Feature Recipes

HERB-CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB 

Yield:  2 servings
For a single serving, cut a fresh rack of lamb in half. Use half fresh and freeze the remaining half for another meal. Be sure to wrap it well with plastic wrap, label and date the package before freezing.

Rack of Lamb1 rack of lamb, ‘Frenched’ *(see below)
1-2 tsp. olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ Tbsp. parsley, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1½ Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl mix together breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, thyme and shallots; set aside. Trim most of the fat from lamb. Rub the meaty side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat a fry pan to medium-high. Place lamb, meat side down in pan and sear for up to 10 minutes or until well browned and caramelized. Remove lamb from pan, transfer to a shallow roasting pan, seared side up and spread with mustard, then press breadcrumb mixture into mustard. Drizzle with melted butter. Roast 20-30 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted into lamb registers 140°F for medium-rare. Cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving. This resting allows the juices to return evenly through the lamb, which enhances its flavor and keeps it moist. Slice between bones into individual chops.  

Bon Appétit!

* ‘Frenched’-to scrape meat and fat from the bones of meat, a little distance from the end. Usually associated with chops, such as lamb and veal rib chops.

FROM “FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
“JUST THE TWO OF US” – SEPTEMBER 2005

LAVENDER CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES  

TrufflesYield: 3 dozen
It is important to infuse the lavender flavor into the cream then strain before adding to the chocolate. This makes a smooth, flavorful ganache mixture.

1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. dried ‘Hidcote’ Lavender flowers
10 oz. Callebaut dark chocolate, chopped finely
1 Tbsp. Limoncello liqueur, at room temperature
1 lb. Callebaut dark chocolate, chopped for dipping
½ lb. Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, chopped for dipping
Extra lavender flowers or cocoa powder for garnish

Over medium heat, stir the cream and lavender together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep until cool. Melt chocolate in another bowl over warm water, strain and press the lavender with a spatula, discard the lavender. Pour the infused lavender cream over the chocolate. Stir together until completely blended, stir in the Limoncello.
Cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate overnight. Line a bake sheet with plastic wrap. Form the ganache into tablespoon sized balls; roll in your palms until round. Place on the prepared bake sheet, cover and refrigerate until firm.
Meanwhile, *temper the dark and bittersweet dipping chocolate together and cover another bake sheet with wax paper. Dip each ball into the tempered chocolate that is 90°F. Place on the bake sheet lined with wax paper. Place a few pieces of dry lavender flower on top of each truffle or cool and roll in cocoa powder to finish.

Bon Appétit!

FROM THE DENMAN ISLAND FLAGSTONE
“FLOWER POWER-LAVENDER” - JULY 2011

 

CHILLED BLACKBERRY SOUP

Yield: 4-6 servings
Blackberry SoupThis cool and refreshing soup is a perfect start or finish to a summertime meal. Serve it very cold; chill both the soup and serving bowls in the fridge for several hours.

4 cups blackberries, wash and dry
1½ cups plain yogurt
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. liquid honey
1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chiffonnade (sliced into very thin strips or ribbons)
Garnish, whole blackberries and mint leaves

Place the blackberries in a food processor and pulse several times to purée. Force the blackberry purée through a food mill or a fine strainer. Place the seedless purée in a medium sized bowl; discard the seeds. Whisk in yogurt, sour cream, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh mint chiffonnade.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir and ladle into chilled bowls or large cocktail glasses. Garnish with whole berries and mint leaves.

Bon Appétit!

FROM THE DENMAN ISLAND FLAGSTONE
“BEAUTIFUL B.C. BLACKBERRIES” – JULY 2008

CHICKEN AND SWISS MANICOTTI  

Yield: 4-6 servings
Large pasta tubes - cooked, stuffed; then baked. Impressive for a potluck dinner, or try this dish as a new twist on brunch! Cooking the pasta in bouillon adds extra flavor. If using water, add 1 Tbsp. sea salt with the garlic.

10 manicotti noodles
4 litres chicken bouillon (or water)
2 fresh cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups (about 150 g.) chopped crimini or button mushrooms
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked chicken meat, finely chopped
2 whole eggs, beaten
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 x 10oz. can cream of mushroom soup or 1¼ cup heavy béchamel sauce  (below)
¾ cup milk
¼ cup white wine
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

ManicottiPreheat oven to 350°F. Bring bouillon and garlic to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in onions, chicken, eggs and Parmesan.
*Fill cooked manicotti tubes with chicken mixture and place in a single layer in a buttered 9x13-inch casserole dish and set aside. In a small saucepan combine soup, milk and wine. Heat, stirring constantly, but do not boil. Add the Swiss cheese, reduce heat and stir until the cheese melts. Pour over stuffed manicotti, cover casserole with foil and bake 40 minutes. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.
*NOTE: An easy way to stuff tubes of pasta is to use a large pastry bag without a metal tip. The opening of the bag should be large enough for the diced chicken to pass through.

Bon Appétit!

FROM “FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
“USE YOUR NOODLES” – MARCH 2001

BÉCHAMEL SAUCE OR CREAM SAUCE

Yield: 2 cups
This sauce can be made light, medium or heavy consistency depending on the roux proportions. This is a medium bodied béchamel sauce.

3 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk or light cream, hot
½ tsp. sea salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg, optional
Bouquet garnis composed of- ½ bay leaf, 1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig parsley
Melted butter

BechamelIn a heavy saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring constantly for several minutes. Do not let the roux brown.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and pour it over the roux whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Slowly bring the sauce to a boil stirring constantly, tie bay leaf, thyme and parsley in a cheesecloth bag, add and reduce to a simmer. Be cautious, at this point the bottom will scorch easily. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, strain through a fine sieve and cover the surface with a little melted butter.

SOME COMPOUND SAUCES FROM BÉCHAMEL SAUCE:
Sauce Mornay- béchamel with Gruyere, Parmesan cheese and butter (for fish and vegetables)
Sauce Cardinal- béchamel with cream, added lobster butter and cayenne (for fish)
Sauce Curry à la Crème- béchamel with curry powder and added cream (for eggs and poultry)
Cheddar Sauce- béchamel with dry mustard, Worcestershire and cheddar cheese (for pasta and vegetables)

Bon Appetit!

From The Denman Island Flagstone
‘Mother Sauces’ ~ May 2008

PROSCIUTTO ROASTED FIGS

Yield:  12 figs

This is my all time favorite fresh fig appetizer! 

Figs 12 fresh figs

¼ lb. Gorgonzola cheese

1 Tbsp. cognac

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

12 thin slices prosciutto

1/3 cup honey

Fresh ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cut into the figs half way, creating a ‘pocket’, being careful not to go all the way through. In a small bowl, combine Gorgonzola, cognac and pepper. Mix together using a fork until well blended. Stuff the figs with cheese mixture. Wrap prosciutto evenly around each fig to enclose it. If necessary, secure with a toothpick.  Stand figs on a baking sheet. Bake until prosciutto melts slightly and forms a skin around the figs, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with honey and season with fresh ground black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Bon Appetit!

From "For the Love of Food"
Fabulous Figs ~ July 2006

SMOKED SALMON MOUSSE

Yield: 10-12 servings

This mousse is perfect for a crowd served in a large mould. I have also made them in individual moulds for a light lunch or grazing dinner party. It is best made the day before serving.

Salmon1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
¼ cup cold water
½ cup boiling water
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. finely minced shallots
2 tsp. capers, finely minced
Dash of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. sea salt
2 ½ Tbsp. finely minced fresh baby dill weed
¾ cup finely chopped smoked salmon
1¼ cup flaked poached salmon (or canned salmon)
1 cup whipping cream, whip until thickened to fluffy peaks
Watercress, sliced cucumbers, dill weed, lemon wedges or slices for garnish

Pour cold water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top to soften. Stir in the boiling water and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, shallots, capers, cayenne, paprika, salt and dill weed. Blend completely, then refrigerate until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 10-20 minutes.

Mix in the smoked and poached salmon, and then gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into a 4-6 cup mould or divide into 10-12 individual moulds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To un-mould, dampen a serving platter slightly. Quickly dip the bottom of each mould into warm water. While holding the mousse over the serving platter (or the palm of your hand for individuals), give the side of the mould a quick tap; the mousse should fall onto the platter (or into your hand for individuals). Place on the dampened serving platter and centre to position. Garnish with watercress, sliced cucumbers, dill weed and lemon wedges or slices. Serve with Melba toast or crackers.

Bon Appetit!

From "For the Love of Food"
Let's Party ~ December 2007

CHOCOLATE FONDUE

Yield: 4 servings

This combination is actually liquid 'ganache', which when cooled becomes the filling of chocolate truffles.

½ lb. Callebaut dark chocolate (or any other dark chocolate of top quality)

½ cup whipping cream

1½ oz. (3 Tbsp.) liqueur of your choice (Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Crème de Menthe etc.)

Fruits and cake for dunking

FondueFruits may include cored and sliced apple or pear, sliced fresh firm peaches, fresh orange segments, thick slices of ripe firm bananas, chunks of fresh pineapple, large strawberries, etc. For cake, use pound cake or loaf cake cut into large chunks, tiny macaroons etc. All of the fruits or cakes should be sufficiently firm so that they can be speared with a fondue fork, dunked into the chocolate mixture and retrieved intact.

Cut chocolate into small pieces. Place in a stainless steel bowl with the whipping cream, and set over a saucepan of just simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and blended with the cream. Stir in liqueur. Pour into a fondue dish over a very low flame, or place in a chafing dish over just simmering water.

Arrange fruits and cake on a large platter. Provide guests with fondue forks.

 

Bon Appetit!

From "For the Love of Food"
Chocolate Makes the Heart Grow Fonder ~ February 2003

COUNTRY OATMEAL BREAD

Yield: 1 loaf

Crunchy-sweet oats and robust molasses combine in a loaf that is delicious for breakfast toast, lunchbox or snack time.

¾ cup boiling wateroats
½ cup quick rolled oats
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup light molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105°-115°F)
1 egg
2¾ cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1 egg white, slightly beaten
¼ cup quick rolled oats
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine boiling water, ½ cup oats, butter, molasses and 2 teaspoons salt in a large mixer bowl. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir to dissolve. To the oat mixture add; yeast, 1 egg and 1½ cups of the flour. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.

Turn batter into a well-greased 2-pound coffee can; smooth and pat the top. Brush top with beaten egg white. Crush ¼ cup oats with ¼ teaspoon salt; sprinkle over the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1½ hours.

Heat oven to 375°F. Bake until loaf is brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 50 to 55 minutes. (If loaf is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.) Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Bon Appetit!

From "For the Love of Food"
The Bread Board ~ March 2003

BLACK BEAN-BLUEBERRY SALSA

Yield: 2¼ cups

Great with tortilla chips or served with grilled salmon!Blueberries

¾ cup canned black beans, drained
½ red bell pepper, fine diced
1 jalapeño pepper; seeds and ribs removed,
    chopped fine
¼ cup red onion, fine diced
1 cup blueberries, fresh or thawed
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ -1 Tbsp. liquid honey
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. lime zest
½ tsp. sea salt

In a medium sized bowl combine black beans, diced peppers and red onion. Gently fold in blueberries and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, oil, zest and salt. Pour dressing over salsa and toss lightly. Serve with grilled chicken or fish, or with tortilla chips.

Bon Appetit!
From "For the Love of Food"
Fresh Salsa Season ~ June 2005

RUSTIC GRILLED VEGETABLES

Yield: 6-8 servings

Veggies grill in their own good time. The important thing is to watch closely and remove each of the vegetables when it is done.

Grilled Vegetables

1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
8 small-sized zucchini
3 small Japanese eggplants
2 medium-sized yellow bell peppers
2 medium-sized red bell peppers
3 large red onions
8 large mushrooms

Dressing:

5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Assemble dressing in a small bowl; whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon and maple syrup. Add oil slowly, whisking constantly to emulsify. Taste and adjust sweet and sour balance, add pepper to taste. Cover and let stand for up to 1 day prior to serving. Whisk dressing well before using.

Thoroughly wash all vegetables. Trim the ends off the zucchini and eggplant, cut the peppers in half and remove the stem and all seeds, peel the red onions. Cut zucchini and eggplant diagonally into ½ inch slices. Cut each half bell pepper lengthwise into four. Cut onions crosswise into ½ inch slices. Leave mushrooms whole. Brush onion slices with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.

Then brush all vegetables lightly with 1/3 cup olive oil. Prior to lighting your barbecue, brush or spray the grill with a light coat of vegetable oil. Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Place vegetables on oiled barbecue grill. Cook 12 to 15 minutes or until browned and tender, turning often. Let vegetables cool to room temperature. Arrange on a large platter and pour the dressing over.

Bon Appetit!

From "For the Love of Food"
All Fired Up ~ July 2003

 

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