Chili Stuffed Zucchini Burgers

Calling these burgers could be a misnomer but they sure are good looking when presented at the table and taste even better.

  • 1 recipe of “Chili-Don’s way” on this site
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernal corn
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) Tex Mex shredded cheese
  • 1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce

Trim the ends off the zucchini. Lengthwise, cut a thin strip just along the top of each one. With a melon baller, scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch thick wall of shell. Discard the pulp.

Add the corn to your chili and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 of the cheese to the mixture.

Spoon the mixture generously into each shell and place in a baking dish. Cover with tin foil tightly and bake  for 30-35 minutes until shell as almost tender. Remove the foil and sprinkle more cheese over each one and return to the oven, baking for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Plate and top with your marinara sauce. Voila! It is delicious.

 

Maple Baked Trout For Dinner

Recipe  #1777

Yum…..this is a super, duper recipe for trout and sooo easy to prepare, bake and, of course, eat.

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 trout portions

Combine everything into a large, sealable container and add the trout.  Toss to coat well. Seal and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Remove the trout from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Place in a baking dish and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes or until done.

Serve with a fresh potato salad and crisp green salad or garlic mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Simply add a warm dinner roll and a glass of the chilled ‘stuff’ and you have a wonderful meal.

Enjoy.

 

Trout Crusted With Pistachios

While at Costco a week or so ago, I bought a bag of shelled pistachios as I was making a few desserts that required them, then I thought why not use the trout fillets we have on hand as well. We did and they were delicious.

  • 6 trout fillets, skin removed, bones as well
  • 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground pistachios (toasted)
  • baby potatoes, steamed
  • lemon wedges

Place the trout on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the mustard over the tops and sprinkle liberally with the nuts, pressing to make sure they adhere.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for about 13-14 minutes or until the fillets flake easily.

Plate a fillet on each plate, add a few baby potatoes, lemon wedge and, of course, a beautiful green salad, sprinkled with some pistachios.

Serve with warm dinner rolls and a glass of chilled white wine. Yippee!

Chicken Vol Au Vent

I always have a package of these shells in the freezer and this is a wonderful way to use them and enjoy a great light lunch or dinner before going out for the evening.

  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 minced large shallot
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped white mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2-3 tbsp. good white wine
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 Vol au Vent shells, baked as per instructions on package

In a saucepan, put in the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in a fry pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further minute.

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and golden in colour.

Sprinkle the flour  over and, stirring constantly, cook for a minute. Add the wine and continue cooking until it has all evaporated. Pour this into the stock and add the chicken breasts. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Carefully spoon into the baked shells. If you wish, pour a glass of chilled white wine and Voila! a perfect meal.

Enjoy.

Rotisserie Roast Beef

On Sunday Don put a roast on the bbq and this is the rub he used. It was fantstic and I hope you will give it a try.

  • 1/2 cup red dry wine
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Montreal steak spice

Mix this altogether and spread on the roast and marinate in a sealed bag for 2 hours.

Tie the roast up with butcher twine and place on the spit, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile proceed with the Au Jus below.

 

Au Jus

To the drippings, add

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook on the stove, stirring constantly until thickens.

We served this with garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob (halves) and it was incredible.

Leftover Ham Casserole

We bought a ham and, after two dinners, several days of sandwiches, omelets and soup, there was still some ham so….here we go (my mom would be so proud as we worked this as she could with a small roast of beef).

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small yam, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups plus cooked ham, cubed (use up whatever you have left)
  • 1 can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4-6 oz. cheese, shredded
  • 3-4 asparagus spears, chopped small

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the potatoes until tender, but still firm in a pot of boiling water. Drain and cool a bit.

Combine the ham, corn, asparagus and potatoes and set aside. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a paste and gradudally add the milk and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the ham mixture. Stir to mix well.

Grease a baking dish (11 x 7) and pour in the mixture. Lightly sprinkle with paprika and bake covered in the oven for 20 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350. Remove the cover, add all the cheese and bake a further 20 minutes. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes to get a light brown crust.

Finish with crispy onion topping and fresh herbs.

This, my friends, is bloomin’ awesome.

BBQ’d Pulled Pork

I think Don makes THE best, and here is another version to try, and it is really easy with no fuss or muss.

  • 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder

Line the crock pot with large pieces of celery and carrots and place the roast in a slow cooker and proceed…

Sauce

  • 1 bottle your favourite bbq sauce (we prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey bbq sauce )
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup water

Now for the real tough part… stir together and pour over the roast and cook for 8 hours on low heat.

Finally

Place the roast on a cookie sheet and remove any excess fat. With two forks shred the meat into stringy pieces. Skim any fat off the surface of the sauce left in the crock pot and return the meat to the sauce. Stir well and let sit for about 5 minutes. The meat will absorb the sauce.

Get your favourite rolls, pile the pork on top of bottom half, top with a creamy coleslaw (your choice) and add the top bun.

OMG!!!!! This is so delicious.

Grilled Chicken Salad With A Twist

The days are finally in summer temperature mode and I thought this would help out for making a light supper to be enjoyed on the deck.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch of pepper and crushed oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • spring salad mix (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped coarsely

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well. Let stand for 1 -1  1/2 hours to allow them to mellow out.

Cook the chicken over the grill, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until tender and no longer pink. Cool slightly.

On 4 plates, arrange the salad greens, topping with the grapes, goat cheese and nuts. Slice each breast and arrange 1 per plate. Shake the dressing and drizzle over all.

Add a glass of your favourite chilled white wine and simply enjoy.

Braised Short Ribs With Bitter Chocolate and Oregano

I personally feel that Don does up THE best ribs going and this is another version and since we are all still on a temporary stay-at-home situation, why not give this one a try.

  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 5-6 lbs. bone in short ribs
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (strings removed)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled carrots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups drained, canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf.

 

In a heavy pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and epper and in small batches, cook the ribs, browning on all sides. This will probably take about 7-8 minutes per batch. Transfer these to a plate.

Add the onion, shallots, celery and carrots to the pot, cover and cook the vegetables on a lower temperature until soft. Be sure to stir them every couple of minutes during the 10 minute cook.

Add the wine and with no cover, boil until the liquid is now reduced by half. Be sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot for all the good bits for 5 minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Place the ribs in the pot and cover partially and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid completely and cook a further 1 1/2 hours until the meat is really tender. Remove the ribs to a plate. Now make the sauce.

Chocolate and Oregano Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bay leaf. If there is excess fat on the surface, remove it with a spoon. Boil the sauce now until it begins to thicken (about 7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and add all the ingredients, stirring until the chocolate melts. Taste it and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Return the ribs to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes to rewarm it all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Braised Ham With A Maple Raisin Sauce

Mother’s Day is very close and this could be a new way to serve ham.

  • 7-8 lb. fully cooked bone in ham
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup maple sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white cranberry juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cups golden raisins

In a very large (10 qt.) pot, place the ham, cut side own and add the water and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cooking for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and let cool a little.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the ham is cool enough to handle remove the ham from the pot and reserve the liquid, Cut off any rind and excess fat and leave a very thin layer of fat. Transfer ham to a roast pan.

Whisk together all the ingredients, except the raisins and spoon over the ham. Add the raisins and 1 cup of the cooking liquid and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, baste this occasionally so the ham is glazed and the juices are bubbling.

Serve warm to some very appreciative people around the table.

Just add the potatoes of your choice, a vegetable or two and you will be the winner. Just think about the ham sandwiches for tomorrow. Oh yeah!

Olive Varieties With Orange And Rosemary

When we were on vacation a few years ago, we travelled with 2 ladies who became friends and one of them loved olives as much as my husband and these two would ‘steal’ the dishes of olives off all the other tables in the dining room. So…Liz and Don here is a recipe for the two of you (and any one else who loves these little critters).

  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • zest from 1/2 orange, peeled in long strips with swivel peeler
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz. mixed olives like Liguria, kalamata, nicoise, cerignola (green)
  • 1 tsp. fennel
  • zest from 1/2 lemon

In a skillet on medium high heat, put the olive oil, coriander seeds, herbs, orange and lemon zest, pepper flakes. Swirl the pan and heat this mixture until it becomes fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).

Add the olives and cook, occasionally stirring  until the garlic is golden and the zest begins to curl. This should only take about 2 minutes.

Serve these warm or room temperature.

Scallops, Shrimp and Chicken In A Basket

I know, after 6 weeks or so of the ‘same old, same old’ meals, give this one a go. It is quite easy and certainly delicious. No one will mind being safe at home.

  • 3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2 inch lengths
  • 1/2 lb. scallops and shrimp
  • 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil and add the asparagus, cooking until tender (about 2 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Cut the seafood and chicken into 1/2 inch cubes, dredge with the cornstarch, egg white and salt and pepper.

Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the sides. Add ginger and cook, stirring for 10 seconds. Add the seafood and chicken and stir fry for about a minute, Add the broth, sauces and bring t a boil. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring until it thickens. Add the asparagus and toss to mix.

Special Basket

  • 2 x 6 inch metal strainers
  • cooking oil
  • 1 large potato, peeled and shredded
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of fennel seeds

Heat cooking oil in a wok used for deep frying to 30 F degrees. Rinse the shredded potato under cold water and squeeze to remove as much of the water as possible. Pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the potato with cornstarch.

Dip the strainers into the oil to coat them. Line one strainer with potato to about 1/4 inch thickness. Nest the second strainer on top and immerse them into the oil. Deep fry until golden brown. Remove from the strainers and drain on paper towels.

Fill immediately with the seafood and serve with a beautiful green salad and, of course, a glass of your favourite  beverage.

ENJOY.