Dear Cooks and Bottle washers...

Dear You,

The Pantry is bare, but the shelves are full of beautiful books, waiting to be purchased, wrapped and loved.

With the season beginning to swing, we shall take a break from our Wednesday weekly dinner recipes, and resume sharing them again come January.

Please note our hours, altered for the season:

Monday - Friday: 10:30 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm

Sunday: Noon - 5 pm

Here's to another holiday season, our 20th! Make merry, Read your books, Cook with pleasure, Eat and drink by measure.

Love, Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Poetry, Food for the Soul

 Emotional Truffle

Today, we present a little something different: instead of a weekly recipe, food for your soul.

I wrote this poem after I heard that Leonard Cohen had died. It is a kind of homage to him and was also inspired by the truffle dinner at CinCin last night. The poem is best when read out loud, in your best baritone voice. ~ Barbara-jo

I am

A fruity fungus

Subtle

Mysterious

light

& Loud.

 

I am white, Italian, Tartufu of Alba

Come to me in Autumn

SHAVE Mia!

all over

Pasta-Risotto-Seafood & the Vegetable Roots.

EGGS find me weak with desire.

AMORE.

 

Leave me,

As Winter sets in.

Travel to Perigod, where my French, Black cousin – Truffe – waits for you.

SHAVE Moi!

Boldly.

Caress

Red meat-Game birds-Creamy Leeks.

EGGS are the love of my life.

ADORE.

 

I promise,

To leave you wanting-

Passionate for more-

of my earthy morsel.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Barbara-jo's Crab and Turnip Gratin

Barbara-jo's Crab and Turnip Gratin

This recipe comes from my little grey book: Cooking for Me and Sometimes You: A Parisienne Romance with Recipes. If you wish, you can replace the crabmeat with duck confit. This recipe serves me (with leftovers). ~ Barbara-jo

Ingredients:

* 1 medium-size turnip (about 4 inches round)

* butter

* 2 tablespoons grated onion

* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 cup heavy cream

* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

* salt and pepper

* 1/2 cup fresh crabmeat

 

Method:

Peel the turnip and boil it whole for about 12 minutes. Cool before dicing into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a medium-size pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the grated onion and ground cloves. Let the mixture bubble away for about 2 minutes.

Add the heavy cream; reduce slightly. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Fold half of the cubed turnip into the creamy mixture. Top this first with 1/4 cup fresh crabmeat, the rest of the turnip, and another 1/4 cup crabmeat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese over all and cook in a hot oven, 375°F/ 190°C, for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.

 

Barbara-jo McIntosh is the proprietress of Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks. Her little grey book is now out of print, but with good luck, we will see another book from Barjo in 2017. (But it won't be grey!)

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Gordon Harris' Avocado Chicken

Gordon Harris' Avocado Chicken

This is a simplified version of an old Pierre Franey 60 Minute Gourmet recipe that I've been making for family and friends for decades. The original called for heavy cream and some cognac, but a lighter cream works just fine. This recipe serves four. ~ Gordon.

 Ingredients:

* 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

* a half dozen or so mushrooms

* 1 or 2 avocados

* 2 tablespoons of butter

* fresh ground pepper

* 1 heaping tablespoon of chopped shallots

* garlic clove, minced

* small carton of cream

* 1 cup of rice (cook according to package directions)

* 1 tablespoon curry powder

 

 Method:

Cut the chicken into half-inch strips, slice the mushrooms, and cut the avocados into quarter-inch slices.

In a medium skillet (I use an old cast iron one) on high heat, melt the butter. Just before it turns brown, add the chicken and lots of fresh pepper. Brown the chicken for a few minutes, then remove and set aside.

Add the chopped shallots, garlic, and mushrooms into the skillet and cook for about three or four minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the cream and cook down over high heat. Reduce the heat, and add the avocados and chicken. Continue to cook until the chicken is done, another five minutes or so.

Serve on white or brown rice with a tablespoon of curry powder stirred in.

 

Gordon Harris is an urban planner and is leading the development of UniverCity, an award-winning model sustainable community being built on Burnaby Mountain.

Late Autumn Libations - Truffles, Cookies and Peruvian Cuisine

Our fall events are heating up! 

 LATE AUTUMN LIBATIONS!

 A Celebration for Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook,

"CINCIN: Wood-Fired Cucina"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 6:30 - 10:00pm, CinCin Ristorante

In celebration of Executive Chef Andrew Richardson's debut cookbook, CINCIN: Wood-Fired Cucina, you're invited to join CinCin for a truly special truffle dinner experience. Coinciding with the restaurant's annual Mushroom & Truffle Festival, this book launch and dinner promises to be a spectacular Autumn tasting of flavours, flights, and funghetti.

On Tuesday, November 15th, Executive Chef Richardson and his award-winning brigade, will grill a bounty of the region's best from the newly launched cookbook and feature the season's bounty of ruffles to commemorate this auspicious occasion. This rustic, Italian-inspired dinner is paired with flights of vintage Carpineto wines and a complimentary copy of Executive Chef Richardson's cookbook.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 - CinCin Ristorante Five Course Truffle Dinner with Carpineto Wines. 6:30 p.m. reception - 7:00 p.m. Dinner - 9:15 p.m. Book Signing

Cost: $225 per person plus taxes, includes a copy of the signed cookbook.

Tickets can be purchased through Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks - 604.688.6755.

 

 Interpreting "Dorie's Cookies" into Gluten-Free with nextjen Peters & Hamid Saliman

Saturday, November 26, 2016 11:00am - 1:00pm, Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

Today we have chef's Jen Peters and Hamid Saliman in our kitchen to offer a cooking class with Dorie's Cookies, one of this seasons anticipated baking books. Jen and Hamid have created an excellent line of gluten-free flours, and today they will demonstrate and prepare the recipes from Dorie's Cookies with these flours.

Cost of this event is $115.00 and includes a copy of Dorie's Cookies.

 

 CENTRAL is in Peru, but CACAO is right here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 6:30 - 9:30pm, CACAO - Progressive Latin

CACAO is a new restaurant, in my neighbourhood. Chef Jefferson Alvarez has created a Modern Latin menu that will excite your palates. Crafted cocktails are superb. And you may have heard of a restaurant in PERU called CENTRAL which is the brainchild of Chef Virgilio Martinez. We would love to meet Virgilio one day, but until we do, we would love to offer you an opportunity to celebrate his new book with Jefferson Alvarez at CACAO.

Tonight Jefferson will prepare and serve a menu from CENTRAL. Please join us to experience the warmth of CACAO and the cuisine of Virgilio Martinez.

Cost of this evening is $150.00 and will include your meal, libation and a copy of CENTRAL.

 

Two sessions of our winter One Book Club are now on sale. Limited space is available for each session.

 

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Christina Burridge's Roast Fish, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Olives

 Christina Burridge's Roast Fish, Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Olives

I love fish and potatoes in all their glorious variations. This one brings some Mediterranean cheer to a rainy evening for only a few minutes prep time. For two people, but easy to upsize for four. ~ Christina

Ingredients:

* 2 medium potatoes, chunked (the smaller the chunks, the quicker they cook)

* olive oil

* 300g firm white fish fillets - halibut or ling cod work best, brushed with olive oil, salt, pepper

* 12 or so cherry tomatoes, on the stem, if possible

* 12 or so black olives

* parsley, chopped

 Method:

Heat the oven to 450°F. Oil a small baking tray.

Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes and let them dry. Toss in olive oil and spread out on the tray. Cook for 30 minutes or so, turning occasionally so the chunks brown. You want them not quite cooked. Move to one side and add the fish.

Turn up the heat to 475°F and toss in the tomatoes and olives. Cook for 10 minutes or until fish is just barely done.

Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. BC Chardonnay would be a fine match.

 

Christina Burridge champions BC's wild seafood for a day job and writes about food and wine whenever she finds the time.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Ian Gill's Mother's Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes

 

Ian Gill's Mother's Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes

Ian Gill loves his mother's recipe for Rabbit and Lemon Potatoes. We love the hand-written copy.

 

 Ian Gill is a Vancouver-based journalist and author.

He will be hosting a dinner in the shop on November 24, 2016 to introduce his newest book,"No News is Bad News: Canada's Media Collapse - And What Comes Next." However, it is doubtful that our chef for the evening will be preparing these recipes.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Peter Cardew's Broccoli Pasta

Thanksgiving leftovers are all gone. Too much turkey anyways. So, how about just something green? Like

Peter Cardew's Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients for two, or one, with microwave lunch at work another day.

Ingredients:

* 1 crown of broccoli (200-300g)

* olive oil

* 2 anchovy fillets, from glass jar (they last longer)

* 1 fresh Thai chili, seeded (depending on taste) and chopped fine

* 1 large clove garlic, chopped fine

* butter

* enough pasta for two, dried not fresh. (For this, I prefer fettuccine or spaghetti.)

* cheese, grated (I prefer Romano with this, but it's up to your personal taste.)

* salt (maybe)

* pepper, a mix of white and black in your pepper grinder

Method:

In a large pot, boil salted water for the pasta while you are cooking the "sauce." (Turn to low when the water boils.)

Steam the broccoli crown for 5-6 minutes and set aside. This can be done ahead of time. Cut the broccoli into florets (approximately thumb size). Don't discard the stalks, dice them fine.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the chopped anchovies and the chopped Thai chili. Watch them carefully and stir with a wooden spoon until the anchovies soften and "melt." You don't want to burn them, or you'll have to start again. Add the chopped garlic and stir for no more than a minute.

Add the steamed broccoli and stir with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Add a knob of butter for richness and keep warm on very low heat.

Add the pasta to the salted boiling water. Set the timer for two minutes less than specified on the package. Drain the pasta but keep back a few tablespoons of the pasta water.

Add the pasta to the sauce, still over low heat, and toss with tongs to thoroughly combine. If it's too wet, keep tossing over the heat. If it's too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. You want the result to be neither wet, nor dry; you want it to be slippery.

Add the cheese and pepper and mix well into the pasta. Taste for salt, but with anchovies and salted pasta water, it may not be necessary.

 

When he's not eating, Peter Cardew is designing buildings.

Meet the Cooks 🍴, Read their Books 📚

Authors, fresh and seasoned, join us for fall events. 

 Meet the Cooks 🍴, Read their Books 📚

 

Alex Prud'homme

The French Chef in America- Reception and Interview

 Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 6:30 - 7:30pm

The Vancouver Club

 

Andrew Richardson

"CINCIN:Wood Fired Cucina"

 Thursday, October 13, 2016,  6:00 - 10:00 pm

CinCin Ristorante

 

Kei Lum Chan & Diora Fong Chan 

CBC's Sheryl MacKay interviews Kei Lum Chan & Diora Fong Chan 

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

Meeru Dhalwala

A Tasty afternoon with MEERU and Vij's Indian

Saturday, October 22, 2016 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell

Bobbette and Belle - Tea and Pastry

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

Ian Gill

"No News is Bad News" - Dinner with Author Ian Gill

Thursday, November 24, 2016, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

Denise Marchessault

British Columbia from Scratch - Autumn Soups in our Kitchen  Saturday, December 3, 2016, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

 

 

To reserve a seat, please call our shop 604-688-6755 Click HERE to see our full event listings.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Barbara-jo's Moody Salmon and Grain Bowl

Barbara-jo's Moody Salmon and Grain Bowl

I am fond of this simple preparation, and I call it moody as I can change it up with whatever grain I feel like cooking and eating at that moment. When I arrive home from the shop, I start cooking the grain, be it rice, quinoa, couscous or freekeh. Then I take a can of Wild Sockeye Salmon out of the cupboard and open it. Mmmm...love that tinned Sockeye. With a fork, I scatter the fish in a shallow bowl. I add one carrot- sliced on the mandolin- one radish - sliced on the mandolin - 1/2 a white turnip - sliced on the mandolin - and one spring onion - sliced with a knife. I then use whichever leafy green I have in the ice box (flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, dandelion leaves, or watercress). This array looks so lovely and fresh in the bowl. I grind some black pepper over the mixture, flake some Maldon salt, and squeeze one half of a lemon over all. When the grain is ready, I place it on top and slowly mix everything together, being careful not to over mix. I then sit me-self down to a satisfying and nourishing meal.

 

Barbara-jo McIntosh is the proprietress of Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Tim Rurak's Meat Sauce with Indian Spices

Tim Rurak's Meat Sauce with Indian Spices

I came up with this recipe when I was by myself in New York City. I went shopping on a wet and rainy day and found some really great looking local, non-medicated lean ground beef. When I got home, I started thinking about what I could do with it and I came up with this recipe. I am a big believer of the medicinal benefits of Indian spices, ginger, and garlic. My wife, Dalia, likes this recipe too. ~Tim

Ingredients:

* 1 tablespoon canola oil

* 1/3 onion, finely chopped

* 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

* 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

* 1 teaspoon paprika

* 2 1/2 teaspoon cumin

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

* 500g lean ground beef

* 300 mL beef stock

* 400g canned tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (I pulse tomatoes in food processor, then pass through a sieve)

* 2 tablespoons tomato paste

* salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and slightly translucent.

Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and give it a good stir. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the beef to the pan and break it up. Continue cooking until the meat is browned.

Add beef stock, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced to a desired level. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This sauce works well over rice, pasta, or potatoes (sweet or otherwise).

 

Tim Rurak is the owner of Ralph's Radio.

Join us for Fiery Feasts 🔥

 A Celebration for Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook, CINCIN:Wood Fired Cucina

Thursday, October 13, 2016, 6:00 - 10:00 pm

CinCin Ristorante

In celebration of Executive Chef Andrew Richardson's new cookbook, CinCin:Wood Fired Cucina, I invite you to join me for a Feast of the Fire dining experience.

On Thursday, October 13th, Executive Chef Andrew and his award-winning brigade, will set street fires directly in front of CinCin Ristorante, to grill a bounty of delicious treats, from the newly launched cookbook. The wood-fired spectacle sets the stage for the evening's five course Feast of the Fire dinner to be served on CinCin's intimate terrace. Our rustic Italian-inspired dinner will be paired with a selection of exceptional wines.

6:00 p.m. Street Fire Demo and tasting 6:30 p.m.

Reception 7:00 p.m.

Dinner 9:15 p.m. Book Signing.

$175.00 per person plus taxes and gratuity, includes a personalized copy of CinCin:Wood Fired Cucina

 

"No News is Bad News" - Dinner with Author Ian Gill

Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:30 - 9:00pm

You are correct, this is not a cookbook, but a delicious opportunity to dine with Ian Gill in our kitchen. Ian has written an informative book on Canada's Media Collapse-And What Comes Next.

Please join us for an inspired meal, intelligent conversation, and a first hand introduction to "No News is Bad News" with author Ian Gill.

Cost of this evening is $110.00 and includes your meal and a personalized copy of No News is Bad News.

Click HERE to see our other upcoming events.

Barbara-jo served on the committee for this year's BC Book Prizes online auction. Click on this link to view the auction items...

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

This goes well with a protein, especially chicken, and with another South African dish we call "Pap" (Afrikaans for porridge made from cornmeal). Be careful with the spices. I like hot, spicy dishes and this one should be approached with caution. ~Garth

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup cooking oil

* 1 medium onion, diced

* 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

* 1-2 teaspoons curry powder

* 1/2 teaspoon thyme

* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

* 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)

* 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

* 1 - 2 tomatoes

* 3 - 4 cups of sliced cabbage

* 1 large carrot, coarsely grated or sliced thinly

* 1 medium green pepper, diced

* 1 medium red pepper, diced

* 1 - 14 ounce can of baked beans

* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)

Method:

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, and fresh ginger. Continue stirring for about a minute to let the flavours deepen.

Add the tomatoes, cabbage, carrot, and bell peppers and stir to combine. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the baked beans and bouillon powder (if using). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.

This recipe is much better one or two days later. The flavours merge very well overnight in the fridge.

*This recipe is originally from africanbites.com. It is one that Garth enjoys and has modified to his palate.

 

Garth McAlister was born and raised in South Africa. He now lives in Vancouver, where he works as a lawyer.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! John Lekich's Dad's Denver Omelet

John Lekich's Dad's Denver Omelet

My late father was a lifelong diner man who spent the last third of his career as the proud owner of an old school counter and booth place just a short walk from where Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks is now. He was a self-taught short-order cook who could do everything from a Sunday roast to a killer bread pudding. But his measured-by-eye recipe for the Open Denver Omelet - a diner classic designed to keep long distance truckers going until lunch - is the dish that always reminds me of him.

Ingredients:

* Butter

* Filling (enough for one omelet):

- ham, chopped into small cubes

- green pepper, diced

- green onion, chopped

* 3 eggs

Method:

In a small frying pan, sauté the ham and green pepper, using just enough time and butter to caramelize the ham and tenderize the peppers. Season to taste.

Beat three eggs in a bowl and then add the chopped green onions. Stir to blend. Pour the onion - egg mixture into a larger, greased skillet and cook on low to medium heat. Add enough of the sautéed ham and green peppers to cover the omelet evenly. When the omelet is set, fold over gently to make a slightly golden crescent moon.

 

John Lekich considers himself to be the unofficial mascot of Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. He is a longtime freelance writer currently working on his fifth novel.

 

Chef Jamie Maxwell's agendi: plenty of Ingredienti!

Ingredienti with Chef Jamie Maxwell

Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:00am - 12:30pm

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

Marcella Hazan is famous for her simple, authentic Italian recipes. She knew that the key to a delicious dish was the quality of ingredients and that a good cook must first know how to shop. Her new book, published posthumously, is called Ingredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market. It features the best of Marcella's wisdom and tips about the key elements of Italian cooking.

Today, Chef Jamie Maxwell of Nook Restaurant joins us to cook us a light lunch comprised of his and Marcella's favourite ingredients. We're looking forward to learning something new while tasting some delicious dishes!

Cost: $60, includes a copy of Ingredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market and a light lunch.

 


We have just acquired three separate rare book collections:

Alain Ducasse - Grand Livre de Cuisine Culinary Encyclopedia / Desserts & Pastries

Charlie Trotter's - Chicago/Deserts/Seafood/Vegetables/Meat & Game

The Good Cook Techniques and Recipes - 28 volume set

Please phone shop for pricing and further details.


Please note, October 12th dinner event featuring Alex Prud'homme and Vicki Gabereau has sold out. BUT, there are a limited number of tickets available for the Interview, Reception, and Signing.

ps. Vicki is LOVING the book

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Jamie Maw's Rigatoni with Pork Sausage Ragu

Jamie Maw's Rigatoni with Pork Sausage Ragu

Serves 4 to 6 – recipe doubles easily, even better the next day.

Ingredients:

* 6 Italian pork sausages – 3 hot/3 not (Oyama recommended) casings removed and broken up.

* ¼ cup – extra virgin olive oil

* 4 cloves garlic, whacked and minced * 1 large red onion, diced

* 1 large tin whole San Marzano tomatoes, squeezed

* Pinch of chili flakes to taste * salt and pepper, to taste

* ¼ cup heavy cream

* 2 handfuls (100 grams) ground Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan), divided

* Rigatoni

* 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

* 1 bunch basil, leaves torn

Method:

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, thoroughly brown the crumbled sausage meat in the olive oil – about 10 minutes – scraping the skillet occasionally.

Turn the burner down to medium, and add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes. Throw in the squeezed tomatoes and let them cook down for at least 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning – salt and pepper, and chili flakes - as required. Add the cream and a handful of the cheese and stir.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni to al dente. Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add three quarters of the drained pasta to the skillet and toss gently. Adjust seasoning. Add more pasta as required. Add reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce, gently fold in the basil and serve the sauced pasta topped with the remaining Pecorino Romano and finally, the chopped parsley.

Serve with a leafy salad with a pungent vinaigrette, and toasted garlic-butter baguette.

 

Jamie Maw has been writing about food and drink since shortly after the (first) Crimean War.

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Jochi Schuhberger's Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Jochi Schuhberger's Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

I cooked this salmon for the summit of Clinton, Yeltsin and Mulroney as an appetizer. It is easy, fast, and everybody likes it. ~ Jochi

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup yogurt * 1/4 cup sour cream * 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise * 1 English cucumber, finely grated and squeezed dry * 1 bunch of dill, chopped * salt and white pepper * 1 whole filet of salmon, cut on an angle into slices

Method:

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Mix well, then add the grated cucumber. Add the dill, salt, and white pepper to taste. Let rest in a cool place. (You can prepare the sauce up to a day in advance.)

Salt the salmon lightly and wrap in tinfoil with a good dash of water. Make sure the salmon is well wrapped. Place on a barbecue and cook for about 10 minutes. You can also place the wrapped salmon into an oven at 350 F for approximately the same amount of time. Or place the individual pieces into a shallow pan with lightly salted water and poach for about 5-10 minutes until opaque.

Once finished, serve at room temperature, covered with cucumber yogurt sauce and garnished with a sprig of dill. I also serve it with young, boiled potatoes and a light salad.

 

Jochi Schuhberger is an Artist and Photographer in Vancouver. His website is ** www.jochi.ca (http://www.jochi.ca/index.htm) .

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Christine Couvelier's Parmesan Chicken with Grilled Romaine

 

 Christine Couvelier's Parmesan Chicken with Grilled Romaine

This is a recipe that I turn to in any season, for a great-tasting and quick dinner. ~ Christine

 Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup grated cheese - I use Parmesan most often, but will add Pecorino Romano if I have it in the fridge

* 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* salt and pepper

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

* 1 large head of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed and cut into 4 quarters

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 2 lemons

 

 Method:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, olive oil, basil, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Place chicken breasts on baking sheet. Press approximately 3/4 of the cheese and breadcrumbs mixture onto the chicken. Place baking sheet in oven & roast for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Place the romaine quarters around the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs mixture over the romaine, then drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and romaine. Return the baking sheet to the oven.

Roast for an additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked, the cheese and breadcrumbs mixture is golden and the romaine is roasted and browned.

Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Place on serving plates – spritz with a bit of lemon juice & place extra lemon wedges on plates.

Enjoy!

 

Christine Couvelier is the founder of Culinary Concierge .

 

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Jesse Finkelstein's Tabbouleh: The Perfect Summer Salad

 Jesse Finkelstein's Tabbouleh: The Perfect Summer Salad

In our house, Tabbouleh signals love. It's a fresh and delicious salad that you often see on Middle Eastern tables, and like all the best things in life, it doesn't come easily. The amount of fine chopping involved can seem lengthy and onerous, especially in a fast-paced world where salads often come off the grocery store shelf, pre-washed and pre-made. But it's the chopping that makes this dish so delicious: it brings on the slow release of the scent of various fragrant herbs and vegetables - parsley, mint, green onion, tomato - and it makes the ingredients combine in a way that brings the flavours together beautifully. When my husband prepares tabbouleh for our family, it feels like he's saying "I love you" in a deep and resonant way.

I've written out the process in the way my husband would describe it, which is much the same way in which he learned it from his Iraqi mother: anecdotally, imprecisely, and lovingly. ~ Jesse

 

 Method:

Soak a large handful of fine bulgur wheat in tepid water in a medium-size bowl. Drain when the bulgur has softened slightly. This should take about 30 minutes.

Wash two heads of curly parsley. Discard the stems and finely chop the leaves. Put the chopped parsley into a large bowl.

Finely chop two medium-size tomatoes, two green onions, and a small handful of mint leaves. Add them to the parsley.

Juice two large lemons (or more or less, to taste - in our house we like it very lemony) and pour into parsley mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste.

When the bulgur has softened, add it to the parsley mixture and toss. The tabbouleh should be slightly fluffy and shouldn't be weighed down by liquid (unless, of course, that's the way you make it in your house!).

Serve at room temperature alongside a meal of grilled meat, rice, olives, and pita bread.

While a little soggier, it's also delicious the next day, if you have any left over.

Serves 4-6 as a side salad.

 

Jesse Finkelstein is co-founder and principal of Page Two.

 

What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Suzanne Foster's Lamb Burgers with Feta and Mint

 Suzanne Foster's Lamb Burgers with Feta and Mint

Here is a quick and tasty recipe to add to your spring/summer repertoire. It satisfies both big and little palates - which seems to be an impossible feat some days! ~Suzanne

 

 Ingredients:

* 500g ground lamb

* 1 clove garlic, minced

* 1/2 red onion, finely diced

* 1/2 cup feta (cow or goat)

* small handful fresh mint, chopped (approximately 2 tablespoons)

* 1/2 teaspoon Maldon or flaky sea salt

* thick mini pitas or larger pitas, cut into wedges, or brioche buns

* Roma tomatoes, sliced

 

* Quick Tzatziki sauce for dipping (optional)

+ 1 cup thick and plain yogurt

+ 1/4 cup English cucumber: peeled, finely chopped, and well-drained (squeeze with your hands to get the moisture out and dry with paper towels)

+ 1/2 clove garlic, minced

+ 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

+ Squeeze of lemon juice

+ flaky sea salt, to taste

 

 Method:

Using wet hands, combine the ground lamb, garlic, red onion, feta, mint and salt until just mixed. Shape into 4 patties and make a thumb print in the centre. (Alternatively, shape into 10 patties. Kids seem to enjoy little burgers - they are easier to eat and there is less wasted on the plate. This size is great as an appetizer too!)

Barbecue to your liking. I usually do 4 - 5 minutes per side. Try not to overcook! You could also use a frying pan with a little vegetable or coconut oil. If you do it this way, fry for 3 - 4 minutes per side - again to your liking.

Warm or lightly grill the pita bread and/or brioche buns. Serve with sliced Roma tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.

To make tzatziki sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It's even better the next day.

 

Suzanne Foster is a physiotherapist at West Fourth Physio.