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Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Yield: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
  • For the sauce:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
  • For the beef and veggies:
  • Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
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Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites    Serves: 10

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Ingredients

  • 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
  • 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  2. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  4. Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
  5. Serve with crusty warmed bread

Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

Just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner! Make ahead and refrigerate. Serve as your first course!

Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • ½ cup mango nectar
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or more)
  • 1 liter low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to crock pot. Add celery, carrots, pumpkin, nectar, lime juice, peanut butter, broth and water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours,

After the time is up, stir in the following –

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Mix ½ cup heavy cream  and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch together.Stir into soup and turn cooker to HIGH for  10 minutes or less until soup thickens.

Serve over white rice which has been previously cooked. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 Source – Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces red potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream

Been back in Canada and still too early for rhubarb, but fortunately we have been able to find it here for the first time, as I stated in the previous blog. If you thought the pie sounded great you should definitely keep this in mind when rhubarb is in season up north. Of course you need an ice cream machine which our friends Kathie, Holly, Michelle and Dez had previously given to Larry several years ago for his birthday…lucky guy. It is indeed awesome and definitely a flavour for Ben and Jerry to consider!!! Ready, set, go!

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE ICE CREAM Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

For the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base you will need an ice cream machine, sorry…

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream or 1  box of Media Crema (Mexico)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2  of your crumbled pie crust (homemade) but you can also just bake a pre-made crust and crumble that. Either way, before baking, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)

First, roast the strawberries. To do so, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar in an 8-inch glass dish (do not spray or oil the glass). Roast at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly, then puree the berries in a blender. Measure 1/2 cup of the puree and set the rest aside to top the ice cream or for another use. Our preference is not to puree as we like chunky!

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk to form a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy bottomed pot (like a stock pot). Bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes (I set my phone’s timer to make sure it was accurate). It will boil and foam like crazy.

 

After four minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil for one minute, take off the heat again. Add the cream cheese to the boiled milk and whisk any clumps out.

 

Submerge the pan and its contents in an ice bath. If you’re making the ice cream the same day, just make sure the base is very cold before adding it to the machine. Add the base to your frozen ice cream barrel and spin for 15 minutes. The base should be frozen, a little more liquid than soft serve.

 

At this point, pour in the strawberry puree* and let it mix in completely, until the ice cream is a pretty pink color. Add half of the pie crust crumbles and swirl until incorporated. From here you can assemble the rest of the ice cream.

 

For the Rhubarb Compote Adapted from Epicurious 

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Grated ginger (optional to taste)

Combine rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb is syrupy (the sugar will liquefy over the heat and the rhubarb will break down). Strain through a sieve and chill until you are ready to assemble the ice cream. (You don’t want it too thick)

 

To Assemble the Ice Cream

Line a bread pan with parchment (or wax) paper. OR use a silicone loaf pan and skip the parchment/wax paper. Drizzle some rhubarb compote on the bottom, then layer with 1/3 of the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base. Sprinkle with pie crust crumbles and drizzle with more compote. Continue layering, ending with a layer of compote and pie crumbles. Drag a knife through the compote to create a marbling effect.

 

Press some parchment or wax paper onto the ice cream’s surface and freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Serve hearty scoops atop (totally optional) mini strawberry rhubarb pies and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.

 

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Custard Pie

After 12 years of searching we finally found rhubarb here in Yucatan!! In the last month we have bought up almost all of it, washed it, cut into chunks and frozen in 4 cup quantities for later use. The only problem is that we seem to be using it all up now…LOL. When there’s a glut…??? This pie is incredible, as is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream!!!

Let us know if you make it and what you thought…

Rhubarb / Strawberry Custard Pie (Makes one 9 inch pie)

* Pinterest recipe adapted from the English Kitchen (Marie) whose recipe I found too sweet for my taste and too juicy and I wanted cream in the recipe.

1 short crust pastry to fill a 9 inch diameter, deep style pie dish or just buy one at your supermarket!
4 cups of diced rhubarb / sliced strawberries
¼ cup of caster sugar (icing sugar)
3 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
½ cup golden syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 TBS butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F

Place the chopped rhubarb into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, flour and salt.
Mix in the egg, beating it in well, and then stir in the golden syrup, cream and the melted butter. Mix well.
Pour this evenly over top of the rhubarb and mix well to coat the fruit.
Transfer mixture into the prepared shell.
Bake in the heated 450F/230C oven, covered lightly with foil, for 15 minutes.
Decrease the oven heat to 180*C/350*F Remove foil and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the rhubarb is tender.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack and cool until the pie is firmed up, about 45 minutes, before serving.
Delicious!!

 

Pork Chops with Balsamic Sauce

This recipe would be great with mashed sweet potatoes. The sauce is awesome… Check out Canadian Living for more great recipes!!

Pork Chops with Balsamic Sauce

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian herbs
  • pinch salt
  • 4 pork loin centre pork chops
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sodium reduced chicken stock

In small bowl, mix together oil, Italian seasoning and salt. Brush over the chops.

In non stick skillet fry chops over medium heat until browned and just a hint of pink remains inside (about 4 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Drain off fat from pan. Add balsamic vinegar to pan. Simmer over medium heat for 30 SECONDS. Whisk cornstarch into the stock and add to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened (about 1 minute). Return chops to pan, heat through, turning to coat.

Serve with the mashed sweet potatoes.

Scallops Stir Fry

Sorry dear followers, I fell asleep under a palm tree on the beach in a hammock…NOT…it has rained everyday now since last Thursday and my draft was waterlogged…LOL

Still in the process of cleaning out the freezer before we make the move to the new house next week. I found scallops and wanted to cook something quick.

Bay scallops may be sweet, but they’re not shy. Here, they stand up to the intense combo of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and ginger. If you don’t find bay scallops, use the sea ones, but cut them in half. Actually I didn’t even make the rice. I just added a side of freshly steamed broccoli!

Bay Scallops Stir Fry [Inspired by Martha Stewart}

• Prep Time 15 minutes • Total Time 25 minutes • Serves 4
Ingredients

o Coarse salt and ground pepper
o 1 cup long-grain white rice
o 1/4 cup rice vinegar
o 1/4 cup soy sauce
o 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
o 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
o 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
o 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
o 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts separated, cut into 2-inch lengths
o 2 carrots, halved lengthwise, or quartered if large, and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
o 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
o 1 pound bay scallops, patted dry (or 10 larger ones)
Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice, and return to a boil, stirring once. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let steam for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set sauce aside.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Add bell pepper, scallion whites, carrots, and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallops and scallion greens; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Whisk sauce briefly, and add to skillet; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve scallop stir-fry over rice.