Cooking with Alison

Archive for the ‘Main Course’ Category

How to Grill Pizza (Bob Blumer’s Demonstration)

In Pasta, Rice, and Doughs on June 17, 2014 at am

When I attended the Great Canadian Cheese Festival (see post here), I had the privilege of attending celebrity Chef Bob Blumer’s demonstration on how to grill pizza.  His recipe for grilled pizza can be found in his cookbook, Glutton for Pleasure.  His grilled pizza really was delicious.  I am sharing his instructions for how to grill a pizza on a BBQ here.  Note that he used an 8 burner BBQ that had a built in thermometer.

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Bob Blumer

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Dry Rub Recipe for Beef Ribs

In Main Course, Red Meat and Eggs on June 12, 2014 at am

I made beef ribs using this dry rub twice in one week, because my brother and John couldn’t get enough of them.  You could also use it on beef brisket.  Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients with whatever you happen to have on hand.  For example, you could try omitting the nutmeg or adding ground mustard or ground cumin to switch up the flavours every now and then.  (See here for my favourite dry rub recipe for chicken.)

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Ingredients That Freeze Beautifully

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Asian, Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, How-To, Indian, Main Course on June 1, 2014 at am

Whenever I cook with ingredients that I don’t use regularly, I almost always end up with extra ingredients that I can’t find the time or purpose for.  I hate to waste food.  So, very early on, I learned how to make the freezer my best friend.  Below I’ve shared a list of fresh and canned ingredients that freeze beautifully for months to a year, without a change in texture or taste.  Let me know if you can think of anything else!  I will add to this list as I discover new freezer friendly ingredients.  Also, I’ve posted many many freezer friendly recipes throughout the years.  Just look to the end of each recipe for freezing instructions, as applicable.

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Favourite Fish Broth Recipe

In Asian, Fish / Seafood, Rice and Noodle Dishes, Soups on March 10, 2014 at am

This recipe is a recreation of my family’s favourite fish broth.  We surprisingly found the best fish broth at one of the food court vendors in First Markham Place in Markham, ON.  My family and I have never had such a delicious and strongly flavoured fish soup.  The best part is that they don’t use MSG!  Our cousin took us out in Malaysia for the “best” fish noodle soup, and we didn’t have the heart to tell him that our local food court vendor does it much much better.  This fish broth will fill your house with a fishy smell, but if you can get over that, you’ll love the broth.  I like to use this fish broth when I’m making seafood paella and Chinese noodle soups (see recipe here).

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Sausage and Green Lentils Recipe

In Other Dishes, Red Meat and Eggs on March 4, 2014 at am

This is a hearty, freezer friendly, one pot meal that I love to serve on a cold day.

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Best Beef Carpaccio Recipe

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Main Course, Red Meat and Eggs on January 28, 2014 at am

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I love beef carpaccio and I order it in restaurants quite often.  But even the restaurants get it wrong, sometimes.  When John had arugula, parmigiano reggiano, and lemons leftover from his party, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try making beef carpaccio at home.  It turns out that it is incredibly easy to make, and that the key to success lies in the quality of the meat used.  I urge you to splurge on the beef, but I won’t blame you if you don’t, because when I spent $19 at Whole Foods for a single, small, filet mignon, I felt outraged, regretful, and then outraged, again.  Until, that is, I tasted the final product.  No regrets here.  I was blown away by the deliciousness over and over again, after each bite.  I may never order beef carpaccio from a restaurant again, because the flavour of the beef that I used was dramatically better than anything I’ve ever had in a restaurant.

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Delicious Sausage and Tomato Pasta Recipe

In Main Course, Pasta, Rice, and Doughs on January 22, 2014 at am

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Whenever I make pasta as the main course for dinner, I like to serve a white pasta as well as a red pasta.  My mom loves creamy seafood alfredo (see recipe here), whereas my dad and I love sausage and tomato pasta.  So here is an easy recipe that is one of my family’s favourites.

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Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

In Pasta, Rice, and Doughs on January 18, 2014 at am


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I love creamy pasta sauces and I love making them from scratch.  My mom requested seafood fettucine alfredo for her birthday this year, so I’m sharing the fettuccine alfredo recipe that I used.  If preferred, you could substitute chicken for the seafood, or serve the fettuccine alfredo plain.

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Mini Potato and Green Bean Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing (with or without Tuna)

In Fish / Seafood, Main Course, Sides and Sauces, Soups and Salads on December 23, 2013 at am

I have made this potato and green bean salad many times, because it’s flavourful, it can be served warm or cold, it’s quick and easy to make, it’s a one pot meal, it only requires 4 total ingredients, and it’s a great way to use up leftover cooked potatoes and/or green beans.  I like to add tuna when I’m serving it for lunch or dinner.  It’s also a great option for pot lucks as it is gluten free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian, and vegan (as long as you don’t add the tuna).

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My family and John love the taste and I love how easy it is to make.  I should note though, that this salad does not keep well.  So if you are serving it warm, it should be eaten soon after it was made.  If you are serving it cold, be sure to cool all of the other ingredients first and then toss them with the dressing just prior to serving.

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How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast

In How-To, Red Meat and Eggs on December 4, 2013 at am

Roasted prime rib (or standing rib roast) is one of my family’s favourite things to eat for special occasions and family gatherings.  It’s a beautiful, tender, flavourful and expensive cut of meat that would be completely wasted if overcooked.  Once you get the hang of achieving the right doneness, you’ll discover that it’s actually very easy to cook a prime rib roast.  Below, I have shared a few tips for how to select a prime rib roast as well as two simple methods that I use to cook prime rib.  Note that I don’t normally pre-season my roasts, so the cooking methods would differ slightly if you wanted to use a flavour crust on the outside of your meat.  Next time, I’ll share my favourite recipe for seasoned prime rib roast.

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How to Make Puff Pastry From Scratch, The Quick and Easy Way

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, How-To, Main Course, Other Desserts, Pies & Tarts on November 10, 2013 at am

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In the past, I often used store bought, frozen puff pastry for special occasions and parties.  Although I had been planning to attempt making puff pastry from scratch for years, I put it off, because the process requires many steps and resting times.  So imagine how excited I was when I found a time-saving technique for puff pastry in The Modern Baker.  Not only is this puff pastry easy and relatively quick to make, it is freezer friendly, too.  So you can make several batches in half a day, freeze them, and have your own instant puff pastry for future uses.  This puff pastry bakes up beautifully flaky, buttery, and crisp.  I’ll probably never use store-bought puff pastry again.  When I used this dough to make cheese danishes, my dad said that they were better than the ones that he buys from a bakery. I’ve also used this successfully for savoury tarts (see recipes here and here) and beef wellington. Here are a few other recipes that use puff pastry: Hong Kong egg tarts (see recipe here), apple turnovers (see recipe here), chicken or turkey pot pie (see recipe here), and vol au vents.

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Herb and Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb Recipe

In Red Meat and Eggs on October 4, 2013 at pm

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I love rack of lamb, but the idea of cooking it myself was intimidating, because I was worried that I would undercook or overcook it and waste an expensive cut of meat.  Although I prefer my beef steak blue rare, I find that lamb is best enjoyed medium or medium rare.  I decided to take on this challenge for Mother’s Day and, luckily, it turned out beautifully.  I used the touch method (also known as the finger test) to check the doneness of the meat every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that I didn’t overcook it.  Since I kept letting the heat out of the oven, it took about 40 minutes for my roast to reach medium doneness (20 minutes longer than expected), but it was delicious.

Note:  I personally don’t like the flavour of mint, but since mint is a common accompaniment for lamb, you could add a couple of fresh mint leaves to the other fresh herbs in this recipe.  I’d also like to note that using nuts instead of the typical bread crumbs for the crust happens to make this entree gluten free.

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