Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘Boursin cheese’

The Nine Course Affair

Speaking of birthdays…….

From time to time, the Chef and I like to put on “special dinners”.  Usually consisting of  a several coarse tasting menu.  He does most of the cooking, while I do the arranging, the shopping, the decor and the clean up.  And if I’m lucky, sometimes I actually am allowed to make a dish or two myself!

 

_________________________________________________________________________

First Course:

Seared Tuna, Avocado and Red Pepper Sushi

I have to admit, the Chef does a nice sushi, which is good because I only ever eat sushi at home, what with the shell-fish allergy, eating it in restaurants is just too high risk.

 

Sushi

 

Second Course:

Belgian Endive and Mini Kale Pancakes topped with Smoked Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts

This was a tasty one.

They don’t show up that well in this picture, but I made mini versions of my famous Kale Pancakes.  Then to add some freshness to it all, they were alternated with leaves of Belgium endive.  Then both were topped with a small slice of smoked Gorgonzola cheese and a chunk of candied walnut.

We often enjoy this as an anytime snack.

 

endive & kale pancake

 

 

Third Course:

Beet Carpaccio Salad with Arugula, Blood Orange and Shaved Boursin Cheese

I really like beets, so I always encourage the Chef to somehow incorporate them into our special dinners.

So on this occasion, he thinly sliced both red and golden cooked beets.  Then topped them with super thing slices of Boursin Cheese, ( I’ll tell you another time about how he does that, because if you have ever dealt with Boursin, you know that slicing it in any way isn’t easy!) slices of blood orange, arugula and then drizzled with a raspberry vinaigrette.

Very refreshing.

Beet Salad

 

 

Course Number Four:

Halibut  “Fish and Chips”

This was a whimsical item.  The “fish and chips” refers to the halibut being roasted with grated yam on top and then drizzled in a balsamic dressing.   The yams form and nice crust (chips) and keep the halibut moist (fish) and then vinegar on top.

Halibut

 

 

Course Number Five:

Spinach and Pine Nut Stuffed Chicken Breast with roasted Celeriac Puree and marinated Red Cabbage

I hate to be judgemental, but I think this one was my favorite dish of the night.  The chicken was moist and flavourful, the celeriac both sweet and earthy at the same time and the crunch sourness of the cabbage just all really worked well together.  Oh and I didn’t even mention the delicious grainy mustard sauce in the title ( made it too long to look good on the page)!

 

Stuffed chicken

 

Course number six:

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

I actually got to make this course myself.  It is a favorite of mine to make and to eat and it often shows up on our special dinner menus.  But I can’t take the credit for it.

It is blatantly stolen from the menu at celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello’s Napa Valley restaurant, Bottega.

We tasted it there awhile back and I was determined to recreate it.  But luckily for me, they were generous enough to just post the recipe on-line!

So please do try it out for yourself.  It is surprisingly wonderful.

Brussel sprout salad

 

Course number seven:

Mediterranean Lamb & Bell Pepper Kebobs with Cous Cous and Kaffir Lime Leaf Scented Demi-Glace

It is a little joke we have with the birthday guest.  Inevitably whenever we go to her place for dinner, she serves lamb!  So it only seemed fitting that there should be a little lamb on her birthday party menu. The startlingly delicious item in this dish was the Kaffir lime leaves.

They don’t really show in the picture but they were in the sauce.  At this point in the evening ( course seven) sticking one’s fingers in the food and pulling out the lime leaves and sucking on them was clearly NOT frowned upon.  What a delightful taste, the tart lime flavour mixed with the luscious demi glaze.

 

Lamb

 

Course number eight:

Cheese & Apple

It seems we were just too delirious by this point to actually remember to take a picture.

We had retired to the lounge for a little reprieve before moving on to desert but just wanted to add this extra little treat to the mix.

Norwegian Ski Queen cheese, is just a delightful thing to try.  Although it is a cheese, it would remind you more of a really rich version of those caramel square candies that we used to get a Halloween. Perhaps those crossed with butter or some other unbearably delicious creamy substance.  You really do need to try it.  We find it in the speciality cheese section of most major grocery stores.

So our eighth course was slices of Ski Queen matched with slices of Ambrosia Apples lightly dusted with fresh cracked black pepper.

Really nice.

( No Photo Available )

 

 

Course number nine:

Raw Chocolate Tart topped with Pomegranate accompanied with fresh chunks Pineapple and Chocolate dipped Candied Ginger.

I also got to make this one!

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I like to startle people from time to time with my “raw” dishes.  So after a somewhat decadent night so far, I thought why not toss in something a little healthy to end the evening and leave us feeling good about ourselves!?

 

Cake

 

It was a very successful evening.  Good times all round.

Stay tuned for when the next one happens.  Who knows, YOU might even get invited!

 

Thumbs up

Something Simple

Do you ever crave something just so simple it seems silly??

I had just that craving for my lunch.

How simple was it?  Well let me tell you.

I took a slice of my favorite Dimpilmeier rye bread and lightly toasted it.

Then added a generous layer of Boursin garlic flavoured cheese, then a few slices of beautifully ripened tomato.

A few turns of the pepper mill, a little sprinkle of sea salt and I was in heaven!

Tomato and Boursin on rye

Anniversary Dinner

Now don’t get me wrong, I like going out to restaurants as much as the next person, but when you have a live in Chef sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense to go out!!

The Chef and I were celebrating our anniversary this weekend so he was nice enough to “whip me up” a little something for my dinner!!

We started with an appetizer of beet and goat cheese pin wheel terrine with basil infused oil.

Beet and goat cheese pin wheels

Colourful and light.

Then a lovely salad of arugula  with a beautiful refreshing oil and lemon dressing and shaves of Parmesan cheese.

Arugula salad with lemon, oil and shaved Parmesan cheese

For the main course we had beef and asparagus rouladen topped with gorgonzola cheese, accompanied by pured roasted celeriac topped with Boursin cheese and roasted root vegetables with topped with Blue cheese.

Beef and asparagus rouladen with roasted celeriac, root vegetables and three cheeses

Scurmp-delly-ishes!!!

Needless to say, with all the flavours and textures going on there, it only seemed appropriate to have a nice simple dessert.

Strawberries macerated in sugar and balsamic vinegar with Greek yogurt, with a sprig of mint and a shard of dark chocolate!

macerated strawberries with Greek yogurt and mint

Good time had by all!

Baba ghanoush

Or eggplant dip.

I love most food that originates from the Mediterranean.  

A friend and I were at a local Mediterranean eatery the other night and we started with an appetizer platter that contained baba ghanoush and then I remembered just how much I enjoyed it and thought I best try to make some at home!

Start with an eggplant, wash it and put it on a baking sheet and then poke it with a fork all over.   This is so when it bakes the steam will escape and it won’t explode in the oven!!

poke eggplant with fork

Ideally, the best way to make this is on the bar b que or if you have a gas stove, on the open flame.  You are supposed to char the outside first and then bake it till it’s cooked in the middle.

But if you can’t char it, just bake it in the oven at about 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, in the food processor, whiz up:

  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3-4 table spoons of tahini
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt & pepper

And then my personal secret ingredient 1 tsp of smokey paprika

Then when the eggplant is baked and let to cool enough to handle, cut it down the middle and scoop out the innards into the food processor and whiz it all up.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.

Eat alone with crackers or as part of your own Mediterranean appetizer platter!

Mediterranean appetizer plate

Add baba ghanoush to a plate with tzatziki, feta cheese,  roasted cauliflower, domalas and pita for dipping.

On the eve of

When there aren’t any children in attendance for Christmas Eve, it really can become a free for all.

Somewhere deep inside you all of the rules and restrictions that were imposed upon you around Christmas as a child suddenly have the need to be disobeyed.

“Please can we open one present???”  

“No”

“Please can I eat some candy??”

“No”

“Please can we stay up late??”

“No”

So when you are a grown up……you can do whatever you WANT!!

My tradition with these particular relatives is that on Christmas Eve, instead of a dinner of any kind, I make a bunch of party snacks and we sit around and have a casual time eating them and having a drink or two.  Or as my Scottish cousin likes to say “Let’s have a wee Beaujolais!”  Which pretty much refers to all alcohol  beverages!

So the menu on this night was:

  • Beets with goat cheese and spicy sweet walnuts with a balsamic drizzle
  • Smoked salmon and boursin cheese on cucumber
  • Spicey sausage balls
  • Yam cakes
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Dates with bacon
  • Cheesey puff crackers
  • Caramelized onion tarts

Beets with goat cheese and spicy sweet walnuts:

Boil up a few red beets, skin on, until tender.  Let cool, peel and slice into 1/4 inch rounds and top with goat cheese and sprinkle with toasted ( or in my case I sweetened and spiced) walnuts and then drizzle with balsamic and oil.

Beets with goat cheese and walnut

 

 

Smoked salmon and boursin cheese on cucumber:

Exactly how it sounds.   Cream together some smoke salmon and boursin cheese and top it onto rounds of cucumber.  I cut one inch chucks on an angle and then hollowed out the centre so the salmon wouldn’t fall off.

Smoke salmon and boursin cheese on cucumber

 

Spicy sausage balls:

1 pound of bulk spicy sausage meat.  1 medium jalapeno pepper finely chopped.  1/2 cup corn niblits ( fresh, frozen or canned) 1/2 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese, 1 cup of pre made biscuit mix.   Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and then form into balls.  Bake on a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper until toasty brown.   I served this with a dipping sauce of sour cream with chipolte sauce.

Spicy sausage balls

 

 

Caramelized onion tarts:

One package of store-bought puff pastry, rolled out into 4×4 inch squares on to a baking sheet.  Meanwhile caramelize some onions and then further cook them down with a generous slosh of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them further.   Then top the squares of pastry with a few spoonfuls of onion mixture, a few of the spicy sweet walnuts ( or other nuts, pine nuts etc) and a light handful of grated cheese like a white cheddar or blue.  Then bake in the over according to instructions on the pastry package, or until the pastry puffs and the cheese melts.

Caramelized onion tart

The snacks were all a big hit.

Christmas Eve snacks

But contrary to what I believed about being a grown up on Christmas, there was one stick in the mud amongst us ( I won’t say WHO) who simply wouldn’t give in to the peer pressure and could not be persuaded to let us open our presents before bed!!  Imagine!  I mean we could stay up as late as we wanted and sleep in as long as we wanted, so why would there be rules about “Christmas morning”??

Oh well, some people just like tradition!

Yam sauce

Well I’m up to my old tricks again!

The three R’s.  Reduce, Recycle, Re-use!

I hate leftovers.  Well, what I mean is I hate eating things again as they were, so I always feel the need to “re-work” them into something else.

If you have been following along here, you might remember I made something I called “Squash Sauce“?  Well this one is pretty much the exact same tecnique.

I took my Spicy Yam soup from the other day, heated it in a sauce pan, and then added a couple of tablespoons of Boursin Cheese!  Cream cheese or goat cheese would work just fine too if that’s all you had.

Spicy yam soup with Boursin cheese

Pour this over some nice grilled chicken and add your favorite side dish ( I just happend to have some left over “Brussels Slaw”) and you have a quick easy, nutritious mid week meal!

Grilled chicken with yam sauce and Brussels slaw

Squash sauce

Squash squash everywhere!

It is that time of year and what with Canadian Thanksgiving rapidly approaching it’s time to dust off your squash recipes!

Squash squash everywhere!

I had some left over squash soup  ( click here for that recipe ) from the other day that needed used up but wasn’t really enough for both of us  to eat as actual soup, so what to do?

Well…..

I made squash sauce of course.

Extremely simple.  Put the soup in a sauce pan ( does that automatically make it sauce??) and add a little stock or water to it to thin it out.  Then I took the hand blender to it to blend up the hunks of kale and mushrooms that I so carefully added to it when I was making the soup!

THEN I added a good glob of Boursin cheese and melted that down into it.

Presto chango now you have a beautiful rich sauce for your topping pleasure!!

We had it on some grilled chicken which I put on top of some left over spaghetti squash that I sauted with some garlic, onion and a little butter.   And then a side of brown rice and broccoli and you have a pretty healthy meal chalk full of hidden vegetables!!

Chicken with squash sauce

%d bloggers like this: