Tuesday, 12 February 2013

For the love of Food!..

Dearest Readers and Food lovers, 

I hope you had a splendid weekend and enjoyed many tasty adventures. I myself, was lucky enough to get away and have a two full days of kitchen oriented fun. Here are a few snapped photo's of my  fun food frenzy:

The dish that stood out for me this weekend was flavorful, light, local, and took me out of my comfort zone. I had to bake it before I could use it in my meal. Do not fret if I can bake it there is not doubt you can conquer the recipe too.  Baking has known to make me weak at the knees. If you have a similar reaction, take a deep breath, read through the directions a few times, play some sweet tunes and invite a friend to join in the fun! 

 This meal would suite a Sunday morning, breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! 
Coffee Maple Bacon (curtesy of HighlandDrive Storehouse ) and Sally Lunn Bun French Toast 
Sally Lunn Recipe: 
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
1/2 Cup Butter 
Warm Together and then add in 
1/4 Cup Sugar 
Let the Yeast come alive =) 
Then add 3 whole eggs at room temperature
3.5 Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt 
Beat together  with a wooden spoon until smooth (around 2 minutes) and then let the dough rise for at least 1 hour. Butter your muffin tins, portion the dough into the tins. This recipe should make at least 12 buns. Then let dough rise again for another 30 minutes and bake for 8 minutes at 400F. 

NOW...to make the French Toast: Wait until you have day old Sally Lunn Buns. Then slice them 1/2 inch thick. Make up your french toast mixture - Beat  3/4 Cup Milk, 2 Eggs, 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp Vanilla, 1/2 tsp clove
Preheat a pan on medium with 1 tsp butter and let it brown a little. Dunk your cut sally lunn into your fragrant and sweet french toast mix. After 30 seconds in the liquid transfer the moist sally lunn into the preheated and buttered pan. Cook for a good 3 minutes on either side or until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite local bacon and a fruit salad of your choice. If you are not in the mood for fruit then toss together your favorite greens and enjoy!

Now usually at this point in the blog I would say Eat, Drink and Enjoy .... and then have a toe tapping tune for your enjoyment. Instead today I introduce you to Chef Dennis Tay: a Chef I respect a great deal and old culinary school colleague. He has made the cut for Top Chef Canada. His passion, respect and sheer drive in culinary arts is incredible. I invite you to watch and support him in his dream. 

Until next week food loving friends.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Wondeful Land....... Lambcetta!

Happy Monday lovely readers.

I hope that you had a splendid weekend that has now carried into Monday. Perhaps you had some tasty leftovers on your dinner plates this evening. What did you have on your Sunday dinner plates? 

This weekend at the Storehouse we had a lamb cut that we only sell on special occasions:  Lambcettta.  We debone the lamb loins so that we can then wrap it around the beautiful lamb belly. 

Now after talking with wonderful customers about this all weekend, it was only natural that I cooked one for Sunday night dinner our Superbowl feast. 

So here we go ladies and Gents Sunday Night Dinner - 

Asparagus, Toast Pinenuts,  Goat Cheese, Arugula and Honey Dijon Dressing
10 Spears Asparagus Boiled and Cooled
1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
2 Cups Arugula 
1/4 Cup Toasted Pinenuts

Dressing: 1 tbsp Dijon, 1 tbsp balsamic, 2 tsp honey, 1/2 clove smashed garlic, and 1 tsp water

Roast Lambcetta, Parsnip and Sweet Potato Puree 
Preheat your oven to 325F Let your Lambcetta come up to room temperature, and rub with garlic, lemon grass, 1tsp olive oil, 1 tsp white wine and Salt/Pepper

Heat a frying pan in on medium high heat for 2 minutes and then sear your meat for 2 minutes on each side.  Then cover with tin foil and place in the oven. My roast was 1 lb so I cooked it covered for 25 minutes and then uncovered it for 8 minutes before letting it rest. Uncovering the meat for the last 10 minutes will let the pan juices reduce into a nice sauce.

While your lamb cooks peel 1 sweet potato and  2 Parsnips cut into medium size chunks. Boil in salted water ( 1tsbp Salt to 1 L Water) until soft. Drain the water and then mash with 2tsp butter and 1 tsp pepper.

 There we go happy eaters!! I hope that you will be able to try out this recipe sometime, or even potions of it. 

Until next Sunday! 

Eat, drink and Enjoy

Monday, 28 January 2013

Nine Below Zero..... Cap Steak and Apple Cake

Dearest Readers, 

Happy 2013 and welcome back. I apologize for my 9 month blogging break. In the past 9 months I have opened www.highlanddrive.ca A local butcher shop and produce store in beautiful Halifax N.S. Being my first time opening a storefront the last few months have been a wonderful adventure. Now  in 2013 my feet feel more firmly planted on the ground and I am very excited to start once again sharing recipes and tales of tasty treats to warm the stomach and heart. 

To ease back into the world of blogging, I will be posting an Ode To - Sunday Night Dinner 
Why you may ask?  I love Sundays, I love them at the shop, they are fun, relaxing and full of smiling regulars. I love the idea of making a big Sunday night meal, sharing with friends, and loved ones.  Then having leftovers as a pleasant reminder of Sunday for first few days of the week.

So here it is... My first Sunday Night Dinner Post

It is freezing here in Halifax so lately my eyes have been darting towards warm, easy cooking cuts of meat. This week it was a Sirloin Cap Steak that caught my attention. A easy cooking, tender cut of meat that is rarely ever talked about! Why?? Who knows. If you ask my head meat cutter at the shop what his favorite cut is there will be no hesitation in his voice: Cap Steak! Why? Because it is tender, juice, flavourful and can be cooked like a small roast but using a steak cooking technique. A full cap Steak should easily feed 4-5 People.
Recipe: Take the  Cap Steak out of the fridge and rub with dijon, thyme, sliced garlic, 1tsp honey salt and Pepper - Let the meat come to room temperature marinating for at least 15 minutes 
While this is marinating grab your favourit vegetables to roast and preheat your oven to 375F. 
Last night my vegetables consisted of: Carrots, Parsnips, Purple Potatoes, White Potatoes, Leeks and a bit of walnuts for crunch (YUM) Drizzle 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and pepper onto your vegetables and put into the oven to roast for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. 
While your harvest vegetables cook move on to the meat of the matter =). 
Preheat a pan with 2 tsp butter on medium to high heat. Once the butter has melted and begun to sizzle add in your steak fat side up. Brown the top of the steak for at least 3 minutes or until a nice dark brown crust has formed. Then flip!, and add 1/2 cup red wine into the pan. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and drizzle with sauce on the bottom of the pan over the steak while it continues to cook. Cover for 4 more minutes. Take your Cap steak out of the pan and let your pan juices reduce for 2 minutes or until it you are looking at a lovely sauce consistency (the liquid should easily cover the back of a spoon)  Let the Cap Steak rest for at least 5 minutes so that the juices do not run when you cut into it.  By this time your vegetables should be almost finished. Then they are spoon onto the middle of the plate, thinly slice your meat and drizzle with the pan sauce. !!!

Dessert: 1,2,3,4 Cake (Easy as pie... only it's cake ) 
3 Diced Apples
1 Cup Sugar 
1 Tsp Vanilla
Heat sugar on medium in a pan until it begins to caramelize and then add in diced apples and vanilla. Cook for 5 minutes until apples are softened and golden brown

Cake: Cream 1 Cup Butter with 1 Cup white sugar, add 4 eggs and beat until smooth. Add to mixture 1 tsp vanilla
Then sift 3 cups flour with 3 tsp baking powder and measure out 2/3 of a cup cream. You want to add 1 cup of flour, then 1/3 cup cream into the wet mixture slowing folding together as you go.

Place your apples on the bottom of your buttered cake pan (Butter safe than sorry!)  Then place your cake batter on top and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour 350F.  I was able to fill two 8" cake pans with this recipe.

There you have it lovely readers. Sunday night dinner, perfect for the cold! 

Eat, Drink and Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Is you is or is you ain't my baby?...... Insalata di Melone

Wow April already. The sun is shining later in the sky and I do believe that come mid morning we can now feel a hint of heat from the rays.

How lovely! Everyday I can feel myself moving more towards light fresh flavours in the kitchen and away from warm stew and biscuit baked meals. Spring menu writing has begun and I am excited about fiddle heads, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and lighter fairing desserts.

This weekend was the third month for the Authentic Italian Dinners at Pavia Gallery.  This where I truly get to have fun with Italian flavours and create a 7 course tasting menu for wonderful food loving people. I really enjoy these two dinners and even though the menu's still had a hint of winters warmth I played with some lighter plates as well. One plate in particular seemed to truly please peoples senses and bring on the idea of Spring. Darling readers this recipe I will share with you tonight in hopes that it will bring rays of sunshine into your brunch, lunch, and dinner tables. As always remember that these recipes are a simple idea for you to then take and make into your own! Have fun try new things =) 
Insalata Di Melone (Melon Salad)

Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew
Red Onion
Apricot White Vinegar - Liquid Gold
Olive Oil - Liquid Gold

First things first. Peel your watermelon and then slice into thin half moons around 1/4 inch thick. Slice your red onions and mix with 2 tablespoons of the apricot vinegar. Then pour over watermelon letting the red onions, vinegar, and melon sit for at least half an hour. 

Peel your chilled cantaloupe, and honey dew and either slice into larger chunks or use a melon baller to get your own desired shape and size then place in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil 5 sliced kumquats, either torn or finely chopped basil, watercress and arugula. Lightly toss the salad. To plate first place your beautifully flavoured watermelon on the plate and then pile your wonderfully fresh light melon salad on top. 

Pair with sparkling wine, a nice vinho verde, a smile from ear to ear and someone you love.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Shake, rattle and roll.... Pesto and Shrimp

Dear friends spring has sprung! How exciting to look outside and be greeted with sunshine and warmth. The change of seasons always bring a smile to my face and put a hop back into my step. This is a good thing as the closer we come to being fully in spring the closer I am to opening up Highland Drive - Storehouse Butchery and Local Produce

Now I understand that my blogs have been few and far between in the last month. I have been spending much time with electricians, builders, sanders and equipment suppliers and unfortunately have had little time in the kitchen. As my heart yearns to be in front of the stove I am constantly reminding myself that soon I will be back in the heat of the kitchen where I belong.

Now, more than ever I crave the need to create new flavours, and miss passing on weekly recipes to you. So here we are have one to celebrate spring to make your smile, and pleasantly full.
Recipe: Shrimp Tossed in Walnut Arugula Pesto

1lb Clearwater Medium Size Shrimp Defrosted

2 Cups Arugula
2 Garlic Cloves
½ Lemon juice and zest
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
½ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup  Shredded Asiago Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

In a blender add your arugula, whole garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest, walnuts, shredded asiago cheese.  Blend until all has broken down and combined. Add in 1tsp of water while blending at the end to help gain a smoother consistency. Set aside.

Heat a pan on medium heat for 2 minutes with 1 tsp olive oil. Toss your shrimp in salt and pepper. Add shrimp to the heated pan and let the shrimp cook for 2 minutes on both sides. Then add in your pesto and whole cherry tomatoes toss together for 1 minute.

Serve with Pasta of your choice.  

Keep in mind this pesto can also be eaten on salads, sandwiches, as a dip for vegetables, drizzled on potatoes, as a sauce for chicken. It's all up to you, but no matter what you do my friends please be sure to.....

Eat, drink and enjoy!!!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Days of Wine and Roses....Culinary Creations

Hello darlings and a very Happy Friday to you! Here we are on our way into spring. What better way to celebrate the change in weather and longer days than a wonderful evening of cooking and baking with another local food lover and blog.