Browsing all articles tagged with delicious

Seared Scallops with Sweet Pea and Jalapeno Purée

Seared Scallops with Pea Pureé

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.

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Roasted Green Beans with Drunk Tomato Sauce

What you’ll need…

3 TBSP butter

2 cloves garlic

2/3 cup white whine

3 TBSP tomato paste

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 TSP brown sugar

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

4 cups fresh green beans (trimmed)

2/3 cup bread crumbs (crushed rice crackers to stay gluten-free)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)

Today marks the beginning of my official Top Chef Canada, thirteen week, cooking venture. With the show’s season two premiere looming over my head (only mere hours away now!), I have been tasked, by Food Network Canada, with the challenge of taking one dish from each episode and trying to recreate it at home.

What scares me is not having to try and recreate something. What scares me is the fact that viewers can vote online for the dish I have to try and recreate. You and I both know that they’re going to vote for the weird crocodile steak, or raccoon filet, or goldfish caviar, etc….You get my point. Nonetheless, I shall try my best to persevere regardless of appointed dish.

In honour of committing myself to being ridiculously stressed out in my kitchen for the next thirteen weeks, I’ve whipped up a very simple, yet delicious, and surprisingly inexpensive, dish at home this weekend. Green beans are totally where it’s at!

Start off by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. melting the butter over medium-high heat in a large pan. Once the butter is melted and starts to bubble, add the garlic and the wine. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Next, place the following five ingredients in the pan and stir to combine. Let the sauce cook for another five minutes. Take a taste, then add some salt and pepper.

Once the sauces done simmering, place the green beans into the pan and toss to coat. Remove from heat and let sit for the moment. Combine bread crumbs, or rice crumbs (is that what you call them?), in a small mixing bowl. This next part of the recipe will kind of be like ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’

- If you’ve been using an oven safe frying pan, sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top of the sauce-coated beans. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the topping looks crisp.

- If your frying pan is not oven safe, transfer beans and sauce to prepared baking dish, top with bread crumb mixture and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the topping looks crisp.

Yes, I am aware that this was not nearly as exciting as a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story…

Once the beans are done baking, serve, piping hot, to the table. Best served with hyacinth macaw. In lieu of that, some simple roasted chicken will do!

Serves 3-4

Total cook time…35 min

Top Chef Canada premieres tonight, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on Food Network Canada. Head to after the show to help decide which dish from the season two premiere episode I have to recreate this week. Remember, do not vote for the hard ones!


Spicy Chicken and Lentil Succotash

What you’ll need…

1 TBSP butter

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 small jalapeño (seeds removed, chopped)

1 orange (zest and juice)

2 TBSP soy sauce

2 TSP sugar

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 large turnip (1/2″ chopped, approximately 2 cups)

2 cups cooked chicken (loosely chopped)

2 cups green lentils (cooked)

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 TSP white wine vinegar

salt and pepper

parsley (for garnish, optional)

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard the term ‘Sufferin’ Succotash!‘ a few times in your life, but have never actually tasted it…Without going to much into a history lesson (boring), succotash was a popular dish in during the great depression, using corn, beans and any other miscellaneous ingredients that were onhand. Think: Cheap, cheap, cheap! Cheap food for tough times, you know? Now, fast forward a few years, to my version of succotash utilizing lentils instead of corn and some other items that I happened to have in my kitchen on ‘clean out the fridge’ day.

On a secondary note, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve cooked with lentils. I’ve missed them and decided that it’s time to give lentils the makeover they deserve. Just like Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That, I’m going to take off the glasses, let down that ponytail, and discover the beauty of lentils! I apologize for the dated pop culture reference…

Start off by melting the butter in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and let cook until the onion begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Once the onions start to turn golden, stir in the next 5 ingredients. Reduce to medium heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. (Use just half of the jalapeño and cut out the cayenne if you don’t like your food too spicy!)

Once the 5 minutes are up, place the turnip, chicken, lentils and broth into the pan. Let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by half, about 8 minutes or so. Have a taste, add some salt and pepper to the dish and you’re ready to eat! See, cheap good ol’ succotash also means it’s nice and simple to throw together.

After portioning out onto some plates, add some fresh parsley as a nice garnish and serve with some stale bread. If you’re anything like me, you probably have in your kitchen!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…25 min



Gnocchi with Roasted Cauliflower and Pancetta in Balsamic Cream Sauce

What you’ll need…

Roasted cauliflower mixture:

2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)

1/2 cup pancetta (thinly sliced)

1/2 red onion (chopped)

1 TSP lemon juice

2 TSP sugar

salt and pepper

olive oil

Pasta and sauce:

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP flour

2 cups cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

2 TSP tomato paste

2 cups red swiss chard (chopped and blanched)

4 cups cooked gnocchi

2 TSP balsamic vinegar

So, I finally got a ‘real’ camera, a ‘big boy’ camera, if you will. Thank you for the golf claps (I imagined golf claps after the first sentence). It was an expensive purchase, slightly scary, but, I find, pricey times like these seem less real when you just close your eyes and hand someone your credit card. I approach the majority of life’s situations like this…Anyway, five days later, here I am with this ‘big’ camera and a couple different lenses that I don’t know how to deal with and all I’m thinking is: ‘Is this what puberty was like?’. Yes, yes it was. Except it didn’t cost me $1000.

End tangent.

I do realize that this recipe is going up on Valentine’s Day and, although, gnocchi doesn’t necessary lend itself to ‘romance’, I think eating this for dinner could be, at the very least, chalked up to a fun foodie fling.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Put the cauliflower mixture into a prepared baking dish and let bake in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, give the dish a quick stir, turn heat to high broil, and let cook for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower and pancetta really start to caramelize and crisp up. Remove from oven and set aside for now.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add in the flour and whisk to form a rue. Pour in the cream. Once the liquid begins to simmer and thicken, stir in the grated cheese, sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce to medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes.

Now you can add the cauliflower/pancetta mixture to the pan as well as the chard and cooked gnocchi. Toss a few times to coat everything in the sauce. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar and give the pan one last, solid toss.

Serve nice and hot to hungry dinner-mates!

Serves 4

Total cook time…40 min



Top Secret Smokey Tomato And Chorizo Soup

What you’ll need…

1/2 pound chorizo sausage

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 cups crushed tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1 russet potato (1/2″ cubed, approximately 1 1/2 cups)

1 TBSP lapsang souchong tea (ground or crushed with a mortor and pestle)

1 TSP chili powder

1 TSP paprika

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 meyer lemon (zest and juice)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup harvarti cheese (grated)

2 cups fresh spinach

salt and pepper

olive oil

As I’m typing this, inside my house, away from the -30 degree (celsius for any Americans reading this!) weather, I’m fairly happy to be back home in Calgary. Shortly after Christmas, I departed from Canada for a three week adventure in the United Kingdom and Denmark. On this adventure I encountered delicious food, more pubs than you could shake a stick at and, of course, Hogwarts…but I digress, these are all stories for another day.

Today it is cold. Really, really damn cold. When it’s cold, all I want to do is wear my sweatpants, my TMNT bunnyhug and sip some soup. So, I did just that. I had some lapsang souchong tea kicking around the house and since I hadn’t used tea in a recipe since the summer, I thought its smokey flavour fit the bill perfectly for a tomato and chorizo style soup. I know it must sound weird reading through the ingredient listings…tea, lemon, cream, but, trust me, it all works! If you don’t trust me, then I dare you to make a liar out of me.

Time to cook! Place the sausage in a large pot, drizzle with some olive oil and cook on medium-high heat until it is completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Spoon out the cooked meat and cooking oil, leaving just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Now, toss in the onions, minced garlic and let cook until the onions soften, another 5 minutes or so. Next, add the following seven ingredients to the pot as well as the juice of the meyer lemon. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

On a side note, take a big whiff of your soup after stirring in those ingredients. Doesn’t the lapsang souchong tea make it smell amazing? Smokey deliciousness here we come!

(In the meantime…tidy up your living room! I know it’s messy…)

 After that time, the chunks of potato should be, at the very least, fork tender. If that’s the case, let the lemon zest, cream, shredded cheese and spinach join the soup party. You can now return the cooked sausage to the pot as well. Give the pot a good stir until the cheese melts away into nothingness and you’re left with a thick, rich-tasting soup. Let the soup cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, take a sip, season with salt and pepper to taste and you’re done! Bam!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…40 min


Rosemary Mushroom Pate with Homemade Cranberry Crackers

What you’ll need…


1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

3 garlic cloves

1 cup crimini mushrooms (quartered)

1 cup white mushrooms (quartered)

2 portabella mushrooms (loosely chopped)

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

2 TBSP fresh rosemary (chopped)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper


3 cups flour

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 TBSP fresh rosemary

2 TSP sea salt

1 cup warm water

1/3 cup olive oil

Poor little vegans…They’re always overlooked in a holiday season full of buttery baking, roasts, turkeys and bacon-wrapped appetizers. Never fear, for I have got your back! This is an ideal dish for a holiday party whether or not your friends are vegan/vegetarian. Whenever I’m at a Christmas party, I tend to overindulge in any spreadable mixture that happens to be available on the table. And, besides, you’ve never really lived until you’ve tasted a delicious mushroom pate!

Start off by placing the chopped onion in a large pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and cook on medium-high heat until they start to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes. Next, add the garlic, three kinds of mushrooms and vinegar to the pan. Give the pan a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and let the mixture cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the time’s up, remove from heat to cool slightly.

Pour the mushroom mixture into a blender or food processor and add all remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste, then place in a covered container in the fridge to chill. (this can be made several days in advance)

Moving swiftly along to the crackers…Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the water and olive oil and mix with a spoon until a soft dough forms (Note: an electric mixer, i.e. KitchenAid, makes short work of this task!). Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a floured surface, then knead it a few times. Cut into ten even sections and roll each out until they’re nice and thin.

Place on some prepared baking trays, brush with olive oil and let them bake for 15 minutes, or until the crackers are crisp, starting to brown on the edges. Feel free to make whichever size of cracker you please. I tend to err on the side of larger, as it looks more rustic to my guests, but less work for me! Now that’s a win/win!

Once the pate is nice and chilled, scoop some into a bowl and serve with your beautifully rustic crackers. Done and done!

Yields 4 cups of pate

Total cook time…45 min (not including chill time)

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