Bread & Butter Pudding

Bread & Butter Pudding
Time: 30 minutes
Effort: Very Easy
Serves: 2


Ingredients
4 slices raisin bread (I like the one with cinnamon already in it)
2 eggs well beaten
1 cup coffee cream
1/2 cup real Maple sirop
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 1/2 tbsp butter, softened

Heat oven to 400oF. Butter 2 ramekins - use the larger sized ones (approx. 3" in diameter). Pour a little cream on the bottom of each and place a slice of bread on top, then smoosh down with a spoon to soak up the cream. Add 1/2 the beaten egg in each, then half the maple sirop and 2-3 pinches of butter. Add the second slice of bread and smoosh down again, then add the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until bubbly and crisp on the edges. Serve hot !

Veal Loaf

Veal Loaf with Sweet Potatoes and Turnips, ready to go in the oven.
Time: 1 hour or more
Effort: Easy
Serves: 4


Ingredients
1 lb lean ground veal
1 egg yolk (optional but helps bind the ingredients in the loaf)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 small yellow pepper (sweet) chopped, keep a few strips for garnish
Salt & pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 shallot, sliced lengthwise
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water

Heat oven to 395oF. In a large bowl, with your hands blend the meat with the egg yolk, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce and chopped pepper. Still using your hands, shape the meat into a neat tube and place in the center of a baking dish. Arrange the strips of pepper over the top. Then, arrange the sweet potatoes and turnip along with the shallot on either side of the loaf and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the loaf is firm to the touch and nicely browned. Towards the end pour in the water and scrape the bottom of the dish to form a sauce, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes and serve.

Warm Green Beans & Asparagus Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Warm Green Bean & Asparagus Salad with
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Time: 15 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves: 4


Ingredients
10-12 green asparagus spears, steamed crisp
1/2 lb very young green beans, steamed crisp
4 romaine lettuce leaves broken into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

While asparagus and green beans are steaming, prepare vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and seasoning until thickened. Set aside. Strain vegetables and arrange on a salad plate with the lettuce, while still warm pour a generous amount of the vinaigrette over the top and sprinkle with crushed black pepper. Serve immediately.

Feijoada a Minha Maneira com Faroffa (Portuguese Bean Stew My Way)

Feijoada is a very typical Portugeuse hearty dish, made from beans, smoked pork, bacon and vegetables. The Brazilians make a very different version which is known as their "signature" dish and they serve it wilt "Faroffa" which is toasted manioc flour. The recipe I present to you here is my own version ! While not difficult to make, there are several steps to the process and the cooking time is long. Infact, this dish is usually better served the next day (or even later) so that the flavors of the beans and meats can blend. Santinha !
Time: Prep: 5 hours
Effort: Easy (But, alot of slow cooking)
Serves: 10


Ingredients
8 pigs ankles (they're small)
1/2 lb smoked ham - cut into cubes
1/2 lb fresh bacon (in a slab) cut into cubes
1 Portuguese sausage (chourico) - sweet
1 Portuguese sausage - spicy
1 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tomatoes cubed
5 bay leaves
4 carrots cut into chunks
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
Salt & pepper
5 cans Beans strained (white, black and red or all the same)
Water if necessary
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped cilantro

A long list so here we go ! In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until transparent. Add the pigs ankles and fresh bacon then saute for approx. 10-15 minutes, until they are slightly browned. Pour in the 2 cups water, cover and lower the heat to medium low, then gently simmer for approx. 45 minutes until they are tender and alot of the water has evaporated. Add the wine, bay leaves, ham, bacon, sausage, garlic, tomatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer again on med/low for another 45 minutes until the carrots and meats are tender. Add the strained beans and simmer again for35 minutes. Remove from heat and with a colander strain out 5 spoons of beans into a food processor. Puree the beans and return them to the pot, blending well. Simmer on low for 35 minutes, then add the chopped cilantro.Remove from heat and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Before serving, heat up and adjust the salt/pepper to your taste, then serve with "Faroffa" sprinkled on top.

Faroffa
1 cup manioc flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped

Using a small saucepan, heat oil until very hot. Add shallot and garlice and manioc flour. Saute stirring constantly until the manioc is gently browned. Remove from heat and use to sprinkle over each dish with "Feijoada".

Stuffed Mini Peppers

Stuffed Mini Peppers
Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy
Serves: 6-8


Ingredients
4 mini sweet peppers
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tsp sundried tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper paste
Dried crushed chile peppers

Cut each pepper lengthwise and gently pull out the seeds and core. In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese and sundried tomato paste and red pepper paste until well incorporated and there are no white streaks of cheese. With an icing bag squeeze the cheese mixture neatly into each pepper (you and also use a teaspoon if you wish but it's a bit messy), then sprinkle with chile peppers and garnish with parsley or fresh coriander.

Squid Ceviche

Squid Ceviche
Time: 1 hour and 1 day for marinating
Effort: Easy
Serves: 8-10


Ingredients
10 medium squid, cleaned and cut into rings - with or without tentacles *** see notes
Juice from 20 limes
Juice from 5 lemons
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 yellow or red pepper, diced
3 tbsp chile peppers, crushed
3 tbsp salt
1 large red onion sliced
2 ears of corn, cut into 2 inch slices and cooked
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered and cooked

Juice the lemons and limes into a large bowl. (DO NOT use concentrate!) Add the chiles, water, red pepper, salt and onion. Mix well, then add the squid and the cilantro. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. Serve with a slice of corn and a quarter of sweet potato.
NOTES:
1.You can substitute the squid with any white fish or raw shrimp.
2. Whatever seafood you use must be raw as the juices from the lime and lemon will cook it.

Artichoke Bottoms Stuffed with Japanese Caviar and Oriental Mayonnaise

Artichoke Bottoms Stuffed with Japanese Caviar and Oriental Mayonnaise
Time: 15 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves: 8


Ingredients
1 can artichoke bottoms, drained (8 in a can)
8 tbsp Japanese caviar (these are those tiny little red fish eggs used in Sushi)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Hoisin Sauce
1/2 tsp wasabi

After strainging off the liquid from the artichokes, lay them on a plate and neatly fill each one with one tablespoon of Japanese caviar. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise and wasabi with the soy and hoisin sauces, then place a dolob on top of each filled artichoke. Simple and delicious !

Spicy Shrimp & Pasta Medley with Parmesan Crisps

Spicy Shrimp & Pasta Medley with Parmesan Crisps
Time: 35 minutes
Effort: Easy (*but there are a few steps involved)
Serves: 2


Ingredients
12 black tiger shrimp, peeled - raw
6 asparagus spears, cut into 1" pieces, pre-steamed
1/2 small red pepper, diced
2 shallots, chopped
4 slices of Serrano ham (or prosciutto), diced
2 slices Portuguese chorizo
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tsp dried chile peppers
1 cup grated parmesan
2 cups fusili pasta
4 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil

In a medium skillet, saute the shrimp, vegetables and shallot in 1 tbsp olive oil until the shrimp is cooked.Add the Serrano ham, salt, pepper, chiles and cream. Simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes on low. Set aside. Heat oven to 500oF. Bring the 4 cups water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add the pasta and boil for 6 minutes or until the pasta is "al dente" (cooked but a bit firm). Drain off the water and add olive oil. Line a medium baking tray with parchment paper, then spread two circles of parmesan cheese (far enough apart) and bake (watching carefully so they don't burn) until they have melted, spread and lightly browned. Remove from oven and lift them off the paper with a spatula onto a plate to cool. Serve the pasta with a generous amount of the shrimp medley, topped with a parmesan crisp and a slice of chorizo.

Asparagus and Carrot Puffs with Red Pepper Oil

Asparagus and Carrot Puffs with Red Pepper Oil
Time: 25 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves: 4


Ingredients
1/2 package puff pastry
Flour for rolling pastry
1 large bunch fresh green asparagus
2 large carrots
1/2 cup red pepper oil** (or, 4-6 strips of canned roasted red peppers)
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375oF. Trim the ends off the asparagus. Peel the carrots and cut lengthwise into strips about the same thickness as the asparagus. Using a pot with a steaming basket, lay the carrots on the bottom, asparagus on top and fill with water so that it touches the bottom of the basket. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes so that the vegetables are crisp. Remove from heat and set the vegetables aside while you roll out the pastry. On a large board, roll out the pastry into a large oblong about 1/4" thick and cut into 4 equal smaller oblongs. On each one, lay several asparagus and carrots so they hang over the sides. Dribble with the red pepper oil (NOTE: The recipe for this oil is in our First Edition), salt and pepper, then tightly roll up the pastry and nip the ends with your fingers and a little water. Repeat with the rest of the pastry/aspargus. Place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until the pastry is nicely puffed and browned. Serve as is or as a side dish to any meat, fish or poultry.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Veal in Bechamel Sauce

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Veal in Bechamel Sauce
Time: 1 hour (more or less)
Effort: Medium
Serves: 2


Ingredients
1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
1/4 lb lean ground veal
1 small shallot finely chopped
1 tbsp long grain rice
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp butter
1 cup milk or light cream
1 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper

Heat oven to 395oF. Cut acorn squash in half cross-wise and remove pulp and seeds. In a medium bowl, combine the veal with the egg yolk, rice, shallot and salt and pepper until the egg and rice is well incorporated. Stuff half the meat mixture into hollowed squash half. Place in a shallow baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Check from time to time - you may want to prick the top of the squash sides to let some steam off. Remove from oven, take foil off and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top then return to oven until the meat is well cooked, sides of squash are soft and the breadcrumbs have browned.

For the bechamel sauce: In a small saucepan heat the butter until liquified. Add the flour and blend well into the butter, then saute until the flour is slightly browned. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk while stirring constantly so that it doesn't form lumps. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer on low, stirring constantly until thickened. Pour over the baked squash and serve with a nice green salad.

Important Changes to this site !

Dear Readers,

As of the end of this week, November 18th, all the FREE recipes will be removed from this site and only available by purchasing our books. If you are wondering why I am not giving them away anymore, it's because many, many of them have been copied and printed elsewhere. That's tantamount to theft. I will post a couple of freebies from time to time of course, but the rest will be in books.

Please note the price changes for the books.

Feel free to write comments, but no hate mail please !

Pork Roast with Pistachio, Walnut and Fig Jam Stuffing with Porto Glaze



Time: 1 1/2 hours approx.
Effort: Medium
Serves: 4


Ingredients
1 1/2 lb pork loin roast, fat on and butterflied http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz391Urnk30
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped (you can use the cocktail kind and shell them yourself - I did - it's way cheaper, just takes a bit of time)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp fig jam
String for trussing
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp beef bouillon concentrate
2 tbsp Tawny Port

Heat oven to 395oF. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, pistachios and fig jam. Lay the butterflied roast on a large board, fat side down and press flat. Spread the pistachio mixture evenly over the roast the roll it up carefully so that the stuffing does not slip out.. if it does, gently push it back in with your fingers. Wrap the roast with string, and secure the ends with a knot. Here's a handy video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmjPrsnbmic&feature=related . Take a shallow baking dish (I usually prefer ceramic) and drizzle with the olive oil. Lay the roast on top, cover the dish with foil and roast for about one hour. Then, remove from oven and pour in the port, water and bouillon. Mix well scraping the bottom of the pan and return to oven, uncovered until the sauce has slightly thickened and the top of the roast is nicely browned.

Chicken in Tomato Sauce

Chicken in Tomato Sauce, Served with Potato & Parsnip Puree and House Red Pepper Oil
Time: 40 minutes approx
Effort: Easy
Serves: 4

Ingredients
4 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned (or breasts if you prefer)
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 small red or yellow pepper (sweet), chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can unsalted tomato paste (5 1/2 oz)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp cane sugar

Saute the shallots and yellow pepper in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken and saute again until the chicken is almost cooked. Add the tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, blending well. Add salt and pepper and the sugar. Simmer on low until the chicken is fully cooked. Stir occasionally. (You may need to add a little more water if the sauce becomes too thick).

Baked Apples with Biscuit Crumble and Honey

Time: 20 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves 4


Ingredients
2-3 large red apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
10 biscuits of your preference (I used whole wheat cookies but you can use any of your favorites) crumbled fine in a food processor
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Heat oven to 400oF. Butter 4 medium ramekins or cocottes. Place layers of apple, crumbled biscuit and honey and top with pieces of butter. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and browned on the top. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon on top.

Roast Chicken "Pot Au Feu"

Roast Chicken "Pot Au Feu"
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Effort: Super Easy !
Serves: 4


Ingredients
Chicken pieces enough for 4 (I used thighs and breasts)
3 tbsp olive oil
8 baby potatoes, washed and halved - leave the skin on!
6 baby carrots, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large tomato, quartered
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp red wine

Heat oven to 400oF. Place all the ingredients except the wine, in a deep baking dish and roast until the vegetables are cooked and the chicken is nicely browned. (You should  baste the chicken from time to time) Add the wine to deglaze bottom.

Cooked Cabbage and Pepper Slaw

Cooked Cabbage and Pepper Slaw
Time: 35 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves 4


Ingredients
1/2 green cabbage thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, slivered
2 medium potatoes, julienned
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Hungarian Paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, saute the onion and the cabbage the simmer  covered until the cabbage becomes soft. Add the peppers and tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt to taste and paprika. Simmer until the tomatoes have dissolved and the cabbage is tender. Add 3/4 of the potatoes and simmer again until they are tender.

Heat oven to 500oF and place the remaining potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment, sprinkle the parmesan on the top. Bake until the potatoes are cooked and the cheese slightly browned. Serve them on top of the "slaw". (For a nice presentation, I spooned the slaw into ring molds, pressing firmly down with my spoon so the sauce could flow underneath, then lifted the molds off.)

Layered Potato and Broccoli "Cake"

Time: 1 hour or more
Effort: Easy
Serves 4


Ingredients
4 large potatoes, peeled (I used yellow potatoes from PEI)
2 onions, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli flowers
2 - 3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
Water for boiling the potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in a large pot with water, until tender but not mushy. Set aside, and boil the broccoli until tender but crisp. Strain off the water. Heat oven to 375oF. Using 1 tsp or less of butter, butter a deep baking dish. Using a mandolin or vegetable slicer, thinly slice 1 layer of potatoes to cover the bottom and sides of the dish. Add a layer of onions, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, 1/2 tbsp flour and pieces of butter. Pour in a little of the cream. Repeat another layer, this time place the broccoli flowers on top and press firmly down. Then repeat with a last layer of potatoes, flour, cream, etc. ending with pieces of butter on top. Bake for approx. 40 minutes or until the sides are bubbly and the top is nicely browned. When serving, slice the "cake" into 4 triangles and remove with a spatula. Great on it's own or with any roast.

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Ginger Soup with Cheesy Croutons



Sweet Potato, Spinach and Ginger Soup with Cheesy Croutons


Time: 30 minutes
Effort: Easy
Serves 4


Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large bag of leaf spinach
2 cups water (more or less - enough to cover the potatoes when boiling)
1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp butter
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups packaged plain croutons (or you can make your own)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Romano)

In a medium to large pot, boil the sweet potatoes with the ginger and bouillon cube until very soft. Add the spinach and simmer until they have wilted. Remove from heat and strain off the liquid, keeping it to put back into the soup. Place the vegetables with the ginger in a food processor and puree until there are no lumps (you'll have to add a bit of the leftover water as you pulse). Return the puree to the pot with the remaining water, add the butter and blend well. Adjust the salt to your liking. If you find it too thick, add a bit more water or milk if you wish.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, turn the oven on to broil. Place the croutons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle cheese on top. Broil until all the cheese has melted and is slightly browned (careful ! The cheese melts quickly !) Serve the soup with the cheesy croutons.

Special Edition Coming SOON !

This "special" edition book will be called

"International Food Shopping in Montreal"

It will contain all sorts of goodies, most importantly an alphabetical list of interesting food stores in the city, along with description, address, specialty and COUPONS ! (And, as the months pass I will keep the list updated as I find new places).

The book will be available in the next couple of weeks, by subscription only - so do subscribe as it will be your road-map to great and delicious foods in our wonderful international city !

Chicken and Leek Pie with Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes

Chicken and Leek Pie with Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes
Time: 1 1/2 hours approx.
Serves 4 - 6
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
1 package puff pastry (usually each package contains two squares, if not, it will be in one large oblong which you need to cut in half)
2 cups precooked chicken in pieces or turkey meat (in this case I used leftovers from a roast chicken)
1 large carrot diced small
8 white mushrooms, quartered
8 sundried (oil packed) tomatoes, chopped - plus 1 for garnish
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp concentrated beef bouillon
1/4 cup cooking cream
1 tbsp pre-sifted flour or instant thickening flour plus regular flour for rolling out the pastry
Pepper to taste
1 egg beaten

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and carrot in the oil until the carrots are almost cooked. Add the chicken, bouillon, sundried tomatoes, rosemary and cream. Simmer gently for approx. 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and the wine. Sprinkle in the flour and simmer stir constantly until the mixture has thickened. Add pepper to taste and adjust salt if you need to.

Heat oven to 350oF. Butter a deep pie dish. Roll out one of the pastry squares on a large floured board, large enough to line the pie dish and so that some of the pastry hangs over the side. Spoon in the chicken mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the pie and chicken mixture. Wet your fingers and pinch the sides to create a seal. Trim off the excess dough. Prick the top with a fork in several places.Brush the top with the beaten egg and garnish with a slice of sundried tomato. Bake in oven until the pastry has puffed and the outside is nice and golden.

Stuffed Steak Rolls with Crushed Peanut Crust

Stuffed Steak Rolls with Crushed Peanut Sauce
Time: 40 mins (approx)
Effort: Easy
Serves 4


Ingredients
3 T-bone steaks, deboned ( you can use strip loin if you wish)
2 cups blanched spinach
3 spring (green) onions cut in half to give you 6 lengths
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Mirin or Rice vinegar
1 cup crushed roasted peanuts
Toothpicks

On a large cutting board take the T-bone steaks and cut them in half lengthwise to yield 6 strips. Place a large piece of parchment paper over them and with a mallet pound them until they are about 1/8th inch thick.
On one end of each, spoon 1 tbsp spinach and place 1 length of green onion over it. Roll up tightly and secure closed with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the meat and place them in a shallow dish. In a small bowl mix the hoisin and Mirin and pour over the steak rolls, spooning the sauce over the sides. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. To prepare crushed peanuts - you can use any roasted & salted cocktail peanuts. Just pour 1 cup into a food processor and chop until they become little chunks. Spread them on a plate. Heat BBQ to very hot. Grill rolls for approximately 5 minutes on each side (for a rare inside as above) or a little longer for more well done. Roll each beef roll in the crushed peanuts and cut them into slices. These are great as a main dish with any vegetable or stir-fry, or even as hors d'oeuvres - but you will have to spear each slice with a toothpick to make them easier to pick up. Great with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce !

Octopus and Shrimp Rice

Octopus and Shrimp Rice
Time 1 1/2 hours
Effort Easy 
Serves 4


Ingredients
1/2 a small octopus - or 4-5 tentacles, cut into 1 " pieces (approx)
8 large shrimp, shelled but tail on
1 large onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper diced
1 large tomato, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups (plus a little more) water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup long grain rice
Pepper
1/2 cup each Cilantro and Parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and octopus for about 5 minutes. Add the water, cover and simmer on medium for approx. 45 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and simmer again for another 20 to 25 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the rice is well cooked. (Do stir the mixture from time to time as the rice will tend to stick on the bottom.)

Veal Shanks in Creamy Garlic and Yellow Pepper Sauce

Veal Shanks in Creamy Garlic and Yellow Pepper Sauce
Time 1 hour or more
Effort Easy
Serves 3


Ingredients
3 veal shanks
4-5 garlic cloves, diced small
1 yellow pepper diced small
1 shallot minced
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 beef bouillon cube
Salt and pepper

In a large deep skillet saute the garlic and shallot until golden. Remove and place in a small bowl. Dredge the shanks in the flour and brown on both sides in the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the water, cover and simmer on low for about 45 minutes, turning from time to time. When they are almost well cooked, and alot of the water has evaporated, add the peppers and the cream and adjust salt, add pepper. Simmer again on low until the meat is almost falling off the bone.