Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crunchy Cauliflower Bites with Spicy Mayo!

I have recently tried disguising foods that my husband refuses to eat into something he will. And it is working. Obviously it involves coating the item in batter or bacon or bread and frying it, but then I get to eat some of my favourite vegetables without him complaining!! This weeks challenge was Cauliflower. I have tried roasting it and making it into soups and my husband won't touch it (well...unless you cover it in cheese!). But these little delightful crunchy bites were a huge hit! He even brought the leftovers for lunch!!

1 Head of Cauliflower, Cut into bite size florets
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Cups of Vegetable Oil
Salt & Pepper
 Spicy Mayo
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tsp Sriracha Sauce or More...depending on the level of spice you want.
1/4 Tsp Brown Rice Vinegar (I have this at home for cooking stirfrys, but can assume that regular Rice Vinegar would work as well)
1/4 Tsp Sugar (Optional)
Take your Cauliflower and chop it up into bite size florets.

Toss your Cauliflower in the cornstarch first, then the egg, then the Panko. Make sure you season your panko with Salt and Pepper!

Now fry up the bites in a frying pan with about 1 inch of hot vegetable oil...medium high heat works for me, but if your stove runs hot you may want to lower the heat so as to not burn the bites.

Turn the bites so that every side get nice and brown.

Allow to cool on a paper towel (this will also soak up leftover oil)

Mean while combine your mayo with the hot sauce and vinegar. Personally I don't add the sugar but most people will feel the sweetness is missing.

I decided to include a second dipping sauce to get the sweetness in. Thank you Frank;s Red Hot for this yummy sauce!!

There you have it!! A super yummy way to eat cauliflower!!

So Crispy and delicious!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Thanksgiving Leftover Experiment - Success!!!

This is the final post of 3 related to Thanksgiving. We had a feast on Sunday...which is why I didn't post then. I was not able to get off my couch to do something with the leftovers until yesterday afternoon.
This is seriously too much food for 8 people!!
My Thanksgiving Menu consisted of the following:

Brined Turkey Wrapped In Bacon - Recipes HERE and HERE

All Stuffed and slathered in butter and fresh herbs. Bacon came into the picture after 1.5 hours of roasting

Thanksgiving Stuffing - Used THIS recipe, except used Walnuts instead of Pecans and omitted the Mushrooms.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato's - Just 2 Heads Roasted Garlic added to Mashed Boiled potato's and Milk, Butter, Sour Cream and Cream cheese. Reheated in the oven with a generous dollop of Butter

These Cheesy Buns - I used THIS recipe and just omitted the Tomato and Basil to make them plain cheese buns.

Bacon & Shallot Green Beans - Seriously easy, just cook your bacon, set it aside and cook the shallots in the same pan in the bacon grease. Add your blanched green beans and bacon, toss and serve!

Of course I also made my own Cranberry sauce! - Cranberries, Brown Sugar and OJ!

My mother in law and my mother both made contributions as well. Mother in law brought a delicious Broccoli Casserole and my mother brought a different version of Stuffing (wet, cooked outside the bird..a family tradition!) My husband cooked a Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham on the BBQ as well.

So obviously..with all that food I am stuck with a massive amount of leftovers. And with those leftovers I made a sort of Thanksgiving Baked Ball and it was awesome! All the flavours of thanksgiving in 1 Bite! There was some experimenting involved where I tried deep frying them but they fell apart. Baking them make them crispy on the outside and probably a tad more healthy then using the fryer!!



Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey, Ham, Stuffing, Mashed Potato's, Gravy

Cranberry Sauce for Dipping
1 Cup Bread Crumbs

Chop your turkey and ham into small pieces and combine with the stuffing, mashed potato's and gravy (use your judgement and use amounts based on how dense you want the balls)

Use your mixer to combine all the ingredients. Add more gravy if mixture seems too dry and is not sticking well together.

The mixture should resemble the texture of meatballs and should form balls easily.

Form balls from the mixture

Roll the balls in seasoned bread crumbs.

Bake in a 350F oven for about 30 Minutes or until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Serve with leftover cranberry sauce!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Vegetable Soup with Panchetta Crisps

Todays recipe is the 2nd of 3 Thanksgiving inspired recipes for you lovely readers!!

This week I headed out to Niagara on the Lake for a wonderful (and Windy!) self guided bike tour of some wineries (Shout out to my California Family!). It was a perfect Fall day with the leaves falling and sweaters and scarves were out in full force.

Dangerous Selfie while riding a bike!

The smell of fall, the chill in the air all along with the smells of the wineries really inspired me to make some fall soup for the week.

I can still smell the grapes

Fall Vegetable Soup with Panchetta Crisps


2 Large Sweet Potato's, Cubed
1 Butternut Squash, Cut in half and seeds removed
1 Acorn Squash, Cut in half and seeds removed
3 Large Carrots, Cubed
2 Heads of Garlic, tops sliced off
2 large Leeks
Handful of Fresh Thyme Sprigs
1/4 Cup Butter
16 Cups Chicken Stock (homemade is better!)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Thinly Sliced Fried Panchetta to Garnish
Heavy Cream to Garnish

I started off by making a giant pot of chicken stock as I had roasted 2 chickens a few days back and had saved the carcases for stock. This stock boiled for about 6 hours and contains Carrots, Celery Stalks and Leaves, Onions, Garlic, Parsley, Sage, Bay Leaf, Salt, Pepper and Marjoram. I strained the stock first through a strainer then through a fine Sieve. Set aside until ready to use.

Wash and assemble all your veggies for chopping!

In one large oven proof pan assemble your chopped sweet potato and carrots. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a 375F Oven

In a second pan assemble the squash and garlic. Also drizzle with Olive Oil, salt, Pepper and Thyme and turn over so the cut side is face down. Place in the oven with the sweet potato's and roast all together until squash is fork tender (about 45 Minutes to 1 Hour)

Once the squash is almost ready to remove from the oven add your sliced leeks (white and light green parts only) to a large heavy bottomed pot with 1/4 Cup of butter.

Remove your veggies from the oven.

Add all the Sweet Potato & Carrots to the Leeks and using a large spoon scrape out the Squash. Squeeze the heads of garlic to get the roasted cloves into the pot as well. Top with your hot stock (If using boxed stock I would have it warming on the stove top already)

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and remove from the heat. Using a hand emersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Adding more stock to get the consistency you want (I like a thick puree)

Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes and you are ready to serve!

Drizzle soup with fresh cream, chilli oil and garnish with a panchetta crisp!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crispy Sweet Potato Cakes with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Fall is in the air and so is the Fall Vegetable Harvest!! I have been visiting my local farmers market on a weekly (sometimes 2-3 times a week!) to pick out the freshest root veggies and squash for some hearty fall meals!! This weekend I will be featuring 3 Recipes for Thanksgiving. Today we are featuring the Sweet Potato.

Crispy Sweet Potato Cakes with Roasted Garlic Sauce


2 Large Sweet Potato's, Peeled and cubed
2 Whole heads of Garlic, Tops sliced off
1 Large Tbsp of Coconut Oil
3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley
1 tsp minced Chives
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper

In an oven proof dish or cast iron pan add your cubed potatos, thyme, garlic (cut side face down) and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat on high and pre-heat oven to 375F

Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. It comes hardened but when added to the heat it will melt. Toss potato's in pan to get cooking process started then pop on the oven once it is pre-heated. Allow potato's and garlic to roast until fork tender and garlic is soft and carmelized.

Once potato's are ready allow to cool a bit and add the following to a large mixing bowl: Cooked Sweet Potatos, Squeeze the garlic from 1 of the 2 heads, Parley, Chives.

Mash well with your potato masher and set aside.

To prepare the garlic sauce combine the mayo, the garlic from the second roasted head and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Form patties from the sweet potato mixture and fry lightly in a lightly greased (I used coconut oil again) frying pan. You just want a light crispy edge to these.

Serve with your Roasted Garlic Sauce!!