Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice – Candy Coated Culinista

I went to my first Authentic Thai restaurant in February and ever since I have been intrigued by this cuisine and trying to consume and slowly try all things Thai. It’s one hundred percent thanks to this amazing Tamarind chicken I had and the taste and smell is still stuck in my head today. I love the sweet and tangy aspects to the tamarind as we have this fruit in the Caribbean and I remember pulling them of the tree and them being scattered on the streets all over Barbados & Antigua. This dish made me want to try Thai food more ad even though I’m not a curry fan I am finding Thai curry dishes to have a very different spice taste then Indian cuisine that I am not fond of. I am exploring this new flavor profile; but for now only with the rice and salad dishes and then on to noodles and proper Thai curries.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pineapple, halved lengthwise if you want to make a pineapple boat
• 1/2 cup Jasmine Rice
• Peanut oil
• Soy sauce, to taste
• Curry powder. To taste
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ small white onion, diced
• 1 small carrot, grated
• ¼ cup frozen peas
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup pineapple, finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• Cilantro, handful, rough chop
• Peanuts, chopped, to taste

Assembly
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat cook rice and set aside.
2. Using a wok add peanut oil and fry garlic cloves and onion for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the Jasmine rice along with soy sauce and curry powder.
4. Add carrots and frozen peas, and let cook for 10 minutes.
5. Crack the egg into the fried rice and stir around.
6. Add in the pineapple, spring onion, cilantro and peanuts and stir for 1 minute.
7. Serve.

Tips
• Serve in a pineapple boats if desired. Just carve out the pineapple and pour Thai fried rice inside.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a totally new food for me and I honestly wanted to make this dish because of the pineapple boat and that wow factor when serving this dish. As I am not a huge curry fan I didn’t add tons of curry powder; but the colour and smell was wonderful and flavouful. I loved all the added fruit & vegetables in the rice.

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry & Jasmine Fried Rice

Shrimp Stir-Fry - Candy Coated Culinista

Shrimp Stir-Fry – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been craving shrimp for a while now and I figured it was time to make something shrimp related.

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

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry
Ingredients

• 25 whole shrimp, deveined
• Garlic, 4 cloves, finely chopped
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Broccoli crown, cut into pieces
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into circles
• Small red onion, cut into chunks
• Plum sauce
• Spicy ginger oil
• Sesame seeds

Assembly
1. Clean shrimp and place in a bowl.
2. Add garlic, kosher salt & black pepper and mix then set aside covered with saran wrap.
3. Using a wok over medium heat add some spicy ginger oil and fry the shrimp. Add some plum sauce after the first few minutes. Once cooked set aside.
4. Add more spicy ginger oil and fry broccoli, carrots, red onion and plum sauce for five minutes.
5. Add in the shrimp and mix.
6. Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Jasmine Fried Rice
Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup jasmine rice
• 2 tbsp spicy ginger oil
• ¾ cup frozen mixed veg of corn, carrots & peas
• 4 tbsp spicy ginger oil
• 1 eggs
• 2 tbsp soy sauce

Assembly
1. In a pot, cook the rice in 1 cups of water over medium-high heat until cooked.
2. In a small saucepan cook the mixed vegetables and drain.
3. In a wok with 4 tbsp of spicy ginger oil and fry rice and add in the mixed vegetables and stir frequently for 5 minutes.
4. Add egg and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and toss until coated.
6. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My taste tester loved this and was very surprised by the treat. They love Chinese food but always buy it at the restaurant, so I decided to make them my version. This was eaten for brunch, as they couldn’t wait which made me laugh. I seem to have a lot of testers that just can’t wait to dive into the food I prepare which is a lovely feeling. I loved the slight kick of the ginger that coated the shrimp and the sweetness of the plum sauce over the Crunchy vegetables. Funny enough when I was showing a co-worker this picture another co-worker of Chinese-Vietnamese decent saw it and said it looked great. She asked my other co-worker to sneakily ask for the recipe for her. If a Chinese person wants my recipe I have done a good job. I am now officially a big fan of adding an egg to my fried rice and can’t believe I only started doing this last year. I really should have been doing this a long time ago as it just add that little bit extra to the rice.

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie - Candy Coated Culiinista

Chicken Pot Pie – Candy Coated Culiinista

On a biscuit kick and craving comfort food I ventured into a biscuit chicken pot pie.

Yield/Serving: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 55 minutes overall
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 6 chicken thighs
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Basil, to taste
• 6 tbsp margarine
• 4 carrots, peeled and diced
• 4 celery ribs, diced
• 1 ear of corn, kernels
• 1 medium sized onion, diced
• 227 g of white button mushrooms, quartered
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 4 tbsp chicken stock
• 1/3 cup frozen peas

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, oregano and basil and bake for 25 minutes.
3. In a large frying pan over medium heat add the margarine along with the carrots, celery, corn onion and mushrooms and sauté.
4. Stir frequently and add all-purpose flour and chicken stock and continue to stir until thick for 10 minutes.
5. Once chicken is baked, remove from the oven and allow to rest before shredding or cutting into pieces.
6. Pour chicken and frozen peas into the vegetable mixture and mix well.
7. Transfer the chicken vegetable mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of the baking process and the biscuits and then serve immediately.

Tips
• Make biscuits the day before if desired or bake the biscuits prior to starting the chicken pot pie recipe.

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits

Yield/Serving: 8 biscuits
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 – 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp parsley
• 1 tsp oregano
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
• ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
• ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
• 2 jalapeno thinly sliced and seeded
• ¾ cup 2% milk

Assembly
8. Preheat oven to 400°F.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
10. Using a large sized bowl mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt together with a whisk.
11. Using your hands add butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
12. Add cheese and jalapenos.
13. Slowly add milk incorporating until dough is formed.
14. Cut dough and form into a circle and place on parchment paper.
15. Bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Tips
• Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray to have muffin shaped biscuits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of the heartier dishes I have made and is perfect for the Autumn & Winter season as its comfort food at its best. I had many great reviews for this recipe and the biscuits were mentioned for weeks after this dish had been consumed. I was pleasantly surprised at how this turned out and there were even some leftovers. The flaky buttery biscuit on top of a rich rustic meal was just superb.

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.

Gluten-free Minestrone

Gluten-free Minestrone - Candy Coated Culinista

Gluten-free Minestrone – Candy Coated Culinista

A cold weekend is ahead and I have been craving soup in a bad way.

Yield/Serving: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: (beginning to end) 1 ½ hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Red onion, half diced
• 3 carrots, peeled & chopped
• 2 zucchini, cut into half circles
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
• 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, diced
• 1 small green bell pepper, diced
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 2 litres vegetable stock, reduced sodium
• 1 can red kidney beans
• 2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
• 2 cups gluten-free farfalle pasta
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped

Assembly
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, pour extra virgin olive oil and brown onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper and green pepper and let brown slightly, 5 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste, oregano, vegetable stock, kidney beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
3. Add in the gluten-free pasta and let simmer until pasta is aldente.
4. Continue to let simmer and add in parmesan cheese and parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a great fall soup. Zucchini is a summer vegetable but in Ontario it can be readily found up until October and I fully took advantage of that. I have always wanted to make a minestone and this was so delicious I didn’t even miss the protein. The carrots and zucchini were still crunchy and this recipe is perfect for freezing.

Pomegranate Glazed Carrot Medley

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots - Candy Coated Culinista

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots – Candy Coated Culinista

If I can find a way to use pomegranate I will. I have always loved pomegranates and even though they are a mess to eat I enjoy cracking into it. I remember as a child when my mom gave me a pomegranate I would run upstairs to change into an old t-shirt and then have at it while sitting in front of the TV, enjoying my cartoons. This is still my routine to this day; but I also love finding different ways to incorporate pomegranate into dishes.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 35 – 40 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 150 ml pomegranate juice
• 2 tbsp pure fancy molasses
• 4 medium sized carrots
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch, sea salt
• Pinch black pepper
• ¼ cup cashews
• ¼ cup dried blueberries
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat; let pomegranate juice reduce (10 – 15 minutes) and then stir in the molasses.
3. Peel carrots and cut on the bias and place to the roasting pan and coat the carrots.
4. Bake for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Drizzle glaze over and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Add in the blueberries and cashews and bake for another 5 minutes.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Tips
• You can make the glaze in advance if necessary.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The taste of this dish was great. I loved the addition of it as a glaze and this is a great and healthy vegan dish. This would be a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas and I will be adding this to my Holiday menu.

Family Style Fried Rice

Family Style Fried Rice - Candy Coated Culinista

Family Style Fried Rice – Candy Coated Culinista

Can you believe I have never made fried rice before? I love making stir fry and Chinese food yet I have never made fried rice. I was prepping a meal for some guests and I had planned to make just plain rice served with some teriyaki chicken breasts and on the fly I decided to turn this into a fried rice.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 30-40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 cups basmati rice
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 small onion finely chopped
• 5 gloves garlic, finely diced
• ½ cup diced frozen carrots
• ½ cup frozen peas
• ¾ cup corn kernels
• 4 tbsp sesame oil
• 3 eggs
• 5 tbsp soy sauce

Assembly
1. In a pot cook the rice in 2 cups of water over medium-high heat until cooked.
2. In a frying pan with 2 tbsp on sesame oil, fry onions for 4 minutes and the add garlic for 30 seconds.
3. When rice in finished cooking add onion and garlic along with the carrots, peas and corn along with the sesame oil and fry and stir frequently for 5 minutes.
4. Add eggs and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and toss until coated.
6. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This couldn’t be easier and this was perfect to serve family style; so everyone could help themselves at the table. This can be made the day before and then re-fried again with a little sesame oil before serving; as fried rice always tastes so much better on the second day.

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a time crunch for dinner? Have left over ground beef from last night’s pasta dinner? Make this twenty minute individually sized shepherd’s pie.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Bake Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Ground beef
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper
• Season Salt
• Paprika
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Dried basil
• Worcestershire sauce
• ½ small onion, diced
• 6 mushrooms, chopped
• 2 medium-sized potatoes, chopped but not peeled
• Table salt
• Canola oil
• Peas, frozen or canned
• Carrots, frozen or canned
• Cream corn, canned
• Pasta sauce
• Margarine
• Milk

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Use leftover ground beef and warm up or: Over medium-high heat in a frying pan fry ground beef and add salt, pepper, season salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and Worcestershire sauce to your taste
3. Add onions and mushrooms to ground beef and continue to cook.
4. Wash, cut & boil the potatoes in a pot of water over high heat with a little table salt and canola oil.
5. Prepare the remaining vegetables (used canned as there are already the perfect size then you can just add when putting pie together or steam the bagged frozen vegetables)
6. Add pasta sauce to your ground beef and stir.
7. Once potatoes are done, strain, add butter & milk and mash.
Pie Assembly
1. Butter a large oven-safe cappuccino mug; (or any bigger oven-safe mug you have)
2. Add the meat sauce followed by the vegetables
3. Top with the potatoes.
4. Use a fork and push (on an angle) down the corners and all along the edges of the pie in the mug and make some fork scratches all along the top pie so it doesn’t look so boring.
5. Cook for 5 minutes at 450° or until top is golden brown.
6. Torch the top with a kitchen torch if desired and serve.

Tips
• As this is a 20 minute recipe using canned vegetable or frozen veggies is optimal to save on time.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe is always a hit no matter who I’m making this for. It has all the food groups and is so wholesome and comforting, especially in the colder months. I always burn my tongue as I just can’t wait to dig in and you’d think I’d learn after all these years; but I haven’t and it’s so worth

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables - Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables – Candy Coated Culinista

I am finally starting to love my skillet, don’t get me wrong I still find cooking certain proteins on it a little challenging; but every day it get better and today I am trying to bake a whole bird using the skillet.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 small whole chicken
• Season salt
• Paprika
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• 3 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil
• 4 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
• 4 stalks celery, rough chop
• 4 carrots, rough chop
• 1 small onion, sliced
• Handful, green beans
• 2 fresh sprigs, rosemary
• 8 chives
• 6 cloves garlic, rough chop

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Season whole chicken rubbing seasoning onto chicken.
3. Pour olive oil into skillet and place potatoes on the bottom of the pan.
4. Place celery, carrots, onion, and green beans around the side, leaving space for the whole chicken in the middle.
5. Stuff the rosemary, chives and garlic into the cavity of the chicken.
6. Place chicken into the middle of the skillet and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake for about 45 minutes.
8. The internal temperature should be between 150°F – 165°F, or cut into the thigh meat at the joint and if the juices run clear it is ready.
9. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with vegetables.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my best roast chicken to date. It was so fragrant, juicy and succulent and I could smell the rosemary, chives and garlic throughout the chicken. Cooking the whole recipe in one pan made me so happy as I really dislike using multiple pot and pans, but most times it is needed. The only thing I would change is putting the potatoes in first let cook and then the whole chicken followed by the carrots, celery and green beans.

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables - Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables – Candy Coated Culinista

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

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