Four Easy Tips to Make the Perfect Soufflé

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I’m never really sure who comes up with these national food days for various ingredients and dishes, but nonetheless, they always seem to be a fun excuse to make something delicious.

Since February 28th is National Chocolate Soufflé Day, obviously, it’s only natural to try to whip a few up for yourself (and some friends — don’t be greedy) at home. Making soufflés can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first go at it. To make sure you get the tallest, puffiest soufflé of them all, here are four tips from Top Chef Canada season 4 alum and pastry chef extraordinaire, Karine Moulin.

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How to make a perfect soufflé:

1. Make sure to properly brush the melted butter and then coat the inside of the ramekins completely with sugar. This is what makes soufflés rise evenly and achieve full height.

2. Once prepared, soufflé batter needs to be baked immediately. The longer it sits out at room temperature the less height you will have with the final products.

3. Run your eggs under warm water before using. This will help you get more volume and great height with your soufflés.

4. When it comes to getting creative with a soufflé batter, avoid using whole fruit like pieces of apple or other fresh fruit in the mix as this will prevent the soufflés from rising.

Karine Moulin will be baking these beauties all weekend long at her restaurant, Yellow Door Bistro, in Calgary. If you’re a little too far away to pop into Yellow Door for a soufflé, don’t worry, Moulin has shared her no-fail recipe with us!

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Karine Moulin’s White Chocolate and Lemon Soufflé

Serves: Six 4oz ramekins

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 large organic egg yolks
10 large organic egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 cup white chocolate shavings
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus the zest of 2 lemons)
1 vanilla bean cut in half, remove the seeds
1 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Brush melted butter inside each ramekin, and coat with sugar. Using your index finger, level off the top surface of the ramekin, to make sure there is no butter or sugar on the top of the lip.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  3. Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, about 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.
  4. Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.
  5. Next, fold in the white chocolate shavings and fill each soufflé dish until it is 3/4 full, removing any excess batter from rims.
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and let cook in oven until soufflés rise and are golden on top, about 16 to 18 minutes.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

How to Make Easy Ramekin Tourtières

Tourtière is a classic French-Canadian comfort food often enjoyed on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It can be a labour of love, as traditional recipes require boiling potatoes and homemade pastry. This streamlined version swaps out mashed potatoes for ready-made breadcrumbs, and replaces the classic lard pie crust with decadent commercial puff pastry. This tourtière is also a little lighter. Instead of a double-crust 9-inch pie, individual servings are cooked in ramekins and topped with a single layer of pastry.

Easy-Tourtiere-recipe-ramekin

Serves: 4 (about 1 cup each)
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground pork
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried savory*
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 roll commercial puff pastry (half a 450g package), defrosted
* If you don’t have savory, you can substitute Herbes de Provence.

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Directions:

    1. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium skillet.
    2. While the water heats, in a large bowl, mix the pork, onion, garlic, savory, thyme, salt, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper together until combined. Once the water boils, stir the pork mixture into the water, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pork is cooked and tender.
    3. Stir in the bread crumbs and continue to cook, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the pastry.
    4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 12-inch square. Place a ramekin upside down on the pastry and cut a circle about an inch larger than the rim. Cut an X in the centre of each circle to allow steam to escape. Repeat until you have 4 circles.*
    6. Divide the filling evenly between four 8-ounce ramekins (about 1 cup of filling each). Wet the rim of the ramekin and place a pastry circle on top and press over rim. Alternatively, you can tuck the edges of the pastry inside.
    7. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling hot. Serve while still warm.

*If you don’t have ramekins, you can bake the filling in a 9-inch pie plate topped with a whole sheet of puff pastry. Be sure to slit the top to vent the steam.

100x100_Charmian Christie Charmian Christie is a cookbook author and food writer whose wants to mess up your kitchen so she won’t be alone in the chaos.

Homemade Vegan Calzones

We say, why bother with the big sloppy slices when you can fit a calzone nicely in your hand with no mess!

If you feel like making your pizza dough from scratch, check out our step by step post here.

Vegan Calzones

Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 package of pre-made pizza dough from the deli section of your grocery store
1/3 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour (for rolling out your dough)
1 can pizza pasta sauce
1 package Daiya jack-style wedge or mozzarella-style shreds
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1/4 cup olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Remove the fresh pizza dough from the bag and place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Cut the ball in half and each half into thirds, for a total of six smaller balls of dough.
  4. Lightly flour a rolling pin and continue to lightly flour your rolling surface as you go to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out one small ball of dough until it is approximately 7-8 inches wide. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle or oval.
  5. Place 1 to 2 Tablespoons of pizza sauce on the surface of the dough with a spoon and leave about a 1/2 inch of space from the edge of the dough.
  6. Place your toppings on one half of the sauced part of the dough. Try to have a bit of cheese on the bottom and the top. If you’re using the Daiya jack-style wedge, cut the whole wedge into 6 even strips or chunks and use one piece per calzone.
  7. Fold the dough over the toppings. Then fold both edges upward and pinch together simultaneously around the circumference of the calzone. Then take a fork and press the prongs of the fork into the folded and pinched edge for extra reinforcement.
  8. Lightly oil a baking sheet with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Place finished calzones on the baking skeet and brush each with another tablespoon of oil on the surface and the edges of the calzones.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until crispy and golden brown on the edges.
  10. Once baked, let the calzones sit for a few minutes before serving or cutting in half.

Read the full post on the w dish blog here.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Giveaway: $250 Prize Pack for National Cupcake Day

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In support of National Cupcake Day, to help raise funds for animals in need through SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada, we’re giving away a baking prize pack valued at more than $250, courtesy of HERSHEY’S CHIPITS and Reynolds® Staybrite®. Please show your support by registering here.

For a chance to win the prize pack, tell us which one of these cupcakes you’d like to make today. Email your answer to webmaster@foodtv.ca or share your answer on our Facebook page.

This giveaway will close on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 9:00am ET. Click for full giveaway rules and regulations.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Meatloaf with Chipotle Glaze

Meatloaf is definitely making a comeback! Like many other traditional comfort foods, meatloaf is simple to make, can be customized for your taste and is relatively inexpensive.

TheHotPlate_MeatloadChipotleGlaze

This juicy meatloaf is encased in prosciutto and is doused in a generous amount of a smokey-sweet chipotle balsamic glaze. It requires very few ingredients and if you’re looking to make it last, you can shape individual meatloaves and bake them in mini loaf pans. That way you can freeze them for later!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp  adobo which comes in cans of chipotle peppers
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
1 whole egg
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 half medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
8 strips of Prosciutto
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Start by assembling the glaze so that the flavours have time to meld together. In a bowl with the adobo, mix in the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard and ketchup. Give it a stir all together to make sure everything is combined. Set it aside.

2. For the meatloaf, add breadcrumbs to a large mixing bowl. To the breadcrumbs add the ground chicken and the ground pork. Toss in the cumin and oregano along with a hit of both salt and pepper. Crack in the large egg and start to mix all together.

3. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once preheated, add the finely chopped onion and red pepper pieces. Start to sauté until onions and peppers are soft, and onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.

4. Now that the vegetables are ready, add them to the bowl with the meatloaf and stir until combined. You want the meatloaf to stay fluffy, so make sure to fold in the remaining ingredients. Once the meatloaf ingredients are completely combined, and set the meatloaf aside.

5. Line a loaf pan with tin foil. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. Grab a strip of prosciutto and lay one end in the middle of the loaf tin. Drape remaining prosciutto over the side until there is about 1-3 inches of extra prosciutto hanging over the edge. Continue with 5 more prosciutto slices until the tin is lined.

7. Shape meatloaf into an oval with your hands, roughly the size of the loaf tin and just pop it in. Pat it down gently to make sure it’s even and top the meatloaf with the 2 remaining prosciutto slices. To make sure this is a fully prosciutto-wrapped meatloaf, fold over those leftover ends.

8. Pour half the glaze over the meatloaf and smooth it over top. Keep the rest of the glaze for halfway through the cooking process. Transfer the loaf tin onto a baking sheet and pop it into an oven preheated to 350°F for about 1 hour. About 30 minutes into the cooking process, brush meatloaf with remaining glaze, and continue to cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

9. Remove meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to slice and serve.

Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.

Super Easy Slow-Cooker Chili

Nothing beats a hearty bowl of chili. This slow cooker recipe is simple and hassle-free — the perfect thing to cook when you’re busy. Just toss it in the slow cooker, and let it go.

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Slow-Cooker Chili

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 15 mins
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion (chopped)
½ green pepper (chopped)
½ red pepper (chopped)
½ yellow pepper (chopped)
2 large carrots (chopped)
4 stalks of celery (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Kernels from 2 cobs of corn
1 Jalapeno pepper (chopped)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup red kidney beans
1 cup white beans
1 can (540 ml) crushed tomato
2 cans (1.5 litres) diced tomato
Salt & pepper
1 bunch of basil leaves (8-10 leaves)

BS-in-the-Kitchen-Slow-Cooker-Chili-easy

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, add oil, and heat to medium-high.
  2. Once heated, add meat, cooking until browned.
  3. Add garlic, onion, peppers, carrot, celery, and corn, along with spices. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until everything becomes fragrant, and onions begin to turn slightly translucent.
  4. In a slower cooker, add ingredients from your pan, then return the pan to your element, deglaze with coffee, and add to slow cooker.
  5. Add in the beans, and tomato, cooking on low for around 8 hours, or high for about 4 hours. If you are using unsoaked beans, you will likely need to cook for a longer time period on low, for the beans to soften up (I cooked the chili this way, and cooked for about 8 hours on low).
  6. Once cooked, serve with a some shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, diced red onion, and some nice bread.

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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1 Dish, 2 Ways: Pork & Shrimp Wontons

Whether you like your wontons slurped or crunched, one thing’s for certain; little pouches of savoury pork dumplings are always a deeply satisfying meal, no matter what time of year.

If you need a little push, make the Lunar New Year a culinary excuse for finally trying your hand at making homemade wontons. Thanks to handy store-bought wrappers, it’s easier than you think.

The trick is learning how to properly fold the wontons so that the filling doesn’t ooze out during the boiling or frying process. But truth be told, even if they don’t look like they’ve been assembled by a dumpling master, as long as they hold together, they’re going to taste absolutely delicious.

friedwontons

Serving Size: approximately 60 wontons
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Crispy Pork Wontons with Chili Oil Sauce

Ingredients:
12 store-bought wonton wrappers

For the Filling:
8 ounces ground pork
4 ounces raw shrimp, minced
3 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper

For Frying:
1 cup canola oil

For the Chili Oil Sauce:
½ Tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ Tablespoon dried chili flakes
1 Tablespoon oil

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Directions:

  1. Combine the pork with the rest of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl. *Assemble the dumplings.
  2. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a wok or stock pot to 350°F for deep-frying. Gently drop the pork dumplings into the oil and deep fry in batches.
  3. Deep-fry until they turn golden brown. Dish out with a slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by placing hot dumplings on a wire rack or dish lined with paper towels.

*How to wrap the dumplings:

  1. Place a piece of wonton on a flat surface about 1 Tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper, being careful not to overfill.
  2. Dip your finger in a bowl of warm water and circle around the filling, and fold over to form a triangle shape.
  3. Using both thumbs and index fingers, press and squeeze both sides of the dumplings towards the centre to form the folds. Seal the dumpling by dipping your index finger into a small bowl of water and circle around the outer edges of the wonton wrapper.
  4. Place them on a floured surface or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth to prevent drying.

Pork Wonton Soup

Ingredients:
12 store-bought wonton wrappers

For the Filling:
8 ounces ground pork
4 ounces raw shrimp, minced
3 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper
2 cups, water (for boiling wontons)

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For the Soup:
6 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth
Green onions, to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Wontons, soba noodles or noodles of choice

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Directions:

  1. Cook noodles, drain under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Working in batches, gently lower dumplings into the water and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and cover to prevent drying.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a boil and season with white pepper and salt to taste.
  4. Place dumplings in soup bowls, add hot broth and garnish with chopped green onion.

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BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo

How to Throw a Dumpling Party

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Most of us don’t have days to spend in the kitchen exploring the nuances of Chinese cuisine let alone tackling the complex, traditional New Year’s dishes, some of which take days to soak, cure or braise. Even the most devout purchase their lo bak gao and nian gao at the Asian grocers and almost all would draw the most fearful blank when asked what ingredients were in them. Don’t worry, not many people actually know.

What a shame to let any of these hurdles refrain us from the only real reason to gather, to celebrate of course. So, for us with busy lives but would love to pull off a Lunar New Year’s bash without a bead of sweat on the brow, might I suggest some tips to make it easy.

The first mistake of entertaining is believing that you need to do it all yourself — and that you need to create an extravagant, seven-course meal. Get your friends involved in the fun and make it a dumpling-making party instead.

Host a Dumpling-Making Party in Four Steps

1. The Main Event

– Supply enough aprons and hand towels
– Prepare or buy the dough/wrappers beforehand
– Prepare the filling in advance (see recipes here)

– Have a few stations set up, each with a bowl of filling and utensils so your guests can gather and participate.
– Have sheet trays ready to hold the dumplings until you’re ready to cook
– Once all the dumplings are ready, boil a pot of water, clean off the table and enjoy the fruits of your collective labour

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2. Side Dishes

Instead of spending hours preparing a multitude of sides, visit your local Asian grocer to purchase prepared dishes. Pick a few crowd-pleasers and supplement with Asian pickles and sautéed Chinese broccoli in garlic and soy.

Dumpling-party-chinese-new-year-side-dishes

3. Dessert

Nian gao is one of the most traditional New Year’s sweets and can be purchased at any Asian grocer. The traditional method of serving is to dip in egg and pan-fry. To add a bit of texture and crunch, top with some candied walnuts. Serve this with segments of mandarin and a dark Puer tea.

4. Décor
Keep the décor fun and festive with lots of reds and golds. Little housewares stores in Chinatown will usually have a variety of nostalgic decals. Traditional snacks like oranges, kumquats, lucky candy and watermelon seeds can be placed in large bowls for everyone to pick at.

Get: 10 Mouth-Watering Dumplings for Chinese New Year

jackie-head shot Jackie Kai Ellis is the owner and baker of Beaucoup Bakery, CEO/co-founder of The Paris Tours, JKE, Bespoken, Recette and The Invisible Thread. To Learn more about her, follow her on Twitter @JackieKaiEllis.

Chinese Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles with Kung Pao Chili Oil

Chinese New Year is upon us! Time for firecrackers, dancing dragons, cornstarch and red everything! Being a connoisseur of Chinese Christmas takeout, not to mention an avid customer at late-night Chinese food joints, I will be celebrating the year of the goat with tons of greasy eats! If crispy beef, chow mein, Kung pao, and beef and broccoli made a baby, it would be this recipe. Not traditional in any sense, but definitely great for celebrating. Happy Chinese New Year!

CrispyBeefNoodles-4

Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ hours

Ingredients for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon grated garlic
2-3 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 red hot long pepper, sliced thinly
1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
½ teaspoon sesame seeds

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Ingredients for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

1 package (425 grams) flat, fresh rice noodles or dried wonton noodles
¾ – 1 pound Sirloin cut thinly into ¼”-thick strips
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup canola oil for frying
Salt for seasoning

½ pound broccolini, stems removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoon grated garlic
3 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce (regular soy if fine too)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts

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Directions for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

  1. Heat the canola and sesame oil over high heat for 2 minutes in a small sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat off and immediately add the Sichuan peppercorns. They will sizzle at first. Let steep for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the Sichuan peppercorns from the oil and discard. If you like that strange mouth-numbing sensation from those peppercorns, just leave them in! (Personal preference is to remove them.)
  4. Add the grated ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to the oil.
  5. Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Fry for 2 minutes once you see that it has started to sizzle. Don’t let the garlic burn!
  6. Turn the heat off and let steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Combine the chopped peanuts, red hot long pepper, Chinese 5-Spice, and sesame seeds in small Mason jar (or bowl) and pour the chili oil over top.

Directions for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just cooked through.
  2. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a wok, or large frying pan, over high heat.
  5. When the oil is hot. Dredge the pieces of beef in the cornstarch, shake off any excess and fry for 4-5 minutes until the outer edges are golden brown and crispy. Note: do this in batches! Don’t crowd the beef in the oil or else it won’t fry properly and will become gummy. Add more oil to the wok as needed between batches and make sure to dredge the beef in the cornstarch just before placing it in the oil.
  6. Remove the beef to drain on a paper towel lined cooling rack or plate. Season with salt.
  7. Drain out any excess oil left in the wok after frying.
  8. Return the wok to the stove and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  9. Add the broccolini to the hot wok with ¼ cup of water. Toss frequently
  10. Once the broccolini has cooked through, with a slight crunch, and the water has evaporated, remove it from the wok.
  11. Immediately add the sesame oil to the hot wok. Add in the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  12. Add the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the wok.
  13. Once the sauce is bubbling, add the noodles, broccolini and sprouts. Toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt.
  14. Plate the noodles and broccolini, top with the crispy beef, and drizzle Kung Pao oil over top. Enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions and Shortcuts:

  • If you can find “Milanese” sliced beef, which is extremely thin, use that! It’s perfect.
  • Substitute Chinese Egg Noodles if you cannot find rice noodles or wonton noodles at your grocery store.
  • You can get store-bought garlic chili oil and add chopped peanuts and fresh red hot long pepper slices to it instead of making the Kung Pao Chili oil.
  • Kung Pao Chili Oil will last for 2 weeks in an air-tight container like a mason jar. The longer it sits, the spicier it gets!
  • A good substitution for Shaoxing wine is a medium-dry Sherry.
  • Dark soy sauce will be thicker and more flavourful than regular soy sauce. But if you do not want to buy a whole bottle of dark soy for 3 Tablespoons, you can just use whatever soy sauce you have on hand.
  • This dish comes together very quickly. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start frying that beef!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

If there’s something we all love on Valentine’s Day it’s got to be something red and something sweet. This cake certainly has both!

Blood oranges are a deep red variety of orange that are in season this time of year. You can always use regular oranges or even opt for another fruit, like bananas if that’s your preference. This cake cooks quickly, is easy to make and is always a showstopper when you flip it out of the cake tin.

Blood-Orange-Cake-3

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water

For the Cake:
3 blood oranges, peel removed and cut into slices
1/2 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain, 2% yogurt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by making your caramel. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Bubble until it turns a light caramel colour.
  2. Working quickly, pour the caramel into a round 9-inch cake tin. Carefully place the blood orange slices on the bottom of the pan. The caramel is still hot, so be careful!
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dry ingredients and the yogurt. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and springs back when touched. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack. If you leave it, the caramel will set and it will be really difficult to turn the cake out!

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Hearts

These sweet, raw vegan cheesecakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and are a snap to make. A blender is the only required equipment for this recipe. Just blend, freeze and enjoy. Your family and friends won’t even realize that these rich, decadent delights are dairy-free and raw vegan! These desserts melt quickly, so store them in the freezer at all times and eat immediately.

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Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cashews (unsalted, unroasted)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water

raw-vegan-no-cook-dairy-free-chocolate-cheesecake-hearts-laura-jane

Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients into your blender.
    2. Blend. Start slow and gently increase the speed. You may need to stop and start your blender a bit if your blender is getting hung up. If your blades won’t move, turn blender off, create an air pocket down the side with a knife, and then blend again starting on low. Keep blending until it’s very smooth, like a creamy chocolate fudge with no cashew chunks.
    3. Pour smooth mixture into a wide pan (or into silicone molds) and place in freezer.*
    4. Freeze until it reaches a firm, slice-able consistency (8 hours or so).
    5. Store in freezer at all times. To eat, just open the freezer, slice into desired shape and eat immediately.

*Heart-Shape Tips: If you don’t have heart-shaped silicone molds, this simple solution works well. Pour the mixture into a wide pan or glass dish. Smooth the mixture out using the back of a spoon — not too thick and about an inch or less deep. Freeze then slice into heart shapes. This recipe (when frozen for at least 8 hours) is super easy to cut into shapes.

Note: If your blender isn’t very powerful, consider soaking cashews in warm water for 1-2 hours before blending to soften them. After soaking, rinse clean and blend immediately.

100x100_laura-jane-rawtarian Laura-Jane The Rawtarian is a leading creator of simple, satisfying raw vegan recipes.

How to Make a Skillet Brookie

Many will declare that being single on Valentine’s Day is a terrible thing. For me, it’s the opposite: finding myself single on Valentine’s Day is something to be cherished. Think about it: Valentine’s Day comes with all kinds of pressure and expectations. People always ask “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” as though one absolutely must do something. Restaurants are packed and noisy, serving special menus to the masses.

I’d rather go without the clichés and all that forced romance. I welcome a night in to pamper myself. I bake myself something sweet and chocolaty to enjoy in front of the TV for a quiet, carefree evening.

This skillet “brookie” is the perfect dessert for one and combines two classic treats: a brownie and a cookie. Both the brownie and the cookie recipes make small amounts of dough so you can easily prepare them by hand. No special equipment needed. And if you don’t have a small skillet, you can always use a small cake pan or baking dish. This recipe calls for one egg total, split between the brownie and the cookie. Here’s how to measure out half an egg: crack it into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly so that you can divvy it up between the two recipes (half an egg corresponds to about 1 1/2 tablespoons).

Skillet Brookie For One

Brookie for V-day

Serving size: 1
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Brownie Ingredients:
1 oz (28 grams) good quality semi-sweet dark chocolate (I like to use the “Mi-Amère” chocolate from Cacao Barry)
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 large egg
1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (18 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (12 grams) cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Cookie Ingredients:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (28 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

How to make a V-Day brookie

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 17 cm (~6.5-inch) cast iron skillet or cake pan.
    2. Prepare the brownie batter by melting the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 50 percent power (about 2 minutes), stirring ever minute or so. Add the butter, and microwave again for an additional minute at 50 percent power or until the butter is melted. Stir well, then let cool before adding the egg, sugars, and vanilla. Add the flour to the bowl and sift in the cocoa powder to remove any lumps. Stir everything together with the salt. Set aside.
    3. Prepare the cookie dough by stirring together the butter and the sugars until they are well mixed. Add in the egg and the vanilla, and mix well again. Dump in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir until the dough comes together. Mix in the chocolate chips.
    4. Place a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter in the centre of the prepared skillet and spoon the cookie batter inside the heart. Carefully lift up the cookie cutter to remove it, leaving behind the heart-shaped cookie. Spoon the brownie batter into the pan, smoothing it around the cookie heart.
      Bake the brookie 10 minutes then remove the pan from the oven and fix the cookie heart using the back of a knife to smudge it back into a heart shape. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set.

Optional: Serve with really good vanilla ice cream.

Janice Lawandi Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.

1 Dish, 2 Meals: Smoky Stewed Chickpeas with Sautéed Vegetables

It’s true; I’ve fallen hard for this fancy reinterpretation of your standard beans-on-toast and I’m willing to bet even the biggest skeptic of this humble dish is going to want to tuck into its warmth and smokiness with wild abandon.

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in Plenty More, my cheat version of his amazing five-hour, slow-cooked dish (which you should really give a try when you have time) doesn’t miss a flavour beat, despite being speedy.

Instead of using dried chickpeas and slow cooking them in an onion and pepper mixture over a simmering flame until they turn unbelievably soft, I sautéed the vegetables to caramelize them a bit before pureeing the sauce to help mellow out the flavours. That paired with every weeknight chef’s secret weapon, the canned chickpea, makes this one comfort food dish that will make you happy it’s February in Canada.

Here I’ve made it two ways: on toast with a poached egg (because juicy, runny eggs just make everything better), and a crispy pita pizza with a few scoops of creamy labneh (Lebanese cream cheese).

chickpeatoast2

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 red bell peppers cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil, and add onion and red peppers and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cayenne, paprika, salt and black pepper to taste and stir to combine. Add mixture to a food processor and mix to make a paste.
  2. Over medium heat, return paste to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the tomato, sugar, chickpeas and (a scant) 1 cup water.
  3. Bring to a low simmer, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occa-sionally and adding more water when needed to maintain a sauce-like consistency. Remove the lid and cook for 15 more minutes.

chickpeapizza-4

Smoky Chickpea Pizza with Labneh

Ingredients:

3 Pitas
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
4 Tablespoon labneh
Fresh parsley
3 eggs
2 cups stewed chickpeas

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush pitas with olive oil, spread a thin layer of chickpea mixture over and make a small well in the centre.
  2. Crack an egg in the middle of each pita and bake for 8-12 minutes until it’s cooked to desired doneness.
  3. Finish with fresh parsley and a few scoops of labneh. Serve immediately.

chickpeatoast3

Smoky Chickpeas on Grilled Toast with Poached Eggs & Zahtar

Ingredients:

4 slices bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted on both sides
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 poached eggs
2 teaspoons zahtar

Directions:

  1. Place a piece of warm toast on each plate and spoon the chickpeas on top.
  2. Arrange a poached egg on top, followed by a sprinkle of zahtar and a drizzle of olive oil.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Meet Food Bloggers of Canada

Meet Food Bloggers of Canada

With over 1,600 Canadian food bloggers as members and growing weekly, Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC) has got all your food desires covered. Not only does FBC offer terrific resources for bloggers to become masters of their craft, but we proudly offer awesome content which has mass appeal for all food lovers! Food bloggers continue to produce some of the very best and tastiest stuff on the web and FBC is home to something for every reader and appetite out there!

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FBC Columns

At FBC, we love to give our talented members the chance to step outside of their blog and showcase their skills to create awesome series. Let someone who is an expert in Indian cooking share what they have in their The Spice Box.

Or who better than a PhD chemist turned baker and blogger to use science when explaining what happens in your oven?! That’s what the Kitchen Geekery is all about.

With the craft beer scene exploding in Canada, there are literally too many to try, so FBC has brought on two of the most knowledgeable in the industry to share their wealth of frothy beer knowledge in Canada’s Craft Beer Scene Series.

And nowadays with food sensitivities being more important than ever, we found a food blogger with a nutritionist background who has to deal with food allergies in her own day-to-day lifestyle. A perfect person to take something everyone takes for granted like hamburgers or granola bars and make them accessible for all which inspired the Allergen-Friendly Recipe Remix.

FBC Round-ups

When you talk about bloggers, you’re usually talking about those that blog about their cooking and baking escapades or restaurant bloggers who are combing the city for the next great find. FBC has both covered with their most popular features, Recipe and Restaurant round-ups!

If you need inspiration for the holidays, or what to serve during the big game, it’s all there for you in the FBC Recipe Round-up section! Beautiful photos, easy to follow recipes and that personal touch of why that particular recipe means so much to that blogger.

And for those that are interested in having someone else do the cooking for them, the FBC Restaurant Round-up crew covers the best places to eat from coast-to-coast! If you need to know where to find the best burgers, poutine, chicken wings or have brunch, look no further because bloggers have got you covered!

Anyone can become a blogger!

Do you love to eat, cook, take photos of your food and share it with others? If so, you might very well be an aspiring food blogger! Joining FBC is free and allow you to get access to the monthly newsletter and be up-to-date on everything that is happening in the Canadian food blog scene. For more information, check out the membership info page.

A National Food Blogger Conference!

Did you know that FBC organizes and hosts Canada’s only national food blogging conference? After Ontario in 2013 and British Columbia in 2014, we’re excited to be heading to Montreal, Quebec, October 23-25, 2015!

Where to Find FBC

Aside from the FBC website, you can find FBC on all the usual places for tons of mouth-water photos and valuable information.

Twitter – @FoodBloggersCA
Instagram – @FoodBloggersCA
Facebook – Food Bloggers of Canada
Pinterest – Food Bloggers of Canada

Congratulations to Canada’s New Culinary Champion

What does it take to be Canada’s best? A cross-Canada collection of top chefs who had already won bragging rights as local winners during provincial culinary competitions over the past year, gathered in Kelowna this past weekend for the Canadian Culinary Championship finals. After months of work, anticipation and jitters, it all comes down to this: two days, three events, a delicious Olympic fundraiser (to date the annual competition has raised almost $10 million for Canadian Olympic athletes) and bragging rights as Canada’s top chef.

Here’s how the winner is chosen.

Competition 1: Mystery Wine Pairing

Chefs are given a mystery bottle of wine (wrapped in tinfoil, no less) and must create a dish using ingredients that best compliment the mysterious wine. With $600 and a set time to shop locally and cook for 500 guests, this is the opening night event for the competition, where guests are served these on-the-fly composed plates during a chic cocktail reception at the Delta Grand Okanagan hotel. This — the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for the best wine and food pairing — goes towards one-third of the competitors’ overall score. Dishes ran from blood sausage to elk tartar, braised short ribs to a beet salad, beautiful and innovate composed dishes that all paired quite well with what turned out to be a meaty, smoky B.C. Pinotage.

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Competition 2: The Black Box

This competition takes place in the Culinary Arts Department of Okanagan College, where every 10 minutes a new chef (of the 11 competing) is presented with a box of 10 identical ingredients from which they must use at least six. This competition also accounts for one-third of the overall score. The box included quinoa, lavender, a whole duck, lobsters, yams, and other not-too-threatening ingredients. Decidedly not a Chopped-style cook-off a la “make canned spaghetti and beef jerky into a delicious dessert”, this box was truly meant to showcase the chefs’ abilities and creativity using quality ingredients. The competitors had an hour to plate 13 identical dishes for the sequestered panel of judges while the rest of us were there to watch the chefs sweat it out in the kitchen. Pretty exciting stuff, though unfortunately creativity wasn’t at the forefront for most chefs in this round.

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Competition 3: The Grand Finale

On the final night of competition, the chefs created their best dish for guests to sample, paired with a great wine from their regional winery partner. This competition accounted for the final third of the overall score. Many chefs recreated the dish that won them their regional titles, from tree syrup-glazed beef to roasted quail. By the evening’s end, after more wine-ing and dining, followed by a fundraising auction and awesome live music by Spirit of the West front men John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly alongside Barney Bentall, the crowning of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist chefs were announced.

Canadian-Culinary-Championship-2015-winners

Say hello and congratulations to your new Canadian Culinary Champions!

Gold: Chef Ryan O’Flynn of the Westin Edmonton. His winning dish was a beautiful terrine of pine-smoked Alberta sturgeon and cured Quebec foie gras with wild North West Territory morels, Okanagan apples, and toasted Brioche.

Silver: Chef Antonio Park of Park Restaurant in Montreal. His dish was a super-creative take on Korean bibimbap in the form of a sushi-like roulade of julienne veggies, braised shitake and cauliflower, spinach, chicken, boudin blanc, gochujang sheet, soft-boiled quail egg and crunchy mixed rice topper.

Bronze: Chef Kristian Eligh of Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver. His winning dish was a deconstructed chowder composed of silky sablefish and lobster covered with a dome of crispy lacy bread.

Inspired by the Canadian chefs’ dishes, I asked Chef Ross Derrick of the new local restaurant, The Table Café, for a West Coast inspired dish we can all make at home. Now it’s your turn to be the culinary champ in your family.

Chef-Ross-Derrick-White-Fish,-Prawn-and-Vegetable-Green-Curry-with-Coconut-rice-recipe

Chef Ross Derrick’s White Fish, Prawn and Vegetable Green Curry with Coconut rice

Serves 4-6

During the competition, most chefs sourced their fish and seafood at Codfathers Seafood Market, an amazing family-run Kelowna shop with a huge range of bivalves, top catches and bottom dwellers, where everything is beautifully fresh and gloriously sustainable. This dish was one of the first dishes Chef Ross Derrick came up with when opening his new restaurant, The Table Café at Codfathers. He says the white fish can really be any mild white-fleshed fish, such as halibut, haddock, cod, or even snapper.

Green Curry Sauce Ingredients:
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 ½- inch ginger, grated
1 Thai red chili, seeded and chopped
3 small green peppers, cored and diced
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2-400 ml cans coconut milk

Directions

  1. Place cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan and gently heat for a few minutes until they start to darken and smell fragrant.
  2. Place seeds into a grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until fine.
  3. Saute onions, garlic, lemon grass, ginger, and chilis with the ground spices until soft.
  4. Add coconut milk and fish sauce, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add green peppers and puree in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Set aside.

Coconut Rice Ingredients:
1 cup jasmine rice
1 ½ cups water
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear.
  2. Add rice to a pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and place coconut oil on top.

Main Ingredients:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
12 large Oceanwise prawns, peeled and deveined
½ pound white fish, cut into 1-inch pieces
lime wedges
½ bunch fresh coriander
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, saute vegetables until they begin to soften, then add prawns and fish and continue to sauté for several minutes.
  2. Add green curry sauce and heat through. Serve with rice. Slice some limes and pick fresh coriander for garnish. Season to taste.

Amy Rosen is a food and travel writer. Her latest cookbook is TORONTO COOKS. Follow her @AmyRRosen.

Ricardo Larrivée On Marriage Success, Cooking and Romance

I had the pleasure of meeting Ricardo Larrivée, the renowned Quebec-based chef whose contemporary cuisine and down-to-earth recipes has long been staples in Canadian homes. His (long) list of achievements include heading Ricardo magazine, in English and French, creating his own line of cookware and wine (Larrivée Vins du Monde). He is a Member of the Order of Canada and the host of Ricardo and Friends, which has been broadcast to over 50 countries.

Despite all his incredible achievements, this homegrown chef is every bit as warm and humble as you can imagine, translating to his brand’s appeal. With a strong emphasis on family — he is a father of three girls — Ricardo offers gorgeous, yet easy-to-follow meal ideas and smart cooking tips. The most recent magazine issue (Winter 2015), features a beautiful 23-page spread, titled “Oh, Canada”, which showcases Canadian soups unique to each province and territory. It’s a story definitely worth checking out.

Ricardo-Larrivee

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked Ricardo the secret to a happy marriage and working with his longtime business partner and wife, Brigitte. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you meet your wife?

I met Brigitte on a blind date. It was set up by Sister Angéle, a popular Quebec chef and nun. Our first date was actually during a cheese tasting event, hosted by the Italian Institute of Foreign Trade.

Do you remember the first meal you ever cooked for her? What was it?
Of course! I remember it well. I whipped up the perfect recipe I knew would impress her — chicken breast en papillote, stuffed with avocado, fresh herbs, Swiss cheese and served with a side of vegetables. I have to admit, I had cooked this recipe before but when I saw how much she enjoyed the meal, I started to create unique recipes just for her.

You and Brigitte have been business partners for well over a decade. What do you think is the key to your success in marriage and in business?
Actually, I’m lucky enough to say that it’s been almost twenty years. In my opinion, having a successful marriage is simple: Listen to her needs and always respond with, “Yes, my love.”

All jokes aside, admiration is the key for a couple to successfully work together. I think you must feel proud of the other person’s work and abilities, in life and in business. The key to our success is that our strengths, talents and interests complement each other. We strengthen each other’s weaknesses and become stronger, better versions of ourselves. As a team, we trust and listen to each other and respect each other’s decisions in our respective fields.

What kinds of savoury dishes would you make for a romantic meal?
I believe there’s romance in cooking for your significant other. It’s all in the effort you put in, even if cooking isn’t your forte. A partner will always appreciate the effort and time you spent making and organizing the dinner. It demonstrates your true skills and how much you care.

The meal doesn’t have to be complex; simple recipes will go a long way. Choose a meal with ingredients he or she loves to eat. Prepare an appetizer to enjoy before dinner to hold off the hunger before the main course. That way you’ll have the opportunity to have a nice conversation during dinner and enjoy the meal you prepared.

I like making light dinners with a glass or two of wine. I find eating heavier meals with a lot of alcohol ends the night early. Make the night special by reminiscing on memories and discussing plans for the future. Leave the conversations about daily chores and activities for another time. Make the most out of the night and enjoy each other’s company.

Now on to the dessert… what would you serve?
Dessert is probably the trickiest course of all. You’ve carefully planned the appetizers, main course and cocktails and by now you may be out of ideas. Not everyone has a sweet tooth so there is no need to prepare an elaborate cake. Finish off the dinner with a simple high note. This could be espresso with a brownie, homemade or store bought, and a side of ice cream or fresh fruit topped with Grand Marnier and whipped cream.

Speaking of dessert, if you had to eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Without a doubt, I would choose my lemon pie cake. It’s a fresh and light angel food cake layered with tangy lemon curd and a meringue topping. I love lemon and the cake is decadent!

Tell us one thing you’d like to do better.

I wish I was better at planning our family’s meals for the week. My wife, Brigitte, is great at that. I often get so excited about planning our next meal that I forget to prepare for the rest of the week. I’m working on managing my time in the kitchen, keeping in mind my family’s weekly schedule.

If you could dine with any culinary great in the world, who would that be?
Definitely Martha Stewart. She’s an intriguing woman who has revolutionized how cookbooks and magazines are created today. She’s an absolute genius when it comes to integrating her content across all platforms. The first cookbook I ever owned, and is still a favourite today, was Martha’s cookbook on pies. Every single pie recipe in the cookbook was successful and delicious.

Is there one dish that Brigitte makes that you can’t get enough of?
Truly, I love all of her dishes. It’s hard to choose just one. It’s a real treat to come home from work and not have to worry about what to make for dinner. When Brigitte cooks, I know it’s going to be delicious and I can never get tired of that. While she prepares dinner, all I need to do is create a great cocktail!

Ricardo-Larrivee-and-wife-Brigitte
Image Credit: Krystel V. Morin

Get Ricardo’s recipes for Caramelized Pear and Chocolate Tart and Polk Dot Chocolate Cheesecake.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

What to Pair with New World Reds

Follow this guide to pairing popular New World reds that range from light and fruity to bold and earthy.

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Image Credit: Jessica Witt

1. Ontario – Pinot Noir
Light, tart and bursting with cherry flavours, Ontario produces the most Burgundian of New World Pinots. Their earthy edge is in synch with vegetables like beets, mushrooms and lentils, and their natural born acidity cuts through rich orange-fleshed fish such as trout and Arctic char.

Get the recipe: Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

2. New Zealand – Pinot Noir
Kiwi Pinot is generally fruiter and more quaffable than Ontario, but it matches a similar range of foods. It’s terrific with a Sunday roast chicken, and just about any salmon preparation. Otago Pinot is more full-bodied (and expensive) than Marlborough juice, and should be opened with red meat.

Get the recipe: Salmon in Parchment with Ginger, Soy and Enoki Mushrooms

3. Chilean Cabernet – Sauvignon
Lush, fruit-forward and ready to glug, Chilean Cabs offer tremendous value, especially compared to their French and American counterparts. They’re excellent with most beef or lamb dishes, and their gentle sweetness can stand up to milder blue cheeses like Gorgonzola. It’s also nice to have a bottle on hand for take-out burgers.

Get the recipe: Blue Cheese-Crusted Filet Mignon

4. Argentine – Malbec
Originally from France, Malbec has found a spiritual home in Argentina where it produces big, affordable, age-worthy reds. It’s a natural with chargrilled steaks, which are consumed in great quantity in Argentina, and its cassis and plum flavours hit the mark with braised beef or lamb in dark, rich sauces.

Get the recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine and Spices

5. Australian – Shiraz
The signature red from Down Under is a great match to a wide range of foods, everything from mushroom pasta, to roast duck, to venison stew. Its residual sugar also helps it stand up to the spice of a hearty chili or barbecued meats. If you can find a lighter Shiraz from cooler Victoria, save it for grilled tuna.

Get the recipe: Peking Duck Noodle Soup

6. South African – Pinotage
A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, South Africa’s signature red grape yields full-bodied wines with smoky, earthy undertones. The oak aging often imparts a rich mocha flavour, which flatters gamier meats like venison and liver. Pinotage is a bruiser, and it won’t wilt under the heat of a fiery curry.

Get the recipe: Roasted Venison Stew with Parsnips and Carrots

7. California – Zinfandel 
Zinfandel is the first wine grape planted on American soil by Italian immigrants, who call it Primitivo. Sweet, jammy and boozy, this muscular red is superb with slow-smoked barbecue and glazed meats off the grill. Its peppery finish also works well with spicy Italian sausages or Indian food.

Get the recipe: Sticky Barbecue Back Ribs

Winter Squash Fettuccine with Crispy Pancetta & Pecorino

Butternut squash made a really great base for the pasta sauce, giving it lots of flavour and creaminess, without the heavy richness you would get from a sauce like Alfredo. The saltiness of the pancetta and pecorino was a great compliment to the slight sweetness of the butternut squash.

Winter-Squash-Fettucine-3

Winter Squash Fettuccine 

Original recipe via Bon Appetit

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (chopped)
1 Tablespoon finely sage (chopped)
3 cups butternut squash (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
Salt & pepper
2 cups chicken broth
12 ounces fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino, plus more for serving.

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Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once heated add chopped pancetta, cooking until crisp (about 8-10 minutes). Toss with sage, before removing to a small bowl.
  2. Add squash, onion, and garlic to pan, season with salt & pepper. Cook about 8-10 minutes, until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer about 15-20 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.
  5. Once cooled slightly, puree in a blender, or with immersion blender, add more salt & pepper if necessary.
  6. In a large pot, cook fettuccine until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
  7. In your pan, combine pasta, squash puree, and a 1/4 cup of pasta water. Cook over medium heat, adding more pasta water as necessary, until pasta becomes coated with sauce, about 2 minutes.
  8. Mix in 1/4 cup of pecorino, and season as necessary.
  9. Serve pasta with pancetta and sage, along with freshly shaved pecorino.

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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