Monday, May 27, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is so classic, and when done well, it really doesn't need any tampering. But sometimes its time to try something a little different. One of the cool food trends for 2013 is grilled salad greens and it make for such a fun option especially when you are already barbecuing. It only takes a few extra minutes, but it really takes the humble caesar to a different level.

Hey and you have to admit, that's a pretty sexy looking salad!

Serves 6.

2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of anchovy paste (optional)
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese. (Parmiggiano-Reggiano is our favorite)
Pepper to taste
6 slices of crusty white bread  - plus a little additional olive oil for brushing
3 hearts of romaine lettuce with the core intact

1.  Using the side of your chef knife, grind the garlic with a pinch of salt until it is smooth. You can also use a mortar and pestle, or blend it with the other ingredients using an immersion blender.
2. Put the garlic in a medium bowl with the anchovy paste, and egg yolks. Mix until emulsified using whisk, electric beaters.
3. While beating, slowly add in olive oil and lemon juice. Then whisk in parmesan until the whole mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Pepper to taste, and store in an airtight container.

To assemble:
1.  Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and place on medium high Barbeque. Grill just until the bread is nicely marked with grill marks, about 2 minutes per side. When done, slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.
2. Cut the hearts of romaine in half through the core. Put lettuce on the grill, cut side down, and grill only until grill marks appear, rotate and grill all sides.
3. When done, cut the core off the grilled romaine and place in a large bowl. (You can cut the romaine into bite sized pieces if you desire, but we love the look when whole leaves are served)
4. Toss the romaine with the dressing and then lay the leaves on a large serving plate.
5. Arrange lettuce with the toasted bread and additional shaved parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Coo Coo for Coconut!

We were asked last week to collaborate with the amazingly talented doctor of traditional chinese medicine, Kim Graham. She expressed her passion for coconut and with the recent heat wave we thought a cool and refreshing popcicle experience was in order!!! We hope you enjoy!
                                                                                           Makes: 8 x 1/3 cup popcicles.

Note: We got the trays from superstore for $2, they only make 7 popcicles but there is enough popsicle mixture left over for 1 more.

3/4 cup coconut milk
2 cups frozen mango pieces (slightly thawed)
2 cups frozen raspberries (slightly thawed)
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (optional)

1. In a large bowl or a blender add coconut milk, frozen fruit , and honey.
2. Blend using the blender or an immersion blender until the mixture is smooth. At this point you can pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the raspberry seeds if desired.

3. Stir in the coconut and then divide amongst the popsicle trays. Insert sticks and place in freezer.

4. Freeze for at least 6 hours before eating.

Other good fruit combinations are strawberry and peach, or field berry blends.

Check out Dr. Kim's facebook page at!/Dr.KimTCM?fref=ts

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Game Day Treats!- Nuts and Bolts - 2 varieties

Nuts and bolts are a great treat and an easy, inexpensive crowd pleaser. There are lots of store bought varieties out there, but they are expensive and full of salt. The best thing about making your own nuts and bolts is that you can put in all of your favorite ingredients, whatever they are. They key to success is to have a good balance between flavours in the base mix. We mixed pretzels with Shreddies peanuts, sesame sticks, Cheese Nips and corn nuts, but you can add whatever you like.

We did a bunch of test runs to determine the best seasoning mix to add before baking them, and we just couldn't make up our minds. We just had to give you more than one option, a sweet and a spicy version!
Makes 20 servings.
For the Base:
1 cup Shreddies
1 cup Cheese Bits (we used the ones by Kraft)
1 cup sesame sticks
1 cup corn nuts, plain
1 1/2 cup pretzels
1 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

Sweet and Salty Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Spicy Masala Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground garam masala

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix all the base ingredients. You can adjust the proportions of the ingredients based on your preference, but it must total approximately 7 cups.
3. In a small saucepan, combine all the topping ingredients and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat immediately.
4. Pour the topping over the base mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon. (topping is hot, do not use your hands to mix)
5. Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes.
7. When done, let cool before putting mix in a bowl.  Store in an airtight container.