Category Archives: Recipes

Roast Guinea Fowl

Hi Dorothy, from time to time I´m going through your web site. You are doing a great job to cover all fields and sharing with other people. I also checked the part with the recipes and decided that one is missing, so listen:

Roast Guinea Fowl with Vegetables and Rice

roast guinea fowl Gesell-photosYou need:

for the meat –
* two guinea fowls, each ca. 1 to 1.2 kg
* fresh garlic
* groundnut [peanut] oil
* beer
* salt
* pepper
* curry powder
* red sweet pepper powder

for the vegetables –
* potatoes
* sweet potatoes
Tilda rice Ghana Gesell-photos* carrots
* zucchini
* tomatoes
and what else you like

for the rice –
* 400 grams basmati (Tilda if possible)
* 720 ml water (180ml per 100 grams rice)
* salt
* two big spoons butter

for the joy –
5 to 7 friends to be invited for the dinner

How to prepare:

guinea fowl over veges-Gesell-photosTake a mortar and grind salt and plenty garlic until you get a smooth paste to an amount of 50 to 60 grams and apply it to the chicks.

Mix the spices with the groundnut oil and the beer. You will need it to pour on the chicks while they are roasting.

Set the chicks on the rack which fits in the oven and you need an oven veggies-in-roaster-Gesell-photospan to set below the rack and fill it with all the vegetables I have written and more if you like. Soft vegetables like zucchini can be added later because they are done faster.

To prevent the vegetables from burning, pour groundnut oil on the oven pan before you set the vegetables in.

guinea-fowl-veges-in-oven-Gesell-photosWhen every thing is set, you start the oven at 160°C [320˚F]. It might be necessary to rise the temperature up to 180°C. One has to watch. Don’t forget to pour the spices, mixed with beer and oil, over the chicks as they are cooking. After 70 to 90 minutes everything should be ready.

[ds – great oven design! In ovens with racks attached to the walls, you need to pull out both racks at once to baste – carefully, with oven mitts. Or maybe put the birds on a separate rack on top of a deep roasting pan?] 

Rice:

To prepare the rice you melt the butter in a pot and fry the washed rice until it is glassy.

frying-rice-Gesell-photosBoil the water with salt in a different pot and pour it over the rice while it’s still on the hot stove.

adding water to rice Gesell-photosLet it boil for one minute on high temperature and stir it around. Then lower the temperature to the lowest point, take a cover that fits the pot exactly and close it.

rice cooking Gesell-photosLet it simmer for 18 minutes and don’t open the cover before the 18 minutes are over.

Now you can serve your guests and remember the guinea fowls of Tamale. Greetings from Germany.

Yours, Helmut

roast guinea fowl dinner Gesell-photos

My friend Helmut and I met years ago when we both lived in Tamale in Northern Ghana. I think the first guinea fowl I ever ate was made this way, at his house there, made by him or the cook he learned it from. Helmut sent me the recipe last month, then cooked it at home in Germany and Helmeted_guinea_fowl-steve-2007-wikicommonsdocumented the process. Danke schön, Conny, the photos are great.

I asked about substituting chicken since it’s easier to get here. Needs to be dark meat, he said. Guinea fowl of New Brunswick, beware!

Macaroni and Cheese

This stove-top macaroni and cheese recipe is the best ever. I’ve made it a lot of different ways, and love this one. It is easy and consistently good.

stove-top macaroni and cheese cookingMakes 4 main-course servings or 6-8 side-dish servings (If you really like mac & cheese, you’ll want this amount for two people so you can have seconds)

2 large eggs
1 12-oz (341 ml) can evaporated milk
¼ tsp (1 ml) Tabasco sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard, dissolved in 1 tsp (5 ml) water
½ lb (225 g) elbow macaroni
4 tbsp (50 ml) unsalted butter
12 oz (350 g) Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (bat 3 c/750 ml). Use sharp or mild cheddar, as desired
Toasted bread crumbs or crumbled saltine crackers* (optional, to me)

1. Mix eggs, 1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk, Tabasco sauce, ½ tsp (2ml) salt, pepper and dry mustard in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 qt (2 L) water to boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add remaining 1½ tsp (7 ml) salt and the macaroni; cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.

3. Drain and return the macaroni to the pan over low heat, add butter and toss to melt.

4. Pour the egg mixture over the buttered noodles along with three-quarters of the cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt.

5. Gradually add remaining evaporated milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes.

6. Serve immediately, topped with toasted bread crumbs or crumbled crackers.

macaroni and cheese served with peasI got this recipe several years ago from a London Free Press AP article written by Tommy C. Simmons. He says about the different ways of making mac & cheese:

“There are two styles of macaroni and cheese. One combines macaroni with a cheese-flavoured white sauce… The other is layered macaroni and cheese topped with a milk or milk-and-egg mixture that forms a custard when the combination is baked.

The food staff at Cook’s Illustrated magazine found a third style of macaroni and cheese preparation, which they credited to John Thorne’s Simple Cooking cookbook. [This recipe] The recipe testers at Cook’s Illustrated described Thorne’s recipe and their adaptations in the January-February 1997 issue and rated it the best macaroni and cheese recipe they tested.”

Reading a Kirkus review of Simple Cooking, John Thorne’s books sound worth reading as much for his commentary on food and foodie trends as for the cookery information and recipes.

 

Zucchini Boats

baked-zucchini-boats photo D StewartGot huge zucchinis? Stuff them. Here is how my husband makes them using left-over spaghetti sauce. The ingredient quantities below are for one zucchini, which makes two zucchini boats. Adjust amounts according to the size and number of zucchini. The one he used was about 10 in./25 cm.

zucchini-scooped-out-photo-D-StewartSlice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the soft part in the middle. He discards the seeds and keeps the pulp. Chop that up and put it in a frying pan with chopped onion. Cook the mixture until it’s soft. Zucchini has a lot of water in it, so leave the pan uncovered so as much water as possible evaporates.

adding-spaghetti-sauce-photo-D-StewartAdd green pepper, mushrooms, hot sausage or whatever you like. Add half a cup of breadcrumbs. When everything is cooked through and the mixture is fairly thick, add about three-quarters of a cup of your leftover sauce. Heat it through.

Put the zucchini boats in a baking dish and spoon the stuffing mixture filling-zucchini-boats-photo-D-Stewartin them. Grate cheese – parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella – over the tops. Pour a bit of water in the bottom of the dish so they don’t stick to the bottom. Put in a 350° oven and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the zucchini shell is nice and soft. If your zucchini has grown to monster size, the outer skin might stay too tough to eat but you can still scoop out the insides.

 

Perfect Rice

washing-rice The trick to fluffy steamed rice, with grains nicely separated, is wash it first. Put the amount of uncooked rice you want in a pot and add water. You’ll see the water go cloudy. Pour it off and add more water, repeat. You can let soak a few minutes before draining. Keep doing it until the water runs clear. By doing this, you’re removing the starch and it’s what makes rice sticky.

measuring-water-for-riceUse long grain rice. Basmati and jasmine are my favourites. If your package doesn’t have instructions, or if they don’t work right, here’s how I was shown to make steamed rice. It’s easy.

To the washed rice in your pot, add cold water until it is over the rice. Lay your hand, slightly arched, so just your fingerpads lightly touch the rice. Add or remove water to make it cover your fingers to the middle of your first knuckle.

steam-coming-from-riceCook the rice on high heat, uncovered, until the water is almost gone. You usually can hear it, a change from bubbling to a slight crackling noise. Turn the heat to low (even turn off) and place a tight fitting lid on the pot. Let it sit for the same length of time as it took to boil the water off, about 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid – the rice is steaming in there. Do not stir it at any point.

finished steamed riceAnd there you have it: perfect steamed rice. Depending on how much heat was under it during the steaming, there may be a crust of browned rice on the bottom and sides of the pot. That’s fine. Put cold water in the pot and it will soak off easily. I was told the crust was the mark of perfect rice. With it or without, this way of cooking rice has worked for me in any amount and any size pot.

 

DIY Kraft Dinner

kd with elbow macaroniKD is the ultimate comfort food/fast food, especially for Canadians (says Wikipedia) who have grown up on it since it came on the market in the 1930s. A lot of people take pride in “doctoring” it, using it as the base for their culinary skills. But for me, it’s best just as it comes out of the box, with ketchup on top.

But Kraft changed the macaroni from the regular elbow type to thin tubes. To me, two kinds of macaronithey always seem overcooked and they have no texture, no body. It’s like eating orange pablum. KD became a constant disappointment to me, despite always being hopeful that a new type they brought out would be how I remember it. (KD macaroni left in photo, elbow macaroni right)

Kraft Dinner boxesIn Bulk Barn one day, passing the bin of bright orange cheese sauce powder, I had a thrilling thought. Maybe I could make my own. I had recently read that Kraft Dinner was born when, in 1937, a Kraft salesman put a rubber band around a packet of grated cheese and a box of macaroni and sold them together as an instant meal. Why couldn’t I retrace his steps? Treating them as separate components lets me pick the macaroni I want.

Bulk Barn cheese powderBulk Barn has instructions for its Macaroni and Cheese Sauce Mix #252 beside the bin. The amounts of cheese powder and macaroni called for is exactly the same as what is in a box of KD. You make it exactly the same way. And it tastes exactly the same, only with nice fat elbow macaroni. You can, of course, use any pasta you wish.

Amazon link for Jamie Oliver Comfort FoodJamie Oliver’s cookbook Comfort Food shows you how you can make tastier and healthier versions of your favourite foods. He probably has a delicious mac and cheese. But when you want Kraft Dinner, that’s what you want. Bulk Barn allows me to make it look and taste the way it does in my memory.

Corned Beef Macaroni

A ‘how we think it was made’ recipe for corned beef and macaroni that my grandmother Burwell cooked. It should look like a stew or thick soup. Grandma said it was Pennsylvania Dutch in origin, as was she, and it was something her mother made.  I learned how she made it from my niece via Facebook messages.

Chat_bubbleAre you there?

Hi – I am now.

I was making Gramma’s corned beef pasta stuff and couldn’t remember if potatoes went in! All is well, it turned out 🙂

ok good. You’ll have to tell me how you make it. I don’t know how. Your dad and I have talked about it but can’t remember. We thought potatoes were in it.

Yes that was my question – potatoes or not! I added small cubes and onion. Dad doesn’t think there was onion but I’m sure there was!! He thought there was cubed cheese too but I don’t think so. lol

Ha! I don’t think there was onion, but I would put it in. I don’t think cheese, but that would be good. I don’t know how she creamed it – flour and water? I don’t remember mom or grandma using milk or cream. I’d use milk. When I made it, it wasn’t like hers. It was kind of like cream of macaroni soup. lol

eating macaroniNo cream or milk! Cook your potatoes and the potato water thickens with the macaroni. So yummy! 🙂 Now you must remember. I was about 4 when I cooked this with great-grandma!!

Well, I never! (as Grandma B would say). No wonder it didn’t taste right. Can you send me what you did, including the kind of corned beef.

corned beef and macaroni* 4 cups water, to boil
* Add 2 potatoes cut in small cubes and 1 small onion diced.
* Add 1 can of corned beef ( I just used no name – looks like spam)
* Let boil another 4 min.
* Add 2 cups of elbow macaroni. You may need to keep adding water as the noodles cook but don’t make it too watery. Stir often because noodles will stick.
* Add salt after cooking as the beef is salty!! Yum yum, the kids even enjoyed it!

corned beef canYou mean the rectangular cans of corned beef? Do you just plonk the whole lump in or chop it up first?

LOL sorry, yes, the rectangle one. I break it up first but it usually falls apart after a while in the broth 🙂

And there is the recipe for our favourite meal at Grandma Burwell’s house.  I don’t remember my mother making it and, although I knew it was simple, I could not replicate it.  All this time, my niece could. Fortunately she had a memory lapse so I found out how.  Grandma, I think, would snicker and say “Land o’ Goshen!” if she knew we were doing this.

Carrot Cake

cat stealing carrot cakeMy dog Jack loved carrots.  For his 7th birthday, I made him a carrot cake from my mother-in-law’s recipe.  He, and we, loved it.*

As you see, the cat did too.  While I was giving the birthday boy his cake, she was eating mine!

Cake

Sift or stir together, then set aside:

dog awaiting birthday cake2 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together in a large bowl, beating after each addition:

1 1/4 C cooking oil

1 3/4 C sugar

4 eggs

Add dry ingredients to oil-sugar-egg mixture and mix well.

Stir into batter, without overmixing:

2 C finely grated or chopped carrots (chopped in food processor is best)

1 C drained crushed pineapple

baked cake cooling before icing3/4 C chopped nuts (walnuts are good)

The batter will be thin.  Pour into a greased and lightly floured 14” x 18” baking pan.  Bake in preheated 325˚ oven for about 35 mins. or until toothpick or sharp knife come out clean.  Cool completely before icing.

Icing

cake with pieces cut1/2 C softened butter or margarine

4-8 oz softened cream cheese (I use ‘light’, it tastes as good)

1 C or more of confectioners (icing) sugar

1 tsp vanilla (almond or walnut extract can be used instead)

Blend together.  Will be firm but not stiff.  Spread on cooled cake.  Refrigerate to keep icing cool.  This is a rich cake, so small servings are recommended, especially around cats. Very large, recipe can be halved.

* If you make this cake for your dog, don’t put walnuts in it.  I scraped the nuts and most of the icing off Jack’s piece, but it still had walnuts in the cake.  I didn’t know that walnuts, almonds and, especially, macadamias are toxic for dogs.  He was ok, but another dog may not be.

Tomato Macaroni

Tomato macaroni in bowlThis is essentially homemade Beefaroni.  When I was a kid, this was what I liked best that Mom made. It was a treat! I had no idea how easy it was to do.

I’ve recreated this recipe based on what Mom told me: “you cook macaroni and hamburg and pour in tomato juice and heat it.”  Okay! Mine has never tasted as good as Mom’s, so I’m still missing something – maybe just her touch with it. Anyway, this is getting pretty close.

These amounts make a large potful – maybe 6-8 servings. You can half or double it.

Cook 2 cups macaroni in salted water (undercook slightly).  Drain and return to pot.

Cooked ground beef added to cooked macaroniBrown 1 lb ground beef with or without chopped onions.  Put cooked beef in pot with macaroni, over med. to low heat.

Add tomato juice.  Stir, adding juice until proportions appear balanced (2/3 to 3/4 of a large can).  Add a can of tomato soup and mix in.  That gives the sauce a thicker consistency to coat the macaroni.

Tomato macaroni in pot, cookedIf you want your veggies right in the bowl, add frozen peas or green beans.

Add a few drops of Worchestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  You can add a bit of hot sauce if you want a bit of zing.

Cook until heated through, maybe 20-30 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook or the macaroni will go mushy.

Serve.  Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled on top.

 

Pickled Eggs

pickled eggs (from getcracking.ca)My sister told me an easy way to make pickled eggs.  She uses a large jar with a regular style lid because they go through them quickly.  If you figure you’ll have yours longer, probably best to use a jar with a sealer lid.  You can make larger or smaller quantities, just adjust your ingredients accordingly.

Hardboil 12 eggs.  Peel and prick all around with fork.  Half fill a sterilized jar (1 qt size) with white vinegar, 1 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar.  Shake to dissolve.  Add eggs, and add vinegar to fill jar to top.  Put lid on and let sit a week.

The photo came from Everything Eggs with Wendi Hiebert, where you can get lots of egg recipes and information.

TVP Pasta Sauce

TVP tomato sauce on spaghettiIf you’re vegetarian or not, TVP is your friend.  TVP is short for ‘textured vegetable protein’.  It’s a soy product that looks like bacon bits or small cat kibble.  You can buy it in most grocery stores.  I found it in my local bulk store.  It’s cheap and good.

In case you get it without instructions, just add the same amount of boiling water to your amount of TVP and let it sit a couple minutes until the water is absorbed.  That’s it cooked.  For spaghetti sauce, just add the ‘cooked’ TVP to your tomato sauce and let it heat through.  And you’re done.

TVP tomato sauce with grated cheeseYou can use TVP pretty much anywhere you’d use ground beef.  I’ve never tried making meatloaf out of it, but you might be able to.  Just make sure you use enough of a binding agent, like egg or gluten, to keep it loaf-like.  There’s no grease from TVP so you want to make sure it doesn’t just crumble.  That’s why pasta sauces are so easy to make with it.

The tomato sauce pictured here is made from a half cup of TVP, half a jar of ready-made pasta sauce and about 2 cups of stewed fresh tomatoes.  Add herbs as usual and that’s it.  This has grated cheddar on top.  You can also use parmesan of course.