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

Valentine’s Day Dinner à la Chuck

Chuck's Chicken Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Chuck’s Chicken Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s no mystery by me having this blog that I absolutely love to cook and some days I can be in the kitchen for hours on end on my feet. To past the time I bring in my IPad to watch some TV shows and while watching a few shows the commercial breaks were filled with ads for LG presents Chuck Hughes with little snippets of recipes. Well since Chuck’s in my top two favourite chefs of all time it was obvious I was going to try some dishes from these mini ads and since the timing was right Valentine’s Day would be a great day to make this simple and succulent dinner.

From Chuck Hughes

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour & 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Roasted Chicken
Ingredients

• 1 whole organic chicken
• Handful of oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley, finely chopped
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 lemon, zested and sliced
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• ½ head of garlic
• 1 small white onion
• 1 medium white onion, sliced
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ chicken broth
• ¼ cup white wine (I skipped this)

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 425°F.
2. Rinse chicken on cool water and pat dry inside and out.
3. Finely chop the herbs and mix into softened butter and add lemon zest in a small bowl.
4. Rub herbed butter under the skin and on top of the chicken and inside.
5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
6. Fill chicken cavity with lemon, garlic and onion.
7. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.
8. Place sliced onion in the centre of a cast iron skillet.
9. Rest chicken on top of onions breast side on top of the onions.
10. Roast for 30 minutes at 425°F and then reduce heat to 350°F and continue to cook for 1 hour.
11. Baste chicken every 15 minutes to brown the skin.

Gravy
Assembly

1. Soften the onions from the cast iron skillet skimming off any fat.
2. Place skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
3. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
4. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve.
5. Add wine if desired.
6. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and season with salt & pepper if desired.

Potato Smash with Olive Oil

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

Ingredients
• 4 yukon potatoes
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finley chopped
• Chopped dill, to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender and drain.
2. Crush potatoes with a wooden spoon just enough. Leave some potato pieces chunky.
3. Stir in the olive oil and the remaining ingredients.

Zucchini Wedges

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 400°F.
2. Coat baking sheet with non-stick spray.
3. On a plate combine all of the herbs, spices and cheese.
4. Coat zucchini with olive oil and then coat in mixture.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This couldn’t have turned out any better; well if I had finely chopped my herbs. My idea of finely chop versus the recipe was different and I recognized that upon its completion but it didn’t deter from the recipe in any way. It was just a visual thing for me. The chicken was moist and scrumptious and perfectly coloured and for the first time I had a gravy from scratch that actually tasted and turned out excellent; even with my omission of the white wine. The review was great as I tested this out in advance and at work when I was eating it for lunch I got many compliments on the smell and a co-worker was trying to track down where that smell was coming from; which made me chuckle. The addition of dill to the mashed potatoes and the zucchini was a delicious. I decided to not serve the zucchini with the Spicy Aioli recommended though and I was already in the kitchen for a long time at this point. I can’t wait to make this again. This recipe is so simple you could make it the first time on a special day and not worry about something going awry.

Creamy Mustard Herb Pan Gravy

Creamy Mustard Herb Gravy - Candy Coated Culinista

Creamy Mustard Herb Gravy – Candy Coated Culinista

If you’re tired of the usual brown gravy with your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner then this is a great recipe for you. A cream based gravy has never touched my lips before this recipe; but after today my mind has been changed for the better.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 – 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Longos Experience

Ingredients
• Turkey pan drippings
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• ½ small onion, chopped
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp basil
• ½ tsp oregano
• ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and sauté until golden.
3. Whisk in flour and mustard.
4. Pour in vegetable broth, cream, basil and oregano and bring to a boil.
5. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
6. Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is the first cream based and white gravy I have made as I am not a fan of cream based gravy. This recipe has changed my mind and I think a creamed based gravy will be made once and awhile now.

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

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

Greek Poutine

Greek Poutine - Candy Coated Culinista

Greek Poutine – Candy Coated Culinista

When you hear the word poutine what do you think? Of course if you know what it is you think: Canadian. A poutine for the few that have never heard of this is fries served with gravy and cheese curds on top. Everywhere you turn now in Canada the poutine is on the menu at fast food joints, greasy spoons, dives, diners and pubs. We even have a place that only serves poutine called Smoke’s Poutinerie, taking the poutine to new heights with creative ingredients and making it a full meal. I have had one there that reminds me of a thanksgiving dinner with green peas and everything; but I’m going to fess up here, I the Candy Coated Culinista am a bad Canadian. I really don’t care for poutine. I love all the components: fries yum, gravy: who wouldn’t like gravy it’s pack with flavour, cheese: give me any type of cheese and I will eat it but I just don’t like the cheese curds. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they have un-uniformed shapes, that it’s on the sour side but I don’t want that on my fries. One night I made Mr. C. Chilli fries and I experimented with the idea of Greek Poutine.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Fries, as much as you like
• A pinch or Greek spices
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste
• A bunch cilantro, rough chopped
• A bunch of basil, rough chopped
• Feta cheese, crumbled
• Mushroom gravy, from package

Assembly
1. Lay fries out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Greek spices, salt and pepper and toss.
2. Follow the baking instructions of your fries and bake.
3. In the meantime chop the cilantro & basil and crumbled the feta cheese and set aside.
4. In a small saucepan prepare you gravy.
5. Once fries are done pour into a large bowl and coats with gravy, cilantro, basil, feta cheese and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have made this three times now and it’s slightly addictive for me. Maybe because I try to eat healthy most of the time or because I know it tastes better than any poutine I’ve ever had. It taste fresh and has a distinct Greek flavour which I love. I have a poutine I can now enjoy with all the components. I just had to C.C. it up a little to get me there.

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