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Tuesday
Mar212017

Mini Meatloaf a Mighty Tasty Treat

These mini meatloves are best eaten cold, either dunked in mayo, ketchup, brown sauce or mustard, or sliced up and made into sandwiches with the whole fandango of sauces. I sometimes add lingonberry sauce to the mix too. Throw in a gherkin and some pickles and this is lunch nirvana. Don't forget the napkins though.

INGREDIENTS

Makes: 12

  • 1 pound sausagemeat
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • ⅓ cup steak sauce (such as A1 sauce)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or ½ teaspoon table salt)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing really well with your hands or a fork.
  3. Divide the mixture into 12 balls, and then shape them into mini loaves.
  4. Sit the mini meatloaves on a lined baking sheet with space between each and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. You could eat them hot, but best let them cool and keep in the fridge to slice and eat in sandwiches, or to dip in mayo.
Tuesday
Nov222016

The Perfect Brine Means the Best Turkey Ever (and starting the bird breast-side down is a big deal)

Editor's Note: I tried this a couple of years ago and it resulted in the most amazing turkey ever. Even the leftovers had far more flavor. It's a little time consuming, but not very difficult. Cooking the turkey breast-side down for most of the time is important, so do not overlook this instruction.

Ingredients

 

For the turkey:

  • 10 pints 11 fluid ounces (6 liters) water
  • 4 1/4-ounces (125 grams) table salt
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons white mustard seeds
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) caster sugar
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, cut into 6 slices
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons clear honey
  • Handful fresh parsley leaves, optional (only if you've got some parsley hanging around)
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 (9 to 11 1/4-pound) (4 to 5-kg) turkey

For the basting glaze:

  • 2 3/4 ounces (75 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

For the turkey:

Directions

Place the water into your largest cooking pot or bucket/plastic bin and add all the turkey ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar, syrup and honey. (Squeeze the juice of the orange quarters into the brine before you chuck in the pieces.)

Untie and remove any string or trussing attached to the turkey, shake it free and add it to the liquid. Add more water if the turkey is not completely submerged. Keep the mixture in a cold place, at or below 40 degrees, even outside overnight or for up 1 or 2 days before you cook it, remembering to take it out of its liquid (and wiping it dry with kitchen-towel) a good 40 or 50 minutes before it has to go into the oven. Turkeys - indeed this is the case for all meat - should be at room temperature before being put in the preheated oven. If you're at all concerned - the cold water in the brine will really chill this bird - then just cook the turkey for longer than its actual weight requires.

For the basting glaze:

Place the butter and syrup into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, while stirring, until the ingredients have melted and combined. 

Brush the turkey with the glaze before roasting, and baste periodically throughout the roasting time.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the turkey, breast-side down, in the pan.

Cook the turkey for 30 minutes at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and continue cooking, turning the turkey breast-side up and the oven back up to 425 degrees F for the final 15 minutes or so if you want to give a browning boost to the skin. For a 9 to 11-pound turkey, allow 2 1/2 to 3-hours in total. But remember that ovens vary enormously, so just check by piercing the flesh between leg and body with a small sharp knife: when the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked.

Just as it's crucial to let the turkey come to room temperature before it goes in to the oven, so it's important to let it stand out of the oven for a good 20 minutes before you actually carve it.

Tuesday
Sep132016

Crunchy Chicken in a Hot, Sweet and Sour Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Serves: 3

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 chicken breasts (sliced)
  • 1 knob of ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 broccoli (chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 red chile (chopped)
  • 1 bunch scallion (chopped)
  • 2 limes (juiced)

 

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying. Mix the salt and pepper with the cornstarch and toss the chicken strips in the cornstarch until completely coated. When the oil is hot, tip the chicken in and fry until golden brown and crispy. You may need to do this in two batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the pan and place in a bowl lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess fat.

  2. There should still be left some oil in the pan at this point. You need about 1 tbsp, so carefully discard some if you have more than that. Take the pan off the heat and add in the ginger and garlic (the garlic will burn if you have it on the heat), give it a stir for 30 seconds and then add the broccoli and chopped chilli to the pan.

  3. Straight away, mix the lime juice, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl, then pour onto the broccoli in the pan. Turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to reduce a little and the broccoli cooks through. Add the chicken back in, give it a stir and heat through for 1 minute, then add half the scallions. Give it a quick stir and then serve with boiled rice. Garnish with the rest of the scallions and more chopped chillies.

Thursday
Sep012016

The Perfect End of Summer Pound Cake

Italian Lemon Pound Cake

 

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose  flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup of sour cream

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Zest of 2 lemons ( about 2 tbsps.)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest.

2. Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the buttermilk and then add in the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until the flour disappears. Pour the cake batter into a bundt panthat has been generously sprayed with baking spray.

3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the cake over on a cake platter. Spread half of the lemon glaze over the warm cake so that the glaze can soak into the cake. Let the cake cool completely and drizzle the remaining glaze over the cake.

Lemon Glaze

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoon lemon juice, at room temperature

1. Cream the butter and slowly add powdered sugar and lemon juice. Beat well until the glaze is a creamy smooth

consistency.

Tuesday
Jun142016

Simple Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce

Being that this is Summer Tomato and that local tomatoes are coming in, I’m going to teach you how to make a swoon-worthy Simple Roasted Tomato Marinara sauce that you can savor now and stow-away for winter. 

Roasting the tomatoes prior to pureeing them concentrates the flavor and results in a perfectly balanced tomato sauce that, unlike most store-bought marinaras, doesn’t need to be loaded with sugar. 

For the richest flavor, we highly recommend getting the tomatoes from the farmers market, or better yet, your own backyard. Most of the tomatoes sold in grocery stores have been bred for shelf-life and picked under-ripe, resulting in an unremarkable and less nourishing tomato. 

To preserve tomatoes for winter, you need not get out the canning equipment. This sauce freezes beautifully and can be easily stored in re-sealable freezer bags (I highly recommend making a double batch). If you want to freeze your sauce in glass jars, just make sure the jar is straight-sided and that you leave room for the contents to expand when frozen. 

Come December when the days are shorter and colder, you’ll want to hug me when you remember that the essence of summer is hiding in your freezer. 

 

Simple Roasted Tomato Marinara

Yield: about 4 cups

 

Ingredients
  • 5 pounds ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, top trimmed off
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with a Silpat(silicone mat) and arrange the tomatoes on top, cut side up, or place the tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. 

Drizzle a little of the olive oil on top of the whole garlic bulb (left unpeeled) and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap the bulb tightly in foil and place it on the baking sheet with the tomatoes. 

Place the baking sheets on the center and upper racks of the oven or the roasting pan in the center of the oven. Roast the garlic bulb for 45 minutes and the tomatoes for 1 hour, or until the tomatoes have reduced and the edges begin to blacken (if your tomatoes are really juicy this may take longer). 

Allow the tomatoes to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then transfer them to a high-speed blender or food processor. Unwrap the garlic bulb and once it is cool enough to handle squeeze the individual cloves into the blender or food processor. Add the basil, oregano, if using, remaining olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes (if you want your sauce a little spicy), and black pepper.

Process the tomato mixture on high speed until smooth. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper if needed. If your tomatoes were not sweet enough and your sauce tastes a little acidic, add 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (or regular sugar) to enhance the flavor. Alternatively, you can thicken the sauce and concentrate the flavor by simmering it for 15 to 20 minutes on the stovetop.

Allow the sauce to cool then transfer it to pint-size freezer safe containers or re-sealable food storage bags. Seal the containers tightly then store the sauce in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 9 months.

Serve on top of homemade pizza, pasta, baked fish or chicken, and more.

Elyse Kopecky is a whole foods chef currently co-authoring a cookbook for runners, Run Fast Eat Slow, with Olympic marathoner and longtime friend, Shalane Flanagan. After 10 years working for Nike and EA Sports, Elyse decided to pursue her passion for talking and writing about food. She went to NYC to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute and has taken cooking classes throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Sign-up for sneak peeks of Shalane and Elyse’s book at runfasteatslow.com or follow along @ElyseKopecky.