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Make the best grilled salmon in foil in just ten minutes with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and finished off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and fresh basil. Learn how to grill salmon in foil on a gas grill. This recipe is sponsored by Loblaws.

As a food lover, there are certain ingredients and cooking techniques that I truly love. My cooking technique of the moment is grilling. For me, grilling is such a simple way to cook that truly brings out the best in local, seasonal produce.

It’s why you’ll find me grilling local Ontario asparagus for a salad, or adding charred Ontario cornto practically everything in August, but there are certain local summer favourites that don’t lend themselves quite as well to the grill (I’m looking at you, tomatoes). Loblaws is my go-to location for fresh, local produce and where you’ll often find me picking up fresh produce for dinner after work.

In a way, grilling tomatoes is similar to grilling salmon—salmon is a delicate protein, which means it can be a little on the finicky side to grill, leading to many people to shy away from barbecuing salmon—choosing instead to make roasted salmon in the oven or poached salmon on your stovetop.

But I’ve got an approachable, delicious and easy fix—grab some heavy duty aluminum foil and cook the salmon “en papillote” or baked barbecue salmon in foil.

The aluminum foil creates a protective layer between the fish and the grates, and allows you to make a little envelope and include any ingredients that would cook in the same amount of time as the salmon (for this recipe, we’re looking at 8-10 minutes on medium heat).

This also means that it’s a way to grill tomatoes without worrying about the tomatoes falling apart on the barbecue.

What temperature should grilled salmon be?

I heat my barbecue to at least 500F before adding any ingredients. Allowing the grates to preheat helps keep foods from sticking to the grates.

Cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives make for the perfect, sweet and salty bite to accompany the salmon which is simply seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. I finish these off with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a simple dinner.

I love using the bounty of the season–local, fresh cherry tomatoes and local basil are so full of flavour at this time of year–because there are so few ingredients in this recipe, you’ll want to make sure that you are choosing the highest quality local produce which I find at Loblaws.

In my opinion, I think this is truly the best grilled salmon in foil.

The best thing about cooking ingredients in foil packets is that they are completely customizable, so no matter what your food preferences are, you can have the perfect meal.

Swap the tomatoes out for thinly sliced local zucchini or eggplant, and you could leave out the olives all together—because even if you hate tomatoes (or olives!), you’re still a food lover.

I even made a different version of these foil packets for the non-tomato lover in my life with zucchini that I happened to have on hand, because whether you love or hate tomatoes or any other specific ingredients, it’s really our love of food that unites us.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Grilled Salmon in Foil with Cherry Tomatoes

Make the best grilled salmon in foil in just ten minutes with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and finished off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and fresh basil.

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets, 1-inch thick
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped, pitted kalamata olives
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Balsamic glaze, to taste
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced basil

Instructions

  1. Cut 4 large rectangles of aluminum foil. Place salmon fillet on each piece and evenly distribute tomatoes and kalamata olives. Drizzle evenly with olive oil, make sure there is olive oil underneath the salmon to avoid the skin sticking to the foil. Sprinkle evenly with salt and fresh pepper. Fold foil and crimp the edges to seal the packages.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high heat, allow to reach 500F, add salmon packages and grill, covered for 8-10 minutes. Carefully remove to a baking sheet. Allow to rest until foil is cool enough to handle.
  3. Open foil packages, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.
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Let me know if you give this recipe for barbecued salmon in foil a try in the comments below. 

The post Grilled Salmon in Foil with Cherry Tomatoes appeared first on Living Lou.

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All it takes is some olive oil and salt to make restaurant worthy homemade blistered shishito peppers. This post includes affiliate links.

The first time I had shishito peppers was at a small Spanish restaurant in Toronto–technically they were padrón peppers, but shishito’s are easier to find in grocery stores.

We were celebrating my sister’s graduation from university–she had just finished her undergrad and would soon be on her way to study for her masters in Madrid. Which is why we were at a Spanish restaurant. Fitting, no? 

What’s the difference between shishito peppers and padrón peppers? 

They are both a mild pepper (one in ten are spicy) and look very similar. Shishito peppers are from Japan while padrón are from northern Spain. Shishitos are longer than padrón peppers and have a slightly thicker skin, whereas padrón are a little bit smoother and silkier in your mouth, but both are equally mild and delicious! 

This was years about two or three years ago now, and at that time, shishito peppers were just starting to become a popular menu item at restaurants in Toronto, and they were next to impossible to find in regular grocery stores. Now they are easy to find and make the perfect addition to any tapas meal. 

Sometimes I’ll even whip them up after work for a quick snack before dinner. They are that good and easy. All it takes is a pan (I like to use a cast iron), some good quality olive oil and lots of salt. 

You can also roast shishito peppers in the oven if you don’t want to make them on a stovetop. 

Tips for making the best blistered shishito peppers 
  1. Pierce each pepper with a fork to avoid them popping or exploding while they cook. It takes just a minute and is definitely worth the (minimal) effort.
  2. Heat your skillet over medium heat. You may think you need a screaming hot pan to blister the peppers, but in reality, medium heat will do just fine.
  3. Keep the peppers moving–you’ll need to stir or shake the pan every 30 seconds or so, you don’t want only one side of the peppers to blister (or burn).

I’ve tested this recipe with both olive oil and canola oil and I actually preferred the flavour of olive oil over canola. There aren’t any other flavours going on in this dish, so I find a good olive oil compliments the peppers and elevates their flavour more than the canola. 

And while you could definitely toss these in some Japanese-inspired ingredients like soy sauce and sesame oil, sometimes keeping things super simple is even better.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Blistered Shishito Peppers

5 minPrep Time

8 minCook Time

13 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 227g / 8oz pkg. shishito peppers, pricked with a fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pierce each shishito pepper with a fork to avoid them popping or exploding while they cook.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil followed by peppers. Cook, flipping and stirring frequently for 6-8 minutes or until peppers have started to blister and brown on all sides.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
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Let me know if you give these blistered shishito peppers a try in the comments below. 

The post Blistered Shishito Peppers appeared first on Living Lou.

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This bacon and asparagus frittata is the perfect springtime brunch recipe, topped with fresh parsley and salty and tangy feta for a delicious egg dish. This post contains affiliate links. 

We haven’t really had a spring at all in Toronto, but this recipe has all the spring vibes. It has asparagus, it has eggs, it has fresh herbs (parsley), it’s light and bright. To me, it feels like spring in a pan, and that’s exactly what I think we all need at this time of year.

My first question when I wake up in the morning on a weekend is “What should we have for breakfast?”. There are the obvious go-to breakfasts like fried eggs and bacon, every now and then, I’ll go crazy and make pancakes (this is my favourite pancake recipe, you can leave out the chocolate chips or swap in blueberries), but making a vegetable-heavy frittata has become a bit of a special weekend ritual.

I love this bacon and asparagus frittata because it’s essentially made with ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge. I made this a few times with different ingredients; I started with asparagus and sausage, but got on the bacon train quickly (I just don’t love sausage in a frittata). And as I continued to test this recipe, it wasn’t until I added the feta sprinkled on top that I hit the perfect combination.

The feta pulls this frittata together. It adds a briny, salty and fresh pop to every bite. Trust me on this one. If you don’t have feta you can swap in goat cheese as well.

This recipe serves two and is made in a 9” oven proof skillet (I used this Le Creuset skillet for this recipe, but you could use any regular cast iron skillet as well). You could easily double the ingredients, though it may take a little bit longer to set on the stovetop and cooking in the oven.

How do I know when my frittata is cooked?

It’s easy to overcook a frittata and end up with a rubbery, crumbly mess instead of something light and fluffy. Cook a frittata in the oven until the center is no longer jiggly with golden brown edges. This recipe will also end up with a golden brown top because of the cheese we sprinkled on top.

This frittata starts with cooking bacon—that’s it. Cook some bacon, whisk eggs with milk and hot chili flakes, pour the egg mixture on top, sprinkle with chopped asparagus, cheddar cheese and parsley and let it cook.

Why is my frittata watery?

Typically when making a frittata, excess liquid can make a frittata watery and steam rather than bake in the oven. This often happens if you don’t precook the vegetables ahead of time, in this recipe, we’re using asparagus which is a quick-cooking vegetable that doesn’t release too much liquid as it cooks, so we don’t need to precook the asparagus in this frittata recipe.

Louisa Clements

Yields 2 servings

3 slices

185
Bacon and Asparagus Frittata

This bacon and asparagus frittata is the perfect springtime brunch recipe, topped with fresh parsley and salty and tangy feta for a delicious egg dish. 

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup of 1" pieces of chopped asparagus
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, chili flakes, salt and half the cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  2. Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon is almost fully cooked and beginning to crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Stirring frequently. Make sure bacon is evenly distributed around pan and pour egg mixture on top. Sprinkle evenly with asparagus, cheddar cheese and parsley.
  3. Allow to cook on stovetop until edges have set, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until eggs have puffed up. Cool for 10 minutes, run a silicone spatula around the edge of the pan and underneath the frittata, it should slide right off onto your serving dish. Sprinkle with feta and serve.
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Let me know if you give this bacon and asparagus frittata a try in the comments below. 

The post Bacon and Asparagus Frittata appeared first on Living Lou.

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Lamb shepherd’s pie with peas and carrots and a chive mashed potato topping is the perfect recipe to make with spring lamb.

I’ve really grown to love lamb over the last couple of years. I love how much flavour it has. It’s, well, lamby. Depending on the cut of lamb, it can be more or less intimidating. Lamb shoulder chops are one of my go-to cuts for an easy, braised lamb ragu but for shepherd’s pie, you can’t go wrong with ground lamb. 

Ground lamb is more mellow and mild than other cuts of lamb–it’s also a lot easier to find and available at most grocery stores. Don’t worry, if you’re just dipping your toes into the lamb side of the protein world, this is a great introduction. 

What’s the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie? 

Technically, it’s only a shepherd’s pie if it’s made with lamb–any other kind of meat (beef, chicken etc.) is considered to be “cottage pie”. 

Shepherd’s pie is a quintessential simple, homely and comforting recipe. It’s not really trendy. But I love it. It’s the perfect kind of recipe for this in-between season. That season between winter and spring when you’re not sure what to cook. Just me? Didn’t think so. 

If you are roasting a leg of lamb for Easter, you could replace the ground lamb in this recipe with leftover shredded roasted lamb, which is actually how this dish was traditionally made in Ireland (and how it started in the first place). 

What is “spring lamb”?

You often hear about “spring lamb”, it essentially means that the lamb is younger and thus, more tender and has a little less of that famous lamby flavour. It’s available from February to June. The meat will be slightly pink (the meat becomes darker as it ages), but I wouldn’t be concerned about spring lamb when cooking with ground lamb. 

I top this shepherd’s pie with a chive mashed potatoes. You don’t really need the chives, but I like the fact that they add little flecks of colour in an otherwise kind of boring looking dish. They do add a hint of fresh and light onion flavour as well, which is welcome. 

If you wanted to, you could use your fork to make a nice design in the top. But honestly? That’s not really my style. That’s a little too retro for me. I wanted my recipe for lamb shepherd’s pie to be at least a little modern. 

Louisa Clements - LivingLou.com

Yields 4-6 servings

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Lamb shepherd's pie with peas and carrots and a chive mashed potato topping is the perfect recipe to make with spring lamb.

20 minPrep Time

27 minCook Time

47 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    For topping:
  • 3-4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • For lamb filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and potatoes. Cook for 12-15 minutes until softened. Drain, and mash with milk, butter, 1/2 tsp salt and chives. Set aside.
  3. 3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot, cook for 5-7 minutes. Add ground lamb, and 1/2 tsp salt cook and crumble for 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste, cook another minute, until fragrant. Add red wine, and cook another minute. Stir in thyme and frozen peas.
  4. 4. Spoon lamb mixture into a an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking dish. Top with potatoes.
  5. 5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until topping has started to brown around the edges.
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Let me know if you give this lamb shepherd’s pie a try in the comments below. 

The post Classic Lamb Shepherd’s Pie appeared first on Living Lou.

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The easiest homemade cupcakes in the world are fluffy and moist with simple vanilla frosting. This recipe was originally published on July 12, 2010.

Cupcakes are all the rage, and honestly, they are one of those desserts you need to have in your repertoire. This is an incredibly easy vanilla cupcake recipe, so much so that these might just be the easiest homemade cupcakes in the world! Quite a big statement, I know. But if you’re looking to make cupcakes at home, look no further this is the recipe for you. 

I’m definitely more of a cook than I am a baker, so when I do bake, I try and keep things relatively simple. Apple crisps and peanut butter oatmeal chocolate cookies are kind of my go-to treats. I hate to admit it, but for years I always relied on cake mixes to make cupcakes–I know, I know. It’s ok.

I first shared this recipe for homemade cupcakes back in 2010, and it was the first time I ever made homemade cupcakes from scratch. Since then, I’ve made this recipe countless times, and have made many tweaks and changes. You’ll need to use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this recipe because it uses the reverse creaming method. 

What is the reverse creaming method for making cupcakes? 

In the reverse-creaming method, the dry ingredients and the sugar are mixed together first, as opposed to creaming the butter and sugar together. Then the fats and a portion of the liquids are mixed into the dry ingredients followed by the remaining liquids.

These are seriously the easiest cupcakes in the world, and if you, like me, are used to using the mixes, seriously try this, you’ll never go back. With a few simple ingredients that you most definitely have in your pantry, whipping up a batch of homemade vanilla cupcakes is a no-brainer.

What keeps cupcakes moist? 

Baking fluffy, moist cupcakes comes from creating air bubbles in the batter that expand in the oven. Avoid over-mixing (this collapses the bubbles) and over-baking. When you’re making cupcakes, mix on low speeds and stop just as the ingredients blend together. 

Vanilla is a fool-proof favourite that are perfect for any party or birthday, but if you’re looking to make another variety of cupcakes, you can also try my easy banana cupcakes which use overripe bananas for a touch of sweetness. 

This really is the best cupcake recipe out there because it never fails! I like to make mine with a really simple vanilla buttercream frosting, but you could definitely do a delicious chocolate frosting as well if that’s more your style. 

Louisa Clements

Yields 12

The easiest, homemade cupcakes in the world!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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5 based on 2 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For vanilla frosting:
  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt over top. Blend slowly together over medium-low speed until mixture resembles pebbles
  3. Add in 1/2 cup of milk and the egg, mix on medium until the flour mixture is completely moistened and the egg has been incorporated.
  4. Add the remaining milk and vanilla and mix until just combined--it's ok if there are some lumps in the batter.
  5. Place the paper liners in your muffin tin and fill the cupcakes about 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.
  7. To make vanilla frosting:
  8. In a small bowl, beat together butter, sugar, milk and vanilla until light and fluffy.
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Recipe adapted from Cupcake Ideas Book

Let me warn you, give these away to friends because it’s very easy to get carried away, and soon enough you’ll be surrounded by cupcake liners and no more homemade cupcakes!

The post The easiest, homemade cupcakes in the world! appeared first on Living Lou.

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Sheet pan flank steak fajitas are cooked under the broiler for a fast and easy one pan dinner, with bell peppers and onions.

I don’t have very many beef recipes on here because until recently I didn’t eat a ton of beef. When I was craving Mexican food, I’d usually make some shredded chicken tacos. I think I’d also run into some trouble over the years by not buying the right cuts of beef for the dishes I was cooking.

Flank steak is the true star of these sheet pan fajitas. Flank steaks need to be marinated to help tenderize the meat–they also really take on the flavours of marinades well which is partly why I chose this cut for the fajitas.

They work best when they are cooked quickly, either under the broiler or on the grill. Because I don’t have a barbecue at my apartment, I opted to cook this flank steak under the broiler.

Flanks steaks take to marinades very well, and marinating can also help to tenderize the meat. For these fajitas, I create a simple marinade that is used for the meat and vegetables.

The best fajita marinade

The marinade is made with chili powder and cumin as the base of spices, the juice of two limes, 1/4 cup of soy sauce and canola oil, with garlic and jalapenos. The sugars in the soy sauce will help to caramelize the meat and vegetables.

This recipe comes together in two steps, the first is to marinade the beef and prep the vegetables. Because the vegetables take longer to cook than the beef (I know, it seems crazy), the vegetables get a head start in the oven and cook under the broiler for 8 minutes.

The key to this recipe is having a wire rack that fits on your baking sheet. The flank steak needs to cook elevated so that the air can circulate around it–plus it would be just too much for one baking sheet to hold all the vegetables and two pounds of flank steak as well.

The flank steak gets cooked under the broiler for seven minutes on each side–this will give you medium-rare meat. I always use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat reaches 130F-135F for the flank steak.

It’s also important to let it rest for ten minutes before slicing it against the grain.

You can serve these fajitas with really whatever toppings you like. I opted for avocado, sour cream and cilantro here, but you could also add some salsa if you have some on hand.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4-6 servings

Sheet Pan Flank Steak Fajitas

Sheet pan flank steak fajitas are cooked under the broiler for a fast and easy one pan dinner, with bell peppers and onions.

45 minPrep Time

22 minCook Time

1 hr, 7 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • For serving:
  • Wraps
  • Avodaco
  • Salsa

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade. Reserve 1/4 cup.
  2. Add the rest of the marinade to a resealable freezer bag with the flank steak. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes to three hours.
  3. Meanwhile, toss vegetables with reserved 1/4 cup of marinade.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dump vegetables onto pan, and arrange evenly.
  5. Broil for 8 minutes. Carefully place a wire rack on top of vegetables. Place flank steak on top, broil for 7 minutes, flip and broil another 6-7 minutes of until meat reaches an internal temperature of 130F-135F.
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Let me know if you give these sheet pan flank steak fajitas a try in the comments below. 

The post Sheet Pan Flank Steak Fajitas appeared first on Living Lou.

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This shrimp and kimchi stir fry couldn’t be an easier dinner to get on the table, marinate the shrimp for 10 minutes in gochujang, fish sauce, garlic and soy sauce. 

I love a good stir fry. But here’s the thing, I was always afraid of cooking over super high heat because I a) didn’t want to overcook anything and b) didn’t want to burn anything.

In order to make a good stir fry, you really need to embrace high heat cooking. I like using fast cooking ingredients like shrimp because I know the chances of burning or overcooking it are slim. It’s also important to choose the right kind of oil for stir frying–don’t use an extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil here!

What kind of oil should I use for a stir fry?

Use an oil with a high smoke point to avoid it burning and ruining the flavours of a dish. Opt for safflower oil, peanut oil or vegetable/canola oil for stir frying.

For this recipe, the shrimp gets a quick 15 minute marinade in a combination of gochujang (Korean chili paste), fish sauce, soy sauce and garlic. Fish only needs a short amount of time to marinate. The shrimp will cook in just two minutes in the hot pan. The key is to keep the shrimp moving at all times. 

The other secret to making a delicious stir fry is to not crowd the pan. It’s the same with sauteing ingredients–if you crowd the pan, your ingredients will end up steaming rather than stir frying, which is literally the opposite of what we want when we’re making a stir fry!

Finally, with this cooking technique you need to keep everything moving in the pan. This will ensure it is evenly cooked and will stop any ingredients (in the case of this shrimp stir fry, we’re worried about the garlic) from burning.

I was inspired to make this recipe because I realized that I didn’t really have a ton of stir fry recipes on here yet it is such a simple and flavourful way to cook! I have a classic peanut chicken stir fry which is more like a curry, and also a light vegetarian stir fry with asparagus and tofu.

In this recipe, kimchi is where most of the flavour comes in this recipe, but the key to using kimchi in any recipe is that you don’t actually want to cook it. Instead, you add it right near the end to simply warm it and add the flavour to the dish.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Shrimp and Kimchi Stir Fry

This shrimp and kimchi stir fry couldn't be an easier dinner to get on the table, marinate the shrimp for 10 minutes in gochujang, fish sauce, garlic and soy sauce. 

12 minPrep Time

3 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsbo soy sauce
  • 1 tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine garlic, soy sauce, gochujang and dish sauce in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, and marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add canola oil and shrimp, cook stirring shrimp constantly for two minutes until cooked. Add kimchi and cook another minute.
  3. Serve over brown rice with green onions.
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Let me know if you give this shrimp and kimchi stir frying a try in the comments below. 

The post Shrimp and Kimchi Stir Fry appeared first on Living Lou.

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This recipe for poached salmon in curried coconut milk is ready in under ten minutes and flavoured with ginger, garlic, lemongrass and curry paste.

Get dinner on the table in just ten minutes. I’m not kidding! This recipe uses a flavourful curried coconut milk to gently poach salmon fillets for tender, flaky and perfectly cooked salmon every time.

Have you tried poaching before? Poaching is a moist heat cooking technique, where food is submerged and cooked in a liquid, that is at a lower temperature than a boil or simmer. It’s ideal for cooking more delicate ingredients, like salmon.

I’ve found that many people overcook salmon, but when you’re poaching it, if you keep it to five to six minutes and remove the fillets immediately when they are done, your salmon will melt in your mouth.

The key to poaching is to make sure that your temperature doesn’t get too high–you don’t want the liquid to boil as this will overcook whatever you’re making. They other most important element for poaching is to have a flavourful poaching liquid.

For this poached salmon in curried coconut milk, I rely on ginger, garlic and lemongrass to gently perfume the sweet coconut milk. The red curry paste is where most of the flavour of this dish comes from, and it’s the perfect way to add a ton of flavour with really no effort.

I always have a jar of curry paste (green curry paste would also work in this recipe) in my fridge or pantry for quick weeknight meals like this.

I’ve made this recipe almost every week for the month of January and everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it. I actually did a demonstration of this recipe on my Instagram stories last week and have saved it as a highlight, so be sure to check that out when you’re cooking this recipe! I’ll take you step by step through every piece.

It all starts with heating garlic and ginger in a saute pan, then a tablespoon of curry paste gets added to the aromatics. I like to caramelize the curry paste a bit to get some extra flavour going. Next comes the coconut milk and the lemongrass, and then the salmon gets cooked in this liquid for five to six minutes.

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that is commonly used in Asian and Indian cuisine. This poached salmon in curried coconut milk is definitely Thai-inspired, so that’s why I decided to add the delicate flavour of lemongrass to the poaching liquid.

How do you prepare lemongrass for poaching?

Lemongrass is a sturdy and woody herb which means you can’t just add it directly to the broth. The key is to cut trim off the silky tops and woody bases, and bruise the stalks to release their aromatic oils. I use a rolling pin to smash the lemongrass before adding it to the curried coconut milk, and then remove the stalks when serving (or you can eat around them).

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Poached Salmon in Curried Coconut Milk

Salmon gets poached in a fragrant mixture of coconut milk, curry paste, ginger, garlic and lemongrass and is ready in under ten minute!

2 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

12 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 1” thick)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, wooden end trimmed and starchy outer layers peeled, bruised (smashed with a rolling pin to release the oils)
  • Cilantro for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Season salmon evenly with salt.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add oil, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds-1 minute. Stir in curry paste, and cook, stirring frequently for another minute.
  3. Pour in coconut milk, add lemongrass and stir to combine with curry paste. Coconut milk mixture should become pinkish in colour. Bring to a very low simmer, there should be one or two bubbles surfacing. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Carefully place salmon fillets, skin side up, into the coconut milk. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until salmon is fully cooked.
  5. Remove salmon from coconut milk. Discard lemongrass.
  6. Serve over rice with extra sauce and garnish with cilantro.
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Let me know if you give this poached salmon in curried coconut milk a try in the comments below.

The post Poached Salmon in Curried Coconut Milk appeared first on Living Lou.

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Braised chicken thighs with tomatoes and white beans is a comforting one pot meal made with onions, tomatoes, garlic, white beans for a savoury delicious dinner.  

Braised chicken thighs has long been one of my favourite winter meals. I love how juicy and flavourful the chicken gets after a quick braise in the oven (or on the stovetop). I’m always looking for inspiration and this dish was inspired by two recipes.

The savoury, fish sauce element comes from a chicken and tomato stew that I worked on when I worked at Chatelaine, and the second recipe is one of Alison Roman’s from the New York Times where she combines chicken thighs with hominy and tomatillos.

How do you braise chicken thighs?

To braise chicken thighs, start with a large saute pan or a Dutch oven, heat fat–I typically use olive oil or canola oil, and sear the chicken thighs, skin-side down, until browned and crisp, about 6 to eight minutes. Then you’ll saute your aromatics (onions, celery, carrots etc.) and add your braising liquid (wine, broth, milk), bring it to a simmer, add the chicken back to the pan and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

One of my top tips for making a braise is to finish it off with a little something fresh–for this braised chicken with tomatoes, I opted to sprinkle with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Because of the fat that renders when you sear the chicken thighs, without the cilantro and lime juice, this dish could air on the side of being a little too rich.

Can you braise on the stovetop?

Yes, you can definitely braise on the stovetop. I prefer braising in the oven because it is an even source of heat. You can also braise in the slow cooker!

I consider recipes like this one for braised chicken thighs to be quintessential Living Lou recipes. They are simple, fresh and flavourful and I think they are the perfect example of my style of cooking. Maybe mostly because this the kind of recipe that I get jazzed about cooking, so I hope you do too.

I love adding beans to my braised chicken dishes because they become extra creamy and help to thicken the sauce while it braises. It also makes the dish more filling and something that you can serve over rice and call it a day.

Another tip for keeping the skin extra crispy, is to cook it uncovered in the oven. If you cover this dish, the condensation that gets trapped on the lid while it cooks will fall back down into the dish and the skin will become limp–which is the exact opposite of what you want!

This is a dish that really relies on building flavours. Starting by searing the chicken thighs, then sauteing onions, garlic and tomato paste in the chicken fat.

This recipe is meant to use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Olive oil, onions, garlic, tomato paste with a can of whole tomatoes and a touch of fish sauce. I actually had a lot of trouble coming up with a name for this recipe, I wanted to call it braised chicken thighs with saucy tomatoes, but one of my trusted advisors (my mother, ha!) told me that it wasn’t a great name.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and White Beans

Braised chicken thighs with tomatoes and white beans is a comforting one pot meal made with onions, tomatoes, garlic, white beans for a savoury delicious dinner. 

15 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 skin on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbso olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 796mL / 29.6 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 540mL / 19oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and season chicken with salt.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, skin side down for 6-8 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, add garlic and tomato paste and cook another thirty seconds to begin to caramelize the tomato paste. Add can of white tomatoes, use a wooden spoon to break and squeeze tomatoes into chunks. Stir in white beans, fish sauce and 1 tbsp of lime juice.
  4. Bring to a simmer, return chicken to pan, skin-side up, being careful not to fully submerge the chicken. Carefully place in the oven, and cook, uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining lime juice and chopped cilantro.
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CoursesDinnerCookingBraisingAllergygluten freedairy freeegg freesoy freewheat freeseafood freetreenut freesesame freemustard free
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Let me know if you give these braised chicken thighs with tomatoes and white beans a try in the comments below.

The post Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and White Beans appeared first on Living Lou.

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Buttermilk roast chicken is a simple recipe for the most tender, juicy roast chicken with dark, crispy skin. Marinate overnight in a mixture of buttermilk, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper for a juicy and tender roast chicken. 

I have cooked and eaten my fair share of roast chickens over the years, and this buttermilk roast chicken is by far the best roast chicken recipe in the world. I promise that once you try this style of roasting chicken, you’ll never go back.

The secret to success for this roast chicken recipe is to prepare the day before, because honestly, it needs at least 8-12 hours in an overnight marinade of buttermilk, fresh herbs, peppercorns, salt and garlic. The truth is, marinades are one of the best ways to add flavour and tenderize meat before roasting.

Marinating chicken in buttermilk is nothing new, you’ll find some of the best fried chicken recipes start with a buttermilk marinate. I first started using this method to marinade pork, and found that it make a simple pork roast or pork chops extra juicy and flavourful. Once I had success on that protein, I figured I’d try it out with chicken.

How do you make a buttermilk marinade?

This marinade starts off with buttermilk, which adds acidity and fat to this recipe. Along with the buttermilk, aromatics like smashed garlic and fresh herbs will add flavour–I’ve used rosemary, sage and thyme before all with great success. Salt and pepper also add flavour. The buttermilk marinade gets discarded after the chicken is done marinating and is ready to roast.

You could use this all purpose buttermilk marinade for pork as well as any other cuts of chicken such as legs or bone-in breast.

What temperature is the best for roasting chicken?

I like to roast my chicken at a high temperature, starting at 425F for the first 30 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 400F for another 30-40 minutes. Overall, it will take one hour to an hour and a half to roast a standard sized roasting chicken.

Keep an eye on your chicken, if it starts to brown too much, cover it with foil and if your oven is anything like mine and has hot spots, you’ll also want to rotate your chicken every 20 minutes.

Roasting chicken is an endless debate, but I think we (and Samin Nosrat who has a very similar buttermilk marinated roast chicken recipe) can all agree that marinating overnight in buttermilk is the way to go if you want a tender and juicy, flavourful roasted chicken with a crispy browned skin.

This is such a simple roast chicken recipe–there is no messy stuffing butter underneath the skin, or basting every twenty minutes.

The chicken get roasted along with vegetables. It would be a tragedy to waist all of that delicious juice that comes off the chicken while it roasts! For this recipe, I cube up a couple of potatoes, sweet potatoes and an onion and place the chicken on top. All the veggies get cooked in the same amount of time and you have yourself a one pan supper.

Louisa Clements

Yields 4 servings

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Buttermilk roast chicken is a simple recipe for the most tender, juicy roast chicken with dark, crispy skin. Marinate overnight in a mixture of buttermilk, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper for a juicy and tender roast chicken. 

10 minPrep Time

1 hr, 40 Cook Time

25 hr, 50 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 smashed cloves of garlic
  • 5 sage leaves (you can also use 5 sprigs of thyme or 2 sprigs of rosemary)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup, whisk buttermilk with 1 tbsp salt, garlic, herbs and peppercorns.
  2. Place chicken in large, resealable freezer bag, add and marinade, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated. Seal bag, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F.
  4. In a roasting pan, toss potatoes and onion with olive oil and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
  5. Remove chicken from the bag, discard excess marinade, and place chicken on top of vegetables, roast at 425F for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400F and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165F and juices run clear. If chicken is browning too much, cover with foil and continue roasting.
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CuisinesEnglishCoursesDinnerCookingRoastingAllergygluten freeegg freesoy freewheat freeseafood freetreenut freesesame freemustard free
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Let me know if you give this chicken recipe a try in the comments below.

The post Buttermilk Roast Chicken appeared first on Living Lou.

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