RSS Feed

Tag Archives: entertaining

Mama’s Autumn Stew

Mmm..stewSo autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year. Lovely root vegetables are in abundance and the cozy feeling of comfort food makes me all gushy inside.

This is the time of year for pickling, stewing, jam and jelly making and slow good food all from Mother Nature’s bounty!

I sometimes play around with different ingredients to create the rich flavours that this bounty deserves. This is a good example!

PS. I know some ingredients sound like..say what?? But trust me my chickadees, you’ll love it!

Mama’s Beef Stew

Ingredients to serve 4

1.5 lbs good quality stew beef or pork butt (even half half is nice)

Butter and olive oil for browning meat

3 medium potatoes

2 medium turnip

3 carrots

1 onion chopped

And any other root veggies you’d like to add such as sweet potatoes, yams or parsnips

3 c Homemade beef stock (or good quality organic beef broth)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dry thyme

This is where it gets weird!…

4 anchovy fillets in brine

2 T organic maple syrup

1 t pomegranate syrup (found in ethnic shops) or tamarind paste

1/4 c red wine (optional)

1/4 c cream or white gravy

White pepper, black pepper and salt to taste

Now let’s put it all together..

brown your meat in a Dutch oven or similar, add onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add stock, and stir well to bring up the goodies on the bottom of the pot. Add everything but the root veggies and cover. Slow cook for 1 hour until meat is starting to get very tender. Add the veggies and cook another 30 mins.

At the end I like to add a bit of cream to soften and bring the flavours together.

Thicken using either corn, rice or potato starch mixed with water first. Bring back to the boil to thicken and serve.

Try it, and let me know how you like it!

Pavlova

Pavlova

ImageImagePavlova!

What a great spring/summer dessert!
This cake is a sweet and light meringue cake with a outer crust and soft sweet marshmallow center. There is debate where it originated from, either New Zealand or Australia origin. Typically served with whipped cream and fruit, it’s easier than you would imagine and your guests and family will think you are a genius!
I have never been much of a baker, so if I can make this..so can you!

Meringue

4 large egg whites 120 grams
1 cup fine sugar
1/2T corn starch
1t vanilla extract
1/2t white vinegar
Pinch cream of tartar

250ml or 1 cup Whipping or Heavy cream
Assorted fruits

Start with making sure your bowls and utensils are very clean as egg whites can be temperamental. Add egg whites to a preferably metal bowl. Whip with mixer until soft peaks form. Start adding sugar a tablespoon at a time and whip between additions. Continue to whip until it stands in peaks and is shiny. At this point you can add vanilla, cornstarch, vinegar and cream of tarter sprinkled on the surface. Fold in with a rubber spatula gently to incorporate.

I use a silicone baking sheet but if you don’t have one, lay out parchment paper on a cookie pan and lay out the meringue in your preferred shape or individual servings can be made as well.

Bake in a preheated 270 degree F oven for 60-75 mins until dry and pale cream color. You will see some cracks form during baking which is totally ok! At this point you can turn off the oven and let the meringue cool down slowly. You can cut the parchment paper around the cake when it is cooled. 

While you wait for the meringue to cool, whip fresh whipping cream until peaks form.
To assemble:

You will notice the cracks in the meringue, lightly punch the centre of the cake to create a well to hold the whipped cream. Place the fruits arranged as desired. Refrigerate but should be served within two hours once it’s been assembled. You can make the meringue ahead and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I really like raspberries, black berries, strawberries or kiwis to decorate.

Serves 4-6

Gluten Free Gnocchi al Forno

ImageImageImage
Gnocchi al Forno with Bolognese sauce
(Fluffy potato pillows baked with meat sauce)

worked for years perfecting my bolognese meat sauce for spaghetti. It’s my kids favorite meal. Today I decided to use it in a gluten free meal with potato dumplings called gnocchi. You can however use this sauce with any type of noodles, gluten free or not. 

Bolognese sauce

2T olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic mashed
Pinch of chili flakes (to taste, optional)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1lb ground beef, lean
1cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4c thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2/3 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup good red wine (optional)
1T oregano and basil each
Salt pepper to taste

Pasta
Gluten Free potato Gnocchi, or make it spaghetti noodles

1cup fresh grated cheese such as mozzarella or a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan 

This recipe depends on time to cook..the longer the better to meld the flavours!
Start by adding olive oil to a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Sauté the garlic, onion and chili flakes until translucent.
Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until no longer pink. Sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms get added next and sauté again for about 5-10 mins. Add herbs salt and pepper, red wine, tomatoes with liquid and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and add the garlic and onions.
Cover and let simmer on low for at least 1 hour but preferably longer. If the sauce gets too thick as it’s cooking add more wine or water. The sauce should be fairly thick so as to cling well to yep the noodles.

Boil gnocchi until they float, drain and add the bolognese sauce stir to cover the noodles completely. Place into a oven proof bowl or pan. Sprinkle with cheese and broil on high approx. 5 mins until cheese is melts and slightly brown.

Serve immediately, serves 4 hungry eaters!Image

 

 

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

imageImage

 

Its not not often I cook pork, but I wanted to try my chimichurri sauce with different meats. So if you do not eat pork, feel free to use this delicious sauce, which is my own spin on the South American, standard with BBQ or grilled meats or fish.                                           Again of course my recipes are all taste tested and gluten free! Ole!

This sauce can be made quickly using a food processor or finely chop ingredients and add to medium bowl..

 

Parsley, curly  1 large bundle

3 large garlic cloves finely diced

1/2 med onion finely diced

chili flakes to taste (optional), or fresh chili seeds removed for more heat

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

red or white wine vinegar to taste

grayed rind of one lemon

2T lemon juice

sea salt and pepper to taste

Pulse or chop parsley finely and add all other ingredients blend to desired consistency, I like it a bit chunky. Play around with amounts of sourness or heat.

The longer you let it sit the better it tastes!

Serve with grilled meats or seafood.

Yield  approx 1 cup

 

 

 

Photo credit: let birds fly

 

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