Sunday, 30 April 2017

Plum and Feta Tart

This is a fabulous addition to any meal.  It works as dessert or brunch with yogurt and fruit over a crunchy phyllo pastry.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2016.

6 sheets of phyllo pastry
3 tbsp melted butter
6 ripe red plums
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup crumbled feta
3 tbsp maple syrup (get the best you can!)

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • For curst, lay 1 sheet of phyllo on an oiled 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with shallow sides.  Brush with some of the melted butter.  Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, matching the corners as best you can.  Brush with more butter.  Continue layering and buttering until there is a stack of 6 sheets.  Do not butter the top sheet.
  • To form a pastry edge, tightly fold up one long side of phyllo until an edge is formed just inside the pan side.  Repeat with the other long side, then the short sides.  Tuck in the corners.  Brush top of pastry edges with butter.
  • Slice 1 plum in half following the indented line on one side.  Holding half the plum in one hand, use your other hand to gently rotate the 2 halves apart.  Remove pits and discard.  Slice each half into 2 oval pieces, 1 having a border of skin all around, the other having skin covering an entire side.  Repeat with remaining plums.
  • In a blender, combine yogurt, eggs, flour, sugar and feta.  Pulse and whirl until smooth stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.  Pour into phyllo crust.  Brush 1 piece of plum all over with maple syrup the place, cut side down in the filling.  Repeat with remaining plums.
  • Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden and the filling seems set when jiggled.  Serve in squares.  Best to serve the day it is made.
Serves 6 to 8.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Turducken Burgers

The Cajun holiday roast—a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey—gets a summery burger twist (and no deboning of birds is required). Buy good-quality ground turkey and chicken and packages of the sliced, smoked and dried duck at a butcher shop or specialty food stores. If you can’t find the smoked and dried duck, you can use a smoked duck breast with the skin and most of the fat trimmed off and chopped fine for the burger patties. You may want to use grilled prosciutto slices for the topping instead of the duck breast, as duck breast won’t crisp up. For ease, if you prefer not to stuff and layer the patties, you can combine the ground turkey and chicken and chopped duck all together with the egg mixture and form mixed patties instead. The Cherry Barbecue Sauce is worth making from scratch as it sets off the burgers just perfectly. Sweet potato fries are a most suitable side dish, along with some grilled sweet peppers.  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tomato Ancho Salsa

With patio season upon us here is a great little salsa to pair up with tortilla chips and your favourite beverage.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 small onion
3 large, ripe but firm tomatoes, about 750 g
2 dried ancho chilis
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • preheat grill to high
  • Cut onion in half through the middle; peel and grim off root but leave halves intact.  Arrange, cut side up on the grill; place whole tomatoes stem side down.  Cook, turning from time to time until vegetables are well charred on all sides, about 15 minutes total for the onions and 35 to 40 minutes for the tomatoes.  Remove from grill and cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, toast chills in a small skillet over medium low by pressing against pan until fragrant and pliable, about 90 seconds per side.  When cool enough to handle, tear open; remove and discard the seeds and any pale coloured ribs.  Place in a small heat proof bowl and pour enough boiling water over to cover.  Soak for 30 minutes; remove chills with a slotted spoon to a blender.  Reserve soaking liquid.
  • Roughly chop the onion and tomatoes; add to the blender along with the garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, and cumin.  Add 2 tbsp reserved chili water and pulse to a chunky sauce.  Turn out into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  (Salsa will keep for 5 days in refrigerator.  Warm to room temperature for an hour before serving.)  Sprinkle with cheese and serve alongside your favourite tortilla chips.
Makes about 3 cups

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Chopped Salad

A small amount of wild rice adds texture and flavour to this easy to make salad.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
500 g fresh green beans, trimmed
1 small head radicchio, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup crumbled feta

  • In a large bowl, combine, oil, vinegar, and salt; stir in onion and let stand until beans are ready.
  • In lightly salted boiling water, cook green beans 7 to 8 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Drain in a colander under cold running water; shake to drain excess moisture.  Stack in bundles and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Place green beans, radicchio, rice and cheese in a large bowl; toss with dressing to coat.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Thai Green Chicken Curry with Spaghetti Squash

2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breast haves, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp prepared green curry paste
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cut green beans, cooked
1 spaghetti squash
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork-tender, about 50 minutes. 
  • Scrape flesh out with a fork. 
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking 
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt. Add to skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not let chicken brown). Stir in curry paste and mix to evenly coat chicken. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a simmer; cook 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Add green beans, and basil and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, just until heated through. Stir in lime juice and pour onto serving platter. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Baby Bok Choy and Chicken

Lots of greens and yummy chicken breast.  I love the flavour that sesame oil give this dish.

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cups yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 cups broccoli, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
500g baby bok choy rinsed and chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and sliced

  • In a non stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add bell pepper, broccoli and green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  • Lower heat and add bok choy. Stir well.  Cook only until bok choy has wilted and the thicker, white ends are still somewhat crisp.  Add Sesame seeds and stir.
  • Divide between two plates and top each with chicken.
Serves 2

Monday, 3 April 2017

Apple Tart

A delicious dessert that is quick to make.  Serve warm with creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream.

5 large apples
125 g butter
125 g sugar
125 g flour
1 tbsp cinnamon

Grease a tart pan well with butter.  Peel and core apples.  Slice and place in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cut together butter, sugar and flour; spread over apples.  Bake tart at 200C for about 30 minutes.