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My Favourite Foods: My Youtube Channel

I've spent many years cooking on t.v. either live or taped or in restaurants and even people's homes.  Now I have the opportunity to cook for you right from my own kitchen.  We can spend a little quality time together cooking some of my favourite foods.  

For me food tells a story either by it's origin, how it's been passed on , where the ingredients came from or how the chef or cook was inspired to create it.  Here I want to share with you the recipes that inspire me.  There are family favourites that I used to cook with my dad or new favourites that I created, some great recipes that I remember from my travels and the most popular recipes requested from my t.v. shows. 

Every other Sunday I will broadcast a new step by step recipe of one of my favourite foods and I'd love your feedback.  After all, these recipes are for you to share , enjoy and also be entertained by. 

I am open to suggestions and would love to hear what recipes you love and if I can cook them for you.   Subscribe to my youtube channel and share if you enjoy the videos.  

Food is LIfe !

 

Christine 

 

 

 

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Keep It Real Campaign

If you've made my recipes or seen me cooking on some screen or other you know how insane I am about starting with the best ingredients.  I can drive people crazy with my rants like" Do you know where this comes from? " and " Are you really going to drink that can of pop? ".  People who have tasted my products often say things like " this tastes homemade' or ' wow, this sauce tastes just like my nonna's " so to show you how seriously I take it, we thought we'd have a little fun and share my first video commercial with you here "Keep it Real!"..  Make sure you watch till the end .        

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How to Cook Fish like a Chef

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How to Cook Fish like a Chef

Cooking fish and seafood in general is all about mastering precision.  Don't confuse that with complexity but rather getting all the details just right.  Before you can even think of cooking fish like a pro, you have to start with the best possible piece of fish or seafood.  This part of the equation is so paramount that if I don't start with the freshest piece of fish, I cook something else in stead.  The combination of my Greek birthplace and my French training have drilled that into my head so deeply that its a part of my DNA.

 In Greece, when you buy fish at the market- which is the only place they buy it- there is so much banter, yelling,  interrogation as to the provenance of that fish, what it ate etc.  I totally get it.  Now that I think of it we here in Canada have one thing in common with Greece; that we are surrounded by three sides with water.  Granted Canada is gigantic and that's why sometimes in the middle we tend to have less seafood knowledge.  Slowly though our coastal mentality is spreading throughout the country thanks to some great chefs, Dave Suzuki and people who make their livelihood fishing.  

Fish should never smell fishy, it should be firm and my rule is to always cook fish on the day I purchase it, unless I know it's less than 2 days out of sea. Now that you have your fresh, sustainable piece of fish or seafood - wild west cost sockeye salmon season is upon us and I love it- here is my technique based advice on how best to show it off.  

There are many ways to cook fish and it all depends on the type of fish you are cooking but I'm going to focus on three of my favourites: Grilling, pan roasting and sauteeing.  All these methods rely mostly on the right temperature and cooking time.  I have heard so many horror stories of people in their thirties now refusing to eat fish because they were traumatized with nasty, over-cooked fish as children.

Grilling is simple but probably the trickiest to master.  Your grill must be super clean- that means no debris on the grill whatsoever, or that will cause your fish to stick.  Proper pre-heating is also essential.  I usually crank the bbq to the highest setting- almost till the point where the neighbours think something is on fire- once 

 

   

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Detox, save, nourish? Soup!

Every January without exception, we feel that need to detox,  stop eating,  save money…  the list goes on and on.  Although that may be true  we still need to eat every day,  so what I like to do is break out the cast iron pot and start making those soups that are so nourishing , delicious and make me so happy to cook.  It’s freakin cold and soup is one of those  dishes you can make in the winter that just hits the spot.  I don’t need any side dishes because it’s all in there.  Here are some of my best soup making secrets .

Beans, beans beans

I can’t say enough about beans and it’s not because I’m Greek and beans are a part of our ethnic identity.  We eat them in the summer at room temperature in tomato sauce but in the winter we turn them into a rich hearty stew that is so satisfying.  I feel that to make a proper bean soup, you have to start with dried beans that you soak overnight first.  This gives the best flavor and creates that creamy texture as the soup slowly bubbles away until the perfect amount of liquid has evaporated and you are left the heartiest but never heavy soup.  I know what you’re thinking, but you can make this on a weekend and freeze half for another day.  

Flavour builders

For a more Canadian bean soup, I love using either smoked turkey legs or pork hocks for the base of my bean soup.  These are loaded with flavor. A little caveat on the smokey meats is they can be uber salty so I take a little taste and if I need to gulp a gallon of water, I   boil them first and discard that water before adding them to the soup.  A little bit of cubed pork belly ( either smoked or fresh) is also great to add body to a soup but to keep things  leaner, I brown the pork belly and render half of its fat and then discard that before continuing with the rest of my soup.  If you’re a lumber jack then you can stand to have a bit more fat but if you’re like the rest of us, I say lose the excess pork fat. My husband and I always  fight over just the right amount of fat to leave in the soup. 

Aromatics          

It’s essential to use  fresh herbs and /or spices plus the usual mirepoix - in the French culinary world meaning onions, celery and carrots- to get the most flavor and depth in soups.  I love things like bay leaves, allspice berries, thyme, rosemary and  garlic.  Just before serving a soup I always chop some fresh parsley on top to brighten the flavor even more.           

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