Sunday, 19 December 2010

Pecan Pie

**I am a Thanksgiving traditionalist, but Carolyn's pecan pie made me question my allegiance to the great pumpkin**

  • 9-inch pie shell, unbaked, brushed with eggwhite.
  • 1 1/2 cups white Caro syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • (a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg if you want it)

Bring syrup, sugar and butter just to a boil, then turn off stove. Whip 4 eggs and add the hot syrup mixture slowly while whisking, don't scramble the eggs! Add the chopped pecans, vanilla, salt and any pinches of spices you want. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 400C, then turn down to 325C and bake for another 30 minutes or so. Test centre with a knife to make sure it is not still liquid!

Courtesy of Carolyn Horst

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
* 2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 cup grated pepper jack or gouda cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame.

Courtesy of Paula Deen

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Juicy Hanger Steak

I used the leftover BBQ sauce (see previous recipe) to marinate a beautiful cut of hanger steak from the Ginger Pig. To prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 F (Gas mark 1-2)
  • Coat a grill pan with a bit of olive oil and heat to a very VERY high, smoking heat
  • Sear each side of the steak for 1 minute - 90 seconds
  • Place the steak in the oven for 10 minutes
  • Let the steak sit for 3-5 minutes - then Enjoy!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons Raul's rub
1 teaspoon sazon completa
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and saute the onions and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the spices and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the zest and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, mustard, soy sauce and orange juice and simmer uncovered on low heat for 15 minutes, until thick.

    Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

    Monday, 22 March 2010

    Spiral Mac and Cheese

    2 tbsps unsalted butter, plus 1 1/2 tsps
    2 tbsps olive oil
    1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
    1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cup whole milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 tsp dijon mustard
    1 lb cheese of your choice (I usually mix Cheddar and Gruyere)
    1 lb spiral pasta

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F (gas mark 4) and grease a casserole dish with butter
    2. Heat 1 1/2 tsps butter and 1 1/2 tsps olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides; then cook garlic and breadcrumbs, stirring until crumbs are golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt.
    3. Cook macaroni in a large pot of salted water until tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbl. olive oil.
    4. Melt 2 Tbsps butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat; then add flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, allowing the mixture to foam. Slowly whisk in milk, cream, and mustard. Simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Add cheeses to the sauce and remove from heat. Add salt to taste.
    5. Add macaroni and sauce to the casserole dish, mixing well. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake casserole on centre rack for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

    Courtesy of The Nest

    Sunday, 14 February 2010

    Apple and pear crisp


    * 2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
    * 2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
    * 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    * 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    * 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
    * 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    * 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    * 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    For the topping:

    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    * 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    * 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
    * 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.
    For the topping:

    Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

    Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

    Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

    White bean dip

    **This is such a quick starter to make and serve before a dinner party**


    * 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    * 2 cloves garlic
    * 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    * 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
    * 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
    * Salt
    * Freshly ground black pepper


    Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

    Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

    Rack of lamb with balsamic mustard marinade


    * 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    * 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
    * 3 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    * 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    * 2 racks of lamb, "frenched" (see note)


    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the salt, rosemary, and garlic until they're as finely minced as possible. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for 1 minute. Place the lamb in a roasting or sheet pan with the ribs curving down, and coat the tops with the mustard mixture. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.

    Note: "Frenching" refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat.
    Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa

    Yorkshire Pudding


    * 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 3 eggs
    * 3/4 cup milk
    * 1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beef


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Courtesy of Tyler Florence

    Thursday, 7 January 2010

    Red Velvet Cake

    My all-time favourite - this is a Magnolia recipe. However, I sometimes substitute sour cream for the buttermilk and it always comes out amazing!

    ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    2¼ cups sugar
    3 large eggs, at room temperature
    6 Tbl. red food coloring
    3 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa
    1½ tsp. vanilla extract
    1½ tsp. salt
    1½ cups buttermilk
    3⅓ cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
    1½ tsp. cider vinegar
    1½ tsp. baking soda
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 3 (9x2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time; beat well.

    In a small bowl, whisk food coloring, cocoa and vanilla. Add to batter and beat well. In a measuring cup, stir salt into buttermilk. Add to batter in three parts, alternating with flour. In a small bowl, stir together cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to batter and mix well.
    Divide batter among 3 pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour. Remove from pans and frost.

    Vanilla Frosting
    1½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    8 to 10 cups confectioners’ sugar
    ¾ cup milk
    1 Tbl. vanilla extract

    Place butter in a large mixing bowl; then add 4 cups sugar, milk and vanilla.
    Using an electric mixer, beat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until it’s a good consistency for spreading.

    (Photo courtesy of

    Sunday, 3 January 2010

    Butternut squash and mushroom lasagna

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    2 1/2 cups chopped onions
    1/2 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)

    2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 1/2 cups)
    1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
    4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
    4 tablespoons sliced fresh sage, divided

    3 15-ounce containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
    4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
    2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    4 large eggs

    Olive oil
    1 9-ounce package no-boil lasagna noodles

    Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to high; add mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl; set aside.

    Add squash, broth, 3 tablespoons thyme, and 3 tablespoons sage to same skillet. Cover and simmer over medium heat until squash is just tender, about 6 minutes. Uncover and cook until squash is very soft but still retains shape, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Mix ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon sage in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper; mix in eggs.

    Brush 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with oil. Spread 1 cup ricotta mixture over bottom. Arrange 3 noodles on top. Spread 13/4 cups ricotta mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/3 cups squash mixture over. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mushrooms and 1 cup mozzarella. Top with 3 noodles, then 1 3/4 cups ricotta mixture, half of remaining squash, 1/2 cup mushrooms, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat with noodles, 1 3/4 cups ricotta mixture, remaining squash, and remaining mushrooms. Top with 3 noodles. Spread remaining ricotta mixture over; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover with oiled foil.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna, covered, 35 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (The lasagna can be assembled one day ahead and refrigerated.)

    Bon Appétit
    November 2004