Pasta with Shrimp (or without!) in Tomato White Wine Sauce

By Corinne

If you live in Thunder Bay and haven’t tried Big Lake Pasta you should track some down at your earliest convenience. This pasta dish could probably be made with any pasta, but the Saffron Campanelle really did give it an extra something special.

Speaking of special, you may have noticed a real lack of fish and seafood posts from me on this blog. That’s because when I make them, it’s only as something special for my husband or company that I really love as I have a fairly severe allergy to them. Full disclosure, I was told that the shrimp were really good, but I didn’t (and can’t) actually taste them myself. I have the feeling that three of these large prawns would have been a fine serving, but since it’s a special treat, hubby got all six. Obviously this isn’t vegetarian if you use shrimp, but I ate it without and didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Serves: 4 (though you would need more shrimp for 4 people, there is enough pasta and sauce for 4)

Time: about 1 hour including simmering time for sauce

You will need:

  • 1 medium/large onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 dried chili pepper or about 1/2-1tsp of chili flakes
  • 2 cups of white wine (preferably dry, preferably Chardonnay)
  • 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
  • wedges of fresh lemon
  • 350g fresh pasta, preferably Big Lake Saffron Campanelle

For the shrimps – I used tiger prawns and serving size will depend on the size of your shrimp!

I used this amount of butter/spice mixture for 6 large tiger prawns (probably 2 servings)

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large clove of garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp minced flat leaf parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, add about 2 tbsp olive or canola oil. Add the onion to this and stir around for about 10 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add 2 cups of white wine, slowly at first to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Then add the can of tomatoes and paprika. Allow to simmer for about 45min to 1hr. Taste after simmering for a while, and add salt and pepper to taste.

While sauce is simmering, prep the butter mixture for the shrimp. Rinse and clean shrimp if necessary and slide onto bamboo skewers. Baste with butter sauce before putting on BBQ, and if you have enough, one more time when you flip them over.

The shrimp will take less than 10 minutes on the bbq, so when you are ready to put your pasta in the boiling water that would be the time to put them on.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs (parsley or basil) and squeeze a wedge of lemon over just before serving.

 

 

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Steak and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

By Corinne

I love goat cheese and there is a generous amount of it on this salad – do feel free to cut back to a more reasonable amount. There is a pub in town that serves a delicious goat cheese and steak salad that was definitely my inspiration for this. Making it at home means I can add more cheese and make the dressing exactly how I want it.

Serves: 4 

Time: about 25 minutes – but it depends on how long you let the steaks come to room temperature and how long you let them rest for at the end

You will need:

  • 3 strip loin steaks (you can do one per person if they are particularly small or if you are very hungry – you can also do 2 steaks if you are looking to cut back on the meat portion)
  • Montreal steak spice
  • Worcestershire sauce (gluten free if you use a gf worcestershire – alternatively use balsamic here)
  • 10 oz (284g) salad greens (I used “tender ruby reds”, but spring mix or romaine work as well)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, VERY thinly sliced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes if desired. Sometimes I feel them, sometimes I don’t.
  • 250g goat cheese (if you can find it, try ‘Celebrity’ brand – it’s one of the best ones I’ve found in a grocery store. If you live in Thunder Bay, you can find it at Maltese)

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar *
  • 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • few grinds of fresh pepper

*as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I tend to prefer my dressings more on the vinegar side. The classic oil/vinegar ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil – feel free to adjust this to taste.

Sprinkle steaks liberally with Montreal steak spice and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to come to room temperature – at least 30 minutes, but 45 if you have time.

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Slice peppers and onions and tomatoes if using. Divide salad greens among plates, distribute onions and peppers on top of greens and sprinkle with goat cheese. I find raw onion can be quite strong. Slice it very thin, as thin as you possibly can. Give it a taste, the amount  you use is going to depend very much on the strength of the particular onion.

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Grilling the steaks – preheat bbq for 5-10 minutes. Sear steaks- place on grill for 1 minute, close the lid. Flip and place on the other side for 1 minute. Flip again and cook for 10-15 minutes flipping half way through, depending on desired doneness. If you haven’t tried it,  you should start trying the touch test for doneness.  It’s a more reliable test than purely timing, and once you have it down you’re golden. If you have a meat thermometer, you can use that, but it requires you poking the steaks and losing potential juiciness. Allow steaks to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Divide greens, vegetables and goat cheese between 4 plates. Thinly slice steak and place on salad. Divide dressing between 4 plates. If desired, add a few more chunks of goat cheese on top of the steaks.

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Slow Cooker Ribs

By Corinne

The biggest problem I’ve had with making ribs in the slow cooker is that they end up so tender they fall apart and you can’t even pick them up without them slipping off the bones. Now, that’s awesome in one way, but it means that they don’t have the crispy bbq bark goodness you get from cooking them on the bbq or in the oven. This method combines the best of both worlds. Ribs are dry rubbed and cooked in the slow cooker for no longer than 6 hours on low, then finished on the bbq or in the oven. They are incredibly tender, and still have the crisped goodness from finishing them under high heat.

You will need:

  • 1 rack of ribs, cut into 3-4 bone sections
  • your favourite bbq sauce for finishing

Dry rub:

  • 1 tbsp paprika (smoked, sweet or hot, whatever your preference)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Combine all ingredients for dry rub. Sprinkle generously over ribs- I usually use all the rub for one large rack of ribs.

Stand ribs up on slow cooker so they are not all laying on top of one another. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, but no longer than 6 hours. If you cook them too long you will have difficulty finishing them in the oven or on the bbq as they will easily fall apart.

Remove ribs from slow cooker. If finishing the ribs on the bbq, heat grill to medium heat and generously slather with your favourite bbq sauce, basting ribs a few times on each side over direct heat. I always think they look prettier when they’ve been finished on the bbq, but it was -25C the night I made these so this time I did it in the oven.

To finish in the oven, place ribs on a cookie sheet or baking stone. If using a cookie sheet, you may wish to cover with tinfoil to aid in clean up. Baste ribs generously on both sides and place under broil. Watch carefully, flipping and basting about every 2-3 minutes until both sides have been crisped up a bit.

Enjoy!

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BBQ Honey Mustard Ham

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By Corinne

This is a fast and easy supper, and a bit of a different take on a ham, which is usually served roasted whole rather than sliced and grilled on the BBQ. Instead of taking hours, this recipe takes a total of less than 20 minutes including prep and cook time. The glaze is simple and amounts are easily increased if you would like to make more. It’s fast and easy enough to prep and cook that you can manage even when babysitting 3 children under 8!

Time: about 15 to 20 minutes including prep and cook time

You will need:

  • 3-4 tbsp of dijon mustard (I love the president’s choice brand dijon as it has a bit of a bite)
  • 3-4 tbsp of liquid honey
  • 1-2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce OR balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5-2lb boneless fully cooked black forest or Virginia ham

Whisk together mustard, honey and soy into a small bowl. Slice boneless ham into slices about 1/4″ thick.

Heat BBQ to medium heat. Place ham slices on grill, keeping lid closed as much as possible. Grill for about 2-3 min and then flip. Using a silicon brush, brush glaze over each slice. Grill for another 2 min and flip again, repeating glaze on the other side. Grill for another 2 min and glaze again. Repeat one more time so each side has been glazed twice and all glaze has been used.

Guest Post! “Week Night Chicken Fajitas” with Garden Salsa and Guacamole

By Mandi 

As we leave Labor Day behind us and the structure of fall begins to take shape it is easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures of the day to day and forget to make family meal time a priority.  I get it: schedules are hard to co-ordinate, and we are all so busy with work, school, sports and other activities that our time to gather together with our loved ones to enjoy a meal is limited.

 

One of my favourite parts about Pampered Chef are the fun, festive and FAST solutions that can be shared that help make family meal time easy.  My tool of choice is the Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven – this amazing “Magic Black Pot” truly makes my life in the kitchen a breeze.  The key to the RockCrok’s magic is its versatility; it is created from clay that is heat resistant, so you can sear, braise, simmer, slow cook, fry, boil, bake, broil, microwave and grill in one pan (oh yeah, and afterwards it can go in the dishwasher)!  In terms of cost, I tell my customers, that if the RockCrok helps you avoid one trip to the Drive Thru per week it will pay for itself in less than 2 months.

 

One of my family’s favourite go-to’s are Week Night Chicken Fajitas, which satisfies all 3 meal goals – they are fun, festive and fast!  I like to pair these with homemade Garden Salsa and Guacamole which is a super easy “piggy-back” recipe that can be whipped up quickly while the fajitas are cooking.  Add some margaritas and in 30 minutes you have a Mexican fiesta!

Time: prep 10 min, depends on cooking method- microwave 18 min, bbq 35 min, oven 40 min
Week Night Chicken Fajitas
You will need:
  • 2-3 bell peppers (any colour combo you desire), cut into strips
  • 1-2 red onion, cut into strips (I chop mine finer because my kids are more likely to pick out the strips)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos (optional and depends on your preferred level of heat – my little guys and hubby don’t enjoy a lot of spice so I eliminate completely.)
  • 4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub (I also enjoy the Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub in the recipes too)
Fixing Suggestions
– 12 small flour (or corn) tortillas
– shredded cheddar cheese
– sour cream
– chopped jalapenos
– chopped cilantro
– Garden Salsa and Guacamole (recipe included below).

– anything else you desire

Steps

1. Using your Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven,  Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, or other microwave safe, lidded cooking vessel, start adding your sliced peppers (including jalapenos if you are including them), onions and garlic (Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer quickly creates paper thin garlic slices).  Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Tex Mex Rub.  Mix gently to combine.

2. Lay chicken over the bed of vegetables.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cover with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Tex mex rub.  Manually rub the seasoning on to the surface of the chicken.

3. Place cover on the RockCrok or other cooking vessel and place in the microwave (on high) for 10 minutes. Redistribute the chicken, microwave for another 8 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer (should be 165 degrees).  If you don’t have meat thermometer, cut into the largest piece of meat, if the meat is white and juice is running clear, they are done.  If not, microwave for another 3-5 minutes.  Every microwave is different, which is why it is important to check.

4.  Once cooked completely, remove chicken breasts and slice into strips.  Mix them back in with the veggies and replace the lid to maintain the heat.  Serve with tortillas and desired fixings.

This is a microwave recipe, but it can be adapted to the oven or the BBQ, but times would have to be adjusted.  Depending on the cooking vessel, BBQ would take about 35 minutes and oven would take about 40 minutes at 350F.

Every kitchen needs to have a meat thermometer – use this to determine when your chicken is cooked (should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 2-3 minutes to be considered done.

 

Piggy Back Garden Salsa and Guacamole
I call this recipe “piggy back” because I make the salsa first and then use some of it to flavour the guacamole.  For these recipes I use another Pampered Chef favourite, the Manual Food Processor (or as is affectionately known, the MFP).  I love this tool because it is compact, easy to use (my kids like to take turns pumping it) and because it is manual, it really allows you to control the consistency of what you are making.  You can make your salsa and guacamole as chunky or as smooth as you like it personally.
Salsa
This recipes is a great use of tomatoes from your garden and is great on its own.  When I make this salsa in the winter the flavors always remind me of late summer.
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  •  2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 lime, juice and zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)
1. Add 1/2 tomatoes to the Manual Food Processor (MFP), process a bit to break them open.  Add remaining tomatoes, process a bit to break them open.
2. Cut onion, jalapeno (if adding) into chunks and add to MFP.  Rough chop cilantro before adding it.   Add pressed garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rub).  Process until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Remove salsa from the MFP, but leave ~1/2 cup behind.
Guacamole
1/2 cup of garden salsa
2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 lime, and zest
2 gloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cut avos into chunks, and roughly chop the cilantro and add to salsa.  Add the garlic, lime juice and zest, and salt.

2. Combine until desired consistency is achieved.

These recipes are great to serve buffet style or family style.  I love placing the components into interesting and eclectic serving vessels which contributes to the fun and festive feel of this quick week night meal!!

Adapted from
https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/recipe/Main+Dishes/Under+30+minutes/Quick+Chicken+Fajitas/1129445
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If you are interested in learning more about Pampered Chef, or would like to check out any of the products mentioned above.  Follow one of the links below and search for (RockCrok Dutch Oven, Manual Food Processer, Garlic Slicer, Tex Mex Rub, Chipotle Rub)  If you are interested in making a Pampered Chef Purchase, Brown Butter and Pink Peppercorn is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef show from Sept 20-30, 2016.  If you have a Canadian shipping address, you can order via either of these links.  If you live in the U.S.  drop me a line and I will connect you with a consultant that can help you.

https://pamperedchef.ca/go/corinnebbpp
https://pamperedchef.ca/go/juliebbpp

If you are interested in earning some Pampered Chef product for free — check out some of the benefits of hosting.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/pws-host-a-show

If you would like some more information about how to become a Pampered Chef consultant, check out this link, or send me an email mandifow@gmail.com.  I am looking for team members in all provinces and territories, and would love to help you get started.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/be-a-consultant

Amanda (Mandi) Fowler van Wyk
Team Leader and Trainer Pampered Chef Canada

BBQ Chicken Wings with Lime and Lager Marinade

By Corinne

I love chicken wings, partly because I love variety and sauces and rubs and wings are just so versatile! This marinade is delightful for either chicken or pork*, though tonight we had it with wings. Speaking of rubs, I was recently gifted a jar of Pampered Chef Chili Lime seasoning. I thought this would make a delightful rub on the chicken wings and sprinkled on a generous amount after removing them from the marinade. Unfortunately, this particular seasoning has been discontinued, but apparently there is some pressure on the company to bring it back due to popularity. I’ve tried a few of the Pampered Chef seasonings, and have liked all the ones I’ve had so far!

Speaking of Pampered Chef, we can look forward to our friend Mandi, a Pampered Chef consultant, doing a guest post in near future! While I’m terrible at selling things so have never been interested in being a consultant, the large bar pan from Pampered  Chef is one of my favourite (and frequently used!) things in my tiny kitchen. I love it so much that I can’t help myself and sometimes have to gift one to people who I love and who also love cooking. I use it pretty much every time I turn on the oven, whether it’s for cookies or chicken or roasting off some veggies. Absolutely nothing roasts potatoes off to crisp perfection like this pan. Ok, enough waxing poetic about the large bar pan (though I could go on) and here’s the marinade!

Makes: 2 lbs of chicken wings, about 1 1/2 cups of marinade

Time: 10 minutes prep, few hours to overnight for marinating, 15-20 minutes BBQ

You will need:

  • 1 cup lager (I used Muskoka Brewery craft lager, but have also used Canadian, and Sleeping Giant Northern Logger – which actually isn’t a lager but is a kolsch style beer)
  • zest and juice from 2 limes (1/4 cup lime juice)
  • 1/4 cup canola or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lbs chicken wings

Prepare marinade. In a medium bowl, zest limes and then juice. Add 1/4 cup of canola, salt, pepper, fresh chopped basil and mint, and minced garlic. Give this a good whisk, then add one cup of lager. It will foam and bubble a bit, then give it a stir. Either add marinade and wings to a large ziplock baggie to marinate, or add the wings to the bowl and cover. Marinate for at least 2 hours, but up to over night.

Preheat BBQ to medium heat. When ready to BBQ, remove wings from marinade. If you are adding an additional rub, do so at this point. BBQ wings for 5 minutes with lid closed. Flip and close lid again. BBQ for an additional 5-10 minutes, flipping twice more. BBQ time will vary a bit depending on your BBQ.

Serve with a salad, corn on the cob, or some BBQ potatoes 🙂

*As I mentioned at the top of the post, this same marinade is delicious on pork chops. I usually use that amount of marinade for 3 chops. Same deal, allow to marinate for 2 hours or up to over night.

 

Grilled Chicken Pizza with Corn and Garlic Gouda

By Corinne

Homemade pizza is endlessly versatile and easy to put together once you have a favourite dough recipe down. I’ve been in love with our local corn lately, featured here in a pasta, and here in a pizza that echoes of a corn chowder but in flatbread form. This pizza came about from what I was able to scrounge in the fridge and pantry in order to whip together a supper after an evening golfing.

Makes: 1 pizza – about 15″ diameter

You will need:

For toppings:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup fresh corn, removed from cob- about 1 cup of kernels
  • about 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (about half of a small red onion)
  • about 1/2 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup shredded garlic gouda cheese – preferably Thunder Oaks if you can get it

Tl’s-works-every-time pizza dough* this is a half recipe to make one pizza rather than 2 you could also make the full recipe as seen here, and then put half in the fridge to use in the next day or two.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast (quick rise or traditional, either works, traditional will just take longer to rise)
  • 2/3 cup very warm water

Mix dry ingredients, including yeast, for dough. Add very warm water and knead a few minutes until all ingredients have come together in a smooth dough. If dough seems too sticky, add a bit more flour. Rub dough with a tbsp or so of oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until you are ready to roll out for ingredients. Prepare your other ingredients. Your dough will probably double in this time but if it doesn’t QUITE double, it will all be ok.

Preheat BBQ to medium high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Grill with lid down as much as possible, flipping after about 5-7 minutes, and then again after another 5-7 minutes. Grilling time will depend a bit on your BBQ and the thickness of your chicken breast.

Prepare toppings. Slice red onion and set aside. Husk corn, and remove kernels. You should get about 1 cup of kernels from a cob. Shred cheese. Slice chicken thinly, then cut into about 1/2″ pieces.

Preheat oven to 400F.

When oven is preheated, and dough has risen roll out dough and transfer onto pizza stone. If dough is quite sticky (which sometimes happens because measuring flour can yield varying amounts!) then rather than add more flour, if you stretch and spread the dough with your fingers over the stone, a slightly sticky dough will bake up very crisp and delicious! There are some recipes such as this one that actually do this on purpose 🙂

Spread BBQ sauce evenly over dough. If desired, use more or less sauce depending on how saucy you like your pizza. I went on the scant side with the sauce as I wanted to make sure the other toppings really got to shine. Sprinkle on cheese, chicken, then corn and red onion.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden.