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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hazelnut Biscotti and Mexican Hot Chocolate

Hazelnut Frangelico Biscotti

Recipe By: Karen
Serving Size: 36

1/2 c butter softened
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
4 tsps Frangelico
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c +2tsp white flour unbleached
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c ground hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Cream butter until fluffy and add sugar. Cream again until fluffy and add the eggs, beating well until mixture is smooth. Mix in Frangelico and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat into butter mixture until just incorporated. Stir in hazelnuts.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces on a lightly floured board. Roll pieces into long cylinders about 1 - 1 1/2inches in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and flatten to rectangles. Bake until light brown, about 25 minutes.
Cool the rolls and slice diagonally to make 1/2 inch biscotti. Lower oven temperature to 300ºF, lay the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until dry, about 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.


Lemon Zest/Almond, Grand Marnier Biscotti. Substitute zest of one lemon for hazelnuts and Grand Marnier for Frangelico.
Cranberry/Almond/Grand Marnier Biscotti. Substitute dried cranberries for hazelnuts and Grand Marnier for Frangelico.
Chocolate/Almond. Substitute hazelnuts for 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Substitute Kalhua for Frangelico.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

1 bar Luker Chocolate*
1 litre milk
pinch ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick
pinch dried chipotle chilies
1/3 cup sugar
pinch Hawaiian Red Clay Sea Salt**

*Available in Winnipeg at Dino's Grocery Mart at 460 Notre Dame.
**Purchased at Dean & Deluca in NYC but available in many locations.

Slowly cook all ingredients except for the Sea Salt. Serve when well incorporated with Red Clay Seal Salt served on the side to bring out the full chocolate flavour.


Friday, February 24, 2006


Hard to make it look good on a photo but this homemade thin crust pizza has a spicy tomato base, roasted red pepper, white and oyster mushrooms, soprassata and spicy capicolla meats topped with parmesan and Appenzeller cheeses. It bakes quickly at a 450º F oven on a large pizza stone. The vegetarian pizza had the spicy tomato base, roasted red pepper, artichokes, white and oyster mushrooms and borganzola cheese.

We leave the stone in the oven on the bottom rack at all times to have balanced heating in the oven for other items.

Crusty Pizza Dough Recipe (makes 2 large thin or 1 large regular crust)

2 1/4 - 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (95ºF - 105ºF) *
1/2 tsp salt**
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups unbleached organic flour
Cornmeal for pizza stone

*can substitute half of the water with your favourite beer
**we often use cracked pepper and smoked paprika as well as sea salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl. Allow to proof. Add salt, olive oil, and 2/12 cups flour. Using a dough hook on mixer, mix for one minute. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for 2 minutes. Finish kneading on lightly floured board until a springy elastic texture. Place in oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Remove pizza stone from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. It will smoke slightly. Place rolled out pizza dough on stone and cover with favourite sauce and toppings. Sauce recipe to follow.

Spicy Pizza Sauce

1 medium onion
1 head roasted garlic
2 tbs good olive oil
1 large tin organic tomatoes (crushed)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp crushed chillies
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil pesto (optional - recipe to follow)
1 tbs brown sugar (cuts the acid and balances flavours)
1/4 tsp dried chipotle peppers
pinch sea salt

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, saute slivered onion in olive oil. When translucent, add tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low. Add spices, garlic and red wine. When cooked through, you can blend sauce using an immersion blender.

Use sauce on pizza or for pasta. Enjoy!

Foie Gras with Pear, Hazelnut and Frangelico

Quebec Foie Gras with Pear, Hazelnut and Frangelico

3 pears, cored and sliced
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup Hazelnuts, finely chopped
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup Frangelico
Sliced Foie Gras
Sliced Baguettes

In a saucepan, sauté shallots in 1 tbs butter. Add sliced pears, hazelnuts and cook until soft. add the Frangelico and cook until a nice thick sauce. Spoon sauce on baguette slices.

Heat a heavy pan and add 1 tbs. butter. The butter will lessen the smoking of the foie gras. Add slices of Foie Gras and sear quickly on both sides. Add a splash of Frangelico at the end. Remove from heat and place on top of each baguette slice.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Tajine and Ras el Hanout

Moroccan Carrot Tajine

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1/2 medium chopped red pepper
1/2 cauliflower cut in flowerets
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tbs turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon Ras El Hanout *
Splash of Rosewater**
1/2 chopped pickled lemon (just the peel)***
Pinch of salt
Optional: eggplant, zucchini

Place all ingredients together in a casserole dish (traditional cooking vessel is a tajine). Cover and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook covered at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve with rice or couscous or bulgur.
Contact me for information on buying Ras el Hanout directly.

* Ras el Hanout is a spice blend of 25 spices available in Winnipeg at Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods on 206 Maryland and Dino’s Grocery Mart on 460 Notre Dame .
** Rosewater is available at Dino’s Grocery Mart on 460 Notre Dame and at Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods on 206 Maryland.
***Pickled lemon is available at Dino’s Grocery Mart and at Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods on Maryland.