Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

My love of Greek food never fades and yet I have never made chicken souvlaki at home.

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

Ingredients
Tzatziki Sauce

• 1 cup Greek Yoghurt
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 clove garlic
• ¼ of English Cucumber
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
Chicken Souvlaki
• 3 chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp sea salt
• Black pepper, to taste
• Tomatoes
• English cucumber
• Red onion
• Kalamata olives
• Romaine lettuce
• Mozzarella cheese
• 6 Greek pitas

Assembly
Tzatziki Sauce

1. In a food processor add yoghurt, lemon, garlic, cucumber, sea salt, dill and pepper and blend.
2. Pour into a container and let chill.
Chicken Souvlaki
1. Make marinade of lemon juice, garlic, oregano, sea salt and black pepper.
2. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and pour marinade over top and place in fridge for 3 hours to marinate.
3. Using a cast iron skillet pour extra virgin olive oil into pan and cook chicken cubes, 3 minutes per side or until cooked through thoroughly.
4. Serve pitas warmed and add toppings along with tzatziki and mozzarella.

Tips
• Tzatziki can keep for a few days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a messy but delicious meal and I’ve never had a chicken souvlaki that wasn’t messy so I know I did this right. I especially loved the sauce that was extra garlicky and had a wonderful kick. The chicken was moist and succulent.

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Romanesco Steaks with Romesco

Romanesco Steaks with Romesco Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s BBQ season; but what about all on you vegans and vegetarians. Here is one dish that is substantial and you won’t be envious that you aren’t apart of the BBQ season.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8-10 min. per side
Difficulty level is: Easy

Inspired by: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 1 head of Romanesco
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresh chilies
• ½ red onion, cut into thick wedges
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 plum tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup skinned roasted hazelnuts or almonds
• 1 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as desired
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp smoked garlic (from book)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Remove leaves and trim stem of the Romanesco leaving the core intact.
2. Place on a cutting board and slice in half.
3. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel. If you are using a grill basket allow to heat for 5 minutes prior to use.
5. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
6. Place over grill on in grill basket turning and rotating for 6 to 7 minutes for the onions and continue to char the red peppers.
7. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
8. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
9. Using a food processor add peppers, chilies, onion, tomato along with nuts, thyme and paprika and salt into a thick puree. Drizzle in olive oil as you go.
10. Grill Romanesco rotating them to prevent excessive charring. The exterior should be just tender.
11. Serve in a pool of the romesco sauce and sprinkle with flaky salt id desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The original recipe called foe cauliflower; which I’m not fond of. I did plan on using cauliflower; but I came across the Romanesco a cousin to the cauliflower and said maybe this is better. The sauce was also supposed to be a harissa; but another recipe I made had way too much sauce left over and I hate wasting. So this is how I got here; I loved it, a red sauce is very complimentary to the green veg and it all worked out well. Romanesco still tastes like cauliflower to me and it was just ok.

Holiday Pannacotta

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

Here is another one of those recipes on my must make list from time that I am all of a sudden feeling the need to tackle. With it still being the holiday season; I say having a few pannacotta’s in the fridge ready to serve any visitors would be a splendid treat.

Yield/Serving: 10
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Pannacotta

• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2/3 cups granulated sugar
• 2 vanilla beans
• 5 sheets of gelatin
Sweet poached rhubarb
• 14oz sliced rhubarb, poached with one ball of stem ginger, ¾ cup + 5 tsp of Proseco, 1 tbsp of superfine sugar, and a fine grating of orange zest, serve with baby mint leaves and crushed nuts or almond biscotti.
C.C.’s South American Sauce (my sauce idea)
• 1 passionfruit, 1 tamarillo and granadilla to the South American inspired sauce, boiled in a little water and sugar to thicken.

Assembly
1. In a saucepan over low heat pour milk, cream and sugar.
2. Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out and place in saucepan followed by the vanilla bean halves.
3. Heat over low heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes.
5. Remove saucepan from the heat, drain the gelatin and squeeze out any excess water.
6. Stir in the cream until gelatin is dissolved.
7. Whisk again to evenly distribute the vanilla seeds and then divide amongst pudding molds or ramekins.
8. Place on a pan, cover and let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours. (They can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days)
9. When ready to serve, dip half of each mold into a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds and give the mold a little shake to ease the pannacotta out.
10. Place on a plate and serve.

Tips
• Use gelatin powder and follow instructions accordingly.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I saw this strange fruit the other day at the grocery store and it was tamarillo and since the label said it was from South America I went and picked up some passionfruit and granadilla to go along with it as they all seems to be seedy fruits. My pannacotta came out splendidly and since I was afraid it wouldn’t set I left them in overnight just to be extra sure. It was creamy with the specks of vanilla beans and the rich sauce. I quite enjoyed it and the rhubarb was tart and a touch sweet a great combination and the South American sauce was divine.

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

Homemade Tomato Sauce II

Homemade Tomato Sauce II - Candy Coated Culinista

Homemade Tomato Sauce II – Candy Coated Culinista

I was in an experimental mood and decided to revamp my Homemade Tomato Sauce recipe.

Yield/Serving: almost 1 litre
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 3 carrots, rough chop
• 8 Roma tomatoes, rough chop
• 1 bulb plus 7 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 small onion, rough chop
• 6 stalks of celery, rough chop
• 2 small red pepper, rough chop
• 2 small orange pepper, rough chop
• 2 small yellow pepper, rough chop
• 227g whole mushrooms, rough chopped
• 1 cup wine vinegar
• ¾ cup tomato paste
• 2 tbsp basil
• 2 tbsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp ground black pepper
• 796ml canned tomatoes

Assembly
1. Put olive oil into a pot and let heat up on medium high heat.
2. Add the carrots and let the cook until they are lightly browned.
3. Now add all the other vegetables along with the wine vinegar and tomato paste and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Puree the vegetables with the immersion blender.
5. Add the basil, salt, black pepper, canned tomato and let cook for 30 minutes.
6. Stir frequently as it will bubble.

Tips
• Freeze remaining in some Mason Jars. Remember to leave some space for expansion. (use mason jars or any thicker walled glass jar that can take the freezer temperatures
• You will need an immersion blender.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe had an earthier taste to it. The mushrooms and the garlic attributed to this and it has a lot more vegetables than a store-bought tomato sauce, which always makes me happy.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade Tomato Sauce - Candy Coated Culinista

Homemade Tomato Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

After my adventures with my Sweet Pepper Coulis went so well, I was on a high. I had a little bit left of my coulis and thought, “Let’s make pasta for dinner and a special homemade tomato sauce.”

Yield/Serving: almost 1 litre
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 3 tbsp of olive oil
• 3 medium carrots, rough chop
• 2 small red pepper, rough chop
• 2 small orange pepper, rough chop
• 2 small yellow pepper, rough chop
• 1 medium onion, rough chop
• 1 garlic bulb, rough chop
• 1 cup white wine
• 1 tbsp basil
• 1 tbsp oregano
• Sea salt pepper to taste
• Black pepper to taste
• 1 can, crushed tomatoes (796 ml, 28 fl. Oz.)

Assembly
1. Put olive oil into a pot and let heat up on medium high heat.
2. Add the carrots and let them cook until they are lightly browned.
3. Now add all the other vegetables with a ½ cup of wine and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Puree the vegetables with an immersion blender.
5. Add the basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, crushed tomatoes and the remaining wine to the pot and let cook for 30 minutes.
6. Stir frequently as it will bubble.

Tips
• Freeze remaining in some Mason Jars and remember to leave some space for expansion. (Use mason jars or any thicker walled glass jar that can take freezer temperatures)
• You will need an immersion blender. If not a blender will work just as well.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. enjoyed it very much, especially since I promised pasta Aglio Et Olio and I went in a totally different direction, he was pleasantly surprised. I also gave a sample of my tomato sauce to my Italian co-worker with some pasta for lunch and a jar for when she makes pasta at home. Her review was “Don’t ever tell my mom but that’s one of the best sauces I’ve ever had!” She quite frankly told me she didn’t expect it to be that great and I didn’t even know how to take that comment. Is it because I’m not Italian? or she’s tasted the best and nothing can top that? Whatever the reason was it sure made me laugh.

My thoughts
I really like this sauce and it’s healthy. It would be great for kids as all the healthy stuff has been pureed so no little eyes can point out any evil yucky veggies. Let’s face it; it’s also good for the men in your life that still have their aversion to all things vegetable in nature.

Sweet Pepper Coulis

Peppers were on sale and I bought too much (the over-eager shopper that I am). I decided to make steak for dinner with some mixed vegetables and a wild mushroom rice. The question was “what am I going to do with all these peppers?… I know I will make a sauce or a coulis (a thick sauce made from pureed vegetable or fruits) for the steak”. My inspiration for this sauce was from an entrée I had at The Keg Mansion for our 1 year anniversary. I choose the top sirloin with roasted red peppers and feta cheese. I can’t believe I still remember that meal today over 3 years later. I guess I must have really enjoyed it, and my dish was just as tasty if I say so myself.

Yield/Serving: 250 ml
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 1 small yellow sweet pepper chopped
• 1 small red sweet pepper chopped
• 1 small orange sweet pepper chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic chopped
• 1 small tomato chopped
• 1 small onion chopped
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup dry white wine

Assembly
1. Add all the ingredients into a pot to boil.
2. Once the vegetables become tender, reduce temperature to low to simmer for 15-20 minutes. (Or until liquid starts reducing.)
3. Remove pot from burner and use immersion blender to mix the ingredients.

Tips
• I had leftover Sweet Pepper Coulis, so I re-purposed it into my homemade tomato sauce I made the next day.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. said “very very tasty. It added a nice tang to the steak also when mixed with the rice it was awesome. “

My thoughts
This was a really surprising concoction I came up with; and it all came about because I had too many peppers. I love when my cooking experiments work out well. (I’m not talking to you Cheesecake Fudge)

Valentine’s Day: Pears with Chocolate Sauce & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Valentine’s Day Pears with Chocolate Sauce & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - Candy Coated Culinista

Valentine’s Day Pears with Chocolate Sauce & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – Candy Coated Culinista

A fancy and delicious dessert dish.

My picture was included in the Valentine’s Day Food Newtork Canada Cooking Club Challenge gallery.

Yield/Serving: 2
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Pear
• 2 pears
• ½ of a lemon, zested
• ½ of an orange, zested
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• ¾ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cinnamon stick
• 75 – 100 ml white wine
• 100 ml water
• Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate Sauce
• 40g (1/4 cup) 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
• 40 ml whipping cream
• 20 ml milk
• 1 tbsp butter
Ice Cream
• 1 cup milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• Pinch salt
• large egg yolks
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assembly
Pear
1. Peel pears leaving the stems on and core out from the bottom of each using a sharp knife.
2. Flatten the bottom of the pear a little so the pear can stand up on its own.
3. Place pears in a saucepan along with zests, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, wine and water and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
4. Lower heat a poach pears for 20-25 minutes until pears are cooked all the way through.
5. Let cool in liquid.
6. When pears have cooled take out with a slotted spoon and place in a plate or bowl.
Chocolate Sauce
7. Create a double boiler and melt chocolate.
8. In another saucepan warm cream, milk and butter and stir into chocolate.
9. Pour over pears and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Ice Cream
10. Combine milk, sugar and salt in saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and texture is smooth.
11. Whisk together the egg yolks in a large bowl.
12. Add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, pouring in a constant stream while whisking.
13. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and set over medium-high heat until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 3 minutes.
14. Strain the base into a large bowl and mix in the cream and extract.
15. Set the bowl into an ice water bath and stir until the base becomes cool.
16. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and cover with plastic wrap and let chill completely for at least 2 hours.
17. Freeze in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
18. Transfer to a chilled container and freeze until ice cream firms up before serving.

Tips
• This can be made a day ahead.
• The custard will look a little eggy but don’t fear it will turn out well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The ice cream tasted great and this is now my base ice cream recipe. The pears were soft, but not mushy and I could taste the wine, cinnamon and vanilla. The whole dessert tasted great and would impress anyone.

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