Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sausage and Apple Ravioli

One of my favourite things about cooking is getting the chance to experiment with flavours and develop a new recipe. This is one I've been thinking about for awhile and finally had a chance to put together.
















Pillowy raviolis are filled with a sweet and savoury blend of sausage and apple, crunchy toasted pine nuts, finished with creamy chevre cheese, and drizzled with a wine butter sauce.

To get the printable version of this beautiful recipe,please click HERE.

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.




Ingredients
  •  1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup diced granny smith apple
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chevre cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1, 16 oz, 454 gram package wonton wrappers
Wine Butter Sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced shallots
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Parmesan cheese to finish
Directions
  1. Saute the onion and sausage in the olive oil over medium high heat until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are soft and slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the diced apple and continue to saute until the apples begin to soften.
  3. Add the thyme and garlic, continue to stir, and then deglaze the pan with a half cup of white wine. Bring to the boil, and continue to boil until the alcohol has cooked off. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Place a layer of paper towels in a colander and drain the sausage mixture, patting the top with more paper towel to remove fat.
  5. Transfer the drained pork mixture to a medium bowl and add the chevre, stirring to incorporate, and the pine nuts. 
To Make the Raviolis
  1. Take a wonton wrapper and cut it into four equal squares (as per the video)
  2. Place a teaspoon of the filling onto the middle of the wonton square and brush the edges wiith beaten egg, 
  3. Top with another piece of wonton wrapper pressing down the sides tightly.
  4. Place the finished raviolis onto a floured baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook or freeze for later.
  5. Boil the raviloi in boiling salted water for 4 minutes.
To Make the Wine Butter Sauce
  1. Saute the shallots in the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat until translucent. Add the garlic, stir, and the de-glaze the pan with the white wine,
  2. Bring to the boil and reduce by half.
  3. When the wine has reduced add the butter and stir until it is a smooth sauce. Stir in the thyme and spoon over the cooked ravioli. 
  4. To serve: Plate the ravioli drizzle with sauce and top with a little Parmesan cheese.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Best Damn Meatloaf Ever!

Hey everyone!

How's every little thing going?

Things are running smoothly in my little corner of the world and I'm grinning like the Cheshire Cat because I believe I've cracked the code to the most scrumptiously delicious meat loaf, um, ever!

That's right, I said ever.
















Perfectly seasoned ground beef is layered with caramelized onions, topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, sliced and drizzled with a mushroom pan gravy that can only be described as Just. That. Fabulous.

If you like what you see, the PRINTABLE RECIPE can be accessed by clicking the link.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 16 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 cup diced dill pickle
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups beef stock (I like to use Bovril)
Directions
  1. Saute the onions and olive oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat until the onions are golden and caramelized. Remove to a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain. 
  3. Heat the chicken stock, milk, and butter in a microwave for 40 seconds until warm and pour over the drained potatoes.
  4. Mash until fluffy, add kosher salt to taste.
  5. In a large bowl mix the ground beef, egg, pickles, and steak spice. Divide the meat mixture into four equal parts and roll into four balls. 
  6. Place one ball each into two loaf pans that have been prepared with cooking spray. Spread the ground beef mixture evenly over the bottom third of each pan. 
  7. Spoon 1/4 of the caramelized onions into each pan, top with another layer of the ground beef mixture, top with last layer of onions, and finish with the mashed potatoes, dividing the potatoes in half. 
  8. Bake in a 350 oven on baking trays (they might bubble over a little) for an hour and 10 minutes. 
  9. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in a non stick pan that's been treated with cooking spray. Saute until the mushrooms are golden and have begun to release their water. Add the butter and the flour to form a roux and continue to cook and stir for a minute. Add the beef stock, bring to the boil, and whisk until thickened.
  10. Let the meatloaf rest in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing and slicing. 
  11. Serve with the mushrooms gravy. 
  12. The meatloaf can be frozen. To bake from frozen, thaw overnight and bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes. 
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.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How to Make CHARMED Chicken Salad

As you're probably aware, I love a good roast chicken -  not only for its yummy deliciousness in the moment but also for the multitude of beautiful leftover recipes it can provide.

 With the grand daddy (or mama) of them all being chicken salad.















Now I know there are many chicken salad recipes floating around out there - but with my secret powers of witchy fabulousity I am here to stake claim that mine may just be the best!

Don't believe me?

Well just take a look...

Cook along with my easy to follow step by step recipe video and visit the PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE.


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recipes for a Romantic Valentines Day

I appreciate Valentines Day, not only because it's a day to celebrate love , but because it gives us all opportunity to bring a little romance into our own lives.

And that's just what I did with today's romantic dinner...

Oysters with a Champagne Mignonoette
















 Served alongside a Warm Roasted Beet Salad...
















King Crab Linguini...
















And a Balsamic Strawberry Brownie...
















To prepare this romantic masterpiece, enjoy the step by step video  or visit the printable recipes here:








***

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.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Braised Chicken with Olives

Today's recipe is slow, warming, rustic comfort at its best!

















And because a picture, as they say, speaks a thousand words, I'm going to let today's step by step video do all the talking for me.

Click here to visit the printable recipe.





Ingredients
  • 6 pieces of chicken with skin (I like to do 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts)
  • 1, 28 oz tin Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper, oregano
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced white onion
  • 1/2 cup red wine 
  • 1 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
  • 3 cups dry rotini pasta
Directions
  1. Begin by removing the juice from the tin of Italian tomatoes, reserving the tomatoes to use later. 
  2. In a large bowl combine the extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice with dried oregano, pepper, minced garlic, and sea salt. Add the tomato juice and whisk until everything is well blended.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces in a ziploc bag and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight. The longer the better.
  4. When you're ready to cook, remove the chicken pieces from the bag, reserving the marinade. Next, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and place the chicken pieces into the pot skin side down. Continue to gently cook moving the chicken so that it doesn't stick. 
  5. When the chicken has lightly browned on both sides, remove to a plate and then begin to saute the sliced onions in the pan juices.
  6. When the onions have begun to caramelize, de-glaze the pan with the red wine stirring it well and bring it to a boil.
  7. Place the chicken back into the pot and then pour the reserved marinade over all. Cover the pot, and place in a 350 degree oven for an hour and a half. 
  8. Remove from the oven and add the sliced green olives, and the reserved tomatoes from earlier. Return to the oven uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  9. During the last ten minutes of braising, boil three cups of dry rotini pasta just until al dente and drain.
  10. Place a piece or two of chicken onto a platter and ladle half the sauce over all. Pour the cooked, drained pasta into the  remaining sauce and stir well.


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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nutty Butterscotch and Chocolate Oat Bars

There's something special, and a little old fashioned, about oats, and butterscotch - and when the two come together in a bar the end result is just delicious!

Better still, like shortbread, these get even better a few days after baking and keep beautifully in air tight containers.
















Just click here to visit the printable recipe

 I hope you enjoy the easy to follow step by step video.


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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Provencal Style Ham and Bean Stew for the Slow Cooker

I don't know about you, but as one grey or blustery February day fades into another, I begin to lose hope that spring is ever going to get here!

It's at these times when I need that extra little bit of comfort that only a good meal can bring.
















And today's warming rendition of a Provencal stew certainly fits the bill for rustic February comfort.

In fact, I love this meal so much I could eat it once a week - and just might because it makes lots of wonderful leftovers and freezes like a dream!

Click here to visit my printable recipe.

Or enjoy my easy to follow step by step video!

 


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 8

Ingredients 
  • 2 cups dry mixed beans
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence or dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1, 28 oz tin Italian plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups no sodium chicken stock
Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the dry mixed beans and add them to a slow cooker that has been treated with oil or cooking spray. 
  2. Add the ham, diced onion, diced carrots, garlic, celery, potatoes,salt, pepper, and herbs.
  3. Add the Italian plum tomatoes and chicken stock.
  4. Using a spatula, crush the tomatoes a little - just so they release some of their juice and give everything a good stir. 
  5. Turn your slow cooker to low and let simmer for 8 hours.
  6. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or my olive loaf.



***

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.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

I just love cooking for the freezer - especially if it means having wonderful snack, lunch, and breakfast items at the ready - therefore avoiding the trap of processed or fast foods.
















My recipe for breakfast burritos is so superior to anything being sold at the drive through you're going to want to stock your freezer with these on a regular basis!

Click here to visit the printable recipe.

Or enjoy the easy to follow step by step video. 




Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb turkey sausage, removed from casings, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup each diced green pepper, red pepper, onion
  • 2 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 heaping tbsp green chilis
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 cups shredded old Cheddar cheese
  • 24 flour tortillas
Directions
  1. Saute the peppers, and onion over medium high heat in the olive oil until beginning to soften. Add the hash browns, taco seasoning, green chilis  and continue to saute until golden and cooked through. 
  2. Add to the cooked sausage, add the salsa and mix everything together well.
  3. Whisk the eggs together and begin to scramble in a non stick pan treated with cooking spray or oil over medium high heat.. When the eggs are still somewhat soft, add the sausage and egg mixture and continue to scramble together. Remove from heat when eggs appear to be almost done (as per the video)
  4. Place 1/2 cup of the egg mixture onto each burrito and top with cheese.
  5. Roll up each tortilla to make burritos, folding in the ends and rolling up. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and freeze until solid. Then wrap individually and package in zip-lock freezer bags.
  6. When you're ready to eat, unwrap the burritos, wrap loosely in microwave safe paper towel and heat in the microwave on high power for 1-3 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.
  7. You can also thaw burritos in the refrigerator overnight, then wrap each in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until hot. The thawed burritos can also be deep fried for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

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.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Friday, February 1, 2013

Apple Crumble Snack'n Cake

Most of us enjoy something sweet every now and then, but the problem with desserts is that unless you're a very well organized person, getting all that flour and butter and yadda yadda yadda pulled out of the cupboards takes all kinds of energy that, most days, I don't have.

This is why I've grown so fond of the "Snack'n Cake;" and my many original variations on the concept - like today's uber moist, ultra flavourful crumbly, apple cinnamon slab of amazingness - is like Nirvana on a plate.

Don't believe me?

*Ahem*
















Can I get a moment of silence?

In the meantime, I have been so kind as to out together a printable recipe

And an easy to follow step by step recipe video. I hope you enjoy!




Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pure unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/3 cup sour cream  
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped apples
Crumble Topping
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions
  1. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, add apple juice, sour cream, vegetable oil, vinegar, and stir. 
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet, stir until everything is incorporated, and then add the apple.
  4. Mix all of the crumble topping ingredients together until well incorporated and then sprinkle evenly over the entire top of the cake.
  5. Pour into a square 8x8x2 cake pan that has been prepared with parchment paper for easy removal, cover with the crumble mixture, and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let rest at least ten minutes before removing from the cake pan. Let cool before slicing. 

 



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