samedi 27 juin 2009

Roquefort Sauce &

My friend, Lynda Sydney, a talented freelance copywriter working in Toronto, recently started her blog to share her love of cars and driving with other like minded women. This is an informative and fun blog that covers driving and car care tips, service secrets, auto reviews, fun facts and more.
I was honoured that Lynda asked me to write an article related to driving in Paris and you can read my guest posting about when I got my little Peugeot here.

This was one of Lynda's favourite sauces to serve over grilled steak when she was in Paris.

Roquefort Sauce
Serves 4

15 mL (1 Tbsp) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) black pepper, crushed
5 mL (1 tsp) fond de veau (veal stock powder)
80 mL (1/3 cup) white wine
60 mL (¼ cup) Roquefort cheese
80 mL (1/3 cup) whipping cream (35%)

Sauté garlic in butter until softened by not coloured. Add veal stock and wine; simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Add whipping cream and warm through. Add Roquefort a little at a time and stir to blend. The sauce is ready when it coats the back of a metal spoon.

Pour over grilled steaks and serve with a bottle of Reserva Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile Concha.

jeudi 25 juin 2009

Scottish Fish & Chips

I spent the last week in Scotland visiting my family and didn't get much chance to cook but did
get to sample many different Scottish specialties. My family thinks the best fish and chips come from a "chippy" or chip shop that specializes in fish and chips rather than other types of restaurants.

On Tuesday, we went to the Pavillion Cafe* in Troon for our fish supper. The restaurant / chippy was recently renovated and the decor is basic and very clean. The place does a brisk business both inside and for take out so everything is very fresh.

This was one of the best fish & chips that I have tasted. The fish batter was light and crispy and neither the fish nor the chips were greasy. As you can see, I have dressed the chips Canadian style with ketchup rather than with the traditional brown sauce or vinegar.

* Pavillion Cafe
27 Templehill, Troon, Ayrshire KA10 6BQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1292 311766

dimanche 14 juin 2009

Summer Salad

This weekend brought back a return to summer with its sunshine and warm temperatures. Just the sort of weather that makes you think about serving simple salads and eating outside.

By coincidence or design I found that I had everything I needed to make this salad - peaches were plentiful in the store so I picked up a few, mint is overtaking our garden, yellow and red peppers in the fridge and mozzarella was on sale last week too so I had a couple of balls left over.

Summer Salad
Serves 4

500 mL (2 cups) mixed salad greens
2 sprigs mint, chopped
4 ripe peaches, peeled and torn or cut into chunks
2 balls fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
½ roasted red and yellow peppers, sliced

30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Arrange salad greens and chopped mint on a platter; scatter peaches, mozzarella and roasted peppers on top. Shake together vinaigrette ingredients and drizzle over the salad.

dimanche 7 juin 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

The keys to making Chinese food are to have fresh ingredients and to prepare them (i.e. measuring and chopping) in advance of heating the wok. The stir-fry method of cooking is quick and requires your full attention to stir and to be aware of when each step is complete and ready for the next ingredient to be added.

I bought my 1st wok when I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in the early 1980's and along with it a Chinese cooking class book that served as my "how to" guide on stir frying. I still have the book but it is packed away with my things in Paris. I bought a new smaller wok recently but I prefer my old one and look forward to being able to use it again. The old one is a classic rounded bottom one meant for use over gas stoves and the new one is a smaller flat bottom one for use over electric elements.

This weekend I was craving some kung pao chicken and decided to give it a try. It was spicy and tasty but not quite the same as I remember from years ago.

Kung Pao Shrimp
Serves 4

30 mL (2Tbsp) of chile garlic sauce
30 mL (2Tbsp) of oyster sauce
10 mL (2 tsp) of rice vinegar
2 chicken breasts, cut into 2.5 cm (1”) cubes
1 fresh chile pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
125 mL (½ cup) of cashew nuts, roasted
30 mL (2 Tbsp) of peanut or vegetable oil
2 medium green onions, finely chopped
Sprigs of coriander, chopped, for garnish

Mix chile garlic sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar; set aside.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until light brown (about 3 minutes). Add cashews, chile pepper, red and green peppers and onion. Stir-fry until onion starts to become translucent (about 4 minutes). Add chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add chile garlic sauce mixture, stirring to combine; stir-fry until chicken is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Garnish with green onions and cilantro before serving.