Crab Cakes

We love this recipe as it is not mayonnaise-based as so many crab cake recipes are. This lets the crab flavour shine!

For fresh bread crumbs blitz up soft white, crustless bread in a blender or food processor.  Alternatively you can use Panko breadcrumbs.   

They are super delicate, tender and delicious.  Serve with lemon wedges, or with our homemade tartar sauce!  

Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer 

1 lb crab meat (we like this brand
¾ cup 35% cream
½ red pepper, finely diced
3 green onions, finely diced
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, divided 
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
pinch of cayenne pepper
½ tsp. paprika

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
clarified butter, as needed
1 egg, slightly beaten


  1. Bring cream to a boil in a small pot.  Reduce by ½ and then chill well.  
  2. Lightly sauté the pepper and green onion in a little clarified butter until soft but not brown
  3. Combine the crab meat, chilled reduced cream, peppers and onion, half of the breadcrumbs, mustard, parmesan cheese, cayenne, paprika, egg and kosher salt and pepper.  Mix well, but try to keep larger pieces of crab intact. 
  4. Divide into equal size portions and press into cakes.
  5. Press cakes into remaining ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  6. Fry in clarified butter until golden on both sides.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges & tartar sauce!  

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Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Chicken Satay is tender pieces of marinated chicken cooked on skewers that originated in Southeast Asia. For a quick weeknight meal, skip the skewers and this dish will come together in minutes. We love serving this dish as an appetizer. Bring this to the next potluck or BBQ and it will be the hit of the party!

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Quick Shrimp Appetizers

Quick Shrimp Appetizers
Serves 4

   The versatility and speed of shrimp never gets old.  It impresses with just the simplest of adornments and comes together in a snap.   For this recipe we've treated ourselves to the already-pink hued Argentinian Shrimp, a large shrimp that has a lobster-esque flavour.   Cooking the shrimp with the shell ON at the start is two-fold: it ensures super delicate and moist shrimp, but almost more importantly, it intensely flavours the butter that you are going to incorporate into the sauce.   

   Be sure not to over-toast the baguette--you want a bit of a plushy interior here.     
   Make Ahead: make the shrimp mixture 4-5 hours ahead of time and keep refrigerated.   Bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving on freshly toasted or grilled bread.    

12 large Argentinian Shrimp
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 Lemon, juice & zest
1/2 rib celery, finely diced
1/2 bunch of chives, or a couple green onion, finely sliced
1/2- 1 tsp Togarashi spice or other chilli spice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
12 baguette slices

  1. Butterfly the shrimp (leave the shell on) and cut along the back of the shrimp, opening it up but do not cut all the way through.

  2. Heat a pan over medium heat, swirl in 1 Tbsp of butter and add shrimp, flesh side down. Squeeze some lemon juice on shrimp. Cook, tossing gently in lemony butter until just cooked.When the shrimp are cooked they will turn more opaque and begin to curl.   

  3. Remove and allow to cool, then peel the shrimp.  

  4. In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, celery, togarashi and lemon zest. Add cooled and peeled shrimp.

  5. Lightly toast bread in a hot for a couple of minutes and top with shrimp mixture, or, alternatively toast baguette whole until crusty on the outside, then slice and top with shrimp.

Options: double this recipe and mix with cooked pasta for a fantastic pasta salad! 

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Bacon & Wild Mushroom Crostini

Bacon & Wild Mushroom Crostini 
Serves 4

Want to get your kids to eat mushrooms?   Or anyone for that matter?  This is the recipe to use!   The revolutionary cooking method uses WATER for the most crispy and caramelized of mushrooms.   If you thought garlic mushrooms involved frying garlic in butter and adding in mushrooms, think again.  This method reverses those flavours to get the most out of the mushrooms first, then shines them up at the end with butter, garlic, shallots & herbs.   And of course we prime the pan at the beginning with some bacon!  

This pan of bacon-y goodness can be served on crostini (which we lightly toast in bacon fat) or is perfect tossed with pasta and a bit of cream, or on top of a steak.  One of our kids just likes to eat a bowlful of this mixture.   

This is your opportunity to try different types of mushrooms, available at specialty stores or your local farmer's market.  Oyster mushrooms come in clumps that you simple tear into manageable sized pieces.  Shiitake mushrooms add a lot of texture with their natural density.  If you can get your hands on lions mane mushrooms, they are a real treat (and check out all the health benefits!)   And of course your portabella (do not skip the technique below!) and cremini are readily available and necessary to carry all the flavours.   

3 slices bacon
1 1/2 lbs mixed wild mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 large shallot
1 sprig rosemary
3-4 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp. Butter
8-10 baguette slices
2 tbsp. Grated parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Chop bacon and add to pan to render.
  3. Once crisp, remove to a bowl.
  4. Slice bread and add to bacon fat in pan to toast, adding a little butter/oil if necessary. Remove and set on a platter.
  5. Slice mushrooms.
  6. Add a little oil to the pan, followed by mushrooms. Sizzle on high heat, then add a good splash of water, about 1/4 cup.   Cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes.  You will hear your pan change sound as the water evaporates.   Lower heat once this happens and cook a further 1-2 minutes to ensure all water is evaporated and mushrooms are getting crispy.   
  7. Slice garlic & shallot, chop rosemary & thyme.  
  8. When mushrooms are crisp, stir in butter, garlic, shallot, rosemary, thyme & bacon. Cook for about 2 minutes then top on bread.
  9. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with fresh tomato-lemon sauce

1 large, ripe tomato, diced (remove some of the seeds) 
1-2 green onions, very finely sliced 
1 large clove of fresh, local garlic, finely minced 
Juice of 1 lemon 
2 tbsp. good quality olive oil 
A small handful of fresh basil, torn or roughly chopped

12 Scallops*
Salt, as needed

Oil (neutral), as needed 

*KEY TIP: Purchase a U10 or a 10-20 size FAS (frozen at sea) scallop.  We buy Comeau brand scallops from Nova Scotia at T&J Seafoods in Kitchener. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.   

  1. Make tomato lemon sauce:  In a bowl mix together tomato, green onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil & herbs.  Season with a few good pinches of salt.  Set aside at room temperature, make up to a few hours ahead of time.  
  2. Place scallops on a paper-towel lined plate.  Remove the abductor muscle (a small, opaque white piece attached to the scallop. Some may not have one).  Season very well with salt (pepper will burn).  
  3. Pan-sear scallops: preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat.  For best results, use a stainless steel or aluminum frying pan, not a non-stick.  Preheating the pan (without any oil in it) is key to getting that crust.  Put your hood fan on!  
  4. Once your pan is hot (you'll place your hand over top of the pan, and only be able to hold it there for about 5 seconds), drizzle in a neutral oil, 1-2 tsp.
  5. Your pan will smoke so act quickly: quickly PLACE (don't drop) your scallops onto the pan.  Allow to cook for about 90 seconds, undisturbed before turning over for a further 60-90 seconds.  Good quality scallops should be served medium to medium-well (i.e. there should be a thin line of translucency in the center of the scallop). 
  6. Serve immediately in a shallow dish with tomato lemon sauce, and some warm baguette to mop up all the juices.  Enjoy!

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Devilled Eggs


12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/3 cup regular mayonnaise
1 tbsp. very soft butter 
2 teaspoons yellow mustard, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste 

Paprika to garnish 
Sliced dill pickle, to garnish 



1.     Cut eggs in half lengthwise or widthwise. Remove yolks and place in a bowl. Set whites aside.
2.     Mash yolks with a fork. Add mayonnaise, butter, mustard, salt and pepper.
3.     Refill whites with yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and a slice of pickle 
4.     Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.

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