Analytics Tracking

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mini Turkey Pot Pies

After a Christmas dinner, there's always the inevitable leftovers.  Whether the leftovers are dreaded or a delight, is really up to us.  Nick loves pies in all shapes and forms.  From fruit pies, crumble pies, pumpkin, to meat pies, all pies are viewed and eaten equally and finished quickly.   So when we found out William Sonoma was selling the Breville Mini Pie Maker during the Christmas season, we quickly picked one up before they sold out.  It was handy for making leftovers a delight. The pie maker can make 4 pies but we chose to make 3 pies as that's exactly 1 sheet of Pillbury pie crust.  They do make perfect pies in 10 minutes.  We're looking forward to using this with beef stews, cooked fruits, chunky sauces.  This machine will probably be used very regularly to put leftovers to go use.  If you want to see the other uses of the Breville Mini Pie Maker...take a look at our recipe for Beef Stew Mini Pies here.

Mini Turkey Pot Pies
Makes 3 Mini Pies (machine has the ability to make 4 pies)
approx prep time: 10min
approx cook time: 10min

- 1/2 pack of Pillsbury Pie crust (at room temperature)
- 2 cups of cooked turkey leftovers (we used Turkey, peas, carrots, stuffing, butternut squash)
- 3 tablespoons of Campbell's cream of chicken soup

1) Preheat the Breville Mini Pie Maker (Red light means it's heating, Green light means it's ready)
2) Chop leftovers into little pieces, mix with 2-3 tablespoons of Cream of Chicken soup.
3) Roll out the Pillsbury pie crust, stamp 2 bottom crusts and 2 top crusts. 
4) Recombine the remaining pie crust, roll it out thinly, and stamp the last bottom and pie crust (you should have 3 tops and 3 bottoms)
5) Place bottom crust into the machine, use the black push wedge from the pie maker to set it into the pan, fill each pie up to the top and a bit more, making a mound on the top
6) Top pies with the top crust.
7) Lock machine, bake for 10 minutes.
8) Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

3 Meat, 3 Cheese Pasta

3 Meat, 3 Cheese Pasta
Serves: 4
approx prep time: 10min
approx cook time: 20min

- 1/2lbs Lean ground beef
- 5 strips of Bacon
- 2 Italian Sausages
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 medium size Onion
- 1 handful green beans
- 1 Jar of your favourite Pasta Sauce
- 1tbsp Olive Oil
- 1tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1tbsp Fresh Diced Parsley
- 1 cup shredded cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Pasta of your choice (approx. 1 cup per person)

- Dice the Red Pepper and Green beans and set aside.
- Dice the Onion and set aside.
- Slice the uncooked sausage and bacon into small chunks. Break apart ground beef into similar size chunks.
- Warm a frying pan over medium heat.
- Begin boiling a pot of water for the pasta.
- Add oil and Onions, stirring occasionally until the onion is starting to get soft.
- Add meat, and cook covered, stirring occasionally, add Italian Seasoning when partly cooked.
- Add vegetables, cover and cook for 3-4min.
- Start boiling the pasta, per the directions on the package.
- Add pasta sauce to meat/vegetable mix, reduce heat and let it simmer.
- Add parsley to the sauce just before serving, mix in thoroughly.
- Serve pasta, cover with sauce, and top with cheese.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Steak and Grilled Veggies


Came from this:


We usually buy our steak from St. Lawrence market or when AAA prime rib is on sale in a grocery store then slice the steak ourselves (so we get steaks of proper thickness, which is about 1.5" thick).  So simple to make we almost have steak weekly.  That's simply awesome.
Serves: 2
approx prep time: 10min
approx cook time: 25min

- 2 Steaks (we used prime rib steak, with the bone removed). A proper steak should be roughly 1.25-1.5 inches thick, and cut to even thickness, without thick/thin spots.
- Montreal Steak Spice
- 2tbsp butter, softened but not melted
- Vegetables of your choice (in this case 1 each of: White Onion, Red Pepper and Zucchini)

- Chop vegetables into large chunks and set aside. If using Onions, set those aside separately.
- Heat a frying pan to HIGH heat (do NOT use a non-stick Pan. If you have it use a Grill pan or Cast Iron pan)
- When the pan is hot, butter one side of the steaks, then sprinkle with steak spice.
- Place steaks, buttered/seasoned side down in the pan.
- Butter and season the other side of the steak (while It's in the pan).
- Cook for 6min per side for Medium-Rare to Medium, Less for a more Rare steak, and more for a more well done steak.
- Place the steaks on a place to rest, covering tightly with tin foil, and leave them covered until ready to serve.
- Using the same pan the steaks were in, add onions, cook for approx 2min, stirring often.
- Add other vegetables, stirring occasionally, and cook until they reach your desired tenderness. Approx 3-4min.
- Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crispy Cheesy Toast

Inspired by Ace Bakery's Cheddar mini crisps and the need to do something useful with a dry baguette...came the creation of Crispy Cheesy Toast.  They are tasty and incredibly addictive, but also simple to make.  Good as a snack or at a party.  They don't last long at home, I can barely keep myself from devouring it all right out of the oven.

approx prep time: 10min
approx cook time: 10min

Well Aged Cheddar (I prefer 5 year old Balderson cheddar, if you are using younger cheddar that is not a strong, you may need to add a bit of sea salt to the top.)
A baguette
Olive Oil
Sea salt (optional)

1) Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
2) Slice old baguette into 1/4 inch slice toasts
3)  Grate a mound of cheddar
3) Brush both sides of the toast with olive oil and lay flat on a baking sheet
4) Sprinkle the toasts lightly with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle sea salt if needed.
5) Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges of the toast is slightly brown

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

You know it's the holiday season when chestnuts show up in grocery stores.  And while I do love chestnuts roasting on an open fire....(queue festive songs that annoy Nick because I only know the tune and have made up the rest of the words), alas...I live in a condo where a fireplace is not readily accessible so an oven will have to do.  
Roasted Chestnuts
approx prep time: 10min
approx cook time: 20min
1lb of Chestnuts (Pick ones that are not shriveled up and do not have holes in them)
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Wash chestnuts in a bowl of water
3) Find the flat side of each chestnut and cut a large "X" with a sharp paring knife all the way through the skin.
4) Place on a baking sheet with X side up and bake for 20-30 minutes, until cooked.  It usually means I can crack the shell open by squishing it in a towel.
More of a warning -- Cut a large defined X on the chestnut or else they could explode if the steam is unable to escape from within the chestnut.  Some of my "X"s were not sufficiently large and it caused 2 chestnuts to explode in the oven (makes for an annoying cleanup, and a burnt chestnut smell the next time I used the oven), and one chestnut targeted Nick as he took them out of the oven spraying a fine mist of chestnut debris all over the kitchen.  We still occasionally find bits of it stuck on the fridge or a cabinet door.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday French Toast

Lazy Sundays....what could be better then rolling out of bed at 10am, or 11am or my personal favorite, after 12 noon.  This would be the easiest breakfast with no fuss.  Use a good non-stick pan and you don't even need to butter the pan (unless you want to).
Serves: 2
approx prep time: 2min
approx cook time: 10min
4 Slices of bread (photo is of a french bread loaf, but our personal favorite is Cobs Bread:  white bread loaf)
4 Eggs (Eggs vary depending on how absorbent the bread is)
Toppings:  Fruit, butter Syrup, Cinnamon, or my personal favorite: melted Lindt Bittersweet dark chocolate or Toblerone Dark bars.
Non stick frying pan

1) Whisk eggs in a wide shallow bowl with a fork.
2) Dip bread in eggs lightly on both sides.
3) Place dipped egg bread into pan and cook each side until golden brown.
4)  Serve with a side of fruit and your french toast topping of choice.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Serves: 2
approx prep time: 15min
approx cook time: 15min

- 1lbs Lean ground beef
- 4 strips of Bacon
- 1 small onion (finely diced)
- 3-4 sweet gherkin pickles (finely diced)
- 2tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Toppings of choice (Pickles, Tomato, etc..)
- Buns of choice (Kaiser rolls recommended)

- Cook the bacon in half strips until crispy and set aside.
- Combine ground beef, diced onion, diced gherkins, Montreal steak spice, and parmesan cheese, mixing throughly.
- Form mix into patties, roughly 3 to 3.5" in diameter and 1" thick.
- Cook to desired doneness. I use either a grill pan, or a mini george foreman grill. If cooking in a frying pan or grill pan, you'll want to cook for about 5-6min per side for Medium.
- When cooked, put the burgers on the bun, with all the fixings, and serve hot!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Herb and Cheese Crusted Lamb

Serves: 3-4
approx prep time: 20min
approx cook time: 20min

1 Rack of lamb (thawed and Frenched and at room temperature)
2 slices of bread
1/4 cup finely chopped Parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped Rosemary
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp Grainy Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp Butter, melted

- Pre heat the oven to 425 F
- Toast the slices of bread, then chop into small pieces (small cubes, but not quite crumbs).
- Mix bread crumbs, chopped parsley, rosemary, garlic and grated Parmesan cheese together in a large enough bowl to fit the rack of lamb.
- In a separate, small bowl or glass, mix melted butter and mustard.
- Heat a cooling pan of your choice over medium-high heat.
- Season the rack of lamb on all sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Sear each side of the rack in the pan (add a small amount of oil if the pan is not non-stick.) for approx 4 min per side.
- Brush all sides of the lamb with the butter/mustard mix.
- Roll lamb in the breadcrumb/herb/cheese mix. You may need to pat it on top to get it to stick if you're breadcrumbs are too large.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes (for a medium-rare to medium doneness.  See comments for meat temperatures). If you prefer your lamb more well done, cover the rack with foil after 10min to prevent the breadcrumbs from burning.
- Cover with foil and let rest for 3-5min before slicing and serving.

COMMENTS: Allow internal temperature to be 5 to 10 degrees less than you like because the meat will continue to cook while it sits. Bloody rare: 115 to 125 degrees F Rare: 125 to 130 degrees F Medium rare: 130 to 140 degrees F Medium: 140 to 150 degrees F

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mega Nachos

Serves: 4-6
approx prep time: 25min
approx cook time: 15min

- 1 Bag nacho chips (I used Tostitos Rounds)
- 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6-8 strips of thick sliced bacon, cooked then diced
- 1/2 lbs Lean Ground Beef, crumbled, cooked, and drained.
- 1 Chicken Breast, diced, and cooked (we cooked ours in the leftover bacon fat for extra flavour)
- 4 Green onions, diced (extra small)
- 1 yellow, orange or red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced

- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large oven safe dish, layer about a third of the chips, sprinkle with roughly a third of each of the toppings (peppers, onions, bacon, beef, chicken, and cheese).
- Layer half of the remaining chips ontop. Cover that layer with half the remaining toppings.
- Finally layer on what's left of the chips, and finish off with the last of the toppings. You may want to sprinkle the top layer with a little extra cheese for show.
- Bake for approx. 15min, until the top layer of cheese is just starting to brown.
- Server straight out of the oven with or without salsa and/or sour cream!