Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic 5

Roasted garlic often accompanies meals on our table. We love it plain and unadorned and like to include freshly roasted cloves on a board of assorted appetizers when entertaining. In fact there’s a long list of recipes we make that incorporate these mellow cloves including: Garlic Aioli, Hummus (Houmous) and our homemade Low Carb Pizza. You could almost say roasted garlic is a kitchen staple at our house!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 F

  1. Brush off any loose bits of the paper-like outer coating of the whole garlic bulb. Cut the top off the whole bulb.
  2. Place the bulb on a piece of aluminum foil, 6” x 6” square, and drizzle 1 T olive oil over the bulb.
  3. Wrap the foil around the garlic bulb, place the packet on a cookie sheet and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and open up the foil packet to let the garlic bulb cool. When you can handle it easily, separate into individual cloves and remove the papery skin from each clove

Roasted Garlic

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Ham & Cheese Strata

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Ham & Cheese Strata photo by: Janet Moore

Glenn and I are hosting a Boxing Day brunch tomorrow morning and I’ll be assembling this ham and cheese strata before tucking in tonight. It will come right out of the fridge and pop into the pre-heated oven a half hour before we plan to eat. This recipe serves six but can easily be scaled up or down to suit the number at your table. It might sound odd, but I use Sweet Thai Chili sauce in the strata for added zing! Give it a try – you’ll find it adds a unique flavour to a tried and true brunch favourite.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 stale croissants cubed
  • 3 C of shredded old cheddar cheese (225 gm)
  • 2 C  of baked ham cubed
  • 3 oz of cream cheese cut into small chunks
  • 12 eggs
  • 1½ C milk
  • ½ C Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt (omit if ham is salty)
  • Grinding of pepper

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 F

  1. Sauté onions in melted butter until softened and beginning to brown – remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. Spray large casserole or individual ramekins with cooking oil
  3. Place half of the cubed croissants into a large casserole dish or 6 individual ramekins. Add half of the ham, sprinkle on half of the sautéed onions, ½ of the cream cheese chunks and half of the grated cheddar cheese. Repeat this layering process ending with the rest of the grated cheddar cheese.
  4. Wisk the eggs, milk, Sweet Thai Chili sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, thyme, salt and a grinding of pepper together in a large measuring cup.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole (or spread evenly amongst the ramekins) and cover with plastic wrap. The strata(s) can now be refrigerated overnight.
  6. In the morning pre-heat the oven to 350F and place the strata on the middle rack once the oven is hot.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes (20 – 25 minutes for individual ramekins).

To test for doneness insert a metal skewer into the centre of the strata. If it comes out clean the strata is ready to serve.

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Parmesan Poppy Seed Crackers (Gluten-Free)

Homemade Crackers

You don’t have to be following a gluten-free diet to love these crackers. They are a staple in my home and are often requested when I am invited out to dinner.

Ingredients    

  • 1 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 T poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1  egg white
  • 1 T softened butter

Directions    

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

  1. Mix together the almond meal, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and poppy seeds
  2. Add the egg white, Dijon mustard and soft butter to the dry ingredients mixing everything together using a flat spatula
  3. Place small mounds, about 1 tsp each, of the mixture onto two small parchment lined cookie sheets
  4. Flatten each mound by placing a small piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking oil over top the mound
  5. Press down on the mound with a flat-bottomed glass to create a flat round cracker-sized disc
  6. Repeat with each mound until all the mixture has been used
  7. Place cookie sheets on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 minutes until the crackers begin to brown around their outer edge
  8. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container

Homemade Crackers

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