Thursday, October 29, 2015


Food has a wonderful texture and finish to it when it's been cooked in a grill pan.  always make sure you cook the meat thoroughly.  You can eat this dish hot or cold.

Prep time:  45 minutes plus chilling
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves:  4

2 tsp. paprika
5 tbsp. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each about 5 1/2 oz. (150g)
14 oz (400g) baby new potatoes, cut in half, if necessary
2 scallions, finely chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp. lemon juice

large shallow dish
plastic wrap
grill pan
small sharp knife
cutting board
medium saucepan
large glass bowl

1.  Mix the paprika and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dish.  Add the chicken and spoon over the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2.  Heat a grill pan until it is very hot.  Reduce the heat to medium and place 2 chicken breasts in the pan.  Grill for 6 minutes on one side.

3.  Carefully turn the chicken over using tongs.  Spoon over a little of the marinade and then cook for 6 minutes, or until cooked through.  Grill the remaining chicken.

4.  Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, or until they are tender.

5.  Drain the pototes and let them cool in a bowl.  Add the mint.  When cool, add the tomaotes and scallions to the potatoes.

6.   Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together, using a fork.  Then pour the dressing over the salad and stir well to mix.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Serve these bite-sized fish cakes on toothpicks to make them easier to dip in the creamy lemon mayonnaise.


Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  9 minutes
Makes:  24

14 oz (400 g) fresh almon filets
14 oz (400 g) cooked potato 
2 oz (50 g) frozen peas, defrosted
5 1/2 oz (150 g) fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 eggs, beaten
sunflower oil for frying

For the lemon mayonnaise:
1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

medium saucepan or frying pan with lid
4 mixing bowls
3 metal spoons
nonstick frying pan

1.  Place the fish in the pan.  Add a little water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Let cool, then flake, removing any skin and bones.

2.  Place the potato, peas, and salmon in a bowl.  Mix gently until combined and season to taste.

3.  Mix the bread crumbs with the parsley and place on a plate.

4.  Place a heaping teaspoon of the salmon mixture in your hands, roll into a ball, then flatten.  Dip into the egg, then coat in the bread crumb mixture.

5.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the fish cakes for 203 minutes on each side until golden.

6.  Mix together the mayonnaise with the lemon zest and juice.  Transfer to a bowl.  Serve the fish cakes warm or cold on toothpicks with the dip.

Friday, October 16, 2015


It will be here before you know it.  Try these easy cookies ahead of time.  You know -- just to be sure.

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add vanilla and dry ingredients.

Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands. Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into shape. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. water

Stir until creamy

Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


These bite-sized skewers are a tasty option.  Make double quantities of the sauce and use half for dipping if you like.

Prep time:  40 minutes plus marinating
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4

12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 red and 1 yellow peppe seeded and cut into chunks

Barbecue sauce:
6 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar

small saucepan
wooden spoon
cutting board
mixing bowl
small wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
pastry brush

1.  Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Let cool.

2.  Cut each chicken thigh into 2 to 3 pieces.  Place the cooled sauce in a large bowl.  Turn the cutting board over.

3.  Add the chicken, stir to coat, then let marinate for about 30 minutes.

4.  Thread 2 to 3 pieces of chicken onto wooden skewers with pieces of red and yellow bell pepper.  Repeat until the chicken and peppers have been used up.

5.  Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil, then broil for 10-12 minutes, turning and brushing with the sauce, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Tip:  Remember to soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.

Monday, October 5, 2015


This is a fun and easy snack to make.  It also works well as an appetizer for a main meal.  The soft rice and melted mozzarella are yummy and have a great texture.

Prep time:  30 minutes
Cook time:  5 minutes
Serves:  4

1 1/4 cups cold, cooked Arborio or other risotto rice
Ground black pepper
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
2 slices toast, for bread crumbs
Olive oil, for deep frying
Salsa dip, to serve
Salad, to serve

mixing bowl
large plate
large dish
small bowl
paper towels

1.  Generously season the cold, cooked rice with black pepper.  Roll the rice into 12 evenly sized balls.

2.  Push a cube of cheese into the center of each ball, then cover so that the cheese is enclosed.

3.  Roll each ball in the egg and then roll in the bread crumbs (toast that's been turned into crumbs in a food processor).

4.  Deep fry the balls in olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Variation:  Buy a salsa dip to serve with the rice balls.  You can make this dish into a light meal by adding vegetables.  Try a fresh garden salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Take the time to actually read recipes through before you begin.
John Besh
Author of My New Orleans

Saturday, October 3, 2015


The soft and creamy filling contrasts with the light crispy layers of phyllo pastry in this mouthwatering reipe for cheese and spinach tarts.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves:  4

1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 1/2 oz (100 g) baby spinach leaves, washed
4 oz (125 g) cream cheese
1 oz (25 g) Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 medium egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 x 5 in (12.5 cm) squares phyllo pastry

pastry brush
6 hole muffin pan
cutting board
sharp knife
large mixing bowl
wooden spoon
dinner spoon
oven mitts 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F (180*C).  Use a pastry brush to apply oil to 4 muffin-pan holes.  Place the spinach on a cutting board and chop coarsely, using a sharp knife. 

2.  Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Then beat in the grated cheese and egg until well combined.  Season well, then stir in the spinach.

3.  Brush one of the pastry squares with oil.  Place another square over the top at an angle to make a star shape.  Repeat with 2 more squares of pastry, brushing each with oil.

4.  Gently press the layers of phyllo pastry into one of the holes of the muffin pan, then shape it to fit the hole.  Repeat with the remaining pastry until you have 4 tarts. 

5.  Use a soup spoon to fill each crust with the spinach mixture.  Press it down with the spoon.  Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry has browned and the filling has set.

6.  Remove the tarts from the oven and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan.  Serve hot with salad or vegetables.