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Blog Archives

Arugula and Basil Salad

Just tried this from the LCBO Food and Drink Magazine for summer. Simple and very tasty…

Arugula & Basil Salad with Nectarine

Dressing
Juice and zest of one lime
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 tsp. Sesame oil
1/4 cup salad oil (not olive)
Salt and pepper

Salad
8 cups baby arugula
2 ripe nectarines cut into thin wedges
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves in thin strips
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Prepare dressing and let stand. Add arugula and basil. Toss with the toasted sesame seeds and nectarines.

You could likely substitute firm peaches OR mango.

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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.)

Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars

Squeezing this one in at popular request… Larry made these for a pre-Christmas get together. The recipe is found in the 2012 Holiday Issue of Food and Drink (LCBO Magazine available only in Ontario). They were awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They would be great for your New Year’s Eve celebrations….

Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars (LCBO)

Cookie Base :

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

½ cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup unsalted butter softened

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg YOLK

Filling :

2 cups sugar

½ cup water

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1/3 cup whipping cream, heated

1 ½ teaspoons salt

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 cup unsalted and roasted pistachios, chopped

1 ½ cups dried cranberries, plumped in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained

½ teaspoon sea salt (optional)*

Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Set aside in a bowl.

Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Beat in the yolk until combined. Add in flour mixture and beat until combined. Crumble dough into prepared baking pan and use damp fingers to press into a single layer with a slight lip at the edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until dry to the touch and golden. Set aside.

Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy bottom pot and stir just enough to moisten the sugar. Place pot over medium heat, bring to simmer and cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until deeply golden (between 320 and 340F OR 159 to 170C) on a candy thermometer.

Working quickly and carefully, add cream and salt, stirring to combine and then add butter (1Tablespoon at a time) until incorporated. Remove from heat.  Let caramel stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly then add pistachios and cranberries and stir until coated.

Scrape caramel mixture onto the prepared cookie base and use a spatula to even out topping. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes or until caramel is bubbling at the edge.

Sprinkle bars with salt if desired. Let cool for two hours to firm up and then remove from pan. Peel down parchment and cut into 48 rectangular bars. Will keep well in a sealed container for one week at room temperature.

What’s for dinner?

This has been a standard line for many years, along with “What would you like for dinner?” Usually it is followed by “I have not decided” or “I don’t care.” I don’t know about you but this can drive you a little crazy. You check the the cupboards, the refrigerator, the freezer and then ask yourself “What can I make with this stuff today?”  The you go diving into your cookbooks or recipe box or as is more popular with many of us these days, check out one of a multitude of Internet sites. My favourite Internet recipes sites are the following –

Internet Food Sites

The Food Network provides thousands of recipes from various chefs with clear, easily searchable menus by chef, recipe, etc. There is also the ability to create your own online recipe box. I love this feature sine I can access it from any computer while travelling anywhere in the world!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/

Kraft Foods gives you the choice of creating  an online recipe box as well. One of the great features of their site is the ability to plunk in the ingredients you have on-hand and then they will give you a recipe for using those ingredients. It also features tips and seasonal menus.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com

Canadian Living Magazine has been around in Canada for many years. Besides the features, there are always lots of great recipes. They have craft projects, health information, recipes of the day and also a recipe box online.

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/

Food and Drink Magazine is produced by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Seasonally it distributes in their stores a magazine called Food and Drink. Of course, it advertises beer, wine and alcohol, but is has scads of recipes in every issue for foods and drinks. Each issue has a great index at the back. Normally there is a new issue for each season. You cannot buy or subscribe to this magazine, but it fully available online! The beauty of the online magazine is that it is fully searchable.  You indicate what type of dish you want to prepare and the main ingredient and they come up with several great recipes. My favourite Six Hour Leg of Lamb came from Food and Drink Magazine!

http://www.lcbo.com/fooddrink/recipes.shtml

ALL of the above are absolutely free, but of course you can subscribe by filling out your email address in the appropriate place on their website.

Food Blogs

You already know about these if you are reading this,but I find that there are many great blogs out there with incredible recipes!

A blog I subscribe to is called Back road Journal by a friend, Karen – http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com. Karen writes about life along the east coast and her various journeys, everyday life and features some great recipes! She lives in a small town in New Hampshire and writes about life there.

A more recent blog that interests me is  posted by a nutritionist in training in New York – http://learnnutritionwithme.com. While she bills herself as a “student dietician”, she shares a wealth of info about nutrition as well as some great recipes! The site is actually called “Learn About Nutrition With Me”.

So, readers these are just a few of my sources. It would be great if you could share some of your best online sites or blogs by posting them in the comment section.

Scallops in Herb Butter Sauce

Scallops In Herb Butter Sauce
BY JENNIFER MCLAGAN

LCBO Food and Drink Magazine EARLY SUMMER 2007
Scallops have a voluptuous texture, especially when served in a sauce enriched with butter and cream. If you have them serve scallops in individual gratin dishes. If you would like to use these scallops over fresh pasta as a main course, then I would suggest doubling the sauce as it was awesome!

24 scallops
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) plus ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

Sauce:
½ cup (125 mL) white wine
1 tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream or Media Crema (in Mexico)
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped chives
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) thyme leaves, chopped

NB – if you have some great Herbs de Provence, use them in place of the chives, parsley and thyme.
1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

2. Place the gratin dishes in the oven.

3. Pat dry the scallops and season with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter and the oil over high heat. Add the scallops and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the scallops and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque in the centre. Transfer the scallops into the gratin dishes and keep warm in the oven.

4. Add the white wine to pan and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to boil until the wine is reduced by half. Cut the remaining butter into cubes.

5. Whisk the whipping cream into the reduced wine and then gradually whisk in the butter. Add all the chopped herbs, stir to mix and then check the seasoning. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and serve immediately.

Serves 6

For even more delicious recipes, drinks and wines, visit the LCBO Website –  http://www.lcbo.com

Prime Rib Roast with Mustard and Rosemary Crust

IF you are still able to afford the roast, this was a great recipe which I made in the North for our friend. Ask the butcher to remove the ‘ribs’ and tie them back onto the roast! While it was in the oven, I added parsnips, potatoes and some great heritage carrots (the multi-colored types) after dropping the temperature to 250 degrees. The ‘jus’ was wonderful!

PRIME RIB ROAST WITH MUSTARD & ROSEMARY CRUST

Jennifer MacKenzie (LCBO Food and Drink Holiday 2009)

 With a simple mustard and herb seasoning, the wonderful beefy flavour of prime rib really shines. Searing the roast in a hot oven and then cooking it low and slow does take a little longer but it seals in every drop of juice keeping it melt-in-your-mouth tender. A good meat thermometer is worth the investment to make sure you get an accurate test for doneness. The slow roasting method reduces the quantity of pan drippings so the flavour of the jus relies on good-quality stock. Use homemade stock if you have it or the highest-quality prepared stock available. If you prefer thickened gravy, stir 2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour into the onions and cook for a minute before adding the stock.

FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ACCURATELY!!!!

5 lbs (2.2 kg) beef prime rib premium oven roast
½ cup (125 mL) grainy or Dijon mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh rosemary,
or 2 tsp (10 mL) dried
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) coarsely ground pepper

Rosemary Jus

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary,
or ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried
2 cups (500 mL) beef stock
1 tsp (5 mL) grainy or Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. Place roast rib-side down in roasting pan. Combine mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub over top and sides of roast.

3. Roast for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 275°F (140°C). Add whatever vegetables you prefer

4. Roast rib for 3 to 3½ hours or until meat thermometer reads 135°F (57°C) for medium rare, 4 hours or until meat thermometer reads 145°F (62°C) for medium or until desired doneness. Place roast on cutting board and tent with foil for 20 minutes.

5. To make jus, place pan over medium heat and stir in onions and rosemary; sauté for about 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in beef stock and mustard and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits stuck to pan. Simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a warmed gravy boat. Serve slices of roast drizzled with jus.

Serves 8

Cranberry Date Squares

In his quest for the ultimate date square and his love of all things cranberry, here is Larry’s version of the old-fashioned date square.

Date Squares with Cranberries

Adapted from Food and Drink Magazine (LCBO) AUTUMN 2007

BY LUCY WAVERMAN

If you like thinner squares use a larger pan. Although the original recipe does not call for grated orange rind you can add about 1 tbsp (15 mL) to the filling mixture for a flavour contrast.

4 cups (1 L) chopped, pitted dates OR 3 cups dates and 1 cup fresh cranberries OR 2 + 2

¾ cup (175 mL) sugar (omit the sugar if using the cranberries*)

¾ cup (175 mL) orange juice

½ tsp (2 mL) lemon juice

2 cups (500 mL) flour

2 cups (500 mL) quick-cooking oats

1½ cups (375 mL) brown sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder

½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

1½ cups (375 mL) melted butter, cold

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

2. Combine dates, cranberries, sugar*, orange juice and lemon juice in a large pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, for 7 minutes or until mixture combines and becomes spreadable.

3. Grease and line an 8 x 10-inch (20 x 25-cm) baking pan with parchment paper. Grease again.

4. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix well. Divide mixture in half. Press half of the mixture into prepared baking sheet.

5. Spread date mixture over bottom crust and sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Press down slightly.

6. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until topping is flecked with gold. Cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into squares and keep in a cookie tin, not the refrigerator.

Makes about 20 squares