Archive | April, 2012

a manwich is…

12 Apr

I ate my first ever Manwich:

terrible.

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sauteed mushroom salad

11 Apr

This salad is part rich and meaty, part light and fresh.  The mushrooms can be prepared a day ahead and warmed slightly in a pan before serving.

If you can find sunflower sprouts they’re perfect for this since they can stand up to the warm mushroom topping without wilting.  Pea sprouts or baby arugula would work just fine as well.

Goes well with french onion soup grilled cheese.

Makes 4 servings

$2.25 per 2 servings

sauteed mushroom salad

ingredients

  • 3 c (approx.) mixed mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake & portobello, stems removed, caps sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 c sunflower sprouts

preparation

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Once heated add shallot and garlic.  Cook until onion just begins to soften.  Add sliced mushrooms, sautee until soft and juices are released.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, mustard & thyme.  Cook until most but not all of the liquid has evaporated.

Serve warm over sunflower sprouts.

tarragon mustard deviled eggs

10 Apr

I made these for a tacky 70s themed finger food dinner a while ago and my friend ate so many that she almost made herself sick.  Then she kept eating them.

That is a ringing endorsement if ever I heard one.

Makes 16 portions

$4 per 16 portions

mustard tarragon deviled eggs

ingredients

  • 8 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika, divided
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

preparation

Peel the hard boiled eggs and cut them in half.  Scoop the yolks out into a bowl, keeping the whites intact on a plate.

To the bowl with the yolks, add mayonnaise, mustard, 1 tsp paprika, lemon juice, tarragon, salt & pepper.  Mix with a fork until smooth.

Put the mixture in a piping bag (I don’t have one so I get an extra clear plastic produce bag at the grocery store and cut a small hole in the corner.  It works fine for jobs like this).  Pipe the yolk mixture into the hollows of the egg whites.  Sprinkle the remaining paprika over the tops of the eggs.

perfect pimm’s

9 Apr

It’s the tasty liqueur with the stupid name… it’s Pimm’s No. 1 Cup!

This is the best way to drink it.  Do not leave out the cucumber slice.  It doesn’t seem important but IT IS.

Makes one cocktail.

prefect pimm’s

ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Pimm’s
  • 0.5 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 3 oz soda
  • 1 cucumber slice
  • ice

preparation

Place a couple of ice cubes in the bottom of a glass.  Pour Pimm’s, gin, ginger syrup, lemon juice and soda over ice and stir.

Garnish with cucumber.

ginger syrup

9 Apr

I like to use this syrup with soda water in cocktails (like my perfect pimm’s) as a replacement for ginger ale to get more control over the sweetness of the drink.

The demerara sugar gives the syrup a richer, more complex flavour but it can be replaced with white sugar if you want to avoid discoloration in your cocktail.

I’m sure there are many non-cocktail uses for this, if you have a good one let me know.

ginger syrup

ingredients

  • 1 large piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 c demerara sugar
  • 1 c water

preparation

Put the sugar, water and ginger in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir constantly until sugar has completely dissolved and mixture is simmering.

Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes before removing ginger.

Let the syrup cool and transfer to an airtight container.  It will keep for up to 6 months.

camembert grilled cheese + simple pear salad

4 Apr

There is a National Grilled Cheese month.  It is a real thing and guess when that month is.  It’s now!  April!

If you’re not reading this in April then you’re just going to have to wait.  Move along.  Find yourself something else to eat for lunch.  If it’s May, I’m sorry, you have a long year ahead of you.

In honour of this very special month I’m going to post a new grilled cheese recipe every week.  Maybe some other grilled cheese related items, I don’t know yet, stay tuned.

PS. Global Cheese in Kensington Market has140g wheels of camembert on sale right now, 2 for $5.

Enough chit chat, here’s this week’s grilled cheese:

Makes 2 servings

$4 per 2 servings

camembert grilled cheese + simple pear salad

ingredients

sandwich

  • 125g camembert (one small wheel)
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 5 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices rye bread

salad

  • 2 handfuls baby arugula
  • 1 bosc pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp olive oil

preparation

sandwich

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Pile the avocado, tomato, cheese and basil on the bread.

Fry the sandwich until golden on the bottom – about 2 minutes – and drizzle the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over the top of the sandwich before flipping and frying another 2 minutes.

salad

To make vinaigrette, whisk together honey, pepper, mustard, vinegar & oil.

Place pears on top of arugula and drizzle with salad dressing.

Serve alongside grilled cheese.

frittata with fennel + herbes de provence

1 Apr

Who doesn’t love brunch?  Curmudgeons and people who don’t have any friends to have brunch with.

You aren’t one of these unfortunate souls are you?  Of course not.

Invite some friends over and make this rather impressive brunch with very little effort and, as usual, very little money too.

Makes 4 servings

$4.75 per 2 servings

frittata with fennel & herbes de provence

ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • 100g goat cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 slices of toast

sliced fennel

preparation

Whisk together eggs, milk, herbes de provence, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Cut the top off of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb in half.  Cut each half crosswise into thin slices.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Heat oilve oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, ovenproof skillet.  Add sliced fennel and cook until it begins to soften – about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to cook until fennel is soft and somewhat translucent – another 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, one handful at a time, and stir until wilted – 30 seconds.

Whisk the egg mixture to distribute herbs evenly throughout and pour over the vegetables in the skillet.  Distribute cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese evenly over the top.

Let the frittata cook on the stove for 4 to 5 minutes then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.  Switch oven to broil until the top starts to bubble – 1 minute.

Top each piece of toast with a quarter of an avocado cut into thin slices and rest a piece of frittata on top.

happy april first… fool!

1 Apr

This morning I woke up to THIS

A big thank you to my boyfriend for the ugliest flower arrangement in the world,

and my gift to you, dear reader, is that you have had to look at it now.

(It’s much worse in person.  No photo can do it justice)