Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Butternut squash salad

It's the season of winter fruits, and the most abundant one here up north is butternut squash. This dish is a very filling, sweet and savory salad. Use it if you are bored of your various roasted squash and soup recipes.

2.5 lb butternut squash
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
15 oz canned garbanzos
2 tbsp chopped red onion
0.25 cup chopped fresh parsley
0.25 cup lemon juice (from one lemon)
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water

Dice the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, one clove minced garlic and salt. Spread out onto a baking sheet and roast at 425F until soft.

Remove squash from oven and cool. Meanwhile juice the lemon. Wash and drain the chickpeas.

Mix the lemon juice with the other crushed garlic, tahini, water and 2 tbsp olive oil. 

Mix the squash, red onion, parsley and toss with the dressing. Serve warm for optimal flavor.

Cheese blintzes

These are essentially a more decadent, buttery version of crepes, folded and browned in butter or deep fried for a crispy outside with the superior flavors of the Maillard reaction intensified in the experience.

4 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup flour
0.25 tsp salt
2 cups ricotta
2 tbsp sugar
0.25 tsp vanilla extract
0.25 tsp grated lemon zest

Add melted butter, milk, eggs, flour and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth scrapind=g down the sides if necessary. Set aside for an hour in the fridge.

Cook the crepe wrappers in a pan heated on medium-high and brushed with butter. Brown both sides lightly and collect them on a plate.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta with the sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Foll the crepes burrito-style with the cheese filling.

Freeze or cook at this point.The frozen ones can be microwaved and then fried before serving, to ensure that the filling is warm.

Melt some butter in a skillet and add the wraps, brown on each side. Serve with a fruit sauce,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Homemade soft cheese

It's actually incredibly easy to prepare a homemade ricotta-style soft cheese. The product can then be served with savory or sweet dishes.

3 cups milk
1 tbsp vinegar
cheese cloth

To a pot add 3 cups of whole milk. Bring to 185F stirring constantly to prevent scorching at the bottom. Take off from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp of vinegar. 

Allow to sit for 10 minutes on the counter top. The cheese should curdle into large chunks.

Meanwhile, set up a colander lined with two layers of cheese cloth. Set into a bowl. Pour in the curdled milk and allow to drain for 60 minutes. Tie the cheescloth and suspend over a bowl in the fridge overnight.

Remove from cloth and pat cheese into a ball. Season with salt and some freshly cracked pepper. Or a little salt and honey.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BBQ boneless ribs

Such succulent, smoky, sweet and salty deliciousness. BBQ pork is very simple to make, and this recipe is lifted by the smoked paprika added to the seasonings.

3 pounds of boneless pork ribs
black pepper
smoked paprika
1 cup brown sugar

Rinse the meat and pat dry. Place onto a layer of aluminum foil.

Sprinkle liberally with salt, black pepper and paprika. Pack on the brown sugar. 

Preheat oven to 275F. Seal the aluminum foil package and wrap into an additional layer of foil. Place onto a baking sheet and on the middle rack of the preheated oven.

After baking for 2.5 hrs, remove from oven and allow to cool unwrapped on a cookie rack. Before serving, baste with juices and broil lightly on top.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Curried chicken salad

A tangy, flavorful lunch option. Best served after a day of marinading.

2 chicken breasts
1 stalk celery
2 green onions
1 golden delicious apple
1/3 cup golden raisins
0.25 cup toasted pecans
0.25 cup seedless green grapes
1/3 tsp curry powder
3 tbsp mayo
pinch black pepper

Cook the chicken breasts and dice into 0.5-inch cubes.

Slice green onions, dice apples and celery. Mix all ingredients. Allow to sit overnight in the fridge before serving.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Coke zero float

I have never tried this popular American dessert. The root beer version is a little too sweet, or so I am told. This one was very tasty, though not a winter treat.

0.5 cup vanilla ice cream
0.5 cup Coke Zero

Poor the Coke Zero onto the ice cream. Serve.

Hungarian mulled wine

I had week after week of terrible colds this fall. So, I resorted to various feel-good home remedies. This one burns and makes your sinuses drain. But also puts you to sleep because the alcohol and sugar give it a huge kick.

150 mL dry white wine
150 mL dry red wine
0.5 tsp vanilla sugar
5 cloves
3-4 sq cm of cinnamon
a shake of pepper flakes
4 tsp sugar

Add wines to glass. Add spices and bring to a boil in the microwave. Keep at a simmer (very low simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir and drain the spices from the mix. 

Add in the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Serve hot.