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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 →

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grilled zucchini roll-ups – a summer snack

grilled zucchini roll-upsThe farmers’ markets these days are showing off the bounty of the harvest.  It’s a favourite time of the year for me and for all who enjoy eating locally produced food.  The market is a perfect way to re-engage with the farmers, to ask questions about their produce, meat or fish and leave with a sense of being part of the community.  These farmers love to talk about the food they help put on your table.   Continue Reading →

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fish tacos (tacos de pescado)

fish tacos“What’s for dinner?” asked Mr. S.  I said I was thinking of fish and he said good!  We haven’t had fish in a while but these days with the way my memory works it was most likely only a week or so ago.  Cinco de Mayo (the 1862 victory of the Mexican militia over the French army) is just around the corner and making fish tacos seemed fitting.  A national staple and popular street food in Mexico, tacos are quick, fresh and inexpensive.  Continue Reading →

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mushroom pâté

mushroom pateNow that November is here, I start looking for easy-to-make snacks, appetizers, and finger food for the upcoming holiday season.  Everyone has their favorites and one of mine is pâté.  The thing is, it’s rich and calorie laden.  An easy solution without compromising taste is to use the mighty mushroom.  Not only are delicious, they’re packed with natural goodness with things like boosting your immune system (helps in cold and flu season), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial etc.  Continue Reading →

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roasted peppers

roasted peppersWhat is it about Mediterranean flavours that drive my taste buds crazy?  It’s an explosion of flavours, all vying for my attention and asking me to favor only one!  But alas, how can I? When I think of food from the Med, the words fresh and healthy come to mind.  And why not.  Continue Reading →

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crab phyllo cups

crab phyllo cups by The Culinary ChaseThe freezer compartment of our fridge is puny!  While it has 2 levels, it’s like playing a game of Jenga.  Everything placed in the freezer has to be done with much precision and each time the freezer drawer is opened, there’s constant reshuffling.  A while ago we purchased a package of frozen crab meat (imitation, that is) from a large box store – the price was too good to pass up.  A store employee was working at a food stall dishing out crab meat salad on small paper wrappers.  To our surprise, they were good and were shown where to find the crab.  Continue Reading →

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turkey meatballs – with an Asian twist

turkey meatballsThis dish transports my foodie mind back to Thailand.  One of the first things introduced to us was a welcome snack called Miang kham.  The base is a betel nut leaf and piled onto the leaf are fried shallots, ginger, toasted coconut flakes, garlic, lime, peanuts, chopped chili peppers, and topped with a drizzle of palm syrup.  Then carefully wrapped up and popped into your mouth.  Talk about an explosion of tastes!  I can easily scoff down 6 they’re that good.  Continue Reading →

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Easy To Make Stromboli

 

StromboliStromboli, an inside-out sandwich or pizza roll, is easy to make and perfect for informal gatherings or pot luck events.  I first tasted one when we lived in NYC and let me tell you, they are addictive!  Continue Reading →

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Grilled Guacamole

grilled guacamoleThere are oodles of recipes incorporating an avocado but the most familiar is guacamole and everyone has their own version.  Grilled guacamole is a slight spin on an old favorite. The avocado has been around for thousands of years and is rich in potassium (helps regulate blood pressure) and vitamin A (helps your eyes).  Avocado paste can be applied to the skin to help with rashes and to smooth rough skin.  Guacamole is so easy to make and is a crowd pleaser at a barbeque, pot luck or family gathering.  I’ve been making guacamole for years and was recently inspired by the one I saw from The Kitchn.

2 avocados, halved, stones removed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5-6 drops of Tabasco sauce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped
juice of one lime

gucamole ingredientsTurn barbecue on to medium heat. Make sure grate is clean and lightly oiled. Place avocado halves flesh side down and grill 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Scoop out flesh and in a bowl lightly mash avocado. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve with your favorite corn chips.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Try to select avocados that aren’t too ripe otherwise the consistency will be mush-like.  Enjoy!

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Haddock Saltimbocca

HaddockSaltimboccaThe classic saltimbocca dish consists of thin slices of veal topped with a sage leaf, wrapped in a prosciutto slice, and sautéed in butter. If prepared properly, saltimbocca should melt in your mouth.  Other variations can include chicken or pork.  While haddock saltimbocca isn’t a typical Italian dish, these tender morsels were absolutely delicious.  This recipe makes for a perfect finger food dish.  Saltimbocca, in Italian, means “to jump into the mouth” which is exactly what these did when I made them…they were that good!

Serves 4
inspired by Sean Armstrong’s Kitchen

4 haddock fillets, cut into bite-sized strips
10 sage leaves, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
prosciutto slices, cut in half lengthwise
toothpicks

Dipping Sauce –
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 red chili, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

saltimbocca marinade ingredientsIn a large bowl add sage, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons olive oil and white wine. Stir to combine and add fish. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.  To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved.

haddock marinatingRemove fish from marinating sauce, pat dry with paper towel and wrap each piece with prosciutto. Secure with toothpicks.

haddock saltimbocca preppedOver medium heat add fish to a lightly oiled frying pan and cook about 2 minutes each side.  Serve on a platter with the dipping sauce and let your guests dig in.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use any firm white-fleshed fish.  Don’t leave the fish to marinate longer than 20 minutes as the wine will continue to cook the fish and it will begin to fall apart.  This will make it difficult to wrap and roll up the fish in the prosciutto slice.  Enjoy!

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