Sunday, 7 April 2013

Cheese Toast- Toast with cheese baked into it? Yumm

Cheese toast is just Cuban bread with cheese baked into it.  Well, not into it, but onto it.
You can use any kind of bread. Cuban bread just works best for this. 
As far as cheese goes, I say that white English cheddar works the best, but parmesan or goat cheeses are great.
If you have a panini maker, use it for this . It will work much better than an oven or broiler. I use an oven because I do not have a panini maker and I never have. I don't know why.
Well, oven, broiler, panini maker, or whatever you cook this in, this will turn out great.

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 thin slices Cuban bread or French bread
1/4 cup thinly sliced (or crumbled) cheese
1 tbsp butter or olive oil

Melt butter in a not stick skillet. Place slice of bread on the hot skillet. 
Then lay down your cheese. 
Bake in an oven preheated to 350°f, for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned.
Let cool for awhile. 
Serve warm.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Gnocchi- potato dumplings with a twist!

You may think that potato gnocchi are hard to make, but they're not. They are quite easy to make and require no special equipment.
These are very easy to make and don't take long. You can use them for anything, like pasta Primavera  , like in the March 31st post, or you can put it in chicken soup, or use them as an appetiser.
Gnocchi have and interesting background. The name is French and Italian, but most people say it originated in Italy.
They are not dense potato dumplings, they are light, airy... I don't know how to describe it.

You can use any kind of potatoes, like sweet, yucan gold, russet etc. even squash works.
I must say, that a ricer works for this, remember when I said " this requires no special equipment", well this isn't required, but it is recommended (don't worry).

Makes two dozen gnocchi:
3 large russet or sweet potatoes
3/4-1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375°f
Bake your potatoes for 40-45 minutes or until tender.
Scoop out potato flesh and let cool in a bowl. Then, add salt, egg white and 1/4 cup of cheese.
Mix well, then add flour, very slowly, until slightly doughy.
Form dough into small dumplings.
Place in boiling water for five minutes, do in batches.
Serve hot with extra cheese.
Bon Appetit et jouir

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Pasta Primavera - a good spring break deserves a good spring dish

Happy Spring Break of 2013! 

Primavera is the Italian word for "spring", so I thought this would be the perfect way to end spring break.
i recommend using boxwood basil in this recipe. I think it gives it a special something.
You can use any kind of pasta for this dish, but i think Penne or gnocchi is the best choice. 
Tomorrow, i will post a potato gnocchi recipe to go with this. 
okay, well any pasta you happen to stumble upon will work for this.

1 cup pasta of choice
9-10 stalks white or green asparagus
1 cup English peas 
pinch salt and pepper
1 bunch of herbs (not rosemary or thyme or mint)
2 carrots
1 extra small head of broccoli

cook pasta according to package directions.

cut up asparagus into equal sized pieces.
Blanch with cut up broccoli head, for 3-5 minutes or until tender. take out of boiling water and put into a bowl of ice water.
shuck the peas and cut the carrots into small pieces.
when pasta is tender, drain well and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
add asparagus and broccoli and splash of heavy cream.
put the carrots and shucked peas into the mixture, followed by the herbs.
serve hot with a dusting of Parmesan cheese or Gruyere.
Bon Appetit and enjoy.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Twice baked potatoes- why bake it once when you can bake it twice?

  I love making twice baked potatoes. The best part is, I think, carving the potato.
This recipe is more of a way of telling you how to make twice baked potatoes since there is no such thing as an "exact recipe". Actually, I'm not even posting a recipe. I'm just writing the instructions.
So  if you are looking for the best side dish for your Easter lamb, (That reminds me, I will post a recipe tomorrow for crusted rack of lamb. I'll call it some thing else  though) you came to the right place.
Okay, so here are the steps for making twice baked potatoes:

Makes 3  potatoes

3 small russet potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp melted butter
2 tbsp cheese (Parmesan, goat  etc,)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°f.
Wash and poke your potatoes with a fork.
Place in oven for 40/45 minutes or until fork tender.
Once cooled enough to handle, cut of the top 1/4 of potato.
scoop of flesh and reserve. once all potatoes are empty, add the ingredients. mix well.
scoop back into potato skin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown.
enjoy and bon appetit!

Monday, 18 March 2013

How to: Poach an egg.

I'd like to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day. 

  You can use any type of egg you want for this, but I have never done it with anything else but white chicken eggs.
You will need rice or champagne vineger for this. With my experience, they are the best possible choice. You can use any other kind besides balsamic and apple cider vinegers because you will end up with dyed eggs. Do you want orange poached eggs? Well, whatever egg you happen to find, this recipe will work.

1 egg
2 quarts of water
1 tbsp rice or champagne vinegar

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
Crack your egg into a small, glass bowl.
Put vinegar into the water. Once the water comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium- low.
Carefully place the bowl with the egg in it into the water. Let cook for 3-5 minutes depending your personal taste.
Let cool and take out of bowl.
You should have a perfectly round egg.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Apple pie- in honour of π day

            Happy pi day every one. Probably every one who reads this is like " what's pi day?"
Well it is a day to honour the number π or 3.14. That's why it's today, 3-14.
What better way to celebrate pi day than making pie.  (:  Apple pie is a personal favourite. I'm sorry every one, but I am not posting the recipe for my crust today, but I will tomorrow or in the future. If you must, you may buy frozen premade crust. But it is super easy to make at home.   Here is the recipe:

4 large apples (1 Granny Smith, 1 Braeburn, 1 white transparent/ golden delicious, 1 Fuji or any other apple combination.)
1 tbsp butter cut in small pieces.
1 tbsp water
2 tsp flour
Pinch salt
1 tsp cinnomon ( optional)
1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350°f.

Roll out pie crust. Fit it into a pie dish.
Mix ingredients together in large bowl. Let sit in refrigerator for one hour, or until the apples are slightly soft and there is juice in bottom of bowl.
Place apples in pie pan. Smooth out.
Roll out other half of pie crust.
Cut into thin strips. Weave over top of apples.
Seal edges. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown.
Serve warm.
Enjoy (:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Butter under the skin chicken- because I could think of anything better to call it.

 As promised, here is the a reason to use that compound butter I made yesterday. You could call this compound butter chicken, but that doesn't sound as good as butter under the skin chicken.

Here is the recipe:

Compound butter (see 3-12-13 post)
1 whole 3-5 pound chicken

Preheat oven to 375°f.

Place your chicken on large baking sheet lined with foil.
Split your compound butter into two parts.
Take a rubber spatula with half the butter on the end.
Carefully place it under the skin of the chicken breast. Smooth it out and repeat with other half.
Salt the top of chicken.
Place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°f.

Enjoy! :)