ingredients: salmon, arborio rice, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, parmesan cheese, white wine, chicken broth, black pepper, fresh thyme, butter, and a pinch of sea-salt.
chop up garlic and sauté in a pot with butter. add the arborio rice, stir around for a minute, and then start adding the wine slowly. consistently stir while adding wine and chicken broth to the pot at a slow pace (i did this all on medium to low heat).
while that’s going on, season the salmon with salt and pepper, and fry it in butter in another pan on the stove. don’t neglect the risotto though while doing this, and keep stirring/adding liquid to the pot.
set the salmon aside once it’s cooked (i like it when the skin gets super crispy), and add more butter to the same pan to fry up the mushrooms and spinach. once done, add all that into the risotto pot (keep stirring/adding liquid!!), add the cheese, fresh thyme, and freshly ground black pepper.
i find that knowing when the risotto is done and has the right consistency just takes a lot of trial and error (i’ve made my fair share of gooey risotto in the past). a good tip is to taste it for texture along the way. luckily, mine turned out just the way i wanted it to tonight!
this dish pairs nicely with a chilled white wine that’s light and crisp.
i had some leftover white wine in my fridge that i didn’t feel like drinking, so my options were to either make risotto that required a moderate amount of effort, or make chicken with a white wine sauce, that required no effort at all.
guess which weeknight dinner option i decided to go with?
ingredients: garlic, white wine, chicken, olive oil, fresh thyme, sea-salt, and black pepper.
season the chicken with salt and pepper, and peel the garlic (i used about two and a half bulbs). heat up some olive oil in a pan and brown the chicken (a few minutes each side on high heat). remove the chicken from the pan, and place the garlic in there with more olive oil. once the garlic pieces are a golden-brown colour, add the wine and rhyme in there, and bring to a boil. add the chicken pieces, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let the chicken cook. once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and serve over rice.
the salmon oshi sushi – pressed bc wild sockeye salmon, jalapeño, and miku sauce that’s flame-seared to perfection.
you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu since everything is so delicious, but where you can make the biggest mistake of your life is if you don’t order the salmon oshi sushi as part of your meal.
and just in case you were wondering what $300 of salmon oshi sushi looked like…
ingredients: garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, cooked rice, brown mushrooms, spinach, eggplant, eggs, sesame seeds, fresh basil, ginger, sea salt, and black pepper.
chop up the garlic and sauté in sesame oil. crack the eggs into the pan (season with salt and pepper) and chop up the mushrooms and eggplant while the garlic and eggs are cooking in the pan. add the mushrooms and eggplant into the pan, then add the cooked riced, and cover in soy sauce (and a little more sesame oil). chop up some ginger and fresh basil, and add into the pan. add the spinach in and watch it shrink down. season with salt and pepper, take off the heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.
i’m pretty sure this post took me longer to write up than making this dish for dinner tonight.
i got the privilege of trying david hawksworth’s new restaurant, nightingale, the day before it officially opened to the public… for $10. we literally ordered almost everything off the menu. 28 dishes between four people (and the fourth person showed up a little after dish 18).
my personal favourites: the san marzano pizza with buffalo mozzarella (apparently it took two years to perfect the crust, but this was hands-down the best pizza i’ve ever had in my life), the lamb chops (we got three orders for our table), the seared albacore tuna, the pork belly (that went so well with the apple slices on top of it, and all the flavours infused into it), the flank steak, the halibut ceviche, the rockfish, the burrata, the cauliflower, the gelato, and the salted caramel pot.
the ambience was amazing, the service was fantastic, the quality of food was on par with what you expect from a hawskworth restaurant, and i absolutely love the “family-style sharing” concept of the restaurant and how the dishes come out as they are prepared.
i think i have a new favourite restaurant in vancouver, and i can’t wait to go back to try the rest of the menu.
last night, my friend lisa and i attended dinner party yvr, one of the best charity events that i’ve ever been to. the concept behind it: chefs volunteer to make a meal at their house for a group of strangers, everyone donates at least $50 (which goes to each chef’s charity of choice), and dinner is served. this happens all around the city at various homes, with each chef cooking a different style of dinner for a group of six people or so. the dinner that lisa and i went to had a “dining like at vij’s” theme, which consisted of homemade naan, amazing indian dishes straight out of vij’s cookbook, wine/beer pairings to go with all the dishes, and masala peas (think wasabi peas, but with indian spices) along with a yummy bourbon cocktail while we waited for dinner to be served.
every picture posted on instagram/twitter from the event with the hashtag #dpyvr got an additional $5 donated to charity by one of the sponsors, blueshore financial.
ingredients: spaghetti squash (get them to cut it in half for you at the grocery store – if they’ll do it, it will save you a lot of hassle), sausages, kale, garlic, onion, pine nuts, fresh parsley, sea-salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
pre-heat oven to 400°, scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds, place the pieces of spaghetti squash on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper, and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes.
while the spaghetti squash is in the oven, chop up the garlic, onion, sausages, kale, and parsley. put the garlic and onion in a pan first with olive oil – eventually add the sausage pieces to the mix, then the kale, pine nuts, and parsley.
once the spaghetti squash is ready, fork it out into a bowl and then add the sausage and kale mixture to it. season with salt and pepper.
make your leftovers taste different the next day by adding different spices to it – i recommend rubbed sage.