Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts


As a child I only remember eating Brussels Sprouts steamed or boiled with cheese sauce.  I didn't mind them, but mostly I was eating them for the cheese sauce!  If you have similar memories yourself then you probably aren't a huge brussels sprout fan.  I urge you to try them again!  Here is a simple way of preparing them that you're sure to love.

Ingredients


20-30 Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper to taste
1 lemon wedge

Directions


Oil a cast iron pan and place it over medium low heat.

Once the pan is hot place onions into cast iron pan and saute for 5-10 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Add garlic and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the butter, salt & pepper.  Once it has melted add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down.  Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the bottom side has started to blacken.

Toss Brussels spouts and allow to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes to add some colour to the other side. The onions will be brown and crispy!

Sprinkle with the juice from a wedge of a fresh lemon.

Plate and serve!




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easy Peasy Mac & Cheesy


It's been chilly here lately. Winter jackets are out, hats and mitts are being worn and the furnace is on! All signs that winter is upon us.  When the weather gets cold outside I love making comfort food.  I love having the oven on, so the warmth from the oven heats the house and takes the chill away from being outside.  I love the smell that fills the house and lingers long after the meal is over.   But most of all I love the feeling of sitting with my family and sharing a meal of warm, delicious comfort food.

This macaroni and cheese recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated from May 1, 2004.  It is very easy to make and doesn't take long at all.

Ingredients


1 pound of elbow rice macaroni
1/3 cup unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons cut into small cubes
1/3 cup all purpose flour (gluten free can be used)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups whole milk
400g cheddar cheese
100g parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs (optional)

Directions


Preheat oven to broil.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Add macaroni and cook until al dente.  Rince and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat butter over medium heat until foaming.

Using a whisk add flour, mustard and paprika and mix well until combined.

Gradually whisk in milk.  Turn heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil.  Make sure to whisk constantly during this phase.  It will begin to thicken.

Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the cheeses, salt & pepper.

Reduce heat on element to medium low.  Add the macaroni to the pot and stir constantly until the mixture is hot all the way through.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and top with bread crumbs and cubed butter.

Place casserole dish into the oven and broil until topping is golden brown.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.






Sunday, October 27, 2013

Banana, Apple, Almond & Cocoa Nib Smoothie


We make smoothies every morning.  It is a great way to get all sorts of nutrients pumped into you before you start your day.  I have my go to green smoothie, but it's nice to mix it up a bit with almonds and cocoa nibs.

Ingredients


1 banana, peeled
1/2 apple, core removed and peeled
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 water
1 heaping teaspoon almond butter
1 teaspoon cocoa nibs
1/2 teaspoon flax seeds


Directions


Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maple Cinnamon Applesauce



Applesauce is a popular snack with my one and a half year old.  With apples in season I decided to make a batch of my own.  We went to a nearby orchard with the intention of picking apples for applesauce. Well, there were way too many distractions to get her to focus on picking fruit from a tree, so I ended up purchasing the apples from the pre-picked apples in the market.  We did have a great time near the orchard and thoroughly enjoyed our visit at the farm, but skipped out on the picking part of this day trip.  Maybe next year!

When we got home I began the process of making applesauce.  It is surprisingly easy and it tastes so good it's hard not to put applesauce on everything.

Ingredients


1 dozen Empire Apples
1 dozen Honey Crisp Apples
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
water

Directions


Peel the apples and remove the cores.  Slice the peeled apples and place them into a large pot.  Put just enough water in the pot to cover the bottom.  This is to prevent the apples from burning.  Don't add too much water, because the apples will release moisture once you start cooking them.

Add the maple syrup and cinnamon to the pot.  Toss apples to coat.

Cover the pot with a lid, so the steam will not release when you start to cook them.  Turn the element on to medium heat and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once apples have softened remove from heat and allow them to cool.  When they are at room temperature take an immersion blender and blend the apples into apple sauce!  Alternatively, you can use a blender, however I like to leave some small chunks in the sauce to give it a nice texture and the immersion blender allows me the control over the consistency.

Can be served immediately or canned for future use.







Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Squash, Carrot & Ginger Soup with Blackened Cumin



We made another trip to the farmers marketing this past weekend. It was a chilly day! Everyone was wearing sweaters and some even in their winter jackets! When it's cold outside it makes me crave warm food, comfort food.  So I picked up some butternut squash and carrots that would be perfect for a Sunday soup! The aroma of the soup filled the air and made the house smell the way I want my daughter to remember our home smelling, like delicious food on the stove.

Ingredients


3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
8-10 regular size carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 butternut squash
3 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Direction


In a small frying pan over high heat toast cumin seeds until they are fulled toasted or blackened.  Set aside and allow to cool.  I typically make extra and keep them in an air tight container for later use.



In a large pot heat the butter and cinnamon stick over medium heat.  Add onion and carrots and saute for 5-10 minutes.

Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute for another 3-4 minutes.

Using a mortal and pestle crush blackened cumin seeds and cloves into a powder and then add to pot.  Stir well.

Add the squash and continue to stir.  Slowly add in the water.

Using an immersion blender blend the soup until all the chunks have turned into a beautiful, thick soup.

Increase temperature to high.  Bring soup to a boil and then reduce temperature to medium and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add maple syrup and sour cream to the pot.  Mix well and scoop into serving bowls.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato & Grapes


It's hard to image that summer has already come and gone.  It was just a few weeks ago I prepared this salad to take on a picnic with my 17 month old daughter.  I'm sad to say it was probably our last picnic of 2013.  My daughter loves each of these ingredients on their own and when put together in a salad it went over fairly well.  She hasn't quite mastered the ability to chew cabbage, lettuce or raw kale, so I was able to use ingredients that she can manage and yet I would enjoy also.  This salad has since become a staple weeknight meal in my house.  It is easy to make, healthy and delicious!

Ingredients


2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 large sweet potato, peeled, boiled and cut into cubes
1 cup grapes, halved
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
1/4 cup Lemon Maple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions


Put all ingredients into a bowl and toss with Lemon Maple Vinaigrette.


Lemon Maple Vinaigrette


Ingredients


1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake until combined.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Basil & Almond Pesto with Rice Linguine


I went to the Uxbridge Farmer's Market on the weekend and picked up some beautiful produce from my favourite vendor, Willo' Wind Farm (www.willowind.ca).  This time of year there is so much fresh produce to choose from it makes Sunday night suppers so much fun.  As the weather starts to change and the fall foods start to appear I want to start making warmer food, fall food, hearty food.  Seeing as it is not quite cool enough to dust off the crock pot, I thought a warm pasta with a fresh pesto would be a perfect combination to represent the transition from summer to fall.

Ingredients


2 cups fresh basil (pushed down)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound of linguine rice pasta (cooked)

Directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place almonds on a parchment lined baking sheet.  When oven is up to temperature toast the almonds until they begin to turn brown.

In a food processor combine almonds and garlic and blend until crumbly.  Add basil, Parmesan, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Blend until just combined.

Toss pesto with cooked pasta and serve.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vij Family's Chicken Curry


I was in Vancouver a few weeks back and had the chance to visit one of my favourite restaurants, Vij's Rangoli.  This popular, award winning Indian restaurant is to die for!  Not only do they source local and sustainable ingredients, but it's all made from scratch.  The food is aromatic, incredibly flavourful and leaves you yearning for more.  If you ever have the chance to pay them a visit, I strongly recommend it.

Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, co-owners as well as husband and wife, have published two wonderful cookbooks.  The first, called Vij's Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, which is part of my collection.  It includes the Vij Family's Chicken Curry, which is one of the best curries I have ever made. 

Ingredients


1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely chopped onions (2 large)
3-inch stick of cinnamon
3 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in
1 cup sour cream, stirred
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (including stems)

Directions


In a large pan, heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add onions and cinnamon, and saute for 5 to 8 minutes, until onions are golden.  Add garlic and saute for another 4 minutes.  Add ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne.  Cook this masala for 5 minutes, or until the oil seperates from the masala.

Remove and discard skin from the chicken thighs.  Wash thighs and add to the masala.  Stir well.  Cook chicken thighs for 10 minutes, until the chicken looks cooked on the outside.  Add sour cream and water and stir well.  Increamse the heat to medium-high.  When curry starts to boil reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until chicken is completely cooked.  Poke the thighs with a knife.  If the meat is still pink, cook for 5 more minutes..  Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.  Cook curry for at least half an hour.

Transfer cooled chicken to a mixing bowl.  Wearing latex gloves, peel chicken meat off the bones.  Discard bones and stir chicken back into the curry.  Just before serving, heat curry on medium heat until it starts to boil lightly.  Stir in cilantro.




Vikram Vij and I outside of Vij's restaurant

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Peachy Keen Summer Salad


Fresh Ontario peaches are here and they are as delicious as ever!  I love fresh peaches paired with fresh mint, in my mind this is the taste of summer.  It is fresh and sweet and perfect for a warm summer day. This is hands down my favourite salad this season!  Give it a try, I'm sure you'll feel the same.

Ingredients


2 cups kale, finely sliced
2 cups savoy cabbage, finely sliced
2 cups red cabbage, finely sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup green onions, finely sliced
1 cucumber, diced
10 small peaches, cut into slices
1/2 cup fresh mint, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, sliced
Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions


Add all ingredients into a large bowl and toss with Citrus Vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette


Ingredients


2 small oranges, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Add all ingredients into a mason jar and shake until combined.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moscow Mules



Fresh Moscow Mules on the dock!  It doesn't get much better than this.

Ingredients


8 cups water
4-5 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1/3 cup honey
1 can club soda
2 cups vodka
lime slices for garnish
mint leaves (3 per glass)

Directions


In a large pot bring water to a boil.  

Add ginger, lemon, lime and honey to the pot and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to steep until it comes to room temperature.  

Pour ginger mixture through a strainer and into a pitcher.  Discard of anything remaining in the strainer.

Add can of soda and vodka to the pitcher and mix.

Fill glasses with ice and pour mixture into glasses.  Garnish each glass with a lime slice and 3 fresh mint leaves.


Quinoa Salad with Toasted Cashews and Orange Ginger Dressing


I just love this salad!  I have been making all different variations of it and this is by far my favourite.  It's filled with all the nutrients from the super foods and the dressing gives it a fabulous flavour.  It's also really easy to make, which makes it perfect for a weeknight.

Ingredients


2 cups quinoa, cooked and brought to room temperature
1 cup red cabbage, sliced
1 cup napa or savoy cabbage, sliced
1 cup kale, sliced
1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1" fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower or coconut oil

Directions


In a small frying pan over medium heat add oil.

Saute ginger and garlic until starting to brown.

Add orange juice and turn heat up to medium high.  Allow to reduce to about half.  Stir frequently.

Add maple syrup and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Set aside.

In a bowl combine quinoa, both cabbages, kale and cashews.  Pour Orange Ginger Dressing over the salad and toss until combined.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Parsley and Mint


Fingerling potatoes have wonderful shape.  They each have a unique shape, but most resemble a finger. They are long and tend to be on the skinny side.  I love Fingerling potatoes, because they look interesting, and of course taste great.

I picked up a lovely bunch of these potatoes from our local farmers' market.  They were freshly harvested with dirt still on them.  I cleaned them up and gave them a good home!

Ingredients


1 pound fingerling potatoes, sliced in half horizontally
1 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place each of the halved potatoes, sliced side down, into a casserole dish

In a small bowl mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of salt.  Pour into an empty casserole dish.



Bake in preheated oven for 1.5 hours or until potatoes are starting to brown and liquid has evaporated.


While potatoes are roasting mix the parsley, mint, olive oil, salt & pepper in a small bowl.

When potatoes are done remove them from the oven and place in a bowl.  Toss with parsley and mint mixture and serve.




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grilled Nectarine Salad with Mint and Citrus Vinaigrette


Mint and nectarines pair perfectly together and this salad showcased both of these ingredients wonderfully. It was fresh and sweet, perfect for lunch for a hot summer day.

Ingredients


3 large handfuls of mixed greens
2 stalks kale, finely sliced
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
3 nectarines, pit removed and sliced
2 tablespoons mint, sliced plus one sprig for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sunflower oil

Directions


Preheat bbq to medium high heat.

Brush nectarines with sunflower oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Grill nectarines until grill marks appear.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Place lettuce, kale and mint into a bowl or large plate and toss with Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows) to mix.

Place nectarines across the top of the salad and serve.


Citrus Vinaigrette


Ingredients


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 orange, juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon honey
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Add all ingredients into a small mason jar and shake until combined.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Poached Green Trout


This summer has been treating me well.  The weather has been beautiful and we have spent some time at a number of different cottages on different lakes.  I love cooking when I'm at a cottage, using the hand me down kitchen tools, the mismatched dishes and the smell of the old kitchen make preparing food for large groups of people so much fun.



Ingredients


Rainbow Trout, gutted and cleaned
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, plus 2 tablespoons chopped
1/4 cup mint, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
1/4 green onion, plus one tablespoon chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper 

Directions


Preheat the BBQ to medium high heat.

Using a food processor blend 1/2 cup parsley, 1/4 cup mint, 1/4 cup green onion, garlic and lemon juice. Place into a large mason jar and add white wine.  Shake until combined.


Place the trout in enough aluminum foil to wrap around the fish and contain the liquid.  I used an extra sheet underneat to support it.  

Stuff the trout with the lemon slices and remaining parsley, mint and green onions.  Break the butter into small pieces and spread in and over the fish. 

Pour the green mixture over the fish.

Pinch the foil together on the top, forming a tent.  

Poach the fish on the BBQ for 20 minutes.  


 








Monday, July 8, 2013

Greek Goddess Salad




Summer has finally arrived and we've been soaking up this gorgeous weather as much as possible.  These hot summer days are what I remember summer being like as a child.  I remember clear blue skies and sun so hot you needed to find a lake, pool or sprinkler to cool down.   

When the weather is warm like this I find myself wanting to eat more salad.  I think this is for two reasons.  First, there is so much more fresh local produce available and second, eating cool, crisp vegetables just makes me smile.

Here is my version of a Greek salad.  This is perfect to serve to a large group with grilled chicken or just on it's own. 
  

Ingredients


6-8 leaves of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
6-8 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1 yellow zucchini, cut in half and sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large Ontario cucumber, cut into half moons
2 red Sheppard peppers, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced finely
feta cheese, cut into slices
12 pepperoncini peppers
24 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 yellow hot house tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup oregano, roughly chopped
1 1/4 pint kalamata olives, pits removed and cut in half
salt & pepper
1 cup Greek Salad Dressing (recipe below)


Directions


Heat BBQ to medium high heat.

Toss the yellow zucchini in the vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Grill zucchini until cooked.  Set aside to cool.



Add lettuce to a large bowl.  Top with cucumber, Sheppard pepper, red onion, both varieties of tomatoes and olives.

Lay cooled zucchini around the edges of the bowl, followed by a ring of pepperoncini peppers and feta.

Sprinkle with parsley, mint and oregano.

Serve salad with dressing on the side.



Greek Salad Dressing Ingredients


1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 tablespoon feta cheese, chopped finely
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
salt & pepper to taste


Dressing Directions


Mix all ingredients in a cup or bowl and mix until emulsified.  Allow to sit for a minimum of 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to blend.




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Coconut & Almond Crumble


Strawberries are here!  I was so excited to see the strawberries out at the farmers' markets and I just couldn't wait to bite into a big juicy berry!  My family and I went to a local farm market to pick up a flat of freshly picked strawberries and a handful of rhubarb, so that I could make a pie!  My daughter had never had a strawberry before, so we took her out by the strawberry patch and watched as she had her first taste of this delightful fruit.



I've been working with coconut flour lately, so I wanted to make a pie crust with it to see how it would turn out.  The flavour was fantastic and it complimented the strawberry and rhubarb very well.


Gluten Free Pie Crust Ingredients


3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
2 eggs, plus 1 egg white (for a wash)
2 tablespoons honey

Directions


Preheat oven, with baking sheet in the oven, to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine coconut flour, rice flour and salt in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs, add honey and butter.

Add the wet mixture to the dry until combined.  Using your hands work dough into a ball.  The dough will not work like a conventional pie dough, so you cannot roll it out.  Using your hands mould the dough into the pie pan.

Using the egg whites and brush a coat onto the pie crust.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pie crust on the baking sheet.  Put back in the oven and bake the crust for 5 minutes.

Set aside and allow to cool.



Pie Filling Ingredients


4 cups strawberries, quartered
2 cups rhubarb, sliced
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
4 tablespoons honey

Directions


Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.

Place into the pie pan on top of the crust.


Crumble Ingredients


1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
3/4 cup oats
14/ cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

Directions

Toss all ingredients in a bowl.  Butter should spread out and leave clumps in the mixture.

Spread crumble evenly across the top of the pie.

Place the pie in the oven and bake for approximately 60 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Ultimate Burger



I wanted to make something for Father's Day that would satisfy the meat loving fathers in my family.  The first thing that came to mind was a burger.  I set my sights on making the most indulgent burger possible.  The typical ground beef burger was not going to cut it!  One type of cheese just wouldn't be enough!  A bun...no way!  This burger had to be something spectacular.  

It all began with taking a pork shoulder out of the freezer.  Thawed it.  Brined it.  Marinated it.  There would be pulled pork on this meat lovers burger.  The patty had to be full of flavour and have amazing texture.  I decided on Top Sirloin steak and bacon for the flavour and that hand grinding the meat (chopping it) would give it the inconsistent texture I was hoping for.  I chopped it all into tiny pieces, but this wasn't enough, it just wasn't going to make this burger what I wanted it to be.  So, I stuffed the burgers with some amazing soft brie cheese.  I was starting to get there, but there were still a couple missing pieces.  The bun couldn't be a plain old burger bun, it had to be a grilled cheese sandwich on both sides, with lots of cheddar cheese (oozing!).  Finally, there needed to be some sort of sauce, so I made a sweet tomato and shallot jam.  Ahhhhh, there you have it...

The Ultimate Burger Stuffed with Brie, Topped with Pulled Pork, Sandwiched Between Two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Smothered in Tomato Shallot Jam


Pulled Pork 


I used the same pulled pork recipe from a previous post Pulled Pork Tacos.


Burger Patty Ingredients


2 pounds Top Sirloin steak
1/2 pound bacon
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Chop the steak and bacon into tiny pieces.  Cut the steak into smaller chunks and chop one chunk at a time. It is easier this way and you don't have too much on a cutting board at one time.  Place in a large bowl once complete.

Add all remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

Form burger patties.  I made 6, but you could probably get 8-10 smaller patties if you choose.



Tomato Shallot Jam Ingredients


3 tomatoes
4 shallots
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions


Place tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a bowl and puree using an immersion blender.

Stir in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.

Put in a saucepan and reduce on low for 30-45 minutes.


Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients


12 burger buns, sliced
48 slices of cheddar cheese
butter

Using the crust as the inner part of the sandwich, place the cheese in the middle of the 12 sandwiches.

Butter the outer sides of the buns (which is really the inside) and pan fry until golden brown and cheese has melted.

Use one grilled cheese sandwich on the top of the burger and one on the bottom.










Monday, June 10, 2013

Thai Red Curry & Coconut Brook Trout


Fly fishing is an art.  It's not like fishing with a spinning reel, where just about anyone can pick up a rod and fish with some level of success.  Fly fishing takes skill, and when done well it is like dancing; it is rhythmic and graceful.  I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to fish at the Glen Major Angler's Club a few times over the past several years.  This private fishing club is located in the hamlet of Glen Major.  It is situated on over 100 acres of forest, has a rustic clubhouse and two ponds with boats for the members to utilize.  David Taylor, a long time member of the club, hosted us at the club this past weekend for a day of fly fishing.  


We started at the clubhouse where David gathered gear, prepared the rods, reels and flies.  


When everything was assembled and ready to go we headed down to the pond to start fishing.  The ponds are shallow and the water was crystal clear, so we could see the fish swimming along the bottom.  There were also fish jumping at the hatch of bugs swarming over the water, so it was easy enough to know where the fish were and where we should be fishing.  


It wasn't long long before the fish started to bite.   


The day was a success!  We caught four beautiful Brook Trout that we gutted and cleaned for dinner.



I thought I would try to cook the fish with coconut milk.  My father has been raving about the poached fish he has been making with it, so I thought I would include that in my recipe.

The fish had a mild curry and coconut flavour with just a hint of spice.  A perfect meal for a warm summer's day.



Ingredients


2 Brook Trout, skin on (head and tail optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2" ginger, finely chopped
1 shallot, sliced
1 hot red chili, sliced
1 lemongrass shoot, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped for garnish

Directions

In a large frying pan over medium heat add coconut oil.

Once coconut oil has melted add the ginger, shallot, red chili, lemongrass and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until starting to brown.

Add red curry paste and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Place fish in the frying pan and sear each side for 2-3 minutes, so skin browns nicely.

Add coconut milk to the frying pan, cover and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Remove fish from pan.

Remove skin, plate and top with a couple spoons of the coconut milk mixture (make sure to get some of the bits in the sauce to place on top of the fish)

Garnish with cilantro.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Sweet Pea Salad with Creamy Avocado Citrus Vinaigrette



A few weeks ago I was contacted by Uxbridge Town Talk, a local print publication, to contribute a summer salad recipe for their UTT Kitchen segment.  I immediately agreed and got to work! I had the weekend to put it all together,  so off to the farmer's market and the grocery store I went to get all the seasonal salad ingredients I could find.  I came home with enough produce to make salad for 25 people!  I got to work creating a variety of different salad and dressing ideas.  My husband and I tasted all the combinations that I came up with.  Finally deciding to go with this one because it was fresh, light and creamy.  A compliment to any summer meal.  

Welcome summer!  I'm so happy you're here.



Salad Ingredients


2-3 oz baby romaine
1/2 cucumber, cut into half moons
6-8 radishes, finely sliced
1/4 bunch parsley, cut into small florets
1bunch green onions, bias sliced
24 fresh sweet peas, peas removed from pods
1 handful sprouted peas, cut stems short

Dressing Ingredients


1/4 avocado
2 tablespoons creme fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper and coarse salt to taste

Directions


In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients (except sprouted peas).

In a blender combine all dressing ingredients. . Blend until smooth.

Drizzle salad with Creamy Avocado Citrus dressing and garnish with sprouted peas.