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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How-To: Peeling Tomatoes

This was one of the first things I was taught in culinary school. It is not often that you need to peel a tomato but this trick comes in handy for the few times that you do.

Step 1: Using a small paring knife, gently pierce the skin on the bottom of a tomato into an "X" shape

Step 2: Plunge the "X"ed tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for about 30-45 seconds

Step 3: Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and immediately place into a bowl of ice water, let sit for about one  minute.

Step 4: Remove tomatoes from the ice water. Starting with the "X" gently pull away the tomato skin, you can use a paring knife to help out.

Peeled tomatoes are perfect for making fresh tomato sauce, recipe here

Friday, August 26, 2011

Best Cookies Ever!!!

This cookie recipe is based on one that I have used at work, I am not sure where it came from but it is too good not to share. I used Skor bits for this past batch but you can change it up to chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or whatever you heart desires. These cookies are perfectly soft and buttery but still get that crispy edge. Try them and I promise you wont be disappointed.

Best Cookies Ever
Makes about 2 dozen
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Skor bits  (or just dump in the whole bag like I did)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add vanilla, water and the egg and continue to mix until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture a little bit at a time until completely combined. Turn the mixer off, remove the bowl and stir in the Skor bits (or whatever you are using).
  5. Using a teaspoon or a small ice cream scoop, place rounds of the cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart.
  6. Place in the oven and bake until light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack (or eat while still warm like I do!)

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Roasted Potato Salad with Lemon and Dill Dressing

    My favourite thing about summer time is attending BBQs and nothing says Summer BBQ more than potato salad. As much as I LOVE creamy potato salad, this past weekend I decided to make something a a little lighter. I roasted the potatoes before hand to add extra flavour and texture, and the lemon and dill brighten up the dish. I promise you wont miss the mayo!

    Roasted Potato Salad with Lemon and Dill Dressing
    Serves 6 as a side
    • 3 lbs. baby potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (I used this bag of coloured baby potatoes)
    • 2 Tbsp. plus 2/3 cup olive oil
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 2 tsp. grainy dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. honey
    • 1/2 cup chopped dill
    • salt and pepper to taste
    1. Place a large baking sheet in your oven and pre-heat  to 450 degrees F.
    2. While the oven is preheating, toss the potatoes with the 2 Tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl
    3. Once the oven is preheated, carefully pull out the baking sheet and pour the seasoned potatoes on the sheet. Place in the oven and roast until cooked through and crispy, flipping halfway through cooking about 25 minutes.
    4. While the potatoes are roasting, whisk together the shallots with the lemon juice, zest, mustard and honey. While whisking slowly pour in the remaining olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Once the potatoes are cooked, transfer into a large mixing bowl, while still warm toss with the dressing and the chopped dill.
    6. The salad can be served warm or at room temperature.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Tales from our Garden: Zucchini Fritters

    Jordan and I took advantage of this past holiday Monday and spent the day lazily lounging in our backyard enjoying the quiet and the beautiful weather.

    Mid-afternoon I took a small break from the outdoors to fix us a quick lunch. On my way inside I picked a large zucchini and some parsley from our garden. I got inside and decided to whip up a quick batch of zucchini fritters (kind of like a potato latke but with zucchini instead of potato)

    They were the perfect light lunch to enjoy outdoors with a nice cold glass of white wine. It was a perfect afternoon!

    Zucchini Fritters (adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living)
    Makes about 6 large fritters
    • 1 medium sized zucchini
    • 1/4 of a Spanish onion
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
    • 2 Tbsp. flour
    • 1 large egg
    • the zest of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • olive oil for frying
    1. Using the large side of a box grater, grate the zucchini and onion onto a large, clean tea towel. Squeeze any excess moisture out from the zucchini and onion using the towel and then empty out into a large mixing bowl.
    2. Combine the zucchini and onion with the parsley, cheese, flour, egg, lemon zest and salt and pepper.
    3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once heated pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon in mounds of the zucchini mixture, flattening with the back of the spoon.
    4. Cook until crisp on both sides, about 2-3 minutes a side and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. 
    5. Sprinkle with some sea salt and serve.

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