Sunday, 14 October 2012

Jap Chae

Serves 4-6 as part of multicourse meal
  • 1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake, wood ear)
  • 1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.
In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
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Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 2 ounces dry bread crumbs 
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet

Pour egg into a small bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then into the bread crumps. Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 7x11 inch baking dish. Place chicken over 3/4 of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top and return to the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

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Apricot Fool!

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) white vinegar
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sugar

  • 6 fresh apricots, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) apricot jam
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract

1½ cups (375 mL) whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 250ºF (120ºC).

2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

3. For meringue, whip egg whites and vinegar until foamy, then gradually add sugar. Whip whites until they hold a stiff peak when beaters are lifted. Spread meringue onto prepared baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes, until dry. Cool and store at room temperature.

4. For apricots, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer, uncovered, until fruits are tender, about 10 minutes. Cool, then chill completely.

5. For fool, whip cream to stiff peaks immediately before serving. Gently fold in apricot mixture. Crumble in meringue and spoon into parfait glasses or other serving dishes.

Serves 6 to 8 (depending on size of serving dishes)

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Amazing Baked Potato


  • 8 large baking potatoes, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped and blanched
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Poke potatoes several times with fork. Rub potatoes lightly with olive oil. Place potatoes on paper towel and microwave at high for 4 minutes on each side or until done.

3. Cut egg-shaped hole in the top of each potato and scoop out cooked potato, leaving a 1/8-inch shell to be filled later. Place scooped-out potato in large mixing bowl.

4. Add, broccoli, carrots, sour cream, skim milk and black pepper to potatoes. Using electric mixer on low speed, mix together well.

5. Stuff potato shells with mixture, overfilling each shell. Leftover mixture can be baked in an oven-safe bowl. Sprinkle each potato with the breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon Cheddar cheese. Place potatoes on baking sheet.

7. Bake in preheated oven approximately 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Beautiful Blueberry Pie


  • 5 cups (1.25 L) blueberries
  • 3/4 cups (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cold lard
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) ice water
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) sour cream


Pastry: In bowl, whisk flour with salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter and lard until mixture is in fine crumbs with a few larger pieces.
In small bowl, whisk water with sour cream; drizzle over dry ingredients, stirring briskly with fork to form ragged dough and adding more water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, if too dry. Divide in half; press into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
In large bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon rind, lemon juice and cinnamon; set aside.
On lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness; fit into 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Trim to leave 3/4-inch (2 cm) overhang. Scrape in filling.
Roll out remaining pastry. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water; brush over pastry rim. Fit pastry over filling; trim to leave 3/4-inch (2 cm) overhang. Fold overhang under bottom pastry rim; seal and flute edge.
Bake in bottom third of 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (180°C); bake until golden and filling is thickened, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool on rack


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1 pkg. Tortilla wraps – White or Whole Wheat
1 lb (454g) lean ground beef 4 medium sized tomatoes diced 2 tsp chopped garlic 2 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp cumin, ground 2 cups refried beans 1 cup sliced jalapeno peppers – more or less to taste depending on desired heat level 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce ¼ cup sour cream ¼ cup sliced black olives Salt and Pepper to taste

·         In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook ground beef until brown, drain excess fat. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, garlic and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes, blending well.
·         Mist and heat the tortilla according to package instructions.
·         Spread tortilla with a layer of refried beans almost to the edge. Top with the ground beef mixture, jalapeno peppers, cheese, lettuce, sour cream and sliced olives. Try to keep the ingredients away from the edges of the roti for easier roll-up.
·         Season with salt and pepper to taste.
·         Roll up roti burrito-style and serve immediately.
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  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef 
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tbsp dried basil 
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped 
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 24 ounces cottage cheese or 24 ounces ricotta cheese 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley 
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese, divided 
  • 12-15 lasagna noodles
  1. Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic 
  2. add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed
  3. Simmer 1 hour
  4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside
  5. Spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray 
  6. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, 2 tbsp parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; in a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauces, and cheese mixture; repreat
  7. Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese
  8. Bake at 375 for 30-40 min, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted 
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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fried Pickles

makes 12

1 jar of pickles spears (dill, kosher your choice)
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat panko
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
oil for frying
Place pickles on paper towels and pat to dry.  Begin heating your oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.  Combine panko, cayenne, paprika, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Place flour in a plate and buttermilk in a bowl.  Dredge pickles in flour, dip in buttermilk and then coat with panko mixture.  Press the panko slightly onto pickle,  try to coat the pickle surface evenly.
Fry in batches, paying close attention they will fry quickly and burn.  Skim execss coating from oil before you fry another batch.  Lay your fried pickles on paper towels, sprinkle on salt and serve along side dip of your choice.
If frying with a child please be careful.
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Sweet Potato Fries with Paprika and Cayenne pepper

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika (preferably smoked paprika)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then cut each half into four wedges. Toss the wedges with the oil, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt, and lay the pieces on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until they’re browned on the outside and tender all the way through.

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Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
24 garlic cloves, sliced
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss potatoes with 1/2 cup olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper. Transfer potatoes in single layer onto baking sheets, dividing equally. Roast 30 minutes.
While potatoes are roasting, make the dressing by whisking extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and lemon peel in small bowl. Pour two tablespoons of the mixture into another small bowl and add garlic.
Divide garlic mixture between baking sheets with potatoes and toss to coat; reverse baking sheets and continue to roast until potatoes are tender and brown around edges, about 15 minutes longer.
In a large bowl, toss roasted potatoes with enough of remaining dressing to coat and serve.
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Garlic Roasted Chicken

1 4 pound air chilled, free range chicken (1.8 kg)

Salt and pepper

3 whole heads of garlic, split in half horizontally

1/2 bunch fresh thyme

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)

Kitchen or butchers twine

Preheat an oven to 400°F

Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken and discard or freeze for gravy making.

Do not wash the chicken as this prevents the bird from crisping up during roasting and washes away flavour.

Season the cavity of the bird. Put all of the garlic and thyme into the cavity of the bird. The amount of garlic or type of herb used can be altered to suit individual tastes.

Truss the bird. This means to bind the legs and wings of the bird close to the body of the bird so that the breast meat is protected during cooking and the finished shape of the cooked bird is pleasing.

Rub the outside of the bird with the extra virgin olive oil and season.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in a pan large enough to hold it.

Place the pan into the preheated oven and roast the bird for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, baste the bird with the fat from the pan. Basting will give the finished chicken crisp and golden skin.

Return the bird to the oven and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, again removing and basting the bird.

The chicken is ready after 1 hour of roasting or when a thermometer reads at 150°F.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place in a warm place, loosely covered with aluminium foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove the trussing string and carve.

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Monday, 8 October 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables

3 to 4 carrots, peeled
3 to 4 parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
2 to 3 potatoes
3 tbsp good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chopped, dried or fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary or thyme) to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut all the veggies into similarly sized pieces. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well so all pieces are lightly coated. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes until all the vegetables are tender, turning once. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serves 6. 

Read more:
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Chicken Marbella

This is my FAVOURITE DISH! I always have this for my birthday dinner! 

4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered 
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed 
1/4 cup dried oregano 
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1 cup pitted prunes 
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives 
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice 
6 bay leaves 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup white wine 
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight. 

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them. 

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice. 

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat. 

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.

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Ale Braised Short Ribs

3½ lbs (1.75 kg) beef short ribs cut 2- to 3-inches thick (5- to 8-cm) and sliced into pieces with 1 to 2 bones in each (for meatier pieces use 1 bone, if smaller use 2 bones)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh sage, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste
2 cups (500 mL) dark ale
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock

1. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

2. Generously season short ribs with salt and freshly ground pepper. 

3. In a large ovenproof pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sear the short ribs in oil until well browned on all sides, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Place browned ribs aside on a plate. 

4. Discard excess oil from pot, add onions, garlic and sage and sauté until onions are nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer. 

5. Place ribs back in pot along with ale and beef stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and then place in preheated oven. Bake for 3 hours or until meat is very tender and falls apart when gently pulled with a fork. Remove from oven. 

6. Set ribs aside and pour the pan juices through a strainer to remove the solids; reserve liquid. Place ribs and strained liquid back into the same pot and cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency, about 10 minutes. 

7. Season to taste and place everything in a transportable and oven-friendly dish. When ready to serve, place in a 350°F (180°C) oven and warm through. Serve ribs covered with sauce. 

Recipe from 

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Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Stew


  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup instant barley
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups kale or mustard greens, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
Bring the carrot juice, 3 cups water and the mushroom stems to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom caps and barley and cook until the barley is toasted, about 5 minutes.
Add the onion, celery and rosemary to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 2 more minutes.
Increase the heat to high and add half of the carrot juice mixture, leaving the mushroom stems in the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 6 minutes.
Add the remaining carrot juice mixture, the kale and ginger and cook, stirring, until the barley and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then ladle the stew into bowls.

Recipe from Foodnetwork:
Picture by Antonis Achilleos
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