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Friday, 24 March 2017

My dream team full of amazing teen chefs!

Today was the last day of the teen cooking & baking bootcamp at Cook Culture on Lonsdale, North Vancouver. What an amazing group of young chefs in-the-making.
Menu today:  Orange Spinach Salad with an Orange Balsamic Dressing, Fresh marinated Tomato Basil, Garlic Pasta sauce & Herb Garlic Toast with Chocolava cookies for dessert.  We made everything from scratch and at Cook Culture are so very proud.  See you next Spring Break Chefs!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Focaccia Bread - Easy to Make

Original Recipe By: Eileen Little (my Mom)

Recorded and adapted by: Miriam Borys Busby
1st proof  (letting dough rise)

3 pkg. instant yeast (3 X 8g or 7 tsp.)
2 ½ cup of warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup for drizzling
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 egg
6 1/2 cups flour + flour for kneading
Dry herbs of choice (1 tbsp. each of rosemary, thyme, oregano)

Cracked salt for the top of the focaccia
1/4 cup corn meal to line the pan

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, egg and warm water.
Add yeast and stir. Leave this mixture for a few minutes to activate the will bubble up on the surface
Add 6 cups of flour to start with, 
salt and herbs.
shape dough & add toppings
Mix until the bread dough comes together into a ball.
Transfer to a workable surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, adding flour so that the dough does not stick to the surface.
Once the dough is smooth, form into a large ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with parchment or a tea towel. This is the first rise and the dough needs to double in size. This takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch down the ball of dough and form the dough into whatever shape is desired. For focaccia place the bread dough onto an oiled baking sheet and pull the dough so that it stretches into a large rectangle shape (see photo). Once the dough is shaped, make indentations your fingertips on the surface of the dough (this is to allow the olive oil to pool).
Drizzle olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs of your choice (Italian seasoning works well) and sprinkle salt over entire surface.
2nd proof
Allow to rise for the 2nd time until the dough has risen above the baking sheet (doubles in size again).
In preparation, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Bake focaccia for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a dipping bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled with dried or fresh herbs.
baked focaccia

Everything Pastry! Cooking Class with Chef Miriam

Everything Pastry! Cooking Class with Chef Miriam April 11 (Lonsdale)@Cookculture
Still some spaces available...come and join me!
Herb Prawn pasties for tasty appetizers
Make Ahead Quiche for busy mornings
Savoury Salmon Wellington

Miriam’s famous Easy-Peasy Fruit Pie

I hope you can join me!

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder

Servings:  6 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup bacon - diced small
2 cup onion - diced
1 cup celery - diced
1 cup zucchini diced
1 tbsp. red curry paste or curry powder
1 large chicken breast  - cut up into med. cubes
2 tbsp.  potato starch
1 large  potato - if using Russet - peeled and diced into large chunks
1 can kernel corn (12 oz./341 ml can) or 2 corn on the cobs
6-8 cups  soup stock (broth) of choice. I am using chicken stock for this recipe
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium and add olive oil.
Sauté bacon with the onions. 
Add potato starch to thicken the chowder. If gluten is not an issue you can use 1/4 cup of all purpose flour instead of potato starch.
Add remaining vegetables and chicken and cook until the onions are transparent.
Add curry and salt & pepper.
Add corn, diced potatoes & soup stock (veggie or chicken).
Stir well and leave on the medium high heat to bring up to the boil.
Once boiled, stir and immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes until the potato is cooked. 
Serve hot with fresh bread or your families favourites crackers.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Check out what the kids are cooking during Spring Break at Cook Culture!

This week and next the young chefs are in for an amazing treat. How about cream puffs, cinnamon biscuits or apple cinnamon swirls to start with.  One class offers soup making and breakfast smoothies... can't get any better than this.
Hope to see you there!
apple cinnamon swirls

cheese biscuits

basic soup making with beginner knife skills

cream puffs anyone?

breakfast smoothie

can't beat home baked biscuits

Monday, 20 February 2017

Herb Prawn Pasty

I brought these delicious appetizers to a cocktail party last night and they were a real hit..  very very delicious!

Herb Prawn Pasty

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 gloves garlic
300-400g prawns - cooked

1 cup shallots - diced small
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 tbsp. dill  (cilantro works well too if fresh dill is not available)

salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine to deglaze if cooking prawns

If using raw prawns, rinse prawns well under cold water, drain and put into a food processor. If already cooked simply add the cooked prawns to the food processor.
Pulse until the prawns are chopped up into even chunks. 
Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥ If a food processor is not available the prawns can be diced using a sharp knife. This takes a little longer but it works fine for this recipe
Dice shallots until small diced (brunoise) and sauté until just tender. 
Add prawns. Continue to cook until the prawns turn pink if using fresh prawns.
Deglaze with white wine and allow to reduce by half.
Add salt & pepper, dill and cream. Stir well until the cream cheese melts and it is incorporated.

Place in a container with a lid, refrigerate until needed. 

Miriam's Time Saving TipIt is easier to fill a pasty with a cold filling. If the filling is hot it is hard to handle and it will melt the pastry.

Preheat oven to 375°.
Roll out pastry (see pastry recipe below) until very thin keeping your board well floured.
Cut out 3-4 inch rounds.
Mix together 1 egg and milk and beat well with a fork. This is your egg wash for the top and to seal the edges.
Brush the edges of the round with the egg wash.
Take one round pastry cutout at a time and place 1 tbsp. mixture into the center. 
Fold pastry round in half and carefully seal the edges by pinching the pastry together.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Egg wash each pasty before going into the oven.
Bake until pastry is golden brown approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot with a Yogurt Dill Dip (please go to for a complete recipe)

1 Lb. vegetable shortening - cold
5 Cups all- purpose Flour
2 Tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Vinegar  (apple cider or white wine vinegars work well) 
1 Egg 
Cold water (approx. 3/4 cup)

You will need a total of 1 1/4 cups of fluid so here is how we make up the fluid. Add one egg to a 2 cup measure. Beat with a fork. Add vinegar and whisk again. Then add the cold water  and bring the combined fluid up to 1 1/4 cups.  You may not need all this liquid, but sometimes you do depending on the moisture content of the flour and shortening.

Mix together flour, salt. Whisk together to remove the lumps.
Add shortening to the flour mixture and cut up shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter (see photo to the right).

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥ I now realize after making pastry for so many years that the flakiness of your pastry is directly correlated with how well your shortening is cut into the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter helps with this process. The shortening should disappear into small chunks while keeping the flour powdery.

Prepare liquid and add 90% of the liquid to the flour mixture. Combine the liquid until it is incorporated and the pastry starts to come together into a ball. Do not over mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Continue to mix with your clean hands and if it is too dry add the rest of the liquid.
Roll dough up into a disc and wrap in parchment paper and then in a clean plastic bag and store in cooler until needed.

Dill Yogurt Dip

dill prawn pasties
Dill Yogurt Dip for Veggie Sticks
Recipe By: Miriam Borys Busby 
Yield:  1 cup of dipping sauce
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1 tbsp. fresh dill - chopped
1/2 tsp dijon mustard 
1 tbsp. shallots - diced brunoise 
salt & pepper

Dice shallots.
In a bowl add all the above ingredients together.
Stir well and serve as a dip for vegetable sticks or my herb prawns pasties

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥ This dip is easy to make and stores very well in the fridge.

‘Cooking Uncovered’ © all rights reserved

Chef Miriam Borys Busby, B.Ed., MA.
'Cooking Uncovered'