Easy gourmet weekend eats

Roasted chicken -
Roasted chicken -

Before we blink twice the weekend is here and the eternal question, especially if there are children in the home, what shall we eat? How about trying to cook at home rather than going out to eat, or buying fast food. The oven roasted chicken is a spicy Cuban style and can be the entrée for Sunday lunch, serve it with mashed potato pie, or a savoury rice. The Mexican mac and cheese is a new twist on a favourite and can be an easy lunch or dinner on Saturday night and if you are feeling really motivated in the kitchen this weekend, why not try the spiced banana cake it’s great with or without frosting. Bon Appetit!

Oven roasted chicken in Cuban mojo

2 lbs chicken thighs or leg and thighs, separated, washed

1 orange cut into 8 wedges


⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch chadon beni

⅓ cup fresh orange juice, preferably sour

1 tbs orange zest

⅓ cup fresh lime juice

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbs minced garlic

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 tsp salt

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.

Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a blender or food processor and process.

Pour marinade over chicken and cover well. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F

Place chicken skin side down in shallow baking dish, add remaining marinade and orange wedges.

Roast for 30 minutes. Turn chicken, spoon drippings over, continue roasting for another 20 minutes. Chicken should be dark golden in colour.

Serves 4 to 5

Banana spice cake

Banana cake -

½ cup milk

½ tbs lime juice

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp grated tonka bean

¼ tsp salt

4 oz unsalted butter

1 ⅓ cups sugar

4 eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed (1¼ cups)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line and grease 2, 8-inch round layer cake pans.

Combine milk and lime juice, let stand for 10 minutes until curdled.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.

Cream butter with sugar on medium speed until creamy.

Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions.

Puree the bananas with the curdled milk and vanilla. Do not over purée.

Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture alternately with the banana mixture in three additions. Begin and end with the flour.

Spoon batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 mins until a wooden pick comes out clean.

Makes 2 8-inch cakes

Chocolate butter frosting

4 cups sifted icing sugar

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup chocolate chips

½ cup butter

1 tbs evaporated milk

Sift icing sugar with cocoa powder and combine.

Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler.

Cream butter and add cooled melted chocolate, gradually add icing sugar and cocoa mixture. Add a couple drops milk at a time to bring the frosting to a creamy consistency, if necessary.

Fill and frost cake.

Mexican mac and cheese

2 cups uncooked macaroni shells, small

3 tbs unsalted butter

1 tbs minced garlic

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped

¼ cup chopped celery

2 tbs all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 tbs chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin 1 14-oz tin whole kernel corn, drained

4 leaves chadon beni. finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup bread crumbs

1 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 375F Boil macaroni according to package directions in enough salted water, drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan, add garlic ,onion, bell pepper and celery, stir, add flour and cook stirring constantly until flour and butter becomes slack in texture.

Add milk. Stir until sauce begins to thicken. Add chili powder and cumin, stir. Stir in corn and chadon beni.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Turn into a greased 9x5 inch baking dish. Combine all the ingredients for the topping and spoon onto macaroni mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes until top is golden brown.

Serves 6-8




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