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  1. Wintered Vegetables

    May 5, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    We spent a day in the fields today. For future refernce (because I know you MUST be visiting and reading my site fanatically!) Sunday is garden day.

    Unfortunately, and if you followed along last summer you probably know, we live in the city. Not that living in the city is unfortunate, there are plenty of good things about living in the city and at this point in our lives it just makes sense to be close to everything. But, I was raised in the country and would like to find my way back sometime before I retire :)

    The unfortunate thing, and likely my least favourite part of city living, is our postage-stamp sized back yard. It’s big enough for a shed, a small deck and a large childrens play center (slide and swings), with just enough grass left over for the dog to do her serious business.

    …definitely NOT large enough for a garden.

    Community Supported Agriculture

    (more…)


  2. The Perfect Steak

    May 4, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    How do you know when your steak is finished on the bbq?

    Practice.

    But in the meantime, stop asking HOW LONG… because it’s not the right question.

    (more…)


  3. Canadian Foodies in 2008

    April 24, 2008 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Hello everyone!

    Thanks for visiting. To any of my old regulars, thanks for checking back.

    We’ve been a little quiet around here over the past 6 months or so… what can I say :)

    I’ve been hibernating through the long Canadian Winter!

    Actually we’ve been really busy with other ventures… a new baby in January (our second daughter!), a flood in February that destroyed our basement, and being generally busy trying to plan out the future of CanadianFoodies.

    (more…)


  4. Thought of the day

    October 17, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Hello everyone!

    I’ve been out of town a lot recently (with the day job) as well as launching a new blog (MichaelValiant.com – warning, not food related at all!) so I apologize for not being around here much.

    Thanks for the comments (that took me forever to moderate)!

    I will re-kick things off with a thought for the day:

    I try not to eat any veggies that have travelled more than I have!


  5. How to Roast Garlic

    September 4, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    My summer experimentation with Garlic continues! Unfortunately, due to a frustrating lack of rain (from March to September we didn’t see more than 10 consecutively rainy minutes once!) our pickings from the CSA farm where we have shares (just outside of Barrie, Ontario) has been a little meager. But one thing we have had lots of is Garlic (and Garlic Scapes)

    Garlic – Italy’s National Flower

    Earlier in the season we used heaps of Garlic Scapes in a number of different recipes, including Steamed Garlic Scape, Garlic Scapes Diced in a Salad, and even Garlic Scapes as a Tasty Addition to several dishes, like stew and chili!

    Now, we’ve seen the end of the Garlic Scapes, but we have heaps of Garlic.

    What to do?

    *QQ “Fight Mouthwash … eat garlic.” ~Lloyd J. Harris, The Official Garlic Lovers Handbook

    Well, tonight we decided on Roasted Garlic! I don’t know why but this was a first for me. Strangly, even loving Garlic as much as I do I’ve never tried this one out.

    I’ve been meaning to for years, but suppose I wasn’t really sure HOW to Roast Garlic.

    I am happy to say that it was incredibly easy.

    Also, it is fortunate that my wife likes Garlic as much as I do… Because it really doesn’t help a relationship when Garlic loving is one sided!

    *DYK Studies show that eating Garlic regularly provides a number of incredible health benefits; from lowering blood pressure to fending off vampires!

    How To Roast Garlic

    1. Pre-heat your oven to about 400°F.
    2. Peel the outside skin off your Garlic bulbs, leaving the skin on the individual cloves inside. It’s okay if some of the skin comes off the individual cloves but leave all the cloves attached!
    3. Nip off the top 10% of each clove with a sharp knife. I throw the tops into a salad usually.
    4. Pack the whole bulb into Tin Foil, but leave it open because you’re not quite done yet!
    5. Drizzle a good oil over the top of your Garlic Cloves. You should use a couple of teaspoons worth but basically just coat your Garlic Bulb.
    6. Sprinkle on some Basil.
    7. Seal tinfoil.
    8. Put Garlic in oven for 30-35 minutes.
    9. Allow to cool enough to handle with your fingers.
    10. Enjoy!

    How to Roast Garlic

    (click image to enlarge)

    You don’t NEED the oil, the garlic turns out great even without it, but the oil caramelizes, with adds a wonderful element to this simple appetizer.

    *QQ “Do not eat garlic or onions; for their smell will reveal that you are a peasant.” ~Cervantes, Don Quixote (1614)

    Also, if you’re worried about eating that much garlic at one sitting, don’t be! After roasting for 30 minute, a Garlic Bulb loses most of it’s intensity and you’re left with an incredible mellow earthy (almost nutty) flavor.

    I loved eating the garlic , but I’ve been told you can spread it across bread for a nice Garlic Bread treat too and I intend trying this out next.

    If you have a differnt method of Roasting Garlic, or another good idea of what to do with the finished result (e.g. Garlic Bread Spread) please share! I have a ton of Garlic left and would love to learn more ways of How to Roast Garlic!


  6. Cooking Scallops

    August 18, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class.

    — Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)

     

    Did you know the word Scallops is derived from the old french word for shell? Scallops, a close relative to mussels, oysters, and clams, have been a staple diet item in many cultures for thousands of years, and even appear in literature in the west as early as the 13th century!!!

    Today, thanks to people’s love of Cooking Scallops, it’s developed into a huge industry worth millions of dollars every year divided by three main markets:

    1. Bay Scallops – The sweetest of the three!
    2. Calico Scallops – Generally tougher than the other two types
    3. Sea Scallops – The most commonly available (at least here in Canada)

    My sister, a fitness coach and body builder introduced me to scallops a number of years ago. She included them in her diet because they are so high in protein (88 percent!) and low in both fat and carbs.

    Checkout my famous Prosciutto-wrapped BBQ Cooked Scallops. I’ll be adding more recipies for cooking scallops over the coming weeks, so check back often!


  7. Cooking Homemade Burgers…

    July 21, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Tip of the week:

    It was BBQ time here in Barrie this weekend and we had a small BYO-BBQ gathering with family and friends…

    One family member (who will remain nameless) brought a box of pre-formed pattys to cook.

    Now, if you look at two burgers sizzling away on a grill, one store bought and the other homemade, it’s pretty easy to tell which is which.

    I’ve never come across an out-of-the-box burger that doesn’t look like a thin slice off the end of a big ground-beef meat stick; and when you’re looking at the two burgers on a grill, that flat processed piece of meat looks about as appealing as it tastes, especially compared to it’s thicker hand-made counterpart.

    But the mechanically flattened factory burger does have one advantage… and that’s, consistent heating (and cooking) across the entire burger.

    Unfortunately the same is not always the case for the tastier (and usually larger) homemade burgers. Homemades tend to swell more when cooked and often end up with a much thicker center. Which means, if you want to serve burgers and not meatballs, you have to spend some of the burgers cooking time trying to flatten it out on the grill. The bigger problem is of course that, round burgers tend to have crispy outsides and barely cooked innards.

    So what to do?

    The rule of thumb here is to prepare the burger before it goes on the grill by making an indentation in the center of each patty about the size of a loonie (or a little bigger than a quarter for all you non-Canadians) and about 1/4 to 1/2 way deep.

    The thinned out center means you will always be assured of a perfectly cooked burger, and one that won’t swell as much.

    And don’t worry about anyone making comments about a thumb-print in their burger because it should swell just enough that the indent is no longer visible when it comes time to serve!


  8. BBQ Beef Tips…

    July 13, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    The summer is heating up and, going into a nice weekend my thoughts are on my BBQ so I thought I’d share a few hints that will come in handy if you plan on Grilling up some Beef this weekend:

    • Choose choice or prime cuts for the BBQ. The more abundant marbling adds tons of flavour after sizzling on a grill
    • Always marinate less tender cuts of beef before grilling. In order to properly tenderize, your marinade must contain an acidic ingredient.  Good additions to a tenderizing marinade include fruit or vegetable juice, yogurt, wine or a vinegar
    • For a really tender and juicy steak, let your meat sit at room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes and then salt it just before grilling
    • If you are the kind of BBQ chef who likes to deliver a side of beef with perfect grilling lines charred into your meat, try lightly brushing your next steak with an extra-virgin olive oil just before placing it on the BBQ

  9. CSA Barrie – Week 3

    July 8, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    We’re headed down to the Barrie Farmer’s Market first thing in the morning Saturday after heading out to Heritage Hill Farm (our CSA Farm) .

    We didn’t have enough time to head to the Orillia Farmers Market this week (which is bigger and offers more) as Mrs. Foodie had family visiting from Ottawa, but still managed to pick up enough produce to get us through the week :)

    Still VERY dry in the Barrie area lately and most of the local produce is pretty scrawny…

    July 7 th —

    Here’s what we picked up from the CSA Farm for Week 3 (still only $10 per week!):

    Garlic Scapes (only a few, probably the last we’ll see)
    1 bag assorted greens
    1 bag mustard greens
    1 bag bok choy
    1 bag of very large peas (different variety this week)
    1 bunch small green onions
    about 12 baby (golf ball size) potatoes
    1 quart strawberries (getting near the end of strawberry season!)
    Assorted herbs (basil, chives, thyme, mint, etc)

    Still a little light, but the lack of rain is to blame there.

    Still hoping for radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, or broccoli etc soon!

    I was excited to see purple potatoes in the mix. These were too small to do much with, but they will get bigger. I was introduced to purple (or blue) potatoes in university and can attest that this tasty potato can be quite shocking when served as mashed potatoes (or shepherd’s pie) and makes a great addition (and conversation piece) to any guest dinner!

    We made a delicious stir fry using a little bit of everything this week (except the greens and strawberries; which were mixed together and served separately!) I’ve never used bok choy in a stir fry previously but it made a great addition to the dish.


  10. Garlic Scapes / Flowers

    July 5, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    We steamed up a bowlful of Garlic Scapes for dinner last night (for $2.50 we picked up an entire grocery bag stuffed with them at the Orillia Farmers’ Market) and were very happy with the results.garlic-scapes2.jpg

    I’ve never had Garlic Scapes before to my knowledge and this was a really simple-to-prepare treat.

    I wasn’t sure if you could eat the flower bulb or not so decided to cook the scape in its entirety. After washing about 1/4 of the grocery bag (approximately 7-10 Scapes per person) I stuffed them into our vegetable steamer and set the timer for 30 minutes (about the same as I would cook asparagus).

    Once the timer was up, I sampled one and found the top to be relatively non-edible (from the bulb to the pointy tip) as it was still very ‘woody’. Removing them though was easy; simply grasp the bulb in one hand and gently tug the tip which should pop right off.

    I tossed all the Scapes in a bowl with butter and liberally sprinkled Ricotta cheese.

    The result was a pleasant and unique side veggie dish.

    It looks like Garlic Scapes are fairly hardy and should last in your fridge (or even in a cool dry location) for quite awhile as I’ve had a few Scapes sitting in the bottom of my fridge since my first CSA farm visit and they haven’t wilted in the least.

    I mention this because, as much as I enjoyed our Garlic Scape dish, I think I’d prefer to use them as embellishment to other veggies more often than as a primary vegetable dish.

    The mild garlic flavour would be a nice addition to most dishes!