bbq

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon

 

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Salmon

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Salmon

This month’s #PresidentsChoice PC Black Label Collection box included a favourite of mine, which is PC Black Label Habanero Aioli Whipped Dressing! This velvety aioli has complex flavours of sweet mango purée, curry, and a subtly hot habanero kick.  It’s a great condiment to eat with french fries, swirled into a salad dressing or used as a side replacing ketchup or mustard.  It’s so versatile that I even serve it with my maple glazed salmon and my kids love it!

Another product that I received this month is the PC Black Label Bacon Marmalade, which is great on a cheeseboard and is a welcomed addition to our pantry.

I have created a simple recipe this month using PC Mixed Little Gems Yellow, Red & Blue Mini Potatoes.  I have sauteed them with butter and olive oil and then tossed with this PC Black Label Habanero Aioli.

 

To make this side dish the perfect accompaniment to your meal, I have also included my recipe for Maple Glazed Salmon below.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and please feel free to tag your recreations with #hautesucre, I would love to see them.

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel

 

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli

Rustic Baby Potatoes with Habanero Aioli and Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 bag (680g) PC Mixed Little Gems Yellow, Red & Blue Mini Potatoes, washed and sliced into halves

1 tblsp butter
2 tblsp olive oil
Fleur de sel (sea salt)
Fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp herbs de Provence seasoning

1 tblsp maple syrup
1-2 tblsp PC Black Label Habanero Aioli Whipped Dressing (for spicy, use 2 tblsp)

Directions:

1. In a large heavy bottomed frying or sautée pan, add the butter, olive oil and sliced potatoes.

2. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and add the salt, pepper, herbs de Provence seasoning and maple syrup.

4. Continue to cook until the potatoes are softened and start to caramelize. About 10-15 minutes, depending on potato size.

5. Add the PC Black Label Habanero Aioli, covering the potatoes completely.

6. Cook on high heat until slightly seared, do nut burn (approx 1 minute). Remove and transfer to a large platter.

Prepare the salmon.

Maple Glazed Spicy Salmon Recipe

4-6 servings

2 small ceramic baking dishes

Ingredients:

1 tblsp sesame oil

4-6 salmon fillets, cleaned and dried

 

Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Mustard seeds
3 tblsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Raw sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
Dash of red chili powder
1/3 cup Soy sauce
Black Sesame seeds (optional, for the top)

{1-2 tblsp Sambal oelek (red chili paste)}

This recipe works best with salmon fillets due to the complementary flavours in this marinade; but feel free to try it with other kinds of fish.

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Directions:

1. Clean and dry the fish fillets and place in a shallow bowl or plate
2. Combine all the ingredients and coat the fish with the marinade. Set aside for about 25 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

3. Preheat oven to 470F

4. Transfer to a baking dish and place a little sesame oil to coat the bottom. Lay fish in a single layer and pour over remaining marinade.

5. Roast the fish for approx 15 minutes (do not overlook) and put under broil for a few minutes to slightly char the top.

6. Alternatively, you can bbq it or pan fry it.

7. Serve with Habanero Aioli Potatoes and additional Habanero Aioli on the side.

Enjoy!

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DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this Dark Chocolate Tart).

Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with and this deliciously easy tart is no exception.  I used dark chocolate as it pairs amazingly well with the Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce from #PresidentsChoice.

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, which are Passion fruit and Caramel.  The PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment is quite heavenly in the sense that it works well as a vinaigrette poured onto salad or glazed on your BBQ shrimp.

 

The Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce is the perfect consistency of a runny caramel speckled with flecks of toasted sesame seeds (genius!) and pairs well with so many desserts including pouring it on your favorite ice cream, spread on crepes and my personal favourite used as a filling for a dark chocolate tart.

When I opened  jar of toasted sesame caramel, I was amazed how smooth the texture was and the right amount of sesame. Instantaneously, a thought of a traditional chocolate tart with caramel center emerged and I became challenged to make a tart that would compliment the sesame flavor. The idea of using dark chocolate was my first option as it is not overly sweet and would complement the sweet caramel. The toasted sesame hardly gets the attention it deserves as it flavor is not overbearing. The caramel sauce inspired me to decorate the tart with a hard set caramel, but can be served on its own or dusted with cocoa powder.

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Another suggestion if your willing to take a chance is to add espresso and cinnamon to the tart mixture.  I have fond memories of travelling through Italy and being served a dark chocolate square with my shot of espresso. The espresso’s bitterness is followed by a sweet but not having the fatty texture of milk chocolate to remove the after taste of the espresso. In this recipe, I have added both ingredients.

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As we roll into the second month of #PlayWithYourFood #PCBlackLabel campaign with #PresidentsChoice, I want to share some exciting news!  President’s Choice has offered to giveaway a #PCBLACKLABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious #PCBlackLabel products in addition to a $50 gift card! How exciting is that?  In order to enter the contest, you will need to go to my Instagram page.

The contest will run until June 28th at which time a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!  *This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel.

 

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL RECIPE

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*  This recipe makes enough for a standard 8 to 9 inch round tart pan.

It’s important to use a spring form pan (or tart ring) with a removal base for easy baking and removal of the tart and source out high quality ingredients as it produces the best flavours and will quickly get noticed by your guests.

The steps are very straightforward and relatively easy to put together.  Just be sure to chill the tart dough until its firm enough for you to roll out. Once it’s baked, be sure it is completely cooled before adding the caramel sauce.  Finally, another important note is to ensure that the caramel is hardened (slightly) or really cold before adding the layer of chocolate ganache otherwise the chocolate will mix into the caramel.

Ingredients:

Tart Shell:

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground espresso

Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)

1 jar of  PC BLACK LABEL Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Chop the butter and add it to the flour bowl mixture, crumbling it into the flour making pea sized crumbs.
  3. Work the ingredients quickly until they come together creating a pliable dough.  Do not over mix, you should still see little pats of butter throughout.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk and flatten
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup cold whipping cream
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the cream until just boiling – about 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  2. Carefully remove and add the chopped chocolate.
  3. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk gently until incorporated and set aside.

Bake the Tart:

Preheat oven to 375°F

Butter an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan or tart ring and set aside.

  1. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and line the tart ring or pan. Ensure you bring up the dough on the sides that’s deep enough to hold the caramel filling and the chocolate ganache, approximately 2-3 inches in height.
  2. Use a fork and gently indent the dough all over to create tiny little holes.
  3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.
  4. With the back of a spoon, push down the base of the tart to ensure it is flat and no holes remain (they should be baked through).
  5. Let the tart shell cool completely.

Assembly:

  1. Pour the caramel in an even layer in the tart base and refrigerate or freeze until set and it’s no longer runny.
  2. Once chilled completely, remove and pour the chocolate ganache over top the caramel and smooth out with a spatula quickly as it will start immediately.
  3. Return to the refrigerator until completely set.
  4. Remove 20 minutes before serving and use a hot knife to slice through the tart.  Rinse the knife and repeat.  This ensures you get clean slices each time you cut into it.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!

 

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this easy Dark Chocolate Tart.)

Austin, Texas 

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Austin, Texas in partnership with Visit The USA, Official USA Travel Guide to American Holidays.

I had heard and researched great things about Austin’s food and music scene snd was really excited to visit as it would be my first time visiting Texas. I had little or no idea what to expect.

I flew into Austin on the first of September, expecting a cool, summer-is-almost over feel, but boy was I wrong! Upon leaving the airport, I was welcomed with a hot breeze, cowboy boots, and sweet southern music! The people were so friendly and helpful in directing me to my hotel downtown.

We checked into the Hilton Austin on 4th Street, close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin.

We enjoyed some drinks whilst admiring the city views from the 25th floor lounge before heading out for the night.

We had dinner reservations at the highly acclaimed Uchiko,  which serves upscale Japanese farmhouse cuisine. We had tried various menu items and the desserts were out of this world!

As a pastry chef, I enjoyed them immensely and appreciated the various techniques that were showcased. Overall, the service and food were excellent and the ambiance was lovely.

The following day, we had brunch at the Magnolia Cafe, a classic 24 hour eatery which serves Southwestern/Mexican food.  My particular favourites were the migas, huevos rancheros, sweet hibiscus ice teas and the yummy grapefruit mimosas. This place was full of locals and definitely a classic Austin eatery with good eats!

After brunch, we headed out to do some shopping on South Congress Avenue, a favourite spot among tourists. We visited some interesting eclectic shops filled with a wide vaiety from vintage props to old fashioned candies to Mexican dolls.

After purchasing some cool souvenirs and candy, we headed out in search of tacos for lunch.

I had heard about the infamous Torchy’s Tacos and couldn’t wait to try them.  My favorites included the Baja Shrimp and the Democrat!  What a fun place!

We continued shopping along the South Congress strip after brunch stopping in some very nice retail clothing shops when all of a sudden, it started to storm like crazy.  That’s Austin weather for you, sunny one minute and hailing rain the next!

We ran for cover and ducked into a cute coffee shop called Mañana, a great little shop with a cozy atmosphere and very chic vibe. I tried some silky cortados with strawberry Macarons. Yum! I’m so happy that we stumbled upon it!

After a full day of walking under the Texan sun, we headed back to the hotel to relax and enjoy some snacks and cocktails in the Hilton hotel’s lounge.

Dinner was at the infamous Barley Swine headed by Chef Bryce (he was named Food & Wine’s best chef in 2010.) We were seated at the Chef’s table with a great view of the kitchen. It was a delight to watch the magic of the kitchen happen right before our eyes. Beautiful plates of food being served one course after the other.

Some of my favourites included the Hatch chile cheese pretzel, Akaushi Ribeye with corn pudding and bone marrow marrow hash as well as dessert; the lime mallow sorbet with cucamelon and olive oil cake and the Mango Koji rice pudding. A not to be missed restaurant!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crossed through the infamous 6th Street in downtown Austin.  The hustle and bustle of the bars, clubs and loud music keeps this street alive until the wee hours of the morning. Popular amongst the students from University of Texas and tourists alike.

We reached our destination Voodoo Doughnuts, a 24 hour bakeshop. I finally had the chance to try these colourful, creative and quirky doughnuts and they did not disappoint!

The next day we walked our way around the city and explored Lady Bird Lake where we walked along the trail to the boardwalk. The lake is beautiful and it’s a great place where locals go to workout, kayak or stroll.

After a lovely walk through the city and visiting the Texas State Capitol, we ventured over to Second Bar & Kitchen for some amazing cocktails paired with a burger, fried chicken and biscuits for lunch. One of my favourite spots.

After lunch, we stopped into Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars,  a lovely local foodie shop in downtown Austin selling a wide range of high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We learned about how they are made and had an opportunity to do a tasting. We puchased a few lovely flavours such as Grapefruit balsamic and South African Chili oil. Can’t wait to pair them with my meals.

A great place to relax and grab a drink is the historical Moonshine Patio Bar serving classic American food and drinks. With an equally delicious cocktail menu, it’s hard not to find a favourite. I’m still dreaming and missing this Bourbon Renewal!🍹❤ The Bourbon Renewal quickly became my favourite drink which is made with Rye, créme de cassis, lemon and Angostura! Yum!😋

Moonshine Patio Bar also serve a tasty buffet style brunch on Sundays worth checking out, but get there early as the line ups can be very long (mostly filled with locals, they know good food!)

Another dinner restaurant worth mentioning is Emmer & Rye by Chef Kevin Fink on the ever popular Rainey St. We chose this restaurant as Chef Fink was named Best Chef of 2016 by Food & Wine.

Dishes are served small plate and dimsum style. Truly farm to table cuisine worth sharing that showcases up to 15 different kinds of grains milled in their kitchen, which demonstrates Chef Fink’s  passion for incorporating local ingredients into his cuisine.

For dessert, I tried the cocoa bean ice cream with red fife cookies. A great twist on a classic with this hearty grain, a nice highlight dessert on my trip.

Further down Rainey Street there are more bars and food trucks that are worth checking out for quick fare ranging from Grilled Cheese to Indian to Greek. It’s a really lively street lined with bars and lounges, similar to 6th Street but with a slightly older vibe (post graduate crowd).

Another cafe that is hip and upcoming is Launderette, which is a converted gas station serving gourmet new American fare such as Fried chicken and Asparagus eggs Benny.  The food was hearty and delicious with another great cocktail list, including the Rose Grapefruit cocktail which was the perfect accompaniment to the hot weather.

Not to be missed and truly Texan is the BBQ scene! While there are plenty of places to choose from,  I had the pleasure of trying La Barbecue and it did not disappoint but be prepared to wait as there are long wait times, but it’s worth it!

Be sure to try the Valrhona 70% chocolate gelato from Gelateria Gemelli next door. It’s the perfect afternoon treat!

Austin was a great experience for a city girl like me. The food scene is amazing and the city is really up and coming. There is new construction everywhere and you can feel the tech boom moving in.

It has a great vibe and I highly recommend visiting it, especially if you’re into the music scene. There are many amazing music festivals that I would love to catch on my next trip, until next time!

A special thank you to Visit The USA and Visit Austin for this opportunity and the hospitable staff at the Hilton Austin for a great stay.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

I recently held a backyard bbq dinner party to celebrate the changing of the seasons in partnership with Cascade Platinum #sparklingclean.

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I had the opportunity to put the product to the test and I must say, I’m impressed! Not only did it remove the hard, cooked on food residue, it left all of my dishes sparking clean!

In order to host a successful dinner party, there are a few rules that are important to follow in my repertoire.  I’ve hosted numerous parties, whether they’re fancy affairs or simple gatherings, it all boils down to a few essential steps and making sure you’re always prepared.  I share my views with fellow Chef, Michael Smith who offers a few essential entertaining tips below:

1. Spend Time To Save Time:
Prep as much as you can in advance, from setting the table to prepping food. This allows you      to spend more time with your guests entertaining, instead of being in the kitchen.

2. Make Your Guests Feel Special:
It’s important to go the extra mile in making your guests feel special.  I love to decorate the house with fresh flowers, music, lovely table setting and sparkling dishes.

3. Clean As You Go:
While cooking, load the dishwasher so that you don’t have to do all the clean up after. This saves time and with Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing.

4. Share The Work:
Lighten the load and enlist the help of your guests if possible, this will help ensure the party runs smoothly between courses.

5. Grand Finale:
End the evening with a bang! Perhaps with a spectacular dessert, sparkling Champagne or a little gift for your guests, making the night memorable.

Here are a few highlights from our delicious backyard bbq dinner party. I’m so happy that my cleanup was made easy with the help of Cascade!

Rhubarb Lemonade:
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Marinated Garlic and Rosemary Lamb:
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Roasted Potatoes:
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Papaya Chicken with Roasted Cashews:
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Roasted Vegetables:
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Mexican Corn:
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Fire Grilled Jumbo Shrimps with Cilantro and Chipotle:
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Fresh Feta Salad:
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Mint and Cilantro Gremolata:
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*This post was sponsored by Cascade. All opinions are my own.