Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Jamie Oliver's Pot-Roast Meatloaf and a bit of a Custard Disaster

I set out today to do 2 selections from my Jamie Oliver cookbooks.
I loved the meatloaf! It was a really tasty dish...a bit on the liquidy side though. I think serving this dish with a side of bread would work well. Jamie suggested a leafy salad, but I decided to go with some simple steamed green beans. It was delicious.
I also wanted to make a rhubarb custard desert... it was doomed from the beginning.
I went to 2 different grocery stores and 2 fresh produce markets in my neighbourhood, but did not find any rhubarb! I improvised, I decided to just go with some berries with the custard....would have been great if  the custard actually turned out alright.
It was going so well. I"ve never made custard before, or ever watched anybody make it. This simple desert is a lot trickier that I estimated. I followed the directions to the letter, making sure not to agressively heat the mixture, and continually stirring so it doesn't "scramble". I'm watching, and thinking "is that it, is it custard now?" And just as I'm thinking, "I think its done", there it is....LUMPS. Oh Hell! I ruined it.
So sadly, I have no desert -  not to mention 8 egg yolks, a litre of cream and a divine vanilla bean washed down the drain....blimey!

Pot-Roast Meatloaf

2 medium onions
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground corriander
12 cream creackers, such as Jacob's
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 large egg
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh chile
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 can chick peas
1 28 os can diced tomatoes
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs of Rosemary
8 slices of bacon

To make your meatloaf

Preheat oven to 475. Peel and finely chop one onion. Place in a frying pan on medium heat with 2 lugs of olive oil.
Add the cumin and corriander. Fry and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes, and then put into a large bowl to cool. Wrap crackeer in clean kitchen towel or dry ziplock bag and smash up until fine.
Add to bowl of cool onions with the oregano, mustard, and ground beef. Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
With clean hands scrunch and mix up well.
Shape the mixture into a football (loaf) shape.
Rub it with a little olive oil.

Place the meatloaf into the oven in a Dutch-oven, casserol type dish, and turn dow the temperature to 400 immediatedly. Bake for 1/2 hour.

To make your sauce

Peel the other onion and chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Peel and slice the garlic. Finely slice the red chile. Place the onion, garlic, and chile in a large pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil, the paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for around 7 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chick peas, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven.

Pick the Rosemary off the stem and put them in a bowl. Pour the fat from the meatloaf pan over the Rosemary leaves and mess up well.

Spoon the sauce around the meatloaf. Lay the slices o bacon oveer the top of the meatloaf and sauce. Scatter over the Rosemary leaves.

Put the pan back into the oven for 15 minutes until the bacon turns golden.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken, Sour Cream Peach Pie and Summertime Sangria

So I finally got myself a slow cooker. I've been meaning to get one for ages, I've heard so much about these wonderful appliances over the years. I bought a slow cooker cookbook last month at Chapters when my Mom was here visiting, knowing I would be getting one of these things in the near future.
Tonight's dinneer was a big success!
There will absolutely be more slow cooker recipes to come.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, back attached
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted


Place chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes, peaches, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Pour in the chicken broth. Cook on Low for 5 hours.  
Remove the chicken and keep warm. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the slow cooker. Cook on High until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and heat through. Top with fresh cilantro and almonds before serving.
    Sour Cream Peach Pie
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
    • 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen peaches
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, white sugar, 1/3 cup flour and almond extract until smooth. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the pie crust to prevent it from getting soggy. Alternate layers of peaches and the sour cream mixture, beginning with a layer of peaches and ending with a layer of sour cream. 

    Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for an additional 35 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Set the oven to Broil, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until caramelized. 

      • 1 orange
      • 1 lemon
      • 1 lime
      • 3/4 cup brandy
      • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
      • 1 cup fruit juice (I used the peach juice from the cans used in the pie)
      • club soda to taste

      Slice the orange, lemon, and lime into thin rounds. Pour in the brandy and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. Chill the bottle of red wine, club soda and juice at the same time.

        Thursday, 14 July 2011

        Quinoa Veggie Burgers, Mediterranean Chopped Salad and Dark Chocolate Drizzeled Strawberries and Raspberries

        Quinoa Veggie Burger
        • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (about 2 cups cooked)
        • 1 tsp vegetable oil
        • 1/2 227 g pkg cremini mushrooms, coarsely grated (1 cup)
        • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
        • 1 small shallot, minced
        • 1 garlic clove, minced
        • 1 egg, beaten
        • 3 tbsp cornstarch
        • 1/4 tsp salt
        • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

        Cook quinoa according to package directions, omitting salt, about 14 min. Transfer to a large bowl.

        Heat a large, wide non-stick frying pan over medium. Add oil, then mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, shallot and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 min.

        Add to quinoa. Stir in egg, cornstarch, salt and cayenne.

        Heat the same non-stick frying pan over medium. Firmly press quinoa mixture into a 1/2-cup measuring cup. Turn and release into pan. Gently press to shape into a patty about 4 in. wide. Repeat, cooking 2 patties at a time. Cook until golden and warmed through, about 4 min per side. Top with hummus and roasted plum tomatoes.

          Mediterranean Chopped Salad
          • 1 medium cucumber , peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
          • 1 pint grape tomatoes , quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
          •   Table salt
          • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
          • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
          • 1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
          • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
          • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
          • 1/2 small minced red onion (about 1/4 cup)
          • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
          • 1 romaine heart , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
          • 4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled (about 1 cup)
          •   Ground black pepper

          Combine cucumber, tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 15 minutes.

          Whisk oil, vinegar, and garlic together in large bowl. Add drained cucumber and tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, onion, and parsley; toss and let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 5 minutes.

          Add romaine and feta; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

          Dark Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries and Raspberries

          Clean fresh berries
          1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate  
          mint to garnish

          Melt chocolate in heat proof bowl, in boiling water.

          Arrange berries on parchment lined baking tray.

          Drizzel chocolate over berries with tablespoon.

          Let cool.
          Arrange on plate and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

              Tuesday, 5 July 2011

              Grilled Lobster, Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Summer Slaw

              A big first for me today!
              I went out to the T & T Market today and bought myself a real fresh live lobster.
              Not a huge deal to many of my own family and friends, I'm sure, but for me it was a personal challenge.
              It was delicious!
              Again, a learning experience.

              Summer Slaw

              1/2 head red cabbage
              2 carrots, peeled and finely julienned
              1 large red pepper, finely silced
              2 green onions
              1/4 cup olive oil
              1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
              2 1/2  tbsp lime juice
              2 tbsp honey
              1/4 tsp salt and pepper each
              1/2 tsp chili powder
              1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
              1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
              3 tbs mint, finely chopped
              1 large Gala apple, peeled, cored and finely julienned

              Toss together vegetables in mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate at least an hour or up to 1 day.
              Wish together olive oil, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper, chili powder and chili flakes.
              Pour over vegetables, add cilantro, mint and apple.
              Toss well to mix.
              Let sit at least 10 - 15 min, tossing 2 to 3 times to marinate.
              Garnish with more mint and cilantro.

              Grilled Fruit Kebabs

              3 tbsp honey
              1 tbsp Dijon mustard
              1/1 tsp chopped rosemary
              1/2 pineapple chopped
              3 peaches, stone removed and quartered
              2 pears, cores and cut into chunks

              Mix together honey, mustard and Rosemary in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until liquified.
              Skewer fruit alternately onto skewers.
              Grill on med-high until fruit is warm and has grill marks on it, about 3 min per side. Brush with honey mixture.


              Grilled Lobster

              1/4 cup olive oil
              1/4 lemon juice
              1 tsp dill
              salt and pepper
              lemon wedges

              Drop lobster, head first, into large pot of boiling water. Cover; cook 3 minutes (lobster will not be fully cooked.

              Using tongs, transfer lobster to baking sheet.
              Transfer  lobster, shell side down, to work surface. Place tip of large knife into center of lobster. Cut lobster lengthwise in half from center to end of head (knife may not cut through shell), then cut in half from center to end of tail. Use poultry shears to cut through shell. Repeat with second lobster (if preparing more than 1).
              Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
              Keeping lobster halves meat side up, brush shells with olive oil. Place halves, meat side up, on barbecue.
              Brush meat with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

              Cover barbecue; grill lobsters until just opaque in thickest portion of tail, 7 to 9 minutes.
              Garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro.

              Plate half lobster with kebabs and salad.

              Don't be afraid to get messy!!!!!

              Suficiently sufuncified...something my Grandma Wilkinson used to say.