Monday, June 10, 2013

Quebec Strawberries Have Arrived!

This is the time of year you can find Quebec strawberries at your local market. We purchased a small crate and froze most of them.

Freezing strawberries: the best way to freeze them is by removing the stems, gently washing them, patting them dry and then spreading them out on a cookie sheet. This allows the strawberries to freeze individually instead of forming a solid block. Once the strawberries have frozen, place them into a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer.

With the rest of the strawberries, we made:
strawberry-rhubarb bread - use any banana or zucchini bread recipe and replace the fruit with strawberry and rhubarb. We roasted the rhubarb first to make it more tender.

Strawberries tend to ripen very quickly so it's a good idea to freeze them or cook with them not long after purchasing them. If you see they start to look a little too soft, smoothies are a great way to use them. Cooking them in a little maple syrup makes a very nice coulis.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sandwich de porc effiloché sur pain Demelin

This pulled pork sandwich was made with home-made bread, courtesy of our brother-in-law (thanks Ben).

We cooked a pork shoulder for 4 hours in a dutch oven at 300 degrees. The pork was covered in a sauce made using:

1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ice wine
1 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp all spice
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 small onion

We rubbed the meat with salt and pepper, covered with the sauce and turned it every half hour, for a total of 4 hours. Once ready, the pieces separated easily using a fork.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Octopus Salad

We have been adding octopus to all sorts of recipes. This time we purchased cooked octopus and roasted it with a mix of marinated vegetables. The marinated vegetables from the Italian grocery store were chopped up and mixed with the octopus and some lemon zest. Served over roquette with mini Bocconcini cheese, pieces of pan fried Portobello mushrooms, sunflower seeds and fresh grapefruit, this was a really easy and delicious salad to make.

Muffuletta Sandwich

This is popular sandwich from Louisiana. It is usually a large round crispy bread roll filled with layers of marinated olive salad, capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese and provolone.
For our version, we bought a mix of marinated vegetables and added olives which were pulsed in the food processor to create a chunky bruschetta texture. This mix was layered with porchetta, capicola, emmentale cheese and ricotta cheese mixed with fresh cilantro. You can replace any layer with a meat or cheese of your choice. The sandwich was heated up for about 5 minutes in the oven and served warm to bring out the flavours even more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Torta Caprese - Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake

Don’t be fooled by “flourless”. This pie packs a punch; a chocolate punch. Baked in a spring form pan, this pie appears dry on the outside but its chocolate and almond filling is soft and moist. It is fairly easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a few days. A new favourite for sure!

Here is the link to the original recipe:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lemon Risotto with Chantrelle Mushrooms, Scallops and Maple Smoked Salmon

Risotto can be intimidating to make for some people. All it takes is patience. Saute in butter  1 and 1/2 cups Arborio rice in a pan over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Stir constantly so the rice will not stick and burn. Slowly add one ladle at a time of chicken stock (total of approximately 4 cups) until mostly absorbed. 

Once the rice is almost finished absorbing the stock, feel free to add lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh herbs, frozen peas etc., and cook a few minutes longer. We topped the risotto with scallops, maple smoked salmon pieces and parmesan pieces.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shrimp Green Curry with Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower

Green curry paste mixed with a can of coconut milk is a great base for nay curry recipe. Simply add vegetables and tofu, seafood, beef or chicken and the result is impressive. The coconut milk adds a creamy buttery texture to the broth. Be careful when adding curry paste because an amount as small as an extra teaspoon can add quite a bit of spice.

A very simple and delicious side dish is roasted cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower in florets, mix in a bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil and add any spice you like. We like to add curry and tandoori. Once the cauliflower is coated with the oil, place the pieces on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil and bake for about 12 minutes. For extra crunch, bake at broil and extra minute or 2.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Octopus Okonomiyaki

The recipe for Okonomiyaki can be found in our blog entry dated March 15, 2012 (simply click on the “Japanese” label below and it will take you to the recipe. It’s basically a mix of cabbage, flour and egg, cooked in a pan for about 5 minutes per side. Top it with Japanese mayo, hoisin sauce and anything else you like. We like to add roasted octopus, smoked salmon and roasted vegetables. We discovered a restaurant/fish market called La Sirène de la Mer (114, av Dresden, Mont-Royal) which has a poissonnerie inside the restaurant. 

People who eat at the restaurant can select the seafood they want directly from the market. We ordered half a pound of octopus “to go” and they cooked it for us on the spot. We are definitely going back for dinner at the restaurant.

Chocolate Meringue French Toast

If you are making French toast with egg whites, why not make them with chocolate meringue? 

Fluff the egg whites and add vanilla extract, cocoa powder and sugar. Dip the pieces of bread in the meringue mix and cook in a hot pan until crispy but not too hard. We like to have it with maple syrup and fruit. Easy and tasty!

Thanksgiving Leftover Okonomiyaki

We love Okonomiyaki so much that we made it with thanksgiving leftovers we had frozen. The mixture included turkey, stuffing, broccoli and we added pieces of peach. Strange mix but it was amazing!