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Caldo Verde (Eat your Kale Soup!)

Caldo Verde (Eat your Kale Soup!)

So lately I’ve been eating healthier Leaving out gluten and dairy. I’ve started to buy organic ingredients to feel healthy. Now what I’m finding is a lot of ¬†the food I grew up with was all that! So my new recipes will be a trip down my Mediterranean lane.. Hehe get it? ūüėČ

This kale soup is not only healthy but ohh so nummy! It’s rich and full of flavor. Let me know what you think!!

Caldo Verde
Portuguese kale soup
image

1/2 onion chopped finely
3-4 cloves garlic minced
3 T olive oil
2 fresh chorizo sausage sliced 1/2″
3-4 potatoes finely chopped
1 carton organic low sodium chicken stock
2 c. Finely minced organic kale

Sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and sauté a bit longer.
Add potatoes and sausage and cook until sausage is about half done.
Add stock and cover pot. Let it cook until potatoes are very done. I like some texture so I take a fork and mash just the potatoes until the soup is a creamy consistency. You can also leave out the chorizo and add after potatoes are cooked and purée for a silkier texture.
Add the kale and cook for a further 15-20 min depending on how done you like it.
Add more water if necessary. Add s&p to taste.

Greek braised Lamb Shanks

shank

Hello my lovelies!

I’ve had some ask me to post my recipe for braised lamb shanks recently, so I thought mmm, yes one of my favorite dishes and I wanted to share it with you all! You can thank me after you’ve cooked it! ūüôā

First of all, I’d like to remind you that good food does take time! If you are crunched for time, don’t rush this one as you will not be as happy with the end results. I recommend ¬†you pop this in the oven at least 4 hrs before you intend to serve.

I don’t claim to be Greek, in fact I don’t brush my teeth with Hummus ..ever! This is, ¬†however, my all time favorite Greek dish and after playing around with the recipes for years..I think I’ve finally got it!

Ingredients:

Serves 4

4 Spring lamb shanks (cleaned and silver skin and access fat removed)

1 head of Garlic minced – yes ONE HEAD,¬†don’t¬†worry, it will meld into the flavors cooking for so long a time

Juice of 3-4 lemons or 1 cup fresh lemon juice

Fresh or dried rosemary – dried use a handful, fresh 4 stalks

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1/4 c dry white wine

Water if necessary to bring liquid up to middle of the shank

Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

photo (25)

Rub all ingredients except the liquids generously all over the lamb. Some at this point believe they should be browned previous to braising, I beg to differ, I’ve found this is the juiciest and tastiest way.

Place the lamb into a roasting pan and add wet ingredients topping with water if necessary to make sure the shanks are covered about halfway with liquid.

Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven moderate to low heat. I recommend 325 F degrees.
Leave them to cook for at least one hour, take them out and make sure they are not drying out, if so add more lemon and water. Turn them over at this time. You can repeat this each hour, but if its too tedious, just check liquid levels so the lamb won’t dry out ..or burn!

Lamb will show as done after about 1.5 hours, but the longer it cooks in the bath of lovely lemon, garlic and wine the better!! I recommend no more than 3.5-4 hours as the meat will begin to separate and fall off the bone.  Baste the sauce over the lamb in between glasses of wine..you can do it!

To Serve

1 shank per person

with..

Lemon Potatoes (recipe with my lemon chicken)

Tzatziki dip (also on my page)

Hearty Greek Salad (recipe to come!)

ENJOY!

Cool men Eat Quiche!

Happy Season’s Greatings Possums!! It is my hope that you will all have a safe and wonderful 2013 filled with all your greatest desires..starting with FOOD!! ah hah!

I thought I would add one final recipe for you for 2012. Its a lovely thing, served as a brunch or luncheon. Best of all, its EASY!! You’ll look like you’re superwoman/man when you pull this one off!

So Quiche is so versatile, you really can put whatever you have in your fridge in it, use your imagination lovlies! I’m sharing one I did recently. I had some smoked salmon and feta already in the fridge, but you could do just about anything you have on hand..so here is my recipe!

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

6 eggs, lightly whisked

1/4 cup Milk

1/2 c crumbled Feta cheese (I love Bulgarian Feta, its soft and creamy and not too salty)

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use any white cheese on hand)

1 small red onion finely chopped

2 Tbsp capers

1 tsp dry or 1 Tbsp fresh Dill

rind of one lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 package ready to use puff pastry (defrosted and rolled to fit 10 inch pie plate)

Heat oven to 200 C or 400 F

Mix all ingredients, except puff pastry of course, in a large bowl. Pour mixture over pie plate covered with puff pastry. Bake in 400 degree oven until puffed and lightly brown. Don’t overcook!! The center can be just slightly wiggly, approx 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool and set, about 10 minutes. Serve with an herb salad with dressing of choice. I’m sitting here thinking if I should ramble on making it look much more difficult, but hmm, nope that’s it!!

Enjoy!!

Happy New Year to you all! Edwina

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Hello my luv’s!! Yes Edwina has been away for a bit, but now back with a¬†vengeance¬†dahlings! ¬†I’m asked over and over for this recipe, and its time to finally share it with you all.

This recipe has its roots deep in Lebanese culture. If you love sneaking to your favorite Shawarma place at every opportunity for that garlicky spicy amazing flavor, I will guarantee you that you will love this dinner. Not only is it so simple to make, but you can actually have time to dress AND have a glass of wine before the guests arrive!

The flavors are bold, juicy and delicious. Make sure to make the dipping sauce dahlings, its a must to complete the flavors.

You will need:

1 Whole Roasting Chicken (brined, preferred, but if you don’t have the time you can skip)

Spice Rub: 1 Tbsp Allspice (lebanese is the best), 1 tsp each Salt & Pepper(reduce salt to none if bird is brined), 1 Tbsp Onion Powder, 1 tsp Garlic powder(you can use fresh as well but I do prefer the powder as the other can burn at high heat), and 1 Tbsp Paprika

Olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Garlic Dip:

1 potato pealed and boiled until soft and mashed well

1 cup good quality Mayonaise

dash of tabasco to taste

2-4 garlic cloves mashed (to taste)

1 tsp paprika

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

 

If you are going to brine your chicken, it must be prepared a minimum of 2 hours ahead of cooking or as far as a day ahead. To brine, in a large stock pot (enough to completely cover your chicken) boil on the stove 2 cups of water and 1 cup of Kosher salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Add in 10 peppercorns, 10 whole allspice, 1 whole onion. Boil mixture until salt and sugar are desolved. Allow mixture to cool and place well rinsed roasting chicken to the stock pot. Now top with water (move around so that mixture melds with the water. Make sure there is enough water to cover the chicken. Place a weight over the chicken, cover and store refridgerated until ready to cook.

Once you are ready to cook the chicken, remove the bird and begin to rinse for at least 5 minutes (Its a very important step, otherwise your chicken will be salty!).  Brining a chicken, or turkey adds flavor, reduces cooking time and best of all its extremely tender and juicy!

 

To roast the chicken:

Have either a sharp knife or kitchen shears, place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. From the top of the bird make a straight cut from the neck area to the bottom of the chicken through the breast bone. Once you have cut, split open the bird so that it is butterflied (you may have to flatten and break the breastbone in order for it to lay completely flat. Spread olive oil in the cavity and the outer part of the bird thoroughly. Take rub mixture and completely cover all areas of the bird with it. If you have left over rub, save it for next time in a jar.  Place bird on a roasting rack with drip tray.

In a preheated 400 degree F oven place bird in the oven for 20 mins. After 20 mins reduce heat to 350 Degrees and continue to cook until juices run clear, approximately 1 hour.

Take chicken out of the oven and tent with foil to rest before carving for approx 15 minutes. Carve the chicken, squeeze lemon over the chicken and serve!

 

Garlic Dip

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
This can be served with rice pilaf or lemon roasted potatoes (recipe to follow) and a fresh salad.

Your guests will all ask for the recipe, I promise!! Enjoy my lil chickens!

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Brilliant Eggplant Parmigiana

Hello Dahlings! 
Sorry its been a bit since I posted a recipe last. Seems Edwina is a bit of a clutz and broke her foot! Cooking and hobbling around the kitchen are a bit of a struggle these days. As much as my passion for cooking allows me, I do still cook about once per week though. I hope you enjoy this simple but amazing comfort food recipe I’m posting for you today! If you’ve never had the opportunity to make or try Eggplant Parmigiana, and even if you say ick! to eggplant. I promise you this meatless dish will change your minds forever dahlings!
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch slices (no need to peel)
  • salt
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 4 ¬†ripe tomatoes, ¬†chopped
  • Tomato sauce (you can also use your favorite pasta sauce here dahlings!)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c Fresh basil chopped
  • 1 T oregano dried
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella (buffalo milk if possible)
  • 3/4 c bread crumbs (can use gluten free as well)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • Pepper

First off you will need to prepare your eggplant. Its important when preparing eggplants that you attempt to remove as much water content as possible from them so they don’t absorb too much oil in the frying process. In order to do this, first wash and slice eggplant and lay on paper towels flat on a surface. Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant slices and let sit for 30-45 mins or more with a tray on top for pressure. When you are ready to fry your eggplant, remove the paper towels. You will see the salt has made the water rise to the surface and remove excess moisture from them. C’est Voila Dahlings. You are ready to fry!

Fry eggplant in batches in olive oil until golden on both sides. Set aside again on paper towels to take away the excess oil.

Start on your pasta sauce:

Heat pot to medium high. Cut up tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. Start with olive oil in the pan (just enough to cover the bottom. Place first your cut basil (if you did not have fresh, add dry later), garlic and onion to the pot. Stir until lucent, then add tomatoes and continue to stir until the tomatoes start to break down. Add tomato sauce to the pan with  herbs salt and pepper to taste.  Let this simmer for at least 30 mins until the sauce becomes thick and rich.

Putting it all together:

In a 8″-10″ ¬†square or round casserole dish with at least 2-3 inch depth, place first layer of eggplant side by side to fit in one layer on the bottom of the casserole. You will do at least 3 layers, so divide evenly. Now this is the important part dahlings. When you add tomato sauce on top of your eggplant, use it sparingly so that it doesn’t overtake the eggplants and make the dish watery. Just enough to basically cover with some of the eggplant showing through. ¬†Sprinkle one at a time 1/3 of mozzerella, parmesan and bread crumbs, then begin your next layer and repeat until completed. Make sure the top has tomato sauce cheese and breadcrumbs.

Place into a 350 degree oven for 30 mins or until its all gooey bubbly and golden. Take the casserole out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes to settle. Cut and serve with a nice green salad and baguette.

I hope you will try this recipe and let me know what you think, dahlings. I promise you, your family, friends and even the pickiest of eaters won’t miss meat this time! Elegant enough to serve to your vegetarian friends, impress them beyond words that you would actually cook something amazing just for them, even though you really did cook it for yourself because its become your favorite meal to prepare and eat.

Serves 4-6

Bon appetito!

Coke Roast

Coke Roast

Helloooo Lads and Lasses! Edwina here again, did you miss me dahlings?

So today’s recipe is one of our favorites. I’m asked over and over again to share this one. So sit back, ¬†read and drool! Okay, don’t drool, you may make your keyboard seize dahling.

Now this isn’t what you would call a conventional recipe, but so far I’ve never been known to be much of a conventionalist. Believe me, if you try this recipe, you’ll be uber loved by all you serve it to. They will think you slaved for days and really you still had time to paint your toenails (okay maybe not the men, unless that’s a fancy of yours!)

COKE ROAST (yes, I said COKE!)

3-4lbs Good quality Beef Roast (Rib or Prime Rib, don’t skimp!)

Rub ingredients 

1 tsp each salt and pepper

1 T paprika (sweet or smoked)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp thyme

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder

Worcheshire sauce (enough to cover roast)

2 cans of Coke (not imitation, do not substitute for low cal dahlings)

1 pkg good quality brown gravy mix (I’m not Martha!)

1/3-1/2 c cream

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

First off rub the worcheshire sauce over the whole roast. Mix all dry herbs together to make dry rub. Pat generously all over the meat.

Place the roast into roasting pan with no higher than 3 inch sides (or else you boil the meat rather than a good crust).

Roast the beef for 30 mins at high temp, then lower the temp to 350 F. When you lower the temp, take the roast out and

pour the Coke around the meat. Make sure there is enough to cover the bottom of the pan fully.

Note: If the coke dries out during cooking, add more if needed.

Place the roast back into the oven and cook until medium rare. I always depend on my thermometer to help with this part!

Once the beef is cooked, remove to cutting board and ‘tent’ it with foil to rest and set the juices.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, add package of dark gravy mix. Strain juices and I like to use a separator to remove unwanted fat from the gravy. Add to the sauce pan, cook on medium until gravy thickens. If there is not enough dahlings, you can add water because the gravy is quite concentrated. Now add to taste cream to meld the flavours and lighten the gravy.

Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and veggie of your taste.

That’s it! Wasn’t that just so simple?

PS. Typically on a rib roast 1 bone counts for 2 servings, if this is a 3 bone rib roast, then it will serve 6.

Rockin’ Lobster Bisque

Today’s recipe is for those cold nights when you feel your little tootsies may just turn purple and fall off! Ok not that much drama chickadee’s, but you get my drift?

I love Lobster, but I get slightly disheartened when I see people eating only the tail and the claws then throwing the body into that bucket like it’s garbage! PEOPLE!! ¬†I love to eat lobster for hours, there are so many good hidden morsels of flesh that are probably the sweetest little tidbits of delight you could ever imagine. ¬†Alright, I get it, you think its too much work for such little amount of meat, okay okay if you must toss that lovely body with all those juicy legs and crevices, make me a deal will ya? ¬†Toss all those used shells, legs and body or whatever else you threw into that bucket to throw away. Lets make the most of that luscious and expensive garbage, k?

Next time you splurge and bring a live beauty home, please try this recipe the next day..I’m certain, my fair ones, you will love it!

Shells of 1-2 lobsters Rock or full size

Water to cover in a large stock pot (6 cups approx)

3 bay leaves, large pinch of thyme

6 cloves garlic (just bruise them dahling..no chopping necessary)

1 large onion cut in half

10 or so peppercorns

peel of one lemon

a pat of butter (ok use that leftover butter from the drawn butter last night, really..do it!)

a stalk of celery or leaves whole

1 carrot

1/4 cup White Wine (the end of that bottle from last night..or what the heck, open a new one..you know it won’t go to waste anyway!)

Salt to taste

1 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp corn starch (optional)

1/8 cup sour cream (you’ll understand later lovey)

Okay, add all the ingredients (except cream,starch and sour cream) to the stockpot and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for at least 1 hour. You can go do your nails, shower, play gin or better yet drink it :)_

Lift that lid off the pot..ahhh the smell is truly devine lovlies!!

Strain all the ingredients  and save the stock into a smaller pot. Let it cook on medium heat until reduced to about two thirds. Now the stock is ready.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t had too much Gin or Wine, it’s time for the messy work. Once the shells have cooled enough, go through them and pull any bits of lovely lobster meat and set aside.

Back to the broth, stir in cream (reserve a few spoons of the cream). Now some like their soup thick and rich, some not so much. If you prefer your soup thicker then add some of your soup to a small cup and add in the starch. Stir to mix well and add back to the soup. Bring up to almost a boil and immediately take off the stove and stir in the lobster meat you reserved earlier. *If your soup is still not thick enough, repeat.

I like to cut corners when I can, so my quickie version of Creme Fraiche is to mix the sour cream with a bit  of cream to make it a bit runny.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle some of the ‘Creme Fraiche” over top. Add some fresh greens like parsley or whatever herbs you may have on hand. Serve with crusty rolls. C’est Magnifique Dahlings!! Not even a drop of sweat off your lovely brow for this one and your friends or family will think you’ve turned a leaf into a super powered major chef!

Enjoy Mon Petits!