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Showing posts from April, 2011

Spicy Turkey Gumbo

After cooking up a ginormous turkey this past weekend, I had a lot of leftover turkey to deal with. I was throwing ideas around in my head ( lots of room in there) and after much consideration I finally came up with the idea of making turkey gumbo. Gumbo is a rich, hearty soup or stew  which originated in Louisiana. It consists primarily of a rich stock, meat or shellfish, the holy trinity of vegetables - onion, celery and bell peppers, and some type of thickener - okra, a dark roux made from flour and fat, and/or file powder, which is made from ground sassafras leaves.

Okra is a green vegetable that has a slimy texture that many people find unappealing. I like to use a dark roux in my gumbo and finish with a bit of file powder. This is a spicy, richly flavoured gumbo and a great way to turn the boring turkey leftovers into something a little more exciting.

Spicy Turkey Gumbo
 (about 6 servings)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green be…

Chicken Pot Pie with Herbed Biscuit Crust

Is it just me or does this seem like the longest winter ever? It's the third week of April and we still have snow on the ground. *Sigh*  I made this chicken pot pie the other day and it really hit the spot on a cold, dreary day. Creamy chicken and veggies topped with a flaky, buttery, biscuit crust. It's like you are giving your belly a cozy, little hug.




Chicken Pot Pie with Herbed Biscuit Crust
(adapted from Nova Scotia Cooking)


1/3 cup butter
2 cups quartered button mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme
hot sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cups cooked diced chicken
1 1/2 cups cooked diced carrot
1 cup cooked peas


In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and milk. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. (My sauce was too thin so I added a slurry of cornstarch mixed with water ). Add…

Sweet and Spicy Soy-Glazed Chicken

This is a restaurant - quality dish that is quick and easy to prepare at home.  I think the secret to making really great tasting Asian - inspired food, is to balance all the flavours -- Sweet, Spicy, Salty and Sour. This one has sweetness from the brown sugar and honey, saltiness from the soy sauce, spiciness from the Sriracha sauce, and sourness from the fresh lime. I served this with rice and steamed broccoli drizzled with a bit of toasted sesame oil.


Sweet and Spicy Soy-Glazed Chicken
(serves 2 - 4)

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed if desired
cornstarch for dredging
canola oil

Sauce:
1/4 cup low- sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
juice and zest of one lime
juice and zest of one orange
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Sriracha, or to taste
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 F. Dredge chicken in cornstarch, shaking off excess. Heat a couple of Tablespoons of oil over medium heat and sear chicken on …

Peanut Butter Granola

Granola was always my cereal of choice when I was growing up. My mother refused to buy those sickly sweet, chemical laden, neon-coloured --  loops, pops and charms. As a kid I always felt I was missing out on a whole world of fun, but I am now thankful I never really developed a taste for that stuff. Seriously, you might as well just have a bowl of candy for breakfast and call it a day.

Making your own granola is super easy and it is well worth the effort. A lot of granola recipes call for a mixture of vegetable oil and honey to help bind everything together, but I decided to use peanut butter in place of the vegetable oil to reduce the fat slightly and bump up the protein power.

This is just a basic recipe - feel free to make changes to suit your personal taste. Dried fruits can also be added at the end of the cooking process. I recently read somewhere, that the secret to getting the really clumpy granola ( probably the only time that clumpy is a good thing) is to take some of the u…

Bacon ( Makes Everything Better ) Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is pretty much the ultimate comfort food. I made this version a couple of days ago and I was really pleased with it. It is jam- packed with bacon-y goodness. I added cooked bacon to my cheese sauce and I also toasted  up some panko breadcrumbs in the bacon fat for double the bacon pleasure. You know what they say - BACON MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER -


Bacon Mac and Cheese

375. gram pkg. small pasta shells
4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook shells in boiling salted water until they are a few minutes away from being al dente ( they will continue to cook in the oven). Drain. Meanwhile in a small skillet  fry bacon over med. heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and add panko to the pan. Saute until golden brown.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic  and sau…