Mack’s Montreal Mixes Part I

Since living in Montreal and having a beautiful kitchen to cook in, I decided to start trying many new recipes (especially courtesy of Pinterest Recipes)! Anything goes and if it doesn’t turn out, there’s room for improvement or the option to literally never try that recipe again! Having my own kitchen has really allowed me to work with new flavours, different countries food (yes, I picked up a few things in Peru), and use healthy ingredients that leave you full, but fit to run within the hour. Yes, things are generally healthy in my new kitchen, but I’m still a wine enthusiast and often pair our dinners with the perfect vino match.Luckily for my boyfriend (or sometimes unluckily?), he gets to be the test dummy…

12016485_10153514871195428_433063611_nDish one:

A butter chicken curry dish with basmati rice and a mixed greens salad.

I paired this dish with Sandbanks “Summer” Blend. This white wine has refreshing acidity, pale aroma, and is exactly what you should pair any curry dish with. The medium sweet, off-dry, fruity taste pairs extremely well with the buttery, mildly spicy dish. The rule of thumb with any curry dish is to keep it simple. They usually recommend a riesling or a gewürztraminer to balance the flavour and spice factors. Summer by Sandbanks is a gewürztraminer blend and added all the flavour to this dish.

So far: this dish was my favourite!

Dish two:

I was on a health kick this day. So no wine pairing, just a simple Nestle sparkling water 12016626_10153514871210428_2002139742_nwith lemon flavour.

Shopping in the supermaché’s of Quebec can be really great. I found a large package of cooked shrimp for $6.00 and they were a good size. I pan seared these with some garlic, butter, oil, chilli flakes and pepper. While the shrimp were searing, I made some parmesan risotto, and steamed some broccoli and carrots. To top the dish off, I sprinkled some almonds to add an extra crunch.

Dish three:12007312_10153514871300428_1111078694_n

This one took some prep time! I chose to make an oven baked tilapia with an avocado, cucumber salsa, green beans and panko crusted parmesan and dill potato cakes.

The tilapia is baked in the oven for about 20 minutes in slice lemons, a small amount of butter (mostly to sauce the dish) and some salt and pepper for taste. The potato cakes were a little more complicated and done ahead of the tilapia. I cooked 4 large potatoes until soft, then mixed them in a bowl with egg, spices (dill, garlic and parmesan), onions, and a little bit of milk. I then placed them in a muffin tin (using an ice cream scoop) and covered them in bread crumbs.

I paired this dish with Chêne Marchand Sancerre. How perfect! Sancerre always matched well with any fish or white meat. The acidity made the bland fish more exciting and added to the acidity of the salsa. Overall, this meal was tasty, but the potato cakes definitely need some adjustments (perhaps a little smaller next time!)

12025332_10153514871205428_1573101715_nDish four:

Okay, we all get a little lazy sometimes!

Buuuut, this oven-baked pizza topped with sliced avocado and a mixed greens salad paired deliciously with the Sandbanks “Summer” and made for a great rainy night dinner.

11998412_10153514871320428_350424948_n (1)Dish five:

The finale!

This one is also top of my list and I will definitely be making it again. Gnocchi con 12025364_10153514871305428_707318901_nGorgonzola!

A very simple dish that tastes incredible. The sauce (can be made many different ways) is just a bit of alfredo sauce, some half & half cream, and a sizeable chunk of gorgonzola heated on the stovetop until the cheese has completely melted.

I topped this off with some smaller chunks of gorgonzola and some fresh cracked pepper. This can be paired with any white wine that has refreshing acidity, or even something a little sweeter.

11999955_10153514871240428_899682585_nAnd for dessert…?
A little chocolate-chip banana bread!

More to come after I cook up a storm. Love from Montreal!

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