Jan 29, 2013

How do you roast your chicken?

It was about fine time that I included a blog post about what might possibly be among the most quintessential staple recipes that any kitchen should witness: roast chicken. It is as classic as the little black dress is to fashion. Comforting, genuine, versatile, universal and always a crowd pleaser.  Lunch, dinner, leftovers, chicken thighs or breast, skin or without- anything goes! Everyone has 'their' perfect recipe, tricks they've read in cook books, tips they've heard through the grapevine and treasured tools and ingredients they keep in a safebox (well, maybe not). Not too long ago, I may have achieved my best version to date. The process is a simplistic one that ultimately comes down to a few steps (but much patience!) I put together based on experience and research. Ah yes, I'm certainly the nerdy type when it comes to cooking. 

Jan 21, 2013

Fennel, Feta & Ouzo

I always wonder what it is that gives vegetables their bad rep- with their multitude of colours, shapes, textures and forms they are anything but 'yucky' (were you one of those kids who hated broccoli?) Boil them, roast them, grill them, fry them, steam them, chop, dice or slice: eating greens should be a wonderful thing! As a matter of fact, I have an unusual soft spot for vegetables: I crave them the very same way I crave chocolate (I suppose one makes up for the other!) Fennel, with it's signature licorice-like taste, is one I particularly relish- especially when it's roasted.

Jan 12, 2013

"Creme de Marrons" for a Sweet Winter

In the world of finger lickin' good spreads there are favourites along the nutty lines of Nutella and Peanut Butter, fruity twists of Jams and Marmelades, and even cookie-ish Biscoff Spread for those of you who realized that the flavour of Belgian Speculoos is indeed an addictive thing.
But my firm favourite has always- and will always be- what the French call 'Creme de Marrons' - which is nothing more then a sweetened Chesnut Puree. If you love the taste of 'marrons glaces' (candied chesnuts), then you will most certainly enjoy Creme de Marrons. It's also one of the key ingredients in the celebrated Mont Blanc dessert with all its swirls and twirls of chestnut goodness. 

Jan 6, 2013

Rose Frangipane Galette des Rois

The calendar reads that today is January 6th- which is the day Epiphany is celebrated- and also the day we all stuff our faces with delicious King Cake. Having spent many years in France, the treat of my choice has always been the Galette des Rois- which is nothing more then scrumptious frangipane sandwiched in between two layers of flaky puff pastry. It sounds simple (which it is) and happens to be my favourite "holiday sweet" of the year- that I admit to making it even if we're no longer in January! 

By the way, in France there's a tradition that each galette holds a slice with a figurine hidden in it. The person who randomly gets this slice will have a lucky year (or something like that) and gets to wear a crown on their head.  This time around I actually got that slice, so that makes me look forward to the next twelve months!

Jan 2, 2013

Wonderful Spinach Tart

A belated Happy New Year to everyone! With the festive season coming to it's end, I have to admit I'm very happy all this holiday food business is over... all the indulgence was starting to get to me! You're expected to dress up, look your best, and spend your time fueled on meals that quadruple your waistline and then running on a treadmill like a crazy hamster in a wheel. And then run some more once it's all over! It doesn't make any sense if you ask me :) On the upside however, I didn't mind the endless hours cooking up recipes! 

Anyway, this year I'm hoping to share lots of delicious awesomeness with you guys. For starters, there's this recipe I'm really excited to share- it's a superb spinach tart that I've been eating since as long as I can remember. My mom would make this so often...so I have it embedded in my taste buds at this point! Rich with spinach, pomegranate and walnuts, it's at once delicious and beautiful. An alchemistic and colourful combination that also includes a tangy sumac spice twist.