on a baking sheet and cover and refrigerate until cooking up to 8 hours.
  • To grill, preheat BBQ to medium heat.
  • Press each patty into reserved ground walnuts to lightly coat each side.
  • Place patties on oiled grill.  Grill for about 4 minutes or until bottoms are browned and crisp.  Carefully flip over and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and hot in the centre.  Alternatively to fry patties, heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry patties in batches, turning once for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crisp on the outside and hot in the centre, adjusting heat and oiling pan between batches.  Meanwhile, toast cut sides of buns.
  • Spread Guacamole on bottom half of buns and top with lettuce and tomato slices, then burger patty.  Top with move guacamole and replace bun tops

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Barbecued Sirloin Steak

Not much beats a great steak on the BBQ!  Here is a simple marinade to help that steak along.

2 cups canola or other vegetable oil
1 cup beer
3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dry powdered mustard
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
One 14 to 15 oz sirloin steak

  • Combine marinade ingredients.
  • Lay steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the meat, coating both sides.  Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.
  • Set grill to medium hot and grill steak for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, or to your desired degree of doneness.
  • Let steak rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes.   Slice it crosswise against the grain.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tequila -Lime Grilled Chicken Breast

Use a BBQ or choose to bake in the oven at 400F for 40 min.  This marinade is versatile and will work with just about anything other than red meat.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1/3 cup gold tequila
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
1 sp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder

12 green onions, roots, papery skin and tough green tops trimmed
4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in, for best flavour and moistness
Lime wedges for garnish

  • In a non reactive container whisk together all marinade ingredients.  Add the green onions and chicken, skin side down; make sure its all well coated.  Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours to overnight (24 hours is best), turning the chicken over half way through.  Bring the chicken up to room temperature about an hour before you plan on grilling.
  • Pre heat grill at medium low to medium - no higher or the skin will burn before the meat is cooked through.
  • Place bone side down for the first half of the cooking time; about 10 minutes.
  • When you are ready to flip the chicken put the green onions on the grill.  Keep a close eye on them, turning every so often.   They will be done when the chicken is done about 10 minutes.  You should see some charred bits.
  • Flip the chicken over and grill for another 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork or a meat thermometer reads 160F at the breasts thickest point.
  • While chicken is grilling, in a large skillet over medium heat bring the leftover marinade to a simmer and reduce by half about 15 minutes.  You should have about 1 cup dipping sauce.
  • Set the cooked chicken aside to rest for about 5 minutes under a loose tent of tin foil.  Serve with salad.  Garnish with 3 grilled green onions each, fresh lime wedges and a side dish of the cooked, reduced marinade for dipping.
Serves 4

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Pound Cake with Chocolate, Cherries and Hazelnuts

This is a nice simple recipe that works well for company.  Switch up the hazelnuts for what you prefer - the original recipe called for Pecans.

4 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup dried cherries
3 oz (90g) semi sweet chocolate, chopped, about 2/3 cup
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, about 175 g
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 pkg 250 g softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup whipping cream
3 oz (90g) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Place eggs still in shells in a small bowl, temper by adding hot tap water to cover.  When ready to use eggs, drain and discard water.  In a large mixing bowl, stir flour well with baking bowser; add cherries, chocolate and hazelnuts.  Toss and set aside.
  • Preferably using a stand mixer, cream butter for 5 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides twice, or until lighter in colour and somewhat fluffy.  Add sugar in 2 batches, beating after each addition.  Beat in cream cheese until fluffy; then beat in vanilla and salt.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Meanwhile, grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  • Fold flour mixture into butter mixture until just incorporated.  Evenly turn out batter into pan; smooth top.  Bake 70 to 80 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn out to continue cooling on the rack.
  • For decorative drizzle, pour cream into a glass measure; add chocolate.  Microwave 30 seconds; stir.  Microwave another 20 seconds; stir until smooth.  Using a spoon, drizzle overtop fully cooled cake.  Place cake in a cool location (but not in the fridge); drizzle sets firmly in 2 to 3 hours.  Covered, cake keeps well at room temperature for several days.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Caesar Turkey Brochettes

I have never BBQ’d celery before and it was a fun choice for this dinner.  Turkey, chicken or lean pork work for this dinner.

2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp vodka
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 boneless turkey breast, skinned, or 4 turkey thighs, skinned and boned, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 ribs celery or banana peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks

1/3 cup ketchup
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

  • Mix together lime juice, vodka, sesame oil, celery salt and pepper; toss with turkey until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 8 hours.
  • Alternately thread turkey, celery and red onion onto skewers.
  • BASTING SAUCE: Mix together ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.
  • Grill skewers, covered, on greased grill over medium heat, turning often and brushing with basting sauce during last 5 minutes until glad and turkey is no longer pink inside, about 18 minutes.
Makes 6 to 8 main course servings

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Marmalade-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Orange Marmalade is a wonderful tart yet sweet glaze for grilled chicken thighs.  This can also be used for chicken breast if you prefer white meat or pork loin.  This recipe is from Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 fps each salt and pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise
2 tbsp orange marmalade

  • Whisk together lemon juice, oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with chicken until coated. Marinate for 15 minutes or covered and refrigerated up to 8 hours.
  • Reserving any remaining marinade, thread chicken onto double pronged bamboo skewers or 8 pairs of soaked wooden skewers; brush with marinade.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium heat, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, microwave marmalade, covered, at high until melted, about 30 seconds. (or heat in small saucepan over low heat until melted.) Brush skewers with marmalade; grill, turning once for 1 minute.
Makes 4 main course servings

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tom Collins

Usually this is a summer drink, but in the cold of February if you crank the heat, put on some summer music and close your eyes this also works.  Making your own lemon syrup is easy and it really makes this drink delicious.

2 oz gin
1 oz strained fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz lemon syrup (recipe follows)
3 oz soda water, chilled
Lemon wedge

Pour gin, lemon juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker.  Add 3 ice cubes.  Shake 5 seconds.  Strain into a chilled Highball glass filled with ice.  Top with soda and lightly stir.   Garnish with lemon wedge.

Makes 1 drink (you will go back for seconds)

This syrup also works great in herbal tea.

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 lemons, washed

  • In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.
  • Using a microplane zester, zest the lemons, adding zest into syrup.  Let infuse for 10 minutes.  Pass through fine mesh strainer, pressing on zest with spoon to extract syrup.  Transfer to glass jar with lid.  Refrigerate up to 1 month.
Makes 1 cup

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Lentil Chili

I must admit I have not been a fan of lentils in the past but I am starting to understand their versatility and enjoy them.  This is a great vegetarian chili that will satisfy you without the meat.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup brown lentils
2 bay leaves
2 cups water
1 - 19 oz can (540g) navy beans
1 - 19 oz can (540g) black beans
1 - 28 oz can (795 g) whole tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:  grated cheese, chopped cilantro, salsa, sour cream or greek yogurt

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, and stir occasionally until they soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add spices, stir and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add lentils, bay leaves and water.  Bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and broth.  Bring dish back to a boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Serve chili over rice or with cornbread.  

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Turkey Meatballs

Using ground turkey lightens up this meal.  I used Cheddar cheese for this recipe but you could substitute you favourite cheese instead.

900 g ground turkey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper seeds
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup red wine, divided
180 g cubed sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups tomato sauce, no salt added

  • Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix turkey and all spices with garlic on medium speed for about 1 min.
  • Reduce speed and add 1/2 cup wine.  Increase speed to high and mix for 1 min or until mixture looks sticky.
  • Scoop out 32 equal portions of mixture onto a tray.  Flatten meat into patties.
  • Place a piece of cheese in the centre of each patty and wrap meat around cheese to form a ball.
  • In a skillet, lightly sear about 10 meatballs at a time on medium high heat.  Transfer to a large saucepan.  Repeat with remaining meatballs.  Add remaining wine to the hot skillet, scraping up brown bits; add to saucepan with meatballs.
  • Add tomato sauce to saucepan and gradually bring to a simmer on medium low heat, gently stirring every 2 min.  Once simmering, turn off heat.  Check meatballs for doneness.  If meat is still pink, cook on low heat for 2 more min.
  • Adjust salt to taste and serve.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Glaced Orange Cake

A simple cake that goes really well with a good cup of coffee.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp grated orange rind
5 eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch salt
3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice

  • Butter and flour 10 inch tube pan.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and orange rind.  Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, a little at a time, alternately with milk, ending with flour, beating well after each addition.  Spoon into pan. Bake in 350F oven for about 1 hour.  Cool for 2 minutes before pouring glade on.
Glace:  Heat all ingredients in a saucepan until sugar melts.  Pour over cake in pan.  Cool before removing from pan.