Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Not Totally Useless – Really!

It's nights like these where my confidence in the kitchen rises. And so does my love for my husband.

As I'm sure you've seen over the past couple years, I really don't cook. I would like to point out though, that although not perfect, my ability to present a plate or even manage in the kitchen, comes from countless hours of watching my husband. If you're ever wondering how to get your significant other into the kitchen, start them off slow. And make it really easy for them (they can't fail!) – little by little, they will learn.

Tonight my husband left me with a lovely surprise in the fridge. Fresh salmon cakes! Only they weren't quite ready to eat. Follow instructions below. The results were AMAZING!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Best Chicken Ever

I've never been a big fan of chicken. It just seems to be so common, which is probably why I avoid it in restaurants. It wasn't until I met my husband that I actually fell in love with some chicken dishes. He really knew how to take something so boring and turn it into a true delight.

His specialty when it comes to chicken is his beer-up-the-butt recipe. But tonight, I think tonight that recipe had a little competition. The saltiness of the meat, crispness of the skin, and juices that literally squirted on my shirt when I cut into it all formed together to become the best piece of chicken I've ever had. Ok, the beer chicken still stands strong. But this one was amazing.

Fresh from Aubrey's, my husband started off brining a whole chicken in 1.5 cups water and 1 cup of kosher salt. This only needs about an hour but he did it for 3 or 4. Then he cut it into 8 pieces and covered it in oil and pepper.

Soak some wood chips for about half an hour and then put them loosely in some tinfoil, cut slits on the top and place them under the bbq grates. Get the barbecue started on high until it gets really hot and smoking (your backyard will smell like a spa), then turn off all burners except the one with the chips on it. Place the chicken as far away from the fire as you can, making sure the breast is farthest away (it'll get dry if not) and the thighs the closest. Leave on for an hour and a bit at about 300 degrees. Baste it with butter and thyme.

Your heart will melt at the first bite. Make sure to have an equally delicious side. Arugula with some blanched green beans and snow peas drizzled with olive oil, white balsamic, rock salt and chive flowers should do the trick!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A little piece of heaven

Mmmmm. Chocolate ice cream sandwich with chunks of cherries from Edgar.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking for something to do this weekend?

As long as the summer gods stay on our side this coming weekend, I can guarantee there won't be a lack of things to do in Ottawa. But if you're at a loss for something a little different from the norm, why not head out to Domaine Perrault? Only 20 minutes outside of Ottawa in Navan, this little gem is the perfect getaway treat.

A few weeks ago, my friend Holly initiated a visit to this neighbouring winery. And she, being a certified sommelier and wine lover, makes going on an adventure like this one that much more exciting because she knows all the right questions to ask. I learned so much in my 2 hours there. Holly's detailed recap on the visit can be found here. Bernard, Denis and Julie are the perfect hosts!

And yes, even though I've been, I want to return again. And again. I'm an avid cyclist who rewards myself with food. And this is the perfect spot to stop for a break. Pack a lunch and they will reward your trip out there with a delectable wine pairing. The perfect picnic! (I'm sure a beautiful summer drive out would be just as glorious.)

Here's a shot of the vines a few weeks ago. I'm excited to see how they've changed.

Must tries while you're there:

- Marilys Rosé - the perfect summer staple. I've gone through 4 bottles since my visit.
- Chardonnay
- Nectar des Neiges - a delicious dessert wine with tropical flavours
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sabrevois blend

And their absolute to-die-for Syrah reserve, that I don't think has been bottled yet, but if you get there and it has, it's a must.

Looking forward to the weekend! (yeah-yeah, still a few days away)