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Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette

Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette


I have been enjoying some really great omelettes lately! The omelettes that I have been making have been packed with flavour and in fact with the ingredients in them they have been looking a lot more like pizzas. The thought of a pizza like omelette was perfect because the kimchi, bacon and shiitake mushroom pizza that I had made earlier in the week had disappeared way too quickly and I was left craving more. I immediatly set about drawing up a recipe and I started with the basic ingredients of the pizza.

The omelettes that I have been making have been one pan omelettes where I cooked the ingredients and then poured the eggs over them. I made sure that the ingredients in them were large enough to peak through the eggs when I poured them into the pan so that you could see them when eating the omelette. This time however the ingredients did not have the height required so I was forced to change tactics a bit. It was easy enough though and I just cooked the bacon, mushrooms and kimchi and set them aside added the eggs and let them start to cook before adding the cheese followed by the rest of the ingredients so that they cooked into the top of the omelette as the eggs set. The kimchi, bacon and shiitake mushroom omelette turned out great! The flavour combination was of course amazing and it really worked well held together by warm fluffy eggs and melted cheddar cheese. Given that the omelette version is so easy to make I think that I will be making it fairly often from now on!

Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette

(makes 1 omelette)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 strips bacon (cut into 1/2 inch pieces, optional)
2 shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 cup kimchi (drained and chopped)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated, optional)
1 green onion (sliced)

Directions:
1. Cook the bacon in a pan until just cooked.
2. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. (Saute in oil for a vegetarian version. Adding a bit of toasted sesame oil would add a ton of great flavour)
3. Add the kimchi and saute until most of the excess moisture has cooked off, about 2-3 minutes, set aside and let cool.
4. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook without disturbing them until they are just about to set, about 2 minutes.
5. Sprinkle on the cheese and let it start to melt, about a minute.
6. Sprinkle on kimchi, bacon and shiitake mixture and continue to cook until the eggs are done, about a minute.
6. Remove from heat and serve garnished with the green onions.

Similar Recipes:
Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza
Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Omelette with Gorgonzola and Sage
Zucchini and Kimchi Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust
Kimchi Jun (Kimchi Pancake)
Spinach and Feta Omelette
Guacamole Omelette with Salsa

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin


It seems that I have not posted a proper side dish in a while... I assure you that that is not because I have not been making them. :) With brussels sprouts still in season I find that I have been using them a lot for side dishes and one of my favorite ways to use them is in a roasted brussels sprouts au gratin. I had been craving the creamy cheese covered brussels sprouts for a while and it was time to make them again but I thought that I would change things up a bit. Although I prefer to roast brussels sprouts I had been wanting to try the gratin with blanched brussels sprouts to see how they would work. Gratins can either be made with a cream based sauce or with a bechamel sauce and I had also been wanting to try a bechamel version of this gratin and thus I had a new recipe. The trick to a good bechamel sauce is to get the butter bubbling and just as it has turned a light brown colour to whisk in the flour. Once the flour is in you want to bring it back to where it is bubbling and just when it has become the light brown colour again to whisk in the milk. Since this is a gratin I then melted some cheese into the bechamel sauce. The new brussels sprouts gratin turned out really well! The bechamel sauce was nice and smooth and creamy and cheesy and soo good! Although I prefer the flavour of the roasted brussels sprouts I think that the texture of the blanched brussels sprouts works much better in a gratin.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 pounds brussels sprouts (trimmed, cut in half)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup gruyère cheese (grated)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (grated)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup gruyere cheese (grated)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (grated)

Directions:
1. Blanch the brussels sprouts until just tender and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
3. Mix in the flour and let simmer until it just starts to brown a little.
4. Mix in the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cheeses and heat until it thickens.
5. Mix brussels sprouts into the bechamel sauce and pour into a baking dish.
6. Mix the bread crumbs and cheeses and sprinkle on top of the brussels sprouts.
7. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts au Gratin
Rutabaga Gratin
Onion Gratin
Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pine Nuts
Pancetta and Porcini Potato Gratin
Fennel Gratin

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

It suddenly got a bit colder out and I was immediatly thinking about a warm comforting soup. The first soup that I thought of was of course chicken noodle soup and then I remembered seeing this recipe for a Thai chicken noodle soup which sounded really good. I could just imagine all of the fresh and bright Thai flavours in a chicken noodle soup and I just had to make it. This soup starts out with your basics like the chicken broth, the chicken and the noodles, though this soup uses rice noodles, and from there it goes on to add some Thai flavours including lemongrass, lime, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and something special, a hit of coconut milk to make the broth nice and smooth. You could add any vegetables that you like and I went with carrots and bok choy and I finished it off with some sliced shiitake mushrooms. Despite the long list of ingredients this soup is nice and easy to make and yet it is so amazingly good! The soup was just bursting with flavour and a freshness that was very welcome on a cold winter day! One of my favourite things about Thai cuisine is the use of lots of fresh herbs and the fresh cilantro really brought this soup home. Another one of my favourite aspects of Thai cuisine is the spicy heat and the birds eye chilies certainly warmed this soup up nicely.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 pound rice noodles
6 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
1 pound chicken breast (cut into bit sized pieces)
1 carrot (sliced thinly on an angle)
2 stalks lemongrass (peeled and chopped)
2 kaffir lime leaves (thinly sliced)
2 birds eye chilies (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 thumb sized piece galangal or ginger (grated)
1/2 pound baby bok choy (separated)
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stemmed and sliced)
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime (juice and zest)
pepper to taste
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
2 green onions (sliced)

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat.
2. Add the noodles, cover and let sit until cooked al dente, about 5-8 minutes.
3. Drain and rinse in cold water.
4. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot.
5. Add the chicken, carrots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, garlic, galangal and simmer until cooked, about 5-8 minutes.
6. Add the bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms and simmer until the bok choy just wilts, about 1-2 minutes.
7. Reduce the heat and mix in the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, and pepper.
8. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
9. Remove from heat and mix in the noodles, cilantro and green onions.

Similar Recipes:
Chicken Noodle Soup
Avgolemono Soup
Salmon Noodle Soup
Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
Penang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup
Pad Thai Soup
Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Soup

Looking for more soup recipes?

Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza

Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza


These days I almost always have a batch of kimchi going in the fridge and my latest batch was ready. I could not wait to to try it and I knew exactly what I wanted to make, a kimchi pizza. Kimchi generally comes with a lot of liquid so you often need to squeeze the excess off. When making some dishes such as the kimchi quesadillas you even need to think about removing some of the moisture from the fermented cabbage to make sure that you do not end up with a soggy quesadilla. With a pizza however, I figured that all of that flavour packed kimchi juice would make the perfect pizza sauce. Bacon goes so well with kimchi that I did not even think about making the kimchi pizza without it and you couldn't have a pizza without some cheese. I still wanted something else on the pizza and I thought that some shiitake mushrooms would do well. Since I had just cooked some bacon I lightly sauteed the mushrooms in the grease before adding to the pizza to get even more of that bacon flavour. After the pizza came out of the oven I finished it off with some fresh sliced green onions and some toasted sesame seeds. The kimchi and bacon pizza with shiitake mushrooms exceeded all of my expectations! The spicy kimchi all covered with gooey melted cheese went so well with the salty bacon and everything worked really well in pizza form including the kimchi juice 'pizza sauce'. I am going to have to make this again soon!

Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza


Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza

(makes 1 pizza)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 strips bacon (cut into 1 inch slices)
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1 cup kimchi (chopped)
1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
1 pizza dough
2 green onions (sliced)
1 tables sesame seeds (toasted)

Directions:
1. Cook the bacon in a pan and set aside.
2. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Assemble pizza.
4. Bake in a preheated 500F oven until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Serve garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.

Similar Recipes:
Kimchi Quesadillas
Kimchi Jun (Kimchi Pancake)
Thai Chicken Pizza with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette
Kimchi Egg Salad Sandwich
Kimchi Chicken Salad Sandwich
Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Gochujang Ketchup for Dipping
BBQ Chicken Pizza

Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew

Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew


Last week while I was enjoying my lentil stew with Italian sausage and kale I noted how green it was. One thought led to another and the next thing that I was thinking about was red lentils and how a red lentil stew would be nice. Since I still had the remaining half a pound of the Italian sausage that needed to be finished the choice was easy to make. I started with the green lentil stew recipe and replaced the green de puy lentils with red lentils. From there I removed the green kale and replaced it with some tomatoes. I still have a freezer full of roasted red peppers from the fall and I could not resist adding a few of them for even more red. With that I had my red lentil stew recipe. Since I was planning on making some cheesy garlic bread to go with the stew, I threw the rind from that into the stew to add even more flavour. This stew was really easy to make with the hardest part being chopping all of the vegetables but it was well worth the effort! The roasted red peppers went really well with the Italian sausage and red lentils and they really added a ton of flavour to the stew. Although the same amount of red lentils as de puy lentils did not make as predominant a showing in this stew, the red lentil version was definitely tastier!

Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 pound Italian sausage (casing removed and crumbled)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
chili pepper flakes to taste
1 cup red wine
1 cup red lentils
2 cups chicken stock
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 roasted red peppers (sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Directions:
1. Cook the sausage in a large pot and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pot.
3. All the onions, carrot and celery and and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan.
6. Add the sausage, lentils, chicken stock, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic vinegar and parmigiano reggiano rind and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
8. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and mix in the parsley.

Similar Recipes:
Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale
Ham and Lentil Soup
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup
Black Bean and Roasted Pepper Soup
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella

Bouyiourdi

Bouyiourdi


With the football playoffs coming up snacks and appetizers have been on my mind a lot. The next recipe on my to try list was this one for the Greek appetizer bouyiourdi from kalofagas.ca. Bouyiourdi is basically tomatoes and feta along with some olive oil, oregano and a bit of heat that is baked until the tomatoes are nice and tender and the feta is almost melting. This dish reminds me a lot of one of my favorite Greek dishes garides saganaki or Greek baked shrimp except without the shrimp and I was certainly looking forward to trying it! This recipe is nice and simple with only a few ingredients so you are going to want to get a good feta and use the ripest tomatoes that you can find. Feta does not melt all that well so if you want some melted cheese in this feel free to add a bit of kasseri or other cheese that melts well. The trick to this dish is to let everything slowly bake in the oven until all of the flavours have been coaxed out and they have had a chance to mingle. A good indicator as to when it is done is when the tomatoes have released their juices and everything is simmering in those juices. The bouyiourdi was even better that I had been hoping for and I certainly was glad that I served it with the crusty bread so that I was able to soak up every last drop of the amazingly tasty dish. This dish will be making a regular appearance on my meal plans form now on!

Bouyiourdi

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes (cut into bit sized pieces)
1 small onion (sliced)
1 cubanelle pepper (sliced)
4 ounces feta
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
1. Mix everything and pour into a baking dish.
2. Bake, covered, in a preheated 400F oven until the vegetables are nice and soft, about 40-60 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Mushroom Bouyiourdi
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)
Baked Brie with Sundried Tomatoes
Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes in Fontina

Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola

Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola


I have been on quite the roll with omelettes lately and I was ready for more. This time I was thinking about a mushroom omelette with some caramelized onions. I really enjoyed the way that the gorgonzola worked in the last two omelettes so I could not leave that out, especially not when gorgonzola goes so well with mushrooms. I wanted a bit of green in there and I was thinking that it would be nice if it was in herb form and thyme naturally fit the bill. Normally when cooking mushrooms I like to slice them and saute them until they are nice and caramelized but I had liked the way that previous omelettes had large pieces of the main ingredient popping out from beneath the eggs so I decided to quarter the mushrooms and only saute them briefly so they would stay nice and large. The omelette was super easy to make and it turned out great! The meaty mushrooms went well with the sweet caramelized onions and the tangy gorgonzola and the thyme finished everything off nicely. Once again I really enjoyed the way that the gorgonzola melted and mingled with the soft and warm eggs infusing them with flavour! This omelette really hit the spot for a weekend breakfast!

Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola

(makes 1 omelette)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion (sliced)
1 small clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
4 ounce mushrooms (quartered)
1/4 cup gorgonzola (crumbled)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a none stick pan.
2. Add the onions and caramelize them slowly, about 20-30 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender.
5. Lower the heat and and sprinkle on the crumbled gorgonzola and let it melt just a bit.
6. Pour the eggs into the pan and let them cook without disturbing them until they have set, about 2-4 minutes.
7. Slide the omelette out onto a plate and garnish it with more thyme and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Omelette with Gorgonzola and Sage
Mushroom Quesadillas
Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet
Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette
Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Omelette with Bacon and Candied Walnuts
Spinach and Feta Omelette
Mushroom Bouyiourdi

Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale

Lentil Stew with Sausage and Kale


After having the artichoke bread on the weekend, I was looking for something a little lighter and a little healthier for lunches during the week. Soups very often fit that bill and I had been thinking of making a lentil soup with winter greens for a while. I have not been doing much with the winter greens lately and I was thinking that some kale would go nicely in a soup or stew. I wanted a little bit of meat in the stew as well and Italian sausage always bring a ton of flavour to soups so they were in. I of course started the soup with the a healthy dose of the basics, diced onions, celery and carrots for even more vegetable goodness. After that it was just a matter of adding the liquid, white wine and chicken stock, and some aromas and flavours in the form of bay leaves, oregano and a splash of balsamic vinegar. (I wanted this to be more of a stew than a soup so I cut back on the amount of liquid that I would have used, but if you want it to be more soup like feel free to add another cup of the chicken stock.) I also happened to have a parmigiano reggiano rind in my freezer so I tossed that into the soup while it was simmering to add even more flavour. This soup is pretty simple to make and it can be done in about an hour.

The lentil stew with Italian sausage and kale turned out really well! It was nice and warm and just full of flavour and healthy vegetables and it really hit the spot on the cold winter days. I had half of a loaf of bread left from the artichoke bread and that was the perfect excuse to slather it up with garlicky butter and toast it with some cheese on top. The cheesy garlic bread was perfect for soaking up that lat bit of tasty stew from the bottom of the bowl.

Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 pound Italian sausage (casing removed and crumbled)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
chili pepper flakes to taste
1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
1 cup de puy lentils
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
1 bunch kale (cut into bit sized pieces) (or spinach or swiss chard, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Directions:
1. Cook the sausage in a large pot and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pot.
3. All the onions, carrot and celery and and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
6. Add the sausage, lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic vinegar and parmigiano reggiano rind and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
8. Add the kale and simmer until wilted.
9. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and mix in the parsley.

Similar Recipes:
Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew
Spinach, White Bean and Turkey Sausage Soup
Ham and Lentil Soup
Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew
Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella

Artichoke Bread

Artichoke Bread

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With the big game day approaching I have been thinking about snacks more. Last weekend I got the chance to try making an artichoke bread that has been on my mind for a while. The artichoke bread is essentially an artichoke dip that is baked on bread until the crust of the bread perfectly light and crispy, the dip is nice and warm, the cheesy topping is melted and golden brown. For the artichoke topping I decided to start with my favorite hot spinach and artichoke dip and I removed the spinach and tweaked it a bit. (You could of course leave the spinach in for a slightly healthier version.) For the bread I used a loaf of Italian style bread that I cut it in half lengthwise and then scooped out a bit of the center to provide room for more filling. The next challenge was baking the bread for long enough to heat up the artichoke dip so that all of the cheese in it melted without the crust of the bread burning. I decided that the best way to go about it was to cover the bread in foil while it warmed up and then to remove the foil near the end to let the cheese on top melt and turn golden brown. The artichoke bread turned out amazingly well! I used a nice fresh loaf of Italian bread so while the crust was light and crispy the inside was nice and soft and moist. The warm artichoke dip with the melted cheesy topping was so good and the fact the it was in the perfectly cooked bread made it even better!

Butternut Squash Carbonara

Butternut Squash Carbonara


One of my favorite pastas during the summer is summer squash or zucchini carbonara and I have long been wondering if a winter squash would work in a carbonara. I recently recalled wondering this and since I had some butternut squash on hand it was the perfect time to find out. When I make the zucchini carbonara I generally like to use penne because it is easy to cut the zucchini into the shape of the penne pasta which works out nicely. Since butternut squash is easiest to use in cube form I wanted to use a pasta that would go better with it and I thought that orecchiette would work well if I cut the squash small enough to be cupped by the little ear shaped pasta. Other than swapping the winter squash in for the summer squash, I pretty much kept the recipe the same, though I did replace the parsley with sage which I think goes better with the squash. The butternut squash carbonara with sage was nice and quick and easy to make and it tasted great! The sweet butternut squash went really well in the creamy sage flavoured sauce and of course the salty bacon rounded things off nicely! I think that I might even like this winter squash version better that the summer squash version and I know that I will be making it again and again.

Butternut Squash Carbonara


Butternut Squash Carbonara

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
6 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch slices)
2 cups squash (cut into small pieces)
1/2 pound pasta
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon sage (chopped)
pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Directions:
1. Start boiling some water in a large pot to cook the pasta.
2. Cook the bacon in a pan, set aside and drain all but a tablespoon of the grease.
3. Add the squash to the pan, toss to coat in the bacon grease and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as directed on the package.
5. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolk, heavy cream and parmigiano reggiano in a bowl.
6. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
7. Add the garlic, sage and pepper to the squash and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
8. Add the pasta and bacon to the pan and toss.
9. Remove the pan from the heat and wait for the sizzling to stop.
10. Add the egg mixture and toss to coat.
11. Add a bit of the pasta water and toss to mix and coat.
12. Garnish with more sage & serve.

Similar Recipes:
Zucchini Carbonara
Pasta alla Carbonara
Shrimp Carbonara
Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Roasted Brussels Sprout Carbonara
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara
Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Carbonara

Thai Black Rice Salad

Thai Black Rice Salad


It has been a while since the last time that I participated in the food blogging event No Croutons Required but when I heard that this months theme was Thai inspired, I just had to join in with the fun. Although there are a ton of great Thai inspired soups and salads out there I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I remembered coming across a Thai inspired black rice salad a long time ago and all of the vibrant colours contrasting with the black rice had caught my attention and it was finally time to try making it. To the black rice I added, red peppers, yellow mangos, green onions along with some green freshly chopped herbs. I finished the salad off with some cashews and a simple Thai inspired dressing consisting of fish sauce (feel free to use soy sauce for a vegetarian version), lime juice, sugar and of course a birds eye chili for some spicy heat. The salad was nice and easy to make and it turned out really nicely! I enjoyed the chewy texture of the black rice and all of the different flavour, textures and colours came together beautifully. The leftovers were just as good still cool from the fridge as it was when it was when it was still slightly warm from the freshly cooked rice. I imagine that this would also make for a really nice light meal with the addition of some shrimp.

Thai Black Rice Salad

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup Thai black rice
1 red pepper (diced)
1 mango (stoned, peeled and diced)
3 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup mint (chopped)
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 lime (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon palm sugar (grated or sugar)
1 birds eye chili (chopped)

Directions:
1. Cook the rice as directed on the package.
2. Mix the black rice, red pepper, yellow mango, green onions, cilantro, mint and cashews in a large bowl.
3. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and zest, palm sugar and birds eye chili in a small bowl.
4. Toss the salad in the dressing and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Thai Cucumber and Pineapple Salad
Green Mango Salad
Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Take a look at the No Croutons Required grains round up on Lisa's Kitchen.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili


With the cool weather I have been eating a lot more soups and stews lately. One of my favorite types of stews is chili which warms you up both with its temperature and with its spicy heat. One of the things that I like most about chili is that there are so many different ways of making it. This white chili that has been making its way around the food blogging sphere recently caught my attention and I just had to try making it. As the name suggests, this chili uses a white meat, chicken, along with white beans and even a bit of milk to make the gravy white. In keeping with the theme, I avoided using any red chilies or paprika. With the chopped green chilies being pretty mild, most of the heat in this chili comes from the jalapeno peppers. I used two jalapeno peppers without removing the seeds but given the variance in the heat in a jalapeno pepper, I recommend adding them a bit at a time to bring the chili to the desired level of spiciness. You could easily make this chili with dried beans but in an effort to save a time I went with canned. If you also have some cooked chicken on hand this recipe becomes really quick and it is super simple. I served the white chicken chili with some grated white cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream and sliced avocado.

White Chicken Chili

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon cumin (toasted and ground)
2 (4.5 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
2 jalapeno peppers (sliced)
3 cups chicken (cooked and shredded)
2 (19 ounce) cans northern beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon masa (or cornmeal)
1/2 cup milk

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cumin and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the green chilies, jalapenos, chicken, beans, chicken stock, oregano, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Mix the masa into the milk and then mix it into the chili and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1 & 2, place everything except the masa and milk in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the masa and milk and cooking for another 10 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
White Turkey Chili
Turkey and Zucchini Green Chili
Slow Braised Chili Con Carne
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Buffalo Chicken Chili

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans


I have never really been all that big on omelettes but with my recent success with the butternut squash and gorgonzola omelette I was ready for more! With the gorgonzola still on my mind I naturally started to drift into the 'What else goes with gorgonzola?' question and my first answer was pears. A quick search of the internet did not pull up anything that inspired me, but while I was searching I thought that pears also work really well in caramel sauce. Wait a minute! Could I possible dare trying a sweet and savoury caramelized pear omelette with gorgonzola as a breakfast??? With the idea in my head I could not resist making it! While thinking about it some more I decided to add bacon to strengthen the savoury side a bit and with pears, why not add some pecans? The caramelized pear and gorgonzola omelette with bacon and pecans surprised me by being even better than I could possibly have imagined in my wildest dreams! The sweet pear and caramel when so well with the tangy gorgonzola and salty bacon. The best part of this omelette was the areas where the caramel and melted gorgonzola had melded with the warm, light and fluffy eggs infusing them with their flavours. Each bite was a mixture of pure delight alternating from sweet to savoury and back again and I could not resist licking my plate clean to get every last bit. I will definitely be making omelettes a lot more often from now on!

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans

(makes 1 omelette)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pear (cored and sliced into big chunks)
1/4 cup gorgonzola
1 strip bacon (cooked and crumbled, optional)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tablespoon pecans (toasted and chopped)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a none stick pan.
2. Add the sugar and cook until bubbly minutes.
3. Add the pear and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Lower the heat and and sprinkle on the crumbled gorgonzola and bacon and let the cheese melt just a bit.
5. Pour the eggs into the pan and let them cook without disturbing them until they have set, about 2-4 minutes.
6. Slide the omelette out onto a plate and garnish it with the pecans and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Caramelized Apple and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans
Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Omelette with Bacon and Candied Walnuts
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Omelette with Gorgonzola and Sage
Pear Salad with and Bacon, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts
Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto
Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola
Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet
Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Omelette
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche
Pear and Gorgonzola Tart
Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Vanilla Pear Compote
Caramelized Pear, Chocolate and Goat Cheese Smoothie

Mushroom Quesadillas

Mushroom Quesadillas


It had been way too long since I last had a mushroom fix and I was still remembering that mushroom melt sandwich that I made a while ago. Thinking about that ooey gooey melted cheese made me think about another of my favorite foods, quesadillas. Quesadillas at their base are two tortillas filled with cheese and they are toasted until the tortillas are nice and golden brown and crispy and the cheese has melted. To the basics of the tortillas and the melted cheese you can add anything that you want and the cheese works really well at holding everything together. I could not believe that I had not yet tried a mushroom quesadilla and that had to be rectified immediatly! I pulled out some mushrooms and onions and sauteed them until they were nice and caramelized and good and I seasoned them with some garlic and thyme. I then deglazed the pan with a splash of white wine to make sure that I got all of the caramelized bits of pure flavour from the bottom of the pan and it was time to make the quesadilla. The mushroom quesadillas were so good! Caramelized mushrooms go so well with melted cheese and the warm toasted tortilla wrapping was the perfect way to enjoy them. The next time I make these, and I will definitely be making them again, I will have to try using some gorgonzola cheese for a bit of tangy creaminess.

Mushroom Quesadillas

(makes 1 quesadilla)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 small onion (sliced)
4 ounces mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
2 tablespoons white wine (or broth)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped, optional)
2 handfuls cheese such as mozzarella, swiss, monterrey jack, etc. (grated)
2 tortillas

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the broth, deglaze the pan and saute until the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the parsley.
6. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
7. Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter and repeat with the second tortilla.
8. Sprinkle a handful of cheese on the tortilla followed by the mushrooms and onions and top with the remaining cheese and finally the other tortilla.
9. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Tip: Place a plate onto the quesadilla and flipped it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan to flip the quesadilla.

Similar Recipes:
Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese
Mushroom and Thyme Omelette with Gorgonzola
Mushroom and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel with Balsamic Syrup
Roast Beef Quesadillas
Spinach and Feta Quesadillas
Mushroom Bouyiourdi
Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart
Mushroom and Zucchini Enchiladas

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)


While I was on vacation in Greece I saw a dish consisting of huge beans baked in a tomato sauce that looked good but I did not end up getting a chance to try it while I was there. A quick search of the internet revealed that the dish was gigantes (or yigantes) plaki or Greek baked beans, that uses gigantes beans (also known as elephant beans, large lima beans or butter beans). The beans are baked in a simple tomato sauce that reminds me a lot of a marinara sauce that uses plenty of fresh herbs. This recipe takes a bit of time with the soaking the beans over night followed by simmering them and then making the tomato sauce and finally baking everything but it is worth it. The gigantes plaki turned out really well! The beans were nice and tender and creamy and they had a great meaty texture. The tomato sauce had reduced down until it was nice and thick and full of flavour! I made sure to leave the beans in the oven until the top just started to charred and those caramelized bits were the tastiest part of all. I served the gigantes plaki with some crusty bread to wipe up all of the tasty tomato sauce and a garnish of feta. The gigantes plaki also works well as an appetizer in crostini form.

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound dried gigantes beans (or butter beans or elephant beans or large lima beans, etc.)
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 ribs celery (diced)
4 cloves garlic
chili pepper flakes to taste
1 (28 ounce) can diced plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup dill (chopped)

Directions:
1. Soak the dried gigantes beans in water with the bay leaves over night.
2. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
6. Add the tomatoes, paprika and oregano and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
7. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Mix the parsley, dill, beans and 1/2 cup of the liquid that the beans were cooked in into the tomato sauce.
9. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.
10. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 50-60 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Baked Shrimp and Feta Pasta
Mediterranean Fish Stew
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce
Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
Bouyiourdi
Greek Green Beans in Tomato Sauce with Feta (Fasolakia)

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans) Crostini

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola


Curry and butternut squash are two of my favorite foods and when I came across a a recipe that combined them in a curried butternut squash naan pizza on The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honybunch I bookmarked it right away. The pizza was topped with curried roasted butternut squash along with caramelized onions and cheese and it reminded me a lot of the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion pizza with gorgonzola and crispy fried sage that I enjoy so much. With the thoughts of both of those pizzas dancing in my head I decided to combine them and make a curried roasted butternut squash pizza with caramelized onions and gorgonzola. You really can't go wrong slowly roasting butternut squash into little sweet and tender cubes of melt in your mouth goodness and currying them was a great idea. For the caramelized onion 'sauce' I added some more curry powder along with some common curry ingredients including garlic, ginger and a chopped small green chili for some extra heat. I then topped the pizza with some mozzarella and gorgonzola and I finished it off with a generous helping of cilantro when it came out of the oven. The curried roasted butternut squash pizza with caramelized onions and gorgonzola was amazing! Butternut squash can be nice and sweet and that sweetness went really well with the heat of the curry. The curry flavour also worked well with the butternut squash, the caramelized onions and the creamy and tangy melted gorgonzola took it to a whole new level! Fresh herbs can work well on a pizza and the fresh chopped cilantro was the perfect finish to this pizza.

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola


Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola

(makes 1 pizza)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups butternut squash (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion (sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 thumb ginger (grated)
1 small green chili (chopped)
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 pizza dough
2 cups mozzarella (grated)
1/4 cup gorgonzola (crumbled)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
1. Toss the butternut squash in the curry powder with the olive oil to coat.
2. Roast the squash in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 30 minutes and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan.
4. Add the onion and cook on low until caramelized, about 30 minutes.
5. Add the garlic, ginger, green chili and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
6. Add the broth, deglaze the pan and simmer to reduce a bit. (You want it a bit liquidy as this will be the pizza 'sauce'.
7. Spread the onions over the pizza dough followed by the butternut squash and the cheese.
8. Bake in a preheated 500F oven until golden brown on top, about 5-10 minutes.
9. Garnish with cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage
Granny Smith Apple and Gorgonzola Pizza
Thai Chicken Pizza with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Omelette with Gorgonzola and Sage

Rutabaga Gratin

Rutabaga Gratin


Rutabaga is one of those vegetables that I know exists and I have nothing against it but I tend to just pass it by all the time in the grocery store. This weekend I noticed some at the grocery store and I decided that it was past time to do something with it. The first thing that came to mind was a cheesy gratin and I figured that the rutabaga would work just like a potato in a gratin. I started by peeling the rutabaga and slicing it thinly using a mandolin. From there I briefly boiled the rutabaga slices to ensure that they would be nice and tender when they finally came out of the oven. I decided to go with a cream based gratin this time rather than a bechamel based one and I jazzed it up a bit with some garlic and thyme. After the sauce was made, it was as easy as assembling the gratin and baking it. By the time the gratin came out of the oven it was perfectly golden brown and covered in ooey gooey, creamy, melted cheesy goodness! I thoroughly enjoyed the rutabaga gratin and now that I have reacquainted myself with rutabaga I am looking forward to doing more with it!

Rutabaga Gratin

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 pounds rutabaga (peeled, sliced thinly)
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups gruyere (grated)

Directions:
1. Heat the sliced rutabaga in boiling water for 3 minutes and set aside.
2. Bring the cream, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
3. Pour a bit of the cream into the bottom of a casserole dish.
4. Place a layer of rutabaga on top, followed by some cream and some cheese. Continue to layer ending with a layer of cheese.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Potato au Gratin
Pancetta and Porcini Potato Gratin
Onion Gratin
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Fennel Gratin

Mediterranean Fish Stew

Mediterranean Fish Stew


This Mediterranean fish stew recipe that I found on Antics of a Cycling Cook has been on my to try list for a while. With the new year here I have been trying to eat a bit healthier and this dish fit perfectly into that paradigm. This stew is essentially just a simple tomato based stew with fish in it. In fact the tomato base of this stew is very similar to the tomato sauce in the shrimp linguine in a tomato sauce that I recently made. You can pretty much throw whatever vegetables that you wan into the tomato base and you could easily replace the white fish with any other type of seafood. I went with adding some fennel and red peppers to the tomato base and I had my heart set on some nice meaty halibut for the fish, though you could use pretty any white fish. The fish stew came together nice an quickly and easily and it turned out great! The tomato sauce was nice light and full of flavour and you really can't go wrong with halibut! All of the fresh herbs really did it for me in this sauce. I served the fish stew garnished with some feta and a side of crusty bread so soak up all of the tasty sauce.

Mediterranean Fish Stew

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
chili flakes to taste (optional)
1 bulb fennel (sliced)
1 red pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 cup white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound white fish (such as haddock, halibut, etc., or any seafood)
1/2 cup fresh herbs such as parsley and basil (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in the pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the fennel and red peppers and saute for a few minutes.
5. Add the white wine and simmer for a few minutes.
6. Add the tomatoes, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Add the fish simmer until cooked, about 5 minutes.
8. Remove and mix in the fresh herbs.

Similar Recipes:
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce
Garides Tourkolimano (Greek Shrimp)
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)
Tilapia alla Puttanesca
Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)
Fish and Zucchini Puttanesca Stew

Onion Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Onion Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Of course you knew this was coming; I just had to try using some of the sweet and tangy onion chutney in a grilled cheese sandwich! I have really been enjoying trying new variations of grilled cheese sandwiches and I have discovered that chutneys, jams and preserves work really well in grilled cheese sandwiches and the onion chutney version was calling to me. The onion chutney grilled cheese sandwich had a lot of promise and it certainly delivered! You just really can't go wrong with a pile of spiced, sweet and tart onion chutney smothered in ooey gooey melted cheese all wrapped up in buttery crisp golden brown bread!

Onion Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich

(makes 1 sandwich)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 slices bread
1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
2 slices cheese (cheddar, gruyere, etc.)
2 tablespoons onion chutney

Directions:
1. Assemble the sandwich and grill until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Similar Recipes:
Beer Bread Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Apple Chutney
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango Chutney
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Green Tomato and Jalapeno Jam
Mushroom and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The 10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Peameal Bacon and Onion Chutney Crostini

Peameal Bacon and Onion Chutney Crostini


The inspiration for making the onion chutney was a peameal bacon crostini with onion relish and mustard by kozliks that I recently got the chance to try. Since I did not get a recipe I got the chance to make up my own. With the onion chutney filling in for the onion relish I had the hard part done and the only thing left was the mustard. I was pretty sure that it was not just plain mustard as it was milder than I would expect and it was a bit tangier and the closest thing that I could think of was a mixture of mayo and mustard. After a bit of experimenting I came to a ratio of 3 parts mayo to 1 part mustard and I was ready to go. I was planning on toasting up the baguette slices but the baguette was so nice and fresh that it seemed a shame so I served it as is with its slightly crisp and chewy crust and its melt in your mouth soft inside. The sweet onion chutney went so well with the salty peameal bacon and tangy mayo mustard that had a perfect amount of bite to finish everything off. The only problem with this crostini was that it disappeared too quickly. Next time I will have to double it and only bring out half. That way there will be lots of leftovers. :) The day after I made a peameal bacon, onion chutney and mayo mustard sandwich which was also really good.

Peameal Bacon and Onion Chutney Crostini

(makes 18 crostini)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
6 slices peameal bacon (cut each slice into 3 pieces)
9 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 baguette (sliced and toasted)
9 tablespoons onion chutney

Directions:
1. Fry the peameal bacon until cooked and set aside.
2. Mix the mayo and mustard.
3. Spread some of the mayo-mustard mixture on a slice of baguette, top with a piece of peameal bacon followed by some onion chutney.

Similar Recipes:
Burrata Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes
Shiitake Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crostini
Roast Pork and Peameal Bacon Sandwich
Peameal Bacon Sandwich
Peameal Bacon Breakfast Sandwich with Maple Caramelized Onions and a Fried Egg
Bacon Jam Crostini with Melted Brie and Roasted Tomatoes

Onion Chutney

Onion Chutney


Over the holidays I got to try an appetizer that was topped with a really nice onion relish and I was inspired to try to recreate the appetizer at home. I was not really sure what was in the onion relish but I could see the nicely caramelized onions and some spices and I was pretty sure that one of them was dark mustard seeds. While I was looking for a recipe for a savoury onion relish recipe with mustard seeds I thought that the relish really reminded me of a chutney. Given my recent obsession with chutneys, I immediatly switched gears and started looking for an onion chutney recipe. After looking for a while I decided to go with this onion chutney recipe that I found on Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen that included the mustard seeds. This recipe reminded me of the chutneys that I have made before centering on the main ingredient and including some chilies for heat, some sugar for sweetness, some vinegar, or in this case lemon juice, for tartness and some spices for a nice savoury finish. Other that the agony of slicing all of those onions, this recipe is really simple and it takes almost no time at all and it was so worth the red eyes! This onion chutney has a really amazing balance of heat, sweetness, tanginess and a really nice spiced finish. The sweet onion flavour comes through well and the texture is really nice. Now that I have my onion relish, I mean chutney, it is time to work on the rest of that appetizer.

Onion Chutney

(makes 1-2 cups)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 dried chilies (crushed)
6 cups onions (sliced)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice (or white vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the cumin, mustard seeds, dried chilies and heat until they sputter.
3. Add the onions and saute until the start to turn golden brown.
4. Add the chili powder, salt, lemon juice, and sugar and bring to a boil for a minute.

Similar Recipes:
Onion Marmalade (or Balsamic Caramelized Onions)
Apple Chutney
Cranberry Chutney
Onion Gratin
Hot Caramelized Onion Dip
Chipotle Caramelized Onions
Maple Caramelized Onions
Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam
Slow Roasted Tomato Bacon Jam

Use in:
Peameal Bacon and Onion Chutney Crostini

Golden Beet Tatin with Goat Cheese

Beet Tatin with Goat Cheese


Beets are another great winter vegetable and I don't seem to have them nearly often enough. A couple of weeks ago I was at a restaurant near work, Mildred's Temple Kitchen, and they had a lot of great sounding dishes using seasonal ingredients including a golden beet tatin served with salad greens and goat cheese. Given my enjoyment of seasonal ingredients I was pleased to see the dish on the menu and I just had to order it. The beet tatin turned out to be really good, so good in fact that I just had to try to make it at home!

I started off the recipe with the easy part, roasting the golden beets. Next up was trying to figure out what the pinot noir gastrique was from their description in the menu. It turns out that a gastrique is made by caramelizing sugar, adding a vinegar and then reducing to the desired consistency. Along my search I came across a gastrique that caramelized honey instead of sugar and I liked the sound of that. So in the end I had a gastrique made with caramelized honey, red wine vinegar and pinot noir and it sounded really good.

Now that I had a recipe for the contents of the tatin I just needed to cook it. Normally a tatin (a pie with the crust on top) is made in a full pie plate but I decided to make it in ramekins so that they would be in individual serving sizes. The individually sized golden beet tatins in a pinot noir gastrique garnished with goat cheese turned out great! The roasted golden beets were perfectly soft, nice and sweet and they went so well with the savoury gastrique. Of course you really can't go wrong with the light, flaky, all butter pastry and the tangy goat cheese finished everything off perfectly. I served the beet tatin along with some salad greens and the remaining gastrique made for the perfect dressing.

Golden Beet Tatin with Goat Cheese

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 small golden beets (washed and trimmed)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
pastry to cover 4 ramekins
1/4 cup goat cheese (crumbled)
2 cups salad greens

Directions:
1. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil.
2. Bake the beets in a preheated 350F oven until soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
3. Let the beets cool, peel and slice them.
4. Caramelize the honey on a pan.
5. Add the red wine vinegar and red wine and simmer to reduce to a sauce like consistency.
6. Pour 1 tablespoon of the gastrique into each of the 4 ramekins followed by the beet slices and the pastry.
7. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the pastry is golden brown.
8. Flip the ramekins over onto the plates and let the tatin slide out pastry down.
9. Garnish with the goat cheese, salad greens and remaining gastrique.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and Cashews
Apricot Tatin
Roasted Beets with Caramelized Onions and Feta
Caramelized Pumpkin and Gorgonzola Salad

Date and Pistachio Terrine

Date and Pistachio Terrine with Grainy Mustard


I have some across a few posts about terrines since I started food blogging and although they have always looked really good I had yet to try one. A terrine is a dish that is cooked in a terrine dish which is shaped a lot like a loaf pan. The terrines that I have seen so far reminded me of a meatloaf only they were fancier. Not too long ago I came across a recipe for a date and pistachio terrine in the holiday edition of Food & Drink and I knew exactly what I was going to use the last of my fresh medjool dates in. I liked the sound of using the sweet dates and the pistachios in a meat dish like this and the slices promised to be really pretty with all of the colours. Some of the things that I like about this recipe are that the dates are simmered in port first and the whole thing is wrapped up in prosciutto! I also like the Asian spice blend that promised to add a nice hint of the exotic.

The terrine was a little bit more work to make than a meatloaf with the pitting the dates, simmering them and then wrapping everything in the prosciutto but, it was still pretty easy. One interesting thing about the recipe is that you are supposed to refrigerate it overnight after you cook it and I had read in one place that terrine was supposed to be served cold or at least not hot. The date and pistachio terrine turned out really well! The medjool dates and pistachios went surprisingly well surrounded by subtly spiced moist and tender pork. Of course the salty prosciutto wrapping finished the terrine off really well. I enjoyed the terrine both warmed an not. I served some of the terrine cut into thick slices on a bed of salad greens with a dab of grainy mustard. The terrine also worked well when sliced thinly as an appetizer either all by itself or on toasted baguette slices along with some mayo-mustard and even a dab of blackberry preserves on top. With my first terrine being such a success I look forward to trying more!


Date and Pistachio Terrine, Sliced

Date and Pistachio Terrine

(makes 8+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup medjool dates (pitted and quartered)
1 cup port
5 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
3/4 teaspoon five spice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup pistachios
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
12 slices prosciutto

Directions:
1. Simmer the dates in the port until it is all absorbed, about 20-30 minutes and set aside.
2. Pulse the bacon in a food processor a few times.
3. Mix the bacon, five spice, cardamom, nutmeg, sugar, salt, white wine and pistachios into the pork.
4. Drape the prosciutto across a loaf pan in overlapping layers.
5. Place 1/3 of the mixture into the loaf pan followed by 1/2 of the dates, 1/3 of the pork, the remaining dates and the remaining pork.
6. Wrap the overhanging prosciutto over to seal it.
7. Cover in foil and place in a baking dish with water coming up half way.
8. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 160F.
9. Let cool, drain the excess juices, wrap in plastic and refrigerate over night.

Similar Recipes:
Bacon Wrapped Roast Pork Loin
Chipotle Turkey Meat Loaf
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Medjool Dates

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite winter vegetables and I am always on the look out for interesting new recipes with them. Recently I came across one such recipe, a recipe for maple dijon roasted brussels sprouts on Culinary Cory which sounded so good that I just had to try it! Although it is faster and easier to cook brussels sprouts by steaming them or boiling them, my favorite way to cook them is to roast them. I like to roast pretty much any vegetable as it seems to concentrate their flavour and brussels sprouts are no exception. (Don't be afraid to let the brussels sprouts brown a bit when roasting them as all of those brown bits are just packed with flavour.) The next thing that caught my attention about this recipe was the use of a maple dijon vinaigrette as maple and dijon is one of my favorite flavour combinations. I often like to add some grainy mustard to the mix as I really enjoy the texture that it adds. The roasted brussels sprouts with maple dijon vinaigrette turned out even better than I imagined! The sweet and tangy dressing went really well on the caramelized to perfection brussels sprouts and the toasted almonds added a nice contrasting texture. This may just be my new favorite way of enjoying brussels sprouts!

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 pounds brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 small clove garlic (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond slices (toasted)

Directions:
1. Toss the brussels sprouts in the oil along with the salt and pepper.
2. Arrange the brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, flipping them once in between, about 30 minutes.
4. Mix the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustards, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
5. Toss the brussels sprouts and almonds in the maple dijon vinaigrette.

Similar Recipes:
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pine Nuts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken
Maple Dijon Roasted Asparagus
Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Bacon, Mustard Cream and a Parmesan Crust
Maple-Miso Dijon Salmon
Hot Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprout Dip

Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce

Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce

Over the last while I have really enjoyed a number of Greek shrimp and tomato dishes such as shrimp saganaki. More recently I came across another one in the form of a shrimp pasta on Kalofagas and it quickly made it to my meal plan. This recipe is really easy to make and you can tell that it will taste great just by looking at the ingredients list. The tomato sauce is a pretty simple one consisting of onions, garlic, some white wine, the tomatoes, oregano, and of course lots of fresh herbs. This pasta would be perfect to make with fresh ripe tomatoes were they in season but in the middle of winter canned tomatoes worked well. I had high hopes for this dish and it did not disappoint! The shrimp pasta in the tomato sauce was so good! Given that all of the recipes that this one reminded me of added feta to the shrimp and tomato sauce combo, I could not resist topping the pasta with some crumbled feta.

Sweet Pumpkin Fritters

Sweet Pumpkin Fritters


While I was enjoying my pumpkin and feta fritters, thoughts of making a pumpkin pie with grated pumpkin were dancing through my head. I realized that all of the fritters that I had made recently were savoury fritters; Why not try a sweet fritter? Why not a sweet pumpkin pie like fritter? I immediatly set about writing up a recipe. I added a bit of sugar so that the fritters themselves would be on the sweeter side, followed by some cinnamon and spices and how could you go wrong with some raisins and nuts? The sweet pumpkin fritters turned out so well! In fact I have already made them two times. The first time I topped them with honey (Just look at the honey dripping down that stack of fritters!) and the second time I made a spiced citrus honey syrup based on the syrup that I used on the baklava french toast that I made a while ago and they were even better! They are just perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.

Sweet Pumpkin Fritters

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups pumpkin (grated)
1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil

Directions:
1. Mix the pumpkin, walnuts, raisins, sugar, spices, flour and egg in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Spiced Citrus Honey Syrup



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon orange rind
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick)

Directions:
1. Simmer everything until it takes on a syrupy consistency and then let cool.

Similar Recipes:
Pumpkin and Feta Fritters
Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Pumpkin Pie
Baklava French Toast
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fritters
Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Fritters in Caramel Sauce