Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Halibut with Jalapeno and Green Onion

I think Halibut is my favourite fish. It’s meaty, but light and delicate at the same time. It’s also versatile and great to experiment with. When marinating halibut, use a mild marinade and keep the marinating time low. Strongly acidic marinades can be overpowering with this mild flavoured fish.

This recipe is great and very easy to prepare. I cooked this in the oven because it was rainy, but next time I’ll probably try this on the grill.

2 Halibut steaks
1 Tbs of Dill, chopped
Juice from one lime
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 Jalapeno with seeds, diced (red woudl be best but I only had green)
3-4 Green onions, white and light green parts only, chopped
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of white wine vinegar

Place fish in aluminium foil packages and marinate in lime juice and dill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sauté Jalapeno, onions and garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for another three minutes. Pour mixture over fish, loosely seal packages and place in oven. Cook for about 25- 30 minutes.

I served the fish with couscous that I made ahead and set aside.

For the couscous:

2 Cups couscous
Enough hot chicken or vegetable stock (or boiling water) to cover the couscous
Juice from 1.5 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
½ Cup of black olives, chopped
¼ Cup of parsley, chopped
2 Tomatoes, diced
2  Bell peppers, diced

Place the couscous in a bowl and cover with hot liquid, set aside until all liquid is absorbed. Drizzle olive oil and lemon over the couscous, add all ingredients and fluff with a fork and serve.

I made extra couscous so we could take leftovers for lunch the following day. It can last in the fridge for days.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Berries

Recently I've discovered quite a few really good food blogs. In fact, it was like this blog new exactly what I was in the mood for.

On Dishing Up Delights she mentioned not being the biggest fan of pancakes and I feel the same way. I find them too heavy and feel like I’m eating cake for breakfast. So when I saw this recipe for ricotta pancakes I decided to give them a try. I still had leftover ricotta from the pasta I made earlier in the week so it worked out perfectly.



I really enjoyed how light and fluffy they turned out.  Not heavy or overly filling like I find pancakes often are. The only thing I did differently was serve them with fresh berries and maple syrup, but I will definitely try them next time with the lemon curd shown here.  I might even try this out for Mother's Day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Zucchini and Ricotta Pasta


Last week I started hot yoga classes with Sarah and Beth. It was my first time taking a class so when Beth said “try not eating for two hours before” I was a little concerned. It sounded intense. I needed to make something quick and easy and nothing too heavy. This dish was perfect.


Earlier that day I had picked up a Martha Stewart Food magazine and found this recipe. This would of course work with any vegetables you have in the fridge – the more colour the better. The only thing I added was the roasted cherry tomatoes.

2 tbs olive
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
Lemon zest, grated
½ Cup of ricotta
Whole wheat linguine
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Arrange vegetables on baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on the package. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add oil, lemon zest, vegetables and toss to combine. Serve pasta topped with the ricotta.  As you can see in the photo I went little nuts with the ricotta. Cheese is my weakness, what can I say.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Charlie's Burgers


You may have heard about the “anti-restaurant” by now called Charlie’s Burgers. It was all over the news last week.

The cost is $75-$200 for an inventive meal prepared by Canada’s top chef’s. To join one of these suppers, you go here, submit your email and you'll receive a survey almost instantly asking the following questions:

What is your occupation?
Where did you hear about us?
What are your 3 favourite restaurants in Toronto?
What would your last meal on earth be?
Anything else you want to tell us about yourself? Please don't tell us you like food and cooking. Get creative and don t be shy.

If you're one of the chosen ones, you'll receive a mysterious email with strict instructions to wait for a cryptic letter telling you where you’ll be dining for the evening. Don't you think this sort of sounds like a rave? I've heard you could be dining anywhere from an abandoned warehouse to a private home, and it's never clear who the host is.

So has anybody been to one of these suppers? If you have I'm jealous.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Indian Buffet

I love Indian Buffet.  I also love that my colleague Kev is always willing to go with me.  I used to always go to Katmandu but I think Biryani House might be wining me over.  Thanks for introducing me Kev!

 Biryani House has an amazing selection of curries and they switch up their dishes from time to time.  I also like that they offer sauces with the samosas and tandori chicken.  I wish they would just clean their carpets!!  That's my only complaint.  The first time I went there I was very put-off and didn't return until Kev suggested we go.  I'm trying to ignore it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Burger Bar

Open for maybe a year, this place has quickly become one of my go-to spots when I’m meeting a colleague for lunch and we want something quick and tasty.



As you sit down they bring complimentary veggies and dip and they’re ready to take your order immediately - which can prove to be a little challenging since there's such a huge selection of burgers! They have beef, lamb, bison, salmon, turkey, egg, veggie, portabello and the highly prized Japanese beef Kobe burger. Yup, so whatever you fancy they have it. They also have suggested toppings to go along with each burger or you can choose your own toppings or sauces from cucumber wasabi to roasted red peppers.

Something else they have but I have yet to try are the spiked milkshakes. I’m not much of a sweet drink person but I do like the idea of them. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bourbon Ribs

How was everybody’s weekend? Mine was very relaxing. We got a lot done for the wedding and also had my parents over for a BBQ on Sunday afternoon. I served Bourbon Ribs and Curry Mango Sausages (sauasges from Boffo's of course)


Um… I might have to enter a rib fest this summer. These ribs were that good. I attempted ribs a couple of times last summer without much success, until now. I took a combination of two recipes found on epicurious. The dry rub marinade had so much flavour without being overpowering and the BBQ sauce was sweet and savoury.



Sorry for the blurry photo. I forgot to take photos while BBQing and I was in such a rush to dig in I didn’t notice it was a blurry. You’ll just have to trust me on this one that they were that amazing.


Basting sauce

1/2 Cup of brown sugar
1/4 Cup bourbon whiskey
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs apple juice
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Cup of BBQ sauce

Ribs

1 Tbs of salt 1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 Tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
1 Tsp ground ginger
1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 racks baby back pork ribs

1 large onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3-6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger
1 1/4 cups apple juice

Preparation

For basting sauce:

Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

For ribs:

Mix first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack and pull off (or score membrane). Rub 1 tablespoon seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack. Place ribs in large roasting pan. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or over night.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lift ribs from pan. Scatter onion, cinnamon stick, and ginger in pan. Pour in apple juice. Return ribs, meat side down, to pan; cover pan with foil. Roast ribs until meat is tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 2 hours. Uncover; cool at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill ribs until heated through and slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Brush generously on all sides with basting sauce. Grill until sauce becomes sticky glaze, about 3 minutes longer per side. Transfer rib racks to cutting board. Cut racks between bones into individual ribs.

You can thank me later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Potato Salad

The first potato salad I’ve made since spring has sprung!



I think I’ve posted potato salad before, but my recipe changes every time I make it. It depends on what I’m in the mood for and what’s in the fridge.

Ingredients:

Your choice of potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), cut into bite size pieces
Half a red onion, chopped
Good splash of white wine vinegar
1 Tbs of Dijon mustard
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
2 Tbs of capers, chopped
½ a cup of mayonnaise
1 Tbs of fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs of fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbs of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

I would recommend starting with smaller amounts of all the ingredients and add as you need it. If it needs more of a tart flavour add more vinegar, mustard or lemon. If you like your potato salads more creamy then add more mayo.

For the salad:

Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces, but not too small. Parboil potatoes in salted water until they’re slightly soft. When the potatoes are almost done add the eggs and let cook for about 4 minutes. Test the potatoes with a fork or eat one and make sure it’s how you like your potatoes to be cooked in your salad. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl. Run the hard boiled eggs under cold water and set aside.

Mix all ingredients with potatoes and taste to see if you need more of anything. Add the chopped eggs and lightly toss. Serve cold or at room temperature.

When I made this salad originally I didn’t have the tarragon or the parsley in there and it needed a little colour. I added the parsley and remembered I also had some fresh tarragon in the fridge. The tarragon really added a nice unexpected flavour that I really think made it.

Long Weekend Fun

How beautiful was this weekend? Between potato salad and barbequing we headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It wasn’t the original plan, but we were on Ottawa Street in Hamilton looking for fabric and decided to continue on. We had with us some lemon and thyme marinated chicken we cooked on the BBQ the night before and picked up some fresh bread at the farmer’s market. On our way to find a spot to eat with stopped at a couple of wineries.