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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Here is a hearty and healthy recipe that I found and thought i'd share with you. This whole wheat bread was given a twist when it was turned into a delicious breakfast treat. The aromas of the raisins and the spicy taste of the cinnamon flow through the kitchen when you put a couple slices of this delicious bread in the toaster. A great and healthy way to start your day. This recipe yields enough dough for a loaf and then some, so I got creative and divided the rest in muffin molds and made individual cinnamon raisin breads as you'll see further down on the posting. Hope you enjoy!


Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 3/4 Cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1/2 Cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 Cup liquid honey
- 2 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz butter, unsalted and room temperature
- 2 Cups Whole wheat flour
- 2 Cups All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup Raisins, re-hydrated by covering with boiling water till plumped


To obtain a nice smooth and elastic ball of dough follow these simple instructions.
1. In a large glass measuring cup or a medium sized bowl, combine; the lukewarm milk, water, the honey and the yeast and stir with a fork until the yeast has dissolved in the lukewarm mixture and set aside 10 minutes to let the yeast activate.
2. While the yeast is proofing, place in a mixer bowl with the hook attachment ; the whole wheat flour, the AP flour and the sea salt.
3. Once the yeast mixture starts bubbling, add the eggs to the bowl and whisk them in to create a uniform mixture, pour into the mixer bowl and start the machine to stir, on the lowest speed. Add in the butter and raise the speed to medium to incorporate all the ingredients. Once the dough starts coming together like in the above picture, add in your raisins and stir on low speed till raisins are mixed in.
4. Remove the dough from the mixer onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Place the ball in a well buttered bowl and turn it around to coat the ball of dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.


To make your cinnamon swirl bread you will need a few simple ingredients for the swirl; some soft butter or margarine to spread on the surface, some brown sugar and cinnamon of course, to sprinkle, about a couple tbsp of cinnamon and 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Take your ball of proofed dough, punch it down and roll it on a well floured surface to obtain a nicely shaped 12 inch by 6 inch rectangle. On this rectangle, spread your fat (with your fingers works best), and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon uniformly, leaving about an inch at the top and bottom of the rectangle with no mixture as show above.  Tightly roll the rectangle to obtain a log.



Prepare a loaf pan, butter and flour to assure your loaf does not stick. Cut 8 inches of the log, sealing the edges by bringing them under the log and pinching then closed . Place the 8 inch log in the pan and let rise until the dough rises an inch above the loaf pan. Place in a preheated 400F (200C) degree oven and bake until the loaf has a uniform golden color all around, about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven strength.








As for the leftover roll of dough, I divided it in 6 equal portions and placed them in (floured and buttered) muffin tins. I left them rose until they were about the molds by over and inch and placed them in the oven with the loaf. and this is what I got! I was very happy with the result and it made great breakfast buns or a snack for lunches.



Hope you enjoy this recipe and I am looking forward to reading your comments!

Eat well and stay healthy!

Alix

Sunday, November 6, 2011

12 Grain Bread


Bulk food stores are becoming more and more in fashion, especially for those who like cooking and baking at home and who are looking for unique ingredients. These stores are becoming specialists in gluten-free products and seasonal baking items alongside many other products for the health nut inside of everyone. It is there that I love to go and buy new flours to test out in bread recipes. This recipe is made with a 12 grain flour that I like very much. Here's the recipe!

12 Grain Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup 12 grain flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable OR canola oil
- 1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup water, warm


1. Firstly, in a four cup measuring container, pour the warm water and add the yeast and brown sugar and mix together with a whisk. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
2. While the yeast mixture is proofing, place the flours and the salt in a stand mixer bowl with the bread hook attachment and mix together on the lowest speed.
3. When the yeast mixture started to foam (10 minutes) add the oil to the container. Pour this mix slowly into the mixture while it is on the lowest speed to combine all the ingredients. Once the ingredients have combined properly, turn the speed up slightly to the 2nd or 3rd speed to knead the dough. This will take about 7-9 minutes for the dough to be smooth and elastic. Once it has reached that step, take the dough out, form into a ball and place on a floured surface, sprinkled slightly with flour and covered with a cloth to let rest for about 30-40 minutes.


4. After having rested, the dough is ready to be shaped. To Achieve this, turn the ball of dough upside dough and punch down. With the heal of your hand, press down all along the middle of the flattened bread ball. Shape this into a tightly rolled log and place into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Cover and let rise until the dough as surpassed the mold by about an inch.
5. To prep the loaf for baking, spray it completely with water using a spray bottle (dollar store) and then sprinkle some oats on top. Then, taking a serrated knife, make a light slit all along the loaf. At this point the bread is ready to go into a preheated 400F degree oven until the crust has a uniform gold color.


And this is how I achieved my 12 grain bread! :) It never fails and is delicious all the way up to its 3rd day of preservation. I've never had it last longer then that because it's always consumed, mostly after the 2nd day of it being made. Certainly a new favorite of mine and something I make every week!

Hope you enjoy!

Alix

Friday, November 4, 2011

Good ol' Jambalaya!


My dear followers, it has been a while since my last posting and that mostly due to sickness, but hopefully i'll be able to get back into it and share with you some comforting recipes for the colder months to come! Today, I witnessed snow in Montreal for the first time this year, and that meant, MAJOR comfort food intervention needed! I quickly thought of Jambalaya and how the smell of cornbread would be so suiting for the occasion. When I got home from work, it was my new life mission, to make this dish! So here it is!

Good ol' Jamabalaya
Makes enough for 6-8 people ( or great for freezer lunches)

- 2 Tbsp butter
- 6 large spicy sausages (chorizo), sliced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 branches of celery, finely sliced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 - 796ml can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup rice, uncooked
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen raw shrimps (prepared)


1. In a large skillet pan, on medium-high heat, add the butter and fry the sliced sausages. When the sausages have fried on the outside, add the onion and celery and fry to begin cooking of the vegetables. Add the spices to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring halfway through.
2. Add the can of tomatoes and the 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the rice. Bring back to a boil and cover with the lid, then turn the temperature down to low to keep a simmer going.  Let cook until the rice had cooked through and your jambalaya has thickened.  Depending on which kind of rice you will use, cooking times will be different. 30-40 minutes.
3. Once the rice has cooked and the jambalaya is nice and thick, add the raw thawed out shrimp to the dish and stir in. Cover with lid and let simmer until the shrimps are cooked through.



Serve with cornbread of garlic toasts. This spicy treat is quite comforting and easy to make! For the cornbread recipe click HERE to redirect to an earlier blog posting! :)


Happy cooking,

Alix

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pear Maple Custard Tart


This year for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I was presented with somewhat of a challenge when invited to a potluck. Traditions want that desserts include pumpkin pie and/or apple pie. After being told that someone was already making pumpkin pies, I was told to think of something different that could embody familiar flavors that represent the warm colors of fall.  The idea maple and crumble immediately came to mind and I went from there. The juiciness of the pears inside this tart blends nicely with the warm maple flavors of the crumble. Here's  the basic filling recipes. 


Pear Maple Custard Tart
- 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
- 1 - 15oz can, pear halves in syrup 
- 1 - 14oz can of condensed milk
- 2 Tsp maple extract
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander 
CRUMBLE
- 1/3 Cup Maple sugar 
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup cold butter


PREHEAT OVEN AT 450F
1. Have your tart shell ready or make your own recipe for pie dough, enough for a 9 inch tart bottom.  Take each pear and slice to fan out around the bottom of the tart shell (Demonstrated below in the picture with an individual tart I had made). 
2. In your stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, pour in the condensed milk the maple extract and the eggs. Whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes, for the mix to become somewhat foamy. 
3. At this point, add your eggs, one at a time and whisk on medium-low till combined. Add the cinnamon and coriander and whisk again till just combined. Pour enough of the custard mixture into the tart shell to just cover the pears, it should come up to 3/4 of the height of the tart. Do not over fill because it may overflow in the oven. Place in preheated 450F oven for 8-10 minutes to set the custard. 


4. During this time, make your crumble. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, flour and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or simply by breaking it all apart with your fingers, to form pea sized pieces of crumble. 
5. As soon as you take out the tart from the initial baking, reduce oven temp to 350F. Sprinkle the tart with the crumble and put back in the 350F to continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the tart comes out clean. 


This tart proved to have its level of difficulties but was well worth it in the end. The aromas in the house were amazing and the smooth taste of the tart even better! Nothing better to warm you up on a cold fall evening with a warm cup of tea! Hope you enjoy!

Alix 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Banana Apple Raisin Bran Muffins


If you are looking for a healthy mid day snack, here it is! I didn't calculate how much fiber this contains but probably contains 100% of your daily fiber, but you wouldn't even know it. The taste of banana comes through first, then leaves room for the apple and cinnamon to come through, the molasses and raisins, the flavors all being unwrapped one at a time.

Banana Apple Raisin Bran Muffins
- 3 bananas (very ripe)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of molasses
- 1/4 cup of milk (bring to a simmer)
- 3/4 cup whole bran cereal
-  1 Cup Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Raisins
- 1 Apple, finely chopped


1. Preheat your oven to 350F, butter your molds or prepare your muffin tin papers. This recipe makes 12 muffins.
2. In a large bowl, use your whisk to mash up your bananas. Add to them, the eggs. In the same measuring cup, measure out the oil, pouring in the banana mixture and then measuring out the molasses (this way the molasses will not stick to the measuring cup). Whisk all together.
3. In a small bowl, pour the hot milk over the bran and stir gently with a spoon for the bran to soak up the milk. Add this to the banana mixture and start stirring with a spatula.
4. Sift together the flour, cinnamon and baking soda then add to the wet mixture. Fold in the apple pieces and raisins.
5. Spoon the mixture equally in 12 muffin tins and bake in your preheated 350F oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.


As always, enjoy warm wit butter, nothing better!

Alix

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Icing


Pumpkins are in season and they are arriving in supermarkets, all shapes and sizes, wanting to be carved baked and eaten. As common as it now is in pop culture to hull them out and carve them, they still remain part of the squash family and can be prepared just as any other squash would. You could, roast it, boil it, make smoothies, soups, mash or bake with it. Personally I really enjoy this time of year for the arrival of all types of squashes and to discover their unique flavors and what they can offer to new recipes.

Let's start this mini series of squashes, with a very familiar member of this family, the pumpkin. Preparing the meat of this squash is just like any other squash. Put in half, hull out the insides with spoon and boil the pumpkin pieces until the meat is tender to a fork. The seeds of the pumpkin can of course be kept, rinsed, seasoned with oil and roasted. These prepared seeds can be added to salads or other dishes of your choice. So I offer you today this very VERY delicious recipe which will bring you comfort and warmth in these cold and at times damp, autumn days.


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Dry Ingredients
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tsp grated fresh ginger (or powdered ginger)
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon 
Wet Ingredients
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter, room temperature
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- 15oz pumpkin puree (From a can or by preparing from a fresh pumpkin)


Preheat oven to 350F and line 12 muffin tins with papers. 
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and stir to mix well.
2. In a medium sized bowl, cream the 2 sugars and the butter. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well to combine after each egg.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry to combine well but NOT OVER MIXING. Then add the pumpkin puree in the mixture and stir gently to get a uniform, smooth mixture. Spoon equally in 12 muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 


Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 - 250g container of cream cheese, softened 
- 1/2 Cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 Cup icing sugar
- 1 Tbsp liquid vanilla extract 

Mix together the cream cheese, butter and sugar until all combined and smooth. Add the vanilla. The more you beat this icing, the lighter and fluffier it will become. Pipe on cupcakes and serve! 

This recipe is a great hit at thanksgiving parties, potlucks and Halloween parties alike. Impress your friends and family with this great fall tasting treat! 

Eat well and till next time,

Alix




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apfel Kuchen (Apple Cake)


This type of cake is usually sold under the name of sour cream cake, coffee cake or even apple dapple cake. This classic German type of cake take a long time to bake but is well worth the wait! Of course this continues our series of apple season which is closely coming to a close. For an Apple Dapple cake recipe click here!


Spiced Apple Almond Cake
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 75g sour cream
- 125g ground almonds
- 115g plain flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 4 apples (2 of them peeled, cored and chopped)

1. Grease 9-inch spring form pan and line base.
2. Mix together the Flour, Almond powder, cinnamon and baking powder, set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar till creamy consistency in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Once creamy, add the eggs one at a time then add the sour cream.  At this stage the mixture might seem curdled but after the next step it will be smooth.
4. Add the flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until ingredients are just combined. Spread half of the batter, evenly, on the bottom of the pan. Place the 2 diced apples in the center leaving a half inch gap around the edge of the pan. Spread the other half of the mixture carefully on top of the apples. Core another 2 apples and cut thin slices. Use these slices to make a fan pattern on top the batter.


5. If you would like to add a crumble topping tot he cake mix these ingredients together;
- 2 Tbsp Butter, cold
- 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 2 Tbsp Oatmeal
Mix everything with your fingertips to create a crumble and sprinkle over apples.
Place in preheated 350F oven and bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


After the cake is baked, let cool 30 minutes before unmolding. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or sift some icing sugar on top. As dense as this cake looks, it is surprisingly smooth and light to the taste. Perfect with tea or coffee! Enjoy!


Happy baking!

Alix

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce


Now here is an ingredient that I do not often cook with. Where in some cultures, this ingredient might be commonly used, in my cooking, it always seemed strange. After a request for a tofu recipe, I decided to try it out! Here's a very basic and easy recipe to try if you are unfamiliar with cooking tofu.

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce

- 1 pound Firm Tofu (around 350g pack), cubed
- 3 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar 
- 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Tsp Minced fresh ginger root
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil


1. For the sauce, in a small bowl whisk together; the peanut butter, the soy sauce and the vinegar, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
2. Frying the tofu is where you may vary the recipe as you want. If you want to add a few vegetables to your recipe you may fry it in a medium-high heated pan with the tofu. If just wanting the tofu then just proceed with frying the tofu. This time I added some minced spring onions with my tofu. 
3. Add the sauce in the frying pan after 5 minutes of frying. Reduce the heat to medium and heat the combination while gently tossing the ingredients to cover with the sauce. 


This easy preparation of tofu can be served on your favorite type of rice or any type of oriental noodle, from Udon noodles to rice vermicelli noodles. Who knows, after trying this recipe you might want to incorporate more tofu in your diet?!

Most of all enjoy, and happy cooking!

Alix

Apple Raisin Pie


Apple picking season is in full swing but most of the time, when picking a full 22lb bag of apples, we end up running out of ideas to what to do with them. Well here's another recipe from our "Apple Season"  collection. If you are not a fan of raisins you can simply replace the cup of raisins with a few more diced apples to make up the amount needed for the pie. The result will still be nothing short of being amazing none the less! 



Apple (Raisin) Pie

FILLING
- 1 1/2 pound of peeled and diced apples (about 680 grams)
- 1/3 packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine 
- 2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon 
- 1 Cup Raisins 
CRUST
- 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose flour
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1 Cup chilled Shortening 
- 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Ice Cold Water
- 1 egg yolk (with 1 tsp cold water for egg wash)


1. For the crust, start by measuring out your flour and the salt into a medium sized bowl. With a pastry blender or knife, cut in the shortening into the flour until the pieces of shortening are pea size. Pour in the ice water as a small stream while bringing the flour from the bottom, to the top and gently mixing until it just comes together.
2. Divide the dough into 2 balls and press them into disks, wrapping them in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
3. For the filling, place a large saucepan on medium heat and melt your butter (or margarine). When the fat has melted, place in the saucepan, the prepared apples the raisins, the sugar and the cinnamon.
*IF YOU WISH TO OMIT THE RAISINS, REPLACE WITH AN ADDITIONAL 2 PREPARED APPLES*
 Stir gently for all the ingredients to combine together. Place lid on pan and let simmer away for about 10 minutes to soften the apples. Once the filing ready, put aside and let cool slightly while preparing crusts. 
4. Take out the dough and roll out your first disk, onto a floured surface, into the right size for a 9-inch tart shell mold, usually 1 inch wider all around to permit for there to be enough dough for the sides of the tart. Let the excess hang on the outside of the mold. Brush the edge with the prepared egg wash. 
5. Pour the apple filling in the pie making sure for there to be a mound in the center, to give a nice shape to your pie. Roll out the second disk of dough, about the same size as the previous disk. Place on top of the pie and press lightly all around to seal the edges, trim excess. 
6. Brush top of pie generously with egg yolk wash and sprinkle even more generously with granulated sugar. This will create a type of crust on top of the crust and give it a very nice golden color. Make an incision in the center to create a type of chimney for the pie. Bake in a preheated 400F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is a deep golden brown. 


In my opinion, nothing beat the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven! I'd bake one every day if I could find people to eat them afterwords! Hope you enjoy this recipe and don't forget to comment! 

Happy baking! 

Alix

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Apple Oatmeal Muffins


My dear friends, apple season has begun and this meaning there will be many recipe postings in the upcoming weeks involving apples in one way or another. The other day I went apply picking and loved every moment of it! Best of all I got to go home with A LOT of apples! With the fall season growing stronger everyday, warm apple pies and pork roasts with apple sauce would do us a lot of good! Let us start this mini series with a good old fashion apple oatmeal muffin recipe.



APPLE STREUSSEL OATMEAL MUFFINS
Preheat oven at 400F (200C)
- 1 1/2 Cup milk (hot)
- 1 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
- 1 Cup All purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1/3 Cup Butter, melted
- 2 Eggs


1. Combine in a bowl, the hot milk and the oatmeal and put aside for 5 minutes.
2. Mix together, in a large bowl, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and chopped apples.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together; the brown sugar, melted butter and eggs.
4. Add the egg mixture to the oatmeal mixture and stir together. Add this mixture into your dry ingredients bowl and stir gently until the ingredients are just combine. Do not overmix!

TO MAKE A STREUSSEL TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
-Combine 2 Tablespoons of cold butter with 1/4 Cup flour and 4 Tbsp rolled oats to obtain a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle equally on all muffins before baking.

5. In a buttered or papered 12-muffin tin, drop the mixture equally in all cavities. Bake at 400F (200C) for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside the center of the muffin comes out clean.

To keep these muffins fresh, store them in a plastic container or plastic bag. If you are wanting to use more apples and are making a double (or triple) batch, simply place them in a freezer bag or plastic container to store them in your deep-freeze. But most of all enjoy as many as you can when fresh!

Till then please remember, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away! :)

Alix

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

French Kiss Cook Ad

video

Dear friends and loyal followers,

          Here is a clip I had put together just for fun, demonstrating a little bit what French Kiss Cook is all about and the feel I want the blog to have! Please don't be shy and post a comment! I am in the works now to start incorporating videos in my blog to help you see the techniques and how fast paced the recipes are, instead of having to read it all to understand!

          I am really excited about this new project and hope you will be as well! Thank you everyone, once again, for all your ongoing support! It's very much appreciated!

Happy Cooking!

Alix

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dairy-Free Cream of Celery


If you are like me and have an intolerance to lactose, being comforted by a warm creamy soup, usually means taking a "lactaid" or not having the soup at all. Well here is an alternative to a cream of celery soup which is created by adding potatoes to the mix.


CREAM OF CELERY 
- 1 celery bunch, roughly chopped in small pieces
- 4 medium sized onions, finely chopped
- 1 Carrot, diced in small pieces
- 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
- splash of olive oil
- 2 Tsp of onion salt
- 1- 900ml box of chicken broth
- 2 Cups of water

1. Place a large stock pan on medium-high heat and pour a slash of olive oil in the pan. When the oil has had the chance to heat up a little, throw in the celery, onions, and carrot. Fry while stirring until the onions had become translucent.
2. Pour in the broth and the water and bring to a boil. Add in the potatoes and the onion salt, bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
3. Once the soup has finished cooking, take the pot off the heat and let cool down a little. Using a hand blender, bring the soup to a puree consistency.
Serve hot!

You'll end up with a very creamy looking soup without adding any cream, milk or sour cream to the mix. If you can handle the dairy, you may add some in your individual portions as pleased.  Hope you enjoy this soup recipe as I did and that it warms you up on these chilly autumn days.

Eat well, sleep well and till next time!

Alix

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leek & Sweet Basil Bake

Lately I've had extremely busy work weeks and just want to have a healthy, warm, carefree dinner so I can make the most of my evenings. If you're going for big aromas and deep, rich flavors, casseroles and bakes are just what you need for anytime comfort food.


Here is a recipe which I really enjoyed making (and eating) and I'm sure you'll fall in love with it all and the warmth it brings to your home. So here we go let's go through this recipe so you can make your own for dinner this week.


LEEK AND BASIL BAKE
SERVES 4


- 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni, cooked, strained and put aside
-----------------------------------------
- 3 Tablespoons of butter or margarine
- 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 Cup of Milk
- 3 medium sized leeks, whites thinly sliced and lightly fried in butter
- About 7-8 leaves of sweet basil (any type of basil can be used)
-----------------------------------------
- 1 1/2 Cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 Cup Bread crumbs


1. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water and set aside in a strainer.
2. To make the b├ęchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large pot (large enough to contain the sauce and the pasta you just set aside). Whisk in the flour into the butter and whisk for 1 minute while the flour is cooking with the butter. Whisk in the milk into the flour mixture a little at a time. You will notive that it will thicken up pretty fast, while bringing it to a simmer.
3. Once the sauce has come to a simmer and has thickened, drop previously fried leeks and the basil in the sauce and simmer a few minutes. Add to the pot the cooked elbow macaroni and stir everything together. Stir into the pasta, 1 cup of the grated mozzarella cheese.
**At this stage, it makes quite a nice macaroni and cheese dish and could be eaten like so.***
To create the bake:
4. Preheat oven at 375F. Pour your pasta and cheese dish into a large ceramic casserole dish. Large enough to fill the dish with the pasta ( I used a 9inch circle by 3 inches deep). Sprinkle on top the 1/2 cup of grated cheese, the Parmesan and lastly the bread crumbs. Place in oven until the top is of a lovely golden color.


Ohhhhhhh just thinking of it, makes me want some more! Hope you get to try this recipe out pretty soon, its a pretty good one! :)

Eat well, sleep well and till next time!

Alix