Alright, so not the best photo…but, what’s a guy to do when he’s cooking dinner at a friend’s house and doesn’t really feel like lugging his big camera over to snap a picture? I have to remind myself that it’s ok to resort to some iPhoetography once and awhile. I mean, after all, it’s the taste that matters, not the picture that I spend ten minutes taking while dinner gets cold! Ha, ha, ha.
After getting back into town from my worldly adventures, I had a lot of catching up to do with my friends. This past weekend, I made dinner with my friend Trina. Neither of us have had scallops for quite some time, so we decided to cook some up. The pea and jalapeño purée has a nice bit of heat, which I topped with some sautéed scallions and radishes, scallops and finished it all with a couple dollops of olive tapenade to cut the richness.
I’ve been in Australia for about a week and a half now. So far, our trip has been amazing, aside from the mostly rainy weather. The rain has cut in significantly to our beach time, which is a bit sad, but, that being said, rain and grey sky lend themselves well to the enjoyment of stews and curries.
So, even though I am escaping – geographically – the last few weeks of Canadian winter, I still find myself whipping up something I would happily it on a snowy winter’s evening. My travel companion, Chez, and I cooked this dinner for some of her family friends while we were spending the past weekend on the Sunshine Coast.
We were tight on spices in the vacation rental apartment, hence the odd addition of ketchup to the curry, but, trust me, it was awesome! Here’s the recipe…
As you can probably guess, I’m an avid home cook. I whip up dinners comfortably (usually with the help of a sous chef or two) for groups of friends. I can turn the miscellaneous contents of my refrigerator into some semblance of a ‘charcuterie’ board if I have guests popping by unexpectedly. Yes, it would seem that I am slowly, but surely, becoming a kitchen wizard of Hogwart’s proportions.
Having said that, I can occasionally get so carried away, making something unusual or attempting to meld odd flavours together on a plate that I forget about the tastiness that can come out of the uncomplicated approach to cooking.
I’ve read Bon Appétit for years. I use it for inspiration in my kitchen, staying informed on the culinary happenings in North America and, regardless of the time of day/week/month/year, as an appetite stimulant. The magazine has started off the new year with a “Cooking School” issue. A good chunk of its pages are filled with how-tos and tips to get you cooking more often.
A lot of the pointers, guides and recipes I read through weren’t necessarily things that I did not know how to do, but, rather, things that I forgot to do. I am definitely the type of person that needs constant reminders in all aspects my life, and reading through this January issue of Bon Appétit was my culinary reminder for 2013. ‘Tis the season, so let’s consider this a resolution too.
2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)
1 red potato (1/2″ cubed)
5 cups vegetable broth
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TSP chili powder
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 white mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 jalapeño (seeds removed, finely chopped)
2 cups kale (loosely chopped)
salt and pepper
Well, it’s 2013 now. If you’re anything like me and have gained a couple (or more than a couple) pounds from excessive consumption of last month’s festive food and drink, it’s time to dial it back. I always love making risotto because it is, essentially, a blank slate. You start with some rice and hot broth and add whatever flavours you fancy. I kept things healthy with this version, using some hearty vegetables, making for a filling, and surprisingly filling, vegan dish.
Did you know it’s Elvis’ 78th Birthday today? I’m not sure if I’m on the ‘Elvis is still alive’ bang wagon (if that wagon still exists?), but I can’t argue that the man had taste. Rumour has it that his favourite dish in the whole, wide world was a Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana Sandwich.
I shared a recipe for this guilty pleasure sandwich in a blog entry on this site back in December as a quick and easy lunch for a day when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches have always been a favourite of mine, so adding in some crisp bacon just takes it to another level.
Not that this one really needs a recipe, but, nonetheless, here it is…
What you’ll need…
8 slices bacon
8 slices white bread (keeping’ it classic, old-school all the way!)
2 bananas (1/2″ sliced)
peanut butter (the more the merrier!)
Fry up the bacon in a large frying pan until they’re nice and crispy. Place onto some paper towel to absorb any excess grease and to cool slightly. Toast all bread slices until they’re golden brown. Slather each piece with some peanut butter, top with sliced bananas and one piece of bacon. Combine slices into pairs, slice in half and chow down!
Always so simple and satisfying! Happy Birthday Elvis!
Total prep time…10 min
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream
2 TSP yellow curry powder
1 TSP cayenne pepper
1 slice pancetta (1/4″ thick, finely cubed)
2/3 cup oyster mushrooms (loosely chopped)
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 leek (halved, thinly sliced)
1 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner
2 cups arborio rice
1 lemon (zested and juiced)
1 1/2 cups radishes (trimmed, halved)
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup walnut halves
salt and pepper
Risotto is one of those never-fail comfort foods. It’s not nearly as finicky as most people think and a little bit of arborio rice can go a long way when it comes time to feed a group of people. On top of all of that, risotto has a reputation for being quite ‘fancy’. So, the next time you’re having friends over for dinner, you can whip up a filling meal for everyone in one big pan. How rad is that? Pretty damn rad, I say! Also, a little beer in your risotto never hurt anyone, right?
Now, make this for dinner tonight!
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