Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bog Man Chicken

This is what I think of as Italian country cooking. It is really called Chicken Legs in Red Wine or Pollo Al Vino Rosso. Shelley called this dish Bog Man Chicken because in the serving dish it looked like something like 1000 year old remains, dug up in some peat bog. Like the Lindow man or something like that. Don't be deterred. It is great.Simple but very tasty.
I would suggest that you use a good full bodied red wine and not just some plonk you may have around. It makes a difference.

1 package brown mushrooms
1 good glug of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp rosemary assuming, you can't find fresh in which case use a full sprig
2 bay leaves
4 chicken legs
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 half inch slices of pancetta, cut into strips
Salt & pepper

Get a pan large enough to easily take all four chicken legs and thighs and heat it on medium high. Add the oil, let it heat then add the rosemary and the bay leaves and finally the chicken.
Brown the chicken well on all sides then add the mushrooms, stir them in.
Pour in the wine and stir again. Cook the wine and mushrooms until the alcohol evaporates this will take perhaps 10 minutes. Turn the chicken often.
At this point add the pancetta laying in over the chicken.
Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and cook the mixture uncovered for at least half an hour.
Stir and turn the chicken fairly often during this last phase of cooking.
When it looks like it is close to falling off the bone it is done.
Serve with rice, a vegetable and the rest of the bottle of red.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thai Red Curry Chicken Wings

This recipe originates at Meinhardt Fine Foods in Vancouver. I have played with it a bit. I think you will like it. A link to Meinhardt is at the bottom of the page.

2 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1 can coconut milk
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 pinch salt
4 lb chicken wings
7 oz Asian sweet chili sauce
1 fist full of Cilantro, chopped

Mix the red curry paste, garlic, ginger and salt together in a bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix them up until they are well coated. Transfer to a large resealable bag and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the wings and all the sauce in a roasting pan. Total cooking time should be about an hour.

After half an hour of so check the wings and stir them up in the pan so none are sticking on the bottom and so that the marinade spreads evenly as they cook. You might have to do this more than once during the last half hour of cooking. After an hour taste one, If they are not quite ready mix them up and leave them a bit longer.

When they are ready, take them out of the oven and put them into a large serving bowl, toss with the sweet chili sauce and sprinkle the cilantro over them all.


Meinhardt Fine Foods

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baked Beans with Molasses and Guinness

Boxing day I thought I would try and put a bit extra into baked beans. I played around with recipes and this is what I came up with. I thought it turned out quite well.

1 lb dried navy beans

A splash of extra virgin olive oil

¼ lb of double smoked bacon

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic finely chopped

¾ cup molasses

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 bottles of Guinness

2 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Put the beans and three times their volume of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Biol for about 3 or 4 minutes, take off the heat cover and let sit for an hour.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large oven proof casserole, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, then add the bacon and cook it just until it begins to turn colour then add the garlic. Stir for a few second then add the beans, molasses, mustard, chilli flakes, paprika, a little salt and pepper and stir it all together. Add one bottle of Guinness and some stock to cover the beans.

Put the cover on the pot and place it in the oven for an hour. From that point on check every ½ hour or so, each time stirring the mixture and topping the liquid up with the other bottle of Guinness and stock until the beans are covered. Then put it back in the oven. The process will take six hours or so, It is tough to be exact with beans. When they are ready let them sit for a bit to cool off and serve with some nice fresh crusty bread.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Radicchio Risotto

I think of radicchio as something I put into a salad but, I had seen a number of recipes in which it is cooked. Curious but skeptical , I thought I'd give this one a try. I encourage you to take the risk. You will be surprised. It was delicious.

1 head of radicchio finely chopped
6 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
115 gm thick cut pancetta cut into small cubes
1 large onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
2 cups orborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
4 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Half the radicchio, cut out the heart and discard. Chop the remaining head finely.
Bring the stock to a boil then set aside but keep it quite warm.
Get a large saucepan, if you have one slightly larger that you normally use for risotto, one with high sides, use it. You will be glad you did when it comes time to put in the ridicchio in. Initially it takes up quite a bit of space in the pan.
Heat the oil and butter in the pan at a medium heat and add the pancetta, cook until it starts to colour. About 3 or 4 minutes. Then add the onion and the garlic and cook for about a minute then pour in the rice and turn the heat down slightly.
Stir the rice and when it begins to turn translucent, add the ridicchio and cook stirring for about a minute.
Increase the heat and add the wine and stir until it evaporates, then gradually add the warm stock, a ladle full at a time waiting until each is pretty much absorbed into the dish before adding another. Keep it bubbling.
Continue until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is creamy and fully cooked. It you run out of stock before this happens you can supplement with a little water without any loss of flavour.
Stir in the cream, the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon onto warm plates and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shrimp Pilaf

1/2 kilo shrimp
2 Tbsp butter
half a cup of red and or yellow peppers finely chopped
half a cup pine nuts
1 cup rice
12 cups chicken stock
salt & pepper

Peel the shrimp
Melt the butter in a skillet or saucepan that can be covered. Saute the pepper until they begin to soften, add the pine nuts then the shrimp and stir until the shrimp begin the become pink, a minute or so. Then add the rice and stir the rice until it is coated with the oil but before it begins to brown, add in the stock and the salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Let sit for 5 minutes, uncover, fluff up the rice and serve.

Red Snapper Amandine

On Canada's West Coast red snapper is most likely rock cod. This is a nice way to serve it up.

4 nice sized snapper fillets
2 cups of flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 glugs olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
juice of 2 lemons

Mix eggs into milk. Dip the fillets in the egg mixture, then dredge them with the flour and set them aside. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet, add the olive oil then saute the fish in the hot skillet

Meanwhile in a smaller skillet, add a dab of butter and slightly brown the almonds. Put then aside in a small dish then in the same pan melt the rest of the butter allowing it to brown but not burn. Squeeze in the lemon juice then stir in the almonds.

Pour the butter almond mixture over the snapper

Serves 4

Prawns in Garlic and Lemon

24 large prawns, heads off but unpeeled
2 glugs Olive Oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Heat a medium sized skillet then add the oil and butter. When the butter is melted add the garlic and just before it browns add the prawns all at once.
Cook the prawns until they are pink on both sides, this will only take a few minutes, then add the lemon juice stir and, they are ready

Serve the prawns up in a small dish with the oil, a slice of lemon and some crusty bread for dipping.

This recipe will serve four, six prawns each, as an appetizer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coconut Risotto with Prawn Korma

This is a risotto with a very distinctive flavour. Hardly one bit Italian.

4 cups Chicken Stock
1 400 ml can coconut milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped Green Onions
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 ½ cups arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

In a pot, combine the chicken stock and the coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan on medium, heat olive oil and add green onions and stir until soft. Add the coconut flakes and rice and continue stirring for 1 minute
Pour in wine and stir until almost all is absorbed.
Add stock-coconut milk mixture ½ cup at a time and stir until almost absorbed before adding another. Continue stirring gently and adding broth mixture until it is all gone and rice is tender. This will take about 35 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add butter, salt and pepper and serve.

Prawn Korma
1 Onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 of a bottle of Patak’s Korma Curry
½ a cup of water
500 grams of raw prawns peeled
½ a cup of whipping cream

About 10 minutes before you expect the Risotto to be ready
In a frying pan sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent in butter
Add the Curry and the water
Heat until simmering
Add the prawns and stir gently until they are cooked
Stir in the cream and reheat

Serve the risotto in a shallow bowl and distribute the curry evenly on top of each dish.

Serves 4 to 6 people

Old Fashioned Roast Duck Crispy Style

The following recipe, though it calls for many hours of roasting, is simple as can be – and it leads to perfectly crisp skin and melting tender duck meat. To serve the ducks, you could simply cut each one in half, and serve each person half a duck with the bone in. Or, you could fillet the breast and legs (making sure to keep the crisp skin intact), cut the fillets into ½ inch wide pieces, and arrange the slices attractively on dinner plates.

2 large ducks (fresh or thawed, frozen) each about 6 pounds

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 250º.

2. Trim the duck: With a sharp knife, cut away excess fat and skin that hangs at both ends of the duck. Trim thoroughly (you should end up with about 2 or 3 cups of excess fat and skin, which can be discarded or used to render duck fat).

3. Fill cavity with orange and lemon and prick each duck very thoroughly with a fork on both sides (25 to 30 pricks for each duck).

4. Place the ducks on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Place pan in the oven, and roast ducks at 250º. After 1 hour, prick the ducks thoroughly on one side, turn them over, and prick thoroughly on the other side. Continue to roast with the newly turned side up. Repeat this process every hour.

5. After 4 hours of roasting, prick and turn once again. Increase oven temperature to 350º. Continue roasting, pricking and turning once for an additional 30 to 90 minutes. (See note below).

6. Before serving, let the ducks sit for about 15 minutes and season them well with salt and pepper.

If you roast them for 30 minutes on one side, prick and turn, and 30 minutes on the other side, they will be juicy and crisp.

Remove from oven. Sit for 15 minutes. Pour triple sec over surface of duck. Ignite carefully. When flame dies, serve immediately with Orange Sauce.

NOTE: The amount of additional roasting time at 350º is up to you. Do you want a juicier finished product or a crisper finished product?

Orange Sauce:

1 c. orange juice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3/4 c. Triple Sec

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

In medium saucepan, mix all ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Serve with roast duckling.

Makes 4 servings.

Dilled Salmon in Parchment

Cooking in parchment is easier than it sounds. The results are delightful, flavourful and fun.

2 skinless salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped shallots and/or slices of sweet peppers (thin slices of carrots or zucchini)
2 oz white wine

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut 2 pieces parchment paper into 12-inch squares; fold squares in half diagonally and cut into half heart shapes. Open parchment; place shallots and/or peppers on one side of the paper then put a fish fillet on top.
Put pat of butter on top of fish. Drizzle lemon juice over fish. Sprinkle with dill and salt and pepper to taste. Pour wine over fish.
Fold parchment hearts in half. Beginning at top of heart, fold edges together, 2 inches at a time. At tip of heart, fold parchment over to seal.
Bake fish about 15 minutes or until parchment pouch puffs up. To serve, cut an "X" through top layer of parchment and fold back points to display contents.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

I recently bought a tagine which is used for slow cooking tagines coincidentally. When Morgan was in Morocco the markets were full of them, at about 1 Euro each but they were tough to ship. I bought mine on line. I was a bit skeptical at first but it worked like a charm and this meal is just wonderful.

2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pinch saffron
1 lemon (zest)
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes or tomato paste

* beef stock
2 carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)
1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
1/2 cup dried dates (chopped)
1/2 cup dried figs (chopped)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons harissa
1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 tablespoon toasted almond slices

1. Mix the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, garlic, coriander, saffron, lemon zest and oil in a zip lock bag.
2. Add the lamb, mix well and marinate the fridge for a few hours to overnight.
3. Heat the oil in a large pot.
4. Add the lamb, brown well on all sides and set aside.
5. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for about a minute.
7. Add the lamb and tomato paste and cover with beef stock.
8. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the lamb is fall apart tender, about 2 hours.
9. Add the carrots, apricots, dates, figs and more stock to cover.
10. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
11. Add the honey and harissa.
12. Serve garnished with cilantro, parsley and toasted almonds.

Seafood Risotto with Lemon and Saffron

This is a very special risotto. It is a lovely yellow colour and the sweet scallops blend very well with the shrimp and the saffron and lemon flavours

6 Tbsp butter

2 minced cloves garlic

1 medium white onion finely chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup dry white wine

A pinch of saffron threads

500 grams peeled shrimp

250 grams scallops

Optional (250 grams squid sliced into small pieces)

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper (optional but recommended)

The juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, or more

Salt and pepper to taste

In separate pots, bring the stock and the wine to the edge of a simmer then turn the heat down but keep warm.

Melt 4Tbsp of butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion then sauté until it begins to become translucent. Add half the garlic stirring, being careful not to brown either. Add the rice and stir in to coat the rice, a minute or two.

Add the wine and stir it in. As it begins to be absorbed add a bit of stock, half to 3/4 of a cup. Put in the saffron. Stir the rice until most is absorbed and repeat, stirring often. Keep it bubbling but not too high. This will take about 20 minutes.

As you are nearing the end of this process, take a fresh saucepan and put it on medium heat. Add the remaining butter. When that is melted but not brown, add the shrimp. (If you are using squid, add it first) When the shrimp are almost pink add the scallops. If you haven’t drunk all the wine left in the bottle by this time add a splash to the seafood. Add the juice of one lemon and stir.

Take out the seafood with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Add the liquid from the seafood pan into the rice. If and is stuck to the bottom deglaze using what remains of the stock.

Add the remainder of the liquid then add the cheese. Stir until you have a creamy mixture, stir in the seafood and serve immediately

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lamb Shanks with Tomato and Rosemary

For reasons I simply do not understand, it has been hard to find lamb shanks these days in Regina chain supermarkets so, I would recommend Fellinger's Red Meat Wagon on 13th Avenue. Kurt has a good supply and it is Canadian Lamb, not New Zealand.

One of the things I really like about lamb shanks is that they are easy to make, fall off the bone tender and, no carving, everyone has their own shank.

I have several recipes. This is one of my favorites and it is what I'll be cooking for supper this evening using tomatoes and rosemary from my garden.


* 4 lamb shanks
* 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
* 1 large onion, chopped finely
* 1 to 2 carrots, finely diced
* 3 sticks celery (no leaves), finely diced
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* Oregano
* Rosemary
* Thyme
* 4 bay leaves
* 2 or 3 fresh sprigs rosemary, if you can get them
* 2 or 3 large tomatoes chopped
* 12 ounces rich stock
* 6 ounces red wine(Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon)
* Black Pepper, freshly ground

Heat oven to 350

Brown the lamb shanks in the oil in a heavy frying pan.

Transfer to a large cast iron pot

Cook onion, carrot and celery in the same frying pan over low heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the mixture to the meat and deglaze, pan with the stock and wine then add the liquid to pot.

Turn the heat on under the pot and add the herbs, rosemary sprigs and freshly milled pepper (NO salt), tomatoes. When it starts to bubble, cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Cook at 325° F for 3 hours turning meat every 30 minutes and stirring gently.

After that time, remove 2 or 3 good sized ladlesful of the vegetable mixture in the pot with plenty of liquid and whizz in your blender until smooth. Add this puree back into the casserole and gently mix it in. Add a bit of flour if it needs to thicken a bit. Serve one lamb shank and a portion of the sauce to each person. Don’t serve the left over carrots in the pot. They were for flavor while cooking.

Serve with mashed potatoes, and carrots, peas or Brussel sprouts