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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hasty Christmas Pudding (LCBO Food and Drink)

I know it is too late for Christmas 2013, but while the taste is still fresh in my mind I wanted to share this with you all. I looked up the origin of ‘hasty pudding’ and the original dates back to 1599!  Some may recall The Hasty Pudding Club at Harvard University…

In 1795, a society called the Hasty Pudding club was organized by twenty-one Harvard College students. The club’s purpose was to encourage “friendship and patriotism.” Its constitution stipulated that every Saturday, two “providers” were to carry a pot of hasty pudding to the meeting. For the majority of the 19th century, prospective members were forced to ingest large quantities of hasty pudding. According to Harvard University historians, the club was founded by students who sought relief from the food the college provided by cooking their own hasty puddings in fireplace pots. With this ritual, the Hasty Pudding Club found it namesake. Today it is the nations oldest theater company, which annually puts on a spectacular spring production starring men in drag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_Pudding_Theatricals

Trust me, I was as surprised as you were to learn about the men in drag…lol. Here is the recipe. Happy New Year!

HASTY CHRISTMAS PUDDING LCBO – Serves 8 to 12


1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) sultanas
1/2 cup (125 mL) currants (can be omitted)
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) candied orange
or mixed peel
1 cup (250 mL) ground hazelnuts
6 tart apples, peeled and chopped
11/4 cups (300 mL) brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) fresh bread crumbs
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
11/2 cups (375 mL) brandy
6 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (375 mL) butter, softened, cut up into small pieces

1 In a large bowl, combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, orange peel, hazelnuts, apples, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and flour. Toss well.

2 Stir in bread crumbs, rind, juice and 1/2 cup (125 mL) brandy. Combine everything well.

3 Cover and leave in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 4 days, stirring in 1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy each day.

4 On the fifth day, beat the eggs and stir into the fruit. Mix in butter.

5 Line a 10 cup (2.5L) heatproof bowl or individual heatproof moulds with greased foil. Pour in the pudding. Cover with more foil or tie a cloth over the bowl.

6 Place the bowl on a trivet in a large pot. Add water to the pot, but don’t allow the water to touch the bowl. Bring the water to a boil, cover and steam for 3 hours, making sure the water stays boiling. Check the water level occasionally and add more boiling water if necessary.

7 Remove the pudding from the steamer (reheat when needed by re-steaming for 1 hour).

8 Turn out onto a platter, top with Orange Hard Sauce (recipe follows) and garnish with red currants and orange rind, if desired.

Brandy Caramel Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp (18 mL) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) water
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) brandy or orange juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butterTop of FormBottom of Form

Preparation

Brandy Caramel Sauce: In small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch and salt ; whisk in water. Bring to boil, stirring, over medium heat and boil until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add brandy and butter; reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm to serve.)

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Jill’s Cheese Ball

This recipe was always a staple at Christmas or New Year’s. Unfortunately, the McLaren’s Imperial Cheese is found in Canada, but not in the US or Mexico. You can substitute it with another type of processed cheddar spread, like Alouette in Mexico. You can also use a blue cheese spread if you do not have real blue cheese available.

Jill’s Cheese Ball

8 ounces softened Philadelphia cream cheese

8 ounces McLaren’s Imperial Cheese (or another brand)

4 ounces blue cheese

2 Tablespoons grated onions and juice

chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and whip with an electric mixer. Roll into a ball or a log and wrap in waxed paper. Chill for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator. When chilled, roll in chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to be served. Allow to warm up briefly.

Serve with your favourite crackers.

Christmas Morning Wife Saver

When our kids were small, we used to make this recipe from the Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/ cookbook. It was easy to prepare the night before and then just put in the oven while opening presents. Not sure saying wife saver is politically correct these days, but here it is –

Christmas Morning Wife Saver

prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes Serves 8

 Ingredients

  • 16 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • slices of Canadian back bacon or ham
  • slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups milk
  • dash Tabasco
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • special “K” or crushed cornflakes

Directions

Put 8 pieces of bread in a 9×13 buttered glass baking dish. Add pieces to cover dish entirely. Cover bread with thinly sliced Canadian style bacon. Top with slices of cheddar cheese. Cover with slices of bread. In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. Add mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, milk and Tabasco. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top. Cover with crushed special “K” or cornflakes. Bake at 350 F uncovered, 1 hour. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Shellfish Bouillabaisse

So what can I do for New Year’s Eve? This tried and true recipe is certain to impress your guests. Yeah, I know that seafood can be expensive, but what the heck? Buy cheaper wine…LOL. As always my changes are noted in red….if you follow the recipe it should feed 8 people…

Shellfish Bouillabaisse (Adapted from Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound chorizo, cut into 1-inch pieces (if you can’t find this use a good Italian sausage)
  • 3 cups julienne onions
  • 2 cups diced potatoes, blanched
  • 1 cup julienned red peppers
  • 1 cup julienned yellow peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • Essence, recipe follows or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes or use 3 cans of chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 pound lobster, split or (I bought four medium lobster tails and split them in half, leaving the shell on)
  • 2 pieces of a good white fish cut into chunks (optional)
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled and tail on (I take the tails off)
  • 1/4 pound mussels or scallops (I used 8 and cut them in half as well)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Few threads of saffron
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • Small loaf of crusty bread

Directions

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, render the sausage for 2 minutes. Remove the sausage and set aside. In a mixing bowl, toss all the vegetables with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place one third of the vegetables evenly on the bottom of the pot. Place one third of the tomatoes and 2 of the bay leaves on the vegetables. Lay the lobsters, meat side down and the soft-shells on top of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chorizo over the lobster. Layer 1/3 of the vegetables and tomatoes on top of the lobsters and chorizo. Season the shrimp with Essence. Lay the shrimp over the tomatoes. Layer the remaining 1/3 of the vegetables and tomatoes over the shrimp. Layer 1/2 of the chorizo over the shrimp. Lay the mussels or scallops over the tomatoes. Add the fish chunks. Add the wine, saffron and parsley. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Ladle the bouillabaisse in an over-sized platter. Garnish with the aioli, green onions and crusty bread.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.  Yield about 2/3 cups.

Salmon with Crunchy Peanut Ginger Sauce

This recipe is from my blog friend Karen at Back Road Journal (see the link). Right now I think she is still off travelling in Europe, posting some really interesting stuff about her travels. Anyways…we tried this recipe last week and it was awesome. Who would have thought of peanut butter and salmon? I served it with some great wild rice mix and a small salad.

Salmon With Crunchy Peanut Ginger Sauce BRJ

Peanut Ginger Sauce*

  • 2 tsp. peanut oil (Didn’t have any so I used a little extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (approx. 2-3 tsp.)
  • 1/4 c. natural peanut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter since I hate creamy)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet Thai chili sauce (I skipped this since I had none)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 c. or more water for thinning the sauce
  • 1 tsp. sriracha (optional) I used Sambal

Heat the oils in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add all the other ingredients except the water and cook until the peanut butter is melted and smooth. Slowly add the water a little at a time until the desired consistency. Makes about 3/4 c.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Thin with water, if necessary, after being refrigerated.

*This sauce is delicious on chicken, pork and seafood. It is also great as a dip, tossed with noodles or used in salads as a dressing.

Salmon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 1 center cut piece of salmon, skinned and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little sugar
  • Peanut ginger sauce (several tablespoons, depending on the size of the salmon) from recipe above
  • 1/4 c. chopped peanuts
  • 2 scallions, chopped for garnish
  • peanut oil for sauteing

Pour enough oil in a ovenproof sauté pan to just coat the bottom.  Heat oil until shimmering. Add the salmon (presentation side down) and cook for about one minute until brown, turn and cook an additional minute. Remove the pan from the heat, place salmon on a plate and pour the oil out of the pan. Return the salmon to the pan, spread the sauce over the fish and top with chopped peanuts. Place in the oven and cook for approximately six minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes. The salmon will still be a little pink and moist in the center. If you like you salmon more done, let stay in the oven a few minutes more but remember to not over cook the fish. Garnish with scallions just before serving.