Archive of ‘Make This’ category

Make This! Madeleines from My Paris Kitchen

Copyright © David Lebovitz

Copyright © David Lebovitz

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I had been craving madelines for a bit. So, I was really happy to see this recipe in My Paris Kitchen! Warning: These madelines are insanely delicious! Be sure that you have at least two hours to make this recipe as it needs rising time. You will need a madeline pan. Don’t fill the madeline pan too much, or the madelines will become misshapen. Okay! Here we go. (more…)

Make This: Butter Chicken with Jaswant’s Kitchen

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The other day I decided to break out my box of Jaswant’s Kitchen Spices and try a new recipe from the box. I decided to try…Butter Chicken! If you don’t know, Jaswant’s Kitchen is a Toronto based company that creates natural, authentic Indian spice blends along with easy to follow recipes available free on their site. Last time I made Curry Shrimp!

Murgh Makhani, more commonly known as Butter Chicken, is a delicious dish of grilled chicken simmered in a rich buttery tomato sauce that’s very popular during the holidays.

Grilled Chicken

Sauce

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes (I used good quality canned tomatoes)
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 green chili (minced)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped for garnish) 

 

Butter Chicken Sauce
Sauce can be made a day in advance. Remove seeds from tomatoes and chop coarsely. Cook tomatoes on medium heat for 5 minutes in a heavy pot.  Cover and lower heat to simmer. When tomatoes are soft use a hand blender to puree.  Add butter, salt, pepper and green chili. When butter has melted add the cream and mix.

I found this recipe pretty easy to follow. At the end, it looked just like Butter Chicken from an Indian restaurant! Or at least, I like to think so. the spice blends have a nice deep flavour. We really liked it! I also went the extra level and tried to make naan. Yum. Here’s how I made the chicken!

Instructions
Remove skin and wash chicken with cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.  Make deep cuts in chicken. Rub salt and lemon juice all over and into the cuts.

In a bowl combine yoghurt, Jaswant’s Kitchen Tandoori Masala, vinegar, ginger, garlic and 1 tbsp oil. Add chicken to bowl making sure all pieces are covered with mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to help the flavors penetrate the chicken.

(Note: I didn’t do this and the flavour was still amazing.)

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Bake on middle rack of oven at 450°F on a greased pan. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn pieces and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Check for doneness.  Sprinkle Jaswant’s Kitchen Garam Masala and lemon juice on all pieces. Brush with 1 tbsp oil and broil for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

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Heat sauce and combine with chicken pieces. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add ½ of the chopped cilantro. Add more salt and green chili to taste.  Garnish with rest of the cilantro. That’s it!

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Check out http://www.jaswantskitchen.com for spices and recipes!

Make This: Rice, Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas

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Did you know that Canada doesn’t produce any of its own rice? Nearly 65 per cent of rice consumed in Canada is grown in the U.S. Rice has been produced in the U.S. for more than 300 years!

I had the chance to cook with USA Rice for this recipe, and I’m glad that I did! Cooking with rice is easy and pretty versatile. I like to throw it on the stove and let it cook while I make the meal. I also sometimes use the rice cooker. How do you cook with rice? Rose Reisman makes cooking with rice look effortless and delicious…and it is!

I decided to cook up a Mexican dish.

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas with rice, anyone?

You Need:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 250ml can of black beans
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 250ml can of tomato sauce
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Put rice to cook on stove or in rice cooker.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Quickly fry tortillas for about 5-10 seconds per side. Place on plate with paper towels to grab grease.
  4. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Stir in the tomato sauce and black beans. Bring to a simmer.
  7. en1Place the chicken breasts into the sauce.
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
  9. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  10. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the bean mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.
  11. Transfer the leftover  bean mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
  12. Add rice into bean mixture.
  13. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the bean mixture.
  14. en2Stir 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and the cilantro into the chicken and onions. Toss to combine.
  15. en3Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  16. en4Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese.
  17. Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.en5
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I was really proud with how these came out! I’m more of a baker than a cook, but m family loved these. They also make great leftovers for lunch!
This recipe was adapted from here.

Make This: Honey Cake with Caramelized Apples from the Martha Stewart Cake Book

Every so often, Martha Stewart complies these awesome themed recipe books. The last one she released was Cupcakes, a couple of years ago.

 

This year, she’s back with Martha Stewart Cakes. This book is filled with over 150 recipes of every cake you ever dreamed of, thought of, and didn’t even know was real.

The recipes range in difficulty, and there’s something for everyone. Spice cakes, bundt cakes, birthday cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream cakes, pound cakes…they’re all here. Along with the recipes, there are some tried and tested tips and basic recipes for frosting and icing.

I was inspired to bake a cake from this book! I decided to make the Honey Cake with Caramelized Pears because it sounded delicious and had few ingredients. There is no butter in this cake! Of course, I didn’t have pears. So I used apples!

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Honey Cake with Caramelized Apples

You need

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons best-quality honey (I used honey from the Kingsbrae Garden)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Mix eggs and sugars on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and thick, about 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk together honey, milk, oil, and zest. With mixer on low, add honey mixture to egg mixture; mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add half the flour mixture; mix until smooth. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into pan.
  3. Bake until dark golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of cake; carefully remove sides of pan.Transfer cake to a platter. Now it’s time to make the topping!
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 pounds of apples, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/4 cup best-quality honey

Caramelized Apples

1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sugar; cook, stirring, until almost dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just golden, 12 to 20 minutes. Pour in honey; cook, stirring, until apples are coated and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes. If you leave this on too long, the caramel will become very thick and unruly, so beware! Top the cake with this mixture immediately, and serve.

This cake was so easy and delicious! My family was impressed with my mad caramelizing skill.

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Find out more about the Martha Stewart Cake book or read about the day I met her!

Make This! Avocado Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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I don’t really cook. When I venture into the kitchen, my go to tends to be baking. Scones, cakes, muffins…I can do that!

However, when it comes to cooking, I balk. I was really happy to be able to participate in a Mexican Avocado cooking project!
I decided to seize the bull by the horns and create my own dish.

Before this experience, I didn’t realize how versatile and easy avocados can are to cook with! You can put them in salads, cook them, mash them into guacamole or just peel and eat them the way they are. They are also incredibly healthy for you. Avocados contain almost 20 vitamins and minerals, and can actually help lower LDL cholesterol in other foods.

Here’s what I decided to make!

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 avocados from Mexico
8 strips of bacon
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tomato
1 red onion
2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp of salt
the juice from half a lime

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1. Slice, peel and pit your avocados. Make sure that your avocados are ripe! They should be slightly squishy when you squeeze them. Slice them into small pieces. With a fork, mash the avocados until it has formed a paste.

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2. In a bowl, dice up the onion and tomato. Mince the garlic, and add to the bowl. Add salt, pepper and lime juice. Pour this mixture into your bowl of avocados. Mix until well combined.
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3. On a cutting board, pound the chicken breasts until thin. Spoon the mixture onto the edge of a chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast tightly into a roll. Wrap each chicken breast with 2 pieces of bacon. Place in baking dish. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.

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That’s it! You have a fast and easy meal that looks gourmet! My family really enjoyed this dinner. If I could make one change, I would add cheese!

What would you make with Mexican avocados? To find out more about avocados, or to find more recipes, click here!

Make This: Garlic Basil Smashed Potatoes

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The very first recipe that I made from the Toronto Star Cookbook were these Garlic-Basil Smashed Potatoes. Garlic and basil are two of my favourite things, so I was sold!

You’ll need:

1 bag (1-½ lb/680 g) mini potatoes

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tsp (5 mL) flaky sea salt

Minced cloves from 1 head garlic (I recommend you use half a head of garlic)

Chopped leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil

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1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a baking dish, toss the potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven until the potatoes are tender inside and crispy outside, 45 to 60 minutes.

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2. While the potatoes are cooking, chop up the garlic and basil! Try not to cry. (I love chopping up herbs with my fancy herb chopping knife/cutting board)
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3. Using a fork, gently press each potato just until it pops. I found this hard, and sometimes over pressed. When that’s done, transfer the potatoes to a baking dish along with any leftover oil. Toss with herbs and garlic. Add extra olive oil if needed!

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Voila! Super quick and easy side dish.

I found these potatoes to be delicious, but incredibly garlic-y (and I love garlic). I recommend using only half a head of garlic.

This recipe has been adapted from the Toronto Star Cookbook by Jennifer Bain, and can be found here.

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