The aromas that fill the kitchen and house when you are roasting potatoes and carrots infused with balsamic vinegar and combined with herbs like thyme and rosemary, will leave you salivating in anticipation of the finished dish.
Balsamic Roasted Potatoes And Carrots
Roasting potatoes and carrots infused with aromas of balsamic vinegar, thyme and garlic makes for a wonderfully aromatic side dish to serve with pretty much any cool weather main dish.
- 1.5 kg baby mixed colour potatoes cut in half
- 500 g carrots peeled baby or baby cut
- 8 cloves garlic peeled, germ removed and smashed
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 75 ml balsamic vinegar
- 50 ml butter melted
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme (2 ml dried)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (see notes)
- 5 ml salt
- 2 ml pepper freshly ground
Preheat oven to 220°C
Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil
Arrange potatoes, carrots, shallots and garlic in a single layer on sheet
Combine the balsamic vinegar, melted butter, dried thyme, (if using), salt and pepper
Pour over vegetables and toss to coat
If fresh thyme and rosemary is used, insert the sprigs among the veggies
Cover the sheet with aluminum foil sealing the edges
Roast covered for 45 minutes giving it a good shake every now and then
Remove foil and roast for an additional 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally until potatoes and carrots are tender and golden
Remove any remaining sprigs or stems of the fresh thyme and rosemary (if using) before serving
I do not recommend using dried rosemary in this recipe as the needles will not soften sufficiently to make for a pleasant eating experience.
We tend to associate this kind of salad with Spring and Summer. It can however make for a nice treat in any season.
Mixed Green Salad with Smoked Salmon and Crostini
A flavourful salad that can be served at any time of the year.
- 4 cups Mixed Greens e.g. Mesclun
- 6 slices Smoked Salmon
- 12 pieces Crostini store bought or home made
- 1 tbsp Capers
- 10 g Parmesan for garnish shaved
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard course grained
- 1/2 tsp Basil dried
- 1/2 tsp Tarragon dried
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly
Divide and arrange salad greens between six salad plates
Add a dab or two of cream cheese on each crostini and add to plate
On each plate top salad with an artistically arranged slice of smoked salmon
Place a few capers on each slice of smoked salmon
Spoon vinaigrette over each salad including salmon
Grind a few twists of black pepper over each salad
Garnish with a few shavings of Parmesan and serve
When fresh herbs are available use these in place of dried
If fresh parsley is available add a few leaves as additional garnish
As the name says, the “Easy Sunday Cake” is incredibly easy to make and requires only a few ingredients, very little time to make and yet, is always a great hit with family and guests alike. Credit for the original recipe goes to my mother.
Jump to Recipe
Easy Sunday Cake
The “Easy Sunday Cake” is a light dessert that goes well with an after dinner coffee or digestive.
- 250 g (8 oz) Flour Pastry or all purpose
- 250 g (8 oz) Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 250 ml (1 cup) Milk
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) Oil e.g. vegetable but NOT Olive oil
- 1/2 package of Vanilla sugar
- 5 ml (1 tsp) Baking powder
- 100 g (3 – 4 oz) Hazelnuts or Filberts ground
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) Cocoa powder
- Icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F)
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until foamy with a hand mixer.
Add milk and oil while continuing to mix on low speed
Incorporate flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, vanilla sugar and Cocoa powder
Pour mixture into a suitable baking pan (loaf, spring form, Bundt etc.)
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean
Let cake cool of and then finish with a dusting of icing sugar
Truite Amandine or Trout Fillets with Almonds is a fairly regular dish in our house. It’s easy to make, light fare, looks and tastes great and lends itself as everyday dinner as well as for entertaining.I typically use whole almonds and slice them myself. I like having a bit of skin on the almonds for colour as opposed to using store bought ones that are just plain white.
Trout Fillets Amandine aka “Truite Amandine”
The recipe below is for 2-3 people, depending on the size of the fillet. Use 2 fillets if you are feeding more or if the fillets are small, use one per person.Make sure you serve a nice glass of white to go with that. I might suggest a Riesling of Cabinet quality.
- 1 large trout fillet 250 g (8 oz), skin on
- 1 shallot finely sliced into rings
- 6 almonds roasted and sliced or a small hand full if store bought sliced
- 1 sprig of fresh dill or 1/2 tsp of dried parsely or thyme make suitable substitutes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat you stove to 180°C (350°F)
Thoroughly wash the fillet in cold water, then pat dry
Prepare a piece or pieces of aluminum foil large enough to hold the fillet and butter them so the fillet doesn't stick
Place the fillet on the foil skin down
Dowse fillet with lemon juice to your taste
Sprinkle dill over fillets
Spread shallots over fillet
Distribute almonds over fillet
Add some salt and pepper to your liking
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (adjust time to your oven and your liking)
Finish on broil for 2 minutes or until you get a nice looking colour 🙂
Serve immediately with sides of your choice, e.g. rice, asparagus or what ever green is in your fridge
This Curry Shrimp Risotto Gratin is based on a classic Spanish dish.
Curry Shrimp Risotto Gratin
The Curry Shrimp Risotto Gratin is one of those dishes that may well make it into your regular monthly repetoire.
It’s easy to make, tastes great and will impress your friends with the fancy version, i.e. I make two versions of it, a “plain” and a “fancy” one. The fancy one simply adds one large shrimp per person on top as a decorative kicker.
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 150 g (1 cup) Risotto rice Arborio but if you can get it – Vialone or Carnaroli preferred
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Curry
- 150 ml (¾) cup white wine
- 350 ml (1½ cups) chicken boullion
- 200 g large shrimp about 18 shrimp of size 31-40
- 6 extra jumbo shrimp – size 16-20 optional
- 1 small jar of Artichoke hearts about 6 pcs., diced
- 5 tbsp Parmesan grated
- 180 g 3/4 cup Sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra butter for gratin
In large pot heat butter and olive oil
Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes
Add rice and stir until evenly coated, then add curry and again stir to coat, about 2 minutes
Add wine to deglaze and cook until nearly absorbed
Add bouillon one ladle at a time and continue to cook with minimal stirring, always waiting until liquid is nearly absorbed, about 20 minutes
Stir in artichoke hearts, then add shrimp
Mix in 3 tbsp of the Parmesan, reserving rest
Carefully fold in sour cream, then transfer to a (round) gratin dish
Top with remaining Parmesan
Decorate with Extra Jumbo Shrimp if using
Distribute flakes of butter all over top and bake in pre-heated oven at 220°C for 10 minutes.
Finish under grill setting until you obtain a golden crust
Serve with a nice glass of white wine
Some notes to the recipe below: I typically cook some dried green beans as an additional side. These I soak for a few hours ahead, drain and add to the dutch oven a half hour before time is up, continuing to cook while the hock and potatoes are roasting.I also frequently add a couple of carrots to the dish by tossing the peeled carrots into the dutch oven about a half hour before time is up (i.e. along with the above beans, if using). The precooked carrots are added to the roasting dish along with the other ingredients.
Smoked Ham Hock with Roast Potatoes
Slowly cooked and roasted smoked ham hocks are another one of my favorite cool weather foods. This recipe takes on a Canadian flair with a maple glaze on the hock and potatoes.A very simple, inexpensive and highly satisfying main course.This recipe uses a ham hock of about 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
- 1 smoked ham hock 2 if small
- 0.5 – 1 Kg (1 – 2lb) potatoes
- 3 garlic gloves
- 1 Onion chopped into 8 pieces
- 3 Cloves optional cut into quarters
- 5 ml (1 tsp) Fresh chopped ginger
- 2-3 bay leaves
- A few pepper corn
- 5 ml (1 tsp) thyme
- 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
- 2.5 ml (1/2) tsp coriander
- 120 ml (1/2) cup butter, melted
- 60 ml (1/4) cup mayonaise
- 60 ml (1/4) cup dijon mustard
- 60 ml (1/4) cup maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place ham hock, onion, pepper corns, clove of garlic, ginger (optional cloves) and bay leaves into a suitable Dutch Oven or Casserole
Add a few cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the Dutch Oven or Casserole and slowly simmer for 2-3 hours depending on the size.
Take out the pork hock and place it on the baking tray.
Prepare the glaze by combining mustard, mayonnaise and maple syrup.
Add peeled and cut potatoes to the baking tray with ham hock.
Add chopped garlic and season everything with paprika, thyme, coriander, salt and pepper.
Using the cooking brush cover everything with the glaze.
Preheat the oven to 215 C (420 F).
Melt ½ cups of melted butter and pour it over potatoes.
Roast pork and potatoes until browned for about 20 minutes.
Carve and serve