The chicken dish

One of those staple meals in our house. I call this the 'chicken dish' as we throw a bunch of ingredients into a large braising pan (if you don't have a braising pan, any large oven proof pan or pot with a lid will do.  http://www.lecreuset.ca/en-ca/Product/Enameled-Cast-Iron/Enamelled-Cast-Iron/Braiser/ and toss it in the oven......

Ingredients

1 package cherry tomatoes

1 fennel bulb

¼ brown bag of button mushrooms

4 carrots

1 large yellow onion

8 Chicken thighs (Boneless skin on)

Salt and Pepper

250g pancetta 

Feta cheese (preferably goat)

Parsley 

Olive oil

 

Directions:

Turn oven to 400 degrees F

Dice vegetables (not the tomatoes) into big chunks and set aside in a separate bowl

Season chicken with salt and pepper

Get pan nice and hot and add 1 tbsp of olive oil

Crisp all the pancetta in a pan then remove from the pan but leave the oil.

Sear all of the chicken  (about 2-3 minutes a side) starting with the skin side down

Once they are browned remove to a plate or bowl and set aside

Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes

Add the remaining vegetables, not including the tomatoes, and sauté for another 4 minutes

Turn the pan off and place each chicken thigh on top of the sautéd vegetables in the pan and then top with the cherry tomatoes.  Put the lid on and toss it in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove from and serve over barley* that has been prepared in chicken stock. Top with fresh parsley, crispy pancetta and crumbled feta cheese.

*For the Barley, prepare as per the back of the package but substitute chicken stock over water to add more body and flavor.  Finish with salt and pepper and a handful of grated parmesan cheese if on hand.

If making rice:  add 1.5 cups of rice to a bowl, boil some water and pour it over the rice and let it soak for 15 minutes.  Then strain the rice and rinse the rice in cold water.  In a pot, melt a BIG chunk of butter in a pan with 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced.  Once melted,, add the rice and stir for a minute.  Then add 3 cups of chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil.  Once boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer till liquid is evaporated.  

 

 

 

 

Anna's apple mason jar crumble

Anna’s crumble

Serves 4
1 cup of flour
3/4 cups of oats
1 cup of packed brown sugar
3/4 cups of unsalted butter (melted)
1/2tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients together
Add melted butter
Mix all together.

Layer in mason jar
Caramel
Crumble
chopped granny smith apples
Crumble

Bake at 350 for 20-25 or until apples are soft.
Remove and allow the jars to cool slightly
Top with ice cream and caramel.

 

Beef short ribs with cauliflower and chickpea puree

Beef Short ribs with cauliflower and chick pea puree
Ingredients:
Short ribs
Carrots
Onion
Red wine
Dark beer
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste
Soy sauce
Bay leaf
Garlic
Salt and pepper

 

Short ribs directions
Dice carrots
Dice yellow onion
Peel garlic
Coat ribs in salt and pepper and sear all sides of the short ribs in grapeseed oil
then remove from the heavy duty pot. 
In the same pot, sauté onions and carrots until soft.  
Add 1/4 bottle of red wine
Bottle of dark beer
500 ml of chicken or beef stock
! can of tomato paste
250 ml of plain tomato sauce
Whole clove of garlic
One bay leaf
2 TBS of soy sauce
and bring it all to a boil.  
Then lay short ribs in a deep oven proof baking dish.  Pour liquid over the ribs until they are submersed 3/4 high up the meat.  Cover the tray tightly and place in an oven at 300 for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove short ribs from the liquid.  Strain the liquid into a pot and bring to a boil and reduce the liquid.  This will be your finished liquid.
 

Puree
Cauliflower
Roasted garlic
Chick peas
Chicken stock
Butter
Salt
Horse radish (optional)

 

Directions
Roast a head of garlic
Steam a head of cauliflower
Place in a blender:
Steamed cauliflower, can of strained chick peas
Head of roasted garlic
2 TBS or a chunk of butter

Blend on high
Add hot chicken stock to the blender to allow the the ingredients to puree till smooth.  Once smooth, transfer to a pot and keep warm till dinner.
Add horse radish if serving with short ribs.  Season with salt and pepper


Brussel sprout leafs

Brussel sprout leaf’s
Peel away brussel sprout leaves
Lay on a baking tray with parchment paper and coat with EVOO and salt and pepper.
Bake at 425 until crispy. 5-10 minutes

Presentation:
Layer puree
Top with short rib
Pour reduced sauce
Place brussel sprout leaves
Top with horse radish sour cream

Foraged mushroom arborio and seared scallop

Wild mushroom Risotto (serves 4-6)
Ingredients
Dried mushrooms
Chicken stock
White wine
Diced onions
Garlic
Arborio rice
Parmesan
Salt and Pepper
Fresh thyme
Fresh mushrooms

Mushroom stock

 

Add 1/2 cup of dried mushrooms to 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain out dried mushrooms and reserve the stock
 

 

Risotto

Sauté yellow onion until soft in EVOO and butter
Deglaze with white wine
Add a clove of chrushed garlic
Add 1.5 cups of arborio rice and stir
Add 1/4 cup of stock at a time until liquid evaporates then add again.
Add 1/4  cup of mushroom stock and alternate between chicken and mushroom

Continue to add chicken and mushroom stock until risotto is al dente

Meanwhile: sauté chopped mushrooms (Chanterelle, shiitake etc) in butter and diced shallots until soft.  Reserve the mushrooms till later.
Once the arborio is al dente add grated Parmesan and the sautéed mushrooms.
Add some fresh thyme, finish  with a bit more stock so the aborio becomes slighlty soupy.  Add salt and pepper and taste for doneness.

Scallops

Pat scallops dry and remove the muscle
Sprinkle with salt
Heat grapeseed oil in a non stick pan.
Once the  pan is hot add each scallop and sear each side.  About 2 minutes per side depending on their size.  The side of the scallop should go from grey to white when they are done.

Place risotto in a bowl, top with a scallop and top with micro greens or pea shoots.

Burrata with caramalized onion, caper and blistered tomatoes

Burrata with blistered tomatoes

 

  • Sauté capers until crispy in olive oil
  • Add thinly sliced red onion
  • Continue to cook until caramelized
  • In a separate pan blister cherry tomatoes on high heat with oil until they split. 5 minutes or so.
  • Bake crostini coated in olive oil and salt until lightly brown and crispy.
Presentation:
Layer tomato, onion and caper on the crostini.  Top with Burrata and finish with EVOO and micro greens for presentation

Farro salad

Dressing (makes enough for 6)
one finely diced shallots
1/2 clove of garlic
1 T of dijon
1 T of honey
1 T of apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegarSqueeze of orange
zest of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup of EVOO (extra virgin oil oil)
Salt and pepper

Salad:
Ingredients
Shaved beets (OPTIONAL)
1 cup of Farro ( cook like rice) and let cool
Baby arugula
Shaved cabbage
shaved radish
Cherry tomatoes
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Cranberries or pomegranate seeds

Meyer lemon and vodka cocktail

Meyer lemon cocktail:

Fresh squeezed juice of:
Meyer lemon
Grapefruit
Lemon
Orange
Simple syrup (water and sugar) to sweeten to your liking
VODKA!

Ice

Pink grapefruit perrier floater

Tim's salad dressing

One very finely diced shallot 1/2 cup of excellent olive oil.  We use Domenica Fiore! 1TBS of white wine vinegar Squeeze of lemon 1 tsp of dijon mustard Chopped basil Sliced cherry tomatoes Salt and Pepper Let all the ingredients above soak for an hour before tossing with your greens. Serves 3-4

One very finely diced shallot

1/2 cup of excellent olive oil.  We use Domenica Fiore!

1TBS of white wine vinegar

Squeeze of lemon

1 tsp of dijon mustard

Chopped basil

Sliced cherry tomatoes

Salt and Pepper

Let all the ingredients above soak for an hour before tossing with your greens.

Serves 3-4

The Moscow Mule

This ever famous drink has made it as the new hot cocktail out west.  Served in a copper cup, this drink hosts the following: 

2 oz vodka

Squeeze of half a lime

4 oz of ginger beer.  We love #fentiman's

Enjoy

 

Rotisserie chicken

Organic, local chicken done on the rotisserie with organic broccoli, roasted rosemary potatoes and fresh chimichurri.

Thursday night family dinner

Fresh Halibut with shaved fennel, TAggiasche olive and pine nut salad

halibut

Ingredients:

Halibut

salt and pepper and grape seed oil

For the salad:

One fennel bulb

2 handfulls of cherry tomatoes

Handful of pine nuts

one bunch of fresh arugula

1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup of chopped taggiasche olives

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

1 tsp of honey

1 tsp of white wine vinegar

1 TBS of fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup of good olive oil

Salt and pepper

Diced shallots

For the base of the dish

Either steamed green beans or asparagus

Poached new potatoes

Directions:

Season the halibut with grape seed or olive oil and salt and pepper.

For the salad:

Use a mandolin to shave the fennel bulb as thin as possible.  If you don't have a mandolin (go buy one :-)).  If not, try to slice it as thin as possible with a knife.

Slice the tomatoes in half

For the dressing:

Combine the olive oil, diced shallots, white wine vinegar, chopped basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olives, dijon and honey together and soak the sliced tomatoes in the dressing.  This way the tomatoes will leak their juices into the dressing.

Rough chop the arugula and set aside.

When ready to serve, toss the dressing into the arugula and fennel.  Add the pine nuts and taste.  Season with more salt if need be.

Steam the beans or asparagus and toss in some butter and S&P.  Add steamed or poached potatoes if you so desire.

 For the halibut:

Turn oven to 400F.  Heat an oven proof pan until very hot.  Add some grape seed oil (doesn't burn as quickly as Olive oil).  Then place the halibut meat side down for 1 min or until golden brown.  Then flip and place the skin side down and sear for 30 seconds then put the pan in the oven for roughly 5-10 minutes or until the halibut is 'just cooked' ( As soon as the center of the halibut goes from grey to white, its done.)

Plate the asparagus or beans down first, place the new potatoes around the edges, then place the halibut skin side down over the beans and top the halibut with fennel salad.

Loving Provence Rose

Domaine Houchart

Available at almost all BC liquor stores.

Aromatic and fresh with brambly notes and a white peppery finish, this is a well-structured rosé, wonderfully versatile for food and wine pairings. Dry and complex, a slight dried blueberry element gives this wine the perfect structure to be enjoyed with smoked fish
and meats.

Summer potato salad

Hello everyone, this was a requested recipe by a good friend of mine, Jason.

Here's my version of potato salad.

Serves: more then 4 ;-)

Ingredients:

Fresh Dill chopped

Fresh Basil chopped

Fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

12 slices of pancetta bacon

Half a brown bag of small 'new' potatoes

10 Sun dried tomatoes chopped (optional)

1/4 lb of butter

Head of garlic

1 TBS of good balsamic

1 TBS of red wine vinegar

1/3 cup of good olive oil

1 TBS of grainy dijon

Salt and pepper

 

Okay, here's the long part of the potato salad.

Peel the whole head of garlic.  

You'll need a pot with a lid (preferably Le Crueset).  

Do this next step with the lid off: Add a splash of olive oil and pan sear sliced pancetta until brown then remove pancetta till later.

In the same pot, add the butter and garlic to the pot and melt butter.  Add potatoes to the pot and put the lid on, reduce temp to low and let them steam in butter and garlic, stirring occasionally, until barely able to poke with a fork (al dente) Roughly 25-30 min. Once done, remove the potatoes and caramelized garlic (set garlic aside).

Right away, cut the potatoes in half or quarters to stop the cooking process and cool them on a tray outside or in the fridge.

Dressing:

Add olive oil, dijon, chopped herbs, balsamic, caramelized garlic, red wine vinegar salt and pepper, dried tomatoes and stir.

Once potatoes are cooled, add dressing, stir and let soak, then serve.  Top with crispy pancetta.

Sorry, no picture of last summers salad.  Picture below is after potatoes have poached.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Arrabiata chicken

Ingredients

2-3 skin on boneless free range or organic chicken breast

Can or jar of plain tomato sauce

1/2 of a sliced red onion

1 cup of Diced pancetta

1/4 brown bag of sliced mushrooms (prefer crimini or portobello)

Pinch of chili flakes

Chopped fresh basil

Grated Parmesan cheese. 

TBS of olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 375F

Pan fry diced pancetta until crispy then remove to a seperate bowl.

Season Boneless, skin on chicken breast with salt and pepper.

Add a glug of olive oil to the pancetta pan and heat till hot.

Sear chicken, skin side down till skin is well crispy then flip and cook for 30 seconds and remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, now sautee the sliced red onions until brown, add the pancetta back to the pan and continue to cook for 30 seconds.  Add sliced mushrooms and sautee until soft.  Now add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, jar or can of tomato sauce and a pinch of chili flakes.  Cook for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Now add the seared chicken breast to the arrabiata and burry them in the sauce.  Put in the oven for 20 ish minutes or until the chicken is cooked.  Slice the chicken in half and place on top of each other and pour arrabiata sauce on top and finish with grated parmesan and fresh basil. 

Serve with a nice green salad.

 

NO CARBS!

 

 

Fresh Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:

1x Fennel bulb (thinly sliced) best using a mandolin
Hand full cherry tomatoes
2 x shredded carrots
1x peeled and shredded russet potato
1x red pepper, diced
1x shallot, diced
Bunch of kale (chopped finely
1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs
1 lemon for zest and juice
1/2 TBS White wine vinegar
1/2 cup of plain organic yogurt
Dill
Salt and pepper



Directions:
Step 1: Season a chunk of salmon with salt and pepper and steam till cooked (you can always bake it instead). Once cooked, set a side and remove the skin. Alternatively, you can use 2 cans of canned salmon.  

Step 2: Sautee the thinly sliced fennel and cherry tomatoes in olive oil, vinegar and a tad of butter with salt and pepper.  Cook for roughly 20 min on low or until soft and wilted. Try not to brown!

While the fennel is cooking.

Step 3: Sautee, peppers, shallots and 1/2 of the chopped kale in olive oil salt and pepper until soft.



Step 4: Mix together the shredded potato, other half of the chopped kale and carrots, 1 egg and 1/4 cup of flour salt and pepper and mix well.  Heat a pan add some grape seed oil and place 3 pancake size potato galette's in the pan and sear on either side.  Place them in the oven, in the pan you seared them in, and cook for 15-20 min.


Meanwhile, mix together, cooked salmon, lemon zest, sautéed kale, peppers and shallots, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup of flour, chopped dill and one egg.  Mix well.  Once mixed, form (metal forms are available at most kitchen stores) into round large pancake size and sear in a hot pan with grape seed oil.  Sear on each side (60 seconds) and place in the over for 10 minutes. (remember, all ingredients are cooked so this is to heat the entire salmon cake)



While they are cooking.  Mix together, yogurt, dill, salt and lemon juice and set aside.

To plate:

Place galette down first, place salmon cake on next, top with sautéed fennel and tomatoes and finish with dill yogurt.


Brining Turkey

Why brine?  Brining helps retain 90+% of the original weight of the bird and muscle structure is relaxed by salt resulting in a more tender meat.  

 

My brine:

1/2 cup of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

4 large oranges quartered

2 cloves of whole peeled garlic

Chunk of peeled ginger

1/4 cup of brown sugar dissolved

 

Dissolve salt and sugar in a small amount of boiling water.  Once dissolved, add it and all the ingredients above to a rubber maid or something big enough to hold a turkey and water but will also fit in your fridge.  Add 5 cups of ice and enough COLD water to fully cover the Turkey. Soak for 24 hours in a fridge.

After 24 hours, take out the turkey and rinse it thoroughly to remove the salt and pat it dry.  Now your ready for your cooking process.

Add Stuffing to the bird (I'll leave your favorite stuffing up to you) 

Here are some cooking directions for a 12-15lb bird:

Preheat oven to 400F

Melt 1/4 lb of  butter in a pan then let cool slightly.  Add Thyme, salt and pepper and rub the breast under the skin of the bird with the butter.

Place desired vegetables over the base of your pan (carrots, celery, thyme, Onion etc). Pour 1 cup of white wine over the vegetables. Set a V rack in the pan and place the turkey upside down in the rack.  Roast the Turkey for 1 hour at 400 F then Decrease the temp to 250F and roast for an additional 2 hours.  Add more white wine if the liquid dries up in the pan.  Remove bird from the oven and use some towels to flip the bird, breast side up now and place it back in the V rack.  Increase the oven temp to 400F and cook until the internal breast temp reads 165 or thigh 170. If the breast doesn't get brown in the oven, add a little melted butter to it as it cooks.  Once done, let rest for at least 30 min if not 45-60 min.

Have a great thanks giving and sorry I couldn't add more recipes to your weekend.  Been a busy one on the home front.

 

 

 

 

 

BC fresh Halibut or Wild Salmon with organic buckwheat

Pan seared and oven roasted halibut or salmon with organic buckwheat and oven roasted vegetables.

Prepare the buckwheat as you would risotto.  A little stock at a time!

Oven roast your favorite veg (beets, brussle sprouts, carrots etc)

Lastly, Pan sear the halibut or salmon and (dont over cook please, the fish doesn't like that) and serve with a caper lemon butter and top with sauteed kale and cherry tomatoes

 


BC spot prawn pasta

Well, it's that time of year again when BC's waters offer up some amazing tasty spot prawns.   The season is open for commercial fisheries and the stores and restaurants are receiving their orders.  I purchased my spot prawns from the docks near granville island, from water to boat to mouth!

Here is a great pasta I love to make.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Fresh tarragon

1.5 lb BC spot prawns (before you're ready to cook them, take off the heads if you buy them head on, remove the shells and put the shells into a stainless pot.  Put the meat into a stainless bowl and set aside)

Chilli flakes (pinch)

Spaghetti (one package)

Half of a onion

2 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Boil your water for the spaghetti

(This next step is optional but highly recommended) Pour 3 cups of water over the prawn shells that are in a pot and add the half of a peeled onion.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes (stock should be reduced by a third) then strain and keep the warm prawn stock. 

Dice up the shallots and garlic

Heat up a pan and add 2 TBS of olive oil.

Add the shallots, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  Make sure not to brown them.  

Add all of the tomatoes and add 1/2 of a cup of prawn stock.  Once the stock is evaporated, add 1/2 cup more and keep doing this until tomatoes are soft and reduced, about 20 minutes.   (this will give you a little more liquid that you can add to the pasta which will give it a richer flavor).  IN SAYING THIS, YOU CAN ALWAYS BUY SEAFOOD STOCK INSTEAD OF MAKING IT.

10 minutes into cooking your tomatoes, add your spaghetti to the boiling water and cook it until al dente

Chop a handful of the tarragon and or basil

Rough chop the prawn meat

When it comes time to add the remaining stock to the tomatoes, add the prawn meat, 1 pinch of chilli flakes, tarragon/basil, salt and pepper and cook until the prawns are a light pink, about 2-3 minutes. (There should still be stock in the pan, make the pasta saucy).

Strain the pasta and put half of the pasta into a stainless bowl.  Add in the prawn goodness and toss with a set of tongs.  Add more pasta if need be.  There is nothing worse then too much pasta and not enough sauce.  If it's at all dry, add a couple gulps of good extra virgin olive oil.  Taste and season with more salt if need be.

Top with chopped flat leaf parsley, basil or tarragon.

 

And here's my catch at the cabin ;-)

Alamos cabernet

My sous chef and friend brought a tasty little 'affordable' wine over the other night.  With these days of barely being able to live in this expensive city, sometimes you have to be conscious of where you spend your money.

2011 Alamos cabernet from Argentina was just rated 90 points by Wine Advocate.

Flavors of dark berries and spice and pairs well with steak, lamb or grilled vegetables.

Price: wait for it............... is $14.99 and on sale this month for $13.99

http://www.bcliquorstores.com/product/467944