Sunday, March 24, 2013

Simple Cream Sauce (without the cream!!)

I've been eating some quick recipes out of my repertoire these days or out of my freeze with my homemade leftovers as we work our way through Emily's chemo (see her blog, Her Lovely Lady Lumps )  At the moment she's doing great so I shook my pots and pans and made a little brunch. 

This is a simplified version of sauce I've made before.  It goes best on poached eggs, veggies or chicken.

Cream Sauce without the Cream. 
Serves 2

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped chives

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Microwave for 30 minutes, whisk, repeat until the butter is melted and the sauce is warm

That's it.  I use the chive butter that I have in my freezer.  I have large patches of chives in my garden so I make lots of chive butter to have during the winter months.  It's also way easier to grab as I'm cooking then to run out to the yard in the middle of food prep!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Special Day Crepes

This past weekend I made a special meal to honour Valentine's day and got reminded how wonderful crepes are.  They are so easy to make and remind me of winters in France or Switzerland.  Not that I've spent winters in France or Switzerland, although I have spent time in Quebec and in Moncton which has a great french vibe... and an awesome crepe restaurant Cafe Archibald! 

You can make a bit batch of crepes, freeze them and then pull them out to stuff whatever you feel like for a quick but elegant meal. 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup water (add less first, you can always add more)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • more butter for coating the pan

  1. Blend it all in the blender! It makes it so easy, you can pour the batter right out from the blender into the pan.  The batter should be thinner than pancake batter.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat.
  3. Melt a little butter, about 1/4 tsp in the pan.
  4. Pour enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  Don't worry, as Julia Child used to say 'when making crepes you throw the first one out' because that's your time to get the batter right and get used to handling the pan.
  5. Swirl the pan to move the batter to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. If you need to add more water to the batter feel free. The batter should move pretty easily over the bottom of the pan before it cooks. 
  7. Continue until you use all the batter, piling them up on a plate in the oven if you are going to use them right away to keep them warm or spread them out a bit on a cutting board if you are going to store them for later.

It might take a couple of tries but once you get your crepe making groove on it'll be easy peasy lemon squeezie!
Ready for the freezer for another meal later!  I only got 7 crepes out of this batch but usually I get 10 or more.  It depends on how big your pan is.  I used my largest pan and then remembered I usually use my smaller one.

I made a little sauce to pour over our filling.  It was soo good and sooo simple.  And there's leftovers of the sauce too.  I'm thinking spinach and shrimp crepes later.

Havarti Cheese Sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese, Gruyere or Emmenthal would work too
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives (I have butter mixed with chives frozen in a log in my freezer, I just cut off a piece to finish off the sauce.  ps. the chives came from my garden!)

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat
  2. Add the flour and whisk, heat until just starting to turn brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  3. Slowly pour in the wine then the chicken broth, whisking continually. 
  4. Blend until heated and bubbly. 
  5. Add the cheese a bit at a time, whisk until melted, continue until you've got all the cheese in.
  6. Whisk and let bubble for a minute.
  7. Add in the cream, butter and chives, whisk until blended and heated through. 

I served this with some ham and asparagus.  They were so decadent!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Simple Sides

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I shared a recipe. Funny I haven't stopped cooking... I just made the Moroccan Chicken, Turnip and Carrot Tagine right off this very blog.  Mom actually picked up her plate and drank the remaining sauce.  It wasn't pretty but did prove how tasty this did was.  This reminded me of a dish Mom raved about over the holidays that I really must share.  Over the holidays we went to cottage in the woods, on a lake.  It was gorgeous and I wanted to spend my time relaxing, hanging with the dogs and not in the kitchen so I made simple dishes.  I cooked a ham, a pork tenderloin, roasted a prime rib, steamed some mussels but the sides, oh the sides did sing.  And I made them ahead!  Easy peasy.  This first one freezes beautifully.  It's a real treat to have veggie sides ready to go.  So here goes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
Makes 8 - 10 pancakes

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 lb sweet potaotes, peeled and shredded
  • 3 tbsp veg oil

  1. Mix everything from flour to the salt and pepper. 
  2. Stir in the eggs and enough of the milk to make it moist, toss in the sweet potatoes and add more milk if necessary to make a nice stiff batter.  Don't worry, you really can't screw it up. 
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high until hot.
  4. Drop 1/4 cup of the sweet potato mix and flatten with a spatula.  Repeat until the pan is full but NOT crowded.
  5. Cook 5 - 8 minutes until golden, flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Place cooked pancakes on a paper towel lined plate and cook the rest of the mixture. 
  7. Serve with yogurt or
  8. Cool completely before freezing.
  9. Reheat by placing on a single layer on a baking sheet in a preheated 325F oven for 10 minutes or until hot through.

**If you wish to bake these you can.  Do it on parchement paper and at 425 for 10 minutes, flip and cook another 5 - 10 minutes. 

Here's another make ahead that actually does freeze well.  I like to reheat it in the oven.

Mustard Tatties
Serves, well that depends on how many tatties you peel...

  • 2 potatoes per person plus 1 extra for the pot (seriously, this is how I learned to plan enough mashed potatoes)
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Sugar.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Peel the potatoes and place in a pot.  Fill with an inch of water.  You want to steam the potatoes more than boil them.  You can use a steamer if you like.
  2. Cook the potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork.
  3. Drain the potatoes and let cool a bit, about 10 minutes
  4. Mash the potatoes
  5. Add equal parts mustard and mayo to start.  I usually start with 1//4 cup of each if I'm making potatoes for 2.  Taste.  Add more mustard and/or mustard as you like.  Add a tsp or 2 of sugar to balance the mustard.  Taste.  Add salt and pepper if necessary.  Taste.  Are you getting my point?  It's all about your taste. 
  6. Once you've got it to your liking you can serve it warm or cold (Newfoundlanders have this as part of a "Cold Plate" for all sort of functions all year long!)
  7. You can also freeze this but if you do you really have to serve it warm after the it's defrosted.  Just heat it in a baking dish at 325F for about 30 minutes until heated through.  It's quite nice.