Cheddar Veggie Soup

Cheddar Veffie soup II

Cheddar Veggie Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chicken soup when you have a cold is just…. well….. gold. However when you don’t have chicken you do the next best thing and use what you have which in this case is veggies and cheddar cheese.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – chopped
  • 4 Celery ribs – chopped
  • 1 cup Carrots – chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 4 fresh Basil leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil and butter is a large pot or Dutch.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and remaining ingredients except the basil and cheese.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies have softened.
  6. Add the basil
  7. Use an immersion blender or blend in batches until smooth.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the cheese.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

 

Texas Chili Stuffed Shells

Texas Chili Stuffred Shells

Texas Chili Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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As some of you may or may not know I am an Eclectic cook because I just love different  types of cuisines and the flavours they bring to the table so the whole idea of Fusion cooking is very intriguing because you can blend your favourite recipes, ingredients, countries into one cohesive dish and blow the minds of your dinner guests….. all without breaking a sweat.

This is my version of Fusion because I have combined a very classic Texas dish, Chili, with an even more classic Italian dish, Jumbo Pasta Shells.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package Jumbo Shells
  • 2 pounds ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped Green Onions
  • 1 large Sweet Onion – rough chopped
  • 2 Cubanelle peppers – diced
  • 2 Poblano peppers – diced
  • Garlic cloves – fine chop
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 
  • Garnish with Sour Cream.

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot heat the oil and brown the ground beef. Drain off the grease.
  2. Add the  beef back to the pot, add the remaining ingredients, except the shells, stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  3. Cook the shells as per the box instructions.
  4. Drain the shells and let cool so they are easier to handle.
  5. While the shells are cooling heat the oven to 375°.
  6. Ladle a thin layer of chili on the bottom of an 11 x 15 casserole dish. Stuff the shells with a small amount of chili and fill the casserole dish with the stuffed shells. Top with shredded cheese and green onions and place in the oven until the cheese has melted. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

Mashed Potato Cakes

 

Mashed Potato Cakes ii

Mashed Potato Cakes

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Way back when I was first learning to cook I tossed a lot of leftovers because I didn’t know what to do with them but thankfully over the years I have evolved as a cook and now I come up with different and interesting ways of using leftovers.

This recipe is a very simple way of using leftover Mashed Potatoes and it can be used with so many different dishes including….. Breakfast. I mean really, what’s better than Toast, Eggs and a crispy Mashed Potato Cake to start your day?

Cooks note: When I make mashed potatoes I make them with pepper, granulated garlic, parsley, butter and milk (the cooking water already has salt in it) that way I don’t need to worry about seasoning the potato cakes when I make them. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 bunch Scallions – chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Italian style cheese
  • All Purpose Flour for dredging
  • Vegetable oil for frying 

Putting it all together:

  1. In a non reactive bowl combine the first three ingredients.
  2. Form into patties.
  3. Dredge in the all purpose flour making sure to shake off the excess.
  4. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large fry pan.
  5. Fry the patties in batches until golden brown and remove to a paper towel to drain.
  6. You can serve as is or top with sour cream and chopped scallions.

There you have it another “Simple bust tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit 

Chicken Enchiladas

®Chicken Enchiladas II

Chicken Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My Sunday nights lately consist of making dinner and then rushing out the door to get to my Pool League for 6:00 p.m. and this usually means I miss dinner because I just don’t have the time.

This time I decided that a very simple, time saving recipe was needed so I could eat before going out and since it has been quite awhile since I have made these and the family loves them it was a no-brainer.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 large Tortillas
  • 4 cups cooked shredded Chicken
  • 1 16 ounce jar of Herdez® Salsa Verde
  • 6 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Green Onions – rough chopped for garnish
  • 2 Poblano peppers – seeded and diced
  • Sour Cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375°
  2. Warm the tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them pliable.
  3. In the centre of the tortilla place a 1/4 cup of cheese then top with 1/2 cup of the chicken, Poblano peppers and salsa. Roll into a cylinder shape and place on a sheet pan.
  4. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  5. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining cheese and salsa and put in the oven until the cheese has melted and the enchiladas are heated through.
  6. Plate the enchiladas and top with some sour cream and chopped green onion.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………….

                           Bon Appetit

 

 

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

Shrimp Alfredo Bake

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Around our house on Fridays we try to have fish or seafood just because it’s healthy for you and let’s face it, it’s good. Now this particular recipe came about as a collaboration between my wife and my grandson. My wife said she wanted a seafood pasta and my grandson (all of 7 yrs old) asked for Lobster….. Really?? Where did this kid come up with these Champagne tastes??

Well it just so happened one of my local grocers had Lobster tails on sale for $3.00 each so I said “What the hell” and went for it.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 lbs Penne
  • 8 ounces Slab Bacon – diced
  • 1 bag 21 – 30 Shrimp – cleaned, peeled and tail off
  • 4 3 ounce Lobster Tails
  • 2 jars Classico Alfredo Pasta sauce
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 medium Shallot – chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°
  2. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions.
  3. In a saute pan cook the bacon until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the bacon fat cook the garlic and shallots for about three minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.
  5. Drain the pasta, add the Classico sauce, half the Parmesan, bacon and shrimp mixture. Pour into a casserole dish, cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. While the pasta is baking boil the lobster tails in salted water until pink in colour. Let cool and remove from shell.
  7. Plate the pasta, top with the Lobster tail and garnish with parsley and the remaining Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit 

Bahn Mi Tacos

Bahn Mi Tacos

Bahn Mi Tacos

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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In Vietnamese cooking Bahn Mi refers to the Bread that is used in sandwiches and if done right it is one of the best sandwiches you have ever had.

Now traditional Bahn Mi sandwiches usually consist of marinated meat and pickled veggies and it’s the marinade that really stands out but in this case we have added typical Taco toppings…….. green onions, sour cream and Cilantro…. so the taste has changed a little but you can still detect the Asian influence to this Taco.

Here’s how we doe this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Steak strips
  • 1 medium piece Daikon – peeled and shredded
  • 4 cups Shredded Carrots
  • 4 Scallions – chopped for garnish
  • Small bunch of Cilantro – chopped for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Soya sauce
  • 1/2 cup Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Garlic Chili sauce
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard Seeds
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. In a non reactive bowl mix the Soya sauce, Fish sauce, Garlic Chili sauce and sugar mixing well. Pour over the steak strips, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. For the pickling liquid combine the Apple Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Sea Salt, Peppercorns and Mustard seeds in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the carrots and Daikon in a bowl and pour the pickling liquid over top mixing well and cover.
  4. In a large fry pan or wok heat the oil and quick fry the steak strips in the marinade.
  5. Build your Taco by briefly heating the Tortilla then layer cheese, steak, pickled veggies, green onions, sour cream and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 

Chili Cheese Fries

Chili cheese fries

Chili Cheese Fries

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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There are foods that North Americans eat that Europeans find really strange….. okay even some North Americans find strange. Things like Poutine, Ketchup Potato Chips, Root Beer and yes…. Chili Cheese Fries.

Now there was a time when Chili Cheese Fries were reserved for county fairs or cheap diners but they have seen a resurgence in popularity recently mainly due to celebrity chefs bringing this dish back into the spotlight because, as with everything else, “what was old is new again.” The other awesome thing with this recipe is that the chili part of this can be made a few days ahead of time and then frozen for when you need it.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 cups Chili – See Texas Style Chili for the recipe.
  • 1/2 block Old Cheddar – shredded.
  • 1 bag frozen French Fries or 4 – 6 fresh cut Yukon Gold Potatoes.
  • 3 Scallions – rough cut for garnish.
  • Sour Cream for garnish – optional.

Putting it all together:

  1. If using frozen fries cook them per the bag instructions. If using fresh toss the fries with Canola Oil, salt and pepper and place on a sheet tray in a 425° oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  2. While the fries are cooking heat the chili in a medium pot.
  3. To serve place the fries on a plate, top with the chili and cheese and garnish with the green onion and sour cream.
  4. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

Seafood Linguine Alfredo

Seafood Linguini

Seafood Linguine Alfredo

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“Everything you see I owe to pasta.” – Sophia Loren

The last time I posted an Alfredo type recipe was TWO years ago (time sure does fly) so I thought I would do another one but with a couple of variations this time around.

Now the Alfredo Sauce itself is staying the same (why mess with a good thing) however this time around as a time saving element I will be using precooked Clam meat and Mussels along with uncooked Shrimp in addition to Shallots and Spinach. I will also be using TAIL OFF shrimp as I personally can’t stand biting into a succulent shrimp only to try and find a place to dispose of the tail.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 package thawed 31-40 White Shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 2 1/2 cups Clam meat
  • 2 1/2 cups Mussels
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups Grated Parmesan
  • 1 pkg (350 grams) Linguine noodles
  • Shaved Parmesan and Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the Linguine according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and add in the garlic and shallot and cook until the shallot is translucent. Add the butter and mix well.
  3. When the butter has melted add the heavy cream, spinach and the grated Parmesan and stir frequently.
  4. Reduce the heat and let the sauce thicken.
  5. Add in the shrimp, mussels and clams and continue cooking until the shrimp has turned pink.
  6. Plate the pasta, top with the sauce and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and Parsley.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                          Bon Appetit

Bacon Wrapped Cordon Bleu Chicken Thighs

 

2017-04-02 18.50.13

Bacon Wrapped Cordon Bleu Chicken Thighs

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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“your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain

 

I’m not entirely certain that the above quote is appropriate here since Chef Bourdain is considered the “Bad Boy” of restaurant kitchens due to his addictions to various and sundry substances however I tend to agree that in the world of food you definitely should “Enjoy the ride.”

This particular recipe is a playful take on the classic “Cordon Bleu” and with the addition of Bacon how can you go wrong? Now for this one I decided to use chicken thighs since they are inexpensive and if you get skin on/bone in and then skin them/debone them yourself you can certainly save money.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 Skin Skinless/Bonless Chicken Thighs
  • 8 slices Deli Ham
  • 8 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 8 Slices Smoked Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lay the chicken thigh “shiny” side down on a cutting board and sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper.
  3. Layer a piece of ham topped with Swiss cheese on the chicken.
  4. Put the chicken on a piece of bacon and fold until the bacon meets.
  5. Put the chicken, seam side down, on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.
  6. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                         Bon Appetit

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

 

DSC01104 (1)

Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat. 
Giada De Laurentiis

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest about a month ago and it turned out really quite good so when my daughter in law told me that it was chef’s choice on what her Birthday dinner would be it didn’t take much to convince me to do this one.

The original recipe calls for Hot Pepper Sauce but since I like my food seasoned and not blow your head off hot I decided to substitute some Creole Seasoning and it worked just fine.

I would also like to tip my hat to Black Diamond Cheese ® as the original recipe came from their site.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Tbsp (75 mL)  Butter, divided
  • 2 cup (500 mL) sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped Onion
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) dried Thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen large Shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen small Scallops
  • 1 cup (250 mL) White Wine
  • 4½ Tbsp (67 mL) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Paprika
  • 1 ½ cup (375 mL) whole Milk
  • 2 cup (500 mL) Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp (15 mL) Creole Seasoning, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) hot cooked Linguine
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1.  Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and thyme; cook and stir until tender. Add shrimp, scallops and wine to pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until seafood is cooked. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) broth. Set cooked seafood mixture aside.
  2.  Melt remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter in the same saucepan. Blend in flour and paprika then gradually stir in reserved broth and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese; stir until melted. Add creole seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To serve, divide pasta among 4- 6 shallow bowls. Mix the seafood with the cheese sauce. Top the pasta with the seafood/ cheese sauce mixture, add more creole seasoning and garnish with parsley, if desired.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit