Author Archives: thecookingfrog

About thecookingfrog

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Too rainy to BBQ ? Bake the salmon!

The weather has been damp and grim, too cold and wet to step outside to the BBQ. Most of my friends are in Mexico or Hawaii escaping the local desolation of our rain forest climate. I had this beautiful Spring … Continue reading

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Delectable Victorian New Year’s Eve Menu

Pictures only!    

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Fanny Bay Oyster Fritters, a New Year’s day appetizer for Kings

This is a Lucy and the Frog… I executed Lucy Waverman’s recipe (pasted below)  from the Globe and Mail to the letter. It was easy, clear and incredibly good! My choice was the local  Fanny Bay oysters from Vancouver Island, as we … Continue reading

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Victorian New Year’s eve dinner: the Goose

Not because I live in Victoria, although… The idea came from Eat Magazine and their picture  with the caption ” Pander the Gander”.  The  brine and stuffing are almost exactly the recipe from Lucy Waverman’s column, “A Dickens of a … Continue reading

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Good old Times Butter Tarts from home-made Lard

When it comes to baking, Sharon is a perfectionist. And that is our luck because she has allowed me to share her recipes for the best butter tarts I have ever had. I say recipes, because we are not talking … Continue reading

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The green vegetarian quiche

This  is a smooth quiche and it does turn out a nice green colour. All the ingredients can be stored in advance which is nice if you are renting a place which is far from grocery stores. This is also a … Continue reading

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Tasty tender lamb stew in sauce

This stew is another one of my winter favorites, it is easy to make, the lamb meat is inexpensive and the sauce is not fat, but very tasty. For three people, I had three shoulder lamb shops and about as … Continue reading

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The ultimate chocolate truffle

This is truly the chocolate lover’s ultimate treat, a dangerous little nugget, smooth inside, covered with a soft shell and dusted in powder,  all three elements containing chocolate. You try one, it tastes so good, you have to test another … Continue reading

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Pork tenderloin in mustard cream sauce minus the cream

The mustard sauce is perfect with the tenderloin as it keeps it really moist. Tenderloin being very lean would  tend to get dry easily, so  a short cooking time and a good sauce are required. I start by chopping about … Continue reading

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Hot Chili Peppers, get your BTU’s

The traveller’s guide to Mexico makes it all clear! “The Scoville scale measures their (chili peppers) hotness in heat units (SHUs). Cayenne, the chili Tabasco sauce is made from, ranks a respectable 3rd place behind the hottest chili known to … Continue reading

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Gratinée Lyonnaise sounds much better than just onion soup

This is probably the best comfort food  on a cold day, a great way to stave off the anxiety of a looming dark and stormy night, and assurance to bring rosy cheeks and smiles to all. Most of the time, … Continue reading

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Ceviche de Pescado

This is a most refreshing lunch on a hot day, I just had this in Barra de Navidad, a small town on the Pacific Coast of Mexico just North of Manzanillo. We sat right on the sand beach, and the … Continue reading

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Fresh Mayonnaise and Sauce Tartare

The first snow has arrived early in the Pacific North-West and it is an early warning to get organized for holiday cooking. You are going to need mayo, because it is a great complement to all seafood, a lot of … Continue reading

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Pink onion and apple jam or is it relish?

This is just what you need to serve with sausages or to add to lamb burgers instead of the traditional Ketchup, green relish and French’s mustard. Jane provided the apples from her magnificent old tree and with a couple pink … Continue reading

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Looking for Cinderella’s pumpkin, is it midnight yet?

I bought a pumpkin at Dan’s Farm that may be what you are looking for. It is a French pumpkin – here is some info from a website that sells the seeds: “The Pumpkin French Cinderella, ‘Cucurbita maxima’, is a … Continue reading

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Hedgehogs…not the chocolate kind

November is getting late in the season for chanterelles, but nature is kind to us on Vancouver Island as the even better  Hydnum Repandum or hedgehog mushroom is now prime in old-growth forests. We found two kinds,  the small orangey … Continue reading

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Peach and hazelnut tart

The  2010 hazelnut crop is ready. Directed by hazelnut connoisseur Richard, my friend Linda brought back a kilo of shelled hazelnuts from the Chevron gas station in Chilliwack. You are  now laughing, because I get my hazelnuts from the gas … Continue reading

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Chanterelle and onion tart, could be my best chanterelle recipe? tell me!

    Saturday November 6 was probably the last good day to pick chanterelles, as the  heavy rain wants to turn them into mushy fungi. The rain, however, did not stop Michel, Dunnery, Jules (the mushroom sniffing Jack Russel) and … Continue reading

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Brussel sprouts that you will love! and so green!

Brussel sprouts are not to everyone’s taste and that’s because, most of the time, they are not cooked properly,and are reduced to a mushy, smelly, yellow or even brown, horrible food instead of a bright green, delicious vegetable. Right now, … Continue reading

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Soupe à la courge at aux Châtaignes served in a Pumpkin for Halloween

Madeleine Montabert lives in the medieval village of Crillon-le-Brave in Provence. She is the owner and chef of “Cooking in Provence”, a sophisticated small cooking school. There, in a morning, you can learn how to prepare a genuine French home-cooked … Continue reading

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Tomato sauce

    Whenever I can find bushels or bags of tomatoes and vegetables for sale in the fall, I know it is time to make  a batch of tomato sauce. Originally I canned it, but the extra trouble is pretty … Continue reading

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Edamame (green soya bean) salad

While there are still a few tasty tomatoes at the market, you can whip up this unusual nutritious salad in no time. I did not think much of edamame until I had them at The Marina Restaurant in a vegetarian … Continue reading

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Flu remedy: Chicken noodle soup with ginger or Matsutake

    This is a pressure cooker recipe if you have one, otherwise a  Le Creuset large stock pot will be more than fine, so long as you are patient (double the times). I always  break in half and freeze … Continue reading

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Golden beets, grown down the street

Carolyn and Paul down my street grow an amazing selection of vegetables,  and they have generously brought me Romaine lettuce, green onions, heirloom tomatoes and a magnificent specimen of golden beet. Maybe it is the sea view, but most likely … Continue reading

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Pine Mushroom scalloped potatoes

October 16th was Pine mushroom day in my family. The weather was perfect Indian summer and there were more than a dozen cars parked at or near my secret mushroom picking spot on Vancouver Island. It did not bode well, … Continue reading

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Fresh California figs and Noix de Grenoble tart

This an Indian summer dessert, as it is best made from fresh very ripe figs. In this instance, I bought a tray of  fresh figs at the Root Cellar in Victoria. The crate indicates that they are  either “black mission”(Halloween … Continue reading

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Pumpkin Gnocchi for Halloween

Anita Whyte and I use to work together in Toronto some years ago promoting French tourism, gastronomy and good life in general. She has not had a chance to move to the West Coast yet, so she is now a … Continue reading

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Grenoble walnut square

I grew up in Grenoble, the walnut capital of the world. In the country side around the city, there are acres and acres of walnut trees, and one can tell easily that they are walnut trees, because their shade is … Continue reading

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Duck pâté with olives

This is a good appetizer to share and it has to be made in advance which is convenient on the day of the party. Pretty much, you should start in the morning by roasting a whole  5 pound duck in … Continue reading

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Languedoc Garlic soup

Gardeners, this is for you. The home-grown garlic is ready to be picked and for this soup, the fresher, the better. My father-twice-in law Hugh  just sent beautiful heads of garlic from his sunny Vancouver garden and I peeled 12 … Continue reading

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Poached salmon

There is really no need to own a poissonière or a turbotière to poach fish. They are great to use if you own them, but for most of us not worth the space they take on the kitchen shelf. Are … Continue reading

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My Grand-Mother’s creamy polenta

Louise-Marie, or la Louise as my grand-father called her, was a great cook. She was a Savoyarde, from the region across the Alps from Italy and  she was bilingual, French and Patois, the  Alpine dialect spoken on both sides of … Continue reading

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Bison Bourguignon

This does not sound right, no bisons in the Bourgogne, that’s for sure! This  bison meat stew though was better than any genuine boeuf bourguignon. I know you are already thinking Julia Child and all the trouble involved with cooking … Continue reading

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Six root vegetable gratin

Thanksgiving dinner is coming up soon and although mashed potatoes are always high on the request list, the root vegetable gratin would be a seasonal dish that would go very well along with a turkey. It requires no work when … Continue reading

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Vinaigrette dressing

This is a tricky recipe because it changes depending on what  the vinaigrette is used with. So I will start with the basic ingredients and go from there. Quantities are more or less for one salad bowl. salt and fresh … Continue reading

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Roasted Zucchini with cheese

Sharon gave me this odd colour zucchini from her  Oak Bay garden explaining that this European seed produced a much tastier vegetable than the local produce, and it did! This one was hand-picked and harvested by Richard on  September 15th. Growing … Continue reading

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10 kg of White Chanterelles

Recipes including Chanterelles: Chanterelle omelet Chanterelle tart Chanterelle quiche . . Chanterelles in butter and parsley What do we do with 10 kg of white chanterelles? First, I air-dry them  spread on trays for a day especially if they were … Continue reading

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Chanterelle mini-tart appetizer

That was a lot of chanterelles we picked and  they have been on my menu every day. Last night was a more unusual appetizer, kind of a tapenade of chanterelles in a small tart shell. This a good use for … Continue reading

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Easy moist pound cake with yogurt

This is one that you can just whip up in no time, and that is a good thing because it will disappear just as fast. We used to make them all the time when I was a kid and really … Continue reading

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Chanterelle Omelette

It was quite foggy and it rained a lot yesterday, but it was not a bad day to go mushroom picking on Vancouver Island. My friend Sharon and I covered miles and miles trying to identify new picking grounds without … Continue reading

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Peaches in light syrup

The peaches are best right now at the end of summer and it is tempting to buy a whole case. Of course, that is too much to eat right away for most people. Cooking them in syrup is a nice … Continue reading

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Ratatouille quiche

With all the fall vegetables so plentiful at the farmers market, I made a huge amount of Ratatouille and of course, I had extra I saved for a quiche and a nice lunch. Click on ratatouille for the link to … Continue reading

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Cake au beurre (Fruit Cake)

This is the French version of Fruit cake, they just call it cake and often serve it for the afternoon snack with tea or even at breakfast, how decadent! 1 cup butter 3/4 cup light brown sugar 4 eggs 2+ … Continue reading

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Chanterelle Quiche

I have been picking again last week-end and found a few chanterelles. It was too dry up until now and they were  small and scarce, the good thing being that the flavor is very intense. I decided to make a … Continue reading

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Cauliflower Soup in less than 10 minutes

This is a light soup, no cream! Local cauliflower is at every vegetable stand right now, it is a good time to enjoy it really fresh. This recipe is one of the most simple soups to make and is a … Continue reading

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Chti dinner, from the North (of France)

I visited my sister in France this summer on her farm in the country. The 200 +year old farmhouse attracts family and friends and there was not a day with less than 15 for dinner. In most household this would … Continue reading

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Chanterelles with butter and parsley

The end of August is that time when the first chanterelles spring out of the moss  on the slopes of old forests. This year is not a good one yet, as we have not had much rain. But my tenacity … Continue reading

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Crunchy Cucumber salad

This is another one of many different “crudités” that French people will prepare for a Sunday lunch, along with grated carrots, red cabbage, macédoine, etc… Field cucumbers are best. If the skin is coarse and bitter, peel the cucumber first, … Continue reading

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Pain d’épices du goûter

Literally, a spice bread usually served to  French children after school as a snack, either plain or with unsalted butter and sometimes jam as well. I used to love it when I was a kid. It was store bought and … Continue reading

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Icelandic Delicacies: Puffin, Whale, Foal and Fermented Shark

The Atlantic Puffin forms part of the national diet in Iceland, where the species does not have legal protection. Puffins are hunted by a technique called “sky fishing”, which involves catching low-flying birds with a big net. The meat is … Continue reading

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