Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Now that's what I call jumbo shrimp!

Just had to share a photo of these incredible jumbo shrimp that my uncle Eddie made for our family barbeque last week. Although I think 'jumbo' maybe be an understatement for these babies! Nothing like a little al fresco surf and turf with the fam!

Listening To:
Van Morrison - Into The Mystic

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheaters Handbook: Chicken Fajitas

How convenient that one of my favourite suppers also just happens to be super fast, easy, and can be made even easier with a little help from my Cheaters Handbook! Chicken fajitas are already very easy to prepare when cooking your own chicken as a filling, but it is made all the more easier when you purchase precooked, sliced, boneless skinless chicken breasts from your grocery store.

Yes, it's true that the flavour can be amped up to amazing levels when preparing your own chicken, but for someone like me who is always on the run, it's good to have a quick and easy alternative to cooking. Precooked boneless skinless chicken breasts can be stored in the fridge, ready to be added to any sandwich, salad, or tortilla. Despite taking the shortcut of using precooked chicken, you can still add loads of personality and flavour to your fajita by raiding your fridge for fillings. You can also easily prepare some special fillings in advance that you can store in the fridge until serving. Try sauteing some chopped onions with jalapeno peppers. Or how about throwing some bell peppers on the barbeque to roast. See what you have on hand and play! The options are endless!
Tip: To heat your flour tortillas, wrap them in tin foil and bake in the oven or toaster oven for 5-7 min

Suggested Fillings:
  • Sliced chicken
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Raw onions
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Sauteed onions
  • Onions sauteed with jalapeno peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Roasted bell peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Avocado
Listening To:
On To The Next One - Jay-Z Swizz Beatz

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Farmers Market Appreciation

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have fallen in love with a loaf of bread!!...well, maybe that's taking it a little too far, but it's certainly not far off! A few weeks ago I tried St. Johns Bakery Cilantro and Olive Loaf that I had picked up from Patisserie La Bamboche on Avenue Rd. The moment my parents walked through the door the evening I brought the loaf home, I was practically force feeding them the loaf that I knew they would go crazy over! They loved it so much, they woke up early the next morning to go to the farmers market to see what other breads St. Johns sells.

Not only was there a wide variety of handmade, organic breads for sale, but the owner of St. Johns bakery was even at the farmers market himself. That is one of the most wonderful things about farmers markets. Not only are you being guaranteed fresh, local, high-quality produce, but you are able to actually interact with the artisans and farmers who have been there for the hands-on process of creating and/or growing each and every item in their stand. Having artisans and farmers as the vendors allows the public to know exactly where their food came from, how the product came from farm to market, and learn tips and tricks on how to store, pair, and prepare the produce in the best possible way!

To find an Ontario farmers market near you, click here!

Listening To:
Billy Joel - Vienna

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Boursin Scrambled Eggs on Olive and Cilantro Toast

At the patisserie that I work at we have recently begun selling bread from St. John's Bakery. Although I love their sourdough baguette that we sell everyday, I have had my eye on St. John's Cilantro and Olive Loaf, which we always seem to sell out of before I can get the chance to try it. Last week I finally took a loaf home and I can not even describe to you how incredible this bread is! It is hands down the best bread I have ever eaten in my entire 22 years on this planet! Yes, that sounds like one hell of a hyperbole, but I am not exaggerating in any way. This bread is a must try!

After spending all evening munching on the loaf, trying out various toppings and spreads, I still couldn't get enough by morning. So I decided to incorporate this delicious loaf into my breakfast by making Boursin Scrambled Eggs on Olive and Cilantro Toast. For those of you unfamiliar with Boursin cheese, I would highly recommend picking some up the next time you're grocery shopping. Boursin makes numerous kinds of creamy, yet crumbly (similar to the texture of goats cheese) cheeses that are a perfect addition to sauces, salads, eggs, and more. I chose to use the Garlic and Fine Herb Boursin cheese to add to my scrambled eggs to add creaminess, and subtle flavour that would still allow the bright flavours of olive and cilantro to come through from the bread. This breakfast is incredibly delicious, satisfying, and striking! I cannot wait to make it again!
Note: One of the best tricks to cooking scrambled eggs is turning off the heat before the eggs are done. The eggs will continue cooking even when the heat is turned off, so taking them out just before will ensure that your eggs don't dry out.

Ingredients:Justify Full
1 egg
about 1 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp Garlic and Fine Herbs Boursin cheese
salt and pepper
about 2 tsp butter
slice of flavoured toasted bread

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the milk. Season generously with salt and pepper. Begin toasting the slice of bread in a toaster or toaster oven until lightly browned.

2. In a medium-sized pan set at medium heat, melt the butter.

3. When butter has melted and just begins to foam, add the beaten egg and milk.

4. Crumble over the Boursin cheese and move the eggs around, starting from the outside in, with a spatula. Wait about 5-10 seconds, and nudge the egg around again, while breaking it up slightly.

5. Continue the process of waiting 5-10 seconds and moving the egg around until egg is about 75% cooked (it should still be very moist). Turn off the heat and let sit in the pan for about 40 seconds.

6. Scoop the cooked eggs up with a spatula and place on top of the toast.

Listening To:
Say Aah-Trey Songz Feat. Fabolous

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