Food 65 results

Spawn a love affair with Maple Mustard Grilled Salmon

Maple Mustard Grilled Salmon makes for a hearty treat that's easy to prepare and doesn't require many ingredients By Louise Crosby Many are the times I’ve wracked my brain for something quick and easy to make for dinner, and this salmon recipe has often sprung to mind. It’s tweaked only slightly from Chef Michael Smith,  FoodTV host, cookbook author, and “official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island.” (Watch the Food Network and you can’t miss him.)  I’ve made it a million times. The recipe is simple to prepare, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and lends itself to innovation; dress it up with a pinch of curry or chili powder, or take it in an entirely different direction with some chopped parsley and dill. Substitute honey for the maple syrup, marinate for the allotted time or skip this step altogether, grill it on the barbecue or pop it into a hot oven. Whichever path you take, it will be delicious, especially served with crispy roasted ...

The perfect potato ode to Thanksgiving

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes Anna The fancy potato cake first made famous by Julia Child is a tasty alternative to the standard holiday mash slathered in gravy By Louise Crosby Thanksgiving in my extended family has become a huge affair. That’s because we now number 25 people, plus any others who happen to be in the picture. The brave household that offers to host must find enough tables, dishes and cutlery to seat everyone, and usually cooks the main event, in this case a turkey. The rest of us bring appetizers, mashed potatoes and other vegetables, and a few desserts, typically involving pumpkin or apples. Pot luck, it’s the only way to go with a crowd like this. Notice I said mashed potatoes. Feeling like a change, I offered to make Duchess potatoes this year. Admittedly, these are labour intensive. You start with mashed potatoes but then add egg yolks, cream and butter. This mixture is spooned into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and piped into swirly mounds, ...

Plum delicious!

Unpretentious, homey, rustic, yummy... Upside-Down Polenta Plum Cake is a concoction without affectation but plenty of taste thanks to caramelized fruit and just enough crunch from cornmeal to complete the caky texture By Louise Crosby Let me say right off the bat that I’m not that fond of fancy cakes layered with fillings and covered in sweet icing. Nor am I mad passionate crazy about chocolate, in a cake or otherwise. I prefer plain, simple buttery cakes fragrant with vanilla or citrus or spice, possibly containing poppy seeds, nuts or fruit, possibly with a nice caramel glaze. Unpretentious, homey, rustic, delicious. This Upside-Down Polenta Plum Cake, from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now, is one such cake. A batter with a touch of crunchy corn meal is spooned over a syrupy plum compote, then baked to saturate the two layers together into a kind of pudding cake deliciousness. Once out of the oven and cooled slightly, it is flipped over onto a plate, a thick jammy layer ...

Fending off the fall chill with lentil, tomato and Tuscan kale soup

When the leaves turn and the sun sinks early, it's time to talk lentils -- the edible pulse that will keep you warm, boost your calcium and create a hearty potage that's good for cardiac health By Louise Crosby September 18, 2015 -- Ok, we’ve had our fun with summer food. The weather is turning cool and it’s time to pay a bit more attention to what we eat. It’s time to talk lentils.   You’ve heard the drill: Whether brown, green or orange, lentils are full of vitamins and fibre, and contain high levels of iron and fat-free protein. They lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and contribute to heart health. We should be eating mountains of them, but let’s face it, unless they’re dressed up with lots of flavour, lentils can be a bit of a slog.   Marco Canora, owner of the New York City restaurant Hearth, shows us the way. His recipe for Lentil Soup with Tomato and Tuscan Kale, from his cookbook A Good Food Day, layers flavour upon flavour ...

Peachy! It’s jam without all the sugar

Preserves can be tedious, frustrating and totally fattening, but if you're able to consume your compotes quickly, you can feast on fast late-summer peach jam and cream biscuits By Louise Crosby There’s one way of making jam that involves sterilizing jars, adding pectin, cooking the daylights out of the fruit and possibly sealing the jars with wax. Thankfully for those of us who aren’t up for all that rigamarole but still like the occasional spread of home-made jam on a biscuit hot from the oven, there’s another, much easier way.  Granted, you have to eat it up quick or store it in the freezer, but somehow it tastes fresher, less sweet, more like the fruit itself.   Thanks goes to Mark Bittman for this easy recipe for peach or nectarine jam, as published in the New York Times. He adds just the right amount of ginger to not overpower the fruit, and honey instead of sugar. Since 1 1/2 pounds of peaches equals only four good-sized peaches, and you probably bought ...

Buvette meatballs reinvent the reliable orb

Forget all the references to Bill Murray and summer camp because thanks to Jody Williams' Buvette in NYC, meatballs are going upscale as part of the thoughtful food movement By Louise Crosby I was thinking the other day how much I love meatballs. Swedish meatballs in gravy served over egg noodles with lingonberry preserves. Middle Eastern meatballs of lamb, cumin and coriander, stuffed into a pita pocket with yogurt and cucumbers. Greek meatballs with feta, mint and lemon. Or regular Italian meatballs in tomato sauce, served over pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can take meatballs in so many directions.   Then along came Buvette, a beautiful first cookbook by Jody Williams, who owns and operates a gastrotheque by the same name in New York City’s West Village, a place she describes as a neighbourhood bar “with thoughtful food.” Her recipe for Italian meatballs in tomato sauce came from the grandmother of an unnamed “talented actor from the Soprano...

Spice up the last gasp of summer: Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon is a fruit that's also a vegetable, and ingredient that can be exploited for its watery sweetness as well as its ability to play savoury base to a spicy Watermelon Gazpacho By Louise Crosby Most of us can remember eating watermelon as kids – at picnics and barbecues and on waterfront docks. It was cold and sweet, a rite of summer. It didn’t matter if the juice dripped down our chins, all over our arms and onto our shirts, it was fun to eat and no one minded the mess. Fast forward to the other day when I visited my friend Amanda at her home in the woods bordering Gatineau Park, just across the river in Quebec. A great cook, she served me a delicious lunch in her screened-in porch that started with a bright, refreshing watermelon gazpacho, a Lucy Waverman recipe published in Food and Drink magazine.  Yes, there are more refined ways of reliving this childhood memory. Watermelon, by the way, is apparently both a fruit and a vegetable. It is considered a ...

Hey sister, go sister: This is Celeriac Rémoulade

Crunchy and creamy at the same time, celery root salad is a Gallic standard that will make you want more, more, more!   By Louise Crosby Many summers ago, I studied French for a month at an exclusive language school in Villefranche-sur-Mer, situated between Nice and Monaco on the Côte d’Azur. It was très exotique. Villefranche is a town of apricot and turquoise-painted buildings sloping down to a sparkling blue Mediterranean. People drink crisp, cold rosé wines, lavender perfumes the air, and cicadas buzz in the dry afternoon heat. I did as best I could through the morning language labs and grammar drills, but really perked up when we broke for lunch. That’s because the food was very good.   Of all the delicious homemade dishes we were served, one stands out in my mind, and that is celery root rémoulade, also known as celeriac rémoulade or céleri rémoulade. It was crunchy and creamy at the same time, and I couldn’t get enough of it. You might ...

Making the most of a midsummer harvest

Corn and scallion salad with cilantro-mint dressing can make even the most humble produce sing with an elegant and tangy sweetness, as long as you don't overcook the corn By Louise Crosby I’m taking my shopping cart on wheels to the farmers market these days because the vegetables I’m bringing home are large and heavy. It’s August, and the carrots, beets and potatoes are no longer baby-size, the cauliflower and broccoli are hefty, chard comes in big ruffly bundles, and cabbages are the size of footballs. Then of course there is fresh corn, and when you’re hauling home a dozen ears at a time, two or three times a week, you don’t want to be carrying them in your arms. Corn season is finally here and we’re getting our fill, usually just boiled for a couple of minutes then dressed with butter and the finest sea salt in the world, Fleur de sel de Guérande. As you will know, fresh corn is also delicious creamed and served as a side, added to soups and chowders, and ...

Stay chill with cucumber soup

The coolest member of the humble gourd family makes a refreshingly sweet summer soup that will take the sweat out of summer and keep you hydrated in a tasty way By Louise Crosby It’s scorching in Ottawa this week. Temperatures in the 30s, lots of humidity, no breeze. Walking to the store in the middle of the afternoon, I am blasted by the heat shimmering off the sidewalk. It’s mid-summer, after all. This is how it should be.   Personally I like it. If you get the weeding and the errands done early, you can spend the hot hours reading in a cool room. Or you can take in a late afternoon movie with friends followed by dinner out, all in air-conditioned comfort, returning home in time to water the garden in the cool of the evening. Bedtime, you open the windows and put on a fan.   Times like this I make cold soup, in this case cucumber soup, chunks of market-fresh cucumber blended with plain yogurt, lots of mint and dill, hints of garlic, onion and lemon ...