Chili Lime Hanger Steak with Cucumber Honeydew Salsa

October 26, 2009

I made this a few times over the summer – so yummy (and I don’t even like honeydew!!)! And easy. And economical - my butcher turned me on to some of the “cheap cuts” this year and I owe him a HUGE debt!  So much more flavourful and interesting than your standard fillets, etc.   Anyway, to avoid typing out the whole thing, just go here. Once again my favourite recipe site epicurious.com came through with flying colours!

The flavours and colours of all the fresh summer ingredients in the chutney make this extra special – gorgeous and delicious!

chutney mise en place

chutney mise en place

 

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slice the melon

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and the onion

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freshly toasted and ground spices- the best!

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everything in the bowl - so pretty!

 

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and mix - so easy!

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my sous chefs - good help is hard to find!

 

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marinating the steak - not too pretty to look at but it smells YUMMY!!

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a table!

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Bon Appétit!!

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt Gail’s Cheesecake

October 23, 2009

There is only one type of cheesecake that I like – my Aunt Gail’s.  I have tried many others - New York, Montreal,  your grandmother’s, etc.  Sorry, they do nothing for me.  And also?  Chocolate cheesecake?  Whoever came up with THAT idea should be shot because really?  GROSS.

Last night I made Aunt Gail’s cheesecake for a dinner party I am going to this evening – here is the recipe – so simple yet so incredibly delicious!

Ingredients:

Crust – 2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup extra-fine granulated sugar

Cake – 2 packages cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup extra-fine granulated sugar, 2 eggs

Top – 1 pint sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons extra-fine granulated sugar

Directions:

1.  combine crumbs, melted butter and sugar, press into spring-form cake pan

2.  combine cream cheese, sugar and eggs until smooth

3.  pour into crust

4.  bake at 350 for 20 minutes

5.  combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla

6.  pour on top of partially baked cheesecake

7.  bake for 10 minutes

8.  turn oven off and leave cheesecake inside for 45 minutes

9.  cool completely

10.  top with whatever fruit coulis you like (I did raspberries and blueberries because I had some in the freezer)

11.  enjoy!

add melted butter & sugar to crumbs for crust - OMG smells so good!!

add melted butter & sugar to crumbs for crust - OMG smells so good!!

press crust into springform cake pan

press crust into springform cake pan

combine cream cheese, sugar & eggs

combine cream cheese, sugar & eggs

beat until smooth

beat until smooth

LOVE LOVE LOVE my pink Kitchen-Aid standing mixer

LOVE LOVE LOVE my pink Kitchen-Aid standing mixer

pour into prepared crust (don

pour into prepared crust (don't know why this photo looks so odd)

spread sour cream mixture on partially baked cheese cake - and back in the oven it goes

spread sour cream mixture on partially baked cheese cake - and back in the oven it goes

meanwhile, make your fruit coulis - blueberries & raspberries fresh-frozen from the summer

meanwhile, make your fruit coulis - blueberries & raspberries fresh-frozen from the summer

berries, a little sugar, some lemon zest & juice - so easy!

berries, a little sugar, some lemon zest & juice - so easy!

pour coulis when cool (again, not a great photo - I REALLY need a new camera ...)

pour coulis when cool (again, not a great photo - I REALLY need a new camera ...)

Rebar’s Greek Lentil Soup

October 20, 2009

It’s fall so it’s SOUP SEASON!!  One of my favourites is a Greek lentil soup adapted from the Rebar cookbook. Rebar is a great mainly vegetarian restaurant in Victoria, BC – absolutely amazing brunch. And soup, of course.  I made this the other night for dinner and had it again last night - it is actually better on the second day.

RECIPE:

2 cups red lentils
8 cups broth – I use chicken stock for more flavour, you can use veggie
4 carrots
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. each fresh rosemary & oregano (plus more rosemary for garnish)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lemons – for zest & juice
feta cheese, crumbled
olive oil

STEPS:

1.  finely chop onion and sautee in olive oil on medium heat in large soup pot until soft and translucent

2. add diced carrots, garlic, rosemary, oregano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes  to onions – cook until the carrots begin to soften

3.  stir in lentils, coating with oil and veggies

4. pour in stock, stir and bring to a gentle simmer

5. simmer until lentils are soft and falling apart – about 25 to 30 minutes

6.  before serving stir in the juice from 2 lemons

7.  top with crumbled feta cheese and chopped rosemary

8.  enjoy!

I really do do this when I cook - it's not just for pictures!

I really do do this when I cook - it's not just for pictures!

finely chop your onions - I am basically lazy to use the Cusinart to do it - I highly recommend it

finely chop your onions - I am basically lazy to use the Cusinart to do it - I highly recommend it

see? super fine, perfect!

see? super fine, perfect!

sautee onions until soft and transluscent

sautee onions until soft and transluscent

add carrots, garlic and spices

add carrots, garlic and spices

stir in lentils

stir in lentils

pour in stock and bring to a simmer

pour in stock and bring to a simmer

add lemon juice

add lemon juice

and zest

and zest

top with crumbled feta & chopped rosemary

crumbled feta & rosemary

enjoy!

enjoy!

mac & cheese – with a twist

October 19, 2009

I am a huge fan of macaroni & cheese.  NOT Kraft Dinner, ever, but real, old fashioned, baked macaroni & cheese.  Last winter I went on a ski weekend with a few friends and we were each in charge of one dinner.  I brought this adult-version of mac & cheese – the truffle oil really makes it sing –  and it was a HUGE hit.  Relatively quick and easy to make, it has definitely been added to my go-to repertoire of recipes.

Ingredients:

3 cups, sliced, of a good variety of FRESH (not dried) mushrooms – crimini, oyster, shiitake, portobello, chanterelle – whatever you have on hand or is readily available

1/2 cup white wine or sherry

1/2 cup soft goat chees

1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, grated

1 cup SHARP cheddar cheese, grated

4 tbsp unsalted butter

4 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

fresh grated nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)

2 tsps each fresh sage & rosemary, chopped fine

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp white truffle oil

1 box macaroni or other short-cut noodles

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use Panko)

1/4 cup grated parmigiana cheese

1. sautee mushrooms in butter & olive oil until soft and moisture has evaporated- about 15 minutes; de-glaze the pan with wine or sherry; set aside

2. cook noodles according to directions on the box – drain and put aside

2.  make a roux: melt butter, stir in flour, whisk until raw flavour is gone but not browned – all at once add the milk and whisk to keep smooth – keep on med-low heat until thickened

3.  add cheeses, pepper flakes, nutmeg, sage, rosemary, truffle oil, salt & pepper to taste – stir until cheeses have melted

4. stir sauce into the cooked noodles, pour into oven-proof dish

5. toss breadcrumbs and parmigiana cheese together – spread on top of noodles

6. bake for about 45 minutes, until brown and bubbling

7. ENJOY!

assemble your ingredients

assemble your ingredients

sautee musrooms

sautee musrooms

set mushrooms aside until later

set mushrooms aside until later

make bechamel sauce sauce

make bechamel sauce sauce

grate your cheese - make sure to use SHARP cheddar

grate your cheese - make sure to use SHARP cheddar

truffle oil makes all the difference

truffle oil makes all the difference

in an oven-proof dish and into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes

in an oven-proof dish and into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes - I was on the phone the whole time while amking this so forgot to photograph a few steps so you will just have to trust me that they happened ...

bake until bubbly and brown and crispy on top

bake until bubbly and brown and crispy on top

goes really well with hot & spice homemade chili sauce - NOT ketchup!!!

goes really well with hot & spice homemade chili sauce - NOT ketchup!!!

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

October 18, 2009

Yesterday was a true Vancouver fall day – WET.  So after baking a loaf of delicious and easy Casey Irish Soda Bread I moved on to one of my favourite soups – Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Totally not my own creation, I discovered it on epicurious.com last winter and have made it countless times since.  Go here for the recipe.  It is time consuming and seems like a lot of work (it’s not), but soooooo worth it, trust me.

But stay here for the photos and commentary …

I find it easiest to get all my ingredients together before I start

I find it easiest to get all my ingredients together before I start

and into the pot they go, where they will simmer away for the next 1 1/2 to 2 hours

and into the pot they go, where they will simmer away for the next 1 1/2 to 2 hours

about half-way through cooking - the house smells divine!!

about half-way through cooking - the house smells divine!!

time to toast the spices

time to toast the spices

and into the blender they go - this is what gives the soup its kick!

and into the blender they go - this is what gives the soup its kick!

blended (I would REALLY like a Kitch-Aid blender - it would make this process MUCH easier)

blended (I would REALLY like a Kitch-Aid blender - it would make this process MUCH easier)

yams, rice and black beans - not only is this soup yummy but it is good for you, too

yams, rice and black beans - not only is this soup yummy but it is good for you, too

chicken - the dogs got VERY interested in this process

chicken - the dogs got VERY interested in this process

and done! (I got distracted and forgot to take pictures of it all coming together)

and done! (I got distracted and forgot to take pictures of it all coming together)

The recipe call for the soup to be served with crisped tortillas and diced avocados as garnish.  However, avocados were $2.50 a piece yesterday so NOT happeneing and I didn’t have any tortillas. It is still delicious without the garnish and went really well with the Irish Soda Bread I had made earlier in the day.

Try it, you’ll like it, I promise.

Casey Irish Soda Bread

October 18, 2009

In September my cousin Sarah, a very talented artist and wonderful woman, came up from Boston with her two boys for my mothers’s memorial service.  With her she brought a freshly-baked loaf of her own version of Irish Soda Bread.  So easy and so delicious!

Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran
1 cup flax seeds/sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats – basically, whatever you have to make a cup
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp each baking soda and powder
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg

preheat over to 350

Mix together dry ingredients

beat egg and buttermilk and stir in to dry ingredients, but do not over-work the dough

let it rest 30 minutes

tip dough onto a lightly greased and floured baking tray

bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until done

I know, easy right?  and so good!!!!!  I ate some last night with the most delicious chicken tortilla soup – that recipe to follow later

ingredients

ingredients

mix together dry ingredients - flours, salt, baking soda & powder, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, steel-cut oats

mix together dry ingredients - flours, salt, baking soda & powder, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, steel-cut oats

beat together egg and buttermilk

beat together egg and buttermilk

blend together wet & dry ingredients, but do no work the dough too much or you bread will be tough

blend together wet & dry ingredients, but do no work the dough too much or you bread will be tough

loosely form the dough into a "loaf" on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet - I added left-over sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the top for texture

loosely form the dough into a "loaf" on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet - I added left-over sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the top for texture

bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, remove from baking sheet and let cool - see?  easy!

bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, remove from baking sheet and let cool - see? easy!

YUMMY!!  (and good for you, too!)

YUMMY!! (and good for you, too!)

a fall salad

November 16, 2008

I threw this salad together for a dinner I was at last Saturdy to RAVE reviews.  Someone happened to take a photo of the finished product, so …

1 bag washed baby organic arugula

2 large bartlett pears

Irish soda bread croutons – homemade

balsamic vinagrette

to make the croutons:

cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and toss with olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper; spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 to 45 minutes

to make vinagrette:

put 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons maple syurup and salt & pepper in a mason jar; shake to mix.  Pour in 1 cup extra virgin olive oil and shake to mix

to assemble:

put the argula in a salad bowl, top with sliced pears and croutons

toss and enjoy – so simple yet SOOOOO delicious – the peppery arugula plays well of the tart vinagrette and sweet pears – pretty much fall in a bowl

a perfect fall salad - argugula, pears and homemade croutons

a perfect fall salad - argugula, pears and homemade croutons

Marry Me Potatoes

November 6, 2008

There is a great (essentially vegetarian) restaurant in Victoria, BC called Rebar Modern Food.  Whenever I am over on the Island I have to have at least one meal there, generally brunch – the lemon-ricotta pancakes are TO DIE!! 

 

A few years ago they published a cookbook and I have enjoyed cooking many, many items from it and by far the most popular dish has been the Yukon Gold and Yam Scalloped Potatoes with Chipotle Cream. How popular you might ask?  To date I have been on the receiving end of not less than 4 proposals of marriage.

 

The fact that all of them were from men already married to dear friends of mine is irrelevant – these potatoes are THAT GOOD. 

Trust.

 

To that end I am making them this weekend for a non-married male – will report back with photos and any other interesting developments that may arise …

 

Marry Me Potatoes (recipe adapted from Rebar Modern Food)

 

INGREDIENTS

 

v      4 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

v      4 large yams (preferably the dark orange variety), also peeled and sliced thinly

v      4 tablespoons unsalted butter

v      sea salt & freshly ground pepper

v      ¼ cup (about) flour

v      1 pint whipping cream (I never claimed that these were in any way low-fat or healthy)

v      4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (I use the Herdez brand, easy to find and reliable)

v      1 cup shredded apple-smoked cheddar (if you can’t find this cheese you can use smoked Gouda, but the cheddar is WAY better)

 

DIRECTIONS

 

v      Preheat oven to 350

v      Lightly grease a 9×13 pyrex or ceramic dish

v      Make chipotle cream:  puree the whipping cream and chilies in a blender or food processor

v      Start by placing the Yukon Gold slices on the bottom, overlapping slightly

v      Add a layer of the yams

v      Sprinkle with slat and pepper, 1 tablespoon flour and small dabs of the butter – about 1 tablespoon

v      Repeat the layers until all the potatoes are used or the dish is full to about a ¼ inch from the top

v      Pour chipotle cream over potatoes to cover

v      Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until bubbly and the potatoes are cooked through

v      About 15 minutes before done, remove foil and sprinkle cheese on top

 

Let sit about 10 minutes before serving and ENJOY! (and don’t be surprised if you get proposed to – or at least propositioned!!)

inspired by Daphne’s

November 3, 2008

In the fall of 1999 I spent a week in London with my parents; it was a wonderful trip.  On our last day we went for lunch at what we thought was just a neighbourhood Italian restaurant - turned out to be one of the BEST restaurants in the city, Daphne’s, and our lunch was out of this world.  My father later confessed that the bill for lunch was more than the bill for his and my mother’s stay at their bed and breakfast for teh entire week, but that it was TOTALLY worth it.

As a souvenir I bought the cookbook and have been enjoying recipes out of it ever since.  Tonight’s dinner of butternut squash risotto, arugula and pear salad, and tiramisu was inspired by that lunch.  Easy, seasonal and delicious – enjoy!

1 butternut squash – peel, dice, toss in olive oil & garli, salt & pepper and roast at 450 for 45 minutes

Risotto

2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
4 tables spoons (about) olive oil
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock – heated
fresh ground nutmeg – 1/2 tsp or so
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly ground Parmesan cheese

sautee olive oil, shallots & garlic until translucent

add salt & pepper

stir in rice, totally coating and sautee for another 2 minutes or so

add stock to the rice a ladle at a time until all liquid is absorbed – about 20 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY

gently stir in roasted squash

stir in butter, I tablespoon at a time

add cheese

serve HOT and enjoy!

peel, dice, toss in olive oil, garlic, fresh sage, salt & pepper and raost at 450 for 45 minutes

peel, dice, toss in olive oil, garlic, fresh sage, salt & pepper and raost at 450 for 45 minutes

roasted squash ready for the risotto

roasted squash ready for the risotto

sautee shallots, garlic, sage and salt & pepper until translucent - add arborio rice

sautee shallots, garlic, sage and salt & pepper until translucent - add arborio rice

when liquid is absorbed, gently stir squash in to the rice

when liquid is absorbed, gently stir squash in to the rice

 

add Parmesan cheese and butter, stir until creamy

add Parmesan cheese and butter, stir until creamy

serve hot and ENJOY!

serve hot and ENJOY!

 

We paired the risotto with a slightly unconventional wine choice, a 2006 Private Reserve Syrah from Peller Estates ($19.99 at all VQA stores in BC) but it was a perfect match.

Tomorrow we’ll post the tiramisu – it was heaven

Welcome!

October 30, 2008

Welcome to Kiki’s Kitchen.  In the days and weeks to come we will be posting recipes, product reviews, tales of restaurant adventures and mini-videocasts of us “in action”.

So sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine (right, we’ll be discussing that, too) and enjoy – we’re glad you stopped by


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