All posts filed under: Dinner

Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi

With fall being just around the corner, our outdoor BBQ and grilling days are numbered. I know when December and January rolls around, I am really going to be missing hanging out on the patio and eating grilled chicken, burgers and grilled veggies. So in these last few weeks of prime BBQ and grilling season, indulge in your favourite grilled foods and mix it up with this recipe for Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi. Halloumi is a very firm cheese that originated on the island of Cyprus. It is typically made with a combo of sheep and goat milk (or even cow milk), salt and dried mint. Once made, the cheese sits in brine and gets super flavourful and firm. Now when I say that it is a firm cheese, I mean it. This cheese is so firm that you can grill it, pan fry it, do whatever you want to it over a heat source and it will not melt. It’s kind of magical actually. When it is cooked, it becomes soft and creamy. …

Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend and I hope the Sunday Scaries (i.e. fear of going back to work or school tomorrow) haven’t set in yet! To soothe your pain, or to seamlessly transition you from the weekend to Monday, do I ever have a meal for you: Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta. It’s like summer heaven on a plate! Whenever I think of summer herbs, I always think of basil. It’s large green lemony/liquorice leaves grow abundantly in the summer and has a fresh clean and light taste that everyone loves. It goes great with chicken, tossed right into raw salads, and of course pasta (the Italians know what’s up). I decided to give my original recipe for Homemade Gnocchi a great summer spin by adding basil to it. I simply puréed the basil in a food processor with a little bit of olive oil and salt and added the paste to my gnocchi dough. The tedious but fun process of making Gnocchi in three steps: 1) roll …

Maltese Stuffed Artichokes

Of all the delicious spring vegetables that are in season right now, the gorgeous globe artichoke is one of my favourites. Not only do they taste amazing when cooked, I love the springy, flower-like look of them in general. When uncooked, the tightly packed, overlapping leaves on the artichoke looks like a budding flower, and then when it’s all cooked, the leaves open up and it looks like it has magically bloomed. So cute! If you have ever heard the saying “With every rose comes its thorns”, this definitely applies to the artichoke…almost literally. The most prized part of the artichoke is the heart. When cooked, it is soft, creamy and meaty and is definitely the reward of the vegetable. But in order to get to the heart, you have to get passed the prickly leaves and spiny thistle inside of it. At the center of the artichoke, there is a thistle called the “choke”. My grandma (who is Maltese) always used to say that if you ate the “choke” you would choke. I was …

Easter Ham

I. Can. Not. Wait. To. Dive. Into. This. Easter. Dinner. I am so excited to eat all of this delicious food, but I especially can’t wait to get me a juicy slice of my Easter Ham. It is definitely my pride and joy this year. While ham recipes can be very complex (I’ve heard of some that take over 7 hours to make and require you to tend to the ham’s every need), this recipe is the easiest and quickest way I know to make a ham. While it does look impressive all decorated and what not, I can tell you that it only took me 1 hour to make and….it’s only 5 ingredients. Ya… that’s right. The combination of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, smoky cloves and sweet pineapple give the ham a complex smoky, spicy, tangy, sweet and salty flavour all at the same time. If you can’t imagine what that tastes like, it’s literally heaven. Serve this delicious ham with your favourite veggies and everyone will think you are a superstar! See the full …

Rosemary Roast Beef with Red Wine Sauce

Now, there’s nothing that says “I’m an adult” more than cooking yourself a roast beef. I mean- who does that besides moms and grandmas? Not any young adult I know! While cooking a roast beef can be a bit daunting, it is actually really easy as the oven does most of the work. Just follow these four tricks and you will have a nice, juicy roast- perfect for Sunday suppers! The first trick is to take the roast beef out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you want to cook it. Allowing the roast to warm up to room temperature ensures that it cooks much more evenly throughout. If the center of the roast is still cold, then it won’t cook evenly, leaving you with an overcooked outside and a rare middle. The second trick is to sear the roast before baking in the oven. After rubbing the beef with olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper and dried rosemary, and stuffing it with garlic, I use a well-seasoned cast iron pan to sear the roast on …

Happy Chinese New Year

To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, I have curated my tastiest Chinese recipes in this post. Now, my experience cooking Chinese foods has not been that extensive, but I have nailed these recipes. They key to cooking these foods is to have the right ingredients. I go to Asian grocery stores (such as TNT Supermarket) to get the freshest and most authentic ingredients and it definitely pays off. Plus, I often discover new ingredients are am inspired to cook new dishes. These appetizer and main course recipes were inspired from my visits to these grocery stores and are a great way to ring in the new year. Let the celebrations begin! Pork and Chive Potstickers These Pork and Chive Potstickers are the perfect appetizer for the New Year. In Chinese culture, potstickers are traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year as they symbolize wealth. These delicious little bundles are stuffed with pork, chive, and cabbage and are fried and steamed and fried again to create crisp yet juicy bites. Now, these potstickers do take a while …

Kabocha Squash Curry

As we can’t seem to shake the cold here in Vancouver, I have been making lots of hearty recipes to keep me warm and full. I honesty feel like a hibernating bear being on the eat, sleep, and avoid the outside as much as possible-train. To keep me full and warm this recipe for Kabocha Squash Curry is just the ticket. Kabocha Squash is a variety of squash that originated in Japan. If you haven’t had it before, it tastes like a cross between a sweet potato, a pumpkin and chestnuts. If that doesn’t scream “best winter vegetable ever”, I really don’t know what does. Kabocha Squash has a tough green or orange speckled rind (so make sure you have a sharp knife to cut it with), but you can actually eat the rind as it is very tasty and nutritious. After trying this squash for the first time it instantly became one of my top favourites (maybe almost as good as butternut squash!). In this winter-friendly curry, Kabocha Squash is stewed with warm, spicy South-East …