Thursday, 19 April 2018

Seafood Pizza Recipe - The Ultimate Pie! | Club Foody

For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know I have a weakness for pastas, seafood and delicious sauces. Let me correct that… my weakness list might be longer. Burgers, pastries, salads… All right, I admit it… food is my weakness! Let’s try that again…

For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know that FOOD is my weakness! Better…!

Years ago when I was still living in Montréal, there was an Italian chain restaurant that I quite enjoyed. The name of the place was Pacini which is still around after so many years. The concept was fun and different!

There was a Bread Toasting area where patrons had choices between different kinds of bread and a few different selections of butter. In the middle of that particular area was a grill to toast the chosen buttered bread and metal tongs provided to flip them over when one side was grilled. It was awesome!

Besides that cool toast concept, I really liked their individual pizza. I think they were one of the pioneers that began serving singular pies. The one I always ordered was the Seafood Pizza! Oh my, oh my! It was so good!

I haven’t been back to Pacini since the 90s’. A few years ago though while my mother and I were on the phone talking about restaurants we used to go, Pacini was brought up. I suddenly remembered my favorite pizza. When I hung up the phone, I knew that one day I would have to make a similar one.

That day has finally come and here’s my Seafood Pizza recipe!

The combination of prawns, scallops and crab meat in a beautiful Mornay Sauce gives this pasta dish a unique taste. My pie differs from theirs – I make mine on a thinner crust versus their deep dish pizza… too much dough! There weren’t any scallops in Pacini’s version. C’mon, a seafood pizza needs some scallops on it!

If you are a seafood lover then there’s no doubt you’ll love this pizza! It has the right amount of seafood in it – you won’t feel like you won the lottery when you find some – and enough cheese on it to not overpower the delicate flavors from the proteins. Overall the best way I can describe this amazing pizza is you just have to try it… you’ll be so happy you did.
Bon Appétit!
 

Tips & Tricks

It’s a labor intense recipe but if you decide to make everything from scratch like in the video, here are a couple tips you should keep in mind…


 – When pouring warm water for the yeast, do not exceed 105ºF otherwise if it’s too hot, the yeast will get kill
– When you roll your dough to the desired size, if it starts to shrink back, leave it alone and let it rest for a few minutes. The best flour to use is 00.
– If the Mornay Sauce is not use right away, place a wax paper on top, making sure it touches the sauce to prevent skin formation (it applies to almost every sauces)
– As I always mention, recipes are based on your liking so if you cannot stand scallops for an example, use something else that YOU like!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/seafood-pizza/


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe - Easy Delicious Condiment | Club Foody

There are so many great sauces out there… Most of them are easy but others can be slightly more challenging and Homemade Mayonnaise is one of them. With a little practice and when it’s mastered, this sauce is so incredible, you’ll never buy from the store…

My grandmother on my mother’s side was an excellent cook. She went to a private school where the nuns were the teachers. Yes she went to a Catholic school. She learned everything that any high society young lady should know; cooking, sewing, decorating, playing piano (she was amazing!), singing, nursing, accounting, and so on as well as being a great hostess with all the proper etiquette…

She made mostly everything “homemade” and it tasted so delicious! I remember as a kid when visiting her that she made the best sandwiches ever. How hard is it to make a sandwich? Of course, it’s not hard and I’m not basing her culinary skill on two pieces of bread with ingredients placed in between but there was something in hers that tasted better than my mom’s. It was only much later in life that I finally got it… There wasn’t anything missing in the sandwich making, it was just the difference in taste; one was a commercial ingredient while my grandmother’s was homemade!

If you’ve never made or tasted Homemade Mayonnaise before then you are missing out on great flavor. It is actually quite simple to make and the results are definitely superior to what you buy at the store although it’s not too shabby! This homemade condiment will make a huge difference in any dish you use it in.

Last month I shared with you my Sardine Cups recipe and I do use this Homemade Mayonnaise recipe… Wow what a difference in flavor let me tell you! Also till this day, I prefer making my own mayo when I have a sandwich because I want it to taste very good like my grandmother’s. Hey who said that sandwiches are underrated when there’s real homemade mayo in them?
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/homemade-mayonnaise/


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Hungarian Goulash Recipe - European Beef Stew | Club Foody

I like cooking dishes that simmer on the stove top for hours. The aroma floats in the air and it gives that “homey” atmosphere all through the house. It’s says – “Welcome, we’ll be serving great food soon…” –

When I was working as a food analyst for an American cooking website, some of the women in the Canadian division that were doing the same as I was preferred cooking in a pressure cooker. I don’t and refuse to because I love the smell of food cooking versus that sealed pot that captures all of the aroma. I also like to taste the food while it’s cooking as the flavors develop. Now try doing that when the pressure cooker is on… good luck! Please don’t even attempt doing it… you’ll be scarred for life!

There’s also the economical aspect when cooking stews… The cheapest cuts of beef are used in stew recipes. Although they are pretty tough cuts of beef, cooking them slowly for long periods of time breaks down the collagen and renders the meat which transform into tender pieces of meat. If you buy cuts of meat with less connective tissue they’ll get tough and be far from tender.

I love cooking stews and there’s one that dates back to Medieval Times that is one of my ultimate comfort foods… my Hungarian Goulash! The seasoning in this recipe is just awesome and blends so well with the other ingredients. I used to serve my goulash with mashed potatoes but a friend of mine from Toronto served hers on a bed of egg noodles and honestly, I really liked it! Is it the right way to serve it? Probably not but who cares… really! If you want to serve it with whole boiled potatoes nothing is stopping you for doing so as long as you’re happy when you eat it… now that’s the spirit you want when enjoying your goulash!

If I can describe Goulash in two words, simply put, it’s “comfort food”. It’s the kind of dish that you want to serve while the weather is still cool outside. Depending on the year, April can still be quite chilly so before the BBQ season officially begins and we start wearing open-toed sandals, this is a recipe you definitely have to give a try.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/hungarian-goulash/


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Pickled Jalapeño Recipes - Homemade preserved food | Club Foody

When you go to any supermarket, there’s an aisle packed with pickled condiments. There’s a wide selection of pickled cornichons, mixed vegetables, beets, onions, jalapeño peppers, hot peppers and so on… Do I buy any? Nope! Do you want to know why?

The food manufacturers add aluminum to pickled foods, a little too much for my liking. Aluminum sulfate or potassium aluminum sulfate helps to add that crispness and firmness to pickles. Technically, ingesting a little is not harmful as our soil and water already contain aluminum. The problem is when consuming food with additive aluminum phosphate for an extended time or being exposed to high levels of it. I won’t go into detail but the repercussions can be quite serious to people’s health…

I always loved pickled foods because my mother was making her own from our garden. I slowly started making homemade pickles and when I realized how easy it was, I never looked back. Only years later that I found out about aluminum sulfate and the health damage that can occur over time… that alone was good enough for me to continue to make my own… Now aluminum is not in all pickled foods but why take the chance. When it comes to canning, once you start, it can become very addictive!

As you probably realize, I like making Mexican recipes and although it’s not necessarily a Hispanic recipe, I still like to spice things up a little! One pickled condiment I use often is Pickled Jalapeño Peppers! They give such a nice “zippy” flavor to your dish. It’s “hot” but not overly. I have so many recipes that I use these little guys in. Check below for the recipe list…

Now making them at home is so easy and also more economical than buying the jar at the store! Yes I know… you have to invest in mason jars, lids and canning tools but after you buy all this, you open a whole new world of culinary adventure by preserving foods. It’s a smart alternative to enjoy your favorite produce all year round.
Bon Appétit!

Recipes that I use Pickled Jalapeño…

- http://clubfoody.com/recipe/jalapeno-bacon-cheese-dip/
- http://clubfoody.com/recipe/chicken-ham-sausage-jambalaya/
- http://clubfoody.com/recipe/jalapeno-cheese-bagels/

and my Mexican Burger which will be posted on July 10th, 2018 – stay tuned!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/pickled-jalapeno/


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Dakgangjeong Recipe - Sweet & Spicy Crispy Korean Chicken | Club Foody

 

Fire in the kitchen

I don’t do too much frying at home. I find it extremely messy plus I can be quite clumsy in the kitchen. While filming this featured recipe, I started a fire on the stove top. Luckily I put it out very quickly. When there’s hot oil, everyone should be cooking with extra care and attention.

Although I might fry food on the stove top a couple of times a year besides using my CoolDaddy Deep Fryer (much safer kitchen tool for my clumsiness), I still have recipes that I insist on making because they are so scrumptious such as Dakgangjeong – what? It’s Sweet & Spicy Crispy Korean Chicken…

When I was going to Ahuntsic College in Montréal, I started hanging out with this Korean girl. She was funny, smart and intriguing. I’ve always been attracted to other cultures and back in high school, I used to hang out with Mona who, if my memory is correct, was from Thailand. I just love to learn and discover new cultures , customs, traditions, and food…

Sadly I forgot my Korean friend’s name as we didn’t stay in touch that long because she moved back to Seoul for a job opportunity. Back in the 80s’, who really owned a computer at home let alone a cellular phone with a battery the size of a brick therefore it was easy to lose contact with someone… what a bummer!

Before she left though, she invited me over to her apartment and cooked a lovely dinner. It was fiery spicy as I didn’t eat any “hot” food at all back then – things have sure changed with time… lol! Besides the burning sensation in my mouth, I really enjoyed her dinner. She gave me a few gifts along with her recipe… Dakgangjeong!
 

Fire in your mouth…? Not really!

With some slight changes to the recipe, 35 years later I still enjoy this recipe! Is it spicy? Not really! It has some zip to it but not as much as when I was a college student that wasn’t used to it. The flavors marry so well together; salty, sweet, and spicy… this is a match made in heaven!

There’s one ingredient though that brings the “heat” and it’s “gochujang” which is a hot pepper paste. If you can’t handle spiciness, reduce the amount of it and you’ll be just fine. This is one of those ingredients that are spicy at first but by the time you cook it with other foods , it has an amazing flavor.

These days we’re lucky because there’s no reason for not staying in touch with friends and family. I really wish we could have half the technology of today back then because there are so many incredible human beings I met and wish I could still be in contact with. The only link I got from her is her lovely Sweet & Spicy Crispy Korean Chicken recipe and the great memories of my time shared with her.
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amount and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/dakgangjeong-sweet-spicy-crispy-korean-chicken/


Thursday, 29 March 2018

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe - Easy, cheesy and delicious | Club Foody

Unless it was pasta, I really can’t remember a dinner that my mother didn’t serve potatoes as a side dish – all right the odd time like “once in a blue moon” kind of thing. My father has always been a “meat & potato” type of guy. Although I enjoy potatoes, I could easily reduce the servings down to twice a month… I’m still like that! Ironically enough David is like my father… okay perhaps not as excessive as my dad. Anyway, when we have two servings of potatoes as a side dish a week, I make sure that I serve something else. When I was living by myself, many months in a row I didn’t have any potatoes at all… I’m a big salad eater!

I guess a potato side dish is easy for most home cooks to serve along with a dish. The various ways to cook and serve potatoes gives many great choices as a meal accompaniment. From mashed, boiled, roasted to fried, there are so many recipes with potatoes as an ingredient to choose from and you are definitely at the right place, here at Club Foody! What? Of course I’m self-promoting my website… lol!

All joking aside, there’s a recipe that I really like serving to my guests because I find it quite tasty. I’m talking about my Scalloped Potatoes here! The creamy texture of this potato recipe with a nice hint of spices accompanies any dish elegantly. Yes it’s potatoes but an elevated version of it. I like to serve this with Duck à l’Orange which I’ll be posting to my recipes soon, Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham, chicken and many more dishes. An uncomplicated recipe, this is a side dish you really want to keep and you’ll understand more after you make it…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/scalloped-potatoes/


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Lamb Chops with Balsamic & Red Wine Reduction Recipe | Club Foody

Quick, easy, delicious and elegant recipe…


Do you like entertaining?


I sure do! David and I like having people over, sharing stories, laughs and good food along with a nice bottle of wine. Everyone is relaxed… well almost everyone! The only person who cannot fully relax until dinner is ready is the “home chef”. I love cooking but it’s always nicer to be able to spend some time with our guests. The last thing I want is to be stuck in front of the stove, cooking, sautéing and stirring food while I could be with them relaxing…

Easter is coming and then summer will be arriving soon afterward which means backyard parties, gatherings, big family dinners, celebrations, and so on… If you are like us, entertaining is fun but can be quite demanding especially when some recipes have to be prepared relatively right before serving. I try to reduce my time in front of the stove and having more time conversing and laughing with guests but I’m not always successful with my plan… lol!

A few years back, David ordered a beautiful rack of lamb for two at Metropolitan Grill in Seattle. I was surprised because he has never been a big fan of lamb. Perhaps because Michael, the general manager, who has known us for years, highly recommended this dish but we took his suggestion. I'm glad we did because the lamb was fantastic! I usually enjoy some mint jelly on the side but that time, I had it without any condiment… it was that good! What was also great was the fact that David finally gave lamb a try and he liked it. This is not his favorite meat but at least now, he’s more willing to eat some versus almost never before.
 

Lamb Chops… the solution!

Here’s a recipe I enjoy making for a few reasons and it is my Lamb Chops with Balsamic & Red Wine Reduction! What I like about this is it is so quick to make. Besides marinating the lamb for 30 minutes (*see note below), from cooking to serving it takes half an hour all together. Also it is an elegant dish to serve your guests. The reduction gives a nice flavorful dimension and wraps it so beautifully. The added beurre manié at the end of the reduction thickens the sauce but also brings a nice glossy finish to it which makes this dish even more appealing…

Surprisingly many people don’t enjoy the taste of lamb but if you do, this is a great lamb dish for you to try. It is the perfect quick meal to serve when you don’t want to stand in front of the stove cooking for hours. I like to serve this with steamed veggies and baby potatoes for a nice presentation as they don’t take too much time to make either – I’m definitely working on my time management… lol!
Bon Appétit!

*NOTE: You can always marinate the lamb loin chops ahead of time. Just place them in the fridge and when ready to cook, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes like I did in the video. In my opinion, when meat is not too chilled, it cooks evenly from center to edge.


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/lamb-chops-with-balsamic-red-wine-reduction/


Monday, 26 March 2018

Beurre Manié - Sauce & Soup Thickener - Tips & Tricks | Club Foody

Beurre Manié is a sauce, soup and stew thickener. In French it means literally “handled butter”.

To make beurre manié, you need an equal amounts of butter and unbleached all-purpose flour. In the video, I use 1/2 cup of each. If you want to make some ahead and freeze it, portion beurre manié in teaspoons. It is the safe way to go as it’s a standard measure when added to sauces and soups.

 

Beurre Manié vs. Roux…

Although beurre manié and roux are both thickening agents and made with equal amounts, the stage of cooking and other components vary from one to another.

Beurre manié is added to warm or hot liquids at the final stage of cooking. As the flour particles are coated with butter, when butter melts, it releases them which helps to thicken without getting any lumps. It also gives a nice shiny texture to sauces.

While roux seems pretty much the same, flour and fat besides butter such as other oils, are cooked right at the beginning as a base for sauces, soups or stews. The length of cooking depends on the level of brownness.

Here’s a recipe that I use this thickener in…Lamb Chops with Balsamic & Red Wine Reduction

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Pâte à Choux aka Choux Pastry

I don’t know if you had the same thing when you were a child but in my house, my mother always had dessert. It was her bargain tool (lol…) for my brother and I to finish our main course. “You guys won’t have dessert until you finish what is in your plate…” -, she used to say. I remember once I just didn’t like at all what was for dinner and after sitting a couple hours at the dining table, I was sent to bed without eating any dessert. I realized (only that night) that I was able to skip desserts… it wasn’t a big deal! Of course, this new revelation didn’t last me long because right the next evening I was back enjoying dessert again after my meal… It’s only in my teenage years that I could live without… well… that’s the theory!

Each time I host a diner party, I always have a homemade dessert for my guests. To me it ends a meal nicely. You know when I mention about “… living without dessert”, this statement is actually more in the grey area. Actually there are a few desserts that I cannot live without and I definitely don’t need the excuse to make them only when there’s company over… although it does help to don’t eat them all. Two of my favorites have the same common denominator and it is Pâte à Choux also known as Choux Pastry…

Years ago I wanted to start making Pâte à Choux and the only person I knew how to make this was my mother. After asking her, I’ve been making it since. Pâte à Choux is a base for many pastry dessert such as Cream puffs, Croquembouche, Saint-Honoré cake, Beignets, Chocolate Éclair – this recipe will be posted next month -, and so on as well as Gougères which is more a savory pastry served as an appetizer or along a main course, Pommes Dauphine, etc. It’s not complicated to make and this is definitely a recipe that you need in your binder. I love pastries with Pâte à Choux and so do my guests even when everyone is full – they’ll still find room to enjoy them…
Bon Appétit

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/pate-a-choux-aka-choux-pastry/


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Even as a child, I’ve never been a winter person, and the arrival of spring has always been a big deal. Knowing the mercury will finally start rising, the beginning of that season also brought a delicious reason to enjoy it even more… sugar shacks! In Québec, this is a big culinary event that everyone loves to do. Fully loaded buses taking people to these places, schools organizing day trips for students, families planning a day to drive to a nearby location… sugar shacks are the place to go during spring time!

If you’ve never been to a sugar shack, here goes. Located on acres of property surrounded with maple trees (obviously…), there’s a very large cabin, sometimes made of logs, with wood floors, long wooden tables and wood chairs… very rustic looking, nothing fancy. Not all the time, but at certain places, they have an area for patrons to dance while a violinist or accordionist plays folk music. Everything from savory to sweet is cooked with the nice light amber color collected from the sap of the trees.

Outside there can be some tours for people to see how the process of harvesting maple works. Also most of the time there’s a long half empty log where clean snow is placed and then hot maple syrup is poured over. With craft sticks, everyone gathers around to swirl maple around their sticks as it gets harder with the contact of the snow… I love that! Some places even have a sleigh pulled by horses for guests to enjoy a ride on the property. This is a sweet day that Québécois enjoy each year…

To celebrate – yes to me it is a celebration knowing that the worst is behind us and we’re moving towards warmer weather – , I am sharing an incredible recipe with you that I’ve been enjoying for years… my Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin! This easy recipe is a great start to a new season and brings a popular culinary event from Québec to your table! The lovely combination of maple and mustard along with other ingredients gives a nice distinctive flavor to the sauce.

This is the kind of recipe you want to keep around because it doesn’t take too much time to make and is elegant to serve. This is the perfect dish for any occasion! Go buy a very good quality maple syrup and enjoy this meal as us Québécois like to highlight it as a “Spring Celebration”.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/maple-mustard-pork-tenderloin/


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Chocolate Grasshopper Martini

If your favorite color is green, you’ll be quite happy this coming weekend because of this worldwide event… St Patrick’s Day! Green signs, ribbons and other decorations will be showcased in most big cities, plus people will be wearing green hats, green clothes, and other green accessories. Not only will they wear something green but they may also consume green food or drinks as well.

A friend of mine from Toronto, Brent whose Irish descendant told me that on St Patrick’s Day he likes to drink green beer! Let’s stop right now… I’m not a beer person to begin with let alone green beer! Alright, occasionally, especially on a hot summer day, I might have a beer but I mix it with Clamato juice which is called a “red-eye”. For those of you who are not sure what that juice is all about, it’s basically similar to tomato juice but not as thick and far less tomatoey with a hint of clam flavor and some added spices. As much as a Bloody Mary (vodka & tomato juice) is very popular in the USA, a Bloody Caesar (vodka & clamato juice) is our superstar here in Canada. Okay, enough with red and let’s go back to green… All right so now that I established that green beer is not my thing, it might not be yours either but we still want to sip a green drink on Saint Patty’s Day.

I always enjoyed a Grasshopper cocktail here and there but find it a little too rich for my liking. So what I’ve decided to do is to turn it into a martini – now we’re talking! By adding vodka to this mix, it helps to cut down the creaminess from the heavy cream used in the Grasshopper. What I like about my Chocolate Grasshopper Martini is a cocktail I can serve as a digestif after a meal as well as just casually. It’s optional but sprinkling some shaved dark chocolate on top of a small dollop of whipped cream makes this drink even more delicious. It’s like savoring a chocolate mint candy in its liquid form with a grown up twist… yummy!

This is definitely a drink I won’t have a problem having on St Patrick’s Day!
Cheers!

P.S. Please drink responsibly otherwise you just might turn into a leprechaun!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/chocolate-grasshopper-martini/


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Old Fashioned Baked Beans with Bacon

Both my mother and father liked to cook. It wasn’t a rigid schedule but most of the time during the week my mother did the cooking and on weekends it was my father… although many times dad didn’t cook for weeks. Between the two of them, they’ve made many great recipes. From complicated to elegant, traditional to comfort, it was a rotation of yumminess in our family kitchen!

There’s a dish we all really liked… Baked Beans!

My father was the one who made it often. When he started on Friday after work to soak the beans in water, we knew we would be having them for dinner over the weekend and if there were any leftovers, breakfast on Sunday along with eggs and toasts. After soaking the beans, the following morning, he rinsed them and slowly cooked them for hours. The whole day had that yummy aroma floating in the air… perfect on cold Canadian days!

When I moved out on my own, either I was too lazy to make them or not ready to eat beans the whole entire week (it’s a big batch…) therefore buying them at the store was more convenient. Recently I was asking my mother if those baked beans in the brown glass jar were still available at the supermarket. Apparently not although it was a cool concept! The shape was a miniature duplicate of a traditional Bean Pot just like the one I’m using in the video but the container was a dark glass… like dark amber color. The only thing we had to do was to remove the lid, follow the baking instructions and pop them in the oven. They were quite good I have to admit. The only place I could find them though was in Québec’s supermarkets so when I moved to Ontario, I had to start making my own beans from scratch… After years of practice, I tweaked the recipe quite a lot from my parents’ traditional one and now they make mine…

This is a dish that can be served as a side with chicken breasts, Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham , burgers, and so on. It is also very delicious to enjoy in the morning with your eggs, pancakes, waffles or French toast. A way I like to eat them for dinner is alone with a fried egg and toast for dipping, topped with Québec maple syrup. I introduced this way of eating them to David and now he likes to eat them my way too – copycat… lol! This dish freezes well so you can have it later for lunch or a picnic. As great weather is approaching, this is an awesome recipe that you can serve for your backyard BBQ party…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

 
 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Mornay Sauce

Could my family roots have an impact on the way I’ve been cooking? I’d say “YES”! Being a French descendant and Québécoise, my roots definitely have had a huge influence on my cooking style. I grew up eating a lot of sauces. My mother made sauces for almost every dish. Besides a few exceptions, sauces were as common at dinner time as having a fresh baguette and butter on the family dinner table every night. It’s interesting because a friend of mine when I was just starting at junior high was impressed that each time she came over for dinner, there was always a sauce accompanying the meal – either cooked in or with sauces. Her background was Scottish and her family didn’t eat that much sauce.

As a child, I was used to eating that way and it’s only when I moved out on my own that I realized I had to learn how to make sauces… and quick! My culinary talent was minimal but one thing that saved me quite often with my amateur recipes was my sauces. I mastered the 5 mother sauces of French cuisine without knowing it. I obviously had a great culinary teacher… my mother!

Let’s go back to how our background can effect what we eat…

When David and I started to live together, after a few months he told me that he never ate so much cheese in his life – his background is German! I always have at least 7 different cheeses in my refrigerator. This is how it was at my parents so obviously I love cheese… a lot!

A couple of months ago, I showed you the technique on how to make a Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce which is one of the 5 mother sauces of French cuisine. From this particular recipe, a few other sauces are made and they are called “secondary” sauces. One of them is Mornay.

Mornay is basically a white cheese sauce. It is used quite often in pasta recipes as well as with poultry, seafood, fish, vegetables, and so on… This is a great sauce for you to have in your repertoire because it can be used in a wide variety of your dishes. Like anything else, you have to learn how to crawl before running and this is why I first posted the Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce so you can make sauces like Mornay and many others! It’s very easy to make and you’ll be very happy to have this recipe around…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/mornay-sauce/


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sardine Cups

When I’m hosting a dinner, I’m pretty meticulous about my menu. I want to make sure that from start to finish, everything goes together well. The same applies with my wine selection and my digestifs (cocktail after a meal). Although I love to serve an appetizer, I realized that often my guests were too full to enjoy the whole experience all the way to dessert after eating an “appy” plus the main course – I guess as we age, we tend to eat less! This is when I decided to cut down on what I’m serving prior to dinner, of course it always depends on your main course…

I started creating many different bite-size hors d’oeuvres because it’s so convenient! When there’s a large group of people over at your place, bringing out little “bouchés” is always fun as well as replacing that “formal appetizer” dish before dinner. With Easter and summer around the corner, there will be many gatherings, backyard parties, big family dinners, receptions and so on… I really think that this is a delicious way to go without stuffing people to the gills before the main course.

In this video, I’m going way out there… I’m sharing a sardine creation with you! Oh boy! If you are like David, just move on to the next recipe… forget about this one! Otherwise if you are like me then stick around…

I realize that sardines can be extremely “fishy” even the ones from the cans but I simply love them! My parents were eating them and as a child I was fine with sardines. I always enjoyed them without knowing that they are actually super healthy! These little guys surprisingly are one of the highest sources of omega-3s plus vitamins and minerals. They reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, have a high level of calcium and vitamin D and so on… What I like about them is they can be a great addition to so many dishes such as sandwiches, soup, salads and for today, appetizers.

Every time I mention “sardines” to David, his reaction is “eww” and then “cough, cough, cough” to finalize with him saying “kitty breath” with a lisp to it like Sylvester the cat. Yeah, yeah… funny man! Jokes aside though, not everyone likes sardines so a word of advice, please ask before serving…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/sardine-cups/

Thursday, 1 March 2018

North African Chicken Thighs with Dates & Pomegranate Molasses

Chicken is such a popular meat worldwide. The most common parts from the chicken are breasts, and then drumsticks followed by wings/drumettes. Often the thighs are overlooked and they shouldn’t be… Thighs with bone-in and skin on are very tasty and when cooked slowly, they release so much flavor! They are also absolutely amazing on the “barbie”… yep BBQ season is coming soon…

A couple of years ago I bought a Tagine on Amazon but not by choice… I just couldn’t wait any longer. My perfect Tagine purchase would’ve been while visiting Morocco so there’d be a story behind it. The only sentimental value, and not really a positive one, I had from it was when I got my VISA statement bill the following month! Anyway being impatient, I conveniently bought it on that site because I wanted to cook so many recipes I created in this particular cooking vessel.

One thing about Tagines is it can hold so much and I found out pretty fast. I had friends coming over for dinner and after thinking about this particular recipe, a Tagine was the way to go… well that’s what I thought. After I started cooking my new creation, I ran out of space. David and I quickly transferred the ingredients into a wider skillet… Phew! The recipe still came out quite scrumptious. Why I wanted to use a Tagine at first is because I wanted to give a truly North African culinary experience to my guests…

All right I went on and on about cooking vessels which really is not what I wanted to talk about. Tagine or not, this North African Chicken Thighs with Dates & Pomegranate Molasses is an awesome recipe! The different flavors combined together give this dish quite a unique taste. As I mentioned at the beginning, the chicken thighs give a delicious layer to this dish. A few months ago, I posted how to make Pomegranate Molasses and this chicken thigh recipe is another yummy way to use this extraordinary condiment. The mix of ingredients combines so beautifully, making this exotic dish a must try. Just keep in mind that using a Tagine is awesome but it can hold only so much…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Russian Dressing

From last week’s Beef Stroganoff recipe, I decided to share another “Russian” recipe with you although it did not originate from Russia despites its name and it is my Russian Dressing! This East Coast American creation is an incredible condiment and quite versatile as it can be used in many other recipes besides salads. I use it as a spread in Reuben and Tripleta sandwiches. There’s also another way I use this dressing and it is when I make my “Oeuf à la Russe” (Russian Eggs) as well as in many other recipes… I have to keep your curiosity going…

My first taste experience of this great dressing was when I ordered a green salad at Desjardins Seafood Restaurant located right in downtown Montréal on Mackay Street. It was my father who took me to this prestigious restaurant for the first time. In the 70s’ and 80s’, Desjardins Seafood Restaurant was one of the finest places to enjoy any fish or crustaceans that the sea/ocean could offer. It was quite an expensive place to dine and as a high school student, this was definitely not a restaurant I could have afforded. Later on though when I started dating, I went there regularly – if a guy was asking me where I would like to go that was the restaurant I suggested… Poor them! I can just imagine how much it cost…

If you’ve never had this kind of dressing, it is incredibly delicious! If I may, it’s similar to Thousand Island dressing except for a few ingredients. Thousand Island uses hard-boiled eggs, orange juice (you can always substitute lemon juice instead) and cream while the Russian dressing don’t. Now if we compare Catalina and Russian dressing, what sets them apart is that one is sweet and the other is spicy. I’m not going into too much detail here as this blog is not based on differences between these three dressings. What I’m trying to say is Russian dressing is awesome! With horseradish and hot sauce just to name a few, this is a flavorful recipe to have around.

For some incomprehensible reason, it seems that it disappeared from restaurant menus in the 90s’ therefore forcing me to make my own – homemade always tastes better anyway… Vanishing at the same time as shoulder pads and the last episode of Dallas, this lovely condiment hasn’t come back yet. I believe it is our culinary duty to bring it back by spreading the recipe around… or at least on our Reuben sandwich! Give it a try, you’ll understand why this Russian Dressing should still be popular…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/russian-dressing/


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Beef Stroganoff

Last month I heard so many different languages while David and I were sitting at the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) airport waiting for our departure to Puerto Vallarta. I’ve always liked going to airports as there’s a lot of action going on… people coming and going, travelling for business or pleasure. Long or short trips, everyone seems in a rush to catch their flights. When I look at the flight board, I daydream about all the places I can go and visit someday… yes I’m an adventurous dreamer! You should see my “bucket list”…

There are a lot of places that I find quite intriguing and one of them is definitely Russia. With its fabulous points of interest such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Winter Palace, The Kremlin, Lake Baikal, Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, Stroganov Church, the famous Red Square and so on, this is a place I really want to go! It is a huge country with 11 (eleven) time zones, shares borders with 14 different countries and more than 160 different ethnic groups. Russia brings a vast cultural diversity with an enriched, complex history and deep folkloric traditions.


The month I’d like to go there would have to be in July because I can clearly say that I wouldn’t be able to handle the weather during its cold months unless I hang out in Sochi by the Black Sea coast… On the other hand, there’s one of its traditional dishes that I can definitely handle all year round and it is Beef Stroganoff! World famous, this is a lovely meal to enjoy; sautéed beef strips in a creamy mustard sauce and sour cream… it is incredibly delicious!


Beef Stroganoff has been in their culture since the 19th century but since its first appearance outside of  Russian borders, the recipe has many different variations depending on the country that’s making it. Now I’m sure that my version is also quite different and westernized from the original but noneless it is very delicious! By preference, I use red wine instead of white,I don’t use paprika but I’m not shy on the mustard and I do use mushrooms and onions as well which are 2 ingredients that are not from the original version. In this recipe I use sour cream but the real deal would be to use crème fraîche which I will eventually post my recipe to how to make it. I like to serve the meat and sauce over a bed of buttered egg noodles. It is such a great comfort food recipe that I enjoy making often.


Obviously going to Russia I would definitely order Beef Stroganoff (бефстроганов befstróganov) so I can enjoy the “real thing”. In the meantime, I’ll keep making my version of it until I’m sitting at my gate waiting to board the plane to Moscow!
Bon Appétit!… – Хороший аппетит!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/beef-stroganoff/


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Breakfast Sausage Muffin Cups

Always on the go! Running here, running over there, trying to get there on time, picking up the kids, being on time for an appointment, meeting deadlines… oh my oh my! It’s crazy when we really think about it. Whose fault is it? Our society, the media, or are we just a bunch of lunatics that want this kind of pressure? I don’t know… I just want to slow my schedule down and the more I try it seems the less successful I am at it!

I work mostly at home but I can just imagine how it is in certain people’s homes in the morning. Trying to get everyone ready can easily turn chaotic! Get everybody moving so kids are on time at school and the parents get to work… Besides dragging the family members out of their beds, shower, getting dressed and so on, I understand why many families skip breakfast in the morning. Most of the time not by choice but by not having enough time to do it all…

I’m not a breakfast person as I mentioned many, many times but I DO enjoy its food. I just don’t take the time to eat… that’s all! Give me a carafe of coffee and I’m good to go! Yes, yes , yes and yes… let’s not go there! I know about how important breakfast is and yadda-yadda-yadda! On the other hand, I believe David is better than me when it comes to eating breakfast in the morning although he doesn’t have anything to eat until a few hours after he’s up. Now that he’s back working at his warehouse doing production for the season, the most convenient food item for him to have is something he can just reheat in the microwave at his work place.

I have an amazing breakfast recipe that would help any family on the go or the ones who don’t really have an appetite until later in the morning. Here’s my Breakfast Sausage Muffin Cups! Very easy to prep, this recipe is perfect for those frenzied mornings when everyone is running in a panic! If there’s no time to enjoy these delicious muffin cups, bring them to work or school and reheat them. Another big plus with these yummy cups is you can make them ahead, freeze them and serve them later on… now that’s very convenient! This is also a perfect brunch item to serve along with a garden salad and some fresh fruits. Go ahead, get disorganized in the morning because now you don’t have to worry about skipping breakfast anymore…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/breakfast-sausage-muffin-cups/


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Wonton Soup

Anywhere above the 49th parallel in the middle of February is cold… Brrr! Snow storms, frigid and blustery weather or damp and rainy, there’s nothing about the second month of the year that says “cocktail umbrellas & sunscreen”… unless you are far below the 49th. I’m a fair-weather outdoor person which means that during winter, I mostly hibernate unless a nice sunny day tempts me to venture outside…

One of the best dishes David and I enjoy during winter is a hot bowl of soup. We either eat it as an appetizer or as a main course depending on the kind of soup as I have many recipes in my repertoire. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you my version of Wonton Soup! Being one of North America’s favorite Chinese take-out foods, this popular soup is so easy to make. With a few ingredients, you can put this comfort food together in no time!

I think the reason why many won’t even try to make this delicious soup is because of the folding which honestly is quite easy. Although I’m not an expert at it, in this video I will show you 2 ways on how I fold mine – if I can do it, you sure can as well! When it comes to the filling, I make a simple version of it using only pork but there are many other ways of making this soup. While doing business in Shanghai and Beijing back in 2001, I had what they call San Xian Wontons which is basically three proteins combined together; shrimp, chicken and pork although the last one can be replaced with minced fish. I also make a simple broth but if you want to add more spice/herbs to it, go ahead. When I have some on hand, I like to add lemongrass to my broth, it gives a nice flavor. I also like to add vegetables to my soup as well; my preferred choice is bok choy. If you opt for this option, boil some in the broth for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and place 1 or 2 blanched bok choy per serving bowl along with 6 wontons.

As I said, making Wonton Soup is not complicated. It’s a dish that warms you up inside out! So next time there’s a blizzard or a rainstorm outside, don’t worry, you can still enjoy one of the most popular take-out soups in North America in the comfort of your own home!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/wonton-soup/


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Shrimp Maque Choux

I can just imagine how a teacher must feel, looking at a classroom full of children and wondering which one of these little guys or girls her/his knowledge will impact… When I went to Institut Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes which was a private school for girls offering a high school education from grade 7 to 9, I had different classes just like a regular “high school”, and my favorites were History, Geography and French. Did you know that Québec has the highest percentage of children going to private schools in North America?

All right back to my favorites which were History, Geography and French… From that first high school year, we studied the history of Acadians and the six colonial wars. Originally from France, these settlers immigrated to the Northeastern part of North America which is now known as the Maritime Provinces of Canada, including a portion of Maine in the United States. The most predominant war was the last of the six – “French and Indian War” in 1710 – which ended up deporting Acadians from the Maritimes and resulted in the dispersion of them which is also known as “The Great Upheaval” or “Le Grand Dérangement” in French. Some were deported to France, the Caribbean and England while others returned back to the Maritimes years later but there are some that actually got deported to several American colonies settling all the way to Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. Okay enough history for today…

Here’s the thing… my bucket list is quite extensive and New Orleans is one of the places on it. After studying its history and culture, now it’s time to go there physically… one day! I’ve always loved Jazz and I’m sure I’d have a heck of a good time down there! I love history… so much to see in Louisiana and to top everything off, I’m a foody… an awesome destination for a person like me, actually it’s a dream destination for a person like me! I want to visit it when it’s Mardi Gras of course, but I’ll go any other time of the year as I really want to visit it.

Although I haven’t been there yet, I’ve always been quite attracted to Cajun/Creole cuisine and have been to many restaurants that specialize in this type of cuisine. Now let’s put things in perspective… Cajun and Creole are not the same cuisine although similar. Cajun is from the Acadian settlers mentioned earlier and many of our Québec recipes are impacted by its cuisine. Now Creole is from the descendants directly from the French and Spanish upper class that were already established in New Orleans. Its cuisine is a blend of various cultures just like its people. If I can simplify it, while Creole cuisine is more “aristocratic and refined” or more “city food”, Cajun is more rural or more “homy” if I may and also has more seasoning – I’m not talking about being spicy here.

After all that history, I have an incredible recipe inspired by this lovely southern part of the United States… my Shrimp Maque Choux! It has such a beautiful combination of flavors. This is a great main course to enjoy but if you omit the shrimp, it turns into a lovely side dish. Is it Cajun or Creole? I put this dish into the Cajun cuisine section with a touch of Creole… One thing is for sure, it’s an awesome dish for you to try. This is my way of bringing Mardi Gras to my table until I’m finally able to go and visit in person…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/shrimp-maque-choux/


Thursday, 8 February 2018

Chocolate Raspberry Cake with a Mirror Glaze

Most of us bake cakes on special occasions such as Birthdays, Holidays, Retirement, Anniversaries, dinner parties and even… for love! Yep, we lovers have our own celebration which is Valentine’s Day as you can probably guess.

When it comes to Valentines’ Day, there are all sorts of little things we like to do for each other. It can be anything from flowers, a lovely dinner at home or at a restaurant, balloons, a weekend gateway, romantic card, chocolate, opera or other concert and even jewelry just to name a few. I believe that it doesn’t really matter what you do on that day as long as we are together with our partner.

Almost every Valentine’s Day, David and I stay at home because we don’t want to deal with the craziness of that event. We cook a lovely dinner together, open a very good bottle of wine, play our favorite music, light up some candles and enjoy each other’s company. We don’t really eat dessert that often but occasionally we do on Valentine’s Day.

For today’s recipe I’ve decided to share my Chocolate Raspberry Cake with a Mirror Glaze with you. It is so lusciously moist and the beauty of this cake is its glaze…! By the way, not just you and your honey are a match made in heaven… so is chocolate and raspberry together! The two combined together is so delicious! Plus the finishing touch is a beautiful dark chocolate glaze… that looks like a mirror! Wow!
It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae… or in this case …the raspberries!

If you are celebrating Valentine’s or not, you’ll definitely be proud to serve this Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Mirror Glaze for any occasion.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/chocolate-raspberry-cake-with-a-mirror-glaze/


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Salmon Pie

We’ve all grown up with traditions from our cultures. Sometimes there’s religion, a story, a historical event behind it and other times, no one’s know where, when or why it became a part of our lives. If I refer to my own culture which is Québécois, our origins are mostly from French settlers with a mix of aboriginals from different tribes along with Irish, English and other European countries. I believe that many of our dishes are from this assortment of different cultures mixed into one recipe… oh boy I can just see right now how “unpopular” my comment can be for some… relax it’s a food blog!!!

Admitting it or not, most countries cannot proclaim that a recipe is entirely theirs because of the crusades. The mix of different countries resulted in interesting flavorful traditions that each wants to claim as their own. Of course I’m not stating that all our national dishes are unjustified and not ours… To summarize there are some “dishes” that can be very hard to track their origin because they’re a combination of a few traditional recipes all together…

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe that apparently originated from Québec… Salmon Pie! The reason why I’m not totally convinced is it’s a combination of two countries that claim its origin… Ireland and Québec. When I was at high school, a boy named Mike (not Michel…) came over to my home. We had a project to do and although we were paired with two other kids, we decided that it would be done faster if we split it in half. My mother was making a salmon pie and with the aroma floating in the air, Mike was intrigued to what was cooking in the oven. When he found out, he proudly said that this is one of his family’s traditional dishes, a great Irish recipe. My mother invited him to stay for dinner. During dinner, he explain that my mothers’ and his family’s dish were quite different from each other. How different could a Salmon Pie be?

Later on when I was living in Toronto, I went to an Irish pub and ordered a Salmon Pie, something I haven’t had for years. I was surprised to see how different it was. It resembled a Pâté Chinois or a Cottage Pie with salmon in it! Then I got it… I realized what that boy was saying about my mom’s salmon pie being unlike his family’s…

Irish or Québec origin, I’m glad that after many years of not making it, I finally brought it back to my menu. It’s a quick and easy dish to put together. David never had it before and he was surprised and happy with the results. My mother served it with a Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce on top while I’m serving it simply with a side of steamed veggies or a fresh garden salad. For the ones who are not too keen on eating fish, this is a great way to make them eat some without that “fishy” taste. It is a simple recipe and yet quite delicious… give it a try!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/salmon-pie/


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Pumpernickel Spinach Dip

The 2018 Super Bowl is coming up this weekend. If you are a football fanatic, you’ll probably get together with your friends to eat and drink while enjoying the game. If you’re not into football at all (what’s wrong with you?… lol!), what the heck, it’s a good reason to throw a party anyway…!

When hosting a sporting event party, there’s no “proper” sit down dinner. There are only finger foods, finger foods and more finger foods placed in every room where there’s a TV… okay maybe not in the bedrooms or bathrooms. There’s sure to be a lot of fried food served so maybe making something not “fried” is a good add on to the menu – is there really a menu going on that day? There’s a party food recipe that I like making when I have a large group of friends over and it is my Pumpernickel Spinach Dip! Everyone enjoys it!

The first time I was introduced to it was to celebrate my godchild Emily’s baptism. My friends Isabelle and Bill from Mt Pleasant Michigan had a big reception at their place after church. There was so much food around and if it wasn’t the fact that her side of the family including myself were from Canada, this party would’ve ended up with even more food (not very convenient to bring food from Toronto to Michigan while crossing the border). This dip was sitting there on the dining room table along with others and what caught my attention were all the little pieces of bread surrounding the loaf that was the food vessel for the dip. I took a bit and right away I just had to know what it was. Isabelle told me and I took a mental note to make it for my next big party…

The last time I served this delicious dip was last year for our House Warming party at the end of September and as always, it was well received and disappeared fast! It is an easy and quick recipe to make for any occasion therefore next time you have a big party – like this coming weekend – with lots of friends, you’ll know exactly what to make.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/pumpernickel-spinach-dip/


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Texas BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Most of us all have crazy schedules and the ones who don’t are blessed… lol! With my Club Foody cooking website, creating recipes, filming, editing, writing, publishing/promoting, this is 2 full time jobs combined in 1 plus I also work as a manager at a store. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining but I sure would like to have 48 hours instead of 24 in a day so I would have some time to relax!

Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah… being busy! To compensate for a lack of time, some will compromise by skipping some tasks. Interestingly enough more often than not, it will be on cooking. People will go and buy prepared food (yuck!) or even worse, go to a fast food joint (now that’s gross). In my book taking the time to cook a nice decent meal is more important than anything else. Eating the right food has a big impact on people’s health so that’s why good home style meals are important… you know what goes in them.

All right enough about that… So not enough time to cook…time to dust off your crock pot and start cooking more often with it (I’m still lecturing). I’m serious though… there are so many great slow cooker recipes out there including… my Texas BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!

Just saying it makes my mouth water! Pulled pork is so versatile and can be used in many different recipes. After combining your ingredients and placing them in the slow cooker, your job is almost done. You can go run errands, do your laundry, go to your son’s hockey game, clean the house or just relax (sigh)! Stop finding excuses for not cooking a nice meal at home (yep I’m lecturing all the way to the end…), take your crock pot out from the pantry and try this amazing recipe…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/texas-bbq-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce

I think that one thing all kids around the world like to do when getting home from school is to run to the kitchen to see what their parents are cooking. I was lucky that my mother didn’t have to work outside and was at home every day. She was always in the kitchen (like mother like daughter) cooking something and baking some yummy desserts and snacks. Although I had a serious sweet tooth as a child, I always enjoyed the main course. I’m not too sure if it’s because we are French Canadian but many dishes were cooked in or with sauces. It seems like there was always a sauce accompanying the meal.

When I first went out on my own, cooking was very challenging. For some reason I never really paid attention when my mother was cooking – I just didn’t have any desire to learn. I was a “tomboy” and being outside playing was my thing. My only chore in the kitchen was to wash the dishes (not by choice) and licking the beaters (totally my idea) when she was making a cake batter. Other than that I had no interest in cooking or baking.

So back when I got my first place, I started making very simple dishes although I screwed up a few and then moved on to slightly more complicated recipes. One thing I got pretty good at was making sauces. These were my savior because if I didn’t cook my dish properly, the sauce would help to cover it up… well that was my way of thinking until I became good in the kitchen.

There was a sauce my mother made often and it is Béchamel Sauce also known as White Sauce. It was used in many different dishes. It was later on that I found out that Béchamel is one of the “mother” of sauces in French cuisine. It is a very simple “basic” sauce that can be altered to other sauces such as Mornay (it’s béchamel with cheese) which I love to use quite often especially for my Macaroni & Cheese recipe, Soubise (onion sauce), Mustard, and so on. This is a sauce that every home cook should master and the technique to achieve a good Béchamel is very simple.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/bechamel-sauce-aka-white-sauce/


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Butterscotch Pudding

Ever since I was a child, I always preferred caramel or butterscotch over chocolate. WHAT? Yep, that’s right! Hey don’t get me wrong, I enjoy chocolate very much but I get weak when there’s butterscotch or caramel around. I can go through a whole bag of butterscotch candy in no time and when I make my Salted Caramel Sauce , I find all kinds of excuses to scoop some from the jar.

The difference between butterscotch and caramel is not too far apart. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar while caramel is made with granulated sugar plus butter and milk or cream for both.
Although pretty similar, their tastes are distinctly different.

I have many recipes that use both butterscotch and caramel but today there’s only one… Butterscotch Pudding! OMG! The taste of this dessert is insane… It is so simple to make and yet incredibly flavorful! Using just a handful of ingredients, this is a recipe that everyone will enjoy.

There’s a key ingredient that elevates this dessert that you just CANNOT substitute and it is vanilla bean! I don’t care if you have to order them on line or fly to Madagascar (okay maybe a little too extreme)) but there’s nothing to replace it. You can always use vanilla paste but it’s not the same and definitely the pure vanilla extract can be substitute but… it’s okay. It is pricier but it will make your pudding “sublime”. Also let’s not forget about the butterscotch chips… do yourself a favor and buy a very good quality brand – I use Guittard®.

When you have a dinner party at home and are not too sure what to serve for dessert, this is a tasty one to make. Just keep in mind that the pudding needs to sit about 4 hours in the refrigerator to set up. Other than that, it takes only 10 minutes or less to make… c’mon how much easier could something so delicious be?
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/butterscotch-pudding/


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Ultimate 8 Cheese Vegetable Lasagna

Years ago, when I was visiting my mother for a week, I would take her out for dinner often but we also enjoyed cooking together. The odd time – you know “once in a blue moon” – we ate something already prepared but as I said, rarely! Well on this trip, we had a frozen dinner…

Back then, she owned a couple of hair salons and was quite busy running them both. One day she called me from work to let me know she was too tired to let me take her to a restaurant that evening. She just wanted to take a bath, put her comfy clothes on and chill out at home. I understood and then she asked me to take a Vegetable Lasagna from the freezer and pop it in the oven. It was prepared food… yuk! I insisted we go out for dinner instead but she was firm on her decision. Till this day, I’m totally not a fan of prepared food. Anyway, I made a fresh garden salad – at least something healthy – and by the time she got home, bathed, changed and sat down, dinner (from the box) was ready. It was a shocking surprise when I took my first bite… it was actually quite good although slightly too salty for my liking. When I returned home after my week spent with my mother, I actually believe it or not, went to the supermarket and bought the same frozen lasagna. Being single at the time it was convenient for me to enjoy lasagna once in a while although I probably only had it once every two years…

It is only when David and I moved in together that I decided to make homemade lasagna instead of buying it. It is always more fun to cook for 2 or more than for one person especially when it comes to lasagna. So making my own, I was in control of the sodium level and the spiciness of the dish plus buying fresh produce that I personally picked…

This Ultimate 8-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna is sooooo delicious! It is a simple dish packed with yumminess! Although pretty easy to make, be aware that it takes time to put this together. This is a recipe that you want to start prepping in mid-afternoon so it is ready for dinner time. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Play your favorite music and enjoy a cup of joe while making it. This is the kind of dish that you’ll want in your repertoire especially if you have some picky eaters at home who don’t like veggies… they will love it!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/ultimate-8-cheese-vegetable-lasagna

 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Indian Masala Chai

As friends we should always be supportive and encourage each others dreams although we might not always agree about the choices… I call that respect!

 

One of my friends Joanne from Milton, Ontario decided years ago to start a tea shop. The concept was amazing! She wasn’t only selling loose tea but also anything related to it; tea pots, tea cups, tea containers, tea bags, etc. Where the cash register was, she had a wide selection of chocolate… yummy!



As a friend, I bought whatever I could because I wanted to support and encourage her in her business venture. I bought so many different varieties of loose teas; from oolong to rooibos and everything in between. One day, she made me try a popular tea from India and Pakistan. Oh boy! It was incredibly amazing and I became an addict! The one I’m talking about here is Masala Chai! This aromatic tea is fabulously flavorful! Brewed with black tea and spices, this is a beverage that is seriously awesome! Just a quick info – masala means “mixture of spices” and chai means “tea”

When I moved to British Columbia, I went to a couple of tea shops in Vancouver and bought some but unfortunately they were not as strong and spicy as Joanne’s. One day I decided to make my own. Just by the taste of it, I kind of knew which spices were in it and since then I’ve being enjoying my homemade masala tea whenever I feel like having some!

When it comes to the ingredient amounts, I give “the smoother” version of it. I personally prefer much stronger flavor therefore using more peppercorns. Like any recipe you come across, the amounts are just a guideline so from there, you can always adjust them to your liking.


 Depending on how I feel, I either make it with half water and half milk or go for a richer flavor using strictly milk. It is such a tasty chai to enjoy by the fireplace with a book and your favorite music playing in the background. Take your spice grinder out and don’t delay to savor this delicious chai!
Cheers!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/indian-masala-chai/


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Winter Citrus Salad

Oh my! A New Year… a new chapter! I’m so excited to see what this year brings. Last year was awesome… I met a lot of great people that became friends! David and I moved to a bigger place with a bigger kitchen… yeah! Although there was a lot of work involved, the rewards were greatly appreciated. Club Foody has grown rapidly and as you’re reading this, there are many recipes that rank in the top 20 on the Google search page! Overall 2017 was a good year and David and I are looking forward to 2018…

There was a lot of cooking involved last year and I really tried to keep it simple. This year won’t be any different and I’m very glad that you, my lovely subscribers, keep enjoying them. As you know me better throughout my recipes, I love to diversify my culinary repertoire… from healthy to sweet to meat and vegetarian. I don’t channel my cooking into a specific category because I would get bored (that’s the way I am) plus I’m too curious… I love experimenting and creating with a wide variety of ingredients, herbs and spices. It’s interesting when someone asks me what I prefer cooking because my answer is… EVERYTHING!

The first recipe of the year that I’m sharing with you is my Winter Salad! This delicious recipe is packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants… all the good stuff to boost your immune system especially during the colder winter months. The ingredients you’ll find in this recipe are very “wintery”. Each season brings us its own gems so what better way to take advantage of it than by using fresh ingredients! One of them that I’m using is homemade Pomegranate Molasses which is a great recipe to have on hand!

As the year begins, we might have a couple of resolutions to start off on the right foot! The most popular one is losing weight. Having a salad as a meal can definitely help shed some extra pounds added over the Holidays. On one hand, there’s the health benefits and on the other a light meal to slim down. What else is there to add besides going ahead and giving it a try…
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/winter-citrus-salad/