Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Escargots third course for New Years

First make the garlic butter...

This recipe makes 6 appetizers...

Grate 1 tbsp celery, mince 2 tbsp shallots, mince 3 garlic cloves, chop 2 tbsp parsley and add to 3/4 cup of butter. Add a small amount of the seasoned butter into the escargot dishes. Drain the escargots and add one to each space. Top with remaining butter. When ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and serve with a couple of slices of a baguette.

New Years continued

This salad is from a new cook book my son gave me for Christmas... Gordon Ramsays's MAZE.

Celery and Apple Salad

Trim, peel and julienne 3 stalks of celery and cut into 1 and 1 half inch pieces.
Thinly slice 1 granny smith apple, stack the pieces and slice into thin match stick pieces...squeeze a little lemon on the apple to keep from browning.
Separate the leaves from 1 chicory bulb and add to the above. Add the leaves of 1 Boston lettuce, toss altogether.
Toast a handful of walnuts to garnish the salad. Assemble the greens on 6 plates.

Add 3 tbsp boiling water to 3 ounces of Roquefort cheese... blend until smooth. Add half a cup of mayonnaise and blend...Place a dollop of dressing on the side of the plate and grate a couple of pecans over the greens and the dollop of dressing. That's the second course. Very rich but a small portion.

Assemble the salad on plates

Getting ready for New Years

The soup for the dinner was a real does putting an X in 3 pounds of chestnuts sound? It sounds like a swollen forefinger with a blister!! Man that soup wasn't that simple. OK enough complaining.... Here goes:

Chestnut Soup with crisp prosciutto...

Cover 3 lbs of chestnuts with hot water for 30 minutes...drain and dry, then score an X into the flat side of each chestnut. Put them flat side down on a cooking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Peel while still warm, roughly chop and set aside... now you have the blister and sore forefinger we can proceed!!

You will need:
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1and one half chopped fresh thyme and a little more for garnish
  • 10 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 oz sliced prosciutto cut into thin strips

In a large pot melt butter and oil and cook over medium low heat for approximately 8 minutes. Add the chestnuts and 1 tbsp thyme ,cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the broth and half tsp salt, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender and strain through a fine sieve into a clean pot. Season to taste.

In 10 inch frying pan, heat the prosciutto in a tsp of oil and add the remaining thyme. Garnish the soup with a little prosciutto and thyme and serve.

Now I know I did a little whining about preparing this dish... BUT... It was worth the effort. The soup was so delicious and different...a great change for new years dinner.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My chicken piccata,basmatti rice with roasted green beans topped with garlic and corriander

Yes, we've been away on vacation... every now and then we take a vacation from our holidays. Just returned form a glorious cruise on the "Liberty of the Seas". Marvelous ship, the company we met on board made up for the 3 days of rain we had.... Nevertheless, it was hot and that's what we were looking for!

So now it's back to my blog... I've been a little truant these past few weeks so I'll try and make up for the lack of entries over the next little while.

This is the first meal I've cooked in 10 days... hope you like it as much as we did.

Start with 2 chicken breasts...slice them almost in half. Cover with wax paper and flatten the breast. Dredge the breasts in 1/4 cup of flour which has been seasoned with salt pepper and a half tsp. of thyme.

Next prepare the following ingredients:

  • 2 small shallots finely minced

  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced

  • 2 tbsp capers chopped coarsely

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/4 cup whip cream

  • a little squeeze of lemon

  • 1 tsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter

  • 2 tsp of butter

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts and turn when lightly browned. Cook the other side until lightly browned. Remove and put in a warm oven while the sauce is being prepared.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining butter. Saute the shallots, garlic and capers for ~a minute. Add the wine, cream and a little lemon. Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes until it thickens slightly. Add the chicken to the sauce and heat through. It's delicious!

Meanwhile cook 3/4 cup basmatti rice in 1 -1/2 cups chicken broth for 10 minutes. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low for the 10 minutes. When it is cooked, I add the zest of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup minced parsley, 2 small minced garlic cloves and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Just as you start the rice, put enough green beans for 2 on a cookie sheet (lined with foil of course). Drizzle a little olive oil and salt and pepper, toss. Roast at 450 F for 15 minutes.

The sauce for this is a simple one... just add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a little frying pan and add 3 coarsely chopped cloves of garlic. Just cook over medium heat until lightly browned and then add 2 tsp of dried coriander. Spoon a little of this sauce over the roasted beans. It's awesome and makes enough to use at least twice.

I served the dinner with salad and balsamic dressing. It was all very tasty... ENJOY!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

And a good time was had by all...

Alright friends... The Japanese Shrimp recipe by popular demand.

I buy my shrimp at Costco 21-25 per pound frozen, cleaned uncooked and tail on.

Prepare a large pot of boiling water and add a couple of tsp of salt, 2 bay leaves and a tsp of "old bay seasoning". Add shrimp and as soon as they are opaque drain and put them into an ice bath (it only takes a minute or two so don't multi-task when you cook them)! You can do this in the morning and refrigerate until you're ready to sauce them.


  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • juice from 1 tangerine (or small orange)

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp of Asian chili sauce (oops I forgot that ingredient this time around)!

  • 1 tbsp minced ginger

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 small bunch of basil

Combine all the ingredients except the basil and refrigerate until ready to eat. Chop and add the basil just before serving... Your guests will love it... mine did!