Tapas on a Sunday Night…

Matt and I were inspired by a recent dinner at Mis Trucos (in the West End) to create our own tapas meal. Everything turned out so well, except for the braised artichoke. What a disaster that was. Next time, I’ll youtube how to properly butcher one of those things.
However, the lovely bottle of Barbaresco and a Negroni helped to ease the pain somewhat. 🙂

Phoenix BBQ Ribs

While in Phoenix, the 4 of us made dinner on Sunday night.  Accompanied by a lovely spinach, mango, candied pecan and goat cheese salad by Elyse, Matt and I made ribs, and there was a request for the recipe.  here it is!  mmm.

  1. prepare 2 racks of ribs (first, remove the connective tissue- read the weber book for how to do so- and then rub either with ground cumin or chinese 5 spice)
  2. cover with marinade, and put in fridge for as long as possible (2 hours up to overnight)
  3. turn grill to medium-low. While bbq is heating up, remove ribs from marinade and spatula all extra marinade into a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes to kill all death-causing substances. 🙂
  4. Put ribs on and grill for 1.5 hours, basting every 10-15 minutes with the marinade
  5. enjoy, accompanied by RIDICULOUSLY cheap wine! (thanks, Scottsdale Safeway!)
  6. make extra- delicious cold the next day!
  7. oh, and be careful- hoisin has a high sugar content, so may lead to flare ups, and makes the grill a total mess. (Thanks to Doug, who (with the absence of bbq tools) scraped off the grill with a spinach box)

Marinade :

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sherry
  • 4 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
  • here is the original recipe that we adapted:
    Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Baked-Pork-Ribs-with-Hoisin-Barbecue-Sauce-106842#ixzz1NlnXtBhd

    BEST Risotto I Have Ever Made!

    This is amazing- made exactly as written, but with some low-fat options. But simply stunning. And made enough for a small Vietnamese village. Definitely half if only two people!
    We did some sea scallops with wine wine and butter with- amazing!
    bon appetito! (As Mario Batali would say)

    Another reason why I love Thomas Keller…

    I made another Thomas Keller recipe yesterday (he is seriously my hero)- this is the “Herb Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms” from epicurious- I added some braised kale for texture and color.  I made some small modifications, but otherwise, kept as is, and wow.

    It was simply stunning- one of the best meals I have ever made.  (and fun to say “pate de choux” about 500 times while I was making it!)

    Bon appetit!

    Comfort Food

    In these cold, wintry months (well, cold-ish, anyway!), we’ve done a few comfort food meals, and attached a picture of a few: spaghetti & meatballs, as well as seafood chowder (the way Mom used to make)! Recipes have been modified- send me a message, if you’d like!

    Matt’s Birthday

    another birthday meal!  🙂 No pictures, but we made filet mignon… had a Groupon (yeah, Groupon!) for 50% off a specialty organic butcher in North Van, so bought the best! We did the steaks French style- pan seared with butter… oh my- so good!  Also did caramelized shallot & roasted garlic mashed potatoes (my own recipe), and did this sauce for the steaks- took me 2 hours, but totally worth the effort!  I’ve just included the recipe for the sauce, as I didn’t make anything else…

    Red Wine Sauce
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    8 ounces shallots, sliced (about 2 cups)
    1 6-ounce package sliced mushrooms
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 750-ml bottle Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
    1 14-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
    1 14-ounce can beef broth
    2 fresh thyme sprigs
    1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
    1 Turkish bay leaf

    1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
    1 tablespoon all purpose flour

    Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over; sauté until mixture is deep brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add vinegar; stir until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add both broths, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered 45 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

    Mix butter and flour in small bowl. Bring sauce to simmer over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour mixture. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes.

    Mom’s Birthday

    So, we had the ‘rents over for Mom’s 50th birthday and went all out, Italian style: boconccini with basil & tomatoes; Mario Batali style spaghetti, and then orange sabayon.

    spaghetti bolognese recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Bolognese-Sauce-107226

    yum yum!


    Quack, quack!

    OK, so Matt and I decided to compromise and not blow $300 at West to celebrate our anniversary. However, we did blow about $100 at Bosa foods (we heart Bosa!!).

    So, here are the picture descriptions: We started with Charcuterie: pork country pate (I did not make!) 18 month aged prosciutto, soppresseta, goat brie, okanagan gouda and raincoast crisps/crostinis.  Accompanying this (in our lovely tri sauce dish, thanks to D & E), we had zucchini relish, given to us by a friend, sundried tomato, and red pepper curry mustard, again courtesy of the Edmonton Farmer’s market, and D & E.  (AMAZING mustard, guys!!!)

    For dinner, we did a duck ragu with papardelle noodles.  Never made duck before, but found out it is an easy way to spend $30 on protein! http://bit.ly/8X7Y70. I made several modifications, so let me know if you’d like the additions.  It was SO good- so flavorful and rich, without being overly heavy.

    Paired it with a 2006 (a great year- get it?  Anniversary? ka-ching) La Frenz Montage. So delicious, and the leftovers were far more than West’s!  Buon appetito!

    Very appropriate for the weekend

    Came across these little gems: salut to the weekend! (My apologies, Jon!)



    Ahhh, pizza!

    So, if there’s one thing I love to do when I cook, is find a way to make things more complicated, more expensive and longer to make!  However, I have found one exception- pizzas!  I make this recipe for pizza dough from (of course) epicurious, and although it does take longer, due to the rising time, there is something so cathartic about smashing your fists into warm, sticky dough.  Then, you can throw it up, and sing the “That’s Amore” song.  It’s a pretty winning combination!  🙂


    Some of Matt and I’s favorite toppings are caramelized onions, mushroom and roasted garlic, Italian meat lovers, and prosciutto & arugula.

    The recipe makes three large pizzas, and it freezes very well.  I’d recommend rolling the dough out as thin as possible, and using a pizza stone, such as this one below-( it makes the crust so crispy) before adding toppings on. A crisp Italian white wine or Negroni cocktails are our favorite drinks with.


    What Thomas Keller and I have in common…

    …We can both make this!! After that, the similarities end.

    I don’t make the crust ever- just make the sabayon, and go for it!  I think it’s the best when chilled and served with berries.

    Tarte au Citron

    There are different ways to make a lemon tart. At Bouchon, the French Laundry, and Per Se, we use a sabayon method, in which the eggs are first cooked with the lemon juice and sugar over hot water, then the butter is gradually incorporated — an easy method that results in a consistently good lemon custard or curd.

    Lemon Sabayon:
    2 large eggs, cold
    2 large egg yolks, cold
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
    For the sabayon:

    Bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl you will be using for the sabayon. Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.

    Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl (for even heating). After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add one-third of the lemon juice. Continue to whisk vigorously and, when the mixture thickens again, add another one-third of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice. Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened and light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl. The total cooking time should be 8 to 10 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the water. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time. The sabayon may loosen slightly, but it will thicken and set as it cools. Pour the warm sabayon into glasses.

    Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Lemon-Tart-231349#ixzz0yJHl57qp