Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals: Golden Scallops With Sun-Blush Mash & Greens

Scallops. Scallops are why I chose this recipe – need I say more? SCALLOPS ❤

Each main dish in this book is paired with a side. While I loved the shred salad paired with the Turkish Flats I recently made, I decided to ditch the greens side dish from this recipe. Because, yawn: Broccolini (which, hey… I do love!), asparagus, frozen peas, and lemon juice. Can’t say that really tickled my taste buds.

IMG_8408

Prep…

And really, this dish was so rich and delicious (the bacon is killer!) that it did not need the greens side whatsoever. I probably ate a larger portion than was deemed one portion, which likely boosted this dish on the richness scale, too!

IMG_8410

A little kick

The amendments I made to the recipe were the addition of Harissa infused olive oil from Frescolio for a little heat, and rosemary in place of sage as I’m not the biggest fan of the latter.

IMG_8411

The final product – yum!

I’d definitely make this again, add some garlic and caramelized onion to the mash, eat a smaller portion and maybe even pair it with that delicious shred salad.

IMG_8414

Look at this beauty!

Oh, and did I mention I did not officially time this recipe? Far more enjoyable than racing the 15 minute clock! (If you’re wondering, this dish took about 30 minutes from prep to table.)

Recipe Rating: 4.5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

Note: Once again, grab the cookbook from your local library or bookstore to check the recipe out!

Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals: Turkish Flats, Shred Salad, Feta & Herbs

I don’t think I’m slow in the kitchen. Heck, I’d say that I’m pretty good with a knife! However, I found myself rushing around like a maniac trying to finish off this recipe in 15 minutes.

IMG_8293

Not bad, but no dice.

I ended up taking some additional, non-timed time just reading through the entire recipe before starting. As with previous Jamie Oliver cookbooks, some of his instructions were a tad vague but nothing that a gal comfortable in the kitchen couldn’t handle. I decided that I would not get any mise en place ready, as to follow the recipe.

IMG_8294

Rosemary was a nice touch, but the meat mixture was a tad bland

I should have simply ignored the stopwatch I had timing me, because then I think I would have enjoyed cooking much more. As I mentioned, rush rush rush is what it felt like!

IMG_8299

I topped these babies with roasted red pepper hummus & sour cream

Alas, timing isn’t really everything. It’s all about the food! And this recipe was delicious! Since I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of lamb, I used ground pork instead. The meat mixture was good, but I think it could used some heat. Much more heat, actually.

That salad though… so good! I could have just eaten the salad on its own, it was that delicious. Jamie Oliver really know what elevates a salad: Herby goodness.

IMG_8295

Yum!

One thing that threw me off a bit was the photo of the recipe in the cookbook. The photo showed a couple of “flats” as well as a rolled flat… a burrito, if you will. One of the last instructions re: the meat mixture is to spread it on the tortillas and pop into the oven to crisp up. PSA: You can’t roll a crispy tortilla.

So with all this being said, would I make this recipe again? Yes! With a couple of amendments (spicier meat and smaller tortillas), I think this would be a stellar recipe to have in my rotation.

Recipe Rating: 3 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

NOTE: I was unable to find a copy of this recipe online, so be sure to grab the cookbook from your local library (or book store!) to take a peek.

 

Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals: Glazed Sizzling Chops with Sweet Tomato and Asparagus Lasagnetti

Hey Friends,

Welcome to my first recipe attempt from Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals.  Cindy and I opted to go with this book for a few reasons….

  1. the general desire to try another Jamie cookbook
  2. knowing that we both had a busy month ahead meaning quick and easy meals would be a massive benefit to both of us
  3. and for me, a chance to see if I could recreate what Jamie does on this cooking show of the same name.  I tend to watch this show as I sweat away the time on the treadmill. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is realistic..like 15 minutes…really?

Not really…I found out.  Guess how long it took me?

IMG_4835[1]

I had a timer set on my work phone for 15 minutes to see how far I got…I was slicing the tomatoes for the pasta and the lamb chops were pretty much finished cooking (though I had not applied any of the herbs or glaze).  So the chops essentially just sat around for a bit while I got the pasta cooking…and then the opposite  happened, when I finally the necessary glaze ingredients for the lamb.  I say this knowing that I probably could’ve read and re-read the recipe a bunch of times so I know the next steps off by heart, but truly who has time to do that?  Given that, I almost wish they had wrote it in the proper steps of what you need to do in that way…I feel like the meat could’ve been done and resting while I finished up with the pasta…rather than going back and forth, but maybe this is because I am not the most experienced cook.

Also not doing things mis en place …where everything is prepped and ready and you aren’t scrambling was stressful.  This style of cooking is probably something you can get away with if you are Jamie Oliver…or a pro chef…not so much if you are me…in fact, especially if you are me.  Not only did I make a massive mess while I cooked, I felt like I was constantly forgetting stuff.

I also found a few things strange –  Jamie recommends putting garlic, peel and all, into a garlic press to save time. This felt like a time and garlic waster because there was so much garlic left in the press and it was a pain in the butt to clean.. End result, I really don’t think it saved me all that much time in the end.

IMG_4832[1]

See all those stuck together noodles?

The recipe also calls for sliced up, fresh lasagna noodles.  This seems really silly and a bit of a waste of time.  Yes, you do get thick sliced noodles, but it takes time. To me, using fresh fettuccini would be much quicker.  Plus my thick cut lasagna noodles ended up sticking together, leading to big clumps of uncooked noodles that I couldn’t separate if my life depended on it.

 

There are some positives though…

it was an easy recipe…aside from the chaos of trying to get this done in 15 minutes.  I legit feel like, if I had everything ready at the start, this recipe would’ve hummed along like a dream because it doesn’t require any crazy cooking techniques or tools.

I liked how he tried to mix up the flavours a bit…like mint in pasta?  Really?  Though the pasta wasn’t my favourite part of the dish because I found it bland, I liked the fact that he tried to make it different.  I’m not sure exactly how to amp up the flavour to make it better, but I appreciated the effort of trying to make it different.

I like how Jamie laid out the different types of equipment/pots/pans and their temperatures, etc that you needed to get the recipe done.  At the top of the recipe he said you need a kettle (I don’t have one, so I just put on a pot of water to boil), a hot frying pan and a medium heat Dutch oven.  I got the stove and the necessary pans all heated and ready for when I needed them.  Otherwise, I think this recipe would’ve taken well over an hour to complete.IMG_4831[1]

Another great take away, for me, from this recipe is that I really got to see how a good sear on a hot pan benefits meat.  I tend to get impatient and keep poking and moving my meat around in a pan when I cook, which impacts the golden sear that makes meat of all types rather yummy.  Since I was so distracted by making the pasta, I just let the meat do it’s think, flipped it over halfway and it turned out rather perfectly.

As for recommendations, well, I would recommend part of the dish.  The lamb was truly delicious, even as leftovers.  Though I think I would probably chop the rosemary and garlic into a bit of a mince so that it can be nicely spread over the lamb  vs just being clumps of garlic and rosemary leaves.  And I would also recommend putting in some extra honey and cooking it down with the balsamic to make a bit of a sauce…and use that sauce when serving.  It is truly heavenly.

IMG_4833[1]

In terms of ratings I give it the following:

  • Overall: 3 knives out of 5 – losing major points for not being an actual 15 minute meal and bland pasta.
  • the lamb chops: 5 knives out of 5 – they were pretty much perfect and I would definitely make them again and again and again.

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals: Glazed Sizzling Chops with Sweet Tomato and Asparagus Lasagnetti

Equipment needed: kettle to boil water, large frying pan on high heat, casserole or Dutch oven on medium heat

Ingredients

Lamb
8 large lamb chops, trimmed of fat
olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve

Lasagnetti
4 spring onions
2 bunches of asparagus (600g)
1 fresh red chili
300g/a pint ripe cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 small bulb of garlic
300g fresh lasagne sheets
30g Parmesan cheese

Start cooking

Toss the lamb chops with a pinch of salt and put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning regularly until golden (around 8 minutes). Trim and finely slice the spring onions, asparagus (leaving the tips whole) and chili, and halve the cherry tomatoes. Scrape the veg into the casserole pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.

Roughly chop most of the top leafy half of the mint and add to the veg with a pinch of salt and pepper, then squash in 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher. Bash the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and add to the lamb with the rosemary leaves. Cut the lasagne sheets into 2cm (or 3/4 inch) thick stripes, scatter them over the veg, then cover with 500ml (2 cups) of boiling water and mix together.

Reduce the heat under the lamb to low and toss with the honey and balsamic to glaze, then remove to a plate to rest. Finely grate the Parmesan over the lasagnetti and turn the heat off. Serve with the lamb, adding an extra drizzle of balsamic and sprinkling over the remaining mint.

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Easy Peruvian Shrimp

I haven’t always loved shrimp. I remember being 15 or 16 years old, and accompanying my parents to a New Year’s Eve dinner. I decided I was going to be cool and grown up, and order myself a shrimp cocktail. BLEH! I remember hating the texture and the coldness of the shrimp. (Thanks for finishing off the rest of the shrimp cocktail, Mom!)

Fast forward over 20 years or so… palates change and shrimp is delightful!

What caught my eye for this recipe were the gorgeous photos posted on Gimme Some Oven, as well as the words “easy”, “15 mins” and “quick” just below the title 🙂

IMG_8110.JPG

Hands down, one of the easiest and tastiest shrimp recipes I’ve cooked. Amazing flavours! That’s all I have to say about that.

IMG_8114

Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

*****

Easy Peruvian Shrimp

This Easy Peruvian Shrimp recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, and it’s full of delicious bold flavors that’ll have you going back for more in no time!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on or off!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, add the white wine (or chicken or veggie stock), lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper, and whisk together until combined.  Set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink (and no longer gray).  Transfer the shrimp and garlic to a separate plate, and set aside.
  3. Return the sauté pan to the stove over medium-high heat.  Add in the white wine sauce, and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  (If you want a thicker sauce, you can let it boil down for an extra 2-3 minutes more.)  Carefully add in the shrimp, and stir until they are evenly coated with the sauce.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Penne Alla Vodka

Happy Hump Day folks!

Is it weird that it is hump day and I’m cooking a dish that Rachel Ray has called, and I quote, “You Won’t Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta.”  Jokes on you, Rachel, I have been single for awhile and no amount of pasta is gonna fix that.

IMG_4656[1]

But I digress, we are not here to speak of my dating life – we are here to speak of Ali’s recipe on Gimme Some Oven.

It’s good.  Though, I think my addition of all the things (meat, extra veg) and a bit of my impatience (I was really, really hungry and didn’t let the sauce thicken enough) sorta messed with it on the first night….but…..

The next few days, the leftovers…oh they were a thing of beauty.  The flavours became far more robust.  The sauce was a bit thicker.  It really all just came together as time wore on.  It went from a three knives to a five knives review, literally overnight.

The recipe itself is pretty darn simple, too.  If you don’t add the extra stuff…or perhaps you have already prepped stuff like sliced mushrooms and pre-cooked protein, all you have to worry about is chopping the garlic and onions/shallots.  Everything else is just opening containers and measuring.  It is truly one of those “everything’s out of the pantry” recipes and I intend to keep my pantry stocked with the items I need for this recipe.

IMG_4655[1]

an assault on the senses

I will warn you though….the cooking down of the vodka…that is not a pleasant smelling process. It was the only time this dish did not smell wonderful and was among the longest three to five minutes of my life.

Vodka smells aside, I would recommend you make the dish and do so as soon as possible.  I am definitely going to try it again, but as it was originally posted, without the add ins, just to try it in it’s purist form.

Recipe Rating: 5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Gimme Some Oven’s Penne Alla Vodka

(Vodka Cream Pasta)

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces dried penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots or half a medium red onion, peeled and finely diced (about 2/3 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup torn or julienned fresh basil leaves, divided
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Note: I sautéed about a cup of sliced mushrooms and some spinach in a bit of olive oil and cooked a pound (454 grams) of lean ground beef. Mushrooms were included with the garlic and shallot sautee section.  Spinach and meat was added during the final 5-10 minutes of that last simmer.

 

Directions:

Heat a large stockpot of generously salted water.  Once you reach “add the heavy cream stage” to this recipe (later in the directions), you should add the pasta to the salted water and cook al dente according to package instructions.  Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Cook your mushrooms if you want to add them…otherwise, add shallots (or red onion), and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and continue sauteing for 1-2 more minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Add vodka, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the sauce reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by almost half.  NOTE: this is wear you add your cooked protein.

Stir in the heavy cream and half (1/4 cup) of the basil.  (  Reduce heat to low and let the sauce continue to simmer until the pasta has cooked.

Once the pasta is ready, return it to the stockpot and pour the sauce on top.  Toss the pasta until it is evenly coated with the sauce.

Serve immediately, garnished with the extra basil and Parmesan cheese.

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Mojito Pie

Hey there folks! Happy Tuesday!

It’s been so long since I blogged…something about these last few weeks has been exhausting.  I blame immense work craziness, a weekend in Vegas, recovering from a weekend in Vegas and the general craziness that buying and furnishing your first house adds to the mix…but I digress…I’m not here to whine about how tired I am…I’m here to talk about pie.


I’m a long standing fan and maker of key lime pie.  My recipe actually comes from a Disney World cookbook I bought when I was about 15…and it is the only recipe I have ever made from the book (I may have to remedy that).  I actually quasi followed the volumes in that recipe (and I have made those adaptations below) so that it made more pie filling (not much mind you, but a smidge more).  If you do follow my measurements (vs the original), I would recommend you make two pies to avoid wasting nearly a full can of sweetened condensed milk.  Three cans easily gets you two pies and the hint of milk left in that can is great as a sweet treat to your morning coffee…be it iced or hot.

So about the pie…oh lord…it’s delicious…and even my dad..who hates booze, loves my original key lime pie, was surprised by how good this tasted, stating that he “still likes original key lime, but this is very pleasant and fresh tasting…its like key lime with a twist and it’s a good twist.”

I would agree with him in that I do like my original key lime better, but this is a truly fantastic twist.  The fact that I love mojitos probably  helps.  My coworkers, who also got to sample the pie (to celebrate Pi Day), were big fans too. In fact, friends in HR asked if we could have Pi day every month.

 

My only general complaint is the graham crust.  Long, long time ago, when I first started making key lime pies, I had a foolproof recipe for graham cracker crust that was on the back of the packaging.  Then they changed the recipe to one without sugar in it and since then, I can’t find the right ratios of crust that make for a crisp, sweet and salty graham crust that holds together but doesn’t stick to my pie plate….sadly the hunt continues, though the one included in the recipe is the best I have found to date (which I why I included it).  You can also just buy a pre-made one, but I’m a bit of a purist with my baking as you may not have figured out.

Overall, this pie is definitely a keeper. It’s crazy easy, and easy to double if friends and coworkers are extra hungry for pie.  It doesn’t even require fancy equipment – just a whisk and perhaps a muddler…that qualifies as quasi-fancy.  It’s perfect for warm spring/summer evenings as the mint gives it freshness and the rum makes it feel that much more indulgent.  Go out, get the ingredients and make yourself this cocktail inspired pie as you won’t regret it.

 


Recipe rating: 4 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Gimme Some Oven Blog’s Mojito Pie

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups finely-ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons. sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of fine grain table salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (original recipe called for just one can)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)

Toppings

  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • lime zest
  • mint leaves

Directions:

To Make The Graham Cracker Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl until evenly combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) pie plate. Bake crust on the middle oven shelf for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool.

To Make The Filling:

While the crust is baking, make your filling. Combine mint leaves and lime juice in a shaker or glass. Use a muddler (or the end of a large wooden spoon) to muddle the mint into the lime juice. Then strain out the juice and discard the mint leaves.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and egg yolks in a bowl until combined. Add the minty lime juice and rum (if using) and whisk by hand for 1 minute until combined and slightly thickened.

Pour filling into crust and bake on the middle oven shelf for 15 minutes. Transfer pie to a cooling rack, and let sit until it reaches room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until chilled and set.

Add toppings just before serving, if desired.

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Nutella Energy Bites

Now this is my kind of baking! (i.e. Not really baking!) Still trying to get my full energy levels back after dealing with the plague, so I was on the hunt for a quick and easy recipe to make this weekend.

IMG_7997.JPG

Behold, Nutella Energy Bites! And hello, who doesn’t love Nutella?

I did make a few revisions to the ingredients, just so I could use up some things I had on hand. I subbed the hazelnuts with peanuts, the ground flax seeds for ground almonds, and the chia seeds for flax seeds.

IMG_8002.JPG

A cinch to make, perfect for a a breakfast pick me up or a daytime snack!

Recipe Rating: 4 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

IMG_8009

*****

Nutella Energy Bites

These delicious no bake energy bites get an extra chocolate and hazelnut kick with some Nutella!

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until combined. Cover mixture and transfer to the refrigerator, and let cool for about 30-60 minutes. (This will slightly harden the mixture and make it easier to form into balls.)

When mixture is cool, remove and roll into balls of your desired size. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container.

Recipe copied from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/nutella-energy-bites/

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Jambalaya Soup

Hi! We know, we know. It’s been a pretty quiet month here over at Kneading + Knives, with my co-blogger Lisa away on a mini-vacay and with myself under the weather.

IMG_7864

But a couple of days before I descended through the nine gates of hell thanks to the flu, I made Gimme Some Oven’s Jambalaya Soup. And I’ll be damned… it was sinfully good!

IMG_7866

Super easy to follow, this recipe makes loads of soup (actually, I’d be inclined to call this a stew), so it’s perfect to make on a Sunday night for dinners and lunches for the week. We’re big fans of Cajun food at my place, so I was eager to break out some of my favourite spices:

IMG_7867 IMG_7868 IMG_7869.JPGMy amendments included Chorizo versus Andouille sausage (as I still haven’t found the latter in any of my local supermarkets), and a few extra cloves of garlic. I skipped the jalapeño pepper in favour of some extra hot sauce.

IMG_7876

Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

*****

Jambalaya Soup

This Jambalaya Soup recipe can be made with shrimp, chicken, Andouille sausage — or all three! It’s easy to make, and so hearty and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and diced (I used a mix of colors)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper*, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning** (add more/less to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, thinly-sliced green onions, hot sauce)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and sausage, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, bell peppers, celery, onion, jalapeño, and stir to combine.  Continue sautéing for 5-6 more minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the garlic, and sauté for 1 more minute until the garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Gradually stir in the chicken stock, then add the crushed tomatoes, rice, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves and dried thyme.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 15 more minutes — being sure to stir the soup occasionally (yes, more!) so that the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot — until the rice is cooked and tender.
  4. Stir in the shrimp and continue cooking for 5 more minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through (it should be pink and opaque, not gray).
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Then serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes if desired.

*If you’d like a spicier soup, feel free to add in a second jalapeno pepper.  Or you can always add in a pinch or two of cayenne at the end of the cooking time, when you’re seasoning the soup with salt and pepper.

**Different brands of Cajun seasoning vary dramatically in terms of flavor, spiciness and saltiness.  So if you’re cooking with one that’s new to you, I recommend starting with just 1 tablespoon of seasoning, and then adding more at the end to taste.

Recipe from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/jambalaya-soup/

Gimme Some Oven Blog: Comforting Curry Noodle Bowls

Hey Folks!

Lately I have been in desperate need of comfort food.  My work life has been a bit stressful.  Not being able to run has left me feeling really lethargic and all of the excitement and stress of setting my new to me home is starting to wear me out a bit.

So, when I saw this “comforting” bowl of curry and noodles, I HAD to make it…plus I saw that shrimp was on this and well, since I have never cooked shrimp before (yes, yes, told you I am a baker, not a cook)…I figured this would add a nice challenge.

Sadly, this challenge took FOREVER.  I bought the shelled but not de-veined shrimp…so I had to thaw them out (which meant running them under cold water, which was easy), but then had to  devein…and it was miserable…especially because they weren’t entirely defrosted, so the cold started to ruin the dexterity of my fingers just a bit…sigh.

IMG_4613[1]

Once I got going though, got my mis en place happening, things were relatively smooth for the most part.  I didn’t over cook the shrimp.  The curry paste I bought was strange.  I couldn’t find that little jar of Thai brand red curry paste, so I opted for this weird plastic tub…and it just wouldn’t melt in the broth I made, which I didn’t realize at first so I ended up adding a hint too much, making for a very powerful, though tasty broth.

IMG_4610[1]

Stuff came in a plastic bag in a plastic tub…so weird.

The whole shebang came together quite nicely, aside from the non melting curry paste and the shrimp deveining drama.  The only thing that I wish these noodle bowls had was more veggies.  I added some spinach because I had some greens on hand and wanted to use them before they went bad…and I think that if I were to make this again, I would definitely add some more veggies…some that I think could be included and delicious are: broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, diced butternut or sweet potato (which will probably require a longer cooking time), sliced zucchini,  yellow squash, peas, corn, or chickpeas. Granted, if you add these other veg, make sure they are cut up small so they cook quickly and are easy to eat.

IMG_4614[1]

All in all, I would definitely recommend this noodle bowl.  Definitely comforting, definitely carby and delicious in terms of flavour.

Recipe rating: 3.75 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Gimme Some Oven Blog:

Comforting Curry Noodle Bowls

Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp*, peeled and de-veined
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil, divided (or any mild-flavored cooking oil)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk (regular or light coconut milk)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable or seafood stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • optional: 1-2 red Thai chillies**, thinly-sliced
  • toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, thinly-sliced red onions

Directions:

Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside.  For my noodles, that meant soaking them for about 15 minutes in cold water and then I threw them into the broth at the end to cook for a few minutes

Meanwhile, lay out the raw shrimp on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season the shrimp generously on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper. I must say, make sure you get shrimp that is already deveined if you want to save time…it took me forever as quick deveining is not a skill I have in my repertoire.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are pink and opaque and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot.  Add sliced onion, bell pepper and carrot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

Add in the coconut milk, stock and ginger (and chiles, if using), and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium, and continue simmering for 5-10 more minutes.

Stir in the noodles.  Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper and curry paste to taste.  (Feel free to add a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, especially if the stock you use is not very salty.

Serve warm, topped with a few pieces of the cooked shrimp, and your desired toppings.

*Feel free to use a protein other than shrimp if you’d like, such as cooked chicken, pork, beef, or tofu.  Also, if you’d like to save time, you can cook the protein in a separate sauté pan while you begin cooking the onion, etc. in the large stockpot.

**Thai chillies are pretty spicy, so I recommend only adding these if you like heat in your food.  And I recommend starting with fewer slices, and then you can always add more if you’d like.

Spoon Fork Bacon Blog: Blood Orange Cardamom French Toast

Last recipe for February…and I’m getting it up a few days in March.  My bad folks…I’ve been equally exhausted, preoccupied, lazy and a bit germ infested. I digress though…because, well, there is deliciousness ahead.

img_44801

The beginning of that yummy French toast custard

Blood oranges are deeeeeeeeelicious.  They are like a regular orange with punch. In my pre blog days, I had made an orange flavoured French toast with some leftover challah I had made and I figured, why not try this…especially since after making Spoon Fork Bacon Blog’s: Blueberry and Cardamom Oat Cookies, I am a big fan of Cardamom.

 

The taste of the custardy French toast batter is ridiculous.  It’s just sweet and warm and that bit of orange just sends it to this lovely place…and the smell…omg…as this stuff cooks…it fills your kitchen with yummy-ness…and made me thing how good this flavour combo would be as a cinnamon roll….or I guess cardamom roll? hah!

My only complaint with this recipe…and it’s seriously minor, is the use of baguette over other types of bread like thick sliced Texas Toast or challah. Baugettes tend to have a really thick, tough and crunchy crust.  This, in my opinion is great for dipping into good olive oil and some balsamic, salt and pepper…but it’s not so good for a custardy, griddled piece of French toast.  It was hard and awkward to cut on my plate and tough to chew.  For that reason alone, I strongly suggest you do not use a baguette.

If you do opt to try a baguette, I would suggest you make the slices thinner.  It makes the crust less of an issue and there is a greater absorbency of the custard, which makes for a creamer, tastier piece of French toast.

As you can see in the picture below, I didn’t do much for presentation…I just wasn’t feeling like being fancy…though I should probably try to be better at that as a food blogger.  That being said, the dish is so good, I really don’t think presentation matters.  Oh and another great thing about this recipe, it makes a ton of custard, which will keep for a few days…I think it is def. closer to the serves 6 than serves 3 side of things….unless you have very, very hungry people at your table.  The recipe can also be easily doubled should you be hostessing a massive brunch.

Recipe Rating: 4.5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

img_44841

Spoon Fork Bacon’s:

Blood Orange and Cardamom French Toast

Serves 3 to 6

Ingredients:
6 large eggs, very well beaten
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup light brown sugar
zest and juice from 1 blood orange
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 demi sourdough baguette, sliced (on a bias) into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces (about 6 full pieces) ***Note: I would recommend some thick sliced Texas Toast or day old challah instead.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
serve with/garnishes:
blood orange zest
fresh raspberries
Pure Maple syrup

Directions:
1. In a large and shallow baking dish whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, blood orange zest, juice, vanilla, cardamom, and salt. Whisk for at least 2 minutes to ensure mixture is completely combined.
2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil.
3. Soak three slices of bread in the egg batter, flip and allow bread slices to sit in the mixture for 30 seconds.
4. Once butter has melted and skillet is hot add the soaked pieces of bread to the hot surface, 1 inch apart.
5. Pan fry each slice of French toast for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and crisp on the surface. Flip and continue to pan fry for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Transfer French toast slices to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
7. Repeat steps 2 through 5 with the remaining slices of bread.
8. Serve French toast with a drizzle of syrup, fresh raspberries and fresh blood orange zest.