John Bil’s Oyster Mignonette

The late John Bil was Canada’s oyster shucking champion in 2006 and one of the most knowledgeable (and modest) seafood experts we’ve seen. “The first 20,000 are the hardest.” he quipped. But Bil is also very serious. “Oysters are the essence of the ocean…and they are environmentally very...

Summer Strawberry Pavlova

A Strawberry Pavlova is one of summer’s great desserts! Crisp and snowy on the outside and marshmallow-like on the inside, the topping is lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh local strawberries. Because the berries are left whole and unsweetened, the flavours are the purest you’ll ever taste,...

Chilled Sour Cream-laced Cucumber Soup

A perfect summer soup, served chilled or just as tasty when it’s warm. English or ‘seedless’ cucumbers are one of Canada’s most prolific greenhouse crops 2 English cucumbers 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil 1 small onion, minced. 2 tbsps (30 mL) all purpose...

Glencoe Mills Oatcakes

Deep in the rolling hills near Glencoe Mills, Cape Breton, Elizabeth “Mrs. Angus” Beaton bakes utterly amazing oatcakes. They are so good that she packs them with great care and ships them to her daughter, entrepreneur-extraordinaire, Janice, who once shared them with her lucky customers in her...

Pulla (Finnish Coffee Bread)

This recipe comes from the Finnish community of Sointula on Malcolm Island in north coastal B.C.  The Finns settled there to build a ‘place of harmony’ in the early part of the last century. Tuula Lewis, one of the community’s beloved matriarchs, often provided many loaves of...

Madeleines

Good eggs and butter are really the basis for the classic French pastries called Madeleines. Sift the flour, then measure it. If you don’t have a sifter, a large sieve will suffice.  The molds are available at kitchen supply stores or on line.  1 ¾ cups (425 mL) sifted cake flour 1 cup granulated...

Maple Pouding Chomeur

Maple sugar-making was an important social activity for the indigenous peoples. Families and small groups gathered in temporary camps in early March, staying for about a month in order to make their yearly supply. Diagonal cuts were made in the base of the sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) with...

Basque Boeuf Bourguignon

This Basque Boeuf Bourguignon is all about the flavour! This is a recipe that you’ll never see in another cookbook other than my own. Its Basque-chef Roger Dufau’s version of the traditional wine-soaked braised beef that is on countless menus but which constantly disappoints. There is one very...

Pasta with Beans (Pasta e fagioli)

This is classic vegetarian Italian pasta. Fresh beans are best but the dish is easily made with dried beans in the winter time.  Many Italian families grow their Romano beans, garlic, basil and tomatoes. To use fresh beans, shell them and freeze them with no additional processing. To use the fresh...

Latvian Bacon & Onion-stuffed Rolls (Piradzini)

A celebration in the scattered Latvian communities of Canada often include these bacon-filled buns. They are fabulous with a salad for a quick lunch or, if you make them smaller, are great cocktail appetizers.This recipe was one of those that the late Tanya Barsevski shared with me years ago while...

Barbecued Pork Chops with Basil, Mustard & Fresh Peaches

A beautiful late summer barbecue dish! 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh basil or mint 1/4 cup (60 mL) red pepper jelly, melted 2 tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt Pinch pepper 2 firm ripe peaches (unpeeled), sliced 4 pork loin chops...