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Category Archives: Summer Recipes

Peach and Blueberry Trifle

Chef Karen: The title may sound simple but it bring a whole lot of happiness to the mouth! There are as many trifle recipes as there are chefs. That’s why Chef Jonathan and I decided to use a white cake of some sort, vanilla pudding, fruit and whipped cream and see what we could come up with. I chose to make individual trifles. I used Twinkies as the white cake; I soaked them in rum extract for a more “grown-up” taste, plain vanilla pudding and real whipped cream. Because my peaches were a bit hard, I cut them up, sprinkled some sugar on them and let them set for a few hours. This softened them up and make them quite yummy. I layered my ingredients as a true trifle is layered, added a sprig of mint in honour of great friend, and voila! A refreshing late-summer dessert. Simple but stunning, I’d say 🙂

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Chef Jonathan: I decided to use angel food cake as my base for the trifle, a little unoriginal, I know, but I thought it would best to go back-to-the-basics for this week’s dessert. I then layered with creme chantilly, then roughly chopped peaches. I also whipped up a vanilla custard to go next, then more cake, cream, then the blueberries. I finished off with the whipped cream, and topped off with more blueberries. This is a nice simple end of the summer dessert, enjoy!

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Deconstructed BLT

Chef Karen: The letters “BLT” in our house mean genuine happiness to my husband! Even when I suggested our blog recipe this week was a “Deconstructed BLT”, he was happy. After you read Chef Jonathan’s blog, you will see that he obviously has the more creative cooking mind in this blogging duo. My BLT looked different on the plate but I didn’t move far from the original. I changed my usual “sandwich” into an appetizer. I toasted my bread, cut it into little circles, and cut my bacon and lettuce to size. I cut my tomatoes into little pieces, mixed them with mayonnaise and white wine vinegar (one of my new favs), added some salt and pepper and put it on top of the circles. Although deconstructed, the outcome was a happy grin from my husband. A+ in my book! 🙂

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Chef Jonathan: My approach to this week’s deconstructed BLT was to turn it into something completely different. I wanted someone to eat this and not think “Oh, this reminds me of a BLT”, so I went with pasta. I cooked my pasta to ‘al dente’, then started on my bacon, cutting into 1/2 inch cubes, then sautéing with 1/2 and 1/2 butter and oil, seasoning as it cooks. Then I diced my tomatoes, adding to my prepared pasta sauce, adding minced garlic, my favourite herbs, and salt & pepper to taste. Tossing it all together, with some shredded cheese of course (it wouldn’t be pasta without) I put it in the oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I did a classic chiffonade with my lettuce for a garnish, and voila a BLT pasta!

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Lemon-Blueberry Crumb Bars

Chef Karen: Summer and fresh fruit go hand-in-hand.  That’s why this recipe caught my eye; It had the word “blueberry” in it!  I love blueberries.  I love picking them, eating them right off the bush and figuring out how many different ways I can use them in baking. (Yes, yes, I know there are other uses for blueberries but I’m a baker at heart.)  I found the recipe we’ve tested this week very easy to make. I worried about what the crust would taste like and I found it to be pretty good. The bars tasted a bit like cheesecake but weren’t too “cheese-cakey” and I was happy with that.  If you want cheesecake, make cheesecake – don’t make a substitute 🙂  My one comment was that it seemed to dry out easily once I had it in the fridge for a few days.  If you have to keep it, make sure you wrap it tightly to keep this from happening.  I recommend this recipe while you can still go and pick your own blueberries!

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Chef Jonathan: This is a nice summer recipe if you have some nice fresh berries. It can be done with any berries, not just of the blue variety, but we here at ORTK love blueberries! Making this dessert reminded me exactly of a New York Lemon Cheesecake I made in school, except for the blueberries are baked inside the bar, instead of a blueberry coulis……Making the crust, I found that there wasn’t nearly enough to fill the bottom of the pan, and do a topping, so I put all of it on the bottom, and left it Non En Croute which I actually prefer. Again, I love this recipe and I will definitely be making it again, possibly this summer. Enjoy!

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Here is the website for the recipe. It’s from the Kraft website.  http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/recipes/lemon-blueberry-crumb-bars-124041.aspx?cm_mmc=eml-_-rbecaen-_-20130717-_-2066&cm_lm=D5FF970BB300121967A3D6C9693765E2

 

Baked Alaska

Chef Karen: When I first heard about Baked Alaska many years ago, I remember thinking, “Ice cream? In the oven?” Well, I’ve finally tried it and it was the coolest thing!  I was pretty intimidated to make this dessert but took a deep breath and created it!  I was pleasantly surprised at the turn-out.  A few things to mention: Because  I only wanted to serve 4 people and not have any leftovers, I made individual desserts.  I cut cake rounds out with a cup and used them as my base.  I also put the ice cream in ramekins to make them the size and shape to fit the cakes.  I put cling wrap in the bottom of a ramekin, then put in the ice cream, folded the wrap over to protect from freezer burn and then placed them in the freezer.  It worked perfectly! (I owe this trick to Gordon Ramsey – one of my favourite chefs!)  I used the 8 egg whites but really could have only used 4.  I dumped at least 1/2 of the meringue down the drain because I had too much.  Last thing: don’t worry if you don’t have a small torch to brown the meringue.  I don’t – not YET, anyway- and the oven worked just fine. I was worried it wouldn’t brown on the edges but it did. Last but not least, don’t be intimidated!  It was a very cool experience and one I will try again!

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Chef Jonathan: This is one of those classic desserts that is sort of a rite of passage for every Chef Patissier, and somehow I’ve managed to skip it thus far on my culinary journeys. Thus, I was very happy when Chef Karen suggest that we make it this week. It always sounded like a very challenging recipe, but it’s honestly not if you know a few basic tricks. The cake is easy enough, you can even use a box mix if you prefer, and the ice cream you can buy (if you’re super eager, you can make your own). The fun part of this recipe is the “Alaska”. Like any meringue, just be super careful when separating your egg whites from your yolks, if any yolk gets mixed in, it can ruin the whole meringue. I always make sure my white have reached at least soft peak before adding the sugar. If you add it too early, the whites won’t thicken as they should, and you’ll have to start over. I hadn’t used this recipe for meringue before, so I added a touch more sugar than specified, just to sweeten. I used my special Chef’s torch to darken the edges of the meringue, but a broiler in an oven works just as well, just don’t take your eyes off of it! I really love this recipe, it’s an instant classic and it’s perfect for that dinner party you’ve been dying to plan, enjoy!

Baked Alaska

 

Baked Alaska Recipe

 

Lemon Squares

Chef Karen: A few weeks ago, Chef Jonathan made these for an event. I was so impressed, I asked him if we could make it for our blog. He’s so agreeable! 🙂 because here it is! I found this so easy to make! I had only a short window of time to whip these up and I was very pleased at how easy they came together. In the recipe, Paula suggests to mix the butter and flour with your hands. I found I didn’t like this. I’d use a pastry cutter next time. My “arthritic feeling” hands didn’t work as well as a cutter would. I’d also add some lemon zest next time.

We two chefs hung out with each other on the weekend so we were able to have people compare our two recipes. (Pretty unfair, huh?) Everyone was very gracious in saying that they liked both of them but had preferences about each one. I actually preferred Chef Jonathan’s. Hopefully, I can become an excellent pastry chef like him, someday 🙂

Chef Jonathan: Before I made this recipe, I had never made lemon squares before (I know, gasp!), and much to my delight they turned out wonderfully. I love all of Paula Deen’s recipes, especially her desserts, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Since I had made this recipe before, I added a touch more lemon juice than previously, and Chef Karen and I mutually decided that adding lemon zest would be beneficial next time. I would also reduce the amount of crust in this recipe to almost half, as it seemed a bit thick. This is a great recipe for a quick summer lemon square, and I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

Chef Jonathan's are the two top ones. Chef Karen's are the two bottom ones.

Chef Jonathan’s are the two top ones. Chef Karen’s are the two bottom ones.

Here is the recipe. Thank-you, Paula Deen! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemon-bars-recipe/index.html

 

Fresh Corn Casserole

Fresh ingredients for this recipe are the best

Chef Jonathan: I was very motivated for this weeks blog, because I’ve never made a corn casserole or anything like it before, and I always love trying new things! I like this recipe for its simplicity, but in the same way, I wish there were more ingredients, like: onions, leeks, or something to bulk it up a bit. I also found it a bit runny, so next time I would likely leave out the milk and only add the heavy cream. I would also increase the cooking temperature to 375, for at least 45 minutes, as I found it took a long time for all the peppers to cook fully. Speaking of peppers, I decided to use both red and orange, as I find the color combination very visually appealing. All in all, a great recipe, with a few minor changes.

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Chef Karen: I’ve made this recipe several times this summer, already. I also have found it very easy to make. I agree with Chef Jonathan that it could use a little bulk.  I have also cut back on the milk and the cream.  Even with the cutbacks it’s too runny. So keep that in mind when you serve it.  I’m sure you could make this with frozen corn but at this time of the year buy fresh and enjoy it! I’ve never found the cooking time to be a problem but every oven is different so adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Just a note: please be careful when working with jalapeno peppers.  Their seeds are very hot and can leave a burning sensation on your hands.
Enjoy!
This recipe is from the Food Network website.
 

Frozen Lemonade Pie

(This week it’s just “One Recipe, One Kitchen” as Chef Jonathan had the weekend off.)

I decided to try this new recipe for a family get together.  I’d never heard or seen it before and thought it sounded very good.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It was easy to make (I know, I keep saying that!) and very tasty. I thought it might be a bit tart due to the concentrated lemonade but it wasn’t. It was sweet with a bit of welcomed tartness. I cheated and used a ready-made shortbread pie crust. I know, I know… that’s cheating but I was short on time and patience. I made up for the “laziness” by adding fresh blueberries and raspberries to the top of mine instead of the lemon peel.  It does melt quickly so don’t be slow about serving this refreshing dessert.  It was a hit at the family  gathering. I highly recommend it!

Frozen Lemonade Pie with fresh berries

It’s from The Foodnetwork website:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/frozen-lemonade-pie-recipe/index.html