Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Baked Crispy Skinned Char


  • Crispy skinned baked char fillet
  • Lemon herb (cilantro, basil, dill) basmati rice pilaf
  • Sauteed leek
  • swiss chard stem
  • tomatillos
  • watermelon radish
  • Cracked black pepper, lemon zest, celery leaf

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yorkshire Puddings

Yorkshire puddings are a traditional British staple served with savory dishes such as roasts. The natural well in the center of the pudding is filled with gravy or sauce. They are a souffle-like, pastry like, puff of deliciousness. This was my first attempt at making them, and they can seem intimidating but are actually very easy to make as long as you adhere to the procedure. Like souffles though, they will collapse, so serve them as soon as possible after baking!

Yorkshire Puddings
8 large eggs
2 cups milk (high fat)
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon salt
24 teaspoons (that's 8 Tablespoons or a little more than 1/3 cup) roast drippings, oil, or butter

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Sift the flour in gradually and whisk to avoid lumps, then whisk in the salt. Batter should be made at least two hours in advance and refrigerated but overnight is even better
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425F Place 1 teaspoon of fat in the well of each of 24 muffin cups. Place muffin pans on a baking sheet and place in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes until the fat is very hot and begins to smoke.
Moving quickly, pour the batter into the cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Carefully return to the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Don't open the oven before 15 minutes have passed. Mine were risen at this point, but took an extra ten minutes to brown.

Allow to cool slightly, then gently loosen from the muffin tins and serve immediately pooled with gravy or jus!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Champ

Champ are a delicious version of mashed potatoes. They are of Irish origin and are really only mashed potatoes with the addition of thinly sliced green onions but they are really delicious! Maybe it's because the Irish really know how to make a good mash! After having worked in Ireland a couple times, I learned the tricks to excellent mash. Here is my version of champ, which adds some garlic and browned butter for extra mashed potato yumminess!!

Champ
potatoes, peeled, boiled, drained well, mashed, and still hot
thinly sliced green onions (or spring onions, or scallions, they're all the same)
minced garlic
brown butter (melt unsalted butter, then continue cooking it until it turns golden brown)
whipping cream, heated until warm
black pepper
salt

Ensure the potatoes are well mashed and smooth. Then add remaining ingredients, gradually. You want the potatoes to be thin and creamy, but not soupy. And you should be able to taste the garlic, pepper and salt so no flavor overpowers the other. The onions should appear quite prominently throughout the mix. The hardest part is knowing the proper ratios of cream and butter and this comes with practice. Both serve to add richness and thin out the potatoes, but too much butter makes them greasy and too much cream makes them gummy or soupy.
I was taught that after adding enough liquid, the potatoes should be able to be mixed with a whisk until smooth. The process goes a lot smoother if the potatoes, cream, and butter are all hot to begin with!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach
butter
shallots
garlic
spinach
cream
salt
pepper

In a large, shallow pot melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat until softened and aromatic. Add in the spinach, stir it around, cover the pan and turn off the heat to allow the spinach to wilt.
Meanwhile, in a tall pot heat the cream and reduce until thickened and a yellow-ish color. 
Once the spinach is wilted and the cream is very thick, use a slotted spoon to spoon the spinach into the cream (to avoid getting excess liquid into the mixture and thinning it out). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Braised Baby Onions

We got some adorable little local baby onions in last week and I wanted to prepare them in a way so as to showcase them, and not just chop them up like any other onion (also because small onions are a pain to chop!). We had some little white onions, yellow, greenish, and purple. They are kind of similar to pearl onions but pearl onions are usually sold in a jar of brine, already peeled.
Anyway, I decided to peel them and trim them up, but leave them whole and braise them.

Braised Baby Onions
baby onions, peeled and bottom root sliced off
butter
brown sugar
red wine vinegar
red wine
water
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions, and toss to coat them. Sprinkle on some sugar and stir to coat Pour in a little vinegar and deglaze. Then pour in enough wine to cover and simmer until wine is reduced and no liquid remains Pour in a little extra wine and some water, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until onions are very soft and almost falling apart. Check on them periodically to make sure the mixture doesn't run dry. You want the braising liquid to be sticky and thick at the end but you don't want it to burn! Season as desired.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are delicious - naturally sweet, fresh, cute, easy to handle, versatile, etc. They are great for just snacking on as is, but to add them to a dish, I like to do a little something with them. Although very enjoyable raw, sometimes it is appropriate to cook them. Here is my method. For this batch I used cherry tomatoes in a variety of colors!
I halved them all and tossed them onto an oiled baking sheet. I drizzled with a little more oil, a small sprinkling of brown sugar to enhance the natural sweetness, and a sprinkle of salt and cracked black pepper. Then I baked them at 425F until the skins just began to soften.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Red Wine Jus

This is the sauce I served accompanying my prime rib roast. I made it using the juices and vegetables from the roast.


  1. Prepare the prime rib roast as described in yesterday's post.
  2. After removing the roast from the pan, you can either use that pan (especially if it is a rondeau) or transfer the contents to a pot. If the bottom of the pan is quite charred, then transfer the contents. You want the carmelized bits and vegetables but not anything which will impart a burnt, bitter flavor.
  3. Choose a red wine and poor in enough to just cover the vegetables. Add the stalks of the thyme and rosemary used for the roast rub.If the roast is already carved, add in the bones as well.
  4. Reduce until almost au sec. Then add some stalk (beef or veg) to completely cover. Reduce the mixture until it begins to thicken and darken. Then add more red wine and continue reducing.
  5. Strain the mixture into another pot and reduce further until you have a thick, dark, rich jus. If the mixture is still too thin, it can be thickened gradually with a cornstarch slurry, just note this will become a 'jus lie' and not a true 'jus'.
  6. Taste and adjust any seasonings as required. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic, Black Pepper Prime Rib


  • One prime rib roast (this one was 6 bones, and about 3.5kg)
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • garlic cloves
  • black peppercorns
  • 2 white onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  1. Clean up the roast as necessary and pat dry
  2. Put the thyme, rosemary, and pepper in a spice grinder and blitz until finely chopped Do not blitz too long as the fresh herbs contain moisture and will form a paste. You want more of a dry rub.
  3. Mince the garlic by hand or machine and mix together with the above herb and spice mixture. This will make the rub a little wet, but it should be easy to spread on the meat.
  4. Place the roast in a roasting pan or large pot (I used a rondeau). Position it so that is is resting on the bones with the fat cap up. This will serve as a natural roasting rack and the fat will baste the meat during cooking.
  5. Apply the herb mixture to the meat, spreading it in an even layer all over and ensuring it sticks.
  6. Roughly chop the vegetables and add to the pan around the meat.
  7. I then covered this with plastic wrap and allowed it to be seasoned overnight.
  8. The next day, I cooked the roast at 425F for about 3 hours until the internal temperature was 120F.
  9. You can lower the oven temperature to 325F-350F after 15 minutes or so, just to get the initial browning or cook the roast at a lower temperature for longer to avoid shrinkage.
  10. Allow the roast to rest, covered with foil, for an hour or so before carving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday Roast

At the restaurant where I work, Sundays are always special. We have a live Irish music session, as well as a big, special Sunday roast dish which is unique each week. Last Sunday was my first time doing the roast, and I was super excited. This is what I came up with:

  • Irish style prime rib roast (flavored with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and black pepper)
  • Brown butter champ mashed potatoes (green onion, garlic, brown butter, cream, black pepper, salt)
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • Red Wine Jus
  • Braised baby onion and shitake mushrooms
  • Roasted colored cherry tomatoes
  • Creamed spinach

Monday, September 11, 2017

Basil Lime Pesto

Basil Lime Pesto
basil
cilantro
olive oil
4 limes, zest and juice
salt and pepper

Blend all together until smooth. I combined cilantro with the basil for some extra smoothness, since the basil was particularly fibrous, and also so the flavor would not be so strong.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Herb and Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Herb and Garlic Oil
1 cup canola oil
5 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
smoked paprika
cracked black pepper
salt

Blend all ingredients together until well combined and mostly smooth.

Wash and halve baby red potatoes. Drizzle them with herb and garlic oil and toss to coat. Wrap in foil and bake until tender. Drizzle with extra oil to serve.

Note: Any leftover oil should be stored in the fridge. Oils with garlic are highly perishable and can cause bacterial growth if left at room temperature. 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Grilled Ratatouille

Grilled Ratatouille
2 large eggplants, halved lengthwise
2 large green zucchinis, halved lengthwise
3 red onions, halved
15 roma tomatoes, halved
2 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 bunch green onions

Drizzle all the vegetables lightly with oil, then place on a preheated grill. Char them until visible grill marks appear and the vegetables are tender, flipping them as necessary. Cool vegetables until they can be handled, then cut into a large dice. Toss all together and season with additional oil, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

Grilled Swordfish with Grilled Ratatouille


  • Honey coconut marinated swordfish, grilled
  • Grilled ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, red onion, and green onion
  • Garlic and herb roasted baby red potatoes
  • Basil lime pesto
  • Purple basil garnish

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Garlic Herb Butter Toasts

Garlic Herb Butter
2 pounds salted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh dill
cracked black pepper, to taste

Blend or cream all ingredients together until smooth.
For toasts: spread slices of bread (I used day old baguette) liberally with butter and toast until crisp. 

This butter can also be used as a sauce on steaks or for basting fish in a pan, or spread on warm bread, or a variety of other uses.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Tarragon and Thyme White Wine Bechamel Sauce

Tarragon and Thyme White Wine Bechamel Sauce
1 pound unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 cups white wine
4+ cups of milk (I used 2%)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour all at once and whisk vigorously until smooth. Gradually pour in the wine, whisking constantly until liquid is absorbed by the flour. Add in the milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking ocasionally until thickened and the taste of flour is cooked out. 
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and celery, cover, and turn to low heat. Allow the vegetables to sweat, without coloring, until softened. 
Stir the vegetables unto the sauce along with the herbs, then season to taste. 

The bechamel sauce is now ready. It can be used as a base for any kind of gratin, or it can be thinned out with some more milk or enriched with cream and/or butter to be used as a sauce. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Haddock Gratin


  • Haddock gratin
  • Tarragon and thyme white wine bechamel base
  • boiled baby red potatoes, caramelized onions, haddock chunks
  • oven baked panko breadcrumbs
  • herb and garlic butter toasts
  • side garden salad with mixed greens, cucumber, onion, carrot, and pickled red onion

Monday, September 04, 2017

"Weekend" Trip Day Four


Today I headed home early in the morning and back to work. But here is a look at an awesome dessert I enjoyed yesterday! I was at this adorable little ice cream cafe that offered a wide variety of rich, sweet, ice creamy desserts such as sundaes, waffles, crepes, cakes, beverages, and more. A lot of them had cute names too, such as Tropic like it's hot, Beaches and cream, Choc this way, Cocoa ono, and more.

I ordered this sundae called Summetime Fatness, featuring brownies, cocoa chanel ice cream, french dark chocolate sauce, belgian white chocolate sauce, chocolate pieces, whipped cream, and waffle. It. Was. So. Darn. Delicious. Suuuppper rich though!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

"Weekend" Trip Day Three

Today I experienced Korean Barbeque for the first time. Korean Barbeque restaurants allow you to grill your own meat, fish, chicken, and vegetables on a gas or charcoal grill usually built into the table itself. I had some steak, pork, short ribs, chicken, red pepper, and zucchini along with some side dishes of rice, fried tofu, and kimchi. 

It's a fun concept if you don't mind working for your food and doing most of the cooking yourself. You can grill foods and chat and eat a little at a time. And you can cook your food exactly how you like it; no complaints!


Saturday, September 02, 2017

"Weekend" Trip Day Two Point Five

In the evening of day two, I had a really, really cool dining experience. I went to a restaurant where the dining room is completely pitch black. It's a really neat concept - eliminating your sense of sight heightens your other four senses. Therefore you taste and experience your food a lot better and enjoy it solely based on flavor rather than eating with your eyes first. You can order two or three courses. The appetizer is a choice of surprise meat, fish, or vegetarian. For the entrees you can choose specific dishes such as a filet mignon, or pasta, or fish with sides, but you may also choose a surprise main or a surprise vegetarian main. And for dessert there is chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, fruit sorbet, or a surprise dessert. The restaurant also features a large selection of beers, wines, and spirits. 

You begin the evening in the lit bar, where you look at the menu and place your order. Next you are led by your server into the dining room. All of the servers are visually impaired, which I think is a great concept both because they are the best people to do the job and it gives them a great employment opportunity. You literally have to place your hand on your server's shoulder and allow them to guide you through the double doors and to your table. The tables are small and you have to keep track of where you set your water glass and utensils and napkin without being able to see them. Your server instructs you on where to place empty dishes when you are finished and always passes you food and drinks straight into your hands. Communication becomes even more important, with a lot of chatter throughout the dining room coming from people you can't even see. It is a little unnerving at first, not being able to see anything and having to rely on other people and other sense. You think your eyes will eventually adjust but they never do as the restaurant, which is in an old subway station, is completely dark. 

I had a surprise vegetarian starter, which to my taste buds turned out to be a salad with warm mushrooms and parmesan cheese. I also had a surprise cocktail, which didn't have a strong alcoholic taste but had a very pleasant fresh ginger flavor. My surprise vegetarian main seemed to be ratatouille with rice and cheese. And I am almost certain my surprise dessert was a piece of blueberry cheesecake. The most difficult part of the entire experience, I found, was knowing when you finished your plate or not. You had to use your hands a bit. It's probably kind of messy but luckily, no one can see you! I'd hate to see the tables afterwards but it would probably be fun to watch a video of me making a fool of myself.

It's fun going with a dining companion(s) as well, as it's a great chance to communicate without relying on body language and a fun, romantic experience to share. Just don't plan to share dishes because it is hard enough to find your own mouth let alone someone else's. I would definitely come back here again - your experience would be different every time!

Friday, September 01, 2017

"Weekend" Trip Day Two

Day Two was the really exciting food day in the city. The first part of it was spent at a large national exhibition. The ex takes place every year and features games, rides, cultural exhibitions, shopping, but most importantly, the large food building carrying a wide variety of interesting and unique vendors. 

At the ex, you will find lots of deep-fried and sugary foods, as well as ethnic foods and strange combinations of food. I saw things like cricket tacos, deep fried cookie dough, raclette, Jamacain fried chicken, Dutch stroop waffles, cake poutine, sugar mountain, liquid nitrogen sorbets, pizza cones, spaghtti doughnuts, sushi burritos, fudge, deep-fried chocolate peanut butter cups, octopus balls, mac and cheese, cheesecake on a stick, cookie sandwiches, giant smoked turkey legs, chocolate truffles, gnocchi, grilled cheese sandwiches, poutine, and so so much more!

I personally tried some Dutch stroop waffles, chili fries, cricket peanut brittle, octopus balls, raclette, deep fried cookie dough, chocolate fudge, smoked turkey, beer jelly, liquid nitrogen ice cream, and a cookie sandwich and possible more I have forgotten about. 
Deep fried cookie dough and peanut butter cups

Dutch fries and stroopwaffles

Chili fries (left) and octopus balls

Fudge


Mac and Cheese 
Cakes and desserts


Doughnuts

Raclette

Liquid nitrogen sorbets

Fudge

Chocolate truffles

Giant smoked turkey leg

Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Weekend" Trip Day One

A "weekend" in the food industry does not necessarily consist of Saturday and Sunday when in reference to time off. In fact, a weekend rarely falls on the busy days of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Rather a weekend is whenever you have two to three consecutive days off. Often you don't even get weekends, just two separated days off or not enough days off at all! For me, this past Sunday, Monday, Tuesday served as a weekend and were the first days off (aside from one random day off) in almost three weeks. Therefore, I treated myself to a mini weekend getaway. Here are some highlights from my trip.

On Sunday morning, after working until closing the night before, I woke up super early to travel to the airport and catch my flight out. I landed fairly early in the day, leaving the entire day for me to explore. The only food related event of the day (aside from eating tacos for dinner) was going out to lunch!

I went to a Sushi place for lunch where I had my first experience of ordering from an electronic tablet at the table instead of from a server. This was super convenient at a place like this, as it is basically an all-you-can-eat buffet but instead of a buffet line, the food comes from the kitchen quickly in small dishes. You choose options from a variety of sushi rolls, meat dishes, fried items, dumplings, vegetables, and more. 

I had some sweet potato sushi, radish sushi, deep-fried tofu, pork dumpling, edamame, sesame chicken, deep-fried chicken, avocado rice pizza, and a few others. I'll admit I really struggles to use chopsticks for all this though. 

And for dessert a selection of ice creams: red bean, green tea, mango, chocolate, and vanilla.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sauteed Beans

yellow beans, ends trimmed
flat green broad beans (or use snow peas), trimmed and cut into small lengths

Heat a little oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the yellow beans and saute until they begin to blister and color. Add the green beans and a dab of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the green beans develop some color. Pour in a little vegetable stock, turn the heat down and simmer the beats until tender.

Pan searing adds some caramelization to the vegetables and simmering them finishes cooking them.
Butter adds some flavor as does cooking the beans in veg stock.
Salt and pepper are the simplest of seasonings and can easily be supplemented with more herbs and spices.
Small amounts cook very quickly in a pan, larger quantities should be cooked in a large flat pan or spread among several pans.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Roasted Baby Red Potatoes

Flavored Oil
canola oil
cracked black pepper
kosher salt
garlic cloves
thyme leaves
parsely leaves
smoked paprika

Blend all ingredients together until mostly smooth. Use to drizzle over and coat potatoes in before roasting. Be sure to spoon a little extra oil over the potatoes before serving!
A great, easy way to add some delicious flavor to roasted potatoes directly in the cooking process. The oil may be made in advance and kept in the fridge. 

Place baby red potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with the oil (shake oil before using). Wrap tightly in foil and roast at 400F-450F until tender. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Citrus Cream Cheese Sauce

Citrus Cream Cheese Sauce
cream cheese
2 oranges, zest and juice
2 limes, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
salt
white pepper
honey

Blend all ingredients together to form a smooth and cream sauce. It should be thicker than whipping cream but thinner than mayonnaise if that makes sense. Basically it is easily spreadable but not pourable. Adjust seasonings to make it as sweet, salty, spicy, or citrusy as you wish! Goes great both on fish dishes and desserts!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Poached Striped Bass

Court Bouillon
fish stock
white wine
rice vinegar
red wine vinegar
lemon juice
diced onion or shallot
diced celery
cloves
star anise
fennel seeds
dill weed
peppercorns
bay leaf

Place all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Then use required amount as needed to poached fillets of fish. I used this particular mixture for striped bass fillets and it worked very well!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Poached Bass with Beans, Potatoes, and Citrus Cream Cheese

  • Striped Bass poached in court bouillon (white wine, fish stock, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, herbs and spices)
  • Pan-sauteed yellow string beans and green broad beans
  • Baby red potatoes roasted in garlic, thyme, parsley, paprika, and olive oil
  • Citrus cream cheese sauce
  • Purple basil

Friday, August 25, 2017

Easy Baked Salmon

Easy Baked Salmon
salmon fillets
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
brown sugar

Arrange the fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the fillets liberally with the salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. The salmon will cook very quickly this way, depending on the size of the fillets of course, but the oven temperature may also be increased or decreased. 

This salmon has a great, simple and uncomplicated flavor. It can be served as is with side dishes, or flaked into sandwiches, pastas, casseroles, and much more. It is a great alternative for grilling in colder weather. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

White Wine Chanterelle Cream Sauce

White Wine Chanterelle Cream Sauce
butter
fresh wild chanterelle mushrooms
salt
coarsely ground black pepper
white wine
cream

Melt the butter in a shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add the chanterelles and saute until beginning to brown. Deglaze with white wine and season with salt and pepper. Put a lid on the pot and allow to simmer until chanterelles are softened. Remove lid and allow the mixture to go au sec (allowing all the wine to be absorbed into the mushrooms and evaporate).

Meanwhile, put the cream in a shallow pot and boil until it is reduced (cream will thicken and start to turn from white to a yellowish hue).

Stir the cream into the mushroom mixture, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Seafood Linguini

Seafood linguini with white wine cream sauce with chanterelles, cherry tomatoes. beet greens, and fresh herbs.

  • Linguini noodles, cooked al dente (homemade if you are feeling ambitious)
  • White wine chanterelle cream sauce
  • Local mussels
  • Baked cracked pepper brown sugar salmon
  • Local cherry tomatoes
  • Baby beet greens
  • Fresh tarragon
  • Fresh dill

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Lobster Ravioli 2.0

I made lobster ravioli again; the filling recipe and dough recipes were essentially the same but this time there were several differences in the dish.
#1 I made them at work, not home
#2 The pasta rolling machine broke, so I did most of the rolling by hand which resulted in more work, more time, more muscle, and a slightly thicker dough
#3 I didn't have the little ravioli molds this time, so I hand cut them and pieced them together with round cutters
#4 I paired the ravioli with a different sauce and different sides

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lobster Cheesy Toasts

Lobster Cheesy Toasts
lobster meat pieces, finely diced
lemon zest
tarragon
salt
pepper
goat cheese
cream cheese
cheddar and/or parmesan cheese, if desired 

Mix all together well and spread on lengths of day-old baguette. Toast in the oven until hot and melty and golden.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chanterelle Cream Sauce

Chanterelle Cream Sauce
butter
chanterelle mushrooms
more butter
cream
salt
pepper


Heat the butter in a pan. Add the chanterelles and saute until softened and beginning to color. Add more butter. Then add cream to cover. Simmer to reduce cream. Add some more cream. Simmer until thickened. Season. And serve.

Just an FYI, sauces like this do not work out the same at all if you cook the mushrooms and reduce the cream separately. All the flavor in the cream comes from cooking the mushrooms in it, which in turns adds great flavor to the mushrooms!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wilted Spinach

The name may not sound all that appealing, but wilted spinach is a good way to prepare spinach as an alternative to raw or salad or cheese dip. It is quick and easy and makes a delicious side dish to many kinds of meals. Here is my method of doing it:

spinach (also works with other greens such as kale and swiss chard)
liquid, stock is best (I usually use veg, but more more flavor use chicken or pork. Water works too, it is just less flavorful)
aromatic flavorings (I use minced shallots and garlic)
butter (or margarine or oil for a non-dairy version)
seasonings (salt and pepper; add other spices if feeling adventurous) 

Method #1
Put the greens in a pan with the liquid and aromatics. Put on high heat until they start to wilt, stirring the leaves around so they wilt evenly. Then add butter and seasonings. 

Method #2
Heat the butter or oil in a pan. Throw in the spinach then pour in stock. Stir while it wilts down and add seasonings. 

A small amount of greens will cook very quickly in a small pan. Larger amounts will take longer. Ad remember the greens will shrink by more than half once cooked - so make lots!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sesame Soy Noodles

Sesame Soy Noodles
1 cup sesame oil
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
Cook rice vermicelli noodles according to package directions and shock in cold water.
Drain well then add the noodles to the marinade and allow to marinade for at leas tone hour.These noodles are good cold but also delicious fried in a pan to reheat.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Cake
3 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated (white) sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini, packed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line two 8x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, stir together the first six dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl whip the eggs and sugar together until light. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients followed by the zucchini then chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Try it, you'll love it, and won't even notice the zucchini!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Honey Coconut Cider Marinade

Honey Coconut Cider Marinade
1 cup liquid (or melted) coconut oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk all ingredients together well. Keep in mind the coconut oil will harden if this marinade is refrigerated, so I like to keep it in a warm place in the kitchen when in use. If it does solidify, the marinade can be gently heated to thin it out. I like to pour it into a squeeze bottle and drizzle it on items shortly before cooking. This marinade works well with fish and vegetables. It is a sweeter marinade which will not overwhelm delicate fish. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nectarine Salsa

Nectarine Salsa
4 roma tomatoes, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
4 jalapeno peppers, diced
3 nectarines, diced
zest of 3 limes
juice of 6 limes
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup olive oil
30 basil leaves, chiffonade
30 mint leaves, chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste

Chop ingredients and mix together in order given. Allow to marinate for a few hours and serve at room temperature. Great on swordfish! Feel free to adjust the spice level by adding or leaving out the seeds in the peppers.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Field Trip To A Farm

Today our work took a little field trip, since the restaurant was closed today. We were invited to visit one of our producers, who provides us mainly with fresh, local chickens, but their farm also features pigs, turkeys, mushrooms, and a variety of produce including cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, strawberries, haskap berries, seabuckthorn, raspberries, chokecherries, and more. It was fun to see where some of our food comes from and to meet the people behind the operation.