So many of you have joined this blog since it was begun back since 10 years ago, that I thought you might enjoy a flashback from the past, more or less the recipe that started it all! Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as myself and many others have turned to so many times… Thanks for hanging in there my friends! Originally posted March 19, 2011
Rose and Thistle Salad Dressing
Technically, this recipe was stolen from a little restaurant in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. The restaurant is/was The Rose and Thistle. As a special request was made, I decided to post this one early…let me know how it turns out Bev…
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup salad oil (NOT Olive)
crushed garlic to taste
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T honey
Put into a blender for 1 to 2 minutes. I cheat and pout it in a shaker and shake hard.
Make it ahead as it keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks. It is great on almost any salad, including spinach!
Tired of the same old green salads? No lettuce in the house? Greek salad is the answer – minus lettuce, which is not even normally found in a true Greek salad.
Start with a freshmade dressing, refrigerated while you chop up the salad ingredientes. This is one of our new favorites, for sure! And it looks beautiful as well.
You won’t find a better Greek salad anywhere…
Greek Salad and Dressing for Two
1 large clove garlic finely minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well-blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
(Alternatively, you may whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, process the ingredients in a mini food processor, or blend them together in a blender.) Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before using.
1 Roma tomato diced
¼ red onion diced
½ English seedless cucumber large dice
½ red pepper diced
½ cup whole black olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss with dressing and refrigerate 15 minutes.
In different parts of the world, this dish is simply called “seafood chowder”. In Belgium we ate a similar dish known as “waterzooi“. I decided that I had small amounts of fish, shrimp and scallops that were not enough to cook separately and once again I turned to Pinterest to see what were the possibilities. The resultant stew/chowder/bouillabaisse/waterzooi was great!
The photo below is from Pinterest, showing oysters, lobster, etc. accompanied the original recipe. Choose whatever seafood you can get at the store…
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
6 small potatoes, chopped
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped* OPTIONAL
4 cups fish or vegetable broth
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1-pound fresh cod or another fish of choice, diced
8 raw shrimp, shells on
8 littleneck clams* OPTIONAL
8 mussels* OPTIONAL
Garnishes and accompaniments: Chopped fennel fronds, chopped parsley, slices of toasted baguette.
To make rouille, combine one minced garlic clove, a 1/4 cup of finely minced jarred roasted red pepper, and cayenne pepper with 1/4 cup mayonnaise.
1 Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, fennel and saffron until translucent. Add tomatoes and fish broth and bring to a boil. Cook stew until thickened, about 20 minutes. If you’re planning to serve the stew immediately, continue to step 2. If serving later, allow stew to cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer over medium heat before continuing to step 2.
2 Lower heat to simmer and add fish, adjusting heat to keep the liquid bubbling gently. Add cod or other diced fish first. Follow with clams about 5 minutes later. Finally, add the shrimp and mussels. Cover the pot and continue simmering until clams and mussels are open and shrimp is pink.
3 Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with toasted bread slices and rouille sauce.
As noted last week, here is the recipe for using up leftover steak of any kind. It was extremely great with the Coffee Rubbed Cowboy steak, but you could use any other steak.
Leftover Steak Stroganoff
2 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
1 shallot (minced)
1/2 Tbsp garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp each, salt & pepper (more to taste, if necessary)
1 cup Baby Portabella Mushrooms (stemmed, sliced)
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (coarse ground)
1 cup leftover prime rib roast (sliced into 2-inch strips)
1/4 cup sour cream
8 oz egg noodles (rinsed and drained)
2 Tbsp parsley (chopped, optional garnish)
1 Start with a large, deep frying pan or Dutch oven. Heat the olive oil to medium high heat, then add minced shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute (just enough to start sweating the shallot). Add butter and melt with the shallot and garlic.
2 Add the all-purpose flour, combine with shallot and garlic until all of the flour is absorbed. Add seasoning (tarragon, ground sage, thyme, salt & pepper) and mushrooms. Stir to combine, then add the beef broth, Worcestershire and Dijon.
3 Stir all of the gravy ingredients, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer (reducing heat as necessary to maintain a low simmer) for about 10 minutes. Gravy should thicken while simmering.
4 Once gravy has simmered and reduced, slightly thickening, add the sliced leftover prime rib roast meat and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to heat the meat through completely. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Serve immediately over cooked pasta, rice, or potatoes. Top with chopped parsley for garnish, if desired.
In 2010, we had a great trip to Europe, where we experienced food in several countries. It was in Budapest where we had a wonderful goulash at Paprika Vendeglo restaurant. We had previously been in Prague where we had tasted Czech goulash. Both of us preferred the former for its wonderful goulash, pictured here – served in a small bowl over an open flame with noodles.
Thankfully for Pinterest, I was able to make a tasty Hungarian Goulash recipe which I attempted this week. It brought back memories, sans the noodles/dumplings.
2 medium onions diced
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons paprika
¼ cup flour
1 ½ pound stewing beef trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups beef broth or water
1 cup diced tomatoes canned
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cup carrot diced
3 cups potatoes, diced
1. In a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Cook till translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.
2. In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Slowly add about ¼ cup of the beef broth to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes (potatoes and carrots if using), salt and pepper.
4. Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 ½ -2 hours or until tender. Stir
Serve with noodles or dumplings or just plain as I did.
Happy New Year, wherever in the world you might be this day! Start the year off with this wonderful vegan dish of eggplant and garbanzos (sometimes known as chick peas). I am not a fan of ratatouille, so this came as a surprise from Greece! It seems like a lot of ingredients,but many of them are flavourful spices which really enhance the taste of the dish. Hope you will enjoy it!
Eggplant and Garbanzos Greek Style
1.5 lb eggplant, cut into cubes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
1 carrot, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 dry bay leaves
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika OR smoked paprika
1 tsp organic ground coriander
1 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp organic ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 28-oz can chopped tomato
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, reserve the canning liquid
Fresh herbs such as parsley and mint for garnish
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place eggplant cubes in a colander over a large bowl or directly over your sink, and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes or so to allow eggplant to “sweat out” any bitterness. Rinse with water and pat dry.
3. In a large braiser, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, peppers, and chopped carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, then add garlic, bay leaf, spices, and a dash of salt. Cook another minute, stirring until fragrant.
4. Now add eggplant, chopped tomato, chickpeas, and reserved chickpea liquid. Stir to combine.
5. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes or so. Stir often. Remove from stove top, cover and transfer to oven.
6. Cook in oven for 45 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked through to very tender. (While eggplant is braising, be sure to check once or twice to see if more liquid is needed. If so, remove from oven briefly and stir in about 1/2 cup of water at a time.)
7. When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and add a generous drizzle of EVOO, garnish with fresh herbs (parsley or mint). Serve hot or at room temperature with a side of Greek yogurt or even Tzatziki sauce and pita bread.
Fast approaching the new year...FINALLY! With two holidays in such a short period of time there are bound to be leftovers. Am I right? Indeed we had leftovers from both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at this point. No turkey in this house this year, but we did have hamand roasted duck. I raced to Pinterest as usual and the results were both quick and easy – Classic Split Pea Soup and Duck, Duck Soup. Both were great for the cooler days this holiday season.
Classic Split Pea Soup
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ribs of celery, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 to 1-1/2 cups diced ham
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 cups water
1 lb (about 2-1/4 cups) dried split peas(I used a jar of cooked white beans)
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, ham bone, diced ham, split peas, chicken broth, 2 cups of water and bay leaf to the pot.
Bring the soup mixture to a slow simmer and cover, leaving the lid slightly askew.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas have broken down completely and the soup has thickened, 50 to 60 minutes.
Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaf.
Stir the soup to blend thoroughly and if necessary, add more water until the thickness of the soup is to your liking.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls for serving.
2. Rachel Ray’s Duck Duck SouP
Bones from cooked duck
1-quart chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 slices ginger
3/4-pound bok choy, sliced OR spinach
1 1/4 cups shredded duck meat
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 scallion, sliced
In medium pot, simmer bones, broth, 1 cup water; garlic and ginger for 25 minutes; strain. Remove any residual meat from the bones. Return to pot with remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes.
By now you know me well; I am always searching Pinterest for new recipes to try. In this case, it was to do with pork chops which I had already thawed. This one caught my eye as we both love capers. And no, they are NOT fish! They are berries from a bush. It turned out great or else I would not share it with you. I quickly steamed some cauliflower to accompany the chops. The flavour was really good. You could omit the capers but it really adds to the flavour.
Pork Chops with Caper Sauce
4 1-inch thick center-cup, bone-in pork loin chops (allow chops to sit at room temp for 30 mins)
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup capers, drained
2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 200°F.
Pat chops dry with a paper towel, and then generously sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chops and sear on one side for about 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown on the bottoms. Flip the chops over and sear the other sides for another 4 to 5 minutes. (The chops should be firm to the touch, but still have a little give).
Transfer the chops to the oven to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Pour all but about 1 teaspoon of oil from pan and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the capers and cook for 30 seconds
Add the vinegar and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add the stock, mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.
Some days I just want to be able to throw something together for dinner quickly. Pasta is usually the answer! In this case, I just happened to buy some smoked salmon at Costco to use in salad and I still had some left.
Voila ! Smoked Salmon Carbonara. Bonus – no creams, just fresh eggs and Parmesan for the sauce. Read the recipe carefully, as you don’t want to overcook the eggs and Parmesan. The pasta MUST be a little cool to avoid scrambling the eggs!!! It looked and tasted great. You can skip the capers if it’s not something you like.
NOTE – Capers are immature flower buds from the Capparis spinosa (aka the “caper bush”), which grow all over the Mediterranean, just like olives do. Caper buds are picked before they can bloom into flowers. They are not a fish as some people mistakenly assume, but can be a little salty. Great on pizza, too.
Smoked Salmon Carbonara
14.1 oz (400g) linguine pasta, or similar
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
5.2 oz (150g) smoked salmon, sliced thinly
1 small bunch fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. of capers (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the linguine or long pasta shape of your choice. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon into thin strips and finely chop some fresh parsley (this is optional).
3. Next, add the eggs to a bowl and whisk together, add the grated parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper, stir to combine.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back into the pot you cooked it in. Sprinkle over the strips of salmon then add the whisked eggs and parmesan mixture, immediately stir the pasta to coat it evenly in egg and to distribute the salmon throughout the pasta evenly.
5. Tip: wait exactly 1 minute before pouring over the egg mixture. If the pasta is too hot the eggs will scramble but if it’s too cool the eggs will remain raw.
6. The pasta should be creamy and evenly coated in sauce. Divide the smoked salmon pasta between bowls and top with a scattering of chopped parsley and an extra grinding of pepper, serve.
I’ve seen and made many pasta carbonara recipes in my time and I find that using 1 egg less as many servings works best. Does that make sense? For four servings I use 400g/14oz of pasta (100g per portion) and 3 eggs.