how to build a charcuterie board

Charcuterie has its origins in France and the word means a pork-butcher shop.  While the original translation refers to pork, today’s charcuterie can include other types of food, such as duck, cheese, pâté, fresh or dried fruit.  Think of charcuterie as a starter course or as the centerpiece when you have your family and friends…

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escargot stuffed mushrooms

Escargot (ehs-kahr-GOH) is the French word for snail. This little mollusk is famously served baked in a shell with a bubbling sauce of garlic, shallots, parsley, and butter.  As good as this sounds,  there are other ways to utilize this humble mollusk.  Use in a stir-fry with oyster sauce, soy sauce, red pepper.  Or, toss…

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pork sausage plait

On the kitchen countertop, I have a cubby hole (of sorts) where I stash recipe clippings or where scraps of paper with my scribbled recipes rest.  Every once and a while I do a clearout.  The other day I was tidying the countertop space when I saw my scribbled note on pork sausage plait. TweetFacebookLinkedInTumblrStumbleDiggDelicious

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pickled radicchio

Pickled radicchio is a perfect way to preserve and enjoy for weeks.  Radicchio (ra-DEEK-ee-o) on its own has a bold and bitter taste but throw it in a hot bath of vinegar and that boldness subsides.  It ends up with a sweet and sour taste.  When the radicchio leaves hit the vinegar, they change a…

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parmesan tuiles

The other day I was all gung-ho to make parmesan tuiles.  The recipe was from a trusted name in the cooking industry but as I was dishing out the ingredients, something inside me was saying the quantities, oven temperature and method seemed off.  But, because it was from a trusted source, I shrugged off my…

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olive and anchovy bites

When we invite friends over for dinner, it’s always a new menu.  And after many years of entertaining, this can seem as though there’s nothing new left in the tank!  Which is what it felt like last Thursday.  We had invited our good friends over for a bite to eat on Friday and the day…

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tomato & fresh mozzarella with Caesar granita

I was trying to think of what to call this dish.  It’s not a true Caprese salad as I did not include basil.  Tomato and mozzarella salad sounds so blah but there’s an ingredient that most definitely does not make this any way shape or form, blah!  The other day I posted Caesar granita atop…

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fresh oysters with Caesar granita

A Caesar, a classic Canadian cocktail, is as popular as its American counterpart the Bloody Mary.  So what’s the difference, you ask?  The ingredients include Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt (and perhaps celery salt), black pepper and vodka.  The addition of clam juice is what gives the Canadian Caesar its umami flavor.  Canadian bartenders…

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steamed mussels with black bean garlic sauce

One of the first sauces we tried when we moved to Hong Kong was the black bean.  The description alone made us wonder how much our senses were going to be assaulted.   After all, how could fermented black soybeans taste anything but salty and smell stinky?  That was the westernness coming out in me or…

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Ciro's crostini with his homemade stracchino cheese

What makes a delicious crostini?  Two words; fresh ingredients.  And when my farmers’ market has an Italian vendor selling his own cheese, I am ONE happy camper!  Ciro Comencini moved to Nova Scotia with his wife, Alessia and their six children (soon to be seven!) in 2013.  His dairy experience started with his family’s farm, just…

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