Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strawberry Turnovers

This morning I decided to make strawberry turnovers. I used to make turnovers a lot mostly because it is really easy and taste good. The filling is really up to you, I've made them with dices peach and mango or diced apples with Cinnamon, sugar and almonds. It's really up to you. I made my own strawberry filling but if your pressed for time you can use your favorite jam. You can eat these straight out of the oven or when cooled. If your eating them warm feel free to add a dollop of whip cream on the side. I used a store bought puff pastry but you can use a home made one. If your buying a ready made puff pastry try to buy the pre-rolled ones, it is just easier and faster then the squares.

You will need
1 sheet or square of puff pastry
1/2 pound strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
1/4 sugar (more of less may be needed depending on the sweetness of the strawberries)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 sliced almonds (optional)
1/8 cup finishing sugar

1) Pre heat the oven to 350. In a saucepan add the strawberries and sugar. Cook until the strawberries have softened and released there juices. About 10-15 minutes

2) Mix the water and corn starch together. Pour into the strawberries and stir. The liquid will thicken, if to thick add a few drops of water.
3) Lay the puff pastry on a work surface. Cut into equal squares.
4) Spoon a tablespoon or so of filling onto the center of the pastry.

5) Fold the pastry to it forms a triangle. Using a fork crimp the edges.

6) Place the pastries on a cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar and almonds on top. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

I made this about 3 weeks ago, it is another on of those recipes that I've been meaing to post.There isn't really much to say about this recipe,except that it looks intiminating at first but once you start breaking it down into sections it is pretty straight forward. Now I'm not a fan of beef at all, but Adam loves it. I made this more so for him and for the fact that I just wanted to try the recipe. If you are like me and your don't like beef, use pork or lamb. The use of red wine is pretty much unavoidable, I think this is the first recipe that I've posted where you really have to use red wine or it won't come out. I know some people are uncomfortable with using alchol when cooking, which is fine but in this case I would don't recommend making this without wine. However if you do I would subsitute the wine with more beef stock and maybe a tablespoon more of the tomato paste. Now it must be said that I am using Julia Child's recipe....yes I know I've been using a lot of her lately. But she is sooo good. Like all good Julia Child recipes this one had wine, mushrooms, onions and bacon, the only thing it is missing is lots of butter and cream. But trust me you won't miss it. Julia also says that you can serve this with buttered noodles, roasted potatos or green vegetables. I used noodles.

You will need:

For the base of the stew
6-ounce chunk of bacon, with the rind removed and the meat sliced into match sticks
1 tablespoon oil
3 pounds stewing beef or meat of your choice, cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch peices
1 sliced and diced carrot
1 slice and diced onion
2 tablespoon flour
3 cups red wine
2-3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves of mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon tyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/4 cup minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste

For the brown braised onions
about 24 peeled pearl onions
1/4 cup stock
salt and pepper to taste

For the sauteed mushrooms
1 pound quartered mushrooms
2 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

For the stew
1) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the pork rind and the bacon in 1 1/2 quarts boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain
2) Using a oven proof casserole dish, saute the bacon in the oil until browned. Remove from the pan. Dry the beef and place in the pan. Brown the beef on all sides. Make sure you don't over crowed the pan, if you do the meat won't brown. You may have to brown the meat in several batches. Remove the beef from the pan and add it to the bacon

3) Saute the onions and carrots in the saute pan. Pour out any remaining fat.
4) Put the beef and bacon sticks into the casserole, add the flour and mix to coat.
5) Place the casserole in oven and let cook for 4 minutes, remove from oven and toss place back in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove the casserole and lower the heat to 325 degrees. Add the wine and stock, then stir. Add the tomato paste, garlic, parsley, and bacon rind stir, cover and place in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours.

For the Braised Onions
1) In a saute pan heat the stock.
2) Add the onions and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Stiring every couple of minutes.
3) Season with salt and pepper
Set aside until beef is done

For the sauted mushrooms
1) In a saute pan heat the butter.
2) Add the mushroom and saute until wilted and golden brown.
3) Season with salt and pepper
Set aside until beef is done

Stew Cont'd

7) After 2 hours check the beef, if it is tender remove it from the oven. If not let cook another 20-30 minutes. Remove the meat and vegetables from the casserole. Strain the sauce and reserve the liquid. Discard the bacon rind
8) Wash out the casserole, put the meat and vegetable back in side it. Sprinkle the mushrooms and onion ontop.

9) In a saute pan simmer the sauce until there is about 2- 2 1/2 cups let and it coats the back of a spoon.
10) Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables, bring to the simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some more parsley ontop if you want.
11) Serve


Kale and Mango Salad

I'm starting to feel like my blog is turning into an ode to other people's amazing recipe. But there are so many yummy recipes I want to share with all of you. Like this kale and mango salad courtesy of Aarti Sequeria. Her cooking show currently doesn't air here in Canada but it is on the American Foodnetwork. She also has a blog and videos on youtube, which is how I originally found this recipe. I tend to play around with the measurements for the sauce, it really depends on your taste and how sweet your mango's are or how bitter the kale is. I'm posting the originally recipe, so feel free to play around a bit. For example I use one mango per person, I then squeeze the pit over the salad so that any left over mango juices go into my tummy, I also add corriander it is sweet and smokey very tasty- add about 2 teaspoons.

You will need
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and cut into bit size pieces
The juice of one lemon
1/4 olive oil
2 teaspoon honey
1 mango
a hand full of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
salt and pepper to taste

1) Place the kale in a bowl and pour in the oil. Using your hand massage the oil into the kale for 3-4 minutes.
2) Add everything else beside the pepitas and mix together.
3) Add the pepitas and season accordingly.

Creme Brulee

I've been making Creme Brulee once every two weeks or so ever since January. It is surprisingly easy, I remember watching Dinner Party Wars and this couple made it, theirs was runny. So when it came time for me to make mind I was really worried that I would mess it up. All Creme Brulee is a chilled custard with sugar on top. If you have ever made a custard on the stove top you can make this. Now if you want to get creative you can substitute the vanille extract with a different extract or even a liquior....banana creme brulee anyone?

You will need
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or flavoring of your choice

1) In a mixing bowl combine the egg yolks and sugar, mix until pale yellow and slightly creamy
2) In a sauce pan, heat the cream.
3) Add 1/8 cup of the heated cream to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add the cream to the eggs 1/8 cup at a time, whisking for 20 seconds or so before the next addition.
4) When the cream and eggs have combined pour the mixture into the sauce pan. Cook over low-medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do not over cook.
5) Portion out into creme brulee molds or into ramakins. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
6) To Serve: sprinkle the top with sugar, using a blow torch caramlize the sugar. Make sure not to burn the sugar. If the sugar burns it will taste bitter.

7) Enjoy!

If your custard become lumpy, remove from the heat right away and whisk it. If it is still lumpy you can pass it through a fine seive before pouring it into the molds.

Herb roasted pork tenderloin with a truffle mustard cream sauce

For some reason Mother Nature is very angry today. It has been snowing and windy for most of the day, and what is the best thing to do when the weather outside is frightful?.....cook! A couple of weeks ago I was at Denninger's (the most amazing European food store) when I saw a bottle of something called Truffle Mustard. I had never seen this before so natually I had to have it. I didn't end up getting it, mostly because it was $9.00 a bottle. I kept thinking about it and how much I wanted to try it. I looked it up online to see what other people thought about it and overall it was pretty positive. This past Saturday I finally caved in and bought a bottle. When I was trying to decide what to make I decided that I wanted to do something with either lamb or pork. I had a pork loin in the freezer so making a pork dish was a lot easier then going out and buying some lamb, but I think this would go nicely with a rack of lamb. Originally I wanted to smear the mustard over the tenderloin and cover it in a herb crust, but when it came down to cooking it I forgot to smear the mustard on it. So I added it to the gravy. I made a mushroom risotto and a kale and mango salad to go with it. I'll blog about both of these later. Now I tend to only cook for Adam and myself and measurments reflect that. But this is a simple recipe, so just adjust the amount of parsely, garlic and green onions to suite the amount of meat you are cooking.

You will need
1 1/2- 2 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup parsley
2 cloves of garlic
2 green onions
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup stock
1 tablespoon truffle mustard
2 tablespoon cream

1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. On the stove top melt the butter in a oven proof saute pan (I used my handy-dandy cast iron pan).
2) Pat dry the tenderloin, make sure it still has some dampness if it is to dry the parsley will not stick.
3) In a food processor or blender combine the other ingredients and blend until minced.
4) Rub the parsley mixture all over the tenderloin and place in the pre heated saute pan. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 after the first 10 minutes, then lower again to 300 for the final 10 minutes.
5) Take the tenderloin out of the oven, place the saute pan on the stove top and turn the heat on to medium. Remove the tenderloin from the pan and place on a plate to rest, cover with foil.
6) Add the mustard to the saute pan, whisk to combine with the cooking juices. Add the brand and the stock, whisk to combine. Let cook until the liquid has evaporated to about 1/4 cup. Add the cream and whisk to combine.
7) Done!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Roast chicken steeped with Port wine, cream and mushrooms

I've been cooking a lot recently but not posting anything, so now I have a bit of a backlog of stuff. About 2 weeks ago my friend Boris came over for dinner. I've know Boris since I was 12 and we have lived together twice because of school and what not. It was the first time he had been to my apartment since Adam and I moved in together so I decided to make him something yummy. When we lived together he loved it when I made risotto, I also introduced him to asparagus....and goat cheese. Now I didn't make anything with goat cheese but I did make risotto and roasted asparagus. I also decided that it was a good time to try another Julia Child recipe. I made Poulet au Porto or in English  roast chicken steeped with port wine, cream and mushrooms. It was very yummy, so here it is Poulet au Porto!

You will need

For the brine(optional)
1/8 cup salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 quart ( more maybe needed depending on the amount of chicken being brine and the size of your bowl)
3-4 Bay leaves
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1/2 tablespoon pepper corns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 medium onion, cut in half
2-3 pound raw whole chicken

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or a pot, add the chicken and let sit in the fridge overnight.

For the Chicken
2-3 pound chicken brined1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon butter

1) Remove the chicken from the brine and dry with paper towel
2) Heat a oven proof skillet (I used a cast iron pan), melt 2 tablespoon butter
3) Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and add to the hot pan, breast side down
4) Cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned, turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Place in the oven for 1 hour or until juices run clear.
5) When chicken is cooked and out of the oven let rest.  Remove chicken from saute pan and allow it to rest on a board or plate.

For the Sauce
1lb fresh mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon corn starch mixed together with 1 tablespoon cream
1 green onion diced
1/ 3 cup medium-dry port or a red wine of your choice
1/4 cup cognac (optional)

1) When the chicken is almost done, bring water, lemon juice, salt and butter to a boil. Add the mushrooms, cover and boil for 8 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserve the cooking liquid. Place the mushroom back into the sauce pan, add the cream and the cornstarch mixture. Simmer for 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
2) Remove all but 2 tablespoon of the fat and juices from the saute pan used to cook the chicken. Re-heat pan.
3) Saute green onions for 1 minute, add the port and the mushrooms cooking liquid. Boil the sauce down till there is about 1/4 cup of liquid left. Add the cream and mushrooms, cook for 2-3 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste, add a few drops of lemon juice.

4) Carve the chicken in to serving pieces, place in a buttered casserole dish. Pour the cognac over top and place on the stove top. *When the cognac starts to sizzle light the cognac on fire using a match (be care not to burn yourself, have water or a fire extinguisher near by in case fire gets out of hand). When flame has gone out* pour the mushroom sauce over top, baste the chicken with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
5) Serve

*optional, if you wish to skip this step just pour the sauce over the chicken and proceed with the rest of the recipe.


Adam and I made sandwhiches out of the leftovers.