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Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlet)

Tonkatsu


I was going through my fridges freezer when I came across some thin pork chops. I was wondering what to do with them and I thought that it had been a while since I had had tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is a Japanese style pork cutlet that is breaded with panko bread crumbs and deep fried. (I don't have a deep fryer so I normally shallow fry the pork in some oil in a pan.) I really like tonkatsu because it is nice a crispy on the outside and really juicy on the inside. It is great by itself and it is even better in tonkatsu sauce. (Yep, it has its own sauce.) Tonkatsu sauce is similar to a thick Worcestershire sauce. It is a pretty quick and easy dish. I normally have everything that I need on hand, other than the pork.

You should be able to find both the panko bread crumbs and the tonkatsu sauce at your local asian grocery store. I have the Bulldog brand of tonkatsu sauce.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 pork chops
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl
2. Dredge the pork in the flour.
3. Dip the pork in the egg.
4. Cover the pork in panko.
5. Fry the pork in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Similar Recipes:
Katsudon (Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl)
Katsu Kare (Pork Cutlet with Curry Sauce)

Tonkatsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Red Curry with Shrimp and Kabocha (Pumpkin)

Red Curry with Shrimp and Kabochap


After trying and enjoying coconut milk last week I was looking for more dishes that used it. I came across this recipe that also included kabocha squash (also called Japanese pumpkin). Since I was already going to be picking up some kabocha for the risotto that I had on the weekend I added this to my meal plan. I really like curries including British style curries, Indian style curries and my favorite so far, Japanese curry. Since I had never tried a Thai style of curry I was really looking forward to this dish. Luckily I was able to find some lemongrass at the St. Lawrence Market. I also picked up a small jar of red Thai curry paste. When I opened the curry paste my nose was filled with an amazingly aroma. When I cooked the curry in the thick coconut milk that fragrance only intensified. I was really impressed by this dish. The heat and spices of the curry paste were nicely mellowed by the sugar and the sweetness of the kabocha and peas. I understand that there are many different types of Thai curry pastes and I look forward to trying more of them. I will also have to look into making my own Thai style curry paste.

Ingredients:
2 cups kabocha (peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 14 ounce coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 stalks lemon grass (2-4 inches of the soft bottom inside, bruised)
8 shrimp (shelled)
1/2 cup peas
2 roma tomatoes (quartered lengthwise)
2 servings of rice

Directions:
1. Heat a pan and add the thicker coconut milk from the top of the can and the red curry paste and saute for about three minutes stirring constantly.
2. Add the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and broth and mix.
3. Add the lemongrass and kabocha and reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
4. Add the shrimp and peas and cook until the shrimp is cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.
6. Serve over rice.

Similar Recipes:
Penang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup

Bostini Cream Pie

Bostini Cream Pie


I have been cooking for a while now but I have not really been doing much in the way of baking. I still find baking to be a bit intimidating. I keep hearing that it is not like cooking where you can play around with the ingredients. Since I started food blogging I have been watching the Daring Bakers amazing creations. The things that they were baking always seemed to be very challenging. I thought, "What better way to improve my baking skills than to challenge myself?". And so I joined in on the Daring Bakers challenge.

This months Daring Bakers challenge was a Bostini Cream Pie. It is basically an orange chiffon cake, custard and chocolate. I was pretty happy with the choice of the recipe as it sounded really good and I had never made custard or a chiffon cake before. The original recipe made 8 serving so I cut the recipe in about half.

Custard

When I looked at the custard recipe I noticed that it looked a lot like a basic ice cream recipe. I was a bit worried as I have never actually been able to get ice cream to thicken enough to cover the back of a spoon. The ice creams turned out alright because they were frozen after and the custard would not be. It turned out ok though. I guess the cornstarch helped or I just finally got it right. The custard tasted great! It had a good texture and a really nice vanilla flavour. I wish I had been able to find a vanilla bean to try it with.

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg (beaten)
4 egg yolks (beaten)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

Directions:
1. Mix the milk and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.
2. Mix in the egg and yolks and beat until smooth.
3. Mix the cream, vanilla and sugar in a sauce pan and carefully bring to a boil.
4. When it just comes to a bowl ladle about 1/4 cup into the egg mixture and quickly whisk to temper the eggs.
5. Mix the egg mixture into the sauce pan and cook until it is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon while stirring constantly.
6. Strain the mixture and refrigerate to chill.

Orange Chiffon Cake

The chiffon cake was pretty straight forward. I was not able to find cream of tartar though... I made meringues a while ago so I was familiar with beating egg whites. I pulled out my trusty forks and whipped the egg whites into soft peaks in no time. (Getting a bit of exercise while baking is always good.) I baked the cake in 4 ramekins. They turned out pretty good, though they were not quite as light and fluffy as I was hoping for. The orange flavour in the cake was really good!

3/4 cups cake flour
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
2/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons beaten egg yolks (~2 yolks)
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3/4 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup egg whites (~8 eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:
1. Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla and stir until smooth.
3. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks.
4. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
5. Spray the cooking dish(s) with nonstick cooking spray and fill with the batter.
6. Bake in a preheated 325F oven until the cake bounces back when pressed lightly with a finger, about 25 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:
3 ounces butter
3 ounces semi or bitter sweet chocolate

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate to melt.

The assembly of the pie was pretty easy. I just placed some custard on a plate followed by the chiffon cakes and topped it with the chocolate glaze. It was really good! The orange chiffon cake went really well with the chocolate. (Orange and chocolate are such a great combination.) The custard rounded everything out with a nice cool creaminess.

In the end my first Daring Bakers challenge was a success! I did not run into any major problems. It took a bit of time to make and I did end up having to wash the dishes 3 times; once before starting, once in between making the custard and the cake and once after it was all done! But it was definitely worth the effort. Overall it a great learning experience and there was a tasty treat in the end.

Check out the other Daring Bakers.

Kabocha Risotto

Kabocha Risotto with Sage, Seeds and Pancetta


As I was looking at my "to try" list I noticed that there were a few recipes with kabocha in them. Kabocha is a winter squash otherwise known as the Japanese pumpkin. It is sweet and it has the texture of a pumpkin. I though that I would do a kabocha theme for this weeks menu. At the top of the list was this recipe for a kabocha risotto topped with pancetta, sage and toasted pumpkin seeds. I wanted the risotto to both have the flavour of oven roasted kabocha puree and the texture of solid pieces of kabocha. I used half of the kabocha to make pumpkin puree and the other half I cut into bit sized pieces. This risotto was pretty good. The sweetness of the kabocha went surprisingly well in a risotto with parmigiano reggiano. For lunch today I had some of the leftover kabocha risotto with some leftover salami, which I fired, on top. Regular pumpkin or butternut squash would also work well here.

Ingredients:
1 kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin)
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (chopped)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1 ounce pancetta
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:
1. Cut the kabocha in half and use one half to make pumpkin puree.
2. Remove the skin from the other half of the kabocha and cut into bite sized pieces.
3. Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep warm while making the risotto.
4. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.
5. Add the onions and saute until tender.
6. Add the rice and saute until the rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
7. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
8. Add the kabocha puree and kabocha pieces.
9. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the rice and stir until the rice absorbs it. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes. The kabocha pieces should be tender by now.
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmigiano reggiano.
11. Fry the pancetta in a pan.
12. Add the sage ad fry until crispy.
13. Remove from the heat and add the toasted pumpkin seeds.
14. Serve the risotto topped with the pancetta, sage and pumpkin seeds.

Kabocha Risotto with Fried Salami


Similar Recipes:
Risotto
Turkey and Squash Thanksgiving Risotto
Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Mushroom Risotto
Roasted Pumpkin, Pancetta and Sage Soup

Take a look at Weekend Herb Blogging at Nami Nami.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Chipotle Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


If you are like me and you like to make your own pumpkin puree then you probably go through a lot of pumpkin seeds. It is such a shame to just throw all of them away when it is so easy to make toasted pumpkin seeds. After separating the seeds from the stringy bits, you rinse the seeds and toss them in some oil and seasonings. The seasoning can be as simple as salt and pepper but you can do pretty much whatever you imagine. I like to add some spicy heat to my pumpkin seeds and smoky chipotle chili powder is a wonderful way to do so. After seasoning you just need to bake them in the oven until they are nice and crunchy. The toasted pumpkin seeds make for a great snack or they can be used to garnish soups and other dishes.

Chipotle Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

(makes a bunch depending on the size of your pumpkin)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
the seeds from one pumpkin (cleaned and rinsed)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (optional, or other seasoning)

Directions:
1. Toss the pumpkin seeds in oil and chipotle chili powder.
2. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer.
3. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until golden brown, about 10-20 minutes. They may start to pop and that is ok.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree


The farmers market has been full of pumpkins and other winter squash recently and I have been wanting to do something with them. A few of the recipes on my "to try" list called for pumpkin puree and although the canned stuff is convenient I wanted to try making my own pumpkin puree. It turns out that making your own pumpkin puree is really easy. You simply cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven until it is soft enough to mash or puree.

Note: You can also puree other winter squash such as butternut squash in the same way.

Note: Make sure you save your seeds to make toasted pumpkin seeds with.

Update: After experimenting a bit, it turns out that pumpkin puree freezes well so I will be making a lot of pumpkin puree while the pumpkins are in season and freezing it for use later on.

Pumpkin Puree

(makes a vaying amount depending on the size of your pumpkin)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pumpkin

Directions:
1. Cut the pumpkin in half.
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
3. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet.
4. Bake the pumpkin in a 400F oven until soft, about 30-90 minutes depending on how thick the pumpkin is.
5. Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin and mash with a fork.


Things to use pumpkin puree in:
Thai Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Buns with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin and Shrimp Bisque
Pumpkin White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies
Pumpkin Gnocchi
Roasted Pumpkin, Pancetta and Sage Soup
Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Parfait with Gingersnap Pecan Streusel
Pumpkin Hummus
Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

Oven Roasted Zucchini with Mint and Feta

Oven Roasted Zucchini with Mint and Feta


I was going through my photos and came across this one of oven roasted zucchini with lemon, mint and feta that I had a while ago. I first saw it here. I was a bit surprised to see mint in a dish like this and I had to see how it would work. The lemon and feta also sounded pretty good. I roasted the zucchini until it was slightly brown which intensified the flavour and gave it a nice texture. This was a really good dish! The mint worked well in it and I really enjoyed the flavours. I will be making this again when zucchini are back in season.

Ingredients:
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mint (chopped)
salt to taste
1 tablespoon feta (crumbled)

Directions:
1. Toss the zucchini with the oil, lemon juice, mint and salt.
2. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet in a single layer.
3. Bake in a preheated 475F until slightly brown, about 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes.
4. Place the zucchini on a plate and top with the feta.
5. Garnish with some fresh mint and lemon zest if desired.

Similar Recipes:
Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Parmigiano Reggiano with Honey and Walnuts

Parmigiano Reggiano with Honey and Walnuts


I came across this post about "Parmigiano Reggiano with Honey and Walnuts" a while ago. It looked pretty interesting. I never would have thought to combine cheese and honey. I was so intrigued that I just had to try it. It was a really tasty treat! The the sweetness of the honey perfectly complemented the parmigiano reggiano. Now I will have to look for some more interesting ways of using cheese in sweet dishes.

Curry Eggplant Croquettes with Mango Chutney

Curry Eggplant Croquettes with Mango Chutney


Not too long ago I made Eggplant Croquettes and I really enjoyed them. They had an Italian theme of flavours going on with the parmigiano reggiano, the parsley, the marinara and the roasted red pepper sauce. Soon after I was reading this post on eggplants that mentions both eggplant croquettes and mango chutney and inspiration hit. What if I made eggplant croquettes with curry and topped them with some mango chutney? I thought that I would use the same basic recipe and swap the parmigiano reggiano for some curry powder, the parsley for some cilantro. I finally got around to trying the dish and it turned out pretty good. Then again, I really like curry and I am always trying to find ways to work it into new dishes. I am also really into the jar of mango chutney that I picked up not too long ago. Now I just need to get around to looking for a recipe to make my own mango chutney.

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant (sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons oil
mango chutney to taste

Directions:
1. Broil the eggplant until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side.
2. Let it cool and remove the skin.
3. Place the eggplant, bread crumbs, garlic, curry powder, cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor and process.
4. Grab a small handful of the mixture and form a patty.
5. Dip the patty into the egg and then in the bread crumbs to coat.
6. Heat the oil in a pan.
7. Fry the patty until golden brown on both sides, about 1-3 minutes per side.
8. Repeat step 4 through 7 until you have used up all of the mixture.

Similar Recipes:
Eggplant Croquettes
Zucchini Fritters
Corn Fritters
Maryland Crab Cakes

Roasted Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Cashews

Roasted Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Cashews


I have been meaning to try beets for a while now. I have been seeing them at the farmers market for a few weeks and I finally got around to picking some up. The only dish that I have really seen beets in is a beet salad so I thought I would try that. I saw some recipes that called for boiling the beets and some that called for oven roasting. I decided to go with oven roasting as it seems to add a flavour. I had heard that beets can stain your hands red for a while so I wore ziplock bags on my hands while peeling and cutting the roasted beets. They did indeed leave some stains on the counter that took some effort to remove. The oven roasted beets were pretty good. They were sweet and I really enjoyed their texture. Now I am off to look for some more tasty way to use beets.

Ingredients:
2 medium beets (washed and trimmed)
1 serving salad greens
1 ounce blue cheese
1 handful cashews
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil.
2. Bake the beets in a preheated 375F oven until soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
3. Let the beets cool.
4. Peel the beets and cut into bit sized pieces.
5. Assemble the salad.

Similar Recipes:
Golden Beet Tatin with Goat Cheese
Roasted Beets with Caramelized Onions and Feta

Suasage and Rapini on Gorgonzola Polenta

Suasage and Rapini on Gorgonzola Polenta


One of the challenges of cooking is being able to use leftovers. Not just the cooked leftovers but the "I only used 4 out of the 5 sausages that were in the package." or the "I got just a little more cheese than I needed." leftovers. It can sometimes be fun to sit down with a list of odds and ends that need to be finished and try to find a recipe that fits. I was looking for a recipe to use up some leftovers when I came across a recipe for polenta with sausage and rapini in Food and Drink magazine. I had a leftover sausage from yesterday and I had some gorgonzola cheese from last week that I though would go nicely in the polenta. The only thing that I would need was the rapini. That worked out well as I had been wanting to try rapini for a while. The dish was pretty tasty and two more items were cleaned out of my fridge making room for more. There was a little too much flavour for me to get a good feel for the rapini. I will have to use it again in a simpler dish.

Ingredients:
1 Italian sausage (casing removed)
1 serving rapini (cut into bit sized pieces)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup gorgonzola (crumbled)

Directions:
1. Cook the sausage in a pan until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rapini, garlic red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a sauce pan.
4. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring.
5. Mix in the gorgonzola and let it melt.

Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Cheese

Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Cheese


When I was growing up I did not really enjoy sausages. I was mostly exposed to flavourless breakfast sausages that I really didn't like. Recently I have been trying sausages again, though I am still avoiding the breakfast sausages. Among others, I have found that I really like Italian sausages. They are full of flavour and you can often use them in place of ground meat in recipes to add a bit more flavour to the dish. I came across this recipe for zucchini stuffed with Italian sausage and cheese. This recipe sounded really tasty and I worked it into my meal plan as soon as I could. The dish turned out to be just as tasty as it looked. How can you go wrong with Italian sausage melted golden browned cheese?

Ingredients:
2 large zucchinis
1 tablespoon oil
2 Italian Sausage (casings removed)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1/2 cup mozzarella (grated)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)

Directions:
1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle.
2. Chop the zucchini that was scooped out and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the sausage and brown.
5. Add the onion and saute until tender.
6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
7. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
8. Add the chopped zucchini, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
9. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
10. Let the stuffing cool.
11. Mix in half of the cheese.
12. Stuff the zucchinis with the stuffing and top with the remaining cheese.
13. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the zucchinis are tender and the cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Cheese

Similar Recipes:
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini topped with Melted Cheddar, Bacon and an Avocado Blue Cheese Dressing
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Apple Crisp with Amaretto

Apple Crisp with Amaretto


The theme for this months Sugar High Friday being hosted at SpiTtoon Extra is Drunken Apples. I like this theme because local apples are in season and I have been getting different varieties from the farmers market each week. I have been looking forward to making an apple crumble for a while now. I ended up using the following apples in the crisp: 2 Honey Crisp, 1 Mutsu, and Jona Gold. For the drunken part I though that I would try adding a little Amaretto to the crisp. Amaretto is an almond flavoured liqueur that I recently tried. It added a nice subtle almond flavour to the crisp. The crisp was really good and the melting vanilla ice cream was the perfect topping.

Ingredients:
5 cups apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1/4 cup amaretto
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter (melted)

Directions:
1. Toss the apples with the amaretto, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
2. Mix the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in a large bowl.
3. Place the apple mixture into an 8x8 inch baking dish and pour the topping on.
4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Dulce de Leche Apple Pie
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble
Pear and Cranberry Crumble
Mango Crisp with Macadamia Nut Crust
Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Spicy Shrimp on Coconut Rice

Spicy Shrimp on Coconut Rice


Since I (recently) discovered that I really like shrimp (prawns) I have been trying to include them in my meal plan more often. The other day I came across this recipe for spicy shrimp on coconut rice. The recipe sounded pretty tasty and it included coconut milk which I have been meaning to try cooking with for a while now. The dish was pretty tasty, though I think I went a bit overboard with the jalapeno peppers. I liked the coconut in both the shrimp and on the rice. I look forward to experimenting with coconut milk more.

Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 jalapeno pepper (sliced thinly)
1 lime (juice)
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon chili sauce (such as sambal oelek)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 serving long grained rice (cooked)

Directions:
1. Mix the garlic, salt and water.
2. Marinate the shrimp in the water for about 10 minutes.
3. Drain the water from the shrimp retaining the garlic.
4. Add the jalapeno pepper and lime juice to the shrimp.
5. Heat the oil in a pan.
6. Add the shrimp and saute until cooked, about 1 minutes per side.
7. Add the coconut milk and chili sauce and cook for 30 more seconds.
8. Remove from heat and mix in the cilantro.
9. Mix the coconut milk into the rice.
10. Pour the shrimp onto the rice and serve.

Frittata with Italian Sausage and Cannelli Beans

Frittata with Italian Sausage and Cannelli Beans


I made my first frittata a few months ago and I have been enjoying them since. They are pretty versatile. You can put in whatever you want. During the summer the frittatas that I was making were lighter and often contained green vegetables. Now that it is getting cooler I have been making them a bit more substantial. This time I made the frittata with Italian sausage and cannelli beans. It was a pretty hearty frittata. The Italian sausage added a lot of flavour.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 link Italian sausage (casing removed and crumbled)
1/2 cup cannelli beans (from can, drained and rinsed)
6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Directions:
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Heat oil in an oven proof pan.
3. Add the onions and saute until tender.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
5. Add the sausage and brown.
6. Add the canelli beans.
7. Mix the eggs, cream (if using), cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.
8. Add egg mixture to the pan and cook until the eggs are almost set. (About 2 minutes.)
9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
10. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Similar Recipes:
Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet
Spinach, White Bean and Turkey Sausage Soup
Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella

Take a look at the CLICK roundup at jugalbandi.

Greek Yogurt with Walnuts and Honey

Greek Yogurt with Walnuts and Honey


I have been hearing about Greek Yogurt for a while now but I have not been able to find it. This weekend I was determined to come home with some. In the end I found some at the back of a small shop at the St Lawrence market. Greek Yogurt is strained to remove some of the moisture giving it a thicker consistency. I really enjoyed the texture of the Greek yogurt which was closer to that a soft cream cheese. It had the same great sour flavour of regular plain yogurt.

On my way out of the farmers market I walked by the stall of the farmer where I had purchased many tasty melons during the summer and he had some honey marked as melon blossom honey. I remembered seeing photos of Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts so I picked some of the honey up to try. The honey was pretty good though I could not say that I could taste that it was made from melon blossoms.

The Greek yogurt, honey and walnut dish was pretty good. The honey perfectly balanced the sourness of the yogurt and the walnuts added a great flavour and contrast of texture. It makes for a tasty breakfast, dessert or snack, though it is 10% MF...

The Greek yogurt came in a 1 L container so I have a lot to use. I will have to try making some Tzatziki Sauce with it. Then I will have to search the web for other interesting ways of using Greek yogurt.

Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto

Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto


I had been craving gorgonzola cheese for a while. I came across this recipe for a pear and gorgonzola risotto while looking for something to satisfy my craving. This recipe was good for a number of reasons; it had gorgonzola in it, I had a lot of fresh local pears that needed to be used, and because I really like risotto! The last time that I had used pears in a savoury dish the pear flavour was a bit subtle so I made sure to caramelize the pears in butter and sugar to strengthen their flavour. I really enjoyed this risotto. The sweetness of the pear went well with the tangy gorgonzola cheese. I really liked the gorgonzola in the risotto and I will be looking to make more risottos with gorgonzola cheese.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 pears (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (chopped)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 pound gorgonzola

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.
2. Add the pears and sugar and caramelize. Set pears aside.
3. Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep warm while making the risotto.
4. Melt the butter in the pan from 1.
5. Add the onions and saute until tender.
6. Add the rice and saute until the rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
7. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
8. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the rice and stir until the rice absorbs it. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
9. Add the pear and gorgonzola and stir until the gorgonzola melts.

Similar Recipes:
Pistachio and Gorgonzola Risotto
Risotto
Pear Salad with and Bacon, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche
Pear and Gorgonzola Tart
Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Vanilla Pear Compote
Mushroom Risotto
Pear Kimchi and Blue Cheese Salad

Take a look at The Risotto Relay at The Baker & The Curry Maker.

Mushroom and Spinach Galette

Mushroom and Spinach Galette


A while ago I came across the concept of a galette which is basically a pie crust folded over the filling. A pie that does not need a pie plate. I recently came across this recipe for a mushroom galette which sounded pretty interesting. I wanted a bit more green in my galette so I decided to go with a mushroom and spinach galette. I really like mushrooms fried in butter with dill and I used that as the basis of the filling. For the mushrooms I grabbed a one pound package with a third of each shiitake, oyster, and cremini mushrooms in it. The galette tasted pretty good. I had some trouble moving it from the counter to the baking sheet. The bottom ripped a bit but it turned out ok. The leftovers were good but the crust did not remain crisp. Overall a galette seems to be an interesting vehicle. I think there are a lot of interesting ways that you could fill a galette from the sweet to the savoury.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (grated)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water
1 handful dried shiitake mushrooms (or porcini)
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound mushrooms (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons dill (chopped)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls spinach
1 green onion (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, salt and butter with your fingers until it resembles a course meal.
2. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and water and mix until it forms a dough.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
4. Soak the dried mushrooms in the water until soft, about 30 minutes.
5. Slice the mushrooms finely.
6. Melt the butter in a pan.
7. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are tender and all of the liquid has evaporated.
8. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
9. Turn off the heat and mix in the dill, spinach, green onion, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. (The spinach should wilt in the residual heat.)
10. On a floured surface roll out the dough.
11. Place the filling in the middle of the dough and fold the edges of the dough over.
12. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 30-40 minutes.

Mushroom and Spinach Galette

Thai Mango Chicken

Thai Mango Chicken on Rice


When I was younger I did not really like mangos. I tried them again this year and found that I now like them. When I came across this recipe for Thai mango chicken I bookmarked it to try later. This weekend they had some nice looking mangos at the grocery store and I grabbed them thinking of this recipe. This meal was pretty amazing! The mango sauce is a perfect balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. This balance is really key and you should taste the sauce to make sure that it is properly balanced. You may have to make some adjustments to get it just right. I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients:
2 ripe mangos (peeled, seeded)
1 tablespoon chili sauce (sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 lime (juice)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 thumb ginger (grated)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound chicken breast (sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 red bell pepper (sliced)
1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
1 handful cashews

Directions:
1. Mix the mangos, chili sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cilantro in a food processor.
2. Taste the mango sauce and make sure that there is a balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the chicken and saute until cooked.
5. Add the mango sauce and peppers and simmer until the peppers are tender.
6. Remove from heat and serve on rice or pasta topped with cashews.

Thai Mango Chicken on Pasta


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Apricot Chicken Curry

More Mango Recipes

Chipotle Turkey Meat Loaf

Chipotle Meat Loaf


I have yet to try making a meatloaf. When I saw the National Meatloaf Appreciation Day event at Serious Eats I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try making a meatloaf. But what kind of meatloaf to make? After searching the web for a while I came across this tasty sounding recipe for a turkey and chipotle meat loaf. Making the meat loaf was super easy! Just mix everything and bake for an hour. The meat loaf turned out to be pretty tasty. It was nice and moist and full of flavour. I topped it with some salsa and I am thinking that some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese would also be nice. Given that it requires two pounds of ground meat to fill a 9x5 inch loaf pan I now have a lot of leftovers that will make quick lunches for the rest of the week.

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground turkey
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (chopped)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
1. Mix everything in a large bowl.
2. Pour the mixture into a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 1 hour.

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Thai Green Curry Turkey and Zucchini Meatloaf in a Coconut Milk Green Curry Sauce

Shrimp and Couscous Salad

Shrimp and Couscous Salad

I recently tried couscous for the first time and I enjoyed it. It was pretty small, like grains of sand. Not too long ago I came across this recipe that used couscous that was much larger, more like small pearls. It looked pretty interesting and the recipe sounded pretty tasty. I was able to find the larger couscous at the St. Lawrence market in a package labeled as Israeli couscous. The original recipe called for mint but when I went to make it I realized that I had forgotten to pick up the mint. I did however have some fresh dill on hand so I used that. This was one of the most amazing dishes that I have had in a while. The couscous had an amazing al dente texture and a great flavour from cooking it in the chicken stock and lemon juice. The shrimp were of course succulent. Given how easy this dish was to make I think I will be enjoying it fairly often in the future. The next time I try it I will have to remember the mint.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup couscous
1 lemon (zest & juice)
5 shrimp
1 tablespoon of a fresh herb (chopped)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon slivered almonds (toasted in butter)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan.
2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
3. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, couscous and bring to a boil.
4. Add the shrimp after 5 minutes and continue to boil until the couscous is al dente, about 7-9 minutes in total (just like pasta).
5. Mix in the fresh herb, cranberries, almonds, salt and pepper.

Take a look at Pinktober at eCupcake.

Butternut Squash and Wakame Miso Soup

Butternut Squash and Wakame Miso Soup


The farmers market has been full of fresh local squash and I wanted to use them in a miso soup. I have cooked with butternut squash before so I decided to start with that one. Normally one would simmer squash in the dashi until it was tender but I really like the flavour that oven roasting a butternut squash adds. I have miso soup for breakfast so I do not have much time to spend on making breakfast before I dash off to work. I had to do a little experimentation until I got it just right. As soon as I woke up I cut off a slice of butternut squash and placed it in the oven. That gave me about 30 to 40 minutes until I needed to eat breakfast so that I could leave for work on time. At first I cut the slices 1/2 inch thick and although the squash was tender enough to eat it did not have the most flavour. By the end of the week I was cutting two 1/4 inch thick slices and they came out super tender and full of flavour. They were so tender that you could easily mash them with a fork with little or no effort. Just they way I like my oven roasted butternut squash! The slightly sweet melt in your mouth squash went really well with the saltiness of the miso to make a really tasty soup. Other than the possibly high salt content of the miso this soup is pretty healthy as well.

Ingredients:
2 slices butternut squash (1/4 inch thick)
1 cup dashi
1 teaspoon wakame
1 tablespoon miso
1 green onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Bake the butternut squash in a preheated 400F oven for about really render, about 30-40 minutes.
2. Cut the butternut squash into bite sized pieces.
3. Bring the dashi, butternut squash and wakame to a boil in a small sauce pan.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the wakame is tender.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Dissolve the miso with some of the heated dashi in a separate bowl. (We do not want to boil the miso as it will not taste as good.)
7. Add the miso back to the soup.
8. Pour the soup into a bowl and top with green onion.

Looking for more soup recipes?

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano

I have always been fairly indifferent about brussels sprouts. They are not bad but they are not great. If I had a choice between brussels sprouts and some other vegetable I would most likely go for the other vegetable. I do however, always keep an eye out for interesting sounding brussels sprouts dishes to try. I recently came across a recipe for brussels sprouts with kaiserfleisch and red onion that sounded interesting. I had never though of shredding the brussels sprouts before and the pancetta and parmigiano reggiano sounded really good. Normally I would boil brussels sprouts but I keep hearing that when you boil vegetables that most of the nutrients are lost in the water that you throw away. So another plus of this recipe was that the brussels sprouts are sauteed and not boiled. This ended up being a pretty tasty brussels sprouts dish. I now have at least one brussels sprouts dish in my list that will not be so easy to pass up on.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon oil
2 ounces pancetta (cut into small pieces, or bacon)
2 shallots (chopped, or an onion)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 pound brussels sprouts (cleaned and shredded)
salt and pepper to taste
parmigiano reggiano to taste (grated)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the pancetta and saute until just crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add the shredded brussels sprouts and saute until tender but not until they loose their colour, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Mix in the salt and pepper and garnish with the parmigiano reggiano.

Similar Recipes:
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Chestnuts
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano
Peas with Pancetta and Shallots
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Lemon

Sun Dried Olive Hummus

Sun Dried Olive Hummus


I am still on my hummus kick. Hummus is such a simple and tasty snack. You can make it plain or you can add whatever extra flavours you want. This time I was inspired by this recipe for olive hummus. I used sun dried olives in mine as they were what I had on hand. This one took a bit more effort as I had to remove the pits from the olives before adding them to the food processor. Add some toasted whole wheat pita triangles for a tasty and fairly healthy snack.

Ingredients:
1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas
1/2 cup sun dried olives (pitted)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 lemon (juice)
olive oil to taste
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to taste (chopped, optional)

Directions:
1. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth. Add some water (or more olive oil) to bring it to the consistency that you like.
2. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and olive oil to taste.

Similar Recipes:
Hummus
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

Eggplant Croquettes

Eggplant Croquettes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


I was going through my photos and I found these photos of eggplant croquettes that I did not get around to posting when I made them a few weeks ago. Fresh local eggplants were still at the farmers market and I was looking for recipes to use them in. In particular I had been looking for a recipe for eggplant fritters as I had recently enjoyed corn fritters and zucchini fritters. I came across this tasty looking post on eggplant croquettes. They turned out pretty good though I had to handle them carefully when frying them as they wanted to come apart. I topped the some of the eggplant croquettes with a simple roasted red pepper sauce and some with marinara sauce that I had in my freezer.

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant (sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons oil
marinara sauce to taste
roasted red pepper sauce to taste

Directions:
1. Broil the eggplant until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side.
2. Let it cool and remove the skin.
3. Place the eggplant, bread crumbs, garlic, parmigiano reggiano, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor and process.
4. Grab a small handful of the mixture and form a patty.
5. Dip the patty into the egg and then in the bread crumbs to coat.
6. Heat the oil in a pan.
7. Fry the patty until golden brown on both sides, about 1-3 minutes per side.
8. Repeat step 4 through 7 until you have used up all of the mixture.

The roasted red pepper sauce was just a roasted red pepper, a clove of garlic, some parsley, salt and pepper processed in a food processor.

Eggplant Croquettes with Marinara Sauce


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Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup with Cilantro

Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup with Cilantro


The farmers markets have been full of fresh local squash the last few weeks. I have not really done much with squash and I wanted to know more about the different varieties. I looked up squash on wikipedia and found this article. It seems that what I thought were squash (pumpkins, butternuts, etc.) were actually just the winter squash. There are also summer squash such as zucchini. I was very surprised to learn that squash are technically fruits and not vegetables!

I had a lot of freshly made pumpkin puree left over from yesterday and I wanted to try using it in this tasty sounding recipe for pumpkin and chorizo soup. The combination of sweet roasted pumpkin and spicy hot chorizo sounded very interesting. It turned out pretty good. The chorizo took the front stage and there was a nice subtle pumpkin flavour. The fresh chopped cilantro on top was really nice.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onions (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 chorizo sausage (casings removed)
3 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 potato (peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cilantro per bowl (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onions and saute until tender.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
4. Add the chorizo and brown.
5. Add the chicken stock, pumpkin puree. potato, oregano, and cumin and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, about 45 minutes.
7. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
8. Stir in the cream.
9. our some soup into a bowl and top with the cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

Looking for more soup recipes?

Maple Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Mascarpone Cream


I have been seeing a lot of tasty looking pumpkin recipes on food blogs lately so I wanted to do a pumpkin dish for my thanksgiving dinner dessert. While searching I came across a recipe for mini pumpkin cheesecakes on Pinch My Salt. The pumpkin cheesecake recipe also happened to have maple syrup, falling into the maple theme that I had going for my thanksgiving dinner. The original recipe called for 14 minutes of cooking time which I though was little light but I guess it would be fine for mini cheesecakes. My cheesecakes were a bit bigger and I ended up cooking them for closer to 40 minutes before they looked done. I topped the cheesecake with a maple mascarpone cream. The pumpkin cheesecakes were a great finish to a tasty thanksgiving dinner. I really liked the pumpkin flavour in the cheesecake. Luckily I still have a lot of pumpkin puree to use in other recipes.

Maple Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger

Directions:
1. Mix the graham cracker, brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Press the mixture into the bottom of two 4 inch spring form pans.
3. Mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
4. Pour the mixture into the spring form pans.
5. Bake in a preheated 325F oven until it is set, about 45-60 minutes.

Note: This recipe makes enough for 2 4 inch spring form pans. Triple the recipe for an 8 inch spring form pan and quadruple the recipe for a 10 inch spring form pan.

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Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

Pear and Maple Pecan Salad

Pear and Maple Pecan Salad


Given the theme of maple for this thanksgiving dinner I knew exactly which salad I wanted to have. I had bookmarked this pear and maple pecan salad a while ago because it sounded really good. This salad turned out to be just as good in real life as it sounded on paper. There are just so many great flavours in this salad. I will be making a lot more of the candied pecans ahead of time so that I can have this salad whenever I want. And pears are in season now...

Ingredients:
2 servings salad greens
2 pears (sliced)
1 handful maple candied pecans
1 ounce aged white cheddar cheese (crumbled)
red onion to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the salad greens, pear slices, pecans, cheese and red onion.
2. Mix the oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. When ready to serve toss the salad and the dressing together.

Maple Candied Pecans

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
pepper to taste
1/2 cup pecan halves

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Mix in the maple syrup and pepper.
3. Add the pecans and toss to coat.
4. Bake the pecans in a 350F oven until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes.
5. Let cool.

Similar Recipes:
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Strawberry and Feta Salad
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Butter Toasted Almonds
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Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette
Pear Salad with and Bacon, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts
Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Maple Dijon Green Beans

Maple Dijon Green Beans


For the green vegetable for my thanksgiving dinner I went with green beans as I had not had them in a while. Given the developing maple syrup theme I looked for a recipe with maple syrup in it. I found this recipe for maple dijon green beans which sounded pretty good. I would also get the chance to pick up and try some grainy mustard for the first time. This dish was surprisingly good. The sweetness maple syrup counter balanced the strength of the mustard and the tartness of the vinegar. I will definitely be using this recipe again.

Ingredients:
2 servings green beans (cleaned)
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Steam the green beans until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
2. Mix everything else in a small bowl.
3. Toss the green beans in the dressing.

Similar Recipes:
Green Beans with Parmesan Bread Crumbs
Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Other Maple Recipes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup


When I was coming up with the meal plan for thanksgiving I new that I wanted to try mashed sweet potatoes. While searching for a tasty recipe for mashed sweet potatoes I came across a recipe with maple syrup in it. Given that I was going to have maple syrup in the main course I thought it would be good to have it in the potatoes as well. These mashed sweet potatoes were pretty good. I was a bit worried that they might be too sweet but they were just about right.

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Bake the potato in a preheated 400F oven until soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
2. Cut the potato open and scoop out the insides.
3. Add the butter, syrup, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash.

Similar Recipes:
White Cheddar and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
Potatoes au Gratin
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Pan Seared Turkey Breast with Apple and Maple Sauce

Pan Seared Turkey Breast with Apple and Maple Sauce


This weekend was thanksgiving weekend in Canada and today cooked my thanksgiving dinner. I am still a bit intimidated by cooking a full turkey so I stuck with just a turkey breast. Last weekend I picked up some good quality maple syrup and I decided to go with pan seared turkey breasts with apple and maple sauce. This is one of my favorite turkey dinners though I do not remember where I got the recipe from. The turkey goes well with the tartness of the apple and the sweetness of the maple syrup. Normally turkey breasts are pretty big and you need to cut them down to about the size of a chicken breast so that you can cook it all the way through in a pan.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
2 turkey small breasts
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon
1 tart apple (peeled and sliced, granny smith is good)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the turkey and cook until golden brown on both sides.
3. Set the turkey aside.
4. Add the apples, maple syrup and bouillon to the pan and simmer until the apples are tender.

Similar Recipes:
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Croque Monsieur with Pear and Smoked Turkey

Croque Monsieur with Pear and Smoked Turkey


One of my favorite sandwiches is a Croque Monsieur (a fancy ham and cheese sandwich). Recently I have been craving a croque monsieur sandwich and I remembered seeing Tyler make a grilled cheese sandwich with apple slices on Tylers Ultimate. I had been enjoying the local pears which are in season and I though that crouque monsieur sandwich with smoked turkey and pear would make a tasty sandwich. The sandwich was pretty good though the pear flavour was a little subtle. The next time I make this I might double up on the layers of pear or even caramelize the pear slices in some butter and sugar first.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano (grated)
1/2 cup gruyere (grated)
1/4 cup Bechamel Sauce
2 slices bread
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 slices smoked turkey
3 slices pear

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Melt half of the Gruyère and all of the parmigiano-reggiano into the Bechamel sauce.
3. Toast the bread.
4. Spread the mustard on one slice of bread.
5. Place the turkey slices, the pear slices and about half of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slice.
6. Spoon the Bechamel sauce onto the top of the sandwich.
7. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese.
8. Place on a broiling pan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
9. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 5 minutes. (Until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.)

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Croque Monsieur with Pear and Smoked Turkey


Take a look at Show Us Your Sarnie at A Year From Oak Cottage.

Corn, Shallots and Pancetta

Corn, Shallots and Pancetta


I was going through my photos and found this picture of corn, shallots and pancetta that I made a few weeks ago. I had seen a recipe for peas and pancetta that sounded tasty. Local corn was in season and I though I would try it with that. It is super easy and tasty side dish. The sweetness of the corn goes well with the saltiness of the pancetta.

Ingredients:
1 ounce pancetta (chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot (chopped)
2 cobs corn

Directions:
1. Saute the pancetta in a pan.
2. Add the butter and melt.
3. Add the shallot and saute until tender.
4. Cut the kernels from the corn.
5. Add the corn to the pan and saute for about a minute.

Sauted Scallops in Miso Sauce

Sauted Scallops in Miso Sauce


Last week I was flipping through some of my cookbooks when I came across an interesting recipe for sauted scallops in miso sauce in Harumi's Japanese Cooking. I though that it would make a perfect Saturday lunch. I do all of my grocery shopping on Saturday mornings and the scallops would be as fresh as they could be. It is also a simple dish as I usually do not feel like placing much effort into lunch after running around doing errands all morning. This dish would also give me the chance to try scallops a second time. The dressing was interesting because it has Japanese influence with the miso and mirin but it also uses garlic, heavy cream and parmigiano-reggiano. I tossed in some celery because it was in the fridge and needed to be used. I would think that you could add in other things to make it into more of a salad.

It turned out pretty good. The sauce was rich, creamy and super tasty. The scallops were really nice. They had a slightly crispy seared outside and they were soft on the inside. I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon soy
1 teaspoon sugar
4 scallops per person
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons white wine
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon heavy cream
* water
1 serving salad greens
1 green onion (sliced)
1 teaspoon parmigiano-reggiano (grated, optional)

Directions:
1. Mix the miso, mirin, soy and sugar in a small bowl.
2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the scallops and sear on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.
5. Set the scallops aside.
6. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan.
7. Add the miso mixture and the garlic and bring to a boil.
8. Remove from the heat and mix in the mustard and heavy cream.
9. Mix in some water, if required, to bring the sauce to the consistency of a dressing.
10. Arrange by placing the lettuce on a plate followed by the scallops. Pour on the dressing and top with green onions and parmigiano-reggiano.

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Fig, Goats Cheese and Walnut Couscous Salad

Fig, Goats Cheese and Walnut Couscous Salad


Just a quick post today as I have a cold (just in time for thanksgiving weekend). I made this a few days ago when I had some figs in the fridge that needed finishing. I was looking for a recipe to use them when I came across this recipe for a fig and couscous salad with walnuts and goats cheese. It sounded pretty good and I would have the opportunity to use couscous for a second time.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat)
4 figs (quartered)
1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/4 goats cheese (crumbled)
lettuce
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
the pulp from one fig

Directions:
1. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan and turn off the heat.
2. Mix in the couscous, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Mix in the figs, walnuts and cheese.
4. Mix the oil, lemon juice and fig pulp in a small bowl.
5. Mix the dressing into the couscous.
6. Place the lettuce leaves on a plate.
7. Place the couscous salad on the lettuce.

Aztec Quinoa Salad

Aztec Quinoa Salad


I came across quinoa on for the first time a while ago on a food blog. It looked pretty interesting and I wanted to try it. It took a while to find some but I eventually did. The next question was what to do with it? I decided to go with Mexican ingredients/flavours. It turned out pretty good. The salad was really tasty. I really liked the texture and flavour of the quinoa. The salad was just as good the next day. I look forward to further experimentation with quinoa.

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup black beans (rinsed)
1 cup corn kernels
1 tomato (chopped)
2 tablespoons red onion (chopped)
1 jalapeno (chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 lime (juice)
1 green onion (chopped)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Rise the quinoa well in warm water.
2. Bring the water and quuinoa to a boil in a pan.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until it is tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Pour the quinoa into a large bowl.
5. Add everything else and mix.

Similar Recipes:
Quinoa Fruit Salad with Yogurt
Aztec Soup
Quinoa Porridge
Curried Turkey and Quinoa Salad
Roasted Asparagus and Red Pepper Farro Salad
Tabbouleh

Take a look at World Vegetarian Day roundup at Coffee and Vanilla.

Pork Chops in Balsamic Fig Sauce

Pork Chops in Balsamic Fig Sauce


With fig season quickly coming to an end I picked up a bunch of them on the weekend. I made some fig jam and I wanted to try using it in a savoury dish. Pork chops in a balsamic vinegar and some kind of fruit or berry sauce is an easy and tasty standby. In this case a balsamic sauce with spiced fig jam and fresh figs. Throw in some shallots, garlic and thyme for even more flavour. This dish turned out pretty good. The vinegar contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the figs. The thyme and the spices from the fig jam added a really nice flavour to the sauce.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
3 pork chops
1 teaspoon oil
1 shallot (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fig jam
1 teaspoon thyme (roughly chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
3 figs (quartered)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the pork chops and sear both sides until golden brown and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in the pan.
4. Add the shallots and saute until tender.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
6. Add the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan.
7. Add the fig jam, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes to reduce to a sauce.
8. Add the fresh figs and remove from the heat.
9. Place the pork on a plate and top with

Similar Recipes:
Lamb Chops in Cherry and Port Sauce

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once.

Fig Jam

Fig Jam


This weekend the figs were more expensive at the market so I am guessing that fig season is coming to an end. I of course picked some up. I wanted to try making an interesting looking fig jam that I had seen here. Up till now I have not tried adding spices to a jam and I wanted to try it. I was also intrigued by the idea of cooking the jam in the microwave.

Cooking the jam in the microwave actually turned out to be more challenging than cooking it on the stove. I had to watch it very carefully. If I took my eyes off of it, it would boil over the sides of the container leaving a really sticky mess to clean out of the microwave. After about 9 minutes the jam would come to the point were it was about to boil over with in 30 seconds and I would have to stop it and stir.

Despite the sticky mess, the jam turned out pretty good. It ended up setting better that the other jams that I tried making this summer. I liked the spices and the chunks of figs in the jam. I tried dipping gruyere cheese sticks into the jam and it was pretty good.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh figs (quartered, I used 4 green and 4 brown figs)
1/2 cup orange (peeled, seeded, and diced)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon butter

Directions:
1. Place everything in a microwavable container and mix.
2. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Microwave for 15 minutes at high. When it starts to boil stop the microwave and stir the jam. Repeat until the jam thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Note: Be careful and watch the jam as it can quickly boil over.)
4. Pour the jam into sterilized jars.

To sterilize the jars:
1. Wash in hot soapy water.
2. Keep the lids in boiling water until ready to use.
3. Place jars in 225F oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until ready to use.

Fig Jam on Toast

Lamb Stuffed Peppers (Greek Style)

Stuffed Peppers (Greek Style)


Stuffed peppers have been on my todo list for a while now. Luckily the farmers market was still full of red peppers on the weekend and I picked some up. I have been seeing stuffed pepper recipes on food blogs over the last few weeks and each one was different. Stuffed peppers are pretty versatile. You can stuff them with pretty much anything you want. Since I had all of the ingredients for the Greek Style Lamb Burgers from the other night I decided to go with a lamb stuffing with Greek flavours. Many of the stuffed pepper recipes that I saw included either rice or bread crumbs. I had been meaning to try bulgar for a while so I decided to use that instead of rice. The stuffed peppers turned out to be pretty tasty. I am really enjoying the flavourful lamb meat.

When looking at the recipe and photo now, I realize that there was no cheese in it. I think I might mix in some feta or sprinkle some pecorino on top the next time I make this.

Ingredients:
1.5 cups water
1 cup bulgur
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 pound ground lamb
1 zucchini (grated)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dill (chopped)
4 or 5 large bell peppers

Directions:
1. Bring the water and bulgar to a boil.
2. Cover, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the onions and saute until tender.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
6. Add the ground lamb and brown.
7. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Mix in the bulgar and dill and remove from the heat.
9. Cut the tops of the pepper off and remove the seeds and veins.
10. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place in a baking dish.
11. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.

Involtini di Melanzane (Eggplant Rolls)

Involtini di Melanzane


I was looking for a recipe to use up some eggplant that I had when I came across this recipe for eggplant rolls. I had some pancetta that needed to be used so I swapped the ham out for the pancetta. I also had some marinara sauce in the freezer and I thought that that would go well on top. (It is alway good to have some marinara sauce in the freezer. You never know when it will come in handy.) It turned out that I only had 8 slices of pancetta so I did not get to make very many rolls. Certainly not enough to fill the whole baking dish. They were pretty good though; really tasty.

Ingredients:
1 eggplant (sliced thinly lengthwise)
1 slice pancetta per roll
1 leaf basil per roll
1 cube mozzarella per roll
1 cup marinara sauce

Directions:
1. Broil the eggplant slices for about 5 minutes per side.
2. Lay the eggplant slice out, top with a slice of pancetta, a basil leaf and a cube of mozzarella.
3. Roll the eggplant up and place it in a baking dish.
4. Top the eggplant rolls with the marinara sauce.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Cucumber and Feta Rolls