Friday, May 31, 2013

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

                   Total : 30 minutes  ... Makes 4 sandwiches

1-3/4 ...................teaspoons paprika
1 .........................teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 ......................teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 ......................teaspoon salt
1/4 ......................teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 .........................(6-ounce) catfish fillets 
2 .........................teaspoons olive oil 
1/3 ......................cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
3 .........................tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 .........................tablespoon honey
2 .........................cups packaged cabbage-carrot coleslaw
1 .........................cup chopped fresh cilantro 
4 .........................(1-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted

1.         Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of fish with paprika mixture. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fish; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
2.         Combine yogurt, juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Add cabbage and cilantro; toss well to coat. Top each bread slice with about 1/2 cup slaw and 1 fillet. Top each fillet with remaining slaw.
Sustainable Choice:
Look for farmed catfish, which is an eco-friendly option

This Cajun-inspired catfish sandwich is served open faced and topped with a creamy slaw packed with fresh cilantro.
Heart healthy

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Curried Cabbage

                            Makes 8 servings  (serving size 2/3 cup)

1 .................tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 ..............cup minced shallots
2 .................garlic cloves, minced
2 .................tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 .................teaspoons curry powder
1 .................teaspoon ground turmeric
12 ...............cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1/4 ..............cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 ..............cup rice vinegar
1/2 ..............teaspoon salt
1/4 ..............teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add mustard, curry, and turmeric; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cabbage and remaining ingredients; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Heart Healthy

Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon

Prep: 1 hour  30 minutes ... Cook : 1 hour ... Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 ..................red bell peppers 
2 ..................green bell peppers
2 ..................poblano peppers 
1 .................jalapeno pepper
3 .................medium tomatoes 
1 .................whole head garlic
5 .................tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 .................tablespoons butter
1 .................large onion, diced (about 1 cup) 
6 .................medium cloves garlic, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 .................cups fish or seafood stock ( I used Kitchen Basics brand)
1/2 ..............cup red wine vinegar
                       **Hot sauce, to taste**
                       **Salt, to taste **
                       **Freshly ground pepper, to taste **
1/4 ..............cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 ..............cup fresh parsley
4 .................green onions, sliced
1/2 ..............teaspoon lemon juice
1 .................cup all-purpose flour
1..................cup self-rising white cornmeal mix 
2 .................pounds small catfish fillets 
                        **Hot cooked rice**

1.         Preheat broiler. Broil peppers and tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat, with oven door partially open, about 5 minutes on each side or until blistered. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Open bag, and allow to cool. Peel peppers and tomatoes; remove and discard seeds and stems from peppers.
2.         Reduce oven temperature to 400º. Cut off pointed end of garlic head; place on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Fold foil to seal. Bake at 1 hour; remove and allow to cool. Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves, and place in a food processor with peeled peppers and tomatoes. Pulse until roughly chopped and a chunky consistency.
3.         Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add chopped raw garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in chopped pepper mixture.
4.        Add stock and vinegar, and bring to a low boil. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until sauce has a thick, stew-like consistency. Season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir in mint and next 3 ingredients.
5.         Combine flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Season catfish with salt and pepper, and dredge in cornmeal mixture, pressing to adhere. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat, and fry catfish in batches, 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and place in a 200º oven to keep warm.
6.         Place rice on a large serving platter. Remove fish from oven, and arrange on top of rice. Spoon sauce over fish and serve remaining sauce alongside. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.

TIP : Use the freshest local ingredients available and making ingredients like boudin and andouille sausage the old-fashioned way in the back of the restaurant. Unlike its French ancestor, a light broth used for poaching, a Cajun-style courtbouillon is a thick sort of fish stew, here made even more delicious by frying the fish first.
Heart Healthy

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ginger Pear Upsidedown Cake...Gorgeous and Low Fat

 

Pear Ginger Upside Down Cake

 

Ingredients

  • 3 pears, Bartlett
  • 2 tbsp. (45 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) Becel® Original margarine
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) slivered almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup (125 mL) Becel® Original margarine
  • ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) lemon rind
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. (1 mL) salt
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) 2 % milk¼ cup
  •   (50 mL) candied ginger, finely chopped

Preparation

Step 1

Peel and core pears. Cut lengthwise into thin slices, dropping into small bowl with lemon juice while cutting. Toss to coat; drain (reserving juice).

Step 2

Grease 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with l tbsp. (15 mL) Becel® Original margarine. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Arrange pears in concentric circles in the springform pan.Grease 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with l tbsp. (15 mL) Becel® Original margarine. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Arrange pears in concentric circles in the springform pan.

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, beat Becel® Original margarine with sugar until fluffy. Add beaten eggs, lemon rind and reserved juice. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir half of the flour mixture into the batter; mixing well. Stir in milk, then remaining flour mixture. Fold in candied ginger. Spoon batter evenly over pears.

Step 4

Bake in 375°F (190°C) for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then invert plate over pan and turn out cake. Serve at room temperature with caramel sauce.
Absolutely fabulous...Give yourself a pat on the back..Cake Queen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep: 45 Minutes ... Total time : 8 hours  ... Makes 4 servings
Masala Marinade:1 ................cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 ................garlic cloves, mince
1 ................tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 .........teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2.......... teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 ............teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 ............teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 ............teaspoon ground turmeric
             **Salt and freshly ground pepper**

Chicken
2-1/2 .........pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
            **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
2 ...............tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 ............cup blanched whole almonds
1 ...............large onion, finely chopped
2 ...............garlic cloves, minced
1 ...............teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 ........tablespoons garam masala
1-1/2 ........teaspoons pure chile powder
1/2 ...........teaspoon cayenne pepper
1...............35-ounce can peeled tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
               **Pinch of sugar**
1 .............cup heavy cream

1 .     In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
2 .       Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade; scrape off as much of the marinade as possible. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and spread the pieces on a baking sheet. Broil the chicken, turning once or twice, until just cooked through and browned in spots, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut it into 2-inch pieces.
3 .         Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground.
4 .         In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garam masala, chile powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and ground almonds and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the chicken; simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, and serve.
Make ahead the Chicken Tikka Masala can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
TipsVariation:
 The marinade and sauce here are also delicious with shrimp, lamb and vegetables.Serve WithSteamed basmati rice, rice pilaf or warm nan.

This classic masala is often the first dish many try when exploring Indian food. I love this version because it's easy to prepare and its slightly spicy tomato cream sauce is addictive. The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so plan accordingly.
Heart Healthy

Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes & Kale

Prep : 10 minutes ... Total time: 1 hour ...Makes 8 servings

1-1/2...... pounds tender, young kale, stems and inner ribs removed
1-1/2 .....pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 ...........medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 ........cup extra-virgin olive oil
         **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
8 ...........whole chicken legs (about 10 ounces each)
1 ...........teaspoon paprika
         **Lemon wedges, for serving**

1 .      Preheat the oven to 450°. In a very large roasting pan, toss the kale, potatoes and onion with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer.
2 .     Set the chicken on a cutting board, skin side down. Slice halfway through the joint between the drumsticks and thighs. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the paprika and set on top of the vegetables.
3.     Cover the pan with foil. Roast the chicken in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for 30 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Transfer the chicken to plates and spoon the vegetables alongside. Serve with lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing:
Full-bodied, pear-inflected Chardonnay.
Heart Healthy

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bluberry - Rhubarb Coffee Cake

 
 
Tart rhubarb and sweet blueberries partner in a sweet and delectable coffee cake. Serve it morning, noon or night. Nice with breakfast coffee.
 
Ingredients:
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (50 mL) firm butter or margarine
Coffee Cake
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) shortening
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) baking powder
3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) chopped rhubarb
Vanilla Glaze
1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tsp (7 to 10 mL) hot water
1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla
Method:
  • Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan or 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  • In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup flour and the cinnamon. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly; set aside.
  • In large bowl, mix all coffee cake ingredients except blueberries and rhubarb; beat with spoon 30 seconds. Fold in blueberries and rhubarb. Spread in pan. Sprinkle with topping.
  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre of cake (not fruit) comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan if desired.
  • In small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake. Serve warm if desired.
Tip: Sprinkle with your favourite chopped nuts for a special touch.

Walnut & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

Prep / Total time : 45 minutes   ...  Makes 4 servings (1 cutlet per serving)

1/4 ...............cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ..................tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 .................(6-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/3 ..............cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/3 ..............cup finely chopped walnuts 
2 .................tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 ..............teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 ..............teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 ..............teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                **Cooking spray **
                **Rosemary leaves (optional)**

1.        Preheat oven to 425°.
2.        Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
3.        Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
4.       Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Get the crispy taste of fried chicken for less than 300 calories. Add kid appeal to this dish with a honey-mustard dipping sauce.

Heart Healthy

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Soy Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles

Prep / Total : 30 minutes   ...  Makes 4 serrvings

3 .....................tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 .....................tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 .....................tablespoon rice vinegar
1 .....................tablespoon honey
1/2 ..................teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 ..................teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee) 1 .....................tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 .....................pound large sea scallops
4 ....................cups hot cooked soba (about 6 ounces uncooked buckwheat noodles)
1/8 .................teaspoon salt
1/4 .................cup thinly sliced green onions 

1.        Combine first 6 ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a shallow baking dish; add scallops to dish in a single layer. Marinate 4 minutes on each side.
2.        Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove scallops from dish, reserving marinade. Add scallops to pan; sauté 1 minute on each side or until almost done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Place remaining marinade in pan; bring to a boil. Return scallops to pan; cook 1 minute. Toss noodles with salt and green onions. Place 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 3 scallops, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon sauce.
3 .        Steamed peas vinaigrette: Steam 1 cup snow peas and 1 cup trimmed sugar snap peas, covered, 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Combine with 1/3 cup thinly sliced radishes. Combine 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons mirin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt; stir with a whisk. Pour over peas mixture; toss.

Heart Healthy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer Strawberry Peach Pie


 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, shortening, and ½ cup of the butter until the mixture forms pea-size crumbs. Break the egg into a measuring cup and beat lightly; add the vinegar and enough cold water to measure ½ cup. Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, pulsing until a soft dough forms.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk into a 14-inch circle. Place in a 2-inch-deep 9-inch pie plate.
  4. In a medium bowl, gently toss the peaches, strawberries, tapioca, lemon juice, and ½ cup of the sugar. Spoon the fruit mixture into the pie plate and dot with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter; refrigerate.
  5. Roll out the second disk of dough into a 14-inch circle. Drape it over the pie and trim the edge to a ½-inch overhang. Fold under, pressing to seal. Crimp the edge, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 425° F. Lightly brush the top crust with cold water and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Cut several slashes into the top crust. Bake until golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° F and continue to bake until the juices bubble, 30 to 40 minutes more.
  7. Transfer to a rack and cool for 2 hours before serving. Fantastic

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

Makes about 1-1/2 quarts ( servings size about 1/2 cup ice cream)

1 ...................cup sugar
1 ...................cup water
1 ...................teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
3 ..................cups fresh ricotta cheese (about 2 pounds)
2 ..................tablespoons honey
1/4 ...............teaspoon salt

1.         Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 45 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in lavender. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2.        Combine fresh ricotta cheese, honey, and salt in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add lavender syrup through the food chute. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm.

"I made this recipe because it sounded so interesting and tasty. My house smelled amazing as I prepared it. I will make this any time I want to really impress people without having to work very hard."
Heart Healthy

Chicken Cacciatore

Makes  4 servings (serving size:1 cup chicken mixture ,2 tablespoons cheese and 1-1/2 teaspoons basil)

1 ..........pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 .........teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 ......teaspoon dried basil
1/4 ......teaspoon crushed red pepper
                 **Cooking spray** 
2 .........cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3/4 ......cup prechopped bell pepper 
1-1/2 ...cups tomato-basil pasta sauce 
1/4 ......cup dry red wine 
1/4 ......teaspoon salt
1/4 ......teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 ......cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 2 .........tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1.     Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano, dried basil, and red pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and wine; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil.

Heart Healthy

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Peach Crumblies

 
 


These crumb bars combine the best of a peach pie and the best of a crumb cake into one amazing dessert.

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

 
For the Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten


For the Filling:
5 cups diced or sliced peaches (about 7 peaches, peeled)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Directions:

 
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. For the Dough: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, and then the egg. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan. Place the pan and the remainder of the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
3. For the Filling: Place the diced (or sliced) peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the peaches and mix gently.
4. Spread the peach mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the peach layer.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
 
To die for.....You are a genius

Quick and so easy... Creamy Skillet Chicken



2 -3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cupmushroom, sliced
  • 1 mediumonion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/4 teaspoonpepper
  • 1/2 cupsour cream
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 1/2 cupchicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

  • Directions:

    1. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil and cook onions until almost soft. Add garlic and mushrooms, cook til mushrooms soften. Set aside and keep warm.
    2. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces Brown chicken in hot pan, adding more oil if required.
    3. Add onion, garlic and mushroom mixture back to pan. Stir in chicken broth and Italian herbs.
    4. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, simmering over low heat.
    5. Add sour cream, thickened cream and bacon, stir through until warmed, DO NOT boil as it will separate. Just heat it gently for a few minutes until the flavours blend.
    6. For a change, add broccoli pieces in the last few minutes of cooking, or green beans, corn niblets -- serve over pasta if you like or as a dish on it's own. A definite favourite at my house!

    Brined Roast Chicken & Olive Bread Panzanella

    Prep:30 mintues  ...  Total time : 2 hours 30 minutes + overnight brining  ... Serves 6 

    3quarts plus 3 ...................cups tepid water (15 cups)
    2 ........................................cups dry white wine
    3 ........................................heads of garlic, halved crosswise
    1/2 ....................................cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 2 .......................................tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
    2 .......................................lemons, thinly sliced
    1 .......................................orange, thinly sliced
    9 .......................................rosemary sprigs, plus 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
    2 ....................................... 3 1/2-pound chickens
    1 ........................................pound olive bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
    2 .......................................tablespoons bacon fat or melted butter

    1.        In a very large pot, combine the water, wine, garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons of pepper, lemons, orange and 3 rosemary sprigs. Stir to dissolve the salt. Put the chickens in the brine, breast sides down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    2 .       Preheat the oven to 425°. Remove the chickens from the brine and pat dry. Put the chickens in a roasting pan, breast sides up. Stuff the remaining 6 rosemary sprigs in the cavities and tie the legs together. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary. Roast for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and roast at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes longer, rotating the pan, until the juices run clear.
    3 .         Lift the chickens and tilt them to let the cavity juices run into the pan. Transfer the chickens to a carving board and keep warm. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Add the olive bread cubes and the bacon fat to the pan and toss well. Spread the bread in an even layer and bake in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until crisp on top and moist underneath. Carve the chickens and serve with the olive bread panzanella.

    Suggested Wine :Lemony, floral Moscofilero from Greece.


    Heart Healthy

    Roast Chicken with Ratatouille

    Prep /Total time : 1 hour  ..............Make 4 servings

    CHICKEN
    8  ................skin-on, bone-in pieces of chicken
    1/4  .............cup minced onion
    1 .................tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 .................tablespoon fresh thyme
    1 .................tablespoon fresh rosemary
    2 .................tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 ..............teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 .................tablespoon sea salt
    RATATOUILLE
    1/2 .............medium eggplant (6 ounces), diced (2 cups)
    1 ................teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
    1/4 .............cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 ...............medium zucchini, diced
    1 ...............medium yellow squash, diced
    1 ...............medium yellow onion, diced
    1/2 ............red bell pepper, diced
    3 ...............tablespoons sliced garlic
    2 ...............basil sprigs
    3 ...............oregano sprigs
    1/2............ cup dry white wine
    3 ...............tomatoes (3/4 pound), diced (2 cups)
    1 ..............cup tomato puree
                    Freshly ground pepper
    PREPARE THE CHICKEN:
    1 .         Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with all of the remaining ingredients. Arrange the chicken skin side up on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
    2.         MEANWHILE PREPARE THE RATATOUILLE: In a colander set over a bowl, toss the eggplant with the 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Gently squeeze the eggplant to release any bitter juices.
    3 .        In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, onion, red pepper, garlic, basil and oregano and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomatoes and tomato puree and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard the herb sprigs and season the ratatouille with salt and pepper.

    Transfer the ratatouille to a platter, top with the chicken and serve.

    Heart Healthy

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Polar Bear Cubs Video Club

     





















     















     
     



     



     
     
     
    

    Cheese and Smokey Bacon Loaf

     
     
    

    A wonderfully quick yet flavoursome loaf for those who fancy something savoury . Leftovers (if there are any) are gorgeous toasted and buttered for breakfast.
    Makes one 23x12cm (9x5in) loaf

    Ingredients
    90g (3¼oz) parmesan, grated
    140g (5oz) smoked streaky bacon, cut into 1cm (1/3in) pieces
    1 small onion
    360g (12¼oz) plain flour
    1 tbsp baking-powder
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    120g (4½oz) Gruyère cheese, cut into 1cm (⅓in) cubes
    280ml (9½fl oz) full-fat milk
    1 large egg
    150ml (5fl oz) sour cream

     
    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, with the oven rack in the middle position.
    * Butter a 23x12cm (9x5in) non-stick loaf tin and sprinkle the bottom with half the grated parmesan.
    *Cook the bacon in a frying-pan over a medium heat until crisp and browned around the edges, about six to eight minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and pour off all but 3 tbsp of fat from the frying-pan.
    *Peel and finely dice the onion and add to the frying-pan. Cook for about three minutes until softened, and set aside.
    *In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking-powder, cayenne, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.
    * Using a rubber spatula, mix in the Gruyère, coating each piece with the flour mixture before adding the bacon and onion. Again, try to coat the bacon and onion pieces with the flour mixture.
    *In a large measuring jug, whisk together the milk, egg and sour cream.
    *Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined. The dough should be heavy and rather thick.
    * Spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the surface and sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan.
    *Transfer to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    * Allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack for five minutes before turning the loaf out.
    Enjoy warm but not hot – the texture will improve as it cools.

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Tre Fornaggi Frirara

    Prep : 10 minutes  ... Cook : 30 minutes .... Makes 6 to 8 servings

    10 .................large eggs
    1/4 ................teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    1/4 ................cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 ...................teaspoon olive oil
    3 to 4 ............links Johnsonville  Mild  Italian sausage ( coin sliced)
    1 ..................cup thinly slice green onions
    1/4 ...............cup diced red bell pepper
    3 ..................cloves  garlic , minced
    1 ..................teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
    1/8 ..............pound Asiago cheese , cut into 1/2 dice
    1/4 ..............pound Provolone cheese , cut into 1/2 inch dice

    1 .         In a large bowl , whisk the eggs , parmesan cheese and pepper together . Set aside . In a deep frying pan with oven proff handle  (or in the deep half of a fritata pan) warn with olive oil . Add the sausages  and cook until  browned  and cooked through , about 5-7 minutes . Transfer  to a cutting  board  and coin slice . Leaving only 1 teaspoon  of oil in the pan , on medium heat add the green onions  and bell pepper  and cook until tender  , about 2 minutes . Stir in the garlic  and thyme  and cook for another 30 seconds . Add the cooked sausage slices  to the pan along  with the egg mixture  ; alow eggs  to set for 30 seconds . Add asiago and provolone cheese and continue to cook until the edges  are just starting to set , using a rubber  spatula , gently pill the edges  away from the side  of the pan allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath , about 2 minutes  more .
    2 .        Meanwhile , reheat the oven to 375* and finish cooking until the center of the egg mixture  is gently firm to the touch , and the edges  are beginning to golden , about 6 to 10 minures  . (If using  a Fritata pan set the shallow half  of the pan over medium  low heat  and brush lightly  with olive oil . Place the shallow  pan upside  down on top of the deep pan  and flip the fritata into the shallow pan . Cook uncovered until the fritata is set , about 6 minutes).
    3.         Gently shake  the pan to loosen the fritata and use a rubber spatula  to carefully slide  it into a serving plate , cut into wedges .  Garnish with fresh thyme .

    Heart healthy

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Enchilada Casser-Ole!

     Packed with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and Southwest flavor, it's an impressive-looking entree that's as simple as it is simply delicious.

     

     
    Prep: 25 min.... Bake: 30 min.
    • Yield: 8 Servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cups salsa
    • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
    • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
    • 1 cup shredded lettuce
    • 1 medium tomato, chopped
    • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
      Directions
    • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin. Place three tortillas in an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers.
    • Cover and bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes; top with lettuce, tomato and cilantro.
    • Yield: 8 servings.

      Nutritional Facts 1 piece equals 357 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 864 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.
    25 30          

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Raspberry Brandy Pecan Cake

    Ingredients:

    Cake

    1/2 lbbutter
    2 cups
    sugar
    1/2 cup
    brown sugar
    6
    eggs
    3 cups
    cake flour
    2 teaspoons
    baking powder
    1 teaspoon
    salt
    1/2 teaspoon
    cinnamon, ground
    1 cup
    sour cream
    1/2 cup
    brandy
    1 cup
    pecans, chopped

    Sauce

    1 1/2 cupspowdered sugar
    3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
    1 tablespoon
    brandy
    1 tablespoon
    honey
    water

    Directions:

    1. Using a mixer, Combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
    2. Beat in eggs.
    3. Mix in a separate bowl flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
    4. Blend sour cream and brandy.
    5. Blend in half the sour cream mixture. Then half the dry mixture. Repeat.
    6. Add chopped pecans.
    7. Grease bottom and sides of pan and pour in batter. I use a bunt pan.
    8. Bake at 325 degrees for about one hour and a half.
    9. During the last 15 minutes, check to see if it is done. (everyone's oven is a little different).
    10. Remove from oven, and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn upside down on a wire rack.
    11. For topping, combine sugar and brandy.
    12. Stir in preserves and honey.
    13. If the topping is too thick, add small amounts of water to thin it to pour over cake.
    14. Pour the topping over the cake, and allow to roll down the sides.
    15. Serve and enjoy!

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Blue Cheese & Chive Dip

    Prep / Total time : 30 minutes  .... Makes 4 servings

    4 .............sweet potatoes
    4 .............Tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 ..........cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 .............cup sour cream
    2 .............Tbsp. white vinegar
    2 .............Tbsp. dried chives
    1 .............tsp. chili powder
    1/2 ..........tsp. cumin
    1 .............tsp. salt
    1 .............tsp. pepper

    Heat grill. Wash potatoes and pierce with fork. Microwave for 10 minutes. Cut potatoes into wedges and toss with olive oil, dash of chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix sour cream, crumbled blue cheese, vinegar, chives, chili powder and cumin. Grill potato wedges until crisp. Serve with blue cheese dip.

    TIP:Serve with ranch dressing instead of blue cheese.

    These thick, tender potato wedges are an exciting stand-in for regular fries. Season them with a little heat and cool them off with a dunk in blue cheese and you won’t be able to put them down.

    Heart healthy

    Smoke Sausage & Rice

    Prep : 30 minutes   ...   Makes 6 servings

    1 .............pkg. (16 oz.) Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage, cut into chunks
    1 ............Tbsp. olive oil
    1/2 .........cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/2 .........cup chopped onion
    1 ............clove garlic, minced (optional)
    1 ............cup (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
    2 ............cup water 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
    2 ............cup uncooked rice

    1 .        Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; sauté about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
    2 .        Add onions, green peppers and garlic, and cook until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Add water, tomatoes and sausage to skillet with seasoning; stir. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice; cover.
    3.         Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 20 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

    Heart Healthy

    Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken

    Prep : 30 minutes   ... Makes 6 servings

    2 ..........Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 ..........Tbsp. paprika
    2 ..........tsp. onion powder
    1-1/2 ....tsp. salt
    1 ..........tsp. chili powder
    6 ..........boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each)

    Combine the first five ingredients; rub over chicken. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°F.

    This fusion of sweet brown sugar and spicy chili powder will take your family's taste buds to another dimension. And with just 5 ingredients in the rub, you'll love this speedy dinner solution too.

    Heart healthy