Wednesday, June 08, 2005

roasted red pepper and smoked turkey frittata

1 medium red pepper, roasted (or use equivalent from jar), diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
300g deli smoked turkey breast, cubed
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
(substitute goat cheese or feta or any favourite)
8 large eggs, well beaten
2 tbs whipping cream
1 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. In a large, oven-proof skillet, melt 1 tsp of the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden; about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, toss together with diced roasted red pepper, and turkey; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs together with cream, salt and pepper. Melt remaining butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and turkey mixture. Flatten down with a spatula. Pour egg mixture over top, tilting pan to distribute evenly. Sprinkle with cheese.

Place in oven and bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve in wedges.

grilled chicken with mushroom ragout

(courtesy of Chef Willi Franz, Grey Monk Estate Winery)

4-150 gr. boneless skinless chicken breasts
60gr butter
60gr. shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10gr. dried Morel mushroom, diced
200gr. (total) fresh shitake, oyster, and portabella mushrooms, diced
2 cups veal stock
two sprigs, fresh thyme
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
20 gr. onions, finely chopped

For the ragout:
Reconstitute Morel mushrooms in hot water for one hour. Melt 40gr. of the butter in a saucepan and sauté shallots and garlic until golden brown; add morels and diced fresh mushrooms and sauté for four minutes. Add ½ cup of Cabernet Sauvignon and simmer to reduce by ½ . Add 1 ½ cup of veal stock and simmer until stock is reduced by 2/3. Season with salt, pepper and sprigs of fresh thyme

For the chicken:
Trench chicken breast in flour and pan fry with a touch of oil. Once chicken breast are cooked, set aside and discard oil. Add 30gr of butter to frying pan along with finely chopped onions. Cook until onions are brown; deglaze frying pan with ½ cup of Cabernet Sauvignon and simmer to reduce wine by ½. Add ½ cup of veal stock reduce again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: Chef Franz suggests pairing with Gray Monk's 2002 Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon, and notes that the chicken from the recipe may be substituted for veal, beef, or pork. I’m also pretty sure he’ll forgive anyone who wants to substitute beef stock for the veal, for the sake of convenience. Just know that the veal stock has a gentler, more subtle flavour, and that bones for stock can be purchased from your butcher.

blueberry-apple crumble

7 medium apples, peeled, cored, sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed, drained

½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup butter

Toss apples with ¼ cup brown sugar. Add blueberries and toss. Arrange fruit in one medium, or individual baking dishes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats and spices. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350-degrees for about 30 minutes (depending on size of baking dishes) until topping is lightly browned and fruit is tender and bubbly.

cheese-filled crepes with blueberries

1 ½ cups flour
1 tbs sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups milk
2 large eggs, beaten
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbs butter, melted, plus more for cooking

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. Add milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

Heat a crepe pan, or a small (6-inch), well-seasoned skillet, over medium heat. Brush pan with a small amount of melted butter. Pour 2 ½ tbs of batter into skillet, tilting pan to spread evenly. Cook until lightly browned on bottom. Turn over and cook second side for a few more seconds. Turn crepe out onto a plate and repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan with butter as needed.

Fruit filling:
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup Saskatoon jam

Place in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes. Cool. Set aside.

Cheese filling:
1 pound large-curd cottage cheese
1 large egg
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon

Place cottage cheese in centre of a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a food processor and add egg, sugar and cinnamon. Pulse until almost smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

To assemble:
Place 2 tbs cheese filling and 1 tbs fruit filling in centre of each crepe. Fold bottom over filling, then fold sides in; roll to enclose filling (or lift sides into a purse and close with thin slices of citrus peel). Transfer to a parchment-lined dish. Repeat. Place filled crepes in a buttered skillet over medium-low heat, seam side down. Cook until bottoms are golden, shaking pan a few times. Turn over and cook second sides. Serve with remaining blueberry filling.

paprika chicken

½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tbs paprika
1 tsp pepper
8 pieces of skinless chicken
4 tbs vegetable oil
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup sour cream

Mix together flour and seasonings. Coat chicken pieces with seasoned flour.

In a large skillet, heat oil and brown chicken. Add stock and simmer 40 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm in a serving dish. Swirl the sour cream into the skillet with the stock; simmer 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve over buttered egg noodles.

mango fool

1 medium ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
(reserve a few slices for garnish)
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup prepared custard
star anise powder for garnish

In a blender, combine chopped mango, 2 tbs of the sugar and grapefruit juice. Blend until smooth.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine cream, remaining sugar and vanilla. Whip until peaks form. Remove ½ cup of the whipped cream and set aside. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mango puree into the remaining whipped cream. Divide custard, mango cream and whipped cream into glasses or dessert bowls. Dust lightly with star anise powder.

chocolate pot de cremes

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup sugar
5 egg yolks
6 oz quality chocolate, chopped

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat cream and milk until scalded (small bubbles on the side of the pan). Add chocolate and continue to heat, stirring, until melted and combined.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, slowly whisk sugar into the yolks. Temper the egg yolk/sugar mixture by adding a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture, whisking constantly. Slowly add remaining chocolate mixture. Whisk in vanilla.

Arrange 6 small ramekins in a baking dish with deep sides. Divide mixture into ramekins. Fill baking dish with water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the whole dish with foil. Bake at 325-degrees until just set; 25-50 minutes, checking early as baking time will depend on the thickness and depth of your ramekins. Carefully remove baking dish from oven and let ramekins cool in the water bath. Remove ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Serve pot de crèmes as they are, in the ramekins. They can, but needn’t, be garnished with mint or berries. Whipped cream is just superfluous.

spaghetti millanaise

12 oz spaghetti
2 cups cottage cheese
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
¼ cup chopped pimentos
1 can tomato soup
1 18-oz can pasta sauce
½ tsp onion powder
12 oz grated cheddar

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook pasta until it is nearly done, but still firm in the centre (not quite al dente). Drain and transfer pasta to a very large bowl. Add cottage cheese, mushrooms, pimentos, tomato soup, pasta sauce, onion powder and ½ of the cheese. Toss to evenly coat the spaghetti. Scrape into a large casserole dish, top with remaining cheese and bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour. Or use several individual dishes and bake until cheese is bubbly and pasta is hot throughout.

What’s in a name?: This recipe came to me from my mother-in-law and is oddly called “millanaise”. Millanaise, according to The Food Lover’s Companion, is actually this: “A term meaning ‘in the style of Milan,’ referring to food (usually meat) dipped in beaten egg, then into a bread crumb-Parmesan mixture and fried in butter.” So don’t ask me how this pasta got it’s name.

maple vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely diced
½ cup grape seed oil
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup maple syrup
2 tbs grainy Dijon mustard

Whisk together in a medium bowl until ingredients are combined. Transfer to a salad dressing bottle. Shake before serving. Keep refrigerated.

slow oats

1 tbs butter
2 ½ cups extra thick rolled oats
3-inch cinnamon stick
4 cups cold water

In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add oats and toss or stir until oats are toasted and fragrant; 3-4 minutes. Add water and cinnamon stick, increase heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve oatmeal with milk (and/or a drizzle of cereal cream), dark brown sugar and stewed fruit.

beef stir-fry

2 celery stalks, sliced
1 crown broccoli, separated
1 medium onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
4 baby bok choy
8-10 sugar snap peas, cut in halves
½ each yellow and red pepper, sliced
2 clusters oyster mushrooms, separated
2-10 red chillies, halved
2 tbs sesame oil
4 tbs teriyaki sauce
1 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs black bean sauce
1 tsp soy sauce

16 oz lean beef, slices and marinated for 20 minutes with:
2 tbs finely-diced onion
2 finely-diced cloves garlic
1 finely-diced, thumb-sized piece ginger
1 tbs sambal oelek
fresh-cracked pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbs of the sesame oil in a wok over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the marinated beef and cook, stirring and turning over quickly to separate the slices; about 2 minutes. Remove beef and marinade and set aside.

Heat remaining sesame oil in wok. Add vegetables and sauces and stir-fry until slightly tender but still crisp (use chillies with discretion according to your taste for heat). Add the beef back into the wok and toss together with vegetables for about 10 seconds, until hot. Serve over sticky rice or Chinese noodles and with favourite side dishes such as gyoza or egg rolls.

pistachio cranberry torrone

3 large egg whites
1 cup honey
3 cups sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup dried cranberries

Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine honey and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot to monitor temperature.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar and combine. When honey/sugar mixuture reaches 315 degrees Fahrenheit, remove honey mixture from heat (the temperature will continue to rise a bit). Stir until the reading drops to 300 degrees.

Turn on mixer and slowly pour hot honey into egg whites. (The mixture will double in volume. Let stand to return to normal.) Resume beating until mixture is thick and starts to stick to paddle. Fold in nuts.

Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper and butter that as well, very lightly. Pour torrone mixture into lined baking dish and cover with another layer of buttered parchment paper. Let cool, then refrigerate a few hours. To cut, let torrone warm for just a few minutes. Place a very sharp, heavy knife under hot running water. With the warm knife, cut torrone into sections. Repeat with hot water for each new cut. Place sections back onto buttered parchment and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks.

baked brie

1-125g wheel of brie
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tsp sambal oelek

In a small bowl, toss pine nuts together with sambal oelek to coat. Place brie on a baking sheet lined with a small square of parchment paper. Top with pine nuts and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until hot and bubbly and lightly toasted. Serve immediately with slices of French baguette.

the best chocolate chip cookies ever

¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
2 oz solid chocolate
¾ cup chopped pecans

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, blend 1 cup of the oatmeal into a coarse powder. In a large bowl whisk together flour, all of the oatmeal, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry mixture, 1 cup at a time, to butter mixture, beating to combine.

Using a serrated knife, finely shave solid chocolate. Add, along with chocolate chips and pecans, to cookie batter and combine. Chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form 1oz balls of cookie dough (about the size of golf balls) and place on a Silpat-lined baking sheet (do not press down). Bake for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let cool for a few minutes before removing cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes: Chilling the dough keeps the cookies from spreading out too much during baking. Also, resist the urge to let the cookies bake a few minutes longer. They’ll continue to cook for awhile once out of the oven, and will be soft and chewy as a result of not over-baking. If you really don’t think they’re done after 10 minutes, it might be a good idea to test the temperature of your oven. And only ever use good quality chocolate which contains both cocoa butter and cocoa liqueur.

special k roast

2 cups cottage cheese
½ cup finely chopped or ground walnuts
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tbs butter, melted
1 pkg onion soup mix
½ cup water
3 cups Special K cereal
1 ½ cups cooked rice

In a very large mixing bowl, stir ingredients together to combine well. Scrape into a buttered baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with side dishes you enjoy with meat loaf or roast beef: mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables, or whatever.

tandoori chicken wraps

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup tandoori paste
juice of ½ lime
¼ cup yogurt
2 tbs finely diced onion

1 English cucumber, seeded, diced small
1 tbs finely diced onion
1 cup yogurt
½ tsp mild curry paste
dash each salt/pepper

½ cup snow peas, jullienned
½ cup mixed sprouts
4 large flour tortillas

Combine tandoori paste, lime juice, yogurt and onion in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat in marinade. Refrigerate one hour. Grill or cook in oven until cooked through. Slice.

Meanwhile, combine cucumber and onion with yogurt, salt/pepper and curry paste.

Warm wraps on a flat griddle to soften. Place chicken together with snow peas and sprouts, along with raita (dressing) on one quarter area of each wrap. Fold over in half, then half again to form triangles. Serve extra raita as a side salad.

vegetable rice casserole

¼ cup butter
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
1 ½ cup frozen peas
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 ½ cups cooked white rice
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3 tbs cream
salt/pepper to taste

In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add peas and tomato and sauté another few minutes. Add rice, half the cheese and cream and stir until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until casserole is hot and cheese is bubbling and browned.

Note: to quickly turn this side dish into a main course, add 1½ cups of cubed, cooked chicken into the casserole and serve with a fresh green salad.

meringue macaroons

2 large eggs whites
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups fancy shredded coconut

Place egg whites and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until frothy. Continue beating and gradually add sugar. Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in coconut. Drop by spoonfuls onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet and with your fingers (moistened a bit with water) shape macaroons into peaked mounds. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until peaks turn lightly golden.

honeyed muesli

1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
¾ cup rolled spelt
¾ cup rolled Kamut
¾ cup rolled rye
1 ½ tbs vegetable oil
½ cup honey
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup chopped dried apricots
1 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, toss together rolled grains. Gradually drizzle with oil and honey while continuing to toss. Spread on a silpat-lined baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, stir, return to oven for 10 more minutes, until golden and toasted. Return to bowl and toss in remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on yogurt or cereals that need a bit of embellishing.