Victoria Day = Planting herbs and flowers, & Lobster roll!!!

IMG_0622In my neck of the woods, Victoria Day is when everyone plants their gardens, in my case that would be my planters. Although I would love to have a small patch of vegetables, the market being less than 10 blocks away makes it super easy to get my seasonal fruits and veggies with as little effort as walking. So out of the shed came the terrace furniture, into the planters flowers, herbs and a first this year some leafy greens. I can’t wait to pick out some lettuce straight from my little garden into my sandwich 🙂 I LOVE summer! And to celebrate the sun coming out and making it a perfect day, lobster roll! How happy am I?! I absolutely love lobster. I think its seasonal rarity keeps that flame alive, I truly get excited when they appear at the market! And the lilac have just come in bloom, and the lily of the valley… This is a very special time of the year, when colours, smells and senses just spring to life. Welcome spring!!!

IMG_0604Recipe

For the lobster roll

1 1/4 lbs cooked lobster

1 small shallot, minced

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon greek yogurt

A few sheets of shredded lettuce

2 tablespoons minced chives

Salt & pepper to taste

1 sandwich roll, buttered and toasted in cast iron pan

IMG_0611IMG_0613For the potato salad

1 cup new potatoes, boiled whole until tender but still firm, quartered

3 sprigs of fresh dill, minced

1 tablespoon greek yogurt

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 green shallot, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

For the asparagus salad

5 asparagus spears, shaved with a vegetable peeler

1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion

1/4 pickling liquid (water, sugar, vinegar, salt)

Instructions

Pickle asparagus and onion in the liquid while preparing the lobster and potato salad, set aside. Place all the ingredients for the potato salad in a mixing bowl and blend well, set aside. Using kitchen shears, cut up lobster, removing knuckle, tail and claw meat, try keeping the claws in their shape. Cut tail into 1/4 inch slices. Reserve.  Reserve shells and head in fridge to make stock, or freeze if not making the stock the next day. Place knuckle meat in a mixing bowl with all ingredients except roll and lettuce and mix to combine.

Place shredded lettuce on roll and top with knuckle mixture, top with reserved tail slices and decorate with claws. Plate with potato salad and drained asparagus.

Enjoy! Serves 1.

IMG_0617IMG_0616

 

Spring flings – A beautiful crab salad

IMG_0583

I am so impatient for strawberries to be in season, I can almost smell them. I fantasize of making strawberry shortcakes, strawberry compote, strawberry vanilla jam, strawberry galette… Thank God for the asparagus and fiddleheads to keep me distracted! As I walking through the market for my weekly errands, some crab legs caught my eye. At first I walked past, as I had no idea what I would make. Then, inspired by a beautiful sunny day, a thought stuck me. How about a salad with the fiddleheads? And I must say, success. Although removing the crabmeat from the shell is lightly more labour intensive than I would like on a Friday, I must say it was well worth the effort 🙂 And if you’re thinking of replacing the fresh crabmeat with canned, I would strongly urge you to reconsider as the freshness of the salad highlights the freshness of the crab, which you would lose with the canned variety. By all means, keep buying the canned crab, only use it for such recipes as crab cakes. The crab and lobster season is so short, I’ll probably cooking up one or the other often over the next two weeks, hopefully the strawberries will show up at the end and I can make a beautiful feast with all my spring bounty!

IMG_0567IMG_0568Recipe

150 gr. crab meat

1 cup fiddleheads, boiled in salted water for 3 minutes – twice

1 cup new potatoes, boiled whole for 10 minutes, then cooled in ice water

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

2-3 sprigs fresh dill, minced, reserve some fronds for decorating

1 tablespoons each mayonnaise, greek yogurt and cream

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

In a mixing bowl, blend mayonnaise, cream & greek yogurt with lemon zest, dill, shallots and seasonings. Drain potatoes and dry on kitchen towel, cut into quarters, add to sauce with fiddleheads and blend well. Taste before plating and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in a large salad bowl making a well in center to place crab. Decorate with dill fronds. Serves 1. Enjoy with a beautiful rosé!

IMG_0580IMG_0579

Pizza night! A rustic aspargaus pizza

So excited it’s friday night! And nothing says friday night like pizza 🙂

You may say making pizza is labour intensive, but really it isn’t, even if you make your dough! But since it’s Friday, well, just buy one ready-made 🙂  I make mine with my sourdough starter, it really makes a beautiful thin crispy crust. This is a great pizza to make with whatever seasonal veggie you have on hand, the only limits is your imagination! Seeing as we’re in asparagus season and I had a nice Goat’s cheese… You guessed it! Asparagus and goat cheese work very well together, you could also add some mushrooms, I have, with great success. So here’s to weekends and unwinding 🙂

Recipe

1/3 pizza dough, rolled out

1 small bunch asparagus, thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler

5-6 slices of goat cheese

1 shallot, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Truffle oil

IMG_0498

Instructions

Preheat oven to 475°. Spread dough onto a baking stone or cast iron pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush dough with olive oil and place cheese, shallots then olive oil brushed asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and place in oven, cook until browned, roughly 20-30 minutes. Let cool before serving, lightly sprinkle with truffle oil. Makes 1 serving. Enjoy!

IMG_0561IMG_0559IMG_0558

Easy weekday meals, A beautiful asparagus tart

IMG_0545

Like everyone else out there, even though I love to cook and eat well, weekdays can be a challenge. By the time I’m getting supper ready, it’s 7 or later. So needless to say, I don’t really want to spend 3 hours cooking up a meal. It needs to be quick, nutritious and especially, delicious! Omelets, quiches, one pot dishes that you can leave to simmer on the stove top, all great alternatives! And seeing as my time is counted, I thought I’d concentrate the next few posts on quick and simple meal ideas. As you guessed, first up, the tart or quiche. Great recipe to add what you’ve got on hand, a bit of ham or a bit of bacon, potatoes, leeks, that last bit of cheese…. You get the idea! Roll out some dough, whip up those eggs with a bit of cream, add your bits and bobs, stick it the oven! And I know what you’re going to say, the dough itself is too much. Well, make a batch, stick it in the fridge or freezer, take it out when you need it, job done!

Recipe

Dough

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons butter

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Dash of sal

Filling

5 eggs

1 cup grated cheese, for this recipe I used Emmenthal

1 small bunch asparagus

1/4 cup cream

Salt & pepper to tasteIMG_0513

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut butter into salted flour. When butter is in small nuggets, form well in center and add water. Blend with wooden spoon, being careful not to overblend. Add water if necessary. When dough forms a rough shaggy dough, blend using hands, once again being careful not to overblend. You want the dough to have patches of butter, this is what makes the dough flaky. Form into a flattened ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs with cream and seasonings. Add grated cheese and mix well.

Roll out dough into a rectangle (or oval or round depending on dish) and place in dish, add egg filling, then place asparagus. Cook in oven for 30-45 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Makes 4 servings, that keep refrigerate for up to 4 days, or frozen up to 2 months. Enjoy!

IMG_0548IMG_0546

Keeping hope alive & Fiddlehead Velouté

IMG_0505IMG_0506IMG_0507IMG_0508I can’t quite believe it, but it snowed today… Now it didn’t stick around mind you, but still, snow… in May… So lets actively deny that it happened and move on! So on that note, fiddleheads appeared at the market this week and I jumped on them! As they are only around for a week or two, I wanted to make sure I had the chance to broaden my recipe range.  I had been thinking of making an asparagus velouté when it occurred to me, let’s try out a velouté with fiddleheads, so… One attempt and beautiful results! Oh, and p.s., my truffle oil obsession continues!!!

Recipe

2 cups fiddleheads, rinsed

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups stock

3/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup whipped

1 large shallot, thinly sliced, reserve 1-2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Truffle oil

Instructions

Sauté shallot in butter until glassy, add fiddleheads and sauté a further 2-3 minutes. Add stock and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, fry reserved shallots in olive oil until crisp and browned. Drain on absorbent paper. Add vegetables and stock in blender with the cream and blend on high until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in bowls topped with whipped cream, fried shallots and a few drops of truffle oil. Serves 2. Bon appétit!

IMG_0549IMG_0550IMG_0551