Recipe of the Week -Pan Seared Maple Trout with Apple Turnip Compote

It’s been a long while since Nicola and I have had a chance to whip up a Friday recipe. This week however, despite battling colds, we produced a very yummy recipe that is also easy to make.

From the book, “This food, that wine”, we made Pan Seared Maple Trout with Apple Turnip Compote.

Now, don’t get too excited about the term “compote”, according the book it’s a culinary term for fruit cooked slowly in a syrup (in this case Maple) so that the fruit can maintain shape for visual and textual appeal.

Now the main component of this dish, the Trout, was in short supply this week in the grocery stores. We managed to grab the last 2 fillets at the local Sobeys; mind you we only checked at two places. They were beautiful fillets and we were excited to cook them. Nicola isn’t a big fan of red fish but Trout is an exception as it is both gentle enough in taste and texture to mimic white fish.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 rainbow trout fillets, halved vertically
  • 11/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple juice
  • 3/4 cup of any type of apple (spy is recommended) diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


The recipe was broken down into parts; first to prepare the compote and then to prepare the trout.



Place a medium-sized skillet over medium hear then add turnip and apple juice and cook for 3-4 minutes or until turnip is just tender. We found this to be very underestimated in time as turnip is dense, we would recommend that you microwave the turnip a bit first to soften it up, otherwise your apple juice will boil off before the turnip is just tender. If fact, our turnip never did get tender.


Next add the apples, thyme and lemon zest and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the apples are also tender but not mushy. Pull the pan from the heat and keep warm.


Pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper, put the skillet on high heat and ad oil. Allow for about 30 seconds for the oil to heat through.


Add the trout skin-side down and let it cook for 1-2 minutes for the scales to get crispy. Flip the trout and add the maple syrup and lemon juice. Try to add the syrup and juice to various parts of the pan to spread the flavour around. The recipe says to cook the fish for another minute but I will suggest that you cook it to your preference. Remove the trout from the pan.



Place part of the compote on the plate and add a piece of two of trout, then drizzle it all with the juice from the pan. Voila!


The recipe calls for Vidal to be the grape chosen to pair with this dish but any fruit-forward wine can be used; we used a Vinho Verde from Portugal.



This was a delicious dish due to the contrast of the turnip to the apple and maple syrup, it was very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available, highly recommended!



Recipe of the Week

For this weeks recipe of the week Nicola and I tried to make a simple appetizer. Sometimes we don’t feel like cooking something involved and a simple appetizer usually fits the bill. When we go out to a restaurant we often choose a few appetizers to minimize our portions and to maximize the different flavours…plus it’s normally cheaper too!

This week we made an avocado scallop tostada (tortilla) that we found on web site.

Avocado Scallop Tostada

The recipe was fairly simple and it was ready quite quickly. About the longest part was the preparation of the avocado paste.


  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup greens (micro)
  • 2 ripe Avocados – halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 12 large scallops – cut crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 24 tortilla chips



First the Cilantro and greens were combined in a bowl.


Then the avocados were mashed and combined with the lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a second bowl, the lime zest was not added.


The Cumin, remaining Salt, Paprika and the pepper were combined and sprinkled over the scallops. Cayenne pepper was not available at the time.


The oil was heated and the scallops cooked for about 1-2 minutes a side. Sadly the scallops were not yet completely thawed and water came out of the scallops when they were cooked which dulled the spices.


Lastly, the avocado mixture was spread on the tortillas and the scallops were placed on top. We purchased smaller scallops so we added 2-3 per tortilla which may have also changed the flavour. In total we made 12 separate tortilla chips with scallops on them.


We prepared a second batch of scallops, 12 more this time, cooking them in Blackberry Ginger flavoured oil from Liquid Gold oils. This certainly added a bit more flavour but we still agreed that something more would need to be added if we were to try the recipe again.



We both agreed that while they were good, there was a bit of a lack of flavour, a bit of a punch missing. Nicola suggested that adding garlic into the avocado mix would add some much needed flavour. Also using large scallops would have perhaps concentrated the spices and flavour more…and next time we will completely thaw the scallops before cooking.


Hope you enjoyed the quick recipe that we tried this week, Nicola and I learn something every time that we try and cook something new 🙂


Recipe of the Week

Last week Nicola and I tried a vegetarian, fruit recipe called “Watermelon Curry with Black Beans and Paneer” from the recipe book, “The Modern Vegetarian” by Maria Elia. Naturally we didn’t have any Paneer handy so we used tofu. Paneer, by the way, is a form of curdled cheese. We also used Canola oil instead of Grapeseed oil and substituted yellow curry for turmeric.


  • Watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 white onion
  • fresh ginger (6 cm)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry
  • 4 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • pepper
  • 250 g of tofu
  • 400 g of black beans
  • dried coriander (powder)
  • sea salt
  • juice 1-2 limes (not used)


First off I sliced up the watermelon and carved off the outside. I placed about 3/4 of the watermelon into my blender and puréed it. I cut about another 1/3 into chunks to be added later in the cooking process. I ended up with a small chunk of watermelon left over.


Heating half of the oil in a pan we added the onion, ginger and garlic and cooked over medium heat until softened.

We then added the chilies, lemongrass and spices and cooked it for another minute or so.



We then added the purée and brought it to a boil, then simmered until it reduced by about 50%. This really is the key step as upon adding the whole amount of watermelon the spices are doused and the acidic nature of the juice comes out.


The tofu was fried in the rest of the oil then dabbed to remove any excess oil.

After the liquid had reduced we stirred in the beans, tofu and cubed watermelon. The powdered coriander was added and we aded a bit of salt.

Once warmed through we served the liquid with coconut basmati rice that we had prepared in our rice cooker.



Initially we had reservations about the amount of watermelon juice we would be using and whether the spices would show through. We needn’t have worried, after reduction the spices melded wonderfully with the watermelon and the rice. The dish was truly delicious and we have been enjoying leftovers for a few days. The blending of the fluid and spices only gets better with time.

You need to demonstrate a bit of faith and patience with this recipe, however in the end it will be a nice change of pace meal, especially using the watermelon, which was a first for me.



Recipe of the week – perogy

Yes it’s now time for me to contribute to the perogy madness, if you are like me the store bought perogy just don’t don’t compare to the homemade version.

I am lucky enough to have some Ukrainian heritage so my mom knows how to make perogies, a skill which she passed onto me!

So without further ado my recipe of the week, pergoy from scratch.


  • 15 pounds of potatoes, garden variety will suffice
  • 2-21/2 pounds of Mild cheddar cheese
  • 16 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp of sour cream
  • 6 cups of warm water
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup of oil

At this point it can be noted that this is the basic recipe, if you so desire you can change the type of cheese, add mushrooms, add bacon bits…the list is endless.


The recipe is taken from the book “Hot Off The Grill” Family Favourites and I consider it kind of an heirloom from my mom 🙂






I should also note at this point that I cut the amount of everything in half because this recipe makes a LOT of perogy; easily over 100.

Prepare the dough

Pretty simple step, add all of the liquid ingredients and knead until smooth; place in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out and set it aside for 20 minutes of so.

Prepare the filling

The first part of this step is best performed beforehand; peel the potatoes, cut them up into smaller chunks and place them in  a good sized pot, then add water and boil until very soft…drain the water then add the cheese.





The cheese should be cut into small cubes and added as you mash the potatoes…yes that’s the secret, you are really making cheesey mashed potatoes.




Mashing #2


Thirsty Chef

Making the perogy

Flour a decently large around on a counter and roll your dough out thin…I mean thin…and always use flour on the pin and dough to prevent sticking and to prevent drying of the dough. Then take a cookie cutter or a glass and cut your pockets in the dough. Peel away the excess dough and place it back into a bag to once again limit the drying.





Take a teaspoon of cheese filling, place it on the dough and mold the dough around the filling, taking care to not stretch the dough too far but have enough left to pinch the perogy shut, this will take a bit of practice but it a good zen exercise….voila, a perogy!


Pocket with Filling




A perogy!

Now repeat this until you run out of either dough or filling, normally it’s the dough that runs out first.

Place the perogy on a floured pan to prevent sticking.

Boiling the perogy

When you are finished with the dough and filling you then need to boil the perogy.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a small but decent number of perogy to the pot; I recommend 10 at a time. Initially the perogy will sink but when they are ready they will float to the top, this generally takes 4-5 minutes. Scoop them out and place some in a bowl with butter for the initial after cooking feast and the others on a floured pan.



Note: the boiling is a pretty long process, if you have around 100 perogy, 10 at a time for 4-5 minutes equals 40-50 minutes of boiling, it’s good to occasionally add water to keep the depth of water constant.

Second note: Do not over-boil the perogy! If left too long the perogy will split apart and the filling will get into the water and the water will become messy, alter the taste of the perogy and you will be short one perogy!



It’s normally at this time that I sit down and taste test my perogy 😉

Final step

Pergoy are suitable for freezing and this is where the bulk of your work will end up.

Place the trays with the perogy in your freezer, when frozen place them in freezer bags in a number of your choosing.

C’est tout!

They are honestly not hard to make but it ends up being a long day so plan accordingly, however the result is worth it as perogy are high in protein and carbs…both great for a runner like me!

Afterwards they can be reheated, fried (my favourite way) or baked once again. I like to eat them with more cheese, more sour cream and salsa; they sparkle when you eat them with sausage or bacon.

If you attempt them let me know how you make out and any changes that you make to the recipe.