Sausage and Fennel Seeds Pasta

This a delicious pasta dish that makes for a difference on a tomato sauce based dish. Packed with flavours and reheats well.

Ingredients:
1 box of rotinis
1 portion of sausage mix
2 sweet yunnan peppers
2 table spoon fennel seeds
1 cup vermouth
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 table spoon dried oregano
1 package of frozen spinach
Parmesan, to taste
Olive oil
ingredients

***

1. In a mortar and pestle, combine the yunnan peppers and the fennel seeds.
spices

2. Crush until the peppers are broken apart and the seeds start breaking up. Set aside.
spices2

3. In a large skillet, heat some of the olive oil. Add the pork and break any large clumps. Get your pasta started.
sausage1

4. When all of the pork is getting colour, add the fennel seeds and peppers. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, you want the meat to caramelize.
sausage2

5. Pour the vermouth and lemon juice over the meat. Add the lemon zest. Cook down until the liquid reduces by half.
liquids

6. Add the dried oregano and spinach. Cover so the spinach thaws faster.
spinash

7. Your pasta should be ready so drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Stir the thawed spinach in with the meat.
cooked

8. Stir in the cooked pasta. If it looks dry add some of the cooking water. Grate parmesan on top to taste.
pasta

9. Serve with more grated parmesan
serve2

Advertisements

Sausage mix

A great substitute for anything that involves pulling sausages out of their casing. Make sure you get fresh ground meat, not made from previously frozen parts.

Ingredients :
3-4 lb of ground pork
2 table spoon red chili flakes
2 table spoon coriander seeds
2 table spoon paprika
3-4 table spoon fennel seeds
ingredients

***

1. Grind and combine all the spices.
soices

2. Add about 2 table spoon of the spice mix per pound of ground meat.
combine

3. Mix to combine and portion off in freezer bags. Throw them in the freezer and pull out as needed.
portion

Pearl Couscous with Dried Fruits and Nuts

This makes for good lunches because it keeps for a while, a nice side dish, or an interesting offering in a potluck. Most importantly it’s easy and quick to get together.

Adapted from Foodiecrush.

Ingredients:
2 cups pearl couscous
1 cup dried apricot
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted, unsalted)

For the dressing:
1 french shallot
1/3 cup olive oil
2 table spoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tea spoon dijon mustard
2 tea spoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. Combine the dressing ingredients.
dressing

2. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning and set aside.
smooth-dressing

3. Cook the pearl couscous (like pasta) until done but it still has a bit of texture. Drain and coat with the dressing,
add-dressing

4. Cut the dried apricots into smaller pieces. Add the cranberries. I aim for roughly 1 1/2 cup of dried fruits total.
dried-fruits

5. Add the fruits to the couscous.
add-fruits

6. Add the pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
nuts

7. Mix well to combine and transfer to a serving bowl. This can be eaten cold or warm.
serve

Blood Orange Lemonade

I wanted something like the Ginger Lemonade but without going out into the cold to buy the ginger syrup. So I made it myself. I also added the juice of blood oranges, since they are in season.

Ingredients for the syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
zest of 1 lemon
A large root of ginger
2 yunnan peppers

Ingredients for the lemonade:
1 1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of blood orange juice
4 cups of water
ingredients

***

1. In a sauce pot, combine the ingredients for the syrup.
syrup1

2. Bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat and allow to steep as it cools.
syrup2

3. Strain out and set aside.
syrup3

4. Squeeze the lemon juice (takes about a 2lb bag of lemons). Strain out the pits and the pulp.
lemonjuice

5. Repeat with the blood oranges.
orangejuice

6. Combine in a pitcher. Add the water and 1 cup of the spiced simple syrup. Mix well. Serve over ice.
pitcher

Maple Pecan Pie Squares

This makes a fantastic dessert to share in potlucks and gatherings.

Ingredients
For the crust
1 cup unsalted butter, to room temperature (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup flour
1/4 tea spoon salt

For the filling
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 table spoon milk (or cream)
2 cups halved pecans

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a paper towel to spread on any missed spots and remove the excess.
foil

2. In a mixer or food processor, cream together the sugar and butter.
crust1

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed.
crust2

4. You want to have pea-sized chunks of butter. crust3

5. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
crust4

6. While the crust is baking, combine the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and milk into a sauce pot. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
filling1

7. Stir in the pecans.
filling2

8. Remove the crust from the oven. it should barely be starting to get golden.
crust-cooked

9. Pour the hot filling unto the hot crust and spread the pecan as evenly as possible. Return to the oven for 12-18 minutes. It’s best not to overcook, the filling will thicken and set as it cools.
pour

10. Allow to cool fully.
cook

11. remove from the dish using the aluminum foil sling. Discard the foil.
remove

12. Cut into small squares and eat.
cut

Chai Masala

The weather took a turn for the chilly side, so I’m craving warm drinks. This usually his the spot.

Ingredients
2 cups water
2 table spoon Chai Masala
1 table spoon Garam Masala
2 table spoon turbinado sugar
2 cups milk
ingredients

***

1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the tea and whole spices. Bring down to a simmer and brew for 10 minutes, uncovered.
simmer1

2. Add the milk and stir in the sugar. Simmer for another 10 minutes, covered or partially covered.
simmer2

3. Serve warm. My teapot has a built-in strainer so I don’t bother straining it beforehand. Depending on your equipment you might need that extra step.
serve

Garlic Scapes Cubes

Garlic scapes are versatile and delicious, but really only available in season. This is how I store them so I have them on hand whenever I want. They are delicious in potatoes or with any pan cooked vegetable.

Ingredients :
A generous pile of garlic scapes
5 table spoon olive oil
3/4 tea spoon salt
pile2

***

1. Trim half of the garlic scapes and cut into smaller chunks. Put into the bowl of a food processor. Add the salt and olive oil.
robot1

2. Pulse a few times to make room.
robot2

3. Add the rest of the garlic scapes.
robot3

4. Pulse until finely minced, almost like a paste.
pulse

5. Spoon into an ice cube tray, pressing down gently.
cubes

6. Freeze for at least one hour. Pop the cubes out and store in a freezer bag.
cubes2