Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 5 recipes from 2012: Mel and Lor's Picks

My sister Melody and I thought a fun way to sum up the year would be to each post our 5 favourite recipes of the year. While not necessarily from 2012, these are the recipes we made over and over - the ones we love and look forward to eating and making.  I cannot wait to try some of her recommendations!

Lorelei's Picks

1. Salmon Hash - I just love this recipe. It requires very few ingredients which I usually have on hand - mostly just potatoes and canned salmon, which I'm very lucky to always have a plentiful supply of thanks to my fisherman dad Richard Wey. This dish is true west coast comfort food.

2. Mexican Rice from Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday. I found a link to it here. This recipe takes me back to when my hubby and I were carefree and more importantly child free on vacation in La Paz, Mexico and stuffing our faces with amazing mexican food and lime margaritas every day. What a dream.

3. Garlic shrimp and white beans from here. This is actually my favourite find of the year. So tasty.

4. Swiss chard tacos from Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday, I found a link to it here. Looking back I think this was my favourite cookbook find of the year. Fabulous and easy to cook mexican recipes that are quick enough for weeknights. Love it.

5. No Knead bread - I feel so smug whenever I whip up a loaf of artisan quality bread. Lovely with a nice bowl of steaming hot soup.

Melody's Picks 

1. Glory Bowl from a fellow Canadian food blogger, Dollop of Cream. The dressing is so unbelievably tasty, you'll be tempted to bathe in it.

2. Creamy corn polenta with roasted tomatoes and asparagus. Again, amazing and this recipes is vegan. During the summer, I made this almost once a week using freshly shaved corn of a cob.

3. Made this recipe for Chinese New Year earlier this year and have been making it ever since. Great quick side dish.

4. Roast chicken with chickpeas, tomatoes and paprika.  This recipe is one my sister blogged about a year ago, this dressing (the first five ingredients listed) is amazing and has become my go to dressing for roasting vegetables. My favorite combination is squash, tomatoes, chickpeas - roast for 20 minutes - then add feta cheese and chopped kale and bake for another 5-10 minutes. The perfect side to anything!   

5. Chopped salad with feta, lime and mint. Great recipes using loads of crunchy raw veggies and (my favorite) feta!

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Favourite Tomato Sauce

Over the years I've tried countless grocery store varieties of tomato sauces in an attempt to throw together a quick weeknight meal but I'm always left feeling disappointed and quite unsatisfied. They always taste a little too heavy and a little too sweet for my liking. Then many years ago I was lucky enough to stumble upon this fabulous recipe from the concise gastronomy of Italy. It looks deceptively simple but I promise you that it tastes amazing. 

The first time I made it I wondered why on earth I would be adding celery of all things, but you wont even be able to taste the celery in the finished sauce. It simply adds a light fresh taste to the sauce as if you are sitting out on a patio in Italy on a beautiful spring day enjoying a fresh bowl of pasta. 

Throw this beautiful sauce on your favourite pasta, grate on some fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy.

PS. I usually double the recipe so I can freeze the leftover sauce. 

Tomato Sauce 

Makes 600 ML

800g canned plum tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 onions, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp red wine
25 g/2 tbsp unsalted butter

Chop tomatoes coarsely and then put tomatoes into a saucepan with their liquid with the tomato paste, sugar, onions, celery, onions, olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes or so and then puree in a food processor. Return to the saucepan and add the wine and continue cooking for another 40 minutes. Mix in the butter.