Tag Archives: main course

Seared Scallops with Orange and Avocado

I love seared scallops. They seem so impressive, yet are really very simple to  prepare.  I usually make them to go along with a bowl of risotto (or two, but who’s counting). This time, however, I decided to take a different approach and pair them with something a bit healthier and a little less rich. A few things to keep in mind when searing scallops are that they need to be dry when they hit the pan so that they sear, rather than steam. Season them with salt and pepper, and lastly, make sure the pan is nice and hot. I hope you enjoy them!

Seared scallops with orange and avocado

Seared scallops with orange and avocado

 

1/4 Cup jicama

1 avocado

1 naval orange

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 Cup pine nuts, toasted

 

For the scallops:

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

6 large sea scallops

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peel and dice the jicama, avocado and orange. Toss lightly with the vinegar mixture.

Remove the muscle from the scallops, then pat them dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted into the oil, gently add in the scallops, being careful not to overcrowd them. Cook the scallops until golden brown, approx 1 – 2 minutes per side.

Divide the orange and avocado mixture between two plates. Place the scallops on top and garnish with the pinenuts. This recipe serves 2.

 

 

French Onion Soup

I’ve been making a lot of soups lately and comfort food, in general. It’s been cold and rainy outside and I’ve been huddled up inside wandering around my kitchen. It’s my favourite place to be and is the centre of our home. French onion soup has always been one of my favourites. I make it fairly often throughout the fall and winter. Obviously it tastes great, makes your home smell amazing and warms you up, but I think one of the overlooked  benefits of making this recipe is that you absolutely, must open a bottle of red wine. And, if you must open a bottle of wine, you really shouldn’t let it go to waste. One glass for the pot, one glass for me…….

French Onion Soup

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 large onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp sugar

1 Cup red wine

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 Cups beef broth

2 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp rosemary

salt to taste

1 Cup gruyere cheese, grated

1 baguette

 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook until softened and beginning to brown. Stir in the red wine and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add in the balsamic vinegar, beef broth, thyme and rosemary. Stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding salt if necessary.

While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette. Brush lightly with olive oil and broil until lightly toasted. Set aside

To finish, ladle the soup into an oven safe bowl. Top with a slice of the toasted baguette and a handful of cheese. Place the bowl in the oven and broil until golden and bubbly.

 

 

Chicken Soup

There’s something so comforting about a warm bowl of home made soup on a cold, rainy day. Especially chicken soup. Not only does it warm you up and make your house smell amazing, it’s super easy to make. With a bit of time and few ingredients, you can have a delicious pot of soup ready to feed those you love. Enjoy!

 Chicken Soup

1 chicken rack

Water to cover

 

Place your leftover chicken rack in a stock pot and just cover it with water. Simmer over low heat for about 4 hours until you have a lovely stock with which to make your soup. Remove the rack from the water and set aside to cool. Once the rack is cool enough to handle, pick all the remaining chicken meat off to be used in the soup.

 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Onion, diced

4 Carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 Cup uncooked rice

12 Cups of chicken stock

Chicken from the leftover rack

2 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp sage

2 tbsp rosemary

3 bay leaves

salt to taste

 

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add in the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Stir in the chicken stock, thyme, sage, rosemary and bay and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes ,stirring occasionally. Stir in the uncooked rice and chicken and continue to simmer for about 20 more minutes until the rice is cooked. Add salt as you see fit.

 

Curried Quinoa Salad

Playing around in the kitchen is my all-time favourite thing to do. A couple of hours to myself with music playing in the background and a recipe idea floating around in my head waiting to get out. With a glass of wine nearby, of course, for inspiration. That’s the dream anyway. The reality is more like this:  two little kids trying to “help” by grabbing everything out of the pantry so they can create their own masterpiece, with every Disney princess song ever written playing in the background. And no wine. Let’s just say it’s been a long summer “vacation”.

This is a recipe I’ve had in the back of my mind for most of the summer, but I haven’t taken the time to try it out. This past weekend I finally did and the result was delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

Curried Quinoa Salad

 1 Cup uncooked quinoa

2 Cups water

1/4 cup raisins

!/2 cup pistachios

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tsp curry powder

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt to taste

 

Place quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce temperature and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered for 5 minutes. Cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Over low heat, toast the pistachios until just golden. Then set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey and curry powder.

Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the raisins, pistachios and cilantro. Toss with the orange juice mixture and season with salt. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Blueberry Pizza

This is one of my favourite summertime recipes. I suppose it could be made all year long, but I always save it for summer when the local blueberries become available. To some people (specifically a couple of my friends), the idea of blueberries on a pizza might seem a bit crazy. But the sweetness of the berries combined with the savoury garlic and onions makes a beautiful, light pizza bursting (literally) with a really delicious combination of flavours. Add in some goat cheese and balsamic vinegar and it goes over the top.

Blueberry Pizza

 

 

1 Pizza Crust

1/2 Cup pizza sauce

2 Large onions

1 head of garlic

1 Cup fresh blueberries

2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (divided)

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 Cup Goat cheese

1/2 Cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1 1/2 Cups Balsamic vinegar

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp dried rosemary

 

Roasted Garlic: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place the garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes until the cloves are tender. Cool. Remove the cloves from their skin and set aside.

Caramelized Onions: While the garlic is roasting, melt the butter into the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Add in the onions. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30 -40 minutes until the onions are soft and sweet. Set aside.

Balsamic Reduction: While the onions and garlic are cooking, whisk the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Add in the rosemary. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring often. Continue simmering until the mixture has thickened and been reduced by about 1/2.

Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust. Top with the onions, garlic, blueberries and goat cheese. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Top with the basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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