Shrimp and Scallop Fettuccine Alfredo w/ White Wine

23 Feb

As the mercury is dipping lower in Vancouver, I decided to make something warm, hearty and satisfying. A pasta fanatic, I am always looking for good recipes that combine flavourful ingredients. Alfreddo has always been one of my favorite dishes to make and it is so versatile!!! In the past, chicken alfreddo was always made and on the odd time incorporating pesto but this time I decided to try seafood and wine. I rummaged over the internet and stopped at this tantalizing dish and the rest was history.

Voila!!!

Ingredients (adapted from here)

3/4 lb fettuccine or penne pasta
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup white wine (I used Ste Chapelle Chardonay ~$6)*
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
S&P to taste
Sprinkle of paprika
Parsley or basil for garnish if desired

Results: Sooooo Goood!!!!! Definitely a keeper!!!!!

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Hazelnut Mou-William Curley

23 Feb

Another snow day at SFU and yes we got off early. SFU is spectacularly beautiful when snow covered. I just love walking around at SFU in the falling snow and marveling at the picturesque scenery as the evergreens and trees were covered with snow. Nature is amazing. Snow is expected in next week’s forecast as well so excited!!!

I really like William Curley as a pastry chef and have a few of his books. Nostalgic Delights is the newest collection. Flipping through the pages I stopped on his Mou recipe and decided to make it for a friend.

Voila!!!

Hazelnut Mou

150 ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
340 g sugar
35 g glucose
140 g butter
70 g hazelnuts roasted
50 g hazelnut praline

Results: Delicious!!!! Caramel is always sweet but the hazelnuts kind of had crunch to it. To bring it up to the next level, I coated it in dark chocolate. Made a huge difference.

Brioche Crumble Caramel by Johan Martin

18 Feb

Vancouver has been getting a cold spell lately. Thankfully this cold spell came with snow!!!! Yes!!!! There was and still is something special with snow and me. I am at peace when I see snow. All the pretty white flakes gently floating down onto the ground. I grew up with winter. If there were memories to be talked about and savoured it would be building snow mans and snow ball fights or just walking on it. Snow reminded me of Christmas time and family dinners and presents. It was always joyous. There was nothing but fond memories associated with snow and my youth. It so happened that this Tuesday was snowing heavily and as Vancouver was being covered by a blanket of fluffy white snow, I took the opportunity to make bake again. I had recently been on a book buying splurge and purchasing just about every book out there with good looking recipes in it. Yes I am bad. Absolutely love flipping through the pages and salivating over them while imagining how to make them and how they would taste. My eyes stopped on a brioche recipe by Johan Martin. Mesmerized as it was love at first sight and the rest is history.

Voila!!!



Brioche Crumble Caramel

Brioche dough
500 g Cake Flour
500 g Bread Flour
500 g eggs chilled
140 g superfine sugar
20 g salt
50 g yeast
600 g butter

Soft Caramel w/ Salted Butter
240 super fine sugar
240 g cream
180 g salted butter

Almond Crumble
50 g brown sugar
50 g roasted almond powder

Results: Very good recipe. The dough was very moist and nice. Not too sweet and highlighted the caramel and almond crunch. As an alternative will add hazelnut pastry cream as well as caramel next time.

Nostalgic Nutella Brown Butter Crispies

3 Feb

Happy Chinese New Year!!!! I manage to stay away from blogging for 4 months. Good and bad I suppose hmmmmm…..it is snowing!!!!! What a wonderful Christmas I had last year. I had participated in Christmas Craft Fairs at local community centres selling chocolates and cookies and was very encouraging. It is means something when your friends tell you that your goodies are good but when the public tells you that your creations are good and comes back for more, your confidence goes up a notch. I was ecstatic!!! I came out more aware what the public wants and what sells and will participate again this year.

It is snowing finally!!!! Vancouver had a green and rainy Christmas in 2018 bahhhhhh humbug as Scrooge would say. Did you ever had a snow flake land on you and looked at its crystalline structure? It is so beautiful and everyone is unique in it’s own way. Moreover, it is so peaceful looking at the white flakes gently floating down and covering the streets and plants with white. I take snow over rain anyday as after all Vancouver is known as Raincouver.

After a lull in baking well not true because of Christmas, I decided to try different recipes again. The nutella brown butter crispies caught my eye. There is something nostalgic about rice crispies as it brings back childhood memories of my mom making it. Eager we well watching her mix the marshmallow with the rice crispies. Mmmmmmmmm….sweet and gooey and crispy, what child can resist it? Well, nutella rice crispies is a much mature version of the popular treat except the recipes incorporates browned butter and nutella. I was drawn to it immediately and made some. Delicious!!!!!

Voila!!!!

Nutella Brown Butter Crispies

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2-10.5 ounce bags marshmallows
1 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups Nutella (I used Thomas Haas-Hazelnut Spread)
12 cups rice crispies
1-1.2 ounce bag freeze dried strawberries (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Regulsts: Fabulous!!!! Rich, gooey, sweet and crunchy. The hazelnut paste really shone through with the marshmallows and together with the crispiness of the rice crispies hit the spot!!! It was an instant hit with my co-workers and fellow church friends. Definite keeper!!!!

Apple Tart with Hazelnut Frangipane

28 Oct

Apples are in season. I decided to make another apple treat and this time with hazelnuts. I have always been a fan of nuts and in order to satisfy my craving I decided to make a hazelnut frangipane to compliment the apples.

Voila!!!!

Ingredients (adapted from Jacques Pepin)

1 cup shelled hazelnuts (toasted and grounded finely)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp unsalted butter divided.
Dash Vanilla
4 large apples
1 cup apricot preserves (optional)
1 tablespoon water

Enjoy!!!!

Maple Apple Pecan Crumble

8 Oct

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Wow it is Thanksgiving already! Summer vanished in a blink. All the sunny days and warm weather have left and lingering are the dreary rainy cold days of Fall. There is certainly a crispy clean air feeling in the mornings as I walk briskly to work. Vancouver has turned into a landscape of bright oranges and reds.

With the roast in the oven, I am catching up on my blog. Unlike the traditional turkey dinner, we are having prime rib. Yummm!!!! Savour the aromas!!!! On top of that I made Apple Pecan Crumble. Apples to me represent the fall and with that in mind I went searching for a good recipe with apples incorporated in it. Apple Crumble popped up!!!Nothing is more satisfying than the scent of warm apples and cinnamon and sugar baking. MMMMMMM…..Apple crisp has always been a staple of my family;however this time I am adding in maple syrup into the mix. Ahhhh…the flavours. Off I went to make it!!!

Voila!!!

Maple Apple Crisp adapted from here

Ingredients

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
7 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3 pounds) (I used honey crisp)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Results: Amazing, apple crisps never fail the tastebuds.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Exotic Passion-Ksenia Penkina

8 Aug

Feeling the scorching heat of summer. Vancouver has been experiencing a heat wave with temperatures hitting the mid 20’s in the lower mainland. Good for people who like to tan, bike and swim in the beach but bad for individuals whose homes do not have fans. It feels like a furnace inside except you can’t sweat it out. With those heave waves and summery temperatures comes an abundance of fresh fruit. I love my fruit. I have been making tarts and cakes in the last few weeks and it does not look like it is stopping any time soon.

My birthday just past and with that came celebration with friends although this year I felt a bit sad during that celebration. A little less than a week ago, I witness the guy I liked flirt with another girl. To make things worst I was sitting diagonally across from him. It was tough to swallow and felt like a someone had stabbed me with a knife. The pain was excruciating but I had to bear it. Otherwise make a scene in front of friends. As we left the restaurant I just stayed mum about it but it was obvious I was affected. I sometimes thought I would be strong enough and it would not bother me but obviously this was not the case. Once outside I cried. I was upset for a week or so. It really hurt. I guess everyone has experienced that gut renching feeling once in their life time and can relate. In many ways, I am still healing but learning to cope with it. After all the sun will keep on raising and setting no matter what and you choose to either hold onto the pain or let go.

On a side note, previous to this incident, I had enrolled an a pastry making class. I had always been a fan of european pastries noted for their intricate work so it is no surprise that I would eventually purchase a So Good Magazine. The one I had purchased was #19. Once received I flipped through the pages with eyes aglowing. I stopped an a few pages and marked them as my projects to do next. To my surprise, one of the chefs in the magazine beknownst to me teaches Master’s Pastry Class in Cakes in Vancouver. You can see the excitement in me. No surprise, I registered. It was a two day intensive course in which we made 6 cakes, worked with chocolate and glazes. It was an amazing experience and I could see my skill level rising a notch. The cakes were not only stunning to look at but delicious as well.

One of my favorites is the Exotic Passion. It is stunning and delicious.

Exotic Passion

Coconut Dacquoise
180 g egg whites
100 g fine sugar
1 g albumen
60 g almond flour
40 g pastry flour
135 g icing sugar
100 g dry coconut shreds (toasted)
1 lime zest

Coconut Crunch
10 g grape seed oil
35 g white chocolate
30 g crumbled feuilletine
9 g toasted coconut
1 lime zest

Passion Fruit and Mango Coulis
6 g pectin NH
60 g fine sugar
95 g mangp puree
40 g mango pieces
105 g passion fruit puree
50 g whole passion fruit (yellow passion fruit) seeds

Strawberry Insert
370 g strawberry puree
95 g fine sugar
8 g pectin NH

Voila!

Result: Sublime!!!! The flavours compliment each other very well. It was very light and delicate.

Enjoy!!!

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