Chef Guy’s Seafood Blendz!

seafood-chowder-is-excellentSecret tip (not very secret):

BLUE MUSSEL CAFÉ uses Chef Guy’s Seafood Blendz in their chowder (and some other dishes yet to be identified).

I found it at the PEI Company Store in the Confederation Court Mall, but it is available on about 16 other locations on the island, and you can order it online here.

Ingredients: Dill weed, kosher salt, celery seed, fennel, mustard powder, chili flakes, black pepper, bay leaves, brown sugar, paprika, clove, all spice, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I put waaaaay too much in the first time I used it. I used about 1/2 tsp. on the veggies while I was softening them, then probably added a tbsp. once I was thinning out the roux.

Hmmm… Chef Guy’s Blendz, huh? Who is Chef Guy?

From their website:

“Chef Guy’s Blendz is a small family owned business located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Executive Chef Guy LeClair is the creator of our hand crafted Blendz and he has been doing so since 1999. His culinary spirit and reputation are well known locally as he has been instrumental in developing and sustaining some of the most popular menus in Charlottetown at such establishments as the Merchant Man Pub and the Dundee Arms Inn. It all began when he started creating these Blendz to be used in menu items at the restaurants he worked. Customer demand “

Here is the OFFICIAL CHEF GUY’S BLENDZ RECIPE FOR SEAFOOD CHOWDER:

*****

Seafood Chowder

12 oz of Lobster meatChowder for Web
8 oz of baby Scallops
8 oz of baby Shrimp
1 – 10 oz can of baby Clams
6 oz of Haddock
6 oz of Salmon
1 med diced Spanish onion
2 diced stalks of celery
1 tbsp of Chef Guy’s Seafood Blend
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of 10% milk blend
2 cups of diced potato

Cook 2 cups of diced potato and set aside.

In a 2 quart pot, fill half way with water and bring to a simmer. Add baby scallops, baby shrimp, haddock and salmon. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes.

Transfer fish to a bowl – reserve the left over liquid and set aside for later. In the same empty pot, add a 1/4 pound of butter on medium heat and sauté the onions and celery with 1 tbsp of Chef Guy’s Seafood Blend. Stir in 1/4 cup of flour until mixed thoroughly. Slowly add reserved liquid, cooking on medium heat until desired thickness is reached. Add 1/2 cup of 10% milk blend. Add lobster meat, baby clams (with juice) and the cooked potatoes and simmer for 8-10, minutes. Serve and ENJOY!! Serves 10-12ppl

*****

Blue-Mussel-Cafe-2Omnomnomnomnom… going back for just one more bowl!

You can find more Seafood Chowder recipes without this specific seasoning on my Food / Seafood Pinterest Board!

 

Note: I do not work for any of the companies/brands/establishments mentioned – just a fan! 🙂

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Donnie’s Favourite Macaroni Salad

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Donnie LOVES macaroni salad.

I love this recipe because it’s relatively simple, extremely customizable, and most people love it.

It’s great to tote to a potluck, keeps well in the fridge, works for lunches, picnics and general summer noshing.

Works with any shape of pasta, gluten free or regular – I like to use something colourful! Our favourite (and the one pictured here) is Catelli Bistro Rainbows – you also get the benefit of extra fibre, iron, vitamin A and potassium with this pasta too!

rainbows

Donnie’s Favourite Macaroni Salad

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INGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups dry pasta
– 1-2 chicken stock/bouillon sachets or cubes (optional)
– 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
– 1/2 cup finely diced celery
– 1/4 cup finely diced carrots
– 2-3 thinly chopped green onions
– 1/3 cup mayonnaise
– 1/4 cup white vinegar
– 1/8 cup sweet pickle juice (i.e Bik’s Yum Yum!)
– 2 tsp. dried mustard
– salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil water in a large pot with chick bouillon sachets/cubes and fish sauce/Maggi sauce. Add pasta. Cook until tender, about 7-9 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop veggies and/or proteins you’ll be using.

3. When pasta is al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool.

4. Add chopped veggies/proteins and remaining ingredients; mix gently to blend and coat pasta. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs if desired.

5. Chill and then serve as desired. Enjoy!

2015-07-06 21.33.59NOTES & TIPS:
– I like to add powdered chicken stock sachets or cubes to the water I boil pasta in. This is something my Mom has done forever – it adds depth of flavour I adore… I’ve also been known to add a few dashes of fish sauce or Maggi sauce to the pasta water. UMAMI!!!
– You could add any other veggies you like to this! We’ve tried corn, peas, pimento, mushrooms, pickles, peppers, asparagus, radish, avocado, etc. – anything in season that you like works!
– Make it easier and buy matchstick-cut carrots and chop from there, or grate regular or baby carrots!
– Try adding some chopped hard-boiled eggs, bacon, braised tofu, cooked chicken, shrimp or tuna to make it a full meal with protein!
– In the summer when we have herbs growing it’s lovely to add some fresh basil or other fresh herbs that float your boat – dill is one of Donnie’s faves.
– It gets better the longer you let it sit in the refrigerator before eating! Try at least 6-8 hours or overnight for the yummiest results.

The Best Beginner Fish Recipe Ever

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Dinner plate – trying both tilapia and haddock this way, and served with a green salad, garlic and chive mashed potatoes and honey glazed baby carrots.

My fiance Donnie and I are trying to join the world of seafood eaters. I am coming from a lacto-ovo vegetarian world, and his beginning seafood repertoire was fish & chips, shrimp, mussels and lobster.

Since moving to PEI I believe I have now mastered my own Seafood Chowder, and I was already adept at mussels, but have now perfected the Donnie-loves-them mussel technique… And that’s about it (not taking into account the frozen pre-flavoured shrimp skewers from M&M Meat Shops).

So I began researching the best “gateway” flesh fish. That’s what I’m calling non-shellfish, because it is such a foreign concept to me at this point to contemplate chewing fleshy meat.

We have tried this with tilapia, cod and haddock so far. My favourite is Tilapia with haddock a close runner-up, and I couldn’t eat the cod. Too much of a meat texture for me. Donnie’s favourite was the tilapia too; he also loved the haddock and cod, and couldn’t rate one above the other.

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I forgot to take a photo BEFORE I started eating. Oops.

I bet it would work well for most fish!

This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds skinless fish
  •  3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened, plus more for greasing dish
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Old Bay
  • Herbs of your choice (garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, basil, dill, etc.)
  • 1/2 c. Panko
  • Paprika (for colour at the end)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F; Grease cookie sheet with thin coat of butter or oil.
  2. Mix together parmesan cheese, butter, mayo, lemon juice, green onion, salt, pepper & other herbs in small bowl until well blended.
  3. Arrange fish in a single layer.
  4. Bake fish for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully spread parmesan mixture over top. Bake additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining Panko on top. Broil 5 more minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

 

This recipe was inspired by a few others: Panko Tilapia Fillets with Homemade Tartar Sause from Deals to Meals (also photo credit for image below), Mayonnaise Baked Fish from Food.com, Easy Oven Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia from 101 Cooking For Two, Easy Baked Fish Fillets from MyRecipes.com and The Best Fish Recipe Ever from Living Well Spending Less via Pinterest.

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PEI Encyclopedia: Mating Rituals

These boys crack me right up.

The PEI Encyclopedia series of YouTube clips was introduced to me by one of my nearest and dearest friends, henceforth on this blog to be referred to as “Mayor Fruit Salad”. It was during the INSANITY that was January/February on PEI.

We needed something to laugh about.

It was back in February 2015 when we had a few days of sunshine breaking up the winter chaos that had almost become monotonous… and I was new in town, and a bit taken aback by all the greetings I was getting on the Mean Streets of Charlottetown. And EYE CONTACT from complete strangers. It was almost creepy it was so foreign.

I was recounting a few of my daily street encounters to Sir Fruit Salad when he said it reminded him of the PEI Encyclopedia “Mating Rituals” video (which is very much NSFW).

WELL.

City Girl Makes the Move

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with a population of ~2.7 million. In fact, it just surpassed Chicago to become North America’s 4th-largest city (after Mexico City, Los Angeles and New York). It’s ~5.6 million people if you count the Greater Toronto Area.

We’re moving from Toronto, Ontario to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The entire island has a population of ~140,000. About 35,000 live in Charlottetown.

celebrity-relatives

Needless to say, a bit of an adjustment. I won’t say “culture shock” but it’s something like that.

So here we go.

My intention for this blog is to use it as a creative outlet during the transition from “Big City” life to living on the island. Who knows how long I will keep going?

I plan to share observations about the change, feelings, PEI advice, as well as totally unrelated things… DIY/craft projects, events, work-related stuff, recipes, wedding planning updates… should be fun.

Thanks for reading.