Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Home made Chicken Enchilada's.

So this was a total fluke and not something I had planned to blog about. It turned out so well though, that I just could not share it with you all!!  I made these with leftover roast chicken but you can use any kind of chicken for this, just chop/shred once it is cooked.

These enchiladas were made with a home made enchilada sauce and a bechemel sauce. The enchilada sauce is really the star of this. It is great to make in the summer and fall when there is a wide variety of peppers available at your farmers market.

A bunch of peppers 5-10 depending on variety and size ( and make sure you use a wide variety)
3 stocks of Celery
4-5 cloves of garlic
1-2 cups of chicken stock
2 Cups of shredded chicken
Soft Tortillas
2 C milk
2T butter
2-3 C Cheese ( Cheddar, Jack, Mozzarella will all work)

Enchilada sauce

A cookie sheet full of whole peppers  I had a variety of  bell, banana, red and green jalapeno and Paplano's

Line the cookie sheet with foil or parchment then place the peppers on top and broil them in the oven until they are charred. You will have to turn the peppers regularly. Once well charred toss in a large bowl and cover with plastic. You want to the peppers to "sweat" this will enable you to peel the charred skins off.

Saute celery and onions until translucent, then add garlic and saute a min longer. Add chicken stock.

At this point you can probably peel and seed the peppers. These will all go into the blender so no need to chop. Add peeled  roasted peppers and onion/stock mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. ( Or use an immersion blender). Pour back into pan and add 2-3 Tablespoons of tomatoes paste.  At this point you will want to add salt and pepper  and cumin to taste. If it is too thick you can thin it out with some more stock. Set a side.

Basic Bechamel ( or white sauce)

2 T butter
1 1/2  T  flour
2C Milk

Melt butter in pan add flour and cook for a few moments. Add milk and cook until thick. Season with salt and a dash of nutmeg.

Add 1/4 C of enchilada Sauce and 1/4 C of Bechemel sauce to the shredded chicken.

In a 9x13 pan spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce. ( About a 1/2 Cup)

To assemble: Add chicken to tortilla,  cheese (about a tablespoon and a 1/2) and 1 T spoon of bechemel sauce. Roll and place in pan seam side down. continue until the pan is full. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas, spread the remaining bechemel sauce down the centre of the pan. sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake at 350 for 35 min or until hot in the centre.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Blue Chair Cafe

So my blog will officially be evolving to include some  restaurant reviews as well as trying to continue to have some great recipes.

Today was our inaugural "Breakfast Club" Brunch. We went to the Blue Chair Cafe in Edmonton. This is a great little place that has Latin fusion cuisine at a reasonable price point and has live jazz music.
One of the things that the six of us really liked was this restaurants focus on "Local" ingredients and its commitment to leaving a small Eco footprint.

This is a funky place, very casual and funky. We were seated promptly, and had hot coffee and were given a water jug for the table.  I like this idea ( I know its not new)we were there to visit, it was easy to just have water when we needed it and not worry about flagging down our server. Not that it would have been hard as the staff was perfectly attentive.

The menu was a nice size it has a few selections of "Benny's" and a nice selection of traditional breakfast fare as well as some lunch options. If your looking for Plane Jane truck stop meat and potatoes this may not be your spot, but the food is not that eclectic that you are intimidated.

Our server was knowledgeable about the menu and could help us out with recommendations. The food did not come out super fast but as we were visiting and listening to the live musicians we were not upset. This was just something to take note of. If you are on a time line this is probably not the place. If you are looking for a leisurely experience you found your spot.

All of our food was great. The Benny's though not traditional were very good. One person in our group had the "B.E.L.T.C.H" Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato,Cheese, Ham on caibatta bread it had great reviews. The Banana Bread french toast was good as well. All selections had a nice side of seasonal fruit.

All of us would come back to the Blue Chair Cafe, and all would like to go for Supper and a performance.

If your in Edmonton and want to have a unique dining experience for a reasonable price definitely give the Blue Chair Cafe a try.

Service 5/5
Menu 4/5
Price $$

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Grilled French Toast With Peaches and Rasperry sauce

Okay, I am not the biggest French Toast fan, I generally find it soggy or at best a crispy outside with a mushy inside. This is not my idea of a nice meal. A few weeks ago we were out at the lake with some friends, and for Breakfast one day we had French Toast. To my surprise it was fantastic. The difference, it was made on the BBQ. This morning I went about trying to make the best French Toast. I think I have succeeded. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

I like to start with the Berry Sauce. You can pretty much use any berry's you like, I had raspberries and strawberries in the freezer so that is what I used, But if you have Blackberries, Saskatoons' or Blueberries use those, or any combination.  The key is to make sure these are plain, no sugar added.

The Sauce

1/2 C Raspberries (Fresh or Frozen)
1/2 C Strawberries ( Fresh or Frozen)
1/2 T of maple syrup or honey

Put all ingredients into a small sauce pan and simmer on medium low heat for 15-30 min, stir occasionally. This is not a thick syrup like sauce, but you will want to reduce it enough that it is not super watery.

Grilled Fruit

I used peaches and they were oh so yummy, but most stone fruits should work great on the grill. Mangoes, Apricots, Nectarines all work really well so use what you prefer.

Remove the stone from your peaches (or whatever fruit you are using) and cut in quarters, or keep in halves if your fruit is small. If your like me you will want to peel the fruit as well though this is an optional step.

**Start BBQ**

French Toast

6 thick  slices of a crusty bread ( Don't use sandwich bread here, it will be to flimsy)
4 eggs
1/4 C Milk

Whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.

Make sure grill is heated to a Medium heat. Your grill will need to be well cleaned and then well greased. ( a paper towel with oil on it and a set of tongs work well for this step)

Once the grill is prepared place the fruit on once side of the grill. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and place on the grill. When everything has nice grill marks it should be done.

Serve with Whipped Cream and Enjoy.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Half Guilty Hot Wings and Blue Cheese dip


Who doesn't love Hot wings??   Here is my take on them, By baking them, then grilling them  you cut some of fat from deep frying, but the best part is your house doesn't smell like the local greasy spoon!!

These are only half guilty because I'm still using the skin on wings so don't kid yourself these are still no healthy snack.

I am a big fan of brining chicken so like most of the chicken I prepare I brined the wings in a simple brining solution. Equal parts Sugar and Salt mixed into water. Place wings and Brine in container in fridge brine for 2-8 hours. For wings I like to brine lots at a time. Once the brining is done I package the wings down into portions of 10-20 wings and freeze.

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat wings dry with paper towel. Place wings on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 min turning once.

 Wings should turn golden brown. Once brown transfer wings to your indoor grill or out to your BBQ. This is what will crisp them up nicely.

Toss in your favourite hot wing sauce. Serve with Blue Cheese dip and veggies.

Hot wing Sauce

Go ahead and use your favourite from a bottle, but don't be afraid to mix and match the sauces in your fridge either.

The combination of Frank's Red Hot, Siracha Sauce, Garlic Chile paste and chili flakes, mixed together seemed to be a hit in our house. This was not mild but no where near a "suicide" wing and had a nice flavour.   I mixed this in a small pot on the stove and let it steep over a low heat.  Traditionaly you would mix this with melted butter. This is your choice.


Blue cheese dip.

1/3 C Mayonnaise ( homemade works great but is not necessary)
1/3 C low fat Sour cream
2T crumbled Blue Cheese
1t Fresh squeezed lemon juice
dash of Worshtershire Sauce
salt and ground pepper

Mix and serve.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

White Bean Dip **Gluten free

Tired of Hummus, or maybe just wanting something new to try. This White bean dip is quite good.

1 can of Caniline Beans (or any kind of white bean)

1 T of Olive oil
2 T low sodium Chicken broth
2 T roasted garlic
2T Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of chili flakes
fresh herbs of your choice I had basil on hand and it worked great

You can soak and cook your favourite white beans too. I'm sure the dip would be better, but I am lazy so canned beans it is.

In a blender or food processor puree beans and chicken broth until smooth. If you like a little more texture that is fine. Add cheese, garlic and herbs. give it another pulse to mix. Season to taste.

Serve with veggies, rice crackers and whole wheat crackers.

This recipe is super versatile, Change the herbs and the cheese and you will have a totally different dip. I think adding sun dried tomatoes and some roasted red peppers would be quite tasty.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Breakfast For the week. Gluten Free too!!

I have to eat breakfast every morning, this little girl can not skip it, but somewhere along the way eating anything sweet in the morning started do disagree with me. Cereal, fruit, porridge. All things I love, just not first thing in the morning.

Like almost every one else this day and age mornings are hectic so I set out to build something that I could make ahead and pop in the microwave once I get to work or on my way out the door.

A breakfast egg based muffin type dish is what I was after. There are several recipes for this type of thing on the internet. Some with bread in the bottom of the muffin, some with whole eggs, scrambled eggs, biscuits, ham, bacon and sausage. There was lots of options to make this idea your own. So I did just that.

Here is what you'll need for my take on this. But go ahead switch up the veggies, or the meat or cheese.

8 eggs
1/4 cup of egg whites
1 Cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon - Chopped into pieces.
1 small zucchini- quartered and thinly sliced
4 green onions finely sliced
5 mushrooms chopped
1/4 green pepper finely diced
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper
dash Worchteshire sauce
2 silicone six muffin cup holders.( you can use the metal ones, but for this I like the silicon variety)

1 med potato grated
2T of low fat cottage cheese.

1. Grate potato ( or use frozen hash browns) Season with a bit of salt. Then squeeze water out of potatoes. The salt will help the potatoes release some of their water. In a bowl mix potatoes, cream cheese and some pepper. Once mixed place some in the bottom of each muffin cup. bake for about 15 min in a preheated 350 oven.

2. cook bacon until done to desired doneness. Drain Bacon on paper towels. Reserve 1tsp of bacon fat. In same fry pan saute zucchini, green pepper, mushrooms or whatever veggies you are using. Once sauteed I add the green onions. Set aside

3. beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add to the rest of the beaten eggs. salt and pepper to taste. Add hot sauce and worshtershire sauce.

4. On top of the cooked potato base layer cheese meat and veggies. Then pour egg mixture over top. bake between 15-20 min at 350.

Once cool and slip into Ziploc bags. Refrigerate or freeze. Then just heat in the microwave.


**Note Breakfast meat and cheese is very salty and the potatoes are salted so you may want to omit salt from the eggs.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Eggs Amazing!!

Sorry, I haven't posted in awhile but in the mean time I have been eating some fabulous food.

I have to say I cleaned out my fridge the other day and made the most amazing baked eggs.

There are several ways to Bake and egg and really they are all pretty good. This technique is like a baked scrambled egg or a frittata with no frying pan!!

Take what ever you would like for your filling, onions, ham, spinach, with any egg dish the possibilities are endless. Like I said above I cleaned out my fridge of all the little leftovers. I started off by sauteing a shallot, then added some mushrooms that had to be used up. I had some as in maybe 2 Tablespoons of caramelize onions left over so that went in too. There was some asparagus that had to be cooked and some ham ( sandwich meat). All went into a fry pan to cook. Then in a bowl I whisked 4 eggs together and tossed in some baked spinach dip that I had left over.  In a well greased baking dish ( mine was a round pottery casserole dish) add about a cup and a half of the sauteed veggies and ham, then pour over the eggs. I topped it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and baked in a preheated oven at 350 for 25 min.

This fluke of ingredients made the best eggs I have ever had!! Good luck with your version.