Category Archives: Recipes

Pumpkin – The Seasonal Bacon

Pumpkin – The New Bacon – News headlines rang out this week declaring pumpkin the “it” ingredient du jour.  Well then.  This may just be the case as pumpkin is seasonal and has always been an essential part of fall menus.  And these days it seems pumpkins gone on a marketing blitz and it’s not just pies and soups where we see this tasty squash, but a whole whack of items; everything from pizza to milkshakes.

Doing a survey of what our local chefs and bakers are doing with this big orange globe, we’ve come across the following so far and will continue to add as we hear of more pumpkin news!  Follow #pumpkinisthenewbacon on twitter for more.

Marina Restaurant – spiced pumpkin tiramisu with espresso crème anglaise, salted seed brittle

West Restaurant –  pumpkin flan with spiced cake, caramelized pear and orange chiffon

Beta 5 – pumpkin caramels

Xoxolat – pumpkin truffles

Chef Hamid Salimian Diva at the Met – pumpkin caramel pudding, praline, yam ginger ice cream…..

Thomas Haas – pumpkin pie with cinnamon chantilly with white chocolate (picture by Erin Ireland)

Urban Tea Merchant – pumpkin mousse cup

Sweet Obsessions –  pumpkin maple cheesecake AND deep dish pumpkin pie with paté briseé crust and candied walnuts

Kingyo – pumpkin carbonara udon and pumpkin maple cake

Erin Ireland’s  To Die For pumpkin banana bread

David’s Tea – pumpkin spice chai tea

Cartems – pumpkin spice donut

La Baguette – pumpkin danish

Soirette – pumpkin cheese cake and pumpkin macaron

Cobbs – pumpkin scones

Cupcakes – pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Lucky’s Donuts – pumpkin old fashioned donut

Earnest Ice Cream – pumpkin spice ice cream

I ate this before getting a proper picture as I couldn’t help myself (note though it is a mini-pie).

The Pie Hole  – bourbon pecan pumpkin pies

Bel Cafe – spiced pumpkin cheesecake – cranberry and raspberry compote and bruleed at the top

Chef Ned Bell at Yew Restaurant + Bar at  the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver – pumpkin & portobello salad with venturi shultze balsamic and Parmesan

Chef Alex Tung at Burnaby’s Cotto Enoteca – Neapolitan pizza w/roasted pumpkin, Sloping Hill pancetta, housemade ricotta, chili flakes, fonduta, crispy sage, toasted seeds

Kingsway’s French Made Baking – pumpkin macarons

Bella Gellateria  – pumpkin gelato

Cin Cin – cinnamon cream on a caramelized puff pastry with pumpkin gelato

AND even fast food chains jumped onboard

Starbucks – pumpkin loaf, pumpkin scone, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin cream cheese muffin

Jack in the Box – pumpkin shake (sip carefully as its 800 + calories)

Pringles – pumpkin pie spice potato chips

Pop Tarts – frosted pumpkin pie pop tarts

Eggo Waffles – pumpkin spice waffles

Pumpkin Beers

Granville Island

Steamworks

Central City

Parallel 49

Howe Sound

Phillips

Red Racer

Pumpkin Cocktails

Shaun Layton L’Abattoir – Zacapa 23, pumpkin syrup,Becherovka,whole egg,nutmeg, old fashioned bitters

Hamilton Street Grill – Harvest Salad

If you’ve got some pumpkin at home, there’s tons online to inspire you!  Here’s some of the sites I source inspiration from.

A Taste of Home

Epicurious

Saveur

Cooking Light

Yummly

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Dale MacKay’s Toasted Cheese

At Vancouver’s PNE this year, fair-goers will have the chance to sample Armstrong cheese with Chef Dale MacKay.  Here’s his recipe for a stellar cheese sandwich.

Ingredients:

Olive-Tomato Spread
½ roasted garlic clove
3½ oz (100 g) black olives, pitted
6 medium semi-dry tomatoes
5 tbsp (75 mL) olive oil
10 leaves fresh flat leaf parsley
¼ zest of 1 lemon
butter, to taste
8 slices multigrain bread
9 oz (255 g) Armstrong Marble Cheddar, divided

 

Directions:

  1. To roast garlic, first cut bulb in half, across its equator, and rub 1 tsp (5 mL) of olive oil on both sides.  Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in oven for 45 minutes at 525°F (275°C). The garlic should be soft and light golden brown in colour when it comes out of the foil. Reserve one clove for the olive-tomato spread and refrigerate the remainder. The roasted garlic will keep for up to a week.
  2. To make the olive-tomato spread, combine roasted garlic, olives, tomatoes, olive oil, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor until a light, chunky texture is achieved.
  3. Lightly spread butter on both sides of two slices of bread. On the inside of one slice, evenly spread a small amount of the olive-tomato mixture.
  4. Grate ¼ of the cheese on the bread with the olive-tomato spread and top with the second piece of bread to close the sandwich. Place the buttered sides down in a frying pan on low heat until both sides are crisp and golden brown. Repeat to make 4 sandwiches. Cut in half and enjoy!

Kraft Peanut Butter Truck Hits Town

The Kraft Peanut Butter Truck #KraftPBTruck  is travelling across Canada this summer and will be in Vancouver on July 1, 2012 at Canada Place.  Check out where the truck is stopping next at www.spreadthefeeling.ca or on the Kraft Peanut Butter Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kraftpeanutbutter

Kraft sent some samples of PB S’More, PB Belgian Waffle, PB Thai Dip with Veggies, PB & Pretzels and two local consumer creations, PB + Jam Delight, Tropical Peanut Sensation, to me along with my request, Noodles with PB Sauce and I had a rather peanut buttery week!

Are you a peanut butter lover?  I think I’ll be cooking up some more Asian-peanut noodles over the weekend.

Peanut Noodles with Chicken 

Peanut Sauce:

  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 5 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  16 oz chicken breast, cut into strips
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 oz rice noodles, ramen or soba
  •  3/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups cup shredded broccoli slaw or cabbage
  • 1 cup bean bean sprouts
  • 8 tbsp chopped peanuts
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • cilantro

For the peanut sauce: Combine 1 cup chicken broth, peanut butter, chili, honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

Boil water for the noodles cook pasta according to package instructions.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, sriracha, lime, garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add oil and sauté chicken on high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw and/or bean sprouts and salt, sauté until tender crisp, about 1-2 minutes.

Drain noodles and toss with peanut sauce and additional chicken broth if needed to loosen the sauce. When chicken is cooked, toss with noodles.

Divide noodles and chicken between 6 bowls, top with sauteed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

 

 

A Year in Lucy’s (Waverman) Kitchen – Spiced Cauliflower Soup

As I waited in line a Chapters to purchase some Christmas gift certificates, the bastards had strategically placed inticing books within an easy reach.  I already have over 300 cookbooks (I’ll count and photograph soon), but there’s always something I find that I absolutely need.  It’s an obsession.  I had to discuss at length during my therapy session last year, how I would clear my shelves of the last 15 or so years of Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and various other publications.  Seriously.  And they’re online, right?  But there’s something special about a book in your hand.  Something to flip through at night while CSI drones on in the background.

So this time I was drawn to A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen, a cookbook by the Saturday contributor to the Globe and Mail, a great culinary talent with a knack for good writing.  The book is divided into months of the year and although I do know what’s in season, I though it would be a good incentive to try some different dishes each month, following Lucy through the year.  So here goes the first in a series (please pray to the time gods for me).

PS – Please be patient with my photography as I stumble through my cameras’ manuals and try to figure out how on earth to make something look good without spending hours on the setup.  Thanks.

Spiced Cauliflower Soup with Spinach

5 cups small cauliflower florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fround coriander
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and peooer

Preheat oven to 450 F
Toss cauliflower with oil, cumin, coriander and fennel and spread on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and browned.
Add cauliflower and stock to a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, redcue heat to low and simmer for 10 mins
Add spinach and simmer for 1 minute or until wilted.
Puree soup and add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Results?  I’d make it again.  Easy and tasty.

Modifications – Firstly I added some leeks, as I had them on hand and they were on the outs, so I had to use them up or risk wasting.  I put them in with the cauliflower when I roasted it.  I also added a bit of extra olive oil for flavour.
I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly so cut the florets in too large a piece, so I had to compensate by roasting and cooking a little longer.
I couldn’t find baby spinach so I added the regular and cooked for 5 minutes instead and all was well.

The lemon is a great touch. It brightens up the soup.  The dish is full of flavour and very filling for something with lower calorie count that’s packed full of nutrition.  Had this for dinner with cheese toast.  (a great way to use up an aging cauliflower – just shave off any brown/gray spots).

Roasted Cauliflower – cut smaller than I did so it takes less time and you get a better roast on a larger surface.