Saturday, December 11, 2010


The first time I ever had this dish Shelley and I were visiting my brother Sandy
and his wife Barbara who were living in the south of France. We drove to see La
Cite de Carcassonne, an amazing walled city which is about 90 km south east of
Toulouse. It poured rain and we got soaked to the skin exploring the castle and
the city. At lunch time we stopped at an old stone built restaurant within the
walls and warmed up with steaming bowls of cassoulet.
This is Sandy and Barbara’s recipe.


5 or 6 bay leaves
3 cups of dried white
beans, (lingots)
Olive Oil
2 Toulouse sausage,
thinly sliced. Choriso
would do in a pinch
1/2 kilo of pork cut into
1 inch pieces
1/2 kilo of any one of
the following cut into 1
inch pieces
- duck
- chicken
- turkey
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
1 shallot chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs of parsley
1 or 2 hot peppers
2 tomatoes roughly
Reserved bean water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

First, soak the beans overnight. Boil the beans with 3 or 4 bay leaves until the
beans are chewable but not mushy. Set them aside but don’t drain them.
Preheat the oven to 375 and then drizzle olive oil into a large skillet and saute
the meat, garlic, shallot, red pepper, onion, along with the spices until the meat
is lightly browned.
In a large oven proof pot put enough beans to cover the bottom. Put 1/3 of the
meat mixture over the beans and some of the tomatoes, hot peppers, and the remaining
bay leaves. Continue to layer like this until you are out of ingredients.
Add the bean water and chicken stock until the liquid is just below the beans.
Bake the mixture for 2 hours. Let cool for a bit. Top up the pot with bean water
and chicken stock until it is back to its previous level, just below the beans.
Add the breadcrumbs and bake for another 1 1/2 hours or until the breadcrumbs have
Serve in large shallow bowls and serve with red wine. A Minervois or a Corbiere
would be authentic.

Coconut Risotto with Prawn Korma

Coconut Risotto
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 400 ml can coconut milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped Green Onions
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 ½ cups arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

In a pot, combine the chicken stock and the coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan on medium, heat olive oil and add green onions and stir until soft. Add the coconut flakes and rice and continue stirring for 1 minute
Pour in wine and stir until almost all is absorbed.
Add stock-coconut milk mixture ½ cup at a time and stir until almost absorbed before adding another. Continue stirring gently and adding broth mixture until it is all gone and rice is tender. This will take about 35 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add butter, salt and pepper and serve.

Prawn Korma
1 Onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 can of Patak’s Korma Curry
½ a cup of water
500 grams of raw prawns peeled
½ a cup of whipping cream

About 10 minutes before you expect the Risotto to be ready
In a frying pan sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent in butter
Add the Curry and the water
Heat until simmering
Add the prawns and stir gently until they are cooked
Stir in the cream and reheat

Serve the risotto in a shallow bowl and distribute the curry evenly on top of each dish.

Serves 4 to 6 people

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paprika Chicken with Garlic

This is my new favorite chicken recipe. Paprika Chicken with Garlic. A Spanish dish.
It is a dish that any restaurant would be more than happy to charge you $25.00 for. 
So why pay through the nose for something which is so simple to make.

6 to 8 chicken thighs
2 cups of flour 
3 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 couple of glugs of olive oil
20 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 cups heated chicken stock
1/3 of a cup of dry white wine
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper

Dredge the chicken in flour then in the paprika. If is isn't covering well take some paprika in your hands and rub it into the chicken. Set it aside.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a deep frying pan or a dutch oven. Add the garlic and heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Don't let it brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Brown the chicken well on both sides. Don't crowd it. Three at a time is probably the easiest depending on the size of your pan. When all the chicken are well browned place the chicken pieces skin side up in the pan. Hopefully your pan is large enough to have the chicken all on one layer,
Put the garlic back into the pan distributing it evenly and between the pieces of chicken. Add the bay leaves, the thyme and the salt and pepper.
Add the hot stock and wine to the pan and turn up the heat bringing it to a boil.
When it boils, turn the heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook for 25 minutes.
After the chicken is done, take it out and put in in a warming oven.
Take out the bay leaves. 
Bring the stock back to a boil and reduce it to about 1 1/2 cups.
Put the chicken on warmed plates and pour the sauce and the pieces of garlic over the chicken.

I like this with roasted small potatoes with the skins on. Take a couple of handfulls of the small potatoes you can buy packaged in most stores, red or yellow it doesn't matter. Put a bit of olive oil in a cast iron fry pan and on high heat fry them for a few minutes shaking them often. Sprinkle them with some rosemary, salt & pepper and perhaps a little bit of garlic powder. Shake them up one last time.
Put them, pan and all into a 450 degree oven and cook them for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yogurt Pancakes

Looking for a slightly different and somewhat healthy pancake recipe I tried this one.

2 cups flour all- purpose
2 tbl. sugar
2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. baking soda
2 or 3  eggs
2 cups (16) plain yogurt

 In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients
In another bowl whisk the 3 wet ingredients
Add to the dry ingredients just until moistened
If it looks to dry, add a bit of milk.

Cook up like regular pancakes

Banana Bran Muffins with Dates

I have always found most banana muffins too sweet but these are just right for my taste.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dates cut into thirds

First preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan, I really like those soft silicone ones.
 In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add bananas, milk, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Stir in flour, bran, baking powder, soda and salt; blend just until moistened. Stir in walnuts and dates. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake at 375 degrees F   for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the cups for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Salmon Filets with a Ginger Glaze

I was looking for something a bit different for some salmon filets the other night and came across this recipe which I thought was very tasty.

A great catch from north of Cambell River
Mix up the following

3 TBSP grated Ginger
3 TBSP honey
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP lime juice
(don't add salt, there is more than enough in the hoisin sauce)

toasted Sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 450 degrees

Put the salmon filets in a baking dish, cover the top with a generous portion of the glaze and pop them in the oven

Cook them for about 8 minutes depending on thickness

Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve with some greens and rice

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Olive Dip

Kalamata Olives
The last night we were in Vancouver we went to a Greek Restaurant just under the Dees Tunnel, then a bit north.

We went for the Mussels which were reported to be in the “to die for” category. 

They were out of mussels.

What we had instead was not memorable except for the olive dip. It was great. I savoured every bit trying to figure out how they made it.

I tried last night and I think I have it.

I was making Greek food for supper yesterday so I first made hummus. (For those who have my   We Love to Cook With Wine cookbook, it is on page 11) Then I took about ¾ of a cup of pitted kalamata olives,  1 Tbls of olive oil and ¼ cup of the hummus and pureed it all in a blender.

Serve with warm pita. If you like olives, you'll love it.