Friday, March 28, 2008

Blackened Steak Salad

Start with a triple vodka / oj cocktail, then blacken up some beef tenderloin by frying after rubbed with a pepper, thyme, cayenne, garlic, salt, paprika spice rub then dip both sides of your nippierd in melted butter and sear on each side, slice on top of simple lettuce in balsamic, dijon, olive oil dressing and crumble with blue cheese. To trump Ginger's dish add homemade croutons - slice french bread, fry in olive oil, pour on chopped rosemary, thyme, basil, chopped garlic and then melt on parmesan cheese. Wine - Sa Solin Ripasso, wine of the month at the LCBO. Get the recipe - minus the croutons.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More spelt pasta

What can I say? I love spelt. Spelt pasta is not only nutritious (higher protein content than wheat pasta), but it has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture. It's become a staple in my kitchen these days with my preference being this brand. Here's a quick "madrigiana" sauce- chopped cooked bacon in an organic tomato sauce with spelt rigatoni and spinach garnish. Fast, delicious, and good for you. [I can't believe I posted about bacon again!]


Drink n' Work

Sonoma Ridge, usually my favorite Zin to order in Cali. Found a deal at the LCBO a few days ago for $24 a bottle, where usually Ridge's are over 50. This one is 2005 and supposed to develop over 4 to 5 years, and it almost made it beyond 3 days here. Breaking it down 74% Zinfandel, 13% sirah, 8% carignane, Ridge's specialty is blending from different vineyard sites. Perfect bottle for an after dinner D&W (Drink & Work).


Monday, March 24, 2008

Como se dice Spanish Spinach Tomato Pizza

So my Tapas book is still opened on the counter from last night's almond-orgy and the next flip takes me to Spanish Spinach & Tomato Pizzas. They look very tasty in the picture but they also require baking my own little circles of bread which I can accomplish instantly by pulling out a few whole wheat pitas from the fridge. I gave the pitas a little bake in the oven to get them slightly crispy after brushing them with oil, then dropped on the mixture of tomatoes, onion, garlic and spinach. The mixture = one onion finely chopped fried in a little bit of oil for 5 minutes until soft but not browned, then one garlic clove for 30 seconds, then drop in a bunch of chopped tomatoes (i just strained a can of Edens organic canned tomatoes which are good because of low sodium content since they preserve in seaweed instead of salt) and let cook for about 5 ish minutes until most of the juice has bubbled away, then throw in a lot of baby spinach and stir it in until its all wilted into the mixture then salt and pepper it to taste). After you put the mixture on top of the pitas, top with pine nuts and drizzle a little olive oil and brush the sides of the pitas too. Push that into the oven for 15 minutes around 375. Kind of healthy, pizzaish but only because you eat it that way, no cheese, tasty, and you can taste the spinach. .


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Almond Joy

Its 11pm and the only snack I have in the house are some stale almonds from Sobeys that I've been munching on for days while cursing Sobeys for selling me stale almonds. I can almost understand how in the olden days people would make the trip back to grocery store to return their food. Instead, I was inspired by wanting-a-snack-at-11PM-and-having-nothing in-the-house-but-stale-almonds-creative and remembered my recent time in Spain and how good the almonds were, and searched how to do it in one of my Tapas books. I didn't even think about cooking the almonds, but you can and they're good and perfect for an 11pm snack. Next time I will just stock up on blanched almonds instead of doing the 'blanching' myself, but I suggest doing the whole thing yourself for the first time, its pretty satisfying and in comparison to cracking sunlower seeds, its way more satisfying for what you get. Spanish salted almonds -- take almonds and boil them for 4 minutes, drop in cold water for 1 min. Then take each one between your fingers and pinch the skin off, those little fuckers slide right out. Drop on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil and bake on 350 for 20 minutes. After, cover with paprika and sea salt for a tasty snack. The next time you do it, just get blanched almonds and throw them right into the oven instead of boiling. They're good with the late night Stiegel.


Bowl of florida

The first day of spring came and went, and the weather is still awful. Since we can't escape to warmer climes, we pretend we're in Florida by making a giant bowl of fruit.


Chicken fritters w/ cucumber salad

Long weekends are a good time to futz in the kitchen. This one isn't super complicated, but it did require a trip to the market. The full recipe is posted in the comments, enjoy.

Recipe: Donna Hay magazine Feb/Mar 2008


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The ginger zydeco

A delicious drink! The ginger zydeco from Food & Drink magazine (spring 2008). Two words – tangy & zippy.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1½ oz rye, ¼ oz lemon juice, 4 oz apple cider, ½ oz maple syrup and a thumb of diced ginger. Shake well, and strain into a fancy glass.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Italian fish soup

This is a great recipe, based on Italian Fish Soup. We added leeks, fennel and fresh fish of the day. Monk fish, scallops, calamari and clams. For dessert, cupcakes from The Cupcakery!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If life hands you lemons…make lemon cake

Since there's been an utter lack of sunshine around our parts these days, I'm relying on popping vitamin D pills and the sunny yellow goodness of lemons to get me through these (hopefully) last days of winter. This lemon cake (gâteau, if you want to be fancy) is more like a lemon loaf, but still moist and delicious all the same. Recipe from Orangette. Oh, and one more thing that'll help you combat winter- a tart cocktail. Mix one part Limonatta, one part Grey Goose, a twist of lemon and chill out while the cake's in the oven.


Versus: Orechiette Carbonara

The second versus challenge. This time, Orechiette Carbonara, a fast and delicious weeknight meal.

First up, Broccoli: I wanted to green this dish to offset my feelings of carb-guilt. I puréed spinach to create a pesto that I cooked quickly before adding the pasta and egg mixture to combine. I ended up making way too much, but I ate it anyway so I guess I wasn't feeling that guilty after-all. : )

Next up, Prosecco: Although the original recipe called for leeks, I chose to skip them as I'm not a fan. But like my colleague, Broccoli, I needed to bring some green to this dish so I wilted about a cup and a half of arugula in the pan the bacon was cooked in. The best part was eating the 'little ears' that had bacon stuck inside them. Bacon makes everything better.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Citrus gone wild

On display- a Calabrian lemon picked by our friend, C, at his grandparents' place in southern Italy. A freak of nature lemon with limbs that looks like it's holding its own branch!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bacon salad

Is there any point mentioning the other ingredients? Once you add bacon, it's perfect and it can't be improved further.

Anyway, the other insignificant bits are, spinach, apple, toasted walnuts and Roquefort. Finished with an olive oil, lemon and red wine vinegar dressing.

Bacon, bacon, bacon!!!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sammy & eggs

The gold standard for a Saturday morning breakfast – smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and fresh squeezed O.J. Those with a keen eye will ask "where's the toasted bagel?" Sadly, I forgot to get the final piece of the puzzle, a sesame seed bagel. Next time.

For anyone visiting NYC, don't miss the source of inspiration and the best breakfast anywhere. Barney Greengrass.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Apple and fennel slaw with prosciutto roll-ups

A crunchy, sweet and delicious salad. On the side two prosciutto roll-ups with 12-month unpasturized manchego cheese. 2004 Castello Di Neive Barbaresco


Bunny tastes like bunnies

Rob was kind enough to bring a truffel from Soma Chocolate. It's filled with a pistachio ganache, but I'd could swear it tasted like rabbit!


Bachelor spinach salad

Sometimes you have to make due with eating left-overs alone. That's not an excuse to eat from the pot, standing at the sink. For example, try a nice spinach salad with last night's grilled chicken and some extra feta. Finish with an olive oil, hazelnut oil, sherry vinegar and lemon juice dressing and voila! Bachelor spinach salad.

To lighten the mood, add Pascual Toso – Malbec 2006.

And finish off with a truffle from Soma Chocolate. This one is called "Arbequina" estate Olive oil. It's filled with an earthy tasting ganache that says "I'm eating alone, and I'm not sharing."


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fast food

Fast food after a run: 2 scrambled eggs with 7 yr old cheddar on a challah brioche and a side of roasted broccoli. My unorthodox seasoning: a dash of tamari on the broccoli just before consuming. I like the smoky saltiness. mmm…


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quick tuesday night dinner

Spelt pasta + hot Italian sausage + spinach = dinner in minutes & tomorrow's lunch.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Versus: Lamb burger

The first versus challenge. The recipe Greek Lamb Burgers combines all the things you love. Lamb, mint, feta and spinach. It's key to get the right bun, something that won't rip the roof of your mouth to shreds.

First up: Broccoli's burger with a side of yam fries, and an ice cold glass of Peroni.

Versus: Prosecco's burger with a side of sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli.