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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rhubarb (Fruit) Dump Cake

Our friend, Sandy, posted this recipe on her FB page. The mad scientist/baker in our house decided to experiment with it since rhubarb is very difficult to find where we live. Et voila…. In researching dump cakes, it was noted that this is often the FIRST cake which a child can make since it is so basic! Calling all Moms and Grandmas??? Ok…grandpas and dads too…Thanks Sandy B.

Rhubarb Dump Cake

Dump cake is usually a combination of canned fruit, with cherries and pineapples being some of the most preferred. Fruit is usually drained and combined on the bottom of a baking dish. Next, people add yellow or white cake mix, simply pouring the mix right over the fruit. Recipes vary but most then direct people to add slices of butter on top of the cake mix. When the cake is baked it has a lovely top crust that is buttery over a layer of sweet fruit. Be brave and experiment with the fruits…..

More like a crisp than a cake…if you cannot find the rhubarb, try the substitutions in red….

1 pound rhubarb, cut into ¼ pieces (3 to 4 cups) and ¾ cup sugar OR

1 pound fresh strawberries (quarter the larger ones, half the small ones)

+ 1 cup fresh mango cubes (not super ripe)

¾ cup sugar

Cinnamon

1 – 3 oz. strawberry Jello

1 package yellow cake mix

1 cup water (warmed)

¼ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Spread the fruit evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the fruit, followed by the Jello, and finally, the cake mix.

Pour the melted butter and the water over the top of the cake being careful to moisten it all. DO NOT STIR!!!

Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit appears tender.

Serve with a good French Vanilla ice cream.

 

 

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Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Potato Gratin

After much consideration, I bought a good mandoline while in Canada! Of course, this was going to be my first recipe using it, and it worked out great! I managed not to slice my fingers and both the potatoes and onions were oh so evenly sliced. I made a few changes to Jamie’s recipe, like dropping the chestnuts and substituting onions. In case you are wondering, these are not scalloped potatoes with mushroom soup like our mothers made, but it is equally tasty…

Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Potato Gratin (adapted)

Serves 4 hungry men!

Ingredients

  • 1 small knob butter
  • 200 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 300 ml double cream (I used a 335 ml tin of Carnation Evaporated milk)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 kg potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (8)
  • 1 handful fresh thyme (I used dried thyme).
  • 1 small handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • olive oil
  • 6 rashers higher-welfare streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 handful vac-packed chestnuts, peeled and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 sliced white onion

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Butter the inside of an ovenproof dish, around 30cm x 30cm, and at least 6cm deep.

Pour the milk and cream into a wide pan with the bay leaves and garlic. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes to the cream mixture and most of the thyme leaves and stir well. Spoon one-half into the gratin dish and shake to even everything out. Add the sliced white onions. Follow with other half of potatoes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan then cover with an oiled piece of foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a little olive oil until crispy and golden or use Ready Crisp precooked bacon.  Add the remaining thyme and stir in the chestnuts. (I skipped the chestnuts and used more onions). When your gratin is ready, remove the foil and spoon the bacon and chestnut/onion mixture over the top. Pop it back in the oven for another 10 minutes until gorgeous and crispy on top.

Herb and Garlic Seafood Kabobs

This wasn’t the recipe I intended to follow, but it turned out great! Instead of the mushrooms on the skewers, I grilled two marinated portobellos beside the kabobs! Since I only had smaller shrimp I made do, but I would have preferred the larger ones… If you are a friend on Facebook, you saw the photo… Check out Kramer’s Culinary Blog by clicking on the link below.

Herb and Garlic Seafood Kabobs    Kramers Culinary Blog

 Ingredients

Herb Garlic Marinade

  • 4 gloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • juice from ½ lime
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Kabobs

  • 8 large shrimp peeled & divined
  • 8 large scallops
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 6 oz red pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch dices

Grilled vegetables

  • 2 zucchini, sliced length wise
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced length wise
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. For the marinade combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly until creamy. Set a side.
  2. Wrap scallops with bacon. If the bacon is to wide simply cut it length wise in half.
  3. Prepare rosemary skewers by striping of the leaves of the sprig, but leaving about 2 inches on the tip or use well soaked wooden ones.
  4. Assemble seafood kabobs the way it’s shown at the bottom of the page under “Lining Up”.
  5. Smother herb garlic marinade over the entire seafood kabob on both sides. Rest kabobs on a plate covered with plastic wrap and keep cool.
  6. Marinate the zucchini and yellow squash including the left over vegetables such as the mushrooms & onions with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Grill vegetables for about 3 minutes on each side over medium to high heat.
  8. Grill seafood kabobs on high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  9. Allow kabobs to rest in a warm spot for a few minutes than serve immediately with the grilled vegetables. Serve with Chipotle tomato mayonnaise. They were just fine without the Chipotle Mayonnaise!

Lining up skewers – tomato, onion,shrimp.scallop,pepper,shrimp.scallop, mushroom, tomato

Remember to soak your wooden skewer sticks for several hours!!

Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil* Soup (Harira)

Thanks to Karen at Back Road Journal for this tasty recipe! backroadjournal.wordpress.com 

As we have been doing some travelling I had not tried this before returning home. Fortunately, another friend told me I could find harissa at a store near her! I was concerned that we had run out of lentils when I went to make it, but was equally happy with using pearl barley. I don’t think I would do this with rice, but that is my bias!

By the way, harissa is a paste composed of several spices. It is found in a small jar in the imported foods section of some grocery stores. If you have a Middle Eastern market near you check it out. It is spicy! Be sure to check Karen’s blog for other wonderful recipes and happenings in her life in New England!

Harira, A Moroccan Chickpea And Lentil Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  •  pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 c. lentils or pearl barley
  • 1 c. cooked chickpeas (if canned, rinsed)
  • 2 c. stock (vegetable or chicken) Choosing vegetable broth would make this began I believe
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 c. water or additional stock
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. or to taste harissa (optional)
  • lemon slices or wedges to serve alongside

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the lentils, chickpeas, stock, tomatoes and water, stir and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, and harissa and simmer for a few minutes. Taste for additional seasoning. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cilantro and a lemon slice.