2006 Resolutions

Firm Resolve

He says:

The New Year is here and people are starting to talk about “RESOLUTIONS”.

As a chef, it is extremely hard to say, “This year I will try to lose weight”. Let’s face it, I like my butter, cream, sugar, bread, pasta, meats, and a few beers now and then!

I hear people talking about losing weight all the time, and yet I am the one surrounded with that rich gourmet food every other day. If I worked in a dental office or some law firm where employees are surrounded by papers and pens, it would be so much easier to lose a few pounds.

If I may give you my chef’s opinion… If you want to shrink yourself this year, start by exercising as much as possible. A few laps in the pool or a few reps at the gym and voilà, you can eat what you want and not have too much guilt.

I have to go now, as I need to burn enough calories to be able to eat this great dessert recipe, perfect for you and the kids. It’s great for gift giving, too!

She says:

I am one of those people who has been fortunate enough to never worry too much about weight, other than for my own vanity. I don’t even own a bathroom scale, or else I think I might drive myself nuts using it all the time! However, my New Year’s resolution does involve food.

You see, the hazard of living with a chef is that you very rarely if ever do any cooking yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am spoiled rotten in the kitchen. But my problem is, I love to cook. By the time I get home from work, Martin has not only decided what we are having, he is cooking it!

I missed my time in the kitchen, putz-ing around, creating my own dishes and trying out the wonders of the various foodie magazines I like to buy. So, I resolved to do the cooking on my days off.

This past weekend I visited the Chinese market and found fresh veggies for a stir-fry. I even re-discovered those little green onion pancakes I love so much, and so we had some of those as an appetizer with a special homemade dipping sauce. The next night I made chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, sundried tomato and basil, having been inspired by fresh basil at the Chinese market and a bargain on goat cheese at Costco. I roasted some red potatoes with a flavoured olive oil I had, and steamed baby bok choy (yes, again the Chinese market). I even remembered to take out a couple of frozen spinach phyllo pies I had made in the fall, and popped them in the oven as a quick appie. I was so proud of myself!!

So, my advice to all of you out there is to have a resolution that you can enjoy, and one that you can work away at, one day at a time. Celebrate every little victory, and don’t beat yourself up over the times you slip back. I might end up making grilled cheese sandwiches one night, but at least I will be in the kitchen – maybe I will add gourmet pickles! Life is short, and we all deserve to enjoy it.

Chef Martin’s Tip 44:

Duck breast 101!

If you want to treat yourself and your guests, buy a couple of duck breasts…

Step one:
Defrost them slowly in your fridge, ideally overnight. If you wish to marinate the breasts, now would be the right time. They will defrost and marinate at the same time.

Step two:
Place your seasoned duck breast skin side down in a pan that can go in the oven. Place the pan on a stove burner at low to medium heat. The skin will crisp slowly, without cooking the meat side just yet.

Step three:
Once you have crispy skins, then you can turn them over for a minute or two and pop them into the oven at 400F for a few more minutes.

Step four:
Remove the breasts from the oven when they reach desired internal temperature, ideally 128F…

Step five:
Let them rest for 3-5 minutes and serve with your favorite sauce.

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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