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

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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

Duck Skewers

The duck meat turned out incredibly tender. The spices may overwhelm the taste of the meat, so adjust accordingly. The same marinade would probably work great with beef.

Ingredients :
2 duck breast
2 table spoon Sri Lanka style curry
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
2 tea spoon lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tea spoon salt
ingredients

***

1. Put the spices in a mortar and coarsely grind.
spices

2. Put the ground spices in a food processor along with the shallots, garlic, salt, and coconut milk.
blender

3. Pulse until mostly smooth.
blend

4. Cut the duck into cubes. I left the skin on thinking I might be able to crisp it up, but that didn’t work. Just remove it altogether.
cubes

5. Pour the marinade over the meat and stir to coat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, up to overnight.
marinade

6. Thread onto skewers.
skewers

7. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Sear the skewers in a pan to color all sides.
pan

8. Then transfer to an ovenproof dish and finish in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
cooked

9. Serve with peanut sauce.
serve

Shawarma style chicken wraps

There are a lot of “do ahead” steps, but they don’t all need to be done at the same time.

Notes for next time :

  • Cook the chicken on a grill to let the fat drip away
  • Roast the garlic for the yogurt sauce.

Ingredients :
8 chicken thighs
Pita bread

For the marinade
3 table soup olive oil
1 tea spoon cumin
1 tea spoon paprika
1 tea spoon turmeric
1 tea spoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
Zest and juice of a lemon
Zest and juice of an orange
Black pepper, to taste

For the garnish
1 red onion
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 table spoon olive oil
1 tomato, diced
Bread and butter pickles
Iceberg lettuce
ingredients

***

1. Combine the yogurt, garlic and olive oil for the garnish, Set aside and allow to mellow overnight.
garlic-sauce

2. Thinly slice the onion, cover with cold water. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
onions

3. Combine the marinade’s spices and grind them to a rough powder.
spices

4. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients.
marinade1

5. And stir to dissolve the spices.
marinade2

6. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken. Cut each thigh in half. Put in the marinade and stir to coat. Cover and marinade overnight.
chicken

7. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cook the chicken on both sides to get some color.
color

8. Finish in the oven until cooked through.
cooked

9. Open the pita bread. Slather with some yogurt sauce. Add the chicken, tomato, lettuce, onions, and pickles to taste. Roll and enjoy.
assemble

 

Crabapple jelly

There are a few crabapple trees that grow behind my parent’s house. Harvesting the fruits for this recipe barely made a dent in the small red crabapples hanging in the branches. They make for a nice sweet and sour jelly, that goes great with cheese.

Ingredients :
7 lbs crabapples
7 cups water
7 table spoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
6 cups sugar (approx, see notes below.
ingredients

***

1. Working in batches, rinse the fruits. Discard any peduncles, leaves, dirt or other particulates. Look over the fruits and discard any bruised or overripe ones.
rinse

2. Quarter the crabapples, seeds and skins on, and throw into a large pot. Check the flesh as you cut them and discard any that have insect damage.
quarter

3. Repeat until all the fruits are in the pot. Add the water, the vanilla, and the lemon juice.
combine

4. Simmer without boiling for 30-40 minutes, until all the crabapples are falling appart.
stewed

5. Line a sieve with several layers of cheese cloth. Put it over a large bowl. cheese-cloth

6. Laddle the warm apples into the sieve and allow the juice to drain, without pressing the fruits. Add more fruit as the juice drains down.
drain1

7. Leave to drain for 2 hours. You should have a mostly dry mass. Discard this mass, keeping the juice.
drain2

8. Measure out how much juice your crabapples yielded (mine gave me 7 cups total).
juice

9. In the original, clean, pot, affix a candy thermometer.
temp

10. Pour the juice into the pot.
juice2

11. Add the sugar. Count 3/4 cup of sugar per cup of juice (so for my 7 cups, I used 5 1/4 cup)
sugar

12. Stir to dissolve.
dissolve

13. Bring to a boil quickly, stirring until the liquid reaches 219F. Skim as you go, it will form a very pink foamy scum as it cooks. Pour into prepared half pints jars. It will be very hot and liquid at this point.
pour

14. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully. The jelly will set as it cools.
set

Chicken skewers with a yogurt marinade

The yogurt makes for extra tender chicken. The garlic scapes are less pungent than the garlic bulb and make for a more subtle taste.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast
4 garlic scapes (or more, to taste)
2 green onions
2 table spoon lemon juice
1/2 tea spoon salt
thyme, rosemary and black pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. In a small food processor, combine the yogurt, garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt, herbs and black pepper.
marinade

2. Process until no large chunk remains.
blend

3. Cut the chicken into large cubes and coat with the marinade. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
chicken

4. Assemble skewers with vegetables of your choice (I used onions and Bumblebee tomatoes)
skewers

5. Grill. The marinade will stick a bit to the grill as it caramelizes. Serve immediately.
grill

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

Another one from the Preservation Society book. Have I mentioned how much I love that book?

So ingredients and pictures, but no instruction below.

Ingredients:
700g strawberries, quartered
1.2 kg rhubarb, chopped
1 green apple, cored and chopped
5 cups sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice