Thursday, February 28, 2013

simple butter chicken pizza

I have always loved the saucy goodness of butter chicken. Especially on a bed of rice. There's just something about the sauce that I can't get enough of. So I was pretty excited to see that one of the sauces in the set that Summer Fresh sent me to try was Butter Chicken.

Although I didn't want to do my usual Butter Chicken on rice dish, I still wanted to use chicken as the meat...and since Paul makes an amazing pizza dough, I asked him to get out the yeast and whip up some pizza dough for a Butter Chicken pizza.


I can humbly say that the results were INCREDIBLE. I used the sauce three times in this recipe - as a marinade for the chicken, to cook the chicken in and as a sauce on the pizza (instead of our usual tomato sauce).

You can use your favourite pizza dough (crust) for this recipe, but in case you're wondering about the pizza in our photos, Paul usually rolls his dough out so that the pizza ends up being about one foot across and less than 1/4 inches thick (oh yeah, we like our pizza crust THIN!)



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

thai curry chicken stir-fry


Paul and I love doing stir-fry - it's quick, healthy and uses up any random meats or vegetables that we have handy in the fridge and/or freezer.

The Summer Fresh Thai Curry was a perfect complement to this soba noodles and vegetable stir-fry - it adds a pop of colour and a kick of flavour to the recipe. If you prefer more heat, feel free to adjust the recipe and use more sauce!


thai curry chicken stir-fry
printer-friendly version

ingredients:

5 cups soba noodles
1 cup Summer Fresh Thai Curry sauce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, thinly chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas
1 tablespoon of soy sauce


Sunday, February 24, 2013

veal scaloppine with mushroom marsala sauce

I love veal scaloppine (even though I have trouble spelling scaloppine) so when I saw the Mushroom Marsala sauce in the Summer Fresh line-up, I knew what I wanted to make with it.



Confession time (well, not MY confession), but Paul doesn't like mushrooms. Which sucks because I LOVE MUSHROOMS. But he agreed to help me make this dish, and tried the final results as well (that's true love, isn't it?)


Using the Summer Fresh sauce was incredibly easy and the results were really delicious (even Paul admitted that the dish was good, even with the mushrooms). I can't stress how easy this meal was - it look less than 20 minutes from start to finish. In fact, the pasta that we made to go along with the veal took way longer (a recipe for the lovely bow-tie pasta with chunky tomato sauce that you see in these photos will come in a future blog post!)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

trying out summer fresh sauces

A couple of weeks ago, I was among a group of Canadian bloggers chosen by Summer Fresh Salads to try out their new Fresh Sauces! I was pretty excited to get my hands on these sauces and start cooking with them in the kitchen - what fun!


The new line of products consists of five new flavours:
  • 3 Peppercorn: a traditional peppercorn sauce made with a blend of three peppercorn varieties and real Burgundy red wine
  • Butter Chicken: a rich and buttery Indian sauce made with stewed tomatoes, real cream and ginger
  • Cranberry Madeira: authentic Portuguese Madeira sweet wine expertly blended with whole cranberries and traditional spices
  • Mushroom Marsala: a traditional marsala sauce made with a blend of Cremini, Porcini and button mushrooms
  • Thai Curry: an authentic Thai sauce made with fresh coconut milk, lemongrass and spicy chili peppers
At a quick glance, some of the points I already love about these sauces:

  • they're versatile - you can use them as marinades, stir-fry sauces, finishing sauces or to cook with
  • they're time-savers - instead of spending time creating a sauce, on busier days, these sauces can be a real help in the kitchen
  • there's no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours
  • it's a Canadian company - I love supporting home-grown, and Summer Fresh is located in Woodbridge, Ontario.
The challenge from Summer Fresh? Come up with a recipe using each sauce and after brainstorming with Paul, we've already come up with a list of what we're going to make with each sauce. I can't wait to start cooking and sharing the recipes with you!

Visit their website to learn more about Summer Fresh Sauces!

Disclosure: I was provided with product samples from Summer Fresh for this post series. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, February 15, 2013

a week's worth of ground beef...

Recently, Canada Beef asked the Canadian Beef Ambassadors to share tips on saving money and/or time in the kitchen. On the same day that I got that email, Paul announced that it was "meat week" at our house, so the two just seemed to meld together into one perfectly-timed blog post.

"Meat Week", as Paul coined it, would more appropriately be called "Ground Beef Week" - it's not only a budget-friendly week of dinners (well, five days but you can stretch it to a week if you really wanted to), but really time-saving too, which makes life easier on us.

One of the main problems for us is grocery shopping. Since there's only two of us, a lot of the things that we want to buy in bulk (to save money) go to waste when we can't finish it before it goes bad (not everything can be tossed in the freezer, as we have learned the hard way!) So one of the things that we do love to buy in large quantities is ground beef.



Basically, Meat Week starts off on with a huge package of ground Canadian beef that becomes 5 days' worth of main dishes for our dinner. The day that we buy the beef, we cook it and then we use part of it right away and freeze the rest for later use. It makes things super quick and easy on other nights, plus lets us take advantage of the bulk price.

So, our favourite way to have ground beef in 5 days week?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

impromptu wing sauce taste test

Today just happens to be Super Bowl Sunday, and although I'm not a football fan, this post is definitely a timely one (especially if you plan on having chicken wings at your Super Bowl party!).


Last night Paul and I headed to his parents house to fry up some chicken wings and watch the hockey game on TV. As I was packing up the wings and fries, I asked Paul which wing sauce to bring with us and he said he wasn't sure. So of course, I get the crazy idea to bring them all and have an impromptu taste-testing session.


It didn't take much to convince Paul and his dad to join in on the taste test (actually, it didn't take any convincing at all) so I opened up the four different wing sauces while Paul started deep-frying 106 wings!

The four that we tried were (from left to right):


1. Original Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce - Medium Recipe
2. Duff's Famous Wings Hot Sauce
3. Huy Fung Foods Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
4. Frank's Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce

Since Paul's mom and I both aren't big fans of HOT sauces, I cut all the sauces with some butter, which reduces the heat (I use approximately 2 teaspoons of melted butter per 1/3 cup of sauce).


After several batches of wings had come out of the deep-fryer and we had a chance to try all the sauces, the unanimous favourite was definitely Duff's. It was the sweetest of the four, with the most flavour and the perfect amount of heat.

My personal favourite was Duff's, while the one I liked the least was Anchor Bar's (I found it the least flavourful and a bit too vinegary).

The most watery sauce was Anchor Bar and the thickest was the Sriracha (although that wasn't a big surprise).


By the time we were done, I was STUFFED. I love chicken wings as much as the next gal, but at the end of the night, I was definitely ready for some salad - haha!

I know there are tons of other great wing sauces out there, so next time, Duff's will just have to go up against three new competitors! I'm sure Paul will be up for it!

What about you? What's your favourite hot sauce for chicken wings? Maybe I'll take some of your recommendations and make it part of our next Hot Sauce Taste Test!