We love a good picnic salad. This one is made with orzo pasta and takes full advantage of summer cherry season. Feel free to use other fresh produce if you have it — strawberries would also work well and the kernels off of a fresh ear of corn would also be a tasty addition.
I love a big quinoa salad – not least of all because quinoa can be cooked and kept in the fridge to dole out into nutrient-dense salads all summer long. It’s gluten free, high in protein and fibre, and as technically a seed, it’s lighter in texture than most whole grains.
This combination makes use of leftover roast chicken (or pick one up at the deli if it’s too hot to cook) – try adding just about anything in season, or from your garden.
It’s patio season – which means having some great nibbles in your repertoire that are easy to pull out and assemble without turning on the oven. These little bundles of joy are similar to the prosciutto wrapped melon of the eighties – the addition of a chunk of creamy brie puts them over the top.
A new cookbook by Katie Webster celebrates real maple syrup – it’s so Canadian, eh? Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup is right up our alley – maple season came early this year, and our shelves are stocked with the sweet stuff from our neighbours out east. The hardcover cookbook is gorgeous, packed with recipes from appies to desserts – and of course breakfast – using pure maple syrup in ways we’d never have thought of.
This balsamic-spiked caramelized onion pizza caught our eye immediately – perfect for home entertaining, it’s easy to make, and the maple drizzle really brings it to a whole new level.
Summer is (almost) here – depending on where you live – and watermelons are starting to fill up produce shelves. We love a good watermelon salad – that juicy, sweet crunch goes so well with so many other ingredients – it’s a great way to rehydrate and delivers a healthy dose of lycopene. Here’s a unique salad for this long weekend’s backyard barbecue – it’s sure to be popular all summer long!
This is a little tweak on the original ladies’ recipe for Korean Chicken Salad. It’s got all of the rich soy sauce flavour (with a little bit of spice) of the original, with a couple modern updates. This meal-sized salad easily makes a full dinner for a family of four — if you don’t like iceberg lettuce, switch it out for your favourite green.
This here is a combination of things I love: shrimp, cream, citrus, spices. Fresh mint and cilantro. It’s like an easy sort of curry, but not heavy, and quick to toss on the grill. I love things that are easy to grill, and don’t require you to hover nervously with your tongs, meat thermometer at the ready. While the apple trees are in bloom, I’m inviting some friends and neighbours for mojitos in the back yard, and these will be on the menu.
For the 2016 edition of the Grate Canadian Cheese Cook-Off, our friend Chef Nicole Gomes was one of four of Canada’s top chefs to battle it out with their best gourmet Mac & Cheese recipe. The contenders all look amazing, but we gave Nicole’s a try – a 5 cheese version made with a splash of beer and a unique twist: grated apples, sauteed in butter. It was delicious, of course, and fed the family very well tonight. Thanks Nicole – and thanks Canadian cheese!
I’m a huge fan of brownies – and chocolate chip cookies – and Oreos. What if the three of them got together and morphed into the best of both brownie and cookie worlds? These brownies have a chocolate chip cookie dough base, sandwich cookies in the middle, and a fudgy chocolate brownie top. This is how to win friends and influence people.
It’s almost Pie Day! Every March 14 – 3.14, get it? – we celebrate with pie. Everyone seems to love a towering lemon meringue pie, and lemon is perfect as winter turns into spring – citrus fruit is still at its peak, but the bright flavour of lemon somehow tastes like sunny days. And if the thought of making pastry intimidates you, no pressure – this is made with a simple press-in graham crumb crust.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 4
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise 75 mL
- 1⁄3 cup mango chutney 75 mL
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 2
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 25 mL
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 25 mL
- 1 tsp chili powder 5 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin 2 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp ground coriander 2 mL
- 1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL
- Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a rolling pin or the bottom of a skillet to flatten. Cut chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) long strips.
- Marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chutney, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt.
- Add chicken to marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Soak eight 10-inch (25 cm) wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes (or use metal skewers). Meanwhile, preheat barbecue grill to medium. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade, and thread onto skewers. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside.
- Serves 4.
- Tip: Watch the chicken carefully while you're grilling it - it will cook quickly.
- Variation: Apricot or peach jam may be used in place of the mango chutney.
I’m a huge fan of the tarte tatin – that upside down pie started on the stovetop and baked in a skillet, then inverted onto a platter with caramel dripping from the apples down the sides. It’s a delicious mess, and a perfect dessert to make when you don’t have a lot of time but want something rustic, comforting, and totally fantastic. It’s good with pears too – they’re a bit juicier, so anticipate more drips.
Maple Apple Tarte Tatin
I love hearty winter curries, especially ones made with winter squash and chickpeas; here’s a simple one to keep you warm. While I was over for a conference call at Pierre‘s last week, he made roasted pumpkin with braised chickpeas as we chatted. It was the perfect lunch on the first day of deep snow – the kind that soaked the bottom six inches of your jeans and made your socks wet when you took your boots off.
Pierre and Candace were winging it and added butter chicken paste; feel free to use whatever blend you like, and enough to suit your taste.
Pierre’s Roasted Pumpkin with Braised ChickpeasRead More
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 250 mL
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar 125 mL
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest 30 mL
- 1⁄2 cup butter 125 mL
- 2 tbsp lemon juice 30 mL
- 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
- 1 large egg 1
- 1 large egg yolk 1
- 2 tbsp cornstarch 30 mL
- 11⁄2 tbsp all-purpose flour 22 mL
- 1 cup milk 250 mL
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
- 4 cups fresh berries (use any 1 L
- combination of blueberries,
- raspberries or sliced strawberries)
- 1⁄2 cup raspberry or apple jelly, melted 125 mL
- To make crust: Combine flour, sugar and lemon zest. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add lemon juice, stirring with a fork until mixture is gathered into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough out to form an 11-inch (28 cm) circle. Transfer to 9-inch (23 cm) tart or flan pan with removable bottom, pressing into bottom and sides. Chill again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Prick bottom and sides of pastry with fork to prevent shrinkage. Bake 10 minutes at 425°F (220°C), then reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) for the last 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
- To make custard: Whisk sugar, egg and egg yolk until thick. Add cornstarch and flour and whisk well. Heat milk and vanilla in a saucepan until almost boiling. Gradually add milk to egg mixture, then return to saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate until well chilled. (This can be prepared a day ahead.)
- To assemble: Remove crust from tart pan and set on platter. Spread cooled custard over bottom of crust and arrange fresh berries on top. Gently brush melted jelly over fruit. Chill until serving time. Serves 10 to 12