Sunday, November 30, 2008
Jak's Kitchen is a quaint little restaurant on the corner of Bronson and McLeod. It used to be the old Stoneface Dolly's a while back. I was afraid when they first opened that their breakfast wouldn't be as good, but it is. As was the old restaurant, you have to show up early for breakfast or you'll be waiting a while for a seat. But the wait is well worth it. They even serve you coffee outside in the meantime. This morning I ordered the Popeye Benedictine, poached eggs on a buttermilk biscuit, baby spinach, roasted red peppers and diablo sauce. It comes with homefries and choice of fresh fruit or kitchen greens. I went with the greens. Their coffee and juices are also very good. They even have peach or blueberry mamosas. With some of the other breakfast dishes, you get your choice of bread, and all are amazing - Molasses-oat, Rye Bread, Sourdough, Buttermilk Biscuit or Sesame Bagel. Not that my benedictine on the biscuit wasn't enough, but I just had to order a side of sourdough toast so that I could enjoy the homemade jam on the table. So as usual, I left very full. Their breakfasts range from $6 to $11 and the service is very efficient and friendly. I've never been for dinner but i'm sure it's equally good. Definitely a regular.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I believe my husband got this recipe from the New York Times last year. It's always a big hit for breakfast with company. It's simple to make, yet very impressive as it rises to a puffed state when you remove it from the oven. It can be served with any of the following toppings, fruit, whipped cream, cinnamon, or the way my husband made it today, with lemon, icing sugar and maple syrup.
What you’ll need
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
What to do
Preheat oven to 350. Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the milk and flour. Beat lightly and keep it slightly lumpy. Heat butter in a cast iron pan and grease the bottom. Pour in the mixture and then put it in the oven for 15 minutes. It will look like a big puff when it comes out.
Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle some icing sugar on top. Bring to the table before it deflates. Serve with maple syrup and bacon.
Despite an evening of unfortunate events (getting stuck behind an accident for 30 minutes on his way to get a missing ingredient from a store 5 minutes away, to the alarm going off and the dog freaking out, to the microwave blowing up part way through the meal prep), my husband still managed to pull together one of his best meals yet. Friends of ours were down from Mont Tremblant (you may recall our weekent at Zoya's). And this was our chance to thank them. I still can't stop thinking about how exquisite and mouthwatering this meal was. Unfortunately I didn't get the recipe from him as I didn't want to disturb him while he was cooking. We started off with a warm, melt in your mouth beet and goat cheese tartelette with a balsamic glaze and chives (I would seriously eat 100 of these). Then for our main, he served veal chops in an ambrosial cream, cognac, thyme, shallot and chive sauce with morel and king eryngii mushrooms and an amazing, rich tasting risotto. Served with a dry, medium-bodied Masi Campofiorin (thanks Zoya!) this meal was fine dining at it's best.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tonight's dinner was fabulous and with not too much effort. Although anything that requires more than the microwave is an effort to me. Before getting the details on cooking this dish, I would have thought even more time and effort would have been required. Or maybe my husband just makes it look easy. God he's great! This dish has tons of flavour and is topped with my favorite herb, cilantro!
What you’ll need
3/4 can of tomato paste
1 can of coconut milk
3-4 tbs of curry paste
What to do
Cook the chicken in a frying pan or cast iron pan. Once cooked, add the onions and fry. Remove the chicken and cut into smaller pieces. Dump the tomato paste, coconut milk and curry paste into the pan with the onions, mix together and heat. Add the chicken back in. Serve on top of the rice and top with cilantro.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Since summer ended we haven't eaten much beef. When BBQ season starts so do the steaks and burgers. I briefly worry about my health and then I just say screw it and enjoy every minute, it only lasts so long after all. The rest of the year is spent mainly with chicken and fish. Except the odd occasion, like tonight. My husband made a savory sesame encrusted steak with a balsamic glaze and served it alongside a yummy mesclun mix and mâche salad with blue cheese dressing. Blue cheese and beef have to be the best combo. If you're not a fan of blue cheese, start off slowly, it's an acquired taste. The first time I ate it and enjoyed it was in a pasta combined with steak. Now, I love it, on anything or on it's own with a glass of red wine.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I'm adding onto this post because I just received the recipe for the ratatouille so I thought i'd share.
What you’ll need
1TBSP Olive Oil
1 Onion sliced in strips
1 Green Pepper sliced in strips
3 Cloves Garlic
1-2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
8 tiny fine tomatoes (cut in half)
mixed ground peppercorns
sprigs of oregano for garnish (didn't have, couldn't find any)
What to do
Cube aubergine and place in a colander and sprinkle with salt, let stand for 20 mins then drain and rinse.
Heat oil and sautee pepper and onion and garlic. Then stir in aubergine and cook on high heat for about 5 mins. When gold in colour, add vinegar. Remove from heat. Add tomatoes and let cool. Chill in fridge until cold. Garnish with Oregano.
He also doubled the green pepper and used a big eggplant. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I had a bad day at work today. After arriving home late and walking my dog, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was my husband cooking dinner for me tonight, my friend Dino was also over and doing his share of what was to be an incredible meal. I sat down at the island to chill out and watch them. Dino was making a salad with romain, carrots, red onion, goat cheese and pancetta bits topped with a marvelous homemade dressing. My husband was cooking some garlic infused wild rice and grouper, a fish similar and from the same area as red snapper, only meatier. The preparation was not complicated at all, but the end result seemed elaborate (my husband says the best recipes are the simple ones). He topped this with a tangy basil vinaigrette. I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tonight's dinner was fabulous. (did you expect anything less?) My husband picked up some Louisiana corn chowder and La Soyarie herbed tofu from Herb and Spice and served the tofu on a bed of romain and arugula greens with his amazing homemade ceasar dressing and croutons.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The best thing about having a long day at work, followed by an energized bike ride home, then a long walk with my dog, is finally coming home and sitting down to enjoy an amazing meal. I consider myself an insanely lucky woman to have the husband that I have. After days like today, i'd probably just settle in at home with some toast or raisin bran (Yes, i'm thinking of you Teresa!). I guess having someone to cook for can make all the difference in the world. Especially someone who appreciates it. And I appreciate it soooo much, you can't even imagine. Tonight's dinner is very fun and has a ton of flavour. I've even got leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tonight's dinner was divine and right out of a magazine. My husband started us (my mother-in-law was in town) off with a rillette, olives and baguette. Then he served a homemade celery soup, followed by our main, the chicken with lemon and tarragon served with wild rice. I didn't get all the details of the soup, he made it while I was walking the dog. But it was pretty much a mish-mash of leftover vegetables from the fridge, mainly celery, puréed into this delectable soup. I do have the recipe for the chicken though. It's actually quite easy, but if you didn't know, you'd think there was more work involved in it. The meat literally fell off the bone as you ate it and the lemon gave it the perfect tang. Serve with wild rice.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Please allow me to introduce you to one of my best friends – Dino. I met him on my husband's and my second date 9 years ago. He was the second man I ever met who skillfully prepared amazing meals. The evenings my husband wasn't cooking, we were over at Dino's enjoying one of his many mouthwatering dishes. We don't eat at his place as often anymore, but when we do it's always a treat, and tonight was no different. We snacked on some homemade bruschetta when we arrived. Then he served a light fried smelts dinner on bok choy. It was very yummy. I didn't take down a specific recipe, although I did follow him around with a camera (not a hosts favorite thing in the world i'm sure!) – but he was very accommodating.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Here's the original recipe that the sweet potato ravioli came from. If you are trying to decide which one to make, the maple cream sauce version my husband made is much better. This one is really good too, but the other one is more of a wow kind of dish because of the sweet flavours. Below is the recipe copied from epicurious.com. My husband served this with warm baguette and a mesclun mix salad with pumpkin seeds and shaved parm.
What you’ll need
2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
1 12-ounce package wonton wrappers
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Fried shallots and sauce
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large shallots, cut crosswise into thin rounds, separated into rings
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
8 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
What to do
Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil rimmed baking sheet. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise; place cut side down on baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 35 minutes; cool. Scoop potato pulp out of skins into small bowl. Spoon 11/3 cups pulp into medium bowl. (Reserve any remaining potato pulp for another use.) Add sugar and butter; mash well. Season filling with salt and pepper.
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place wonton wrappers on work surface. Using pastry brush, brush wrappers with beaten egg. Place 1/2 tablespoon sweet-potato filling in center of each. Fold each wrapper diagonally over filling, forming triangle. Seal edges. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature while preparing fried shallots and sauce. (Can be made up to 5 days ahead. Freeze, then cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before cooking.)
For fried shallots and sauce:
Heat vegetable oil in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, fry shallots until crisp and dark brown, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Cook butter in large pot over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add sage and red pepper.
Meanwhile, working in batches, cook ravioli in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add ravioli to pot with butter sauce; toss to coat. Transfer to plates, drizzling any sauce from pot over ravioli. Top with fried shallots and pine nuts; serve immediately.Total time, approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Mostly spent on making the ravioli.