Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ratatouille With Seared Scallops and Dill Yogurt Sauce

Tonight we made a ratatouille for the first time. We roasted tomatoes with garlic in the oven for 15 minutes and then finished cooking them on the stove top and added mushrooms, diced yellow peppers, kalamata olives, rosemary, oregano, fresh basil and a splash of Vendanges Tardives which is a cross between white wine and ice wine (very sweet). We also measured large scallops in a very hot skillet and served them with a dill yogurt sauce made with plain yogurt, dried dill, curry powder and lime juice.

We used food moulds to put the sauce and zucchini together. We lined the moulds with the zucchini slices that had been pan roasted and then filled the centre with sauce. You just need to make sure the inside of the mould is oiled so that nothing will stick to it, then you gently lift it and it all stays in place. We garnished it with fresh parmesan cheese.

This took about 40 minutes to make, including the sauce. This was a very healthy and easy meal to make. We will definitely make it again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Duck Finale - Spring Rolls

We made spring rolls using the last of the duck meat. We also made a peanut sauce to accompany it. Delicious...and healthy if you don't have too much of the sauce.

The rolls were made with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced carrots, red cabbage, minced dried apricots and cranberries, mint leaves, fresh coriander, orange zest and duck meat. They are lighter than other spring rolls because we did not use any vermicelli. When making the rolls, you have to assemble them in a way that will display the prettier ingredients on the outside of the roll, just underneath the paper. The ingredients in the centre will not show. The rice paper is very thin and fragile, especially if you use the small ones so you have to be delicate when putting them together.

The peanut sauce was improvised with the help of 3 different cook books. I like to Google recipes when I am not sure but our internet connection was down so I looked through some of my books and came up with a lighter recipe using natural peanut butter, fish sauce, light soya sauce, pepper flakes, sesame oil, canola oil and milk. I used a very small quantity of the oils and used 2 % milk instead of coconut milk to reduce the number of calories and fat.

This was the finale for the duck we made on Sunday. We were able to make so many different meals with it. This is something we will surely make again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vietnamese Duck Pho

With the stock we made yesterday with the duck carcass, we made Vietnamese soup tonight. We added fish sauce, ginger, lemongrass, red cabbage, red peppers, broccoli, bean sprouts, one small minced chili pepper and some of the leftover duck meat. We garnished it with fresh mint, basil and coriander. These soups usually have vermicelli but we avoid eating rice, pasta, bread or potatoes (except for sweet potatoes) for dinner.

There was still stock left so we froze it in an ice cube tray. This way we will be able to take a few cubes when we want to make individual soups for our weekday lunches. All we will need to do is add vegetables. We will also make Vietnamese spring rolls with the leftover duck. There are so many things you can make with just 1 duck or chicken.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We Are No Longer Afraid To Make Duck

We decided to cook a duck today. We had never made it before because we thought it was difficult to make...wrong. We bought a whole duck and cooked it in a roasting pan just like a chicken. We first had to buy a roasting pan. Although our kitchen is very well equipped, a roasting pan was one of the few things we didn't have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Roasts - Different Cuts...Different Results

Although we don't often eat red meat, we recently made 2 roasts. The first one we bought was an organic leg roast from Marché Jean Talon. We didn’t have to add anything special and the flavour and texture were incredible. The second one we bought was a top sirloin roast from the "regular" grocery store and it was twice as big and about 1/3 of the price. The results were very different.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recipe Finders and Leftover Ingredients

When I am out of ideas but want to make something a little different, I like to see what I have in the fridge and try to come up with creative ways of cooking with leftovers. If you only buy items you like at the grocery store, then you should always be able to come up with something delicious.