Rhubarb compote for some spring inspiration!

IMG_0658I truly wish this weather would clear up. Montreal is such a sunny beautiful city and spring is spectacular. This spring however has been so grey and rainy… I want to feel sun on my skin, have a picnic in the park, cocktails on a terrasse, eat supper on my terrasse. I’m sure you get the picture! And I guess I should be grateful that I’m not affected like some in the area have been with flooding. Still, don’t we all deserve some summer weather after going through a long winter? Plus, I’m concerned how this affects local farming 😦 Here’s to hoping summer hits us with its sunny skies and steamy heat!

RECIPE

1 bunch rhubarb, pink parts of the stalk sliced 1 inch thick

1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

IMG_0629

INSTRUCTIONS

Place rhubarb, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and cover. Let sit for 1 hour or so until rhubarb is soft. Turn on stove to medium and heat rhubarb mixture until simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until mixture resembles a compote. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in airtight container in fridge up t 1 month. Serve on ice cream, yogurt or alone. Enjoy!

IMG_0659IMG_0653IMG_0660

Rhubarb galette for a weekday treat!

And now begins the season of simple desserts, made from beautiful fruit πŸ™‚ I can hear myself justifying my sweet tooth with the excuse that’s it’s a portion of fruit, after all!!! Thank God for that πŸ™‚ So walking through the market, seeing the beautiful stalks of rhubarb, I knew what I’d be making immediately. A simple, rustic galette. Galette’s are just an unfussy pie, all you need to do is roll out the pie dough, place it in your pie dish, place filling in the center and roughly fold over the dough. You also use less dough than in a classic pie, 1/2 less that is, which if you’re trying not to eat in excess, is fantastic. A reasonable portion is less than 150 cals, so no reason to deny yourself a little pleasureΒ  (I’m pretty sure pleasure counts towards satisfaction which equals to less crap consumed!) πŸ™‚

RECIPE

DOUGH, Pie dough

FILLING

1 small bunch rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon flour

Juice of half a lemon

IMG_0627IMG_0628IMG_0629

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350Β°. Mix rhubarb with maple syrup and flour. Roll out dough into a rough circle and place in pie dish or cast iron pan. Place rhubarb filling in center of dough and roughly fold over dough. Brush dough with milk or egg wash, sprinkle sugar on crust. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Makes 6-8 portions. Can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month. Enjoy!

IMG_0639

IMG_0649IMG_0648

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 πŸ™‚ 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.Β  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

 

Pizza night! A rustic aspargaus pizza

So excited it’s friday night! And nothing says friday night like pizza πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚Β  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 πŸ™‚

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 475Β°. 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 salt

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 350Β°. 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