Tuesday, August 30, 2011

English Fish and Chips in a Beer Batter

 It was a dreary day here in Ottawa... oh don't get me wrong the sun did make a feeble attempt at peeking out a few times today, but basically it was a good day for laundry and a good book.

I really don't know where the craving came from , because we usually don't eat this greasy , so if you have a heart condition , or are watching calories stay clear  from this recipe.

However, once in a while, it isn't so horrible or terrible to have a little indulgence.
 I made homemade fries and had haddock in the freezer although a cod is also a good fish for this dish. I must say, the batter was really light and 3 minutes on each side for the fish was the perfect time for a beautiful tender flaky fish. I like mine with a spritz of lemon , the hubby with tartar sauce. Either way you like it, sometimes the day just calls for a good fry.

Beer Batter
140 g. flour
50g. corn starch
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg beaten
250mi. beer
Mix the first 4 ingredients
In another bowl beat the egg and then mix with the beer,
Incorporate the beer mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk and make sure there are no lumps.
Make sure that your fish has no bones and that the fillets are dried with a paper towel, the batter stick better to the fish and stays crispier when the fish is fried.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan and when hot fry the fish one piece at a time,
Garnish with fries, lemon wedge and tartar sauce.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Israeli Couscous Mediterranean Salad

 Our August weather is still holding up quite nicely and with the sun shinning and the out door temperatures still hovering up there a cool salad for supper seemed to be the answer for a quick supper meal.
 I had some cooked shrimp in the freezer, olives and feta are a staple in our house as are grape tomatoes,cucumbers and a bunch of dill...this was definitely becoming a Mediterranean salad.  I had some Israeli couscous which is actually a wheat pasta, but you could use whatever pasta or orzo you have at hand.Voila Done.

1/4 cup fresh dill
3 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. good white wine vinegar
1/2 C olive oil
salt and pepper
Pulse first 3 ingredients in blender, then gradually pour in the olive oil, season to taste.

Prepare 1 lb. Israeli couscous according to instruction.(Ratio 1cup to 4 cups of water.)
1large cucumber peeled and cubed
3 -4 green onions sliced
1 sl. package of grape tomatoes , halved
1/2 c.cup lalamata olives  halved
20 shrimp cooked

Note: The hubby loved the salad, but he did make a suggestion and that was to have grilled the shrimp or served them up in a garlic butter with bay spice. I had just defrosted the cooked shrimp and tossed them in the dressing along with the rest of the ingredients. Maybe a little bland. Your choice. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Easy Beer Bread and Corn Chowder

 I'm not really a fan of corn I know everyone is in shock now... don't get me wrong I enjoy my corn on the cob, especially with a good lobster boil, or roasted on the grill yummy... but by the third time I tend to pass on this summer crowd pleaser. Last week, my neighbour offered me some corn and because it was a busy week I am ashamed to say that the corn never even made it to the fridge. I hate to spoil food so the corn was quickly grilled then scraped off the cob. I quickly sauteed 3 sliced celery ribs with a large diced onion in some olive oil. Added that to 4 cups of milk, 2 cans of creamed corn 2 potatoes that I cubed and then in went the roasted corn for a quick corn chowder soup.Bacon Garnish optional
Over at Stone Gable , Yvonne had posted this or a similar recipe and included this super simple Beer Bread that I just had to make . Not only is this a simple bread recipe but quick to make in a pinch.

Beer Bread
21/4 C. flour
3T. sugar
1/2 tsp,bakeing sodar
1 T bakeing powder
Mix all the above ingredients.
1 bottle beer
1T oil
ix the oil in the beer and then pour into the flour mixture. Mix just until batter is incorporated. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes until golden. ( If you wish pour 1 T. melted butter over beer bread before bakeing.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Iron Chef Charity Throwdown

 A challenge was offered.

 A  food basket supplied, the mystery food presented... beef tenderloin and organic chicken breasts.
The rules:Each group had to produce  appetizers, a salad, a main meal and dessert.
 A good time was promised.
The reward: we would all share in the meal.
The cause: was for an organization close to all our hearts. THE PALLIATIVE CARE OUTREACH PROGRAM.

It always amazes , but never surprise me how a beautiful group of  professional women that are grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters but mostly friends ...come together and are so generous of their time, energy and love for each other and their strong belief system that in life you must give back. Thank you to all that participated and donated so generously to this worthwhile program.

Meet our hostess Sandi Grant

and the lovely members of TEAM I
chopping, dicing, and whispering secret ingredients.
hum will that be a salsa, or dessert?

TEAM II also hard at work...The pooch was the official floater whose job it was to oversee the work ,comment and sweep the floor.

Hey Barb, you belong to Team II are you snooping (read spying)  on Team I??

Meet the GALS on the GRILL
Sandi and Dr. Margaret..... WOW these gals rocked big time on the EGG, Smoker and BBQ Grill.

 It 's almost ready!!
 Set Up

 "What do you mean it's a mock Bellini????

'To love and be loved."


The rules to the competition were that all foods in our baskets had to be incorporated in the meal. We were allowed one secret ingredient, and could purchase items that did not total more that 5$ from our own pockets to enhance or help in our preparation 
 ( all other food provided by our host) 
OOPS downloaded pictures in an incorrect order.. sorry..
Recipes to follow in later blog entries.

 Beef tenderloin grilled with a balsamic reduction on a bed of roasted potatoes, mushrooms,and almond green beans.

 BBQ  garlic beef tenderloin in a coffee/chili rub, dill potatoes, grilled chicken stuffed with cheese and a pineapple salsa.

 Grilled vegetables marinated in a balsamic tomato basil dressing.

 Tangerine, fruit Romain salad served with a tangerine dressing (not Shown)

 Pancetta Cesar salad

 Baguette appetizers grilled with garlic butter and topped with pancetta & cantaloupe,Others topped with homemade tomato/olive salsa.

 Mock chilled Bellini

 Artichoke dip served in an eggplant boat and served with...

grilled baguette to accompany the dip.

PS. Apologies for the pictures that were missed such as the grilled asparagus and I'm sure a few other items. Dessert pictures never made it to the table as the brandied fruit, whipped cream and shortbread cakes would have literally resulted in the explosion of the already full and satisfied participants!


A JOB WELL DONE, WE were all winners!

The end of all our hard work was the communal supper shared by all with tales of how we had spent the supper to date. We laughed, congratulated each other on a job well done, praised and drooled over the food and later dangled our feet in the warm water of the swimming pool. But we also talked and shed some tears for people missing from the evening and the reason for this fund raiser.

Our cause is a program that deals with events that has touched all of us in our life experiences... The Palliative Care Outreach Program.

Here in Ottawa Canada, Dr.Margaret Farncombe   started the program in 1997, when she realized the need for at home care for the terminally ill.
Most of us present have cared for a loved one during the dying process.

The Palliative Care  Outreach Program provides an all encompassing approach to the care and support of individual clients with terminal diseases and to their families in an out of hospital setting to ensure an environment of comfort,respect and dignity in accordance with the clients goals,needs and belief system.

 Please visit their website at www.palliativeoutreach.org


There really was no competition, as we all had way too much fun , that the consensus was that the  winner was the FOOD and of course the MONEY raised for the Palliative Care Outreach Program. We have vowed to do another event in the fall so stay tuned .