This is the Horde. Below are our Recipes. Thanks for sharing our Kitchen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Horde Original - Arancini Light. Italian Rice Balls reworked

I don't know if any of you have tried Arancini but they are spectacular.  Italian appetizers.  Basically a deep fried rice ball stuffed with proscuitto and such.    In Sicily they also have peas in them but I've never had that version.

You may or not know but I quit smoking in January (YAY ME).  I'm sure if you are a reader of this blog you will notice I'm not exactly a calorie counter.  I never really have had to be but turning 40 and now quitting smoking has put me into a position where I need to lose some of that middle age, quit smoking weight gain.  

The truth is you can reduce the calorie/fat intake of alot of food with some simple adjustments that don't affect flavour that much.  I'm sure there is more I can do to make this a super skinny choice but I'm me and I still need that deep flavour of non "light" versions of ingredients.

This brings us to arancini.  This is an insanely labour intensive dish when made the traditional way.  It would take me all day and is wicked heavy on the calories.     I killed two birds with one stone yesterday playing in the kitchen.

A light version of Arancini that takes significantly less time to make.   I wanted to try working this into a casserole to reduce the work but at the same time be lighter and tasty.

It worked.  The kids LOVED it.  My husband who doesn't actually like Arangini loved it!   It was filling and oh so good.  Without further adieu.  It's a little sideways from traditional Arangini but tastes delish.

Start with cooking approximately 5 cups of rice (you would be safe with 6). I used brown rice as opposed to the traitional white sticky rice.

You will also need a couple cups of shredded light mozzarella cheese,  grated pecorino, grated parmagaen, finely shredded asiago cheese, and bread crumbs

While the rice is cooking, prepare the meat mixture.
1.5 lbs of ground chicken
approx 10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped finely.
1 cup finely grated asiago cheese
1 cup of lean pancetta cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 cup pecorino cheese grated
1/4 cup parmagaen cheese grated
2-3 chopped tomatoes

In a skillet, brown ground chicken with garlic.  Set aside in a large metal bowl.  In the same skillet brown the chopped pancetta until a little crispy.  Combine with chicken.   Add the basil and cheeses and combine well.  Add tomatoes and mix well. Set aside until rice mixture is ready.


Rice Mixture.
5-6 cups of prepared brown rice
1/3 cup egg whites
1/4 cup pecorino cheese
1/4 cup parmagean
1 cup shredded "light" mozzarella cheese. (skim milk mozza)

Combine all the ingredients well.

Layer bottom of casserole dish (9 x 13) with parchment paper or spray well with Pam.   Using half the rice mixture make a layer along the bottom of the dish. Press Mixture down.   

Add a thin layer of shredded mozza cheese.  Next pour the meat mixture and layer it evenly.   Again place a thin layer over the meat mixture.

Take the other half of the rice mixture and again layer that on top of the meat/cheese layer, pressing down again. 

Sprinkle mozza cheese, and a  little of the grated cheeses over the entire mixture.  Lightly sprinkle evenly, about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs over the final layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approx 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. 

A little bit of work but not nearly as much as the traditional dish.  Calories are reduced significantly as a result of no deep frying.

Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.  Always open to suggestions and tweeking.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Strawberry Buttermilk Scones. (It's still snowing but I need to feel like Spring and this helps)

I am tired of cold weather and snow.  Very tired.  After our recent trip to Florida I'm hankering for warmer weather and sandals.   Since I can't do much about that I made some Strawberry scones today.  Something about fresh fruit just makes it feel more springlike.  I can imagine the warm breezes even if I can't feel them.

The trick to successful scones is very cold butter and not overworking the dough.  A little easier said than done when adding fruit but it worked out well.  This is the first time I've added fresh fruit to my traditional buttermilk Scone recipe found HERE.

For this recipe follow the above recipe for the dough.  I will repost the ingredients here.  Note.  I always double this recipe for my family.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbl sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbl cold butter (3/4 of a stick) cut into small pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbl sweet milk

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter pieces to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two dinner knives, cut butter into flour until the mixture takes on the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of mixture. Pour buttermilk into the well. Using a fork, pull the mixture into the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently. Cut into shapes using biscuit cutter or heart-shaped cookie cutter. Brush tops with sweet milk and bake at 425 for 12 min or until lightly browned. Yield: 8 scones, approx. 2 1/2" in diameter Recipe can be doubled.

Simply cut up about 8 fresh strawberries and work them into the dough prior to cutting in the final knead stage.

Also note:  This dough can be easily made in a kitchenaid mixer (my preferred method).  Simply add the butter first, then all the dry ingredients and mix with paddle mixer until it's cornmealish.  Add the buttermilk and mix on low until just combined.  Knead final together on a floured surface and follow as above for cutting.

Here is how they look prior to heading into the oven.  Baking time did not change.  425 degrees F for 11-12 minutes.

They taste delicious and have given me a little spring in my step today so to speak.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yummy Spaghetti Sauce. Tomato/Meat/ Basil - Acid reduced

I love a good tomato meat sauce for pasta.  I'm not going to get into the whole debate of sauce vs gravy.  For this sauce I use fresh produce when available and the added carrot reduces the acid so my husband can enjoy it with his reflux issues.

This is a traditional meat sauce for pasta.  You can use this sauce on any kind of pasta be it gnocchi, spaghetti, rotini, rigatoni, ravioli...etc etc.

A staple in my home.   After a wonderful relaxing vacation I need some home cooking.  My mom made some excellent meals while we were visiting but too much junk food was consumed when we weren't at their house.  We had a 20 hour drive yesterday and today I craved carbs and comfort food. 

My sauce is very simple, with Molisana sausage added to give it some extra zip and flavour.

Two cloves of garlic, minced
Two small cans of tomato paste
Two 690 ml cans of simple tomato sauce
Two 796 ml cans of diced tomato
Two pounds of extra lean ground beef
Two pounds of lean ground veal
(one shredded carrot to reduce the acid)
Fresh basil to taste (usually about 10 fresh leaves chopped)
1 jar of Molisana Sausage cut into small bits

During the summer when we have access to fresh tomato from the garden I use those instead of canned.

This is a one pot recipe.  No need to clean extra right?  

Brown the meat with the garlic in a large saucepan.  Reduce heat ( I"ll do a post on meatballs later this week)
Once browned add the two cans of tomato paste and mix thoroughly on low heat.
Add the rest of the liquid ingredients, shredded carrot and basil.  Stir all together and add the sliced sausage.

Simmer on low stirring regularly for approx 3 hours until desired thickness has been reached.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Tonight we are having Rotini, with a side of salad.  Yummmmy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grandma's Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe as made by her 10 year old Granddaughter

Tonight we are preparing for a 22 hour straight drive to Florida to visit my parents for 10 days of glorious relaxation.  Golf, golf and more golf for all of us,  a couple of days at Universal Studios for some movie magic fun, and more golf.  We have been doing this drive almost yearly now for at least 8 years, skipping only one year when my appendix decided to blow up the day before departure.  We have it down to a science.  We stop for biobreaks/petrol, that is pretty much it. 

Long drives require snacks.  We always pack sandwiches made with buns from my Sour Cream Bread dough.  Veggie sticks like cucumbers, carrots, and celery.  Fruit salads (that we pick up on the US side of the border.  They get a little sticky if you bring fresh fruit...even though all our fruit at this time of year actually originates out of the US...odd).  We bring cereal bars, juice boxes etc.  A must is always the The BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe anywhere.  

The young lad making the Chocolate Chip cookies this evening.  He has been deemed the Chocolate chip cookie making King of the house.  Not too bad for 9 years old.

We Must must must have Buttermilk Scones.

It was determined that we must make Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies this year.   My kids identify their Grandmas in an unusual way.  We have "Camp" Grandma (my mom), and "House" Grandma (my husband's Mom).  Camp Grandma got this name because they spend the summers at "Camp"...not a summer camp, but what 99% of the population refers to as a Cottage.   Unless you are from Northern Ontario and it is called a "Camp".   Believe me. When I moved to Southern Ontario my classmates thought my parents owned a summer camp facility.  No.  .   My daughter asked me to email Grandma to get her recipe so she could try it tonight.   The best thing to do is simply a copy and paste of the email my mom sent back to my daughter verbatim.  It is priceless


(discovered this recipe when Grandpa and I got married and they were the first cookies I made)

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (depending on the kind of flour you use)

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter or margarine and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

2. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat till well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla till combined.

4. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.

6. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork. (dip the fork in either flour or hot water so it does not stick to the batter)

7. Bake in a 325* oven for 9 - 12 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Have fun

Mixing up the dough

Pressing the criss cross pattern

Small round balls made

Finished cookies.  Yummy.  I don't think Grandma is used to making cookies for a 22 hour drive with 6 in the car.   Recipe requires doubling.  Next batch to commence.  (real time update:   Daughter decided that patience was best left to others, and tried to remove cookie tray without oven mitt only using a tea towel.  It did not go well.  One tray of cookies smushed on the floor, One little girl with freezing cream on her arm now covering a small burn, One bruised ego, and 12 cookies remaining uncooked.  A second batch indeed required.   Tears have been kissed away, and a smile has returned.  We'll do batch two tomorrow.  A Pic of the surviving cookies. 

For your amusement.  Grandma's email printed out.  Bless her heart.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mixed Greens salad with Fantastic Honey Mustard Dressing, Chicken, Asiago

I have to give all the credit to my wonderful 18 year old son for this one.  I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner and got a resounding SALAD!!  I know..I have mutant children who actually love vegetables and fruit.  I still wonder what planet their dna came from some days.  I'm certainly not going to dissuade them from healthy eating.  (That said they can demolish a box of Mike and Ikes in seconds)

Anyhow.  My oldest is now gainfully employed at a local restaurant making salads and desserts while saving money for University in the fall.  He offered to make the salad.

Sweet...Mommy doesn't have to cook tonight.  This is the real secret to getting kids in the kitchen early....they start to take over and you can call on your way home from the golf course and say...."what's for dinner?"  I am kidding, 

Without further adieu.  This is what my darling child presented to me for dinner. 

He added some precooked chicken and a little shredded asiago cheese to finish.  Not to shabby!!  It was delicious. 


3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon
1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 canola oil
salt/pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except oil using a whisk, or handblender.  Slowly add the oil while blending until combined.

Salad Greens:  Pick you own mixed greens, spinach, arrugula, red, green romaine, etc. 
Plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
Mini Cucumbers peeled and cut into quarters
Red peppers, thinly sliced
shredded asiago cheese (optional).
thinly sliced grilled chicken (optional)

He also said he likes to deep fry beet strings and add them but I didn't want the extra calories.

Hats off to my young son.  You are well on your way
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