Monthly Archives: March 2015

  1. The Best Easter Desserts For Your Easter Celebration

    The Best Easter Desserts For Your Easter Celebration

    Whether you serve an Easter dinner or an Easter brunch, end it on a note of sweet treats for your guests to enjoy.  Here are some of the best Easter desserts that will help to satisfy your guests' sweet tooth. Traditional...

    Whether you serve an Easter dinner or an Easter brunch, end it on a note of sweet treats for your guests to enjoy.  Here are some of the best Easter desserts that will help to satisfy your guests' sweet tooth.

    Traditional Angel Food Cake with Berries
    Traditional Angel Food Cake with Berries

    As we welcome spring, our choices of desserts tend to be on the lighter side.  This black and white angel food cake is not only light but pretty enough to serve as the centerpiece of your holiday table.

    Carrot Cake with Nuts and Frosting
    Carrot Cake with Nuts and Frosting

    For some Easter is not complete without a piece of carrot cake.  This carrot cake is covered in a fluffy cream cheese frosting which means it is not only going to taste great, but it will look pretty too.

    Easter Cake Pops
    Easter Cake Pops

    Looking for something festive that will appeal to the adults as well as the children?  These Easter egg cake balls  will look great decorated in all the springtime colors. Serve them in a basket for a special added touch.  The cake balls are made from egg whites and fat-free Greek yogurt making them slightly lighter than traditional cake.

    Italian Easter Pie
    Italian Easter Pie

    The Easter Pie is a traditional Italian pie served in the spring (Pastiera).  This beautiful looking pie will stop your guests in their tracks.  Once they taste the ricotta filling that is sweetened with the flavor of orange zest, they are going to come back for more.

    Easter is a time of sweet treats and these desserts will sure to please your guests.  We would love to here about your best dessert desserts. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have about your Easter desserts.  We will be glad to help.

    Read more »
  2. 3 Delicious Calorie-Conscious Soups

    3 Delicious Calorie-Conscious Soups

    Collage of various soups You’ve heard how soups can help weight loss. Not so fast. Not all soups are light and low in calories. Down one cup of clam chowder and you may have easily ingested 163 calories and...

    Collage of various soups
    Collage of various soups

    You’ve heard how soups can help weight loss. Not so fast. Not all soups are light and low in calories. Down one cup of clam chowder and you may have easily ingested 163 calories and 6 grams of fat. On the other hand, a cup of homemade clear vegetable soup contains only 34 calories and zero fat. Those are moderate estimations. One thing remains clear, to make calorie-conscious soups, it’s all in the ingredients. What ingredients should you use to ensure low-calorie healthy soups? Consider these ingredients the next time you want to whip up a low-calorie, nutrient-dense soup:

    Fresh Vegetables for Soup
    Fresh Vegetables for Soup

    Vegetables and Plenty of Them

    Vegetables are generally low in calories and fat, high in fiber and nutrients. Colorful vegetables yield plenty of anthocyanins, a potent group of antioxidants to promote health. Certain vegetables are endowed with a high water content such as cucumber, celery, zucchini, squash, jicama, among others. These voluminous vegetables, so called due to its high-water content, make good choices when it comes to soups. Chop up any assortment of vegetables and use them to beef up the soup. For instance, a tomato-based vegetable soup can include a can (16 oz) of tomato juice and plenty of vegetables such as onion, celery, carrots, fresh tomatoes, peas, corns and spinach. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of spice (oregano, thyme, basil, cumin). Soups loaded with vegetables fill you up without a high calorie count.

    Beans Peas and Lentils
    Beans Peas and Lentils

    Beans, Peas, Lentils

    When it comes to adding carbohydrates without raking up calories, consider beans, peas and lentils. Broadly classified as legumes, they’re powerhouses of nutrients and minerals, loaded with fiber and low in fat. According to Harvard Health,  legumes have been linked to reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon health, certain cancers and weight loss. They also make great vegetable protein sources and have a way of making the soup hearty and interesting without adding a lot of calories. You can use canned beans or soak the dried form in water (for at least 12 to 24 hours to reduce the flatulence factor) before cooking. You can also puree beans to thicken soup.

    Soup Broth
    Soup Broth

    Soup Base

    How do you like your soup? If you love creamy soup, made from heavy cream, milk or butter, you may want to reconsider that option. Using light soup base from low-fat chicken broth, vegetable broth, water or low-fat milk may be the way to go when it comes to producing calorie-conscious soups. For instance, instead of thickening your soup with flour, cream or egg yolk, you may opt to puree vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cauliflower (see this recipe for cauliflower mash) to help thicken soup.

    These ingredients are by no means exhaustive. You may opt to use lean protein such as chicken, turkey and seafood. Before using a certain ingredient you're not sure of, be sure to check out its calorie profile. Of course, using a good quality soup pot will make your cooking endeavor a pleasure and a breeze. Contact us for more information about making low-calorie soups. Visit our website for all your culinary needs.

    Soup can sometimes get a bad rap. Despite including many vegetables, some people consider soup to be not all that healthy when one takes into consideration the calories and sodium content. However, there are many Calorie-Conscious Soups out there. In fact here is a list of soups that are all 100 calories or less!

    Here are three fun and tasty examples that show that soups don't need to have lots of calories:

    Chicken Salsa Soup

    (recipe from fatsecret.com)

    This recipe proves that healthy doesn't equal boring! A short preparation time and some simple ingredients can give you a spicy and delicious dinner treat!

    Chicken Salsa Soup
    Chicken Salsa Soup

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients:

    • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
    • 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breast
    • 8 oz. jar of salsa (pick your perfect hotness)
    • 14.5 ounces of chicken broth
    • 1 cup of chopped carrots
    • 1 cup of corn
    • 14.5 oz. of water

    Directions:

    1. Combine the chicken, broth, water, and chili powder in a large sauce pan.
    2. Bring to a boil.
    3. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Add the carrots and corn, and bring it back to a boil.
    5. Reduce the heat again, cover, and simmer.
    6. Once the chicken is no longer pink, and the corn is tender, add the salsa, and be sure to heat the mixture up well.

    Tips:

    • For additional fiber and body, feel free to add in some black beans or even potatoes.
    • Using low sodium broth can be a good choice to make it healthier.
    • Adding some sour cream can be a nice touch (but will increase the calorie count).
    • You can adjust the spiciness of this soup by picking your salsa or adding more or less chili powder as necessary.
    • This can be a great way to use up left over chicken including chicken from chicken tacos, fajitas, or even barbecue chicken.

    All-Vegetable Soup

    Vegetable Soup
    Vegetable Soup

    This soup contains so many nutritious vegetables. It is super tasty and super easy. Best of all, it allows for complete customization. If you don't like some of these vegetables, you can always give them a shot. Sometimes you may find you like them in a soup. However, you can also cut out the ones you don't like or substitute veggies that you do like! This is a perfect way to use all those extra vegetables growing in your garden.

    Ingredients:

    • 6 cups of vegetable broth
    • 1/2 fl. oz. of lemon juice
    • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
    • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon of table salt
    • 2 cups of chopped fresh thyme
    • 2 cups of chopped broccoli (small florets recommended)
    • 2 medium sized carrots, chopped
    • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower (small florets recommended)
    • 1 medium size stalk of celery, diced
    • 2 cups of chopped swiss chard
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
    • 2 small diced zucchini
    • 1 medium sized red bell pepper, chopped

    Directions:

    1. In a large soup pot combine the thyme, broth, vegetables, and garlic.
    2. Cover and bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in the parsley, salt, and lemon juice. These are all optional so you can add in however much you would like in order to get the taste you prefer.
    5. Only takes about 13 minutes to fully cook.

    Tips:

    • This soup can take over half an hour to prepare because of all the chopping! Plan ahead.
    • You can save time by using frozen vegetables, but they may not taste as good as fresh ones!
    • Remember you can cut back on some vegetables or substitute for ones you like.

    Onion Carrot and Ginger Soup

    (recipe from fatsecret.com)

    This soup only takes five minutes to prepare and requires very few ingredients. However, keep in mind that it does take approximately 45 minutes to finish cooking. Best of all, this soup only contains 46 calories per serving.

     

    Carrot Ginger Soup
    Carrot Ginger Soup

    Makes 8 servings.

    Ingredients:

    • 10 cups of chicken stock
    • 2 cups of chopped carrots
    • 2 teaspoons of ginger
    • 2 cups of chopped onions

    Directions:

    1. Slice the onions.
    2. Peel the carrots.
    3. Chop the ginger.
    4. Add all of the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil for 30-40 minutes.

    Tips:

    • Be cautious with the ginger. Some people don't like a strong ginger flavor. Also, if you are using fresh vs. what you get in the spice section your soup may need more or less!
    • Look for lower sodium chicken stock or make your own in order to make this meal even healthier.
    • If you do not like chunks in your soup, you can puree the soup in a blender to make it smoother.
    • For some extra fun sprinkle with feta cheese or garnish with herbs.

    Please contact us for more delicious calorie-conscious recipes!

    Read more »
  3. New Twists to the Traditional Easter Ham

    New Twists to the Traditional Easter Ham

    Though you never want to completely steer away from tradition when serving a holiday meal, however it is fun to serve a traditional dish with some new twists.  Here are some ideas on how to make your traditional Easter ham with...

    Though you never want to completely steer away from tradition when serving a holiday meal, however it is fun to serve a traditional dish with some new twists.  Here are some ideas on how to make your traditional Easter ham with a few new twists.

    Easter Ham
    Easter Ham

    The use of brown sugar is nothing new when it comes to baking a ham. However, when you add some bourbon and a little cola to the mix, you get a nice new twist.  Those are not the only surprises in this Brown Sugar-Bourbon Baked Ham recipe. The smell of the 48 cloves will bring your guests straight to your dinner table.

    Top your ham with a new flavor glaze to add a bit of twist to your classic dish. Try this blood orange glaze for something new.  Not only will the taste of the brown sugar and the blood oranges bring you family back for more, the ham will look spectacular as the centerpiece of your holiday table.

    Glazed Ham with Cloves
    Glazed Ham with Cloves

    Add a little mojo to your ham with this mojo sauce and papaya salsa recipe. Both the sauce and salsa could be made ahead of time making preparation for this recipe easy.  Serving the ham with the fresh fruit will give your ham a brand new look.

    Are you ready to fire up the grill?  Consider cooking your ham outside this year. Over indirect heat, the ham will cook evenly and will be delicious. It will take about 15 to 18 minutes per pound for the ham to cook.  To get started, consider this recipe for a spiced grilled ham topped with a citrus glaze.

    So, how do you make your Easter Ham?  We would love to know.  Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding recipes for your Easter ham.

    Read more »
  4. Chicken Jalapeno Corn Chowder

    Chicken Jalapeno Corn Chowder

    One of my favorite restaurants used to make a jalapeno Corn Chowder that was absolutely marvelous to eat on a cold, winter day. I moved away, and now that restaurant is shut down, but I couldn't stop dreaming about...

    One of my favorite restaurants used to make a jalapeno Corn Chowder that was absolutely marvelous to eat on a cold, winter day. I moved away, and now that restaurant is shut down, but I couldn't stop dreaming about their chowder. I tried several recipes online, amending them slightly since there are virtually no jalapeno corn chowder recipes on the internet. Finally I gave up and created my own. And the results were delicious. This recipe is pretty big, I like to make big batches of soup and either freeze some or munch on it all week, since Soup always gets better with age. It's probably 8-10 servings, however this recipe halves very easily. Be sure to contact us with feedback, and always check back for more recipes!

    Chicken Jalapeno Corn Chowder

    Chicken Corn Chowder
    Chicken Corn Chowder

    Ingredients:

    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • 3-4 tablespoons of white wine (you can substitute chicken stock or broth here)
    • 2 tablespoons of flour
    • 6 chopped red potatoes
    • 8 cups of chicken stock or broth
    • 2-3 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it)
    • 2 bags of frozen corn 16 ounce size
    • 8 ounce package of cream cheese
    • Approximately 1 lb of chicken, chopped (you can also use leftover cooked chicken and shred it!)

    Directions:

    1. First, turn the oven on broil and put the jalapenos on a baking tray.
    2. Once the oven has preheated, put the jalapenos in and cook them while you are preparing everything else. Make sure you check them regularly to turn them so they cook evenly on all sides
    3. Next, place the onion, garlic, bacon and butter in the bottom of a big pot and cook on medium high heat until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
    4. Then add in the white wine and use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan so that any bits of bacon goodness come up. Let this sit for a few minutes while the wine cooks down a bit and the flavors meld.
    5. Next add in the flour and stir until everything is well coated.
    6. Add in the potatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. If you aren't using cooked, leftover chicken; add it now. Boil until the potatoes soften and the chicken is cooked.
    7. The jalapenos should be done broiling sometime while the chicken and potatoes are cooking. Remove them from the oven, let them cool a bit and chop them up (remove the seeds if you are sensitive to spice, but realize that broiling the jalapenos does reduce the spiciness a little).
    8. Then add the jalapenos and the corn and let it boil for a few more minutes so the corn can heat up and the flavors can meld. (If you are using leftover chicken, add it here.)
    9. Finally, stir in the cream cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

    The spiciness contrasts the buttery taste of the soup well and warms you up even more than a normal chowder would! Feel free to garnish with fresh herbs from your garden (or store bought ones) and some crispy croutons.

    Enjoy!

    Read more »
  5. Easy Easter Brunch

    Easy Easter Brunch

    Easter brunch is a treat for the whole family. This recipe is a great way to have a tasty dish everyone can enjoy! One of the biggest issues families can face at holidays is the question of what to cook....

    Easter brunch is a treat for the whole family. This recipe is a great way to have a tasty dish everyone can enjoy!

    One of the biggest issues families can face at holidays is the question of what to cook. You need something that is pretty simple to make, feeds enough people, but can be customized so that everyone enjoys it.

    This Easter Breakfast Casserole is an excellent option for an easy Easter brunch, because it uses some pretty common ingredients and is a perfect recipe for a beginner. Although the recipe may take about an hour to finish baking in the oven, this gives a family plenty of time to enjoy with each other while it cooks.

    Easy Easter Breakfast Casserole

    Tasty Breakfast Casserole
    Tasty Breakfast Casserole

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound of bacon
    • 1/4 cup of diced onion
    • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
    • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
    • 8 eggs
    • 2 cups of milk
    • 1 16 ounce package of hash browns, thawed.

    The benefits of this recipe is that most of these ingredients are commonly found in your kitchen. If not, they are typically easy to find in your local grocery store!

    Directions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (or 175 degrees C).
    2. Grease a 7 x 11 inch casserole.
    3. Fry the bacon in a skillet. (Cook to your preference in terms of crispiness).
    4. Drain bacon and crumble (or cut) into small pieces.
    5. In a large bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the milk.
    6. Mix in the cheese, bacon, onion, and green pepper.
    7. Stir in the hash browns.
    8. Pour into casserole and cover with aluminum foil.
    9. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for an additional 35 minutes or until done.

    This recipe is sure to be perfect for your Easter Brunch. But there are plenty of ways you could make it even better!

    Tips, Tricks, and Suggestions

    The great thing about this recipe is how easy it would be to customize to you or your guest's preferences.

    • Want to make it healthier? Consider including other vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, etc.
    • Consider the different types of meats you could use. Consider using sausage, ham, or other meats. Also, don't forget that you could forgo the meat entirely.
    • Want to make it crispier or have a drier texture? Pre-cook the hash browns placing them in the casserole and baking it for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.

    Portion Sized Casseroles
    Portion Sized Casseroles

    Not sure who likes what in their casserole? Consider splitting the final mixture into two or more separate pans (ramekins for example) with different ingredients in each. This will be a very easy way to allow people to choose what they'd like best.

    Another great way to accommodate diverse tastes might be to offer options at the table such as spices like paprika, minced garlic, salsa, ketchup, or any other add-ons!

    Contact us for more great recipes to try this Easter!

    Read more »
  6. Pulled Chicken With An Asian Twist

    Pulled Chicken With An Asian Twist

    When it comes to pulled chicken, it's time to think outside of the box, or rather, outside of the crock pot.  Normally when you think of pulled chicken from a crock pot, your go to dish is likely something that is...

    When it comes to pulled chicken, it's time to think outside of the box, or rather, outside of the crock pot.  Normally when you think of pulled chicken from a crock pot, your go to dish is likely something that is seasoned with smoke flavoring and inevitably gets drenched in BBQ sauce and plopped on to buttery bun with a couple of pickle slices as garnish.  If you like pulled chicken from the crock pot but are looking for a new approach, try this Asian inspired twist.

    Pulled Asian Chicken

    Chicken and Rice
    Chicken and Rice

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of chicken stock
    • 2 lbs. of chicken
    • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic
    • 1/2 yellow onion
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
    • 3/4 cup of your favorite teriyaki sauce
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder (toasted preferred)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 celery stalk (just one of the pieces, not the entire bunch)
    • 1 carrot, washed and peeled
    • a small, thumb-sized portion of peeled fresh ginger

    Directions:

    1. Place all of the ingredients into your crock pot and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, 6 if the chicken is frozen.  
    2. After the ingredients have finished cooking, drain off most of the excess liquid that remains, keeping about two tablespoons.  You don't want to remove all the leftover broth or you will run the risk of having the chicken dry out when you reheat it later.  
    3. Remove the celery, carrot, and ginger piece and discard them.  
    4. Using a couple of forks, do the normal "pulling" you would with the chicken, being sure to tear into the garlic and onion so as to provide even dispersal throughout the dish.
    5. Take the desired portion of chicken and scoop it on to a bed of brown rice and top it with your favorite stir fried vegetables.
    6. You now have a delicious plate of pulled chicken sure to change up your normal dinner routine.  

    For an another twist, consider filling a soft shell corn tortilla with the chicken, rice, and a bit of stir fried vegetables to have yourself a different take on a taco. Remember, just because you've tried food one way doesn't mean you've tried it the only way possible.  Happy Eating!

    Questions about a recipe or need advice on what tools to use for this dish or others? Please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

    Read more »
  7. Pasta, spaghetti sauce and fine herbs!

    Pasta, spaghetti sauce and fine herbs!

    This week, let's get smarter.  I can already hear you thinking, how is she going to make us smarter with stupid spaghetti!!!  Spaghetti? Stupid?Ahhh… That’s where you're wrong. Every time I think that an idea or a recipe will...

    This week, let's get smarter.  I can already hear you thinking, how is she going to make us smarter with stupid spaghetti!!!  Spaghetti? Stupid?Ahhh… That’s where you're wrong.

    Every time I think that an idea or a recipe will be simple, I don't know why, but it gets more complicated than I thought.  What could be simpler than a spaghetti sauce?  Everybody has their own recipe, or if it's not a recipe it's our own way to do it.  Spaghetti is popular. Kids love it and moms love it too because it's fast, easy, simple and everybody likes it.  But do you know what you are eating?  I read an article that says if you look at the ingredients on a box of anything you buy at the grocery, and you don't know the ingredients or can't pronounce it, buy something else!  So, here I am at the grocery looking at the ingredients of the dry pasta I usually buy.  Surprise!  There is wheat and a bunch of others words that I can't pronounce.  Hmmm...??  After a bit of research, looking at every dry pasta package, I finally found some with only wheat.  Ok, I know wheat.  Let's buy this one!  After I got home, I was still thinking about this. What have I been eating for all those years in my pasta?  Thanks to Google, a few clicks and I got my answers:

    • Niacin
    • Ferrous sulphate
    • Thiamine mononitrate
    • Riboflavin
    • Acid folic

    These ingredients are vitamins.  In Canada, companies add vitamins to your dry pasta.  Oh, that's neat! This is why the one I bought that had only wheat was imported from Italy.  I don't know if you already knew this, but I didn't know.  I'm glad I learned it, just because I like to know what I’m eating.  My next step with pasta? I will try to make fresh homemade ones.  I'll let you know the result in a later blog for sure.  It should be interesting.

    Pasta with my favorite sauce
    Pasta with my favorite sauce

    For now, I'm giving you my favourite spaghetti sauce recipe.  You can put it on top of your favourite pasta: dry or fresh, with or without vitamins and in whatever colours you want.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage (or a mixture of both), casing removed
    • 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3 onions, finely chopped
    • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 can (156 ml) tomato paste
    • 2 cans (796 ml) diced Italian tomatoes
    • 2 cans (796 ml) tomato sauce
    • 2 cups (500 ml) beef broth
    • 4 teaspoons fresh basil
    • Salt and pepper

    Preparation:

    1. In a large saucepan, brown the meat in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the oil, half at a time, with the red pepper flakes. Add oil, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
    2. In the same saucepan, soften the onions, carrots and garlic in the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute over high heat.
    3. Add the meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan regularly, for about 3 hours or until it thickens.
    4. Serve over the pasta of your choice.

    As you can see in the ingredients, I put fresh basil in my sauce.  In Montreal, I used to have my pots of fresh fine herbs by my window.  It was so easy, whenever I was cooking I just chopped some off the plant and threw it in my pan.  Since I moved to Nova Scotia, I don't really know why but I stopped this habit.

    Fresh Herbs
    Fresh Herbs

    If you want fresh herbs and want to save a lot of money, this is the best way to do it.  For almost the same price you can get a plant instead of a small plastic container of fresh herbs and you're going to have your plant for ever...  ok, maybe not, but for a really long time.  So this week, since I was cooking my awesome spaghetti sauce, I started my collection of fine herbs again.  I bought basil and rosemary, my two favourite herbs.  I still have an empty pot, so next time I'll go for some chives.  Of course I can't have all the herbs in my window.  But, at least, I have the ones I use the most.  Fresh is always better then dry, in my opinion.

    Good pasta, the best spaghetti sauce, fresh herbs, and you should be in business for an awesome meal!  Put some parmesan on top of it and it will be delicious!  Cheese... another thing I should talk to you about!

    Read more »
  8. At Cilantro, We Love Emile Henry - Here's Why

    At Cilantro, We Love Emile Henry - Here's Why

    At Cilantro, The Cook's Shop, we're big fans of Emile Henry dishes, pots and pans, and we're confident you will be, too. Burgundy Vineyard in France The company was founded in 1850 in Marcigny, a small town in the Burgundy region...

    At Cilantro, The Cook's Shop, we're big fans of Emile Henry dishes, pots and pans, and we're confident you will be, too.

    Burgundy Vineyard in France
    Burgundy Vineyard in France

    The company was founded in 1850 in Marcigny, a small town in the Burgundy region of France.

    Burgundy is known for the soil that gives grapes grown there their excellent wine-making properties, but this soil also gave the Henry family the clay it used to make their first earthenware dishes.

    The clay, which is rich in limestone and minerals, helps food made in Emile Henry dishes cook evenly and consistently. It also resists staining or retaining odors -- perfect for long-simmering dishes like coq au vin or bouef bourgignon. Thus, Emile Henry cookware and bakeware quickly became popular well beyond the limits of Marcigny.

    Potter Working With Clay
    Potter Working With Clay

    Today, the company is still owned by the Henry family. Emile Henry cookware is still renowned for its even cooking and heating, but modern chefs also love its durability -- it can go from freezer to microwave to broiler to dishwasher without suffering, and the same cannot be said for many other high-end kitchen utensils. As if they needed it, Emile Henry products come with a 10-year warranty against breakage due to defective workmanship.

    Emile Henry Dishes
    Emile Henry Dishes

    On top of that, Emile Henry's cheerful colors makes it pots, oven dishes, plates and other tools instruments that are as beautiful as they are useful. Many of our customers have told use they keep their Emile Henry products out to display.

    If you'd like to learn more about Emile Henry products, feel free to contact us at any time or drop by our store. We'd be happy to show you around.

    Read more »
  9. Salmon Tartar with Potato Rösti and Honey Mustard Sauce

    Salmon Tartar with Potato Rösti and Honey Mustard Sauce

    Salmon Tartar Did you ever want to impress your guests but didn?t want to work your butt off? Then this recipe is going to be your new best friend. I used to make it almost every day when I...

    Salmon Tartar
    Salmon Tartar

    Did you ever want to impress your guests but didn?t want to work your butt off? Then this recipe is going to be your new best friend. I used to make it almost every day when I worked in the kitchen in Germany. My ex- boss; (who is one of the best chefs on this planet by the way), taught me how to make it, and I totally fell in love with this recipe, just because this is something so easy and cheap but can look and taste so amazing.

    The Salmon we are going to use in this recipe has to be marinated for 2-3 days. I like to buy my fish at the Superstore. If you have never bought fresh fish and have no idea what you are doing, please just ask the Seafood Supervisor. In the case of filleted fish or fish that has been cut up into pieces; which is the case here, it is more difficult to see whether it is fresh. The main criteria is the salmon should have a  fresh smell and a smooth and shiny flesh.

    Marinated Salmon

    Ingredients:
    • 500 g/1 lb fresh salmon
    • 1 bunch dill
    • 20 g salt
    • 15 g sugar
    • 1 small shallot
    • 3 tbsp Sour Cream
    Fresh Salmon
    Fresh Salmon
    Directions:
    1. Rinse the salmon under cold running water, pat dry, cut in half lengthwise and remove the bones. (Tip: use your tweezers if necessary)
    2. Rinse the dill, pat dry, pull the leaves off the stems and chop finely.
    3. Mix the salt and sugar together and sprinkle on the two salmon halves, then sprinkle the chopped dill on top.
    4. Place one salmon half with the skin downwards in a large shallow dish, that is larger than the fish and a cutting board that will weigh it down.
    5. Put the other salmon half on top with the skin facing upward and cover with clingfilm. Put a small cutting board (has to be bigger than the fish) on top and weigh it down with two unopened cans. Keep the salmon in the fridge for 2-3 days. Turn it every day and baste it with the marinade.
    6. On day three cut the salmon into thin slices (almost thin as paper) at an angle towards the skin side. Put the slices on top of each other and cut it so small that it looks ground.
    7. Put the salmon in a small bowl, chop up the shallot in very small cubes and add it to the salmon. Add the sour cream and mix everything very well.
    8. Season it with salt and pepper.
    9. Take two spoons and form perfect cams out of the mixture. Place them on a plate, cover and put it in the fridge.

    Rösti

    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup shredded Potatos
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1/8 cup fresh parsley
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Tbsp olive oil
    Directions:
    1. Peel the potato and shred it into a strainer. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on top, this way you lose some of the water in the potato. That is important for the frying later. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
    2. Dump the potatoes in a medium size bowl; add salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley and the egg yolk. Mix it with your hands or if you don?t like having your hands dirty use a fork.
    3. Heat up the oil in a non-stick pan. Take an ice-cream scoop as a measurement for your Potato mixture and put it in a pan, press flat and fry on both sides over low heat for about ten minutes until brown and crisp.
    4. Put a piece of paper towel on a plate and place the fried Rösti on top of it. We don?t want them too greasy, right?

    Honey Mustard Sauce

    Ingredients:
    • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
    • 2 tbsp Honey
    • 1 tbsp of fresh dill
    Directions:
    1. Very easy ; just mix everything together, done!

    So now to the plating! Place a potato Rösti on the plate and switch up, salmon, Rösti, salmon, Rösti. Then you take the sauce and sprinkle a little bit on both sides on the plate, beside the main dish. Decorate with some fresh dill or parsley. You can always heat up the Rösti again, so you could prepare it in the morning as well. Now enjoy your beautiful fresh tasting Appetizer.

    About Rösti...

    Potato Rosti
    Potato Rosti

    Rösti or röschti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes. It was originally a common breakfast eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but today is eaten all over Switzerland and also in many restaurants in the western world. Many Swiss people consider rösti a national dish. Today, rather than considering it a complete breakfast, it is more commonly served to accompany other dishes such as "Spinat und Spiegelei" (spinach and fried eggs, sunny side up), cervelas or Fleischkäse. It is also a dish one can order in many Swiss restaurants to replace the standard side dish of any given meal.

     About Gravlax...

    During the Middle Ages, gravlax was made by fishermen, who salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line. The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word grava ("to dig"; modern sense "to cure (fish)")

    Today fermentation is no longer used in the production process. Instead the salmon is "buried" in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured for a few days. As the salmon cures, by the action of osmosis, the moisture turns the dry cure into a highly concentrated brine, which can be used in Scandinavian cooking as part of a sauce. This same method of curing can be employed for any fatty fish, but salmon is the most commonly used.

    Gravlax can be cured with salt, dill, and is often eaten on rye bread.

    Read more »
  10. Brazilian Cuisine: Risoto de Polvo - Octopus Risotto

     Brazilian Cuisine: Risoto de Polvo - Octopus Risotto

    In Brazilian Cuisine, a well-known way of cooking is to make risotto—which is an Italian rice dish. But the Brazilians like to put their own spin on a risotto with their Risoto de Polvo—or Octopus Risotto. Pairing the octopus with...

    In Brazilian Cuisine, a well-known way of cooking is to make risotto—which is an Italian rice dish. But the Brazilians like to put their own spin on a risotto with their Risoto de Polvo—or Octopus Risotto. Pairing the octopus with the risotto rice gives the dish an amazing flavor and texture.

    You might think that this recipe would be difficult to make, but actually it isn’t and the ingredients are pretty easy to find as well. The tough part will be cutting the octopus the right way; there’s a trick to it. If you don’t know how to cut an octopus, here’s a guide that can help you with that.

    Risoto de Polvo — Octopus Risotto

    Octopus Risotto
    Octopus Risotto

    Serves two or three people.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. of octopus
    • 1 chopped onion
    • 1 c. of risotto rice
    • ½ c. of red wine
    • 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
    • ½ c. of olive oil
    • 1 tsp. of lemon juice
    • 1 chopped tomato
    • Pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Follow the above guide when you're cutting the octopus in pieces.
    2. In a large saucepan, pour in 1 tbsp. of olive oil, the octopus and the octopus juice.
    3. Cover the saucepan and simmer on low.
    4. After 20 minutes, remove the octopus and place it in a bowl to cool a little; set aside. Do not throw out the liquid!
    5. In a large skillet, pour in the remaining olive oil and throw in the chopped tomato and onion.
    6. Cook on medium heat until they’re soft.
    7. Add in the rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
    8. Next, pour in a ½ c. of water, the red wine and ½ c. of the octopus juices left in the saucepan and blend well.
    9. Let the mixture boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring periodically. More water may need to be added as the risotto simmers; you could add in the octopus juice, but you must use caution when doing so as the juice could make the dish very salty.
    10. While the risotto is simmering, cut the octopus into bite-sized pieces.
    11. At the end of 20 minutes, throw in the parsley, lemon juice, pepper and octopus pieces.
    12. Mix thoroughly and enjoy while the dish is hot.

    This delicious dish will surprise your guests and is a delight to seafood lovers. Now that you've seen up this recipe, don't be afraid to pick up some octopus next time you're at your local seafood market!

    For more tantalizing recipes, please contact us.

    Read more »
  11. Bringing Dinner to the Breakfast Table

    Bringing Dinner to the Breakfast Table

    Breakfast has long been championed as the "most important meal of the day," but that doesn't mean it has to be the most boring one. Too often we think of breakfast as the usual turgid affair of a bowl of...

    Breakfast has long been championed as the "most important meal of the day," but that doesn't mean it has to be the most boring one. Too often we think of breakfast as the usual turgid affair of a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit.  If we are feeling up to it and have the time, we might make some eggs, bacon, or sausage to grace our morning plates. Breakfast doesn't just have to stick to the things that we've seen before in order for it to feel like breakfast though.  You've heard of Brinner, or breakfast for dinner, now it's time for Dinfast!  Dinner for breakfast!  Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you to change your breakfast blahs into dinner-like hurrahs.

    Breakfast Pizza

    Breakfast Pizza
    Breakfast Pizza

    Why not have a small slice of something awesome in the morning?  Pizza for breakfast!  Now, we're not talking about using toppings like mushroom and pepperoni, but rather top it with some of those things you would normally have for breakfast.

    Ingredients:

    • Pizza dough (homemade or from a pre-made refrigerated tin)
    • 1/2 cup of sausage gravy
    • 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese
    • crumbled pre-cooked bacon
    • some slices of green pepper
    • some slices of yellow onion.  

    Directions:

    1. First, roll out some pizza dough on a pizza baking stone.
    2. Top it sausage gravy, cheddar cheese, bacon, and the slices of green pepper and yellow onion.  
    3. Pop it into the oven on your baking stone and follow the baking directions for your pizza crust.  
    4. Remove and cut into slices with a pizza scissor or cutter.

    When it's done, you'll find yourself dining on a tasty and filling morning meal.  Not really a pizza person?  How about a casserole instead?

    Breakfast Casserole

    Breakfast Casserole
    Breakfast Casserole

    We already turn our some of our dinners into casserole dishes, why not give it a shot at breakfast-time as well?

    Ingredients:

    • a dozen eggs
    • sausage
    • 2 tablespoons of milk
    • a dash of salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup of bell pepper
    • quarter cup of your favorite shredded cheese  
    • cheese for topping
    • precooked bacon
    • (optional) croissant dough

    Directions:

    1. Grab your favorite baking dish and use a bit of cooking spray to start. 
    2. If you want a breaded crust on the bottom, consider grabbing one of those refrigerated croissant tubes and using it to form the bottom layer of your casserole.  (Remember though if you do this, you will need to adjust your cooking time so as to cook the eggs while not burning the pastry bottom.)
    3. Cut up sausage, onion and bell pepper, and beat the eggs.
    4. Mix the eggs, sausage, onion, bell pepper, milk, cheese and salt and pepper together.
    5. Pour the mixture in the baking dish.
    6. Bake for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven.
    7. Briefly remove the baking dish and top the mixture with some precooked bacon (evenly spaced) and enough cheese to form a bit of a crust on top.  
    8. Place the dish back into the oven for 10 more minutes or just until the cheese is browned and the eggs have begun to firm up.  
    9. Remove and enjoy!

    Although these are just a couple of ideas, we hope that they have inspired you to rethink the breakfast table. The breakfast pizza and casserole are also a great way to use leftover vegetables. They aren't strict recipes, feel like adding an egg and  spinach to a breakfast pizza? Go ahead!  Remember, whether you're staring at pancake mix or a couple of cartons of eggs, just because it's early doesn't mean it has to be boring. Next breakfast you could be having pancake pasta or oatmeal tacos.  Happy Eating!

     Need more helpful meal hints or ideas on what to add to your kitchen supplies?  Please feel free to contact us for more info.

    Read more »
  12. Sustainable Fish: Do You Know Where Your Seafood Comes From?

    Sustainable Fish: Do You Know Where Your Seafood Comes From?

    Sustainable fish is a term that you are probably seeing on a lot more menus these days.  Unlike most food fads, this is one that won't be going away any time soon.  A lot of us have been guilty of...

    Sustainable fish is a term that you are probably seeing on a lot more menus these days.  Unlike most food fads, this is one that won't be going away any time soon.  A lot of us have been guilty of jumping on the bacon or kale bandwagon, but sourcing sustainable fish is both a delicious and extremely crucial way to ensure the well being of our marine ecosystems.

    Do You Know How Your Fish is Caught?
    Do You Know How Your Fish is Caught?

    What is sustainable fishing?

    Sustainable fishing is a way of responsibly procuring seafood while maintaining little to no impact on the surrounding fish and environment. There are many different methods used to catch fish and some are much more detrimental to our sea life than others.

    Why is it important?

    Bycatch is a term used for the unwanted fish that are unintentionally caught while fishing for a certain species.  Large scale methods, also known as over farming, that involve nets have a higher risk; not only of catching unwanted fish, but also harming them in the process.  Other low impact methods, such as traps or pots, keep the fish alive so any bycatch can be released. Other methods are even capable of damaging the sea floor.  It is crucial to know where your seafood comes from in order to reduce the casualties.

    Fresh Caught Fish on a Boat
    Fresh Caught Fish on a Boat

    How can we help?

    There are many websites, such as Fish Watch and Seafood Watch, that are designed to help us understand more about sustainable fishing.  They allow us to discover which types of seafood are obtained responsibly and which types of seafood to avoid.  As a consumer, if we lessen the demand for fish that are over farmed, we can help our sustainable fisheries take over more of the market.

    There are also Eco-Labels which are awarded to fishing operations that have been inspected and assessed in order to determine their impact on the environment.  Looking for this seal of approval will let you know that your seafood was sourced responsibly.  Always ask questions.  If your vendor or supplier can't tell you where the seafood comes from, it might be time to find another source.  After you've found your top choice of sustainable fish, contact us or visit our website for recipes and equipment to help you make the most of your purchase.

    Read more »
  13. It's Not Your Grandma's Salad!

    It's Not Your Grandma's Salad!

    What comes to your mind when you think of salad? If it’s a bowl of chopped iceberg lettuce with a tired slice of tomato on top, you’re missing out on a lot of yum. Salads don’t have to be boring, and they...

    What comes to your mind when you think of salad? If it’s a bowl of chopped iceberg lettuce with a tired slice of tomato on top, you’re missing out on a lot of yum. Salads don’t have to be boring, and they aren’t necessarily a boring prequel to the “real” meal, either. Check out some “outside the bowl” alternatives.

    Keeping It Simple

    Good food doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. Create a delicious salad by tossing chopped fresh tomatoes, green bell pepper and red onion with a little vinegar-and-sugar dressing. To make the dressing, mix vinegar and water in a 2:1 ratio, adding a little white sugar to taste. For another variation, substitute balsamic or flavored vinegar.

    Cucumber Rolls

    Mix feta or bleu cheese with cream cheese with your favorite herbs before spreading the blend on long slices of cucumber. Roll the slices up and secure them with a toothpick for a salad that looks like it took a lot more work than it does.

    Old-Fashioned Coleslaw

    Whip up an old-style boiled coleslaw dressing to pour over chopped cabbage and grated carrots. Mix 2 egg yolks, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup vinegar in a saucepan; boil it all until it gets thick. Allow the dressing to cool before stirring in 1/2 cup cream and mixing it with the vegetables.

    Sweet Carrot-Apple Salad

    Even the most avid veggie-haters will have a hard time turning down this salad. Combine shredded carrots, a peeled and shredded apple, lemon juice, honey, slivered almonds and salt and pepper. Chill the tossed ingredients before serving.

    Celery-Pear Salad

    Whisk fruit-flavored vinegar, honey and salt together to dress this vegetable-fruit concoction. Toss celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, diced fresh pears, diced white cheddar cheese, and pecans with the dressing. Serve the fruit salad on plates lined with butterhead lettuce leaves.

    Dressed-Up Brussels Sprouts

    Toss trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they are tender. While they cook, fry some chopped bacon, adding maple syrup and rosemary to the drippings and cooking it until the mix thickens. Toss the sprouts, dried cranberries, the cooked bacon and toasted hazelnuts with the dressing, then top the salad with grated Romano cheese.

    Going Traditional, Modern-Style

    If you decide you want a more classic tossed salad, there are some tips to follow to make it awesome. First, make sure you have a variety of vegetables in a lot of different colors. Mix about 2 cups of vegetables for each serving of salad, including things like field greens, ripe red tomatoes, purple cabbage, orange bell peppers and carrots, green and white onions. Change things up by tossing in some sliced or grated Brussels sprouts, chopped baby bok choy and your favorite fresh herbs. Next add some protein: 1/2 cup of plant-based protein like beans or lentils or 3 ounces of lean meat, poultry or seafood. Make your salad filling by including starches like quinoa, roasted corn or boiled red potatoes, before adding a little healthy fat with avocados, nuts, olives or salad dressing made with two parts flavored vinegar to one part extra-virgin olive oil.

    Contact us for more delicious meal ideas.

    Read more »
  14. How to Cure and Clean Your Dutch Oven

    How to Cure and Clean Your Dutch Oven

    Cast Iron Dutch ovens are a versatile kitchen tool that can be used on your stove top or placed in your oven. Whether you're making a delicious winter stew or you're creating a delectable dessert, your Dutch oven's ability to evenly...

    Cast Iron Dutch ovens are a versatile kitchen tool that can be used on your stove top or placed in your oven. Whether you're making a delicious winter stew or you're creating a delectable dessert, your Dutch oven's ability to evenly distribute heat makes it ideal for cooking a variety of dishes. If you've recently purchased a cast iron Dutch oven and you're unsure of how to properly care for it, we've provided a quick and easy guide to curing and cleaning your newest kitchen tool.

    Lodge Pro Logic Black Cast Iron Dutch Oven
    Lodge Pro Logic Black Cast Iron Dutch Oven

    Curing Your New Dutch Oven 

    Curing is an essential procedure that every Dutch oven owner must preform. The process prevents your pot from rusting while also forming a coating that inhibits your food from sticking to the surface. Fortunately, the process is quite simple and doesn't require a lot of time.

    1. The first few steps in the curing process depend on whether or not the pot is brand new or used. If it's used and has a layer of rust covering its inside, you'll need to give it a good scrubbing before using fine-grade sandpaper to remove the rust and expose the metal interior. Once that's finished, the following steps apply to both new and used Dutch ovens.
    2. To remove the wax coating often found on a new Dutch oven or the metal dust remaining on a repurposed one, simply wash the pot with hot soapy water.
    3. Next, place the pot in your oven with its lid on, and allow it to heat up to at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
    4. Once the Dutch oven has reached the desired temperature, pull it out and add a small amount of oil to the pot. Wearing an oven mitt, and using a cloth spread the oil evenly over the pot's interior and exterior surface.
    5. Place the pot back into the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it to cure for an hour. Expect a small amount of smoke to rise from your oven during this stage.
    6. Removing the pot from the oven and allowing it to cool down slowly is the last step in the curing process. Although, placing your Dutch oven in the fridge or freezer to speed up the cool down may seem like a good idea, it can actually crack or warp the pot.

    Lodge Logic Double Dutch Oven
    Lodge Logic Double Dutch Oven

    Cleaning Your Dutch Oven

    While the debate on how to properly clean a Dutch oven is very much alive and kicking, the truth behind the matter lies in the owner's preference. Many individuals believe soap and water should never be used to remove leftover food. Instead, they prefer heating their Dutch oven with the lid on until all debris has disintegrated. However, just as many Dutch oven owners feel soap and water is the best way to guarantee their pot is completely clean.

    Whether you choose the heating method or you stick with soap and water, once your Dutch oven is clean, you must pour a few drops of oil into the pot and gently rub it in with a cloth to ensure the surface does not rust.

    If you're looking for further info on how to care for your kitchen tools, please contact us today to view a variety of helpful tips.

    Read more »
  15. Fragrant Chicken with Pandan Rice

    Fragrant Chicken with Pandan Rice

    Chicken and rice with pandan, a simple yet exotic dish. Pandan is a luscious green plant that normally grows in tropical areas of the world, like Vietnam. It is used in Asian countries much like vanilla is used in European...

    Chicken and rice with pandan, a simple yet exotic dish.

    Pandan is a luscious green plant that normally grows in tropical areas of the world, like Vietnam. It is used in Asian countries much like vanilla is used in European and American countries.

    Pandan Leaves
    Pandan Leaves

    Pandan leaves are usually found in the freezer section of Asian food stores, and can be used in a variety of different ways. You can use the leaves whole, tying bunches of them in a knot or tie them up in a piece of cheese cloth so they can be easily fished out of the dish before serving. Pandan can also be pureed for more fragrant dishes. Just put a bunch of pandan leaves in the food processor along with some cold water, process for about 10 minutes, and then strain and store the liquid. The liquid pandan extract can then be used in almost any dish, just like vanilla extract. Ready-to-use pandan extract is also sold at Asian supermarkets.

    One of the aromas that gets my taste buds salivating is the smell of pandan rice with steamed chicken. My grandmother used to make this when I was younger, and I would come home to a house full of delectable pandan fragrance (the sweet aroma is very similar to coconut). If you have never used pandan before and would like to try it, this simple dish is the perfect introduction to pandan.

    Fragrant Chicken with Pandan Rice

    Fragrant Chicken with Pandan Rice
    Fragrant Chicken with Pandan Rice

    Makes 2 Servings.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 Chicken Breasts, rinsed and de-boned
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
    • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
    • 1 Cup Short-Grained White Rice
    • 1-3/4 Cups Cold Water
    • 1 Handful of Pandan Leaves, rinsed thoroughly and tied in a bundle OR 4-5 Drops of Pandan Extract (about 1/4 teaspoon)

    Directions:

    1. In a medium pot, add the rice and rinse thoroughly 2-3 times.
    2. Add the cold water to the rice along with the pandan leaves or pandan extract.
    3. Place the pot over medium heat and let it come to a boil.
    4. Once the rice comes to a boil, add the chicken pieces on top of the rice, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let cook until most of the water has evaporated.
    5. Once the water has evaporated to below the level of the rice, reduce the heat to low and let cook for about 5-10 more minutes or until the chicken is done. The rice should cook on the bottom, while the steam cooks the chicken on top.
    6. Remove the pandan leaves and discard.
    7. Serve the rice and chicken immediately with some chopped green onions and light soy sauce.

    Enjoy!

    For those finishing touches you can also add a drop of lime and some slices of cucumber. Looking for the perfect salad to go with this dish? Try this recipe for broccoli slaw with peanut sauce.

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us.

    Read more »
Page
Copyright © Cilantro The Cooks Shop