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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.  

 

 

 

 

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

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.

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!

 

 

 

 

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 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 ;-)

vegetarian Mushroom barley with sautéd kale

Made a nice healthy last night.....BARLEY!

From the store

30-50 grams of dried mushrooms (either assorted or mixed). Never a bad idea to have a bunch of dried mushrooms around the house.  You can always make extra stock and freeze it.

1-onion

2-cloves of garlic

Bag of barley

Half a brown bag of mushrooms (whatever is in season or available) last night we used shitakes as I like the flavor

Bunch of kale

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

 Serve 2-4

To make the mushroom stock:

Add 5-6 cups of water to a non reactive pot (stainless) and add to the burner.  Add the dried mushrooms and a quarter wedge of the yellow onion and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to simmer for 25-30 min.

 

 

Meanwhile:

Dice the remaining yellow onion.  Chop 2 cloves of garlic and add both the onion and the garlic to a pot or deep dish pan.  Add a TBS of butter and 2 splashes of olive oil and bring to a simmer.  Sauté the onions and garlic until soft making sure not to brown the ingredients.  If they start to brown, either add a splash of white wine to the onions and deglaze or remove the onions from the heat until the stock is done.

after 30 minutes, strain the mushrooms out of the stock leaving just a clean mushroom stock.

Now we can get started:

Add 1-1.5 cups of barley to the sautéd onions and garlic and stir in.

One ladle at a time, add warm mushroom stock to the barley.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the stock has almost evaporated.  Keep doing this for 15-20 minutes then add your diced mushrooms.

Continue to add stock one ladle at a time until the barley is al dente or to your liking.  Should take close to 30-40 minutes or so to cook.  If you're unsure of when it's done, keep tasting it.  When it is to your liking, add one more ladle of stock and 1 big handful of grated parmesan, salt and pepper, stire and serve.

Chopped the kale and sauté in a hot pan with some olive oil and salt and pepper.  3 minutes or so.  Add some salt and pepper and top the barley with Kale and a shaving of parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

Shop once, cook twice

Okay, so I'm kind of the opposite of my heading above.  I tend to shop daily and cook fresh every night but I know that is not an option for 99% of the population.  Here is a couple of quick and easy dinners with one quick shop.

 

Dinner 1

Pan seared and oven roasted halibut or white fish and served on a bed of pureed chickpea and cauliflower with saute`d greens.  Served with a side of fresh coleslaw.

Dinner 2

Halibut or white fish tacos

 

Shopping list:

1 head of purple cabbage

1 head of cauliflower

3-4 large carrots 

2 avocados 

1 lemon 

5 limes

Cilantro (1 bunch)

1 head of garlic

Green beans or a bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

2 pieces of halibut per person (filets are best and skin on is preferred) 

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 package of small flour tortillas

Butter (if you do not already have it)

Mayo (if you do not already have it)

Vegetable Oil (if you do not already have it)

Raisins and sunflower seeds for the coleslaw (optional)

 

From the Pantry

White wine vinegar

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Chilli flakes

Chicken stock (or from the freezer)

Dijon Mustard

Sugar (which hopefully everyone has in their pantry)

 

Here are the directions for the first meal which will include halibut that is served on a bed of cauliflower pure,  green veggies and a side of coleslaw:

 

To start preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, coat the halibut in a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and then set aside.

 

Coleslaw

 

This salad is delicious, quick and easy to prepare and makes extra to serve with tomorrow’s dinner.

 

Shred 3-4 carrots 

Finely shred ½ a head of red cabbage

Finely diced ¼ of a red onion

Combine in a bowl and set aside

Save the uncut cabbage for your next dinner

 

In another bowl, mix the dressing:

½ cup of mayo 

¾ TBS of olive oil

¾ TBS of white wine vinegar

1 tsp of white sugar

1/4 TBS of dijon mustard

Pinch of Salt and pepper

Squeeze the juice of lemon

Mix and add to the grated vegetables.  Stir in raisins or sunflower seeds if you so desire and chill.

 

Steam one head of Cauliflower that has been cut into pieces

Once it is steamed (a good way to check if it is done is poking it with a fork and if is soft, its done) put it into a blender or food processor and puree with 1 clove of garlic, a squeeze of half a lemon, 1/2 a can of Garbanzo beans, a pinch of chilli flakes for a bit of spice, 1/4 TBS of dijon and salt and pepper.  Add ¼ of a cup of warm chicken stock, vegetable stock or if need be, water as it is mixing until smooth.  Return to a pot and put on simmer until ready to serve.

 

In the picture below, I frenched the asparagus.  If you don’t have a frencher then you can always cut your green beans or asparagus done the middle for a little presentation and to speed the cooking process.  

 

Heat a pan and add a tad of butter and some olive oil.  Toss in the greens you are using (either asparagus or green beans) and sauté until ‘just’ cooked.  3 minutes or so.  If you have small amounts of chicken stock then you can sauté the greens in chicken stock to add a bit of flavor.

 

Now you will prepare the Halibut

 

Heat an oven proof pan until hot and place your halibut meat side down for 30 to 60 seconds, then flip to skin side down and sear for another 20 seconds.  Place the pan into the oven and bake for 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of the filets. 

 

Note:

Halibut is always better under done then over done as when you pull it from the oven it will continue to cook a few more degrees.  If you are at all concerned about it being under cooked gently open it with a knife or fork and it should be juicy with a bright white color, not grey.  Halibut will go dry and flakey if it’s overdone........ugh!

 

To plate (presentation always makes a great impression) spoon the pureed cauliflower onto a plate or serving bowl, top with either asparagus or green beans and place the halibut on top.  Serve with a side of  coleslaw in a small bowl.

 

I just cooked this meal with some friends and it was delicious and ‘super clean.’  

 


 You'll notice in the picture that I added some crispy leeks.  Simply deep fry in some grape

seed oil until crispy.  Place on a paper towel and add some salt.  

The second dinner will be halibut tacos made simple and easy.

 

Ingredients:

½ head red cabbage

5 limes

1-2 avocados sliced

Remaining red onion from last night

1 bunch of cilantro (one bunch)

1 package of small flour tortillas

 

Pre heat the oven to 400 F

 

While the oven is heating you will warm the tortillas in one of two ways:

1 - Place tortillas in a damp cloth on a plate and put them in a microwave for a few seconds until warm. 

 

2 – If you do not own a microwave you can panfry them with grape seed oil until they are brown, lay on a paper towel and serve when the meal is ready.  They will be a little more crispy this way which is the way I prefer.

Prepare the cabbage and red onion. Begin by thinly slicing (when I say thin, I mean thin and if you have a mandolin then use it) the cabbage and red onion and placing into two separate bowls.  Squeeze the juice of 5 limes (being careful to remove the seeds) to the red onions with a sprinkle of salt (stirring occasionally while dinner is being prepared). This process creates delicious pickled onions. 

 Heat a frying pan with a splash of vegetable oil and once it is hot, sauté the cabbage in olive oil with a splash of white wine vinegar. When the cabbage is soft (this should only take a few minutes) remove from the pan and place in a bowl.

Cook the halibut as you did the night before except this time when they are cooked you will break them into bite sized pieces.  Place the bite sized halibut pieces onto a warmed, soft tortilla and top with sliced avocado or guacamole, pickled onion and cabbage (you can add a small amount of sour cream if you like) and finally top with fresh cilantro.  Serve with the remaining coleslaw from the night before and enjoy.

 

'Island life' crab cakes

We have this special place we go to all the time and we try to live off the land when we go....well, kind of!

My daughter and I set a crab trap and half a day later we were in luck.  Dungeness crabs galore.  2 hours later and fresh crab cakes.

My recipe is as follows:

Red and yellow peppers diced

Shallots diced

Chopped parsley

Egg

Bread crumbs

Mayo

Dijon

Worcestershire

Salt and Pepper

Hot sauce

Chilli flakes

 

Steam crab for 8-10 minutes and de-shell (never fun but well worth it). 

I Sauté all of the vegetables with a TBS of butter in a nice cast iron skillet over our wood burning oven.  Sauté until soft and remove from the heat.

Mix in a stainless bowl:

Mayo

Dijon

Worcestershire

Salt and Pepper

Bread crumbs

Egg

Hot sauce

Chilli flakes

Chopped parsley

MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER WITH THE CRAB and put into a form if you have one or just use your hands to form your cake.  If you have time, place on parchment paper and leave in the freezer for 30  minutes for everything to mold together

Get a pan piping hot and add a splash of grape seed oil and a TBS of butter and sear each side until brown.  Once brown on each side, toss in the oven for 7-8 min and remove.

Mix mayo, the juices and lemon zest from a lemon and a splash of hot sauce (love valentina's and picture below) and top the crab cake.

Serve with some local greens and sip on your favorite white!!!!

 


THE chicken dish

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

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

Sear all of the chicken breast  (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 the oven and serve over barley* that has been prepared in chicken stock. Top with fresh parsley 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.

 

 

Enclosure

Infamous garlic bread

 

Ingredients:

Savary Island Pie Company Italian Loaf

Tons of butter

Chilli flakes

Parsley

Garlic, peeled and crushed.

Directions:

Cut bread into slices

In a large frying pan, melt butter, add garlic, chilli flakes and parsley.  Once melted.  Dip each piece of bread into the butter and dip each side.  Grill on the BBQ or oven bake.  If you're using the bbq, be cautious as the butter will flare up so keep an eye on it.  About 2 minutes per side.

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

A fun way to spice up your salad.

Organic romaine hearts available at most major grocery stores.  Cut in half lengthwise and grill for a minute or two on each side just to allow some grill marks.

For the dressing, I wing together the following:

One raw organic egg

splash of lea and perrins

Splash of red wine vinegar

Splash of hot sauce

one clove of crushed garlic

one tsp of dijon

squeeze of lemon

10 crushed and flattened capers

squeeze of anchovy paste

S&P

Mix well then whisk in grapeseed oil. I find that olive oil is a little overpowering but feel free to use it.

Drizzle over the romaine hearts and top with slices of parmesan reggiano.

 

What's with Burrata?

Okay, for those of you that have not tried this 'trendy' new cheese then you must do.  Burrata, has in fact been around since the 1900's but has recently become all the rage in the soft cheese category.  It's the buffalo mozzarella of cheeses.  Hmmmm, what cheese will be next???

Anyhow, a bit about Burrata by wikipedia: It is a fresh italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

History: Burrata is a typical product of the Murgie in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy. It is produced from cow's milk, rennet and cream. Burrata was probably first made around 1920 or possibly 1900 on the Bianchini farm in the city of Andria in Murgia, an area in the Apulia region. In the 1950s, it became more widely available after a few of the local cheese factories began producing it. It is generally believed that factories found it a way to utilize the ritagli ("scraps" or "rags") of mozzarella. Established as an Artisanal cheese, Burrata maintained its premium-product status even after it began to be made in a number of factories throughout Apulia.

Now this brings me to my experience.  A friend of mine dropped in the other day and gave me a huge chunk of Bresaola (air cured beef).  What a treat I must say.  That same day, another lovely friend of mine gave me two containers of Burrata.  Well, what to do?  I went over to my friend Jesse's house and as we were watching the kids as the wives went out on the town, I began to build our masterpeice.  Below is a presentation of Bresaola, fresh burrata from Bosa Foods and topped with fresh Arugula and dash of Truffle Oil.  Oh, and how can I forget, a couple of great bottles of Brunello.  Man, life is GOOD!

 

Pork chops

Here's dinner the other night:

Bone in pork chops from Windsor meats in Edgemont Village.  I tried for Veal chops but sold out!

Recipe:

Render a handful of chopped pancetta and remove the meat from the pan.

Pan sear the previously seasoned (salt and pepper) chops to the high heated pan and sear each side.

Transfer the pan to an oven at 400F and cook till your liking.  

Let the meat rest on a plate (minimum 10 minutes).

While resting, pan fry some shallots in the existing pan and add 250ml of chicken stock and reduce.  Before the stock has evaporated, add 250ml of heavy cream and a TBS of peppercorns.  Add the any remaining juices from the resting pork.  Reduce  until thick and add the previously seared pancetta.

Slice up your pork chops and smother in the peppercorn sauce.

Served with portabello, truffle linguini and fresh sautee'd asparagus.

Oh, and a nice bottle of Piane Delle Vigne 2005 Brunello to go along!

Put a 'spring' in your step with Campari

Here's a refreshing drink for when Spring actually kicks in...weather wise!

1.5 oz of Campari (an aperitif that is derived from the infusion of herbs and fruit)

3 oz of San Pellegrino Aranciata

Slice of blood orange

Serve over ice

Tostada's and Patron

We had our close friends over for dinner, Tod and Julie, who are recently engaged. Congratulations!!!

The dinner theme was 'mexican' if you will.  I supplied the dinner and our guests supplied the tequila....wish I had changed the theme!

Tostada is a Spanish word which literally means "toasted."  So, I topped our fried corn tortilla with chorizo sausage, chilpolte, cabbage, and shredded chicken then added a spoon full of guacamole and topped with lime soaked red onion and did they ever pair well with the the 'perfect' marg (recipe below).

Tostada (serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

One large breast of chicken

3 chorizo sausages (great from Cioffi's or whole foods)

Half a head of cabbage

Chicken stock 750ml

1 red onion (half chopped and half thinly sliced)

1 white onion (half chopped and half whole)

1 can of Chilpolte

1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 garlic clove

1 bag of corn tortillas (usually 12 in a bag)

3 limes

Vegetable oil

Directions:

Thinly slice half of a red onion or use a mandolin if you have one and place in a bowl.  Cover the onion with the juice from 3 limes and let sit.

Place the breast of chicken in a pot and cover with chicken stock and half of a white onion.  Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer and allow to cook.  Roughly 12 minutes.  Remove chicken and let it cool to handle then shred with your fingers and set aside in a bowl.

Remove the casing from the sausage and cook in a frying pan.  Break the sausage a part in small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked.  Remove the sausage and place aside.  

With the pan still warm and with the oil from the sausage, add diced white onion and half of a chopped red onion along with one clove of chopped garlic.  Cook until soft then add finely chopped cabbage and cook for 3 minutes.  Add 3 diced chilpolte peppers and a table spoon of sauce from the Chilpolte can.  Also add 4 chopped whole tomatoes from the can and stir.  Pour in 150ml of chicken stock which was used to boil the chicken.  Stir for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and now you're ready to serve.

While the mixture is sitting, heat vegetable oil in a pan and once hot, add one corn tortilla at a time.  Cook 30 seconds a side or until lightly brown.  Set a side once done and let them sit on a paper towel.  Once you have enough corn tortillas cooked, place on a platter or plate and spoon on mixture.  Top with your favorite guacamole recipe (mine to come one day) and your lime marinated onion.  Pictures below:

My version of a 'cadillac' margarita.

1.5 ounces of fine tequila

.5 ounce of Grand Marnier

3 ounces of sweetened lime juice

A squeeze of fresh lime and fresh orange.

Shake over ice and serve.

Salt optional

 

 

 

Dinner with friends

Last Saturday my family and I ventured over 2 bridges to Kitsilano to visit our friends Laura and Darren. I popped into Capers on 4th to get some last minute ingredients and the lady in front of me was quickly grabbing a few groceries for the house when her total bill came to $582.36, wow!  How can we afford life anymore?

Any how, the menu for our night was Veal Scallopini and Tartufate Pasta.

Laura picked up the butcher pounded veal and I grabbed the ingredients for the pasta.  I'm going to share this recipe with you all because it was AMAZING!

Veal Scallopini:

Ingredients:

Pounded veal

1 large Bocconcini

2 cups Panko

1 cup Flour

2 Egg 

Olive and vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

Wisk eggs into a bowl and set aside

Pour flour into a separate bowl and add salt and pepper

Pour panko into a 3rd bowl and set a side.

Toss, piece by piece: veal into the flour, then the egg wash, then toss it in the panko and set a side on baking a sheet.  Do this to every piece of Veal.

While the veal is sitting, heat in a large frying pan, 1 cup of oil (60% vegetable oil and 40% olive oil).  When the oil is heated, drop one piece of veal into the pan at a time.  2 minutes each side and remove back to the baking sheet.  Once all the veal has been fried, place a sliced piece of bocconcini on each veal and broil until the cheese has melted.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Fishing the Fraser River

I'm lucky enough to have a friend with a beautiful 'Hells Canyon' river boat.  Geoff Bamford, also our mortgage broker http://www.geoffbamford.ca takes us up the Fraser river every year for a day of salmon fishing and I must say it's the highlight to my summer.  We almost never come home empty handed and last summer was no exception.  

Here's one of our favorite salmon recipes when we get back home.

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

3/4 cup of Soy Sauce

2 TBS of vegetable or grape seed oil

2 TBS of grated fresh ginger

1 TBS grated orange zest

Handful of chopped cilantro

Mix above ingredients and cover over the salmon for at least 2 hours.  If you're grilling on the BBQ, lie meat side down for 2 minutes to allow grill marks then flip to skin side down until 'just' cooked.  Remember, overdone salmon is never any fun!!!