I just returned home from a week-long trip to Quebec for the holidays where I had the opportunity to sample some fantastic French Canadian cuisine during reveillon (essentially an all-night celebration and buffet of artery-clogging treats), including tourtiere, maple fudge and home made doughnuts drizzled in a type of maple taffy. Coming back home 5 pounds heavier, I resolved to detox for at least a week on fruits, veggies and lots of fish.
While waiting for a seaplane back to Vancouver Island yesterday, I stood drooling at a Cajun halibut dish from a restaurant menu nearby, as I had skipped lunch on board the Air Canada flight from Montreal; and several hours later I found myself picking out the best looking halibut fillet from the seafood counter at the local grocer with this meal in mind. It is visually appealing in its colour and packs a mouthful of sinus-clearing kick from the Cajun-style spices. Continue reading
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper
4 x 7 ounce salmon fillets
2 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp pepper
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Rub salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the salmon, skin side up, in the skillet until a crisp brown crust forms, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, flip the salmon and coat with the brown sugar mixture.
4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the glaze caramelizes and the fish is cooked through – about 5 minutes.
In the photo above, I served the fillet on a bed of sauteed kale and apples.
I worked and travelled in Thailand for one summer and ended up staying in Chiang Mai for 3 days in the desperate search to see an elephant. The 3 days then turned into 2 weeks, as I lost track of time. I never did get to meet an elephant in that particular city except for one sad, wizened elephant who accompanied its master through a seedy district of town as a novelty for tourists. Although my exposure to these ancient pachyderms was a letdown, the rest of the city had plenty to offer.
I could spend countless posts praising or describing this incredible country, but will instead just focus on the couple of days when I signed up for Thai cooking classes at the renowned Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, run by Thailand’s answer to Emeril: Chef Sompon. Classes would typically begin after lunch and last until dinner time and would include the preparation of 5 or 6 traditional dishes. Even though meals were spaced out, I would still skip breakfast each day just to make room for the feast that would follow. The Thai fish cakes were one of the meals made on the second day of my class and it was probably one of the only seafood dishes I recall eating during my stay. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Continue reading
I’m not really a dip kind of guy, unless it’s hummus or spinach-artichoke. Not that I’m incredibly health conscious, but I’ve always been suspect of the calorie or fat count of store-bought dips. Even though this dip recipe includes cream cheese and mayo, the smoked salmon in it at least makes me feel a little less guilty pleasure when partaking. This tastes great on sliced cucumbers or with cut veggies.
2 cups cream cheese (I use light cheese, in order to feel a little less guilty)
3 tbsp onion, minced
1/3 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 cup smoked salmon
1/4 cup mayonnaise (light)
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1. Whip cream cheese in a blender until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well using a food processor or blender.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
1 1/2 pounds cod, perch or other lean fish
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp butter, melted
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F
2. Cut fish fillets into 4 x 2 inch pieces. Mix remaining ingredients except eggs and butter. Dip fish into beaten egg, then coat with cornmeal mixture.
3. Place fish on ungreased cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over fish. Bake 11 minutes, turning fish once.