lesleystowe.com/blog » Recipes, entertaining tips, and more with Lesley Stowe

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  • Get out the picnic baskets – July is here!

    My favourite part of July is that summer is now in full swing, which for most of us means the days are lovely and long, the kids are out of school, and we can all go a little off the rails and routines for a while. It’s also the high point of the year for picnics and barbecues - and with Canada Day and 4th of July in the same week there’s no excuse not to get out there, get barefoot, brave the mosquito bites, and enjoy the few weeks when we get to eat outside!

    This year my summer go-to’s are watermelon salads, cobblers with every kind of berry served with homemade…you guessed it ice cream. Every since I got my new ice cream maker I can’t stop, and now that summer is here why should I. Have you ever tried salted cantaloup ice cream? I had it for the first time at the Food & Wine Show in Aspen a couple of weeks ago along with some other amazing taste experiences. Homemade ricotta cheese is now all the rage so I’ll definitely be sharing that with you as an element in a salad.

    After Aspen we were in NYC at the mind dazzling Fancy Food Show which is never for the timid: you need your elbows out and your tastebuds ready to be bombarded with everything from crazy spicy Korean condiments, to smoked okra pickles, to toasted coconut chips. And while my own summer cuisine isn’t quite that exploratory, I always like to bring back a few tricks that I pick up at the big shows. Stay tuned for a month full of delicious and easy summer entertaining recipes.


Espresso Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Cracked Pepper Cream

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and once again we’ll be staying in with a romantic home-cooked dinner for two. This is THE holiday out in the restaurant scene, which means that you need reservations weeks in advance and you’ll probably be restricted to a set menu. For me, a lovely meal at home with some extra touches is a much nicer way to spend the evening. This year I’m doing beef tenderloins with a dusting of espresso and, of course, chocolate! This is so easy it’s almost impossible to have it go wrong, just be sure not to overcook the meat: when it comes to tenderloin, less is definitely more. Serve it alongside Chèvre Mashed Potatoes and a  Warm Winter Salad with Red Cabbage & Pancetta followed by a Chocolate Truffle Tart for two and your loved one will definitely feel spoiled!

Espresso Crusted Tenderloins

  • 2 lb. piece of beef tenderloin
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. very finely ground coffee
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix together the salt, coffee, cocoa and cinnamon. Dry the tenderloin medallions on a paper towel and then press all sides into the mixture so that they are well crusted. Heat a good pan to medium high heat and pour in the olive oil. Sear the tenderloins on both side and then place them on a baking sheet – finish in the oven for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare 12-15 for medium. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve immediately with Cracked Pepper Cream.

Cracked Pepper Cream

  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely cut lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 Tbsp. cognac
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns roughly cracked

In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and sauté the shallot over low heat until soft. Add the stock to the pan and allow it to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, and peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes. Keep warm until serving.

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Tuna Poke

Getting inspired by the upcoming Olympic games? Feel like fuelling up on a protein packed snack just like the top athletes? Try out this super easy, uber-quick, and absolutely delicious low fat snack. Guaranteed to get you up and moving – or at least make your taste buds happy! The sambal olek adds the heat in this dish, so use as much or as little as you like. As this dish uses raw tuna, please be sure to ask your fishmonger for sashimi grade fish – that will guarantee it has been flash frozen to enhance the safety.

Makes 4 cups

  • 2 lbs. raw sushi grade tuna
  • 1/3 cup soya sauce
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sambal olek
  • 1 Tbsp. fine grated fresh ginger root 
  • juice 2 small limes

Chop the tuna in 1/2” dice. Mix gently with all other ingredients chill thoroughly.

Serve with original raincoats crisps, slices of toasted baguette or crispy wonton skins.

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Lesley’s Best Breakfast Smoothies

With the Olympics just days away, we’re all thinking about the athletes and this ultimate display of what the human body can achieve – which in foodie terms means we’re whipping up healthy recipes that treat our own bodies well. One of the best ways to do that is to be sure to get some morning nourishment, but who has time for a balanced breakfast these days? One easy solution for a protein, vitamin and antioxidant packed ‘meal-on-the-go’ is to pair one of these easy and delicious smoothies with our Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Cookies. And, as always, reduce your intake of toxins and buy organic whenever possible.

Passionate Mango

pair with Lesley Stowe’s Apricot, Ginger  and Slivered Almond Raincoast Cookie

 Makes 1 smoothie

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour into glass and enjoy!


Raspberry Rhapsody

pair with Lesley Stowe’s Dark Chocolate, Tart Cherry and Pecan Cookie

Makes 1 smoothie

  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup low fat vanilla yoghurt
  • ½ cup acai juice
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour into glass and enjoy!


Lively Litchi

pair with Lesley Stowe’s Dried Cranberry and Toasted Hazelnut Cookie

Makes 1 smoothie

  • ½ cup frozen peach slices
  • 1 small fresh banana
  • 1 cup raw baby spinach leaves; blanched
  • ½ cup litchi juice
  • 1 Tbsp. low fat vanilla yoghurt
  • 1/8  tsp cinnamon

Blanch spinach by dropping into a pot of boiling water for 5 seconds, remove from pot and drop into ice water to stop cooking. Drain and place with all other ingredients except cinnamon in blender and process until smooth. Pour into glass, sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

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Jason - January 10, 2012 - 12:25 pm

That ginger cookie is my workday morning routine. Thanks for the smoothie recipies!

Susan - January 10, 2012 - 1:35 pm

My favourite way to start the day! Yummmmm

Amber - January 10, 2012 - 3:46 pm

Yummy! Great smoothie ideas :-)

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