Advertisements

Blog Archives

Corn and Black Bean Dip x 2

Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.

The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.

  1. Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water

1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.

Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours.  Drain and serve.

2. Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Dip

Prep time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 servings Serving size: 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 15 oz can yellow corn, drained + rinsed
  • 2 avocados, cut in half, pitted + cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Let me know if you try either of these at your next event…

 

Advertisements

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, (spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.

Our friend Bev had us over for dinner a while back and served this wonderful WHITE gazpacho. It would make an incredible appetizer before your Easter dinner. Serve it very cold with the slivered almonds as indicated.

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup
Ingredients
6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 cups water
2 ½ cups (8 ¾ ounces) plus ⅓ cup sliced blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces seedless green grapes, sliced thin

Instructions Serves 6 to 8
This rich soup is best when served in small portions (about 6 ounces).
1. Combine bread and water in bowl and let soak for 5 minutes. Process 2 1/2 cups almonds in blender until finely ground, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed.
2. Using your hands, remove bread from water, squeeze it lightly, and transfer to blender with almonds. Measure 3 cups soaking water and set aside; transfer remaining soaking water to blender.
3. Add garlic, vinegar, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and cayenne to blender and process until mixture has consistency of cake batter, 30 to 45 seconds. With blender running, add olive oil in thin, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Add reserved soaking water and process for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer set in bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids.
4. Measure 1 tablespoon of soup into second bowl and stir in almond extract. Return 1 teaspoon of extract mixture to soup; discard remainder. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Add remaining 1/3 cup almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to bowl and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
6. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Mound an equal amount of grapes in center of each bowl. Sprinkle cooled almonds over soup and drizzle with extra olive oil. Serve immediately.

Chow Chow Relish

Chow-chow (also spelled chow chow or chow chow) is a North American pickled relish made from a combination of vegetables. Mainly green tomato, cabbage, chayote, red tomatoes, onions, carrots, beans, asparagus, cauliflower and peas are used. These ingredients are pickled in a canning jar. After preserving, chow-chow is served cold, most often as a condiment or relish. (Wikipedia)

Tis the season for lots of fresh veggies. While visiting our friend in Waterloo, we sampled her friend’s relish. It was dynamite! She graciously consented to share the recipe, so here it is. Let me know if you make it and liked it! Now that we are home again, I will be making a batch. She tells me it can make 10 to 12 jars…maybe I will sell it…LOL. Thanks again Lorna!!

Seriously, I will cut the recipe in half…

Chow Chow Relish

6 qt basket tomatoes (8-10 large tomatoes)
3 large diced onions
2 cups diced celery
2 green peppers diced
1 red pepper diced
1 or 2 hot peppers
1 ½ cups vinegar
4 cups sugar – I use 2 brown and 2 white
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup pickling spice tied in cheesecloth

1. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water; peel and chop.
2. Dice celery, onion and peppers – size as desired. (I do quick pulses in food processor for convenience; makes the chili sauce more minced than diced)
3. Tie pickling spice in cheesecloth and add to pot.
4. Stir in vinegar, sugar and spices.
5. Bring to slow boil. Simmer about 3 hours, or until desired consistency is reached.
6. Put into sterilized jars and seal. Keep in a cool place.
7. ENJOY!

EGGS BENEDICT or EGGS MADELEINE WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

I first had eggs Madeleine in a small restaurant on Hazelton Lane in Toronto back in the early 2000s. Needless to say I fell in love with the smoked salmon version of Benedict. Finally got up my nerve to try it since we always have smoked salmon in the fridge. Thanks to Tyler Florence of Food Network for his version, which I modified to include the salmon!

Hollandaise Sauce (Tyler Florence)

The sauce is the trickiest part. Have all of the sauce ingredients ready, put your muffins in the toaster BUT don’t start them. Have a pan ready to make your poached eggs!

Ingredients

4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice OR sour orange juice if you can get it
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt

Directions

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
EGGS BENEDICT/EGGS MADELEINE
4slices Canadian bacon* OR smoked salmon
2English muffins, split
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

*Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon OR smoked salmon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon Hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings
Great served with fresh cooked asparagus spears!

Prosciutto Chicken with Orange Sauce

Getting tired of turkey yet? Looking for a simple New Years Eve dish. This recipe fits both criteria and it tastes great with some Jasmine rice! If you have never looked at the Canadian Living website, you should…most of the recipes are Tested Till Perfect.

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

Prosciutto Chicken with Orange Sauce
Ingredients
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 tsp (18 ml) olive oil
• 2 tsp (10 ml) grated orange rind
• 1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
• 1/4 tsp (1 ml) pepper
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 8 slices prosciutto
• 1 tbsp. (15 ml) white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
• 1/2 tsp (2 ml) granulated sugar
• 2 tsp (10 ml) butter

Preparation

In small bowl, mix together all but 2 tsp (10 ml) of the parsley, the garlic, oil, orange rind, salt and pepper; divide over chicken breasts. Wrap each in 2 slices prosciutto; place in greased ovenproof skillet.

Bake in 450°F (230°C) oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove skillet from oven; transfer chicken to serving plate and keep warm. Add vinegar to pan, scraping up any brown bits from bottom with wooden spoon.

Place over high heat. Add orange juice and sugar; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter until melted. Pour over chicken; garnish with remaining parsley.

Orange Chicken

I came across this recipe from my friend in Toronto who has a blog, Closet Cooking. Indeed, it was great! Check out Kevin’s blog at www.closetcooking.com

 

Orange Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4
A quick, easy, light and tasty Chinese orange chicken dish that is way better than takeout!
Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 1/3 cup orange juice
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha
• 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
• 1 clove garlic, grated
• 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/4 cup green onion, sliced (optional)

Directions
1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes per side.
2. Add the mixture of the orange juice, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chill sauce, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch, toss to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.
3. Remove from heat and serve garnished with sliced green onions.

Option: Replace some or all of the honey with orange marmalade.
Option: Add some vegetables to the mix such as broccoli, peas, peppers, etc.

Lee Hongs Cucumbers

My ex-wife and I have been making this simple salad for years! I have not thought about it much for several years until It came to me when I bought some nice English cucumbers in Mexico. Until today I never thought much about what the difference was between the different varieties besides the shape. This is what I found…

Definition: a variety of cucumber that is generally sweeter than the regular, common cucumber. It is longer, sometimes a bit thinner, and has very tiny seeds. In contrast, a regular cucumber has many large seeds, which can contribute to the bitter flavor.

As for Lee Hong…I have not a clue! Before summer ends, give this a try!

Heres the simple recipe DO NOT USE REGULAR CUCUMBERS!!!

Lee Hong’s Cucumbers
“I got this from the Best of Bridge cookbook. It is a real hit at BBQ’s as well as a side dish on a hot summer day. I make a big batch because people always want to take leftovers home! Tastes even better the next day, but the cucumber will be a bit wilted, but doesn’t affect the taste. Enjoy! Edited to include: You can also add some fresh dill weed to the dressing. It adds a nice flavor. Edited June 2011 to include: You can also try using Splenda in place of sugar. It doesn’t alter the taste too much. I have successfully used it in place of sugar. It depends on your taste buds.”
Ingredients
o 1 tablespoon salt
o 1 long English cucumber, sliced very thin ( do not use short green cucumbers)
o 6 tablespoons sugar
o 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
o 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
o 8 tablespoons white vinegar
o 6 tablespoons water
Directions
1. Slice cucumbers as thin as you can.
2. Arrange cucumber slices in a bowl in layers, salting between layers. Sprinkle the cukes with salt, don’t over salt them.
3. Let stand 2 hours.
4. Rinse with cold water until no salt remains. Make sure you rinse salt out of cukes extremely well or the salty taste will stay.
5. Drain well and pat dry.
6. Thinly slice red onions and break apart rings.
7. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and oil, then add vinegar and water.
8. Add more sugar or vinegar if not sweet or sour enough.
9. It should have a nice tangy taste.
10. Add onions and cucumber to vinegar dressing.
11. Mix well.
12. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours, stirring frequently to blend flavors.
13. Serve with steak, chicken, at a BBQ or with a deli style sandwich!

Peach Cranberry Chutney

AND…we are back in our new house after five weeks in the north. Finally got the computer up and running!Had the opportunity to sample my nephew’s chutney while in Canada. It was awesome served with pork tenderloin! Thanks David!

 

Peach Cranberry Chutney (David Rogers)

9 cups chopped peaches
4 cups brown sugar
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups chopped red or white onions
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp. mustard seed (coarsely ground if possible)
3 tsp. cinnamon
2-1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2-1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fenugreek seed
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cayenne (more if you like it hot) I doubled the cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Reduce heat to a moderate boil and cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency.
Stir often to prevent scorching.
Should take 40 minutes or so.
Ladle into hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2 an inch of head space and seal.
Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Remove and let stand until the lids pop down.
Check seals after 24 hours and refrigerate any unsealed jars.

Enjoy

 

Roasted Corn and Sweet Pepper Toss

Summertime in southern Ontario means sweet corn is plentiful. Try something a little different and use it in a fresh salad, as my daughter did. It is an awesome side salad and worth the effort.

6 cobs of corn (or used a good quality canned corn)
1 T olive oil
2 red peppers
2 orange peppers
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2 T fresh lime juice
3 T cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove of garlic minced
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1’2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 cups arugula leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove husks from the corn and brush the cobs with oil. Place on a parchment paper lined cooking sheet. Cut the peppers into quarters and add to the corn. Roast for 45 minutes or until corn and peppers are golden. Leave to cool.

Scrape the kernels from the corn into a large bowl. Chop the peppers into bite sized pieces and add to the corn.

Whisk together the lime juice and zest, vinegar, paprika, garlic sugar and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, whisking constantly. Pour the dressing over the corn and peppers and toss to coat. Add green onion and cilantro and toss again. Place arugula on a platter and pour corn mixture on top. Chill for 30 minutes.

NOTE: If you are an arugula lover, I would add chopped arugula to the salad and toss it all together.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Emergency Seafood Sauce

So so hard to find here in Mexico, but if you cannot find it try one of these four substitutions – (my “go-to” is #4). You can usually find horseradish sauce….but pure horseradish is hard to find unless you find the actual vegetable…

#1 – 1/2 cup tomato juice. 1 tsp. horseradish, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. vinegar, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

#2 – 3/4 cups chili sauce, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon horseradish, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon grated onion, dash of hot pepper sauce

#3 – 1 cup salsa or catsup, 1 Tablespoon horseradish, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 3 dashes of hot pepper sauce

#4 – 1 cup catsup, 2 Tablespoons horseradish, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Just in case you find yourself in the grocery store with a clerk who speaks no English, show them this –

# 1 – 1/2 taza de jugo de tomate. 1 cdta. rábano picante, 1/2 cdta. Salsa inglesa, 1/2 cdta. vinagre, 1/2 cdta. jugo de limón

# 2 – 3/4 tazas de salsa de chile, 2 cucharadas de jugo de limón, 1 cucharada de rábano picante, 2 cucharaditas de salsa inglesa, 1/2 cucharadita de cebolla rallada, pizca de salsa picante

# 3 – 1 taza de salsa o salsa de tomate, 1 cucharada de rábano picante, 1 cucharada de jugo de limón, 3 toques de salsa picante

# 4 – 1 taza de salsa de tomate, 2 cucharadas de rábano picante, 2 cucharadas de jugo de limón