While I am working on a couple new posts for some fabulously easy and impressive dishes, I thought I would share with you my personal favourites from last year.
I am – and will always be – learning as a blogger and recipe developer, but I am an expert eater. This past holiday I got some great toys from loved ones: a butcher’s block and meat cleaver, a wok, a new dutch oven, a turkey deep fryer (crazy!), an heirloom rolling pin, and a gorgeous SLR camera courteous of my man, Johnny. I can’t wait for you to see the drastic changes in quality this camera is producing… these pictures are so last year.
I still have a tortilla press to master and a pasta roller I’ve been too intimidated to approach, but have pledged to tackle in the next weeks. I will be smoking and barbecuing on a killer contraption I got in the summer and this will be the year I conquer pies!
I’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions, requests or just to say hi.
From my tummy to yours:
- SKINNY PESTO CARBONARA with BROCCOLI & BRUSSEL SPROUTS – this recipe comes via the always inspiring, Jamie Oliver. I am a true hater of carbonara anything. Creamy sauces just don’t do it for me, but this version is glorious! I suped it up with the addition of extra greens to produce a rich meal that you can feel guilt-free eating and won’t bust any resolutions two weeks into January.
- FIERY FISH CURRY – looking back over my journey with food – even before the blog began – of all the dishes I’ve made, this recipe makes me the most proud. It began as a simple tomato based sauce with peppers and spices. The preparation remains just as easy to execute, but the complexity this curry has taken on is astounding. With some good spices and produce, you can make one hell of a dinner. Instead of take out from your local Indian place, try this. It’s super healthy and you’ll be proud to serve it to the ones you love.
- CANNELLONI with MUSHROOM & RED PEPPER – I love Italian food. Cannelloni is one of my fave pastas, but stuffing those shells can be messy and frustrating. Being able to pick up fresh pasta at most grocery stores is a revelation. For me, this is true comfort food.
- SALMON NICOISE on TOASTED COUS COUS SALAD – healthy and filling. I don’t always get satisfied with just fish or salad as a meal, but this little guy is totally beastly. This makes an incredibly elegant brunch paired with a dry rose, slightly chilled pinot noir or even some bubbly.
- BLUEBERRY CORNBREAD with MAPLE BLUEBERRY SYRUP – such a great snack or indulgent breakfast. I don’t tend to make a lot of sweets, but this meets my needs for a not-too-sweet-treat. It’s soooo Canadian – maple syrup, blueberries and corn are all things we proudly produce.
- BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN with SUMMER VEGETABLES – a reader and friend, Marlena, reached out to ask for a gluten free meal her teen could make for herself. This is a low maintenance dinner that won’t have you missing all that breading. The salty parmesan, tangy tomato sauce and crisp veg all sing together in a meal you can bash out mid-week or any hurried night.
- (SORT OF) BULGOGI BEEF TACOS – I love beef and I love tacos. I’d say I wrap a tortilla around something at least three times a week. I eat a lot of Mexican food, it’s brilliant! This was a way to switch up the flavours a little, but still indulge my taco cravings. It also utilizes a really cheap cut of meat. Putting a little loving care into marinating makes for a tender and juicy steak.
- DOUBLE BACON SANDWICH with MAPLE & DILL – we feasted on a super-sized version of this sandwich topped with a fried egg Christmas morning. I try to avoid bacon, but the holidays aren’t the time for restraint – just ask my credit card. This is another classically Canadian dish, combining two kinds of bacon, maple syrup and mustard. The addition of dill pickle adds some needed fresh crunch and a tangy sauce goops it all into a monster hangover cure.
- FLAKY PHYLLO TOURTIERE CIGARS – another Canadian tribute here, this time from the traditions of rural Quebec. I love toutiere, but I am pastry challenged, so I found another way to enjoy those spicy, meaty flavours. It also lightens up the density of a pie, making for a flaky light lunch or even a wee appetizer.
- BAKED EGGS on POPPED BEANS with TOMATO, FENNEL & RICOTTA TOAST – Another Harlot’s Ode to Jamie recipe. I’ve never been a big breakfast eater, in highschool I usually started the day with a pizza pocket or burrito. Now, I am obsessed with eggs, but not a fan of the standard bacon, eggs and toast pairing. Jamie Oliver knocks it out of the park… again. I love this if only for the ricotta on toast, but the whole thing is a healthy and delightful way to greet the day.
Honourable mentions and stuff you should try:
- MOROCCAN CHICKEN BASTILLA PIE
- SPICY KALE SALAD
- GRAPEFRUIT & MINT GIN SPRITZER
- PRETTY NUTMEG & BANANA TOAST
- CUBAN-ESQUE MUFFULETTA
- PORTOBELLO PUTTANESCA CAP or HARLOT MUSHROOMS
It’s hard to whittle it down, but luckily, everyday is a chance to try something new.
In the next weeks I will be bringing you a few new Harlot’s Artist features – a salmon sushi roll and a coq au riesling- as well as some wine features and a slow cooker delight that will have dinner on the table in minutes.
Much love and best wishes for 2016! xo
shhhhh… here’s a sneak peek: