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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Almost Fast Food Burger

Devin Alexander

1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 slice (3/4 oz.) fat-free American cheese (optional)
1 whole-grain or whole-wheat hamburger bun
1/4 cup chopped romaine lettuce leaves
1 thin slice red onion
3 dill pickle rounds

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. Stir to mix. Set aside. Shape the beef into a patty that is about 1/2" wider than the bun.

Preheat a medium nonstick skillet or grill rack on high heat. Place the patty on the pan or grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. (Do not smash the burgers with the spatula.)
 About 30 seconds before the burger is cooked, top with the cheese, if desired. Place the bun halves, cut sides down, on the pan or grill. Cook for about 45 seconds, or until toasted.

Place the bun bottom on a serving plate. Top with the patty, lettuce, onion, and pickles. Spread the reserved sauce evenly over the inside of the bun top. Flip onto the burger. Serve immediately.

Be A Babe Black and White Cupcakes

Courtesy Devin Alexander

For the cupcakes:
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1-1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup fat free milk
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3 egg whites
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 silicone or foil (not paper) cup
cake liners into 18 cups of 2 standard, non-stick muffin tins (or you can
work in batches, using only 1 tin). If using foil liners, lightly mist them with

Add the flour, cocoa, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a
medium mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix them until combined, being sure
to break any lumps. Set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk, mix the sugar, milk and coffee
granules, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Whisk in the egg whites and
the corn syrup until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir them until
just smooth. Fill each cup about two-thirds full. Transfer the pan to the
oven and bake them about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes
out dry (a few crumbs are okay). Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for 10

Then remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely.

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup light butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3-3/4 cups powdered sugar

Add the butter, vanilla and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric
mixer fitted with beaters, beat it on high speed until smooth. Then add half
of the powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until well combined. Beat in the
remaining powdered sugar until combined. Then beat on high speed until

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap until the cupcakes are completely
cooled. Then spread 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons of the icing evenly over each
cupcake. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Each cupcake has: 230 calories, 2 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2
g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, less than 1 g fiber, 204 mg sodium
Traditional Black and White Cupcakes have: 384 calories, 5 g protein, 49 g
carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 93 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber,
104 mg sodium

Devin Says:
If using foil cupcakes liners, be sure that they don't
have an interior paper layer. Because these cupcakes
are so low in fat, paper liners will stick.

Fried Mushroom Parmesan Bake

By: Devin Alexander

It's time to rethink average everyday casserole recies! This recipe for "Fried" Mushroom Parmesan Bake for The Biggest Loser's Devin Alexander is perhaps one of the tastiest healthy casserole recipes for you to try. Best of all, this is one of those vegetarian recipes that even meat eaters will devour.

Makes: 4 servings


16 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1/2 cup all-natural marinara sauce (preferably low-fat, low-salt, no sugar added; I used Monte Bene Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ounce almond mozzarella cheese, finely shredded (I used Lisanatti)
2 tablespoons all-natural whole wheat panko-style bread crumbs
2 teaspoons all-natural Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Add the mushroom caps to an 8 x 3 x 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

Spoon the sauce evenly over the mushrooms. Sprinkle them evenly with the oregano followed by the garlic powder. Toss them gently to combine, flipping the mushrooms so they lay stem side down in the dish.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and mostly cooked through.

Sprinkle the mozzarella, bread crumbs, and Parmesan evenly over the mushrooms. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are tender but not mushy. Let them rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Nutritional Information

Per serving:
62 calories
6g protein
8g carbohydrates (3 g sugar)
1g fat< 1 g saturated fat
trace cholesterol
2g fiber
110mg sodium


When cleaning mushrooms, don't run them under water. Instead peel them or rub them with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt. Mushrooms are like sponges, so if you run them under water, they'll absorb a ton of moisture. The end result could be mushy or tough.

You can save the mushroom stems to eat in a salad, or saute them and serve over a grilled buffalo steak or other extra-lean steak.

Lemon Amaretto Refresher

Devin Alexander

1 scoop (1/2 cup) lemon sorbet
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
1 tablespoon fat free, (aerosol)
whipped topping (optional)

Scoop the sorbet into a red wine glass.
If using, top it with the whipped topping.
Drizzle the amaretto over the top.
Serve immediately

Potato Skinnys

Devin Alexander

4 medium (6-8 ounces) baking potatoes
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
Olive oil spray
*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1-1/2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) finely shredded, 75 percent light cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 cup light or fat free sour cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes very well with a vegetable brush. Using a fork, poke each 5 times. Rub the outside of each with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Place them directly on an oven rack and bake them for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour or until tender through. Let them cool for 1-2 hours or refrigerate them in a re-sealable plastic bag for up to 1 day.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scrape out the centers of the halves, leaving an even 1/2 inch thick potato shell in tact.

Spray a medium, non-stick baking sheet with olive oil spray. Arrange the potato shells on the baking sheet, so they barely touch. Ligthly spray the tops with olive oil spray then sprinkle them evenly with the garlic, cayenne, and salt.  Bake them for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a small, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook it, stirring frequently until barely crisped, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a medium shallow bowl lined with a paper towel to drain.

Then sprinkle the cheese, bacon, then chives evenly over the baked shells. Bake them for an additional 15-18 minutes more or until the potatoes are lightly browned. Top with sour cream if using. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lime Curd Tart

Serves 8
Recipe By: Ina Garten
Published in: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,


Tart Shell:
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt

4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 pounds unsalted butter at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix
the butter and sugar together until they are just combined. Add the
vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add
them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough
starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and
shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch-round or 9-inch-
square false-bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is
flat. Chill until firm.

Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the tart and
place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all
over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes
more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the zest of 4 limes with a vegetable peeler
or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith.

Squeeze the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside.
Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes,
until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer
fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and
lime zest. Add-- the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lime juice
and salt. Mix until combined. The mixture will look curdled but it
will smooth out during the cooking.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat,
stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lime curd
will thicken at about 175 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove
from the heat and set aside.

Fill the tart shell with warm lime curd and allow to set at room
temperature. Once set, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to

Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 (9 or 10-inch) tart

Recipe Notes
I like lime curd with character. Lime curd is wonderful on a slice of
toast, for dipping long-stemmed strawberries in, or to serve with
pound cake and fresh fruit. Here we use it to fill a prebaked tart
shell. Grating the zest in the food processor is very quick. Lime curd
lasts for weeks in the refrigerator.

Exported from A Cook's Books -- Recipe management for Macintosh

North African Meatballs

It's official, Melissa D'Arabian is as good as Ina Garten in coming up
with the food we love to eat. I figure anyone who comes up with four
recipes in a row we love is "official".
I was curious about this one because it's not a flavor profile I am
very accustomed to in either cooking or eating. We loved the hint of
cinnamon and I must admit to adding red pepper flakes to the meat
balls as well as the sauce and using more than the recipe calls for. I
actually used more than a pinch of the cinnamon but other than that I
followed the recipe. It takes a little longer than I am comfortable
being on my feet so I made the meatballs this afternoon and then
rested until tonight to make the sauce.
I really recommend this recipe.
She suggests serving it with couscous with dates but I made rice with
dried apricots.
  Serves 4

Recipe By: Melissa D'Arabian


For the North African Sauce:

2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion -- diced
2 clove garlic -- chopped
1 lemon -- zested
1/2 cup pitted and chopped briny olives
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes -- 14 ounces
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs:

1 egg
2 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
3/4 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup finely ground rolled oats or fine bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil -- for cooking
4 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Couscous with Dried Dates -- recipe follows


To make the North African Sauce:

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the
onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the
lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white
wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to
2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar,
red peppers flakes, and cinnamon, and simmer to
blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper,
to taste.

To make the Meatballs: In a medium bowl, add the egg and tomato paste
and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon
and mix until well blended. Stir in the ground beef and oats, season
with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each
addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32
meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter.

In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium
heat, and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides.
Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the
sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and
serve over the Couscous with Dried Dates.

Couscous with Dried Dates:

1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates
1 cup quick-cooking couscous
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the water, stock, and oil to a boil in a small saucepan over
medium heat. Add the dates followed by the couscous. Cover the pan
tightly with a lid, remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5
minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Exported from A Cook's Books -- Recipe management for Macintosh


2007, Ina Garten; show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: Barn Warming

10 to 12 servings
Total: 15 min

• 8 medium tomatoes
• 3 (16-ounce) balls fresh mozzarella
• 4 loaves ciabatta, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
• 1 cup prepared pesto
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 32 basil leaves

Core the tomatoes and slice each tomato and each ball of mozzarella into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place the sliced ciabatta loaves on a work surface, and spread each half evenly with 1/8 cup pesto. Place 4 slices of tomato and 3 slices mozzarella side by side on the top of each half loaf and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place 4 basil leaves on top of each sandwich.

Slice each half loaf crosswise into 4 serving portions, making sure that each piece has a slice of tomato, mozzarella and a basil leaf.

Strawberry Tarts

Ina Garten
Barefoot in Paris, All Rights Reserved

Show: Barefoot Contessa
Episode: Jeffrey's Treat

4 tarts

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
* 2 tablespoons cold shortening (recommended: Crisco)
* 1/4 cup ice water
* 2 cups Pastry Cream, recipe follows
* 2 pints whole strawberries, hulled and halved
* 1/3 cup apricot jelly
* 3 tablespoons shelled pistachios, halved, optional

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in the size of peas. Add the ice water and process until the dough comes together. Dump on a well-floured board and form into a dish.  Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out the dough and fit into 4 (4 1/2-inch) tart pans with removable sides. Don't stretch the dough when placing it in the pans or it will shrink during baking. Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top of each pan. Line the tart shells with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, butter side down, and fill them with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shells all over with a fork, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Before serving, fill the tart shells with the pastry cream. Arrange the berries decoratively on top of the cream. Melt the apricot jelly with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the top of the tarts. Sprinkle with pistachios, if using, and serve.

Pastry Cream:

5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cognac
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don't be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.

Yield: 2 cups


2008, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics; Show: Barefoot Contessa
Episode: Fired Up

2 to 3 servings
Prep 20 min -Cook 40 min
Total: 1 hr 0 min

• 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
• Kosher salt
• 1/3 cup good olive oil
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lemon, halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it inthe dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread most of the coals across half of the grill. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the opposite side of the grill and place the dish you used for marinating on top of the chicken to weight it. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Icebox Cake

Show: Kelsey's Essentials
Episode: Summer Desserts

8 servings

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (recommended: Jiffy)
2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 bananas, sliced, plus additional for garnish
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whisk together the peanut
butter and 1/2 cup heavy cream until light and fluffy and set aside.

Make sure the whipping attachments are clean and then whip the
remaining 2 cups cream with the sugar and vanilla until slightly stiff
peaks form. Gently fold some of the whipped cream
into the peanut butter mixture to lighten
it up. Then add the peanut butter mixture back into the whipped
cream in 3 parts, gently folding until combined, trying to keep it light
and fluffy, and then set aside.

In a 9-inch springform pan, arrange a layer of cookies (about 16)
overlapping in a circle, covering the entire surface. Spread a layer
of whipped cream over the cookies, making sure all the cookies are
covered, and top with banana slices. Repeat with the remaining
cookies, whipped cream and banana slices, making 5 layers total and
finishing with a layer of whipped cream on top. Cover with plastic
wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
and up to overnight.

Cook's Note: Using a baby off-set spatula is a great tool to help
smooth out the peanut butter whipped cream in your springform pan.

Garden Vegetable Frittata

Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon
Show: Kelsey's Essentials Episode: Eggs

6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
1 cup baby spinach, torn
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 to 2 cups shredded Asiago cheese, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes to the skillet, saute for about 6 to 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Remove the potatoes from the skillet. Add another tablespoon olive oil, and add the green onions, tomatoes, spinach, and garlic. Saute for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or just until the spinach is wilted. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, basil, cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour into the skillet over the vegetables.  Reduce heat to medium-low and scramble the eggs for 1 minute. Return the potatoes to the skillet. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the eggs start to set around the edges. Drizzle olive oil around the edges of the pan ensure easy removal.

Finish cooking in the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center. Serve straight out of the skillet, or flip onto a serving plate. Garnish with shredded Asiago cheese and fresh basil.

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon
Show: Kelsey's Essentials
Episode: Quick Breads

10 sweet rolls

1/2 recipe Rapid Rolls, recipe follows

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped pecans
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk
Melted butter, for brushing

Rapid Rolls:
3 (.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for brushing

2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, beaten
4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed

After the dough comes together, on a well-floured surface, using a
lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 15 by 11-inch
rectangle. In a mixing bowl add the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Spread the softened unsalted butter over the
dough leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the
cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Starting
with the long side, roll up the dough tightly
ending with the seam-side down. Cut 10 slices
each about 1/2-inch thick.

Place in 2 (9 by 13-inch) greased baking dishes and cover with a
kitchen towel. Allow the rolls to rise in a warm environment for an
additional 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with melted butter before baking

Bake at 400 degrees F until the tops are golden brown, about 25 to 30
minutes. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted butter and
cool on cooling rack. Drizzle with prepared cream cheese glaze.

To make Cream Cheese Glaze: In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered
sugar, cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla.


To make Rapid Rolls:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment,
combine the instant yeast, and warm water. Let it activate for 5
minutes until bubbly. Stir in the honey.

On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs.
Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully incorporated and the dough
pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is
too sticky.

Portion the dough into 24 even servings. Form the rolls into desired
shape and let rise approximately 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Place the rolls in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet. Brush the
rolls with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the
oven and brush with more melted butter, and sprinkle with a little

Cook's Note: This recipe can be used as a traditional loaf bread,
pizza dough, and for both savory and sweet rolls.

Rapid Rolls

Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon
Show: Kelsey's Essentials Episode: Quick Breads

24 dinner rolls

3 (.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, beaten
4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted wiith paddle attachment, combine the instant yeast, and warm water. Let it activate for 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in the honey.

On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs. Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

Portion the dough into 24 even servings. Form the rolls into desired shape and place in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet spaced evenly apart. Set aside and allow to rise approximately 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush the rolls with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter, and sprinkle with a little salt.

Cook's Note: This recipe can be used as a traditional loaf bread, pizza dough, and for both savory and sweet rolls.

Three Cheese Crostini with Honey

Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon

8 to 10 appetizer

1 French baguette, sliced on an angle
Olive oil, for drizzling
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces mascarpone
4 ounces ricotta
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Acacia honey, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the baguette slices on a sheet tray
and drizzle with olive oil. Toast just until
crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, mascarpone,
ricotta and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the toasts from the oven and spread the herbed cheese
generously over each toast. Drizzle with honey and serve warm.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Calamari with Piquillo Pesto - Christine Cushing

Yield: 4

1 L grape seed oil
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal, cayenne
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 lb. cleaned squid, cut into 1/4 inch rings

Piquillo Pesto
1/2 cup drained canned piquillo pepper
2 large garlic, cloves
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp lemon, juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
coarse salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
lemon, wedges

1. Mix flour, cornmeal, cayenne, paprika, and salt in a shallow dish.
2. Put the grape seed oil in a small, deep pot
with a candy thermometer. The oil should be 2
inches deep but shouldn't be any deeper than
half the height of the pot. Heat oil to 350
degrees F.
3. In small batches, dredge the calamari rings in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
4. Slide the calamari into the hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden, crisp and just cooked through.
5. Do not over cook the calamari or it will be rubbery.
6. Drain on paper towels.

Piquillo Pesto
1. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil, Parmesan and salt and pepper in a small food processor.
2. Pulse until the mixture is almost smooth but still has some texture.

3. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated.
4. Add the Parmesan and season to taste.
5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

1. Serve the Calamari with lemon wedges and the Piquillo Pesto.

Fabulous Fillet of Salmon

From the 2004 Milk Calendar

Take advantage of the many health benefits of fish with this easy-to-prepare and absolutely delicious dish.

-Christine Cushing

Course Main Dishes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins
Yields 4 servings

What You Need
4 thick salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g)
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
4 oz (125 g) Canadian Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh dill or chives or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill
1/4 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). Lightly butter 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking dish. Place salmon in baking dish, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) between fillets. Sprinkle carrots and peppers over and around fish.

In bowl, using electric mixer, beat flour and Cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in milk, then lemon rind, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over salmon and vegetables in dish. Bake, uncovered, for about 15 min before serving.

Remove salmon from dish with a pancake flipper; spoon vegetables and sauce over top. Serve sprinkled with lemon juice.

If desired, remove skin from salmon before cooking. Using a small sharp knife, cut skin away from fish at one end of fillet. Hold knife at a 45° angle with the sharp edge facing away from you and grip skin with the other hand. Hold knife steady and wiggle and pull skin toward you, removing the fish as you go.

For the Adventurous:
Replace the carrot with 2 cups (500 mL) chopped asparagus.

Flambeed Sour Cherries

Recipe courtesy of Christine Cushing (a Canadian celebrity chef)

Yield: 4

German Kriek beer (cherry beer) works best in this recipe.
However, if you can't find it, any good quality beef will
do. When flameing at home, it is always wise to keep the
lid to your pan nearby to put out the flames if necessary.
Everyone looks better with eyebrows!

19 oz can sour cherries, with juice
4 tbsp dried cherries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 vanilla, bean, scraped
2 tbsp. good quality beer
1/4 cup Calvados (French apple brandy)
vanilla ice cream, to serve

Drain the cherries over a small saucepan. Reserve half of the cherries and
save the rest for later use.

Add the dried cherries, lemon juice, sugar and
vanilla bean scrapings to the pan. Heat to a simmer on
medium heat and reduce by half or for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the reserved cherries back to the pan. Heat for 1 minute.

Add the beer and the Calvados to the pan and
ignite with a match. Add the beer and the Calvados to the pan
and ignite with a match. The alcohol should burn off in a few seconds and the
flame will extinguish. If not, cover pan with lid.

Spoon the sauce over ice cream.

Mediterranean Steamed Mussels

By Christine Cushing

A dinner honouring Mom at the Cousvis household wouldn't be special without steamed shellfish. This simple sit-down appetizer uses fresh Prince Edward Island mussels, earthy saffron and Georgia Cousvis's favourite vegetables: fennel.

3 lb mussels
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large sweet onion , sliced
2 cloves garlic , chopped
1 small Thai hot pepper , finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb , thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp each grated orange rind
1 pinch saffron
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup each orange juice
1 tbsp ouzo or other licorice flavoured liqueur
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 pinch each salt and pepper


Rinse mussels and remove any beards; discard any that do not close. Set aside.

In large skillet or shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; saut?nion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add hot pepper, fennel, tomatoes, orange and lemon rinds, and saffron; saut?or 5 minutes or just until fennel is tender.

Add mussels, wine, orange and lemon juices and ouzo; cover and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until mussels open.  Discard any that do not open. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: May 2002

Mile-high Coconut Cream Pie

From the 2004 Milk Calendar

There is nothing more heavenly than a slice of coconut cream pie.  This one is made even better with the addition of fluffy whipped cream is the filling and on top. - Christine Cushing

Course Desserts and Sweets
Prep Time 20 mins
Cooking Time 2 hrs, 10 mins - 2 hrs, 15 mins
Refrigeration Time 1 hr
Yields 6 to 8 servings


What You Need
9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie crust
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) flaked sweetened coconut
3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) cornstarch
2 eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (250 ml) 35 % whipping cream

2 tbsp (30 ml) toasted flaked sweetened coconut

Bake pie shell according to package or recipe directions. Let cool.

In saucepan, heat milk and coconut over medium heat until steaming. In large bowl, whisk 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar with cornstarch; whisk in eggs until blended. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture in thin, steady stream. Return to saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 10 min or until thickened to pudding consistency. Transfer to bowl; stir in vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cool.

In bowl, using electric mixer, whip cream with remaining sugar to soft peaks. Set 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) whipped cream aside.  Fold remaining cream into cooled filling; spread into pie shell.  Using piping bag with star tip or a spoon, garnish top whit reserved whipped cream. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set or for up to 1 day.


For the Adventurous:

Pina Colada Pie: Fold 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) dark rum into whipped cream and fold 1/2 cup (125 mL) drained crushed pineapple to filling with whipped cream.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Classic Shortbread Cookies

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson

approximately 65 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the flour, salt, and powdered sugar to a food processor and pulse
to combine. Add in the vanilla, the butter and the 1 teaspoon of
water. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Put the dough on a
sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log about 2-1/2 inches in
diameter and 5 inches long.  Tightly twist each end of the wrap in
opposite directions.  Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least
30 minutes.

Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Arrange on nonstick cookie
sheets, parchment lined or silpat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake until the edges are just light brown, about 12 to 14 minutes,
rotating the pans half way through the baking process. Remove from the
oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Tansfer to wire
racks and cool until room temperature. Enjoy!

Tips: Store in airtight container for up to a week or freeze uncooked
log for up to a month. Also, use the freshest ingredients possible for
the best tasting cookies.

Chai Spice Tea Shortbread Cookies:
2 tablespoons loose chai tea, or from approximately 6 tea bags

Pulse together the tea with the flour and salt in a food processor
just until the tea is in small pieces evenly distributed throughout
the flour. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, the butter and the 1
teaspoon of water. Continue as instructed above.

Toasted Pecan Shortbread Fingers:
1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
Plus extra powdered sugar, for dusting finished cookies

Pulse the toasted and chopped pecans into the dough and then shape
into a flattened round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for
1 hour. On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough out to approximately
1/3-inch thick. (If the dough is too hard to roll or begins to crack,
let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes until pliable.) With
a sharp knife, cut the dough into rectangle shapes about 1 by
3-inches. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets and follow the cooking
instructions as above. Dust slightly cooled cookies with powdered
sugar through a fine mesh strainer

Grown-Up Farmhouse Grilled Cheese

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Level: Easy

Serves: 4 servings

8 thin slices pancetta
8 slices brioche, about 1/2-inch thick
4 ounces sharp white Cheddar, thinly sliced (recommended: Farmhouse)
1 large heirloom tomato, cut into 4 slices
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

Lay the pancetta slices on the rack on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, set your toaster to a low setting and toast the brioche slices, (they should be slightly dry but not brown).

Lay 4 slices lightly toasted brioche on a work surface and cover the slices with half the cheese, followed by a slice of tomato.  Season each sandwich with a pinch of salt and a healthy grind of black pepper. Top each with 2 pancetta rounds and the remaining cheese. Lay the remaining brioche slices on top and press down lightly. Butter the top of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon butter.

Heat a large griddle pan over medium heat.

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter on the griddle pan and add the sandwiches, buttered side up. Cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt. Flip the sandwiches, press lightly, and continue cooking until golden and toasty. Transfer to a cutting board and slice the sandwiches with a serrated knife, on the diagonal. Arrange on a serving platter and serve immediately.

Smokey Roasted Peaches

Claire Robinson

1 purple onion, skin removed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and ribs removed
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and ribs removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 ripe fresh freestone peaches, halved and pitted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the onion and red bell pepper into rough chunks and put in a bowl;
mince the jalapenos and add them to the onion and peppers. Drizzle
about 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil over the vegetables
and toss. Add a good pinch of salt and some pepper, toss, and place on
1 side of a rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle the peaches with another tablespoon of oil, being sure to coat
tje cut sides well.  Put them, cut side down, on the other side of the
baking sheet. Roast the fruit and vegetables until caramelized, about
25 minutes. Using tongs, pull the skin off the peach halves and

Arrange 2 peach halves on each serving dish, cut side up, on a bed of
the roasted vegetables.

Note: If freestone peaches are not available, split the peaches
leaving the pits intact; they can be removed easily after roasting

Smooth White Grape Gazpacho

Claire Robinson

2 1/2 cups seedless white grapes, plus more finely chopped or sliced, for garnish
1 cup regular soy milk, chilled
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped, plus more thinly sliced, for garnish
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Put the soy milk and almonds in the jar of a blender and puree until very
smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  With the motor running, slowly add the grapes,
scallions and lime juice; season with salt and pepper and pure until well

To serve, pour into a small bowls and garnish with
chopped or sliced grapes and sliced scallions.

Note: Gazpacho can be served immediately but is even better if refrigerated
until very cold. Stir well before serving.

Sunday Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy - Claire Robinson

Show: 5 Ingredient Fix
Episode: Cook Once, Eat Twice

4 servings with leftovers

1 (4 to 5-pound) boneless beef bottom round roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced
4 cups low-sodium beef broth

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season well on all sides with
salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven medium-high
heat, add the roast and brown all sides, about 4 minutes per side.
Transfer the meat to a plate and add the mushrooms. Season with salt
and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and
beginning to release liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and broth and stir until combined. Nestle the roast
into the vegetables, adding any juices it released to the pot. Add the
beef broth, bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven to
roast for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the lid, carefully flip the meat and
continue cooking for 30 minutes; the meat should be fork tender and
the liquid reduced.

Remove the pot from the oven, transfer the meat to a cutting board and
tent with foil to keep it warm. Let the mushrooms and onions stand
several minutes undisturbed to allow some of the beef fat to rise to
the surface. With a large spoon, skim off the excess fat and discard.
With a ladle, add about 1 1/2 cups of the mushrooms and onions with
some cooking liquid to the bowl of a blender or food processor.
Carefully puree the mixture until very smooth. Pour the puree back
into the pot and stir very well until combined; taste and adjust

To serve, slice the pot roast and arrange on a serving platter.
Drizzle some mushroom gravy over the top and pass the extra gravy at
the table.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bacon, Onion and Cheese Stuffed Burger Recipe

courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2009
Show: Cooking for Real
Episode: Burger Bash

Prep Time:15 min
Inactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:20 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 strips bacon, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
4 burger buns
Lettuce, tomato, pickles for garnish

Preheat grill to medium.

In a bowl combine beef, garlic, hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste, being careful not to over mix. Warm a skillet over medium heat and fry bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Keep heat on skillet and fry a pinch of the beef in the bacon fat to test seasoning. Adjust seasoning, if needed, then form 8 even thin patties, about 1/2-inch thick and set aside. Saute onions in bacon fat in skillet until tender, 5 minutes. Place onions and bacon in a bowl with cheese. Form a spoonful of bacon-cheese mixture into a ball, then place in the center of 4 patties. Top each with another patty and seal the edges. Grill burgers over medium-high heat, flipping once until desired doneness is reached, approximately 4 minutes each side for medium. Serve in buns with garnishes. Alternative: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sear the burgers 4 minutes on each side.

Garlic Hasselback Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream Recipe

courtesy Sunny Anderson

Show: Cooking for Real
Episode: Bistro Night In

16 ounces red new potatoes
3 to 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbed Sour Cream, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a wooden spoon as a cradle, place each potato in the spoon and
make several parallel slits into each potato top making sure not to
slice completely through. Place 3 garlic slices between slits at the
crown of each potato. Toss in a medium bowl with butter and olive
oil. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt and
pepper. Bake until tops are crispy and potatoes are cooked through,
about 1 hour. Transfer to a platter and top with Herbed Sour Cream.

Herbed Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Season, to taste, and refrigerate until use.

Grilled Chicken with White Wine Mushroom Sauce Recipe

courtesy Sunny Anderson
Show: Cooking for Real
Episode: Bistro Night In

For Brine:
4 cups water
1 lemon, quartered and juiced
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup salt
4 (6-ounce) boneless chicken breasts with skin
4 drops liquid smoke
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 sage leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For White Wine Mushroom Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup semidry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Special equipment: grill pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix together water, lemon juice, sugar and salt until dissolved. Add lemon quarters and chicken.  Marinate for 30 minutes. Remove from marinade and pat dry. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Massage 1 drop of liquid smoke into each chicken breast.  Salt and pepper generously then rub 1 tablespoon butter over and under skin of each chicken breast, placing 2 sage leaves underneath the skin. Place on hot grill, skin side down, until skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile for the white wine mushroom sauce: In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil. Add onions, mushrooms and cayenne pepper. Saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine and reduce until it's almost evaporated.  Add chicken stock and simmer until reduced by one third. In a small bowl press together remaining butter and flour with fingertips until well blended, then slowly add to the sauce while stirring with a wooden spoon. Simmer until sauce resembles loose gravy, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with the chicken.

Honey Glazed Carrots

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson
Show: Cooking for Real
Episode: Germany is Wonder-veal

4 servings

1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice. Cook until a glaze  coats the carrots, 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Per Serving: Calories: 139; Total Fat: 6 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 2 grams; Total carbohydrates: 21 grams; Sugar: 15 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 15 milligrams; Sodium: 63 milligrams

Orange Lime Pie with Meringue Topping

Sunny Anderson

18 cinnamon graham crackers, broken up
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs, separated
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 orange, zested
1 lime, zested
1/4 cup sugar
Special equipment: 8-inch springform pan, food processor, stand mixer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with the rack in the middle of the oven. In a
food processor, pulse crackers until crumbly. Slowly drizzle in butter while
pulsing until crumbs are moist but still crumbly. Press mixture into a
springform pan using the bottom of a measuring cup.  Make sure the
crust goes at least 1-inch up the sides.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, milk, lime and orange juices
and zests. Pour  into crust and bake until pie sets, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.

Preheat broiler. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk
egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add sugar until meringue
turns glossy. Increase the speed and continue whisking until meringue holds
medium soft peaks. Top pie decoratively with meringue.  Broil in the
middle of the oven until meringue begins to brown on the top, about
3 minutes.

Friday, October 25, 2013

baked pears with wine and a scrumptious walnut cream

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

When I worked in France, I would visit a lovely little bakery once a week to buy a tart filled with a really amazing walnut cream, with poached glazed pears on top. It was such a joy to eat that I wanted to give you a recipe based on these flavors – the combination is fantastic. At Christmas time, it's nice to use chestnuts instead of walnuts, or you could even bash up or grate some good-quality chocolate to sprinkle over the pears as well.

servings 4

1 vanilla bean
4 good-quality seasonal pears, peeled
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, plus a little extra
2 large wine glasses of red or white wine
2 oranges
7 oz shelled walnuts
9 oz mascarpone

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Score down the length of the vanilla bean and remove the seeds by scraping a knife down the inside of each half. Put the pears into a tight-fitting ovenproof pot or pan, add the brown sugar, wine, vanilla pod and seeds, and the peel and juice of 1 orange and bring to the boil. Sprinkle over half the walnuts and then put in the oven to bake. Every so often, baste the pears with syrup they are cooking in, as this will give them a nice glaze. Cook for around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the ripeness, until the pears are tender but still holding their shape, then remove from the oven and allow to cool while you roast the remaining walnuts on a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes – make sure you keep an eye on them as they can quickly go from golden to black and you don’t want burned walnuts!

Remove the vanilla pod from the syrup. When the walnuts are done, either whizz them in a food processor or bash them up with a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Whip up the mascarpone with the walnut paste, the zest and juice of the other orange and enough sugar to sweeten, and serve this cream with the baked pears, the nuts, some orange peel and some of the cooking syrup.

Jamie Oliver’s slow-roasted lamb shoulder

Published On Wed Oct 27 2010

Next time you roast lamb, lay it on a bed of garlic cloves and rosemary stalks.

British chef Jamie Oliver urgers you to buy quality local lamb and let the meat speak for itself once you cook it low and slow.  This is best served with roasted potatoes seasoned veggies and/or wilted greens.

2 to 3 lb (1 to 1-1/2 kg) boneless lamb shoulder, excess fat trimmed, top fat scored
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch rosemary
Unpeeled cloves from 1 head garlic

Pan Gravy:
1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) drained capers
Chopped leaves from 1 bunch mint
2 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar

Generously season lamb with salt and pepper. Rub with oil.

Lay rosemary and garlic in roasting pan with lid. Place lamb over, fat side up. Cover dish with lid or foil. Place in preheated 550F (290C) oven. Immediately reduce heat to 325F (160C). Roast until meat pulls apart with fork, about 3 to 4 hours. Let rest, loosely covered, 10 minutes before carving as desired.

For pan gravy, discard rosemary stalks. Remove garlic. Discard peels; mash flesh and return to pan. Place pan on stove over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then stock, stirring well. Add capers. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes. Stir in mint and vinegar.

Serve meat with gravy passed separately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain.

Raw beet & pear matchsticks with feta

Published ON Wed Nov 21 2007

Raw beetroot is amazing in salads, giving you a deep, earthy, minerally flavor, lots of crunch and, of course, incredible colors, reports Jamie Oliver.

Try to use different coloured beets when available. I used bosc and anjou pears, but any kind will do.

Oliver artfully sprinkles the feta and mint on top. I mixed everything together before serving, though the colours bled.

Lemon oil dressing:
3-1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt + freshly ground pepper

1-1/2 lb (700 g) beets (about 4 large), peeled, cut into matchsticks
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into fine matchsticks
Sea salt + freshly ground pepper
7 oz (200 g) feta cheese, crumbled
Leaves from 1 bunch mint, finely chopped

For Lemon Oil Dressing, whisk together lemon juice and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Alternately, put everything in jar and shake.) Refrigerate in sealed container until ready to use. Makes about 3/4 cup.

For salad, in large bowl, combine beets and pears. Add about 1/2 cup Lemon Oil dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Adjust dressing and seasoning if needed.

Divide salad among serving plates. Top each with crumbled feta. Sprinkle each with mint. Or add feta and mint to beet mixture. Toss well, then serve.

Makes 6 side servings (8 cups).

Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 (1- pound) acorn squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 pound pizza dough
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 cup arugula

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the
squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss
the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt,
and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough
on a flour dusted piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter. Place the
pizza and the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella
cheese and the Gorgonzola on the pizza dough.  Bake in the oven until golden
and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash.
Top with arugula and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Slice and

Thin Crusted Focaccia Pizza with Fresh Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

Recipe courtesy Match Catering
Show: Behind the Bash
Episode: Sopranos Premiere Party

2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 1/2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons for greasing the baking pan
1/2-ounce dry yeast
1/2-ounce honey
1 3/4 pounds all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough 3/4-ounce kosher salt
1/2 cup cornmeal, to dust baking pan

18 Roma or Italian plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup packed basil leaves, chiffonade
6 cups grated mozzarella
Salt and white pepper

Preheat a convection oven to 325 degrees F or a regular oven to 350
degrees F.

To make the dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the
water, 2 1/2 ounces of olive oil, yeast and honey. Allow the yeast to
proof for 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt, and mix with a dough
hook on medium speed until the dough is pliable and elastic, about 5
minutes. If the dough is a little wet, you may need to add a little
more flour. The dough should be moist, but not stick to the hands.

Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place
until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Brush the remaining olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet about 18-by-26-
inches and dust with the cornmeal. Roll out the dough on a lightly
floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick and prick the dough all over
with a fork or rolling docker. Brush off any excess flour and
transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the dough until lightly
browned, about 6 minutes. Cool.

When the dough has cooled, evenly top with focaccia with the tomato
slices, covering the entire surface and lightly season with kosher
salt and whit pepper. Sprinkle with the basil chiffonade and lightly
top with the mozzarella. You should be able to see the tomatoes
through the cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is
melted and slightly colored. Cool the pizza slightly and cut into 2-
bite triangles.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled
down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network
Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions
indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zucchini-Pepperoni Pizza Frittata

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Broil: 1 minute

3 cups thinly sliced zucchini
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons snipped fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons snipped fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices
6 1/8-inch-thick pepperoni slices
4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

Cook zucchini, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 3 minutes; drain.

Combine eggs, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Stir in oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, and zuchinip; set aside.

Heat olive oil in an 8-inch broilerproof skillet over medium heat. Carefully transfer zucchini mixture to hot skillet. Cook over medium heat about 15 minutes or until egg mixture is mostly set (surface will be moist). Do not stir.

Layer on tomato, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. Place skillet under the broiler 4 to 5 inches from the heat. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until top is set, cheese has melted, and pepperoni is sizzling. Cut into eight wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Menu Suggestion: Make it a meal with citrus greens salad and coffee or tea.

Pizza Casserole with Noodles

8 oz. Extra wide noodles
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can tomato soup or sauce
1/2 cup water
1 (2 oz.) can mushrooms
3/4 cup sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter casserole dish.

Boil noodles according to package directions, cutting boiling time in half. Place noodles in casserole and cover with soup, water, and mushrooms.

Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in olive oil, adding herbs at the last minute.  Add to tomato and noodle mixture and mix in lightly.  Cover all the cheese, topping off with a few spoons of tomato soup.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dots of butter, if desired. Bake 40 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Giada De Laurentiis Show: Everyday Italian
Episode: Cooking for Kids

1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
2 (8-ounce) pieces of homemade or purchased pizza dough, recipe follows
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups, grated pasteurized mozzarella
2 Roma tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 large garlic clove, minced, optional
6 fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt

Position 1 oven rack in the center and the second rack on the bottom
of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle the cornmeal over
2 rimless baking sheets. Roll out each piece of pizza dough into a 10
to 11-inch-diameter round. Transfer 1 dough to each prepared baking

Drizzle 2 teaspoons of oil over each pizza dough. Sprinkle the
mozzarella over the pizza dough, dividing equaling and leaving a 1-
inch border around each pizza. Arrange the tomato slices in a single
layer over the cheese.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Arrange basil
leaves on top, drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle
garlic all over. Bake the pizzas until the crusts are crisp and brown
on the bottom and the cheese is melted on top, about 15 minutes.

Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over each pizza. Sprinkle with basil for
garnish and salt. Cut the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl to blend. Let stand
until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Mix the flour and salt in
a food processor to blend. Blend in the oil. With the machine
running, add the yeast mixture and blend just until the dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until
smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and
turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and set aside in a warm draft-free area until the dough doubles in
volume, about 1 hour. Punch the down dough and divide into 2 equal
balls. (The dough can be used immediately or stored airtight in the
refrigerator for 1 day.)

Yield: 2 (8-ounce) balls of pizza dough

Quick California Pizza

1 cn Stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)*
1 Bread shell,large
1 tb Olive oil
1 cn Mushrooms,sliced (3 oz)
1 tb Parsley
1/3 c Romano cheese, grated * - Italian style

Drain tomatoes and save juice. Add olive oil to reserved tomato juice and brush
over the top of bread shell.  Arrange tomatoes and mushrooms on top. Sprinkle
with parsley and Romano cheese. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees F.

Quick Pizza Rolls Recipe

"This is a great way to make pizzas for a slumber party or move night." We love that you can individually thaw and bake thme one at a time."  Debbie Gray - Gilbert, Iowa

* 6 Servings
* Prep: 35 min.
* Bake: 10 min.

* 1 pound ground beef
* 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
* 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 6 French rolls
* 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

* In a large skillet, cook the beef, pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, garlic, sugar, Italian seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through.

* Cut 1/4 in. off the top of each roll; set aside. Carefully hollow out bottom of roll, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Fill each roll with 1/2 cup meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses. Replace bread tops.

* Place desired amount of sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Individually wrap remaining sandwiches tightly in foil; freeze for up to 3 months.

* To use frozen sandwiches: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place foil-wrapped sandwiches on baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 pizza roll equals 415 calories, 16 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 903 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Quick Pizza Rolls published in Simple and Delicious May 2010, p59