Friday, October 27, 2006

Lamb & Haricut Bean Ragu

This recipe is VERY good. I got it off a travel cooking program. It really doesn't have much in the way of just kind of put in the amount you like of lamb and beans. Use the full amount of will make or break this recipe.

Fresh Haricott beans - if dried, soak to 'ready to use' state.

Lamb – Boned Shoulder – In a large pan, cut into large pieces and fry up in a little olive oil to brown (add a spoon or two of flour to thicken the dish later).

Remove the meat and set aside, and fry up a couple of onions medium chopped with 3 cloves of chopped garlic. Add fresh, peeled and chopped tomatoes (about 2 or 3). Return the meat to the pan. Make up a bouquet garni of 2 or 3 pieces of dried thyme and a couple of bay leaves and tie up with twine and put in pot. Add just over a half bottle of french rose wine. Add a dollop of tomato puree, then cover dish with chicken stock. Season whole dish with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover pan and let cook just below a simmer for one and a half hour or until meat is tender. Add beans and cook for no longer than 15 minutes.
Remove garni, add chopped parsely, about one quarter cup and clove of chopped garlic. Mix well and ladle into deep bowls.

Serve with fresh French baugettes and butter with fresh garden salad.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pasta w/Smoked Salmon

This recipe takes about 10 mins and is really good.

1 pkg smoked salmon
1 container creme fresh
parmesan to taste
pepper to taste

Cook pasta. In separate pan, mix all other ingredients until warm and salmon cooked to your taste (can use ham as well). Mix pasta and salmon/sauce together. Serve!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Black bean & chicken chili

There are so many substitutions you can make with this one. Chicken, smoked chicken, ground beef and ground turkey all work. Sometimes I substitute spicy chili beans for 1 or 2 cans of the other beans (I just like 'em better). Tortillas are nice on the side as well.

2 tsp olive oil
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ in pieces
chili powder, cumin & cayenne pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes (with chopped chilis---if you can find)
2 cans (15 oz) black beans
1 small can pinto beans
1 can corn
1 red & 1 green bell pepper, chopped (or any colour peppers you can get your hands on)
cilantro to taste (fresh if possible)
shredded cheddar, sour cream & raw onion as toppings (optional)

Heat oil in large pot over med heat. Add onion and cook until tender; about 4 mins. Add chicken, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic; cook, stirring, until chicken is slightly browned, about 2 mins. Stir in beans and tomatoes. Heat to simmer; cover and cook 20 mins. Add corn, bell pepper and cilantro; cook until heated through and vegetables are tender-crisp, about 7 minutes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kielbasa or Bratwurst in Beer & Onions

This is one of my absolute favourites and another I often make substitutions on, varying the types of sausages and beers.

4 tablespoons butter
3-4 small onions
1-2 lbs. kielbasa, bratwurst or other sausage
1 12 oz. bottle dark beer
Dijon mustard

In heavy saucepan, melt butter & sauté onions until translucent over medium heat. Add sausage to pan & brown 3-4 minutes on each side. Pour beer over sausage & onion; bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 25 minutes. Remove kielbasa & onions from pan, place on dish and put in warm oven (approx. 150). Reduce beer over high heat to about ½ cup (about 4 mins). Pour over sausage and serve.

*Suggestion for sides: homemade potato pancakes and spinach
*Serve with dijon or other spicy mustard

*Feel free to experiment with different beers, sausages, and even try adding fruit such as apples with the onions.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Saucy Burgers (aka sloppy joes)

Honestly, I've made this so many times this year I'm a bit sick of it, but it is a classic and it tends to go over well (and it's super easy!)

2 tbs. oil
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef/mince (ground sirloin is best)
1 c. chili sauce (ex. Bennets or Uncle Ben's)
1 c. ketchup
¾ c. chopped celery
¾ c. chopped green pepper
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and cook over medium hat until transparent, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat; add and blend in chili sauce, ketchup, celery, green pepper and seasonings. Simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes. Stir frequently. Serve over buttered, toasted hamburger buns.

*Optional: add some cooked, diced potatoes and/or corn and kidney beans

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chicken & mushroom salad w/spicy sesame dressing

125 g/4 oz pack ready-washed salad leaves
one cucumber, sliced diagonal
small handful of chopped fresh mint
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
12 shitake mushrooms

125 ml/4 fl oz (1/2 cup) rice vinegar
1 tsbp/15 ml Dijon dressing
4 tbsp/60 ml rapeseed oil (may substitute canola oil)
2 tbsp/30 ml sesame oil
2 tsp/10 ml soy sauce
4 spring onions, chopped

To make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Gradually whisk in both oils, then the soy sauce. Mix in the spring onions. Place the chicken and mushrooms in a large glass baking dish. Pour half the dressing over and turn to coat. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the grill. Remove chicken and mushrooms from marinade and grill until cooked through about two minutes per side for the mushrooms, about four minutes per side for the chicken. Slice the cooked chicken and halve the mushrooms. Combine the salad leaves, cucumbers and mint in large bowl. Pour remainder of dressing over salad to coat and toss gently. Transfer to individual plates and spoon chicken slices and mushrooms on top.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


½ cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups cubed, peeled eggplant
1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼ inch slices
Small can cut up tomatoes
¾ cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium pepper) [optional]
3 tablespoons dry white wine or water
1 tablespoon fresh basil

In large pan, cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender. Stir in eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet pepper, wine, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered, over medium-low heat about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Uncover and cook about 5 more minutes until mos of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries or raspberries
1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-muffin tin with 12 paper muffin-tin liners and set aside. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture and whisk just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake until puffed up and golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Oatmeal Pie

Tastes similar to pecan pie and treacle tart and is sometimes described as a mock pecan pie. Very very rich and sweet but something different.

¾ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup corn syrup
¾ cup quick rolled oats, uncooked
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup and butter. Fold in slightly beaten eggs. Add vanilla and stir in oats. Pour in unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-50 minutes.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp Earl Grey tea leaves, from approx 6 tea bags
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup butter, cut into pieces

Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor (or blender if you don’t have one, in which case you’ll need to transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl and use a hand mixer when you add the other ingredients) until the tea leave are pulverized. Add the vanilla, 1 tsp water, and the butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of cling film and roll into a 12 inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Slice each log into disks, 1/3 inch thick. Place on parchment or foil lined baking sheets, 1.5 inches apart. Bake on 375 degrees F until edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.