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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U is for … Udon Noodle Soup

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 6 cups beef broth
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• Handful of Italian parsley, rough chop
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 7 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• One knob of ginger, minced
• ½ cup sugar snap peas, halved
• 2 tbsp, mint leaves
• 200g, 1 package of pre-cooked udon noodles
• 1 baby bok choy, halved down the length of the leaf
• 6 dashes, fish sauce
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Cook the udon noodles according the package then drain and set aside.
2. Using a large saucepan pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Add in celery, onion, parsley, green onions, garlic, carrots, ginger, snap peas, mint leaves and let cook for five minutes.
4. Add in the udon noodles along with fish sauce and apple cider vinegar and cook for five more minutes.
5. Turn down the temperature to simmer and add in the bok choy and let cook for 10 more minutes.
6. Serve

Tips
• Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian, vegan dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I usually love the soup I make; but so far the Asian inspired soups I haven’t really been a fan of. It tasted fine, but just not to my style.

Turkey Stock

Turkey Stock – Candy Coated Culinista

Another great make ahead Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe that can be used in stuffing, gravy and day after soup.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 4 hours, plus
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Slightly altered from No Crumb Left

Ingredients
• 6-8 turkey pieces; combo of wings and drumsticks
• 10 cups of water
• 1 large onion. Sliced into rings
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 celery sticks, chopped
• Fresh parsley, handful
• Fresh chives, handful
• Fresh thyme, handful

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place turkey pieces into a roasting pan and bake for 60 minutes. (Just ensure all sides of the turkey are a golden brown)
3. Check every 30 minutes and flip.
4. Meanwhile using a large stock pot add ten cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once turkey is done, tear apart the wings and place all the turkey pieces along with the vegetable into the stock pot.
6. Scrape the brown bits from the roasting pan with a wooden spoon and add to the stock pot. (If it hasn’t all deglazed; just turn on the burner and add some water and let boil and scrap the turkey pieces off)
7. Gently simmer over low heat for 4 hours. The stock will reduce down.
8. Let cool and pour into jars and chill.

Tips
• Use the leftover turkey for whatever you like. I saved the drum sticks for dinner as they remained whole and the turkey wings were put in a quick turkey soup with the rest of the veg.
• You can also freeze this stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Not going to lie here this is a lot of work for stock; but then there are no preservatives, sodium or salt and chemicals. So start this in the morning and go about your day in the house and let this reduce while you’re doing chores and other baking. There is no salt in this recipe so it won’t be as flavourful as you expect; but it’s best to salt whatever dish you put this into after the fact.

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.

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.

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche  - Candy Coated Culinista

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a recipe I made on Good Friday as this is a fish eating day for me. I wanted to make a classy dish that could also make for brunch or lunch and I think this recipe fits the bill.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 1o min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Tilapia
• 2 tilapia fillets
• Season salt
• Black pepper
• Dried basil
• Curry powder, pinch
• Cayenne Pepper, pinch
• Smoke paprika, pinch
Ceviche
• 2 large avocados
• Parsley leaves, minced
• Yellow pepper, diced
• Red onion, diced
• Celery, diced
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season tilapia with season salt, black pepper, basil, curry powder, cayenne powder and smoke paprika.
3. Place on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and set aside.
5. In a medium sized bowl add the diced and minced parsley, yellow pepper, red onion, celery and squeeze lime overtop and mix.
6. Set aside.
7. When the fish is cooked, break apart one of the fish and add to the ceviche and mix.
8. Scoop mock ceviche mixture into the centre of the avocado.
9. Cut the second piece of tilapia down the spine and plate a portion for both plates.
10. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am a big fan of this recipe. I could probably be a true ceviche recipe; but the only food I have ventured into raw is sushi so far and ceviche and tartare’s just haven’t made it in my list yet. This recipe is light and very flavourful as the tilapia can hold up to the spices on the fish and the burst of citrus with the crunchy vegetables is a hit I my books.

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

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

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

Ingredients
• 4 large vine tomatoes
• Sea salt
• 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
• 1 cup couscous
• 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• ½ cup golden raisins
• 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
• Handful fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
• 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Salt to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Thinly slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
2. Sprinkle the inside generously with sea salt ad turn upside down on a plate lined with paper towel for 30 minutes. (This step will allow the moisture to be drawn out from the tomato; otherwise you will have soggy couscous.)
3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
4. Using a small saucepan bring vegetable stock to a boil.
5. Add in 1 cup of couscous, stir and cover.
6. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.
7. Fluff with a fork.
8. Add in the carrot, spring onion, raisins, celery, mint leaves, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, salt and black pepper and combine.
9. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
10. Spoon couscous mixture into tomatoes and fill to the top and place in the baking dish.
11. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until tomato skin starts to split open and soften.
12. Serve and eat immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a new favourite recipe of mine and I will be making this one again in the very near future. I wasn’t so sure if I’d like this as I thought it would be soggy, but it wasn’t at all. Even Mr. C. who can’t stand cooked tomatoes loved this. The softness of the tomato, yet it still need to be cut with a knife along with the crunchy toasted couscous with cheese. This was a great combination and I even saved a tomato for the next day and it wasn’t soggy at all and tasted the same as the day before.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder - Candy Coated Culinista

Corn Chowder – Candy Coated Culinista

Corn chowder is the ultimate comfort food I have never tried or made before.

Yield/Serving: 4

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 stalk celery, chopped
• 1 stalk leek, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• ¼ tsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cup vegetable stock
• 1 sweet red pepper, diced
• 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 2 cups fresh corn kernels, of the cob
• ¼ cup fresh Itallian parsley
• ½ tsp paprika
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Using a large saucepan over medium high heat pour extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add in the celery, onion, leeks along with dried thyme and cook until slightly browned, stirring frequently.
3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir for a few minutes.
4. Add in the heavy cream and potato and let boil, stirring as to not let the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot.
5. Add in the vegetable stock and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Ladle into a soup bowl and garnish with parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I don’t think I’m a fan of creamy milk based soups; I am more of broth fan. I just couldn’t get passed the fact that there was milk in my soup. The flavours were great but when I make this again I will make it using stock and not any milk products. This soup was vibrant and colourful and I wanted to eat it with my eyes, which are all the qualities you want when looking at your food.

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