BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6 chicken thighs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• onion powder, to taste
• garlic powder, to taste
• season salt, , to taste
• ground cumin, to taste
• red chilli flakes, to taste
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 2 springs green onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
• Organic Gluten- free BBQ Sauce
• Cheddar cheese, shredded
• Mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 8 Whole Grain & Ancient Grain Tortilla
• 1 avocado, mashed

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat sprinkle chicken with spices and cook the chicken thighs through, let them rest and finally cut into strips.
2. Cut all the vegetables and set aside the bell peppers and green onions in a bowl.
3. Over medium-high heat and pour olive oil into skillet and sauté the tomatoes and mushrooms until most of the liquid is gone.
4. In the last few minutes of cooking add in BBQ sauce to taste and incorporate.
5. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting as many tortillas as needed and set aside on a plate.
6. Once all tortillas have been toasted place one back on the frying pan and add in a mixture of chicken, cheese and all the vegetables.
7. Cook and flip at least once until tortilla in crispy and cheese is melted.
8. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This isn’t a really great dish to look at but it tastes amazing. I even made them the next day again with the leftovers.

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

A classy upscale dinner at home yes please.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 15-20 min, depending on your pan size
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly Altered from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients
Chicken
• 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, butterfly
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg white
• 2 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp freshly grated lemon zest
• 1 ½ cups coarse, lightweight breadcrumbs, Panko
• Vegetable oil
Salad
• 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tbsp coarse or whole-seed Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 140g baby spinach
• Small fennel bulb

Assembly
1. Using a sharp knife butterfly chicken breast.
2. Season both sides with salt & pepper.
3. Line up three plates and pour flour into the first plate.
4. Whisk the egg white, mustard, garlic, oregano and lemon zest in a small bowl and pour onto the second plate.
5. Pour Panko breadcrumbs onto the third plate and spread out.
6. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour, then the egg mixture and finally through the breadcrumbs, ensuring each piece is coated thoroughly.
7. Repeat with each piece of chicken.
8. Place chicken onto a plate and chill for one hour in the fridge (or up to one day covered in plastic wrap.)
9. Pour a 1/2“ of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
10. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides.
11. Drain chicken on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
12. Repeat cooking the remaining piece of chicken and start to prepare the salad.
13. In a small bowl whisk lemon, mustard and olive oil until emulsified.
14. Add baby spinach to a bowl and thinly slice fennel using a mandoline, or cut as thinly as possible.
15. Mix and set aside.
16. When all the chicken is fried place chicken in the centre of the plate and place arugula salad on top.
17. Drizzle any excess dressing overtop and serve.

Tips
• If you don’t own a mandoline I highly recommend purchasing one. Life is so much easier with food preparation now that I own one.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have never made or really heard of chicken Milanese besides this recipe and I am a fan. I hear Milanese and immediately think of Milan and after a quick check I was right. I couldn’t find arugula so I substituted spinach for arugula as I have a strict two store limit when looking for ingredients. It still tasted great to me and the substitution made sense. The recipe also called to
pound (not a tenderizer) the chicken until the breasts are ¼” thick between two pieces of plastic wrap; but I just skipped this step to make this a quicker meal. I must say I liked the presentation on this and the taste. It looked quite classy for a home-cooked meal; I just have to perfect my chicken frying skills, which I have not tried before. I also like that I used fennel, which is an ingredient I don’t cook with normally. I think I will be added this to my grocery list more now as this his light fresh salad is perfect for a summer evening meal.

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant - Candy Coated Culinista

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5-10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Sauce
• 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ tbsp granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• ¼ cup water
• Black pepper, to taste
• Tamarind spice, to taste
Eggplant
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 4 Asian eggplants, sliced into thick strips
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• Green onion, as garnish optional

Assembly
1. Mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt and black pepper together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a cast iron skillet heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
3. When oil is hot add the eggplant, but don’t overcrowd and let brown turning over to ensure all side are golden and tender.
4. When the eggplants are almost browned add garlic.
5. Add in the sauce and reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer and reduce down until the eggplant has absorbed some of the sauce.
6. Plate the eggplants and pour the remaining sauce over top and serve.
7. Garnish with green onion if desired.

Tips
• Replace tamarind spice with red chilli flakes if unavailable.
• Serve with jasmine rice to make a completed vegetarian dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Honestly I always find eggplant to be mushy but even though in some areas like this; the flavours from the eggplants far outweighed my displeasure for mushy eggplant. This was so vibrant and flavourful I couldn’t resist.

Aprium-Pluot Jam & First Annual Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 Giveaway

Aprium-Pluot Jam - Candy Coated Culinista

Aprium-Pluot Jam – Candy Coated Culinista

Toronto Food & Wine 2015

Toronto Food & Wine 2015

There’s nothing like a fast and fresh summer jam, especially when it’s using those interesting fruits you only see in the summer for such a short period of time; that if you blink you’ve missed the whole season entirely. I have become a huge fan of Apriums and Pluots since I stumbled upon this frit over a year ago. Coming across those never seen produce before always reminds me of all the amazing events around Toronto that give me a chance to find interesting and new ways to incorporate those new produce into your culinary repertoire.

The First Annual Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 will be held September 18 – 20 2015 at the Evergreen Brick Works and I can’t wait to enjoy another Toronto food festival. They never disappoint me and I always find something to take home with me. Some of my favourite chefs that I have met like Curtis Stone – such a charismatic, charming and modest chef and fellow Canadian chef Chuck Hughes a chef I can met time and time again; I’m on my 3rd encounter already and I can say I never tire of seeing Chuck. He is so engaging, personable and willing to encourage the up and coming young chefs. I also can’t forget other Canadians like Roger Mooking & Mark McEwen, who have so much passion and love they just can’t be ignored; along with Tyler Florence a chef I can now say I am more than just a casual fan of ever since I saw him at the Delicious Food Show I have been following him with much zeal. I can’t wait to see them all and of course learn all I can in those demos and workshops.

Something interesting I can’t wait to see is the Taste Canada Cooks the Books competition – a competition after my own heart; as how many times have us cooks followed a cookbook recipes exactly and yet the recipe looks nothing like the picture included. In this competition all of these recipes will be prepared on stage by culinary students with the Canadian cookbook author on stage. Reproduction will be key for the winner.

I can’t forget about the sampling, sipping and savouring from the 130 vendors and participants. I hope to find a few new local vendors to add to my list and new products that I can incorporate into my culinary repertoire.

The Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 will be held at Evergreen Brick Work in Toronto. The Evergreen Brick Works is a community environmental centre that inspires visitors to live a well-rounded life more sustainable. I have been to there farmer’s markets on the weekends and have found such amazing fresh and locally grown produce along with organic & environmentally friendly products. This festival is definitely a must for any home chef, aspiring chef or culinary student or just any foodie. I guarantee you will leave with a few new techniques under your belt and some interesting food combinations or new foods you’ve never seen before.

If you live in the Toronto Area or can find your way down to Toronto and you’d like a chance to go to the The First Annual Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 leave a comment in the comments section of this post or send me an email and you will be entered in for a chance to win a pair of tickets to experience this one of a kind event. Contest closes on August 21st 2015 at 11:59 pm.

Here is my quintessential quick summer jam recipe I know you’ll enjoy.

Yield/Serving: 370 ml
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: about 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 pluots, cut in pieces and pitted
• 2 apriums, cut in pieces and pitted
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp chia seeds

Assembly
1. Prep the pluots and apriums and pour into a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow to break down.
2. Add in sugar and allow to boil stirring frequently.
3. Add in chia seeds and vanilla extract and continue to stir.
4. Reduce to low heat and allow jam to thicken up.
5. Pour into mason jar and let cool to room temperature.
6. Store in refrigerator.

Tips
• Jam will keep for up to two weeks.
• Use any type of sweetener or no sweetener at all if you like.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Homemade jam couldn’t be any easier to make. I liked that I used two new fruits that I have fallen in love with over the last year. My home is full of these fruits for about a month until they go missing again for another year. I try my best to eat as much as possible even though they are on the pricy side; as it’s only for a month or so and is so worth it in my eyes. Mono meals are favorite summer world I must say what’s so wrong with eating a bushel of apriums all for yourself right!

TFW Tastings

TFW Tastings

Roger Mooking

Roger Mooking

Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons

Chuck Hughes

Chuck Hughes

TFW Tastings

TFW Tastings

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone

TFW Tastings

TFW Tastings

Mark McEwan

Mark McEwan

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence

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