I can’t believe I’m one post away to finishing with The Best of Chef at Home by Michael Smith! This week had some great recipes:

Penne with Red Pepper Sauce and Spinach: Page 171
Sesame Spinach Salad: Page 58
Maritime Clam Chowder: Page 34

Let’s start with the Red Pepper Sauce. Amazing – such a simple and flavourful way to make pasta sauce! It takes some time, but it is worth the effort! I added a sweet potato to the ingredients to roast. I had one left in the fridge and it looked lonely so I let it join the party. I’m not sure if it had much impact on the flavour, but it didn’t hurt it! So thick and hearty I will be using and experimenting with this recipe for years to come! My only issue is that pasta is my go ‘oops I’m late’ dinner and this sauce takes up to an hour to roast the veg. I guess the solution would be to throw the veg in the oven and make the sauce when you have time, then just open it up on one of those nights. And trust me there are plenty of those nights.

The sauce also was great reheated – as you can see in my lunch the next day!

Next was the Sesame Spinach Salad. I wasn’t really a fan. The dressing was bitter and there wasn’t a whole lot going on here. I don’t think I would even play around with it to try to make it good. There are just so many great salads out there I don’t really see me spending the time on it. One of the first rare misses in this book.

Finally was the Maritime Clam Chowder, which because I was in a hurry and trying to finish my shopping became Maritime Crab Chowder. That’s right. When you are speeding through the aisles canned crab and canned clams look surprisingly similar. This was still an amazing soup. I loved the smoky bacon flavour. To cut fat I used half and half instead of heavy cream and it was still rich and satisfying. I also used skim milk instead of the evaporated milk it called for. Still just delish.

To finish off my time cooking with Chef Smith I’m going to try these last two recipes:

Orange Ginger Beef page 74
Sweet Potato Chick Pea Curry page 151

Happy Cooking!

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