Archive for March, 2012

Abbondanza Lasagna

This is another recipe I got from Phantom Gourmet, though I can no longer find it on their website.

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/2 cup flour (we probably only used about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 eggs, beaten (we were okay with 2)
  • 2 eggplants (we used 1)
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (we used about 1 cup)
  • Garlic powder, as needed
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 3/4 pound provolone cheese

1. Preheat to 400F.

2. Cut up the chicken into smaller strips. Set up three shallow pans: 1) flour mixed with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings; 2) eggs and 3) breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken pieces in flour, dip in eggs and coat in breadcrumbs. Fry them in a pan with olive oil (the recipe says to deep fry them, but we never submerge our chicken in the oil, just sort of lightly fry the pieces like you would with a chicken Parmesan). Set chicken aside on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

3. Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds (we sliced them lengthwise instead). Place them on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake until golden brown, about 20-30 min.

4. Cover the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan with a thin layer of sauce. Place some lasagna noodles on top; do not overlap (this is so that the non-boil noodles cook all the way through in the oven). Top the noodles with more pasta sauce. Top this with all of the eggplant, then cover the eggplant with some of the provolone cheese. Cover the cheese with sauce, then another layer of noodles. Top this with all of the chicken and then more of the cheese. Top with another layer of noodles and finish off with sauce and cheese.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 min.

Verdict: This recipe took a long time to make, but was totally worth it. I love all of the mix of tastes all together. I even loved the provolone cheese in this recipe, when I didn’t think I was a fan of it before. My sister didn’t even mind the eggplant in it. The only small complaint I had was with the no-boil noodles, which I found weren’t completely cooked, especially the top ones. Next time, I think I will use noodles you have to boil first, regardless of the added time.

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Toad in the Hole Bake

I am not really sure where I originally found this recipe.

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled.

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Cut a hole in the centre of 4 slices of bread, using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Set these bread slices aside.

3. Spread butter on one side of the non-cut slices of bread. (I didn’t do this. I just omitted the butter completely.) Place, butter side down, in a 13×9 inch baking dish.

4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the 4 slices of bread. Top with cut-out bread slices. Break an egg in the centre of each cut-out bread slice.

5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.

6. Bake for 15-20 min, until cheese has melted and egg has set.

Verdict: I kind of had the same problem with this recipe as I did with the Baked Egg with Potato, Bacon and Tomato recipe I tried: I am not fond of a non-runny egg. I eat eggs for the runny yolk, so this just didn’t work for me.

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Butter Tarts

I got this recipe from the 24 Newspaper given out at the Metro stations.

I originally made this recipe a while ago and, as I am going through some of my recipes a second time, decided to try them again to compare them to the awesome sugar tarts I made recently.

  • One pie crust dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Cut the pie crust up to form bases to put into 13 muffin cups. Prick bottom with a fork.

3.  Pour boiling water over raisins and let sit for 10 min. Drain.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the raisins and mix well.

5. Spoon mixture evenly into the crusts.

6. Bake 12-15 min.

I have no excuse for how ugly these are.

Verdict: I am really bad at preparing nice looking crusts, though that is a poor excuse for how ugly these look. I think for mini-tarts like this I am sticking to store bought ones. Though I like these, they are a little too sweet for me. I have to see, that the sugar tarts were probably the better tarts. I think I just might add raisins to them next time I make them to see if I can get a nice tasting raisin tart.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 36: Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare baking sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt (if using) and baking soda.

3. Mash bananas in a small bowl.

4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in bananas. Mix in flour mixture.

5. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.

6. Drop by spoonful on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 min.

Verdict: I liked these cookies. I though the sweetness of the coconut matched the banana quite nicely. They were also very moist. My only small complaint is that the cookie tasted more like a banana cookie than a chocolate chip cookie. We made 6 dozen small-ish cookies.

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Ultimate Popover

I found this on Phantom Gourmet’s website (a show about restaurants in Boston and the surrounding areas). Though now I can’t seem to find the recipe section on their website. There were many different versions of the popover on the site. The one I chose to make was the Asiago Bacon Popover.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Asiago cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 475F.

2. Butter popover pans.

3. Sift together flour and salt. Beat in the eggs and milk. Add the oil.

4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared cups. Sprinkle each with cheese and bacon. Cover with remaining cheese.

5. Bake for 30 min (mine took about 20-25).

Verdict: Makes 6 popovers. I wouldn’t describe too many of the things I make as disgusting. Even the recipes that have failed in the past have been somewhat tolerable (though there have been some awful exceptions). I found this dish just disgusting. I couldn’t even eat one. There was just something really off about the taste. The cheese didn’t work with the batter, at all.

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Beef and Potato Hand Pies

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website’s daily e-mails.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used garlic powder to taste)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Flour for dusting
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, 5 min. Add garlic and cook 30 more seconds.

3. Add beef and cook until browned. Stir in paprika, raisins and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry sheets to smooth creases. Cut each sheet into 4 squares. Place 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in the centre of each square. Brush edges lightly with water and press to seal. (Sprinkle with more paprika if desired. I actually missed this part when I made them, because I was having so much trouble trying to get mine into nice triangles.) Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets and bake until golden and puffed, 20 to 25 min.

Verdict: I really liked the meat mixture. The taste of the beef, potatoes and raisins really worked well together, with the raisins giving the dish an unexpectedly pleasant sweetness to it. I didn’t like the puff pastry – just too flaky for me. I am considering making it with a pizza dough as a kind of calzone the next time round.

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Guinness Beef Stew

I got this recipe from the 24 newspaper.

  • 225g beef cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes (the original recipe said lard, but I won’t cook with that)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove (we used garlic powder to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries (we didn’t use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (we added potatoes and carrots, because it’s not a beef stew with them!)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Brown beef in the butter and oil.

2. Add flour and stir the beef. Add Guinness, mustard, garlic, juniper berries (if using), thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper (and vegetables, if adding).

3. Cover and bake at 300F for 2 hours. (We let ours cook almost 4.) Add brown sugar and bake 3-4 more min.

Verdict: Of the three beef stew recipes I tried recently, this was my least favourite. My sister thought it had a syrup-y taste. but I agree with my mom that it was a little bitter.

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