Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pan Seared Striploin in Yorkshire Puddings with Bearnaise Sauce and Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad

With another New Year's Eve fast upon us, I wanted to created a memorable dinner suitable for the kitchen witch in all of us.

With that in mind, I'm pleased to present New Year's Eve dinner 2013!

Pan seared striploin steak rosettes in crispy Yorkshire puddings with Bearnaise Sauce accompanied by a sweet and savoury Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad.

















Visit the printable recipes here:
 To learn how to put this beautiful meal together, please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.








***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Win a Keurig Coffee Maker and Vote for Me!

Ho Ho HOLY Smokes!!!

Your favourite Kitchen Witch is full.

Full of good memories, good thoughts, and good wishes to one and all for a wonderful New Year ahead!

It should also be mentioned that I'm full of turkey (but don't tell anyone).

I slept late, rolled out of bed, and made myself the ULTIMATE turkey sandwich which for me is comprised of: fresh bun, mayo, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey, and black pepper - Oh MY!!

Other than that, today is going to be spent low key - I'm staying in my pj's and reading a book.

Stay tuned, though,  for some great new recipes and stories later in the week!

Until then, if you have a minute - would you mind popping over to this link at ifood tv and voting for one of my recipes in their annual Christmas contest? My Steak Crisps, Holiday Tapenade, Caramel, and Truffle Salt videos are all being featured. Vote for me and win a chance at a Keurig Coffee Maker!!

Happy Holidays and see you in a day or two!

xoxo

Lyndsay ~The Kitchen Witch

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cranberry Brie Bundles (can be pre-frozen)

These wonderfully easy to make little bundles of sweet, creamy deliciousness are the perfect appetizer.

Better still, they can be made ahead of time and frozen!

I take an hour to make these up over the holidays and keep a batch at the ready to serve as an appetizer before our Christmas turkey.

Trust me when I tell you, there are never any leftovers!

Visit the printable recipe here:  Cranberry Brie Bundles


Learn how to make them with my easy to follow step by step video.




Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 24

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups butter, melted
  • 1 package (16 ounces, 18-inches x 14-inches sheet size) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups cranberry jelly
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cubed
Directions
  1.  Take an individual phyllo sheet and brush it generously with melted butter (Keep remaining phyllo covered with waxed paper to avoid drying out.)
  2. Cut widthwise into 4 strips. Cut lengthwise to make four squares. Stack one on top of the other and then place buttered side down into a mini muffin pan. Continue to do this until 24 mini muffin tins are filled.
  3. Add a tsp of cranberry jelly to each and a cube of brie.
  4. Fold over (like the picture) to form a bundle and brush with more melted butter. 
  5. You can freeze these on the tray at this point and then, once frozen, remove to a freezer bag.
  6. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes if defrosted, or 20 minutes if frozen or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 24




***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

No Bake Peanutbutter Chocolate Bars

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Are you like me, enjoying time in the kitchen this time of year?

We're having a lovely holiday in my little corner of the world and this year marks a special occasion as my *now* adult son (where does the time go?) is home for the holidays and is going to help me cook Christmas dinner!

I'm certain moms far and wide get why this is such a big deal for me as it's only three years since the dreaded teenage years and I'm still in withdrawal.

I was also thrilled to learn that one of his friends from the good old days still loves my baking and was hoping I'd put together a tin of goodies for him with his favourite Kitchen Witch concoction: No Bake Cornflake Bars.



These are so amazingly delicious - almost like a Crispy Crunch bar only better!

Please enjoy the step by step  video... recipe to follow!



No Bake Cornflake Bars
Visit here for the printable recipe
Ingredients 
  • 3 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1 cup smoothy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 tbsp evaporated milk
Directions:
  1. Heat peanut butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over low heat to melt. Stir in crushed cornflakes 1 cup at a time.
  2. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and spread over the top of the square. Melt the butterscotch chips with the evaporated milk and drizzle over the chocolate. 
  4. Variation: Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together, spread onto the square, and top while still warm with nuts, or a mixture of pretzel sticks and peanuts for a sweet and salty treat.



***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butterscotch Apple Cinnamon Crescents

I love to fill my home with the wonderful smells of the season - like cinnamon, butterscotch, and apples on Christmas morning. A warm fire blazing, Christmas music playing, and these beautiful Crescent Rolls coming hot out of the oven.
















What a way to start my favourite day of the year!

Visit the printable recipe here: Butterscotch Apple Cinnamon Crescents
Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 8

Ingredients
  •  1 tin Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 3 diced granny smith apples
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
Directions
  1. Saute the diced apples in the butter in a skillet over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until the apples are beginning to soften.
  2. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until well blended.
  3. Add the butterscotch chips and stir just until they beginning to melt. Remove to a medium bowl and continue to stir until the chips and butter make a smooth butterscotch sauce. 
  4. Drop by the tablespoon onto the wide end of 8 crescents and roll.
  5. Brush with remaining apples and butterscotch and top with toasted almonds. 
  6. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-12 minutes until puffy and golden. 
  7. Serve warm.




***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crispy Potato and Salmon Latkes

As the holiday season approaches I like to cook a few special dishes to recognize Hanukkah.

This because I grew up with many Jewish friends and always enjoyed the delicious recipes this time of year brings.

One of my faovurite dishes has always been latkes, and with a Kitchen Witch twist to honour both the potato and a traditional food of the Coast Salish First Nation here on Vancouver Island, I've come up with an incredible recipe for crispy salmon latkes with homemade apple sauce!

















These easy to make crispy and flavourful potato pancakes can be served as an entree or made as dollar sized miniatures for cocktail time.

Click here for the printable recipe

Latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 salmon filet
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a fresh lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 2 tbsp Chive and Onion Philadelphia Cream Cheese   
  • 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying
Directions
  1. Brush the salmon filet with the olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.
  3. Broil about 2-3 minutes per side just until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily. 
  4. Flake and mix it in a medium bowl with 2 tbsp chive and onion cream cheese.
  5. Place the potatoes in a large t-towel and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
  6. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, salmon and cream cheese, eggs, flour and salt together.
  7. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil 1 Tbsp at a time (one tbsp per 2 batches) until hot. Place spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form thin patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. 
  8. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.
Click here for my all time favourite recipe for homemade apple sauce!



***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Make Ahead Eggs Benedict Toast Cups for Christmas Breakfast

My favourite day of the year has to be Christmas, and from the time I get out of bed in the morning until the last of the dishes have been put away, I like to have things on hand to make the day as special as possible for my family and as stress free as possible for me!

Growing up, we had a family tradition of eggs benedict with champagne and orange juice for Christmas breakfast - but I find there is so much going on the morning of the big day, I don't want to miss a second of it fussing over hollandaise sauce or poached eggs.

That's where today's recipe comes in!

I wanted to come up with something that would closely mimic the flavours of eggs benedict that I could not only make ahead, but would also freeze well and, friends, all I can say is - they don't call me The Kitchen Witch for nothing!
















In fact, I'm going to go on a limb by saying I actually like this version better than the original because the crispiness of the English muffin cups is sensational in contrast with the fluffy eggs and creamy hollandaise topping.


















To learn how to make these yourself as well as how to put together a magical Christmas breakfast that includes Cranberry Orange Champagne Punch and a fresh fruit cocktail topped with honeyed Greek yogurt and toasted almonds, please enjoy this week's video.

All of the printable recipes can be found here:

Make Ahead Eggs Benedict
Fruit Salad with Honeyed Yogurt
Cranberry Orange Champagne Punch




Eggs Benedict Toast Cups

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 24 toast cups

Ingredients
  • 12 English muffins
  • 12 round slices back bacon (Canadian bacon)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • Your favourite Hollandaise Sauce (I like to use my recipe for mock hollandaise featured on the Real Women of Philadelphia Canada website: Mock Hollandaise Sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 large eggs
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Prepare a non stick 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. 
  3. Split English muffins in half and roll each half thin with a rolling pin. Place each thinly rolled half into the prepared muffin tin until all 12 cups are filled and bake for 10 minutes,
  4. Prepare the hollandaise sauce. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature. 
  5. Sprinkle the back bacon with pepper and fry in extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat until it begins to brown slightly (about 1 minute per side) Cut each back bacon round into quarters and place in the toast cups (as per the video)
  6. Whisk the six eggs and then add 1/2 cup of the cooled hollandaise sauce and continue to whisk until smooth.
  7. Gently scramble over medium high heat in a non stick pan coated with cooking spray until beginning to go fluffy and just barely cooked. Remove from heat. 
  8. Spoon an equal amount of egg into each toast cup over the ham and then spoon the remaining hollandaise sauce over all. Let cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to bake. If freezing, place on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen through and solid. Remove to freezer bags. These will keep up to 2 months.
  9. Bake from the refrigerator in a 375 oven for 8-12 minutes until bubbly and golden, or for a less crispy cup, microwave on high for one minute.
  10. If baking from frozen, bake in a 375 oven for 17-20 minutes until bubbly and warmed through.


***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Next Iron Chef Redmption Episode 4 - Transformation

After last week's surprising elimination of Chef Eric Greenspan, I was nervous on behalf of the challengers because - as Elizabeth Faulkner stated early in the episode - "Everybody wants to win and its going to get more and more intense."

And what could be more intense than tonight's Chairman's Challenge featuring a cornucopia of canned food like pate, spiced ham, Vienna sausages, corned beef, salmon, and my personal favorite - mystery cans.

Chef Boyardee anyone?

To this day I'm filled with terror  over what was in the ravioli.

But with the theme this week being transformation, our chefs were challenged to make magic with their canned  goods and turn them into something amazing.

In school yard fashion, the chefs were called upon to select their can of choice and because she was last week's winner, Amanda Freitag had the advantage of selecting last where she could either keep her final can or steal from someone else.

In the end, here's what everyone picked:
  •  Marcel Vigneron: Clams
  • Jehangir Mehta: "May I please have the the question mark (can) in the center?"
  • Spike Mendelsohn: Vienna Sausage
  • Alex Guarnaschelli: Spiced ham
  • Elizabeth Faulkner: "Mystery door number second to last (can)."
  • Nate Appleman: "Rolling the dice" - he picked the last can with a question mark on it.
  • Amanda Freitag: In a surprise move, Chef Freitag decided not to steal, and instead, picked the corned beef (I know!) and the challenge was on.
But first, I would be remiss if I didn't reveal the contents of the mystery cans.












Nate Appleman got a tin of tuna, , Jehangir Mehta, tinned chicken, and Elizabeth Faulkner tinned roast beef - which begs the question ... what does roast beef taste like from a can?

Chef Boyardee - want to weigh in?

Transformation, however, is about just that - taking unexpected ingredients and recreating them as something new and, in that sense, we had the best possible people lined up for the job!

Here's what they made:
  • Marcel Vigneron: Acqua Pazza with Clam Cakes
  • Jehangir Mehta: Chicken Pakora with Green Curry
  • Spike Mendelsohn: Vietnamese Crepes
  • Alex Guarnaschelli: Sugar Snap Pea and Herb Ravioli with Basil Puree
  • Elizabeth Faulkner:  Roast Beef with Bordelaise Sauce and Cheesy Truffle Gougeres
  • Nate Appleman: Gnocchi with Tuna Puttanesca, Tuna Pesto, and Frozen Tuna
  • Amanda Freitag: An Homage to Corned beef
In the heat of battle there was the odd mishap like Chef Freitag's challenge with the corned beef tin (girlfriend, I have been there and done that), and Chef Faulkner ruminating over a supposed alliance between Spike and Marcel; other than that, however, the cooking went smoothly.

In the judging Chef Vigneron's offerings received low votes from the judges along  with Chef  Mendelsohn and Chef Appleman - but only one would be declared this evening's winner: Chef Faulkner, along with the top 2 and 3 Chef Amanda Freitag and Chef Jehangir Mehta.

Nate Appleman and Alex Guarnaschelli were in the middle which left good friends Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron to battle it out in the secret ingredient showdown where they would have 30 minutes to create a tasty offering featuring lobster.

As would be expected, both chefs were overjoyed to see these flavorful crustaceans and as the cooking got underway, Marcel came up with the bright idea to present their dishes together as one plate - a decision that certainly didn't go over very well with the judges.

In the end, and despite being decidedly pissed, the judges decided Marcel's offering was enough to see see him move on and Spike Mendelsohn was sent home.

As for me, the last time I transformed an ingredient from a can, it was with my tuna casserole. 

There's canned tuna in this one but everything else is made from scratch. I hope you enjoy!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Zesty Ham and Broccoli Casserole

Today's casserole is the result of Vaughan and I doing renovations over the weekend. We installed laminate flooring - a project we've been wanting to do for awhile - but, of course, while the house was upside down, dinner prep was a challenge!

We did the prerequisite pizza Saturday, but on Sunday I was left to face the pantry. Surprisingly, the casserole I put together  was so damned delicious I immediately deemed it Kitchen Witch worthy and, as such, you're seeing it here!

You could easily sub ground beef or chicken for the ham and swap out the veggies - but, truth be told, in the immortal words of Billy Joel, Zesty Ham and Broccoli Casserole, I love you just the way you are!

Zesty Ham and Broccoli Casserole
For printable recipe click here.
















Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 2 cups broccoli florets cooked until al dente
  • 1/4 cup Cheeze Whiz
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 4 shakes hot sauce
  • 2 ripe, sliced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated cheddar, or 4 Kraft singles slices
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. Saute the onion, hash brown potatoes, and olive oil over medium high heat in a large non stick pan until the hash browns are crispy and golden and the onions are beginning to caramelize.
  3. Remove to a large bowl and stir in the ham and broccoli.
  4. In a medium bowl mix together the cheeze whiz, sour cream, taco seasoning, hot sauce, and warm milk and stir to make a cream sauce. Add the beaten egg and stir until smooth.
  5. Pour the cream sauce over the potato mixture and stir until everything is incorporated. 
  6. Spoon the mixture into a prepared square cake pan. Cover with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. 


***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube
 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Next Iron Chef Redemption, Episode 3, "I Am Anything but Flat"

Tonight's episode of Iron Chef had our competitors working with acclaimed food photographer Todd Selby to create photogenic representations of who each of them is in the world of food and I was immediately struck by the way the male chefs were given life on film as compared to the women who came across as happy, smiling entities and not the ferocious kitchen ninjas we know them to be.












However, in an apparent attempt to weaken part of this year's "Team Girl Power" last week's winner - the nefarious Jehangir Mehta - paired Elizabeth Faulkner and Amanda Freitag to battle in this week's Chairman's Challenge. Their task: to recreate one another in one perfect bite that would showcase simplicity.

The other pairings were:
  • Jehangir Mehta vs. Spike Mendelsohn
  • Alex Guarnaschelli vs. Marcel Vigneron 
  • Nate Appleman vs. Eric Greenspan
As the cooking got underway, I had flashbacks of Top Chef Seasons Past as oft embattled Marcel Vigneron had to muscle down at the refrigerator and fend off a Stanley Cup worthy body check from Nate Appleman.

But though our plucky foam aficionado emerged VICTORIOUS with a final fistful of truffles, he made no lasting friendships with Nate Appleman who asked to borrow some of the plunder and was denied.














"When a man's got truffles in his pocket he begins to appreciate peace."

Meanwhile, the battle waged on and the chefs came up with another round of memorable dishes. The ones that came out on top were: Spike's unusual homage to Jehangir Mehta with a bacon wrapped prawn (note to Spike, for the love of Allah man, do your homework the next time you plan to serve bacon), Alex's cheesy, unctuous, caramel drizzled rendition of Marcel on a plate, and this evening's winning bite - a toothsome forkful of home made pasta featuring anchovy sauce in all of its misunderstood glory created by Chef Freitag in homage of chef Faulkner.

This left four of our chefs (Eric Greenspan, Elizabeth Faulkner, Jehangir Mehta, and Marcel Vigneron) battling it out in the mystery ingredient challenge featuring Rice Krispy and Raisin Bran Cereals and it was truly a revelation to see them all work their magic.

In the end, though, Elizabeth Faulkner was advised by Judge Simon Majumdar to battle in the mystery ingredient challenge every week because her last two offerings have been nothing short of genius, and sadly, Chef Greenspan was selected to go.

For the record, I think he was let go way before his time.

Oh well, such is the world of cooking competitions...

As always, I try to compete along with the show as a home cook and have decided to share my rendition of "the perfect bite" - this one is an homage to Chef Greenspan - I hope you enjoy!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Witch's Korean Feast Featuring Jackie Koh's Smokey Meatballs

As you'll recall, I wrote a few weeks ago about episode 4 of this season's Recipe to Riches, featuring  Jackie Koh, and her now infamous meatballs! As a happy conclusion, I've had the opportunity to get to know Jackie a little better and not only do I like her very much, I was intrigued by the flavour profiles in her winning dish.

Being that I'm not really one for processed foods though, (I know, that makes me an H for Hypocrite for competing on the same show), I decided to try her original recipe and to build an entire Korean feast around it.
















Although none of these are my own recipes, I wanted to share with friends and readers here because it was so much fun experimenting with the food, flavours, and ingredients from another culture.

The recipe links are here:

Jackie's meatball recipe link: http://bit.ly/Tq2hQo
Korean stir fried noodle (Chapchae): http://bit.ly/eafbMH
Korean Fried Zucchini (Hobak Jun): http://bit.ly/qWLptb

Please enjoy today's video!


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Creamy Broccoli and Prawn Rice Casserole

There's something about this time of year that makes me crave a comforting, flavour filled, super easy to put together, creamy casserole and today's original recipe fits every bill - and then some!

Today's recipe features pantry cooking at it's best - so keep your pantries, fridge, and freezer stocked with Cream of Mushroom Soup, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, frozen prawns, rice, broccoli, and cheddar and you too will be putting together pantrylicious recipes in no time!

Until then, I hope you enjoy today's featured recipe!

Creamy Broccoli and Prawn Rice Casserole
Visit here for the printable recipe
















Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2-3 cups frozen prawns, peeled, de-veined
  • Saute mixture for prawns: 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup Chive and Onion cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, thyme
  • 1 cup old cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Cook the rice in 2 cups of water until fluffy
  2. Par boil the broccoli just until tender
  3. Saute the prawns in a non stick pan in extra virgin olive oil until the prawns are pink and cooked through, Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh lemon
  4. Mix the cream cheese, milk, sherry, and thyme, salt and pepper together in the hot milk and stir until smooth
  5. Prepare a 9x13 casserole/sheet pan with cooking spray
  6. Place the rice in the bottom, then the broccoli, half the cheddar cheese, the prawns, and pour the cream sauce over all.
  7. Bake covered in a 350 oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes until bubbly and golden
  9. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing
  10. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar



***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Next Iron Chef, Redemption, Episode 2 - "If you can't be innovative, you can't be an Iron Chef"

As evidenced last week, we're in for quite a treat with this season of Next Iron Chef, aptly named "Redemption," in which chefs who crashed and burned in other seasons have been given a chance to come back and show food nerds like ourselves their greatness.


















In tonight's episode the tensions were high as last week's winner Alex Guarnaschelli was given the task of dividing the remaining chefs into three teams of three who would be going head to head in the Chairman's Challenge where this time they would be required to cook global

This came as a surprise to our crew of food super heroes because the challenge began at  Nickel Diner in downtown LA where the chefs thought they would be given the opportunity to work their collective magic on traditional diner food.

But with the theme being global, donuts, bacon, and American cheese were thrown out the window in favor of tacos, falafels, and banh mi sandwiches.

In light of that, Alex had the difficult job of picking the teams and I thought she chose wisely, pitting chefs with less experience with particular types of cuisine against one another and placing herself against Spike and Duskie in the taco category for what looked like an easier win for Alex based on the street cred and experience of the group as a whole.

The teams were as follows:

Spike Mendelsohn, Duskie Estes, and Alex on tacos, Amanda Freitag, Jehangir Mehta, and Marcel Vigneron on falafel and  Elizabeth Faulkner, Nate Appleman, and Eric Greenspan on the Banh mi.

As an aside, Greenspan of redemption grasshopper fritter fame, called out his competitors as "The Banh Mi group of death," and I don't blame him. In head to head competition this early in the season Appleman and Faulkner would not be my first choice of chefs to compete against!

As another aside, Spike was channeling his inner  Ninja Warrior as he looked into the camera and said: "It was a bad pick picking me to be on her team, because since my show down, I'm in the zone right now."

Spike, Spike, Spike... you are up against my girl Alex G - in other words, Godspeed, and may your knives be blessed.

***

The dye was cast (to steal a line from host Alton Brown) and the chefs were given 60 minutes to create innovative versions of their assigned dishes. Nate Appleman put together a banh mi fo, Chef Faulkner attempted a banh mi ravioli (but got tripped up cooking her pork), and Chef Greenspan, who said "If you can't be innovative you can't be an Iron Chef," came up with an amazing banh mi panzanella.

The innovations were every bit as amazing for the other two teams and when the time of judgement came, Chef Mehta's take on falafel won. Greenspan's panzanella and Alex's taco also received high marks while Chef Freitag, Chef Duskie, and Chef Faulkner - who was none too happy with comments from the judges - were left to compete in the secret ingredient show down which featured white bread.

While all three chefs came up with incredible offerings for the secret ingredient challenge, Chef Faulkner blew me - and the judges - away with her amazing menu which included a french toast ice cream.

Not only was hers the winning dish, she was told it was in the top five of best dishes ever created in the history of Iron Chef!

Week 2 - girl power, going strong!!

In the end, it was a close decision, but Duskie who won the internet challenge and made a ravioli to remember, was asked to go home.

***

As a non chef I like to play along with these challenges, and elevating myself to "Iron Home Cook" - here's an innovative (and incredibly delicious) recipe I've come up with using white bread.

I hope you enjoy!

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