Archive for February, 2013

Need to get a healthy supper on the table in 20 minutes? Try this pan-seared salmon and salad recipe from Food and Wine. Sear the salmon in a skillet and, while it is resting, sauté cherry or grape tomatoes and a sliced shallot. Toss the warm veggies with the arugula and a lemon-mustard dressing and dinner is ready. This recipe would work well with other types of fish, such as halibut. If you don’t use arugula, use a sturdy green that won’t wilt too much when the warm vegetables are added, such as spinach or kale.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

For the dressing be sure to use fresh lemon juice, as the concentrates contain artificial ingredients. Look for a Dijon without white wine and sulfites, such as PC Old-Fashioned Dijon.

This receipe doesn't use many ingredients

Sear the salmon in a non-stick pan, such as a cast-iron skillet

While the salmon rests, saute the tomatoes and shallots

Toss the warm vegetables and dressing with the arugula

Dinner's ready!


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Four 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced

5 ounces baby arugula (6 packed cups)

¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves


In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lemon juice and mustard and season with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon skin side down over moderately high heat until the skin is very crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook until opaque in the center, about 4 minutes. Transfer the salmon to plates, skin side up. Pour off the oil in the skillet.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the tomatoes and shallot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the basil, dressing, tomatoes and shallots. Mound the salad beside the salmon and serve. Serves 4.

From Food and Wine magazine

Happy Chinese New Year! We celebrated with this delicious one-pot, Asian-style chicken and rice dish from Lucy Waverman. It is a combination of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (my favourite), shiitake mushrooms, fragrant rice and spicy citrus-mint sauce. I’ll be making this again.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Soy sauce, chicken broth, sriracha and fish sauce can contain additives, colour and MSG. Try tamari, which is preserved with alcohol, and an all-natural stock like Imagine brand. I haven’t been able to find all-natural sriracha, so I used Tabasco sauce. You can find fish sauce without additives; I am currently using Cock brand, which contains anchovies, salt and sugar.

Make the spicy citrus sauce first, to allow the flavours to blend

Marinate the chicken for a few minutes

Brown the chicken well, then set aside

Saute the shiitakes

Bring rice, liquid, chicken to a boil

Add the peas during the last 10 minutes of cooking

Asian-style chicken and rice



500 grams (1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced in half

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half


1 1/2 cups Thai jasmine rice, rinsed

2 cups chicken broth or water

1 teaspoon sriracha (Asian chili sauce)

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped mint or coriander

Spicy citrus sauce

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


To make the spicy citrus sauce, combine the ginger, sriracha sauce, fish sauce and water. Stir in lemon juice, lime juice, brown sugar and fresh mint. Let sit for one hour before serving. The sauce should be served in a sauce boat so diners can drizzle it over their food as desired.

Place chicken thighs in bowl. Combine shallots, ginger and garlic in separate bowl. Toss chicken with half of this mixture and all of the soy sauce and sugar.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper and add to pan. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan, add mushrooms and sauté 1 minute or until softened.

Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and set aside. To prepare the rice, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot mixture and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, chicken broth (or water) and sriracha. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and place chicken pieces and mushrooms over the rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Scatter in peas and cook, covered, until both rice and chicken are cooked (about 7 to 10 minutes longer). Spoon into a serving bowl or serve from the pot. Garnish with green onions and mint or coriander. If there is a layer of rice that is slightly browned and sticking to the pot, this is considered a delicacy. Serves 4.

By Lucy Waverman

If you are trying to eat more fish, try this very quick and easy recipe using one of my favourite types of fish—branzino. Branzino is a mild-flavoured white fish, also known as European sea bass. It is delicious grilled or steamed (whole), fried or baked. I couldn’t get branzino the day I made this recipe, so I bought trout fillets, which were excellent. In this recipe from the February 2013 issue of Food and Wine, the fish is simply pan-fried and topped with a sweet-and-sour sauce, which takes only a few minutes to make. Add steamed rice and a green vegetable, and dinner is on the table in 30 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use an all-natural stock such as Imagine brand and tamari instead of soy sauce. Marukan rice vinegar has no artificial ingredients and neither does Heinz ketchup. Check the label on the Chinese cooking wine or substitute sherry. I have never been able to find an all-natural chile-garlic sauce, so I used Tabasco hot sauce.

It only takes a few minutes to make the sweet-and-sour sauce.

Quickly pan-fry the fish; the skin should be crispy

Top the fish with the sweet-and-sour sauce and serve


1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine) or sherry

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce

3 tablespoons canola oil

1½ tablespoons minced peeled ginger

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Four 4- to 5-ounce branzino, striped bass or trout fillets

2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias

Steamed rice, for serving


In a small bowl, whisk the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, wine, cornstarch and chile sauce. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, 1 minute. Whisk the sauce ingredients, then add them to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and glossy, 5 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the fish, skin side down, and press lightly with a spatula to sear the skin for 10 seconds for each fillet. Cook undisturbed over high heat until the fillets are browned and crispy at the edges and just barely opaque on top, about 5 minutes. Flip the fish and cook just until cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the fish skin side up to plates. Spoon the sauce on top, garnish with the scallions and serve with rice. Serves four. The sweet-and-sour sauce can be refrigerated overnight.

From the February 2013 issue of Food and Wine

Warmly spiced and hearty, this is a perfect supper for a cold winter night. It’s even good for you, as it is low in fat and contains chickpeas and spinach. Brown bone-in chicken legs, brown some onions, combine spices, broth and chicken and braise for less than an hour. You can refrigerate the chicken at this point if you want to make this recipe in advance, or you can finish it by adding the spinach and yogurt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream and spices that have no colour or anti-caking agents added. Make sure the chickpeas do not contain additives – try PC Blue Menu brand. I use Imagine Organic chicken stock and Astro Original brand Balkan-style yogurt.

Brown the chicken legs well

Brown the onions

After braising the chicken, remove it to a plate and then add the spinach, which will wilt

Indian-spiced chicken with chickpeas and spinach


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 bone-in chicken legs (thigh and drumstick), skin removed

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons grated peeled ginger

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth

5 ounces baby spinach (about 8 lightly packed cups)

¼ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems


Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt. Working in batches, cook chicken, reducing heat as needed to prevent over-browning, until golden brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and onions to drippings in pot; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chickpeas and 2 cups broth. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Add more broth if needed to cover chicken about three-fourths of the way up. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise chicken until fork-tender, 45-55 minutes. Do ahead: Chicken can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool slightly, then chill, uncovered, until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Add spinach to pot, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until spinach is wilted, 5-7 minutes.

Stir yogurt into cooking liquid. Season with salt. Return chicken to pot. Warm over low heat (do not boil or yogurt may curdle).

Transfer chicken to a large deep platter. Pour spinach and chickpea sauce over. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 6.

From the January 2013 issue of Bon Appetit