Category Butcher

Hubby’s Favourite Weekday Chicken: Curried Mustard Chicken

The say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I’m not entirely certain of that. My husband comes from a family of great cooks. He, himself, survived a year of chef school. So I was downright nervous the first time I cooked for him, in that tiny kitchen of my upper duplex apartment in Little Burgundy, Montreal. My friend assured me her ‘foolproof’ recipe for chicken would cast him under my spell with the first bite (that Best of Bridge recipe with mustard, curry powder, honey, and butter). Would you believe I managed to blow the recipe? It was the worst chicken I have ever made! He ate every bite like a true gentleman and fell in love with me anyways.  I’ve created our own healthier version of Curried Mustard Chicken that he now adores. (Honey, this link is for you – a little trip down memory lane or should I say 2222 rue Coursol. I still love that little, white dormer kitchen window).

As easy as this recipe is, it is well worth searching out a few special ingredients. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Arvinda’s makes artisanal, premium Indian spice blends, using Canadian grown spices whenever possible, like mustard seed and coriander. I love Arvinda’s Curry Powder; it is a rich, fragrant blend of spices – so fragrant that I often pop the lid just for a whiff. Definitely my favourite curry powder, outshining any others I have tried to date. Use Arvinda’s Curry Powder and not their Curry Masala for this recipe. You can find Arvinda’s finely crafted range of Indian spice blends in fine food stores throughout Ontario. Check their website for a store near you.

I really don’t like typical grocery store garlic salt. Get yourself a bottle of The Garlic Box Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt and bring your recipes up a notch. Made with roasted Ontario-grown garlic; finely crafted in Hensall, Ontario. Check their website for where to buy.

Use whatever chicken you prefer. We eat skinless; my husband prefers thighs, so I cook both thighs and breasts. For a treat, Burton Meats sells a beautiful, restaurant-style Chicken Suprême: a boneless chicken breast with the skin and upper portion of the wing bone attached. Gently force your fingers under the skin to rub a little of the sauce both under and over the skin – the end result will be incredibly moist and flavourful (you can choose to discard the skin after cooking). Check their website for two Mississauga retail locations.

Olive’s Curried Mustard Chicken
Serves 3 – double the recipe to serve 6

Sauce (makes 10 tablespoons – enough for 3 servings):
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Arvinda’s Curry Powder (mild curry powder)
1 teaspoon Garlic Box Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

3 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs or 3 Chicken Suprêmes


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Arrange chicken in a single, evenly-spaced layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray. Spread sauce thickly and evenly on all sides of chicken. I like to throw the lemon halves on the baking tray to caramelize while the chicken roasts. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes depending on what cut you use. Using tongs, carefully squeeze the lemon over the chicken (juice will be very hot).
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My #GuiltyPleasure: Duck Leg Confit from Di Liso’s Fine Meats

Di Liso’s Fine Meats has the best legs in town – duck leg confit, that is! Tender, moist, meaty duck legs are rich and flavourful; the crispy skin my #guiltypleasure. Chef-prepared for this butcher. Priced in range with other duck leg confit available in the burbs but Di Liso’s quality makes the drive to St. Lawrence Market absolutely worth the trip. Definitely my go-to-guys for duck leg confit in our region. Can’t wait to try their duck sous-vide, chocolate and caramel pork tenderloin, and Mennonite-prepared stuffed boneless chicken legs.


Left photo credit: Angela Mondou

Confit is a traditional French method of preparing duck: legs are covered in duck fat and cooked slowly at low temperatures to tenderize while retaining flavour and moisture.  All you have to do is warm up the prepared duck confit under the broiler until skin is crispy and meat is hot. Here is how I served it for my girlfriends on our fabulous weekend getaway: on a bed of greens, with fresh fig, tiny dabs of fig goat cheese, and fig vinegar (all available at the market). High in fat but during an active weekend of night snowshoeing, dancing until 2:00 am, and yoga in the morning I figured we girls deserved a treat! Such a satisfying indulgence and so easy and special for entertaining.

To avoid the crowds at the market, get there very early on a Saturday morning or just after morning traffic on a Friday. If you look for it, you can find public parking dirt cheap within two blocks of the market – if I tell you where I’d have to kill you after. 😉

Di Liso’s Fine Meats
91 Front Street East
Toronto, ON
M5E 1C4
(St. Lawrence Market)

Contact info, map, website, and hours here:

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Summer Steakhouse Dinner Casa Charky: Grilled Steak and Caesar Salad

We try to eat red meat less often. So when we do, we make it worthwhile by buying the best beef we can afford.  Recently we splurged on two huge, well-marbled, boneless rib eye steaks from Black Angus Fine Meats & Game and shared them. They were tender and juicy with rich, full-on beef flavour. Black Angus has a beautiful selection of fine meats such as beef (Kobe, dry-aged, and Angus), local lamb, and free-range chicken. If you are hunting for game meat, this is your spot: bison, elk, kangaroo, game birds, crocodile, etc.  Shop on-line or in-store.


How We Prepare Our Steaks:

  1. Rub a cut garlic clove over the surface of the steak. Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add your favourite steak spices if you like (if they contain salt, cut back on the coarse salt).
  2. Bring to room temperature on the counter for half an hour before grilling.
  3. Grill to your liking according to the temperament of your grill (ours is on its last legs).
  4. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.

We serve our steaks with nothing else but copious quantities of homemade Caesar Salad (who has room for anything else?). I like to set the warm steak right on the salad; the flavours of the juicy steak and garlicky dressing cuddle up so nicely together. It wilts the salad a bit so serve the salad on the side if you prefer.

It’s a meal fit for someone about to embark on their journey through high school, from a lovin’ mom with a secret agenda (I’m hoping the garlic will ward off the girls).

Classic Caesar Salad

I was thrilled when my friend Liz shared her delicious recipe (she is a fabulous cook). It brings me right back to my Mom’s kitchen counter, watching Mom lovingly prepare this classic dressing in her well-worn wooden salad bowl while I waited in eager, lip-smacking anticipation.

Coddling cooks the egg very slightly, just enough to warm the yoke and thicken the dressing.  Please read Eat Right Ontario’s warnings about consuming raw or slightly cooked eggs; most importantly, avoid serving to the very young, elderly, immune-compromised, or pregnant women. Serve the salad immediately after you make the dressing.


1 head of romaine, halved and sliced into bite-sized pieces, washed and dried thoroughly
1 head of curly green leaf lettuce or a 2nd head of romaine, halved and sliced into bite-sized pieces, washed and dried thoroughly

Cooked and chopped bacon

1 very fresh egg
2 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3-4 drops Tabasco sauce
4-6 drops Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon
1 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided (the real stuff)
Freshly ground black pepper


Coddling the egg:

  1. Fill a small but deep saucepan with enough water to cover the egg; bring to a boil while you leave your egg to sit at room temperature.
  2. Carefully lower the egg into the boiling water using a spoon. Immediately cover the pan and remove from heat. Let the egg sit covered in the boiled water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and run the egg under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Place the container you will make your dressing in and a small bowl on the counter. Crack the shell and separate the yolk into the dressing container and the white into the small bowl; discard the white and only use the yolk for the dressing.

Preparing the dressing:

  1. Crush, mince, and purée garlic in salt; set aside.
  2. Add the mustard, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and the juice of only half of the lemon to the bowl containing the egg yolk; whisk to combine.
  3. Slowly whisk in oil.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in garlic and 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (the garlic will get caught in a whisk). Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and more lemon juice, if desired.

Dressing the salad:

  1. Pour about two thirds of the dressing in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the lettuce. Toss gently, scooping under the leaves and into the dressing, gently rolling the dressing onto the leaves to avoid bruising the lettuce. Taste and add more dressing as desired.
  3. Add bacon and croutons if desired. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately.


Black Angus Fine Meats & Game


Port Credit location:
Unit #10 360 Revus Avenue
Mississauga, ON L5G 4S4
Telephone: (905) 271-2333

Georgian Bay location:
207484 Highway 26
Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
Telephone: (519) 599-2334

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Easy Summer Entertaining: Spieducci from Aurora Meat & Cheese

Looking for easy but fabulous finger food nibbles to serve at your next summer party? Spoil your guests with a real Italian treat: grilled skewers of fresh Ontario Lamb Spieducci from Aurora Meat and Cheese. So succulent, so flavourful; these are the best spieducci I’ve ever eaten.


Season both sides of the lamb skewers with freshly ground black pepper and grill them over low heat for just a minute or two on both sides (they are thin); then sprinkle with crunchy sea salt and serve hot on a platter garnished with baby arugula.

Aurora sells special spieducci grills that prevent the wooden skewers from burning on the ends. We don’t own a spieducci grill but get excellent results grilling our spieducci straight on the barbeque. The ends of our skewers get a little charred but the meat is mouth-watering.

Aurora Meat and Cheese was founded in Mississauga in 1977 by Domenico Vincenzo Cristiano, a fourth generation butcher from Italy.  The family continues to operate the business under the vision, values, and traditions set forth by Domenico in a modern, expanded store. Aurora offers a wide variety of fresh meat, sausage, cheese, deli products, and gourmet specialty food products. Italian hot table and catering available. Modern setting, years of experience, friendly service, and fresh, quality products.

Want to round out the menu, Italian style? My Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers are the perfect finger food to serve alongside the spieducci.


Aurora Meat and Cheese
3661 Dixie Road
Mississauga, Ontario
L4Y 2B3
Telephone: 905-624-1101 and 905-624-8383

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Georgetown Farmers’ Market: Olive It!

I adore Georgetown Farmers’ Market. It is a vibrant, bustling farmers’ market that runs right down the middle of scenic Main Street in historic downtown Georgetown, Ontario.


The market offers plenty of fresh, seasonal produce from some of my favourite local farmers, such as Allison’s Farm Market (who are literally located just down the road). I love everything from Allison’s; I am crazy about their corn, which they expect will be ready mid-July.


Andrews’ Scenic Acres, another one of my favourites, brings in their delicious produce from their farm in Halton Hills. The air around this booth was perfumed with the sweet fragrance of these juicy strawberries. Mmm, I could be happy with a baguette, a wedge of St. Andre’s cheese, a basket of cherries, and a shady spot to share at a river’s edge.


There is lots of really good baking, including butter tarts from Andrews’ Scenic Acres and fruit strudel from The Strudel Lady.


Even the Glen Oven Tea Room gets into the spirit and spills out onto the sidewalk with their scones, cookies, and artisanal bread. A friend told me their Whole Wheat Muesli – a breakfast bread with raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds – is “sooo delicious”. My son loves their Hearty Seed bread so much, he polished off a loaf in one day (we do feed him regularly, I promise).


Georgetown Farmers’ Market is the only market west of Toronto where I can find Toronto-based Saha International Cuisine products (though they are available at a few stores in the region). Made following traditional recipes, Saha’s sauces and marinades are all-natural, additive-free, preservative-free, gluten-free, trans fat-free, and cholesterol free.


Mixed with a bit of yogurt their Shish Taouk marinade yields succulent, flavourful chicken (I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs). Thai Red Curry is a warm, fragrant base for a delicious chicken stir fry; simmer with some coconut milk for a little taste of heaven – Thai style.


Here’s another reason why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market. There is a great little butcher shop, McMaster’s Meats & Deli, right beside the market on Main Street. Old fashioned butcher, friendly service, great range of fresh meats, deli meats (they cook their own preservative-free beef, turkey, pork, and ham), and gourmet products. Their Stuffed Chicken Breasts are wonderful.

McMasters Georgetown

And midway through the market, just a couple of steps down a side street, is the fabulous Mill Street Cheese Market. Read why I love this pretty little fromagerie here. Be sure to stroll in on market day for samples of their wonderful products. Pick up some cheese and bread to go along with those cherries and you’ve got the makings of a great picnic.


Georgetown Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 7th to October 18th, 2014.

Located on Main Street South between Church Street and James Street, in historic downtown Georgetown (Halton Hills). Please note: the East lane is empty because the Fire Department requires a Fire Lane for access to buildings and quick response routes. DO NOT BLOCK the lane for any reason or amount of time. You can be ticketed.

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