Monday September 9 2013

Moroccan Bread Box

Bread is integral to Moroccan cuisine and it is revered as a sacred staple. It’s said that if a piece of bread falls from the dinner table to the ground, you are to pick it up and kiss it! Now that’s an interesting twist on the five-second rule.

Moroccans love bread so much that they often use it (along with their thumb and first two fingers) to scoop up their food instead of a fork (think tajine, rice, salads). We love bread as a dipper too, especially to swish through a bowl of garlicky hummus or soak up extra virgin olive oil flavoured with our newest darling: Dukkah!

Bread baking is often done as a community in the medinas in a shared oven. While most North American homes have ovens, why not embrance the opportunity to invite friends and family over to enjoy the fruits (or bread) of your labour!

These 3 recipes showcase the different types of Moroccan bread – from a grilled flat bread reminiscent of European pizza dough, to classic, puffy, round wheat loaves and authentic DIY pitas. Which one is your favourite?

Sylvie’s Grilled Flat Bread 
This makes a wonderful afternoon snack and another excuse to fire up the barbecue while the weather is still good. Try it with different types of olive oil, and of course, prepare some Dukkah – a fragrant blend of aromatic spices mixed with toasted nuts. Heavenly!

Grilled Flatbread With Dukkah


Sylvie’s Batbout Moroccan Pita
Make and freeze batches of pita ahead of time. Re-warm later in the oven or on the grill and serve with our Roasted Garlic Hummus.

Pita Bread With Hummus


Sylvie’s Moroccan Wheat Bread
Big crusty loaves make for excellent sandwich bread or to serve with Epicure’s What’s for Dinner? Chicken Tajine.

Round Loaf


Thursday August 15 2013

Keeping Your Cool

What a summer this has been! Such sunny and busy days – and hot ones at that. We’re busy beating all-time temperature records in BC! Luckily, farmer John’s organic garden here at Home Office is loving the heat; I just picked up the most amazing broccoli florets!

After a full day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is turn on the oven and heat up the house. And to be honest, even firing up the barbecue seems like a chore sometimes rather than a pleasure. So to keep my cool in the kitchen, I get steamy!

Epicure’s Silicone Steamers are my go-to. I use them to make quick and healthy dinners plus easy side dishes. Dinner is ready in minutes, there are few dishes to clean, and the temperature in the kitchen hasn’t budged an inch. Now that’s keeping your cool!

With such glorious and bountiful produce on our doorsteps this time of year, here are a few of my steamy favourites:

Cook Once and Eat Twice! I used to poach chicken for salads or light meals, although now I find I achieve the same results with our Silicone Steamer much faster. And, bonus! I can cook the veggies at the same time. Lemon Dilly Chicken and Broccoli makes enough for a dinner for two the first night. Use up cold chicken the next night for a dinner salad. Swap out carrots for colourful bell peppers since they’re plentiful at the markets right now.


Get the recipe: Epicure’s Lemon Dilly Chicken and Broccoli

Those earthy baby potatoes and crisp green beans are at their prime. I like to pair this with a piece of grilled fish or chicken, or simply open a can of tuna or salmon to turn it into a dinner salad.


Get the recipe: Epicure’s Niçoise Potato Salad

And yes! Dessert too! Use up summer peaches and berries to make Peach & Raspberry Compote. It is divine spooned over frozen yogurt or ice cream sundaes.


Get the recipe: Epicure’s Peach & Raspberry Compote

Or top decadent chocolate cake with fresh berries. This is low-fat and high flavour. Have lots of zucchini in the garden? Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) grated zucchini to cake batter.


Get the recipe: Epicure’s Microwave Chocolate Snack Cake


Wednesday May 1 2013

The Cook is Also on Vacation: Pesto Shortbread

Epicure's Pesto Short Bread -1

Ah, “the Summer of 2011″ – I spent it in the kitchen (and the laundry room) with literally one group of visitors leaving in the morning and another one arriving in the afternoon for 3 months straight. Afterward, I collapsed in a chair and said “no more!” Not “no more” company; I love entertaining! However, I needed a way that I could also be on holiday.
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Tuesday March 26 2013

Socca Delicious

Epicure's Focaccia Socca

Called socca in Nice, France and farinata in Genoa, Italy, this flatbread-meets-pancake was the workingman’s morning snack, but I love it as a late afternoon at a cinq-a-sept, happy hour or sunny afternoon nosh. Read more

Tuesday March 12 2013

When in Bologna, Eat Bolognese!

bolognese 12

And that’s exactly what I did with my Bolognese friend Maria when I was last in Italy. And what better than fresh tagliatelle, gnocchi, and tortelloni (tortellini’s big brother)?!
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