manyra: (Default)

It's always iffy to make a casserole - for some, the mere word brings back horrible memories of their mother's cooking. So I was bit tentative to cook this one up, even securing a promise from the boy not to comment if he hated it. However, turns out this is pretty damn good. Enjoy...

Cauliflower-Green Bean Casserole

1 head cauliflower
1 cup green beans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup butter
1/4 small yellow or white onion, finely sliced
1 cup freshly cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup shredded mixture Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses (or just use one)
Tarragon & pepper to taste.

Cook and drain cauliflower and green beans. Pour into large casserole dish and stir in mayo, butter, onion, and bacon, mixing thoroughly. Put the cheese on top and bake at 300 deg. for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 6g carb (10g carb minus 4g fiber per serving) , 11g protein

Adapted from Dana Carpender's book 500 Low-Carb Recipes. The original recipe uses frozen veggies which work just as well as fresh and twice the amount of butter & mayo but it was too mayo-y for me.

manyra: (I talk now...)

Chorizo, Sweet Pepper & Zucchini Pasta Gratin
(based on the recipe found at

A hearty and colourful dinner party centerpiece with a spicy kick.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Oven temperature: 180ÂșC,


200g chorizo sausage, sliced
2 large red or yellow peppers, deseeded and sliced
1 Zucchini, cut into 2cm cubes
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
400g canned chopped tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes chopped)
Handful fresh basil
400g rigatoni or penne paste
125g mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
100g parmesan cheese, grated


In a large frying pan cook the chorizo sausage for about two minutes until golden. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon leaving the lovely flavoured oil in the pan. Add the peppers, onions and zucchini and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until golden around the edges. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add the vinegar stir until bubbling and reduced. Add the chopped tomatoes and torn basil and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile in a large pan of water, cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the sauce and the cubes of mozzarella and mix well. Transfer to a large dish and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and serve with a large mixed salad and some crusty Italian bread.

* I also added a chili pepper from my garden since the chorizo was a bit bland.

manyra: (It's Happy Bunny)
We were a hands breath away from getting a very cool spring storm. The sky darkened over the course of an hour and as the drops of rain started, I could imagine the tempest about to come. I just got my laundry & the dog in when the blasted wind really picked up and pushed the rain clouds somewhere towards the hat. UGH! 

A spring rain would have been good for so many reasons - the boy would have been able to take a break from cutting the lawn, my garden needs it, I would have been able to stay inside and clean, the outside of the house needs a good washing to get rid of the dust, and lastly (and most importantly) rain now would make it less likely to rain during coronet.... 

again I say ugh.....

Anyways - off to make dinner. One of the boy's summer favourites Pasta salad with BBQ chicken -
Take some garlic, one onion, , one pepper, some carrots, broccoli, and what ever other veggies you got and lightly saute them with olive oil (mostly to take the sting off the onions).

Mix a packet of club house Creamy Pasta mix with vinegar, dill, milk and mayonnaise. (you can use the recipe on the mix packet) 

Cook four servings of Pasta - I use rotini and often cut the veggie in the same shape. Let the pasta cool and mix with veggies then mayonnaise mix. Let that sit for an hour and put some chicken on the BBQ. After that is cooked slice it up and mix it in with the pasta salad. Dish it out & eat up!

Well, that's it for now. Hope those of you going to crown have a fabulous time. We're off to a wedding Yippee!
manyra: (Default)
Thought I might have posted this already but apparently not. This recipe comes from a book called "In a Roman Kitchen: Recipes from the Eternal City". It was my first attempt at something Italian that wasn't pasta. For those of you who have been at Pagliaci's in Victoria - this is similar to Last Chicken in Paris.


Sovrane di Pollo Principessa (Chicken Breast for the Princess)
Serves 4-6

6 Skinned and boned chicken breast halves (about 1/3 pounds or 1.2 kgs)
1/3 cup flour (45g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (or whatever's on hand...)
6 tablespoons butter (90g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry marsala
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Pound the chicken breast to flatten them somewhat. (if they are very thick, halve them horizontally) Put the flour on a plate and season it with the salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour; shake off any access.

2. Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in the olive oil in a very large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until cooked through and light brown - 5-7 minutes. Remove to a heated serving dish and cover to keep warm. *Now I hate making more dishes than needed to I usually just leave the chicken in the pan while doing the next step. I mean really who has a heated serving dish!*

3. Pour the marsala into the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits form the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and simmer, stirring until it is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter whisking to amalgamate the sauce *Do this for longer than you think necessary for the sauce does separate*. Taste for seasoning and pour the sauce over the chicken breast. *You can add pecans as well for an added flavour*

4. Garnish with black truffles *right 'cause I have so much of that around the house* or chives or parsley. Serve at once.
manyra: (Default)
for what seems like forever, I've been promising to share this with y'all. I got this recipe from dish cooking studio in TO. It's a bit expensive with all the gruyere and extremely rich with the heavy cream but it's easy and very impressive.


Gratin Dauphinois

2 cups homogenized milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 lbs (approx 4 large) potatoes
1 medium celeriac, peeled
gruyere cheese, grated

Put the milk, whipping cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper in to an oven proof casserole dish. Heat to just under the simmer point either in a 375 degree oven or on top of the stove. With a mandolin or the slicing attachment on the food processor, slice the potatoes and celeriac into the heated cream mixture. Top with grated gruyere cheese. Put into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes

April 2010

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