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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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.

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.

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

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.

W is for Watercress Winter Salad

W is for … Watercress Winter Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love when I can get my hand on those winter fruits. It’s one of the few things I look forward to when it’s frigid and icy.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Winter Salad

• Watercress, bunch, stems removed
• Spinach, medium sized bunch, stems removed
• Parsley, handful, stems removed
• Persimmon, ripe & sliced
• Physalis, handful halved
• Kumquats, sliced
• ¼ pomegranate arils
• Blackberries, handful
• Extra creamy Danish blue cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup pecans tossed in vinaigrette
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
• 1/3 persimmon, rough chop
• 2 kumquats, rough chop
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
Winter Salad

1. Place watercress, spinach and parsley on a large serving plate.
2. Add persimmons, physalis, kumquats, pomegranate arils, blackberries and set aside.
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor add persimmon, kumquats, apple cider vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup until smooth and combined.
2. In a small bowl place pecans along with a tablespoon on vinaigrette and toss.
3. Sprinkle blue cheese and pecans over the salad and drizzle vinaigrette.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a wonderful winter salad with such a great combination of well everything it was a delight to eat. It doesn’t take a little longer than a regular salad; but it’ worth in.

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

A great middle eastern dish that is so scrumptious and satisfying you’ll have to hold yourself back from overeating.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

From At My Table

Ingredients
Kofta

• 1 pound ground lamb
• 1 peeled and coarsely grated, to give ¾ cup loosely packed
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• ¼ tsp ground allspice
• ½ tsp ground white pepper
• 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 3 tbsp finely grated parsley
• 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
• 2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Sauce
• 1 2/3 cups Greek yoghurt
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 – 2 lemon zest of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp of juice
• 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 tsp dried mint
Toppings
• Tomatoes
• Iceberg lettuce
• Faltbreads
Quick Pickled Onions
• 1 small red onion, peeled & cut into half moons
• Juice from 2 -3 limes

Assembly
Kofta

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil into a large bowl and roll into sausage shapes. Do not compact the lamb mixture once in the desired shape.
2. Slightly flatten sides and place on a baking sheet lines with cling wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Combine yoghurt, garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and dried sauce together.
4. Slice red onion into half moons and let marinate in lime juice
5. Using a large frying pan heat frying pan and cook kofta on medium-high heat for 5 of so minutes each side until cooked all the way through.
6. Serve inside faltbreads along with toppings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

It was great making koftas another way as last time I made them it was a bowl and I quite enjoyed them. I decided to serve mine with cucumber, pomegranates, and pickled onions to bulk up the meal a little. This was a lovely meal; but it was time consuming. It didn’t seem like it would take so long and since there is not times given I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The directions were a little off, so to achieve the kofta look I was accustomed to I sear all sides and cooked the remaining time in the oven. Almost 2 hours beginning to end. That’s a little long for me on a weekday after getting home for work; but then there is leftovers for the next couple of days. A trade off perhaps?

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Need an afternoon pick me up instead of going to the coffee shop for a coffee; try this energy balls.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 3 ½ oz unsalted cashews
• ¾ oz raw sesame seed
• 3 oz dried apricots
• 3 oz golden raisins
• 3 oz dates, pitted
• 1 cup puffed brown rice
• ½ of fresh gingerroot, peeled & grated
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 2 tbsp Manuka honey

Assembly
1. Toast cashews and sesame seeds in separate dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat and let cool.
2. Remove 1 ½ oz of cashews and crush in a food processor and place on a plate.
3. Add remaining cashews, sesame seeds, apricots, raisins, dates and puffed rice in a food processor until finely chopped.
4. Peel and finely grate ginger and add spices and process.
5. Then add honey and process for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add more honey if necessary to help mixture bind; just be patient.
7. With wet hands divide into 16 portions and roll into balls.
8. Drop into ground cashew dust and store.

Tips
• Will keep for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These energy balls are spiced so well and have a great after kick of ginger. I was worried for a bit that the mixture wouldn’t come together; but I just divided my batch in half in the food processor. These energy balls were well received and especially since no additional sugar was added, this was a real happy treat. I gave this batch away as a gift and I can’t wait to make a batch for myself in the New Year.

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Leftover Winter Ragu

Winter Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

Have leftover Christmas meat and looking for a way to use it up. Make this winter ragu.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 1 red onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 carrot
• 1 leek
• 1 stalk of celery
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Olive oil
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp Chianti
• 2 x 14oz can of plum tomatoes
• 14oz leftover cooked meat
• Extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Peel onion, garlic, carrot, wash and trim leek with celery and pick rosemary leaves and
2. Finely chop all adding to a large casserole dish over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bay leaf.
3. Cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
4. Now turn heat up to high and add in wine and let cook down for a few minutes and add tomatoes.
5. Fill each can half way up with water and swirl around and pour into pan.
6. Roughly chop or tear leftover meat, stir well and bring to a boil; breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
7. Reduce down to low heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, or until thick.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil to finish.
9. Serve with pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes or chunks of crusty bread for dipping.

Tips
• Use leftover meat of if Christmas was so good there were no leftovers, then use fresh ground beef.
• Serve with fried or creamy polenta, pasta or rice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I swapped out the wine for de-alcholized wine and it tasted just as rich and bold and the hue was a treat. Season with salt and pepper at the end; giving the ragu time to marry completely first.

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