Poulet A La Creme

Poulet A La Creme

Poulet A La Creme

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

I came across this recipe in an older cookbook by the renowned chef Jacques Pepin and although it looks very pedestrian the final outcome with it’s wonderful flavour profile will have your guests coming back for more.

Cooks note: I served this one with a Rice Pilaf however it would go equally as well with some Egg Noodles.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 Skin on Bone in Chicken Thighs 
  • 6 large Mushrooms – sliced
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 4 tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 cup dry White Wine
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chopped Tarragon or Parsley (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the chicken thighs to the pan and brown over high heat for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle on the flour. turn the chicken over using tongs so the flour is evenly dispersed. Stir in the wine and water and mix well. Bring to a boil, add the salt and pepper and simmer covered for 25 minutes.
  3. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and boil, uncovered for about 1 minute.
  4. Serve sprinkled with the tarragon or parsley if desired.

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

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit

Stuffed Chicken Breast

2017-04-17 18.04.57

 

Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

This is one of those “I can’t believe healthy tastes so good” recipes and that’s due to it not being your “traditional” stuffing of stale bread and spices.

Now to be honest I don’t have the slightest idea where this recipe first came from but it is one that I have NOT tampered with (much to my wife’s delight) and it is so good that I don’t feel the need to try and change it however feel free to put whatever spin on this dish you like.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 boneless/skinless Chicken Breast
  • Handful of Spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces dried Sundried Tomatoes
  • 8 ounces Goat Cheese 
  • 2 small Shallots – chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a non reactive bowl cover the Sundried tomatoes with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. In the thickest part of the chicken breast cut a pocket being careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients together and stuff into the pocket of each breast.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

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

Until next time……….

                         Bon Appetit

Steak and Kidney pie

Steak and Kidney pie

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

2017-03-24 18.59.51

 

‘Chef’ doesn’t mean that you’re the best cook, it simply means ‘boss.’

Tom Colicchio

This is one of those recipes where people look at the title and either turn up their nose automatically or, as in my wife’s case, it elicits a warm walk down memory lane .In my case my childhood memories do not include this staple of British cookery because my dad was a Pork man through and through but there were also 7 kids and so the food budget was aimed at lower costing but still healthy foods like Liver.

Now this recipe is not an original from me but it is my adaptation of one from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger so kudos chefs and thank you for giving me the base for my twist on your recipe.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound bottom Sirloin steak tails – cubed
  • 12 ounces Beef Kidney – cored, rinsed and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups Mushrooms – quartered
  • 1 medium sweet Onion – roughly diced
  • 1 12 ounce can Guinness
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid Beef base
  • 5 tablespoons Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups of Flour plus 1/3 cup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup cold Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons ice Water
  • 2 tablespoons melted Butter

Putting it all together:

  1. Prepare the pastry: In a large bowl, combine flour with butter and salt. Mix lightly with your fingertips until butter forms pea sized pieces. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of the water. Add to flour mixture all at once, mixing gently with your fingertips. You should be able to see chunks of fat, and the pastry should be moist enough to begin to stick together. If the pastry is too dry, add up to 2 more tablespoons of water.
  2. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface, dust with flour, and knead it until the pastry is smooth, about 3 to 4 times. Transfer to a plastic bag and form pastry into a disk. Refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes, or as long as 3 days.
  3. Meanwhile: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a casserole or Dutch oven. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook for about four minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of flour and mix well.
  4. Stir in the Worcestershire, beef base, bay leaves and salt and pepper.
  5. Pour in the Guinness and bring to a boil.
  6. Add in the steak and kidney, mix well, cover and place in the oven and simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
  8. Fill 4 oval Au Gratin dishes or one 9 inch pie pan with the steak and kidney mix and cover with the pastry. Make a vent hole in the pastry, brush the melted butter on the top and put back in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

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

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

Healthy chicken vegetable soup

DSC01096

Healthy chicken and vegetable soup

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

“You can’t go wrong with relatively simple comfort food. It’s also about ease. Some cook to impress. I cook for people to enjoy the food.”

Al Roker

Every once in a while, for no particular reason, I crave something warm and comforting that does not take a lot of time to make and not only tastes good but is good for you……. enter Chicken vegetable soup.

Now as a general rule I avoid trying to make chicken soup of any kind as it usually ends up tasting greasy or oily and that’s not very pleasing to anyone however I surprised myself with this one as it is neither greasy nor oily and that confirmation came from my better half who is also my greatest and most honest critic.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts – diced
  • 5 small boneless skinless chicken thighs – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 2 large carrots – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 cup rough chopped mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 4 cups sodium reduced  chicken  stock
  • small bunch of kale – roughly torn
  • 1 10 ounce can pre-boiled lentils (substitute black beans if desired) 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and sear the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion and saute for about three minutes then add the remaining vegetables except the Kale and Lentils and stir until well mixed together.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 minutes (add aditional stock or water if needed).
  3. Add the Lentils and Kale and continue to simmer until the Kale is just wilted
  4. Season with salt  and pepper

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

Until next time……

Bon Appetit

Creole duck breast with mushroom Ragout

dsc01094

Creole duck breast with mushroom ragout

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

May your sun always shine, and your sky be forever blue.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The reason I happened to pick this recipe is simply because for the first time in a while my wife and I have the house to ourselves and with the kids away I can indulge the both of US with something I can’t cook when my daughter is home and that is Duck which for me is sunshine and blue skies.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Duck breast – approximately one pound
  • .5 ounces Morel mushrooms
  • 5 ounce button mushrooms – washed and halved
  • 5 ounce Portabello mushrooms – rough chopped
  • 4 ounce red onion – sliced
  • 6 ounces green pepper – rough chopped
  • 6 ounces red pepper – rough chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tsblespoons Olive oil
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1 cup mushroom broth (can substitute chicken broth)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Score the skin side of the duck making a cross hatch design and rub the Creole spice into the skin and place in a zip lock bag for approximately one hour and keep in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof pan sear the duck, skin side down, for about ten minutes and turn over when the skin is crispy. Put the pan in the oven for about another ten minutes for medium rare.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil and the butter and add the peppers, garlic, onions and mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.Add the mushroom broth, thyme, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until nicely thickened.
  4. Let the duck rest for approximately ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat and slice on an angle.
  5. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……….

                            Bon Appetit

 

Epic Oops

dsc01061

  • Servings: “5”
  • Difficulty: “easy”
  • Print

I, like many other cooks, love to take a recipe and twist it to make it my own especially if it is something I have not tried before. Now most times this works beautifully and the recipe gets filed away for future dinners or for use by others however every once in a while one of these recipes falls into the category of “Oh lord!! What have I done?” This one my dear friends falls squarely into that category but at the same time it also offers up the challenge of getting it right.

Now I have always said that I am my own worst critic when it comes to the food that arrives from my kitchen to your table and this is one of those times despite the fact that my dinner guests loved the flavour profile and the idea of the dish. My disappointment comes from the fact that instead of being presented like a seafood type Cottage Pie it resembled more of a seafood “Swamp Pie” with the mashed potatoes slowly sinking into the horizon which then got me to thinking (after I finished berating myself) — “just what on earth went wrong?”

After carefully going over what I did (hey this could lead to a new profession….. “Forensic Foodologist”….LOL) I came to the conclusion that it was simply a matter of the broth/sauce being too thin and the mashed potatoes not thick enough and thankfully this type of mistake is easy to correct the next time around.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds peeled and diced potatoes
  • Alaskan Pollock fillets – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 package 51-60 shrimp – cleaned, peeled and tail off
  • 1/4 cup White wine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Dill
  • 2 cups frozen Mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon granulated Garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup quartered small Cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup milk

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375
  2. Bring the potatoes to boil in a large pot of salted water
  3. When tender, about 15 minutes, mash with butter, milk and granulated garlic
  4. Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the onions
  5. Cook the onions for about 3 minutes
  6. Add the flour to the butter and onions and mix until there are no lumps
  7. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix until you get the consistency you want
  8. Add the mushrooms and mixed vegetable and cook for about five minutes
  9. Add the fish and shrimp and cook until the fish is firm and the shrimp is pink, about 10 minutes
  10. Pour into individual ramekins or an oven proof casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 15 – 20 minutes

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

Until next time………..

                                 Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Spicy Peanut Pork Stir Fry

  • Servings: ”2-4″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

Spicy Peanut Pork

The inspiration for this dish came from my ever lovely wife and best friend who simply stated she didn’t feel like having Chinese Five Spice Pork (see recipe under Easy Peasy) not because she doesn’t like it but because she was in the mood for something with a little heat so I did a bit of sleuthing through my recipes, cook books, the Internet and of course Pinterest. The resulting recipe is a compilation of a few that I found on the Net plus my own additions and because I have added my own twists and turns to this I hereby claim this one as my own recipe.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Two large Pork Sirloin chops (boneless) cut into thin strips (about 10 ounces)
  • Two packages of Udon noodles (the ones I buy come in four packs)
  • Six medium mushrooms– quartered
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup Sodium reduced Soya Sauce
  • One medium onion– rough chopped
  • Two garlic cloves– minced
  • One teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 bag of frozen stir fry veggies
  • Three tablespoons smooth Peanut Butter
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium to large bowl mix the beef broth,soya sauce,crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and peanut butter until smooth and set aside
  2. In a wok or large saute pan heat about three tablespoons oil and add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions are tender- about three minutes
  3. Add in the Pork mixture, stir well, and cook on medium high heat for about ten minutes – stirring every couple of minutes so it does not stick
  4. Add in the stir fry veggies and cook until they are heated through but not mushy- about 5 minutes
  5. Bring about three inches of water to a boil and add the Udon noodles and cook for 4 minutes
  6. Drain the noodles, place on a plate or large bowl
  7. Top with the Spicy Peanut Pork and some Sesame seeds
  8. Enjoy

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

Until next time…….

                       Bon Appetit

 

 

It’s PIZZA time……..

It's PIZZA time

  • Servings: one
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

DSC00886

Like everyone else I get tired and find days that I just don’t feel like cooking and so I look for an easy yet tasty way out.

This particular recipe comes to you courtesy of my four year old grandson because I asked him if he wanted Pizza for dinner and his response was “Pizza!!!!! I LOVE Pizza” and so it began which is half the fun when you try to get a four year old interested in cooking and don’t look at me that way———- it’s never to early to get them interested in the kitchen. So after a trip to our local grocery store where he decided he wanted olives, pepperoni and Pineapple ( I will bonk whoever told him pineapple belongs on pizza) we headed home.

Now four year olds being what they are their attention span often lasts all of fifteen minutes so by the time we got home he decided he wanted mommy to make his pizza for him which then allowed me time to create mine and this is where the fun comes in because everybody can custom make their own pie and it’s not that expensive either.

Here’s how I put mine together……..

Ingredients:

  • One 220 gram Naan pizza crust
  • Three tablespoons Basil Pesto
  • Half a cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced Turkey pepperoni—- a hand full. I used Turkey because I’m supposed to avoid red meat
  • A hand full of sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced green olives

Putting it all together:

DSC00889

  • Pre heat your oven to 450 degrees
  • Spread the pesto on the Naan pizza crust
  • Top with the pepperoni, mushrooms,olives and cheese
  • Place in the oven for approximately 6 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly

DSC00890

 

All that’s left to do is to slice up that pie and enjoy with your favorite beverage.

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

So until next time…………

                                           Bon Apettite

Bangers and mash

P1010349

The United Kingdom has given the world many wondrous things such as Stonehenge, The Highland games ,Knights, Castles, Damsels in distress and people such as Monty Python and the Late Benny Hill but they have also given us something else that is oft times thought of as bland, tasteless and just plain boring—— FOOD.

They have given us such things as English Fish and Chips, Yorkshire Pudding, Spotted Dick (that’s a pudding not some strange male disease) Steak and Kidney pie and one that I really like for its taste and simplicity… Bangers and Mash.

Now bangers and mash is very simply Sausage and Mashed potatoes with a vegetable, usually peas, and a beef gravy. This dish gets its name from the original type of English sausage that was used because when it cooked it would literally “bang” and pop in the pan.

The other great thing about this dish besides its simplicity is it is relatively inexpensive to make. The ingredients at the market I use would run about $15.00 and depending on the number of sausage in the package, usually 6, I could feed a family of 3 and they would be rather well fed.

Ingredients:

–         One package sausage— English bangers if you can find them or if not mild Italian will do

–         5 or 6 Medium Yukon Gold potatoes

–         4 Tablespoons butter

–         ¼ Cup Milk

–         2 Tins of No Name peas

–         2 Tins of beef gravy

Method:

–         Pre heat your grill to 350 degrees. If you don’t have a grill then pan fry on medium heat until done

–         While the sausage is cooking boil your potatoes on medium high until fork tender

–         Mash the potatoes and add the butter and milk and incorporate well

–         Heat the peas and the gravy in separate pots

–         When the sausage is cooked put some mashed potatoes on part of your plate and top with the sausage and gravy

–         Add the peas and enjoy

If you feel ambitious and the budget can handle it you may also wish to add some mushrooms to the gravy or sauté some onions.

In any event this is a “simple but tasty” recipe that also happens to be inexpensive.

Until next time…………

            Bon Appetit