Saturday, 30 June 2012

Iced Coffee

This is a perfect afternoon pick me up drink on a hot day. My brother in law John will love this one!
You can just use coffee brewed in a coffee maker cooled down as your base however, I make a cold brewed coffee which has a smoother taste with no bitterness and it can last in your fridge for ages. If you have it ready then when you feel like this drink you just add the ice and milk or cream and sweetener. If you wanted to use it with a splash of Bailey's or Tia Maria now you have a party!
You will need:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup ground coffee
  • 4 cups/1 litre of cold water
  • cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • milk or half and half cream
  • sugar or agave syrup
  • lots of ice

Step 1: take 1/2 cup of ground coffee (you could use 3/4 cup if you like it very strong - John would make it strong!) and 4 cups of cold water and mix until all the coffee is wet. Leave 8-10 hours.

Step 2: strain out the coffee grounds (you can sprinkle the coffee grounds in your garden the plants love it!)

Step 3: strain once again through fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter in your strainer.

Step 4: now you are ready to make your drink. Take a tall glass and fill it with ice cubes.

Step 5: I add 2 tbsp agave syrup to the glass. I like agave syrup because it dissolves easier than sugar (you can buy this syrup in the natural section of any grocery store now a days) If you like it sweeter add more.

Step 6: fill the glass slightly more than half full of your cold coffee base and stir to mix the syrup.

Add milk (I used 1% milk) or almond milk, or half and half if you want it decadent and rich. Put the whole thing in a blender and you have a slushy coffee drink. Add some booze and get the party started.

It is smooth and delicious and I promise you once you make this yourself you wont ever feel you need to spend all that money on the store bought ones. 

Friday, 29 June 2012

Chicken and Sausage Bake

This is an easy baked dinner. I do brown the chicken and sausages slightly before baking but then I toss in a few vegetables and the whole thing goes in the oven. This is a perfect thing to make when you have lots of vegetables and you want to clean out the fridge.

You will need:
  • 2 chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 4 sausages (mine were Hot Italian)
  • 5-6 carrots
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6-8 large mushrooms
  • 6-8 cloves garlic -unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt/pepper
* add any of your favorite vegetables.

Step 1: I remove the casings from the sausages and saute until the water has evaporated and the meat just starts to brown. Place in roasting pan.

Step 2: saute the chicken pieces until just starting to brown. Do not over cook here especially if you are using chicken breasts as they can dry out. 

Step 3: add peeled carrots, onions, garlic and any other vegetables you like. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt and pepper over everything. Drizzle a bit of honey on the items. Add the chicken broth and roast uncovered for 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and everything starts to brown. You may have to shake the pan once or twice.

Step 4: I saute the mushrooms at the last minute before serving but, you could also toss into the bake.

I served with a bit of cilantro or parsley and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. The sweet pairs very nicely with the hot sausages. You can also take the roasted garlic and spread on a chunk of bread or just eat it.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

This is a beef and broccoli stir fry made with ground beef instead of sliced beef. Served on plain rice it's spicy and delicious. Add your favourite vegetables to create something perfect for your family or try it this way. Chopping the vegetables is the only thing that requires effort here.

You will need:
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1 head broccoli cut evenly (you can also use most of the tender stalk)
  • 1/2 onion
  • handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 green onions/scallions
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup water
  • chopped peanuts or sesame seeds or cashews 
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorns

Step 1: brown your ground beef in a saute pan. Remove.
Step 2: in a small bowl add all your ingredients for sauce. Set aside.

Step 3: on high heat, saute your onions and the sliced stalk if you are using it.

Step 4: add your mushrooms and broccoli and saute for a few minutes. Add the water to steam the broccoli and you can put on lid of pan for 1 minute. Once you have steamed the broccoli continue the rest of the cooking with the lid off.

Step 5: add back the meat and continue cooking another minute or two. At the last minute add your sauce and cook another minute or two.

Serve over plain rice and top with chopped cilantro, some peanuts or sesame seeds or all of them.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Honey Garlic Turkey Nuggets

I like to cook with turkey tenders. They are cost effective and they come in generous portion packages. I have made some honey garlic turkey nuggets in this recipe. They are partially cooked in the microwave and then quickly fried, then tossed in a sticky coating. They can be partially fried and finished in the oven if you want to prepare them the day before serving.

You will need:
  • 2 turkey tenders (of course you can also use chicken breast or thighs)
  • salt/pepper
  • granulated garlic
  • 1/3 cup mustard (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup semolina or corn meal
  • bar-b-q seasoning
  • Italian seasoning
  • hot paprika
  • sweet paprika
  • grape seed oil (or canola for frying)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1-2 tbsp orange juice (if necessary to thin out sauce)

Step 1: I start with a nice quality turkey tender. In my meat market they sell 2 in a package.

Step 2: I find it easy to cut into chunks when the meat is partially frozen. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.

Step 3: on a large plate microwave the meat for 1 minute. Flip the meat and bring the outside pieces to the inside so they cook evenly. Cook for another 1 minute.

If you have any pieces that still have not turned mostly an opaque partially cooked. Then cook a further 30 seconds. Let turkey cool.

Step 4: toss the partially cooked turkey in mustard to coat. I have used a spicy horseradish mustard and a hot mustard combination. 

Step 5: in a bowl mix flour and semolina or cornmeal and lots of spices. You add more than you think you should in order to make a tasty breading.

Step 6: I use tongs to toss each piece of meat in flour.

Step 7: heat oil to 375 degrees F and fry turkey until browned. I like to use grape seed oil but you can use canola or peanut. You will not have to cook them  long since you have partially cooked your meat. Remove to paper towels to remove excess oil.

Step 8: in a small saucepan heat honey, garlic and orange marmalade. This will make it runny and easy to toss the chunks in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with a salad.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Grilled Salmon with Parsley, Lemon Gremolata

I love Salmon and it is just such a beautiful product in British Columbia. It's never cheap if you buy the wild variety but, it is just so gorgeous and requires very little fussing.

You will need:
  • 3-4 portions salmon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • lemon zest
  • fresh lemon and lime for grilling
  • 2-3 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 2 -3 tsp lemon zest 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • thick aged balsamic vinegar (use your best quality here)

Step 1: start with a nice piece of fish. Slice into portions and make sure there are no bones by running your hands along the top of the fish and removing any with pliers or tweezers.

Step 2: I have sliced 3 pieces for two people. I sprinkled some brown sugar and salt all over top and covered with plastic wrap. Leave in fridge for 5-6 hours. Since I have not used a lot of salt I do not rinse the fish before grilling.

Step 3: Put slices on a piece of foil skin side down, which will go directly on your grill. This is a good way to remove the skin after it has cooked one side of your fish. I have used a bit of lemon zest on top of fish.

Step 4: to make your gremolata simply finely chop your parsley, chives, garlic, olive oil and lemon zest.

Step 5: while grilling your fish squeeze fresh lemon and lime over fish. Grill your fish on a medium grill and once you need to flip it you can slide a spatula under the skin and it will be left on the foil. If you want to eat it then grill it and keep it attached to the fish. I don't like the heads or skin left on fish so I remove it. (don't even get me started on Picky Pete!) This fish only takes a few minutes to cook.

Remove and serve topped with your parsley gremolata, a bit of salt and pepper and a drizzle of your best balsamic vinegar along with a nice salad.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Teriyaki Salmon Burgers

These are gorgeous salmon burgers made simply by cutting fresh salmon into chunks and grilling quickly.

You will need:

  • 1 piece of salmon
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • some breadcrumbs for a topping
  • nice buns- soft and squishy
Basting sauce
  • 1 clove garlic- crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chines 5 spice
  • 1/2 lime squeezed
Drizzle for serving
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder blend
  • 1 tsp chili jam
  • salt/pepper
  • optional* some black sesame seeds

Step 1: start with a nice chunk of salmon. I used the centre portion of this side of salmon for another meal and the rest for the burgers. I made 4 burgers however, you could certainly make 6-8 with the entire fish portion I have here.

Step 2: I have removed the skin and brown layer right beside the skin and chopped into small chunks.

Step 3: add all remaining ingredients with fish into a bowl.

add real maple syrup 

You may think that the mixture will never hold together but, it will. 

Step 4: Gently form your patties and pat the top with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.

Step 5: in a small jar I add all ingredients for basting sauce and shake to mix.

Step 6: I start grilling the burgers on a piece of foil that I place directly on a hot grill.  This helps the delicate meat stay together once you flip the burgers they will have cooked enough to form a patty and I place the burger directly on the grill. Once I flip them I can throw away the foil. I just need it for grilling the first side.

These cook quickly just a few minutes on each side will ensure this beautiful fish stays moist. I top the burgers with the sweet drizzle and some spinach. I have made some fresh brioche buns that are soft and squishy and the buttery rich bread complements the rich fish.

These were really nice!