Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

It seems like once a year I get a craving or blue cheese. I love blue cheese; but I rarest ever pick it up. Well craving a wedge salad I thought it would be a nice change to make a blue cheese dressing instead of the usual Caesar dressing.

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

Ingredients
Wedge Salad

• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and cut in half
• 12 grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/3 English cucumber, sliced
• 6 chives, finely diced
• 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
• Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue Cheese Dressing
• 3/4cup blue cheese
• 3 anchovies, finely diced
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
Wedge Salad

1. Wash lettuce and cut in half and drain cut side down on a paper towel.
2. Cut grape tomatoes, English cucumber, chives and set aside.
3. In a frying pan fry bacon and then crumbled and set aside with the crumbled blue cheese.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Using a bowl, break up the blue cheese and add in the anchovy and sour cream, until well incorporated.
2. Add in the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce cut side up in a plate and add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, bacon and blue cheese.
4. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

Tips
• Salad dressing can be kept for up until 1 week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a rich, hearty and filling salad. This could work as an entrée depending on how big you lettuce head is. I enjoyed the combination of the creamy blue cheese into the dressing and the crunchy of the crispy bacon. I will be making this again as it is a wonderful starter for any guests.

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Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo – Candy Coated Culinista

How can something that looks so simple and uncomplicated taste so divine and complex. That was my reaction to this recipe after asking the question “do you have any requests” and then I said to myself I guess it’s time to learn how to make chicken Alfredo.

Yield/Serving: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, a little time consuming

Ingredients
• 2 handfuls linguine pasta
• 4 boneless chicken breast
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried Oregano, to taste
• Dried Basil, to taste
• Dried parsley, to taste
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp margarine
• 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and stems chopped
• 3 pieces of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 2 handfuls button mushrooms, sliced
• 2 tbsp margarine
• ¾ cup chicken broth
• ¾ cup 2% milk
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 anchovies, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
• ½ cup cream cheese
• ¼ cup mozzarella, shredded
• Fresh basil, chiffonade
• Fresh chives, finely diced
• Parsley, to garnish

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Boil a large saucepan with salt and canola oil.
3. Season chicken breasts with sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil and parsley.
4. Using a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add extra virgin olive oil and margarine and sear all sides of the chicken for 2 minutes
5. Then place in oven and continue to cook for 20 minutes covered in aluminum foil and let rest.
6. Meanwhile a saucepan steam broccoli.
7. Using a medium frying pan fry mushrooms in a little extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
8. Using the same frying pan cook three slices of bacon, drain on a paper towel, crumble and put into the same large bowl.
9. Add linguine into pot and cook until aldente and drain well.
10. Using a small saucepan over medium-high heat melt the margarine and Gradually add in the chicken broth, 2% milk and whisk constantly.
11. Add in the minced garlic, anchovies, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and whisk until sauce has Gently broccoli, mushrooms, bacon, chives, basil and alfredo sauce into the pot with the pasta.
12. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m in love with this recipe, now it’s not the traditional recipe as I just can’t help myself but it still has the flavours and it tasted divine. The addition of the mozzarella cheese, bacon and anchovies was a great idea and I think the recipe would have felt like it was missing something without out these. This is definitely a rich dish; but still so satisfying. This is one of my recipes that was talked about days after so I know I did a great. I even patted myself on the back for a job well done and I made it again the following week.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus – Candy Coated Culinista

A delicious side with a Middle Eastern flair.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Cherry Bombe

Ingredients
• 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1tsp sea salt
• Chives, finely chopped, handful
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro
• ¼ cup chopped basil
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Dressing
• 1/3 cup tahini
• ¼ cup honey
• 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
• 2 tsp toasted ginger garlic sesame seed oil
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• Cumin, to taste
Hummus
• 1 red pepper, roasted
• ¾ cups chickpeas
• 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 6 tbsp tahini
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ½ tsp Kosher salt
• ½ tsp Black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small roasting pan place red pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast until the wedges are complete.
3. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.
4. In a medium sized bowl combine extra virgin olive oil and salt with wedges.
5. Place onto another large sized baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes on one side and then turn and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until brown and creamy in the centre.
6. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the tahini dressing and set aside.
7. Cut red pepper in half and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
8. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool.
9. Pour chickpeas, garlic, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and blend.
10. Add in the red peppers and blend once again.
11. Once mixture is smooth, set aside in a small bowl.
12. Arrange wedges on a serving platter, drizzle with dressing and hummus and sprinkle with basil, chives, parsley, cumin and black sesame seeds.
13. Serve dressing and hummus on the side.

Tips
• Parboil the sweet potato whole first, let cool and then cut into wedges and toss in extra virgin olive oil and then bake is another option, if your like me and don’t enjoy sweet potato wedges cooked only in the oven.
• Add a little water to dressing if too thick.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was making homemade burgers for dinner and wanted to add a different and tasty but familiar side. Well this sweet potato fries made the best accompaniment. I also made some more of my roasted red pepper hummus as a dipping sauce to keep that Middle Eastern theme going. I wasn’t that much of a fan of the tahini dressing, so I added the hummus for my own selfish reasons. Tahini is an odd thing to me; I love it in shawarma; but when I tasted it in this dressing or on its own I just couldn’t get on board. The original recipe called for cilantro, mint and scallions; but I used chives, basil and parsley instead. I also sprinkled in a touch of cumin and I used black sesame seeds as I prefer and always have those in my pantry. I can’t wait to make this again; just without the tahini dressing sadly.

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots Warm Salad

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots warm salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a warm salad and this recipe will not disappoint and if your reading this hating Blue Cheese I urge you to give this a try.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pound baby yellow skinned potatoes, halved & boiled
• 1 pound green haricots, ends trimmed
• Blue cheese, small wedge crumbled
• Chives, finely chopped
• Thyme, 6 sprigs

Assembly
1. In a large pot over high heat salted boil potatoes until tender; then drain and set aside.
2. Prepare haricots and steam until just cooked.
3. Place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
4. Drain haricots and add to a platter along with the potatoes and crumble blue cheese over top.
5. Sprinkle chives and thyme and serve.

Tips
• If you must, you can swap out to another crumbly cheese if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a beautiful way to enjoy some in season haricots. I remember a time I hated blue cheese and just like olives, anchovies and sushi I became a fan once I became an adult and my palette matured. The salty creaminess with that slight medicinal taste makes the perfect coating for the vegetables. One can’t eat loads of blue cheese in one sitting; but this recipe gives the perfect balance that I craved again the next day. I wish I had made more.

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.

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Thanksgiving is this weekend and I was in the mood to do a little trial run for the big day.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 35 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Rock Cornish Game Hen

• White onion, slices from half a small onion
• Garlic, 2 cloves whole
• Dijon Mustard
• Dried basil
• Dried rosemary, crushed
• Lemon, slices from half a lemon
Smashed Potatoes
• Yellow skinned gem potatoes
• Fresh thyme, sprinkle on top
White Haricots with Chives
• White haricots
• Chives, finely chopped
Sauteed Mushrooms
• Handful button mushrooms, quartered

Assembly
Rock Cornish Game Hen

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice onions and place inside the cavity of the hen along with whole garlic.
3. Rub spices over hen and spread Dijon mustard over top.
4. Bake for 1 hour and until the skin is a golden brown.
Smashed Potatoes
5. Over high heat boil a pot of salted water with the gem potatoes.
6. When the potatoes are slightly tender drain; set aside and let cool.
7. Once cooled place potatoes on a cutting board and smash overtop with a mug base and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
White Haricots with Chives
8. In a medium size saucepan steam haricots until just firm.
9. Immediately place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
10. Set aside in a bowl and add chives and mix.
Sauteed Mushrooms
11. Using a small frying pan, place a little extra virgin olive oil and sauté mushrooms.
12. Place of platters and serve.

Tips
• Make a quick scratch gravy from the pan drippings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These little hens are such a simple, gourmet way to enjoy your Thanksgiving. If you are not in the mood for Turkey or have guests that dislike turkey; this is the way to go. One hen per person is a wonderful idea and also having an intimate dinner for two splitting the rock hen in half works just as well. This meal felt very farm to table with the Farmer’s market finds and a more unique protein. I have already bought another hen for a rainy day when I want to make something just a little more special for my guests.

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – 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

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