Archive | July, 2010

Berry Nice to Meat You

29 Jul

Nyuk nyuk.
Here is a meditation on summer berries paired up with grilled chicken on the barbecue.
Very summery flavours!

Recipe from Wild Blueberry Association
3 tablespoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 shallot or 1/4 cup onion
1 teaspoon oil
6 oz of water
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups wild blueberries
squeeze of lemon or lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 single chicken breasts or 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast
salt and pepper/grill seasoning/curry paste or rub.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Peel the ginger and shallot, finely dice. Heat oil and briefly sauté both. Add the water and peanut butter over medium heat and whisk together. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the chicken breast filets lengthwise into thin strips or use prepared sliced breasts. Flavor with salt and pepper. Put the strips in an accordion manner onto a lightly oiled skewer. Heat oil in a coated pan and cook the skewers from both sides for 2-3 minutes each. Serve together with the blueberry sauce. Serves 4. Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes

Published by Chatelaine on 7/1/2007

We prefer chicken thighs for these kebabs; they’re inexpensive and get super juicy on the grill when glazed with our Saskatoon-berry sauce.

•1/2 cup (125 mL) barbecue sauce
•1/4 cup (50 mL) Saskatoon berry jelly
•5 garlic cloves or 1 tbsp (15 mL) bottled chopped garlic
•2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
•1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
•8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 4 skinless, boneless breasts
•1 large zucchini
•1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
Oil grill and heat barbecue to medium. If using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak in water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir barbecue sauce with jelly, garlic, rosemary and salt.
Cut chicken into large chunks. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, then thickly slice. Place chicken chunks, zucchini slices and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add sauce. Stir to evenly coat. Alternately thread chicken, zucchini and tomatoes onto skewers.
Barbecue kebabs, with lid closed, turning occasionally, until chicken is springy when pressed and vegetables are tender, from 12 to 15 min.

Summer Salad

27 Jul

Further evidence of our pizza/salad love combination: here are some summer salads we’d like to pair with grilled pizza.

* Little Gems lettuce with green goddess dressing and tart beets.

* Macadamia-crusted goat cheese with garden lettuces, and blueberry dressing or mango salsa.

Blueberry Vinaigrette
1.5 cups blueberries
1 lime, juice and zest
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
About 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of red chili flakes
2 lavender flower buds (about 1/4 tsp

Blend blueberries, lime juice and zest, and sherry vinegar in a food processor. Strain out blueberry skins using a strainer, pressing down on the blueberries with a rubber spatula to release all of their juice. Whisk blueberry juice, maple syrup and oil together and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lavender.

* A Thomas Kelleresque salad of romaine with stone fruits (plums and nectarines), sliced cucumbers, candied spiced pecans and a spearmint yogurt dressing (also good on watermelon)
1/4 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1 tbs. shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh spearmint, coarsely chopped
In a bowl emulsify yogurt and olive oil together with a whisk. Add the shallots, spearmint, vinegar and salt. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate till serving.

Dice the watermelon(s) and serve it on a bed of sunflower sprouts. Drizzle spearmint yogurt dressing on top and garnish with fresh ground black pepper and spearmint.

* Using pureed peach or nectarine for dressing atop peaches, arugala, other greens.
(2 tablespoons Peach Puree, 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot, 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 pounds ripe peaches, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)

Pizza Pizzazz

26 Jul

pizza margherita
ABOVE: Margherita pizza and corn and pesto, before hitting the barbecue…

We could eat pizza and salad for dinner every night.

With summer fruit and vegetables abounding right now, there’s no better time for our favourite duo, paired with a glass of cool rose or robust malbec. Sunset optional.

For us, the simpler the better when it comes to pizza. Pesto and cheese. Tomato and basil. Garlicy zucchini and onion. Shaved asparagus.

This season, we’d like to try adding fruit to our molten cheese pizzas blasted on our barbecue.

We’ll keep taking inspiration from 1980s pizza heroes Alice Waters (goat cheese and duck sausage, etc) and Wolfgang Puck (pesto and shrimp etc). Or Pizza Bianco’s the Rosa: topped with red onion, Parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios.

Summer slices over at Cheese Board include:

* Peaches, mozzarella and ricotta salata cheese, arugula in a Lemon vinaigrette.
UPDATE: We added skinned peaches, ribbons of spicy salami, pine nuts and a drizzle of chili honey to our mix of mozzerella and provolone.

* Fresh corn, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, basil pesto.

How about thinly sliced baby beet, chopped beet greens, goat cheese and parmesan.

Or eggplant with reduced balsamic.

And we never get sick of our go-to fig and prosciutto; and pear, pine nut, gorgonzola.

Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Pizza Dough will do just the trick.

Pizza Dough/Sponge:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye Flour

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1-3/4 cups unbleached King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1/8 cup Bob’s Redmill cornmeal (reserved for pizza peel)

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella
1/2 can Muir Glen Organic tomatoes
2 tbsp oil olive (to brush crust)
Torn fresh basil leaves (topping)

Mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick.
Add more flour to the board as you knead so the dough won’t stick (but no more than is absolutely necessary). A soft moist dough makes a light an very crispy crust.
Knead for 10-15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Put the dough in a bowl rubbed in olive oil and cover and let rise in a warm place. (If making in advance put dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use). Let the dough rise to double in size about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 450-500 degrees.
Generously cover peel with the cornmeal to help with the transition to the oven (act as ball bearing and slides the pizza right of the peel onto the stone).
Roll out/shape pizza, brush with olive and add toppings (reserving the basil).
Bake until cooked to your liking — 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.

Tuna School

20 Jul

wiki tonnato

The Frugal Gourmet introduced us to tonnato sauce; that elegant Italian take on tuna sauce for veal or turkey.
It changed our thinking about tinned tuna and its aptitude for smooth dips and sauces.

Our first effort was a can of tuna blended with olive oil, salt, kalamata olives and lemon. It was pure bliss. Mayo, capers, and lemon on their own would be great also.

So here we have a study of the Frug’s tonnato mayo, an elegant tuna mousse, a cold tonnato turkey salad and a startlingly stylish roast rolled turkey with tonnato sauce to be served chilled to room temperature.

Very summertime, non?

Source: Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet

1 7-oz can tuna packed in water
8 canned flat anchovies, drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy
3/4 cup olive oil, room temperature
dash of Tabasco
1 tablespoon capers
Place the tuna, anchovies, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until all are mixed together.
Add Tabasco. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the machine runs. Remove the sauce from the container and stir in capers. Serve over meats (cold roast chicken or a turkey breast), vegetables, pasta, or salads.


1 3 oz can white tuna – flaked
1 clove garlic – minced
2 anchovy fillets – minced (opt)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup yogurt -or- sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups turkey – cooked and diced
2 medium potatoes – cooked, peeled, cubed
1 bunch arugula – or watercress
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup black olives
2 tablespoons parsley – coarsely chopped

For dressing, puree tuna with garlic, anchovies, mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt. Season with pepper.
For salad, combine diced turkey with cooked potatoes.
Mix with 1/2 of dressing.

Taste for seasoning. Arrange arugula or watercress on large plate. Mound potato and turkey mixture in centre. Arrange slices of turkey on top of chopped salad. Drizzle remaining dressing.
Arrange tomatoes and olives around outside of the salad and sprinkle with parsley



•1 boned; rolled and tied turkey breast (3 1/2-pound)
•3 anchovies; cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•1 large garlic clove; slivered
•2 can(s) chicken broth; (14 1/2-ounce)
•2 cup(s) dry white wine
•2 onions; quartered
•2 carrots; cut into 2-inch pieces
•4 fresh parsley sprigs
•2 bay leaves

•1 can(s) white meat tuna packed in water; well drained (6 1/2-ounce)
•5 anchovies
•3 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
•3 tablespoon(s) drained capers
•1 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon) (8-ounce)
•Chopped fresh italian parsley
•Drained capers
•2 lemons; halved lengthwise, sliced

For Turkey:
•Make slits in turkey with tip of small sharp knife; put 1 anchovy piece and 1 garlic sliver into each slit.
•Place turkey in large saucepan or dutch oven.
•Add all remaining ingredients.
•Add water to cover.
•Bring to boil.
•Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until meat thermometer inserted in center of turkey registers 140f, about 1 hour.
•Turn off heat and let turkey cool in cooking liquid.

For Sauce:
•Puree tuna, anchovies, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons capers in processor until very smooth, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally.
•With machine running, gradually mix in oil and blend until creamy.

•Remove turkey from broth reserve broth for another use.
•Cut off string and pull off turkey skin.
•Slice turkey into thin rounds.
•Coat platter with some of sauce.
•Top with single layer of turkey slices.
•Spread turkey with more sauce.
•Sprinkle generously with parsley and capers.
•Continue layering turkey, sauce, parsley and capers until all of turkey is used.
•Surround with lemon slices.
•Cover with plastic; chill turkey and any remaining sauce separately for at least 8 hours.
•Can be prepared 2 days ahead.
•Let turkey stand at room temperature 1 hour.
•Serve, passing any remaining sauce separately.

Stampede detox 2.0

19 Jul

GOOP's carrot ginger dressing

This is the first day of the rest of your summer… Stampede is over and everyone’s beat. Beef and beer bloated, to boot.

How will we ever recover our girlish figure?

Time for another post-Stampede detox.

Here are some light summer salads perfect for detoxing, courtesy of Gwenny from GOOP. Ever the inspiration…

From GOOP: “This dressing is the jam! Great on salad and also as a dip for vegetables. This recipe makes enough dressing for two salads, so be sure to save the extra.”
TIME: 5 minutes

For dressing:

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons water

For salad:

1 head of baby gem lettuce (or any greens), roughly cut
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 avocado, diced

Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Combine the lettuce, onion and avocado in a bowl, drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.
One quick soup, and then on to more summer salads:

Ginger and Scallion Soup
Fresh ginger—peel and dice about 5 slices
3 scallions chopped
1.5 cups water
Boil the ingredients lightly uncovered about 10 minutes and drink. It should induce a light sweat. This is a home remedy for colds and runny nose.


GOOP summer salads:
For the dog days of summer. These very tasty, wonderfully easy-to-make salads are terrific on their own, as side dishes or for rounding out your picnic basket.

I like this a lot better than the standard deli chicken salad (which does have an appeal of its own). I added peppery arugula, apple and walnuts to the chicken-mayo-celery combo and finished it off with a squeeze of lime for some zing. I love this as an open-faced sandwich on grilled sourdough.

TIME: 20 minutes

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (poached or roasted is good, incidentally this is great recipe for leftovers)
1 large stalk celery, cut into 1/4” dice
1/2 green apple, peeled and cut into 1/4” dice
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 handfuls arugula, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Veganaise, or your favorite mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
coarse salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Stir everything together.

Admittedly kitschy, but so delicious. Crab and avocado is a wonderful combination, a bit luxurious but worth it for a special meal. Marie Rose Sauce (sometimes called ‘Mary Rose’), very similar to Russian dressing, is said to have Irish origins.

TIME: 10 minutes

8 ounces fresh jumbo lump crab meat
1 lemon, cut in half
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Veganaise or your favorite mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 small shallot, finely grated
2 avocadoes, cut in half, pits discarded
In a medium bowl, squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon over the crab and stir to combine with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk the Veganaise, ketchup and shallot together in a large bowl and fold in the crab, being sure not to break it up too much. Fill each avocado half with a quarter of the crab salad. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and serve alongside the stuffed avocados.

My dear friend, Lee, made this recently and served it with a chicken wrap—a great summer lunch, full of crunch and flavor.

SERVES: 4 as a side dish
TIME: 20 minutes

1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely grated
one 1″-piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon spicy toasted sesame oil (or more or less to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
coarse salt
2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Whisk the garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar together in a bowl and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This is a good time to cut up your vegetables if you haven’t already. Whisk the soy sauce, agave and sesame oil into the vinegar mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the cabbages, carrot, pepper and scallions together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing at the last minute, sprinkling the seeds on top.

Soba noodles are wonderful and really good for you – hot or cold. Here, I tossed the al dente cold noodles with a bright combo of soy, sesame and herbs. Lovely on its own or accompanying grilled salmon.

TIME: 15 minutes

8 ounces buckwheat soba
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons light agave nectar
2 teaspoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup neutral oil (grapeseed)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or Eden Shake (a prepared mixture of sesame seeds and seaweed)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Cook the soba in boiling water, according to the package directions (about 6 minutes). Immediately rinse the soba under cold water. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, agave, mirin, vinegar and oils in a large bowl. Toss the cold soba with the dressing and mix in the sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions.


18 Jul

Adding alcohol to a dessert this rich is gilding the lilly at Stampede time. For a short while, we contemplated serving guests tiny beer floats, inspired by the recent gift of blueberry beer.

But we are rather smitten by the frozen Margarita Pie our friend G served at a final Stampede party.

The boozy, no-bake pie is coated with salty, crushed pretzels. The puckery lime insides are impossibly creamy, and pack a wallop with shots of tequila and Triple Sec.

It’s the calorie-bomb combination of condensed milk and whipping cream that makes this such a dreamy treat. We suppose, if you had to be a buzz kill, you could soften low-fat ice cream, or use lime sorbet, in their place. Sort of like a margarita ice cream pie. Nothing wrong with that.

This recipe has been adapted from Al Roker’s book, “Big Bad Book of Barbecue” Makes one 9-inch pie.

Adding extra sprinkles of crushed pretzels on top helps cut through the rich taste. Or decorate with whole pretzels and whipping cream.

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. Press mixture into a pie pan.
Bake this at 350 for eight or so minutes and let cool completely.
2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tablespoons tequila
4 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lime slices, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, zest, juice, tequila, liqueur, and salt.

Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
Pour filling into crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firmly set, for at least 2 or up to 8 hours.
Just before serving, whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold in sugar and vanilla, whipping until stiff peaks form. Garnish pie with whipped cream and lime slices, if using. Serve immediately.

Cheddar biscuits

15 Jul

If you’re suffering from stew/chili overload, don’t come crying to us.

Cheddar biscuits will make you crave a ladle-full of either.

Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Smitten Kitchen

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
 Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Drained and chopped pickled jalapeños, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.