CREAMY CHEVRE DIP AND CAESAR DIP

img_0009While I’m swanning around having a beatific time  decorating the house for Christmas my alter-ego Mrs. Butterfingers is puttering about in the kitchen.     There is panetonne set to raise   .  Mince pies to roll out.  Short bread to bake.  The kitchen is filled with delicious aromas of Christmas.

Mrs. Butterfingers keeps a few easy recipes for dips in her apron pocket.  Add the basic ingredients to your grocery shopping list  and keep them to hand.  They are refreshingly different and  delicious rift on some old friends.

This CAESAR DIP  leaves the salad bowl and takes on a new role as a great dip.  Use the pale green heart leaves of romaine or roll the large leaves lengthwise into tight cylinders.

CREAMY CHÈVRE DIP  combines herbs, hot pepper sauce and sun-dried tomatoes for a creamy dip for crunchy fresh vegetable sticks.  They are deceptively easy but the precut vegetable trays are not always the freshest.    For the crispest possible vegetables create your own from carrots, celery ,fennel, red pepper and green beans.  If you use broccoli blanch and refresh it in ice water for the bright green appearance and tender stalks

CREAMY CHEVRE DIP AND CAESAR DIP
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: dips for fresh vegetables
Cuisine: appetizers North America
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: 1¼ cups
Easy to make dips with readily available ingredients. Perfect for fresh vegetables
Ingredients
  • CAESAR DIP
  • 1/13 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp Sriracha sauce
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce or 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  • CREAMY CHEVRE DIP
  • 6 oz chevre (cream style goat cheese)
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp finely chopped dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 green onions chopped
Instructions
  1. CAESAR DIP
  2. Whisk all ingredient together until blended.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you think it requires more salt add a little more fish sauce.
  4. Dip can be covered and refrigerated for several days.
  5. CREAMY CHEVRE DIP
  6. In food processor blend chevre, sour cream, garlic, rosemary, thyme and Sriracha sauce until smooth.
  7. Remove from food processor and stir in tomatoes, parsley and onions,.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
  9. Dip can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  10. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  11. Makes about 2 cups.

 

 

 

 

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FRENCH STYLE GRATED CARROT SALAD . . . CAROTTES RAPEES

img_3011Carrot salad is on the top of my list for nostalgic food.   In those long- ago- by- gone days fresh produce simply wasn’t available in the bitter winters of Northern Saskatchewan.     However, hiding away in our dark root cellar in boxes of sand were carrots and parsnips from our garden.    We ate carrot salad, liberally sprinkled with raisins, almost every day during the winter months.

It’s late November and these outrageously orange and deliciously sweet carrots were pulled from my garden.   I will continue to harvest carrots from our winter garden until we get a killing frost.   I added a few tender parsnips to my basket because they were growing next to the carrots and called my name.

This minimalist French recipe for carottes ràpées is a sophisticated version of the old fashioned carrot salad.  It’s one you can vary every time you whip it up.  You take some grated carrots.  Organic carrots are a must but from there the variations are endless.  Then a couple of generous handfuls of various herbs, add a few nuts or seeds, and lavish it with different oils and vinegar.

The deep orange coloured  GRATED CARROT SALAD combined with a sandwich or even a perfectly boiled egg makes a lovely lunch.

FRENCH STYLE GRATED CARROT SALAD . . . CAROTTES RAPEES
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: salad
Cuisine: Canadian
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: 4 to 6
A quickly made carrot salad with endless variations and flavours.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (225) grated carrots
  • 2 generous handfuls of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon or so of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon or so of light soy sauce
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss the carrots in a room bowl with parsley and olive oil.
  2. Add the lemon juice, soy sauce, salt and pepper and check for seasoning.
  3. Toss again and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

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We are surrounded by fields of blueberries.   In season  they are delicious eaten out of hand, sprinkled over home made ice cream  and  baked into muffins, pies and crumbles.  Our blueberry growing neighbors generously  share their bounty with us.  The season is short so I fill my freezer with bags of frozen blueberries.   Frozen blueberries juice turns cake and muffin batters an extremely unpleasant purplish green.    To avoid this simply rinse your frozen blueberries several times until the water runs almost clear.  Then dry them well – top and bottom – between several layers of paper towels.  Use immediately in your recipe.  I baked this sour cream coffee cake with frozen blueberries  they are true blue.

Most recipes using frozen  or fresh blue berries suggest dusting them with flour to  keep them suspended in the batter.  In this recipe  you simply scatter them over the struesel topping.     The flour used in the sour cream coffee cake is cake flour.  If you don’t have it in your pantry  remove two tablespoons of flour from one cup and replace it with two tablespoons of corn starch.  Mix and sift well several times.   The cornstarch lowers the protein in the  flour and gives you a tender, lighter crumb.

 

BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
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: coffee cake
Cuisine: Canadian
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: 8 to 10
A classic sour cream coffee cake with crumbly cinnamon flavoured struesel , a blueberry filling and maple syrup glaze.
Ingredients
  • 12 tbs. (6 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (10 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • FOR THE STREUSEL
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp (l ½ oz) cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces).
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • ½ cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 generous tbsp. maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour thoroughly a 10 inch tube pan.
  3. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a medium sized bowl and pinch and rub together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. (do not use a food processor. Set aside.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment for 4-5 minutes, until light and very fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time beating well before adding the next egg.
  7. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream.
  8. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Then use a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  9. Spoon half the batter into the pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle with ¾ cup streusel.
  10. Add all the blueberries sprinkling them evenly over the batter.
  11. Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan and spread it out.
  12. Scatter with the remaining streusel on top.
  13. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
  14. Led cool on a wire rack for at 30 minutes or more.
  15. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up onto a serving plate.
  16. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of milk or cream if necessary to make glaze runny,.
  17. Drizzle it over the cake with a fork or spoon.

 

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Posted in Breakfast and Brunch, Christmas Food Ideas, Desserts, Desserts and sweets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

CAESAR SALAD … Passionate Pizza style

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GARLICKY CAESAR SALAD  –  6 servings 1/4 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino, parmesan, or grano cheese , plus thin shavings of cheese for serving (optional) 2-3 anchovy fillets drained plus more fillets for serving (optional)  or two … Continue reading

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ZEN AND ART OF PICKLED DILLY GREEN BEANS

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Pickling is a state of mind.  Ask anyone who pickles.  There is something rather atavistic about preparing food to be stored away for the coming winter.  Not to mention a wonderful feeling of accomplishment as you tuck away jars of food you have  prepared yourself.  Once you’ve made your first batch of pickles it is often the beginning of a wonderful, adictive relationship with all kinds of pickles and relishes.

It’s really not complicated.   You prepare your vegetables.  Wash and sterilize your jars.  Fill the jars.  Process the jars,  That’s it.  If you haven’t a canning pot and rick simply follow the instructions in the recipe.

This recipe for oh so addictive pickled green dilly beans is quite simple.  You cut your beans to fit into the wide-mouth canning jars.  Mix up your vinegar, water and salt.   Put a little red pepper flakes, some mustard seeds and lots of dill seed into each jar.  Tuck in the beans.  Pour the hot vinegar mixture over.  Seal the jars and process them in boiling water for 15 minutes and you’re done.  You can cut the recipe in half if you just have a few beans picked up at the farmer’s market, or double the recipe if you’ve plundered your garden.

ZEN AND ART OF PICKLED DILLY GREEN BEANS
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: pickling
Cuisine: preserving
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: 8-10 jars
Pickled dilly green bean are irresistible served with crackers and cheese. They are not complicated to make and an excellent way to deal with an over abundance of beans from your garden.
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs green beans
  • ½ generous tsp. crushed red pepper flakes per jar
  • ½ generous tsp. yellow must seed per jar
  • 1 generous tsp. dill seed per jar
  • 1 whole garlic clove per jar
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut beans to fit into tall wide-mound Mason jars (one pint)
  2. Please red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, dill seed and garlic in each jar.
  3. Add beans to jars until full.
  4. Bring vinegar, water and sea salt to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.
  5. Pour the boiling liquid over the beans.
  6. Tighten lids
  7. Process in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove and place on tea-towel covered counter to cool.
  9. How to process:
  10. Carefully wash and rinse jars, equipment, counters and anything that will come in contact with your canning procedure.
  11. Put them into a large pot with a lid.
  12. Fill the pot with pot and bring to a boil
  13. Boil for ten minutes.
  14. Remove jars using rubber tipped tongs or better still silicone oven mitts or gloves.
  15. Drop your lids into the hot water for a few minutes then put on the jars. This activates the seal around the edge of the lid. Do not boil.
  16. Tighten the lids on the filled jars.
  17. Put an old tea towel in the bottom of the pot and place your jars in the pot.
  18. Bring the pot to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.
  19. Carefully remove the jars (the silicone oven mitts really work well here) and place on a tea towel covered counter.
  20. You will hear jars "pop" as the jars cool down. They must "pop" for safety and spoilage prevention. If they don't pop refrigerate and use within a few days.
  21. Fill the hot jars with the beans

 

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Posted in Appetizers and Starters, Condiments | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

THE BEST COMFORT FOOD … PENNE WITH BACON AND TOMATOE SAUCE

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This really is comfort food at it’s very best.     It’s easy to make.   One generally has all the ingredients in the kitchen.    You combine the simple flavours of a great tomato sauce with irresistible bacon.    You can use … Continue reading

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DUPLICATE BRIDGE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

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The secret to good cookie  making is to always cream your butter and sugar really well.  At least five or preferably ten minutes.  Then beat in the eggs thoroughly one at a time.  Stir in the flour briefly  – just … Continue reading

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RED CURRY CHICKEN SOUP WITH LENTILS AND TURMERIC

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  In my  large repertoire of soups there are several that I return to time and again.   Heading the list is this sublime, exotic tasting soup.  It is not complicated to prepare but has such outstanding addictive flavours and … Continue reading

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GORGEOUSLY RICH SILKY SMOOTH CHICKEN LIVER PATE

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There is nothing more divine than a perfectly executed pâté.   It is heaven on a plate.   You can make a lunch out of it.  Serve it before dinner.  I have even been known to spread this buttery rich … Continue reading

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ROASTED VEGETABLES AND CHICKEN POT PIE

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      This is a very different recipe for CHICKEN POT PIE.  All the ingredients are roasted before being assembled into the pie.  The results are a deep, rich chicken vegetable filling that takes chicken pot pie to new … Continue reading

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