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Friday, May 26, 2006

Favourite Things

I am enjoying new tastes and challenges of new flavours. I am enjoying experimenting with flavour sensations. Some new tastes have been from trying items from my favourite stores. For example, the lemon roasted almonds, fresh dates, pine honey and saffron cotton candy that I have tried recently from the Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods store at 206 Maryland St. in Winnipeg are new delights. The pine honey takes me back to the intense flavours of the Aegean that I had as a chef/sailor in Turkey. The lemon roasted almonds are such a delight. I highly recommend them. Try a splash of Orange blossom water instead of vanilla in your French Toast or pancakes.

The colossal wild caught scallops that I have from Gimli Fish Market at 596 Dufferin Ave. are wonderful and juicy quickly grilled (recipe coming soon) as are the fresh pickerel fillets grilled in parchment paper (recipe coming soon).

Exploring and trying new tastes from Dino's Grocery Mart at 460 Notre Dame Ave. in Winnipeg from snacks and spices to a wide variety of sauces keeps me challenged and delighted.

The whole world of flavours is in your front yard and your back yard. The possibilities for delight are everywhere.


(photo by Google Images)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mushroom Soufflé

Mushroom Soufflé
Attached video coming soon!!

Preheat oven to 475º F

Make a Béchamel Sauce by combining over a double boiler or Bain Marie,
3 tbs. Butter
1/2 cup flour

Add a scant cup cold milk and continue to whisk over the steam heat until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add blended mushroom mixture (sautéed onion, 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts and deglazed with wine). Then add 4 – 5 egg yolks from large eggs. Fold in 4-5 egg whites, whisked to stiff peaks.

Use a buttered and floured soufflé mold or 6 smaller ramekins. Pour in the mixture and bake in the oven at 400ºF for 30 minutes (less time if using ramekins) without opening the door during cooking, until well-risen and a deep golden-brown on top.

Serve immediately.


Alaskan Black Cod Three ways

Alaskan Black Cod – Three ways
Fish available at Gimli Fish in Winnipeg at 596 Dufferin Ave and 625 Pembina Hwy.

1. Tomato Saffron Poached
(Makes 4 servings)
1 shallot minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Saffron*
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/2teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup dry white wine
4 pieces Alaskan Black Cod fillet
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in olive oil and cook until translucent. Add tomato, Saffron, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, tomato puree and wine. Cook on medium heat until well incorporated. Add Alaskan Black cod pieces and cover. Cook on high for a minute (varies by thickness of fish) and turn fish pieces over. Continue cooking until fish begins to flake. Remove from heat and serve.

*Saffron available at Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods at 206 Maryland St and at DeLuca's on Portage Ave.

2. Ancho Chili Garlic Paste Grilled

2-3 whole Ancho chilies (dry roasted, soaked and seeded)
1 head roasted garlic
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces Alaskan Black Cod

Blend chilies, garlic, honey, olive oil and spices to a paste. Cover fish pieces with paste and let sit for at least 1 hour. Grill, broil or sauté on both sides until begins to flake, about 1-2 minutes a side. Serve immediately.

3. Honey Miso Grilled

1 inch fresh ginger, minced
3 tbs miso
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tbs honey
3 tbs Chinese cooking wine
a drizzle of chili oil
4 pieces Alaskan Black Cod

Combine first 6 ingredients until well blended. Smooth over fish and let marinade for at least one hour. Grill, broil or sauté on both sides until begins to flake, about 1-2 minutes a side. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Southern Italy Cooking Tour

(images from Google Images)

Cooking tour to Southern Italy in October 2006! I will be escorting a cooking tour from October 16th - 29th. Contact Bonaventure Travel Inc. at (204)488-6653 at 428 Academy Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba or Toll Free at 1-888-550-8998 to book your space on the tour.


Enjoy a tour taking you into the heart and soul of Italian cuisine through the South of Italy, surrounded by lemon, orange and olive groves, Pizza, pasta, oil, wine, bread…all is included!

Monday – Oct. 16th “Arrival and transfer to Sorrento”
• Arrival at Rome

Tuesday – Oct. 17th “Amalfi Coast”

Wednesday – Oct. 18th “Cooking Class 1 – Limoncello”
• Cooking Class 1 – The Lemon Lifestyles Cooking Class starts out with a little history on the zesty lemons that grow in abundance on the Amalfi Coast. You will learn the characteristics of the Amalfi lemon and all of its use in cooking. Chef Rosa will lead the way in this hands-on cooking class with a lemon-infused antipasto, fresh hand-made lemon pasta, local fish or chicken seasoned with lemon and Amalfi lemon cake. Lunch follows on the terrace with a view of the sea. Everyone eats dinner after class with the recipes prepared in class.

Thursday – Oct. 19th “Isle of Capri – Cooking Class 2”
• Full day visit to the Isle of Capri (weather and sea conditions permitting) including the Blue Grotto, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World or stroll the port..
• Cooking Class 2 – from 5:00PM – 7:00PM. The class is arranged in a charming and elegant private residence. This is the ideal setting for an intimate fish cooking lesson. A dinner will follow on the terrace featuring the prepared dishes.

Friday – Oct. 20th “Pompeii – Cooking Class 3”
• The morning starts with an excursion to Pompeii.
• Cooking Class 3 – from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. The lesson is based on pasta making. A dinner will follow during which several kinds of pasta will be served.

Saturday – Oct. 21st “Naples – Cooking Class 4”
• Cooking Class 4 – Neapolitan Pizza Party. In the evening, our chef will illustrate the history of the famous Neapolitan pizza from the Naples Pizza Academy. The dough-making process is also part of the demonstration. A variety of regional pizzas will then be served.

Sunday – Oct. 22nd “Paestrum – Cooking Class 5”
• Departure to Paestrum and enjoy a visit to a local trattoria in its surroundings where you will take part in the production of Buffalo mozzarella and have a tasting.
• Proceed to Maratea, a sea town on the Tyrrhenian Sea to have a 2 day stay of relaxation.

Monday – Oct. 23rd “Maratea”

Tuesday – Oct. 24th “Maratea and Matera”

Wednesday – Oct. 25th “Altamura – Cooking Class 6”
• Apulai Region and a stop in Altamura to enjoy a specialty bread baking lesson.

Thursday – Oct. 26th “Alberabello – Cooking Class 7”
• Depart to Alberabello, a UNESCO heritage town. Visit a local masseria, specialized in the production of extra virgin olive oil and learn about the production, types of trees and processes in creating olive oil. Prepare the typical dishes including orrechiette con cime di rapa (pasta with turnip greens), minestra di fave secche (baked fava beans), cozze gratinate (black mussels au gratin) and tarelli and enjoy your dinners.

Friday – Oct. 27th “Castel del Monte”
• Enjoy the UNESCO heritage Castle followed by a visit to a famous vineyard tour and wine tasting.

Saturday – Oct. 28th “Rome”
• Enjoy a tour of Rome by night followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Sunday – Oct. 29th “Departure”
• Transfer to Rome Leonardo da Vinci’s International Airport.