Friday, 16 August 2013

Easy Cranberry (Fruit) Cheesecake parfait

This is such an easy recipe to make, but it looks wonderful. I have used it for making mini desserts, and the layers look so pretty in the tiny glasses. This is a 2 stage process, so you need to start several hours before serving time. you need time for the bottom layer to set completely before making the second layer, and then time for the second layer to set completely before serving.

What you need :  1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce; 1 8 oz package of cream cheese; 2 boxes of cranberry jelly powder; 1 cup of whipping cream, whipped; water; 1 can of whipped cream topping.

What you do: Boil water, then pour 1 cup of boiling water into a medium sized bowl. whisk in the  contents of 1 box of jelly powder. Stir until powder is completely dissolved. Open the can of cranberry sauce, and add half of the contents into the dissolved jelly. Stir well. Allow to cool to room temperature, and keep stirring to prevent berries from falling to the bottom. Meanwhile, warm the cream cheese in the microwave, until you can stir it easily. Add to the jelly mixture and whisk well, or use an immersion blender to incorporate the chees and jelly into a very smooth mixture. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into pretty glasses,  just over half full. Cover each glass, and place into the fridge to set for about an hour.  Boil water and add 2nd box of jelly  powder as before. Mix in the remaining cranberry sauce. Stir well. Place into fridge until it just begins to set, checking every few minutes. Remove the covers from glasses with the cheese mixture, and carefully add the cranberry jelly on top. Recover glasses, and put back into the fridge to set completely. When you are ready to serve, place the glasses on a tray, and add whipped cream topping.
Optional: you can place a Tablespoon of graham cracker crumb crust into the glass first if desired. Mix 1 cup of crumbs with 1 tbs of sugar, and 2 tbs melted butter or margarine. Stir well. Press 1 Tbs into the bottom of the glass, using the handle end of a wooden spoon to compact the crumb mixture. Then proceed as above.
If you are taking these somewhere out side, or where the glasses could get broken, you can also use small plastic wine glasses and plastic spoons.

This recipe can be altered for any kind of berry, or fruit which has a jelly flavour, such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, grape, orange, lemon, peach, and watermelon.

****CAUTION*** never use kiwi in any recipe which is to be set with gelatine or jelly. Kiwi has a chemical which prevents the gelatine from setting.

Au Gratin update

In March 2012, I posted a recipe for 'Endive Au Gratin', which was a main course dish I originally learned to make in Switzerland. I have since done this with many other vegetables, including kale, sui choy, and broccoli. You can use any vegetable you like, including asparagus, cauliflower, pepper strips, carrots, etc. Let your imagination, and favourite foods guide you. Yesterday I made this for dinner, and I used broccoli, honey ham, Gouda and Swiss cheeses, and a white wine cream sauce. I made rice to go with it.

Broccoli wrapped in ham slices, and then layered in a casserole dish. 15 wraps altogether.


 The White wine sauce, ready to pour over wraps.
This sauce is like the one for Chicken Cordon Bleu, but instead of broth, I used 1 cup skim milk and 2 cups cream, along with 1 cup dry white wine. This makes a very rich flavourful sauce.
Cheese, grated and ready for adding on top. I used 2 small pieces of cheese which were in the fridge, about 200 gr of Gouda, and 100 gr of Gruyere. then I grated them and stirred to blend.

   Sauce on top

And now the cheese, then pop into the oven. It bakes at 350 F for 20 minutes, then under the broiler for about 5, watching carefully, so nothing burns.

Ready to eat, this time served over rice in place of noodles. Very easy to do, and delicious to eat.
Left overs are good to freeze or eat warmed up in the next few days.
Au gratin recipe March 2012, and white wine sauce recipe August 2013

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Boer Kool met Wurst - which is Kale and Potatoes with Sausage

This is a very traditional Dutch dish, which I have learned to make since marrying a boy from Holland. It was always part of the celebrations at 'Carnaval', the party before Lent begins - the Dutch version of 'Mardi Gras'.

For 4 servings.

What you need: 2 large bunches of kale; 1.5 kilos of potatoes; milk and butter, salt, and pepper for potatoes; 4 farmers sausages, the individual size; or 1 kilo of a sausage of your choice; 2 cups of gravy.

What you do: Separate kale leaves and wash them. Cut off the thick centre spine. Prepare and cook potatoes for mashing. In a very large kettle, cover the kale leaves with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Heat sausage in a pan of water, a frying pan, or on a grill. Mash potatoes, and add salt pepper, butter, and milk as desired. Drain the kale. Chop the leaves into small pieces. stir into the mashed potatoes.

Serve sausage and potato mixture with gravy on top.

Raspberry Peach Upside Down Cake

This was a last minute inspiration at about 5 pm yesterday. I had a spice cake mix in the pantry, and just decided to do something with the peaches and raspberries, before Wil left to back to work. Preheat the oven to 350°F

What you need: 3 peaches*, 1 pint raspberries, a spice cake mix, 2 eggs, and 12 oz water - or a mixture of water and peach syrup or juice.

What you do: Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan. Slice the peaches, and arrange in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the raspberries over the peaches. Mix the cake mix with the eggs and water. Beat 2 -3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour batter over the arranged fruit. Bake about 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Cut into squares. Serve warm with ice cream or your favourite sauce on top.

Any left overs must be kept in the fridge, or frozen, as fresh fruit get moldy very quickly.

* you can also use canned peaches for this. If you do - first, drain the syrup into a measuring cup, and use that instead of part of your water for the cake mix.

Smoked Roast Beef

We have a smoker in our backyard, and Wil enjoys making smoked meats. We cure our own bacon, and then smoke it. We also have smoked pork roasts, pork chops, chicken breasts, and peppers from our green house.
Last night we enjoyed a lovely sirloin tip roast, with potatoes, 'Boer Kool'*, and asparagus. Dessert recipe follows on next post.

What you need: a 1- 1½ kilo roast, a spice blend of your choice, wood chips and a smoker or BBQ.  

What you do: rub your spice blend all over the roast, covering all sides and the ends. Prepare your smoker or BBQ by lighting coals on fire, and adding wet wood  chips. Allow the coals to settle. Place the roast on a rack about 4 to 6 inches above the smoking coals. Smoke 4 - 6 hours. (Since Wil does all this, I am just making assumptions about the distance.)

After smoking, place the roast into a hot oven - 375°F for 30 - 45 minutes to your favourite doneness. We like rare meat, so I do 25 - 30 minutes.  You can make gravy with the pan drippings if desired, or from a commercial mix. I made 'Hunter Sauce' last night, as Wil loves it. I can't have that, as it is a classic mushroom gravy mix from Knorr. Slice and serve with any side dishes. It goes well with anything, and is even wonderful for beef on a bun sandwiches. 
As always, enjoy.

* Boer Kool is known in Canada as kale. Boer Kool literally means 'farmers cabbage' in Dutch.