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Mixed Beans Salad with Cheese Curds

Mixed beans salad
Mixed Beans Salad with Cheese Curds

Ingredients:

1 can mixed beans,
1/4 cup chopped purple onion,
1 roasted red pepper,
1 cup diced cucumber,
3 diced tomatoes,
1/4 cup sliced celery,
4 oz. cheese curds,
extra virgin olive oil to taste,
lemon juice to taste,
salt and pepper to taste,
chopped fresh parsley (optional).




Recipe:

1. Open the can of mixed beans, pour the beans in a colander, rinse off the original liquid and let it drain properly.

2. Put all the vegetables in a mixing bowl and season to taste with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

3. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes in order to cool and blend flavors.

4. Serve the mixed beans salad in salad bowls with the cheese on top.

Cooking tip: It’s much better if you roast a fresh red pepper for this salad as opposed to using one from a jar. Simply bake the pepper in the oven until the skin gets color and starts falling off, then put the pepper in a plastic bag for 10 minutes so you can peel it easily, then cut and use in the salad. Cheers.

Egg Salad and Cheese Wrap

Egg salad wrap
Egg Salad and Cheddar Cheese Wrap

Ingredients:

12 eggs, 1/2 purple onion, chopped, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 3 tablespoons light mayo, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, 4 nice leaves of leaf lettuce, 4 white tortillas (12-inch diameter).

Recipe:

1. Heat the sunflower oil in a non-stick pan and make scrumbled eggs from the 12 eggs. Transfer the scrumbled eggs in a container and let them cool down in the fridge.

2. Mix the scrumbled eggs with the rest of the ingredients, except the lettuce and tortillas.

3. Place each lettuce leaf in the middle of each tortilla and top it with the egg salad.

4. Make the four egg salad wraps by folding first the sides of the tortillas and then rolling the wraps from end to end.

The egg salad wrap is designed to be served cold, but it can be briefly toasted in a panini press if desired. Enjoy.

BBQ Chicken Coleslaw Wrap

BBQ chicken coleslaw wrap
BBQ Chicken Coleslaw Wrap

Ingredients for 6 wraps:

6 (5 oz each) chicken breasts,
6 12-inch tortillas,
Montreal chicken spice – as needed,
2 oz. BBQ sauce,
1/4 cabbage, sliced thinly,
1 carrot, shredded,
1/4 cup chopped purple onion,
2 tbsp. light mayo,
1 tbsp. white vinegar,
1 rounded teaspoon sugar,
salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe:

1. Arrange the chicken breasts on a baking tray and season them with Montreal chicken spice. Bake the chicken breasts in a pre-heated oven at 350 F for 10 minutes, then brush the BBQ sauce on the chicken breasts and return the tray to the oven. Bake for about 5-10 minutes more, or as long as needed for the chicken to have internal temperature of 170 F.

2. Transfer the chicken in another dish and let it cool down in the fridge.

3. In the meantime, mix all the rest of the ingredients for the coleslaw.

4. When the chicken is cold enough cut it to strips.

5. Devide the chicken breast slices and the coleslaw in the center of the 6 large tortillas and roll the 6 BBQ Chicken and coleslaw wraps.

This wrap is designed to be served cold, but it can be grilled briefly on a panini press to just get some grill marks right before serving. Enjoy.

Orzo Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Orzo pasta salad
Orzo Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb. orzo pasta,
1 romaine lettuce heart,
1/4 cup chopped purple onion,
3 ripe tomatoes, diced,
10 green olives, pitted and sliced,
1/4 cup sunflower oil or light olive oil,
1/2 cucumber, diced,
1/2 lemon, juiced,
2 tablespoons light mayo,
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled,
salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe:

1. Boil the orzo pasta according to package instructions, strain it, spread it thinly in a hotel pan or a tray and mix it with the oil. Let it cool down and then refridgerate for at least 30 minutes for the orzo to get cold. The oil serves two purposes – it’s part of the dressing, and it prevents the orzo from sticking together.

2. Cut the other ingredients and mix everything together with the cold orzo.

I love the texture of the orzo pasta salad compared to say penne, macaroni or fusilli pasta salad. It’s also more compact and presentable.

Cooking tip: You can give the orzo pasta some extra flavor by putting a few cubes of vegetable stock in the boiling water.

Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa salad
Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa,
2 1/4 cups of water,
2 tbsp. EV olive oil,
2 garlic cloves, chopped,
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped,
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper,
1/4 cup chopped celery,
1 cup chopped broccoli,
2 cups diced tomato,
1/4 cup chopped red onion,
1/2 lemon, juiced,
4 tablespoons sunflower oil,
salt and pepper to taste,
200 grams feta cheese.

Recipe:

1. Pour the EV olive oil in a heavy saucepan and saute the garlic, yellow onion and bell pepper for 5 minutes.

2. Add the quinoa, stir it in and immediately add the water. Cover the saucepan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. It is even better if you cover the saucepan with aluminum foil first and then put the lid. Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes or until ready. You can open the lid and check, but don’t do it often.

3. When the quinoa is ready spread it on a baking tray and let it cool down. When all the steam is gone stir it gently and put the tray in the fridge until the quinoa cools down completely.

4. In the meantime, cut the rest of the vegetables if you haven’t already done so.

5. Mix all the quinoa salad ingredients in a bowl and serve in 6 bowls. Crumble the feta cheese on top of the quinoa salads.

I cook my quinoa the same way I cook rice pilaf. If you would like to use the quinoa as a side dish you can replace the water in the recipe with chicken stock or vegetable stock. Even a spoon of butter wouldn’t be a bad idea if the quinoa is to be used as a side dish.

Vol-au-vent Au Poulet

Vol-au-vent with chicken
Vol-au-vent au Poulet – Chicken vol-au-vent

Vol-au-vent is a great French dish made with a puff pastry shell and a creamy filling. It can be served as a main course, as well as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

Frozen puff pastry sheets, as needed, 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast, 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour, 1 garlic clove, chopped, 1 shallot, chopped, 1/2 cup 18% cream, 1 cup chicken stock, 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Recipe:

1. You can use square or round puff pastry sheets. Cut half-way through the puff pastry at 1 centimeter from the edge and bake according to package instructions. After the vol-au-vent shells are baked, let them sit for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a fork the cut-up middle part, which will serve as the lid.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan and saute the garlic and shallots. Add the flour and make a roux. Add the cream while stirring and then add the cricken stock. Make sure that the sauce has no lumps of flour in it by stirring vigorously.

3. Add the cooked chicken, fresh chopped thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Now you have to have in the pan something very similar to chicken pot pie stuffing. Optional: You can thicken the sauce some more with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

4. Spoon the stuffing in the warm vol-au-vent shells and serve.

Gnocchi with Pancetta and Snap Peas in Blush Sauce

Gnocchi pasta with blush sauce
Gnocchi with Pancetta and Snap Peas in Blush Sauce

Ingredients for 4:

2 pounds of potato gnocchi,
4 oz sliced and chopped pancetta,
2 garlic cloves, chopped,
1 shallot, chopped,
1 cup snap peas,
2 tablespoons olive oil,
1 cup pasta sauce,
1/2 cup 18% cream,
1 heaping tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese,
salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe:

1. Saute the garlic and shallot with the olive oil in a large heavy pan for 2 minutes.

2. Add the pancetta and snap peas and saute for 5 minutes more.

3. Add the pasta sauce and the cream and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until the desired consistency is achieved.

4. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

5. In the meantime, boil the gnocchi according the package instructions in a large saucepan with at least 4 liters of water. I usually boil them for about 3-4 minutes, or 1 minute after they all swim up to the surface of the water.

6. Strain the gnocchi with a colander and immediately toss them in the sauce. Serve and enjoy.

Cooking tip: I like my snap peas to have a little crunch, but if you like them softer you can blanch them before adding them to the frying pan.

Potato Croquette Recipe

Potato croquettes

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato,
2 large baking potatoes,
1/2 tsp. garlic powder,
1 tsp. salt,
1/2 tsp. black pepper,
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill,
1 cup panko breadcrumbs,
1 cup regular breadcrumbs,
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese,
2 eggs,
1 oz. heavy cream,
1 cup all-purpose flour,
vegetable oil for frying.

Recipe: Peel and cut the potatoes to large chunks. Boil the potatoes, strain and mash them. Add the garlic powder, fresh dill, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Mix the panko and regular breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese and put the mixture in a shallow bowl. Beat lightly the eggs with the cream and pour the mixture in a bowl. Put the flour in a third bowl. Form oval shaped croquettes from the potato mixture and dredge them in the flour, then dip them in the eggs and roll them in the breadcrumbs to coat them completely. Deep-fry the croquettes for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Put the croquettes on tissue paper for 1 minute after frying to remove any excess oil. Serve the potato croquettes with cucumber-dill sauce for dipping, or another sauce you desire.

Italian Escargot Recipe

Escargot in mushroom caps
Italian Escargot

Ingredients for 4 appetizers:

20 large escargots from a can,
20 small mushrooms, stems removed,
3 tablespoons butter,
3 garlic cloves, chopped,
1 oz. white wine,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley,
1/4 cup grated mozzarella,
chopped chives or lemongrass (optional),
salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe:

This escargot recipe is similar to the Escargots à la Bourguignonne recipe with the major difference of using mushroom cups for serving it instead of the snail shells.

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan and saute the garlic for 1 or 2 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms and the escargot and cook until the mushrooms are soft.

3. Deglaze with the white wine and add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve the escargots in the mushroom cups, top each one with a little grated mozzarella cheese and drizzle the butter-garlic sauce from the pan over the escargots.

5. Broil each bowl under the broiler briefly until the cheese is fully melted and serve with garlic bread.

Did you know that some people consider the escargot as seafood, therefore suitable for vegetarians?

How To Cook Roast Beef In Oven

Ingredients:

1 four-pound “eye of round” beef roast,
1 carrot,
1 onion,
2 stalks of celery,
2 bay leaves,
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns,
1 oz. Montreal steak spice,
1 teaspoon salt

Recipe:

Place the eye of round beef roast in a hotel pan. Season it with the Montreal steak spice and salt. Cut coarsely the onion, carrot and celery and add them to the pan. Also, add the peppercorns and bay leaves. Pour 1 cup of warm water in the pan. Preheat the oven at 400 F and place the roasting pan in the oven uncovered. Cook for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned. The purpose to brown the roast beef is to help keep it more juicy. After you have browned it, cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and reduce the temperature to 300 F. Cook the roast covered for about 2 hours covered, or until the internal temperature reaches 175 F. At this point the meat should be very tender. Let the meat rest for about 20 minutes, then slice and serve. All the au-jus from the bottom of the pan is excellent for making the gravy, so don’t forget to strain it and use it.

Cooking tips: The cooking temperatures that I am giving above are for a convection oven. If you are cooking in a conventional oven you may have to increace the temperatures by 15-25 degrees F depending on the oven.

Also, if there is space in the roasting pan you can cook 2 beef roasts at the same time in the same pan. Just increace the amount of seasoning accordingly.