Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm baaack!

I got a camera for Christmas! Finally!

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We've been cooking up a storm since my last post and I have some low-quality pictures of our food that I may or may not post. But for now, I have a new and easy recipe that T brought home last night. The debate here is what to call it, T is of the opinion that we should call it "Italian Nachos" but I think it makes no sense. My version of Italian Nachos would be, crostini, bruschetta, string mozzarella, baked under hi-broil for a couple of minutes and that's it. This dish, however, is pasta. It just doesn't seem "nacho-y" to me...

In any case, I will let you guys be the judge.


Italian "Nachos"

2 cups of spelt pasta
1 cup of cubed, cured proscuitto (or pancetta)
1/4 cup rapini (from a jar- soaked in olive oil)
1/4 cup mushrooms (we used the jarred ones in olive oil)
1/2 cup of pitted black olives
2tbsps capers
2tbsps of red pepper spice paste
1/2 a cup chopped fresh mozzarella

Boil a pot of water, and then add the pasta, let simmer until tender
In a semi-deep pan, cook up the proscuitto, rapini, mushrooms, olives, capers and spice paste.
If it looks like you need more liquid in there to prevent burning, use spoonfuls of the water from the pasta.
Once the pasta is ready, strain it and add it to the pan
Stir everything up together
Add the chopped mozzarella, stir it up in the mix and let it melt.

And, then, you're good to go!
This dish is salty so, you don't need to add parmesan to it.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things we love...

My camera unceremoniously died on us this weekend, so I am picture-less and I think that a recipe without a picture is horrific. So, in lieu of a post, I have decided to in the interim, post some things that we love.
Clearly, as bourgeoning foodies, we love the Food Network and all things food. Anthony Bourdain is right at the top of that list...
Even though we're Canadian, Christmas is around the corner, this Turkey clip will most certainly entertain!
What I would do to go to ONE of the places he's been and, clearly, experience food with him...awesome.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I cannot tell a lie

...ok, maybe I can, but not about this!

We don't always cook, GASP!

I know, disappointing but true, sometimes we eat leftovers, or we order in some sinfully greasy grub and veg on the couch. I must admit that before I started dating T, I would eat crackers some nights. That's all, just crackers. Cooking for one is just not fun, all the mess and no one to share the creation with!

Anyways, I wanted to get this out of the way early on in our blogger/reader relationship. And, since I do love the places we order from, I will give Montreal foodies a head's up about some great places in the city that we love to go to.

One of our current passions is Vietnamese food, we love it. I have always been a fan, it's tasty, not too sinful and quite friendly on the budget! One of my favorite places is Pho Bac on St-Laurent (amongst 15 other "Pho" places on the same block). But, a great place that is closer to home is Huong Que on St Laurent (but further north, between Jean-Talon and Mozart). My favorite dish is Bun with lemongrass beef and noodles. It's amazingly fresh, there is mint and fresh cilantro in it which makes your mouth water at the thought of it. The beef is always hot off the skillet, and the noodles get coated with the lemongrass marinade on the meat. And on the side is a salad which adds this kick of cold, sweet, refreshing flavour to the whole dish.

If ever you're in the neighborhood, or looking for a night out, try this place- it's incredible!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu...sort of, but not really.

Since T gets all these amazing ingredients at his work, we often find ourselves with a fridge full of bits and peices by the end of the week. Last night, we had a pretty simple mix of ingredients which I would normally have thrown into a salad and called it a day. But now, I am dating a man who loves to barbeque- so why keep him from what he loves?

We made a chicken breast stuffed with stilton and wrapped in prosciutto, and it was unbearably delicious and easy to make. It was our own take (ok, more of a far deviation) on a traditional chicken cordon bleu, which I have only had once but I still remember it to this day. I was about 16 or 17, in the back yard of my house on Wood Avenue, and I was in love. Traditionally, a chicken cordon bleu is a chicken breast sliced open, with ham and gruyere stuffed in it and then shut either with a toothpick or twine. Then, it's breaded and baked until everything is warm and gooey inside. I have never made it nor anything like it since...until we concocted this last night.

Here we go, please keep in mind that this serves two- you will need to adjust accordingly.

Light BBQ (to get it ready to go)

You will need:
2 chicken breasts
1 cup of Stilton blue cheese (crumbled)
4 slices of prosciutto
4 tsps of fig jam

Butterfly open the chicken breasts (T removed the finger - the little filet that remains when you butterfly- and made us snacks, a very good idea if you're starving as you cook!).
On one side, spread 2tsps of fig jam.
On the other, spread 1/2 cup of Stilton and make sure it's securely on there (which involves a very technical move I call "shmooshing").
Close the breast shut.

Rub the following mixture on the breast (you can make any variation on this, but ultimately, you want something that will moisten not only the chicken but the prosciutto you're about to wrap around the breast).

4tbsps dijon mustard
21/2 tbsps red wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, 1/2 tbsp garlic, and 1 tbsp all-spice.
Whisk together.
Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each side of the chicken breast

Place on indirect heat on the BBQ, leave for 10 minutes and then flip
Let sit for 25-30 mins on indirect heat
The prosciutto will crispen, the cheese will start oozing out and the chicken will be good to go.
If it's still a little pink when you cut it open, place it on tin foil and back on the BBQ until done.

We served it with salad, since it's a pretty heavy meal to begin with, but it can be paired with almost anything! Have fun with it and with your ingredients! You never know what culinary masterpiece awaits you in your pantry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Portobello Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

In an effort to make a gluten-free meal, I had the pleasure to cook for one of my dearest friends. The butcher, who shall be referred to as T, grilled up the most amazing onglets (similar to hangar steak) which we had on the side. These were delicious, light and filling...and can be adapted in so many ways for future meals.

I don't have pics, but trust me- they're beautiful! I will try to have some next time! (EDIT- I made them again the other night, see above).

What you'll need:
8 Portobello mushrooms (medium sized)
Goat cheese (we used Caprini)
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian spice mix (thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil)
Garlic Powder

Preheat the oven at 350 (F).

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and spices in a bowl. You'll notice that I didn't put measurements here, I will get better at this I promise! I do everything by eye, but from what I can deduce I used about 1/2 a cup of olive oil, 1/2 a cup of balsamic, 1tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsps of garlic and 1 tsp of italian spice mix. Whisk it all together and taste, you want it to taste smooth, not too vinegar-y, and well-seasoned (no one spice outweighs the other- although most people will taste the garlic the most since it's so strong).

In a flat dish (think a lasagna platter), lay the mushrooms (cleaned and without stems) with the caps down. Spoon the dressing into the caps. Place into the oven for 8-10 mins or until they have shrunk enough.

Remove the dish and flip the mushrooms. From there, just drizzle balsamic on the top and in the bottom of the dish. Place back in the oven another 7 minutes and let brown.

While the mushrooms are browning, cut the goat cheese. You will know how much you need for each cap based on the size of the mushroom.

Remove the flat dish and you can either re-flip the mushrooms or lay them on a flat baking sheet. Either way, you will need to drain the juice from the dish back into your dressing bowl (as topping and/or salad dressing). Place the goat cheese on them. About 10 minutes before you're about to sit at the table, set the oven to High Broil and place the dish back in. In about 8 minutes, the cheese will be golden brown. Drizzle a little of the dressing on the cheese.

And, in 20 minutes an AMAZING meal! Savoury and healthy.

I placed these on a spinach salad with tomatoes and orange peppers with the leftover sauce as vinaigrette. You could serve them on cubed tomatoes as a light entree, or even on their own as a side.


Thanks for checking out my new blog!
I am excited to start this project, and hopefully we can exchange recipes and ideas.
A little more about me (I just filled out that box in the upper left hand corner):
I am not a professional chef, but I am passionate about food and cooking.
It started with a love of baking, but has grown into a full-on passion for all things culinary.
I am, indeed, dating a butcher. He is amazing and I am deliriously happy.
He will, most likely, make guest appearances with some of his amazing recipes.
I want to know what you love and what you hate, an open exchange if possible!

I am excited about this project and can't wait to see what develops!
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