Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Oysters on the Half Shell, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Loaded Yorkies, and Banoffee Pie

I'm really liking having friends around to sample my Tuesday efforts - not to say Mark's not enough, but its great to sit around the table with others, and between courses, have a good chit chat!
This Tuesday I had my girlfriend, Laural, over. I had posted my menu on my Facebook status, and she commented how good it sounded, so I took that as an opportunity to invite her over.
I'm so glad she came, the timing on the Yorkshire puddings was completely off in the original recipe, so she actually saved the main course with her great Yorkie-making expertise! Yay, Lo to the rescue :)

Oysters on the Half Shell


Scrub oysters with a brush under cold running water (do not soak).
Shuck oysters with an oyster knife, cutting the muscle to remove the top shell.
Leave oysters in their shells.
Arrange opened oysters on a platter of crushed ice with lemon.
Do not open oysters more than three hours before consumption. Ideally, they should be opened 15 minutes ahead of time and served over ice on a large oval platter.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup


4 large red peppers
1 tbsp ( 15 mL) olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
2 onions, chopped
3 cups ( 750 mL) chicken broth or bouillon


Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast, uncovered, about 18 minutes. Turn peppers and continue roasting about 18 more minutes, until skin is blistered. 
Remove from baking sheet and place in a heavy paper bag. Seal bag and let stand until peppers are cool, about 10 minutes. Remove peppers and peel off skins. 
Slice in half and remove seeds. Cut into large chunks and set aside. Refrigerate if making ahead.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions are very soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in roasted peppers and continue cooking until peppers are very soft. 

Add chicken stock. Then whirl in a blender or food processor, using an on-and-off motion, until smooth. Return to saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soup is warm, from 8 to 10 minutes. 

Loaded Yorkies


Yorkshire Pudding (recipe follows)
6 oz (180 g) shaved beef
Red Wine Gravy (recipe follows)
2 oz creamy horseradish
Chives, for garnish

Yorkshire Puddings
½ pint (885 ml) milk
4 oz (125 g – approx ½ cup) flour
Pinch salt
3 eggs
Vegetable oil for muffin tins

Red Wine Gravy
1 tbsp flour
½ cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, mix milk, flour, salt and eggs. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat muffin tin with ½ inch oil in 6 sections.
Divide rested batter into muffin tin. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until crisp and fluffy. Do not open oven door.
Heat the pan the beef was cooked in over medium heat and stir in flour. Deglaze pan with wine and whisk until gravy is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Make a pocket in the centre of the Yorkies and stuff with a couple of slices of beef. Add a dollop of horseradish and drizzle with gravy. Garnish with minced chives.

Banoffee Pie


Pie Crust

1 ⅓ cups (325 ml) All Purpose Flour
½ tsp (2 ml) salt
½ cup (125 ml) Vegetable Shortening, chilled and cubed
3-6 tbsp (45-90 ml) ice cold water


1 can (300 ml) Eagle Brand® Dulce de Leche Caramel Flavoured Sauce
3 large bananas
1 ½ cups (375 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) Icing Sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
Shaved Milk Chocolate for garnish


In food processor, blend flour and salt. Work in shortening until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle 2 tbsp (30 mL) water.
Mix until dough is slightly moist. Add remaining water if needed. Shape dough into a ½” (1.3 cm) thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a circle measuring 11” (28 cm). 
Loosely roll dough around rolling pin, and then unroll, easing dough onto a 9” (23 cm) pie plate. Crimp edges. Refrigerate 20 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Remove pie shell from fridge and prick bottom with a fork. Bake 16-20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool completely, 20 minutes.
Bring caramel flavoured sauce to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly, cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into baked pie shell. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Cut bananas into ¼” (0.6 cm) thick slices and place over caramel flavoured filling.
Using an electric mixer, beat whipping cream with icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Place cream over bananas and garnish with shaved chocolate.

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