Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Braised Maple Mustard Chicken

Using maple syrup instead of honey was a great idea. We first browned the chicken in canola oil and butter. Then we added maple syrup, dijon mustard, chicken stock, garlic and soya sauce. It cooked in a dutch oven for about 1 hour at 400°.

The dutch oven is one of  of our favourite ways to cook meat. It makes the meat extremely tender. This recipe was very easy to make and if you don't add a lot of maple syrup like we did, because we love it so much, it can also be very healthy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Swiss, Cheddar and Goat Cheese Fondue

Tonight we made cheese fondue using Swiss, cheddar and goat cheese. The cheese was chopped into cubes and lightly coated it with corn starch to make sure it thickens when it melts. We boiled a cup of white wine and added the cubes of cheese as well as a tablespoon of Kirsch.

Instead of just dipping bread we chopped up tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, red peppers and pears. We also had an assortment of crackers which go great with cheese.

This was really delicious and you could use any kind of cheese to make it. We will definitely try this recipe again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Old school Shepherd's Pie made with ground beef, corn and mashed potatoes.  Mixed in the meat was onions, mushrooms and a few spices (Montreal steak, paprika and cumin).  The mashed potatoes were made with one sweet potato mixed with regular potatoes.  We also added fresh rosemary since we had it on hand. 

The lines were made by dragging a fork in concentric circles and then putting the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes.

Heinz ketchup was mandatory.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beet Soup with Red Curry Orange Shrimp Salad

Beet soup is messy but easy to make. First you boil the beets and the carrots in chicken stock with ginger for about 1 hour. Then you blend them until the liquid is smooth. A food processor is the best way but a hand blender is just as good. We served it with a dollop of plain yogurt. This soup is very delicious and hearty. Beets are low in calories which makes this a very healthy choice.

To make salad more interesting we used spinach, strawberries, radish and black olives. We added sautéed shrimp that were cooked in orange juice and red curry. Shrimp cooked with the shell on has a more intense flavour than peeled shrimp. This salad was improvised using what we had in the fridge. Like we have said before, we never make the same salad twice.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Homemade Ravioli

Making our own pasta is something we discovered a few weeks ago. Once you start making your own, store bought will never taste the same. We used semolina and eggs to make the dough which makes it a lot easier to handle than if you use regular flour. It also has about 1/3 of the calories as regular flour.

We stuffed the raviolis with a mixture made from pork, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and a splash or port. Cooking time is only 30 seconds because the pasta is fresh.

The sauce was made using 3 tomatoes, 1 can of tomato paste, garlic, oregano, rosemary, pepper and a splash of port. We mixed all of the above mentioned ingredients and cooked it for about 45 minutes.

When the pasta was ready we served it over the ravioli and sprinkled grated parmesan.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs... aka Our New Favorite

Today we made a new discovery.  A very delicious discovery.  We bought beef chuck short ribs which we do not see often at the grocery store.  This dish was made without following a recipe, the only important thing was to braise the ribs with liquid for a long time.

The ribs were browned in a bit of oil at the bottom of a dutch oven.  This adds a lot of flavor.  While the meat was browning, we made the braising liquid.  To make the liquid we used soy sauce, orange juice, ginger, garlic and brown sugar.  After the ribs were done browning, the liquid was poured over the meat.  The lid went back on the dutch oven and then we put it in the oven for two and a half hours at 350F.

The meat ended up being super tender and the sauce became a sort of glaze.  The were more than amazing.

We served them on a purée of sweet potatoes and carrots mixed with spinach and peas.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ham Wrapped Asparagus with Spiced Baked Apples

Today we had a light dinner.  We wrapped some asparagus in sliced ham and roasted it with cherry tomatoes.  Add the same time we baked apple slices that were tossed with curry powder, cumin and cinnamon.

The dish was very simple but all of the flavors really went well together.  It was light and original.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Improvised Indian Dinner

Today we decided to make an Indian dinner from leftovers.  The curry in the back of the picture is some pulled pork that we cooked, shredded and froze last week.  That was thawed and mixed with the rest of a jar of Tikka Masala sauce and tomato paste.  This was served on a bed of spinach.

As a side dish we made chana with chick peas, green peppers, tomato and edamame.  For flavor we added olive oil and spices including garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric and cumin.

Roasted cauliflower tossed with curry powder and olive oil is also one of our favourite side dishes.

Finally, as an experiment, we made samosas with wonton wrappers.  For the filling we used some of the chick peas and edamame from the chana.  They were then baked in the oven for a few minutes.  They were a success.  The samosas were crunchy but not too tough, perfect.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Trout Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

We often eat fish so adding variety is important in order not to get bored. This time we got trout and decided to stuff it with 8% cream cheese mixed with dill and green onions. At the grocery store, we asked the person at the fish counter to remove the skin from the trout. This made it a lot easier to prepare as removing skin from fish can be tricky.

First we laid out the filet and added a layer of spinach. Then we added the layer of light cream cheese mixed with dill and green onions and rolled the trout. We put the roll on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. In order for the roll not to come undone while it was baking we stuck a tooth pick in it.

We baked it for about 20 minutes at 385 degrees and it was perfectly cooked. The thicker your roll is, the longer you need to bake it.

The mushrooms we served with it were sautéed in rum and curry powder. The dressing served on the salad was made from olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and dried dill.

We will definitely try this again using different kinds of fish and different ingredients in the stuffing. The fact that the cream cheese is only 8% fat and only a small quantity was used, this meal was very healthy and light.