Friday, May 28, 2010

Leek, Chicken & Feta Pitas

I love leeks and I'm always looking for new recipes where I can use them.  We have too much leek soup in the freezer to make more so I was happy to find this recipe in Food & Drink.  We also had all the ingredients in the fridge so that's also always a bonus too.

3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
4 Green onions, sliced
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
4 Cups leeks, white and light green parts sliced only (2 large or 3 small leeks)
2 Large chicken breasts, sliced (use boneless breasts or leftover roast chicken)
1/4 Cup of fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper
3/4 of Feta, crumbled
3 Tbs of Parmesan, finely grated
1 Egg
1/4 Cup of fresh mint
4 Thick pita pockets

Preheat ovento 400F.

Heat 2 tbs of oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook onions, garlic and leeks for about 12 minutes or until softened.  Increase heat to medium high and add chicken and dill.  Just heat chicken if you're using leftover, but if you're using raw cook for about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.  let cool slightly.  Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in feta, Parmesan, egg and mint until combined.

Open pita pockets slightly on 1 side trying to keep most of it sealed, and stuff with chicken mixture.  Place on lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes or until filling is hot and pitas are crispy. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Quick Meal for One

Some weeknights I have yoga (though I haven’t gone the last couple of weeks) and Phil has hockey. On those nights we either snack on leftovers in the fridge or make something really quick. This is a great satisfying meal that takes no time at all.

I rarely ever buy skinless boneless chicken breasts unless I’m doing something like… I can’t even think what now… maybe fajitas. All the flavour is in the skin and the bones and it’s far cheaper compared to the boneless breasts. I bought two chicken legs and marinated them in juice from one lemon, about a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Feel free to add any herbs you have in the house like thyme or tarragon as well. I also chopped up some carrots and onion and roasted the vegetables along with the chicken at 420F. While the chicken was cooking I made sweet potato mash with a little olive oil and maple syrup. And we’re done! The vegetables we’re really lemony since they were thrown in the same dish as the chicken was marinated and cooked in.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BBQ Salmon in Foil

This dish is so light and fresh tasting and doesn’t take any time at all to prepare. It’s also something I pretty much always have ingredients for. I just have to pick up the fish and we’re good to go.
I only got the before shot, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you it still looks this good after it's cooked too.

I love that grilling season is here again. I have to say for the first time in my life winter went by relatively quickly. We moved into our new house last year in April, and I can’t believe this will be our second spring/summer already. I hope the good weather keeps up and we have lots of warm evening spent in the backyard enjoying good food and drinks. Ahhh… summer.

Divide this recipe by half if it’s just the two of you.


2 tomatoes cut into wedges
6 green onion green and white parts, chopped
1 lemon, squeezed
1 Tsp of sugar
3 Tbs of olive oil
¼ Cup of dill, chopped
¼ Cup of parsley, chopped

Place salmon filets/steaks in foil packets and top with tomato and onion. Whisk together sugar, lemon, oil and pour over fish. Sprinkle herbs on top of fish. Grill salmon for about 10-15 minutes or until salmon has turned a nice coral colour. Half way through open up packets so salmon does not steam.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breaded Cod

Phil and I had these Cod sandwiches for lunch on Sunday. Originally we planned to have it on Saturday night, but we also picked up cheese and ended up having just that for dinner. That might happen a lot in our house.

We knew we would be out on Sunday night so we had the sandwiches before leaving to a matinee. By the way, the show we saw was so good! We went to see the amazingly talented Adrienne Merell in The Last 5 Years. How adorable does she look in this photo??  It blew my mind to hear this beautiful strong voice come out of her. The very first song she opened with gave me goose bumps

Here we are out for a bite to eat after the show. That’s Kevin Dennis who is married to Adrienne, who is also an amazing actor as well as my good friend from high school (That’s right I’m name dropping). The two of them met about 4 years ago when they were in Hair together.

Okay now back to the cod! I served the breaded cod with homemade tartar sauce, a couple of slices of tomato and frisee.

For the tartar Sauce:

½ Cup of mayonnaise
1 Tbs pickle, chopped
1 Tbs of capers, rinsed and chopped
1 Tbs of fresh chives, chopped
1 Tsp of freshly squeezed lemon
Few drops of hot sauce

For the cod:

2 pieces of cod
¾ Cup of cornmeal
¾ Cup of breadcrumbs
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper
3 Tbs of canola or vegetable oil
Frisee or any other green for sandwiches
4 Slices of Tomato
Freshly squeezed Lemon

Combine all ingredients for tartar sauce and set aside in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 500F.

Pat cod dry with a towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Pour cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a freezer bag and shake to combine. Place one piece of fish at a time and shake until fish is covered with breading. Dip fish in the egg mixture and repeat breading step. Set fish aside.

Heat 3 Tablespoons of oil in cast iron skillet on high heat. Wait for the oil to get nice and hot but not smoking. Place fish in oil and cook on both sides until nicely browned – about 1 minute on each side.

Add about 2 more tablespoons of oil and place on the middle rack in the oven for about 5- 10 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, spread tartar sauce on buns and place 2 slices of tomato and frisee on bread, finished with the cod and a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Onion Bacon Tart

Have you picked up the latest issue of Food and Drink magazine yet?  There are so many good recipes in there.

The cover has lemon risotto spoons with crab and onion sprouts, plus lots of other spoon recipes.  I haven't experimented with spoons at all.  I  think because I generally don't like assembling little bite sized portions.  I just don't have the patience.  Somebody I do know that has the patience, talent and who throws the best Christmas parties with lots of beautifully made hor d'oeuvres including spoons, is Madeleine.  I thought of her right away when I saw the cover.

What I did make was this lovely onion tart, or as they refer to it, Alsatian Bacon Tart.  This would be ideal served for brunch, or as we had it for a nice light Sunday night dinner after a weekend of over indulging.

Did you notice my new tablecloth and dishes?  They're all wedding shower gifts.   Thank you Vicky,  Mom and Lisa!  I think there might be some others thanking you too. 

1 lb of puff pastry
2 Tbs of olive oil
8 oz of double smoked bacon
8 Cups of Spanish onion, sliced
2 Bay leaves
1 Tbs of Fresh thyme
Salt (I left this out because bacon has enough salt for me)
2 Large eggs
1/2 Cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 Cup of cream
Freshly ground pepper

Roll out puff pastry into a free-form circle.  Transfer pasty to a baking sheet.  Using your fingers and a little water to moisten dough, make pleats in the pastry to stand up like a tart shell.  Chill party while you prepare filling.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Heal olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and saute for 1 minute or until bacon fat is beginning to melt.  Add onions, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and saute for 10 to 20 minutes or until onions are a slightly golden tangled mass.

Combine eggs, ricotta and cream ans season with salt and pepper.

Remove pastry from fridge and pour in egg mixture to make a thin layer.  Spread bacon and onion in a thin layer over top.  Bake in lower third of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until pastry is browned and filling is set.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beer Steamed Mussels

 These mussels turned out perfectly, I couldn't get enough of the salty broth - so much so that I ate half a loaf of sourdough - just so I could soak up every last drop.

Mussels are easy to make and they're inexpensive.  Phil, Mel and I polished off 2.5 pounds as a main course, but I could have maybe served about two more people and made it an appetizer for 5.

 2 Tbs of Olive Oil
1/4 Cup of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup of fresh chives, chopped
1/4 Cup of fresh tarragon, chopped
2/3 Cup of cream
2 Tbs of Dijon mustard
1 Tbs whole grain mustard
2-3 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs of butter
2 Tbs of fresh thyme, chopped
2.5 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3 Cups of tomatoes, diced
1 bottle of Belgian white beer (I used Hoegaarden)

For the mussels:
Mix parsley, chives and tarragon, in a small bowl.  Whisk cream and both mustards in another bowl to bland and set aside.

Melt butter in extra large pot with lid over high heat. Add garlic and thyme; stir 1 minute. Add mussels and tomatoes. Pour beer over, then add the cream mixture; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Cover tightly with lid and cook until steam appears, about 3 minutes. Add half of fresh herb mixture and stir until mussels and herbs are gently mixed. Cover tightly with lid again and cook until mussels open, 4 to 5 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
Using slotted spoon, divide mussels in the bowls and pour juices over each serving. Serve with a good crusty bread.

Sarah and Beth, I promise to have you guys over soon.  I had to make sure I had a recipe that worked and Mel and Phil are used to being my guinea pigs