New this week

June 5, 2018

Rice and vegetables pilaf

Often when I cook rice I make extra and use the leftover rice in a pilaf a day or two later. It’s a good way to use up odds and ends of veggies that are lingering but are still beautiful, fresh and crisp. A classic pilaf is rice sautéed in oil with aromatics and then cooked in flavoured broth with vegetables or non-vegetarian proteins. My method here is different, sautéeing vegetables first and then adding... View Article

June 3, 2018

Ravioli with potatoes. mushroom sauce and fried sage leaves

  Pasta, pasta, pasta. I can eat it every day although not necessarily with such a rich sauce. Today I was in the mood for ravioli and wanted to try a potato filling instead of the usual ricotta. I also had mushrooms and asparagus that I needed to use as we are off to another “exploring our BC backyard” adventure in the Sunshine Coast so this was an opportunity to use them in a sauce... View Article

May 31, 2018

Risotto Primavera with Asparagus, Peas and sorrel

Risotto is a wonderful way to highlight the flavours of spring. The slow cooked rice absorbs the nuances of flavour and aromas of the vegetables you incorporate into the dish and is enriched with butter and cheese, bringing spring to your table in a one pot dish. Like pasta, risotto waits for no one. Other than a short rest once it’s cooked, you make and serve it right away. When weather permits I make risotto... View Article

May 29, 2018

Asian Rice noodle and shredded vegetables salad

Rice noodles have a light texture and neutral flavour that adapts to any sauce or dressing you pair it with. The noodles are beautiful white and raw vegetables add colour and texture to the dish. This salad is quick and easy to prepare and for us it’s a light and refreshing dinner on a warm evening or a hot summer day. The crushed peanuts on top add just the right crunch and nutty flavour, I... View Article

May 27, 2018

Black Garlic Butter

  I picked up a head of black garlic at the market the other day. It is one of those exotic ingredients that have been popping up on restaurant menus and food literature and although I bought it before, this was my first attempt at using it. The head of garlic is completely black and soft to the touch. When you break it open the cloves are large and black and taste caramelized and tamarind-tangy.... View Article

May 26, 2018

Shaved spring vegetables salad with creme fraiche and dill

My last trip to the market yielded two bunches of beautiful turnips, one very young and white, the other just turned red exteriopr and creamy white interior. They were so fresh that I didn’t want to cook them so I made this little fresh salad, adding a couple fo other veggies for colour. Turnips at this stage are very much like radishes, they have a peppery bite and the same crisp texture. I slice the... View Article

May 24, 2018

Peru – Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor), Lima

    Continued from here. After lingering over lunch we left the restaurant and our trusted taxi driver was waiting outside. We asked him to drop us off at the Plaza de Armas (aka Plaza Mayor) in the old city, about half an hour drive from Milaflores through not particularly scenery highway. The Capital, Lima, is a sprawling city with population of 9 million, one of the largest cities of South America. Like other cities... View Article

May 22, 2018

Peru – Milaflores

Peru is situated on  the west coast of South America between Chile and Ecuador. Its has a diverse landscape that includes rugged mountains, beaches, desert, sand dunes and lush river valleys. It is best know for Machu Pichu, a reminder of its Inca heritage and the Nazca lines of mysterious origin depicting large illustrations of birds and plants spread over 300 miles in the desert in south Peru. The Peruvian culture reflects its ancient Andean... View Article

May 20, 2018

Israeli couscous with cauliflower “rice”

  Israeli couscous is not really a couscous. Real couscous is made with crushed grains of durum wheat and what is known as Israeli couscous are tiny little toasted pasta balls developed in Israel in the 1950s to replace rice which was then unavailable. Israeli couscous is easy to cook and good on its own or combined with other vegetables in salads or warm dishes. I like to brown the couscous in a little olive... View Article

May 18, 2018

Fennel salad with parmesan croutons

  A good lunch salad is an art and takes a little imagination but it doesn’t have to be complicated. I was leafing through a Donna Hay cookbook last night when saw a fennel and chicken salad and decided to translate it to a vegetarian version and change the dressing. I liked the croutons idea so went with that. The fennel has to be sliced thinly, like they do in Italy, and then marinated for... View Article

May 17, 2018

Chile: Food and Chileno Gourmand Poet Pablo Neruda

    A long and slender sliver of land, Chile stretches along the west coast of South America, clinging to the continent between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the rugged Andes to the east. To the north, at 3500 meters elevation, lies El Norte Grande: the stark and desolate Atacama dessert, known as the driest dessert in the world. Vast salt flat, geysers and star gazing are some of the extraordinary features of... View Article

May 15, 2018

Warm beans and garden Kale salad

Beans require soaking before cooking so when I prepare them I usually soak and cook more than required for a particular dish and keep the rest for another recipe. The other day I made a lovely bean soup and only used half of the beans, keeping the rest in the fridge for a couple of days and today used them to make this warm bean salad. Beans are nice on their own with a splash... View Article