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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Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon - Candy Coated Culinista

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given a bottle of red wine from a co-worker who had recently gotten marriage. The couple had given all the guests a bottle of red wine they bottled and corked at a winery in the Niagara region. Now since I don’t drink and don’t like wine I said I’d taste a small bit and would cook with the rest. I thought to do coq au vin again; but then thought I should try something else. This is when beef bourguigon came into my head. I also remember that scene from Julie & Julia where Julie says “don’t crowd the beef” and I said to myself this is a good recipe and I have never actually made a Julia Child’s recipe before. I started my prep and had everything ready to go and all that was left was to open the wine (queue the ominous music). Since it’s 2016 I made the assumption that this bottle of wine was going to be one of those twist top varieties and I was so wrong; and believe it or not I don’t even own a cork screw. So here’s where my 30 minute struggle to open a bottle of wine begins. I tried to use a knife and cut away at the cork on a slant, no luck. Then I went to my tool box; because I have a full tool box at the ready; but I don’t own a corkscrew. (I’ve never really been a conventional girl here; and have always been the work on my own car and build my own curio stand and solder this or that) hence I grabbed a screw and twisted it into the cork and then grabbed the hammer to pop it out. Still no luck and at this point I thought I was done, until I did the one thing I really didn’t want to do which was to push the cork in. I did this and strained away any cork pieces that may have broken and then pulled out the cork after the fact and retrieved my screw. Lesson learned here and I will be going to the dollar store to get myself a corkscrew as that was not a fun experience for me at all.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 3 plus hours
Difficulty level is: Medium, very time-consuming and persnickety

From: Slightly altered from Julia Child

Ingredients
Bouquet Garni

• 1 stalk of celery, cut into three pieces
• A bunch of parsley, stems only
• 4 fresh thyme sprigs
• 5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
Boeuf Bourguignon
• • 4 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 3 pound of stewing beef
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 1 bottle of dry red wine
• 1 stick unsalted butter, total use accordingly
• 3 cloves of garlic, whole
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 4 carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
• 3 celery, chopped
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered if large
• 1 tbsp herbs du provence
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Parsley, handful rough chop

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan, fry bacon, drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Pat dry all beef pieces and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide flour and beef into four portions. Place batch one into a ziplock bag and coat beef.
4. Place two tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed pot and brown beef on all side. Don’t crowd the meat. Once the meats is browned transfer to a bowl and continue with the next batch of beef until all is browned.
5. Pour off any excess oil from the pot if necessary and then pour wine into pot to deglaze for about 1 minute. Ensure to stir and scrape up brown bits and then pour over the beef.
6. Make the bouquet garni and set aside for the moment.
7. In the pot put butter and oil over medium-high heat and put in the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms along with the crumbled bacon and sauté until browned.
8. Add in the herbs du provence, tomato paste and parsley and continue to stir.
9. Pour in the wine and the beef along with the bouquet garni and gently simmer partially covered until the meat is tender; about 3 ½ to 4 hours and occasionally stir.
10. When beef bourguignon is ready remove bouquet garni and serve.

Tips
• Have kitchen string/twine on hand for bouquet garni
• Serve with baby potatoes or a baguette.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I didn’t add the pearl onions to this recipe as I didn’t really want all of those onions in the dish. I found this recipe to be so persnickety and yes I get the whole “don’t crowd the meat”; but this recipe had a lot going on and was so finicky and Mise en Place. Maybe it’s because I have always found myself to be a more instinctual cook who doesn’t like to follow a recipe in its entirety and yes I even slightly altered a Julia Child’s recipe as sacrilege as that probably is to most; but that’s just who I am. It was still an amazing recipe with its richness the smell the wine aroma and those perfectly chopped vegetables. I can see what all that fuss was about; but in the end this recipe is still way to fussy for me and this isn’t the way I like to cook. I didn’t even have kitchen twine for the bouquet garni and I had to use a cheesecloth that I use for my almond milk. It was really quite an experience to MacGyer my way through some aspects of this recipe. I have always loved MacGyer so in some ways I got to try my hand at working with what I have on hand; but next time I will try this is a slow cooker recipe.

Weeknight Leftover Speedy Beef Pot Pie

Beef Pot Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Beef Pot Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

I had some leftover potatoes and a puff pastry that was about to expire and I decided it’s about time I make a quick and easy beef pot pie.

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

Ingredients
• 1 sheet butter puff pastry (usually half of the package / box) – thaw at room temp for 2 hours and then keep in fridge in not using immediately after thawing
• About 2 pounds of stewing beef
• Herbs du Provence
• Basil
• Season salt
• Sea salt
• Paprika
• Onion powder
• Garlic powder
• Black pepper
• 1 cup potatoes, leftovers cut into chunks
• ½ cup corn
• 8 white mushrooms, chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• ½ cup carrots, diced
• ½ cup green peas
• Gravy, packet

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. At medium-high heat brown the stewing beef and stir in the spices in a cast-iron skillet until almost cooked through.
3. Place beef along with potatoes and corn into a large bowl.
4. Using the same skillet sauce the mushrooms and onions and pour into bowl.
5. In a medium sized saucepan steam the carrots and green peas and pour into bowl.
6. Prepare pre-made gravy in a small saucepan and mix into the bowl of pot pie filling.
7. Fill a casserole dish with the filling and then roll out the puff pastry. (cut to size if needed).
8. Make some slits to allow are to escape.
9. Bake for twenty-five minutes.
10. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first attempt at a beef pot pie turned out quite well. It was simple and fast and I got to use up my leftovers. I will be using a crock pot the next time I make this as I forget I own a crock pot sometimes and letting the stew slow cook can only make it more tender.

Beef Pot Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Beef Pot Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Penne Pasta Dinner

Skillet Penne Pasta Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Penne Pasta Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

When I was a child pasta night was always Friday and my mom would make her tried and true pasta dish. I have been reminiscing and thinking about my mom more than usual lately and I decided to pay homage and make my version of her dish.

Yield/Serving: 8
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 cups Penne Rigate
• 2 lbs lean ground beef
• 1 tsp Sea salt
• ½ tsp Black pepper
• 1 tsp Paprika
• ½ tsp Season salt
• 1 tsp Onion powder
• ½ tsp Garlic powder
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• ½ cup white mushrooms, chopped
• half of one small white onion
• ½ cup of grape tomatoes, halved
• 2 cups marinara sauce
• Generous handful of Italian parsley
• ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
• ½ cup of cheddar cheese
• ¼ cup of parmesan cheese

Assembly
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water cook penne until al dente.
2. Drain in a colander once cooked.
3. Using a 12” cast iron skillet brown the ground beef and add the salt, pepper, paprika, season salt, onion powder and garlic powder.
4. After 5 minutes stir in the diced garlic along with the mushrooms, onion and grape tomatoes and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
6. Stir in the marinara sauce to the meat mixture and add parsley and cook at a simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Pour pasta into the skillet and incorporate into the meat mixture.
8. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes to allow cheese to melt.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Freeze some to bake at a later time.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was so happy with how this tasted and turned out and it was true to my mom’s dish. My mom used a stovetop skillet; but since I have a nice cast iron skillet I decided to take it to the oven and bake it in the dish. I just wish the thing was a little lighter is all.

Mulligatawny Sans Soup

Mulligatawny Sans Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Mulligatawny Sans Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Altered from From “Jamie’s Great Britain – 130 of my favourite British recipes, from comfort food to new classics“

I saw this recipe while flipping through Jamie’s Great Britain, while waiting for him to take stage for his book tour a couple of years ago and my face lit up that night in Massey Hall. The other day I was going through some of my older cookbooks and I saw “Mulligatawny” again. For me when I hear the word Mulligatawny, a very specific pop-culture reference comes to my mind; but for me I have two reasons why this recipe will always bring a smile to my face though. First: the 116th episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld”. The owner of this restaurant has gotten this moniker of “Soup Nazi “due to his temperament and his procedure of how to place an order. When Elaine goes in to order she doesn’t follow the procedure and is banned for one year. Secondly, it reminds me of my mom. She was not a big Seinfeld fan yet every time this episode came on she would sit down and watch it with me. She loved when Elaine told off the Soup Nazi and said “You’re through, Soup Nazi. Pack it up. No more soup for you. Next.” She would repeat it as best as she could and we laughed the whole way through. This is a really great silly memory of my mom, so now when the episode comes on and I’m visiting my dad he will hang around and watch it with me and we think of mom.

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 ½ oz lean ground beef
• ½ red onion, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 red pepper, diced
• ½ jalapeno, diced
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 sprig of fresh thyme
• Handful of fresh cilantro
• 1 cup basmati rice

Assembly/Method
1. Using a frying pan over medium-high heat pour in the olive oil and brown the ground beef.
2. Add in the onion, carrots, garlic, red pepper, jalapeno and cook for another 7 minutes.
3. Add in the curry powder, tomato paste, salt, pepper and thyme.
4. Prepare the basmati rice.
5. Pour the beef mixture onto the basmati rice and add the cilantro and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was an ok dish for me as I am not a fan of Indian or in this case Anglo-Indian Cuisine, but I had to give it a try. I removed the soup aspect as I didn’t want to drink curry flavours, however, if this is your cup of tea give it a try with or without soup. I may not care for this recipe but the memories and smiles it brings me is well worth it.

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