From our kitchen to yours

The recipes in this section have been tested by some of the best critics in the world: our customers!

Please enjoy—and check back often as we are always adding new recipes!

Hors d'oeuvres & Appetizers

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Balinese-style Beef Satay Dippers
Beef and spring onion skewers
Chicken satay
Mushroom and Cheese Twists
Pork shumai
Prosciutto-wrapped prawns
Thai-marinated beef satay

 

Balinese-style Beef Satay Dippers

Foursquare60x60Seared meat and a dipping sauce: easy and delicious! As promised, here is one of the recipes from the recipe supplement included with the September edition of Cuisine & Wine Asia magazine. As the supplement was produced with the assistance of Meat and Livestock Australia, the beef is from Down Under. Of course, a good Canadian top sirloin would work every bit as well!

Ingredients
(makes 30 portions, two skewers each)

  • 2 lbs. beef top sirloin, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 60 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Satay Sauce

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 250 g Madras curry powder
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 750 g peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cans (approx. 750 ml) coconut milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in a saucepan and sauté the chopped garlic and grated ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add the curry powder and cook for another minute over low heat.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the beef) and allow the mixture to simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat and set aside the satay sauce to cool.
  4. Marinate the top sirloin cubes with the satay sauce, reserving some of the sauce for basting. Pierce three marinated beef cubes through a bamboo skewer and sear in a hot sauté pan on each side, basting with the remaining satay sauce until done “medium.”
  5. To serve, ladle a spoonful of satay sauce into each serving glass and then pierce one seared beef cube through a new bamboo skewer and serve together.
  6. Enjoy with friends!

 

Beef and spring onion skewers

Foursquare60x60There are distinctly Asian flavours in this recipe. Soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil combine to make both a nice marinade and a great dipping sauce.

Ingredients
(makes four skewers)

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 5 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin*
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 350 g rump or flat-iron steak
  • 3 green onions cut into 12 equal pieces
  • 4 bamboo skewers (soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling)

*A kind of rice wine similar to sake

Method

  1. Place the sesame seeds in a pestle and grind until smooth.
  2. Put ground sesame seeds in a bowl and stir in soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and sugar.
  3. Transfer half of the mixture into a serving bowl for use later as a dip.
  4. Using a mallet, pound the steak until it is quite thin. Slicing against the grain, divide the steak into 12 equal pieces.
  5. Place the steak in the remaining marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Drain meat well and roll each piece around a section of green onion.
  7. Thread three pieces onto a bamboo skewer and grill until you get the desired doneness.
  8. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

 

Chicken Satay

Foursquare60x60Did you know Chicken Satay can be made in the oven or on the barbeque? Beautiful chicken, marinated in herbs and spices and barbequed slowly over real charcoal. Hard to beat.

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

  • 16 chicken strips (one ounce/30g each), cleaned
  • 1 French shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 16 bamboo skewers

Method

  1. Combine the shallot, oil, turmeric and other seasonings in a bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Put each chicken piece on a skewer.
  3. Sear both sides of each satay in a hot sauté pan.
  4. Finish on the barbeque (or place on a baking tray and finish in the over at 400F) for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Mushroom and Cheese Twists

Foursquare60x60At Cuisine & Passion, we take great pride in making everything from scratch. But every once in a great while, it only makes sense to step back and let someone else do the work. Such is the case with puff pastry.

If you want to try it yourself, have fun, but know that it is a lot of work and, with all the rolling and refrigerating, it can take the better part of a day. Aside from the time it saves, using pre-made puff pastry can taste great if you use a good-quality product. We recommend President’s Choice Butter Puff Pastry because, like all of our in-house products, it is preservative-free (it contains just flour, water, unsalted butter, vegetable oil and salt). It comes frozen, so allow time for it to thaw in the refrigerator before you need it.

Ingredients
(Makes about 24)

  • 1 pkg (2 rolls) President’s Choice Butter Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 French shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dried wild mushrooms, rehydrated and drained
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups cheese, grated (we recommend a mix of Swiss and Parmesan, but any cheese will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Sauté the shallot with the oil in a frying pan until soft.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes.
  3. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and reduce by half. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Transfer the shallots and mushrooms to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Unroll the puff pastry and spread the purée evenly over the dough.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mushrooms.
  7. Using a pizza cutter, cut each sheet into 12 pieces, twisting each segment about three times before laying on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brushing with the beaten egg mixture.
  8. Place in the freezer for five minutes, then bake at 450F for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Enjoy.

 

Pork shumai

Foursquare60x60[This original recipe by Chef Marc Miron was first published by Laura Robin, a food writer for the Ottawa Citizen. It is reprinted here with permission (and much thanks!).]

According to Chef Marc, you can find all the Asian ingredients as well as bamboo steamer baskets in shops along Somerset Street West or at T&T Supermarket on Hunt Club Road. For wonton wrappers, Chef Marc recommends Hung Wang Foods Inc. brand since they’re thinner, slightly smaller and more delicate than some other brands.

Ingredients
(15 dumplings)

  • 6 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms (soaked overnight)
  • 3/4 lb (375 g) ground pork
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
  • 15 wonton wrappers
  • Miso dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Method

  1. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the mushrooms. Cut off the stems and discard.
  2. Chop the caps very fine.
  3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  4. Lay the wonton wrappers on work surface and place 2 tsp (10 mL) of pork mixture in the centre of each one.
  5. Gather up the four corners, then, leaving the dumplings open at the top, turn and press each one to make nice firm little baskets, tapping the bottom of dumplings to flatten gently.
  6. Line a medium-sized bamboo steamer with parchment paper or spray with cooking oil.
  7. Half-fill a wok with water and bring to a boil. Arrange filled dumplings in the steamer, cover with bamboo lid and place steamer over boiling water in wok. Steam for 10 minutes. (You may also make the dumplings ahead and freeze on a pan before they are cooked; steam frozen dumplings for 15 minutes.)
  8. Serve hot dumplings with Miso Dipping Sauce drizzled over, plus more in little dishes for dipping.
  9. Enjoy!

Miso Dipping Sauce</>

Ingredients
(Makes 2 cups or about 500 mL)

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) French shallots, minced fine
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) red miso paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 cup (250 mL) canola oil

Method

  1. Pour all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

Prosciutto-wrapped prawns

Foursquare60x60Nothing could be simpler—or more delicious Wonderfully fresh prawns wrapped in cured ham. What says “Here comes summer” better than that? It’s an easy dish, one that can be done in under 30 minutes. It’s also a great dish if you want to involve your guests!

Ingredients
(makes 8 pieces)

  • 32 prawns (jumbo shrimp), tails off and cleaned
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste
  • micro-fennel, micro-arugula or micro-spinach as garnish

Method

  1. Season prawns lightly with salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil.
  2. Lay a piece of prosciutto flat on the counter. Place four prawns in the middle of each piece and wrap.
  3. Place wrapped prawns on a non-stick baking sheet or sheet covered in parchment paper and bake at 220F for 5-8 min. Let rest for a couple of minutes and place in the middle of a small plate.
  4. Place micro greens on top of the prosciutto pieces Want to make it really special? Serve it with a nice melon salad.

 

Thai-marinated beef satay

Foursquare60x60This satay recipe, served here with peanut sauce, works with chicken, pork or lamb, as well. There are more expensive cuts of meat, to be sure, but if done right, this flat-iron or flank steak can really wow your guests.

The secret? Make sure its cooked medium-rare and that the slices are very thin and cut against the grain.

Ingredients
(4 servings)

  • 1 flat-iron or flank steak (eight-ounces, about 230 grams)
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Slice steak against the grain into very thin strips
  2. Prepare marinade by combining red curry paste and coconut milk.
  3. Add sliced steak to marinade and let sit for at least one hour.
  4. Meanwhile, soak your bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes to reduce the likelihood they will burn. (This isn’t critical.)
  5. Thread slices onto a bamboo skewer and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Grill to desired temperature and serve.
Soups

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

DIY Soup
Habitant pea soup
Organic barley soup
Sweet potato, carrot and ginger soup
Wonton soup

 

DIY soup

Foursquare60x60Nothing tastes better on a cold night than a steaming hot bowl of soup.

Normally, we would simply give you a kitchen-tested recipe that is sure to warm the soul.

This month, however, we thought it might be better to give you the tools you need to make up your own recipes.

Start by putting prepared stock in a pot. (We always carry house-made veal stock, chicken stock and vegetable, if you need it. For something different, we currently carry lamb stock, as well.)

Then, just add any vegetables you might have in the refrigerator such as carrots, celery, onions, peppers or zucchini. Heat it until the vegetables reach the desired doneness and enjoy!

If you want to add body, throw in some noodles or rice or a dash of cream. Perhaps you might want to purée some or all of the finished product. However you prepare it, you can be sure it will be a wonderfully warm pot of pure deliciousness.

Want to make it really easy to enjoy some great soup? Stop by and pick up one of our house-made soups, such as Apple Curry Butternut Squash, Tomato Fennel or Tomato Barley, or one of our soup-of-the-day selections.

Habitant Pea Soup

Foursquare60x60Recently, we featured many of the types of food that were eaten in the 1600s, around the time when Samuel de Chaplain and his crew first visited Ottawa. (I wonder how that conversation might have gone? “Oh, look. Wouldn’t that be the perfect spot for Parliament Buildings? And we could put the Supreme Court just over there. Oh, and we could have a couple of parkways running east and west… Isn’t this place just wonderful?”)

And nothing says “turn of the 17th Century” better than Cuisine & Passion’s Habitant Pea Soup. Here’s the recipe for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Ingredients
(Serves six to eight)

  • 1 lb. dried yellow peas
  • 12 ounces of onions, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces celery, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 80 ounces ham stock
  • 1 cup ham hock meat*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola oil

*Get ham hocks at most butcher shops

Method

  1. Check the peas for small stones and discard discoloured peas.
  2. Slowly cook the onions, celery and carrots in a small amount of canola oil until they are translucent (don’t let them brown, we are not looking for colour here).
  3. Add the ham stock and lentils and cook until lentils are tender, skimming the top of the stock for impurities.
  4. Add thyme.
  5. In a blender, purée about half the soup, then return it to the pot.
  6. Add the ham hock meat and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Enjoy!

TIP: As with most foods, when cooking legumes you will get a better result if you add the salt and pepper after they are cooked rather than before.

Organic Barley Soup

Foursquare60x60On days like we’ve been having, it’s hard to beat a bowl of hot soup. And this is one delicious choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 300 g organic barley
  • 48 ounces tomato juice
  • 12 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola oil

Method

  1. Sautés onion, carrots and celery in canola oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add barley, tomato juice and vegetable stock and cook until barley is tender.
  3. Adjust seasoning and add chopped herbs.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Sweet potato, carrot and ginger soup

Foursquare60x60Add a nice salad and a fresh loaf of bread and you have yourself the perfect winter meal.

And nothing could be easier!

To save you some time later, why not double the recipe and put some in the freezer in single-serving portions?

Ingredients
(6 servings)

  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a soup pot, sauté onions and carrots in a little canola oil.
  2. Add potato, garlic and ginger and cook another three minutes.
  3. Add stock and simmer for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  4. Add mint and purée in blender
  5. Adjust seasoning and enjoy!

 

Wonton soup

Foursquare60x60Sesame oil and soya sauce give this soup a distinctly Asian flavour.

PART ONE: PORK AND SHRIMP WONTONS

This recipe makes 30 wontons. Freeze the extra ones for later use.

Ingredients
(4-6 servings)

  • 250 g shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 80 g water chestnuts (pat dry), chopped
  • 250 g ground pork
  • 3 1/2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 3 1/2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 30 square or round wonton wrappers (three wontons per person—freeze the rest for later use)

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients (except wrapper) in a bowl.
  2. Place a thumb-sized portion of the mixture in the middle of the wrapper.
  3. Moisten half the edges with water, then bring all the edges together, pressing them to enclose the ingredients in the wrapper (they don’t have to look fancy!).
  4. Use as indicated below.

PART TWO: BROTH

Ingredients

  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 100 g fresh spinach
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Ginger, soya sauce, garlic to taste (optional)

Method

  1. Bring chicken stock slowly to a simmer.
  2. Add wontons to stock and poach for about two minutes.
  3. Add spinach and spring onion and serve.
  4. Enjoy!
Salads and dressings

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Salads (some recipes already have dressings)
Apple, celery, cranberry salad with blue cheese dressing
Asian-flavoured Watermelon Salad
Chantal’s Panzella Salad
Cumin, Pumpkin and Couscous Salad with Mint
Goat Cheese Fritters with Roasted Peppers and Mixed Greens
Peach and Charred-Peppers Salad
Red potato and radish salad
Shredded Chicken Salad with Chili–Mint Dressing
Vegetable Couscous with Cuisine & Passion Moroccan Spices
Warm Mushroom Salad with Walnut-Herb Dressing
Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)

Dressings
Bacon dressing
Black sesame seed dressing
Blue cheese dressing
Curry dressing
Ice Syrup dressing

 

Apple, celery, cranberry salad with blue cheese dressing

Foursquare60x60You’ll see this salad in our showcase regularly—it’s one of our customers’ favourites—although sometimes you’ll see it with a different dressing (this week it is being served with orange yogurt dressing).

If you want, you can easily replace the cranberries with raisins, apricots, peaches—or whatever you’d like. No matter how you slice it—we’d recommend small, bite-sized pieces—it will likely be a favourite in your house, too.

Ingredients
(Serves four as a side dish)

  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 10 leaves Italian flat parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (recipe follows)

Method

  1. Mix everything in a large bowl.
  2. Enjoy! (Wasn’t that easy?)

Blue cheese dressing

Ingredients
(Serves four as a side dish)

  • 5 oz, blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 3-4 drops, Worcestershire sauce

Method

  1. Add vinegar to half of the blue cheese and mix well.
  2. Mix in the mayonnaise and sour cream.
  3. Add chives, mustard, Worcestershire and the rest of the blue cheese and mix well.
  4. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Dress salad.

 

Asian-flavoured Watermelon Salad

Foursquare60x60This is the recipe that taught me the beauty of combining two flavours—the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of soya sauce—for a truly Asian taste experience.

Simply add a few ingredients such as ginger and mint and you have a wonderfully refreshing salad for summer.

Ingredients
(Serves six)

  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek (Available at most large grocery stores.)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soya sauce
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • juice of three limes
  • 4 cups seedless watermelon, diced into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, julienned
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fried shallots* (Available in jars, already fried, at Asian grocery stores.)

Method

  1. Put lime juice, fish sauce, soya sauce, ginger and sambal oelek into a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed.
  2. Add watermelon and fresh mint and mix gently.
  3. Garnish with fried shallots and peanuts.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Chantal’s Panzella Salad

Foursquare60x60Simple but elegant, this is a real crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients
(Serves four people)

  • 11 day-old baguette, cut in 2 cm cubes
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion
  • 1/2 bunch of Italian (flat) parsley
  • 4-6 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic glaze (available at Cuisine & Passion)

Method

  1. In a non-stick pan, fry bread cubes over medium heat in olive oil until the cubes are golden brown. Place in a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  2. Once the bread has cooled, add tomatoes, onion and parsley.
  3. Correct the seasoning and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  4. Serve immediately. (This salad can be prepared in advance but for the best results, drizzle the balsamic glaze just before serving.)

 

Cumin, Pumpkin and Couscous Salad with Mint

Foursquare60x60Exotic, familiar, fresh and tasty. This delicious salad is all of that and more.

Don’t worry about making too much. It will store nicely for up to a week in the refrigerator. Just add a dash of extra virgin olive oil to add a little moisture and freshen it up.

Ingredients
(Serves 4-6 people)

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a pot or kettle.
  2. Mix the oil into the couscous, then add it to the boiling water. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and fluff the couscous to separate the grains. Set aside.
  4. In a non-stick frying pan, gently pan-roast the squash with the onion. When almost cooked, add the cumin, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until tender.
  5. Add the squash to the couscous and then add rest of ingredients.
  6. Adjust seasoning and enjoy!

 

Goat Cheese Fritters with Roasted Peppers and Mixed Greens

Foursquare60x60Friends, family and great food, a threesome that’s hard to beat. If you are hosting a little soirée and want to expand your offering to include a couple of easy-to-prepare but oh-so-delicious salads, here you go!

This recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled—whatever you need to accommodate your guests.

Ingredients
(Serves four people)

  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. chives
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • flour
  • eggs
  • breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Combine cheeses and herbs and form into small balls. Freeze to firm them up.
  2. Bread the cheese balls in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
  3. Fry in oil until golden brown and set aside
  4. Arrange three cheese balls with slices of roasted peppers and mixed greens on each plate.
  5. Serve with Italian dressing and enjoy!

 

Peach and Charred-Peppers Salad

Foursquare60x60We don’t know about you, but we have the backyard barbeque going all year long. And nothing goes better with grilled meat than a beautiful salad. This unique salad made with fresh peaches and lightly sautéed peppers is sure to be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 6 peppers (2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green), cut in small triangles
  • 1 medium onion, cut in small triangles
  • 10-12 peaches, washed, skin on
  • 150 g goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic Glaze (available at Cuisine & Passion)

Method

  1. Wash the peaches and slice into wedges. Set aside.
  2. Season peppers and onion with salt and pepper and sauté in a very hot pan just enough to brown slightly, but remain crispy. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add peaches to the peppers and onion. Season with black pepper only.
  4. Crumble goat cheese on top and drizzle with Balsamic Glaze.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Red potato and radish salad

Foursquare60x60This is a little twist on a common dish—and it’s the perfect dish to accompany just about anything grilled. Unlike your typical German-style potato salad, however, this one has little bites with bite: fine strips of julienned radishes give it a gentle kick.

And it’s so easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. red-skinned potatoes, cleaned and cut in halves or quarters
  • 12 red radishes, julienned
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix potatoes with a splash of oil to coat them. Lay them on an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, mix the canola oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
  3. To this mixture, add the radish, celery, onion and fresh dill.
  4. When potatoes are cool, add them to the mixture and toss gently.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Shredded Chicken Salad with Chili–Mint Dressing

Foursquare60x60Want to impress your guests? This delicious and refreshing side dish presents beautifully and makes a great addition to a late-afternoon barbeque.

Ingredients (Salad)
(serves 4)

  • 400 g roasted chicken, shredded
  • 240 g romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 160 g carrots, julienned
  • 160 g daikon (white radish), julienned
  • 160 g red peppers, julienned
  • 120 g wonton skins, julienned and fried
  • 12 basil leaves, torn
  • 12 mint leaves, torn
  • 12 coriander leaves, torn
  • 120 mL chili–mint dressing (see recipe below)
  • 20 g red pepper, julienned
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish
  • Lime juice

Method (Salad)

  1. In a stainless steel bowl, mix together chicken, lettuce, carrots, daikon, red pepper and fried wonton skins.
  2. Add the red pepper, dressing and a touch of salt and pepper. Mix gently.
  3. Arrange on a plate and garnish with black sesame seeds and a squeeze of a lime.
  4. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Chili–Mint Dressing)

  • 75g palm sugar
  • 100 mL white vinegar
  • 40 ml fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 10 leaves fresh mint, julienned
  • 5 leaves coriander, julienned
  • 1 pc hot chili, chopped

Method (Chili–Mint Dressing)

  1. In a bowl, dissolve the palm sugar with the white vinegar.
  2. Mix in fish sauce, garlic and herbs.
  3. Add peppers and set aside until needed.

 

Vegetable Couscous with Cuisine & Passion’s Moroccan Spice Mix

Foursquare60x60Vegetarian dishes do not have to be boring! In fact, we wouldn’t call this a great vegetarian dish&emdash;rather, it is simply a great dish.

Ingredients
(Makes 2kg)

  • 4 cups (medium-sized) couscous
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 (1/2 cup) Spanish onion, small-diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced with the middle removed
  • 1/2 eggplant, small-diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, small-diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, small-diced
  • 1 tbsp. Cuisine & Passion Moroccan Spice Mix
  • 1 tbsp. each fresh mint, coriander and parsley, chopped
  • 1 tomato, small-diced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Place couscous in a stainless-steel bowl with four tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix well.
  2. Pour water in a sauce pot and bring it to a boil. Pour it over couscous and mix well.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for five minutes. Uncover and fluff to loosen the couscous and keep it from sticking together.
  4. In a non-stick frying pan, add the rest of the olive oil. Sauté the onion on medium-high heat until fragrant.
  5. Add the eggplant and cook until tender.
  6. Add the zucchini, pepper and Cuisine & Passion Moroccan Spices and cook till zucchini pieces are tender.
  7. Remove from heat and spread it on a cookie tray to cool.
  8. When vegetables are cool, add the couscous with the herbs, tomato and lemon juice.
  9. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice, if needed.

 

Warm Mushroom Salad with Walnut-Herb Dressing

Foursquare60x60Simple to prepare but elegant on the plate, the earthiness of this dish makes warm mushroom salad the perfect (exquisite) comfort food.

This recipe calls for three kinds of mushrooms: button, shitake and portobello. You can find these varieties in most supermarkets these days.

With this recipe, make the dressing first because some of the dressing is used to cook the mushrooms. The salad is then finished with a drizzle of the same dressing.

Ingredients (Walnut-Herb Dressing)
(Makes one quart)

  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard (Dijon works well)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups mild olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method (Salad)

  1. Combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar and shallots in a bowl and stir.
  2. Very gradually, whisk in the oils.
  3. Add the herbs and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ingredients (Warm Mushroom Salad)
(4 servings)

  • 4 cups mixed lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnut-herb dressing
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Sauté onion in oil or butter for one minute.
  2. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the dressing and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Lay out 1/4 of the lettuce on each plate and top with a serving of mushrooms. If desired, crumble marinated goat cheese (available in our store) on top and serve with croutons.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)

Foursquare60x60If you’ve been looking for an excuse to fire up the barbeque this season, wait no longer! Roll it out, fire it up and show them you can still thrill them at the grill!

Admittedly, this takes a little more time to prepare than your typical chef salad. But believe me, it is well worth the effort.

Ingredients (Salad)
(serves 4)

  • 400 g sirloin beef or flat-iron steak, trimmed
  • 2 French shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped

Ingredients (Spicy sauce)

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 to 2 “bird’s eye” chilis
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Water, as needed
  • Sliced cucumber, tomatoes and onions
  • Mixed lettuces

Method

  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and grill the steak until desired doneness. Let it rest for a few minutes, then slice and set aside.
  2. Mix the mint, coriander and shallots with the beef.
  3. Prepare the spicy sauce by shaking all the ingredients in jar.
  4. Pour the dressing over the meat and mix well.
  5. Place the cucumber, tomatoes and onions on the lettuce, then arrange the sliced beef on top.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Bacon dressing

Foursquare60x60Here is a great-tasting dressing that is sure to please. It makes about three cups but it keeps well—up to four weeks—so don’t be worried about having any left over!

Ingredients (Spicy sauce)

  • Ingredients
  • 5 bacon slices, cut into small strips (the culinary term for this cut is “lardon”)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cook bacon in a non-stick skillet until crispy (but not too dry).
  2. Transfer bacon and all drippings to a bowl.
  3. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and vinegar, and mix well.
  4. Continue stirring while slowly adding the oil.
  5. Adjust seasoning and let stand one hour before using.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Black Sesame Seed Dressing

Foursquare60x60Here’s something a little different for your next summer salad. A very straightforward but bright dressing.

We think you’ll find that a fresh salad with black sesame seed dressing is a nice counterpoint to a grilled steak or burger.

Ingredients (Spicy sauce)
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Using a small blender, combine ginger, garlic and vinegar.
  2. Slowly add all the oil
  3. Transfer to a bowl and add the sesame seeds. Let stand one hour before serving.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Blue Cheese Dressing

Foursquare60x60Blue cheese has a sharp taste—admittedly, it’s not for everyone.

Often, people don’t like blue cheese dressing because less-expensive, low-quality cheese is used.

If you make this, make sure you choose a good blue cheese for maximum flavour.

Ingredients
(Makes about three cups)

  • 5 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 3-4 drops Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Add the vinegar to 1/2 of the blue cheese and mix well.
  2. Add the mayonnaise and sour cream and mix thoroughly.
  3. chives, dry mustard, Worcestershire Sauce and the rest of the cheese and stir until all ingredients are well blended.
  4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy.

 

 

Curry Dressing

Foursquare60x60This is one of our favourite dressings. Tasty and simple to make, you need just pour this dressing over a mound of chopped cauliflower to enjoy a healthy and tasty side salad.

Ingredients
(Makes about three cups)

  • 1 French shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cuisine & Passion Curry Spice Mix
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups canola oil

Method

  1. Sauté French shallots, garlic and ginger in a small pan and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add curry spice mix—stir and sauté for one minute.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and mix in vinegar.
  4. Slowly whisk in oil.
  5. Adjust seasoning and keep in airtight container until needed.
  6. Enjoy.

 

 

Ice Syrup Dressing

Foursquare60x60The choices are limitless when it comes to the kinds of salad this would dress nicely. Here, we’ve used arugula, pecans, dried cranberries and a little goat cheese.

Ingredients
(makes 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ice Syrup (available in-store)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch ground star anise

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients and pour over your favourite salad.
  2. Enjoy!
Marinades and rubs

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Balinese Spice Rub
BBQ rub
Chili Garlic Rub
Chimichurri marinade

 

Balinese Spice Rub

Beef dippersBecause Indonesia comprises more than 6,000 islands, the cuisine is quite varied, often dependent on regional culture and foreign influences.

This “wet” rub recipe is one I used frequently on fish, pork and chicken dishes when I ran the kitchens of the Four Seasons Resorts in Bali (Jimbaran Bay and Sayan).

Stored in an airtight container, this rub will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Ingredients
(Makes one cup)

  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 2 red chilies, finely chopped or 1 tbsp Cuisine & Passion Habanero Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugarcane, finely chopped (brown sugar can be used)

Method

  1. Sauté shallots, red pepper, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a pan.
  2. Put mixture into a food processor and blend into a paste.
  3. Return paste to the sauté pan, adding coriander, chilies and sugar cane. Heat until the sugar cane has melted.
  4. Rub liberally on your protein of choice before firing up the BBQ.
  5. Enjoy!

 

BBQ Rub

Foursquare60x60Get the BBQ season started right now, no matter what time of year! Turn a few simple ingredients into one fabulous flavour!

Sometimes the best flavours are the simplest ones. The same often goes for recipes.

Use this fabulously simple rub on lamb, pork, chicken, beef—even fish!

To change it up, try adding fresh herbs such as tarragon, rosemary or thyme. A little change and you can call it your own!

Ingredients
(Makes one cup)

  • 4 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup canola or grapeseed oil

Method

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor to blend.
  2. That’s it—enjoy!

 

Chili Garlic Rub

Foursquare60x60We have shared with you a recipe for a spice rub I created while working in Bali, Indonesia. This month, we offer you another spice rub, this one based on great fresh flavours you will find right here in Canada.

If you want to save some time later, mix up the dry ingredients in advance and then, come BBQ time, add the oil and fresh parsley and garlic.

Ingredients
(makes enough for about six chicken breasts or four steaks)

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp flat Italian parsley
  • 4 ounces canola oil

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl.
  2. Uh, that’s it.

NOTE: When marinating, do not add the salt until you are ready to cook. Otherwise, the salt will draw out all the water and leave your protein dry.

Chimichurri marinade

Foursquare60x60Spicy and fresh, chimichurri is a real summertime treat. Do you know how chimichurri got it’s name? If you do, could you explain it to us? Our research turns up a new story at every turn.

No matter where it originated, the fact remains: it’s a great way to spice up your grilled beef, chicken, lamb or even shrimp.

Ingredients
(makes enough for about six chicken breasts or four steaks)

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (including seeds)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp table salt
  • 1 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup dry oregano
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Method

  1. In a blender, purée garlic and peppers with vinegar. Transfer it to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Place meat in a plastic bag, add marinade and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Grill and enjoy!
Main dishes

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Asparagus risotto
Baked marinated salmon with herbs and wine
BBQ steak
Beef chili
Beef kofta
Butter Chicken
Chicken breast stuffed with artichokes and sharp cheddar
Chicken breast stuffed with asparagus and basil
Chicken breast stuffed with wild mushrooms and goat cheese
Fresh home-made pasta and tomato sauce
Grilled lamb stuffed with cranberries and rosemary
Honey mustard pork (or chicken)
Jambalaya
Lamb stew
Pad Thai
Pepper steak
Potato and cheese gnocchi on butternut squash purée
Roasted chicken
Turkey Pie with Potato Crust

 

Asparagus risotto

Foursquare60x60Who hasn’t seen celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay screaming “Who cooked this risotto?!?” The young chefs on his Hell’s Kitchen television show hear it often. (Did you know Chef Marc cooked for 500 of Chef Ramsay’s guests when he launched his book, The F Word, in Australia? Ramsay loved it!)

Truth is, risotto is not that difficult to make. You must, however, keep an eye on it while it’s cooking. Here’s how to get it right the first time. Remember, when making this dish, the rice should be cooked, but firm.

Ingredients
(Serves four)

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 20 prawns, size 16-20 per pound, peeled and cleaned
  • 1-2 French shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4+ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 4 oz. canola oil
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. dry white or sparkling wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Prepare the asparagus: Snap a few of the asparagus tips to see where they naturally break and then cut all the same size. If dealing with larger-size asparagus, they should be peeled first. Blanch the asparagus in plenty of salted water until cooked and then shock them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut two inches from the tip and reserve the tips. Divide the remaining asparagus into two groups.
  2. Purée one group in the food processor, adding a touch of water if they are too dry.
  3. Slice the other group into small pieces. Set purée and slices aside.
  4. Heat the chicken stock in a large pot.
  5. Put canola oil and shallots in a large, rounded-bottom sauce pan and cook for one minute. You want the shallots translucent but without colour from caramelization.
  6. Add the rice and make sure it is well covered with the oil. Add wine and reduce for 30 seconds.
  7. Cover the rice with warm chicken stock. When the stock has been absorbed add more stock, enough to barely cover the rice. (You will be repeating this process until the rice is cooked but still firm.)
  8. About halfway through the process, add the asparagus purée and slices.
  9. About three-quarters of the way through the process, add the prawns.
  10. When the rice is ready, cream it with the olive oil and Parmesan by mixing it rapidly with a wooden spoon.
  11. Adjust seasoning.
  12. Sauté the asparagus tips in a touch of butter and use as a garnish on top of the rice.
  13. Enjoy!

 

Baked marinated salmon with herbs and wine

Foursquare60x60You would be hard-pressed to find a simpler dish than this. And not only is salmon a delicious fish, it is also a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

When you are preparing this fish, be sure to run your hands gently along the filet to find—and remove—the pin bones. Even people who loves surprises won’t love that surprise.

Ingredients
(Serves four)

  • 4 salmon filets (approx. 6 ounces each)
  • 1 French shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • chardonnay

Method

  1. Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients except salt and wine in a bowl or sealable plastic bag.
  2. Marinate salmon for about one hour.
  3. Lay the salmon on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil.
  4. Season with salt and drizzle with wine.
  5. Bake in the oven at 375F for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

 

BBQ steak

Foursquare60x60From rib eye to T-bone, the secret is to keep it simple.

Before you lay the meat on the grill, there are a few things to get in order. First, start with a good, clean grill. And do not use it until it is HOT and has been rubbed with canola or vegetable oil. (Do not use olive oil as it has a lower smoking point and once overheated, is not all that good for you.)

One side of the grill should be set to high while the other is set to medium-high. This allows you to sear the meat on one side and finish it on the other.

At this point, you are ready to grill. but first, either season with your favourite rub or, at the very least, with salt and pepper.

Before we move on, a word about marinades. If your marinade contains salt, put the meat in the mixture no more than two minutes before grilling. If the marinade does not contain salt, you can marinate the meat for a minimum of two hours before grilling. Also, be sure to shake the meat a little to remove excess marinade before cooking.

Now place your meat on the HOT grill. After a minute or so, turn the meat clockwise about 45 degrees. This will give it nice grill marks. A minute later, flip the steak, give it a minute and again, turn it clockwise 45 degrees. Then, move it to the medium-high side of the grill and cook to desired doneness.

Make it extra special

At Cuisine & Passion, we offer two different BBQ sauces you’ll want to try: Marc’s BBQ Sauce and Apple Cider BBQ Sauce. Want to try something a little different? Serve up your steak with a slab of spiced butter, also available in the store.

Beef chili

Foursquare60x60Although this original recipe is for beef chili, simply leave out the beef for a vegetarian option.

While chilis (and stews) improve with flavour over time (some claim they are even better the next day), a perfectly acceptable—and perfectly tasty—version presented here can be ready in as little as an hour.

And we’ve made it even easier by incorporating our own house-blended Chili Spice Mix (available ins-store now).

Ingredients
(Serves at least 8 to 10 people)

  • 2 cups mixed beans, soaked and cooked al dente
  • 625g lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 1 leek, cleaned and diced, white only
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cans (56 ounces) tomatoes, drained and diced
  • 5 tbsp Cuisine & Passion Chili Spice Mix
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 24 ounces tomato juice
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Method

  1. In a large sauce pan, sauté onions in canola oil until soft.
  2. Add garlic and cook for two minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add beef and sear until cooked through. Remove excess oil from the pan.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Beef Kofta

Foursquare60x60This one-bowl recipe starts on the grill and finishes in the oven.

You can also make smaller pieces and serve them as hors d’oeuvres. Cuisine & Passion Moroccan Spice Mix is available in our store.

Ingredients
Makes 30 (two per person)

  • 2.4 kg ground beef
  • 1/2 Spanish onion (1 cup), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Cuisine & Passion Moroccan Spices
  • 2 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. harissa paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 60 coffee stirrers (popsicle sticks)

Method

  1. In a stainless bowl, mix beef with all ingredients until well combined.
  2. Take 80g of the mix in your hand and form a small cylinder approximately one inch around and 3 inches long.
  3. Place the coffee stirrer in the middle and press well to seal the stirrer in the middle.
  4. Season each piece with salt and pepper and grill on each side to give colour.
  5. Place on a cookie tray and finish in a 350˚F oven for 12 minutes.

 

Butter Chicken

Foursquare60x60If you search www.urbanspoon.com for Indian restaurants in the Ottawa area, you will get at least 50 different choices.

Or, you could stay home and make it yourself!

This dish couldn’t be easier to prepare. Sear the chicken, add a few more ingredients, cook for 30 minutes and serve. That’s just about all there is to it.

Ingredients
(Serves 6-8 people)

  • 1.5 kg chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp garam masala,
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 ml tomato purée
  • 180 ml chicken stock
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 300 ml 35% cream

Method

  1. Combine, chicken, spices and yogurt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for three hours.
  2. Melt butter in a non-stick pan and sear the chicken on both sides. Transfer to a braising pot.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Cook chicken for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  4. Adjust seasoning and add chopped coriander.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Chicken breasts stuffed with artichokes and sharp cheddar

Foursquare60x60As with many proteins—from fish and lamb to beef and chicken—you can enhance the flavour immensely if you sear it in a frying pan first and then finish it in the oven. The searing gives it flavour you just can’t get any other way. This recipe is a great example of that technique.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 4 marinated artichokes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 4 to 6 pieces sun-dried tomato, chopped
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Place the chicken on your cutting board top (smooth side) down. Make a shallow cut down the length of the breast from the middle into one side of the breast. Do the same on the other side. This should form a pocket that looks like a change purse. Season the inside with salt and pepper.
  2. In a stainless steel bowl, mix together artichokes, herbs, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and cheddar.
  3. Fill the chicken pocket with the stuffing and close overlapping the meat.
  4. Season and sear the breast in a touch of canola oil on both sides to give a bit of colour.
  5. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake at 350F degree for 23 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken is firm.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Chicken breast stuffed with asparagus and basil

Foursquare60x60Quite apart from how good you’ll look presenting it, this recipe has two other important things going for it.
First, it’s easy to prepare. Second, it’s delicious!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 8 stalks of asparagus, cut in half
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 4 tbsp Mornay sauce (see recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method (Chicken)

  1. Place the chicken on your cutting board top (smooth side) down. Make a shallow cut down the length of the breast from the middle into one side of the breast to form a pocket. Do the same on the other side. Your chicken should look a little like a change purse. Season the inside with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay a piece of prosciutto down flat on your cutting board. Stack four pieces of asparagus, one basil leaf and a tablespoon of Mornay sauce on top.
  3. Roll up the prosciutto with the other ingredients and place it into the chicken pocket.
  4. Sear in a hot pan with a touch of canola oil until you get a nice golden brown colour on all sides.
  5. Place on a cookie tray and bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Mornay sauce)

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 3 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Method (Mornay sauce)

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the flour, stirring this “roux” constantly for about one minute. Do not the let the mixture brown.
  3. Slowly add milk, continuing to stir with a whisk for another ten minutes, or until it comes to a boil and thickens.
  4. Add cheese and continue to whisk the sauce until it melts.
  5. Serve immediately.

 

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Foursquare60x60In honour of a special visitor, Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, we present the boneless chicken dish that was served during her visit. (For those who are interested, it was served with a cauliflower purée and a warm beetroot salad. For dessert, they enjoyed local berries Pavlova.)

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

  • 4 pieces boneless chicken breast
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup goat cheese

Method

  1. Heat two tablespoons of canola oil in a large sauté pan.
  2. Add the chopped shallots and cook for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook for an additional one minute.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce it until dry.
  4. Adjust the seasoning in the remaining shallots and mushrooms and set aside to cool.
  5. Add the goat cheese and mix thoroughly.
  6. Lay the chicken breast down on a cutting board with the back facing up. With a small, sharp knife, make one incision starting in the middle of the breast and moving toward the left side. Then, make another incision starting in the middle and moving toward the right side of the breast. This will form two pockets, one on either side. (It will resemble those small coin purses you squeeze at both ends to reveal the money.)
  7. Fill the cavity with the mushroom mixture. Close the cavity by overlapping each side. Season the outside and set aside.
  8. Heat two tablespoons of canola oil in a large sauté pan and sear the breast on both sides. Transfer to a cookie tray and bake at 350F for 22 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Fresh home-made pasta and tomato sauce

Foursquare60x60A beautiful pasta dish from scratch? Yes! And it’s easier than you think.

Pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes we can’t even begin to describe them. We are all familiar with spaghetti, fettuccini and macaroni. But what about chitarra (like spaghetti but square), mafaldine (long ribbons with ruffled sides) and ditalini (short tubes like macaroni but without the bends).

However you shape it, it’s delicious—especially when you make it yourself. And with these quick-and-easy recipes for dough and sauce, you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients (Pasta dough)
(Serves 4)

  • 2 cups “00” flour*
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil*

Method (Pasta dough)

  1. Using the flour, form a little volcano on your counter.
  2. Crack eggs in a bowl and mix with the oil.
  3. Pour the egg-and-oil mixture a little at a time into the middle of the volcano mixing as you go.
  4. Knead the dough until you can form a ball.
  5. Let rest for one hour before running it through the pasta machine.

Ingredients (Basic tomato sauce)
(serves 4)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil*
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 x 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes*
  • 5-10 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Glaze*
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Method (Basic tomato sauce)

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté roughly chopped onions and diced garlic (remove the hearts, if any) in olive oil on low heat.
  2. Roughly chop and add the tomatoes. Cook until soft—approximately one hour.
  3. Turn the heat off, add basil leaves and Balsamic Glaze and set aside.
  4. Adjust seasoning. (Purée in a blender if you desire a smoother texture.)

* All of these ingredients are available in the store, should you need them. We recommend “00” flour because it’s a finer grind and has more of the bran and germ removed. This makes for a smoother pasta. If you don’t have time to make your own pasta dough, we have a great selection of premium pastas on the shelves, as well.

Grilled lamb stuffed with cranberries and rosemary

Foursquare60x60This is a beautiful lamb dish featuring cranberries and our new Cabernet Franc Ice Syrup. If you can’t find or choose not to use lamb loin, this dish works equally well with either duck or chicken breast.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Cabernet Franc Ice Syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 boneless lamb loins
  • fresh rosemary
  • olive oil

Method

  1. In a saucepan, warm the Ice Syrup. Stir in cranberries. Remove from heat and let stand until berries have absorbed the syrup.
  2. Trim the loins. Mix half of the cranberries with rosemary, salt and pepper and stuff into the middle of each loin. Rub the outside of each loin with olive oil.
  3. Sear the lamb on both sides on a grill and cook to desired doneness (6 to 8 minutes).
  4. Let meat stand a few minutes before slicing. Pour remaining sauce over the top.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Honey mustard pork (or chicken)

Foursquare60x60This is the kind of recipe busy parents need to keep at hand after a hectic day at work. Prep time is minimal and then into the oven for half an hour. Dinner is ready!

Ingredients

  • 4 x 180g Pork chops (from the shoulder side) or chicken (we prefer the thighs)
  • 4 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tbsp liquid honey
  • Salt, pepper

Method

For pork

  1. Season the chops with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the honey and mustard together in a bowl and brush it on the pork.
  3. Sauté pork in canola oil on both sides until you get a nice colour.
  4. Finish in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

For chicken

  1. Season the thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Marinade with the mustard/honey mix.
  3. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Jambalaya

Foursquare60x60In Canada and most of the United States, “mire poix” is a trio of flavours produced by onions, carrots and celery. And it is the basis of just about every stock. In the southern US, particularly Louisiana, the carrots are replaced with bell peppers.
And it is this combination of flavours that is the beginning of what may well be the most famous of southern dishes: Jambalaya. Perfect on a cold winter’s night—bring on that southern comfort!

Ingredients
(Makes five cups)

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups Uncle Ben’s rice
  • 2 chicken breasts or thighs, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 chorizo sausage
  • 25 shrimp, cleaned and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp Cuisine & Passion Creole Spice
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Method

  1. In a large pot, sauté all vegetables in canola oil until they start to soften.
  2. Add rice and mix well to ensure rice is coated with the oil.
  3. Add chicken, chorizo, spices, shrimp and chicken stock. Cook on open flame to simmer for approximately 18 minutes.
  4. When rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and cover for 15 minutes to let the rice absorb the rest of the liquid and flavours.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Lamb stew

Foursquare60x60As we write this recipe, it is November and the cooling temperatures tell us that it’s just a matter of time before the landscape turns a soft shade of white. So, we are offering a recipe that will add warmth to the coldest autumn day.

We begin with the star of the show: beautiful Ontario lamb. (In my opinion, Ontario lamb takes its proper place right along side the Australian product, perhaps the best lamb on the planet.) You can simply use pre-cut cubes of lamb or butcher your own from a leg of lamb.

Season 2.5 kilograms of lamb with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large pot, sauté three cloves of minced garlic and a large, diced onion until translucent-you are not looking for colour so you don’t want them to start caramelizing.

Meanwhile, peel and chop 500g of carrots, 500g of parsnips and 300g of turnips. Add them to the pot along with the meat and about a kilogram of halved, small potatoes-washed, not peeled.

Finally, add four whole braches of thyme-you can pull them out when it’s cooked-and enough veal or chicken stock to cover everything. (If you want the real thing, we always have house-made frozen stocks on hand at the store.)

Let this simmer for about 90 minutes or until tender. Add a loaf of fresh bread and a nice bottle of pinot noir or red burgundy, and the nasty weather will be but a distant memory.

Pad Thai

Foursquare60x60Most have tried this popular Thai dish—many say it’s among their favourites. Here, we present a recipe for pad thai that will comfortably feed two people. It’s easy to prepare, although it uses a lot of ingredients. Working together with someone special, why not turn preparation into a romantic evening?

Ingredients
(Serves two people)

  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 chicken, sliced
  • 6 prawns, cubed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 red pepper, julienned
  • 2 spring onions, julienned
  • 100 g rice noodles, prepared al dente*
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of white sugar
  • Dash of fish sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 10 pieces of coriander leaf, for garnish
  • 1 slice of lime

* Most chefs don’t actually cook these noodles. Instead, they soak them in cold water until al dente (about an hour).

Method

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
  2. Sauté garlic and then add the chicken, prawns and eggs. Stir until the eggs are scrambled.
  3. Add the bean sprouts, red pepper, spring onion, rice noodles, paprika, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir until cooked and smooth.
  4. Garnish with peanuts, coriander and lime.
  5. Enjoy!

Note: Watch your heat on your wok. You want it high enough to cook but not so high that you burn the spices.

Pepper steak

Foursquare60x60This recipe calls for “skirt” steaks. These are similar to flank steaks (which can be used in a pinch). They can be tougher than some other cuts of beef, but they are quite flavourful if cooked properly and cut into thin strips across the grain.

Skirt steaks are often used to make fajitas.

Ingredients
(4 servings)

  • 4 tbs black peppercorns, crushed
  • sea salt
  • 50 g (2 ounces) butter
  • 4 x 180 g (8 ounce) skirt or flank steaks
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs cognac

Method
(Hint: take the steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes beforehand to achieve a more evenly cooked steak.)

  1. Season both sides of the steak with salt and crushed peppercorns. Let rest 15 minutes.
  2. Add the butter to a skillet on high heat. When the butter has melted and turned foamy, add your steaks and cook for five minutes on each side or until they are done to your liking.
  3. Remove the steak from the pan, let rest and keep warm.
  4. Off the stove, mix the cream and mustard.
  5. Return pan to the stove and deglaze the pan by adding the cognac. Then add the cream/mustard and reduce. Add any cooking juice from the steak and adjust seasoning.
  6. Pour sauce over steak and serve.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Potato and cheese gnocchi on butternut squash purée

Foursquare60x60This Italian staple will rock the Richter scale! And it’s a great meal the kids will love to help prepare.

You start by shaping a mound of flour into a volcano and adding ingredients (lava!) to the middle. Then, it’s hands-on all the way.

(This is the very same dish prepared by the students who visited us from the Hotel and Tourism program at L’école des adultes Le Carrefour.)

Ingredients (Gnocchi)
(4 servings)

  • 100g mixed Italian cheeses, shredded
  • 70g soft goat cheese
  • 200g potatoes
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g semolina flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g brown mushrooms, quartered
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, julienned
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, julienned
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes, mash them with a potato ricer and keep them warm.
  2. Pour the flour on a clean surface creating a volcano-like crater. In the crater, add the semolina flour, mashed potato, eggs and cheese. Kneed to a smooth texture being careful not to overdo it.
  3. Cut dough into small balls and roll to create little sausages using a bit of semolina flour to prevent them from sticking to the work surface.
  4. Cut the sausage-like rolls into small, 2-cm-long pieces (just under an inch) and poach in salted boiling water. (They will rise to the surface when cooked.
  5. Remove from water and place on an oiled tray, cover and refrigerate until the purée is ready.
  6. When needed, sauté the gnocchi in olive oil with the onion, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and sage.
  7. When the gnocchi are golden brown, add spinach, toss a couple of times and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve on squash purée (see recipe below).

Ingredients (Butternut squash purée)
(4 servings)

  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2 cups butternut squash per person, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Sautée the onions and squash until the onion is soft.
  2. Add chicken stock and nutmeg and cook until squash is tender.
  3. Purée using a hand blender.
  4. Correct seasoning.
  5. On a warm plate, lay down a bed of puréed squash. Top with gnocchi and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Roasted chicken

Foursquare60x60Who among us—excepting our vegetarian friends, of course—doesn’t love the taste of a freshly roasted chicken? The smell alone is enough to make your mouth water. The good news is that it’s one of the easiest dishes to prepare. The bad news? It’s one of the easiest dishes to mess up.

It starts with the choice of bird. Your best bet is a roasting chicken as opposed to a fryer. Because it’s older, the roasting chicken is usually larger and has more flavour. It also tends to have a higher fat content, allowing for a moister bird, despite the relatively long cooking time.

While the oven is preheating to 375 degrees, wash the chicken inside and out using cold, running water. Pat it dry and stuff it with parsley, roughly cut lemon grass, lemon pieces, garlic and a peeled onion, cut in half. Then, slide butter up under the skin.

You may want to secure the legs by either tying them up or threading them through a small incision you cut in the skin. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast side up, and place it in the oven for 1.5-2 hours, depending on the size of the bird. IMPORTANT: Make sure you baste in its own juice every 30 minutes to ensure a nice, golden colour and wonderfully crisp skin.

To check doneness, place a roasting fork or a bamboo skewer in the leg joint and turn the chicken so its juice flows. Once the juice runs clear, it’s done.

Finally, it’s important to let the chicken rest before cutting it. This way, the protein will relax and the juices will redistribute themselves.

Turkey Pie with Potato Crust

Foursquare60x60If you’ve put aside a little Christmas turkey in your freezer, here is a recipe you may want to keep handy. Simple to make and oh-so-delicious, you’ll wish you had leftover turkey more often.

This can be done using chicken, as well.

Ingredients
(4 servings)

  • 500g cooked turkey, diced
  • 500ml turkey stock (available at Cuisine & Passion)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, precooked and shredded
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or melted butter
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put the diced turkey in a bowl large enough to hold all your ingredients
  2. Place turkey stock, carrot and celery in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the vegetables are cooked, strain them from the stock (leaving the stock in the pan) and add them to the turkey in the bowl.
  3. Mix the cornstarch and water together and slowly add it to the turkey stock until you get the desired consistency. You may not need it all.
  4. Add the fresh herbs and thickened turkey stock to the bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a small frying pan, sauté the onion and leek until translucent—do not allow them to caramelize (turn brown). Add to the turkey and stock bowl.
  6. Adjust the seasoning and pour into an ovenproof container.
  7. Mix the shredded potato and butter and spread evenly across the top of the dish.
  8. Bake in a hot oven at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!


Side dishes

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Braised red cabbage
Butternut squash purée
Crab fritters
Corn Fritters
Cucumber Riata
Goat cheese fritters with mixed greens
Grilled Shrimp and Tomato Salsa
Grilled zucchini, feta and chorizo salad
Marc’s Fruit ‘n Nut Stuffing
Rice Pilaf
Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar
Warm Fingerling Potatoes
Zucchini and feta cheese patties

 

Braised red cabbage

Foursquare60x60The beautiful colour of the cabbage makes this dish as attractive as it is delicious. The humble cabbage. How do you turn a support player into a star? By braising it slowly and drawing out all of its sweetness.

A little colour doesn’t hurt, either. That’s why we’ve chosen red cabbage for this prized dish.

In this recipe, we suggest using a “spice bag.” Simply wrap a small piece of cheesecloth around the spices listed in the recipe and tie it off with string. Then, remove it from the dish before serving.

Ingredients
(Serves four)

  • 1 medium red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • water to cover
  • 1 spice bag containing
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 black peppercorns

Method

  1. Sauté onion. When translucent, add cabbage and apple and cook for two minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, cover in water and bake covered in the oven at 350F for about one hour or until cabbage is tender.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Butternut squash purée

Foursquare60x60 This can be served as a side dish or as a base on the plate for other side dishes.

Ingredients
(Serves four)

  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2 cups butternut squash per person, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Sautée the onions and squash until the onion is soft.
  2. Add chicken stock and nutmeg and cook until squash is tender.
  3. Purée using a hand blender.
  4. Correct seasoning.
  5. On a warm plate, lay down a bed of puréed squash. Top with gnocchi and serve.

 

Crab fritters

Foursquare60x60 When it comes to entertaining, recipes should be quick and easy so you can spend your time with guests, not working over a hot stove.

These little treats can be made in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving, put them in the over at 350F for about 10 minutes and they are ready to serve.

Ingredients
(Makes approximately three dozen)

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup crab meat, cleaned
  • 1 tsp lemon grass, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp sambal oleck or chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil for frying

Method

  1. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk together.
  2. Add flour a little at a time to create a pancake-mixture texture.
  3. Add crabmeat, lemon grass, dill and sambal oleck (or chili powder). Mix well and adjust seasoning.
  4. Drop one tablespoon of the mixture into hot oil and cook until golden brown.
  5. Enjoy.

 

Corn Fritters

Foursquare60x60 Simple and easy to make, the cumin gives these fritters a nice Indian flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup corn kernels, cooked
  • 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

Method

  1. In a stainless steel bowl, beat the eggs and milk together.
  2. Slowly add flour to make a medium-thickness batter
  3. Add the corn, dill and cumin to the bowl and stir and adjust seasoning.
  4. Deep-fry batter in hot oil, one tablespoon at a time, until golden brown.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Cucumber Riata

Foursquare60x60Here’s a great recipe—and a new word of the day! It’s the perfect side dish at your next BBQ.

This yogurt-based Indian condiment can be used as either a dip or a sauce. It’s the perfect compliment to barbequed or any spicy meat dish.

Have you ever “degorged” a cucumber? It’s not nearly as hard—or as gruesome—as it sounds. And degorge is exactly what we are going to do with our cucumbers in this recipe for Cucumber Raita.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, diced
  • 2 tbsp sea salt for degorging
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Peel and dice cucumbers and degorge (sprinkle with salt). Let rest 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry well.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Goat cheese fritters with mixed greens

Foursquare60x60Canadians prefer mild over piquant, so our goat cheeses tend to be creamier and less pungent than European varieties. Although there is no time like summer for a beautiful mixed green salad, this one works anytime. Add the taste—and crunch—of panko-coated goat cheese fritters and you have a starter that’s fit for royalty.

The fritters must be frozen prior to frying so you will want to prepare these at least an hour before you plan to cook them.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 4-6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

For breading:

  • flour
  • eggs, beaten
  • bread crumbs
  • canola oil (for deep frying)

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix the cheese and herbs and form small balls. Place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to make them firm.
  2. Roll the cheese balls in flour, then dip in eggs and roll them in the bread crumbs. (Regular bread crumbs can be used, but panko will give you a better crunch and firmer coating.)
  3. Fry in canola oil until golden brown.
  4. Place three cheese balls on a bed of greens and serve with your favourite dressing.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Grilled Shrimp and Tomato Salsa

Foursquare60x60
A quick grilling of the shrimp on the barbeque turns this into the kind of dish that will make you forget last winter. You can serve this as either a side dish or as bruschetta over grilled bread. Makes enough for 4 to 6 crostinis.

Ingredients (Shrimp)

  • 4 shrimp (size: 16/20), peeled and deveined

Marinade:

  • 1 tsp Italian flat parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (Salsa)

  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp Italian flat parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. In a bowl, marinate the shrimp with the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and canola oil.
  2. Grill shrimp over hot grill until done and set aside to cool.l
  3. In another bowl, mix together tomatoes, green onions, herbs, lime juice and olive oil.
  4. When cool, dice shrimp into small pieces and mix with the salsa.l
  5. Enjoy!

 

Grilled zucchini, feta and chorizo salad

Foursquare60x60Nothing says summer like grilled zucchini, fresh from the garden. If you’ve got the grill going anyway, you may as well slap a few thin slices of zucchini and some chorizo sausage on it. It will impress everyone in attendance at your next backyard barbeque.

Ingredients

  • 2 green zucchinis
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 2 thick slices of onion, skewered to keep them together
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing (available at Cuisine & Passion if you need it)

Method

  1. Cut zucchinis into long, thin slices (see photo). Cut two thick slices of onion, using a skewer to keep the rings together. Brush zucchinis and onion slices with canola oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill all vegetables on the BBQ then chop them up and place in a salad bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Blanch the chorizo sausages in boiling water then grill them on the BBQ. Slice them at an angle and cool. Add to the vegetables and leave in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. Before serving, add Italian dressing and mix together. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Marc’s Fruit ‘n Nut Stuffing

Foursquare60x60A holiday favourite around the Miron household, this stuffing has a sourdough base and features cranberries, orange pieces and the delicate, subtle flavour of chopped pistachio nuts.

While many people cook the stuffing inside the bird, I recommend a safer practice to ensure both the bird and the stuffing cook properly: cook the stuffing separately in a covered Pyrex-type dish or a cake tin covered with aluminum foil.

Ingredients
(Makes five cups)

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 10 slices of sourdough bread, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 orange, split into segments
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, sauté the onion and celery in the butter and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the bread, cranberry, orange segments, orange zest and pistachio nuts.
  4. Add the cooked onion and celery to the bread, fruit and nut mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in chicken stock.
  6. Pack stuffing tightly in a Pyrex-type dish or a cake tin covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 400F.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Rice Pilaf

Foursquare60x60If you need a beautiful rice dish that will work wonderfully with your chicken, this is it. Easy to prepare and a great alternative to simple white rice, this is a recipe you’ll want to keep handy.

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp carrots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice (Uncle Ben’s works well)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (pick up house-made stock at Cuisine & Passion)
  • 3 to 4 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put oil and onions in a small casserole and cook on med high until onions are soft.
  2. Add the carrots and celery and coat well with the oil.
  3. Add the rice, making sure it gets coated with oil.
  4. Add the stock, bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer until rice absorbs the stock.
  5. Remove from heat and rest for five minutes. Adjust seasoning.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar

Foursquare60x60Other kinds of squash can be used in this recipe, but butternut, widely available locally in the fall, is, by far, your best choice.

Hearty and flavourful, it’s the perfect side dish to accompany most meats and just about any kind of starch (such as potatoes) dish. It will feed six to eight people.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Chop off the two ends of the squash (as you would a cucumber). Then, cut off the ball end of the squash and clean it out. If the remaining piece is quite long, chop it into two pieces as well.
  2. Stand the pieces up on a cutting board and peel them using your knife to cut down the sides.
  3. Cut squash lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips and put them in a large bowl.
  4. Slice the onion into thin strips and add to bowl.
  5. Add the canola oil and balsamic vinegar to the bowl and toss everything together well. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Warm Fingerling Potatoes

Foursquare60x60Despite popular belief, fingerling potatoes are not simply regular potatoes that are picked early. Rather these tubers are varieties that naturally small and narrow, shaped like, you guessed it, your fingers.

This preparation is a simple, but delicious, addition to your dinner menu we think your guests will love. They taste great—and they are so cute!

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

      • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes (cut in half if too big)
      • 1/2 medium onion
      • 1 tbsp canola oil
      • Salt and pepper
      • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
      • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
      • 2 green onions

Method

      1. Toss potatoes, onion, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
      2. Transfer to a tray and bake in the oven at 375F for 30 minutes or until soft.
      3. In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard and green onions. Add warm potatoes and toss to coat.
      4. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini and feta cheese patties

Foursquare60x60Want to impress your guests with something that’s a little different but, oh, so easy to prepare? Try these zucchini and feta patties. When we offer them in our fresh-food showcase, they are a huge hit.

Ingredients
(Makes 8–10 portions)

      • 6 cups zucchini, grated
      • 2 tsp sea salt
      • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
      • 1 cup flour
      • 3 tbsp dill, chopped
      • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
      • 4 green onions, chopped
      • Black pepper
      • Canola oil

Method

      1. Mix grated zucchini with salt and let it stand in a colander for 20 minutes. Rinse well, drain, pat dry with a paper towel and put it in a bowl.
      2. Stir in flour and eggs.
      3. Add feta cheese, dill and green onions. Mix well.
      4. Add a small amount of canola oil to a non-stick pan and put it on medium-high heat.
      5. Drop zucchini mixture into pan, free-forming an oval shape about 2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, about a half-inch thick.
      6. Sauté the patties on both sides until golden brown.
      7. Transfer to a cookie tray and cook in a hot oven at 375F for 10 minutes.
      8. Enjoy!
Stocks and sauces

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Basic stock
Classic Béchamel sauce
Cucumber and dill sauce

 

Basic stock

Foursquare60x60 Every great sauce starts with a great stock and I’ve found that will happen only if you start with the freshest ingredients possible. (Don’t use leftovers!)

Whether it’s a brown stock (where the bones are browned beforehand) or white stock, you start with fresh carrots, celery and onions-“mirepoix” in professional kitchens-and bones. Which bones? Joint and leg bones for meat stock and backbone and necks for fowl stock. Where possible, use marrow bones for the best result.

No matter which type of bones you use-chicken, turkey, beef, veal, lamb or even duck, to name just a few sources, the method is the same. If time and space dictate you can choose only one, choose chicken as it’s the easiest-and, perhaps, the most flexible. Here’s an easy recipe so you, too, can enjoy fresh, home-made chicken stock.

Dice one onion, one carrot and two stalks of celery. Put this “mirepoix” in a large pot with 3-5 kilograms of washed and well-rinsed chicken bones. Add water until the ingredients are covered and bring to a simmer, not a boil, skimming the foam off as it accumulates. (Always start your stock using cold water. The gradual increase in the temperature as you bring them to a boil will help capture all the beautiful nectar of your bones and vegetables.)

Add a few branches of thyme, 4 whole cloves, 4 bay leaves and one tablespoon of whole back peppercorns-slowly. DO NOT put them in the pot and then stir madly. Put them in the pot and use a spoon or other device to gently push them into the water as the water simmers. Rugged stirring or boiling will leave your stock cloudy. Skim the stock whenever foam accumulates on the surface.

Continue to simmer for three hours. Then, enjoy. Soups, sauces…that’s just the beginning!

Classic Béchamel sauce

Foursquare60x60 Sometimes you just need a good white sauce.

As one of the mother sauces of French cuisine, Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is the base for a number of other sauces such as Mornay (with cheese), crème (with heavy cream), Soubise (with finely diced onions that have been sweated in butter), Nantua (with crayfish, butter and cream), mustard (with prepared mustard) and cheddar cheese (with cheddar cheese, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce).

Try this basic white sauce with your favourite flavours and watch your dinners come to life! (For extra smoothness, you can strain the sauce before you serve it.)

Ingredients
(Makes one cup)

      • 1/4 cup butter
      • 1 cup whole milk
      • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
      • pinch nutmeg
      • salt and pepper to taste

Method

      1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
      2. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. Cook this mixture—properly called “roux”—for a minute or two.
      3. Add half the milk and stir until it starts to thicken.
      4. Add the remaining milk and stir until the desired thickness is reached.
      5. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
      6. Enjoy!

 

Cucumber and dill sauce

Foursquare60x60 Beautiful over grilled salmon!

Ingredients
(Serves four)

      • 1 cup cucumber, finely diced
      • 3 tbsp. sea salt (for degorging)
      • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
      • 1 clove garlic, crushed
      • 1/2 cup yogurt
      • 1 tsp. cumin
      • 1 tbsp. dill, chopped

Method

      1. Degorge cucumber (remove water) by placing it in a bowl with three tablespoons of sea salt for 30 minutes. Rinse well under cold water and pat dry.
      2. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.
      3. Enjoy!
Desserts

RECIPES IN THIS SECTION:

Apricot raisin loaf
Butternut Squash Panna Cotta
Cinnamon fritters
Crème brûlée
Frozen yogurt
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Maple Mousse
Perfect Pecan Pie
Pumpkin cupcakes
Ricotta and orange beignets
Tiramisu
Torta Caprese

 

Apricot raisin loaf

Foursquare60x60 WARNING: This may become a standard recipe at your house. Those who visit our store regularly may have noticed that, depending on the day, we are offering several different kinds of dessert loaves. This wonderful fruit-filled apricot and raisin loaf is among our favourites. It has lots of body, taste and, well, fruit.

Ingredients (Loaf)
(serves 4)

      • 1/4 cup soft butter
      • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 cup orange juice
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
      • 1 cup raisins
      • 1/2 chopped pecans or walnuts
      • 1 tbsp orange zest (finely grated orange rind)

Method (Loaf)

      1. Put butter, brown sugar and one of the eggs in a large bowl. Blend, then add the second egg and continue to stir.
      2. Add orange juice to batter and blend well.
      3. In a second bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
      4. Stir in apricots, raisins, nuts and zest.
      5. Add dry mixture to batter stirring just enough to moisten.
      6. Pour batter into a greased 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.
      7. Bake at 350F for one hour or until a skewer stuck into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
      8. Let stand 10 minutes then remove it from the pan and place on a rack to cool. (If you can, wrap it and wait a day or two for better flavour and to make it easier to cut.)

Ingredients (Glaze)

      • 3 tbsp of apricot jam
      • 1 tbsp water

Method (Glaze)

      1. In a small saucepan, combine the jam and water. Stir over medium heat until hot. Strain through a sieve.
      2. Spoon glaze over loaf.
      3. Devour.
      4. Make it again.
      5. Devour.
      6. Make it again.
      7. You get the idea.

 

Butternut Squash Panna Cotta

Foursquare60x60 This is a recipe I developed while the Executive Chef at the two Four Seasons Resorts in Bali, Indonesia.

There, we often used pumpkin in this recipe but I have found butternut squash tastes every bit as good.

You’ll note the use of pandam leaf (also called pinescrew leaf, so-called because the leaves grow in a screw-like fashion). Increasingly common, you can find this at many stores in Chinatown as well as just about any store that sells Asian groceries.

Ingredients
(serves 4)

      • 375 ml coconut milk
      • 100 g sugar
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 pc pandam leaf
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 55 g cornstarch
      • 250 g butternut squash, steamed and grated
      • 100 ml water

Method

      1. Combine coconut milk, sugar, salt, pandam leaf and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
      2. In a separate bowl, add the water to the cornstarch and mix well.
      3. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling coconut milk.
      4. When mixture starts to thicken, add the squash. Stir constantly (to prevent sticking) until it is the consistency of a thick batter.
      5. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator to cool completely.
      6. Enjoy!

 

Cinnamon fritters

Foursquare60x60 As a tasty treat or as dessert, these fritters are delicious!

Love cinnamon rolls but find yeast dough too much trouble? Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will satisfy your craving in half the time.

Ingredients (Fritters)
(Makes about 36 fritters)

      • 1 cup water
      • 4 1/2 tbsp. butter
      • 1 cup self-rising flour (not all-purpose flour), sifted
      • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
      • canola oil (for frying)

Method (Fritters)

      1. Combine the water and butter in a saucepan and stir over low heat until butter has melted (do not boil!).
      2. Remove pan from heat and add all the flour at once, beating with a spoon until smooth.
      3. Return pan to stove and heat until mixture has thickened and comes away from the side and base of the pan.
      4. Using a hand mixer, add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition.
      5. Carefully drop portions of dough into hot oil and cook until puffed and golden brown.
      6. Set aside on paper towels to drain

Ingredients (Syrup)

      • 1/2 cup brown sugar
      • 1 cup water
      • 2 tbsp. orange juice
      • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Method (Fritters)

      1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
      2. Simmer until liquid has reduced to one-quarter of its original volume.
      3. Serve warm over fritters.
      4. Enjoy!

 

Crème brûlée

Foursquare60x60 Rich? Maybe. Tasty? You bet! Who doesn’t love a freshly glazed crème brûlée after dinner? Around here, it’s one of our favourite desserts. And it’s a lot easier to make than you might think.

To impress your friends, tell them you cooked them is a bain Marie (no need to tell them this is simply a pan filled with hot water!).

Ingredients
(Serves eight)

      • 1 quart heavy cream
      • 1 vanilla bean
      • 6 egg yolks
      • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Method

      1. Pour the cream into a good-sized sauce pan.
      2. Slice the vanilla bean down the middle, scrape our the seeds (and paste) inside and put the paste and seeds in the cream.
      3. Warm the mixture over medium-high heat until small bubbles appear along the edges of the pan. DO NOT BOIL.
      4. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and very gradually beat in the sugar.
      5. Add the warmed cream to the egg-yolk mixture and mix well.
      6. Drain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the vanilla bits and pour into individual 1/2-cup ramekins (small, oven-safe cooking dishes).
      7. Place the ramekins in cake pans and place them in the oven. Fill the pans with water so the ramekins are submerged to about the halfway mark.
      8. Cook at 300F for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, spread brown sugar over each dish and broil for 10-15 seconds to caramelize the sugar.
      9. Enjoy!

 

Frozen yogurt

Foursquare60x60Use your imagination to create your favourite flavours. What could be better than a nice bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day? Frozen yogurt! (And it’s better for you, too.)

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the yogurt to freeze.

Ingredients
(serves 4)

      • 1 1/4 lbs of your favourite fruit
      • 6 tbsp water
      • 2 tbsp sugar
      • 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt

Method

      1. Make a simple syrup by putting sugar and water is a small sauce pan and heating only until the sugar melts—do not boil. Allow to cool.
      2. Put syrup into a blender with fruit. Blend well.
      3. Pour the yogurt into a bowl and add the syrup. (If you are using flavoured yogurt, use slightly less syrup.) Stir until well blended.
      4. Pour into a container and freeze until hard.
      5. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Foursquare60x60 Chef Chantal describes this cake as “super, super easy.” The rest of us describe it as “super, super tasty!”

Two quick notes. First, although the cake batter calls for extra-fine sugar, you can use regular sugar without harm. Also, while one lemon will give you all the zest you need, it probably won’t give you enough lemon juice for both the batter and the syrup, so make sure you have an extra one, just in case.

Ingredients (Cake)

      • 1 3/4 cup flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 cup extra-fine or regular white sugar
      • 4 eggs
      • 2/3 cup sour cream
      • zest of one large lemon
      • 4 tbsp lemon juice
      • 2/3 cup canola oil

Method

      1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) springform cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
      2. Sift flour and baking powder into mixing bowl and stir in sugar.
      3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and oil.
      4. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and mix well until evenly combined.
      5. Bake for 45-60 min. until cake has risen and is golden brown.

Ingredients (Syrup)

      • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
      • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Method

      1. In a small pan, mix together both ingredients.
      2. Stir over low heat until just beginning to bubble and turn syrupy.
      3. As soon as the cake comes out of oven, prick the surface with a fine skewer in several spots, then brush the syrup over the top.
      4. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before turning out and serving.
      5. Enjoy!

 

Maple Mousse

Foursquare60x60In honour of the sap of the maple tree and everything it means to Canadians, we present a sweet treat: Maple Mousse.

Just a warning: This dish is simple, but we would recommend using an electric mixer—it takes a fair bit of arm power to get it right.

Ingredients

      • 4 egg whites
      • 1 1/3 cups of maple syrup

Method

        1. Cook the syrup over medium-high heat until it registers 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
        2. While syrup is cooking, beat egg whites until you get a stiff peak.
        3. When syrup reaches 240 degrees, slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites while continuing to whip them. (Don’t allow the syrup to cool as the heat is needed to cook the eggs.)
        4. Beat for another 30 seconds after all the syrup is added.
        5. Cool and portion.
        6. Enjoy!

 

Perfect pecan pie

Foursquare60x60Considered a specialty in U.S. southern cuisine, pecan pie is often served at Thanksgiving and Christmas throughout North America. Personally, we love it any time!

Ingredients

        • 2 large eggs
        • 1/3 cup sugar
        • 3/4 cup corn syrup
        • 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
        • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
        • 3/4 cup pecan halves

Method

        1. Preheat oven to 350F.
        2. Line pie plate with short-crust pastry. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
        3. In a bowl, beat the eggs together with sugar.
        4. Add corn syrup, butter and vanilla, and whisk until thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is frothy.
        5. Place the pecans in a layer on the bottom of the pie crust and pour in the filling.
        6. Bake for about one hour or until firm.
        7. Serve warm on its own or with ice cream.
        8. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Foursquare60x60At Halloween time, it’s hard to turnaround without bumping into goblins, ghosts and superheroes—or something with pumpkin in it. Like these delicious and easy-to-prepare pumpkin cupcakes.

Cupcakes

Ingredients
(makes 18 cupcakes)

        • 3/4 cup butter, softened
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 3 eggs
        • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
        • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
        • 1 tsp baking powder
        • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
        • 3/4 tsp salt
        • 1/2 tsp baking soda
        • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
        • 1 cup buttermilk

Method

        1. Preheat oven to 350°.
        2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
        3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
        4. Add pumpkin.
        5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and ginger and mix well. Then, add it to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
        6. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-quarters full and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
        7. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from cupcakes pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.

Frosting

Ingredients

        • 1 package (250 grams) cream cheese, softened
        • 1/4 cup butter, softened
        • 4 cups icing sugar
        • 1 tsp vanilla extract
        • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

        1. Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
        2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until smooth.
        3. Frost cupcakes. (Refrigerate extra frosting.)

 

Ricotta and orange beignets

Foursquare60x60Also known as fritters, sinkers or just plain old doughnuts—and who doesn’t love doughnuts?—you won’t find an easier recipe for beignets than this.

If you’ve been to New Orleans, you’ve likely seen these served as a dessert (or for breakfast!) with a dusting of powdered sugar.

They can be served with icing, filled with jam or shaped into balls or squares and covered with mocha frosting or maple and fleur de sel caramel. Here at Cuisine & Passion, we served them recently with fruit coulis. As you can see, the options are limitless!

Ingredients
(Makes two dozen, depending on size)

        • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
        • 1/2 tsp salt (ionized)
        • 4 extra large eggs
        • 3/4 cup sugar
        • 475g ricotta cheese
        • 2 tsp vanilla extract
        • 1 tbsp orange zest
        • Canola oil (for frying)

Method

        1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together and then sift into a bowl. Set it aside.
        2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and thick.
        3. Add the ricotta and vanilla to the egg mixture and beat well.
        4. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta mixture and mix well.
        5. Gently drop tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
        6. Enjoy!

 

Tiramisu

Foursquare60x60Surprisingly, there are no records of tiramisu being served prior to 1983. Over the last three decades or so, the Italian dish has become quite popular in North America.

There is also some debate over its origins. Some say it was created in Treviso, Italy, while others say it was born in the city of Siena. No matter where it started, when you make it at home, you’ll be glad where it ended up: in your belly!

Ingredients

            • 225 mL strong, black coffee
            • 150 mL brandy*
            • 250 g savoiardi (ladyfinger cookies)
            • 2 eggs
            • 500 g Mascarpone cheese
            • 75 g icing sugar
            • 25 g cocoa powder

*For something a little different, instead of brandy, use Bailey’s or rum or anything else you might put in your coffee.

Method

            1. Lay half the biscuits in a serving dish and soak them with half the coffee and brandy. Set aside.
            2. Separate the eggs.
            3. Mix egg yolks with cheese and icing sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until you get soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
            4. Pour half the cheese mixture over the first layer of biscuits.
            5. Shake cocoa powder over the cheese mixture.
            6. Add another layer of biscuits and then cheese.
            7. Finish with a dash more cocoa powder.
            8. Chill for at least two hours before serving.
            9. Enjoy!

 

Torta Caprese

Foursquare60x60This is the perfect gluten-free dessert. Whether you have to avoid gluten or you just want a fabulously rich dessert that the whole family will love, this is just what the doctor ordered.

This recipe calls for almond meal—this is simply well-ground almonds. If you don’t want to grind them yourself, you can buy them at stores such as Bulk Barn.

Ingredients

            • 7 squares semi-sweet chocolate
            • 1 cup butter
            • 1/4 cup espresso (or very strong coffee)
            • 2 cups almond meal
            • 1 tbsp. baking powder
            • 1 cup sugar
            • 5 eggs

Method

            1. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and mix in coffee. Put aside.
            2. In a large bowl, cream eggs and sugar for five minutes using an electric mixer. (Doing this for the full five minutes is the real secret to this recipe.)
            3. Combine the almond meal with the baking powder and add to the egg mixture.
            4. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs.
            5. Turn the batter out into a well-buttered 10-inch springform pan and bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until the centre is firm to the touch. Note that it will firm up further as it cools.
            6. Once cooled, pop it out of the pan and dig in! (OPTIONAL: Torta is not overly sweet so you can lightly dust it with icing sugar (try using a stencil for great effect!) or drizzle melted chocolate over it to dress it up.)