Escargot – Easy simple and delish!

Everyone that likes Escargot has usually either had it on a cruise, or at a nice restaurant!

What if I tell you, you can make these at home in just a few easy steps, its simple and of course finger-licking delicious 🙂

For this you are going to need (makes 2 servings):

snails

  • 1 can of snails (with no shell) – I used Maitre Jacques escargot, there are 12 snails in a can
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) – softened
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro or parsley (use your favourite), I am a cilantro lover ❤
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • a splash of brandy
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Puff Pastry and or french baguette

Preheat oven to 350 Deg F

So lets start by making the best part which is the herb garlic butter! Whip up the butter a bit and then add the cilantro, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and brandy and mix well. Then place in the fridge for a little bit so that it starts to solidify again.

Herb Butter

Now its time to put this together, open the can of snails, drain them out and put them to the side.

Dishes and snails

Grab your escargot dishes (easily available on Amazon) or if you don’t have any use a mini cupcake baking tray or if worst comes to worst use a small shallow oven proof dish.

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Remove the herb garlic butter from the fridge, and place half a teaspoon of the butter at the bottom of each dimple, then place a snail and top it up with a full teaspoon of the same.

Puff pastry

Remove the puff pastry from the package, you will just need 1 sheet, and with a shot glass, cut out 12 perfect circles (1 for each snail of course)

Place the escargot dishes on a baking sheet and place the puff pastry circles on the same baking sheet. You could bake them straight on the snails but they tend to fall off while they are puffing up, so its easier to bake them separately and then just gently place them on top with you are ready to serve them 🙂

parmesan cheese

Generously, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the snails before placing them in the over and bake for aprox 20 minutes. Remove the puff pastry from the sheet and then broil the snails till they get a nice colour for about 5 minutes

Carefully remove from oven, the dishes will be piping hot!

final result

Gently place the puff pastry on each and serve with extra sliced french baguette if needed as you will for sure want to scoop up all that delicious herb garlic butter !!!!!

Now its time to pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

“Fall Dinner” – Florida Style

At this time of year everyone in the USA gets excited about fall. The color of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, the fresh smell in the air, the pumpkins, spices and I could go on and on. In Florida, Fall is just another day on the calendar, weather doesn’t change, hurricane season is at its peak and the humidity does not allow for any fresh air as such and the green on the trees is there to stay!

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So the only way to get the “Fall” comfort cozy feeling around here is by cooking dishes that fill our homes with those “Fall” smells as well as pumping that A/C and lighting some fall smelling candles :-).

Today I was having a “fall” moment so I decided to make some Butternut Squash soup.

  • 2 butternut squashes
  • 4 green apples
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg and all spice
  • 2 cups of broth (I used beef broth because it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half

Preheated my oven to 385 Def F . Stared by peeling, deseeding and chopping up 2 whole butternut squashes as well as the onion and apples. I left the garlic cloves whole but smashed them up a little.

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Grabbed a large baking pan and lined it with foil (this of course helps a lot with cleanup). Tossed everything in olive oil and placed it in the baking pan. Sprinkled some salt and pepper (about a tsp of each).

I let it all roast nice and slowly for a good hour, checking it every once in a while to make sure nothing was burning or sticking too much.

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Once everything was nice and roasted I removed it from the oven and let it cool down a little. Out came the blender where it all went into, together with 1 cup of broth and I blended it away!

Once it was all nicely pureed, I transferred the mixture over to a saucepan, added the rest of the broth and the cream, a dusting of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of all spice.

The soup is nice and thick, so if you prefer it less thick you would need to add some more liquid, but do it little by little so you don’t lose the flavour!

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All that is left to do is to pump up that A/C, light the cinnamon candle, put some garlic bread in the oven and its time for a “Fall Dinner Florida Style”! ❤

Grilling in Winter…..

I know, I know, I live in South Florida, which means we can technically grill all year round, but then again, it does rain a lot so your grilling moments can come to an end very quickly!

A few years ago our gas outside grill died a horrible death of rust and exposure to the south florida weather elements. So after assessing the situation I decided just for the convenience and maintenance to invest in an electric grill instead.

This way I can use it outside and inside and the weather will never be a problem 🙂 am I smart or what? lol

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Anyway, yes I know its not the same as a real BBQ (not to mention the really real once like they have in my country “Uruguay” see pic below)

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but you know what, it works for us. So with that said, tonight I brought out my handy dandy Wolfgang Puck electric grill/griddle (oh please note I use the griddle part of it a lot for pancakes, omelettes and lots of other yummy things).

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This morning I put some flank steak into a ziplock bag and marinated it in mojo for about 8 hrs. Whilst the grill was getting hot, I turned the oven on to 400 deg F and seasoned some Broccolini (yes I know, twice in a week but we love this veggie). ❤

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This time I drizzled some Parmesan Garlic Olive Oil from the Sedona Olive Oil company. I let it roast for 15 minutes turning it over once to get an even color on it.

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I also made some light and fluffy Couscous, seasoned with cilantro, lime, turmeric and garlic.

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Once the grill was very hot I quickly cooked the Carne Asada and served it immediately with a side of Couscous and some roasted Broccolini ❤

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Nothing nicer that the satisfaction of making my family happy 🙂

Lamb Lovers

Lamb, what can I say. This is the one meat that my family cannot get enough of.

It’s for sure our favourite meat for all occasions. During the holidays everyone has turkey, we have a lovely roasted leg of lamb full off garlic, rosemary and lemon, we love lamb curry (korma, rogan josh, masala), lamb kebabs, lamb steaks, lamb ribs norwegian style (Pinnekjott), FenalĂĄr (norwegian salted dried cured leg of lamb) the list goes on and on.

Tonight we are having lamb meatballs. Each little meatball is bursting with  flavour which makes each bite, the best bite ever 🙂

Coming from an Italian/Belgium family, you would have thought that I would love a good Italian meatball, but for some reason, I never really liked them….. I guess its just a matter of taste. But give me an Asian style, Middle Eastern Style, Greek, Turkish meatball and then you’ve got my attention!

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To make my meatballs today I used the following ingredients:

  • juice of half lemon
  • 1lb lamb mince
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves (washed and chopped)
  • 4  garlic cloves
  • 2 chai red chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Now the simple part. First mix the mince lamb with 2 tbsp of lemon juice and put it to the side. In a food processor, blend the rest of the ingredients till you get a nice runny paste.

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Add paste to the lamb and mix until everything has blended in nicely. Then roll into small size meatballs, brush with a little bit of olive oil and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Today I used the broiler on high instead of grilling and they turned out very nice.

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And there we have it, another dinner is served, this time round I served the Lamb Meatballs with a lovely blend of Quinoa and Brown rice, seasoned with cilantro and lemon ❤

Sunday Lunch, actually more like Sunday Dinner…

Sunday Lunch, this is a tradition that I really loved when I lived in England and kind of miss it. Sunday Lunch is about family time, after lunch table stories, was going to say good food, but now that I think about it everything was kind of under-seasoned and not too tasty, but what the heck, we had lots of Gin and Tonics before and, followed by lots of wine and finished it all off with some delectable port wine so by then, we had forgotten all about the food :-).

My lovely daughter had asked me a few days ago if I could make some Roasted Lamb, and I couldn’t think of a better day to do it than on a Sunday. Instead of lunch I made it for dinner, and by the end of the evening I had to very happy kids.

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Earlier this afternoon I seasoned my lamb with lots of salt and pepper, stuffed it all over with lots of garlic, and gave it a nice lemon and olive oil rubbing and of course lots and lots of fresh Rosemary from the garden.

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Whilst the lamb was roasting away, I thinly sliced some (6) peeled potatoes.

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Then in a large saucepan I melted 3 tbsp of butter over low heat. Stirred in 3 tbsp of flour,  1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper until smooth. Gradually added 2 cups of milk. Brought it to a boil and cooked and stired it for 2 minutes or until thickened. Removed from heat and stirred in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add sliced potatoes and 1/2 chopped onion.

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Transfered it to my pyrex oven dish, covered it and baked for 1 hour at 350 Deg F, then Uncovered and baked for another 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and nicely golden.

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By now my lovely lamb is at the perfect medium rare (160 deg) took it out, covered it with foil and let it rest for a bit.

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I also steamed some broccoli that got tossed with salt and pepper and some sesame oil.

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Made a quick gravy (real gravy, not that thick sludgy white stuff) with the lamb drippings and got the mint jelly and sauce and there we have it, Sunday Dinner is ready. Pity we were missing the hubby but as he loves telling everyone, “I have to work so my wife and go shopping at Kohl’s”!

Yeah I know, he has issues ❤ but I till love him to bits 🙂

Simply Steak…..not!

Due to circumstances out of my control, we have been eating out a lot lately but I am glad to report that I am back in my happy place “The Kitchen”!

Tonights dinner had no excitement and you probably know me by now……

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Had some lovely steak and not much else going on. So I decided that Brochettes would be a tad more exciting than plain ole steak.

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I pulled out some handy dandy skewers, an onion and a green pepper. Chopped the steak, onions and green peppers to equal sized pieces and onto the skewer they went!

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Then I seasoned them well with a tad of salt, lots of black pepper and into my George Foreman Grill they went.

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In the meantime I cooked a cup of jasmine rice with a fresh handful of german thyme from the yard and a few garlic cloves.

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Also on the side just to wrap it all up I made some garlic butter to drizzle on the steak for an extra punch :-).

My son and I are now ready to dig into our deliciously tasting brochettes, served on  thyme and garlic rice with a little drizzle of garlic butter ❤

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Eggplant 2 Ways……..

Got home, opened the fridge and the Eggplant was screaming “Choose Me, choose me!” So eggplant kind of night it is!

Started by making some Baingan Bharta (Indian Curried Eggplant) to have for lunch tomorrow. For dinner I roasted some eggplant slices with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, topped with tomatoes seasoned with oregano, topped with low fat mozzarella cheese and of course some fresh basil. Finished it off with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar!