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Category Archives: Brunch

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…

Jambalaya  is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.

Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
  • 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
  • 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.

Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.

Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Green Mango Salad

Our neighbours introduced us to Green Papaya Salad, a favourite Thai salad with crisp vegetables. Alas, no green papayas to be found. Why not Green Mango Salad? The green refers to the unripeness, not the outside colour. Stefano Faita, one of my fav Canadian chefs and CBC personality had published this recipe…great colour! FYI…you could use firm nectarines in place of the mango.

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As always, my changes are shown in red.

Green Mango Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 large to 3 small green or under ripe mangoes, julienned

1 carrot, julienned (substitute 3 red radishes)

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup each mint leaves and Thai basil

1 tbsp. sweet spicy chili sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce, or to taste

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mint or Thai Basil, for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

Add green mangoes, carrot or radishes, red onion, red pepper, mint, Thai basil and chili sauce to bowl. Toss to combine.

Combine lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce and vegetable oil in small bowl. Stir to combine. Toss with salad. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

 

Croque Monsieur

We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.

Croque Monsieur

 Croque-Monsieur

A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dijon mustard for spreading

  • 4 slices ham

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)

  • OPTIONAL – 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.

  3. Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.

  4. Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.

I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.

Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/


Sweet Potato, Onion and Blue Cheese Frittata

I want something different for breakfast on Sunday! What do I have?  – sweet potato, red onion and bleu cheese, eggs. Why not? It was a pretty straight forward recipe I found and it turned out well. Mr. L thought it was quite rich with the bleu cheese (secret – I added more than the recipe called for…he was right) Stick to the recipe!

 

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Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Frittata

Ingredients

2 Red onions, medium

1 Sweet potato, large

6 Eggs, large free-range

1 Nutmeg, whole

3 tbsp Olive oil

100 g Blue cheese crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Rub the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
  3. Peel and finely slice the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 26cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, pop on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Leave to cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Crumble in the cheese, then add the onion, and scoops of sweet potato flesh, discarding the skin. Add a good grating of nutmeg, then season.
  5. Wipe out the pan and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the egg mixture and fry over a medium heat until the eggs start to settle and cook.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  7. Delicious served with a seasonal salad.

Too vegan for me…LOL…I cooked some bacon….

 

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Who does not like shepherd’s pie? There are several variations out there. Sometimes it is called Cottage Pie. This one was a snap! The only tricky part was the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour. Make your life easier and use instant potatoes!

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 12 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, thawed (Use a can of mixed peas and carrots)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, onion and garlic.
  • Cook until browned and drain.
  • In another skillet or pan, melt putter and add flour.
  • Cook roux for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in Worcestershire and milk.
  • Cook for 1 minute to thicken.
  • Combine beef mixture, gravy and thawed vegetables.
  • Place in baking dish.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. In the last few minutes sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.

 

Chilled Strawberry Soup

I have always remembered this soup from my adolescent years for some reason. I was looking for something different for dinner with friends in place of a salad. Too warm for regular hot soup and we happened to have a box of strawberries in the fridge. Pinterest showed me this wonderful and simple recipe!

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TIP – Whether it’s a salad or cold soup, I always freeze my bowls before serving time!

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Author: This Mess Is Ours         Prep time:  2 hours 15 mins

Total time:  2 hours 15 mins     Serves: 4 cups

This soup only takes about 15 minutes of time to prepare but be sure to let it chill for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors intensify.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup white grape juice (or white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey (one tablespoon was sufficient)

 

To garnish

  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 or 2 radishes, cut into thin shreds with a grater or mandoline
  • fresh mint

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high powered blender process the 3 cups of sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, white grape juice, and honey until smooth. Stopping periodically to scrape the sides. Cover and chill for 1½- 2 hours. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, sliced strawberries, shredded radishes, and bits of mint. Serve immediately. NB…dont skip the radishes, they were awesome!

 

Caramelized Leek, Parmesan and Ham Quiche

Still time to prepare this wonderful quiche for Easter morning, friends!Its not all that difficult, if you start with a refrigerated crust. Make sure to really clean the leeks well, as they often have dirt hidden inside!! Serve with some ice fresh strawberries…

Could also be good to use up that leftover ham after Easter!

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Caramelized Leek, Parmesan and Ham Quiche

 Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 oz. Ham
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Egg wash
  • 2 Eggs,
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 10 slices Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup Cream
  • 1/3 cup milk

Directions

Prepare the caramelized leek. Clean the leek and peel off the top layer of skin. Cut in half length-ways then finely slice width ways. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and gently cook the leek for a few minutes until soft. Add the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Stir for another couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool.

Prick the bases of the pie shell with a fork about a dozen times evenly around the base. Place on a tray and into the oven for the time recommended on the package. 

Remove the pie shell from the oven. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove, brush the shell with egg wash and cook for a further 3 minutes.

 Remove the quiche from the oven. Evenly distribute the shaved ham and caramelized leek evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle over the grated cheese. In a mixing bowl whisk together the 2 eggs, cup of milk and cup of cream. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a jug and carefully pour into the pie shell. Cook for 20 minutes.

  • Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

 

 

Sausage Hash

One of the things I miss a lot is corned beef hash, especially Shopsys in Toronto! Recently I found myself with a couple of sausages left over from my Sausage and Roasted Pepper Bake. You are probably tired of my referencing Pinterest, but really it is an awesome site. The following recipe was straight forward and turned out great for our Sunday breakfast.

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Best of all is that it is a one dish meal!!! Hope you will try it…

Sausage Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (pork works well too)
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (I used two cans of diced potatoes)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup of Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 or 6 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large heavy covered (or oven-proof) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage to the pan, using a wooden spoon to break it up. Sauté until brown – around 5 – 7 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towel.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and add the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and saute until brown – about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add the onion, bell peppers, minced jalapeno, and the smoked paprika. Saute and cook until soft – about 5 – 7 minutes.
  4. To the potato mixture, add the cooked sausage and the cheese and season to taste. Mix well.
  5. Crack the eggs onto the hash mixture. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are set – about 8 – 10 minutes. In the alternative, if you wanted to cook them in the oven, place the skillet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are done to your liking.

 

Broccoli Chicken Divan

Once upon a time I had a similar recipe, bit it must have flown the coup with the chicken…LOL. Pinterest to the rescue again! I think you will enjoy it in its simplicity. I served this with some fresh asparagus which I cooked in the same water as the broccoli, I just kept it simmering after I removed the broccoli.

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Broccoli Chicken Divan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat ( I used leftover supermarket roasted chicken!!!)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup ( substituted Cream of Mushroom)
  • 1/3 cup milk ( I used evaporated milk for more creaminess)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place the broccoli in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  3. Place the cooked broccoli in a 9 inch greased pie plate. Top with the chicken. In a bowl, mix the soup and milk, and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown.

 

 

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.

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I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)

Ingredients 

  • 1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 12 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed or just buy frozen cooked and thaw
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a large nonreactive container.

Chill and serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

Do not over-cook the shrimp, as they will become tough!

Be careful when steaming the shrimp; you do not want it tough.

AND here is a BONUS..ta dah…if you do not use all of the mixture, put it into a blender and make…GAZPACHO…refrigerate for tomorrows meal!