Cajun Sweet Potato Seafood Chowder

Cajun Sweet Potato Seafood Chowder
It's the perfect weather for soup and this is the soup that I have been enjoying recently, a cajun sweet potato seafood chowder! This is a pretty easy sweet potato chowder where the sweetness from the potatoes is balanced by a tasty savoury homemade cajun seasoning and finished with plenty of seafood. The base is sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, corn and seafood. I like to use shrimp, scallops and crab as the seafood and I like to simmer the shrimp shells in the broth before straining them out to add even more shrimp flavour. It' nice to have a seafood chowder that's packed with plenty of seafood but adding other meats like bacon and andouille sausage adds a ton of flavour! I like to add the salt in this chowder in the form of fish sauce which adds even more seafood flavour along with that hit of umami. I like to finish this cajun sweet potato seafood chowder off with fresh tarragon and lemon juice to add a hit of freshness and that something special!

Recipes for Mardi Gras

Recipes for Mardi Gras

This Tuesday is Mardi Gras and even though I will not be in New Orleans to celebrate, I take it as an excuse to whip up some NOLA inspired dishes since I am a huge fan on NOLA cuisine. I was really into New Orleans cuisine before I had even had a chance to go there and after finally getting the chance to visit a few years ago I came back with a long list of new recipe ideas to try recreating at home! Below you will find a list of some of my favourite New Orleans style recipes many of which are staples and pretty authentic (well as authentic as someone that did not grow up in New Orleans can make them) along with a few of my creative outtakes using the flavours of New Orleans cuisine. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Mardi Gras from home this Tuesday you cannot go wrong with one of these recipes!

Korean Kimchi Meatloaf

Korean Kimchi Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a classic home style comfort food dish; not only is it easy to make and pretty cheap but it's also super tasty! I often like to play with different flavours for my meatloaf and this Korean kimchi meatloaf is one of my favourites. I am a big fan of Korean flavours, especially homemade kimchi, and it makes an amazing addition to meatloaf! This meatloaf starts out with ground beef and kimchi where the kimchi is drained and chopped before it's added to the meatloaf. The flavour continues to be built up with onions, garlic and ginger before moving on to dried mushroom and fish sauce which add that hit of umami and it's all finished off with toasted sesame oil which adds an amazing aroma to meatloaf. The eggs and breadcrumbs are in there as binders to hold everything together and once you have it all mixed up you can place it in a pan or just shape it into a loaf by hand and place it on a baking sheet before baking it in the oven. I sometimes like to glaze meatloaf with a sauce and this Korean kimchi meatloaf is great in gochujang sauce mixed with ketchup which you can brush on a few minutes before pulling the loaf out of the oven.

Seared Scallops in a Cajun Mustard Cream Sauce

Seared Scallops in a Cajun Mustard Cream Sauce
Mardi Gras is quickly approaching and that's the perfect excuse to pull out some New Orleans style recipes and I'm starting out with these seared scallops in a cajun mustard cream sauce! The best way to enjoy scallops is often quite simply, seared and in a light sauce so that you can really enjoy the scallops and this is a nice way to do just that. The scallops are seasoned with a cajun seasoning and seared or blackened in a pan over medium-high heat until lightly golden brown on the outside and yet still nice and moist and tender on the inside. Once seared the scallops are set aside and a simple mustard and cream pan sauce is made to serve on top of the scallops. These seared scallops in a cajun mustard cream sauce are perfect as an appetizer/starter or as a light meal, especially during Mardi Gras!

Pizza Stuffed Chicken

Pizza Stuffed Chicken
Pizza is one of my favourite foods and it's always fun to try to find new ways to enjoy the flavours, with this pizza stuffed chicken being what I'm currently obsessed with! I basically just take all of the toppings that I would have placed on the pizza, including the sauce, cheese and other goodies, and sprinkle them onto a chicken breast before rolling them up. The rolled up chicken is then fried in a pan until lightly golden brown on the outside before being smothered in even more pizza sauce, covered in cheese and more toppings to bake in the oven making the whole pan look like one large pizza coming out of the oven! You can enjoy this pizza stuffed chicken all by itself or on top of pasta, rice, potato wedges, waffles, etc. For these pizza stuffed chicken breasts I went with pepperoni, green pepper, onion and olives for the toppings but you can use your favourite pizza toppings!

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinners

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinners

Chicken is one of my go-to foods for when I want an easy meal, or better yet a quick and easy meal, and that's because there are so many chicken recipes that are really easy and taste great! Chicken is really versatile with recipes ranging from simple roast chicken (pure comfort food!) to light and yet filling chicken salads and everything in between such as soups, pastas, sandwiches, etc. Since I have been enjoying a lot of easy chicken recipes these last few weeks I thought that I would take the opportunity to gather some of my favourites to share with you! Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight meal or you are looking for an easy meal that will also impress guests you have plenty of tasty options!

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potatoes

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potatoes
Today I have some baked potatoes for you, but not regular baked potatoes, super easy, no mess slow cooker baked potatoes. Baked potatoes are pretty easy to make in the oven but sometimes you don't have access to an oven or your oven is too full of other things, or you just don't want to have your oven on and the slow cooker is the perfect alternative way of baking them. You pretty much just need to scrub the potatoes, add a bit of oil, salt and pepper, wrap in foil and cook in the slow cooker! That's less than 5 minutes of effort and some no attention required slow cooker time and you have great baked potatoes every time! I like to make a meal out of them by topping them with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives!

Slow Braised Beef Stroganoff Soup

Slow Braised Beef Stroganoff Soup
With the cooler days I have been enjoying a lot of soups and the one that I have been crushing on recently is this slow braised beef stroganoff soup! This soup was inspired by the flavours of beef stroganoff with the beef in a paprika and sour cream broth along with egg noodles! Instead of going for a quicker stir-fried beef version I like a slow braised beef one that takes nice big chunks of stewing beef and slowly simmers it until it's melt in your mouth tender; pure comfort food in a bowl! This recipe starts by browning the beef to build the flavour, followed by cooking the onions and mushrooms until they start caramelizing, which continues the flavour train! Next up we have some garlic, and thyme and one of the primary ingredients, the paprika which when combined with the sour cream, forms the base flavour for the broth. The flavours just keep getting better with the addition of dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, a hit of fish sauce and a personal favourite, dill. After the soup braises for a few hours, and all of the flavours have had a chance to come out and mingle and the beef tenderizes, it's time to add the egg noodles to cook before adding the sour cream and enjoying! After writing this I can't wait to curl up in a comfy chair with a nice big bowl of this slow braised pot roast beef stroganoff soup tonight!

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes
After I made the raspberry white chocolate lava cakes I could not help but make the dark chocolate version, I mean chocolate cake is a classic for a good reason! This recipe is super easy with only 5 ingredients, starting with a bar of dark chocolate and continuing with butter, sugar, flour and eggs! You pretty much just melt the chocolate into the butter, mix in the remaining ingredients, pour into ramekins and bake! It's that easy! Impress that someone special in your life this Valentine's, or any other occasion that you want to be extraordinary, with these dark chocolate lava cakes!