This recipe is from the LCBO’s Holiday 2015 issue. I served it as the second course in a Holiday Wine Pairing Dinner. Mushroom soups can be heavy if they are creamed or very earthy depending on the type of mushrooms used. This one is actually very light and delicate. It was perfect for this menu since we served several courses. Continue reading “Caramelized Leek and Mushroom Soup”
This dish was part of a wine tasting menu the our wine group served for our Christmas gathering. (See the wine pairing and full menu here.) I didn’t take pictures of it in December so I just remade it for a cottage dinner party. The original LCBO recipe suggests it for a winter holiday menu and it is wonderful but there is no reason this has to be a winter dish. We eat potatoes in summer right? And- since there are herbs and leeks involved it is also nice when they are in season. Continue reading “Potato Mash with Celeriac, Parsnip and Frizzled Leeks”
This dough is from Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co. The long fermentation time allows for less yeast and no kneading! It makes a delicious thin crust pizza. I halved the original recipe. It keeps in the fridge for a few days and also freezes well but I found it best when used right away so I didn’t want to make a mega-batch to store! This recipe will yield about 3 – 10 inch thin crust pizza bases or 2-10″ regular crusts. Continue reading “Overnight No Knead Pizza Dough”
This is my favourite way to eat quinoa! It makes a perfect ‘meatless Monday’ kind of meal! The quinoa takes on a nutty toasted flavour after the casserole is baked in the over. Although this combination of flavours is the one I like best you can vary the layers with other ingredients to tailor to your taste or what you have – example – try a layer of roasted peppers, or fried mushrooms and caramelized onions or replace goat cheese with ricotta, replace pesto with tomato sauce. You get the idea!
This is a basic, work horse kind of flavour builder. It will keep in the fridge sealed for up to 1 week. Use it in salad dressings or brush on crostinis or pizza bases.
Update 5 July 2016: I just made this again and I used half a bulb of garlic. I crushed the cloves with the side of my chef knife and the skins break and peel off really easily-much easier than paring it off ! Garlic is so fresh and pungent this time of year I don’t think you need a whole bulb. I strained the oil into a bottle and kept the garlic chunks to use in a roast vegetable dish.
This tart cherry sauce is so awesome and so easy to make! You can use this on duck breasts, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, even ice cream!
You can find tart cherries bottled in their juice along with other preserved fruits in your grocery store.
According to Dr. Natasha Turner (a respected Canadian naturopath) tart cherries:
- can reduce inflammation thereby improving on osteoarthritic pain and helping to stave off gout,
- improve sleep as a natural source of melatonin
- decrease post-workout soreness
- combat belly fat
- reduce stroke risk.
For the full article see here -http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/natasha-turner-nd/cherries-benefits_b_3757989.html
I had fallen into the habit of buying ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks from my supermarket. I noticed that I was doubling or even tripling the amount of cinnamon a recipe called for. Then I started reading about the health benefits of cinnamon and noticed the articles always specified true Ceylon Cinnamon. When I searched out true organic cinnamon… I was instantly transported back to the my childhood when Cinnamon and Sugar on toast was a breakfast treat! I could not believe the difference. Real cinnamon may seem expensive but you only need a small amount of the real thing!
The rule of thumb for cooking with wine is to use a wine you would drink. In one of our wine pairing dinners (Classic French Shortribs, Persimmon Winter Salad and Parsnip, Celeriac, Potato Mash with Frizzled Leeks) we made an interesting observation. We paired a Baco Noir, a Grenache Blend, a Syrah and a Barbera d’Asti with the main course. All wines were in the $24-$30 range and had scored above 90 according to various critics. The Baco Noir was the cheapest and had scored lowest of the 4 wines and it was favoured unanimously by our group of 12. The reason-IMHO- I has used a Baco Noir of good but lesser quality in the braising of the short ribs (same producer , Henry of Pelham). The other wines were excellent and also complemented the dish but there was obviously a better marriage when the same varietal was used in the cooking and the tasting. The salad course also resulted in a similar result. The dressing had a small amount of Niagara Riesling Icewine. We tasted 3 different Reislings with the salad course and the unanimous preferences was Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling VQA Riesling—LCBO 219543, which matched the sweeter quality of the dressing. The other Reislings, while excellent, were more herbal and citrus.
The moral of the story- where possible match the varietal and style of wine used in your recipes to the wine you will serve with the course.
Forget the Artificial Vanilla Extract. When Vanilla is the main flavour it deserves to be built from Pure Vanilla or Vanilla beans. The flavour depth is noticeably different with no alcohol or vinegary aspect that the artificial can leave. Even when vanilla is an addition to many other ingredients and flavours it is worth the real thing.
I wish I had understand years ago the value of a real veal stock. I sometimes wondered why I couldn’t recreate a delicious restaurant meal at home and why my sauce was always caramel coloured instead of the dark rich GLOSSY sauce from the restaurant. It’s the veal stock! It takes a long time to roast the bones, make the stock and then reduce the stock into an actual sauce but it is really hanging-around-time, not hands-on-time. I make a big batch in the winter and freeze it in 2 cup portions. I usually roast the bones and simmer the stock one day, hold it over night (in my garage-which in Canada is colder than my fridge in the winter!). I reduce it the next day to the final stock volume and either use it or freeze it. The natural gelatin from the veal bones and the reduction method result in that dark, delicious, rich, GLOSSY sauce! I now try to avoid flour or other thickening agents whenever possible.
This Spicy Strawberry Salad is a treat in winter when strawberries start appearing in the stores again, not to mention when strawberries are in season!
Continue reading “Spicy Strawberry Salad”