Category Main Dish

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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Heaven on Earth: Muskoka’s Pizza on Earth

All winter long, we pine for a little bit of summer in Muskoka. Of course, the natural beauty of Muskoka is enough of a draw on its own. But Muskoka’s Dorset, Ontario boasts an extra special piece of heaven, or pizza heaven – officially called Pizza on Earth.


About five years ago, an enterprising university student, Sarah Jane (Johnson) Gibbs, and her parents built an outdoor wood-burning oven on their commercial property. Since then, Sara has turned out fabulous, wood-fired gourmet pizza that knocks the flip flops off local cottagers. Thin, crisp but chewy crust cooked to perfection. Flavourful sauce. Gourmet toppings. And that smoky, wood-fired taste. This is the stuff to hold out for – here is why:

Pizza on Earth is only open in the summer, which makes Sarah’s pizza all that much more appreciated. The rest of the year, Sarah is at university studying the cello. Gosh, she’s inspiring. You go girl. I bet you play the cello as beautifully as you make pizza.

Pizza on Earth is very popular in this neck of the woods. Call ahead to place your order; if you show up at the last minute, chances are you will wait a long while. Take it away or eat there on the outdoor picnic tables. Better yet, take a short trip across the Dorset bridge to the park at Little Trading Bay. Our boys like to Huck Finn it and swim out to the raft in the bay. The beauty of Muskoka, Dad’s Root Beer, and Pizza on Earth. Heaven on earth.

Pizza on Earth
1009 Clan McKay Drive
Dorset, Ontario
P0A 1E0
(just south of Dorset, Ontario on the east side of Highway 35, just south of the Dorset bridge)

Phone: 705-349-8827


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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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Forkful of Flavour: Molisana’s Lasagna

Molisana Lasagna

Craving a bite of homemade lasagna but can’t even dream up the time to cook it? Molisana Bakery layers soft sheets of lasagna with cheese and a ragù of meltingly tender ground meat in tomato sauce. Packed with homemade flavour. Total comfort food. Priced right. Olive it!


The Molisana ladies make about 20 lasagnas a day. Call ahead to order because these beauties sell out quickly. Dinner – fast, cheap, delicious – done!

Molisana Bakery
1474 Pickwick Drive, Unit 1
Mississauga, ON
L5V 2G2

Telephone: 905-826-8260

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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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