French Canadian Pea Soup with Smoked Sea Salt
FRENCH CANADIAN PEA SOUP WITH SMOKED SEA SALT
CHEF TALK: While spring is fast approaching, the evenings are cool and comfort food is still very much a part of the daily menu. This recipe for French Canadian Pea Soup is one of my childhood favourites. It is easy to make, nutritious and inexpensive which in these times of ever-increasing food costs is a most welcome addition to the menu. This soup also freezes very well. For the freezer reserve, ladle 4 portions into 1 quart FoodSaver pouches and place them flat on a baking tray. Place a label with date on the top of the pouch. Once they are frozen, line them up with all of the other soups in the freezer reserve and pat yourself on the back!
CHEF TIP: Once the soup is finished cooking, remove several ladles full of the chunkier bits and set this aside (this will be your soup garnish). Puree the other half of the soup and ladle a portion into large heated soup bowls. Then garnish the soup with the chunky half of the soup. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt and fresh parsley as well as a drizzle of good olive oil. Place crispy bacon or pancetta on top (as shown in the photograph) and serve hot – this French Canadian Pea Soup is now elevated to company status! Serve with chunks of excellent sourdough baguette and enjoy!
Talk to Chef
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a great service called, “TalkToChef.” http://talktochef.com
Their purpose/objective is to provide expertise by chefs to assist cooks and homemakers everywhere to obtain quality on-line support in preparing meals, meal plans and dealing with every day issues and concerns that arise when feeding their families and friends.
As a Red Seal Chef and Pastry Chef, I am excited to be a part of “TalkToChef” as one of their culinary consultants who can provide support to you whether it might concern a recipe interpretation, techniques and tips to make life easier, planning a meal, food budgeting, food health concerns or any other culinary question that you might have.
My experience and training in Classic French Culinary and Pastry as well as gluten-free cooking has prepared me to support you whatever your questions might be. I am very excited about this amazing opportunity to share my passion for teaching and sharing information with you. It also expands my reach to students everywhere, which makes me very happy. I receive emails daily from students wondering when and where I am offering classes. As a Chef consultant with Talk to Chef, I am able to provide assistance no matter where you are!
I hope you will spread the work about this great service – tell your friends about TalkToChef – I think it will be a wonderful way to connect with you.
“Yours, in all things flavourful”
The Urbnspice Chef
About me: http://about.me/urbnspice/#
Lavender Rose Mini Cheesecakes
When I develop a recipe, there is often something pertinent behind its creation that has inspired me. Here is the story behind the creation of this little cheesecake.
Every one has fond food memories and for me, growing up in a large French Canadian family, I have many precious memories. Family gatherings were frequent and boisterous affairs – full of the happy chatter of young children playing and the elderly family members speaking in typical friendly and demonstrative manner. Our extended family included many aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. One of my Mom’s sister’s is aptly named Rose and she was famous for bringing her famous Poppy Seed Cake to every family gathering. We all looked forward to having a little slice of this heavenly cake.
Sausage & Potato “No Bread” Stuffing – Gluten Free
If your guest list this holiday season has you hesitant to face gluten-free or dairy free restrictions, this is the perfect side dish for you. As it happens, my guest list this year includes gluten-free, dairy free and grain free restrictions, so I can definitely relate. This is a no-fret recipe. It has all of the traditional ingredients of a classic stuffing without the bread and includes aromatic vegetables, rich chicken stock, a splash or two of white wine, flavourful sausage and crispy bacon. I can guarantee that after you taste this Potato “No Bread” Gluten Free Stuffing, you will want it to be part of your family holiday favourites.
CHEF TALK: This gluten free, make ahead dish, is sure to become one of your go-to side dishes. It is delicious served with a ham or turkey dinner or for any occasion.
- 1 lb mixed Potatoes from the Little Potato Company (I used 1/2 lb of Blushing Belle and 1/2 lb of Something Blue potatoes)
- 1/2 lb (226 g) of pork or breakfast sausage (I used gluten free Bratwurst), removed from casings
- 2 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced finely
- 1 stalk celery, diced finely
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried savory
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Pierce the potatoes once or twice with a skewer and place them on a microwavable dish.
- Microwave for five minutes and remove from the microwave. Cool for a few minutes until they are easy to handle. (You can prepare these ahead)
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, quarter them or dice them into small pieces as shown in the photographs. Set aside.
- In a large fry pan over medium heat, fry the sausage meat, breaking it up into small crumbles, until it is browned and caramelized CHEF TIP: This process of caramelizing adds flavour to the stuffing). Remove the cooked sausage meat from the fry pan and set aside.
- Now add the diced bacon into the same fry pan and cook the bacon until it is brown and crispy.
- Add the diced onion and stir together until the onion is starting to turn colour.
- Add the diced carrot, celery and bell pepper and stir until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the minced garlic and stir until the garlic is cooked.
- Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the white wine and cook until the wine evaporates - about one minute.
- Return the sausage to the pan and stir in the cooked diced potatoes.
- Stir all of the ingredients together and then add the chicken stock.
- If you want to make this dish ahead, take the fry pan off of the heat and let it cool before you cover and refrigerate until you are ready to reheat at 325F for 30 to 40 minutes.
- If you wish to serve this dish right away, simmer for a few minutes until the chicken stock has been absorbed by the vegetables and potatoes. Check and adjust for seasonings.
- Keep warm.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
What do you do with a bit of leftover dark chocolate ganache? Make truffles, of course! You can make these truffles in a snap and they make wonderful hostess gifts and they are also great additions to a cookie plate. Besides, they are fun to make and a great activity if you have children helping in the kitchen. There is no complicated tempered chocolate dipping with this recipe – the outside of the truffles are covered easily in Chocolate Vermicelli . Anyone can make these – give them a try!
CHEF TALK: I used Inaya 65% Dark Chocolate for this ganache from the Vanilla Food Company.
No events scheduled at this time.
However, there is always lots happening in the Urb’n’Spice kitchen. Coming soon will be “Urbnspice Tastings” – a pairing of confitures, chutneys and compotes with cheese and charcuterie, together with wine. Cooking classes and baking classes will also be available in a group setting of 6 – 8 students or private lessons in 2015.
Urb’n’Spice confitures, chutneys and compotes make excellent gifts! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for inventory or shipping information.