Red Lentil Dahl

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Red Lentil Dahl and IdlisMeandering down the aisle at Trader Joe’s I found red lentils and absolutely had to make dahl.  My mother-in-law makes wonderful dahl, so I decided to make it on my own.  I found a recipe here and decided to try it out.  The result was an aromatic, slightly spicy, and nourishing meal.  Since I have been exploring Indian cooking I had all the ingredients in my cupboard, but you should be able to find these ingredients at a bulk food store or Indian grocery store.  The asafoetida will be found at an Indian grocery store – I have never seen it in the spice aisle of larger grocery stores.  Along with the ginger, asafoetida helps with healthy digestion.

To go with the red lentil dahl are idlis, which are a steamed moist rice cake.  They can be dipped in the dahl and are very tasty.  We had red lentil dahl as a meal, but it could be accompanied by other curries.  I didn’t make the idlis myself – we had some in the freezer that Jonathan’s mom brought to Windsor for us.  In some stores I’ve seen idlis sold frozen.

I enjoy the challenge of having at least one vegetarian meal per week, so this fit in perfectly with our weekly meal planning.  Lentils are a great source of protein and the dahl was very filling.  Jonathan said that it tasted very similar to his mother’s dahl, which is a huge compliment!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock ( I used chicken stock because we didn’t have vegetable stock)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (I used canned diced tomatoes, about half of a can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired, I forgot to add it in and was still happy with the flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped (more or less depending on how spicy you want the dahl to be)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped ( I forgot to add this and it still turned out well)
  • ¼ teaspoon asaefoetida (it is very strong so make sure to measure it)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Small pinch of cinnamon
  • Small pinch of ground cloves
  • Small pinch of paprika
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for serving (I don’t enjoy cilantro, but if you do, feel free to add)

Instructions:

1. In large stock pot add in olive oil, spices, garlic, ginger and chopped green chilies.  Turn element on to medium heat and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.  If you have an onion, cook it now with the spices.

2.  Add vegetable or chicken stock and stir well.

3.  Rinse lentils, then add to stock pot.  Add tomatoes at this time.

4.  Bring to light boil.  Then turn down the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  The lentils will be puffed and the dahl will be thick.

5.  Serve with idlis and fresh cilantro if you choose.

6.  Enjoy.

IdlisRed Lentil Dahl

Chicken Parmesan for two! Saturday brunch and early bird sushi at Noble Fish

Chicken ParmesanChicken Parmesan is one of my many favourite dinners.  It is filling and oh so satisfying.  You can make your own favourite tomato sauce or use my recipe.  However, a good quality Parmesan and mozzarella cheese is a must!  It gives this meal an over the top flavour and the cheeses give a melted deliciousness that is beyond compare.

I have wanted to use our fine china that we received as a wedding gift for a while now.  Chicken Parmesan seemed like the ideal gourmet dish to serve.  With a side of green peas and some sparkling apple juice in our wine glasses it was the perfect fancy Friday meal.  When we have our parents over for a dinner next I would definitely make this meal.Chicken Parmesan

Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitBrunch is a delightful way to spend a Saturday meal and so Jonathan, his co-worker Meg and I headed to Brooklyn Street Local in Detroit.  I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich with a garden salad and Jonathan ordered the eggs Benedict.  Everything was scrumptious and the latte I ordered was tasty.  Next we headed to the Somerset Collection for some shopping.

For an early bird dinner we went to Noble Fish for sushi.  This sushi is the best I have ever had!  The fish is super fresh tasting and there isn’t any mayonnaise filler that sometimes comes in sushi.  My favourite are the salmon rolls and the spicy tuna rolls.  I could eat salmon everyday of the week and not get tired of it, so we also ordered salmon sashimi.  The restaurant is in the back of a grocery store with very few tables, but the atmosphere is fun and very serious about their sushi.Grilled Cheese at Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitEggs Benedict at Brooklyn Street Local -DetroitBrooklyn Street Local -DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - DetroitSushi at Noble Fish - Detroit

Ingredients: 

Tomato Sauce

1 L tomato puree

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

2 chicken breasts, flattened

½ cup bread crumbs

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup melted butter

1 cup Galati cheese shredded (mozzarella)

¼ Parmesan cheese shredded

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Begin by making the sauce.  In a medium pan add olive oil, onions and garlic and sauté until onions are cooked.
  3. Add in oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir in tomato puree and red wine vinegar.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Next combine the breadcrumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  7. Melt butter and then dip chicken into butter then breadcrumb minute.
  8. Add a small amount of canola oil to coat the fry pan.  Pan fry chicken at medium high temperature for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy looking.
  9. In your baking dish add a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.  Next place chicken in baking dish and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top.  Add a layer of tomato sauce and then another layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.
  10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve on top of spaghetti with green peas on the side.
  12. Enjoy.

Panna Cotta

Panna CottaJonathan planned a dinner to celebrate our engagement two years ago.  One of my favourite parts was the dessert – a delicious panna cotta, which I have been meaning to make in my own kitchen for a long time!  Panna Cotta is a tasty dessert that is silky and creamy with a hint of vanilla.  Panna cotta in Italian translates to ‘cooked cream’ and that’s enough to make me fall in love with the dessert.  Jonathan chose it as a dessert for our engagement dinner because of its flavour, silky texture and the added bonus that it’s nut free.

I decided to make this dessert yesterday and it turned out wonderfully.  The little blue bowls I used were a bridal shower gift from my friends Emily and Allee and they were perfect for this scrumptious little dessert.  The recipe I used was from the Joy of Baking website.  I used the recipe because I wanted a video to show me how to make one of my favourite desserts.  I also didn’t want to waste whipping cream!  The recipe turned out perfectly and I will make this recipe again soon I am sure.  The panna cotta is garnished with homemade blueberry jam, but you can use fresh fruit.

Now that I have had success with this recipe I have many other ideas for little desserts.  A particular family favourite are parfaits!  My Dad used to make them for us when we were little and we loved them.  My Dad has a copy of the Jell-o cookbook, but I will make my own jelly using plain gelatin and fresh juice from the juicer.  I saw a recipe for half apple and half pomegranate layered jelly desserts and it looks irresistible!Panna Cotta

Makes 6 individual servings.

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/4 cup (60 ml) cold milk

2 1/4 cups (540 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blueberry jam or fruit for garnish

Instructions:

For this recipe you will need 6 half-cup dessert cups (little bowls or wine glasses are my favourite).

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold milk in a small bowl.  Let the mixture sit for about 5 – 10 minutes. The idea is that the gelatin needs time to soften, swell, and become spongy.
  2. In a medium saucepan mix the cream and sugar.  Bring it just to a boil (or very hot with lots of steam coming off the top).  Stir well to dissolve the icing sugar.
  3. When the cream and sugar is very hot or just at boiling remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture.
  4. Stir well until the gelatin is dissolved. If necessary, return the saucepan to the stove and stir over low heat (make sure you no longer see gelatin crystals). Stir in the vanilla extract at this point.
  5. Pour the cream into the dessert little bowls or wine glasses and place in the refrigerator. The panna cotta must chill for two to four hours, or until set.  Panna cotta can be made one to two days before serving.

Indian-Chinese Chili Chicken

Indian-Chinese Chili Chicken RecipeOne of Jonathan’s favourite foods is chili chicken, which is a mix of Indian styled Chinese food.  He had a craving for it and so we attempted to create the dish he loves from Frederick Restaurant in Toronto.  We also went to a restaurant in Detroit that claimed to have Indian-Chinese food, however it was not the same as the Toronto favourite.  This recipe turned out really well!  Jonathan said it is probably 98% similar to Frederick’s.  Over rice with some vegetables this is a very satisfying meal!  If you are just a beginner with spicy food like I used to be add fewer chopped green chillies to the recipe.  You could also make some samosas as an appetizer to really complete the meal.  However, we didn’t have time to make samosas this time.

In other exciting news, Jonathan and I have booked a honeymoon for August to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.  We are excited for the trip and to try some fun restaurants.  I am excited to see the Pike Place Market and the city where Starbucks originated.

Ingredients

2 large onions, chopped

½ cup canola oil

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

4-5 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp black pepper

4-6 small green chillies, chopped finely

3-4 pieces chicken breast chopped into bite sized pieces

½ cup water

1 tsp sugar

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Then coat with cornstarch.
  2. In your fry pan add canola oil and onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized.  Then add in ginger and garlic sauté for 1 minute.  Next add in cumin, coriander and pepper.
  3. Add chicken to the pan and cook.  Mix in green chili at this time.
  4. In a separate bowl prepare the sauce.  Whisk together water, sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch and soy sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pan and cook until the sauce is thickened and lightly bubbling.
  6. Serve over rice with vegetables on the side.
  7. Enjoy!

Feta, chickpea and zucchini salad, salmon with balsamic maple glaze and a coffee shop adventure

Feta, zucchini, bean saladJonathan and I have been married almost three weeks now – and have been loving every moment of married life!  I have made many tasty dinners and we have gone on a few foodie adventures in Detroit.  It has been very humid in Windsor and so a fresh summer salad recipe was in order.  We had purchased a Costco sized container of feta cheese, so I have been very creative lately with feta.  Summer salads with beans, zucchini and a light olive oil and balsamic dressing are refreshing and delicious.  This salad is also very versatile you could also add in cherry tomatoes, red peppers, cucumber or other favourite veggies.  The salmon I made had a balsamic and maple glaze, which was the perfect week night meal.  The glaze thickened perfectly and was very balanced in its light sweetness and balsamic flavour.

From our adventures in the USA, Jonathan discovered a unique coffee shop that we just had to try.  The Roasting Plant is a coffee shop in Detroit that features a system of tubes that roast, grind and store your coffee until it is ready to be Roasting Plantbrewed fresh on site.  While you sit at your table you can see green coffee beans being roasted in the Javabot.  There is also a great deal of selection from region to roast for the coffee beans.  Jonathan tried three different small sized coffees (called a flight of coffee, so you can sample a few different roasts) and I had an iced coffee.  We also shared a small croissant – yum!  The coffee was delicious and we would both recommend a visit if you are a coffee snob/ coffee lover.  The concept of the tubes, roasting and fresh brewed coffee is great and the coffee is delicious.

Feta, chickpea and zucchini and salad

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

½ cup green olives, sliced

1 medium zucchini, chopped into small pieces

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix dressing in a measuring cup and stir well.  Then drizzle over top of salad and toss together.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Salmon with Balsamic Maple Glaze

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ maple syrup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Prepare baking sheet with lightly drizzled olive oil.  Place salmon fillets on the sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (adjust bake time according to your oven, mine took 20 minutes.)

Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients together in a saucepan.  Let simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.

Pour glaze over salmon and cook in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy.

Feta, zucchini, bean salad with balsamic maple glazeRoasting PlantIced coffee at Roasting PlantRoasting Plant

Wedding Photos

Jonathan and I are home in Windsor.  We are getting everything organized and resting up after such a wonderful wedding.  It was beyond perfect – there was so much happiness, joy and love!  Thank you to all of our bridesmaids, groomsmen, and families for making everything perfect.

I will share a few highlights and some of the photos of the food.  We had the reception at the Kingbridge Centre in King City, Ontario.  The food was absolutely delicious.  I had the salmon and Jonathan had the beef.  The fresh seasonal veggies on each plate were flavourful and delicious.  The wedding cake was absolutely perfect.  It was carrot cake and made by Christina at Cocoa Cakery.  All of the flowers were so beautiful and with five layers I can only imagine how much work it took to create!

Getting Ready for the weddingMy BouquetFlowers from the ChurchNewly Weds1044297_10151752104642323_1008248124_nThe CakeSalmon with Asparagus, carrots, spinach and yellow zucchiniCHicken with AsparagusBeef with Seasonal VegetablesWedding Favours Blueberry Grand Marnier JamFather Daughter DanceDancing with JonathanWearing Wedding Sado

A day of pie! Chicken Pot Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb PieThere is a rhubarb plant at the Chapman house, so I decided to make a classic strawberry rhubarb pie.  So, I went out to pick some ruby red fresh rhubarb.  The recipe I used was from Smitten Kitchen (one of my favourite blogs).  The pie turned out extremely well (super tasty) – but a little watery in the centre.  I am still working on perfecting the perfect strawberry rhubarb pie. My Mom who has been making pies forever would not have made a mistake like this, but like she always says, “practice makes perfect.” As I was preparing the pie filling I saw some blueberries in the freezer, so I added half a cup to add extra colour.  So, it wasn’t entirely ‘strawberry rhubarb.’  When I make this pie again, I will add only 1/2 cup of sugar or 2/3 cup – the berries had tremendous natural sweetness and it would have been nice to allow the slightly tart rhubarb flavour to shine.Strawberry Rhubarb PieLattice Pie Crust Top

The recipe for the crust however, was a success, it was flakey, buttery and crisp.  I even decided to get fancy and do a lattice top pattern.  I brushed the top with an egg wash and sprinkled it lightly with sugar.  It came out of the oven looking beautiful.  I enjoy the challenge that pie baking presents, getting the filling and crust perfect, as well as decorating, so the perfect pie challenge continues.

Chicken Pot PieThe next pie I made was a savoury dinner pie and is a classic!  The recipe is from the Canadian living website and it is one of my favourites.  The filling with fresh thyme and white wine is truly divine!  Fresh carrots, baby red skin potatoes, celery and peas come together to create a classic dinner.  Not to mention puff pastry (yum)!  When I make this for Jonathan it usually makes two pot pies – one of which can be frozen.  Served with a fresh salad it is a perfect dinner or lunch.  I read somewhere that chicken pot pie is a great dinner for entertaining because:  it looks like you have slaved away all day making it, divides up easily, usually good for picky eaters and by the time your guests arrive all the work is done. The pot pie comes out looking like a piece of perfection with flaky buttery crust – and you get to eat gourmet chicken pot pie with your friends and catch up.Chicken Pot Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Filling

3 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny

½ cup blueberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for brushing on the top)

Mix together sliced strawberries, sliced rhubarb, blueberries, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, salt and flour.  Set aside.

All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough (From Smitten Kitchen)

Makes enough dough for one double-, or two single-crust pies.

2  ½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

½ cup cold cold water, use ice cubes if necessary

1.  Pulse together dry ingredients in food processor or use hand dough cutter.

2.  Add butter and pulse again.

3.  Slowly add cold water, pulse until it comes together in a nice dough.

4.  Divide the dough in two and refrigerate for 1 hour

Putting the Pie together:

1.  Roll our first dough for the bottom crust.  Lightly poke the dough at the bottom with a fork.

2.  Crimp the sides of the piecrust.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

3.  Pre – bake the crust at 400 for 10 minutes with aluminum foil and baking weights.

4.  Let crust cool then add fruit mixture.

5.  Roll out second pie dough.  Slice with pizza cutter into 1 inch to 1 ½ inch strips.

6.  Alternate length and width wise the lattice strips.

7.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

8.  Reduce oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie (from Canadian Living)

Ingredients

3 cups (500 mL) chicken stock

1 cup (250 mL) drywhite wine

2 cups (500 mL) chopped carrots

2 stalks  celery, chopped

2 cups (500 mL) cubed peeled potatoes

bay leaf

1 Pinch each salt and 1 tsp pepper, 1-3 tablespoon rosemary

1 lb (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1/3 cup (75 mL) butter

1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (75 mL milk

1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas

1/2 pkg (397 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preparation

In large saucepan, bring chicken stock, wine, carrots, celery, potato, bay leaf, rosemary, salt and pepper to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken; simmer, uncovered, until no longer pink inside, 10 minutes. Skim off any foam. Strain; set aside chicken stock. Set aside chicken mixture; discard bay leaf.

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in reserved stock until smooth. Bring to boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in milk; cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken and vegetable mixture into your dish, add peas, add extra rosemary and pepper to taste; stir to coat.) Use large casserole dish or smaller ones if you are making two.

On floured surface, roll out pastry to fit top of dish plus 1-inch (2.5 cm) extra all around; trim edges. Brush edge of dish with water. Centre pastry over filling; gently press overhang to adhere to dish. Brush with egg; slash 4 steam vents. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until golden, puffed and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Jelly Balls and Family Dinner

IMG-20130611-00043Jelly balls are a family favourite and one of my Mom’s best recipes.  They are great as an appetizer at a party or on some rice with a big salad for a week night dinner.  I believe this is one of the few recipes that I have not made for Jonathan yet.  I have to hold back a few special recipes – especially a delicious one like this!  The ingredients might sound odd, grape jelly, chili sauce and soy sauce, but they combine to create amazing flavour.

It has been great to have dinners together as a family before I become a married woman.  Already it seems like a rare occasion when all six of us are in the house together.  This recipe says home to me and of course love.  My Mom has many treasured recipes and of course the secret ingredient is love!

Yesterday, I had a final dress fitting, so everything is going along well with the wedding details.  Monday will be the day when we tie the ribbons on the wedding favours.  My Aunt and sisters will be helping.  Nine days left!Jelly Balls

Ingredients

1 LB Lean Ground Beef

1 Egg, beaten

½ cup fine bread crumbs

3 Tbsp Chopped Parsley

½ cup chopped onion

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

¼ tsp Pepper

Sauce

12 oz chili sauce

10 oz jar of grape jelly

1 tsp Lemon Juice

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

Instructions:

1.  In a pot bring sauce ingredients to a simmer and stir well.

2.  In a bowl, mix together ground beef, onion, parsley, egg, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

3.  With your hands form small meatballs.  Put uncooked meatballs in the boiling sauce.

4.  Simmer in sauce til cooked, for 30 minutes.

Quinoa and Barley Salad and Chicken Piccata

IMG_4835I love to try new recipes and for dinner I was feeling adventurous.  I wasn’t feeling like regular rice, so I found a recipe for Barley and Quinoa salad on the Canadian Living website.  There were a few adjustments because of what we had in the fridge at the time.  The salad would be delicious with a few cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini and onion.  Jonathan also mentioned that it would be good as a warm salad with roasted vegetables.  To go with this summer salad I made chicken piccata with the recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis.  The lemony chicken with capers was the perfect pairing for a summer meal.

If you are wondering why the quinoa looks slightly darker, it’s because it’s black quinoa that my sister Laura bought for me.  At the bridal shower part of the gift was to share a favourite recipe and bring an ingredient that goes into making the recipe.  So, Laura, knowing that I love new ingredients found black quinoa.  It was delicious!  If it is possible – it seemed healthier than regular quinoa.  I would definitely make this recipe again for a barbecue.  It is an alternative to one of my weaknesses – pasta salad!  Jonathan teases me about my love for pasta, but he also allows it to go on the menu quite frequently!

Quinoa and Barley Salad with Chicken Piccata and peas

Quinoa and Barley Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) barley
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) each finely diced carrot and sweet red pepper (could add zucchini, cucumber, and celery)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) each fresh mint (3-4 leaves, torn)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (or fresh if you have it)

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic chili sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

Directions

In saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water and half of the salt to boil; add barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed, about
40 minutes; let cool.

Meanwhile, in separate saucepan, bring 1 cup (250 mL) water and remaining salt to boil; add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes; let cool.

Meanwhile, chop carrots, red pepper and other veggies you might like to add.

VINAIGRETTE: In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic sauce, mustard, salt and pepper; set aside.

In large bowl, combine barley, quinoa, vegetable mixture, mint and thyme; pour dressing over top and toss to coat. Refrigerate to cool and allow flavours to be enhanced.  Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

Sea salt and black pepper

All-Purpose Flour for dredging

6 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup brined capers, rinsed

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken in flour and shake off the excess.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp olive oil.  When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.  When chicken is nicely golden, flip and cook on the other side for 3 minutes.  Remove chicken from skillet and place on a plate.  Cook the rest of the chicken in the same way.
  3. Add lemon juice, chicken stock and capers to the pan.  Stir well and put pan back on element.  Put the chicken in the mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add extra sauce over chicken when serving.

Salmon with Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard

IMG_4600This dinner was simply the best I have eaten in a really long time.  As Jonathan and I savoured every bite, we discussed how much we thought the meal would cost at a restaurant.  Our end decision was probably $31.00, of course making it at home is significantly less.  The salmon was purchased at Costco as you can see from the beautifully large pieces.  Fresh salmon would also be great if you can find it on sale at the grocery store.  I have been having too much fun cooking lately, and Jonathan has been encouraging it.  Well, really who wouldn’t want to encourage all of these tasty meals?  This is my 102 blog post, and at this rate I may just accumulate many, many, more magnificent recipes.

My Mom (who is the ultimate foodie) gave me Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard for Christmas as a stocking stuffer.  So, I tried it out on my favourite meal, salmon!  Just reading the ingredient listing makes my mouth water: Mustard seed, vinegar, water, whiskey, honey, herbs, spices, salt.  Gluten free, no additives, no preservatives.  All I had to do with this recipe was to add a little olive oil and spread the mustard on top of the salmon, then bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.  This recipe is going to be a staple in our household!  It would also be a great recipe when have friends over who are gluten intolerant.

This weekend Jonathan and I, meandered around Windsor.  We made stops at Salute Cafe, Biblioasis, and an Indian grocery store.  Later this week I want to make samosas, so stay tuned.  Jonathan also completed a radio column about restaurants in Windsor, I am extremely excited to hear it on air.  The food was delicious and this restaurant owner has a truly inspirational story.  I won’t give away any details, so listen to CBC radio Windsor on Thursday (also available online because CBC is awesome).  Biblioasis was recommended by one of Jonathan’s urban planning idols via Twitter, and it really was a unique and welcoming independent book store.  Inside it was warm, inviting and most importantly fully of beautiful new books that were begging to be taken home and read.  I now have more books to add to the list of birthday presents for Jonathan!

IMG_4607IMG_4608IMG_4596

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Then line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the pan, so the salmon doesn’t stick.  Place the salmon on the baking sheet and drizzle a small amount of olive oil.  Spread about one tablespoon of Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard on the salmon.  Bake for 20 minutes.

For the potatoes, chop into desired size and place in a roasting dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and two generous pinches of dried thyme.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 F, stir half way through.