main course recipe

Truffle & Mushroom Pasta

Long time no post. It’s been taking me awhile to write again and post my stacked recipes. Apologies.

I’ve discovered the unique flavour of truffles recently. I found this special mushroom goes well with a wide range of ingredients and especially with anything starchy. Off course, I tried to make my favourite pasta dish with it!

I bought a small bottle (about 50g) of black truffles in olive oil at the supermarket for about 18 dollars Canadian. It lasted quite a long time with me using it for crackers, pastas and soups. I highly recommend everyone to go hunting for this cheap bottle of black truffles!


A handful of Angellini Pasta
2 tsp Black truffles
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pack oyster mushroom
1 pack enoki mushroom
½ pack (6-8) white capped mushrooms
½ onion sliced
Salt & pepper


1. Heat up a frying pan and first brown the sliced onion.

2. Start to sauté the assorted mushrooms together in a frying pan. Remember to sauté the enoki mushroom last as they are thin and cooked faster than the others.

3. In another pot, cook the Angellini until al dente. Then drain.

4. When the pasta is drained (retain a little moisture, so it’ll be easier to mix), add the pasta into the frying pan together with the onion and assorted mushroom.

5. Add in the truffles,and salt and pepper to taste. Mix lightly but evenly.

Cauliflower Tater Tots (Recipe from, picture from


  • 1 head of cauliflower 
  • ½ cup grated parmesan 
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar 
  • 1 egg 
  • salt, peper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste 


  1. Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor until a snow like consistency
  2. Use a cheese cloth to squeeze the water out. I just kept squeezing until my hands hurt. Then I moved the cauliflower onto pieces of paper towel on a cutting board and covered with more paper towel. I just kept pressing and pressing until the paper towel was soaked. (about three rounds of this, and lots of paper towel later) 
  3. Put in a paper towel and microwave for 4 minutes. This should remove a lot more water. Let cool, and keep squeezing. 
  4. I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed, then let it sit for 30 minutes. I’m not sure if that’s important or not, but I just did. 
  5. Form into “tot” shapes and fry in about ½ inch of oil. I fried them for a few minutes until the were brown.

Steak Au Poivre (Peppered Steak)

This dish is a traditional meat dish originated from France. Usually the peppercorn forms a crust when it is cooked and is served with a delicious cognac + heavy cream sauce.

My boyfriend made this dish for me, and it was absolutely delicious. I’d say it takes a bit of preparation work. If you want the steak to be soft and tender, you’ll have to do some pounding work with a mallet even though he also selected a thinner slice of beef.


  • 1 steak tenderloin
  • handful of peppercorn
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • cognac to your liking
  • 1/3 cup of stock
  • ¼ cup of cream


1. Grind the mixed peppercorns (rose, black, green…) into a fine powder

2. Lay the steak flat on a chopping board and season with salt on both sides. Then add ground peppercorn on the board and gently press the steak down. Create a crust on the steak with the crushed pepper.

3. add butter to a pan on medium heat then add vegetable oil. Then pan fry the steak for about 2 mins.

4. Remove the excess oil from the pan but leave the rest of the essence.
Add butter, diced shallots into the pan and saute. Next, add in chopped garlic and cook.

5. Add cognac (or whiskey) to the pan and reduce. After reduction, add in the stock. After the stock is reduced by about half, add cream. Cook for a few minutes before adding thyme. Finally, season with salt and sugar

6. Reduce the cream and then place the steak back into the pan and cook for a minute or two. Drizzle more sauce atop of the steak when ready to serve.


Brats with Grilled Bell Peppers in Lemon Vinaigrette

Nothing says summer like hearty, grilled sausages. These bratwurst are topped with sweet grilled red peppers and onions that are tossed in a zesty lemon dressing for a flavorful main course to go with all of your favorite summer picnic side dishes.


15 minutes prep, 20 minutes grilling.

2 large red bell peppers
1 medium onion, sliced
4 bratwurst
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil
4 bratwurst or hotdog buns


1. Heat the grill to medium to medium-high. Lightly coat the bell peppers and brush the onion slices with olive oil. Place them on the grill with the bratwurst.

2. Cook the bell peppers for 6 to 8 minutes, turning often, until blackened and softened. Place the peppers in a plastic zip bag, seal and set aside. Close the lid and cook the onions for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Cook the brats for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

3. Once cool enough to touch, remove the bell peppers from the bag. Peel off the skin, cut off the stem and remove the seeds. Slice and transfer to a medium bowl. Chop the onions and add them to the bowl.

4. Add the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, ½ tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to coat the peppers and onions.

5. Serve the brats on buns and top each with an equal amount of the peppers and onions.

Almond  & Lemon Baked Trout

Another recipe for seafood lovers! A lot of my friends have asked me ways to cook whole fish. From a Chinese background, at home, we make whole fish usually by steaming it with ginger and green onions and lastly adding some extremely hot oil on top with soy sauce. We also pan fry whole fishes as well, but it really depends on what kind of fish we use and how fresh it is.

This recipe can be used (should be used) with not-so fresh fishes. Trout is a good choice. I also like to stuff the stomach with herbs to get rid of any unwanted flavors from reminiscent in the stomach.


  • 2 trouts
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 sprigs basil leafs
  • 1 cup corn starch


1. Prepare the trout if it hasn’t been cleaned. Wash thoroughly with cold water and pat dry.

2. Brush a little bit of olive oil onto the trout fish. Careful not to brush too much, or the fish will be too oily. Then sprinkle and pat on a generous amount of salt and pepper to the fish. Then pat on some corn starch.

3. Place the basil sprigs into the stomach of the trout. Add in a small amount of salt and pepper.

4. Heat about 3-4 tbsp of oil in a shallow pan. When the oil is hot enough, place the trout in and fry both sides for about 5 minutes each. (Or when the sides brown)

5. Place the trout onto a baking pan. Sprinkle some almond slices on top and a small amount of lemon juice. Then bake for about 15 minutes at 300′C.

Cheesy Chicken Delight

  1. Striped Chicken Breasts (1Kg)
  2. Monterrey Jack Shredded (360g)
  3. Fresh Sage Leaves spirnkled over (15g)
  4. Heavy Cream to Mix Everything. (300ml)

Put everything into a pyrex, mix, and put in oven at 180c for about an hour.

You’ll love me, and you’ll be welcome

The idea started from the infamous Cordon Bleu casserole but different multiple cheeses and ham made too protein rich and not that good of an option for me. This is at least 65% Fat, with Monterey Cheese being one of the fattest cheeses around ( I thought it was much like about Cheddar but was I wrong!, it’s 81% fat, bested just by Mascarpone and Cream Cheese!) and for some strange reason (possibly the chicken being striped instead of diced) it sort of remind me of a pasta dish with the delicious creamy-cheesy sage sauce all around it.

Let me know how you love it if you try it!

Pesto Chicken Mixed Pasta

I finally had the chance to make Pesto Chicken Pasta, something that I’ve been craving for for the last few months. Pesto has quite a distinct taste to it and I love the combination of basil and Parmesan cheese… and off course, toasted pine nuts as well!

Pesto originated from Genoa, a northern coastal area of Italy. The main ingredients in their cuisine mainly consists of garlic, olive oil, and basil. Traditionally, Pesto is made by grinding the ingredients together in a mortar. I got a little lazy and simply blended everything. Using the traditional way helps bring out the flavor in the ingredients that will give your Pesto sauce a stronger flavor.


The Pesto

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup Parmesean cheese
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove crushed garlic


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup sliced chicken breast
  • 1 pack of pasta ~250g
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


1. Prepare the pesto sauce. First pluck off the basil leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. In a pan, add about 1 tbsp of olive oil until warm. Then stir in the pine nuts and toast until they turn golden brown. Let it chill at room temperature for a little bit before proceeding.

2. Add the chill pine nuts into the blender and blend until coarse. Then add in basil leaves, cheese, garlic clove, lemon juice and olive oil. Blend until the nuts are fine and paste-like.

3. In a pot, boil water and once water is ready, cook the pasta until it’s al-dente. (This is usually about 20 minutes if you’re using spaghetti)

4. Next, prepare the chicken. Slice the chicken breast if they haven’t been sliced already. Then add in paprika, cumin, soy sauce, and some salt and pepper to marinade. Once ready, saute in a pan.

5. Once pasta is ready, drain it from excess water. Add it into the pan with the saute chicken. Add in a few spoonful of pesto and mix. Keep the stove at low heat to keep warming the pasta.

6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste and Parmesan cheese before serving!

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Stuffed Meatloaf

This looks a bit complicated, but wow does it look incredible! Just take it a step at a time and you’ll have a heavenly main dish in no time!


  • 1 pound 93% lean beef
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound bacon, uncooked


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine beef, bread crumbs and milk.  Pouring milk directly over bread crumbs.  Add 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire and steak seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, crack egg and beat it slightly.  This helps prevent overworking the meat while combining, resulting in a tougher meatloaf.  Add egg to large bowl with meat mixture.  Combine well with hands, do not overwork the meat mixture.
  4. Gentle press meatloaf into bowl and divide in half.  Place first half into 7x10” baking dish and form into a flat meatloaf  Gently press the center in to create a rim around the outside of the meatloaf.  Add shredded cheese into the center of the meatloaf.
  5. Form remaining half of meatloaf in the bowl into a size similar to the meatloaf in the pan.  Set op top and press the sides together to seal in the cheese.  Form into a loaf shape about 1½ - 2” tall.
    You may notice cracks in the loaf.  Run your hands under warm water and then across the meatloaf to smooth the cracks out.  Set meatloaf aside.
  6. In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons ketchup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.  Mix well with a fork.  Apply glaze evenly all over your meatloaf (except the bottom).
  7. Arrange bacon slices over the top of the meatloaf.  Start by wrapping a piece of bacon across the front side and a second piece of bacon across the back side.  Arrange remaining bacon over the top.  Tuck the ends of the bacon under the meatloaf (this prevents curling).
  8. Place meatloaf in the oven and bake until bacon is crispy, about 1 hour.
  9. Remove from oven.  Allow to rest uncovered for 20 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Surf and Turf with Lemon Herb Steak and Shrimp 

The favorite combination of steak and seafood is made even more delicious with a squeeze of fresh citrus. In this recipe, fresh herbs and lemon juice are used to marinade flank steak and jumbo shrimp before they are grilled to perfection.

SERVINGS: 6 to 7

20 minutes prep, 12 minutes grilling.

Zest of 2 Paramount Citrus lemons
Juice of 2 Paramount Citrus lemons
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley
10 to 12 sprigs of fresh chives
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ lb. flank steak
1 lb. jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and tails removed
Wooden skewers, soaked


1. Preheat the grill to medium-high, about 400 to 425 degrees F.

2. Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, olive oil, basil leaves, parsley, chives, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and well blended.

3. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and the steak in a shallow dish. Pour half of the lemon herb marinade over the shrimp and the other half over the steak. Stir to coat the shrimp and flip the steak to coat it well. Let marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Place the shrimp on grilling skewers with two large shrimp to each skewer.

5. Grill the steak for 7 to 12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it reaches your desired doneness. While the steak cooks, grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they turn opaque and begin to blacken slightly. Let the steak cool for 5 minutes and cut against the grain into thin strips. Serve warm with the shrimp.

Lebanese Cuisine: Cranberry and Pine-nuts Stuffed Turkey Thigh

This is the first Lebanese dish I’ve made. I saw this on a restaurants menu and recreated it at home. The dish is not hard to make but the preparation takes a bit longer than other recipes I post.

If you like a slight twist to the stuffed turkey recipes, this is the recipe to try! The stuffed cranberries taste perfect with the turkey thigh.

2 turkey thighs
1 can cranberries
½ cup pine nuts
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper


1. Start by rinsing the turkey thighs under cold water. Then use a paper towel to pat dry. If you bought deboned turkey thighs then proceed to next step. If not, place the turkey thigh onto a cutting board and let the ankle of the thigh point towards yourself. Using a very sharp knife cut through the skin at the top working downwards. Once the skin is opened use the knife and make short cuts through the meat. When the bone is exposed, work your way around the bone first on the sides then to the bottom.

2. Rub the olive oil and soy sauce well onto the turkey thighs. Both outside and inside. Sprinkle some cumin in the inside and rub into the meat. Add in some salt and pepper.

3. In a bowl, mix together half the cranberries and pine nuts. Now place a few spoonful of the mixture onto the inside of the turkey thigh. Roll the turkey thigh lengthwise and hold with a few toothpicks.

4. Bake the turkey thighs in the oven for 30 minutes at 360’C.

5. In the meantime, make some cranberry sauce by cooking the remaining cranberries in a small pot. You can add 3 tbsp of stock to give it more flavor.

6. When the turkey thighs are cooked, serve with cranberry sauce.


Shredded Beef & Mushroom Pie

Why did I get the sudden urge to make a meat pie last week?  I have no idea, but I’m very glad I did.  After reading through a bunch of recipes and not quite finding any one ideal, I put together this one from the bits I liked best.  The verdict: too time-consuming to do very often, but definitely worth the occasional effort.  (Also, very filling.  We both skipped dessert after this as the main course.)

Recipe below the Read More!

Keep reading

Pork Shoulder Butt  Steak Sliders

There was a Jazz Cafe event last week and one of the dishes on the menu for the night was Pulled Pork Sliders. We thought that students should get more meaty meals - by all means, we’re still growing adults! We made about 40 sliders, but this recipe makes 20. If you want to make a lot all at once, I also suggest making the pulled pork and freezing what you might want to eat later.

Remember that you can always eat Pulled Pork with rice or pasta! And while the pork cooks, you can also study or work at the same time, since it doesn’t need too much attention!


  • 3-4 lb pork butt shoulder steak
  • 2 large onions - chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup mustard
  • 1/6 cup worchestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1/5 cup oyster sauce (this is definitely optional, but oyster sauce brings a lot more flavor to any meats you try to cook)
  • 1/5 cup sugar
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • slider buns
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


1. Saute the onion and garlic in a large pot with the olive oil until they turn golden brown.

2. Pour in the liquid ingredients and stir until a thick sauce forms and everything is well incorporated.

3. Put in the pork butt shoulder steak and add about 2 cups of water. Add in bay leaf, cumin, and paprika. Stir and boil mixture with the pork for about 30 minutes.

4. Turn the heat down to medium- low and simmer for 45minutes - 1 hour.

5. Check back and season with salt and pepper - then boil at high temperature for about another 10 minutes.

6. When pork is ready, take them out and shred into smaller pieces. Let the sauce boil until it reduces and thickens.

7. Assemble your slider with pulled pork and condiments (I used mustard), then add reduced sauce on top!

Pasta with Lemon Cream, Basil and Walnuts 

This creamy pasta is balanced with the refreshing flavors of lemon and the crunch of toasted walnuts. It is quick and easy to prepare and makes the perfect meal for a special occasion.


10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh Paramount Citrus lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 oz. dry linguine, cooked to al dente
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese + extra for serving
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon Paramount Citrus lemon zest + extra for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Additional salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high until melted. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

2. Pour in the cream and stir well. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, until the cream begins to thicken and coat the back of the spoon.

3. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the cooked pasta. Add the parmesan cheese and walnuts. Toss the ingredients to coat the pasta with cream sauce and evenly distribute the cheese and nuts.

4. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and basil. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Sprinkle with more lemon zest and Parmesan cheese before serving.