Archive for March, 2024

This quick and easy recipe from In Mary’s Kitchen is great for a weeknight supper or casual dinner party. Combine minced sun-dried tomatoes and tarragon with softened butter, salt and pepper. Place the fish on a baking sheet and spread the butter over the fish. Add cherry tomatoes and lemon quarters to the pan. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until fish is just cooked through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream or milk, with no colour added. Savor brand oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes are additive-free.

Spread butter mixture on fish and arrange on sheet pan with tomatoes and lemon

Roast until fish is cooked through


Olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) sun-dried tomatoes

1 tbsp (15 ml) tarragon or basil, plus more for serving

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, room temperature

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 rainbow trout fillets

8 oz (227 g) cherry tomatoes

1 lemon, quartered


Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C) and drizzle baking sheet with oil.

Finely mince the sun-dried tomatoes and tarragon and add to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and mash together to combine. Dry off the fish with paper towel and place the fillets skin side down onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the tomato butter over the trout fillets.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan as well as the lemon quarters, cut side down. Drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 15 to 17 minutes or until the trout is flaky and cooked through and the tomatoes are tender and beginning to burst.

To serve, use a fish spatula to lift the trout from the skin and scatter with fresh tarragon and a squeeze of roasted lemon juice. Serves 4.

From In Mary’s Kitchen

This recipe from NYT Cooking cooks mussels with shallots, garlic, wine and a spicy cilantro compound butter. Make the butter, form it into a log and chill while cooking the mussels. Cook the shallot briefly before adding garlic, wine and bringing to a boil. Cook mussels until they open, then add cilantro butter and stir while it melts. Serve with lime wedges and crusty bread.

Make the cilantro butter

Mussels in spicy green broth

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream or milk, with no colour added. Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used white wine from Ontario’s Frogpond Farm winery that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million. Ace Bakery baguettes are free of additives.


8 tablespoons (120 ml) unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons (10 ml) grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander, briefly toasted in a pan

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin, briefly toasted in a pan

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground turmeric

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1 cup very (250 ml) finely chopped cilantro (from 1 large bunch)

2 serrano chiles, very finely chopped

1 teaspoon (5 ml) lime zest

Kosher salt

4 pounds (1.8 kg) mussels

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

1 large shallot, thinly sliced or finely diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt

1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine

Lime wedges and a crusty baguette, for serving


Make the cilantro butter: Put softened butter in a bowl. Add ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric and black pepper. Mash together with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the cilantro and chiles, and mash well, extracting as much green cilantro juice as possible. Stir in lime zest and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) kosher salt. Form the butter into a log, then wrap with waxed paper or film and chill to firm slightly.

As the butter chills, prepare the mussels: In a large bowl, wash mussels in cold water. Pull off any “beards” and discard (also discard any smashed or gaping mussels). Quickly rinse the mussels and set aside.

Put oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallot, season with salt, and let sizzle for a minute without browning. Add garlic and white wine and turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add mussels, stir well, and cover. Cook mussels over high heat, stirring once, for 5 to 7 minutes, until all mussels have opened. Turn off heat and leave lid on.

To serve, cut cilantro butter into 1-inch (2.54-cm) chunks and stir into the mussels (4 tablespoons/60 ml is probably enough, but use it all if you wish).

Ladle mussels and broth into heated wide shallow soup bowls. Place a bowl on the table to collect empty shells. Pass lime wedges along with a warm crusty baguette, for sopping up the broth. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This delicious recipe from NYT Cooking is quick and easy. Combine brown sugar and fish sauce to make a caramel sauce. Cook shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chile paste briefly, add the caramel sauce and warm it through. Add the shrimp and cook until they are done and coated with sauce, about three minutes. Serve over rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Cock brand fish sauce, Tuttocalabria chile sauce and PC Organics frozen shrimp. All are additive-free.

Cook shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chile paste

Add shrimp and caramel sauce

Spicy caramelized shrimp with lemongrass


2/3 packed cup (165 ml) light brown sugar

5 tablespoons (75 ml) fish sauce

2 pounds (900 g) peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp, patted dry with paper towels

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) canola oil

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced into rings

3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely minced lemongrass (from 2 stalks)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 (2-inch-/5-cm-long) piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned

1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) roasted chile paste or chile-bean sauce

Steamed white rice, for serving


Prepare the caramel sauce: To a heavy medium saucepan, add the light brown sugar and fish sauce and gently heat over medium-low, whisking occasionally, until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is syrupy, about 5 minutes. (You should have about ½ cup/125 ml.) Set aside caramel.

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with the pepper and set aside.

In a 2-quart (2 L) clay pot or large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallots and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chile paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Pour in the caramel sauce and stir until combined and warmed, about 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, just until the shrimp are pink and plump, cooked through and coated with a glossy caramel sauce, about 3 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This delicious recipe from NYT Cooking yields succulent chicken and crispy golden rice, all on a single sheet pan. Make a lemon-garlic-ginger-turmeric marinade and set 1 tbsp (15 ml) aside. Use the rest to marinate the chicken for a few minutes while you toss cooked rice with salt, scallions and oil. Spread the rice on the sheet pan and top with the chicken. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Add lemon juice and oil to the reserved marinade and drizzle onto the rice. Serve topped with more scallions and chopped cilantro. Cook’s note: I substituted long-grain rice for the short-grain rice. If you do the same, watch it carefully as it can brown and dry out more quickly than plumper grains of short-grain rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Baking cooked rice on the sheet pan makes it crispy

Garnish with scallions and cilantro


¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving

6 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh ginger (from 1 2-inch/5-cm piece), finely grated or minced

3 teaspoons (15 ml) kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal or use 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) coarse kosher salt, such as Morton), more as needed

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground turmeric

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground coriander

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds (900 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks

5 cups cooked short-grain rice (such as sushi rice)

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

5 tablespoons (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems


Place sheet pan on middle rack in oven and heat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C).

While the oven is heating, marinate the chicken. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic, ginger, 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) of the salt, turmeric, coriander and pepper, and mix well. Transfer 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the turmeric-ginger mixture to a small bowl and set aside for serving. To the large bowl, add chicken and toss until the pieces are well coated; let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, toss the cooked rice with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) salt, scallion whites and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil (the best way to do this is with clean hands). Add a little more oil if needed to fully coat the rice so that it crisps up in the oven.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil to the chicken pieces, tossing well to coat.

Use a large spoon to carefully spread the rice out on the hot sheet pan, then make divots in the rice for the chicken, making sure the sheet pan is exposed. Place chicken, skin side up, in the divots touching the pan. Drizzle the rice and chicken with a little more extra-virgin olive oil.

Roast until the chicken is deeply browned on top, cooked through and the rice is crisp at the edges, 40 to 50 minutes.

Stir a little more lemon juice and olive oil into the reserved turmeric-ginger mixture to thin it out. Use a spoon to dab or drizzle it onto the rice (not the chicken). Stir up the rice on the baking sheet, so the crisp parts get mixed into the soft part of the rice, and the turmeric mixture gets distributed. (Taste rice and add a little more oil, lemon juice and salt if necessary; rice can take a lot of seasoning.) Top everything with scallion greens and chopped fresh cilantro and serve. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This NYT Cooking take on classic carbonara substitutes orzo for spaghetti and the finished dish resembles risotto. Brown guanciale, pancetta or bacon and set aside. Stir the dry orzo into the fat, add stock and simmer. Once the liquid is mostly absorbed by the pasta, remove from heat and stir in cheese and eggs. Serve sprinkled with more cheese, pepper and reserved bacon.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free From bacon and Better Than Bouillon to make the stock. Use genuine Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, which do not contain colour or preservatives.

Cook bacon and set aside

This preparation is similar to risotto

Orzotto Alla Carbonara


3 ½ ounces (100 g) guanciale, pancetta or thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice (2/3 cup/165 ml)

1 ¼ cups/about 9 ounces (312 ml/255 g) dry orzo

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups (750 ml) low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

6 tablespoons (90 ml) finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, plus more for serving

1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks


Add the guanciale to a large, high-sided skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned and crispy all over, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a small dish. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the fat from the skillet; reserve the extra fat for another use.

Stir the orzo into the fat in the skillet until coated, then season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly for just a few seconds, then add the chicken broth, raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet, until the orzo is tender and loose like risotto, adding more broth as needed, 7 to 9 minutes. At this point, the pasta should have absorbed most of the liquid.

Take the skillet off the heat and vigorously stir in 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of the pecorino. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pecorino and ¼ cup (60 ml) of the orzo to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling when added to the skillet. Stir this mixture into the hot orzo, then immediately shake the skillet with one hand and stir with the other until the orzo is creamy and thick, about 1 minute.

Taste and add salt as desired. Divide among plates and sprinkle with more pecorino, black pepper and the reserved guanciale. Serves 2-4.

From NYT Cooking