Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Monday, December 17, 2012

Salted Caramel Sauce - A Holiday Treat!

I am really really horrible about writing out Christmas cards. In fact I am so horrible this year that I didn't do them at all. And by the time I realized I had not done them...it was too late. Christmas is just a week away!

Instead of cards I decided at a recent holiday party I hosted, that I would give a small homemade party favour. SO more my style anyway!

If you recognize this recipe its because I use this sauce in a Caramel Apple Tart that I featured on this blog. Totally delish if you ask me! But this sauce really is good on a lot of other things; Popcorn, Fruit, Ice cream, brownies, cakes, on a spoon. You get the picture.

In a heavy bottomed pot add 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar over Medium heat. Shake the pot to make sure that the sugar is in an even layer. Now leave it alone for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it does not burn.

 After about 5 minutes you will notice the sugar starting to melt and caramelize. At this point you can use a wooden spoon to start to stir the sugar around.
 Once the sugar is all melted you need to constantly stir and keep an eye on it. You want it to turn a deep amber colour...but not burn.
 Once you have achieved the colour this step must be done quickly and carefully.
Remove the pot from the heat and slowly add 1 Cup of Heavy Cream (room temp), about 1/4 cup at a time whisking very vigorously. The sugar is very hot and will bubble up violently...you just need to keep on whisking. Your arm will hurt, but it will be worth it!!
Once all the cream is incorporated you can add 2 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tsp of Sea Salt. Whisk to incorporate then set aside to cool.
As the caramel cools it will thicken up nicely!
I find that this sauce keeps in the fridge for a few weeks!
I found these awesome cute jars at our local dollar store. After running them through the dishwasher on Sanitize I ladled in the cooled caramel sauce. A perfect little gift for Christmas.
I prefer it over a card any day!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Braised Beef Short Ribs

This recipe was created when this conversation with my husband occurred:
Me: What do you want for dinner tonight?
Husband: Meat.
Me: Really. That doesn't help...what kind of meat?
Husband: Just Meat.
What happened was I decided to do just that. Make him some meat. No sides. No Salads. Just Meat. My Plan backfired. He loved it and didn't even miss the side dishes and really did think this meal was complete.
I ended up making a salad for me.
In a large heavy bottomed cast iron dutch oven, add 2 Tbsp of Canola oil and Brown your seasoned (salt & pepper) short ribs (I had about 10 Large pieces) over medium high heat. Make sure you brown on all sides.
Brown the short ribs in batches making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Set these aside in a bowl for now.
In the same pot add 2 Large Chopped Onions, 2 Chopped Carrots, 2 Chopped Celery Stalks. Continue cooking the Vegetables over medium high heat. Adding some seasoning as well.
Once the Onions start to brown add 3 Minced Cloves of Garlic, 3 Tbsp Flour and 1 Tbsp of Tomato Paste. Stir until well combined and heated through (about 3-5 Minutes). Stir Constantly.
Add about 1 Whole 750ml bottle of red wine. I used a Cab. Sauv.
Bring the wine to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. Add back the short ribs along with any juices in the bowl. Allow this to simmer for about 25 Minutes uncovered until the wine reduces by half.
Add your fresh herbs (Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary). I added about 3-4 Sprigs of each plus a handful of the parsley. Add 1 Whole head of garlic, tops sliced off and 4 Cups low sodium chicken stock. Bring to a boil then place whole pot in a 350F oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until ribs are tender and falling off the bone.
There you have it! MEAT!
The sauce is especially good the next day once you spoon off the hardened fat and heat up with some more seasoning. I ate the meat over rice with some sauteed spinach and the sauce drizzled all over. Delish!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Massaged Kale Salad

I can't believe its December already...where has this year gone? In a month where it seems all you are eating is chocolate, cookies and other tasty but not so healthy things for you, a recipe for a yummy salad is totally called for!
Now massaging kale might sound a little strange...but it really does bring out the mellow flavour of this very good for you green! For this salad I used a mix of green and red leaf kale. Cut the stem and ribbing out only leaving behind the lush green outer leaves. I like to slice the leaves pretty small and place them in a bowl. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and start massaging. You want to rub and massage the leaves until they become a dark green/red and almost take on the consistency of wilted spinach.
This salad can really take on anything...I added some red crispy cabbage and 1 Avocado.
Top with some seeds such as Black sesame, Hemp hearts and even some flax. Top with Goji berries and a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette and you are good to go! I have put the dressed salad in the fridge overnight and found that it kept really well.
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp Good Quality Honey
1 Tsp Grain Mustard
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Cider Vinagar
1/2 Lemon Squeezed
1 Clove of Garlic Minced
Salt and Pepper
Whisk together ingredients and add more or less of any ingredients until you achieve a flavour to your liking!