October 29, 2011

Caramelized Onion & Olive Tart

Like many people, I’m intimidated by pastry. I’ve heard that I have no reason to feel this way, yet I am. When I make a tart it isn’t a beautiful creation and isn’t ‘perfect’. Instead they look a little rough around the edges, ‘rustic’ maybe. This skill may improve the more I make them and who knows, I may just have to ask for some tips from some of those around me who do it so well.

This recipe simplified things and Donna Hay used store-bought caramelized onions. I’ve never seen jars or cans of caramelized onions at any store I’ve been into, and besides, making them is so easy and pretty cheap. To caramelize onions all you need to do is slice your onions and quarter them (so the pieces aren’t too stringy). Heat some butter or oil in a deep pan and put in the onions.  Stir them up a bit, breaking them up. Then leave them be on low heat for an hour or so. It’s nice to put them on and forget about them. But don’t actually forget about them. I did and they were quite brown (luckily they still tasted the same).

Caramelized Onion & Olive Tart   (from Style at Home December 2010)
Roll or pat out some gluten-free pastry into a tart or pie plate. Spread with caramelized onions. Top with sliced black olives and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 200° oven for 20 mins. Sprinkle with grated parmesan. Serve with a salad or cut into small pieces for an appetizer.

October 25, 2011

Seasons Changing

Throughout the summer The Honey and I would comment on how quickly it was passing. No sooner had summer begun that it seemed to be winding down. Work and errands kept us busier than usual and time just flew by. In August we lamented we hadn’t gotten to Gatineau Park at all, there were few bike rides along the river, and we really hadn’t gone anywhere, in or outside the city. It seemed as through summer had passed us by.

One particular weekend, as we were sitting outside having lunch and enjoying the beautiful weather, we began our complaining. Then The Honey realized we have been enjoying the year, just doing other things instead.

For Victoria Day weekend we joined friends to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. There was a nice group of friends and family who enjoyed a beautiful weekend, great food and drinks and fun company. This time we were on the Plateau, an area new to us, so The Honey and I explored until his feet were aching.

In June we ventured to Mont Tremblant. Only 1 ½-2 hrs away, we had never gone and had heard so much about it. Again, we were spoilt with beautiful weather and a tonne of walking in the mountains.

Our big trip this year would again take place in September and we were looking forward to it.  With work keeping us both so busy we were dying for an extended period away from everyday life. We finally decided on Boston.

And while we were there, we’d spend some time in Cape Cod too. We were lucky a third time and had beautiful weather that allowed us to venture everywhere on foot. Well, almost. We had to drive to some heavenly sand beaches to do the walking.

I’ll soon post our travels with some great places to see and eat – some were easier than others. But we also realized that no matter how short summer was, holidays can be just as short and we need to take some time to remember them.

October 23, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes & Olives

Sometimes chicken is just chicken, and that’s okay. But sometimes you want something a little different. Sometimes you can put herbs, a marinade or a sauce in, on, or with the chicken to jazz it up a bit. Sometimes it does the trick, while sometimes it still tastes like plain old chicken. This recipe is quite nice, because to me, it’s different. It’s still chicken, but different.

Roasted chicken with Tomatoes & Olives         serves 4      (from Real Simple March 2010)
Zest and juice from one lemon
2 pints grape tomatoes
1 head garlic, cloves separated
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbs olive oil
3 lbs chicken, cut/pieces you prefer
Salt and pepper
½ cup dry white wine
In roasting pan Toss tomatoes, garlic cloves, olives, thyme, and lemon zest with 1 tbs of olive oil. Set the chicken amongst the vegetables and drizzle the remaining oil on top. Season everything with some salt and pepper. Roast until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the lemon juice and wine to the roasting pan and stir, scraping up any little bits on the pan. Serve the chicken with vegetables and a little gluten-free bread to sop up the juices if you like.
*You can peel the garlic cloves or leave them in their skins. The choice is yours.

October 18, 2011

Red Peppers Stuffed with Trout

This is a little fiddly to make, but when there’s company I don’t mind. My mom was visiting and she’s always up for something new. For an everyday type dish one could simply bake the trout and peppers separately then stack them while plating. If you have sauce leftover like I did, drizzle it over a steak, chicken or a burger. It tasted nice too.

Red Peppers Stuffed with Trout         serves 2       (from Chatelaine January 2010)
2 red peppers
2 rainbow trout or tilapia fillets, about 1/2 lb (250 g) each
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika, preferably smoked
1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
1 cup (250 mL) cilantro leaves
3 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp (45 mL) white-wine vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Pat trout dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of fish with paprika and garlic powder. Cut each fillet in half lengthwise. Fold each piece of fish and stuff into a pepper half. Roast in centre of preheated oven until a knife inserted into fish and held for 10 sec comes out warm, 15 to 20 min. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Finely chop cilantro and place in a bowl. Mince garlic and add to cilantro. Whisk in vinegar, then oil. Or place all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until puréed. When fish is ready, serve with sauce drizzled overtop. Taste and add more seasonings if you like. Great served with a green salad.

October 5, 2011

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

When the weather is chilly you need something warm and sometimes you need to be warmed up from the inside out. Whether it’s one of those bone-chilling days of January or a chilly rainy day in August, Indian food does it.

This chickpea spinach curry is healthy and fills you up without weighing you down.

*Note: Chopped frozen spinach is great if making this is the winter when fresh can be quite costly.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry            (Serves 4)               (from Canadian Gradening)
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbs mild curry paste
1-14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1-14 oz can chickpeas, well rinsed
1 lb spinach, stalks removed and chopped
1 handful cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add curry paste and stirfry for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, 1 cup water and the chickpeas. Bring to a boil then reduce to a medium simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Stir in cilantro and serve.

October 2, 2011

Back By Popular Demand

On October 15th (2011) there will be a fundraising gluten-free breakfast. Tickets are $15 which includes: omelette, pancakes, sausage, potatoes, muffins, and coffee/tea. Tickets need to be purchased in advance as they will not be available at the door. From what I hear from fellow chapter members, it’s a good breakfast.

Contact June Williams at june-williams@sympatico.ca