Naramata-Inspired Meal

Naramata, BC is a slice of heaven that many British Columbians may not know about. As spring roles around, I can’t help but think of road trips and visits to wineries. I’m no expert in viticulture – but the sun, the lake and the land really does make for magic in a bottle.

Last summer, I ventured out with a few friends to Naramata with our bikes in tow. Please do yourself a favour and check out the numerous B&B’s that are in the area. One I recommend is The Copper Goose B & B, run by a lovely couple by the name of Carolle and Gerhard.

Blessed by the Okanagan climate and Inspired by my trip to Naramata, BC this summer, this meal is perfect for your at-home dinner date:

Wine
~Lake Breeze’s Bench White Wine

Starter
~grapes, Okanagan cherries and goat-cheese

Main
~Jumbo-prawns, grape-tomatoes and rice penne – topped with freshly-grated parm

Jambalaya, anyone?

Whether it was Emeril Lagasse, or my visit to New Orleans in 2000, cajun cooking has always hit the spot for me.  Deliciously spicy seasonings, crawfish, po-boy sandwiches, beignets and of course, jambalaya!

Here’s a simple jambalaya dish that will make you happy-happy.

Difficulty Rating: 2 out of 5

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 cup of rice
2 cups of chicken stock
4 chicken breast or thighs – cut into strips
2 sausages – sliced (try Italian sausage or Chorizo)
Cajun seasoning (try my Blackening Spice)
Half can of whole tomatoes
2 red or yellow peppers (julienne or thin slices)
Half a red onion – diced

Simple Steps:

1. Heat a large pot on medium
2. Add olive oil
3. Saute onions
4. Add chicken and sausage and saute for a few minutes
5. Add peppers to the pot for a few minutes, then break up the tomatoes into the pot
6. Add rice and stock, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 mins
7. Garnish with some fried shallots or cilantro if you have them handy

Memories of Fried Rice

Ask any Asian friend of yours and most likely mum has made fried rice out of leftover rice at some point in their childhood.  With most Asian families running their rice-cooker everyday, it’s no wonder fried rice always makes it to the dinner table.

I don’t usually make typical Chinese dinners so this was a nice treat for me as well.  Armed with leftover rice, some fresh chicken and some veges, it was SO SIMPO <apply Russell Peters accent here>.

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 5

Ingredients:
– Leftover rice to feed 4 (cold is better)
– Chicken thighs or breast
– Celery
– Frozen peas or vege mix
– Teriyaki, soy and oyster sauce
– Chopped onions and garlic
– White pepper

Directions:
1. Heat up a non-stick pan, add Canola oil
2. Fry onions and garlic
3. Add chicken and saute until cooked through
4. Add veges to the pan
4. Add sauces to taste (I like my fried rice tasty)
5. Add white pepper if you have any (so much better)
6. Add cold leftover rice to the pan and start breaking up the clumps
7. Mix well and add more seasoning if needed