Thursday, July 5, 2012

Risotto with Strawberries

2 servings

1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup strawberries
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
salt and ground pepper

Finely chop the onion and celery.  Clean the strawberries, then put them in a blender, setting a few strawberries aside as a garnish.  Mix 1-2 minutes, until a red puree is obtained.

Heat the broth in a small saucepan on the stove or in a microwave oven.  Keep it warm while cooking the risotto (about 20 minutes).

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan.  Saute the onion and celery 2-3 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the rice, then cook 1-2 minutes, with constant stirring, until the rice grains are well toasted and translucent.  Stir in the strawberry puree.  Pour in the white wine.

Cook the risotto, using the warmed broth until the rice is creamy but still al dente.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with the reserved strawberries, then serve.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Salad Caprese

2 servings

2 tomatoes
2 bocconcini or fresh mozzarella 110g
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes into slices approximately 5mm thick and arrange them on a flat dish.  Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 15 minutes to allow excess liquids to drain off.

Cut the bocconcini into slices with the same thickness as the tomatoes.  Arrange the cheese and tomato slices on a serving plate so that they alternate and overlap slightly.

Garnish with small fresh basil leaves on top, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper.  Serve.

(Hal liked it once he added ranch dressing . . . LOL . . . that man puts sauce on everything!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chinese-Style Chicken with Snow Peas

2 servings

2/3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1x5 cm strips (200g)
1-1/3 cup snow peas
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbsp sherry (optional)
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce, low-sodium
2 tsp sugar
4 slices of gingerroot (6g)
3 tbsp canola oil
salt and ground pepper

Slice the chicken breast into strips.  Mix with the soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, sugar and 2-3 slices of ginger.  Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.

Prepare the vegetables.  Heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan or wok.  Add the garlic, onion and pepper, cook 2-3 minutes until they start to soften, then set aside on a warmed serving plate in the oven.

Add 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil to the frying pan.  Add some salt, and then immediately add the snow peas.  Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes since they cook very quickly.  Put the snow peas on the plate with the other vegetables.  Keep the plate warm.

In the same wok, add the remaining oil and the marinated chicken.  Reserve the remaining marinade.  Stir constantly over medium heat 7-8 minutes until the meat is almost cooked.  Then put the vegetables back into the work, add the remaining slices of ginger plus the reserved marinade.  Cook another 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.

Note:  Hal liked the chicken but did not like the vegetables.  I swear that man would live on canned peas and creamed corn if I let him.  Next time I make this I will switch out the veg for ones he likes. Plus I don't understand all the layering of cooking in this recipe.  Next time I will try partially cooking the meat, then adding the vegetables and near the end adding the reserved marinade.  It just seems to me this recipe has unnecessary stages.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Original Temptation (Apple Crumble Cupcakes)

As usual I was bored and decided to try another recipe. These were done a few months ago and I know all the guinea pigs enjoyed them. ;)

Original Temptation: Apple Crumble Cupcakes


1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated apple
Crumble :
2 teaspoon cold butter
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoon plain flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Icing :
4 oz. butter
3 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

PLAN OF ATTACK
Preheat oven to whatever works best for you (usually 180C/350F).
Line cupcake pan with cases.
In your electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Sift together dry ingredients - flour, spices, salt, baking powder in a small bowl.
add dry ingredients alternating with milk, beat until smooth.
Add in grated apple.
Scoop batter into cupcake pan and top with crumble then bake for 20-25 mins.

For Crumble :
Combine butter, flour, sugar and oatmeal in a bowl. Toss gently until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add walnuts and sprinkle on cupcakes.

For Icing :
Beat butter in electric mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla essence and then slowly add icing sugar one cup at a time or until reach desired consistency. Pipe it on and then get ready to watch people devour them.