Scalloped Potatoes

These were so delicious, that my super, picky-eater boyfriend devoured half a pan in one sitting. This rarely happens, as the food I cook has too many vegetables and is not spicy enough for the vegetarian love of my life.

  • 6 Medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • block of Gouda cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • green onions
  • salt/pepper to taste

Béchamel sauce:  

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2.5 cups milk

Prep: cut onions and potatoes into thin slices. Grate the Gouda cheese.

Preheat oven to 375.

Béchamel sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over the stove.  Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir until dissolved. Add milk, 1/2 cup at a time while stirring. Allow to boil, and stir for half a minute before removing from heat. Make sure all your prep work is done, so that you can start layer the potatoes right away. This sauce thickens when is cooled, and makes it harder to spread.

On a baking pan layer potato and onion slices with the Bechamel sauce and the grated Gouda cheese. There should be enough for 3 layers. At the top sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

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Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes at 375

After an hour, remove from oven, uncover the foil and sprinkle sliced green onions and more parmesan cheese. Return back to the oven at 375 and continue to bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.

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Allow to cool before serving, enjoy!

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Finished product, with a bit of arugula & olive salad

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Simple tomato, swiss chard pasta

Tomato season is upon us, and my local tomatoes deserved to go into a good dish before they went soft.

So craving some Italian, I devised a pasta recipe to serve as home for my extra tomatoes.IMG_5568

  • 3-4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • 6-7 cloves garlic
  • bunch of swiss chard (I used red)
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 box pasta (I used tortiglioni)
  • shredded parmesan cheese

Boil water and add a pasta and a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Allow to cook to desired consistency, drain and rinse in cold water and set aside.

Stir fry diced onions until soft on a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add garlic and continue to stir until fragrant and soft, but not burnt. Add diced tomatoes, cover the frying pan with a lid and cook until broken apart and soft. Continue to stir to prevent sticking while tomatoes cook. Once tomatoes are at a sauce like consistency add chopped swiss chard and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before everything is cooked add a generous swirl of balsamic vinegar. Stir and keep on heat for a few minutes for flavors to blend.

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Stir frying tomatoes, onions & garlic

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Red swiss chard

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tomatoe sauce with chopped swiss chard

Serve with sprinkled with parmesan cheese and sliced avocados.

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SMACHNOGO!

Fish Taco’s

I decided to make Fish Taco’s.  After speeding from a Nova Scotia wedding back home, straight into 3 night shifts, my diet has been take out pizza the last 3 days, and it’s time to have some healthy zen back in my system.

I’ve had some really good Fish Taco’s in restaurants in the past so this is my take of it.

The recipe is adapted from Love and Lemons blog, tequila lime fish taco’s, but I changed up the recipe so much that I’m just going to call it my own.

http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/07/12/tequila-lime-fish-tacos/

Fish marinade:

  • 2 Large Cod fillets
  • splash olive oil
  • splash white tequila
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • Birch tree syrup
  • red pepper flakes
  • lemongrass paste
  • salt/pepper
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The Birch syrup I bought at Edible Canada restaurant/shoppe on Granville Island in Vancouver. It reminded me of the Birch Tree juice we used to drink as kids in Ukraine. The tequila is from Mexico, yareeeeba

Start my mixing above ingredients in a bowl and pour over fish. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

The longer the better the flavors will take to the fish.

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Blending of Flavors

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Pre-marinade

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Post-marinade

Once marinated, fry the fish on some olive oil in a pan. Do not over-cook, the biggest offence is chewy fish! Squeeze some fresh lime over the fish once it is all cooked.

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Taco fillings:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 small, purple cabbage, cut up on mandoline
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • 2 Peaches
  • few leaves of mint
  • White wine vinegar
  • White tequila
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • salt/pepper

Cut up purple cabbage on mandoline. Mix with chopped cilantro, mint and peaches. In a small bowl mix juice of 1/2 lime, olive oil, salt/pepper. Mix with salad.

Boil onions for 30 seconds and chill in ice water. Dry with some paper towels. Mix with white wine vinegar, splash of tequila and salt. Allow to sit in fridge for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.

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purple fever – cabbage and onions

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Mix in cilantro and mint

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Peaches

Now the fun part, making the fish taco… I used whole wheat tortillas, added fish, purple cabbage salad and onions, and of course the sauce…

Sauce:

  • Sour cream
  • Sambal oelek

Mix 1 part sour cream with a dollop of sambal oelek (be warned this stuff is spicy so you don`t need much).

I served my fish taco with diced avocado’s and tomato-peach salsa. Enjoy.

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Simple, Roasted Tomato Soup

It’s 1314 in the afternoon.

I have Erin Costelo’s album in the background – “Fire & Fuss” album.

It’s a light rain outside.

I’ve only thus far had a cookie  for breakfast, and my glass of white wine of course.

My appetite has grown a mind of it’s own.

There’s an aroma of yellow garden & hot house red tomatoes, onions and garlic triculating from the oven.

Simple, Roasted Tomato Soup:

  • 4 Large hot house tomatoes
  • dozen yellow cherry tomatoes (mine are from my garden, but any other variety would do)
  • Vegetable broth
  • medium onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • brown sugar (optional)

Cut hot house tomatoes into quarters, peel and cut onions into bulky slices, peel garlic cloves. On a baking pan lay out the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt/pepper (I used steak spice). Roast on 350 degrees for about an hour, or until vegetables are soft.

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Let cool for a few minutes, and puree in the blender using amounts vegetable broth and basil, as needed to get a smooth consistency.

(At this step I found out my blender was not working so I improvised and used a potato masher over heat in hopes of mashing up the bulky onions/garlic cloves. Did not work as well, but still tasted yummy, if you don’t mind chunky pieces of onion and garlic in your soup. I don’t.)

Put on stove top and let cook for about 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

Turn off heat. I added 1 tablespoon brown sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I prefer my soup sweeter. Also at the end I drizzled in soup 25 star balsamic vinegar. MMmmmmmm.

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As a side note, I took my friend who visited me in Atlantic Canada from Alberta to St Andrews-by-the-sea, New Brunswick, we indulged ourselves in a little shopping at the wonderful St. Croix Olive Oil shoppe. I had a chat with the owner about some of their products, and the 25 Star Balsamics are a fine grade of balsamics.

“Chefs order them by the box-full” he said.

I only bought one, must stick to budget.

They are a thicker consistency than grocery store balsamics, are aged longer (25 years) in barrels and made from white grapes. Like many great wines this vinegar is produced in Italy, in the Modena region. It is devine with just about anything, and has a sweet, pungent taste to it. For the balsamic vinegar lovers, I would highly recommend a taste!