Fish & Potato Pie

IMG_1122Today it clouded over for the first time in weeks.  It’s too dark to do barn chores after 7PM.  I think that perhaps autumn is actually arriving.  This dish is a wonderful comfort meal.  The heartiness of the potato crust with the tender, flaky fish, along with fresh spinach, and a lovely cream sauce, is also accompanied by imbedded hard-boiled eggs.  I must admit, I thought about it for many months before I made it.  Everyone who has been served it since has virtually licked their plate clean.  So, after a long day tidying up your garden ready for the winter that will eventually come, enjoy this with a simple side dish of baby peas or green beans.  The onions and carrots could be chopped ahead of time, and the eggs and spinach could be cooked ahead & refrigerated, even by a day, and brought out to come to room temperature before assembly. Continue reading

Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce

Thanks to Steamy Kitchen for the original recipe.

(brassica oleracea / Chinese broccoli / kai lan) – or you could use any of these other brassicas – broccoli, broccolini (a cross between broccoli & gai lan), or rapini / rabé  / broccoletti

Gai Lan’s bittersweet taste becomes more bitter the older the vegetable.  Look for tight, unopened flower buds, and stalks that are not dried out.

For this recipe & photos, I have used broccoli, as when I reached for the Gai Lan, I realized it looked like Swiss Cheese.  Many happy little organic caterpillars had taken up residence in its leafy folds.  Our chickens thought it was particularly good! As we live over the ocean from the market, we islanders are very good at using what we have at hand. Continue reading

Farmhouse Bread

I could probably make this with my eyes closed. In fact I may well have!  This is a simple bread recipe that lends itself to many different additions.  I’ve made it for weddings, fund-raisers and just for the family.  When I’m catering, I use one loaf for 8 guests, and rarely have any leftovers.  I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook, but there’s no reason you can’t make this with hand kneading. In these photos, I was making a version using pistachios and toasted ground flax. Continue reading

Poached Eggs

IMG_1053Eggs have always been a comfort food for me.  Learning to be gentle with them, and to never rush their cooking has been one of my most important cooking lessons. A perfectly poached egg on top of some cheesy polenta, maybe some re-steamed Japanese rice or earthy mushroom risotto, is pure heaven.  As the yolk gently mixes with the grains, no other sauce is required.  In the seventies there was a restaurant on Robson Street called Cher Ton Ton.  They served a dish called the  Geisha Bowl that was Japanese rice topped with stir-fried veg and a poached egg for $5.  Lunch just didn’t get much better than that!  Of course there were awesome French pastries and wonderful Cappuccinos, too.  Oh, to have the Robson Street of old… Continue reading