There have always been chefs who are more well-known than others. But we live in an age when celebrity chefs are some of the biggest stars in the world. They become full-fledged famous people who have fans just as dedicated as any movie star or rock singer. And thanks to the Food channel and the Food network, they have a platform where they can show off their skills daily. It’s clear that for many of the chefs, it’s not just hype. They have the skills and ability to back up their fame. If it came down to it, they can still cook up a storm and prepare some of the best food you’ve ever tasted. And when it comes to grilling, the competition is fierce because it’s one of the grandest American traditions around. [Read more…]
Archives for March 2012
When you think of world famous cuisine, you often donâ€™ think straight of Canada. Remember though, that Canada has a strong French heritage and culture, and France is probably the culinary heart of the world. This culture has affected Canada and influenced some of their most famous dishes or food products.
When you think of food Europe is probably the first continent that jumps to mind, and so many great dishes have sprung out including delicacies like French Patisserie, pasta and paella. A lot of great food starts with the letter P! Numerous surveys have been carried out in Canada asking people to state the food products most associated to the country, and here are the top 5: [Read more…]
Fish with lemongrass chili rice is a flavorful dish especially if you are fond of rice. Control the spiciness according to your preference and remove the chili if desired. Fried garlic and onions make great additions to this recipe.
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stalk lemon grass, pale section only, outer layer discarded, finely chopped
1 small fresh red chilli, halved lengthways, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups vegetable or fish stock
1/2 cup water
4 150g white fish fillets
6 green onions, cut into 5cm-long strips
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch steamed broccolini, for serving
Lime wedges for serving
Heat two and a half tablespoons of oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the chili and lemongrass and cook them for a minute or until fragrant. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
Place the rice into the saucepan and stir until the grains are coated in oil. Pour in the stock and the water. Set the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook it for ten to fifteen minutes or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and it is tender. Add more water if needed. Once it is cooked stir in the mint and green onions. Split it among individual plates.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Wait for the butter to sizzle and then reduce the heat to low. Fry the fish for two to three minutes per side or until it flakes easily when poked with a fork. Â Put the fish over the cooked rice and serve it with the steamed broccolini and lime wedges.
Image from diekatrin
Steak with sautÃ©ed spinach is a simple recipe which you can prepare in minutes. It is best to use good quality meat for better taste. The spinach makes a great side. The garlicky taste and slight bitterness infuse more taste into the dish.
4 (about 125g each) beef scotch fillet steaks
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bunches English spinach, ends trimmed, washed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 210C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the steak in batches for two to three minutes per side or until they are cooked to your preferred doneness. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same pan. Stir-fry the garlic for two to three minutes or until golden brown. Add the spinach and cook it for another two to three minutes or until the spinach wilts. Season it with salt and pepper.
Divide the sautÃ©ed spinach into individual plates and top them with the steak. You may reheat the steak and serve it with fries if desired. Serve immediately.
Image from Â ljv
Oven roasted ratatouille is a pleasing dish which brings out the taste of the vegetables. Enjoy their succulent sweetness combined with a touch of aromatic rosemary.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 4cm pieces
2 zucchinis, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into 4cm pieces
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and cut into 4cm pieces
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 medium sized Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 200C. Pour the oil into a large baking dish and heat it in the oven for five minutes. Remove from the oven and add the eggplant, zucchini, onion, capsicums, garlic and rosemary. Toss until the vegetables are coated in oil. Place the tomatoes on top. Bake it in the oven or thirty to forty-five minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove it from the oven once again and season it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the parsley before serving.
Image from avlxyz
Prawn and shiitake fried rice is a delectable rice dish infused with Asian flavors. The shiitake adds â€œumamiâ€ to it, an indescribable taste that pleases the palette. Remove the chili if you are serving it to kids or guests. Replace it with fried garlic or serve it on the side
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
2 tablespoons peanut oil
12 green prawns, deveined and peeled (tails intact)
1 onion, cut into wedges
5 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
150g shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 long red chili, seeded and finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely shredded
150g snow peas, trimmed, sliced
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Cook the rice according to packet instructions or until soft and fluffy. Spread it on a baking tray and let it cool for two to three hours.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the prawns for two minutes or until they turn pink. Remove and set aside.
Place the remaining oil into the wok and heat it. Stir-fry the garlic, onions and ginger for a minute or two or until it becomes aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook for another two to three minutes or until soft. Â Place the snow peas in the pan and fry it along with the mushrooms for a minute until they turn bright green and crisp.
Put the rice into the pan and heat it for a minute or two. Stir in the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Mix until well combined. Add the shrimp. Gently mix. Divide the fried rice among individual bowls. Top them with chili and spring onions before serving. Serve warm.
Image from tsuihin – TimoStudios
The perfect barbecue is all about good food, good beer, and good friends. As far as good friends go, thatâ€™s up to you, but we can help with the food and drinks. Read on for some tips on just what to eat and drink at a barbecue. [Read more…]
Grilled paprika beef is a delicious dish with a burst of flavor. The paprika adds a hint of spice which you will surely like. Use chili powder if you enjoy hot and spicy food. It can be eaten alongside side dishes, rice or pita bread.
When marinating, I suggest using a re-sealable bag so that the meat is fully coated in marinade and it is easy to turn.
750g rump steak, trimmed and cut into 3cm cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
12 bamboo skewers, soaked
Combine the garlic, oil, mixed herbs, paprika, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a large a bowl. Marinate the meat in this mixture and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate it for at least twenty minutes or up to overnight. Turn at least once.
Heat a stove-top grill or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. While doing so, remove the meat from the marinade and thread it onto the soaked skewers. Grill the skewers in batches for four to five minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from heat.
Combine the mustard and sour cream in a small bowl. Serve with the grilled beef paprika.
Image from Dinner Series
Green chili chicken stir-fry is an aromatic dish which is best served with rice. Make sure not to overcook the chicken because it may dry up. It is best I it is soft and a bit juicy.
1 stem lemon grass, lower section only, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 long fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Olive oil spray
500g chicken breast fillets, cut into 1cm pieces
1 white onion, finely chopped
200g green round beans, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths
3 cups shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Fresh Thai basil leaves, for serving
Combine the lemon grass, chili and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Pound it until it forms a paste. Transfer it to a small bowl. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Mix well.
Heat a work or a large frying pan over high heat. Spray it with oil. Stir-fry half of the chicken for two to three minutes or until golden brown. Transfer it to a plate and repeat this with the remaining chicken. Reheat the wok in between batches as needed.
Spray the wok once again with oil. Stir-fry the onion for two to three minutes or until it becomes brown and aromatic. Add the lemon grass paste mixture and cook it for another minute or until it becomes fragrant. Place the beans and wombok in the wok and stir-fry them for two minutes until they are bright green and crisp. Stir in the lime juice and add the chicken to this mixture. Stir-fry for another minute until heated. Season it with salt and ground pepper.
Distribute the cooked rice to separate plates and top them with the stir-fried chicken mixture. Garnish with basil before serving.
Image from Â°Florian
Ham corn and capsicum pasta is a yummy dish which can be served like a salad or as a warm main dish. You can use leftover ham or other meats for it too. Chili flakes can give it a touch of spice if preferred.
3 slices ham off the bone
400g spiral pasta
50g baby rocket leaves
1 red capsicum, sliced
300g can corn kernels, drained
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water according to packet instructions or until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
Combine the Italian seasoning, olive oil and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Season it with salt and pepper.
Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add the corn, capsicum, rocket, Parmesan and red wine vinegar and olive oil mixture. Gently toss to combine all the ingredients. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
Image from Â [F]oxymoron
Tomato mozzarella and pesto tartins are delectable appetizers which you can serve for cocktails or dinners. These fancy bites are easy to make. You can prepare them ahead of time and load them in the oven just before serving.
Makes 24 pieces
6 small, ripe Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup pesto
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella
Preheat oven at 220C and lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Cut twenty-four 4cm rounds of baking paper and use them to line the pan bases.
Next, trim the ends of the tomatoes. Cut them in 0.5cm thick slices. Put a slice of tomato in each hole.
With a 5cm round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut 24 rounds from the thawed pastry sheets. Brush one side of a pastry sheet round with egg white and then place them egg side down over the tomato slice in the pan. Repeat this for the remaining ingredients.
Place the pan in the oven and bake it for ten to twelve minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Loosen each tartin using a flat knife and put them tomato side up on a plate. Remove the baking paper and top them with a slice of mozzarella. Spoon some pesto on top and season them with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Image from daveyll
Roasted mackerel and chickpea salad is a delectable dish you can prepare in less than thirty minutes. The spices add loads of flavor to the fish and the salad compliments it too. Use another kind of fish if desired.
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh continental parsley
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
5 garlic cloves, crushed
4 Spanish mackerel fillets, skinned
350g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm pieces
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 300g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
50g baby spinach leaves, trimmed
Preheat the oven at 220C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Combine 1/4 cup of oil, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, parsley, paprika and half of the garlic in a shallow baking dish. Mix well. Place the mackerel in the baking dish to marinate it. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Turn at least once.
Place the pumpkin in a medium sized bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss to coat the pumpkin. Season it with salt and pepper. Transfer the seasoned pumpkin to a non-stick baking dish. Roast it in the oven for six to eight minutes or until soft and .the edges are browned. Once it is cooked, place it in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, spinach, the remaining garlic and the oil. Toss gently to combine. Season it with salt and pepper. Split the salad into individual plates.
Drain the mackerel and then place them in the lined tray. Bake it in the oven for six to eight minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Pierce the fish with a fork to test doneness. Put the cooked mackerel over the chickpea salad and serve immediately.
Image from jetalone
Chicken ginger broth is a tasty Asian inspired soup recipe which makes use of pasta. You may replace it with egg noodles if desired.
3 160g fresh lasagna sheets
2 410g cans chicken consommÃ©
2 360g single chicken breast fillets, sliced
100g fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 125g tray baby corn
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green shallots, trimmed, diagonally thinly sliced for serving
2 tablespoons fried garlic
Cut the lasagna sheets into uneven pieces using a sharp knife.
Place the water and the chicken consommÃ© in a large saucepan and put it over high heat. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken and sliced ginger. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to plate and set aside to let it cool, around five minutes. Once it is cool enough, shred it.
Strain the broth using a sieve into another saucepan. Discard the ginger. Place the broth over high heat and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken, lasagna sheets and baby corn. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another three minutes or until the corn is tender. Stir in the shredded ginger and season it with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top them with fried garlic and green shallots before serving.
Image from quantumbutterfly
Herb rice is a delicious twist to plain rice. It is best served with grilled meat or fried dishes. If you like spicy food, you may add chopped chili or even chili flakes. Garlic powder can also make it Â more aromatic.
500g basmati and wild rice blend
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Cook the rice in a large pot of salted boiling water or according to package instructions. After it boils, keep the heat to low to avoid overcooking or burning. The rice must be soft and fluffy. If it is and there is still excess water, you may drain it. Cover and keep warm.
Before serving, place the rice in a large bowl. Add the parsley, coriander and chives. Toss until well combined. Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper. Serve with chili if desired.
Image from Â YoAmes
Chicken and orange salad is a textured salad recipe which makes use of fruits and nuts. It has a citrusy taste and a bit of sharp flavor from the onions. If red onions are too strong, you may use white onions instead.
400g cooked chicken, thinly sliced
310g can corn kernels, drained
200g mixed salad leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup low-fat natural or unflavored yoghurt
2 teaspoons mango chutney
2 teaspoons mild curry paste
1/3 almonds, coarsely chopped
Slice off the base of each orange. With a sharp knife, remove the skin and the white membranes. Hold the orange over a bowl while peeling in order to catch any juice. Cut the orange along the membranes in order to get the segments easily. Reserve the juice.
Place the chicken, corn, salad, onions and orange segments in a large salad bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the chutney, yogurt, curry paste and orange juice. Mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad. Gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the pistachios over it and serve immediately.
Refrigerate it if you decide to prepare it ahead of time. Add the almonds just before serving.
Image from Â stu_spivack
Creamy scrambled eggs are sumptuous breakfast treats that you can prepare anytime. The succulent tomatoes add a touch of sweetness for a more delectable taste. Add some bacon or even mushroomsÂ if desired.
750g cherry tomatoes
Olive oil cooking spray
8 free-range eggs
2/3 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bread for serving
Preheat the oven at 200C and then line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the cherry tomatoes on the tray and spray them lightly with olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper. Roast it for ten to fifteen minutes or until they are tender. Set aside to cool.
Place the eggs in a medium sized bowl. Whisk well. Add the cream and continue to whisk until the ingredients combine. Season it with salt and pepper.
Melt half of the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook half of the egg mixture in the frying pan for thirty seconds or up to one minute. Gently stir the parts that set towards the center until the eggs take a curd like form. Remove the eggs from the pan and transfer them to a plate. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients.
Plate the eggs and roasted tomatoes on individual plates. Dust them with Parmesan cheese and garnish with chives. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve with bread.
Image from Â avlxyz
Roast beef with roasted tomatoes, potatoes and tapenade is a mouthwatering dish which uses indirect heat. This is why the barbecue hood must be closed while roasting. If you do not have a covered barbecue grill, you may roast the beef in the oven as well.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
2kg beef rump roast
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1kg potatoes, chopped
3 x 240g packets cherry truss tomatoes
1/3 cup olive tapenade
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small jug, combine the vinegar, thyme, rosemary and 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir. Afterwards, place the beef in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Make twelve 2cm long x 3cm deep slits over beef; use a sharp knife. Place the garlic in the slits and pour the vinegar mixture over the beef. Turn the beef over to make sure it is coated in the vinegar mixture. Cover it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least three hours.
Preheat the barbecue on high and lightly grease a foil baking tray. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and pour in the remaining oil. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potatoes and make sure they are coated in oil. Place the beef and potatoes on the greased tray.
Reduce the heat to medium. Roast the beef and potatoes for an hour and fifteen minutes or until it is cooked according to your desired doneness. Remove from heat and let it rest for twenty minutes. While the potatoes are resting, place the tomatoes on the foil tray and roast them for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft.
Slice the beef and serve with the potatoes, tomatoes and tapenade. Serve warm.
Image from: Â MinimalistPhotography101.com
Gnocchi with spicy tomato sauce is a hearty dish which I prefer eating with loads of cheese. For those who donâ€™t like chili or if you plan to serve this dish to children, you may remove the chili. Adding some basil instead of parsley slightly alters the taste as well if you want to add some herbs.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1 small fresh red chili, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
1 625g packet gnocchi
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
Sliced crusty Italian bread, for serving
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. SautÃ© the garlic and onions for 1-2 minutes or until the fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and the chili. Set the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for around 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the parsley and then season it with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.
Half fill a large saucepan with salted boiling water. Cook the gnocchi for one minute or until they float to the surface. Drain well, but reserve two tablespoons of cooking liquid. Place the cooked gnocchi and the reserved liquid to the tomato sauce. Gently toss to combine. Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper if desired. Divide the gnocchi and tomato sauce mixture into individual plates and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Image from: Â 10Rosso
Tapenade is a delicious dip which is also used to liven up other dishes. For this recipe we used basil, but others use parsley. Some people also season it with salt and ground pepper, which for me is not necessary because the anchovies add some saltiness to it.
Makes 1-1/2 Cups
1/2 pound pitted mixed olives
2Â anchovy fillets, rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoonsÂ extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse the olives in cool water and place them in a food processor. Add the anchovy fillets, minced garlic, capers, basil leaves, lemon juice and olive oil. Process it for thirty seconds and then scrape the sides of the food processor bowl. Continue to process for another minute or two until the mixture forms a consistent paste mixture. Transfer it to a bowl and serve or store it in a sealed jar or container and refrigerate.
*Based on Alton Brownâ€™s recipe from the Food Network
Image from: giffconstable
Quick and easy Greek pasta is a delectable recipe which you can prepare in minutes. Use any type of pasta if desired. I prefer using white wine instead of vinegar because of its aromatic flavor. I also like the way it enhances the taste of the tomatoes. Chili flakes or chili oil are great additions which can liven up the dish even more.
1 Â 8 oz. package spaghetti
1 10 oz. bag fresh spinach
1 small head of cabbage, quartered
1 8 oz. pack sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 6 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
Extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is al dente or according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium flame. Cook the spinach and mushrooms in hot oil for ten minutes or until they give off moisture. Â Add the red wine vinegar and the balsamic vinegar. Set the flame to high and bring it to a boil. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, parsley and black olives into the boiling vegetable and vinegar mixture.Â Reduce the heat to low and simmer it for another 10 minutes or until all the flavors come together. Stir occasionally.
Add the cooked pasta to the tomato and herb mixture and gently toss to coat the pasta. Continue to simmer it for another ten minutes or until the flavors bend together. Season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle more olive oil if desired. Stir in the 2 ounces of feta cheese. Divide the pasta among individual plates or place it on a serving platter. Sprinkle some feta cheese over the plated pasta and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately with garlic bread.
Image from: little blue hen