November 5, 2017 Aioli On Fridays in Provence

Aioli is the name of a garlic mayonnaise.  Aioli is also a traditional Provencal dish that was typically served on Fridays.  The classic dish le grand “Aïoli” Provençal is served with salted cod and potatoes. A meal suitable for the days of penance. Practised cooks would methodically re-hydrate the cod and transform it back into an edible protein. The preparation of the traditional ingredients requires time to soak and desalinate the cod. This process involves removing the excess salt, cutting the cod in pieces, and soaking in fresh water for up to 15 hours (changing the water 2-3 times). Once the salt is removed the fish is poached gently in a pot with milk and water. The cod should not boil as it becomes rubbery. Interested yet?

Aioli ProvencalYou should be!

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May 26, 2013 To Market To Market With An Expert in Provence

The small city of Martigues is located at the point where the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Etang de Berre meet. Sometimes referred to as the Provençale Venice, Martigues is attractive. There is a series of small canals, tiny pedestrian-only streets and attractive cafes.

Thursday is market day in Martigues, and that is where Ginger and Nutmeg met up with Ghyslaine and her husband Jacques. Aside from being a lovely couple, they run a successful company focused on top quality cooking classes. Appropriately named, La Cuisine Mèditerranéenne de Ghylaine, is focused on traditional cooking and techniques from the region.

Martigues Market

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April 14, 2013 Craving a Seafood Curry Bowl

France is without question a country of fabulous food, great variety in local cuisine and easy access to fresh produce.  However, France is not known for Asian cooking and Nutmeg has had the odd craving for a little curry.

One of Nutmeg’s favourite restaurants is the Crazyweed Kitchen (click to see previous blog post) in Canmore. Her friend Hot Chili also loves the restaurant and has accused Nutmeg of always ordering the same thing off the menu.  That is not 100% correct, but it is true that the Seafood Curry Bowl that is on their menu is one of Nutmeg’s all-time favorites. This delicious dish is almost a stew, perfectly seasoned and wonderful anytime of the year. Ginger and Nutmeg are currently living 8049 kilometers from Canmore, so a visit to the restaurant is not possible at present. As a result Nutmeg has taken matters into her own hands and made her variation of the Seafood Curry Bowl using local ingredients. This recipe has been tested on Ginger a few times, and even served at a dinner party to rave reviews.


Seafood Curry Bowl
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
This is a really easy dish full of color and flavours. Try experimenting with the fish and spicing to your taste. Serve with Basmati rice and a great wine. The recipe usually makes enough for two plus leaf-overs for lunch.

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive or Canola Oil
  • 1 Can (200ml) Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 Can (250ml) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Fillet (250-300ml) White Fish, de-boned and cut in bite size chunks 8 Large Shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 8 Large Scallops, cleaned
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Large handfuls Spinach Leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons (or to taste) Chili Sauce
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin, dry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Mild Curry, powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander, dry powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil is a heavy bottomed stock pot
  2. Add onion, carrot, garlic and cook until the onion is soft and the carrots are starting to brown (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add cumin, curry and coriander, cook for about 1 minute to let the spices sweat
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, chili sauce and coconut milk, mix well and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes
  5. Add the spinach, fish, shrimp and scallops, cook until the seafood is cooked about 5 minutes


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July 29, 2012 On A Ski Tour in Europe

Mt Blanc Express

Ginger is crazy about alpine skiing. He has been checking snow reports since the slopes opened in France, in November.  The World Cup race results are reviewed on a daily basis.  He even convinced Nutmeg to leave shoes, clothes and her winter coat in Calgary, so that he could bring two pairs of his precious skis to France.  So it may seem a bit obvious to tell you that skiing is on the agenda, while in France.

Ginger and Nutmeg both compiled “top ten” lists before leaving Calgary, to make sure that they were in fact headed to the same continent.  The good news is there was some overlap when it came to skiing. However, the individual motivation might be a bit different:

  • Nutmeg would like to visit some of the fancy resorts, hang out by big roaring fireplaces, sit on warm sunny patios eating fantastic food and snuggle up in warm duvets at night.
  • Ginger would like to follow the World Cup Ski circuit, work on a few race courses, cheer on his beloved Canadians and ski some of the challenging pistes.
  • Jade would like some new smells, a few choice morsels of street food and some new hotel rooms to explore.

Chamonix view

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June 10, 2012 A warm welcome to Provence with a Pot au Feu

Ginger and Nutmeg have been overwhelmed by their generous welcome to Provence and Southern France.  They feel very privileged to have been invited into peoples’ homes for  some terrific meals during the last few weeks.  The lovely lunches and dinners have included; sausage stuffed peppers and tomatoes, curry chicken, soupe de poisson, shrimp and scallop risotto, roast beef, chili, summer salads and a traditional pot-au-feu.  These have all been very special occasions, highlighted by terrific company, lovely wine and great food.

The pot-au-feu and soupe de poisson are very traditional Provençal dishes.  Pot-au-Feu is literally translated to “pot on the fire”, which is essentially a French stew.  Typically, it is made with beef although can easily be made with pork as well.  Many countries have a variation on pot-au-feu, as it is typically a way to use low cost (less desirable) cuts of meat.

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April 1, 2012 France Bound The Adventure Begins with Coq au Vin

A gift of time..

Nutmeg is happily jobless for the first time since the mid 1980s (you can do the math).  Ginger as you already know has been working very hard on a Masters degree for the last 10 months – and he has done it!  So what better way to celebrate by taking some well deserved time off than to travel?  Nutmeg has been negotiating with Ginger for awhile and it is finally happening, they are going to France for six months!  The planning began back in June and the list was very long.  The most important thing was the visa application to allow for an extended stay in the country (anything over 90 days requires a visa).

Several years ago, Nutmeg worked in France and she knows that if there is one thing the French love it is paperwork. What better way to emphasize the national love for bureaucracy than a lengthy visa application?  The process is 15 steps long and not for the faint of heart.  You need to commit to gathering all of the following (and more) in original and photocopy versions; police clearance, finger printing, photos, insurance, copies of your bank balance, promises not to work, seek unemployment insurance or get sick…  It is no small feat to gather the documentation.  Once you have all that together, you need to physically go to Vancouver for a face-to-face interview, and to hand over the documents.

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November 1, 2011 Grilled Fish Tacos on Cinco de Mayo

Need a dinner idea? Wondering what to serve for dinner on Cinco de Mayo in snowy Calgary?  Yes, for those of you who live in places that have normal weather – it is SNOWING!  So it calls for drastic measures; pull out the tequila and the Mexican beer.  Here is a Fish Taco recipe (care of Saffron):

Grilled Fish Tacos
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This recipe is very easy, you can play with the fish, the level of spice and the toppings.

  • 1½ pounds Mahi Mahi A few Limes
  • 1 Medium Red cabbage
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 8 Medium Tortillas
  • ½ Cup Plain Yogurt
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot Sauce, to taste
  1. Marinate Mahi Mahi in fresh lime juice for an hour
  2. Finely slice the cabbage
  3. Chop cilantro
  4. Dice the red onion
  5. Cut the limes into wedges
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper and cook in a frying pan for about 3 minutes a side
  7. Mix the yogurt and mayonnaise with some hot sauce, for topping
  8. Divide the fish between the tortillas and serve with the toppings


Serve with your favorite Mexican beverage and enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

Fish Tacos

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August 12, 2011 Good Seafood in Land Locked Calgary

Nutmeg was convinced when she moved to Calgary that she would never see swordfish or good ahi tuna again.  Without disclosing how long she has been in Calgary let’s just say the seafood scene is much improved.  There are some very good places to buy seafood now.  Calgary will never rival the likes of Vancouver’s Granville island, Seattle’s Pikes Place, Fisherman’s wharf or any of the other amazing places to buy really fresh seafood.

Crab #France #Seafood #Markets @GingerandNutmeg

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