Archive for June, 2010

Our nephew Brian and girlfriend Adrienne were over for dinner at The Upper Deck this past weekend and we made Paella! This recipe is a condensed version without the clams and mussells (because of transport time and number of days before we had them!).

  • 1 cup brown rice (because it is gluten free)
  • 4 small chicken thighs (skinless, boneless is good)
  • 2 gluten free sausages
  • 1 cup calamari rings
  • 12 shrimp (I like to peel and remove tails so you are not having to dive into the food with hands and feet to eat!)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt
  • 3 finely minced cloves garlic
  • 1/2 frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper (into 1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2-3 tbsp EV olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon and lime slices for garnish

Steps 1-4 may be done 2-4 hours in advance.

  1. Make a paste out of 1 clove garlic and 1 tsp smoked paprika and salt and spread it over the chicken thighs; set aside.
  2. Soak saffron in 2 cups chicken stock for about 10 minutes (or any stock for that matter).
  3. Cook rice in saffron soaked chicken stock to about 70% doneness and set aside.
  4. BBQ Chicken thighs and Sausage until fully cooked. Set aside in refrigerator. Cut into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces.
  5. Just before you wish to serve, preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add remaining garlic and stir just until you can smell its aroma.
  7. Add already cooked chicken and sausage.
  8. Add rice, peppers, peas and canned tomatoes. Stir well, if too dry, add a bit of the remaining 1 cup chicken stock until a desired wetness is achieved.
  9. Add shrimp and calamari and stir well and place into oven for about 10-12 minutes until shrimp is no longer translucent.
  10. Stir in chopped parsley and serve with lemon and lime wedges. Serve hot.
  11. Enjoy!

Cottage Paella on FoodistaCottage Paella

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We were invited to two BBQ’s this weekend, so I whipped up two batches of a favourite, Mexican Three Cheese Layered Dip. This dip is great because of the variety of flavours in each bite, it’s never the same.

Mexican Three Cheese Layered Dip

Serves 10-12

Mexican Three Cheese Dip

Layer 1 Cream Cheese:

  • 1 250g Low Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 250g No Fat Yogurt (drained 12 hours to make yogurt cheese)
  • 1 cup Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Salsa (home made recipe below)
  • 1 cup Avocado Paste or guacamole (home made recipe below)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Chives, finely sliced for garnish

Layer 2 Avocado Paste

  • 1 Ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice (or more for a smooth paste consistency)
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
  • Salt

Layer 3 Salsa

  • 250 g Mini tomatoes (if you use regular tomatoes, remove seeds as they will make this salsa too runny).
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Green onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Cucumber, finely diced
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Smoked paprika
  • Splash of lime juice
  • ¼ tsp grated lime zest
  1. Prepare yogurt cheese the night before by lining a fine sieve with coffee filter paper. Pour content of yogurt container into the lined sieve and allow to sit covered in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Whip room temperature cream cheese with yogurt cheese. Add finely minced garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Whip until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. Salsa, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside (this is best made the day before; if you find it is too liquid, strain using a fine sieve).
  4. Avocado Paste: put content into a food processor and process until you achieve a smooth paste, adding lime juice to adjust the consistency.
  5. Assembly: In a clear bowl (we picked these up from Loblaws, and I love them because they doubled as a ‘gift’), evenly distribute the cream cheese mix. Then smooth the avocado paste over it. Next is the salsa, reserve about a tablespoon, evenly spread the remainder. And last but not least, sprinkle the cheddar and garnish with a little reserved salsa and chives. Serve at room temperature with flat breads, tortilla chips or corn chips. Enjoy!

Mexican Three Cheese Dip on Foodista

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