Monthly Archives: May 2015

Salted Dark Chocolate Tart

Salted Dark Chocolate Tart

Salted Dark Chocolate Tart

The idea for this recipe started to form in my mind almost a month ago now, shortly after I was at the EAT! Vancouver Festival. While there, I stumbled upon a company, Salt Spring Sea Salt, that hand harvests fleur de sel from the waters surrounding Salt Spring Island. They then infuse the sea salt with other, mostly locally obtained, ingredients. They have several products that captured my attention (ummm, it took all of my will power to walk away with only 6 different varieties), but their chocolate vanilla sea salt peaked my interest the most. I’ve been trying to create a recipe for it ever since.

In addition to being inspired by infused sea salt, I also walked away from the festival wondering what exactly fleur de sel was and what made it different from other sea salts. With a little research I learned that the production of fleur de sel is very labour intensive which is why it’s one of the more expensive salt products on the market. Sea water is collected, filtered and then evaporated. During this process a thin layer of sea salt flakes forms on the surface. These flakes are then harvested by hand before they sink to the bottom. Traditionally from France, fleur de sel is now being harvested commercially in various countries throughout the world, including the West Coast of Canada.

All this certainly gave me a new appreciation for the salt I was including in this recipe. But, really any sea salt would work well. This tart is rich and delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

 

1 Cup butter, softened

1/3 Cup icing sugar

1 Cup all purpose flour

1 Cup almond meal

1 Cup heavy cream

1/4 Cup Kahlua

6 oz dark chocolate squares, chopped

2 tsp fleur de sel (or other sea salt)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and icing sugar. In half cup increments slowly mix in the flour followed by the almond meal until well combined. The dough should pull itself into a ball. Evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream and Kahlua until you just start to see some bubbles around the outer edge of the pot. Add the chocolate and whisk the mixture together for about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and continue stirring until smooth. Mix in 1 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Upon cooling, pour the chocolate into the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining sea salt on top of the chocolate, then allow the tart to chill in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours before serving.

Bacony Kale Eggs Benny

Bacony Kale Eggs Benny

Over the past month or so, I’ve been having a little love affair with poached eggs. It all started in April, when I was away on vacation. I had an amazing corned beef hash with a poached egg on top. The entire breakfast was delicious, but for some reason the poached egg stuck with me and I’ve been craving them ever since. I would think that an eggs benny (or more formally, eggs benedict) would be one of the more popular ways to serve a poached egg and since I never shy away from a good eggs benny, that seemed like the most appropriate way to get my poached egg fix.

A traditional benny consists of an english muffin topped with ham, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce, and while that’s always good, it’s fun to play around and try new ways to make them. You’re limited only by your taste buds and imagination. Honestly, if someone created an eggs benny buffet with several different variations, I would be in heaven and I may never leave. I love them that much. Here’s the eggs benny I came up with to deal with my poached egg addiction. What are some of your favourite variations?

3 slices of bacon, thinly sliced

1/4 Cup onion, diced

2 Cups kale, roughly chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup heavy cream

1/2 Cup feta cheese crumbles

1 tbsp garlic chives (onion chives would work, too)

water

1 tbsp white vinegar

4 eggs

2 english muffins

With this recipe, I felt like there was a lot going on. A lot of steps and pots and pans, etc. The best way to approach it, is to space the steps out a little bit. You don’t need to make everything at once. I don’t like to feel stressed out or panicky when I’m cooking. The kitchen is my happy place, where I like to listen to music and dance around a little bit, so I try to make and create recipes accordingly. So, with that in mind, here we go:

In a skillet, over medium heat begin frying the bacon. When it’s mostly cooked through, but before it begins to crisp, add in the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is crisp. Add in the kale and saute for just a couple of minutes, then stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan, begin heating the cream over medium heat. Stir in the feta. Continue stirring until the feta is melted into the cream and the whole mixture has thickened. You may need to mash the feta a little if it doesn’t melt in easily. Stir in the chives, then remove the pot from the heat and set aside.

Break each of the eggs into a separate bowl or ramekin. Fill a skillet with at least 1 inch of water and stir in 1 tbsp of vinegar. Heat the water over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Slowly and carefully pour each of the eggs into the water, leaving some room between them. You may need to cook them in separate batches, depending on the size of your pan. Cook the eggs for 6 minutes before carefully removing them with a slotted spoon or ladle.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the muffins and warm up the kale and cream. Place a scoop of the kale mixture on top of each muffin half, followed by the egg and then the cream. Garnish with extra chives.

Note: The cooking time for the poached eggs is entirely up to your preference. I found 6 minutes gave me a perfectly runny egg, but not too runny. If you like your eggs firmer, cook them a minute or two longer. Or less, if you like really runny eggs.

 

 

 

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Once a month, I contribute a recipe to quicktastymeals.com. In support of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, this months post was for two kid-friendly smoothie recipes. If you’d like to see the recipes, you can check them out here. If you’re interested in finding out more about Food Revolution Day, you can click on the link here.

Now for this weeks recipe:

I’m a super big fan of recipes that come together with very little effort and require very few ingredients. Recipes that, despite their simplicity, still pack a ton of flavour into every bite. Attempting to eat healthfully and squeeze extra veggies into my day, I’ve been making veggie sandwiches for lunch lately. They’re super healthy, satisfying, and can be super delicious if you add a delicious spread or sauce. My usual favourite additions are hummus or mashed avocados, so the other day I thought “what would happen if I combined the two?”. What happened was complete deliciousness and a new favourite sandwich spread. The bonus is that the leftovers make a fantastic veggie or cracker dip. With only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes, you really can’t go wrong.

1/2 Cup chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 avocado

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp mint, finely chopped

salt to taste

Mash together the chickpeas and avocado. Stir in the lemon juice, mint and salt until well combined. Spread on sandwiches or use as a dip for veggies and crackers.

Chimichurri Sauce

 

Chimichurri

Chimichurri

Several weeks back, my husband and I were out for dinner at a local steakhouse. One of the dishes we ordered was a trio of petite filets, each with their own sauce. The filets were delicious as always, but it was the chimichurri sauce that came with one of them, that left me wanting more.

Originally from Argentina, Chimichurri is an herb sauce primarily made from parsley, garlic, olive oil and white vinegar. It’s usually served with grilled meats, but can also be used as a marinade. I’ve always thought chimichurri would work best with chicken or fish, so I was sort of blown away by how good it was with steak. For some reason, I always thought that steak seemed a bit heavy for such a light, refreshing sauce (even though that is how it’s traditionally served). I’m glad I was so wrong. Chimichurri can certainly hold it’s own against a heavy steak.

With this recipe, I’ve kept to the basic idea of chimichurri sauce, but added a couple of little twists along the way. It’s ridiculously easy to make and incredibly flavourful.  I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

1 Cup Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup mint

1 small jalepeno

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup

Finely chop or mince the parsley, mint, jalepeno and garlic and place them all in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar and maple syrup. Pour over the minced herbs and stir to combine. Spoon over your steak (or anything else), use it as a marinade or simply eat it straight out of the bowl 😉

 

 

 

 

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