Perfectly Peachy

Juicy ideas for a favourite fruit!

Isn’t peach season just fantastic? I adore peaches and while it’s hard to beat the simple delights of eating one out of hand, letting the juice run down your arm, there are lots of great ways to cook with peaches too. I’ve assembled a little collection of my favourites. I hope they offer you some delicious inspiration; just click on the titles below to access the recipes!

different ways to use fresh peaches

Pasta with roasted tomatoes, peaches and burrata

This quick vegetarian pasta dish features roasted tomatoes and peaches plus delicious burrata cheese

Grilled Peaches with Chèvre and Dukkah

Grilled peaches chevre dukkah

Peach Chutney

Fresh peach chutney

 

Grilled Peach Bellini

Grilled Peach Bellini

Rustic Peach-Cardamom Tart

freeform peach pie

Peach-almond ice cream

Peach almond frozen custard

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White Russian Milkshake

Decadent drink and dessert all in one!

I still remember the first time I tasted a White Russian cocktail. A fellow server at the bar where I worked during University ordered one when she was off-shift and encouraged me (normally not a cocktail drinker) to taste it. I was instantly smitten by its boozy, creamy deliciousness and every few years or so, I order one just to remind me of those long-ago days. Recently, I was thinking about fun summertime desserts and milkshakes came to mind. One thing led to another and this fantastic White Russian milkshake was born.

White Russian Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) Kahula (or other chocolate/coffee liqueur)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vodka
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) shaved chocolate, for garnish

Method

  • Chill a stemmed glass (parfait glasses are ideal but a wine glass will do as well) in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Put ice cream, Kahlua and vodka in blender (or a large glass measure if using a stick blender) and pulse until creamy. If the mixture is thicker than you like, add a tablespoon or two of milk and blend again until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Pour into chilled glass and top with a small scoop of ice cream followed by shaved chocolate (the ice cream on top will give the milkshake a pretty appearance as you serve it).

Makes 1 milkshake.

White Russian Milkshake

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Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods – episode 10 recipes

The new summertime episodes of Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods on Rogers TV Ottawa have been such a treat to prepare. I love to travel and have visited many regions in Canada, something that makes me feel extra-proud of our country during its 150th birthday year. Episode 10 showcases my strong cultural ties to Canada’s East Coast. Each puts a bit of a twist on classic dishes that I have enjoyed making and eating for years; I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Here are the recipes for this week (click on the titles to access the recipes):

Pear-Gingerbread Muffins

Pear Gingerbread Muffins

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit and Vanilla

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit and Vanilla

Cheesy Zucchini-Apple Casserole

Cheesy Zucchini-Apple Casserole

Click here to access recipes from last week’s episode and the previous week and check the Constantly Cooking archives (just search on Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods’) to see recipes from all the other episodes. Stay tuned for more delicious inspiration in the weeks ahead! (Note that recipes from episodes 11 and 12 will be coming up in the next two weeks.)

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Crisp and colourful Waldorf pasta salad

A hearty and nutritious meal that’s simple to prepare!

I love Waldorf salad. Crunchy, creamy and delicious, it offers such a pleasing combination of contrasting flavours and textures. It’s long been one of my go-to lunches because it’s super packable. Unfortunately, however, my husband doesn’t find traditional Waldorfs quite satisfying enough, but I have long wondered if that’s because he’s innately suspicious of meatless food. Enter the Waldorf pasta salad – problem solved. He loved both the Southwestern flavours and how filling this salad was; he even managed to sneak the leftovers out of the fridge – possibly for his breakfast – before I could get to them.  Next time, I’m making a double batch.

Crisp and colourful Waldorf Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 g) uncooked orzo (small, rice-shaped pasta) *
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise (use vegan mayo if preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.6 mL) chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) milk (or water)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pecan pieces, toasted
  • Chopped fresh herbs (chives and/or parsley)

* use your favourite small gluten-free pasta if you prefer

Method

  • Put 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) of the salt into a medium pot and fill 2/3 with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add orzo and stir; as soon as the pot returns to the boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until orzo is just tender. Drain in a colander and transfer to a broad, shallow serving bowl; put in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  • While pasta cooks, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, cumin, remaining salt, chili powder, pepper, lime juice and milk; whisk to blend.
  • Also while pasta cooks, cut apple (unpeeled) and celery into 1/4 inch (.4 cm) dice.
  • Once pasta is lukewarm, add chopped apple and celery to the bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle dressing over top and stir again. At this point, the salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to serve, stir salad again (gently), then sprinkle pecans and chopped herbs over top.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Crisp and colourful Waldorf pasta salad

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Tuna crudo with shaved vegetables and lime vinaigrette

A flavour explosion that’s as pretty as it is delicious!

Many global cuisines feature raw or barely-cured fish and while I have sampled many different varieties, I keep coming back to Italian-style crudo. This simple preparation features thinly sliced raw fish or seafood (my two favourites are tuna and scallops), bathed in an olive oil and citrus vinaigrette. When preparing crudo this week, I had a hunch that thinly shaved radish and zucchini would be a delicious complement to the tuna and zesty dressing…and I was right! While I often use lemon for my crudo vinaigrette, I decided to switch it up with lime and it was fantastic. I paired this dish with a new wine discovery – La Crema’s 2015 Monterey Chardonnay. The golden-hued, buttery wine had plenty of structure to hold up to both the richness and the acidity of the dish. I like to serve crudo with crostini – check this post for instructions on how to make them (it includes my other favourite tuna crudo recipe). Don’t skip the fresh herbs – they are an essential part of the flavour profile that makes this dish shine.

Tuna crudo with shaved vegetables and lime vinaigrette hero watermarked

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound (110 g) thinly sliced ahi tuna
  • 2 – 3 medium radishes
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) red pepper flakes or more, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon good quality kosher salt (Maldon or fleur de sel)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced fresh chives

Method

  • Keep tuna refrigerated until 10 minutes before you are ready to serve this dish.
  • With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice radishes and zucchini as thinly as possible. Place them in slightly overlapping rows on a platter, leaving room for rows of tuna in between.
  • In a jar with a tight lid, combine lime juice and red pepper flakes. Shake to combine, then add oil and shake once more.
  • Lay tuna slices out in a single layer on the platter with the vegetables.
  • Drizzle the lime vinaigrette over the vegetables and tuna. Sprinkle pepper, salt, thyme leaves and minced chives over top. Let sit 5 minutes then serve with crostini.

Serves 2; can easily be multiplied.

Tuna crudo with shaved vegetables and lime vinaigrette

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Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods – Episode 15 recipes

Western Canadian ingredients served with flavourful twists!

Our culinary tour across Canada continues this week in the western part of our beautiful country. Farmers and fishers from the western provinces provide an abundance of great ingredients which are among my favourites with which to work. In this new episode of Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods, airing first today at 7:30 pm on Rogers Television in Ottawa (and rebroadcast multiple times in the days ahead), I’ve got three tasty dishes your friends and family are sure to love.

Here are the recipes for this week (click on the titles to access the recipes):

Pasta with smoked salmon and cream cheese
smoked salmon pasta

Tasty Taco Pizza
Tasty Taco Pizza

Baked Sour Cream Doughnuts with Maple Glaze
baked sour cream donuts with maple glaze

 

Click here to access recipes from last week’s episode (14) and the previous week (13) and check the Constantly Cooking archives (just search on Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods’) to see recipes from all the other episodes. Stay tuned for more delicious inspiration in the weeks ahead! (Note that recipes from episodes 10, 11 and 12 will be posted later in August.)

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Dulce de leche butter pecan ice cream

A rich, flavourful frozen treat!

I’ve been a big fan of dulce de leche for years, though I didn’t know it by that name years ago when my mom used to magically transform cans of sweetened condensed milk into a thick, toffee-like treat. It’s been a hot week so it seemed the perfect time to experiment with a new flavour of homemade ice cream…and this one’s a winner. Don’t skip the buttered pecans (unless you are avoiding nuts) as they do add a great pop of flavour and texture to the ice cream.

Dulce de leche ice cream with buttered pecans

Ingredients

• 1 cup (250 mL) milk (anything but skim)
• 1 cup (250 mL) heavy (35%) cream
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup (250 mL) dulce de leche (purchased or see instructions at bottom to make your own)
• 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
• 1 cup (250 mL) pecans in large pieces
• 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt

Equipment: digital thermometer, ice cream maker

Method

  • Make the ice cream base by putting milk, cream and 1/4 cup sugar into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring often, heat the mixture until it is steaming but not boiling.
  • Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk gently.
     When milk mixture is hot, add half of it in 1/4 cup increments to the eggs, whisking constantly to combine. This will warm the eggs so they do not cook too quickly.
  • Return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and cook until the mixture is thickened and reaches 170F. Whisk constantly and do not let it boil. When custard has thickened, whisk in dulce de leche.
  • Strain the cooked custard through a fine-meshed sieve or piece of cheesecloth into a large bowl then refrigerate for 3 – 6 hours (or put in freezer for 60 – 90 minutes, stirring often) until very cold.
  • While custard is chilling, make buttered pecans by melting butter in a medium-sized, heavy duty frying pan. Add pecans and salt; stir to coat nuts evenly with butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 8 – 10 minutes until nuts are thoroughly toasted. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • When ready to freeze, put custard mixture and nuts into your ice cream maker and churn for the amount of time specified in your ice cream maker’s instructions.
  • Note that the ice cream will be soft when you finish churning; transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for 1 – 2 hours to let it firm up before serving.

Makes 1 litre.

Dulce de leche ice cream

To make your own dulce de leche: preheat oven to 425F. Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into a shallow glass or ceramic oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place it into a second, larger pan. Add hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the small dish. Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, adding additional water to maintain level throughout baking time, until the milk becomes browned and caramelized. Remove from oven and lift the small pan out of the larger one. Let cool to room temperature then whisk until smooth.

 

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