Monday, September 25, 2017

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk, Anniversary,

Many of you may have heard the story of Harvey the Hurricane Hawk. I hadn't until I got an email from National Geographic and one of their topics was the hawk's release. I then had to find the story and it turns out it went viral.

To me it is an incredible story. Obviously it happened at the beginning of Hurricane Harvey. The hawk even allows people to handle him without too much fuss which made me wonder if he was a falconer's bird but then if he had been, surely he would have been ringed? A great story nevertheless.

Today Matt and I have been putting up with each other for 45 years. Thought we would go to supper at Mandarin, particularly as  they are still celebrating the Moon Festival and one of their evening items is roast lamb. Yes, I have a roast of lamb in the freezer, but this way I don't have to cook it myself. The picture of us, 45 years ago, I was wearing a pale lilac coloured dress, looks white but wasn't. We had a reception at home with just a few people and guess who made the food - yes, we did. I remember Matt made a Spanish orange dessert which contained quite a lot of alcohol and unnoticed by us, his two daughters were sitting at the table supping up the juice. When he took them home to their mom, she wasn't too pleased as they were quite tiddley. I think they were about 5 and 9 years old as I recall. These days the 5 year old doesn't drink at all and hasn't done so for many a long year. Just went through some other old photos of that time and Matt's comment was, what a difference having dark hair makes - not that his hair was ever that dark but it sure wasn't white like it is today.

Isn't that nice, I received a thank you email from Justin Trudeau, our Prime Minister, not sure what for mind you, I didn't read it. But as far as I know, I have done nothing to earn the thanks of Justin.

I love Portobello mushrooms so I liked the look of this recipe. But, if I make it - me being me - I would not use low fat cheeses.  However, as this is supposed to be a diabetic recipe, that is probably why they use such ingredients. This diabetic doesn't believe in it though. I remembered a story when, quite a few years ago, we were living in the States but we came back for a while to visit friends and stay with them. I discovered Portobello mushrooms in a local grocery store which I had never seen in Canada before. They were pretty expensive so I bought 4, one each for our hosts and for us. Our hostess refused to eat anything so expensive so guess who chomped it down instead?

Lasagna Bella

This lightened-up lasagna is big on flavor, thanks to roasted portobello mushrooms and fresh basil.

8 large fresh portobello mushrooms
1/8 tsp salt
2 (14.1 ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 tsp salt-free tomato-basil-garlic seasoning blend, such as Mrs. Dash brand
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
¾ cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
5 fresh basil leaves, snipped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove stems and gills from mushrooms. Place mushroom caps, gill sides up, on an unheated foil-lined broiler pan; sprinkle with salt. Roast for 13 to 26 minutes or until tender, turning once halfway through roasting time. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine tomatoes, onion, and tomato-basil-garlic seasoning blend. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl combine mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese. Spoon one-third of the tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 2-quart square baking dish. Arrange four of the mushroom caps, gill sides up, on top of the tomato mixture. Spoon one-fourth of the cheese mixture over each mushroom cap. Spoon another one-third of the tomato mixture over the cheese-stuffed mushroom caps. Arrange one of the remaining four mushroom caps, gill side down, on top of each cheese-stuffed mushroom cap in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining tomato mixture evenly over the mushrooms. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake in the 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Servings: 4

Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

Have a great day

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday Recipe

This is a recipe I made quite a few times when we lived in North Carolina. I also made them for at least one customer when we were trying to set up a catering service. Since that time I haven't made them once. Of course they are very rich and I have no idea what the calorie count would be which has certainly become important to me in recent times. Gundel's is a restaurant in Budapest, Hungary. I don't remember where I got this recipe from but I can promise you it is absolutely delicious. The crepes I always made in advance, they keep for a good while and even longer if you freeze them. Of course you need to layer them with waxed paper.

Gundel's Crepes

For the crepes:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup cold sparkling water; more as needed
1/2 tsp salt
6 3/4 oz (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
Melted butter for frying the crepes

For the filling:
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1- 1/4 cups walnut halves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs chopped candied orange peel or 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbs cocoa powder
pinch salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 cup milk
3 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. To make the crepes: Whisk the eggs with the cold milk, sparkling water, and salt. Whisking  steadily, sift the flour over the egg mixture in a gradual but steady "rain" to make a smooth batter. Let sit for 20 min. and then add more sparkling water if necessary to get the consistency of heavy cream.

2. Heat a 6- to 8-inch crepe or omelet pan (nonstick is fine but not necessary). Brush the pan with melted butter. Tilting and turning the pan with one hand, pour in just enough batter to cover the pan's surface, about Tbs. Let the crepe cook until golden on the underside, 1 to 2 min. (don't undercook them) and then flip or turn the crepe with a small spatula or your fingers to cook the other side until just set, about 30 seconds more. The side cooked first will be prettier and should be the outer side when filling the crepes.

3. Adjust the heat so you get a definite sizzle when adding the batter, and thin the batter if the crepes are too thick and flabby. Stack the finished crepes on a plate as you go. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until using, up to three days ahead. You can also wrap the crepes tightly and freeze them (put a piece of waxed paper between each one for easier separation).

4. To make the filling: Heat the rum and soak the raisins in it while assembling the other ingredients. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil, stirring, and add the walnuts, candied orange peel (or zest), cinnamon, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring back to a boil, stirring, and cook until the liquid has reduced almost completely but the nuts are still well coated and glossy, about 3 min. Stir in the raisins and rum and cool. You can make this filling a day or two ahead and refrigerate it until time to use.

5. For the chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, and salt. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in the milk to make a smooth paste. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook about 30 seconds to cook off the raw floury taste, and then remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth, cover loosely with plastic, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help it cool and prevent a skin from forming. Just before serving the crepes, whip the cream until it just forms soft peaks. Stir about one-quarter of the whipped cream into the chocolate to lighten it, and then carefully fold the rest of the whipped cream into the sauce until well blended.

6. To finish: Spread about 2 Tbs. of the filling on the underside of a crepe (reheat the filling slightly if it's cold from the refrigerator). Fold the crepe in half, and then in half again to make a quarter circle. Repeat with the remaining crepes, dividing the filling evenly. You can do this early on the day of serving and just keep the filled crepes covered at room temperature.

7. In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbs. of butter over medium heat until sizzling. Add the filled crepes to the pan without crowding them (do this in batches if you need to). Cook the crepes until warmed through and browned on each side, about 1 min. per side. Add more butter if necessary to the pan during cooking.

8. Arrange 3 crepes on each plate and drizzle a generous ribbon of chocolate sauce on top, passing more sauce at the table. Serve immediately.

9. Yield: about 20 crepes, with filling for 18, and 2 cups sauce

Servings: 6

Have a great weekend