Mulligatawny Stew

Mulligatawny Stew
Photo by Caroline West

In the damp grey days of late winter, Mulligatawny stew provides the comfort of a worn sweater. It’s a rustic stew of root vegetables, tart apples, fresh ginger, and fragrant Indian spices, made rich and silky, with the addition of coconut milk. Like all stews (or soups, if you add additional liquid), Mulligatawny is made [...]

Parisian Potatoes

Parisian Potatoes
Photo by Caroline West

Parisian Potatoes may sound elegant but they’re just everyday potatoes shaped with a dollar store melon baller.  It’s a simple trick that transforms ho-hum potatoes into a dressy side-dish for steak, roast chicken or pork. The potatoes can be sautéed in any sort of fat but duck fat transcends all others. When you shape potatoes [...]

Potato Gnocchi & Sage

Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter
Photo by Caroline West

You can spend your entire life without these little dumplings and not even know what you’re missing. I thought gnocchi were heavy, starchy dumplings that I could live without. A trip to Italy changed all that and now gnocchi is part of my standard repertoire. If you enjoy working with dough, as I do, making [...]

Lemony Chicken Pot Pies

Chicken Pot Pie
Photo by Caroline West

I rediscovered these delicious pies when a kindly neighbor, someone I barely knew, knocked on my door and presented me with a wooden tray of still-warm chicken pot pies. I had just returned from the hospital and answered the door balancing a wailing infant in each arm. Every time I tuck into a chicken pot [...]

Root Vegetable Terrine

Root Vegetable Terrine
Photo by Caroline West

Potato pave, terrine, gratin — it’s all the same: layers of thinly sliced potato laced with cream, butter, a hint of cheese and baked until fork tender. In this recipe, I’ve alternated new potatoes with sweet potato for a striking presentation. Simple, decadent and well worth the splurge. The process is perfectly straight forward but [...]

Minestrone with Pistou

Minestrone Soup
Photo by Caroline West

I love Minestrone soup but ordering it in a restaurant is dicey. Often the broth is too weak or tomato-y for my taste and if pasta is added, it’s soggy and bloated beyond recognition. I prefer a robust broth made from tomatoes and roasted chicken stock. I’ve infused mine with Kielbasa sausage and a generous [...]

Ratatouille Tart

Ratatioulle Tart
Photo by Caroline West

This lovely tart is a simplified version of my Ratatouille Pie recipe, featured in British Columbia From Scratch.  It’s a great company dish because it can be made well in advance and heated just before serving. To keep the pastry crisp, I pre-bake the pie shell before adding the filling. I dust the pastry shell [...]

Shiitake Dumpling Soup

Dumpling 2 copy
Photo by Caroline West

My friend, chef Akemi Akutsu, taught Japanese cooking classes at French Mint. While rolling sushi and pleating gyoza dumplings, she shared stories of her life in Japan. Her family grew Shiitake mushrooms so school breaks were spent planting hundreds of Shiitake stems. She recalled neighbourhood parties where freshly picked Shiitakes were pan-fried over an open [...]

Veggie & Tofu Bowl

Vegetables, pasta and marinated tofu.
Photo by Caroline West

This simple but addictive tofu and pasta dish is happily adaptable to any vegetable. The secret is in the sauce: a quick mixture of soy sauce, white wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger. I keep a jar of extra sauce in the fridge, because you never know when your veggies might need a little cheering. (Omit [...]

Carrot & Orange Soup

Photo by Caroline West
Photo by Caroline West

You know your soup is good when you’re enjoying it cold from the refrigerator in the Tupperware container you stored it in.  It’s even better served warm. Carrot soup is pretty tame, some might say boring, until it’s cheered up with freshly grated spicy ginger, freshly squeezed orange juice and acidic tomatoes.  Now, that’s a [...]