Saturday, 15 January 2022

Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

 


Before going in the oven

This recipe is adapted from the Minimalist Baker site: 


Ingredients: 

4 red or yellow peppers, cored and sliced in 1/2
olive oil 
1 cup of multi colored quinoa 
2 cups (500 ml) of vegetable broth or water 
1/4 cup of diced white or purple onion
1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped or 
    1 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp cumin* or Mexican spice mix
pinch of cayenne pepper or 1 1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 cup of fresh corn, or canned corn 
1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of salsa 
salt & pepper 
1 TBS nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (optional)


Garnish: 
Fresh avocado 
Fresh cilantro/coriander chopped 
Fresh parsley, chopped
Lime juice 
Salsa or other sauces (see link) 

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

1. Rinse the quinoa and add the broth/water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside in a large bowl. 

2. Saute the onion and garlic in a small pan for 2-3 minutes. 

3. Add the onion and garlic to the quinoa. Add the cumin or spice mix, corn, black beans, salsa, nutritional yeast or parmesan, cayenne or chili powder to taste and salt and pepper. Mix well. 

4. Cut the peppers in half and brush with oil. Fill with the quinoa. Add a bit of oil to a baking dish and set the peppers in the dish. Cover with tinfoil. Bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and increase oven at 400F (204C)  and bake another 15-20 minutes. 

5. Remove from the oven and  top with sliced avocado, quartered lime and chopped herbs. Serve additional salsa on the side. 

Note:  This recipe can be changed for an "Italian" flavor. Substitute Italian herbs for Mexican cumin seasoning, tomato sauce for salsa, and use fresh basil in place of cilantro. Omit the avocado and use a squeeze of lemon juice to serve. 

Left over stuffed peppers can also be served cold as a salad. 
If you have left over filling, it can be served as a hot side dish, or a cold salad. 
When I made it, I only used 2 peppers, but made the whole filling recipe.  It will keep 2-3 days. 

* Cumin is a fairly strong spice. You can use a fajitas spice or taco spice.














Saturday, 8 January 2022

Pearl Couscous Salad with Roasted Peppers, Onions, Peas and Fresh Mint

 

Serves 4 

Ingredients: 

1 cup of Pearl Couscous (Organic Israeli style)

1 1/2 cups of water 

1 small white or purple onion (quartered)

1/2 cup of frozen peas (blanched & cooled)

1 yellow pepper or orange pepper

1 red pepper 

1 cup of chopped fresh spinach 

1 TBS or more of chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup cubed feta cheese

    or vegan feta or tofu

Dressing: 

6 TBS olive oil 

2 TBS fresh lemon juice 

1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed) to flavor the oil

salt & pepper 


Directions: 

Mix the dressing and season to taste. 

Prepare the couscous as per package directions. Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of couscous and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Rinse in cold water and set aside in a large bowl. 

Cut the peppers in quarters and remove the seeds. Cut the onion in quarters. Drizzle with olive oil and bake on parchment paper at 375F for about 20-25 minutes till done. Remove, cool and chop.

Add the peas, chopped onions, peppers, spinach, and mint to the couscous. Toss to combine. 

Spoon the dressing over the couscous and toss till coated. Add more or less as needed. Squeeze more fresh lemon to taste. Add salt & pepper to taste. 

Add the chopped feta or vegan feta or tofu. You can add more if you like. Toss and serve. 

Serve as a main for lunch, or as a side dish with any grilled meat, fish or poultry. 



Friday, 7 January 2022

Salmon with Soy & Ginger Topping


Topping on the salmon before it goes in the oven.

This recipe is from my friend Annie. It is super easy.  Serve with stir fried or steamed vegetables such as broccolini, red peppers or bok choy and mushrooms. 

Serves 2

Ingredients: 

2 Salmon fillets
 
1 large clove of garlic
6 slices of thinly sliced ginger, divided
2 stalks of green onion

Directions: 

Finely chop the garlic, 4 slices of ginger and green onion 
(You can add cilantro or hot chili to the topping)

Mix together:  

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp of cooking wine 
1/4 tsp of sugar or a pinch

Add chopped ingredients to sauce. Mix well, and spread evenly on the salmon

Cut the remaining 2 slices of ginger in thin strips and spread on parchment.  
Place salmon on top of ginger slices

Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.


Sunday, 4 July 2021

Strawberry Shortcake


Makes 12 cupcakes 

(Recipe can be halved)

Ingredients: 

2 cups of sifted flour 

3 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp salt 

2/3 cup white sugar 

1/2 cup unsalted butter 

2 eggs 

3/4 cup milk 

1 tsp almond or vanilla extract 

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 375F.

1. Sift the dry ingredients together. 

2. Cream the butter and the sugar.  Beat the eggs in one at at time. 

3. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, add the flour and milk/flavoring alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. 

4. Spoon into the greased muffin cups. 

5. Bake at 375F about 20 minutes. Remove from tin after 5-10 minutes and cool on a rack. 

Strawberry topping: 

Using a large container of strawberries, wash and slice the berries.  Add 1/8 cup water and 1 TBS sugar to taste. Mix and refrigerate. This topping can be made ahead. Cut the cooled cupcakes in half and spoon the berry mixture over them. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with icing sugar and sliced almonds (optional) to serve. 

You can also use peaches when they are in season. Slice the peaches and add sugar/cinnamon and a bit of water as above. 




Saturday, 3 July 2021

Chicken Liver Pate with Thyme

 This is a recipe from Bonnie Stern, which I think has been modified. It's called "Ruby Watchco's Chicken Liver Pate".  I used to go to Bonnie Stern's cooking school in Toronto, which has since closed unfortunately. But her recipes are available on line or in her many books. 

This pate is delicious and so easy to make if you have a cuisinart or a blender/food processor. 

It is very smooth and creamy and worth the calories from the butter and small amount of cream. 


Ingredients: 

1/4 cup butter 

3/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3 oz)

1 clove garlic, minced 

1 lb chicken livers, trimmed 

salt & pepper to taste 

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme 

1/4 cup brandy 

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg or to taste 

pinch of ground allspice 

2 Tbsp. heavy cream 

a fresh baguette 


Directions: 

1. Trim the chicken livers by cutting off the fat and stringy bits.  To do this, I like to use rubber gloves. It makes the task so much easier. I use rubber gloves when cutting or trimming chicken, fish or meat too. 

2.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic.  Cook until very tender, about 5-10 minutes. 

3. Season the chicken livers with salt & pepper.  Add to the pan and cook about 10 minutes until almost cooked through but still pink inside. Add thyme and brandy and cook 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool a few minutes. 

4.  Transfer to a food processor, add the nutmeg and allspice and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. While pureeing, add the 2 Tbsp. of heavy cream to increase pate's spreadability. Season to taste with salt & pepper . 

5.  Spoon mixture into ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  Remove from the fridge for a few minutes to let it soften, then serve with a baguette. 

Makes about 1 cup of pate. 


Sunday, 16 May 2021

Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping




Ingredients: 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar 

2 eggs 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

grated rind of one lemon

2 cups flour  

1/4 tsp salt 

1 tsp baking powder 

1/2 cup milk (or 1/4 yogurt & 1/4 milk combination) 

2 cups of fresh blueberries, washed, drained and picked over 

3 tsp sugar & 1/4 tsp cinnamon (mixed) 


Directions: 

1.  Preheat oven to 375F. 

2.  Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar (or less) until light. 

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and lemon rind. 

4.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk/yogurt starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated. 

5.  Wash the blueberries and lightly dry. Crush 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter.  Toss the remaining 1 1/2 cups of berries in flour, shake off the excess flour and fold the berries into the batter. This will keep them distributed in the batter and not at the bottom of each muffin. 

6.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and fill using an ice-cream scoop or spoon. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mix on the tops. Bake at 375F for about 20-25 minutes till lightly browned. 

7.  Remove from tin and cool 30 minutes. Store uncovered. 



Sunday, 2 May 2021

Spice Cake with Apples, Cinnamon and Nutmeg


This is another delicious recipe from "Recipe Tin Eats". I cut the sugar and salt down a bit. 

Serves 8-10

Ingredients: 

2 Cups of Flour 

3/4 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp salt 

3/4 each of cinnamon and ground cloves 

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or 1/4 tsp if freshly ground

1 1/8 cup of white sugar, or organic cane sugar

1 cup vegetable oil 

2 large eggs, room temperature 

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

2 cups of apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3"/8mm cubes 

approx 2 apples - Granny Smith or any other tart apple 

1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional) 

Icing sugar for dusting 


Intructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350F. 

2. Grease and line a 9"/21cm spring form pan. 

3. Place flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 

4. In another bowl, whisk the oil and sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. 

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or danish whisk until just combined, and flour is incorporated. Stir in the apples.  (Optional - add in 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans). 

6. Batter will be stiff. Spoon into the cake pan. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds. 

7. Bake for 40-50 minutes.  It will be done when it is lightly brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 

8. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.  Dust with icing sugar and serve. Goes will with Vanilla ice-cream.