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Oatmeal Burrito Bowl

Oatmeal Burrito Bowl

Despite the fact that it is supposed to be Spring already, it has still been pretty chilly around here so I have been enjoying oatmeal for breakfasts most mornings. Over the last few moths I have been having oatmeal for breakfast quite often and it is always in the form of a sweet porridge and I had always wanted to try a savoury dish with oatmeal. Not too long ago TasteSpotting did a feature on oatmeal that included a few savoury oatmeals which inspired me to try an oatmeal burrito bowl.

The basic idea of a burrito bowl is a deconstructed burrito served in a bowl. I normally start a burrito bowl off with a layer of rice and then top that with beans, pico de gallo and whatever other Texmex inspired ingredients that I desire. For the oatmeal burrito bowl I simply swapped the rice out for oatmeal and I used my favourite kind of oatmeal, steel cut oats, as they have a nice chewiness and more substance.

Normally I would just spinkle a bit of cheese on top but I wanted the cheese to be melted to I placed the oatmeal on an oven proof plate, topped it with cheese and threw it under the broiler until the cheese had melted. I was not really sure what to expect from the savoury oatmeal bowl, but it I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I really liked the way that the edges of the oatmeal that were exposed to the broiler got a little crispy and the crispy oatmeal and melted cheese combination was really nice. All of the fresh and juicy ingredients on top were a great counterbalance and rounded the whole dish off perfectly. I now think I have a new favourite way of enjoying oatmeal!

Oatmeal Burrito Bowl

A deconstructed burrito served in a bowl with, steel cut oats (oatmeal), melted cheese, seasoned black beans, fresh pico de gallo, avocado and sour cream.


Servings: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cut steel cut oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful cheddar and jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup seasoned black beans, warm
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons avocado, stoned, scooped and sliced
  • 2 tablespoon sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or Greek yogurt
Directions
  1. Bring the steel cuts oats and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place the oatmeal in a bowl or on a plate and top with the cheese.
  3. Broil or microwave to melt the cheese. (Note: If you are going to broil it make sure that your dish is oven safe.)
  4. Top with the seasoned black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, and sour cream.

Similar Recipes:
Burrito Bowl
Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Burritos
7 Layer Dip
Summer Vegetable Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans
Baba Ghanoush Burrito Bowl

Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2011


Closet Cooking is now 4 years old!

I know that I say it every year but; I cannot believe that another year has already gone by! Time has just been flying by and I have been so busy lately that I almost missed it but luckily I noticed it on the calendar just in time.

This last year certainly has been filled with a lot of tasty new food! I have continued to enjoy exploring new foods, cuisines and cooking techniques while not forgetting about old favourites. Where ever do I get the time for all of these recipes?

Over this last year I have had the chance to meet a lot of great new friends both online and in the real world. I had a blast attending and meeting so many amazing people at the International Food Bloggers Conference this year and I am looking forward to attending more of such events in the future.

Closet Cooking has also seen some changes over the last year including moving from blogspot to it's own domain closetcooking.com which was wonderful to finally realize! I also managed to add some social media 'follow' buttons to the site and some social media 'share' buttons to the posts. I was even able to finally figure a way to add a recipe index which I had been wanting to do for a long time. More recently I have been working on improving my recipe format including adding cooking times and using the hrecipe format.

Year four also saw Closet Cooking move into the modern age by getting on both Twitter and Facebook! It was a long time in coming and although I am still figuring out how to use them, I am glad to be on them as it has bee a lot of fun.

One thing that I like about a blog birthday is that I am reminded to take the time to go back and look over the past year to remember where I am coming from and what I have done. I went through all of my post from year three and I will leave you with some of my favourites:


Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Closet Cooking's year starts off in spring which is perfectly in time to enjoy the fresh bounty and this Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad is an amazing way to do it.





Asparagus Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asparagus is one of my favourite foods and you just know that I am head over heals for it in the form of this Asparagus Grilled Cheese Sandwich!





Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly

This year saw me experiment a bit with my food photography and this Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly is definitely one that I remember fondly. In it, I played with shallow depth of focus, light and composition.





Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi

This was the year that I discovered the banh mi and my first experience with a banh mi was with Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi which is an amazing blend of flavours and textures that just daces in your mouth!





Blueberry Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Blueberry season is still pretty far away but I can still dream about these Blueberry Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns impatiently while I wait.





Gorgonzola Cheesecake

I had never even thought about a savoury cheesecake before this Gorgonzola Cheesecake but now I am undeniably hooked. It's amazing how baking cheese brings out its flavour and those crispy bits along the outside are the best parts!





Greek 7 Layer Dip

Lets not forget about snacking! This Greek 7 Layer Dip, a Greek take on the classic 7 Layer Dip not only tastes great but it is pretty healthy to boot!





Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings)

Next up were these Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings) which in addition to being addictively good, are surprisingly easy to make at home once you get the hang of it and I even made my own wrappers!





Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

More recently I tried a new chocolate cheesecake with Guinness in it and this Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake was was definitely the best cheesecake that I have had in a long while!





Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

As you all know, I am a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and this Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich has to be my crowning achievement with respect to grilled cheese sandwiches so far! The the heat of the tender roasted jalapenos is tempered by the gooey melted cream cheese and the stringy jack and cheddar and the crumbled tortilla chips add a bit of crunch.




Similar Posts:
Closet Cooking's Birthday 2012 and 1500 Recipes!
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2010
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2009
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2008

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

April is national grilled cheese sandwich month and I have been enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches all month long. I never seem to tire of grilled cheese sandwiches and I always enjoy playing around with new ones. This marinated roasted red pepper grilled cheese sandwiches was definitely one of favourites from this month! I started out by marinating some roasted red peppers in some balsamic vinegar, garlic, onions and herbs overnight to build up some flavour and then I threw them into a sandwich along with some fresh basil and cheese and grilled it up until the cheese melted. The first time I made this grilled cheese sandwich I went with a goat cheese which was an absolutely divine combination of sweet and tangy with the basil adding an amazing breath of freshness. While I was enjoying the sandwich I could not help but think that a fresh mozzarella version would also be good and with that thought, along with the desire to make another batch of marinated roasted red peppers to snack on, I had to try it. The marinated roasted red pepper and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich was also fantastic with the milder flavours of the fresh mozzarella allowing for the flavours of the marinated roasted red peppers to shine through a bit more. Now I am torn, both options are so good!

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Sweet roasted red peppers marinated in a savoury marinade and grilled along with some fresh mozzarella and basil in multi-grain bread.


Servings: makes 1 sandwich

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 slices multi-grain bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large marinated roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, room temperature (or 2 tablespoons goat cheese, room temperature)
  • 2 large leaves basil
Directions
  1. Assemble sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Techniques for Making the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Similar Recipes:
Grilled Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sandwich
Sundried Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta
Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Mac n Cheese

More Great Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted red peppers are one of my favourite foods and every fall I roast up a large basket of them and put them in the freezer for use throughout the year. Normally I just use them as ingredients in other recipes but it is always fun to dress them up a bit and enjoy them as an appetizer. I like to marinate them in a balsamic marinade that includes olive oil, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, and a touch of pepper. These marinated roasted red peppers are great all by themselves or on a platter with other appetizers and they also make great ingredients or condiments in other dishes like sandwiches.

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Sweet roasted red peppers marinated in garlic, onions, oregano, thyme, and balsamic vinegar.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions
  1. Mix everything and let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour to overnight.

Use in:
Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Artichoke and Green Olive Tapenade with Asiago

Similar Recipes:
Marinated Feta with Olives and Roasted Red Pepper

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine with Quinoa

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Quinoa Tagine

While I was enjoying my ossobuco tagine, the whole wheat couscous that I served it on reminded my of quinoa and that sent mind down the path of using quinoa in a Moroccan style dish. At first I was thinking of just serving a tajine on some quinoa but why not add the quinoa directly to it so that it has more time to absorb all of the amazing flavours?

After the large holiday meals I wanted to go with something a little on the lighter side and since Spring has not blessed us with fresh local produce yet, I went with butternut squash which is still available. To that I added chickpeas which when combined with the quinoa would provide an ample amount of protein. Next up was a blend of warm spices, a touch of heat from some harissa, some sweetness from honey and raisins, some saltiness from olives and some brightness from cilantro and homemade preserved lemons.

I still felt that the meal was missing something green so I served it topped with sauteed swiss chard and a dollop of cilantro yogurt. I could not help but be reminded of a burrito bowl which led me to use try the leftovers in burrito form which along with a bit of crumbled feta was another great way to enjoy this dish.

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Quinoa Tagine Burrito

Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa Tagine

This butternut squash and chickpea 'tagine' with quinoa has an amazing blend of spices, flavours and textures.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or chicken, or water
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, pith removed and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the quinoa, broth, chickpeas, harissa, honey, raisins, olives, preserved lemon, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the butternut squash and continue to simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Mix in the cilantro and remove from heat.

Similar Recipes:
Moroccan Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons
Moroccan Nectarine and Plum Chicken Tagine
Baby Artichoke Heart Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto
Butter Chicken Burritos
Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Picadillo Tacos

Asparagus Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asparagus Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and I continue to celebrate with a Spring themed asparagus pesto grilled cheese sandwich which I have guest posted on Wisconsin Cheese Talk.

Pear Kimchi and Blue Cheese Salad

Pear Kimchi and Blue Cheese Salad

Now that I had my pear kimchi it was time to move on to the pear kimchi and blue cheese salad inspired by the Swish by Han. Sweet pear and tangy blue cheese is an amazing flavour combination that I never tire of and it works particularly well in the form of a pear and blue cheese salad so I was really enthusiastic about the idea of a pear kimchi and blue cheese salad! I kept the salad pretty simple, focusing on the pear kimchi and blue cheese that I added to some arugula tossed in an Asian style vinaigrette with a few garnishes. I have to say that the sweet and spicy pear kimchi and creamy and tangy blue cheese works really together in this salad and I was quickly going back for seconds!

Pear Kimchi and Blue Cheese Salad

Sweet and spicy Korean pear kimchi served in a salad with creamy and tangy blue cheese.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Asian vinaigrette (see below)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups pear kimchi
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, tasted
Directions
  1. Toss the arugula, green onions and red chili pepper in the vinaigrette.
  2. Add the pear kimchi sprinkle on the blue cheese and sesame seeds.

Asian Vinaigrette

A simple and yet tasty vinaigrette with Asian flavours.


Servings: makes 1/4 cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, finely diced
Directions
  1. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Pear Salad with and Bacon, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche
Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Vanilla Pear Compote
Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto

Pear Kimchi

Pear Kimchi

I recently became aware of a Korean restaurant here in Toronto called Swish by Han that has an item on the menu that immediately caught my attention, a pear kimchi salad with blue cheese. I am a big fan of kimchi, but I had never even thought about making a kimchi with something like pears but I could just image how good a sweet and spicy pear kimchi would be. I went with a slightly modified version of my normal kimchi recipe which has an amazing combination of savoury flavours. Where the cabbage kimchi recipe calls for letting the kimchi sit out a room temperature for a few days to kick start the fermentation process I only let this pear kimchi sit for a half a day let the flavours come out and then I chilled it before serving it. The pear kimchi was a great success! Sweet pears go really well in in a spicy kimchi sauce and I could hardly resist eating it all with a spoon even before trying it in the salad as planned!

Pear Kimchi

A quick Korean pear kimchi that is and amazing combination of sweet and spicy.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 Asian pear, grated
  • 2 tablespoons daikon radish, grated
  • 2 tablespoons carrot, grated
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or soy sauce for a vegetarian version
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 large pears, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
Directions
  1. Mix everything but the pears.
  2. Mix the pears into the mixture.
  3. Cover and let at room temperature for half a day.
  4. Store in fridge and enjoy chilled.

Use in:
Pear Kimchi and Blue Cheese Salad

Similar Recipes:
Kimchi
Easy Kimchi
Bean Sprout Kimchi

Lamb Meatballs in a Mint Tomato Sauce

Lamb Meatballs in Mint Tomato Sauce

Spring does seem to be the time for lamb and about the time that Easter rolls around is when I start thinking about it. Lamb has a stronger flavour than beef or chicken and this means that it can stand up to strong herbs like mint which I always enjoy using in savoury dishes. I had been mulling over the idea of a lamb meatball dish in a mint tomato sauce for a while and now was the time to make it. I wanted to keep the dish fairly simple so I seasoned the lamb meatballs with a few exotic Mediterranean spices including cumin, coriander and cinnamon in addition to the mint and other meatball basics. I purposely made the meatballs fairly large and I fried the meatballs in oil until golden brown on the outside and then added them to the tomato sauce to finish cooking, thereby staying nice and moist and juicy. The tomato sauce pretty simple with flavours similar to the meatballs and it is finished off with a hit of fresh mint. I garnished the meatballs with toasted almond slivers and served them on a bed of light and fluffy whole wheat couscous. Although these meatballs certainly don't need it, if you are feeling more decadent you could also garnish them with some plain yogurt and crumbled feta.

Lamb Meatballs in Mint Tomato Sauce in Feta and Yogurt

Lamb Meatballs in Mint Tomato Sauce

Mediterranean spiced lamb meatballs in a mint tomato sauce on a bed of light and fluffy couscous.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 batch mint lamb meatballs, browned (see below)
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
Directions
  1. Heat he oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until render, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile cook the couscous as directed on the package.
  8. Remove the meatballs and sauce from heat and mix in the mint and parsley.
  9. Serve the meatballs in tomato sauce on couscous garnished with toasted almond slivers and more chopped mint and parsley to taste.

Lamb and Mint Meatballs

The mint and parsley add a really nice freshness to these tasty lamb meatballs.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breads crumbs, freshly made
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Mix the lamb, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  2. Form the mixture into balls approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Add the balls a few at a time, without crowding the pan, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Lamb and Mint Meatballs with Farro Risotto and Cilantro Pesto
Greek Meatballs (Keftedes) in Pitas with Tzatziki
Greek Lamb Burger
Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini and Feta Balls)

Spinach and Feta Clafoutis

Spinach and Feta Clafoutis

With Easter coming up I was looking for a new recipe for a special breakfast or brunch on the long weekend. While I was going through my bookmarks I came across this recipe for a spinach and feta clafoutis that I had saved a while ago on More Than Burnt Toast and my search for a tasty breakfast was over. A clafouti is a French dish where an egg batter, generally filled with something, is baked and up until I had come across this recipe I had never even considered the possibility of a savoury clafouti. I immediately knew that I would have to try a savoury clafouti and this one was perfect as it was filled with some of my favourite Greek flavours with the spinach and the feta. In fact the flavours reminded me of spanakopita, a Greek spinach pie which I have had no end of fun spinning into different dishes over the years.

This clafoutis is pretty easy to make which makes it perfect for brunches or light weeknight meals. You pretty much just need to saute some onions, wilt the spinach, pour over the egg batter and cheese and bake until golden brown. Despite the minimal effort require to make it, this clafoutis is one tasty dish! The spinach and feta combination along with fresh dill definitely works well in a savoury clafoutis! I now have my breakfast planned for the weekend and I already have other ideas for savoury clafoutis dancing in my head.

Spinach and Feta Clafoutis

Spinach and Feta Clafoutis

A savoury take on a clafoutis with all of your favourite flavours from spanakopita the Greek spinach pie.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon dill (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
  • 1 cup kasseri or mozzarella (grated)
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the green onion and spinach and saute until the spinach wilts.
  4. Remove from heat and mix in the dill and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the spinach mixture into a shallow 6 cup baking dish.
  6. Mix the milk, eggs, and flour in a food processor and pour it on top of the spinach.
  7. Sprinkle the feta and mozzarella on top.
  8. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until puffed and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
Spinach and Feta Omelette
Cherry Clafoutis
Blueberry Clafoutis
Spinach and Feta Quesadillas
Spinach and Feta Mashed Cauliflower

Ossobuco Tagine (Moroccan Style Ossobuco)

Osso Buco Tagine

With Easter quickly approaching I figured that it was about time to start testing some dishes for my Easter menu and I had several ideas. Up first was this Moroccan style osso buco inspired by this recipe for ossobuco with prunes, apricots and saffron from What's For Lunch Honey?. I always enjoy combining cooking styles and flavours from different cuisines and I knew that if you took two already amazing dishes, ossobuco and apricot lamb tagine, and combined them that you would have a winner and I just had to try it. Ossobuco is an Italian dish where a veal shank is braised in a wine broth along with vegetables and a tajine is a North African dish that is slowly braised in a tajine and it commonly includes both sweet and savoury aspects along with a warm Moroccan spice blend. For the recipe, I started out with my ossobuco recipe and then I added some dried apricots and prunes along with a blend of warm spices. Don't let the length of the ingredients in this recipe fool you, it is actually pretty easy to make and it only requires about a half an hour of hands on time with the rest of the time spent slowly braising in the oven. The ossobuco tagine turned out really well! I have to say that the sweet and savoury aspects of this dish worked fantastically and you just scan't miss that super tender, falling of the bone veal. I served the ossobuco tajine on some whole wheat couscous and garnished it with a gremolata. This ossobuco tajine would definitely be welcome on my Easter menu!

Ossobuco Tagine

A Moroccan take on osso buco. Veal shanks braised in a sweet and savoury tomato sauce with a Moroccan spice blend.


Servings: makes 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 veal shanks, with skin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup beef or veal stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup prunes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Season the veal with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown the veal on all sides and set aside.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, celery and saute over medium heat until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  7. Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, apricots, prunes, harissa, paprika, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the veal, cover, transfer to a preheated 350F oven and braise until the veal is fall off the bone tender, about 2-3 hours. Check the pot every once in a while and if the liquid drops below half way up the veal, add some more stock.

Similar Recipes:
Osso Buco
Apricot Lamb Tagine
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
Braised Short Rib Ragu
Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa Tagine

Gnocchi Poutine with Short Rib Ragu

Gnocchi Poutine with Short Rib Ragu and Gremolatta with Stringy Melted Cheese

While I was enjoying the braised short rib ragu over polenta I remembered seeing a gnocchi poutine with ox tail gravy on a restaurant menu a long time ago that I had wanted to try. Poutine in a Canadian dish from Quebec consisting of french fries topped with cheese curds and a piping hot gravy. Poutine shops across Canada experiment with poutine all the time and one thing that is often done is adding various forms of meat so a poutine with an oxtail gravy, or in this case a braised short rib ragu was not a far stretch. If you can change the topping why not swap one potato product in for another potato product, gnocchi? Luckily the three pounds of short ribs that went into the ragu made for a decent amount of leftovers and I made sure to save the last for this poutine and it was well worth it! The light and fluffy yet chewy potato gnocchi worked really well when covered in melting cheese curds and the oh so tasty braised short rib ragu. You really cannot go wrong adding a stringy melted cheese to an already great dish! I served the gnocchi poutine with short rib ragu with a gremolata topping to keep things nice and bright and fresh.

Gnocchi Poutine with Short Rib Ragu and Gremolatta

Gnocchi Poutine with Short Rib Ragu and Gremolatta

Soft and chewy potato gnocchi covered with a tasty braised short rib ragu and melting cheese curds.


Servings: makes 1 serving

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Pour the ragu over the gnocchi and cheese curds and garnish with the gremolata.

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Braised Short Rib Ragu on Gnocchi
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Gnocchi

Gnocchi

When I made the braised short rib ragu I served it on polenta which I don't use very often and that got me thinking about other things that you could serve a tasty ragu on. Of course pasta and rice come to mind first but then I thought about gnocchi which is another thing that I do not use too often. Gnocchi are soft potato dumplings that are made by combining flour and mashed potatoes. You can get creative with gnocchi by adding flavours or using different ingredients like sweet potatoes and I even recently tried some pumpkin gnocchi. Although the pumpkin gnocchi was really nice and I have a few more ideas for different gnocchi recipes, I figured that a plain and simple potato gnocchi would go best with my leftover ragu.

Gnocchi

Potato gnocchi is actually pretty easy to make and once you get the hang of it, it does not take long either. First you need to cook the potatoes and you can either bake, boil or microwave them. I prefer to bake them and all that really requires is to toss them in the oven and walk away for an hour while they cook. After the potatoes have cooled down a bit you mash them and add any flavourings that you want followed by enough flour to turn it into a soft dough. Finally the dough is rolled out, cut it into small pieces and cooked before serving it as desired. With potato gnocchi being so nice and light, soft and chewy and addictively good, I think that I will be making it a lot more often!

Braised Short Rib Ragu on Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Perfectly light, soft and chewy potato dumplings that are a great replacement for pasta or rice.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 40 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, about 2 large ones
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork.
  2. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about an hour.
  3. Scoop the inside out of the potatoes and mash them.
  4. Mix in the egg and enough of the flour to form a soft dough that is not too sticky to work with.
  5. Knead the dough for a minute and then roll it out into 4 long thin rolls about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces and then roll the pieces in flour lightly shaking off any excess.
  7. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
  8. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.
  9. Use as desired.

Use in:
Gnocchi in a Gorgonzola Sauce Topped with Fried Mushrooms

Serve with:
Braised Short Rib Ragu

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Braised Short Rib Ragu

Braised Short Rib Ragu

Although Spring is here, the weather has still been on the cooler side and I figured that I could probably get at least one more good braise in before it gets too warm to have the oven on for hours at a time. I am a huge fan of a good long braise that slowly tenderizes the meat until it literally falls off the bone and melts in your mouth and there was one more recipe that I wanted to try while it was still cool. I came across this recipe for a short rib ragu on The Parsley Thief a while ago and it immediately caught my attention. All you need to do is look at the list of ingredients to see that it is just packed with umami and flavour that could only get better the longer that it simmers.

Short ribs are a fattier cut of beef which means that we start this recipe off right away with more flavour and then we then continue to build build it by browning the short ribs on all sides. The sauce starts out with a pretty standard array of vegetables and garlic but then it jumps right into the deep end with a flavour powerhouse, anchovy paste. To make sure that we get all of the goodness from those brown bits on the bottom of the pan we deglaze it with some red wine and then we start building the complexities of the sauce with tomato paste, dried porcini mushrooms, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and an array of herbs and spices.

One of the things that I like about braising is that generally once you get it into the oven it is pretty hands off until it is done so you get a really great meal with minimal effort. Since this recipe uses short ribs there is one final step and that is to pull the bones out of the pot and shred the beef. I wanted this dish to focus on the meat so I decided to puree the sauce while I waited for the meat to cool enough to shred, though you could easily skip this step. As promised, this ragu was just packed with flavour and it was easily one of the tastiest sauces that I have had in a while. You could serve this ragu on pretty much anything that you want and since it had been a while since I last used a creamy polenta, I decided to go with that.

Braised Short Rib Ragu

Braised Short Rib Ragu

Short ribs braised in a tasty flavour packed sauce until fall apart in your mouth tender and good.


Servings: make 4+ servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds short ribs, 2-3 inches long
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 piece parmigano reggiano (parmesan) rind, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
Directions
  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the short ribs until brown on all sides and set aside.
  4. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and fat from the pan and reduce to medium heat.
  5. Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  7. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan.
  8. Add the ribs, the mushrooms and their liquid, tomato puree, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel, parmigano reggiano rind, bay leaves, salt and pepper and enough beef stock to cover the ribs.
  9. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to a preheated 350F oven and cook until the meet is falling off the bones, about 3 hours.
  10. Remove the beef from the pan, set aside to cool
  11. Puree the sauce.
  12. Pull the beef from the bones, shred it, return it to the sauce and simmer to thicken if desired.

Serve on:
Gnocchi

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Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Mac n Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Mac n Cheese

After far to much boxed mac n cheese in university I took a break from it until recently when I made a crab mac and cheese that I really enjoyed. I realized that there is a lot more that you can do than just your basic every day macaroni and cheese and ideas for different flavour combos have been swirling through my head ever since. One of those ideas sprang from the desire to use some of the roasted red peppers that were taking up so much space in my freezer.

Sweet roasted red peppers and tangy goat cheese are an amazing flavour combination and I was thinking that the goat cheese would work beautifully in a mac and cheese. From there I was thinking Greek flavours and some salty kalamata olives and feta cheese seemed like the natural next step. At this point I figured I was done but at the last minute I decided to bulk the mac and cheese up a bit with some artichoke hearts. I was thinking that the best way to get the goat cheese into the mac and cheese would be to melt it into a bechamel sauce which I seasoned with garlic and oregano. I also wanted to have a nice melted cheese topping so I added a handful of mozzarella cheese which is fairly mild and it melts well.

The goat cheese, roasted red pepper, kalamata olive and artichoke heart mac and cheese turned out really well! The flavour combination was simply fantastic and I quickly inhaled my bowl and was going for seconds in no time at all. I am definitely looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week!

Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Mac n Cheese

Tangy goat cheese, sweet roasted red peppers, salty kalamata olives and artichoke hearts make this mac and cheese one to remember.


Servings: makes 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound pasta, your choice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 large roasted red peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
Directions
  1. Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it is bubbling and it has turned a light golden brown.
  3. Mix in the flour and garlic and let simmer until it returns to a light golden brown.
  4. Mix in the milk, pepper, oregano and goat cheese and heat until the goat cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Mix the pasta, sauce, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and feta and pour the mixture into a baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on the top and bubbling on the sides, about 30-40 minutes.

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Spicy Pork Bulgogi and Beans Burrito

Spicy Pork Bulgogi and Beans Burrito

Since I used 2 pounds of pork to make the spicy pork bulgogi banh mi I had lots of leftovers which was perfect because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. One of my favourite things to do with leftover bulgogi is to make burritos and since I had leftover pork bulgogi this time, I was thinking pork and beans burritos. I decided to keep things nice and simple and I added some Korean style refried beans and some spicy kimchi, Korean style salsa roja to the mix for a little bit of heat. Of course no burrito would be complete without being stuffed with ooey gooey melted cheese.

Spicy Pork Bulgogi and Beans Burrito

Spicy Korean BBQ pork with refried beans, sauteed kimchi, cheddar & jack cheese and salsa rojo.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Assemble burritos and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

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Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi

Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi

A few weeks ago when I made the porchetta I needed a 2 pound pork shoulder bu the smallest that I could get was a 4 pounder so I cut it in half and froze the extra. Since I have been trying to clear some space in the freezer lately I wanted to use it soon and as luck would have it I had just the thing in mind! I have been into banh mi sandwiches lately and while I was enjoying the last one, a Vietnamese BBQ pulled pork banh mi, I remembered thinking that it would probably work with other kinds of meat and in particular daeji bulgogi, a Korean spicy BBQ pork.

For this Vietnamese and Korean fusion sandwich, I went with some Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon radish and some kimchi in addition to the spicy Korean BBQ pork as fillers. I wanted to go with a mayonnaise that had a hit of Korean flavour but I was torn between two; a spicy gochujang mayo and a sesame mayo, and in the end I decided to just go with both. The spicy pork bulgogi banh mi turned out really well! The sweet and spicy marinated pork went particularly well with the Vietnamese pickles and the mayo helped tame the heat of both the pork and the kimchi. I am glad that I went with both of the tasty mayonnaises and I liked that all of the pickles helped cut through their creaminess cleansing your palate so that you were ready for the next bite. I am looking forward to enjoying some more of these sandwiches!

Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi

Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi

Korean bulgogi, BBQ, pork done Vietnamese banh mi style with Vietnamese pickled daikon radish & carrots, kimchi, gochujang mayo and sesame mayo.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Assemble the sandwiches and enjoy!

Similar Recipes:
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Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi
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Gochujang Mayo


Gochujang Mayo

Mayonnaise with a spicy kick from gochujang, a Korean fermented chili bean paste


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 1 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 1 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
Directions
  1. Mix until smooth.


Sesame Mayo


Sesame Mayo

Mayonnaise flavoured with toasted sesame seeds.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
Directions
  1. Mix everything.

Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata

Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella

After a week of decadent experiments with my cinnamon swirl bread for breakfasts, I was looking for something a little on the lighter side for this week. When I am thinking about healthier breakfasts I often go for eggs and as luck would have it I had been meaning to try something new with a frittata. A frittata is an egg dish that is similar to an omelette that is cooked in a pan on the stove top until the eggs have set on the bottom and then it is transfered to the oven to finish cooking and get a nice golden brown top. Like an omelette, the frittata is generally filled with something be it cheeses, meats or vegetables. Although I normally focus on the flavours of the filling I had recently come across the idea of topping the frittata with something, namely a marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese in this recipe for a red pepper and Italian sausage fritata from Our Life in Food that immediately caught my attention.

This frittata is pretty simple with most of the flavour coming from the spicy Italian sausage and the sweet roasted red peppers along with a bit of parmigiano reggiano cheese. I went with a home made marinara sauce to which I added a touch of ground fennel seeds to complement the flavours of the sausage and everything was topped off with some mozzarella cheese. My expectations for this frittata were pretty high, I mean if you take an already amazing frittata and cover it in a tasty marinara sauce and then smother it in ooey gooey melted cheese, you just have to have a winner! Even with those high expectations, I have to say that this is definitely the best frittata that I have ever had! The marinara and mozzarella topping works really well on a frittata adding a ton of flavour and keeping things nice and moist. I am certainly looking forward to breakfasts this week!

Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella

An egg based dish stuffed with spicy Italian sausage and sweet roasted red peppers that is topped with a tasty marinara sauce and melted cheese.


Servings: makes 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 1 large roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped, optional
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in an oven proof pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the sausage and cook until it has just browned all over, breaking it apart as you go.
  3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Mix the eggs, parmigiano reggiano, roasted red pepper, sausage, onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until the eggs are almost set, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan into a preheated 400F oven and let the eggs finish cooking, about 10 minutes.
  8. Pour the marinara sauce over the frittata, sprinkle on the cheese and broil until the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley.

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Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew
Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale
Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Mac n Cheese
Eggplant Tortino in a Kalamata Olive Marinara Sauce

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

By the end of the week my cinnamon swirl bread was no longer as fresh as it had once been and that meant that it was time for French toast. French toast is a dish where bread is dipped in an egg mixture and then fried until golden brown. It can be a savoury dish but more commonly it is served as a sweet dish and I enjoy smothering it in maple syrup. French toast is super easy to make and it takes almost no time at all. You simply mix some eggs and milk, dip the toast in, fry it up and then top as you like. This cinnamon swirl French toast was the perfect end to an amazing cinnamon swirl bread!

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

Cinnamon swirl bread dipped in batter, fried until golden brown and served smothered in maple syrup.


Servings: makes 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Mix the milk, eggs and vanilla in a wide dish.
  2. Dip the bread into the egg mixture to coat on both sides.
  3. Melt some butter in a pan and fry the slices of bread until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Similar Recipes:
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