Spanish Fritatta

Serve this simple and delicious Fritatta at your next Sunday Brunch get-together!

Goat Cheese, Roasted Pepper and Baby Spinach Fritatta

Serves 6
Pre heat oven to 375

*  12 eggs
*  1/2 cup milk
*  2 roasted peppers – cut into bite size strips
*  1 cup fresh baby spinach (use extra if desired)
*  1 cup goat cheese (1 x 125 mg package)
*  2 tbsp. butter
*  1 white onion or 2 green onions – chopped  
*  salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter & saute onion until soft

Whisk eggs with milk, add cooked onion, roasted pepper, spinach and half the goat cheese

Grease casserole dish (approx. 9 x 12) add mixture

Bake for 30 minutes, check if cooked by tapping top to see if firm

Add balance of goat cheese, broil for 3 minutes to melt

ENJOY! 



French Gratin of Potatoes Recipe

There are many ways to make a potato gratin, but this one is our favourite…cream, butter & garlic, how can you not be tasty!  This indulgent gratin will be sure to please everyone.

Butter for gratin dish
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter melted
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic
1 tsp (5ml) chopped fresh thyme (can be substituted with tarragon)
2 lbs (1kg) red-skinned potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin or by hand
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream

Topping
1 tbsp (15ml) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 c)

2.Butter the base and sides of a rectangular 8-cup (2-L) gratin dish large enough to hold the potatoes in layers. Rub with whole garlic clove. In a seperate bowl combine melted butter, chopped garlic and thyme (or tarragon).

3. Layer potatoes into the dish, mounding slighly in the centre. After each layer, spoon a small amount of the butter garlic mixture overtop and season with salt and pepper. Finish with a layer of potatoes.

4. Heat milk and cream together until simmering. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over gratin. Liquid should come just to the top layer but not cover the potatoes. Drizzle with extra butter.

5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender and browned on top.

Serves 8

VARIATION

* Sprinkle goat cheese between the layers

* Layer onions and tomatoes between layers

* Use stock instead of cream

* Make it cheesy with 2 cups (500 ml) cheddar sprinkled between layers. 



Linguine With Roasted Butternut Squash & Crispy Pancetta

Pancetta is Italian streaky bacon rolled into a cylinder. Pancetta is cured, but not smoked, and comes sweet or hot, much like Italian sausage. Autumn squash has a deep orange interior and butternut squash is especially delicious when roasted.

1/2 medium butternut squash or 12 oz. (375 g) peeled squash
6 cloves garlic
6 to 8 oz (175 to 250 g) thinly slice pancetta, preferably not paper thin
1 lemon
1/2 cup (80 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1/2 tsp (2 ml) hot red chilli flakes
several grindings of black pepper
 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 lb (500 g) dry linguine or fettuccine
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Cut off narrow neck of squash just where it joins bulbous lower half; set lower half aside for another use. Cut off stem; standing up-right, thinly cut away peel. 

2.  Cut squash crosswise into 3/4 inch-thick (2-cm) rounds. Cut each round into irregular pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5 – 4 cm ) long. Peel garlic cloves; leave whole but thinly cut off rough end. Set Squash and garlic aside. 

3. Arrange oven rack just above oven centre. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 c).

4. Line a large, rimmed baking tray with aluminium foil. Lay pancetta, overlapping as needed, in a single layer. Bake above oven centre for 10 minutes; remove from oven. Pancetta has shrunk, arrange so slices are not overlapping. Continue baking, checking every 3 to 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove pancetta to drain on paper towels; leave fat on tray.

5. Place squash pieces on tray; so they are coated in fat. Arrange in a doughnut fashion. Place garlic cloves in centre; stir garlic so coated with fat. Roast 10 minutes; turn squash and stir garlic. Continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is golden and tender. Leave squash on tray to keep warm. Remove garlic to a plate; mash with a fork.

6. Meanwhile, zest lemon; set half aside for garnish. Squeeze 2 tbsp (30 ml) juice. Stir mashed garlic cloves into oil along with lemon juice, sugar, chill flakes, pepper and half of lemon zest.

7. Bring a pasta pot half-filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add linguine; boil according to package directions, usually about 8 minutes, or just until al dente. Scoop out about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of pasta water; then drain pasta.

8. Turn linguine into a large warm bowl; toss with olive oil mixture until coated. Leaving 12 pieces of pancetta whole, crumble the rest over the pasta. Add spinach. Toss, adding some reserved pasta water, if needed, for extra moisture.

9. Serve right away in warmed bowls garnished with roasted squash, pinches of lemon zest, a sprinkling of Parmesan and reserved pancetta pieces as garnish. Pass remaining Parmesan and a shaker of hot chilli flakes at tables.

Serves 6



Shrimp Crêpe Recipe

   

Crêpe, a pancake, made by cooking a thin batter sparingly in a very thin layer in a frying or special crêpe pan. The word comes from the Latin “crispus,” meaning curled. In French rural society, crêpes were also considered to be a symbol of allegiance: farmers offered them to their landowner. In western France, particularly in Brittany, crêpes are prepared throughout the year and served with salted butter. Crêpe consumption is nowadays widespread in France and is considered the national dish. Crêpes can be compared to the African injera, the tortilla, the Indian dosa and the Mexican sope. In traditional cookery, Crêpes are served as a hot hors d’oeuvre, filled with a fairly thick mixture of veloute sauce with mushrooms, ham, Gruyere cheese or seafood. They may also be cut into fine strips and used to garnish soup. Most often, however, crêpes are prepared as sweet dishes.

 Our crêpe Recipe is easier to make then you think!

Shrimp Crêpes

Shrimp, Wild Mushroom, Asparagus with a Tarragon Cream Sauce 

For Crêpe Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken or beef broth
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves or a mixture of other minced fresh herbs, such as chives, coriander, or tarragon
  • melted unsalted butter for brushing the pan

To make crêpes:
In a blender or food processor blend the flour, the broth, the eggs, the butter, and the salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container, and blend the batter for 20 seconds more. Transfer the batter to a bowl, stir in the herbs, and let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes enough batter for about 16 crêpes.

Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6 to 7 inches across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make crêpes with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.

For Filling: 
13 – 15  shrimp- peeled and deviened
1 bunch of Green Asparagus
½ lb assorted Mushrooms (*Button, Oyster, Shitaki or Portobello) finely sliced
2 cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 oz White Wine
2 oz Butter
2 oz Olive Oil
1 Lemon juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 
Cut Asparagus into small spears; blanch for 2 min in boiling salted water.

Add 1 oz of Olive Oil to hot pan, add mushrooms, sauté for 1 min, add garlic and nutmeg, butter and White Wine, sauté for another 2 min, add salt and pepper.

Put Juice of Lemon on Shrimp, add salt and pepper sauté in hot pan till shrimp is               cooked through. Add Asparagus and Mushrooms to shrimp, let mixture cool. Place crepes on cutting board, fill crepes with mixture, roll crepes and set aside.

For Cream Sauce

2 Garlic Cloves Minced
½ cup White Wine
¾ cup 35% cream
½ oz Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 teaspoons Fresh Tarragon 

Method:

Sauté Garlic in Olive Oil till translucent, add white wine and reduce by ½, add cream and Reduce by 1/3, add fresh Tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Put Crepes in an oven at 350 Degrees for 8-10 min, take out of oven and pour cream sauce over top and serve.

ENJOY!     



Easter Brioche Recipe

 

This brioche recipe is soft, light and deliciously buttery.
 

Ingredients:

400 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5 g powdered dried yeast
10 g fine sea salt (I’ve put 8 gr)
90ml warm milk
2 Tbsp caster sugar 100 g butter, softened
4 medium free range eggs, beaten
zest of 2 lemons

To Glaze

1 medium free range egg
2 Tbsp milk
sugar for finishing

To knead by hand: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and bring it all together to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.

Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add all the dough ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, and leave to knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.

Shape the dough into a round ball, place in a bowl and cover tightly. Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day, divide the dough in two and form into the shape of your choice. Lightly flour the loaves, lay them on a wooden board or linen cloth and cover with a plastic bag. Leave them somewhere nice and warm to prove until almost doubled in size; this could take 3 or 4 hours, as the dough is cold.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. For the glaze, beat the egg and milk together. Transfer the risen loaves to a baking tray and brush all over with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar on top. Bake for about 10 mins, then lower the oven setting to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Brioche is best enjoyed the day they are baked, but will keep for a day in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.



Live Longer, Feel Better

Live Longer, Feel BetterDon’t Miss the recipe at the end…

Anti-Oxidants

Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain many components that are beneficial to human health. Research supports that some of these foods, as part of an overall healthy diet, have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases. These observations have led to continuing research aimed at identifying specific bioactive components in foods, such as antioxidants, which may be responsible for improving and maintaining health.

Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colours—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. The most well-known components of food with antioxidant activities are vitamins A, C, and E; β-carotene; the mineral selenium; and more recently, the compound lycopene. Antioxidants have anti-aging effects because they are scavengers of free radicals (and other reactive oxygen species) which are linked with human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and with aging. Free radicals are also associated with other aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage induced by free radicals and reactive oxygen species by (1) suppressing their formation; (2) acting as scavengers; and (3) acting as their substrate.

Few fruits have quite the provocative allure, the fragile charm or the nutrients of berries. They’re full of fiber, minerals and vitamins, and loaded with healing antioxidants. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid, a plant compound that combats carcinogens. Blueberries also appear to delay the onset of age-related loss of cognitive function.

 

Tomatoes are fast becoming one of our favourite modern foods, and for good reason — they can ward off certain kinds of cancer, prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and help maintain mental function as we age. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a relatively rare member of the carotenoid family, also found in pink grapefruit and twice as powerful as beta-carotene. Other studies suggest lycopene can help prevent lung, colon and breast cancers. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant glutathione, which helps boost immune function

The “stinking rose,” perhaps the world’s oldest known medicinal and culinary herb, is packed with antioxidants that can help fend off cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent odour are thought to be responsible for its healing benefits. Studies have shown that garlic keeps the heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, fighting free radicals and keeping blood from clotting. Other studies suggest that eating garlic regularly can help prevent cancer. It also has potent anti-fungal properties and can help treat asthma and yeast infections. 

Popeye may have thought eating spinach gave him strength, but it also allowed him to hit a nutritional jackpot. Because lutein (an antioxidant found in spinach) is the main pigment in the macula – the region of maximum visual sensitivity – it can help protect your vision. Studies have shown that people who eat spinach are less likely to develop cataracts and macular degeneration, the two most common causes of vision loss. Lutein appears to work by shielding the retina from sun damage and fighting free radicals that can harm the eyes. Some preliminary studies have suggested that lutein can also help prevent heart disease. 

The most frequently consumed beverage in the world may also be one of the best ways to prevent a number of degenerative diseases. Tea has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. It was originally thought that green tea had more antioxidants than black tea, but recent studies suggest that they are equally beneficial. The catechins in green tea are oxidized in the manufacturing process of black tea, forming free-radical fighting theaflavins.

Other Anti Oxidants:  Grains, Red Grapes, Cranberries, Artichokes, Prunes, Apples, Carrots.

Smoked Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole and Red Chili Salsa

  • 4 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • ½ c. fresh chopped basil
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper
  •  ½ t. cinnamon
  • 1 6oz. Can tomato paste
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • Salt as needed
  • Pepper as needed
  • ½ cup Sherry or Port
  • ¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  1. Prepare 3 handfuls of wood chips, hickory might be best, by soaking them for ½ hour to an hour.
  2. Smoke 4 lbs of ripe tomatoes. Rinse them and spray with olive oil . Place the tomatoes in a grill basket. It is easiest if it is one that can be turned. Otherwise, the tomatoes will have to be turned by hand. Add half the soaked wood chips and wait a moment for them to begin to smoke. Over a moderate fire use direct heat. If the fire is hot, use indirect heat. Roast the tomatoes checking to see when the bottoms begin to blacken. When they have, remove the basket and grate. Add the rest of the wood chips. Turn the tomatoes or basket. Roast until done on the other side. The tomatoes should be soft and thoroughly cooked through. This process will take 10-20 minutes depending on the heat of the fire. The secret is to make sure they get smoke without burning up. They can be covered and used 1 or 2 days later.
  3. Start the soup by sautéing 2 chopped onions in olive oil in a heavy soup pot until soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes, cut in half, with the tomato juice that has accumulated, 3 bay leaves and 2 T. crushed garlic. Cook together about 10 minutes over moderate heat.
  5. Add ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, 1 t. crushed red pepper, 1 ½ t. cinnamon, and 1 6 oz can tomato paste. Cook a few minutes until it becomes fragrant.
  6. Add 1 sherry or Port and 5 cups chicken broth Adjust the soup with salt and Pepper
  7. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom to prevent sticking and burning. Adjust the seasonings.
  8. Cool and then puree in batches.
  9. Reheat when ready to serve

 Goat Cheese Guacamole

½ cup Goat Cheese
1 Avocado (Peeled and Pitted)
1 Lime Juiced
Salt & Pepper

In a bowl break avocado into small pieces, add goat cheese, lime, salt and Pepper, mix until folded in but still little lumpy.

Red Chili Salsa

2 tomatoes (deseed and chopped
½ shallot finely chopped
1 Serrano Chili or Red Chili chopped finely
Salt , pepper to taste
½ bunch of Cilantro chopped

Mix all ingredients together.

Place Guacamole on bottom of bowl, then a large table spoon of the Salsa, pour hot soup over and enjoy !!!



Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée

From The Old Mill Toronto Pastry Shop

Ingredients:

*  5 Egg Yolks
*  2 Eggs
*  3/4 Cup Sugar
*  1L (4 cups) Whipping Cream (35%)
*  1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
*  150 g Pumpkin Puree
*  3/4 tsp Cinnamon
*  1/2 tsp Ginger
*  1/2 tsp Nutmeg 

Pre-Heat oven to 310F

In a large bowl, whick eggs, egg yolks & vanilla.

In a sauce pot, mix cream, pumpkin, sugar and spices.

Bring to a boil, and gradually add the hot mixture to the eggs, whisking the entire time to ensure that the eggs are not scrambled.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Pour into prepared ramekins/serving dishes, and bake in a water bath until set to a gelatine state. Depending on the size of the serving vessels, cooking time can vary 30 – 50 minutes.

Let cool, and chill in refrigerator for up to one week.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle with sugar and burn with a small torch until sugar caramelizes and creates a shell.

* Mix can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to one week without baking.



Fig Glazed Chicken Recipe

In making this Fig, Balsamic Glazed Chicken you only require three ingredients to deliver  a tangy mouthwatering sensation.  This marinade doesn’t require a lot of time and is great for those nights when you had nothing planned.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fig spread, (jam)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard
  • 1.3 kg bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (about 8 pieces) 

In a bowl, whisk together fig spread, vinegar, mustard and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper until smooth. Toss half of the mixture with the chicken to coat.

Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once and brushing with remaining fig mixture, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, approx. 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!



Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque Recipe

Discover eating well with this healthy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque recipe. Bursting with flavour and best served with crusty bread and a salad. 

Ingredients:

·         Canned tomato fillets (chopped tomatoes are also fine) x 2 cans (400 ml size)
·         Medium carrots, peeled & chopped x 2 pc
·         Celery trimmed and sliced x 3 stalks
·         Two cloves of garlic minced
·         Medium sized cooking onions chopped x 2
·         3 – 4 Medium to Large sized Red Bell Peppers approx. 1.5 lbs
·         Chicken or Vegetable soup stock (liquid or if in powder form follow the package                 recipe to make the required amount of liquid) x 1 litre
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
·         Olive oil x 1 fluid ounce

Method:

First  cut the red peppers in half and remove the core and all of the seeds. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Roast in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven skin side down until nicely browned. This will take 10 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. Once roasted remove from the oven and place in a tied plastic bag, large zip-lock bag, or makeshift plastic wrap bag. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins from the peppers.

In a medium sized sauce pan add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes more.

Add the canned tomatoes, roasted pepper halves and soup stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 -12  minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand emersion blender blend the soup until smooth. If using a traditional blender to blend the soup make sure you place a kitchen towel on top of the lid and allow some air to escape on low speed first. Just be sure not to fill the blender too full. This will prevent the pressure from building inside the blender abruptly and potentially burning you as the contents burst out of the blender.

Adjust the thickness of the soup by boiling it down to your preferred consistency prior to adjusting the seasoning.

If your soup is too thick, add some water or stock. If you like a little heat in your soup add a freshly chopped jalapeno.



Tuscan Kale, Squash, & Quinoa Salad

Tuscan Kale is also known as cavolo nero (black kale) or dinosaur kale. It’s slightly bitter flavour is a good foil for the sweet roasted squash. To bump up the protein, sprinkle with chopped almonds or walnuts, or top with a poached egg.

Dressing

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

3 cups (750 ml) diced squash
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 red onion cut into wedges
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) red or yellow quinoa
1/2 small bunch Tuscan Kale (about 3 cups/750 ml packed), stemmed and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 ml) cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
For the dressing, whisk lemon juice with mustard, then whisk in oil, set aside.
For the salad, toss squash, unpeeled garlic cloves and onion with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large, wide pot, combine quinoa with 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes until wilted. Drain off excess water, and then turn mixture into large bowl. Add roasted squash and onion, chickpeas, basil and Parmesan.
Squeeze garlic from skins onto cutting board. Using flat side of knife, mash to a paste. Which into dressing. Pour over salad and toss to mix evenly.

Serves 6