Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

C.C.’s Savoury Stuffed Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 3 chicken breasts, sliced halfway through breast but not to the end of the breast
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• Season salt
• Dried basil
• Dried oregano
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Greek spices
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 12 asparagus, bottoms cut off
• 6 grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice into chicken breast lengthwise down the middle; but not all the way through.
3. Season chicken breasts with spices.
4. Place asparagus, grape tomato, mushroom and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese inside the chicken breast.
5. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour olive oil in.
6. Once oil is hot sear top and bottom of the chicken breast.
7. Place chicken into a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Serve and enjoy

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have always wanted to make a stuffed chicken and I’m happy I finally have. I have learned that I was too generous with the filling and next time I will scale back a touch. Other than that this was beyond delicious and fresh.

Advertisements

Citrus Cake

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A bright and fresh citrus cake with a tangy, zesty cream cheese frosting, decorated with candied citrus.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 – 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From: Bake from Scratch

Ingredients
Cake

• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ½ tsp lime zest
• ½ tsp orange zest
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ cake flour
• ½ tbsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ almond extract
Candied Oranges and Limes
• ½ navel orange
• 1 lime
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• Bay leaf (optional)
Citrus Frosting
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 1 tsp lime zest
• 1 tsp orange zest
• 455 grams of confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
• ½ tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pans with non-stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixture using the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scraping the sides at needed.
4. Beat in the zest and add in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
5. Using a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger.
6. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture alternating flour, milk flour ensuring to end with flour.
7. Add in the extracts and divide batter in-between prepared pans. (smooth tops if necessary)
8. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack.
10. Once cooled, using a serrated knife and cut each layer in half horizontally.
11. Spread frosting between layers and on top of the cake.
12. Garnish with candied limes and oranges and serve.
Candied Oranges & Lemons
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. Cut oranges and limes into ¼” slices and remove seeds if necessary.
3. In a medium sized saucepan, heat sugar, water and lemon juice until dissolved.
4. Add slices and let simmer ensuring to keep slices in a single layer.
5. Cook for 14 to 16 minutes turning occasionally until slightly translucent.
6. Remove from pan and place on wax paper and let cool for a least an hour and hardened.
7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
8. Sprinkle with extra sugar before decorating.
9. Reserve sugar mixture for another use is desired.
Citrus Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and zest at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat in cream until frosting is spreadable consistency.
3. Beat in vanilla.

Tips
• I halved the recipe and it turned out great. This recipe can be batched down with ease.
• Use whatever citrus zest you want. I used lime instead of lemon.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I batched down this recipe and it also called for lemons; but I used limes instead. It was a heavy rainy day last week when I made it and my candied limes and oranges would just not firm up. I even tried putting it in the oven hoping to crystalize the citrus; but it didn’t work. I thought for a moment to bring out the hair dryer; but that’s just ridiculous; it was just a bad day to do sugar work and possibly make a whipped cream cheese frosting also. With this recipe and the lack of whipping cream I have no idea how this recipe would achieve fluffy whipped frosting with 4 tablespoons of whipping cream and a [package of cream cheese. I even added more whipping cream after to see and it still wouldn’t happen. The picture shows a whipped frosting and yet the instruction says spreadable which is quite perplexing to me. After I finished the cake I looked up some whipped cream cheese frosting recipes and it called for 1 cup plus of whipping cream; so I’m unsure how a whipped frosting can be made with the recipe given. The cake still looked great and I decided to make a rectangle shaped cake. The layers were perfect and I fell confident in my naked cake skills for the most part now, except for that “whipped” frosting. I actually took a third of the cake for once and I found the frosting sweet even for my palette. This was still a wonderful cake and I am loving the unconventional shaped cake. The other reviews were it was great and also a touch to sweet. Next time I will cut back the sugar even more as this is a good batch down recipe.

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Plantains Assados con Queso

Plantains Assados con Queso – Candy Coated Culnista

One of the few Caribbean foods I have always loved was plantain whether fried or boiled and put in a soup. Probably it was the sweetness of the plantain as is ripened that caught my attention as a child; but even today when I find plantain in the store I think back to my mom frying it when it was over ripped and ooey gooey to serve alongside my breakfast. I went to a food market at lunch, and I saw this wonderfully fried whole plantain just staring back at me and I just knew I had to try it and it didn’t disappoint.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 1 plantain, peeled and sliced in the centre, but not all the way through
• 3 tbsp cream cheese
• Fresh rosemary, removed from sprig
• Pinch of sea salt

Assembly
1. Over medium-high, using a frying pan heat up canola oil.
2. Place plantain in and fry all sides until golden brown and the colour has changed.
3. Drain on a paper towel if necessary.
4. Using a small bowl mix cream cheese & rosemary and stuff into the plantain.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Tips
• If you have time bake this bake at 400° for 30 minutes; instead of frying.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did my own spin on this Ecuadorian dish as the way it was prepared had ricotta stuffed inside. I used cream cheese and added some fresh thyme because it just felt right to me. This is a new preparation for me that I never knew even existed. I am very happy to have stumbled upon this in the market. Plantains Assados con Queso means baked plantains with cheese; but I took a quicker approach and fried it. Try baking it as it would turn out just as well. I made this while preparing breakfast before work yesterday morning, so I had less time. The plantain was soft on the outside and firmer as you got further in. The filling was creamy with the punch of thyme. I’m not really a fan of cream cheese unless it’s on my bagel; but it works so well and I gave a piece to my testers and they loved the cream cheese and thyme combo.

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash – Candy Coated Culinista

A visit to the local farmers markets always gets the creative juices flowing. This summer and fall season I’m lucky enough to have a new farmer’s market just steps from my door and I intend to take full advantage of what they have to offer. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh snap green beans, golden and purple beets, gourmet popsicles and pizza, fresh loaves of bread, honey, cheese and so much more. I found these lovely Pattypan squash for the second time in two years and I wanted to make a simple recipe to highlight and respect the local ingredients.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp vegetarian butter
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 6 large sized pattypan squash, cut into quarters and eights
• Fresh thyme, finely diced
• Fresh dill, finely diced
• Fresh parsley, finely diced
• Fresh rosemary, finely diced
• Fresh Oregano, finely diced

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat let butter and extra virgin olive oil get to the temperature of the pan and melt.
2. Add pattypan squash along with fresh herbs.
3. Cook for 5 min, ensuring squash stays crunchy.
4. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I enjoyed pattypan squash for the first time last month when I visited the CN Tower 360 revolving restaurant. I hadn’t managed to buy the squash I saw last year, so I was very happy to come across it again this year. Simple summer sides are a delight to make especially with the farmers markets finest produce. The squash was buttery and herby and the aroma was delightful. I love a good crunchy vegetable and this was the perfect side to my dinner last night.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

On a high from making my first naked layered cake I had to make a white cake option so I could actually enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly Altered From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• Handful of red cherries
• Handful of fresh blackberries
• Handful of blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 60 minutes or more.
Buttercream
9. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
10. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
11. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
12. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
13. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
14. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
15. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
16. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
17. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
18. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
19. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The goal of this cake was to be a white cake with white chocolate ganache; but it turned out to be more of a yellow cake as it baked for an hour. I also learned there is no such thing as a white chocolate ganache (who knew) the composition of white chocolate is not conducive to a ganache and the consistency stays runny and never hardens. Lesson learned and I will have to figure out how to make a white coloured cake another time. This cake was so delicious and came from another recipe I made and will post another time. Once again this cake came out moist and I reduced the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the icing to my personal taste. This was given to accompany a birthday present and this time I enjoyed a slice myself. This recipe is now my layer cake base recipe and I can’t wait to build upon this recipe. It looked so wonderful on my cake plate which I never use because nothing is ever pretty enough to go on it in my eyes.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto

P is for … Pea Risotto - Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20-22 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 900ml low sodium chicken stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh peas
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
• Handful of parsley, finely diced

Assembly
1. Pour chicken stock into a large saucepan over high heat and boil.
2. Once the chicken stock has boiled, turn down to low heat to keep warm.
3. In a medium saucepan heat extra virgin olive oil and pour in the onion and cook for three minutes.
4. Add in the garlic and continue cooking for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
5. Stir in one cup of Arborio rice along with sea salt and black pepper stirring constantly for two minutes.
6. Ladle in a half cup of chicken stock to the rice until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding chicken stock a half cup at a time until rice is tender with a firm centre and the risotto is creamy, about 20 to 22 minutes.
8. Add in the peas and butter in the last 3 minutes of cooking.
9. Stir in the parsley and grate some Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.
10. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A slow but well worth it process. Creamy and aldente with the fresh peas and parsley along with the Parmigiano Reggiano made this a rich dish.

Lime Meringue Tart

Lime Meringue Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Once again I was making a dish and found myself with 5 leftover egg yolks. There were a few recipes that immediately came to my mind and I thought to myself I have only made a curd a couple of times with varied results. So this time I went for a lime version and then after a week I decided to make a Lime Meringue Tart.

Ingredients
Lime Curd

• 5 egg yolks
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 limes, zested & juiced
• 1 stick of butter, cut into pats, cold
Crust
• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp lime zest, about 1 lemon
• ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 egg yolk
Meringue
• 1 egg white
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• Confectioner’s sugar, to decorate (optional)

Assembly
Curd

1. Using a medium saucepan pour an inch of water to the pot and let simmer on medium-high heat.
2. Using a metal bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until smooth, about a minute. (Metal bowl should be able to fit into the pot without touching the water in the saucepan leaving a gap between the water and the bowl.)
3. Add lime juice and zest to mixture.
4. Once pot has reached a simmer reduce to low heat and place bowl over saucepan.
5. Whisk mixture until thickened, about 8 minutes or when mixture coats the back of a spoon and is a light yellow colour.
6. Remove from saucepan and stir in butter pats one at a time allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.
7. Pour into a container and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor or electric mixer combine flour, sugar and lemon zest until mixed.
3. Add in butter and egg yolk and combine until crumbs start to clump together resembling peas.
4. Pour mixture into a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom.
5. Press mixture down and up the sides of the tart pan with your fingertips.
6. Bake crust for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and let cool.
Tart
1. Pour lime curd over tart and bake until curd jiggles about 25 minutes and let cool.
2. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to let the curd set.
Meringue
1. Using an electric mixer pour in egg white and whisk on high speed until frothy.
2. Add in cream of tartar and sugar until still peaks are achieved.
3. Place meringue in a piping bag and pipe around the edges of the tart.
Decoration
1. Decorate with sprinkled confectioners’ sugar in a pattern if desired.
2. Serve

Tips
• Curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A punch of tart with some sweet is a great flavor combination. The crust was crisp and crumbly. This curd recipe came from a prominent American Food Network personality and it was excessively sugary. I was not the only one who thought so and I halved the sugar in the lime curd. I will make an alternate for Thanksgiving or Christmas perhaps. I have some great ideas running through my head as I type this.

Zucchini & Fennel Spinach Pesto Salad

Zucchini Fennel & Spinach Pesto Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given the hugest Zucchini I have ever seen from a co-workers garden and now. I could cradle the thing like a new born baby if that give you any indication of size. Since I clearly have zucchini for the week and for weeknight dinner with friends I figured a new recipe was in order.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Pesto

• 1/2 cup fresh basil
• 1 cup fresh spinach packed
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
• 2 clove garlic, rough chop
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salad
• ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
• ½ small fennel, thinly sliced
• 4 medium sized zucchini, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
• ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• ¼ Yellow bell pepper, diced
• ¼ Orange bell pepper, diced

Tips
• Serve with grilled chicken breast for added protein and pour leftover pesto sauce over top of the chicken breast.

Assembly
Pesto

1. In a food processor place basil, spinach, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and blend until finely chopped.
2. With the machine running pour in the extra virgin olive oil until pesto is uniform and set aside.
3. Squeeze lemon juice at the end and stir in with a spoon.
Salad
1. Slice red onion..
2. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons and fennel thinly into strips.
3. Halve the grape tomatoes and dice yellow and orange bell pepper.
4. Place all ingredients into a bowl add pesto and incorporate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was delicious and flavourful. I was surprised how tasty the spinach pesto was considering I couldn’t find arugula at the supermarket. I even went to the expensive fancy grocer to collect it and there was no arugula to be found. Considering the ingredients for this recipe aren’t the cheapest and I got the zucchini for free this would be perfect for a dinner party or with guests and these are some quality ingredients being used; don’t save it just for yourself.

Garden Zucchini – Candy Coated Culinista

Super Quick Garlic Bok Choy

Super Quick Garlic Bok Choy – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Eat Delicious from Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 10 green onions, trimmed and cut into thirds
• 5 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 pound bok choy, ends trimmed and leaves separated
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted

Assembly
1. Using a wok over medium-high heat and sesame oil and when oil is hot add the green onions and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds ensuring to keep them moving the full 30 seconds.
2. Add the bok choy and soy sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes and then transfer to a serving dish.
3. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over top and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I halved this recipe because I didn’t need 6 servings of bok choy. It tasted so good; I’ve always loved Bok Choy and in the area I live this is always at least two varieties in the grocery store. For this recipe I choose Shanghai Bok Choy as they are bigger in size.

Garlic and Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes

Garlic and Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

I haven’t made hasselback potatoes in seven years. The reason I know this is this was one of the first recipes I ever made. This time I tried a simpler yet more sophisticated version.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 70 to 80 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
• 8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
• 5 garlic, unpeeled
• 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
• 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. With a sharp knife, cut crosswise parallel slits into the potatoes, about 1/8” apart; ensuring to stop just before cutting through so potatoes stay connected at the bottom of the potato.
3. Transfer to a roasting pan.
4. Brush potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
5. Scatter the garlic cloves and rosemary around the pan.
6. Pick rosemary stems and place on top of potatoes and bake for 40 minutes.
7. Brush all over the potatoes with melted butter and continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy. When a you can insert a knife easily into the centre of the potato they are done.
8. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I felt the potatoes were undercooked and I cooked them for longer than the recommended time. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t slice them as thinly as the picture showed; but I didn’t want to go any closer and mess up the potato. The flavour was great and the salty tops with the aroma of rosemary was well received. Sometimes I get compliments like “why don’t you be a chef in real life” and I have always considered this a viable option; but then I’m afraid my passion for cooking and baking will fizzle if this just becomes a full time job. So I just continue to love the feeling of Zen and calmness I received when cooking and just enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: