My parents are visiting this week from Sudbury so I've had a chance to let myself loose in the kitchen these last few days.
To start, I made a couscous salad. Couscous is a great dish to make when it's really hot outside and you don't feel like cooking. It's so simple to make too - put one cup of couscous in a bowl, add one cup of hot water and then cover with saran wrap. After 5 minutes take a fork and fluff it up. Cover again for another 5 minutes and it's ready to use.
To make the salad I added chopped zucchini, tomato, red pepper, green onion and a little bit of shredded cheese. To pull it all together I dressed it up with garlic olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
The next day I prepared a flank stank on the barbecue (a first for me), steamed some yellow beans, made a great tomato cream sauce for some gnocchi and finished off the rest of the couscous.
For the gnocchi (Glenda's at the Covent Garden Market has some in the freezer) I boiled them and then added them to a pan with garlic olive oil to saute and then made a sauce with strained tomatoes, cream, cherry tomatoes and chives. They were yummy! My dad asked for seconds but none were left.
The flank steak was delicious as well. I had picked it up at Farmgate Markets at the Western Fair Market. I didn't have a chance to marinade it overnight (as suggested) but did season it and let it sit for a couple of hours before putting it on the bbq low and slow. It was perfectly tender and everyone raved about it.
Luckily we had lots left for the salad I put together the next night, which included sliced radishes and yellow peppers as well as some cheese. For the dressing I made a creamy garlic dressing by combining:
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp garlic olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp mustard
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
Along with the salad we had steamed corn-on-the-cob topped with a garlic butter and sprinkled with salt. I had hoped to barbeque the corn but didn't end up having the time to do it.
One of the desserts that I made this week was a Yellow Plum Souffle from Lynn Ogryzlo's "The Ontario Table". My mom had brought a basket of plums with her because she didn't want them to go to waste at home while they were away. Coincidentally I had been eyeing this recipe just a few days prior and was happy to be able to enjoy it sooner than expected.
To begin, make a yellow plum puree:
Pit and quarter 6 yellow plums (I used 8). Put them in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp Ontario honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until plums are soft. Puree in a blender.
This is very tasty on its own; I think that plums would make a really great jam!
To make the souffle you'll need:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp Ontario butter at room temperature
- 3 Ontario eggs, separated
- 3 tbsp Ontario flour
- 1/2 cup yellow plum puree
- 1 cup while milk
- dash salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Fold egg whites gently into the plum mixture, just until incorporated. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish. Set the dish into a larger pan with about 1-inch of hot water. Bake until top is set, about 35 - 45 minutes. Serve it hot with the remaining puree.
I'm not sure if the result was what it was supposed to be but the top was set while the bottom was still runny. Anyone know if this is how it's supposed to be? Or should it have been set all the way through? It was delicious, nonetheless.
Other than these dishes, I also made a garlic and zucchini pasta dish, pork burgers, a fresh loaf of raisin bread (recipe to follow on another post), and made an attempt at some honeyed plum swiss chard. Swiss chard is something that I'm really having a hard time enjoying. It's not something that I grew up eating. I enjoy it in an omelet or incorporated into something but not as the star of the show. Anybody have any tried and true recipes that will help me learn to like swiss chard?
Do you have any dishes that you like to make when company's coming over?