I do most of the cooking in our family, and so a few of  my favourite recipes are pasted below. 


Sesame Beef

  • a good quality steak (sirloin), thinly sliced (this is usually easier if it is slightly frozen)
Marinate for 30 minutes or longer in:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 Tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Rice wine (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 drops of sesame oil
If you don't have the time to marinate, place the meat and liquid into a microwave at the lowest possible setting for several minutes - making sure not to cook it (just warm it). Drain and cook over medium heat in a frying pan or wok with a few teaspoons of cooking oil. Add a few spoonfuls of marinade if it becomes too dry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice.


Mango Chutney Chicken

  • 2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp curry powder (go to a specialty store and get some Madras curry if you can)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 to 1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 c cashews (peanuts will do)
  • 1/2 jar of Mango Chutney (Patak brand Tropical Fruit and Nut Chutney is good)
  • 2 Tbsp water

Mix curry powder with chicken and let stand for 10 min or longer. Heat frying pan with a small amount of cooking oil and gently fry the chicken (medium heat or lower). After a few minutes, add the chick peas, nuts, and raisins. Continue cooking until chicken is browned slightly. Add the chutney and water and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is not runny. Serve with rice.


BBQ Corn-on-the-Cob

Here is a great way to cook corn. Soak corn in a bucket of water for ~30 minutes without removing the husks (this will prevent premature scorching). Turn barbecue to medium heat, and when ready, place the corn inside with the lid closed. Cook for a total of 30 minutes turning at least once. When finished, use OLD (preferably BLACK) oven mitts to peel the husk and silk from the cobs. It is much easier to remove the silk after it is cooked since it sticks mostly to the husk. Try to peel the corn quickly to prevent your mitts from getting moist - you will notice that they don't protect you from the heat at that point!


Zucchini Shreds with Alfredo Sauce and Asiago Cheese

  • Several small zucchini (peeled and shredded to about the size of noodles - not too thin; I cut them into thick slices then shred them with a potato peeler; don't use the seeds as these will get too soft...)
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo Sauce ("President's Choice Ultra Creamy 3-Cheese Alfredo Sauce" is good)
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (optional)

Steam the zucchini shreds for about 10 minutes until soft but not mushy. Heat the Alfredo sauce in the microwave and mix with the zucchini and cheese. Serve immediately. If prepared correctly, the zucchini will be virtually indistinguishable from pasta.


Triple Bean Bake

Serves ~10 (or 3 teenagers).  This recipe can be cooked in about 1 hr in the oven or 4-8 hours in a crock pot. Serve with ham and a salad for a complete meal.

  • 1 cup chopped onion (or 3 Tbsp dried onion flakes)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¾ package of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 2 cans pork and beans
  • 1 can lima beans (small, green work best)
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper

Drain beans if cooking in a crock pot (do not drain if cooking in the oven). Simply mix together all ingredients then cook.

OVEN: Cook, uncovered, in oven for 1 hour at 350°.

CROCK POT: Cook in a covered crock pot on low for 4-8 hrs.  The longer, the better.


Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Sauce

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 8 squares semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate (melted)

Whip the cream and vanilla until it begins to thicken. Add icing sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Whisk 1/4 of the cream mixture into the melted chocolate then fold in the remaining cream mixture. Spoon into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. Can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for later use. Serve in slices with Raspberry Sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 package of frozen raspberries (300g; ~ 1.5 cups) thawed
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange liqueur (optional)

Process the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain to remove seeds. Spoon onto a dessert plate and place a slice of pate in the centre. Spoon more over top then dust with icing sugar.


Eric's (the Truffle Guy) Secret Chocolate Truffle Recipe

This is the recipe that most people want me to make public. I have had great success with my plain truffles and variations on the theme, but most people have difficulty duplicating the taste. Hopefully this "official recipe" will help.

  • ~200 g of chocolate compound* (melted - in microwave; less than 2 minutes on high)
  • ~200 g of chocolate compound (melted, for dipping)
  • one 250 g package of cream cheese, at room temperature (this is very important)
  • Some kind of flavouring usually as 1 to 2 tsp of liquid (you may need to add some icing sugar to prevent it from being too wet).

STEP 1: Blend the cream cheese with the flavouring then add to the melted chocolate. If all goes well, the mixture will be smooth. If the cream cheese was too cold, the chocolate will have solidified into lumps. In this case, eat it and start over. If it works, chill the mixture for several hours. Technically, it is now called a ganache.

STEP 2: Using a spoon and your hands, form the ganache into small balls, rolling between the palms to make smooth. It helps if the room is cool and you keep washing your hands in COLD water (you'll see why!). Place the balls on trays covered with waxed paper. Before starting, you should really check to see if your tray(s) can be easily placed into the refrigerator - this could prevent a problem. Chill for several hours. You should be able to make 50 to 100 balls in one batch.

STEP 3: Melt the dipping chocolate and prepare another waxed paper lined tray to receive the finished truffles. Drop each one into the chocolate and roll until covered. Lift out with a fork, drain for a few moments, then 'slide onto the waxed paper' with a knife. This last part is the tricky bit - if all goes well, your truffle will sit in a very small puddle of chocolate and will happily sit there without rolling into the others on the tray. I have made several batches with just my fingers, and this required two dippings to completely cover the truffles. Use the fork and knife trick to save time and frustration. Chill and place in fancy boxes for serving/giving as gifts. These truffles should be stored in the refrigerator but are best eaten at room temperature.

The ingredients used are extremely important for this recipe. I use a chocolate that I buy in bulk at a health food store (Horn of Plenty, in Dundas). It is called "Swedish Semper Chocolate Compound", and yes, the Swedish appear to make really good chocolate! It is not a pure chocolate, but a "compound" that has a reasonably high wax-like component, thus making it handle well and solidify into a very crispy shell when used for dipping. I have tried the common Baker's Chocolate from the grocery store, but it was disappointing. White chocolate is possible, but it is difficult to work with. Chop your chocolate and melt it in a microwave since this is much more effective than using a double boiler.

Suggested variations:

  • Ice wine with white chocolate dipped in white chocolate
  • Irish cream with milk chocolate dipped in dark chocolate
  • Raspberry puree mixed with white chocolate dipped in dark chocolate


Spinach Salad with Maple Glazed Pecans and Fresh Fruit

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Place pecans and maple syrup into a small frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until pecans are almost dry (5-10 min). Once they start to look 'granular', you are almost done.  Heat and stir until this granular appearance goes away and the sugars in the dried syrup begin to caramelize. Spread out on waxed paper and allow to cool.

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c oil (olive, vegetable, etc.)
  • 1/4 c white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion

Mix together and refrigerate this dressing for at least one hour before serving.

  • 1/2 can mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 6-10 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 c fresh blueberries
  • 3-6 cups fresh spinach, ripped into small pieces

Toss salad with dressing, mix in glazed pecans, and serve.


Simple Pork Tenderloin

I use two different methods to cook pork tenderloin, depending on where I want to cook it. The best method is the BBQ (it is also very fast), although the oven method is still very good. These techniques work for any amount of tenderloin (one piece, 5 pieces, doesn't really matter...!).

Start by seasoning the tenderloins. I usually add salt and pepper as a basic tenderloin, but you can add other things like thyme, Montreal Steak spice, cumin/chili powder, lemon pepper and garlic, etc. Decide what works for you you and try it.

5,6,7  BBQ method:
Preheat BBQ on high.

  • Season and place over hot grill with lid closed 5 min.
  • Flip and cook for 6 min.
  • Turn off BBQ and wait 7 min. 

Oven method:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Yes, that hot!

  • Cook in pan uncovered on a low shelf if oven for exactly 5.5 min per lb (12.1 minutes per kg).
  • Turn off oven and leave undisturbed for 45 min to 1hr. Use this time to work on your side dishes...


Cooking a turkey with high heat

Most people get up very early in the morning to stuff and prepare a turkey so they can watch it cook for 8 to 10 hr on low heat. What this usually does is provides you with a perfectly dried out bird that needs a lot of gravy or cranberry sauce to choke it down. I cook a turkey at high heat that does not dry it out (actually,, most of the time it is steam cooking).

To start, make sure your turkey is thawed - this usually takes 4-5 days in the refrigerator for a big turkey. Once all the giblets and neck are removed, pour boiling water over the entire turkey, inside and out. Immediately dump into or spray with cold water in the sink. Drain and pat dry. Stuff the turkey as desired and place into a roasting pan. I often put a wire rack under the turkey to keep it from sticking to the pan. Here's the messy part - smear the entire outside skin with butter. Once you have washed your hands, get several pieces of tinfoil and completely seal the turkey in pan. The seal is very important, as it allows the bird to steam cook.

Cook for 15 minutes per pound (33 min per kg) at 400 - 425F, opening foil to baste in final 10 minutes if desired. The turkey usually sizzles loudly in the first hour then settles down for the remaining time. Sometimes I add a cup of water into the bottom of the roaster before sealing, as this will help to make enough juices for making gravy.

Never fails; always juicy.


All recipes on this page use 'approximate' measures.
Use your best cooking judgement and personal preferences when preparing.

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