June 2011

Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Dijon Vinaigrette

June 28, 2011
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Sometimes the best meals are those which are uncomplicated; those which allow you to share a glass of wine and chat with your guests while cooking at the same time. This dish is one which will enable you to do just that. You can even prepare it before your guests arrive, because it’s just as good at room temperature as it is hot off the grill. In fact, it may even be a little better if the vinaigrette has time to “marinate” the vegetables a bit.

I used Mexican Spring Onions in these photos, but you could also use the ones which are slightly pink and oblong at the base. Spring onions can range in size from a large version of the standard green onion to small round bulbs about 2 inches in diameter. For the larger ones, it’s a good idea to cut them in half so they cook …

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Introducing Mount Royal Farms

June 25, 2011
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Dear Readers,

I have been unfaithful. I won’t even try to make an excuse for my infidelity because I’m hoping when you see what I’ve been doing, you’ll understand and be willing to share your affections. If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen the tell-tale signs of my latest passion; the murmurs of new love, the late night tweets, the giddiness of schoolgirl infatuation.  I have been straying from Former Chef with a younger, and some might say, sexier blog; MountRoyalFarms.

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Beet, Fennel and Arugula Salad

June 20, 2011
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Last week we had a friend visiting Los Angeles on her way back home to where she lives in Cambodia. Living in a developing country can be challenging on many levels, not least among them the quest to find familiar and well loved foods. While it’s often preferable, and easier, to eat local food, sometimes after months of noodles, rice, and curry, the cravings for foods from home kick in.

Knowing that she was on her way back, I tried to craft a meal which included many of the things she likes but cannot get there, chief amoung them beets, arugula, and cheese. While this salad would be lovely with the addition of goat cheese, the night’s meal already included home made pizzas with fresh mozzarella and we had a non-dairy eating guest. When we visited our friend in Cambodia last year we arrived with a cooler bag filled with …

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Roasted Halibut with Radicchio-Pancetta Sauce, Peas and Artichokes from “Good Fish”

June 13, 2011
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Cooking seafood is one of those things which many people find intimidating. I can understand why; most fresh fish and shellfish need to be cooked quickly, yet with care not to overcook. In addition, many people don’t have a lot of experience eating seafood beyond fish and chips and shrimp cocktail and swear they don’t enjoy fish (most likely because they have a bad association with poorly prepared or low quality product).

Fortunately, there’s a new cookbook out there which can dispel most of this uncertainty in an easy to use, approachable manner. Becky Selengut’s book, Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast is one of the most thorough books on cooking seafood I’ve seen in a long time. It’s beautifully presented and the friendly, no-nonsense take on cooking fish and shellfish is refreshing and non-intimidating for novice cooks. In fact, each chapter contains five recipes, ranging from …

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