Rack of Lamb – Marinated With Herbs and Garlic

Don prepared this last night and really liked it. I think it was just because he wanted to use his new Christmas Le Creuset pieces.

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup red wine. We used a lovely Shiraz

Chop the thyme and garlic together, add the rosemary and place in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, olive oil and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.

Trim off the excess fat on the lamb, then cut the lamb into 2 bones each pieces. Place the lamb into the spice mixture and rub it into the lamb, using your hands. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (The lamb, not your hands).

Heat the oil in the Le Creuset skillet and sear all sides of the lamb until the meat is dark brown and crispy. When ALMOST done, pour in the red wine and then remove from the heat. Let sit covered for 15 minutes.

Serve with roasted vegetables and enjoy. Truly a real treat.

* just use whatever skillet you have.


Maple Baked Trout For Dinner

Recipe  #1777

Yum…..this is a super, duper recipe for trout and sooo easy to prepare, bake and, of course, eat.

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 trout portions

Combine everything into a large, sealable container and add the trout.  Toss to coat well. Seal and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Remove the trout from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Place in a baking dish and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes or until done.

Serve with a fresh potato salad and crisp green salad or garlic mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Simply add a warm dinner roll and a glass of the chilled ‘stuff’ and you have a wonderful meal.



Grilled Steak Cooked Backwards

Aha! Got your attention, didn’t I? This is really cool and with the good weather around the corner, get the recipes lined up and be ready to go.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tomahawk steak (1 – 1.5 kg)
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 6-8 large white mushrooms, brushed clean, stem removed
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. teriyaki sauce

Melt the 2 tbsp. butter in a frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until starting to brown and add the teriyaki sauce. Stir carefully to coat the mushrooms and set aside.

Preheat a slow cooker on low. Add the butter, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Place the tomahawk steak over the butter and turn over to coat. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn off cooker and leave the steak inside.

If you have a barbecue, heat on high. Add the steak and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook a further 3 minutes. Slice a small piece open to check for the doneness you prefer. If not done, continue cooking. Remove from the grill and turn it off. Let rest.

Pour the butter mixture in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the mushrooms and heat for about 5-8 minutes, while the steak is resting. Add the juices from the steak and after thinly slicing the steak. drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve.


**Note: If you do not have a grill, simply preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and melt the butter in a baking dish. Continue as above.


Baked Cod Using Panko Crust

I promise you this is a nice way to prepare the cod fillets. We had this last night and we really enjoyed it.


  • 3 – 8-9 oz. pieces of Captain Cut cod fillets
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2  tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 3.4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Joe’s Stuff Seasoning OR Old Bay – from New Orleans School of Cooking (better)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil or 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh chopped Basil
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush the fillets with a mixture of mayonnaise and mustard.

Saute the shallot and garlic in the butter and olive oil until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the panko crumbs, basil, lemon and seasoning until well combined.

Spread 1/3 of the hot mixture over each piece of fish and pat down to adhere the crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes in a shallow baking pan prepared with parchment paper.

Serve with a crisp salad and serve with lemon wedges on the side.



Cheeseburger Pie Surprise

This pie is like Shepherd’s pie but with a difference…..a wonderful difference.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. yellow flesh potatoes, peeled and cut up
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Clausen dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • extra grated cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot,  cover the potatoes with water and boil for about 18 minutes, until tender. Remove from the heat, drain and mash on low speed in electric mixer. Slowly add the sour cream, cream, pinch of salt continue beating until smooth and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover and set aside.

In a fry pan, cook the beef, pepper, onion and garlic until brown, stirring to break up the beef. Drain off any fat.

Stir in the corn, water, pickles, tomato paste, mustard and teriyaki sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 6-7 minutes to blend all the flavours. Stir in the remaining shredded cheese.

In a 2 qt. baking dish, spoon in the beef mixture and level off. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake for 20 minutes until totally heated through and the cheese has melted.

Oh, my goodness!

Grilled Chicken With A Mango Salsa

Gosh, it must be barbecue season. How can  you tell? This is deeeelicious.


Marinade For Chicken

  • 1-14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat barbecue to 350 degrees. To make the marinade mix everything together and place the chicken in a large flat dish and pour the marinade over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a hour or so.


Tropical Salsa

  • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped
  • 1/4 cup each green and yellow bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 tbsp. minced jalapeno
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • lime wedges for garnish

Mix the ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Take the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit for about 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the chicken on the barbecue and close the lid. Grill for about 11-12 minutes per side, until it reaches 160 degrees.

Place the chicken on individual plates and top with the salsa. Garnish each plate with lime wedges.

Serve also with a side of rice or noodles. What more could you possibly ask more? More?



Sablefish With Lentils and Red Wine Sauce

Don’t let the name scare you, it is also known as Alaskan Black Cob (fabulous). By using the red wine sauce, just remember all the alcohol is burned off and only flavours the sauce.


  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 celery stalk, ribs removed, finely diced
  • 1 cup Puy lentils, well rinsed
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. curry powder (depends on how strong you want it)
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 x 5 oz. sablefish fillets, skim on
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely diced

Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a saucepan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute over a medium heat umtil the onion is soft and clear. Do not brown.

Add lentils, bay leaves, thyme and 2 1/2 cups cold water or enough to generously cover the lentils. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric and pinches of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reducing heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until the lentils are tender (20-25 minutes).

With 5 minutes left before the lentils have finished cooking prepare the fish.

Lightly sprinkle the fillets with the remaining curry and pinches of salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Cook the fish skin-side down for 3 minutes or just until the skin starts to crisp and turn golden. Add 1 tbsp. butter to melt and turn the fish carefully to coat with the butter. Turn off the heat and let this rest, uncovered, to finish the cooking.

When the lentils are tender but not mushy, drain any excess water and remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Add the remaining butter and diced tomatoes and fold into the lentils. Divide this between 4 plates and place a fillet on top of the lentils, skin side down.


Red Wine Sauce


3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 small onion, finely diced

1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced

1/2 stalk of celery, ribs removed and finely diced

pinch of curry

1 pinch each of ground cloves, cinnamon and crushed red chilies,

2 cardamom pods with the seeds scraped out

2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir or a Sangiovese)

2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp. maple syrup

pinch of salt

1 tbsp. flour


Place 1/2 of the butter in a medium saucepan and add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the onion is soft and clear. Add the spices and seeds from the cardamom pods and stir fry for one minute until aromatic. Add the red wine, stock, maple syrup and boil hard for 20 minutes until the sauce has been recued to 2 cups.

Strain through a fine sieve , discarding all the vegetables. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining butter. Whisk in the flour until it become crumbly and slowly whisk in the red wine mixture until it becomes smooth. Cover and set aside.

When ready to serve, spoon the sauce around each plate and garnish with a lime wedge.

Mint/Ginger Crusted Lamb

This is, perhaps, another way to serve lamb (especially for an Easter Feast) or simply to impress friends and family.


  • 2 cups day old baguette
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh minced ginger root
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 boneless single lamb loin roasts (12 oz. each approx.)
  • 10 oz. fresh peas, pea shoots and micro greens for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor pulse together the baguette, mint, basil, ginger, a pinch of salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add 6 tbsp. butter and pulse until a paste forms.

Season the loins with salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pack the bread paste around the loin roasts so it adheres. Bake about 15-18 minutes. transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

While these are cooking, add the peas in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes and drain well. Reserve the water. In a blender, add the peas and the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and some of the water so it becomes thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, slice the lamb across the grain and arrange on 4 plates, spoon the peas around the lamb and garnish with the shoots and micro greens.

Serve with a small salad and, of course, a glass of good Sav. Cabneret or Sangiovese wine. Then, toast the cook and then toast again.



Fresh Trout With A Lemon Caper Aioli

If you are looking for a light and delicious meal over the holiday weekend, give this one a try. Truly lovely and when paired with a chilled Pinot Gris…heavenly!



  • 6 x 6 oz. whole trout, skin on
  • 1 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • micro greens for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blot fish dry with a paper towel and place on a parchment lined baking tray and rub gently with the oil. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes until almost cooked through. You really want it a little rare as it will continue cooking once removed from the oven.

Peel off the skin from the fish and discard the head. Remove the fillets from the spine and place on a heated platter. Garnish with the micro greens and set the lemon wedges around the edge. Drizzle with a little of the lemon sauce. Pour remaining sauce in a bowl and let everyone add more (they will want to).

Lemon Caper Aioli

  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp. capers, rinsed and drained

Place the garlic in a mini food processor and whirl. Gradually add the oil until a smooth paste has formed. Add the Dijon, lemon zest and mayonnaise and whirl to blend. Transfer to a small bowl and add the capers.

This may be served with baby spring vegetables and basmati rice. Truly a wonderful meal and, of course, the chilled Pinot Gris adds to the overall enjoyment.


Cannelloni alla Fiorentina

Forever ago I told my husband I must have been Italian in my previous life. Love of pasta (almost everything) and this, the one I am giving you today, is one that Don put together yesterday.

It is beyond fabulous. Truly it is.

  • 1  container (454 g) ricotta cheese (regular)
  • 1 – 10 oz. fresh spinach (sweated in fry pan until becomes limp)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese for topping
  • 24 oven ready Cannelloni (you use only 15 of them)
  • 1 jar original Prego sauce
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 disposable decorating bag (or regular pastry bag)

In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, sweated spinach, egg, 1/4 cup parmesan, mixing well. Set aside.

Fill the decorating bag with the cheese mixture and cut off the tip. **This makes filling the cannelloni a breeze.

Mix together the Prego sauce, fennel seeds, oregano and basil together and cook in a saucepan for 20 minutes to marry the flavours of the herbs in the sauce and now spread 1/2 cup of the Prego sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Arrange the cannelloni neatly in a single layer, and cover all with the sauce. Spread out the grated mozzarella over the entire surface of the dish.

Bake for 50-55 minutes. During the baking time the pasta will soften and expand. The top will be a wonderful golden brown, bubbly and wonderful.

Serve this with a chilled salad, garlic toast and, of course, and glass of a beautiful red wine.


Seafood Risotto In One Pot

Well, after two days off …not really, transplanting some pot-bound indoor plants and watching them sigh a big sigh of relief, here it is..Monday morning. So..I absolutely love risotto and this is for the hard-core seafood diner. Trust me!


  • 2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 mussels
  • 16-18 shrimp. deveined
  • 1/2 lb. squid rings
  • 1 lb. small clams
  • 1 lb. meaty white fish, cut into chunks
  • flat leaf parsley leaves for garnish

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and fennel, stirring until just starting to brown. (3 minutes), add the tomato paste and season with a little salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes. Stir in the vermouth and saffron and cook for 1 minute.

Add the orzo and now, using a large ladle, add the clam juice and broth, stirring constantly until the orzo is  el dente and the liquid is almost all absorbed. Add the shrimp, squid and baby clams into the pot, stirring under to cover the seafood. Stir gently for about 5 minutes until the seafood is cooked through. Season the fish with  salt and pepper and gently tuck under the orzo and cook about 5 minutes more. Let stand for five minutes before serving and sprinkle some of the smaller parsley leaves over.

In warm bowls, ladle out the orzo. If you wish put a few wedges of lemon/lime on the table and let everyone help themselves.

You may need a whip to hold the guests back and stop the neighbours from breaking down your door just to taste this. Enjoy!



Super Bowl Third Quarter Meal

I, like the rest of the world, seem to be interested in the Super Bowl beit the game or just the commercials,  but this may help you get through the day with the least amount of work.


Mini Grilled Cheese and Ham Pumpernickel Sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
  • 32 cocktail size pumpernickel bread slices
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Havarti cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 8 thin slices of ham, each cut in half

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour half in a small bowl and set aside. Add sage to the remaining butter in the saucepan and stir for 30 seconds.

Arrange 16 slices of the bread on a clean surface and brush lightly with the sage butter. Mix together the cheeses and divide among the slices.

Fold half slices of the ham to fit over the cheese.

Top with remaining bread, pressing to adhere. Brush the tops of the sandwiches lightly with the butter. Heat a large fry pan on medium heat and place four sandwiches, butter side down in the pan and grill until golden (4-5 minutes). Brush the top of the sandwiches with butter and turn over, cooking until the cheese melts, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Serve with a Chipotle Spiced Tomato Soup – recipe follows.


Chipotle Chili Tomato Soup

  • 2 x 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes in juice
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small chipotle chili, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes with juice. Set aside.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the cumin. When they begin to sizzle, add the oil, onion, garlic and ginger. Saute until the onion is soft (4-5 minutes).

Stir in the chipotle, chicken stock, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Working in small batches, transfer soup to a blender and process until completely smooth. Serve in small cups with the mini cheese sandwiches and you just scored a touchdown.

Yahoo! Yummy.