Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

A Sichuanese recipe involving blistering beans in a shallow dry fry method is a quite new technique to me; but the result is quite outstanding.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Chinese Soul Food

Ingredients
• ¾ pound green beans (haricots or regular)
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
• 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 ½ tsp sugar

Assembly
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel and set aside.
3. Preheat wok over medium-high heat until smoke rises from the surface.
4. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, or until it starts to shimmer.
5. Cooking in batches add beans in a single layer and quickly stir-fry until beans start to blister.
6. Once beans look wrinkled remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking tray.
7. Repeat until all green beans are cooked.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and ground pork until cooked though

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had never heard of the term dry-frying yet I think this is the way all green beans should taste and look. The slightly blistered green bean carries quite the punch. This makes a great carb-free dish or remove the ground meat and you have a vegetarian dish. A little salty a little savoury all umami.

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Red Currant Mini Loaf

Red Currant Mini Loaf - Candy Coated Culinista

Well I am just loving the farmer’s market this year and I really just can’t get enough. My last trip I picked up red currants, purple gooseberries, scones, shortbreads and cookies, So it ended up being a heavy carb day and I was okay with that. Everything just looked so tasty it was truly hard to resist.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ½ cup plain vanilla yoghurt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• ½ canola oil
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• Zest from one whole lemon
• 1 cup fresh red currants

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pan with cooking spray.
3. Using a large bowl whisk yoghurt, sugar, eggs and oil until smooth.
4. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and combine until is smooth.
5. Pour batter into pan and add currants to the top.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and the turn out and let cool before serving.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Red currants is another fruit I have never used before. I was so close to getting the elderberries; but a older gentlemen said it wasn’t worth the work and looking at how tiny those berries were I believed him. A one bowl recipe was exactly what was needed and this recipe came together is a flash. The slightly tart berries balance out the cake perfectly.

Saskatoon Berry Scones

Saskatoon Berry Scones - Candy Coated Culinista

A lunchtime city walk became such a fruitful trip when I stumbled upon a Farmer’s Market a block from my office. Saskatoon berries look like blueberries; but are surprisingly related to the apple family. The city of Saskatoon was named after this berry.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20-25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 4 cups flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar (use – 1/2 cup)
• 1 cup butter
• 1 large egg
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 – 1 ½ cups Saskatoon Berries

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Combine milk and baking soda together in a medium sized bowl and let rest.
4. Using a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
5. Cut butter into cubes and blend using a pastry blender.
6. Add in milk mixture and mix.
7. Gently mix Saskatoon berries and incorporate.
8. Flour work surface and lightly knead dough until a ball is formed.
9. By hand flatten dough and fold dough over again a few times.
10. Shape dough into a 9” circle, cut into 6 to 8 wedges, place on cookie sheet, and leave space between each piece.
11. Brush with milk and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
12. Let cool a little and serve.

Tips
• You can also use a food processor if so desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m surprised at how my scones always turn out. For some reason I just never know with scones and yet they come out soft and fluffy and bursting with flavour. All enjoyed these and the only comment was where the clotted cream and jam is. Now these had to travel so I didn’t bring those; but it was perfect none the less.

Gooseberry Ginger Thyme Honey Cake

Gooseberry Ginger Thyme Honey Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Another trip to the farmers market and I found another interesting fruit; the gooseberry. These spiny fruits are quite sour if you eat them alone; but combining them with other ingredients results in a delightful cake.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 50 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Gooseberry Cake

• 1 ½ cup gooseberries, stems and bottoms removed
• 1 knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
• 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
• ¾ cups butter, softened, cut into pats
• 3 large eggs
Vanilla Glaze
• ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Milk, as needed

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place parchment paper in a 9” springform pan and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat add a little water along with gooseberries, ginger, thyme and honey and bring to a boil and then to a simmer.
4. Place in a blender and blend until a puree.
5. Then place in a bowl in the fridge and let cool.
6. Using a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder and set aside.
7. Using an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Add eggs one at a time followed by 1/3 of the flour and repeat until there is no more flour.
9. Add in gooseberry puree and incorporate.
10. Spoon mixture into prepared pan spreading evenly and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
11. Using a cake tester insert and when it comes out clean and cake is a golden brown remove cake from oven.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes and then release springform and turn onto a large plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
When I tasted the gooseberries I thought to myself how am I going to make these less sour. I looked through my fridge for inspiration as the ginger and thyme popped out at me immediately. The cake has a subtle hint of gooseberry, thyme and ginger. I was pleasantly surprised; but I should know that when I cook on instinct with no real recipe, my best creations occur.

Party Wings with Cholula Butter

Party Wings with Cholula Butter – Candy Coated Culinista

I never thought the day would come where I am actively searching for hot sauce what????

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 30 – 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 3 pounds chicken wing drumettes
• Olive oil, for drizzling
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup Cholula hot sauce
• 3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 cloves garlic, minced

Assembly
1. Place the drumettes in a large bowl and drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat and generously season with salt and pepper and toss.
2. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel.
3. While the grill is heating up in a separate bowl stir together the Cholula, parsley, butter, leon juice and garlic.
4. Grill drumettes, flipping and rotating as needed until nicely charred, about 5 to 7 minutes moving to direct heat after and continue to cook with the grill closed for 20-25 minutes.
5. Place drumettes into a bowl with the Cholula butter and toss vigorously until well coated and serve immediately.

Tips
• Other options is the above recipe isn’t your thing:
o Swap fresh lime juice & chopped fresh cilantro for the lemon juice & parsley
o Dijon mustard instead of Cholula & ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, or tarragon)
o Combine 3 to 4 tbsp pesto or olive tapenade & 2 tbsp olive oil
o Marinate ½ cup tiki dressing & chopped fresh cilantro and mint & toasted sesame seeds
o 3 tbsp pickled mustard seeds chopped fresh parsley
o Combine ½ cup of your favourite bottle or homemade peanut sauce & fresh lime juice & thinly sliced scallions

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The only time I have ever heard or seen a Cholula bottle was at my co-workers desk and she loves hot sauce. Of course, I’m never looking for hot sauce in the shops; but you know what this was an excellent dish. I didn’t find the Cholula hot at all. My only complaint is the price per bottle in Canada and at $7 I could have found something comparable and local and probably with a better taste to. Also we only have the one flavour imported to Canada, so trying another option like Chili Lime or Chili F+Garlic would have been great. Other than that I used chives instead or parsley these wings were to tasty and flavourful with a slight kick. These disappeared so fast I should have made another batch and I will next time.

Naked Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

I made this cake for my first God-son’s birthday as usual I make him a cake. This time I’m trying to make a more fanciful grown up cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 9 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
• 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 Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 2 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
• 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1 cup fresh blackberries
• 1 cup fresh 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, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and Irish Cream.
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 evenly and cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. 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 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
10. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
11. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
12. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
13. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
15. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
16. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
17. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
18. 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.
19. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
20. 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
This is hands down the best cake I have ever made and I didn’t even have to cover up my work with frosting because it turned out so well. This is an attention grabbing cake and is worth all the time and effort for a special birthday cake. This had a wow factor and was loved by all. The cake was light and moist and the ganache was shiny and with the addition of the fresh fruits it cut the sweetness of the buttercream. I was very proud of myself and this has given me the confidence to tackle a proper layered cake. I had very high hopes and this turned out smashingly.

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Clean eating at its finest. Such a simple and wholesome recipe that is great for lunch or dinner.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• Salmon fillet
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Green beans, trimmed, handful
• 12 Gem baby potatoes, halved
• 8 Grape tomatoes, halved, handful
• Spinach leaves, stems removed, handful
• Orange bell pepper, sliced
• Cilantro, removed from stem
• 8 Klamata olives
• 1 tsp Capers
• ¼ of Red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
• ¼ of an English Cucumber
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
• 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp poppy seeds
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper

Assembly
Salmon Salad

1. Using a frying pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Season salmon with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
3. When oil has reach temperature place salmon fillet skin side down about 80% of the way, then flip using a spatula, and cook the flesh side the remaining way through.
4. Place on a plate and set aside.
5. Using a small pot filled with salted water over high heat, steam green beans and then immediately place in a ice bath and set aside.
6. In a medium sized pot of salted water over high heat, boil potatoes until cooked through.
7. Prep tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, olives, capers, red onion and cucumber.
Lemon poppy Seed Dressing
1. In a small bowl pour in all ingredients and stir well together.
2. Let chill in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This takes a little time to assemble; but this is a great healthy recipe that I will make time and time again. Fresh salmon served on a bed of veggies with a citrusy homemade dressing is just sublime.

Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball - Candy Coated Culinista

A carb free dinner that comes together in a snap.

Yield/Serving: 4
Start to Finish Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Ingredients
• 3 tsp grapeseed or neutral oil, divided
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs, to serve
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
• 5 tbsp fish sauce, divided
• 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar, divided
• ½ cup lime juice
• 1 or 2 serrano chillies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
• Lettuce leaves, to serve

Assembly
1. Coat a large plate will 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
2. Using a medium bowl combine, pork, 3 tbsp water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar.
3. Mix vigorously until combined and let the mixture become soft and sticky.
4. With lightly moistened hands, form 20 balls and place on oiled plate.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
6. In a small bowl stir lime juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
7. Add the chilies until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
8. Line another plate with paper towels and add remaining oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
9. Add meatballs and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes and then turn and cook the other side turning meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
11. In a small bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbsp of lime juice sauce.
12. Serve the meatballs with carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping.
13. Spoon the remaining sauce onto the wraps.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my second time making Vietnamese meatballs and I remember why I enjoyed them so much. The flavours are bright, salty and exotic. Using lettuce wraps is a wonderful way to be carb-free and I have started enjoying one of two meals a week without carbs. These meatballs also freeze well for a later date.

Huevos De Caja

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s always funny that you never notice ingredients in the grocery store until you need it…

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Nopalito

Ingredients
Huevos De Caja

• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 2 homemade soft corn tortillas or store-bought
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup Frijoles Negros Refritos or good quality refried beans, warmed
• ¼ cup salsa cilantro
• ¾ cup grated jack cheese
• Chopped cilantro leaves
Frijoles Negros Refritos
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
• 1 can black beans drained.
• 1 ½ tsp dried organo
Salsa Cilantro
• 4 large tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1 jalapeno
• 1 clove garlic
• Salt
• 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
• 2 tbsp white onion, chopped

Assembly
Huevos De Caja

1. Boil water and season with salt and vinegar.
2. Lower heat to a simmer.
3. Crack egg into a small bowl and ease into water.
4. Cook until the outsides are set and the inside is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. In a small pan cazuelas or cast-iron skillet, place tortillas in pan followed by refried beans in a next shaped. Then tip poached eggs into centre and divide the salsa pouring on top.
7. Sprinkle jack cheese and bake in oven until completely melted for about 5 minutes.
8. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro
Frijoles Negros Refritos
1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot.
2. Add onions and stir occasionally until a dark golden bron, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add in the oregano and let cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and let beans get hot.
4. Smash the bean mixture until slightly chunky.
5. Add a little water if need to reach the desired consistency.
Salsa Cilantro
1. Using a medium saucepan, combine tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and enough water just to cover and season with salt.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, or until tomatillos and jalapenos begin to dull in colour.
3. Transfer mixture discarding the water to a blender and blend until salsa is smooth, but the seeds are still visible.
4. Pour into a bowl and chill.
5. Add in onions and cilantro just before serving.
6. Add additional salt if necessary.

Tips
• The recipe for Frijoles Negros Refritos calls for 1 cup canola oil; which I found to be a huge amount of oil even using the full 6 cups of black beans. I used 2 tbsp of canola oil with one can on black beans.
• I served mine with homestyle Mexican salsa, chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce.
• Purchase green Mexican salsa and add some cilantro if you don’t want to make Salsa Cilantro.
• You can also do step 6 & 7 using a frying pan and serve in a plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have walked by the Mexican food section for many years in the same row with the Asian and Indian foods I pick up and yet I never saw them. I will start grabbing the Mexican salsa from now one instead of the Amaericanized salsa brands in the other aisle. This is another massive recipe. This book really serves a crowd and I’m happy I batched down the refried beans as I was only making it for this recipe. I used the leftover refried beans in some shrimp taco’s. I must say I made this recipe purely because the photo caught my eye; even though I didn’t think I liked refried beans and the last poached egg I made didn’t turn out the best. When this was a pleasant surprise with a runny egg served with two types of salsa, refried beans, adobo peppers. I served mine with some shrimp and with Agua de Jamaica and oh so tasty.

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells – Candy Coated Culinista

A striking Italian meal that is great for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 36 Jumbo shells
• 1 lbs ground beef
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup pasta sauce
• 2 cups spinach, stems removed and chopped
• ¾ cups ricotta
• 1 egg
• ½ cup grana padano
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Over high heat boil shells in batches and cook until al dente draining and setting aside. Ensure not to break or cook a few more just to be safe.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add canola oil and onion and garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add in ground beef and spices and brown.
4. Add in ¾ cups pasta sauce in ground beef mixture and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Set out two casserole dishes and pour a thin layer of pasta sauce into each casserole dish.
7. In a medium sized bowl add spinach, ricotta, egg, grana Padano, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and combine.
8. Start assembling the shells by adding ground beef first followed by ricotta mixture and place in casserole dishes.
9. Shred a little more grana padano and mozzarella cheese overtop and drizzle more pasta sauce overtop.
10. Bake for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was very time consuming more so than a lasagna; but if you make a few batches like I did it is well worth the while. I made two meat filled shells casserole dishes and one vegetarian casserole option and these tasted great all be it a touch messy to eat. The shells were the perfect amount of meat, cheese and veg and very eye catching. I would definitely make this again; just not in the next few months. Also this is not a weekday meal, unless you start as soon as you get home from work as this took me almost 2 hours from beginning to end.

Italian Stuffed Shells (Pre-Oven) – Candy Coated Culinista

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