Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts



Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette but with added ingredients such as cheese, meat and vegetables. The word "frittata" is derived from fritta and roughly translates to "egg-cake". It is also very similar to the Spanish 'tortilla de patatas', which is a thick egg omelette made with potatoes and onions.

Frittata (with asparagus, potatoes and goat milk cheese)

The difference between a frittata and a traditional omelette is the frittata is served open-faced like an egg-pizza. It is not folded over like an omelette to enclose its contents, but rather it is either turned over or even baked in the oven. A frittata always contains additional ingredients that are cooked in the skillet and combined with the raw egg mixture, rather than being laid over the nearly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded as in an omelette. Also, a frittata is cooked over a very low heat, slower than an omelette and is usually also baked for several minutes or grilled briefly to set the top layer. Unlike an omelette which is served whole, a frittata is served divided into sliced wedges and can be served hot, warm, at room temperature or even cold.

The range of possible ingredients for a frittata is limitless; from broccoli, potatoes, zucchinis, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, peppers, spinach, etc. A frittata is quite the versatile dish as it can be served for breakfast, lunch or for dinner accompanied with a salad.

A frittata is also an excellent quick meal, as long as you have a few vegetables and any cheese on hand. It's also a great way to use up leftovers, from cooked pasta to any cooked or raw veggies to throw together in a skillet and you have a frittata on the table in 20-30 minutes.

One frittata makes roughly six servings.  Don't worry the leftover frittata is nearly as good as when it's straight from the oven. Many people actually believe that the flavour of a frittata improves as it sits. 

Below is a recipe for a potato, onion, asparagus frittata using one of Quebec's finest little artisan goat-milk cheese, the Chèvre À Ma Manière. I love it. Hope you like it.

Chèvre À Ma Manière, Potato & Asparagus Frittata Recipe

-  2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound of potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/4-to-1/2-inch cubes)
- 1 small onion, or more to taste, chopped
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
-  4 to 6 eggs (depending on how many servings you need, or if you prefer more veggies than egg)
- 1 Chèvre À Ma Manière cut into small cubed pieces (if substituting with another cheese you can use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated cheese)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For additional flavour to your frittata you can add fresh herbs or spices. Either chopped fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, turmeric or tarragon can be added to your vegetables when cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet, preferably non-stick or cast-iron, generously with oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. It is recommended to use a cast-iron pan or an oven-safe non-stick skillet. If you are using a stainless steel pan, you'll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don't stick to the pan, but remember it must be oven safe.

Peel potatoes and cut them into 1/4-to-1/2-inch cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the cubed potatoes in the hot oil until the potatoes begin to brown lightly, about 10 - 12 minutes. Add your onions and cook another 4 more minutes. Season the frittata with salt, pepper and herbs. Add the asparagus and continue cooking until the asparagus is tender, another 5 to 7 minutes;

If you're in a rush you may want to shred your potatoes instead of cutting them in cubes, to save time on cooking the potatoes in the skillet. Or you can also save time by boiling your potatoes.(Put the diced potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, about an inch above the top of the potatoes. Cook over medium-low heat, until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and pat dry. If using boiled potatoes you will add the cooked potatoes to your frittata only after any uncooked veggies that you include have been cooked. Add potatoes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to brown slightly, cook about 4 minutes more in the skillet.) You will be saving time but your potatoes will be missing that little crispy crunch.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, herbs or spices (optional) in a large bowl. Eggs for frittata should be beaten vigorously to incorporate more air than traditional omelettes, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result.

Evenly pour the egg mixture over the vegetable mixture in the skillet. Cook, over medium heat, tilting the pan and lifting the edges with a spatula to let the uncooked egg flow underneath. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until it appears mostly set with a moist center and top. Add cheese to top of frittata and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes more. 

Remove lid and place the skillet in the pre-heated oven for approx. 5 to 8 minutes. Until the eggs puff and are set in centre and the cheese is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cut in 6 to 8 wedges. Serve straight from the skillet.


Cheez-Elle's Tomato Cheddar Pie

After reading Fromage Homage Cheese,Please! Challenge I was stimulated to enter her September's Challenge - Cheddar. Not only in England, but also here in Canada "we're practically weaned on cheddar cheese". I just love a good sharp cheddar. Did I have a Cheddar recipe in mind? Sure, that wasn't the dilemma, what better time of year, when tomatoes are aplenty to make a Tomato Cheddar Pie.

Tomato Cheddar Pie

Now the harder choice to make, was which Cheddar would I use for my Tomato Cheddar Pie? Would I use my favourite Quebec sharp cheddar standby; Île-aux-Grues 2 year old Cheddar?  Or would I use the delicious Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar from Mariposa Dairy in Lindsay, Ontario? Instead I selected to use the prized Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from COWS Creamery in Charlottetown, PEI. Avonlea Cheddar is an exquisite farmstead type cheddar with a wonderful creamy, earthy, tangy flavour. This is exactly the perfect blend I wanted for my Tomato Cheddar Pie that is delicious and very simple to make.

Cheez-Elle's Tomato Cheddar Pie
Serves 4

Tomato Cheddar Pie ingredients
1 large onion
1 Tablespoon oil
1 to 2 teaspoons mustard
1 pinch of basil
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 unbaked 8 or 9 inch pie shell

- Slice your onion in rings
- Heat the oil in a frying pan
- Sauté the onion with basil and mustard
- Place this mixture in the bottom of unbaked pie shell
- Slice the tomatoes into slices and place on a paper towel and pat dry
- Cover the onion preparation that is in the pie plate with the grated cheddar cheese
- Top with the tomato slices
- Sprinkle a pinch of basil, salt, pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the pie with small pieces of garlic
- Bake at 350 F. for about 20 minutes
This is quite a versatile pie. You can easily substitute mustard with pesto, which is quite plentiful in my kitchen this time of year. Or if you want to use gruyère or any other cheese you have on hand instead of cheddar, it always turns out yummy.

Here are two other great cheddar cheese recipes you might want to try: Apple Cheddar Soup, SharpCheddar Zucchini Bread

Have a Cheddar recipe in mind? Want to take part in September’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Blog Challenge? Check out the full rules here.

Fromage Homage



Raclette is very appealing during these winter months. The coziness of sitting around the table, together with family and friends, drinking, grilling and cooking our food in a relaxed dining environment; what better way to spend several hours on a cold winter evening.
Raclette is a type of cheese and also the name of the Swiss dish that is based on heating up cheese and then scraping off the melted cheese. The origin of the name raclette comes from the word 'racler' which translates to the act of scraping the melted cheese.
Traditionally, when making raclette, half a wheel of cheese is heated and the melted cheese is scraped onto potatoes, layer by layer. The 3 kg (6 lbs) half wheel of raclette cheese is still used today when the dish is served for a larger group (15+ persons).
Raclette cheese is usually accompanied by small potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and dried meat, such as Prosciutto and viande des Grisons.

The raclette machines used today usually have a grill above the heating element and little trays below. This lets you grill meat, fish and vegetables on the top grill while the raclette cheese melts in the trays below. There is a variety of raclette machines available today, that can be purchased and/or rented from your local cheese shop.
Raclette cheese was first made in the Swiss Alps in the southwestern area of Valais. When this cheese is heated it has a very creamy consistency and melts without separating due to the cheese's balanced fat content.
Today, there is a wide selection of raclette cheeses available for every taste from mild to strong. This is the advantage of grilling individual portions as opposed to using half a wheel of only one particular cheese. A variety of raclette cheeses can be pre-sliced to sample such as; a classic raw milk Swiss Bagnes raclette, a French white wine raclette, goat-milk raclette, sheep-milk raclette, wood-smoked raclette, raclette with pepper corns, raclette with mustard seeds, etc.
Vegetables and fresh salads are great accompaniments to raclette dishes. Small new potatoes boiled in their skins are the ideal side dish for your creations in raclette dishes. Potatoes are the perfect complement to cheese and can be combined with just about anything (meat, fish, mixed veggies) and can easily be kept warm on a platter on the table during the meal.
Raclette dish



- Cheese
For a raclette diner plan on 200 g (7-8 oz) per person.

- Potatoes
Small new potatoes boiled in their skins are the traditional accompaniment to raclette. Plan on 250 g (1/2 lb.) of potatoes per person, if the potatoes are the only filling side dish.

- Vegetables
Tender raw vegetables cut in small portions to be cooked on the grill. Firmer vegetables should be pre-blanched.

- Meat and/or Fish
Meat prepared on a raclette machine should be cut up very finely so it will be cooked throughout in a short period of time. Dried meats are ideal for raclette such as sliced Prosciutto, viande des Grisons (dried beef also known as Bündnerfleisch) and sliced salamis such as Rosette de Lyon.
Fish is ideal for raclette because it cooks quickly. When grilling, it's better to use fattier types of fish such as mackerel, salmon or filets with the skin on. Scallops and shrimp are also delicious on the grill.

- Side Dishes
Vegetables and fresh salads are great side dishes. Sauces and dips are suggested if you're using the grill to accompany the roasted vegetables, fish or meats.

- Fruit
Fruit that are slightly tart go especially well with cheese. Cut fruit such as; apples, pears, plums, apricots, figs, mango, etc.

Many thanks to Rosanne and Stephen for the raclette grill. We will definitely be making use of it through the coming months.


Apple Pie Without Cheese?

“Apple pie without cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze”
That is what my grand-père Aza Berry used to say, whenever he was serving us a piece of his famous apple pies. Whether the apple pie was served cold or warm there always needed to be some cheese.

Apple pie with cheese

I can’t help it now, whenever I have apple pie it must be served with cheddar and preferably sharp old cheddar.

Old Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe

For the Pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of frozen butter
8 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling
8 Honey Crisp or 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour

For the Pastry
1. Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Using a standard box or potato grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour and toss lightly with your fingers until it is thoroughly combined. Sprinkle in ice water and mix with your fingers until the dough comes together in a ball. Divide it into two pieces, making sure one half is slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten and chill for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. Resting will help tenderize the pastry and make it easier to roll.
2. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly, just until it is pliable. Lightly flour your hands, the rolling pin, your work surface and the dough. Roll out the larger pastry disc into a circle large enough to slightly overlap the edges of an 8-inch glass pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it into quarters then unfolding it in the dish.
3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

For the Filling
1. Toss the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Add the apples to the bottom crust then roll out the remaining smaller disc and carefully place over the top of the pie. Roll and crimp the edges of the dough together, tightly sealing them. Poke a few vent holes into the top of the pie and place on the bottom rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling.

Apple Cheddar Soup

There is nothing as comforting as a warm bowl of soup on these cooler fall days of October. What better time for an apple soup when fresh apples are aplenty.

Apple Cheddar Soup

This rustic Apple Cheddar Soup bursts with tangy apple, sweet leeks and sharp aged cheddar.

Apple Cheddar Soup Recipe

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
3 apples (McIntosh or Cortland), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup (250 mL) chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
1 cup (250 mL) chopped celery 
1 cup (250 mL) chopped carrots 
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme 
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fresh cracked pepper 
2 cups (500 mL) water 
2 cups (500 mL) apple juice 
2 cups (500 mL) packed grated extra old cheddar **
1 cup (250 mL) 1% milk 

-In large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter.
-Then add apples, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
- Add water and apple juice; bring to simmer and cook, until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth.
- Return soup to pot and over medium heat whisk in grated cheddar until dissolved. Gently whisk in milk and warm through (do not boil again).

Recipe makes 6 servings.

** For the extra-old cheddar I use the 2 year old Île-aux-Grues Cheddar

Serve with a slice of crusty bread and a green salad for an easy meal.

Recipe source: Ontario Apple Growers


Sharp Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Over the years, I have made several different recipes of zucchini bread, but I especially like this recipe as the sharp cheddar gives it that extra kick.

Sharp Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Sharp Cheddar Zucchini Bread  Recipe

1 medium zucchini
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese **
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

- Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly coat a 9x5 inch (2L) loaf pan with oil. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate unpeeled zucchini.
Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Pat dry the grated zucchini with a kitchen towel. Zucchini should measure about 1 cup.

- In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Stir in granulated and brown sugars. Stir in grated zucchini and 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

- In a small bowl, whisk eggs with oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Batter will be thick. Scrape into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top as best you can, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

- Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean, around 45-50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Then carefully turn loaf onto a cooling rack.

This loaf is terrific served warm or at room temperature.

** For the sharp cheddar I use the Extra-Old Île-aux-Grues Cheddar


Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto is an uncooked sauce that can be used on pasta, about 2 tablespoons to a portion, with equal parts of butter, or 1 tablespoon to a bowl of minestrone or on a baked potato, or as pizza sauce or simply enjoyed as a spread on toasted baguette.

It can be made in advance and stored in a cool place.

Basil Pesto Recipe

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup thinly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)
3/4 cup olive oil

Ground in a mortar, basil, garlic and pine nuts.
Add, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until it forms a thick purée.
When the mixture is really thick, add olive oil very slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture has a consistency of creamed butter.
Pour mixture in jar.
Run a film of olive oil over the top before covering and store refrigerated.

Source: The Joy Of Cooking


Cake aux Tomates, Basilic et Le Pizy

Here is an easy delicious recipe for a tomato, basil and Le Pizy cheese loaf. It is called "Cake" inspired by the recipes "Les Cakes de Sophie" by Sophie Dudemaine. I think these cakes are great in the summer time served with salads and they are ideal to take along for a picnic.

Cake aux Tomates, Basilic et Le Pizy

Cake aux Tomates, Basilic et Le Pizy

Recipe Ingredients
3 eggs
150 g (5.3 oz) of sifted flour
1 small 8 g yeast envelope
80 ml (1/3 cup) of olive oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) of milk
100 g (3.5 oz) of grated gruyere cheese
200 g (7 oz) of Le Pizy cheese
2 red tomatoes
1 tbsp of olive oil
8 leaves of basil
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of pepper

- Preheat oven at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Pass the tomatoes under boiling water for a few seconds.
- Peel, seed and dice the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes with 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes. Let dry out and cool down.
- In the meantime, cut "Le Pizy" into small pieces; mix them into the tomatoes along with the chopped basil.
- In a large bowl, whip the eggs, flour and yeast. Slowly incorporate the olive oil and the pre-heated milk. Add the gruyere cheese and mix well. Incorporate the tomatoes and Le Pizy mixture and stir until well blended.
- Pour the batter mixture into a non-greased loaf pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes (or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan).

Serves 5 – 6


Waldorf Salad à la Bleu d'Elizabeth

Waldorf salad is usually made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts dressed with mayonnaise. The salad was created in the 1890’s by Chef Oscar Tschirky for the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. Today many variations of the salad can be found. 

Waldorf Salad à la Bleu d'Elizabeth

Waldorf Salad à la Bleu d'Elizabeth 

Recipe Ingredients
2 diced sweet red apples
2 stalks of sliced celery
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup walnut pieces, broken
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup crumbled Bleu d'Elizabeth

In a large bowl, combine the apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Add the mayonnaise and toss well. Add pepper and cayenne to taste and crumble the blue cheese over salad.
Serves 4



This past Saturday, I ate Tartiflette for the first time. Let me tell you, this French dish from Haute Savoie, can easily become one of my favourite comfort foods. Potatoes and Melted Cheese – Mmmmm!
Tartiflette is traditionally made with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, garlic, onions, cream and lardons.
If Reblochon cheese is not available in your area, one can easily substitute it for another ripe, soft paste, washed rind cheese. Lardons can also be substituted with smoked salmon for a tasty alternative.  
Reblechon Cheese for Tartiflette

Tartiflette in the oven
I would like to thank Jacinthe, our wonderful hostess and the gang from La Fromagerie Atwater for the delightful experience of relishing this yummy dish.  
Tartiflette Recipe
Serves 4
1.5kg (3.5 lbs.) medium-sized red potatoes
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 thick rashers of smoked streaky bacon, diced
25g (1 ounce) butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe Reblochon cheese
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 5.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the onion and bacon in the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat; they should sweat but not brown.
Drain the potatoes and as soon as they are cool enough to handle peel them — the quicker the better. Slice thickly across.
Choose an ovenproof earthenware dish and rub it well with the out halves of garlic. Layer half the sliced potatoes across the base, season, then scatter over the onion and bacon mixture. Add the remaining potatoes and more seasoning.
Place the whole Reblochon on top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/350’F/gas mark 4 for a further 20—25 minutes. The Reblochon should melt within its skin and the fat drip down while the potatoes crisp.
Tartiflette is a filling dish and all you really need to go with it is a nicely dressed green salad.

Recipe source: The Food of France by Sarah Woodward


Handcrafted Wooden Cheese Board

Handcrafted Wooden Serving Board by Stinson Studios
This Christmas we received a lovely handcrafted wooden platter for our family Christmas exchange. The beautiful maple platter was created by Stinson Studios.  The handcrafted serving board is made from a single piece of selectively harvested wood and then cut to highlight the natural beauty of the maple wood. The board is designed with a slight dip ideal to serve a pâté or a soft cheese, nuts or olives.  It’s quite the ideal cheese serving board platter and a lovely handcrafted piece of art
Stinson Studios is a family business located in rural Eastern Ontario. They create wonderful wooden bowls and structural burls. Their wooden pieces truly reveal and accentuate the beauty of nature.
Un gros merci à Clément, Émile, Julie et Patrick pour le joli cadeau de Noël.