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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

I feel like I’ve uncovered the Caramilk Secret to getting perfectly oven roasted potatoes. In the past, my attempts at roasting potatoes either yielded undercooked potatoes or ones that were overcooked and burnt on the outside.

Then my wife found this recipe the other day on the Whole Foods app on her iPod touch. The recipe described two methods of cooking the potatoes. The first method got my attention right away because I was hopeful for a solution to my previous potato bombs. It seemed too simple to be the piece that would make the difference. One little step: Steam the potato pieces for 6 minutes, then roast in the oven. That’s it? I gave it a try with some nice red potatoes. Cut into wedges then steamed for 6 minutes. I tossed the steamed potatoes in a bit of olive oil, then seasoned with salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary and roasted on a baking sheet for 30 minutes in a 375F oven, turning the potatoes over halfway through. The potatoes turned out perfectly: Beautifully cooked on the inside, crisp and seasoned on the outside. Delicious!

A few days later, I tried the same trick with sweet potatoes and achieved the result pictured here. It was sweet potato nirvana. I will be cooking potatoes this way again and again. And now you know the secret  too. Go forth and roast.

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My wife wanted some nice white fish for supper on Friday so I headed over to the market to see what was available. The fish monger hooked me up with some nice fresh halibut steaks. As I walked around the stalls, I noticed some mangoes and thought that would go nicely with the halibut. When we got home, I found this recipe for mango salsa and modified it to the following (since it’s what I had on hand):

  • 2 large ripe mangoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 whole chopped green onions
  • juice of 1/2 a lime and 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 of a jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley and tarragon
  • ground sea salt and ground black pepper

I combined all of these in a large flat bottomed container and then used a chopper (similar to the Slap Chop) to cut up the pieces a bit finer. Then I transferred it all to a serving bowl.

I rubbed salt and pepper onto the halibut steaks then placed them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I drizzled olive oil and fresh lemon juice on both sides then baked it for about 8 or 10 minutes.

I served it all up with some fresh steamed fiddleheads (seasoned with salt & pepper, lemon juice and butter) and orzo pasta (with garlic and chili powders).

The combination of the mango salsa with the fish was amazing. It was cool and sweet and fresh. The flavour layers were perfect. I will definitely make that again. My whole family loved it and I highly recommend it. The fiddleheads were cooked perfectly. There is nothing like fresh fiddleheads in the spring here. They are a highly anticipated food item in my household. The sprinkle of lemon on them made them pair perfectly with the fish and salsa. The orzo was a bit too mellow tasting for this meal. I think a nice light rice would have been better. But overall, this meal was a complete success, unfortunately with no leftovers for later. So I bought some more mangoes yesterday. I want to try this salsa over scrambled eggs next.

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The next part of Saturday’s supper consisted of a very simple Mexican Bean Salad (recipe here). I followed the recipe pretty much as written except that in Canada, our standard large can sizes tend to be 19oz rather than 15 so I used the whole thing.

The only real change I made was with the dressing and even that was minimal. My wife didn’t want it to be just an oil and vinegar dressing so I used about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and reduced the amount of oil and vinegar in the recipe by about half. This gave the dressing a nice creamy consistency. The other thing I did was to reduce the chili powder to 2 teaspoons instead of 1 tablespoon because we thought it might be too spicy. In the end, we found that it would have been ok to use the whole amount called for in the recipe because it really wasn’t spicy at all. If I make this again, I will use more chili powder. Now there’s something I never thought I would hear myself say.

We all loved this recipe, as did my 12 year old daughter. We brought leftovers of this salad to my mother in law’s the next day for Mother’s Day supper and everybody there loved it too. In fact, we are still finishing it up in work and school lunches. This recipe makes a LOT so it would be perfect for a potluck not to mention that it was super easy and quick to put together.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Last Saturday, my wife made up a couple of twice baked potatoes to go with our supper. I scrubbed 2 large baking potatoes, then pierced them with a fork and cooked them in the microwave on the baked potato setting. When they were done and nicely soft on the inside, my wife cut them in half lengthwise. She then scooped out the cooked potato into a bowl, leaving about a quarter inch thick potato shell. She mashed the removed potato with about a tablespoon of butter. She then added some salt, pepper, a tablespoon of chopped cooked bacon, 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley, a whole minced green onion, and about a cup of shredded old Cheddar cheese. She mixed the filling well and then spooned it back into the potato shells and topped each potato half with about 2 tablespoons of shredded old Cheddar cheese and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

The potato shells were placed on a baking sheet and placed in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, which was just enough to perfectly melt the cheese on top and get the inside of the potato nicely hot again. We had them with a dollop of sour cream and they were delicious! Stay tuned for posts about the rest of our supper that night. It was amazing!

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Perogy Patties, with fresh chives and a dollop of sour cream

My wife and daughter made a bunch of perogies yesterday from scratch. It was their first attempt at it and I think they did a great job. But more on that in another post. When they were done stuffing the dough, they had some filling left over so my wife decided to split it up into little cakes and pan fry them, just to see how they would turn out.

Leftover perogy filling, shaped into little patties

Perogy Patties, being covered in flour

Perogy Patties, ready for browning

There was just enough to make 6 little patties, about 2.5 inches wide each. She rolled them in flour and then cooked them three at a time in a hot cast iron pan with some butter and olive oil. They crisped up nicely but weren’t as firm as she would have liked, probably because of all the cheese in the filling, but I’m definitely *not* complaining.

Perogy Patties nicely browned

She made up three little plates for us, with 2 patties each, with a dollop of sour cream in between the patties, a dollop on top and some fresh chives from our early garden. It was a perfect light little lunch. Stay tuned for my next post where I share the recipe she used to make the perogies.

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I went to a local convenience store today to pick up some sour cream. I also wanted some good cookies to go with my evening coffee. I wasn’t impressed by any of the standard convenience store selections. So I went home and looked in my pantry to see what I might be able to whip up instead. I had all the basic ingredients for cookie making, plus some chocolate chips and chocolate chunks, and one banana that had seen better days. A quick search on the I-touch for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies cake yielded this recipe on AllRecipes that looked good to me.

My daughter helped chop up the chocolate while my wife read me the ingredients, in between making perogies. She’s a true multi-tasker.

The cookies turned out airy and cake-like and cooked perfectly. I’ve had trouble with cookies previously but used parchment paper on my pan this time and it seemed to have made all the difference.

Ready for the oven

Just out of the oven

Moving them to the cooling rack

Mmmm. Yummy cookies.

These cookies were delicious with a nice cold glass of milk and went perfectly later in the evening with my coffee habit.

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