the recipe sharer

Archive: Sep 2011

Grand Marnier and Apricot Stuffing with your Thanksgiving turkey

As we’re getting near to Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes. This makes enough for a 21lb turkey, but I do it outside the turkey in a separate dish.

1 cup diced, dried apricots
1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
1 turkey liver and heart
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups coarsely chopped celery (I peel mine)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1lb bulk pork sausage meat (I like to use sweet Italian sausage, because of the fennel taste)
1lb herb stuffing mix
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Place the apricots and 1 cup Grand Marnier in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Simmer the turkey liver and heart in water to cover in a small saucepan for 5 mins. Set aside to cool.
Melt 1/2 cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Cook the pork sausage meat in the same skillet, crumbling with a fork, until it is no longer pink. Remove from the heat and add to the celery mixture.
Add the stuffing mix, apricots with liquid, and almonds. Finely dice the turkey livers and heart and add to the stuffing mixture. Stir to combine.
Heat the remaining 1/2 cup butter and the stock in a small saucepan just until the butter melts. Pour over the stuffing mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Grand Marnier.
Stir well to moisten the stuffing.
Season with the thyme and salt and pepper to taste.


Spinach, butternut squash and feta filo parcels

Makes 10 to 12 parcels

6 tbsp olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 pinches chilli flakes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1lb spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 packet (1/2 lb) feta, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (Greek feta, not American or French)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
zest of 1 lemon
4 oz butter, melted
9 sheets filo pastry
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375F degrees
Place the butternut squash on a shallow baking trey and coat with half the olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a few chilli flakes
Put in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until nice and roasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat
Add the onions, garlic and season with a little salt. Saute for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper
Add the nutmeg and chilli and saute until the spinach is wilted
 Set the spinach aside to cool in a colander and squeeze out any excess water. 
It is important to let the spinach cool and drain to avoid soggy filo which would be yukky!
In a medium bowl mix together the spinach, pumpkin, feta, coriander seeds and lemon zest.
Preheat the oven to 375F
Unroll the defrosted filo and keep the filo you are not working with, covered with a damp tea towel to avoid it drying out and cracking. 
Take the first sheet of filo and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a little thyme and parsley and lay another on top and repeat until you have 3 layers of filo. Cut the filo in half lengthways.
Place 3 good tablespoons of filling at one end near one corner, fold one corner over and keep folding over until you have a neat triangular parcel. If there are any ragged ends, just trim them off.
Place the parcel on a baking tray and repeat until all the filling has been used up.
Brush all the parcels with the melted butter and place in the oven for 20 t0 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Check after 15 minutes as it will depend on your oven.
  The parcels can be served warm or cold.

Spiced lentil and tomato baked eggs

Serves 2

The ingredient amounts are pretty flexible and you can sub things in and out as you wish – remember this is a casual, easy dish.

Extra virgin olive oil and optional butter
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. or ground cumin (I roast mine)
1/2 tsp chipotle flakes (substitute; 1/4 tsp paprika + 1/4 tsp chilli powder or cayenne
1 tsp paprika
350 mls tomato passata
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 cup cooked puy lentils (You can get these already cooked in vacuum packs in most supermarkets)
4 to 5 eggs
Juice of half a lemon
Fresh chopped parsley
Sliced crusty bread (more white than grainy for this) brushed with extra virgin olive oil or butter and grilled until the tops are crispy.Preheat you grill for the bread.
Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil and butter in a medium/large heavy-ish frypan on medium heat.
Stir in onions, cook until softened and start to brown on the edges.
Stir in the garlic, cook until softened. meanwhile, bash the cumin, salt, chipotle and pepper in a mortar and pestle.
Sprinkle half over the onions and garlic, breathe deeply, and reduce heat to medium low. let sizzle a little for a minute, then stir in tomatoes, lentils and lemon juice. Let this mixture reduce on low heat for about 10 minutes (or until your desired consistency)
taste, add more salt if necessary.
Crack over eggs, and sprinkle everything with the other half of your salt/spice mix.
Cover and let simmer for 5- 7 minutes, depending on how cooked you want your egg yolks. While the eggs are cooking, grill your bread.
Uncover, and sprinkle over the parsley and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot with your
just toasted bread.


Creamy avocado and white bean wrap

White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa. and 

1. Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
2. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
3. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.
Ingredient Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Shrimp, lemon pepper linguini

This is so comforting, light and tangy with the lemony wine /shrimp mixture.

Serves 4

1 8oz package linguini
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp lemon zest
salt to taste
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the linguini, and cook for 9 to 13 minutes or until al dente; drain

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute garlic about 1 minute. Mix in the chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by 1/2.

Mix the shrimp, butter, parsley and basil into the saucepan.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque. Stir in the cooked linguini, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until well coated.


Spaghetti with grilled shrimp, zucchini and salsa verde

Serves 4. Really worth doing.

2/3 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
3 tbsp drained capers
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, cut lengthways into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/4 lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3/4 lb spaghetti

Put the parsley, capers, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste, mustard, 1/2 tsp of the salt and the pepper into a food processor or bender. Pulse  just to chop, 6 to 8 times. With the machine running, add the 1/2 cup olive oil in a thin stream to make a coarse puree.
Leave this salsa verde in the food processor, if necessary, pulse to re-emulsify juts before adding to the pasta.

Light the grill or heat the broiler. (I do them on a cast iron ridged heavy rectangular flat pan over two burners). Brush the zucchini with 1 tbsp of the oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the salt.
Grill or broil the zucchini, turning until just done, about 10 minutes in all.
When the slices are cool enough to handle, cut them crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces and put them in a large bowl.

Thread the shrimp onto skewers. Brush the shrimp with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Grill or broil, turning, until just done, about 4 minutes in all.
Remove the shrimp from the skewers, slice them in half horizontally, and add them to the zucchini.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes.
Drain. Add the pasta to the grilled zucchini and shrimp and toss with the salsa verde.

Pork in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 4. This is so easy and delicious and is a great recipe to double.

1lb pork tenderloin (1 pork tenderloin with silverskin removed)
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil

1 1/2 tbsp dried Chinese black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped (available in Asian markets)
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp scallions (spring onions) finely chopped
1 tbsp shallots, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp sesame oil

Cut the pork into thin slices 1 1/2 inches long. Put the slices in a bowl and mix them well with the rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it’s very hot. Add half the oil and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, lift the pork out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, put it in the wok and quickly stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl at once.

Wipe the wok or pan clean, reheat it and add the rest of the oil. Quickly add the black beans, garlic, scallion (spring onions) and shallots. A few seconds later add the rest of the ingredients. bring the mixture to the boil and then return the pork to the wok or frying pan. Stir fry the entire mixture for another 5 minutes.
Turn it on to a warm serving platter and serve at once with some hot steamed rice.