Rafanata

Rafanata – Candy Coated Culinista

I had never heard of Rafanata before and it took Jamie Oliver to get me loving this simple little appetizer or lunch dish.

Yield/Serving: 8-12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour & 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Cooks Italy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ lbs potatoes
• 2 knobs unsalted butter
• 2% milk
• 1 ¾ oz pecorino or Parmesan cheese
• 2 inches fresh horseradish, plus extra to serve
• 3 large eggs
• 3 ½ oz piece of smoked pancetta
• ¾ cup coarse stale bread crumbs

Assembly
1. Peel potatoes, chop into big even chunks, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water for a5 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain and leave to steam dry for 2 minutes and return to pan.
3. Add 1 knob of butter and a splash of milk, finely grate in cheese and peeled horseradish and crack in the eggs.
4. Mash ingredients, mix well, season, and put aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
6. Slice pancetta and place in cast-iron skillet. Over medium-high, heat let the pancetta sizzle and add bread crumbs.
7. Cook until crisp and golden and then mix into the mash.
8. Press mash into the frying pan, smoothing it out with a slight curve.
9. Fry on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan to create a nice rounded edge.
10. Loose edges with a spatula and life slightly and place the last knob of butter into the pan underneath.
11. Once melted, put a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip over, and slip the rafanata back into the pan.
12. Bake in over for 30 minutes, or until golden and hot through.
13. Place a mixture of small greens and shredded cheese on top.
14. Serve with extra horseradish finely grated overtop, to taste.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a great little appetizer for dinner guests; just serve a slice with a dollop of creamy horseradish. This recipe did take a lot longer than I expected for the simplicity of it all. The rafanata with its crispy crust and mashed centre with horseradish and pancetta inside adds a flavorful combination I have never tasted before.

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Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a BBQ? Try this interesting grilled appetizer for your guests.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 1 pound, green, purple or yellow wax beans (preferably a combination)
• 1 thick slice country style bread
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresno chilies
• ½ red onion, cut into thick wedges
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 plum tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup skinned roasted hazelnuts or almonds
• 1 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as desired
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp smoked garlic (from book)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel. If you are using a grill basket allow to heat for 10 minutes prior to use.
2. Snap ends of asparagus and trim beans and set aside.
3. Grill the bread over direct heat until grill marks appear, about one minute per side.
4. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
5. Place over grill on in grill basket turning and rotating for 6 to 7 minutes for the onions and continue to char the red peppers.
6. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
7. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
8. Using a food processor add peppers, chilies, onion, tomato along with nuts, thyme and paprika and salt into a thick puree. Drizzle in olive oil as you go.
9. Grill asparagus and beans and serve warm or at room temperature with romesco.

Tips
• Sprinkle some flaky finishing salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipes was super simple and very easy to complete. The only thing here is you have to be a fan of romesco. I had heard of romesco before; but never had tried or made it. It reminds me of a salsa or pesto of sorts. Typically it is served with meat or fish; but today it’s served with grilled veggies and totally works. I added some finishing salt and it really rounded out the taste of the veggies.

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is:
Easy

Ingredients
• 500g fresh soft Ricotta cheese, water squeezed from it
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme minced
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
• ½ jalapeño, finely diced
• Handful of cilantro, finely diced
• Green onion, sprig of
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl and well combined.
3. Spoon into a fancy baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Tips
• Make sure you squeeze the water from the ricotta cheese.
• Serve with black and green olives, polish sausage, fancy crackers and bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This would be a great appetizer to serve at a party or a fancier snack. I didn’t take into account the water content of the ricotta and once we started eating it I could see some water at the bottom of the dish.

Garden Frittata

Garden Frittata - Camdy Coated Culinista

Garden Frittata – Camdy Coated Culinista

Mr. C. wanted an omelette for dinner and I immediately said “I’m going to make a frittata”. Then I said to myself a frittata is basically a thicker baked omelette or an egg cake right? I love how I just jump both feet into things sometimes.

Yield/Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• Kernels from 1 corn, trimmed
• 4 cloves garlic
• 8 eggs
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• 1 cup parmesan cheese
• Black pepper, to taste
• Cayenne pepper, generous pinch
• 3 sprigs, green onion, thinly chopped
• 10 asparagus, trimmed & cut into pieces
• ¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
• ½ green pepper, diced

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. On medium heat using a 12” cast-iron skillet, melt the two tablespoons butter.
3. Pour in the corn and garlic into the skillet and cook for a few minutes.
4. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk and whisk.
5. Add in the parmesan cheese, black pepper and cayenne pepper and whisk again.
6. Pour the remaining veggies into the bowl and mix.
7. Pour into cast-iron skillet and bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.
8. Cut frittata and serve warm.

Tips
• Can be eaten warm or cold.
• Serve with a side salad or crusty baguette or even bacon.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I gave my dad a portion and he loved it and asked for the recipe.

My thoughts
Absolutely delish and for my first time this came together quite easy. I had a lot of eggs in the fridge (thanks Costco) and I wanted to use some up and thought this was the way to go. I loved the freshness of all the vegetables and the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. This is a great dish to have as leftovers for lunch or breakfast and I did both I must say. I could taste the sweetness of the corn and burst of tomatoes with every bite and I didn’t add any salt believing that the parmesan cheese would be salty enough and it was. When the frittata came out of the oven one side looked like a mountain and I was wondering how in the world did I mess this up. Five minutes later when the frittata deflated I felt a lot better and happier. It was golden brown and smelt delightful. I served ours with bacon as I love my bacon & eggs and our light dinner was quite filling but still light.

Italian Meatballs

C.C's Homemade Italian Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C’s Homemade Italian Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

I have wanted to make my own meatballs since I tasted homemade meatballs from How Bout Those Meatballs at the T.O. Food Fest. I have visited here two years in a row now and always bring back Mr. C. his own sandwich because it’s just that good. The recipe used is well no particular recipe at all, Sebastien, the owner just makes it with lots of love and it always turns out great. I took this approach when I was making my meatballs as this was my first go at it and I have been so excited to make some meatballs.

Yield/Serving: 30-40 1” sized meatballs
Prep Time: 35 min.
Cook Time: 20-25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1lb ground beef
• 1 lb ground pork
• 1 lb ground veal
• ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
• ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp season salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp chipotle mango seasoning
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp dried rosemary
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp dried sage
• 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
• 6 cloves of garlic, minced
• 4 eggs

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the ground beef, pork and veal until well combined by hand in a large bowl.
3. Using a medium bowl whisk all other ingredients and pour into the ground meat until well incorporated.
4. Shape ground meat into balls and place on a baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tips
• You can freeze the meatballs and save for later.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made these to freeze for future recipes. I usually buy a huge bag of meatballs, but now that I can say mine taste so much better than the store-bought I will be making my own. These meatballs were flavourful; which the store-bought variety lacked and with the cheese inside I really enjoyed them. The hardest thing for me was keeping the meatballs the same size.

Feta Hummus

Feta Hummus - Candy Coated Culinista

Feta Hummus – Candy Coated Culinista

I don’t like hummus at all … chick peas and I don’t get along; but I want to like hummus because it’s so healthy. I thought if I can pump up the flavour I may have a chance of liking hummus.

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

Ingredients
• 540ml chick peas
• ¼ cup tahini
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Juice from 1 lemon
• ¼ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ tsp paprika
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
• 3 tbsp water
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Extra virgin olive oil, to decorate
• Paprika, to decorate
• Green onion, chopped, to decorate

Assembly
1. Rinse off chick peas and pour into the food processor.
2. Add in tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, feta, water and olive oil and mix until a smooth consistency is achieved.
3. Pour into a bowl and drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle a little paprika and green onions on top.
4. Serve with veggies, bread or chips.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The verdict is this definitely tastes better than the other hummus I have had. Do I like hummus now – well I’m still on the fence. The added feta and spices made me enjoy it more, but I still can’t get past the colourless texture or hummus. I am moving in the right direction though to one day enjoying it more.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta - Candy Coated Culinista

Bruschetta – Candy Coated Culinista

I saw these organic tomatoes in purple, yellow and red on my grocery trip and I wanted to find a recipe where I could showcase all these lovely colours.

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

Ingredients
• 1 baguette
• 30 organic grape tomatoes (purple, yellow & red), sliced into three (each grape)
• ½ small red onion, diced
• Handful basil, chiffonade
• Handful cilantro, chiffonade
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• Big pinch of Italian seasoning
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• Goat cheese, crumbled

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice baguette on the bias and place on the baking tray and bake until toasted, 5-7 minutes.
3. Prepare tomatoes and herbs and place in a large bowl.
4. Mince garlic and place in a small frying pan over medium-high heat along with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. Cook for a minute then pour into bowl and add Italian seasoning and salt, pepper and the crumbled goat cheese into the mixture and combine.
6. Place mixture onto baguette and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a quick and healthy snack that tasted great. I loved the addition of the goat cheese, cilantro and balsamic vinegar. Mixed with the lovely colours of the tomatoes and the lemony smell of the cilantro it tasted divine. I will be making this as a snack or an appetizer more often.

Kale, Ham & Cheddar Quiche

Kale, Ham & Cheddar Quiche - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale, Ham & Cheddar Quiche – Candy Coated Culinista

For a ham lover I actually have prepared too much ham for Christmas dinner and surprisingly I couldn’t finish it all “Quelle Surprise”. I froze the leftovers and I chopped and cubed the ham thinking omelettes, but then I decided to make a quiche even though I’d be partaking alone as Mr. C. doesn’t care for Quiche.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Crust
• 1 ½ cups flour
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp sugar
• ½ cup (1 stick cold butter), cut into small pieces
• 4-5 tbsp ice water
Filing
• 1 ¼ cups kale
• ½ cup onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• ½ cup ham
• 4 eggs
• 2 cups light cream 20% fat
• 2 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 ¼ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Assembly
Crust
1. Mix flour, salt and sugar and combine in a food processor.
2. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is pea sized.
3. Add 3 tbsp of ice water and pulse to combine. Continue and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water one tablespoons at a time pulsing until the dough comes together. Don’t over mix.
4. Roll out dough to fit in a deep dish pie plate.
5. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
6. After an hour has passed remove dough from the fridge and place into pie plate and crimp the edges.
7. Preheat oven to 450°F.
8. Bake the crust for 8–12 minutes, with pie weights or dried beans on the bottom. (Increase the cook time if your crust is thicker.
9. Allow to cool.
Filling
1. In a saucepan steam kale until it wilted and drain, squeeze and pat dry. (Make sure all the excess water has been removed from the kale)
2. Reduce the temperature in the oven to 425°F.
3. Using a frying pan sauté onions and garlic in the butter until translucent.
4. Add in ham and kale in the last two minutes of the sauté and then let cool for 5 minutes.
5. Add the kale and ham mixture to the pie crust.
6. In a bowl beat eggs, and then add cream, salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne and whisk until well combined.
7. Ladle the egg mixture over the filling and add sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
8. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F.
9. Lower the oven temperature once again to 350°F and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
10. Let cool for 30 minutes to allow quiche to set.
11. Serve in wedges.

Tips
• Ensure your crust isn’t too thick. Thick enough to support the weight of the quiche but not too thick that the dough doesn’t cook through.
• Serve with a fresh salad or soup.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I took a piece for lunch and it tasted great. Mr. C. even said that smells good, granted he didn’t try any. He thought the kale would make it taste bad, but to me it tasted just like spinach just a little more robust in flavour. My twp complaints were I didn’t have a food processor to make this easier on myself and the dough was too thick; next time I will ensure I roll my dough out thinner.

Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad

Black Bean & Corn Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Black Bean & Corn Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Dr. Says I need more iron in my diet. I’m trying to get iron naturally and not eat those awful supplements. I was thinking of what I could make that contains the nutrients I need but also has some flavour too. Bobby Flay is big on south western cuisine, and beans which are a source of iron are in south western dishes. I think this is my jumping point. I used this recipe for a Chatelaine Cooking Club submission as my recipe was very similar to the one they had for the Sweet Corn Challenge. I incorporated their ingredients into mine and it tasted great. This was the first time Chatelaine was given away prizes for the cooking challenge and they liked my photo the most. I won a $100 Starbuck Gift Card and a bag of their (Canadian) True North Blend. I was so happy when I won I actually did a happy dance, and my cat stared at me all puzzled as I danced. This was my first prize ever for anything and I have been working hard at thinking about my food photography. My skills are improving week after week and now I just have to start drinking coffee, so I can savour those winnings. Lol. Link to photo.

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

Ingredients
• 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
• 1 tsp olive oil
• ½ fresh lime, juiced
• 2 tbsp honey
• 341ml corn kernels, rinsed and drained
• 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• ½ red onion, diced
• 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
• ½ tsp cumin
• Red pepper flakes, to taste
• Salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste

Assembly/Method
1. In a large bowl using a whisk mix the red-wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh lime juice and honey.
2. Add corn, black beans, red onion & cilantro together into bowl and mix.
3. Add cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder and combine.
4. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa and grilled chicken breast if desired.

Tips
• This taste better the next day, as the ingredients have more time to marry. If you can plan ahead make it a day early or the leftovers will taste much better than the day before.
• Serve with Tortilla chips and salsa.
• Serve with grilled chicken breasts for some extra protein.

Please Enjoy

11 Layer Beef Taco Dip

11 Layer Beef Taco Dip - Candy Coated Culinista

11 Layer Beef Taco Dip – Candy Coated Culinista

For 3 years now I have been making a beef taco dip for Mr. C’s Christmas Pot Luck at work. Even when he is on vacation over Christmas he is still expected to bring it in and every year I add one or a few more ingredients and work on perfecting the recipe even more. I just hope they know I can make more than taco dip.

Yield/Serving: 9 x 12” casserole dish
Prep & Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pack cream cheese
• 1 cup sour cream
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
• 1 lb ground beef
• 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
• 1 package shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese mix
• 2 large tomatoes, diced
• 1 head of lettuce, thinly sliced or shredded
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 green pepper, diced
• Green olives (Optional)
• Spices, sea salt, ground black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, chilli powder and chilli flakes, to taste
• 2 bags of tortilla chips

Assembly
1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a mixer until well blended.
2. Cook meat and add spices.
3. Add tomato sauce to beef and let cool.
4. In the 9”x12” casserole dish add the cream cheese mixture.
5. Now add the ground beef.
6. Add lettuce, tomatoes onions, green peppers, olives and finally the cheddar cheese.

Tips
• Now that I have a mixer, it is so much easier to blend these ingredients. If you have a mixer I highly recommend you use it if you have it.
• I didn’t put olives in the work recipe as not everyone like olives. But for the portion I made for me and Mr. C. I included olives.
• This is a filling dip, but you can also add black beans, salsa, guacamole or spring onions. I will be experimenting with this next time.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. said “The whole dish was gone in 20 minutes and everyone loved it and is asking for the recipe. “ It makes it worth the time it takes to make this when you get that type or response and praise.

A lifelong friend (actually one of my bridesmaid’s) recently started working at Mr. C’s office and she was told by another co-worker “you got to try this taco dip Mr. C’s wife makes” not knowing that we have known each other since we were kids. My friend said the morsel she managed to scrounge from the dish she loved, and she can see why it went so fast.

My thoughts
This is a great recipe and it serves many people and is a crowd pleaser. It’s is a delicious recipe. If you are making one for a party I suggest keeping a little back and put it in a small container for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

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