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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Marseille Bouillabaisse a Provencal Classic

What is your favourite fish soup?

Residents of Marseille are adamant that French fishermen eked basic sustenance from their unsightly leftover fish bits concocted this fish broth/soup/stew on the shores of the now sprawling metropolis. The name for this dish is derived from two actions bouillir (to boil) and abaisser (to reduce or simmer). However, in the intense world of “Iron-chef” gastronomy the origins of bouillabaisse are up for debate.

Fishing in Marseille Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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


French Recipe Favourites

Nutmeg has learned a few things about technology in the last couple months including:

  • It is a brilliant idea to keep back-up files
  • Software version updates can cause problems
  • The benefits of saving documents to a cloud

Luckily, there are a few loyal readers including CardaMOM, who prints everything.  Nutmeg has rebuilt the recipe database on this blog over the last few weeks, and she has been able to recover 99% of the recipes.  The new format is much better for printing.  Rather than make you search back through old posts for the French recipes, some of them are captured below (click the links) and enjoy!

market-chevre Continue reading

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

What to serve for Cinqo de Mayo

Nutmeg had never heard of Cinco de Mayo before she moved to Calgary.  Think what you may, Nutmeg is no slouch!  She has consumed her fair share of tequila, upside down margaritas and cervezas (Spanish for beer) in particular Corona and Dos Equisover the years.  Despite years in liberal Quebec,  a well known eastern university and a good grounding in Toronto,  she had honestly never heard of Cinco de Mayo before her arrival in Calgary.  Ginger made sure she was properly educated in her first 60 days on the scene.  Nutmeg’s awakening led to 5-6 years of classic “house party” celebrations (no photos available.  These parties ranged from reasonable to the industrial size rental margarita machine to dancing with power-tools.  At that point, Nutmeg suggested the annual celebration may have run it’s course.

What is Cinqo de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo (“fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.

Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. It is interesting that Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico the date is observed in the United States and around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not (Ginger had told Nutmeg this was the case) Mexico’s Independence Day,which actually is September 16.

What to serve for Cinco de Mayo?

Aside from the obvious tequila, cervezas and margaritas….Fish Tacos!

There are as many Fish Taco recipes as there are “want-to-be” Mexicans on May 5th.  The following are key ingredients:

  • white fish like tilapia or cod – marinade or bread and fry
  • salsa – mango or pico de gallo are both great options
  • spicy coldslaw – try a chipote mayo
  • hard taco shells or soft tortillas

Experiment with a few options to find your favorite combination.

On May 5th, pull out the blender, raise a glass, eat a few tacos and patiently await Truffle’s next installation as he ponders what to serve for Cinqo de Mayo.

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 Continue reading