Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

C.C.’s Savoury Stuffed Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 3 chicken breasts, sliced halfway through breast but not to the end of the breast
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• Season salt
• Dried basil
• Dried oregano
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Greek spices
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 12 asparagus, bottoms cut off
• 6 grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice into chicken breast lengthwise down the middle; but not all the way through.
3. Season chicken breasts with spices.
4. Place asparagus, grape tomato, mushroom and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese inside the chicken breast.
5. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour olive oil in.
6. Once oil is hot sear top and bottom of the chicken breast.
7. Place chicken into a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Serve and enjoy

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have always wanted to make a stuffed chicken and I’m happy I finally have. I have learned that I was too generous with the filling and next time I will scale back a touch. Other than that this was beyond delicious and fresh.

Advertisements

Plantains Assados con Queso

Plantains Assados con Queso – Candy Coated Culnista

One of the few Caribbean foods I have always loved was plantain whether fried or boiled and put in a soup. Probably it was the sweetness of the plantain as is ripened that caught my attention as a child; but even today when I find plantain in the store I think back to my mom frying it when it was over ripped and ooey gooey to serve alongside my breakfast. I went to a food market at lunch, and I saw this wonderfully fried whole plantain just staring back at me and I just knew I had to try it and it didn’t disappoint.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 1 plantain, peeled and sliced in the centre, but not all the way through
• 3 tbsp cream cheese
• Fresh rosemary, removed from sprig
• Pinch of sea salt

Assembly
1. Over medium-high, using a frying pan heat up canola oil.
2. Place plantain in and fry all sides until golden brown and the colour has changed.
3. Drain on a paper towel if necessary.
4. Using a small bowl mix cream cheese & rosemary and stuff into the plantain.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Tips
• If you have time bake this bake at 400° for 30 minutes; instead of frying.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did my own spin on this Ecuadorian dish as the way it was prepared had ricotta stuffed inside. I used cream cheese and added some fresh thyme because it just felt right to me. This is a new preparation for me that I never knew even existed. I am very happy to have stumbled upon this in the market. Plantains Assados con Queso means baked plantains with cheese; but I took a quicker approach and fried it. Try baking it as it would turn out just as well. I made this while preparing breakfast before work yesterday morning, so I had less time. The plantain was soft on the outside and firmer as you got further in. The filling was creamy with the punch of thyme. I’m not really a fan of cream cheese unless it’s on my bagel; but it works so well and I gave a piece to my testers and they loved the cream cheese and thyme combo.

P is for … Pea Risotto

P is for … Pea Risotto - Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20-22 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 900ml low sodium chicken stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh peas
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
• Handful of parsley, finely diced

Assembly
1. Pour chicken stock into a large saucepan over high heat and boil.
2. Once the chicken stock has boiled, turn down to low heat to keep warm.
3. In a medium saucepan heat extra virgin olive oil and pour in the onion and cook for three minutes.
4. Add in the garlic and continue cooking for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
5. Stir in one cup of Arborio rice along with sea salt and black pepper stirring constantly for two minutes.
6. Ladle in a half cup of chicken stock to the rice until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding chicken stock a half cup at a time until rice is tender with a firm centre and the risotto is creamy, about 20 to 22 minutes.
8. Add in the peas and butter in the last 3 minutes of cooking.
9. Stir in the parsley and grate some Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.
10. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A slow but well worth it process. Creamy and aldente with the fresh peas and parsley along with the Parmigiano Reggiano made this a rich dish.

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp agave nectar
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1 small honeydew melon, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
• 1 golden kiwi, halved and sliced
• ½ English cucumber, cut into chunks
• 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/3 cup black olives, roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp finely chopped dill
• ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Assembly
1. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl add honey dew, golden kiwi, English cucumber, red onion, black olives and dill.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and mix.
4. Finally top with crumbled feta cheese and give one last quick mix and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of my most creative salads to date. The combination of fruits and vegetables and it being both salty and sweet was very delicious. I would make this for a dinner party in a heartbeat.

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale Caesar Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This twist on a Caesar salad is my new favourite way to enjoy Caesar salad. Robust and hearty kale being incorporated into this classic is delicious.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
• 6 kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
• Spinach, big handful chopped
• 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
• Caesar salad dressing
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup croutons

Assembly
1. Chop romaine, kale and spinach leaves and put into a bowl.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until crispy and then crumble.
3. Using the same oil from the bacon, quickly fry the minced garlic and add to another bowl.
4. Finely chop the anchovies and add to the small bowl along with salad dressing and mix.
5. Shred mozzarella cheese and add to the bowl of lettuce along with parmesan cheese and croutons.
6. Mix well and serve.

Tips
• Make the dressing by hand if you like; but I decided not to as I had time restraints.
• Make into a chicken Caesar salad by adding grilled chicken breast into the salad.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was enjoyed by my taste testers. I managed to turn people who claim to hate anchovy’s and kale into a lover. Granted the moment I mentioned there were whole anchovy fillets in the salad some stopped. My point was still proven and I arrested my case. I have made this salad three times already in 2 weeks; even once as a chicken Caesar salad.

BBQ Chicken, Apple, Bacon & Mushroom Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Apple & Bacon Quesdaillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Apple & Bacon Quesdaillas – Candy Coated Culinista

I knew I wanted to make quesadillas for dinner this past weekend having a huge craving for it. I knew that even though this recipe was going to be familiar I planned on throwing a wrench into the classic quesadillas with some granny smith apples.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 5 chicken thighs, cut into pieces
• Vegetable oil
• Sea salt, to taste
• Ground cumin, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• Red pepper flakes, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• 4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
• 8 button mushroom, sliced
• ½ granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks skin on
• 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 tbsp garlic BBQ sauce
• 4 tortillas
• Guacamole, optional using fresh avocado’s
• Sour cream, optional

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan over medium heat fry and season chicken thighs with a little vegetable oil until cooked thoroughly.
2. In another frying pan over medium heat fry bacon until crispy.
3. In another frying pan over medium high heat sauté the mushrooms in a little vegetable oil.
4. Cut the granny smith apple and red onion and set aside in a bowl.
5. Shred cheddar cheese and set aside.
6. Once chicken and bacon are finished cooking, cut into pieces and add BBQ sauce to the chicken pieces and coat.
7. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting tortillas.
8. Add in a mixture of chicken, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, red onion and apple and let melt.
9. Place the second tortilla on top and flip at least once until tortilla is crispy and cheese is melted.
10. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole and sour cream on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This dish was an absolute hit! I even had a request to make another portion as it was so well received and of course I had to oblige. I even stole a bite for myself even though I was beyond full at this point I just couldn’t resist. The granny smiths added a tartness and crunch that was enjoyable and balanced well with the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Buttery Balsamic Green Beans

Buttery Balsamic Green Beans - Candy Coated Culinista

Buttery Balsamic Green Beans – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet, buttery, tart and salty and on a beautiful vegetable… this can’t get any better.

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

Ingredients
• Green beans, 2 handfuls
• 2 tbsp Vegetarian margarine
• 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
• 1 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
• Feta Cheese, to taste

Assembly
1. Using a saucepan; bring water to a boil.
2. Add green beans into a steamer basket cover and reduce to medium heat and steam until just cooked.
3. Place steamed green beans in a bowl and add margarine, agave nectar and raspberry balsamic vinegar and coat.
4. Add dried cranberries and mix.
5. Plate and sprinkle feta cheese on top and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this recipe with what was in my panty and fridge and this turned out amazing. I love how some of my best recipes come from just what is on hand at the time. I have already made this simple recipe twice already and I will continue to make this time and time again. The dressing is a great way to get that picky eater to at least take a few bites of a not so favorite vegetable. I did however have to take their portion; because I just knew it all wouldn’t be eaten. A valiant effort was made and it was appreciated.

CNE 2015 & Food Truck Frenzy

Bacon Nation - Slaw Dog Millionaire - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Slaw Dog Millionaire – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again; and as fast as the CNE arrives it means summer is almost over; but I get to try some of those crazy CNE foods and enjoy the Food Truck Frenzy once again. This year I found a sneak peak listing of the new and interesting foods available this year and some of the must tries on the list were: Cake Poutine, Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, Poutine Balls, Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese, Red Velvet Oreos, Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli, Timbit Poutine, Deep fried Cheesecake and Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick. I really wanted to taste the Frosted flake Chicken as that is my favourite cereal; but I decided not to this time around.

I went two times again this year the CNE to spread out my food consumption: once to try the CNE foods and then back for the Food Truck Frenzy with my girls. Here is a quick rundown of the foods I tried or got reviews from other tester I went with. I ate so much at the food Truck Frenzy it was criminal and I really don’t know how I managed to pack all that away and not be in a food coma.

Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli – Jack’s Lobster (Food Building) – $10
Jake’s Lobster in the Food Building was serving up snow crab over fresh cut fries and garnished with garlic aioli and fresh herbs and topped with a lemon wedge. This was one of the food items on the top of my list and it was delicious. The potion size was a little small and I could have eaten two easy; but it was delicious. The ratio of seafood to fries was bang on. I appreciated seeing some crab legs and the fries were perfectly salted. I would eat this again and again and will try to make this at home.

Cake Poutine – Culinary student from Humber College (Direct Energy Building) – $5
The cake fries are made from a rich vanilla bean infused cake and lathered in warm chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Bacon bits, marshmallows, strawberries and maple syrup are just some of the toppings. I had the O’ Canada Cake Poutine which was vanilla cake fries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips. This was a must try for me as I had to support these two ladies who created the booth that were from my Alma Mata Humber College. The cake was dense but soft and held up to the sauce. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a creative spin on a Canadian classic. I even took a little home as I was beyond full at the end of the night.

Chicken & Waffles on a Stick $8
It’s like a corndog but with the hog dog replaced with the chicken and the cornbread casing is now a waffle batter. I was told it was overrated and I still really wanted to try it but I couldn’t find the booth.

Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese – Bacon Nation (Food Building) – $10
Bacon wrapped cheddar & mozzarella sandwich served with special ketchup. A review of this sandwich was it was overpriced and shrunk a lot upon cooking and the bacon wasn’t crispy; which defeats the purpose as how can you eat a sandwich wrapped in bacon and chew through it with chewy bacon. I believe this was an opening problem as when I saw pictures as the days passed the grilled cheese started having a crispier bacon covering.

Red Velvet Oreos –3 for $8
Double stuffed Oreos dipped in red velvet batter and deep fried; dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese icing. A common review I heard was it was little pricy and wasn’t necessarily worth the price; which makes sense but you are buying this for the novelty of it.

Deep Fried Cheesecake – Pickle Pete’s -$7
A New York style cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried and served with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup on top. This was recommended to me to give a try as it was surprisingly light; but I am not a cheesecake lover.

Food Truck Frenzy

This year there seemed to be a Beer Event being held within the Food Truck Frenzy and there were beer pairings offered for foods from the trucks. I personally wasn’t a fan of this as I don’t drink beer and then all of the trucks didn’t offer drinks this year. My only option was to go to the Coca Cola stand to buy Coke products. I don’t drink pop or caffeine either so I had to wait until I found my lemonade vendor as I know they are always in the Direct Energy Building. I will say I wasn’t the only one to complain. I heard many complaints and surprisingly men to were at the top of this list to air their feelings.

Slaw Dog Millionaire – Bacon Nation – $12
Bacon wrapped hot dog with apple slaw. I never eat hot dogs and when I do they are always chicken hot dogs so this was a great change for me. I loved the saltiness of the hot dog and the crunch of the slaw.

Apple Porkfection – Bacon Nation – $12
Pulled Pork, bacon strips, apple slaw on a bacon bun. This was sweet and salty the perfect combination.

Athens Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $9

Feta, Tzatziki & gravy. I’m a sucker for a poutine without the cheese curds. I couldn’t finish this and had to share. The tzatziki is the best I’ve ever had as it was thicker, creamier and more complex. I’m not sure what they did to it but it was amazing. I would go back and buy and container if that was possible.

Feta Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $8
Just like the Athens Fries minus the gravy. I preferred my version better; but this was still amazing and the owners were so polite.

The Lumberjack – Gorilla Cheese – $10
Bacon, granny smith apple, maple syrup, aged cheddar. A sweet and salty combo that was very satisfying and worth every penny.

Shawarma Bombs – Gourmet Guyz – $7
Tabbouleh, rice and chicken wrapped inside a wonton wrapper served with dipping sauce. This was one of the more inventive food options at the food truck frenzy.

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – $3.50
A must have for me. This time I had a cherry lemonade a favourite flavour of mine. It’s never too sweet and the perfect refreshing palate cleansing drink.

Like usual I had an excellent food adventure and everything I tasted was delicious. This year I noticed those ingredients that Canadians love being: poutine, gravy, cheese bacon were available at every food truck and I’m not complaining, were in Canada eh!

Bacon Nation - Apple Porkfection - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Apple Porkfection – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven - Cherry Lemonade - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine - O' Canada - Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine – O’ Canada – Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz - Sharwarma Bombs - Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz – Sharwarma Bombs – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Athens Fries & Feta Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Athens Fries & Feta Fries – Candy Coated Culinista


Pappas Greek - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese - Lumberjack - Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese – Lumberjack – Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6 chicken thighs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• onion powder, to taste
• garlic powder, to taste
• season salt, , to taste
• ground cumin, to taste
• red chilli flakes, to taste
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 2 springs green onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
• Organic Gluten- free BBQ Sauce
• Cheddar cheese, shredded
• Mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 8 Whole Grain & Ancient Grain Tortilla
• 1 avocado, mashed

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat sprinkle chicken with spices and cook the chicken thighs through, let them rest and finally cut into strips.
2. Cut all the vegetables and set aside the bell peppers and green onions in a bowl.
3. Over medium-high heat and pour olive oil into skillet and sauté the tomatoes and mushrooms until most of the liquid is gone.
4. In the last few minutes of cooking add in BBQ sauce to taste and incorporate.
5. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting as many tortillas as needed and set aside on a plate.
6. Once all tortillas have been toasted place one back on the frying pan and add in a mixture of chicken, cheese and all the vegetables.
7. Cook and flip at least once until tortilla in crispy and cheese is melted.
8. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This isn’t a really great dish to look at but it tastes amazing. I even made them the next day again with the leftovers.

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.

%d bloggers like this: