pie in the sky

September 17th, 2011 § 10

You can see the seasons in cloud formations. Summer’s distinctly popcorn-shaped clouds have given way to autumnal, wispy tendrils of white that look like smudges on a chalkboard, or the blur of a photograph of something moving quickly, but frozen in time. Like the clouds in the sky, fall also brings its share of foods that are not freshly available at any other time of year.

pie_in_the_sky

I finally managed to make the cherry pie I’ve been wanting to do all summer. I was waiting for the ripest, most locally grown cherries I could find. Ontario cherries have been elusive this year. Perhaps they haven’t yet reached their peak. But last week, on a trip to the Jean Talon market here in Montreal, I at least managed to find cherries grown in Canada, even if they did come all the way from BC. » Read the rest of this entry «

breakfast is served.

September 13th, 2011 § 7

We’re back, with heartfelt thanks to readers and fellow bloggers who have written to say – WTF?. After two years of blogging, the process of posting started getting unwieldy. The blog was nagging us to spend more time in the kitchen, more money on accessories, more time on photo retouching, etc. We needed to take a break, and restore weekends to a more natural purpose.

So we’re taking another stab at it, hoping that we’ll succeed in making the blog a more spontaneous and casual expression of what we want our food and our time in the kitchen to be: vital, simple, inspired. With the toughest of these three being simple. It’s harder than we thought. But in late summer, after being reminded by feasts with friends and family why we started blogging in the first place, it seems selfish not to try sharing. Here are some highlights from an especially delicious summer.

kale

The squirrels on our balcony have enjoyed chewing through the stems of our rainbow chard all summer long. We’ve tried toothpicks, mothballs, blood meal, and sicking our dog Max on them, all in vain. They are hellbent on systematic destruction. One evening last summer we potted some miniature roses and the next morning, each of the blossoms had been carefully bitten off. It’s a problem amongst all of our neighbours. We joke about poisoning the squirrels and then someone will say “Et ensuite nous allons commencer à tirer sur les oiseaux? Voyons.” (And next we start shooting the birds? Come on.) » Read the rest of this entry «

impossible chocolate flan

February 17th, 2011 § 21

My obsession with flan can be traced back to a trip we took to Rio de Janeiro several years ago. We were ordering a morning juice at one of the city’s ubiquitous juice stands when I looked down into the window under the counter and saw a delicious flan sitting there, calling out to me. I had never tasted flan, but knew that I loved it.

impossible_chocolate_flan

Flan is popular all over Latin America, but it actually originated in Europe. European farmers would mix any extra eggs they had on hand with cream to make the custardy confection we call flan today. Mexico is especially well-known for its flan, with dozens of varieties that vary from one region to another. » Read the rest of this entry «

lobster bisque with lobster ice cream

January 22nd, 2011 § 17

We have more or less refused to come back from our vacation in Mexico, and are obsessed with recreating the flavours we discovered there. This lobster double feature is something that appealed to us for many reasons: the cold/hot thing, the sweet/savoury thing, and naturally the whole weird idea of lobster ice cream. (See our bourbon and cigar ice cream, inspired by last year’s escape to Cuba.)

Most of the ingredients for the bisque and the ice cream are pictured here.

We’ve never done a bisque before, and were interested to discover how the technique makes use of the whole beast, antenna-to-tail. Nothing is wasted. The lobster’s very essence is extracted. Luxuriance and simplicity. Two of our favourite things. » Read the rest of this entry «

flaming heart roasted tomato salsa

January 10th, 2011 § 10

roasted_tomato_salsa

We’ve just experienced the thrill of having the Mexico of our imaginations (based mostly on cartoons) finally replaced by the real, living, fire-breathing thing. Our week under the sun of Puerto Vallarta felt much like visiting the palace of a dazzling Aztec demon who devours raw human hearts, has boiling tequila for blood, and just won’t stop dancing. Santa Maria ! » Read the rest of this entry «

chocolate hazelnut buttercrunch toffee

December 16th, 2010 § 20

This is killer. And this is your chance to use that really fantastic salt you got as a gift this year, but haven’t known what to do with. You know, the orange volcanic one, or the one you have to shave, or the one that looks like sparkling sequins. Because this is all about the salt.

Chocolate_Hazelnut_Buttercrunch_Toffee

We spotted this David Lebovitz recipe on his blog several years ago. We hated him for living in Paris and having the nerve to complain about winter there (try winter in Montréal), but then we made this candy. Butter, sugar, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and 20 minutes later, heaven. » Read the rest of this entry «

raisin nut bread pudding with apples & Jarlsberg

December 6th, 2010 § 8

Saturday morning. You follow your nose into a local bakery and come out with an exotic loaf you couldn’t resist – a black Russian with orange peel and cranberries, or a spelt sourdough full of nuts and seeds. You use a couple of slices for lunch and wonder what to do with the rest. But wait. Didn’t you also pick up a nice piece of ham and a big wedge of cheese? Suddenly this loaf is destined for brunch.

Jarlsberg_bread_pudding

There’s a lot to love about a meal that stops the clock somewhere between breakfast and lunchtime, and walks a delicious line between sweet and savory. The apples and spices in this bread pudding say ‘pass the bacon’; the nuts and cheese say ‘pass the bubbly’. » Read the rest of this entry «

tuscan-style ribs with balsamic glaze

November 7th, 2010 § 12

This is by far our most-asked-for recipe, and after receiving an email request this week from someone who tasted these six months ago, we thought it was time to share. David has brothers and sisters who request these weeks in advance of family reunions. And this is what we make for ourselves when we want to go whole hog on Saturday nights.

tuscan_ribs4

We found this blockbuster in a Food and Wine issue a few years back. It seems originally to have been published in the Complete Book of Pork, by Bruce Aidells. We’ve tried all kind of variations – grilling them, spicing them up, using a root beer glaze… Or sometimes we’ve left one or two things out, either because we’ve run out of something or thought there were too many ingredients. There aren’t. » Read the rest of this entry «

baked explorations

October 31st, 2010 § 7

By now you’ve certainly heard the story of the boys from Brooklyn who quit their day-jobs to open what quickly became a hugely popular bakery. The Baked guys are foodie superheroes. And their books show as much creative chemistry as their recipes do. Their first opus, Baked, not only tells readers how to make the bakery’s most popular desserts, it also communicates a playful hipness and ironic glee that perfectly capture what we imagine to be the Brooklyn zeitgeist.

Baked_Explorations

In their second book, Baked Explorations, the duo turn their imaginations to American classic desserts, re-inventing them with the same mix of devotion and irreverence. They pay serious homage to favourites preserved on hand-written, shortening-smudged recipe cards, and re-invent them with seriously saucy style.

» Read the rest of this entry «

curried squash soup with clams and coconut milk

October 24th, 2010 § 7

curried_squash_soup_with_clams2

We finally nailed this one. This was a recipe we bookmarked two years ago, after being amazed by this entry on La Tartine Gourmande, an endless source of inspiration. This soup is a favourite late lunch/early dinner on cold Sunday afternoons, but somehow our variations always fell short of what we wanted this soup to be. Not enough clams, too much coconut milk, and most often, a disappointing curry flavour. » Read the rest of this entry «

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