Coconut Ganache

Coconut ganache

Ganache is very easy to make and impressive to serve. I had the idea to make it using coconut milk, which imparts rich flavor and an exotic touch. As you see in the photo, I shaped my coconut ganache balls crudely. If you have time, you can try to shape them into a smoother presentation. Either way, you’re in for a decadent treat.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Pour the milk and chocolate chips into a small pot and bring to a gentle boil. Stir until the chocolate and milk are thoroughly mixed so you get a uniform creamy texture. Turn off heat, pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. When the mixture has hardened, spoon out portions, shape and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Grilled Burgers and Asparagus

Burgers and asparagus

The sun was shining on Friday evening, making it an ideal time to grill. I was craving burgers, so we took out the ground beef from the freezer the day before and placed it in the fridge to defrost. After it defrosted over night, I placed the beef in a large mixing bowl and added half the meat of a hot Italian sausage to add subtle complexity to the flavor, 3-5 tablespoons of A1 (steak sauce) for tartness, 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce for saltiness, and 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce for a touch of sweetness. Mix the ingredients thoroughly by hand, let sit for an hour or so, shape into patties, then grill until cooked to your taste. Place slices of aged white cheddar on the patties at the end of cooking, close the grill top, and let melt.

For the buns, melt butter in the microwave and brush onto the inside of the buns. Toast the buns on the grill, then place the cooked patties on the bun and top with mayo, tomato slices, arugula and sliced pickles.

We grilled asparagus as a side, brushed with olive and sprinkled with barbecue seasoning. Cook them for about 20 min., turning them over halfway through the cooking time.

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BC Spot Prawns

BC spot prawns

BC spot prawns are a beautiful, locally sourced seafood with a short season. They’re available from May to June, and if you happen to be in British Columbia then, you should definitely try them. They’re succulent, with a light pinkish coloring and delicate white spots that give them their name.

We bought the prawns live and chose to grill them whole, which took about 5 to 10 min. Be sure to check that you are not overcooking them by examining the flesh and removing from the heat right away once the flesh turns solid. Serve with dipping sauces of ponzu, lime, and hot sauce, if you wish.

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Bulgur With Carrots and Feta

Bulgur

Grains are great to work with because they act as a blank canvas. Throw whatever veggies and/or protein and spices you like in there, stir thoroughly, and you’ve got yourself a hearty main or side dish. If you make a lot, you’ll have leftovers to rework as you like.

Bulgur anchors this dish, and the flavor profile comprises the sweetness of softened carrots, the tang of feta, and the nuttiness of sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups medium grind bulgur
salt to taste
4.5 cups water
half bag of baby carrots, minced in a food processor
feta chunks to taste
sesame seeds to taste

Bring the water to a boil, salt liberally, and add the bulgur. Simmer until cooked (will take approximately 50 min.) and stir occasionally. Add water if the bulgur is dry but remains uncooked.

While the bulgur is cooking, in a large skillet, saute the the carrots until they soften. Stir in the cooked bulgur, then add the feta and sesame seeds.

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Chocolate Chip Maple Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

I admit I’m not much of a baker. I’m more into savory foods, so creating these chocolate chip cookies was quite a coup for me. Normally, there’s a missing element in my attempts at baking that keeps the final products from achieving perfection. But this dish came out great; exactly what I had envisioned. These cookies are irresistible with their tender chewiness, delightful bits of chocolate, and a hint of maple syrup. Coconut oil adds a wonderful, sweet aroma, and sunflower oil adds Vitamin E.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 heaping tbsp. of coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
sunflower oil (or substitute with canola)

Combine all ingredients, except for sunflower oil, in a mixing bowl and mix into a dough. Slowly add sunflower oil until the dough has uniform consistency. It should be thick enough that you can easily form little balls without the dough flaking.

Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.

Cover the bottom of two baking trays with a thin film of sunflower oil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Take the dough from the refrigerator, form little balls and place them on the baking trays a few inches apart. Bake for 10-15 min.

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Power Breakfast

Edamame

If you’re looking for a power breakfast, try my edamame recipe. Edamame, or young soy beans, is a nutrition-packed food, carrying carbohydrates, protein and fiber. If you’re a vegetarian, you can add flavoring with a bit of cheese (I recommend aged white cheddar). I flavor this dish with ground-up charcuterie, and I add eggs because I like the scrambled texture. This meal is guaranteed to fuel you in the morning.

Ingredients:

1/3 pack frozen edamame, defrosted
3-5 slices of charcuterie
olive oil
2 eggs

Place edamame and charcuterie in food processor and grind to a coarse texture, adding olive oil to taste. Heat up on the stove top. Beat the eggs with a fork and stir the raw scramble into the edamame mix. It’s ready to serve when the eggs are cooked.

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Baked Crab on the Shell

Baked fresh crab.jpg

We went crabbing this past weekend, and the weather was gorgeous. We’re progressing into extra long days up North, yet there’s still a bit of snow on the mountains. We enjoy quite a panoramic view from our local crabbing pier, where we gaze at the ocean and the mountains as windsurfers go by.

To be honest, I didn’t expect to bring home anything because we’ve never caught any legal-size crab previously. But we got really lucky, pulling up two large Dungeness crabs, as well as red rock crabs.

I can’t take credit for this recipe because my husband did all the work. He spent about 2 hours parboiling the crab and removing the meat. This clearly requires patience and time. He saved the two Dungeness shells as vessels to hold the meat. When all the meat was removed, he mixed in some Old Bay, melted butter, minced garlic and a bit of crushed crackers for texture, placed the mixture into the shells, garnished with arugula and baked for about 15 min. The crab meat was deliciously fresh, light and satisfying; a luxurious ocean-to-table creation.

 

 

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