Kate's Cuisine

Mar 05 2015

Rolled Pancakes with Apple Pie Filling

Rolled Pancakes

Well, this was my last week with The Recipe Encyclopedia that Chef Rob loaned me. As I flipped through it one last time I happened to come across this recipe for Rolled Pancakes. While many know that pancakes and I have a past, it really did seem like a twist of fate that I came across this particular recipe. Awhile ago, Rob had been telling me how he had made rolled pancakes before, and stuffed them with something very much like apple pie filling. So when I came across it in this book that he loaned me, well how could I not make them? The pancakes come from the book, while the filling comes from Rob’s idea and my execution of it.

For the pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour $0.14
Pinch of salt $0.01
1 egg $0.20
1 1/4 cups milk $0.35
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03

For the filling:

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed $1.32
1 cup brown sugar $0.19
1/2 cup butter $0.44
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon $0.55
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg $0.33
1 tablespoon vanilla extract $0.66

Total cost $4.22
Cost per serving $1.06

1.) Sift the flour and the salt into a medium bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg and milk and whisk until smooth. Set mixture aside for 1 hour.

2.) Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Tilt pan to coat the surface of the pan and when hot, ladle in 1/2 cup of the pancake batter. Tilt the pan again to spread the batter out very thinly. Gently lift the edges with a knife and when golden, turn over and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

3.) When the pancakes are just about finished cooking, start making the apple pie filling. Place the 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar in a pan set over medium heat. Melt together, stirring frequently, for several minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well before adding the peeled apples and tossing to coat.

4.) Place one pancake flat on a cutting board or flat surface and spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of the filling at one end. Start rolling the pancake over the filling, continuing until the entire pancake is rolled. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.

5.) Plate the pancakes and drizzle a bit more of the sauce and the filling on top before sprinkling with icing sugar.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 04 2015

Meatballs, Sherry, and Potatoes

Meatballs and Potatoes

Sherry is one of the ingredients that I’ve ventured into using just recently. It’s no more expensive than a regular bottle of wine, but it does bring a distinct something to any dish it’s added to. Wanting to know more about it, I was in luck to find that, along with this recipe, The Recipe Encyclopedia also includes a small tidbit on sherry, saying that it’s “a fortified wine usually served before dinner. Both dry sherry and sweet sherry are used in sauces, stews, and in chicken dishes, when it’s usually added just before serving.” Well this recipe doesn’t add it right at the end of cook time, but it does give the option of either sweet or dry sherry. I used dry sherry, as well as quartered regular potatoes rather the new potatoes that were called for.

1 pound ground beef $5.69
1 pound ground pork $3.84
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs $0.21
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided $0.25
2 cloves garlic, crushed $0.02
2 teaspoons sweet paprika, plus 1 teaspoon $0.48
2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
2 tablespoons butter $0.12
1 onion, finely chopped $0.47
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour $0.01
1/2 cup dry or sweet sherry $2.07
1 cup chicken stock $0.50
5 small potatoes, quartered $1.50

Total cost $15.22
Cost per serving $3.80

1.) Combine meat, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, garlic, and 2 teaspoons paprika in a medium bowl and mix well. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into meatballs the size of walnuts.

2.) Heat the oil and butter in a medium pan; add meatballs. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until well browned. Remove from pan; drain.

3.) Add onion, 1 teaspoon paprika, and flour to pan and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add sherry and stock gradually to pan, stirring until mixture is smooth. Stir constantly over medium heat 2 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.

4.) Return meatballs to pan, add potatoes. Cover, cook over low heat for 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the potatoes are tender. During the last minute of cooking, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup fresh parsley, and stir.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 03 2015

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Lemon chicken and my family go way back. It was one of the first dishes that I truly conquered when Brent and I first started dating, and after serving it several times, I didn’t want to become Debra from “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where it became the only thing I could make. I think I’ve avoided that (phew!) but do still tend to keep my eye out for new ways to make lemon chicken that are just as tasty as what I used to make, but with a new twist. When I came upon Chinese Lemon Chicken in The Recipe Encyclopedia, I was thrilled to try lemon chicken with an Asian flare. The book calls for a whole 3-pound chicken but chicken thighs were what I had on hand, so that’s what was used. I served it over top of fried rice and the entire dish was a thing of beauty.

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs $6.64
1 tablespoon soy sauce $0.05
1 tablespoon dry white wine $0.16
1 tablespoon lemon juice $0.15
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar $0.01

For the lemon sauce:

2 scallions, finely chopped $0.14
1/2 cup lemon juice $1.32
1/2 cup sugar $0.10
2 teaspoons dry white wine $0.10
1 teaspoon soy sauce $0.02
1 tablespoon cornstarch $0.27
1/2 cup water
Salt and white pepper, to taste $0.03

Total cost $8.99
Cost per serving $2.24

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place in a casserole dish or, if using a whole chicken, on a rack in a baking dish. Combine the soy sauce, white wine, lemon juice, and brown sugar thoroughly and brush over the chicken.

2.) Bake the chicken for 1 hour or until the juices run clear, basting occasionally with the remaining soy mixture. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes.

3.) While chicken is resting combine the lemon juice, sugar, white wine and soy sauce in a small pan set over medium heat. Blend the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl and add to the pan. Whisk until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Add the scallions and season with salt and white pepper. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 02 2015

Ginger Chili Pork Chops with Cucumber Yogurt

Ginger Chili Pork Chops

Have I mentioned lately how much I love yogurt? It took me awhile to come around to the plain stuff, but I bought one tub a week ago and have already used it in a ton of recipes. That’s the thing about plain yogurt. While it might cost you a few bucks (it cost me nearly $7 for a large tub of plain Greek yogurt), it does stretch and stays fresh for at least a couple of weeks. This is another recipe from The Recipe Encyclopedia (from which the recipe for Spaghetti Marinara came) although in the book this is actually a recipe for drumsticks – so feel free to use those in place of the chops. The best thing I found about this recipe anyway is that cucumber yogurt, which is cool and refreshing and so, so tasty.

For the pork chops:
6 boneless pork chops $7.53
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger $0.15
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes $0.05
1/4 teaspoon turmeric $0.09
1 teaspoon lemon juice $0.15
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind $0.15
1 cup plain yogurt $1.33
1 1/2 teaspoon of soft brown sugar $0.01

For the cucumber yogurt:

1 cup plain yogurt $1.33
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes $0.05
1 small cucumber, finely chopped $0.99
1/2 teaspoon sugar $0.01
Salt, to taste $0.01

Total cost $11.85
Cost per serving $1.97

1.) Combine the ginger, chili flakes, turmeric, lemon juice, lemon rind and sugar in a large bowl; mix well. Add the pork chops and toss and stir well to cover them completely with marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight, turning the chops occasionally.

2.) When you’re ready to cook the pork chops, preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil brushed with oil or non-stick cooking spray. Place the pork chops on the prepared baking sheet, reserving the marinade.

3.) Place the chops under the broiler and broil for 6 – 8 minutes per side, brushing frequently with the reserved marinade.

4.) While the pork chops are cooking, make the cucumber yogurt by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing thoroughly.

5.) Once pork chops are cooked through, remove them from the broiler and place on individual plates or a serving platter and top with cucumber yogurt.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 01 2015

Get Ready to Go Mad for Mallows!

Mallows

Marshmallows and I have a sordid history. I love them! I’ll eat an entire bag of them if you put one in front of me. However, something very bad happens when I eat them. To save you the details (and me from being on the verge of TMI), suffice it to say that marshmallows and my stomach are not friends. They used to be, but they had a very bitter breakup sometime when I was in my 20s and I didn’t think they’d ever get back together. Today, I’m so happy to announce that they have made their peace, and it’s all thanks to Mad Mallows.

Mad Mallows is the business started by my friend, Jaime Lyn, in Shelburne, Ontario. According to the Mad Mallows website, the company was created after Jaime wanted to bring something unique and fun to a family get together. Homemade marshmallows were born, and the company soon after. Now, I don’t know how she does it (I’m guessing it’s some sort of “mad” scientist thing going on in her kitchen) but I can tell you that the marshmallows are amazing. I was lucky enough to win myself some through one of the regular contests she runs on Facebook and, although I went into it with some trepidation, the marshmallows were even better than I expected.

I got a bag of Cookie and Cream marshmallows and they were incredible. The cream seemed to run throughout, and the crunchy bits of cookie were a nice surprise that I would never expect to find in a marshmallow. Of course, being marshmallows, they were sweet, but they also weren’t too sweet, something my sensitive teeth appreciated. If Cookies and Cream  isn’t your thing, you can check out all the many, many flavours on their website and see everything from Tiger Tail to Neapolitan, Rootbeer, and more. Can you imagine making S’mores with Coconut marshmallows, or dropping an Irish Cream marshmallow into your coffee or hot chocolate? Simply heaven.

As I mentioned, I was a bit wary of trying them simply because I’m all too aware of the history between my stomach and anything that comes in marshmallow form. But, I’m guessing that because these are homemade, they were much better for me and I didn’t suffer at all for enjoying them. Not only  have I have found truly great homemade marshmallows, I’ve found some that I can enjoy both while I eat them, and even after. So now, I can be mad about mallows too!

Feb 28 2015

Spaghetti Marinara

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce has a very interesting history and it’s one that I had to do a little research on. Like most home cooks, it’s something I’ve made at least a hundred times, but what’s the difference between this and regular old spaghetti sauce? To me it seemed to be that you start with a mirepoix, that delicious mix of onions, celery and carrots that’s the base of so many sauces and dishes. But, when I checked out the Spaghetti Marinara sauce in The Recipe Encyclopedia that Chef Rob loaned me, it called for “marinara mix” as an ingredient, indicating in a note that this mix was “a mixture of seafood pieces (usually including octopus, shrimp, calamari and mussels) sold by fishmongers. So, does that mean that some type of seafood has to be included in order for a sauce to be considered true marinara? I hoped not, or else I’d never be able to try it. Luckily, that’s not the case. Not if you’re one to believe in folk theories, anyway. And in this case, I am.

The most common version of the origin of this dish (that hails from Naples, Italy, by the way) states that the cooks aboard the Neapolitan ships created marinara sauce during the middle of the 16th century after the Spanish people introduced the tomato – up until that time, a New World fruit – to Europe. Because the dish was mainly served on ships, and because those ships sailed the seas before refrigeration was invented, seafood was actually never included because it would simply spoil too easily. The acidity of the tomatoes also helped keep the food fresher for longer, which also made it an ideal dish for long voyages.

Since there were no long treks in our near future, and our fridge was fully functioning, I decided to keep as true to the recipe as I could and include some ground beef as the protein in lieu of the “marinara mix”. But by all means, if you are free of allergies and live near a fishmonger or a couple of good docks, use the mix as indicated in the Encyclopedia. Turns out, it’s not authentic marinara sauce anyway. Doing a little more digging, I found out that the only difference is that marinara is a quick sauce made with only tomato, garlic, herbs, and pepper. If anything else is included (such as mushrooms, meat, or mirepoix) it’s just standard old spaghetti sauce. But I will tell you, this one’s pretty good.

1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
1 small onion, finely chopped $0.47
1 clove garlic, chopped $0.01
1 large carrot, diced $0.17
1 stalk celery, diced $0.13
1 can whole tomatoes, pureed $1.29
1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.10
1/2 cup white wine $2.50
1 pound ground beef $5.89
1/4 cup heavy cream $0.44

Total cost $11.03
Cost per serving $2.75

1.) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the ground beef, breaking it up as you do, and cook until all the beef is browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. When beef is cooked, drain all but one tablespoon of the oil out of the pan and transfer the beef to a plate or bowl.

2.) Keeping the heat under the frying pan at medium, add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the ground beef, pureed tomatoes, parsley, and white wine. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

3.) Add the cream, stir to combine, and cook for two minutes before tossing with a pound of cooked spaghetti.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Feb 26 2015

Caesar on the Lighter Side

Caesar on the Lighter Side

Sometimes we just have to have a Caesar salad, even if we’re feeling a bit heavy and bloated. The good news is that Jamie Oliver is obsessed with eating lighter and healthier, and he’s come up with a Caesar salad recipe that will give you all the taste you’re craving without any of the excess carbs or fat. This lightened up version of the salad doesn’t have any bacon or croutons, but it also swaps out the mayonnaise in the dressing for yogurt. And it’s just as tasty, I promise!

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped and washed $0.99
1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
1/2 cup plain yogurt $0.18
2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sprinkling $0.74
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce $0.04
Juice of 1/2 lemon $0.16
1 tablespoon anchovy paste $0.30
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $2.50
Cost per serving $0.62

1.) In a medium-sized bowl combine the garlic, yogurt, olive oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and anchovy paste. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

2.) Place washed Romaine lettuce into a large bowl and drizzle dressing over top. Toss to thoroughly coat lettuce in the dressing and garnish with a bit more Parmesan cheese.

3.) Serve and enjoy!

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