Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill - Candy Coated Culinista

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

Tomato lovers this is a recipe for you. This is super simple and can be switched up with herbs.

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

Slightly altered from The New Rules

Ingredients
• 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
• ¾ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ cup tightly packed fresh dill roughly chopped

Assembly
1. In a large bowl salt halved grape tomatoes with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
2. In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, garlic, shallot and half the salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Add the shallot mixture parsley and oil to the tomatoes and toss well.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add dill and toss.
6. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a vibrant well seasoned salad that can easily go with meat, seafood or alone. I made a few changes to the recipe by using what I had on hand. I used cilantro instead of dill and red pearl onions instead of shallots. This salad reminds me of a cucumber salad my mom used to make that I loved and it brought back some great memories.

Grilled Herb-Marinated Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Grilled Herb-Marinated Chicken - Candy Coated Culinista

A chicken recipe that is just unique enough to have everyone raving about this recipe and you begging for outdoor grilling season.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 4 hours to overnight
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Cook Like A Local

Ingredients
• 3 pound chicken or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
• 1 cup fish sauce
• ¼ cup honey
• Juice of 4 limes, plus 2 cut limes cut into wedges, for garnish
• 10 garlic cloves
• 2 bunches scallions (about 12) trimmed
• 1 bunch cilantro, plus more chopped, for garnish
• 2 jalapenos
• ¼ cup vegetable oil

Assembly
1. Break down whole chicken into parts, breast, leg, thigh, wing etc.
2. Combine the fish sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic, scallions, cilantro, jalapenos and oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
3. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade in and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Remove chicken from the marinade letting excess drip away.
5. Preheat oven to 350°.
6. Place pieces on a cast iron skillet in batches over medium-high heat and sear all sides.
7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
8. Place on a platter and top with cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can’t rave about this recipe enough the marinade is everything and the longer you let it do its thing the better. Some of the ingredients like the fish sauce may seem a touch odd; but it adds that Asian flare; and if you are like me a great way to use up that fish sauce from that one recipe a while back. The chicken was fresh, bright, with a slight kick and salty and sweet. It really hit all the flavour profiles and the recipe worked well baked. It is a little cold for grilling as we had snow just the other day; but sear all side in a cast iron skillet and bake in the oven and it’s just a lovely. This is in my rotation now and to save time use chicken parts; I did and it made my life so much easier.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Who knew a stewed vegetable dish from very humble beginnings could look so elegant and enticing.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Ingredients
• ¾ cup tomato sauce
• ½ white onion, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 medium yellow zucchini
• 2 medium green zucchini
• 5 roma tomatoes
• 2 tbsp herbs de provence
• 2 tbsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour tomato sauce in a smallish square casserole dish and spread out thinly.
3. Finely chop and mince garlic and stir into tomato sauce.
4. Pour extra virgin olive oil into tomato sauce and stir.
5. Trim the ends off the zucchini and roma tomatoes.
6. Cut vegetable 1/16” thick (very thin slices) and separate into three bowls.
7. Start layering a green zucchini, yellow zucchini and roma tomato and alternating around the casserole dish. Overlap each piece a little and allow some to be visible.
8. When each layer is completed into the middle sprinkle some herbs de provence, sea salt and black pepper.
9. Repeat step 8 until all vegetable are used up.
10. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the inside surface of the dish, and place and press down on top of the vegetables.
11. Bake for 55 minutes,

Tips
• Ensure the zucchini and roma tomatoes are roughly the same width.
• Use a mandoline if you own one.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This dish tasted amazing and the vegetables weren’t too soft. I added the herbs du Provence as I thought this simple recipe could use some added spices. I love how the end result looked. Just looking at the layered vegetables and the time and patience it took to thinly slice the vegetables by hand made me feel quite cheffy.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My new traditional of two whole years of a weekend getaway to Norfolk County for Pumpkinfest is so enjoyable and relaxing. The autumn foliage, pumpkin patches, hiking and long walks, hay & corn mazes, great lakes, Halloween decorations and of course pumpkins. This year I finally decided to lug home to big pumpkins packed in the luggage.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 white Cinderella pumpkin
• extra virgin olive oil
• 500 ml mushroom broth
• 500 ml vegetable broth
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Fresh oregano
• Fresh thyme

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkin is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the mushroom and vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.
• Don’t waste the seeds. Roast and add to soup as a garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Simple and uncomplicated and divine. When I was in the pumpkin patch selecting my pumpkins I asked the farmer if the white pumpkins are well orange inside and if I could still bake or cook with them; to which she replied “yes” and I was sold. I bought two as I have never seen this breed or colour pumpkin before. The Cinderella pumpkin really shined with the roasted pumpkin seeds that added some much needed texture to the soup and I of course froze some for another day.

Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf

Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf - Candy Coated Culinista

Bloody Brains Halloween Meatloaf – Candy Coated Culinista

What a happy accident this meal turned into. I was having company over and said I haven’t made meatloaf in awhile and this amazing recipe just fit the bill.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: No Crumbs Left

Ingredients
Glaze

• 1 cup ketchup
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• ½ tsp hot sauce
Meatloaf
• 1 pound ground beef
• ½ pound ground veal
• ½ pound ground pork
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• ¾ cup gluten-free white bread crumbs
• ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
• ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 8 slices of bacon

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Glaze
2. Using a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and hot sauce.
Meatloaf
3. Using a large bowl mix ground meat, eggs, onions, bread crumbs, parsley, chives, basil, salt, black pepper until combined.
4. Form mixture into a brain shaped loaf on a baking pan.
5. Cover with bacon slices and tuck under bacon ends along the sides.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove meatloaf from the oven, and brush half the glaze over top.
7. Bake for another 15 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips
• I served my meatloaf with chives and parsley roasted gem potatoes and sautéed rapini with garlic and shallots.
• I used a 50/50 mix of beef and pork and sage instead of basil and regular bread crumbs.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Since its October it’s skulls to the Nth degree at my place; more so than the usual. As soon as I plated this meatloaf on my skull platter, this looked like a bloody brain coming out of a skull. The glaze is sweet and tangy; my only change would be to use crushed tomatoes versus processed tomato ketchup as the sauce was probably a touch too sweet for myself. However; the combination of chives and parsley in the meatloaf was delightful; just ensure to finely dice evenly and the texture will be perfecto.

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.

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

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