Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southwest Style Corn Chowder with Crab and Prawns

Fall was certainly in the air today.

With overcast skies and rain requiring I carry an umbrella, I was forced to wear something with long sleeves and thus cover the fabulosity of my *now* well honed fake tan.

I know.

The good news, though, is that a little chill in the air tends to bring out deep seated primal urges within and I find myself suddenly faced with the desire to do things like bake bread, can jam, and make soup.



Which is exactly what I did when I arrived home from work.

I made Corn chowder...



And an easy cornbread recipe from Allrecipes.com




Total comfort on a blustery day in early Autumn that I hope you enjoy!

Corn Chowder with Crab and Prawns
For printable recipe, click HERE

Ingredients
  • Half pound smoked bacon cooked and crumbled
  • One large onion diced
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 large bag frozen corn
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh prawns
  • 1 can good quality crab meat or one cup fresh crab meat
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp softened butter mixed with one Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
Directions
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven at medium high. Add the onions, celery, carrots, jalapeno pepper, and saute for app. ten minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour, cumin, and curry powder and mix well with the veggies to incorporate
  3. Add the chicken stock, lime juice, corn, potatoes, and garlic and bring to a boil. Let simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Add prawns and crumbled bacon. Simmer for a minute or two until prawns turn pink. Add crab.
  5. Add hot sauce to taste
  6. Turn heat to low and add the butter flour mixture, followed by the milk, cracker crumbs and cilantro.
  7. Stir and serve.




***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zesty Sliders on Homemade Buns with Wasabi Mayo

My husband loves a good hamburger, my 18 year old son TH loves Asian flavours, and I love little bites; so this weekend I set out to creating a hamburger that would suit all of us. Perfect timing too, because TH, who is currently away at school, will be returning home for a two week break in late September and I want to treat him with some new recipes.

After all, the only Asian food he's been eating lately are the ramen noodles we bought for him in cargo before he left.

This is the first of my "restaurant quality" recipes that any cook can make at home.

Both the PB and I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Zesty Sliders on Homemade Buns with Wasabi Mayo
(For printable recipe click HERE)



Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Sliders
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp Siracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Mix above ingredients and form into small patties. Makes 16 slider sized patties. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

Grill or cook in a cast iron pan at medium high 5 minutes a side and serve with Wasabi Sauce.

Wasabi Sauce
  • 1/2 cup real mayonaise
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
Mix above ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Click HERE for my easy recipe for homemade bunsTop with the burger, a generous dollop of my home made Sweet Pickles, or the sweet pickle of your choice.



Sauteed Mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheddar... or anything else that suits your fancy.



Truth be told, these little suckers are good just on the bun with nothing.

I hope you enjoy...

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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Sweet Pickles

Once you get going with home canning and the tastes of jam, jellies, chutneys, and pickles made and often grown from scratch, you will never again be able to use a store bought pickles or sauces in your recipes.

And once you get your basics:

  • Jars and lids
  • A large canning pot
  • A funnel
  • A ladel
Canning is easy!

That being said, here is my recipe for sweet pickles - an absolute staple in our house for burgers, sandwiches, and side dishes.

Crunchy, Sweet and Zesty Sweet Pickles
(for printable recipe click HERE)



Ingredients

* 25 cucumbers, thinly sliced
* 6 onions, thinly sliced
* 2 green peppers, diced
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/2 cup salt
* 3 cups pickling vinegar
* 5 cups white sugar
* 2 tablespoons pickling spice
* 1 tablespoon ground turmeric

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and salt. Allow to stand approximately 3 hours.
2. In a large saucepan, mix the cider vinegar, white sugar, pickling spice and turmeric. Bring to a boil.
3. Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture. Stir the mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture. Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to boil.
4. Transfer to sterile containers.
5. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes
6. Once jars have cooled make certain they have all sealed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stock Your Pantries! Restaurant Quality Meals on a Stay at Home Budget!

As many of you know, I am quite addicted to the Food Network and its delicious variety of food, fun, and chefs. As such, I've also become quite enamoured by Gordon Ramsey's latest show "Master Chef."

But all this Food TV has made me aware of my own shortcomings in the kitchen.

Especially when I watch Master Chef, or another favourite, Next Food Network Star, where the contestants - many of whom are home cooks - are thrown into situations where they have to create their food based on an individual point of view.

This got me thinking.

If I was on a show like that and had to create my own dishes, what would my culinary point of view be? Fresh ingredients? Healthy meal planning? New takes on old classics?



Which brings me to my latest bright idea (a girl needs a hobby right?): To cook meals based on my own recipes, ideas, and point of view and share them here - both the hits and misses - with the long term goal of self publishing my very own cookbook for friends and family.

But what's my point of view?

I want to show people that you can eat incredibly well without having to spend a lot of money. And that everyday dinners can be turned into spectacularly foodtastic events using an array of interesting ingredients readily available at most grocery stores or from your garden.



With a pinch of magic and a creatively stocked pantry, I'll show you how to create fresh and flavourful restaurant quality meals on a stay at home budget starting with a blog I'm posting later today for Asian Wasabi Burgers.

So hang onto your spatulas and join me for the ride! Whether the recipes turn out good, bad, or ugly, the fun will be in the learning.

To get us started I'm going to list the pantry staples I will be using. I find that once a pantry is well stocked, food shopping becomes quite simple.

Pantry (Click here for printable pantry shopping list)

All purpose Flour
Whole Wheat flour
Baking soda
Baking powder
Corn Starch
Brown Sugar
White sugar
Icing Sugar
Honey
Unsweetened Cocoa
Oatmeal
Slivered unsalted almonds
Roasted unsalted cashews
Canned mandarin orange slices
Canned pineapple
Canned tomatoes
Canned tuna
Red and white wine
Tomato paste
Black olives
Capers
Beans
Chick peas
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Canola oil
Toasted sesame oil
White vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Hoisin sauce
Sweet chili sauce
Garlic chili sauce
Hot sauce
HP sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Soy Sauce
Low Sodium chicken stock
Low sodium beef stock
Chutney
Jam
Peanut butter
Cranberry jelly
Dried cranberries
Dijon Mustard
Horseradish
Mayonaisse
Regular mustard, ketchup, relish
Pasta
Rice
Panko bread crumbs
Chow mein noodles
Dried mushrooms
Unsalted soda crackers

Dried Spices
(these are the spices I use a lot - to get you started, though, I've highlighted the spices I see as essential)

Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Ginger
Curry Powder
Chili powder
Cumin
Nutmeg
Basil
Oregano
Cinnamon
Thyme
Paprika
Bay leaves
Wasabi paste
Tarragon
Five Spice
All Spice
Celery Salt
Montreal Steak Spice
Marjoram
Fennel seeds
Rosemary
Sage
Dried parsley
Basil
Cayenne pepper
Red pepper flakes
Herbes de Provence (nice to have)
Truffle oil (nice to have)

Produce essentials

Fresh garlic
Fresh ginger
Jalapeno peppers
Lemons
Onions
Shallots
Potatoes - Different varieties
Fresh parsley
Cilantro
Celery
Carrots
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Greens
Lettuce
Green onions
Peppers
Avocado

Dairy

Butter
Sour cream
Milk
Soy milk
Feta cheese
Cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese
Yogurt
Protein powder
Eggs
Bacon

Freezer

Blueberries
Ground flax
Peas
Corn
Variety of bread and buns
Soft burrito shells
Chicken: boneless breasts, whole roaster
Salmon filets
White fish filets
Prawns
Ground beef
Ground turkey
Pork tenderloin
Pork Chops
Steaks

I know it seems like a lot. But once you have these basics well stocked and make a commitment to not eat out, your grocery bill will shrink in the long run while you eat incredibly delicious high quality meals!

Stay tuned for the Asian Wasabi Burgers!

Boo!