Tag Archives: recipes

cauliflower .. the virtues of

Well, even though I should be working on my novel (which I’ve coined “TIVOC” for short), this is happening, because we need to subsist, after all.

I’ll be taking this in to work this afternoon for dinner, along with some plain steamed rice.

Roasted cauliflower recipe:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and broken into florets
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and rind grated
  • 1T sumac
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T coriander
  • 1t garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine oil with next 5 ingredients in a bowl and toss cauliflower. Lay out on a covered cookie sheet (I used foil but you can use parchment or a silicone mat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I have been personally favouring Maison Orphée grey sea salt lately.

Bake in oven until nicely golden brown, turning occasionally. Every oven is different so just keep an eye on it. Half and hour should be plenty.

Roasted turkey breasts

  • fresh turkey breasts (mine are skinless and deboned but you can use chicken or bone in and skinless of either)
  • glug olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • summer savory
  • ground coriander
  • glug of white wine
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place meat in baking dish. Add glug of oil, glug of white wine (I use whatever white wine I have open and on hand), lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle with garlic (I usually just press the cloves right on top with a garlic press) and summer savory (I got my tin from Pomme, a specialty store in Coquitlam – it’s a bit hard to find in regular grocery stores). Sprinkle with salt to taste (again, I used the sel gris) and bake until done. Follow safety guidelines for cooking poultry per weight and type. The liquids keep things moist so if you err on the side of longer cooking times (like I usually do – I left mine in for 50 minutes), it keeps things from drying out. I end up shredding the whole lot into the remaining liquid and using it to top the rice.

Enjoy!

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from my kitchen .. pomegranate and wine


I was very much in the mood for some mulled wine today when I got home from work. When I left this morning just before 9AM, the grass in the centre divider was crispy with frost – not anywhere near as cold as it might be elsewhere in North America at the moment, but the temperatures are definitely dropping around here. They’ve eventhreatened snow this coming week.

In a pan on medium heat: a cheap bottle of red wine, a sliced navel orange, two sticks of cinnamon, a half dozen cloves, about the same amount of allspice brought to a simmer, then some cane sugar and a splash of brandy was added – it simmered some more until it was reduced and sweet. Delicious!


Meanwhile, I was researching recipes in which to incorporate pomegranate. I’m plotting my dinner menu for a mid-December meal that I will host at my home and pomegranate has been speaking to me to be incorporated, though I haven’t cooked much with it.

I went to the Christmas Market at Jack London Square after work one evening last week and discovered Provence en Couleur‘s booth. They had wonderful sachets of herbes de Provence so I decided to incorporate some into today’s experiment.

I deseeded a pomegranate (which was much easier to do than I thought – check out this video) and after saving a handful of seeds for later, I expressed the juice from the rest by placing them all in a sieve and pressing down on them with a spoon.

I cleaned, peeled and sliced 4 small yams and placed them in a large ceramic baking dish. I added peeled and quartered shallots and a half dozen garlic cloves (still in their skin but crushed with the broad side of a kitchen knife). A little grape seed oil was drizzled over the top and the whole thing was tossed and spread out evenly in the dish. A layer of fresh poultry herb mix was laid over the top of the veggies in wait for the chicken.


Next I spatchcocked the chicken. Essentially, you flip the chicken on its breast and cut along either side of the spine with kitchen shears so that you can open up and flatten out the chicken. I rubbed a bit of grape seed oil on it and sprinkled it with some grey sea salt.


Then came the making of the pomegranate sauce. I used the expressed pomegranate juice and squeezed a navel orange (it came to 1 cup liquid) and put it into a sauce pan on medium to bring to a simmer. I let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then added 1/4 cup cane sugar and a tablespoon of black treacle. Once that incorporated, I gave it a splash of chocolate raspberry port and added 1 cup of chicken broth. I let this reduce a bit and then added a spice mixture: grey sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, ground cinnamon and cloves, and finally Eric’s lovely herbes de Provence, simmering it all together until all of the flavours melded. I added the reserved pomegranate seeds to the mixture.

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Once the sauce cooled a bit, I poured it over the chicken and veggies and put the dish into the preheated 400F oven for an hour. It was basted several times throughout the roasting time.

The dish was served with some pearl couscous. Yum!

from my kitchen .. criss-cross applesauce


About 7 peeled and cored Spartans cubed small and covered with water just barely with a squeeze of a half lemon, a whole long cinnamon stick snapped in half, some sugar, a quarter vanilla bean, two whole cloves simmered until .. well, it’s a sauce

Add a capful of brandy and stir in with a bit more cane sugar until the alcohol evaporates and .. ::swoon::!

grilling season

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The grill is back upstairs on the balcony. With it just outside the back door, and the weather becoming summerlike once again, I can’t help myself – I’ve been grilling up a storm this past week.
So… some simple (measurement free) recipes for you:
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Veggies in Foil on the BarB: broccoli but into florets, golden turnips sliced, yellow tiny potatoes sliced, brussels sprouts sliced, red onion sliced; sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, add generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar; finger toss until all veggies are coated with oil, vinegar and spices; wrap tightly in multiple layers of foil and toss on grill set to medium high for 25 minutes.

Halibut, ocean-wild, fresh caught; generous dabs of butter, salt & pepper to taste, crumble a handful of light brown sugar and drizzle with spiced rum and birch (or maple) syrup; sprinkle with ground coriander; wrap in several layers of foil and throw on medium-high grill for 25 minutes.

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Alternate (non-grill) preparation: salt and pepper fish; melt lots o’ butter in a pan over medium high heat; pan sear halibut; deglaze pan once fish has been flipped once and is almost cooked with a generous splash of spiced rum; add syrup, brown sugar, coriander and let sauce reduce so it thickens to a glaze.

Some after thoughts: garnish fish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and grated lime rind.

As Julia would say…. bon appétit!

green… but maybe not eggs and ham

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Not even the lure of a cup of coffee with fresh table cream was enough to convince me to brave the wet. The neighbourhood trees are growing into a riot of green, leaves bursting from branches like out of control afros and the petals of magnolia and cherry tree blossoms leaving a beautiful trail of detritus. But this is what the back balcony looks like today:

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A nap is sounding much more my speed (the cat has the right idea methinks).

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So on days like today one of my favourite things to do is to look through some books, and lately (perhaps ever), my favourite cook book has got to be Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and her blog a close follow up second for all things food inspiration

20140419-151240.jpgI often adhoc stuff in the kitchen. Yes folks, I have finally gotten to that enviable place that my mother was at (and who I was in awe of) in the kitchen to know enough about food chemistry and flavours to make ingredients submit to my will and have a dish turn out without the exacting process of following a recipe. Well, baking takes a little more finesse and accuracy, so I follow rules a lot more carefully there (as did my mother) but cooking dishes has become much more of an intuitive process. Which is why I love Deb’s recipes. She will pair things together that are intriguing to the palate and so obviously divine together in retrospect.

Last week’s double chocolate banana bread is still being talked about and lusted after (and will be made again just as soon as the bananas are ripe enough). But seriously… if it’s not on your cookbook shelf, and you aren’t afraid of embracing a variety of ingredients, this one should definitely be part of your repertoire. Tomorrow is Easter and I’m wondering what I should make for the two of us. Double chocolate banana bread for certain, but the rest? I’m not sure yet.

But what I do know is that I am now ready for that nap…

Birthdays… and the boy with the refined palate…

Sweet mercies that my child loves food that is not mainly focused on mechanically pulverized and breaded chicken meat and french fries. He turned 13 today and his meal request was baked salmon, rice and wilted garlic-y spinach/arugula with pine nuts. I love my Calphalon cookware.

Oh… if you are curious about the spinach/arugula dish: a wooden spoon scoop of ghee (clarified butter) and a good dash of olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan once melted, at medium heat, toss a couple of thinly sliced shallots, a couple of handful of pine nuts and a few cloves of garlic (chopped) into the oil; stir until shallots are transparent; pour in about a half cup of white wine, several dashes of soy sauce, stirring until somewhat reduced, and add a half package each of rinsed baby spinach and arugula, stirring until wilted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I like to accompany this with yukon gold (roasted) garlic -with a touch of wasabi- smashed potatoes. If you’ve got something in the oven (roast, fish…) you can add a head of garlic (with the top chopped off to expose the cloves), generously doused in olive oil and foil wrapped, to roast along with the meat for use with the smashed potatoes. The trick to really good (and unlumpy) mashed potatoes is to thoroughly mash the potatoes prior to adding any butter and/or milk, unless of course you want it chunky.

And… do as you wish, but I will buy organic produce over “traditionally farmed” produce any day. I may be deluding myself, but I think that there is a good possibility that the flavor of the produce, as well as the nutritional value, is superior in organically grown foods.