Thursday, February 28, 2013

Strawberry Bruschetta

I mentioned with my previous post that there was a sale on strawberries so I've been creating some strawberry dishes. Here's another strawberry pairing and nibbles that we enjoy, a strawberry bruschetta. It's the second one this week. I started out with a recipe for Strawberries with balsamic vinegar. I love the sweetness of the strawberries and sugar, the sharp taste of the balsamic, and a very mild heat of pepper. Flavours that wake up your pallette. It's not only delicious its also quite refreshing and has become my chic-a-dis favourite. They have a lot of favourites : )

Add a spoonful on sliced baguettes its delicious...

















You can't just have one even if you try. You'll want more...

















It's quite nice too eaten by itself as a dessert. : )


Ingredients

A carton of strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste

Method

Chop up the strawberries.
Mix sugar and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
Add the strawberries and mix all together.
Season with a tad bit of pepper.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meatzza Random Recipe Challenge

For this months Random Recipe Challenge Dom at Belleau Kitchen is celebrating his 3rd year of Random Recipe blog challenge. We're to choose a recipe book and open to a random page and create the dish from that page. My cookbook for this challenge is Nigellissima. I have been wating for this book for several months now since it had just been released a week ago in America. My random page happens to be a recipe called Meatzza and here it is..


 I made two pans..


My pans are 8 inches, about 3 inches smaller than what was suggested which was 11 inches so the meat was a lot thicker. I doubled up the recipe which made it even thicker.

















After I've sliced it into portions the Meatzza resembled a Meatloaf because of its thickness had I used the correct size pan it would've been thinner for the meat to resemble as the crust. The way Nigella intended it to be. I did have the correct pan size I don't know why I didn't use it, just forgot about it. The ingredients are quite similar of a meatloaf. It tasted like it as well. The dish had mixed reviews from my judges and myself. There was a no, two yes, and one confused. I'll be making this again with the correct pan size, it should make a thinner minced meat crust to see if my "no and confused one" will change their mind and my yes's prefer it. : )



















Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 clove garlic peeled
salt and pepper to taste
butter for greasing
1 x 14 ounce diced tomatoes/drained
1 teaspoon garlic flavoured olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 ounces fresh mozzarella  (not buffalo) halved then sliced
few leaves fresh basil

Method

Preheat oven to 425F

In a large bowl using your hands, combine beef, Parmesan, bread crumbs parsley, and eggs. Grate in the garlic and add some salt and pepper. Do not over work it , just lightly mix together, or the meat will become compacted and dense.

Butter a shallow round baking pan of about 11 inches diameter and turn the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned ground meat were your pizza crust.

Make sure you've drained as much runny liquid as possible out of your can of diced tomatoes, then mix the tomato with the garlic flavoured oil, oregano, and some salt and pepper, and spread using a rubber spatula, lightly on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top and then put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, then adorn with some basil leaves and bring it to the table before cutting into wedges, like pizza.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Strawberry Short Cake With Dark Chocolate

This is one of my babies favourite. They love strawberries so much and this weekend there was a sale on strawberries at the supermarket. There's very little effort in creating this wonderful dessert and my little chick-a-dis had a fun time creating their own.

We used a store bought cake individually portioned, sliced the strawberries, added some whipped cream and drizzled it with dark chocolate which we melted. Voila! A very delicious dessert. My babies made this for me. : )

















This has been my quick go to dessert when pressed for time. Look at all of that chocolate goodness, yum...


















Ingredients

cake
strawberries
whipped cream
dark chocolate

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken Fricassee With White Wine and Mushrooms

I'm back in my kitchen, YAY! A while ago I mentioned I got an automatic pressure cooker. I was a bit scared at first. I remember seeing one that was not automatic on a stove top hissing and shaking with steam coming up from the lid like the one you would see from an old steam engine train but much more with force. This automatic one has much more safety features and I'll admit I was a bit frightened getting started with it.

This was my first go with the cooker and the recipe was Chicken Fricassee. I haven't had this dish before and I'm not sure if it's meant to look like this either. I only have a photo copy of its recipe page. It turned out alright. The recipe came from a book titled Great Food Fast a pressure cooker cookbook. The cooker itself was amazing. I didn't have to thaw out the chicken breasts I added everything in the pot inside it and pushed the poultry button and our meal was done in 15 minutes. Had the chicken been thawed the cooking time for it on low would be 8 minutes and 4 minutes on high. The prep time says 15 minutes I think it took me less than that.

What I learned from my first time using a pressure cooker is that when I cooked the frozen chicken it sucked out all of the liquid out of it and the chicken breast had shrunk. It was smaller than the palm of my hand! The chicken was also not tender as the one's I've tried before that was cooked from a pressure cooker as well. It may have been that the setting was too high. I had it on normal maybe I'll try low next time. Anyway, I'll fiddle with the cooker a bit more. : )

















Ingredients

4 boneless chicken
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz of button mushrooms halved
1/2 cup chopped celery ( I didn't add this)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed into 1 tablespoon water
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Toss chicken in flour that has been generously seasoned with salt and pepper until each breast is lightly coated.

2. With the cookers lid off heat butter on high or brown until melted and sizzling. Place chicken breasts in cooker and sauté until lightly browned about 5 minutes.

3. Add onion, mushrooms, celery, garlic, chicken stock, wine, lemon zest, and poultry seasoning. Securely lock the pressure cooker's lid and set for 8 minutes on high.

4. Perform quick release to release the cooker's pressure.

5. With the cooker's lid off set to high or brown. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, and simmer for 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

6. Turn off heat, and stir in sour cream. Top with fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.