Tag Archives: basil

how to make lemon / lime curd + lemon curd pie

22 Aug

lemon curd2

how to make lemon / lime curd + lemon curd pie

I love lemon curd and lime curd.  When they’re done right they balance sweet and tangy in just the right way and I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine (who’s training to be a pastry chef so… legitimate knowledge here) share her own simple but perfect recipe with me.  They’re really very easy to make, a little demanding in the stirring department but otherwise super simple.

The pie I made sort of by accident, with the help of my beautiful and talented mother.  We made the curd and improvised the rest.  The sugar cookie recipe that we used to make together every Christmas and decorate with icing and shiny sprinkles make a beautiful soft crust for the pie.  The whipped cream folded into the curd makes the filling light and fluffy, perfect for a summer evening after a rich meal.  The leftover curd swirled into the pie is there because i wasn’t sure how much filling would fit in our crust.

But it turned out looking pretty and tasting amazing.  So I’m sharing it with you.

I also think that a lime curd pie with blackberries would be really good… so if someone tries making that let me know how it is.

Makes 1/2 litre (2 cups) of lemon / lime curd – enough for 1 pie

lemon curd3

Ingredients

lemon / lime curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 c lime or lemon juice (aprox. 8 limes or 4 lemons)
  • 12 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 nub of unsalted butter (aprox. 2 tbsp) at room temperature

lemon curd pie

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • fresh berries (raspeberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, currants etc.)
  • fresh herbs (basil, mint, lavender etc.)

lemon curd4

Preparation

lemon / lime curd

Combine egg yolks, whole egg, lemon or lime juice, sugar, salt & vanilla in a double boiler or heat proof bowl over simmering water (medium-high heat).  Whisk constantly.  After a while the mixture will form a thick froth, then subside.  Shortly after subsiding it will start to thicken.  Whisk for another 1-2 minutes after the mixture begins to thicken the transfer to another bowl and let cool.

When the curd reaches almost room temperature (but still just a little warm) stir in the butter.  If the butter is added too early the curd will break and get chunky.  Give it some time to calm down.  Maybe about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate.  Will keep in the fridge for about a week, maybe a bit more.

lemon curd pie

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9″ tart pan or pie pan.

Mix flour, baking powder & salt.  In a separate bowl, cream butter & sugar until light yellow and fluffy then add eggs, milk & 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients in thirds.  Mix until just combined.

Roll out the dough and fit to the pan.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, crust should be cooked through and barely browned.  Set aside for a couple of hours until completely cooled – if the crust is still warm when the filling goes in it will get soggy.

Beat the whipping cream and remaining 1 tsp vanilla until it holds peaks.  Gently fold in all but 1/4 c of the lemon curd until just combined and pour the mixture into the pie shell.  Place dollops of the remaining curd on top of the pie and swirl with a butter knife.

Chill the pie for an hour or so or overnight to let it set.  Serve garnished with fresh herbs and berries.

lemon curd

lemon + fresh herb pasta

5 Jan

lemon herb pasta4At some point in the morning on New Year’s eve I said ‘Everything’s going to be closed tomorrow, I should buy groceries today’.  At no point on New Years eve did I go buy groceries for New Year’s day.

So I had a day with a very very empty fridge and a very very empty tummy.  Luckily I found a lemon and some fresh herbs left over from something I had been making a few days prior along with just enough pasta for two.

Added a few things I found in the fridge and it turned out to be a delicious meal.  So, this is my stuck-with-no-food-on-New-Year’s-day pasta.

If you want to make the dish vegetarian or if you just hate anchovies, a tablespoon of capers would be a good substitute.

Makes 2 servings

lemon herb pasta2

lemon + fresh herb pasta

ingredients

  • enough pasta for 2 people
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons – zest + juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1/2 c good quality green olives, chopped
  • approx. 1/2 c chopped basil
  • approx. 1/2 c chopped flat leaf parsley
  • pepper

lemon herb pasta1

preparation

Cook pasta in boiling salted water and strain.

Return the empty pasta pot to the stove over medium-low heat.  Add oil and butter, heat until butter is melted.  Add garlic, lemon zest and anchovy then lemon juice.

Cook for about 30 seconds or until garlic is soft.  Turn off the heat, add olives and all but about 2 tablespoons of the chopped herbs.  Stir for a few seconds until the herbs are wilted then add the pasta and toss to coat.

Serve immediately, garnish with the remaining herbs.

lemon herb pasta

toasted tomato sandwich

5 Sep

Yeah, it’s just a toasted tomato sandwich.

When was the last time you had one?

I thought so.

Have a toasted tomato sandwich.

It’s a great thing.

(A special toasted tomato sandwich thank you goes out to John & Deb for fresh tomatoes and amazing spicy arugula from their garden.)

toasted tomato sandwich

ingredients

  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • mayonnaise
  • arugula and/or fresh basil
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted

preparation

Put all those things together, as a sandwich.

basil, provolone + prosciutto stuffed chicken breasts

14 Jul

Chicken!  Prosciutto!  Basil!  Provolone!  Together at last!  On my barbecue!  And now maybe on your barbecue too!

It’s what’s for dinner.

Makes 2 servings

basil, provolone + prosciutto stuffed chicken breasts

ingredients

  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 50 g provolone, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • cooking twine

preparation

Butterfly the chicken breasts.

Do you want to learn how to butterfly a chicken breast from someone with a charming French-Canadian accent?  Ok… here’s Ricardo.

Thanks Ricardo.

Lay the butterflied chicken breasts out so they’re ‘open’.  Place one slice of prosciutto, 3-4 basil leaves and half the provolone in each chicken breast and close them.  Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each breast, rub the outside with a bit of olive oil and tie with cooking twine.

Heat the grill to high heat and cook the chicken until it’s seared on the outside and the juices run clear (cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breast).

Cut off the twine and serve.

orzo salad

12 May

Just a quick and simple side dish.  You can cook the orzo as much as a day ahead of time, throw it together with the rest of the ingredients and have it ready in five minutes.

It goes well with just about anything… rich fish like salmon or trout, grilled sausages, portobello caps, chicken, and so forth.  Makes great leftovers too.  Miam!

Makes 4 servings

$2.45 per 2 servings

orzo salad

ingredients

  • 1 c orzo
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes
  • 2 heaping tbsp fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heaping tbsp capers
  • 1 c pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt

preparation

Cook orzo and strain.  Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for about 20 seconds.  Add tomatoes, capers, basil, olives, salt and juice of half the lemon.  Cook until the skin begins to come off of the tomatoes – 2 minutes.  Add cooked orzo and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook until orzo is warmed through – 1 minute.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Garnish with the remaining lemon half, sliced, and basil leaves.

leftover risotto? pancakes!

25 Apr

Risotto is fantastic.  I love it dearly.  But I have to admit… I kind of get more excited about the leftovers.  Risotto pancakes are little bites of perfect crispy golden-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside awesome.

They make a wonderful appetizer, lunch, snack… I eat them for breakfast.  What I’m saying is, there is no time that is not a good time for risotto pancakes.

I’ve also included a simple tomato basil sauce that I like to dip the pancakes in.

Makes 16 portions

Basic risotto recipe here.

risotto pancakes with quick tomato basil sauce

ingredients

sauce

  • 1 400ml can good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 large basil leaves, chopped

risotto pancakes

  • 16 heaping tbsp risotto (about 2 c)
  • 1 1/2 c panko
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided

preparation

sauce

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, sautee until onions are soft.  Add tomato, basil and lemon juice.  Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

risotto pancakes

While the sauce is simmering, get three plates.  Put the flour on one, egg on another and a mixture of panko, oregano, salt and 2 tbsp olive oil on the other.

Take a heaping tablespoon of risotto and roll it into a ball.  Dredge it in the flour, then egg, then in the panko mixture.  Set aside on a plate and repeat, making 16 balls.

Cook the pancakes in 2 batches.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat.  Place 8 of the risotto balls on the pan and press down gently on them to flatten slightly.  Cook until they’re golden brown then turn over and cook the other side to the same golden brown.  Repeat with the second batch.

Serve warm with sauce.  You can pour the sauce over them if you like, I prefer to serve it on the side so the crust on the pancakes doesn’t get soggy.

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.