Friday, December 16, 2011

Brussels are not just for Christmas Dinner

The lowly brussel sprout receives a lot of undeserved criticism. The simple fact is they are a rather delicious vegetable and in my dealings with them they have possessed none of the unpleasant qualities so often attributed to them. Celebrate Winter by eating Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Pureed with Roasted Eggplant & Garlic with Gnocchi and Crisped Prosciutto

Wrap a few unpeeled cloves of garlic in foil and place in a hot oven along side a Japanese Eggplant and bake until soft.

Halve brussels and boil in a large saucepan. When soft spoon into a food processor and retain the cooking liquid to thin the puree and to cook the gnocchi in.

Squeeze the soft sweet flesh from the garlic into the food processor and add the flesh of the eggplant, discard the skin and add half a rib of celery chopped small. Pulse a few times to combine. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper and a small grating of fresh nutmeg. Be cautious, nutmeg can quickly overpower all other flavours. Add a little of the cooking water and process, check consistency and add more water if needed. It should not be a smooth runny sauce, it should retain some texture. Transfer the puree to a bowl and stir through some finely grated parmesan.

Warm a small skillet and add a little olive oil, when hot toss in pieces of ripped up prosciutto and fry until crisp, allow to drain before using.

While the proscuitto is cooking bring the brussels water back to a gentle boil (add more water if needed) drop in gnoccchi. Once they float allow to cook for about 5 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon.

To serve spoon puree onto a plate or bowl. Nestle the gnocchi on top and sprinkle the crisp prosciutto pieces over all. Finish with a few twists of black pepper.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

lovely organic strawberries from my balcony

It's September 3 and I've just picked these wonderful organic strawberries from the hanging baskets on my balcony. It just makes me smile. Last year I was still picking strawberries at the beginning of November, hoping to do the same again this year!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

my organic balcony garden starts producing

Apart from the strawberries we've been enjoying for a couple of months now and the organic basil, marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary and tarragon that have been adding great flavour to our dinners I'm excited the organic beans and san marzano tomatoes are now bearing fruit:

Prosciutto Wrapped Potatoes

Use the best quality small potatoes available, wrap each potato in a thin slice of prosciutto, place in a glass or ceramic oven proof dish with a little sunflower oil to prevent sticking. Cook in oven at 425 for 30 - 40 mins or until cooked through.

Prosciutto wrapped potatoes with BBQ wild sockeye salmon and heirloom tomatoes dressed in olive oil  & kosher salt.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Green Sausage Don - a kinda fusion

I was drawn to these sausages at Wholefoods because of their vivid green colour from all the kale packed in them. These are healthy; made with unmedicated chicken and very low in fat. There's nothing Japanese about the sausages but for some reason I wanted them on sushi rice. This is a pretty quick meal to put together and you can easily substitute any meat or protein for the sausages.

Thoroughly wash 3 cups of short white rice. Place in a large saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. reduce the heat, leave covered and simmer for about 12 minutes until all the water has gone. Remove from heat and leave to stand, covered, for about 10 mins. This will produce much to much rice for two. Refridgerate the leftover rice in a sealed container to use in the next day or two.

While the rice is cooking place sausages on a hot grill. I used a George Forman.

Dissolve 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in 1/2 cup rice vinegar.

Thickly slice 1 zucchini and 2 tomatoes. In a bowl combine 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon mirin. Allow zucchini and tomatoes to marinate in oil mixture for 5 or 6 minutes.

When cooked remove sausages from grill, keep warm and grill the zucchini and tomatoes.

Put rice in a non-metalic flat bottomed dish, a pyrex baking pan is ideal. With  a flat spatula, or rice paddle if you have one, make cutting motions through the rice to both breakup clumps and cool. Lift the rice and turn it over but do not stir which will break the grains. While cutting add the rice vinegar mixture a little at a time, you may not need to use it all, the rice shouldn't be too wet.

Serve the sausage on top of the rice with the zucchini and tomato on the side. Drizzle a little of the marinade over the zucchini and tomato.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I will not be at the market on June 19

I'm afraid I'm sick and therefore must be responsible and not prepare the focaccia for tomorrow's (June 19) market on Main Street. So regrettably I will not be at the Blim Market on June 19. Here's looking forward to July!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunday, June 19 BLIM Market hits the street

I'll be serving scrumptious fruit and herb focaccia on Main Street at 18th from noon 'till 5pm when the Blim Market joins up with Car-Free Day.

On the menu will be individual sized focaccia flavoured with fruits, herbs and spices in the following combinations:

strawberry, black pepper, vanilla
pineapple, basil
mango, cilantro, chili
blueberry, thyme, lemon

I'll also have refreshing cups of watermelon, mint and lime juice.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bake for the Quake exceeds

Bake For The Quake exceeded all goals on April 20, when over 650 people showed up at the Roundhouse in Vancouver and helped raise $7,136. All proceeds from the sale of baked goods, raffles, silent auctions and donations will go to Doctors Without Borders to help their work in Japan.

I am very proud to have been a part of this wonderful display of caring and generosity and I am very grateful to everyone who bought the focaccia I had for sale. 100% of the sales was donated to Bake For The Quake.

I'd like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has tweeted about my bread, you are all very kind and make the long hours worth it.

A special thank you and kudos to the hardworking organizers:
Melody Fury &
Joy Jose

See you all again soon.
Bake for the Quake by photographer, Mananetwork

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't miss Bake For The Quake, April 20


Focaccia stuffed with Mushrooms, Arugula & Garlic
Focaccia stuffed with Curried Chickpeas & Spinach
Capers & Olive Focaccia
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
Mixed Herbs & Lemon Focaccia

Crust is so very proud to bring these wonderful breads to Bake For The Quake and be among the stellar lineup of Vancouver bakers who will be raising money for Doctors Without Borders working with victims of the recent earthquake in Japan.

Drawing on the traditions of Italian, British and French breads and pies, Crust unashamedly blends tradition with today's tastes. Bold flavours in subtle combinations is the hallmark of everything Crust produces.

My plan is to establish Crust as a food truck and store and I am seeking a food-loving business partner who is as passionate about accounting and marketing as I am about making delicious treats and staples.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bake For The Quake - April 20, The Roundhouse, Vancouver

On April 20, Crust will be helping to raise money to support Doctors Without Borders working in the areas of Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Focaccia stuffed with Mushrooms, Arugula & Garlic
Focaccia stuffed with Curried Chickpeas & Spinach
Capers & Olive Focaccia
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
Mixed Herbs & Lemon Focaccia

The stuffed focaccia make a complete meal, the others are flavoured and make the perfect host for your favourite sandwich fillings.

Along with many other bakers in Vancouver, Crust has pledged to donate 100% of sales to this important cause.  Bring your containers and shopping bags and buy your lunch for the next few days, or better still fill your freezer with delicious breads, cookies and cakes to enjoy when the mood takes you.

Read all about this special event at: 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I just made cheese for the very first time!

Ricotta...and it's surprisingly easy...

A few weeks ago Ted Allen from Chopped @ChopTedAllen tweeted a link to make ricotta which peeked my interest so I marked it as a favourite

If you've ever made bread or used yeast in any way you'll know how magical it is to see what comes from mixing simple ingredients. Making ricotta is just as magical, the milk gets hot and then you're spooning clumps of cheese from the liquid.
Basically, you bring 2 litres of whole milk and 2 cups of buttermilk to 175 degrees over a high heat stirring constantly. then turn off the heat, but leave the pot over the cooling heat ring.With a large holey spoon gently skim off the curds that form and put them in a cheesecloth lined colander. This is the time consuming part but it's rewarding and relaxing. I found letting the milk stand for a minute between skimming resulted in skimming more fully formed curds.

When the milk stops producing curds lightly squeeze the curds in the cheesecloth to remove some of the liquid. Be very gentle, it's easy to over squeeze and produce a dry cheese. Gently stir through a sprinkling of salt. Let the cheese rest then cover and refrigerate. 

Yeilds about 1.5 cups of ricotta.

Friday, April 1, 2011

quick recipe #9 Chish 'n' Fips

serves one, greedily

Wash and thickly slice 1.5 Yukon Gold potatoes, or any other waxy potato.  Toss the slices in a little sunflower and olive oil and black pepper.  Spead in a single layer in a baking dish and put in a hot oven, 400c for about 30 mins.

In 3 seperate shallow bowls place some cornstarch (cornflour in the UK), one beaten egg and some panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Add to the cornstarch one tsp of garlic powder. You could add here any dried spice or herbs you enjoy, but the flavouring should be only a slight hint in the background. Heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan.   

Wash and pat dry a fish fillet, I used a thick fillet of Ling Cod, which was tender, moist and delicious but any white fish will be good.

Cover the fish in cornstarch and shake off the excess. Dip in the beaten egg until completely covered. Roll in the panko for an even covering. Fry the fish in the hot oil over a medium heat until golden brown and cooked through, 7-8 mins each side.

Meanwhile, warm some organic canned peas in a small saucepan. It's your preference, but I think canned peas have a better flavour than frozen.

Serve with malt vinegar, a good twist of black pepper and a sprinkle of good quality salt.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Come and say "hi!"

Come and say "hi" at Blim Market, Heritage Hall, Main & 15th, 
on Sunday March 27, 12noon - 5pm

I'll have piping hot pasties fresh off the griddle and stuffed focaccia.
Also, I'll be introducing an all natural filled loaf which is gluten free
and doesn't use weird gums to immitate wheat. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great Guacamole with a simple Flat Bread

 This great guacamole comes from Gourmet Fury it was deliciously creamy yet tangy and oniony. We enjoyed it with some smoked chorizo, sometimes called dry chorizo, a simple green salad and a very easy flat bread.

Whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, kosher salt, water, red onion and fresh rosemary, olive oil, that's it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crust at Blim Market - Sunday March 27, 2011

BLIM Market, 12noon - 5pm Heritage Hall (Main St & 15th)

I'm so looking forward to seeing you all again for lunch on Sunday.
Crust will be whetting your appetite with old favourites and a couple of newbies to tickle your fancy:

Piadina Pasty (served hot off the griddle)
- curried chickpeas, feta, peas
- ricotta, olives, capers, lemon, chili

Focaccia stuffed with mushrooms, arugula, garlic

Chestnut Loaf with tomato and basil pesto (gluten free)

Focaccini with apple, red onion & oregano

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

quick recipe #8 Lamb Kibbe with Mango Salsa, Sour Avocado Sauce & Brown Basmati Rice

Well, changing the clocks for that extra day light at the end of the day certainly brought an end to lusting after heavy comfort food. Walking home last night I found myself thinking of all things light and fresh and I drifted off to the Middle East.

Serves 2 with a few kibbe leftover:

To make the kibbe:
Process to a fine crumb half cup of unsalted pistachio nuts, quater cup pine nuts and 1 tsp course sea salt. Place in bowl.
Process until finely chopped half a medium onion and 2 small carrots. Add to the bowl with the nuts. Add 1lb ground lamb, 2 tsp heaped cumin, 1 tsp heaped all spice, 1 tbsp olive oil and a good twist of black pepper. Mix together with wet hands until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Cook 1 cup brown basmati rice with 4 whole cloves in 2 cups water.

While the rice is cooking dice 1 lge ataulfo mango, 1 lge tomato, 1 serrano chile (seeds removed), 1.5 roasted red peppers and toss well with the juice of one lemon.

Mashed the flesh of 1 avocado with 1 cup of thick sour cream (not fat-free) and 3 crushed cloves of garlic. Mix until well combined. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Form the kibbe with wet hands, taking a large walnut of lamb, rolling into a ball then flattening slightly. You should have 12-14 kibbe. Cook in the hot oil until heavily browned on both sides.

While the kibbe are cooking julienne a large handful of fresh basil and stir through the salsa.

Serve the kibbe on top of the rice with avocado sauce and salsa alongside.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

quick recipe #7 A Simple Mid-week Stew

This stew is a direct descendant of the stews my mum, Audrey Robinson, used to make every week throughout the winter when I was a child.  They were, without question my favourite dinner of the week and are probably the reason why to this day I love wet food more than any other. If ever posed with one of those morbid last meal type questions I can't think of anything other than stews, casseroles or shepherds pie (which isn't so wet, but still in the same vein). Mum usually served this stew with either mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes, which I would mash down into the gravy with the back of my fork, delicious. Sometimes, at the end I'd use a slice of white bread to soak up any remaining gravy, also delicious.

This stew, is full of flavour and doesn't require hours of slow cooking. It's a cozy mid week dinner for cold wintery nights.

serves 4-6, freeze leftover stew for another night

Brown 1.5lb extra lean minced (ground) beef in a little sunflower oil in a large pot. While the meat is browning roughly chop 1 medium onion, 1 large carrot & 2 sticks of celery. When the juices from the meat have almost fully reduced stir in the chopped vegetables with lots of fresh ground white pepper, a pinch of salt and a tsp of dried chili flakes. When the onion is starting to soften add 2.5 pints of hot chicken stock, the juice only from a large can of tomatoes and a large sprig of fresh oregano (use a tsp of dried, if fresh is not available). Bring to a gentle simmer and partially cover.

Now peel 4 large potatoes and cut each one into about 16 even sized chunks. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 - 20 mins until cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking add 1 can of sweet corn, rinsed, to the stew with 1 can of peas and their water and 1 can of baked beans in tomato sauce.

Peel and crush 4 or 5 large cloves of garlic and add to the stew.

Drain and mash the potatoes with a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter, a good splash of milk and a generous amount of white pepper.

Remove the sprig of oregano from the stew and discard. Finely chop 1.5 tbsp of fresh oregano and stir through the stew.

Serve in deep bowls, potatoes in first with the stew around the sides.

What are your favourite stew memories?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thanks for braving the cold wet slushy snow...

...and coming out to the Blim Market at Heritage Hall yesterday.  And a very special thank you to everyone who took time to compliment the Piadina Pasties they enjoyed for lunch; it means a lot.

I look forward to seeing you all again next month, March 27th.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crust at Blim Market Feb 27, 2011

With great sadness, I have to let you know that due to faulty scales the chestnut bread will not be available.

I'm changing my name!
Come and enjoy Crust on Main Street at 15th:

Griddle Pasties: Piadina, an Italian flat bread, filled with a choice of 3 fillings:
- curried garbanzo beans, feta and peas
- leek and cashew pate with spinach
- ricotta cheese with capers, olives, lemon, chili and tomato

Chestnut Bread baked with caramelized onion and garlic, rosemary and cherry tomato (gluten free)

This menu is subject to amendment.

I look forward to seeing you for lunch and a chat!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

quick recipe #6 Hearty Halibut Soup with Sage and Rapini

serves 2

Cut to small dice 2 medium potatoes, 1 small rutabaga (swede), 1 medium carrot, 1 stick of celery, 1/2 medium onion.
Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, celery & onion and cook until onion starts to soften. Stir in the diced potatoes and rutabaga to coat with oil.
Add 4 cups chicken stock, a good pinch of salt and a few twists of white pepper and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, chop 1 cup rapini and set aside.
Remove skin from the halibut.
Use wild halibut if it is available, ask the fishmonger to cut a piece large enough to serve two people.
Cut the halibut into 1/2 inch chunks and set aside.
When the vegetables are al dente put 1/3 of vegetables and stock in a food processor, add more white pepper to suit your taste and process until smooth.
Add the fish and rapini to the saucepan and allow to cook over gentle heat.
When the fish is cooked through return the processed vegetables to the saucepan and stir to combine. Allow to warm.
Finely chop enough fresh sage to give 1 tbsp.
Divide the soup between 2 large bowls. Top each soup with a large spoonful of sour cream, preferably fat free, and sprinkle the soup with the finely chopped sage.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

quick recipe #5 Grains braised with Horseradish, Aged Sirloin Steak, Brussels

Yesterday, I took a trip to Big Lou's Butcher Shop It's a great step back in time little corner shop owned by the chefs behind Two Chef's and a Table on the next block, but it is very much of now selling primarily local and naturally raised meats.

I came out with a beautiful aged sirloin steak from Pemberton Farms. Walking back home I had to decide my dinner. Recently, I've been trying to incorporate more grains into the meals I cook, inspired in part by Mark Bittman's The Food Matter's Cookbook. So I made a simple dinner around the steak with food I already had at home. Horseradish is a traditional condiment for beef and works very well as a seasoning for the grains:

This recipe serves one
Wash and season the steak with a little sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Combine equal parts spelt, oat and barley flakes to a total of 1/2 cup.  Put in a saucepan, add half a stick of celery and 4 cloves garlic both finely chopped, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Stir in 2 cups of chicken stock.  This will be a wet creamy porridge rather than a thick porridge. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Wash, trim and halve 5 brussels sprouts. Preferably steam over simmering grains. If you don't have a steamer, boil in enough water to half cover. They are done when tender but still slightly firm, keep warm.

When the grains have softened and released their starch into the stock to make it creamy stir in 1 generous tbsp of hot horseradish sauce. However, this should be to your taste so add a little then taste and add more until you have it to suit yourself. Allow to simmer a little longer for the flavours to develop.

Warm a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, but any pan will do. When very hot lay the seasoned steak in the centre of the pan. Using tongs turn the steak very quickly to sear all sides, including the fat.  For medium cook for 4-5 minutes total.

Spoon the grains onto a plate with the brussels on one side and the steak nestled on top. Well balanced and delicious!

I think these grains would also work well with dry seared salmon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

quick recipe #4 Chicken and Gai Lan in Lemon & Ginger on Noodles with Spicy Hoisin Glazed Green Beans and Tofu

Quantities are for two.

1. Grate and squeeze the juice from a two inch piece of ginger. Mix with the juice squeezed from 1 lemon and 1tsp mirin or sugar.
2. Cut two organic chicken breasts into bite size pieces and mix in with the juices. Add a few twists of white pepper and set aside to marinate.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles.
4. Warm 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil and 1/2 tbsp sesame oil in a frying pan. Cut half a block of medium firm organic tofu into 1 inch cubes and add to the warm oil. Cook until starts to turn gold, stirring and turning frequently to avoid sticking.
5. Add the chicken and all the marinade to another pan and bring to a gentle simmer and allow to poach.
6. Trim a large handful of green beans. Set aside.
7. Trim 8 pieces of gai lan and chop into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
8. Grate 4 large cloves of garlic. Set aside.
9. Combine 1 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp sambal oelek, 1 tbsp soy sauce. Set aside.
10. When the tofu is staring to colour add the green beans and toss in the oil. Add the hoisin mixture and bring to a simmer and allow to reduce to a glaze.
11. When the chicken is almost cooked stir in the gai lan, garlic and a splash of soy sauce.  Raise the heat a little and allow the gai lan to cook for a few minutes and the marinade to reduce slightly.
12. When both chicken and tofu are cooked remove from heat and put noodles in the pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes or according to the instructions.
13. Strain the noodles and place on a serving dish. Top with the chicken and gai lan and all the sauce. Place the tofu and beans on a separate plate and serve along side the chicken and noodles.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

quick recipe #3 Roast Pork Tenderloin seasoned with Fennel, Roast Potatoes and Braised Red Cabbage

A few months ago while back in Britain I took a trip to Hay-on-Wye in Wales with my two oldest friends. Hay-on-Wye is a small town and a mecca for book lovers with over thirty shops selling secondhand books. I do not have any strong feelings towards secondhand books but I was very happy to find a paperback copy of The Renaissance of Italian Cooking by Lorenza de'Medici, first published in 1989. It is a collection of "aristocratic" recipes, many of which have been passed on through her family. However, despite their grand heritage many of the recipes are simple and elegant and can be easily prepared.

The recipe that follows is for a sort of porchetta, that was inspired by de'Medici's Roast Pork with Fennel.

Quantities serve two.
1. Warm oven to 425.
2. Finely chop together 5 cloves garlic, 1.5 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary. Mix in 1/2 tsp sea salt and a few good twists of black pepper.
3. Cut the pork tenderloin 3/4 through lengthways.
4. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the inside of the pork.
5. Spread the garlic, fennel, rosemary mixture over the inside of the pork.
6. Close the pork and secure the tenderloin with butchers string. Rub a little salt & pepper over the tenderloin and place in a roasting pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter. Place uncovered in hot oven.
7. Peel 3 large Russet potatoes and cut each into 6 or 8 pieces. Bring to a boil for 5 mins in a saucepan of water. Drain and gently shake in the saucepan to slightly crush the outsides, which will improve the crust. Arrange around the pork and toss in the oil and butter. Return to the oven to roast.
8. Chop up 1/4 large red cabbage (I was luck enough to have small heads of red cabbage that have been growing on my balcony). Slice 1/4 large onion. Cut 5 cloves garlic into 4 pieces each. Mix together and arrange in medium sized casserole. Season with a little sea salt & black pepper and add 1.5 cups chicken stock. Cover with lid and place in the oven.
9. Dice 1/2 large bulb of fennel, removing the fronds and core. Place a small pan with a lid together with a tbsp butter and 1/4 cup water. Allow to warm slowly, until the fennel is soft.
10. Place cooked fennel in a food processor with 1/2 cup milk. Process to a smoothish sauce.
11. When pork is cooked remove from pan and allow to rest before removing the butchers string. Return potatoes to the top of the oven to crisp. Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon when they are golden.
12. Remove the cabbage when softened.
13. Deglazed the roasting pan with 1 cup white wine, bring to a simmer and add the fennel. Mix together and simmer to reduce slightly. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
14. Untie the pork and slice widthways into 1 cm slices.
15. Arrange slices of pork, potatoes and cabbage on plates and spoon the fennel sauce over the pork.

Friday, January 28, 2011

quick recipe #2 Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale and Lemon Chicken Thighs

quantities serve two generously

1. Gently warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Finely dice 1/4 onion, 1 stick celery, 1 small gold beet. Add to warm oil with a couple of pinches of dried chili flakes and a good twist of pepper and allow to soften.
3. Cut off excess fat and chop 4 organic chicken thighs into bite size pieces (chicken is so messed up only buy organic or unmedicated)
4. Add 1 litre of chicken stock to the softened vegetables (homemade is best but organic reduced sodium is good too) and bring to a gentle simmer to allow the beet to cook.
5. Zest 1 lemon and massage the zest into the chopped chicken thighs with 1 tsp sea salt & 1/2 tsp black pepper.
6. Warm 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan. When warm add the chicken thighs.
7. Squeeze the juice from the zested lemon and add to the chicken. Simmer to reduce to a light glaze.
8. Tear up 3 large leaves of kale, discarding the main stems.
9. Grate 3 cloves of garlic, discarding the skins.
10. When beets have almost cooked add 2.5 large handfuls of fine German egg noodles (similar to broken angle hair pasta)
11. Add kale and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
12. Serve noodles and soup in large bowls topped with lemon chicken thighs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

quick recipe #1 - Pasta with "Hummus" Sauce, Bacon & Roasted Broccoli

These quantities serve two with leftovers for lunch.

1. Heat the oven to 420 for the broccoli and bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
2. Chop 1 medium head of broccoli and part of the stem into bite size pieces. Toss in olive oil and black pepper and place in bottom of oven.
3. Cut 4 slices of double smoked bacon into 1/2 inch pieces, scissors are your best friend for this job and place in pan with a good glug of olive oil and twist of black pepper.
4. Finely chop 1 stick of celery and 1/4 of large onion and add to the bacon. Allow to slowly soften.
5. In a food processor, place 1/2 can of rinsed chickpeas, preferably organic, 4 tablespoons of tahini, 4 large cloves of garlic, a pinch of sea salt, lots of back pepper, 1/2 cup of olive oil and blend to a paste.
6. When pot of water comes to a boil add a teaspoon of salt, return to the boil reduce heat slightly and add 4 large handfuls of wholewheat fusili.
7. Remove broccoli from oven when peaks are browning and set aside.
8. Roughly chop 1/2 tomato and set aside.
9. When pasta is almost cooked add the remaining 1/2 can of rinsed chickpeas to the bacon together with the "hummus" mixture from the food processor.
10. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the bacon and stir to incorporate a smooth sauce. Allow to warm through.
11. Drain the pasta when al dente and add to the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir to combine.
12. Divide the pasta and sauce between two plates top with chopped tomato and roasted broccoli, serve with extra black pepper.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thank you Gourmet Fury

Thank you Melody for stopping by and then tweeting about my blog! And a special thank you for making me realize how lazy I have been in posting to it.

The end of last year was a little busy. I took a trip back to London to see family & friends in November. I had a wonderful time and food played a large part. It was so good to enjoy British fish & chips on my first night back; you can’t get rock & chips in Vancouver and it’s such a deliciously rich and meaty fish. Then there were the breakfasts with black pudding and succulent back bacon.

I had a great day at Borough Market by London Bridge Station, bought some terrific cheeses and a game pie, which I have to say was very disappointing; too grisly. But strolling around the market drinking hot mulled wine on a chilly November morning was a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

Lunch at St John Bread & Wine in Spitalfield was everything I’d dreamed of. I had ox heart with watercress and pickled walnuts.

Once back in Vancouver it was time to think about Christmas and make the mincemeat ready for pies. Mincemeat needs to be made well in advance to allow the flavours to develop and deepen. Also the Christmas pudding had to be made early for the same reason and to allow time to slowly add brandy and give it its rich Christmasy flavour.So, now 2011 is well under way. February 27 will see Blim market kick off and I’m working on a few new recipes to present alongside the old favourites at Heritage Hall on Main Street. The complete menu will be up soon and I look forward to meeting you all there.