Chicken Tapenade Rolls

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I got to say when I was looking around my kitchen for things I could make for dinner I was at a loss.  I haven’t done the groceries yet this week so all I had was a bunch of canned and pickled items and a defrosted package of chicken.

This is what I put on my counter…  Green Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Sundried Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Garlic, Shallots, Rosemary, Balsamic Vinegar and Chicken.

I then decided to make my own take on Tapenade and wrap it up with chicken.

For the Tapenade”esque” filling:

I chopped up 40 medium olives, 3 roasted peppers, 4 tablespoons of sundried tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic very finely.

Then in a pan, I heated up 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Once ready I threw in 1 small shallots (finely chopped) and let it brown followed by the olive mix and sauteed everything for a few minutes to let the flavors combine. Set aside so it can cool.

For the Chicken:

On a large cutting board I filleted my chicken breasts into thin pieces and then took out some emotion with the meat tenderizer to make them even thinner.

I then seasoned my chicken with some white pepper and cayenne and preheat the oven to 425F.

Once my chicken was ready I spread the olive mix over the slices and rolled them up using toothpicks to keep the rolls tight.

I placed my rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment and brushed a bit of olive oil over them followed by a sprinkling of almond flour.

I then baked them for 25 mins.

For the Sauce on Top:

I simply reduced 1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar on medium heat, chopped up some fresh rosemary and threw it in.

Then once the chicken was ready to be put on the plates I drizzled it with the reduction.

All I can say is what turned out was absolutely delicious!

Mushroom and Crab Stuffed Puff Pastry

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This delectably rich and tasty meal came about a few weeks ago but nonetheless worth a mention

I was at the farm market and was super excited to see lovely looking mushrooms. Now normally I do not cook many mushroom dishes because my family isn’t the biggest fan…happy to say slowly but surely I have converted them! And these rich pastries went a long way in the process.

Luckily, earlier that morning I had taken out some Alaskan Crab meat with the intent of making my crab cakes (one of these days I will make them again and post the recipe) I had never combined mushrooms with crab so I figured well why not? Lets see what happens. I didn’t want to make mushrooms stuffed with the crab so I rummaged through my crisper and freezer. Here is what I found: Puff Pastry, Butter, Fresh Tarragon, Garlic, Lemons, Shallots, Italian Parsley and of course a bunch of spices 🙂

Let me give you a little more information about myself before I get to the recipe. I do not bake. It is not that I don’t enjoy cakes, tarts, pies, cookies and the list goes on… quite simply I do not like following recipes and with anyone who has baked, this is not a good thing. Hence my ability to mess up chocolate chip cookies.

I come from a family of amazing women who can cook just about anything without a recipe and make it into something outstanding. Put us in front of a cake recipe and you will be heading to the nearest bakery to get a replacement. Everyone is good at something, baking just isn’t my strong point and I will be the first to admit it. Maybe one of these days I will take it up. As my lovely sister in law put it (who is an amazing baker may I add) “When you have kids you will”

This takes me into the making of this recipe…

Let’s present you with a scenario. My husband walks into the house and there I am rolling out puff pastry with a wine bottle on our kitchen island! Being the none baker I am it shouldn’t be too shocking that we did not have a rolling pin. So I simply made do with what I had around me. The thoroughly enjoyed bottle of Cab Sauv from the night before was the perfect stand in, and may I add it worked very well (yes I cleaned it and took off all the labels) 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Crab Meat (finely chopped) I used 4 cups because I wanted leftovers.
  • 10-15 Medium Crimini Mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 Handful of Italian Parsley (finely chopped)
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Tarragon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • Seasoning Salt (to taste)
  • Thawed Puff Pastry (I just used store bought)
  • 1 Egg

How To:

1) Melt your butter in a large pan. Add in the shallots and let them brown. Toss in your mushrooms, let them brown a little as well. Add in your garlic and spices followed by the Crab meat. Let them cook together for about 5 minutes on high. Add in the parsley and lemon juice and cook for another minute or 2. Set aside and let it cool.

2) Put your egg into a bowl and add 1 Tbsp of water. Whisk the egg and water together to make your wash for the pastry.

3) Preheat oven to 400F.

3) Roll out your Puff Pastry and cut into squares. (Mine were about 6″x8″)

4) Place your crab and mushroom mixture into the middle of each square and fold the pastry over it sealing the edges with the egg.

5) Place your puffs onto a baking tray lined with parchment.

6) Brush the puffs with the rest of the egg wash so that the pastry is all covered (this will give your puffs that nice golden color)

7) Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 mins or until the puffs are golden brown.

Once they are done let them sit for a few minutes as they get very hot inside. Don’t need for anyone to burn their tastebuds otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy this recipe as much 🙂

Also, I am happy to announce that I am now a proud owner of a brand new rolling pin!

Enjoy

Meat Tenderizer – An Alternative Use?

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The other day I was looking for a faster way to get some cashews finely chopped to use as a form of breading for my CocoNUTTY Prawns. And then it dawned on me…why not use a hammer of sorts? Enter the trusty meat tenderizer.

I placed the nuts on a cutting board, covered them with a clear plastic bag to limit the mess and had a sort of anger management session with it 🙂

It worked perfectly and it turned into the consistency of almond flour!

No more frantic chopping for this girl!

From now on the tenderizer will be used for more than just steak, poultry and pork.

My neighbors are gonna love me! haha

🙂

CocoNUTTY Prawns

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If you are wondering how I came up with my blog name the answer may surprise you but it is a most fitting first blog post…Prawns! To be more specific, coconut and cashew “breaded” prawns. The blog name stems from a simple play on words of the main ingredient. And don’t worry I won’t only be posting recipes featuring coconuts. This blog is about my adventures in cooking…it wouldn’t be much of an adventure if coconuts were the feature of the day now would it?

Currently, me and my hubby are taking part in the RPCF 60 Day BFIT Challenge (it’s a crossfit thing). For the past 2 weeks, I have been getting my creative juices going to adhere to the rules of eating Paleo. If you don’t already know what Paleo means, basically you take out carbs, wheat and dairy.  I won’t delve too much into details because the moment you type Paleo diet into a search engine you will be inundated with information on it. My first thoughts when we started this up again was “WHAT? you want to take away butter, cheese, potatoes AND bread?! This is going to suck!”

However, it is not as bad as it sounds. Eating healthy can be very yummy especially if you are willing to think outside the box a little and sprinkle in some planning into your day. For myself it has the added bonus of letting me experiment and try new things while producing some outstanding meals!

So without further delay…here is the first of many more to come, and just like the coconut clarification above, not all my recipes and ideas will be Paleo.

But for now here they are…Coconutty Prawns

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of pre-cooked prawns (mine had about 90)
  • 1/2 Cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 Handful of cashews (ground or finely chopped)
  • Cayenne Pepper (i used 1/2 tsp but i like my prawns with some kick)
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • Seasoning Salt (to taste)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

*Dash of patience…to flip your prawns.

How To:

1) Rinse your prawns and take off the tails.

2) In a shallow bowl combine coconut, cashew and seasonings.

3) In another bowl, whisk your egg.

4) Dip your prawns into the egg letting the excess drip off then put them into the coconut    mixture to “bread” them. Set aside on a cutting board.

5) In a large pan, melt the coconut oil on medium-high heat. Once it is ready, gently put in your prawns. Once the first side of the prawns is golden (approx 1-2 mins) gently flip them over and repeat. I had to do my prawns in 2 batches but they fry up quickly. Once both sides are golden, remove from the pan and enjoy!

Pretty hard huh? I paired my prawns with some baked Kabocha squash and  a simple butter lettuce salad drizzled in olive oil and white vinegar to balance the sweetness of the squash and coconut with some tang. See below.

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