Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Roasted Sausages and Grapes

 Over the weekend I had a group of very good friends over to my place for a dinner party and the evening was such a success, I decided I had to share the recipe for our main course here on the Kitchen Witch because it was such a huge hit!

The recipe is actually an idea my son put together when he came home to visit a few weeks ago and I was so impressed with his cooking I told him this was a dish for The Kitchen Witch! It's exactly as he concocted it and I wouldn't change a thing.

Although these may sound like an unlikely combination of ingredients...




















It turns out sausages and grapes - with some fresh thyme and garlic - are a natural combination!





Visit the printable recipe here: Roasted Sausages and Grapes

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video!




Prep time: 10 minutes
Roast time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3
Note: Recipe can easily be doubled to serve 6

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 fresh Bratwurst sausages
  • 1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 finely diced cloves garlic
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
Directions
  1. Rub the olive oil onto bottom of shallow casserole dish.
  2. Place sausages onto the oil making sure they're well coated.
  3. Pour in the grapes (place them so they surround all the sausages everything touching the bottom).
  4. Sprinkle on the seasonings and garlic.
  5. Lay a sprig or two of thyme over each piece of sausage.
  6. Roast in a 400 oven for 30 minutes turning once at the half way point. 
  7. Broil each side on high for an additional 3-5 minutes until each side is golden and crispy.
  8. Remove the sausages to a plate and gently mash the grapes making sure to scrape all of the flavour off the sides of the pan. 
  9. Serve with the grape mixture over the sausages. The recipe is also very good served over jasmine rice (as per the video)

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

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest


Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Make Ahead Scrambled Egg and Chorizo Burritos

Each New Year as it gets underway provides its own kind of busyness and this January has been no different. In fact, it's been so busy or me I can't believe it's almost February! And then I looked at my calendar and realized its already booked almost until the end of May - making it difficult, some days, to live in the moment.

But live in the moment I must, if not for anything else but for my sense of sanity. In the spirit of that, I've begun a practice this year called "mindfulness" which is really just a form of meditation where you bring your thoughts to the present, accept them, and move on. Now I can't guarantee that it works for everyone, but with a mind as busy as mine, I've been giving it the old college try.

It never fails, though, I'll be deep into my own meditative process one minute, and the next I'll be dreaming about how to make the best cake frosting - people, you wouldn't believe how often my mind turns to food and cooking.

But maybe that's a good thing. Maybe measurements are my mindfulness, and meatloaf my mantra - maybe the things we're most interested in can guide our minds back to the present. Ha ha ha! Deep thoughts for a Thursday morning!

Good thing I don't have to make breakfast (or lunch) because I have these wonderful little scrambled egg and chorizo burritos pre-packaged and ready to go!




















If you'd like to get mindful with me and make some of your own, stop by my kitchen and make a batch with me!




Or visit the printable recipe here: Make Ahead Scrambled Egg Chorizo Burritos

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, removed from casings, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup each diced green pepper, onion
  • 2 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp salsa verte
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
Directions
  1. Saute the peppers, and onion over medium high heat in the butter until beginning to soften. Add the hash browns, salt and pepper, and continue to saute until golden and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs together with the salsa verte and begin to scramble in a pan treated with olive oil over medium 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)
  3. Fold in the cheese.
  4. Place 1/2 cup of the egg mixture onto each burrito.
  5. Roll up each tortilla to make burritos, folding in the ends and rolling up. 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

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest


Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader


Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make Homemade Hamburger or Slider Buns

 Hi everyone! With Superbowl right around the corner, I've got a great recipe to share for pulled pork sliders!

 Before I do so, though, I wanted to share my easy recipe for homemade buns. This one makes 12 hamburger buns or 16 perfect little sliders!


Please enjoy today's step by step video!

Visit the printable recipe here:  Homemade Slider Buns



Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour flour
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until butter is melted. Let cool to luke warm. Whisk in egg.
  2. Mix 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix into the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  3. When the dough pulls together, (it will form a soft ball) turn it out onto a floured surface and knead ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Divide dough into 12 -16 equal pieces. This will depend on the size you want for the finished bun - 16 makes perfect buns for sliders. Shape into smooth balls, flatten slightly, and place on a silpat covered baking sheet.
  5. Let rise for 30 to 35 minutes. When buns have almost doubled bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Brush the tops with egg wash or melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional)
Makes 12-16

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

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Salmon Potato Puff Cake

Oh my gosh you guys, I've been so busy lately I don't know right from left. Forget about grocery shopping, most days this week, I've had to remind myself to eat (which isn't necessarily a bad thing since all signs indicate I won't be blowing away on the wind any time soon).

The problem, however, is the Poolboy.

People, take heed. If you decide to get into cooking and take great joy (and pride) in serving your family 5 star meals most days of the week, be forewarned because the day will come when that box of Kraft Dinner in the pantry is going to look like a really good option.

Which brings me to tonight. I've been working tirelessly on a workshop about trauma; thinking more about things like love and compassion than butter and wine (though I do see the similarities between my two worlds). And with my head filled with empathetic responses to healing I arrived home to an empty fridge and no idea what to cook for dinner.

In fear our beloved Poolboy might faint away in starvation, I summoned all the creativity I could muster, opened the pantry, and found: canned sockeye salmon and Betty Crocker dehydrated roasted garlic mashed potatoes (don't ask).

What resulted?

Today's Salmon Potato Puff Cake!




A recipe that turned out to be so easy to make and delicious, it will have me buying those damned dehydrated potatoes again!

But never fear, purists, this would be equally, if not more amazing, with home made roasted garlic mashed potatoes. To be honest, though, the boxed version was damn good, super convenient, and the one I will use again and again when I make this recipe!

To make it for yourself, check out the printable recipe here: Salmon Potato Puff Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 pkg prepared Betty Crocker Roasted garlic mashed potatoes *or* 2 cups whipped roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • 2 tins drained sockeye salmon
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt, black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry baby dill
  • 3-5 shakes of hot sauce
  • 2 eggs. beaten
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Prepare the potatoes as per your favourite recipe or package directions if using Betty Crocker. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix the salmon, scallions, salt, pepper, and dill together in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir the baking soda into the eggs and then mix into the salmon until everything is well blended.
  4. Spray an 8x8 square cake pan with cooking spray and then press a sheet of parchment paper into the bottom making sure the bottom and sides are covered and there is a 1 inch overhang for easy removal.
  5. Spoon the salmon mixture into the cake pan and smooth out so that it's even.
  6. Sprinkle the top with the Panko bread crumbs and grated cheese.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated 375 oven for 35 minutes.
  8. Rest on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the cake pan to a plate and let rest another five minutes before cutting into cake sized slices.

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

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Asian Style Meatball Noodle Soup

"To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” 
Laurie Colwin

I've made no secret over the years about my love affair with soup, and most work days you can find me bent over a steaming bowl of it at lunch time. And not just any soup, either - I mean,  sure, there's the canned stuff - or worse - the dehydrated kind that you can grab from the pantry in a pinch.  But my favourite soups are always home made.

I come by this honestly. Growing up in a household where money was often tight, my mom could make our food budget stretch like nobody's business and on any given day, there was a pot of soup, stew, or sauce simmering on our stove. But there was nothing better to me on a cold winter evening after school than to walk through the doors of our warm and inviting home than to smell Mom's Split Pea Soup or Scotch Broth bubbling away.

Better still, there was always a bag of baking soda biscuits in the freezer just waiting to be thawed and eaten with the soup - or spread with butter and jam to have as dessert.

And then there was the biggest treat of all: the soup bones. Mom's soup was made during a time when using anything but one's own homemade broth would have been sacrilege; and the making of soup usually began the day before with a big pot of bones. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table talking to my mom about my day while I went to town on the soup bone, sucking all the flavour from its marrow, comforted by its depth, somehow knowing everything was just right if just for a moment.

Memories. 

Nowadays my life is so busy and I don't have the same kind of time my mother did to tend to a soup over a period of days. I do, however, try to make the time on weekends - especially in the winter - to make a big pot of something delicious that my husband and I can take for lunch throughout the week.

Like today's recipe for Asian Style Meatball Soup.


There are a few reasons why this is one of my favourite winter weather concoctions. First, because it packs just the right amount of heat to soothe a sniffly nose or a sore throat. And the flavours, like with any good soup, just get better and better so that when you have the last bowl, it's richer and more flavourful than the first!

But also because I've tried to keep the sodium down to a dull roar. There's nothing worse to me than ordering a beautiful bowl of soup at an Asian restaurant only to be left with a sodium hangover a few hours later. And this soup, I promise, will not leave you that way.

 If you decide to make this for yourself, a printable version of the recipe can be found here:
Asian Style Meatball Soup

Or visit me in my kitchen and we'll cook it together!

"Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?" Judith Martin (Miss Manners)



Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Meatball Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground lean sirloin or beef
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 tsp lemon herb salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 heaping tbsp grated white onion
  • 2 tbsp diced celery
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
Soup Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 4 cups chopped baby bok choy (stems and greens separated)
  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 10 cups low or no sodium beef stock
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 fresh lime
  • Cooked Asian Noodles
Directions
  1. Mix the meatball ingredients and roll into small 1/2 inch in diameter balls. Set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch Oven saute the onion, celery, carrot, and baby bok choy stems (the white parts) in the oil over medium high heat just until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add the meatballs and continue to saute, stirring often and moving the vegetables aside so that the meatballs begin to brown, add the mushrooms and let them begin to soften. (Adjust your heat to medium if the pan gets too hot)
  4. Add the beef stock, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the flavour into the soup.
  5. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar, Siracha chile sauce, and sesame oil and bring to the boil. 
  6. Cover, reduce heat, and continue cooking at a simmering boil for 45 minutes. 
  7. Add the baby bok choy greens, lime, and cilantro and stir until they are wilted into the soup. 
  8. Serve in large bowls over Asian Noodles. 

***

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

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader

Monday, January 6, 2014

Braised Chicken and Kale Cassoulet - The Canadian Food Experience Project "Resolutions"

Happy New Year everyone!

As you know, I took a little time off blogging over the holidays, and I have to tell you - what an amazing couple of weeks it's been!

First of all, Vaughan and I broke with tradition this year when we learned our 22 year old son wouldn't be home for the holidays. While we were heartbroken at first, we decided to make a "resolution" this year to accept what was as a gift instead of a loss, and in the grand scheme of believing everything happens for a reason, it was a resolution that turned out to be life changing!

Though I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, there is always a push in me come January to climb out of my turkey and gravy induced coma  and look to the future. A look that always includes healthier eating and an excitement about the unknown adventures that await me in the year ahead.

The Canadian Food Experience Project became one of those unknown adventures for me in 2013 - especially when it came to writing about the food related traditions of my family - so I was excited to join in  on this, the 8th project, by sharing my thoughts on resolutions and a really fabulous recipe. In saying that, however, I've learned something new...

Traditions, like rules, are sometimes meant to be broken and although we usually do the same things every holiday season, we decided to make a change this Christmas. Instead of moping around missing our son, we booked hotel rooms, a flight, and a winter cabin and embarked on the Christmas adventure of a lifetime re-living our West Coast version of the story "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse."


 In honour of the city mouse, we booked a seaplane to Vancouver BC - one of the world's most amazing cities and only a 20 minute puddle jump from our home on Vancouver Island. We took in the sights, the sounds, the restaurants, and the shopping, and in so doing we christened the advent of what was to become a magical holiday.

Some culinary highlights included flaming crepes filled with Nutella and bananas,  authentic German food like spaetzle, fresh sausage, schnitzle, and hot mulled wine at an outdoor German Christmas festival, and a Japadog - which in my humble opinion is a must have when you visit Vancouver.

Better still we had time to visit our son and do all kinds of things we normally wouldn't have - all without the stress of battling the crowds looking for last minute gifts because that was another tradition we resolved to change. In our family we decided to forgo traditional gift giving and instead use the money we would have spent to do good things for others and I am here to tell you, that was the BEST gift any one of us has ever given or received.

On the 23rd we headed back to island and brought my famous tourtieres to my parents place for dinner and then on the 24th we drove to the far west coast of Vancouver Island where, country mouse style, we stayed in a quaint little cabin right on the beach for the rest of the holidays.

To join us on portions of the trip - including my husband Vaughan's Christmas eve dance moves - just watch the video at the end of this post!

In the meantime, and in the spirit of resolutions, after all the nibbling, noshing, and wine drinking of the holidays I've come back down to earth for another year and wanted to create a recipe that would be healthy, delicious, and filled with nutrients and with today's Braised Chicken and Kale Cassoulet I have done just that!




This easy to make dish is so darned amazing I truly hope you'll try it! You can make it with 2, 4, or 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs. With 2 you'll have more leftover sauce which makes a wonderful dinner mixed with rice the second night!

Visit the printable recipe here: Braised Chicken and Kale Cassoulet 

Please enjoy the step by step video, it includes some fun holiday footage!




Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a mixture of both
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 796 ml, 28 fl oz tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 540 ml, 19 fl oz tin drained mixed beans
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chopped kale
Directions
  1. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed stockpot or sauce pan over medium high heat for 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. 
  2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the pan cooking them 2 minutes or so on each side just until golden. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until the garlic begins to grow fragrant. 
  3. Pour the chicken stock over and deglaze all the good flavour off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, beans, cumin, and chili powder and stir well. Bring to a simmer, turn to medium low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. During the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in the kale and let cook until the kale is wilted. 
  5. Serve over rice.


***

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