Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No New Recipes?!

Okay, so once again I have been slack about sharing recipes. Mostly because I haven't really been cooking. Tim was away last week and so far this week he's been working late. Tomorrow I should have him home again for a while and we are determined to get back on the healthy track. Well to be honest, I've still been on the healthy track, eating out of my freezer. Tim, however, has been off track as he has been on the road which is never healthy. But we'll fix that ASAP!

On another note, Super Bowl Sunday is coming up. It's one of my favorite days of winter. Time to put on a pot of chili and chill some beer. Even if you don't love football, the commercials are worthy of tuning in. I'm going to make my chili the day before do it has extra time to let the flavors meld. And after Sunday I'm going to share with you some great recipes to make with your leftover chili. Chili also freezes beautifully so it's a great meal to make lots of and then you have healthy meals on hand! I'll finalize the recipe on Sat. and then I'll share it with you. But a priliminary list of ingredients follows:
1 lb of stew meat or simmering or marinating beef (yup, not ground meat - chunks of beef are soooo much better!!!)
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
red pepper
can of tomatoes or tomato sauce depending on whether you like your chili chunky or smooth and saucy
chipotle powder
chili powder
cumin powder
dried oregano and basil
fresh cilantro
These are subject to change but that's the basics. Sometimes I add tabasco sauce too but we'll see.

I'm also going to make my healthy and super tasty - Pineapple Salsa for Super Bowl Sunday. Tim loves it and it is a great way to get some fruit into your diet. And it also does well if it sits for a day or two before eating. A great afternoon snack for the work week. Here's a quick link to the recipe - http://thegourmetgoddess.blogspot.com/2006/09/great-little-salsa-and-other-easy.html yummilicous!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Curry Glazed Salmon

Here is a super quick recipe that tastes great and is fancy enough for dinner guests but quick enough for a weeknight. It requires 3 ingredients....
Salmon fillets, one for each person
Honey, about 1/2 cup for 4 people or 1/4 cup for 2
Curry powder, Curry paste or your favorite Indian spice mix. I used Curry powder and Tandoori Marsala when I made this this week for my folks. Use about 1 tsp of 1/4 cup of honey or 2 tsp for 1/2 cup. Mix it up and drizzle it over the fillets. Cook them at 425 for 20 minutes. It was Divine! We had ours with couscous which was a great pairing.

You can add a nice yogurt sauce if you want. Just mix up the following and let sit until ready to eat. The leftovers go great on veggies!
1 cup of yogurt
1/2 tsp dried mint, basil and ground cumin
2 tsp grated ginger (I used the bottled stuff)
1 tsp of curry powder or whatever you used in the glaze mix above.
That's it. Enjoy!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Fantastic New Year's Dinner

(small winter village I have that I keep up after Christmas until March - it's just so pretty!)

As I mentioned, we had a great dinner out on New Year's Eve. We went to Chives www.chives.ca for their 6 course New Year's Eve Special Dinner. We'd been to Chives a couple of times before. They create excellent dishes focusing on local products in season. And for the quality of the food, the prices are excellent. The atmosphere is nice and the service is always excellent. We've always walked away pleased with the experience.

For this New Year's Eve dinner they had a set menu. It was well thought out with a nice blend of seasonal tastes and a good balance between courses. We got a bottle of red wine, Wolf Blass Shiraz Cabernet Sauv and 1/2 litre of white, a South African Savignon Blanc so that we could pair our different courses with the right wine (right being a relative term when one refers to wine of course).

We started with Dungeness Crab and Sweet Corn Fritters. I love corn but Tim is not a huge fan. That was irrelevant with these. We were only given a little fritter each, just enough to tantalize the taste buds. They were great with a sip of the white wine. Next came the soup. Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Balsamic Syrup drizzled on top. Pumpkin soup just does not get the recognition it deserves. It was tasty and soothing to the soul. I make pumpkin soup at home all the time with 100% pure pumpkin from a can. Great inexpensive and easy meal. Of course mine never tastes quite as yummy as this bowl was at Chives. And the white wine worked well with this course as well but the red also had its charm...

I'm going to be honest here... I'm not a huge fan of raw spinach. I like it just fine cooked, preferable in a sauce of some type or with some cheese added in. Tim loves spinach and is why we have it at home so often. Well, that and it's good for you. The next course was an Organic Spinach Salad with "That Dutchman's Blue Cheese", Spiced Walnuts and Cranberry Apple Vinaigrette. Oooh, myyyy god! I brought home the menu just so I could try this one at home. This was amazing. The tang of the blue cheese against the sweetness of the vinaigrette all layered with the natural bitterness of the spinach. I vowed right then and there to attempt more spinach salads at home. And to consider ordering them when I'm out. The red wine stood out here.

Okay, 3 more courses to go. However, we weren't stuffed yet. All these flavours were served in excellent serving sizes so you got the full taste but weren't stuffed. And I had worn my stretchy pants!

For the next course we had a choice between a potato and goat cheese dish or a bacon dish. Tim had the potato dish and I had the bacon. I'm not a fan of goat cheese. Tim enjoyed his but felt he didn't have enough of the goat cheese taste. I had a bite of his and I tasted goat cheese quite strongly. I'm not sure if I got a good bit of it in my bite or if he was expecting a stronger taste overall. My bacon dish was a good size chunk of molasses cured bacon on apple confit and a toast point. It was tasty but not the highlight of the meal. I enjoyed it but if there was one item I had to give up from the meal, this would have been it. I enjoyed the red wine with my dish while Tim found that both the red and the white worked well with his.

Here comes the main course! Once again we had a choice. I had the Atlantic Halibut with Scallops, Roasted Garlic and Baby Clam Risotto and Riesling Braised Leeks. Tim had the Filet Mignon with Maple Wood Smoked Bacon, Brown Butter Celery Root Puree, Roasted Root Vegetables and Madeira Veal Jus. I love Halibut. And the Risotto was quite tasty. Usually when they say "roasted garlic" the garlic flavour is too mild but not in this dish. My plate was a seafood lovers dream. Tim was equally as thrilled with his filet mignon. It was a red meat delight. I had more white wine while Tim continued to enjoy the red with his meal.
Now I'm not a huge dessert person. I can live without it mostly. I do love chocolate but a little goes a long way with me. I will, however, always get the creme brulee if is on the menu. And much to my delight - Caramel Creme Brulee was part of the dessert course! It was paired with a French Chocolate Ganache Torte with Terry's Chocolate Orange Ice Gelato. No problem with milk allergies or lactose intolerance here! We both cleaned our plates.... Ahhhh.

Consider hitting a special tasting menu near you next New Year's Eve. It's worth it! What a nice evening out. And we were home in time to cheer in the new year with family. It was a great New Year's Eve this year. Here's wishing you all a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy New Year - really late...

Hello! Yes I'm alive and well. I know it's been a while since I posted but there has been a lot going on. We've still been eating and I've still been cooking. But it's been so hectic lately that I haven't photographed a single dish. And I even got a tripod for Christmas! I do want to share with you a delicious New Year's Eve dinner we had out but I'll do that when I have more time. It was fantastic. In the meantime, if you are in Halifax for any reason check out Chives Canadian Bistro. I'll give you all the details of our meal there later but lets just say, it's worth a visit. It was a great night.

I have some news. After a year of running The Gourmet Goddess, I've decided to go back to the real work world. It's been an interesting experience but entrepreneurship is not for everyone. And I've decided I like a regular paycheque better! I miss working with a team. Cooking is solitary work. This blog will continue but soon if you go to www.thegourmetgoddess.ca or www.thegourmetgoddess.com you will get directed right to here, not the website. I will still do any cooking classes or consider catering jobs but the personal chef service will not continue. I think I may have been ahead of my time for Moncton with that service.

The recipes, food tips, restaurant reviews and anything else food related will continue right here. So check back often!