Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream

6 02 2011

Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream

Is everyone sick of winter yet?  I know I am!  Take a break from the usual winter fare and treat yourself to something fresh and different: Fish Tacos. They are very popular in California and are showing up on menus as far north as Toronto.  They’re also fun to make at home so whip up some margaritas, put on some summery music and imagine you’re somewhere warm!

To get my recipe for Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream, check out Suite 101.com.

Enjoy!

The Seasonal Gourmet is going on a brief hiatus until the week of February 22nd. Check back then for some exciting new recipes and winter menu ideas!

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Slow Simmered Ragu with Pasta

12 01 2011

A Tuscan-style ragu, simmered slowly with herbs and wine, pairs perfectly with fresh pasta

We’re deep in the heart of winter and snow is blanketing much of North America (including areas that don’t normally get a lot of snow). It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to put something comforting on the stove to simmer while you curl up with a blanket and a good book.  A slow simmered Tuscan-style ragu sauce fits the bill perfectly.

A few years ago I was visiting Tuscany and happened upon an outdoor cooking demonstration. A chef and his mother, Mamma Donatella, were demonstrating how to make classic Tuscan dishes.  One of the dishes was fresh handmade pasta with a ragu sauce and Donatella’s version was unlike any I’ve had before: rich with flavour and light on tomato sauce.  Since then, I’ve worked on developing my own take on this Italian classic.  The secret is to let the sauce cook down for a long time (at least 2-1/2 to 3 hours).  You can make your own noodles or buy fresh pasta at many Italian markets. Good quality dry pasta will work as well – try wide noodles such as papardelle or tagliatelle.

Click here for the recipe on Suite 101: Slow Simmered Ragu with Pasta.

Bon Appétit and Stay Warm!

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How to Serve Burrata

15 12 2010

Creamy burrata drizzled with olive oil and served with toast rounds is sure to impress at your next party

We’re in the middle of the holiday entertaining season and no party is complete without a cheese board.  Why not move beyond the usual brie/cheddar/blue cheese and splurge on something special?  Burrata is a fresh mozzarella ball filled with rich cream. It’s decadent, delicious and perfect for impressing your friends.  Until recently, burrata was only produced in Italy but a number of cheese makers in Canada and the United States are now making it domestically.

Check out an article I wrote about where to buy and how to serve burrata: How to Serve Burrata (Fresh Mozzarella Cheese from Puglia, Italy).

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes

30 11 2010

Sablefish (aka Black Cod) with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes is a flavourful, lighter option.

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes parties, festive meals and general overindulgence.  Why not lighten up with a pan-roasted fish dish that doesn’t sacrifice flavour?

Sablefish is more commonly known as black cod.  It has become popular in the past few years because it is both sustainable and delicious.  Nobu restaurant popularized sablefish in their iconic dish, Black Cod with Miso, which has been copied by restaurants across North America (with good reason – it’s delicious).  Preparing the fish with fennel, cherry tomatoes and a lightly herbed crust gives it a Mediterranean twist.

Sablefish should be available at well-stocked fishmongers under the name sablefish, sable, butterfish or black cod.

To get the recipe from Suite 101.com, click here: Sablefish with Caramelized Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple-Caramel Sauce

23 11 2010

Cream puffs (a.k.a. profiteroles) filled with a spiced pumpkin cream and topped with a buttery maple-caramel sauce.

When I want to make an autumn dessert, I think about seasonally appropriate ingredients such as apples, pears, caramel and of course, pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie is a staple at most Thanksgiving tables and spiced pumpkin is popular in everything from lattes to ice cream. As a bonus, scientists have long known that the scent of pumpkin pie is an aphrodisiac so it’s the perfect finale to a romantic dinner.

If you’re looking for something a little different from pie, these cream puffs (a.k.a. profiteroles) fit the bill perfectly.  The pumpkin-cream filling has all the flavours of classic pumpkin pie and the maple-caramel sauce is a decadent and delicious topping (which is also great on ice cream!).  The recipe has a number of steps but none are difficult and everything can be prepared in advance and assembled at the end of the meal.

Click here to see the recipe from Suite 101.com: Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple-Caramel Sauce.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Summer Lasagna with Vegetables, Sausage and Pesto

6 09 2010

Lasagna with layers of vegetables, sausage and pesto is the perfect meal to transition from summer to fall.

Today is Labour Day, which marks the unofficial end of summer. Kids are heading back to school this week and the temperature has started to cool down as autumn approaches.  It can be tricky to figure out what to eat in September because the weather can shift from hot and sunny to cool and damp within a few hours.  A lasagna packed with late summer vegetables, sweet basil pesto and a layers of hearty Italian sausage is the perfect dish to make the transition between the seasons.

There are a number of steps to assemble the lasagna, however, none are difficult and the various components can be prepared in advance.  It makes an impressive dish for entertaining and leftovers are even better the next day.

Click here to get the recipe from Suite 101.com: Summer Lasagna with Vegetables, Sausage and Pesto.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!





Blueberry Lemon Bread

30 08 2010

Fresh blueberries at a farm stand near Belleville, Ontario

Local blueberries are at their peak right now in most parts of Canada.  While imported blueberries are usually available at grocery stores year round, local wild berries are a special summer treat.  This moist and flavourful sweet bread is the perfect way to showcase juicy berries.  However, it can be made with frozen blueberries if fresh aren’t available.

Click here to get the recipe from Suite 101.com: Blueberry Lemon Bread

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

Slices of freshly baked Blueberry Lemon Bread