Wednesday, November 9, 2011

But wait, he's a butcher, no?

I know, I know...years later she reappears!
Well, I have some pretty delicious stuff to discuss today, so it may be worth it.

The butcher and I have been trying to make fish. We have made seared tuna, which was amazing! We make shrimps  and scallops all the time - because that is the fish that he was OK with at the beginning. The other fish, I was told, was out of the running at the time because (and I could not make this up if I tried) it was "too fishy"...

But- it's gotten better! One of my all-time favorite brunch foods is bagels and lox - is there anything better?

I have recently found that I love any fish when it's smoked, not just salmon!

We made this salad a while back with some smoked trout that we found at the Jean Talon market, it was as fresh as it gets!

Excited, we went home to make an AMAZING salad that you should all try! I promise, even if you're iffy on fish this salad will be a hit!

What you will need:

2 smoked trout filets
1 bag of fresh mesclun greens
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup of fresh Feta
1 english cucumber
Lemon juice (fresh or other)

Prepare the salad as usual.
Add the crumbled smoked trout
Cube the feta and add
Squeeze fresh lemon juice on the whole bowl  until everything is lightly covered
Mix the salad
Add the capers (to taste)
Add cracked black pepper

You will notice I did not add salt nor vinegar, the fish and feta are quite salty and you will not need the extra kick of flavour.
The lemon juice and pepper adds balance.
I would say you could try an arugula with this, the peppery leaves will balance nicely with the saltier tones.

Now...grab a fork and enjoy! Delicious!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Salad

Alright, so it's happened. I have had to call it quits with meat for a while. Luckily, the butcher is super supportive and on board...what a catch he is!
(ha! inadvertant pun!)

In any case, here is the latest in our meat-free adventure!

Spring Salad with udon noodles

2 packs of udon noodles (delicious and lower in carbs)
A dozen shrimp (shells removed and cleaned)
A bushel of asparagus
1 1/2 cups of snow peas
1/4 cucumber, julienned
Shallot paste (you can use real if you don't have)
Chili paste (any hot sauce you have will work)
Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 tbsp of brown sugar

(I used the same pot of boiling water for the noodles & the veggies)
Blanche both the asparagus & snow peas
Let them stay cool in the fridge while you cook the noodles & the shrimp
Place the noodles in the boiling water, let sit for 4 minutes while stirring to prevent from sticking.
Once the noodles are done, drain them in cold water and let them rest in the fridge with the veggies.
In a small sauce pan, heat the shallot & chili pastes
Add the shrimp and cook until done (pink with upturned edges)

With the shrimp & paste remnants mix them into a bowl with about 1/4cup rice wine vinegar.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
If too tart, which I found it to be, add 1/4tbsp brown sugar to the dressing.

Once the dressing is done, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and top with the julienned cucumber.

So fresh and tasty! A perfect spring salad!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A feast!

Hello my lovelies!
It has been a very long time since I posted anything, and I really do apologize.
I would love to tell you that the butcher and I have been travelling the world, and there simply hasn't been any time, but that is not the case.
In fact, we've been apart in 2011 more than we've been together. I have been travelling (only within Canada, sigh...).
And that, I can tell you, is not a source of much joy! However, it does mean that when I am home we indulge perhaps a little more than we should...
One of these instances would be when we invited a couple of friends over, and we had wine, they brought short, it was a night to remember (albeit somewhat hazily...).

In any case, we started the night with just some nibbles on the table for everyone to pick at...

Some of the butcher's favorites were in the mix:

A nice salami, some locally-made sausage - one brined in dark beer, the other with blue cheese in it.

Mozzarella di Buffala with a good olive oil and an aged balsamic.

And of course...

Prosciutto di Parma

Oh, there was more! Much more but, I will save the rest for another post. I think for now you're all as full as we were after just this portion of the feast!

Coming up, the best chicken wings you'll ever eat and a dessert pizza- yes, it's a dessert and it is DEEEElicious.

Monday, November 22, 2010

French Onion Soup

I am right now in the beautiful city of Halifax...not quite sure what to do with myself.
I found some pictures of food left on my camera, so I decided to blog a little...why not?!
Speaking of food blogs though...after my Canadian stuffing success Americans are all about stuffing recipes. I usually ignore them (since mine is so awesome- lol!) but this was too cool...stuffing meatballs! How cool is this?!

In any case, this post is about French Onion Soup...

My mom used to make this crazy version. I remember it vaguely, so I hunted around on the interwebs and came up with this hybrid version.

What you will need:

2 large white onions - chopped
2 large cloves of garlic - sliced
1/2 stick of butter
Garlic Powder
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup white wine (and a glass for you!)
Sliced whole grain bread
Gruyere Cheese - shredded

Once all the onions are chopped, melt the butter
Add the onions
Keep the heat on medium low
Once they start sweating, add the garlic

Let it all sweat down to a big onion-y, delicious mess
Add the chicken stock
Add the spices
Let it all mix together
Add the wine
Let it all simmer together until the whole house smells like...heaven.
When ready to serve, pre-heat the oven to broil
Add a layer of gruyere
Add a piece of toasted bread
Add more gruyere
Heat in an oven-proof bowl until golden and bubbling

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In gratitude...

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and think about the year that has gone by...or, well, it's just a time to gorge and get a three day weekend.
I would love to say that it is more the former than the latter, but at the end of the day, it's a lot more of the latter...

One thing I can say about Thanksgiving is that I love the food that goes with this fabulous holiday!

I love cooking a whole turkey, I love making stuffing, I love all of it!
I will admit, I have lofty future goals of making fresh rolls and cranberry sauce one day, but for now, we have to stick to the basics.

Here are some shots from this Thanksgiving...

Firstly, I am going to share my family's stuffing recipe. OK, so that I don't get the call from my mom telling me that she gets no credit! (Thanks for the crouton recipe mom!).

What you'll need:
2 large white onions
4-5 stalks of celery (chopped)
4-5 carrots (chopped)
1 pound of sausage meat
1 box of stuffing mix (we have always used this kind - delicious)
1/4 stick of butter
1 egg
Various herbs (garlic powder, oregano, thyme...the classics)

In a large pot, melt the butter.
Chop the onions (don't worry if they are not perfectly symmetric) and add them to the pot under low to medium heat.
Let them sweat out until they become translucent

Add some spices
Do not let them brown
Add the sausage meat
Let it cook with the onions
As the meat cooks down and the natiral liquid is forming, add the carrots & the celery
Let it all cook down together under low to medium heat
Once you see that the meat is cooked (don't worry if it is not perfect, you will be stuffing the turkey later and cooking it more)take it off the heat

Let it all cool down
Once it is cool, add the stuffing mix
Add spices again
Start mixing everything together
You will need it to stick together so at this point, add the egg.

Let it sit while you prepare the turkey.

Now, you can prepare a traditional turkey (full bird) and clean it, stuff it, rub it down with margarine and then stuff it.
Use a piece of bread to cap the cavity (both ends)- this is an old trick that my grandfather taught my dad and my dad taught me...
Lay strips of bacon on top and let the it cook with the bird, the fat will keep the skin moist and browned...
The secret to a great turkey my friends, is very simple, baste, baste, baste...
Every 15 minutes if you can.

This year, the butcher deboned a turkey breast, stuffed it at the shop and layed strips of pancetta on top. He then tied it all with twine to make the most beautiful non full bird turkey I have ever seen...

I really am a lucky girl!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ceasar Salad

Alright, so I have been MIA. But, it's cold outside, I feel like cooking and blogging! Does this mean we haven't cooked at all? Hell no!
But now, it's ON!

I love making salads, I love eating salads, and I love delicious salads. This ceasar (cesar?) salad is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Let's talk firstly about the croutons. They are not just a little necessary, they MAKE the salad.

What you will need:

2 tbsps of butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves (chopped)
Garlic powder or salt.
Half a baguette, cubed.

In a pot, melt the butter. As it starts melting, add about 2 tbsps of olive oil. Add the garlic. Once it is brown, add the bread. Put the lid on the top and shake the bread around to coat each piece. If you see that the bread is not fully coated, add the remaining olive oil and about 6 shakes of garlic powder/salt. Then, shake again. Let the bread warm over medium heat, once it is lightly toasted on the oustide it is done. You will have crunchy, garlicky croutons with a soft, tender inside!

As for the salad:

What you will need:

Romaine Salad (choose the amount based on how many people will be having the salad)
4 tbsps Olive Oil
6 tbsps White wine vinegar
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
Worschesterchire (seriously? How in God's name do you spell that?!)
Garlic powder

Clean and chop the salad
Cook the bacon until medium-crisp (you will, once it's cooled, chop it up)

Mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon, S&P, a couple of dashes of worsterchesterchirechester, and the garlic. (Clearly, depending on the number of people, you can adjust the dressing amount).

Place it all in a big bowl and toss!
For a little oomph! add some parmesan cheese to the final mix!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I can't believe it's not pork...

Ok- so the sad truth is that I cannot eat as much meat as I have been eating. I just get sick from it all. So, when there is a vegetarian option I will grab it!

We go to our favorite neighborhood place called the Pick-Up and we FEAST! One of their best things is their pulled pork, in fact, that is what made me try my hand at it (scroll down to see how that turned out). They have not only a great pulled pork, but an amazing vegetarian option! On top of it, they have these amazing sweet taters...mmm, heaven.

We just got back from vacation, so I don't have much to share, but we had a killer dinner the week before we left...more on that to come!
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