" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak

Wrap Up

Well here we are, about to wrap up another year.
I love this season with all the parties and special dinners and I always like to prepare a special meal on New Years Eve and New Years Day.

This is an elegant dish that is perfect for entertaining.
There is a bit of preparation involved but the effort is worth it.
This recipe is based on one by Gordon Ramsey which is often prepared on Hell's Kitchen.
Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable such as baby Brussels sprouts.
This dish is sure to impress.

Happy New Year!

Beef Wellington

  • 1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin
  • 2 cups of cremini mushrooms diced fine
  • 4 slices smoked or plain prosciutto (I used both)
  • 1 sheet of butter puff pastry rolled out
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and quickly sear beef all over until it’s just brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor to a puree. Scrape the mixture into the pan you seared the meat in. Cook until all the moisture is out of the mushrooms.
  • Roll out a generous length of plastic wrap, lay out the four slices of prosciutto, each one slightly overlapping the last.
  • Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto.
  • Place the beef fillet in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the prosciutto and mushrooms over the beef into a tight roll. Twist the ends to secure the wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, to let the beef set.
  • On a floured surface roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick. Unwrap the meat from the plastic wrap.
  • Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry cut off the excess and turn over so the seams are on the bottom.
  • Egg wash all over top and sides
  • Chill again to let the pastry cool for 15 minutes. Egg wash again before baking at 400F for 20 minutes then lower heat to 350F and cook for a further 15 minutes. Rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  • The beef should be pink in the middle when sliced.

Wine Suggestion: Cabernet / Shiraz


Be Merry

At this time of year with so many family gatherings and holiday parties it can be challenging to find new and different appetizer ideas.

This one is unique as it combines the sweetness of honey with the subtle taste of fresh thyme. Keep an eye on it in the oven as it can become too soft very quickly. You can substitute any soft or semi soft cheese in place of the Camembert such as Brie.

Serve with assorted crackers and sliced ripe pears.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Thyme and Honey Baked Cheese

  • 1 wheel of Camembert
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350F
Cut a thin layer of the rind top off of the cheese.
Place cut side up in a small baking dish with a lid
Scatter thyme leaves over the top and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Drizzle with honey and cover with lid.
Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until just soft and lightly bubbled on top.

Serve with crackers and pears.

Wine Suggestion: Riesling


Snow Day

In our city today we had a rare snow day.

The kids had no school and most adults were sent home from work if they even went into work.
Its nice when you are cosy at home and don't have to drive in it.
After all the shoveling its nice to come inside to a hearty meal.

This dish is a different twist on spaghetti sauce. The use of Moroccan spices impart a sweet and spicy flavour to this sauce.
You can use ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef if you wish.
Top with crumbled feta instead of or along with the usual Parmesan.

Let it Snow!

Moroccan Style Spaghetti

  • ~olive oil
  • 1 pkg of spaghetti
  • 1 pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tbsp each cumin and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of paprika, salt and basil
  • 1 tsp of minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 798 ml can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a large deep saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until softened.
Add the meat and cook until no longer pink and crumbly.
Add the spices and tomatoes and mix well.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serve over hot spaghetti and top with crumbled feta.

Wine Suggestion: Malbec