Tag Archives: cooking

Cooking “Chez Vous’

My friends had a wonderful idea the other day.

“Let’s go to a cooking class!”

“Great! What’s on the menu?”

“Oh, some Italian dishes, but a bit spicier than usual. And you get to eat what you cook.”

“Say no more! I love spice. I love cooking. I love eating. Let’s do it.”

We made our booking at Chez Vous in Black Creek (Vancouver Island), and last Saturday night, we three girls went out to join the fun in the kitchen.

Chef Alain Chabot and his wife Chantal were our hosts.

The ten guests who signed up for this class were divided into small groups to make various dishes:

Fresh pasta – tagliatelle and a sauce to make Spaghetti Putanesca

An eggplant and peppers appetizer – Melanzane

Lamb and Potatoes – Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb and Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Dessert – Tira misu

All photos in this post were taken by Deidre Macdonald, the pretty smiling lady in the photo below. She kindly sent them to me for this blog post. You see how happy she is. That’s how ecstatic we all felt by the time we left for home, after a fantastic evening of fun and cooking and learning.

Here, Chef Alain is checking the pasta he has just shown us how to make. We used attachments on his very old but still functional Kitchen Aid mixer to press the pasta dough and to slice it into long spaghetti strips. It was easy and fun.

Another group prepared the lamb, cutting the membrane on the inside of the ribs so the meat would not curl up in the pan, and then putting salt, pepper, and thyme on it. The chef called the group together for a lesson on the cooking of the meat. A combination of oil and butter sizzled in the pan over medium hot gas flames as he placed two racks in each of two pans.

As the butter started to look like it might burn he tipped the pan so the juices of the lamb combined with the butter and oil. This added enough liquid to prevent burning as the pan roasting continued.

Do you see how the rib bones are intertwined now that the racks have been turned over in the pan? This will help to cook the thickest part of the rack.

After a few more minutes of pan roasting, the lamb racks are sprinkled with chopped parsley and, in the same pan, are put into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Here is the happy result. Tender and tasty!

Dinner was served in four courses with wine pairings for those who elected to have this added pleasure.

The lemon herbed roasted potatoes and some of the other dishes we made are an art all to themselves. Perhaps another blog post needs to be dedicated to them.

If you are on the island and would like to see what’s happening at the chef’s business, check out his webpage here: chezvousfoods.com

 

The Synchronized Swimming Chicks

When the Captain is away commercial fishing for salmon near the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii), he has limited access to town with its grocery stores and restaurants. He and his deckhand are away from civilization for about a week at a time and so he has to think ahead what he would like to cook on the boat.

On this day, it was spaghetti, but rather than have the same old boring spaghetti sauce, the Captain remembered a friend who always added a whole chicken to her spaghetti sauce. Her spaghetti was always very tasty, so he thought he’d try her method. Not having a whole chicken, the Captain thawed out a pack of chicken drumsticks that he had in the boat’s tiny chest freezer.

One by one, he dropped the chicken legs into the spaghetti sauce. They all turned the same way, with the heavier end downwards and voilà, the Captain had his own team of chicks doing synchronized swimming.

133We’re just waiting for the judges to hold up the scorecards.

Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine

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A team of writers of diverse backgrounds and interests has collaborated, under the leadership of Linn B. Halton, to put together a quarterly online magazine that will appeal to many with a wide range of topics.

If you are looking for a movie review, a cooking recipe, outdoor articles, humour, or advice for your personal problems, you’ll find it all in the Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine. And it’s all for FREE.

Simply click on the link and you’ll have it.

http://issuu.com/llmlifestyle/docs/issue_3?e=8377918%2F6408538

Here’s a sneak peek at the Table of Contents:

5. An interview with Downton Abbey’s food stylist – Lisa Heathcote
9. Pairing red wines and vegetarian food
11. An interview with celebrity chef, Martin Blunos
15. Screen vs. stage – Les Miserables
16. Website hijack – who do you call?
17. Nice La Belle
21. Exhausted parent’s playbook
24. Meet artist Elizabeth Cassidy
29. A love affair with Corfu
32. X-rated satire with Adam’s rib
35. Janice Horton’s Bookshelf Reviews
40. Land Ahoy!
43. When first love goes awry … relationship advice with Bonnie Trachtenberg
44. Romantic fiction writing course in Italy
47. Home project – mirror magic
51. News from the book world
53. Fall/winter fashion
57. Feeding fish in paradise
60. Vancouver Island – seasonal visitors
64. Building those skills – children and education
68. A tower for two
72. Tandemocracy – climb every mountain …
76. Meet the team

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