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About The Culinary Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates

Author Archive | The Culinary Chase

cioppino and a San Francisco mini trip

Italian American fish stew - cioppinoDuring the first week in March, Mr. S and I were in San Francisco; he was attending GDC while I was a tourist for 5 days.  I had never been before and was eager to explore as much as possible and I did!  Each day was packed with something new.  We stayed in the Mission District (so glad we did) and would walk to the Moscone Center every day.  Breakfast was in a different place each morning usually eating at establishments that promoted locally grown food.  Some of the memorable ones were Blue Bottle Coffee (the softest poached eggs on toast with avocado), Chow Food Bar (buttermilk pancakes to die for), and Tartine Bakery & Cafe (ham and swiss croissants that melted in your mouth).  I would have breakfast with Mr. S and then bid him farewell as he went on to the GDC. Continue Reading →

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Portland Street Crêperie – a taste of France

Portland Street Crêperie - Dartmouth, NSWho doesn’t enjoy a delicious crêpe? Even better when a father and son duo decided to open a crêperie 18 months ago in downtown Dartmouth. Over the past 24 months the downtown core has seen a resurgence in the retail and food industry; mostly started by young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Mr. S and I are always delighted when we hear about new ventures coming to our neighbourhood. When Neil and his son, Max, opened their doors back in October 2015, we were one of their first customers. Portland Street Crêperie (55 Portland Street) is a delightful 16-seat bistro with 4 additional tables for outdoor seating in Spring through to the Fall. Large windows mean an abundance of natural light making for a cheery place to enjoy a meal there.

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homemade anchovy butter (umami-rich)

Making flavoured butter isn’t a new invention but when anchovies are added, you get a whole lotta umami-rich going on.  Say what?  Umami is a trendy foodie word for a pleasant savoury taste.  In a nutshell, something to pump up the flavour like adding a splash of fish sauce or lime juice.  I read that you can even use soy sauce in lieu of parmesan over tomato sauce; who runs out of Parmesan cheese?  Anchovy butter can be used in many ways to enhance the food you put on the table. Continue Reading →

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avocado and shrimp wonton baskets

When entertaining, I like to make appetisers that err on the side of healthy.  I also make sure there’s a mix of food while being cognizant of the dietary restrictions our guests might have.  Last month I made wonton noodle soup but only used half the wonton wrappers; the rest I froze.  There’s always a bag or two of shrimp in the freezer and I usually have an avocado on hand.  This recipe is easy to make and in roughly 10 minutes you can have the filling completed by the time the wonton baskets are cooked and cooled.   Continue Reading →

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homemade grainy mustard

easy to make grainy mustardThere’s an immense satisfaction when something homemade turns out well and puts a smile on your face.  It gives that boost in confidence and lets you know you can tackle the next project on a high note.  We love grainy mustard almost as much as we do Dijon.  In the past 20 years, I have made a conscience effort to read food labels, understand what’s inside, and make an informed decision as a result.  So when I got it into my head to make my own mustard, I was surprised to see additives such as fruit pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid in Dijon mustard and lactic acid and flavour (no mention of what the flavour is) in grainy mustard.  Oops!  Did I forget to read the labels on these mustards?  Or did I think the additive list wasn’t too long?  It’s not as if we consume mustard on a daily basis.  Moral of the story; read the blinkin’ label! Continue Reading →

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celery soup

celery soup - easy to make, healthy & budget friendlyCelery soup?  You betcha!  I bought a bunch of celery a couple of weeks ago for a recipe that called for two stalks.  It’s a food dilemma for me and figuring out what to do with the remainder stalks usually ends up in the compost box.  Around lunch time I pondered what to make for tonight’s dinner.  The vegetable crisper looked a bit bare with a lone carrot, sunchoke, and leek; all were on their last legs.  Celery is abundant in vitamins, helps lower inflammation, protects the liver and more.  The thing is, I can only stomach eating one stalk at a time so what was I to do with eight? Continue Reading →

lime & cashew fish rolls

lime and cashew fish rolls This is the second time I’ve made this dish. The first was the week of the new year and I was in search of something different from the food I usually make during the holidays.  Lime and cashew paste smeared over the fish sounded so good – it was delicious!  But…I struggled with the rice paper!  I’ve made fried Vietnamese spring rolls oodles of times but for some reason, the rice paper was not co-operating (both times!).  Continue Reading →

chocolate coated toffee

butter toffee with chocolateHello 2017!  By now most of you are back to your daily routine.  Our Christmas decorations and tree are still up but it’ll all be put to bed come Friday – or at least the tree will be stripped and out on the sidewalk (garbage collection day).  Over the holidays I made my usual goodies as that’s what my family has come to expect and heaven help me if I change any part of that tradition (insert happy face here).  Continue Reading →

holiday party food – part 2

At this point, the rush of the holiday season is in full swing.  On my previous post, I suggested three, easy-to-make party food treats and the three I have chosen today are just as easy.  Chocolate is a crowd-pleaser and lovely to have on hand when your friends and family pop over.  Making your own is easier than you may think.  Continue Reading →

holiday party food

holiday-party-food-collageTwelve days to Christmas! Yikes! Why is it with the best-laid plans things slip? I finally got around to making my first ever Christmas cracker snaps even though I had the materials 2-weeks ago.  They were a cinch to make and took half an hour to assemble.  I think the same goes with party food.  We create lists of what we plan to make and yet as the date draws closer, it’s as if we never had a plan and we’re scrambling to pull it off.  Continue Reading →