All posts filed under: Mains

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I love taking on new projects in my kitchen and challenging myself to make something that I have never made before. It keeps it interesting and helps me learn about new ingredients, what things pair well together, and lets me practice my cooking techniques. While the results may not always turn out as expected, it’s always a great learning opportunity and keeps me motivated to continually improve and learn new things. This past weekend, I took on a fun (and successful!) project in my kitchen: making homemade cheese! While I thought making cheese is very labor intensive, highly technical, and time consuming, I made a batch of fresh Homemade Ricotta Cheese in under 30 minutes and with only three ingredients. Read on below to see how I made it. Ricotta is an Italian cheese that can be made with cow, water buffalo, goat or sheep milk. Traditionally, it is made from the whey that is left over from other cheese making processes and is simply “recooked” to coagulate any remaining proteins in the whey. This …

Soup Series: Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

Just like I mentioned in my Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce post, I can’t seem to get enough of cauliflower these days. I love the dense and hearty texture of this cruciferous vegetable in the late fall and early winter. It just seems to really fill you up and keep you warm. Speaking of keeping you warm, you wouldn’t suppose this yummy veggie would keep you EXTRA warm in soup form? Hey, I’m looking for any heat I can get- it is the rainy season after all! So there it is, in all its cauliflower and garlicky glory, Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic soup! My partner and I had a version of this soup last spring at Artisan Eats Cafe on Bowen Island. It was so warm and comforting on this cold day, and that view was really amazing! I however, could have done without the semi-burnt toast and tons of cream in the soup. But from the first spoonful, I knew I had to make this at home! And clearly it was a very memorable …

German Sauerkraut

Steins of beer, colourful lederhosen and dirndles, and folk music can only mean one thing…Oktoberfest is here! While I may not be in Germany to partake in these celebrations, I am celebrating at home with my recipe for German Sauerkraut! My German Sauerkraut (with an obligatory side of mustard) styled with flowers from Il Fioraio Florist, linen dinner napkin from Kaiko Design , and squash from Kins Farm Market!  Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest is not held during the month of October, rather in September. The festival is held annually in Munich and is 16 days long. I can’t even imagine how much beer can be consumed in 16 days LOL! With all that beer comes good food, entertainment, dancing and singing- sounds like a crazy party! If you are lucky enough to visit Munich during this fall harvest celebration, good for you! But if not, you can always celebrate at home with a few tasty German dishes and lots of beer (responsibly of course!). All in all, this recipe for German Sauerkraut HAS to be …

Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin (almost Porchetta)

You guys, I’m literally crying. I just created this recipe for Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin and I am just over the moon. This salty, porky, herby roast is heaven and you definitely have to try this this spring! We picked up a large pork loin at Costco a few weeks ago for a really good price (I know, I know….Costco isn’t always local…but for this price, we couldn’t pass it up). We sliced the loin up into various pieces, making sure to save 2 large portions for roasts. Typically, I make pork loin in the fall with stewed apples and onions and various fall spices such as cinnamon and cloves, but I was just inkling to make a tasty summer pork loin roast for us. When I think of spring, one of the first things that comes to mind is herbs. Parsley definitely comes first, followed by oregano and basil (more of summer herbs). But then out of the blue came sage (a fall/winter herb) and I knew I was on to something. Herbs + pork…maybe …

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 …

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 …

Sesame Chicken

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I thought I would share some of my favourite Asian recipes. While Sesame Chicken is certainly not a traditional Chinese dish, it always comes to mind when I think of Chinese food. Sesame Chicken is an Asian-American dish that was invented in North America and still appears on Chinese take-out menus to this day. Why, you ask? Because it is damn delicious! Tender pieces of chicken are breaded, fried and topped with a sweet sauce- I mean, what’s not to love? I have tried many recipes for Sesame Chicken, but none have come close to this recipe. The foundational recipe came from my favourite Asian food blog, The Woks of Life, but I have made some tweaks to their original recipe. In my recipe, I fry the chicken rather than bake it since I think frying gives it more flavour and also enhances the crispiness (which you definitely need before you drown it in sauce). I’ve also added/omitted other ingredients to suit my taste from the original recipe. …

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 …

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce

A delightful fall twist on my traditional gnocchi recipe- this sweet potato gnocchi are like little mini hugs. These sweet little nuggets are seasoned with traditional fall spices- nutmeg and cinnamon- and are complemented by a rich buttery sauce and crisp savory sage leaves. Enjoy these as a side or a main course and truly experience the flavours of the season. See the recipe here!

Homemade Gnocchi

I don’t make homemade gnocchi just for anybody- so if you are lucky enough to get some, you are very special to me. Making gnocchi from scratch is a true expression of love. Just like love, gnocchi requires good ingredients, time, a bit of skill, and passion. It simply cannot, by any means, be fake, forced, or overworked. If all goes well, you will have soft, pillowy, pasta that seduces and pleases, that makes you feel like you are floating on a cloud (in this case, made of flour and potatoes) when you eat it. Take some time and show a special someone how much you care with this true labour of love. See the recipe here!