Monday, May 31, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Tried this recipe for the first time tonight and absolutely loved it!  It's going to be a consistent menu item in our household.  To make it healthier, I added julienned carrots and yellow pepper.  If your family is not a fan of water chestnuts, leave them out.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps


  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves (I used PC already made and washed romaine lettuce wrap leaves)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce (optional) (I used sweet)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil


  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries

The perfect summertime dessert for those who really love lemon. Full of fresh berries!  I made the lemon curd as per the recipe, but it is a fair bit of work. To be honest, I may just buy that part of it next time.

Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries  


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 prepared lemon pound cake, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Lemoncello or Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


To make the lemon curd: Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch, and continue to whisk. Keep working-out that arm and whisk it vigorously for a good 10 minutes, until the curd has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. Don't let it boil. Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until the custard is cold and firm.
To build the trifle: put the berries in a mixing bowl and toss them together so they are evenly distributed. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd to lighten it up into a mousse. Line a glass trifle bowl with pieces of pound cake to fit. Drizzle or brush the cake with the Lemoncello, spoon a layer of the lemon curd over the cake, and then a layer of mixed berries. Repeat the layers until the ingredients are used up, the last layer looks best if it's the berries. Chill before serving. Garnish with fresh mint.
Courtesy of Food Network

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

Tilapia is one of my favourite types of fish aside from Trout.  Its not too fishy and reasonably priced.  Feel free to add a bit of garlic and paprika if desired.
Broiled Parmesan Tilapia
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons light
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1 pound tilapia fillets 
1.Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
2.In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
3.Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Serves 4 - recipe courtesy of Recipezaar

Friday, May 28, 2010

Easy Chicken Marinade

This marinade is so easy and the chicken tastes like you took hours to prepare it.  Serve with brown basmati rice.

Easy Chicken Marinade

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 1-2 lemons
2 Tbsp freshly chopped rosemary 
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients and place in a sealed container for 4 + hours to marinate.  Serve as desired.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Linguine with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Feta

This is the perfect summertime pasta.  Its light, colourful and delicious!  If I am serving to a large group I will make 2 batches - one with shrimp and the other with chicken.  If you cannot find whole wheat linguine use whole wheat spaghetti or regular linguine if preferred. Bon Appetit!  


1 pound medium shrimp (about 40)
2 pints vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
4 large garlic cloves
1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta (about 6 ounces)
1 pound dried whole wheat linguine


Shell shrimp and, if desired, devein. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook shrimp until cooked through, about 1 minute, and drain well.

Halve tomatoes and mince garlic. Finely chop scallions. 

In a large bowl stir together all ingredients except linguine with salt and pepper to taste. 

Chill sauce, covered, 1 hour. Let sauce stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

In an 8-quart kettle bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil and cook linguine until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce and toss well, adding enough pasta water to reach desired consistency.

Gourmet | July 1997

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scheherazade Casserole

I got this from Moosewood Cookbook and it tastes wonderful! Even if you are not vegetarian its a great healthy choice for dinner or a side dish.

Scheherazade Casserole 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil a 9x13" baking pan.
  3. Place bulgur in a small bowl.
  4. Add boiling water, cover with a plate, and let stand at least 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet.
  6. Add onion, garlic, salt and seasonings.
  7. Stir occasionally as you saute over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.
  8. Add bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes more.
  9. Drain soybeans, and place them in blender with 1 cup fresh water.
  10. Grind until soybeans resemble a coarse batter. Transfer to large bowl (you can just grind the canned beans) 
  11. Add soaked bulgur and sauteed vegs. to the soybeans.
  12. Stir in tomatoes, breaking into bitesized pieces.
  13. Add tomato paste, parsley and 1 cup of the feta. Mix well.
  14. Spread into the baking pan and sprinkle remaining feta on top.
  15. Cover and bake 30 minutes at 375*, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more at 350 degrees
  16. Serve hot

    1¼ hours | 25 min prep

    SERVES 5

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Pumpkin Scones

    I like to make these as snacks for school or to have with a cup of tea. Although these instructions make 6 large scones, I prefer to make them into 12 mini ones.

    Pumpkin Scones



    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

    Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

    Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.

    Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.