The Qualifirst Blog

Sharing our Passion For Food

  • VERJUS: A Chef's Technique for You & Me

    Quality ingredients often come with a story, and VERJUS is no different. I have been on a bit of a focused "Verjus Kick" for the past year, tasting Verjus all over Europe and North America. Before the story, a simple question: "What the Heck is Verjus & how do I use it?" Verjus which translates roughly from old French (aka 'middle French') as "Green Juice". Verjus is simply the fresh juice from green, unripened grapes. You know ... the grapes when unripe that are so tart and acidic that it makes you wince when you taste them? The origin of Verjus is well documented in French cuisine but the cultural beauty of Verjus is the rich tradition of its use across the Middle East in Persian and Syrian ...Read More

  • Los Ancones Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

    Los Ancones Dark Chocolate Ice Cream   Recipe Type: Dessert Author: Nicole MacVicar Dark, bittersweet and fruity. this rich and fudgy chocolate ice cream is for the serious chocolate lover. Ingredients 1 L whole milk 2 oz 'Los Ancones' Grue Nibs, or other organic cocoa nibs 0.5 cup cane sugar 1 oz cocoa powder 6 egg yolks 8 oz 'Los Ancones' 67% Plantation dark chocolate minigrams or high quality dark chocolate 70% 5 g ice cream stabilizer P4T 1-1.5 tsp. kosher salt, to taste Instructions In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in cocoa nibs, cover, and let steep for 2 hours. In a clean heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk ...Read More

  • Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

    Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream   Recipe Type: Dessert Author: Nicole MacVicar The ultimate vanilla ice cream. smooth and creamy made with real Bourbon vanilla beans for a true, rich vanilla flavour. Ingredients 1 Litre 35% whipping cream or equal parts milk and cream 200 g cane sugar 8 egg yolks 1 Bourbon vanilla bean, cut in half 1-2 tsp. Bourbon vanilla powder 5 g ice cream stabilizer I30 P4T Instructions Pour the cream, half of the sugar, vanilla powder and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring the milk nearly to a boil over medium heat, watch carefully to make sure doesn't burn and stir often. When the very first bubbles begin to appear, remove from heat and let it cool. (you ...Read More

  • Salad Dressings DIY Quality: Part III Caesar Salad

    Well spring is finally here and everyone is making salad, hopefully DIY gaining flavour, saving money, and promoting your health. In my last Blog post Salad Dressings DIY Quality: Part II The Basics it was time to expose the myth that bottled salad dressings were cheap. The math is clear, bottled salad dressing is expensive and one look at the ingredients reveal that the quality is not there. So today we are going to talk about the popular Caesar Dressing. No, Caesar Salad was not invented in Roman times but it is fit for an Emperor. A more contemporary quotation using Caesar Salad and life ... by the singer Adele: It's never been an issue for me - I don't want to go on a diet, I don't want ...Read More

  • Six Grain Salad

    Six Grain Salad   Recipe Type: Salad Author: Chef Suman Roy Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 15 mins Serves: 8 Ingredients 1 tbsp butter 1 cup chopped onion 1 tsp chopped garlic ½ cup chopped carrots ½ cup chopped celery 2 cups 6 Grain Rice Medley 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning 5 cups chicken stock 3 cups Antipasto Rustico 2 cups chopped walnuts, roasted 1 cup crumbled goat cheese Instructions In a pot, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, saute till they are soft. Add the Six grain Medley Rice and the cajun seasoning and saute for 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook till the rice is fully cooked and the stock has been ...Read More

  • Warm Canadian Beluga Lentils & Sweet Potato Salad

    Warm Canadian Beluga Lentils & Sweet Potato Salad   Recipe Type: Salad Author: Chef Suman Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour 5 mins Serves: 8 Ingredients 1 tbsp butter 1 cup onion, small diced 1 tsp garlic, chopped 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and small diced 1 cup Canadian beluga lentils 1 tbsp Herb de Provence 3 cups vegetable stock 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup pomegranate seeds 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1 tbsp lemon juice ¼ cup parsley, chopped salt & pepper to taste ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled Instructions In a pot, over medium heat, heat the butter. Add the onion and garlic and saute till the onions are soft. Add the sweet potato, herb de ...Read More

  • Imploding Chocolate Bomb of Hearts

    Imploding Chocolate Bomb of Hearts   Author: Nicole MacVicar Serves: 15 servings*, plus some leftover cake This cake will thrill as the heat of the nutella sauce melts the outer chocolate sphere. Totally worth the effort at Valentine's Day or any special occasion. Ingredients For the Red Velvet Mini Cake Hearts: 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt ½ cup (4oz/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature ½ cup cane sugar ½ cup beetroot powder 2 large eggs, at room temperature ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature ¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature 2 tsp vanilla extract For the White Mini Cake Hearts: 1½ ...Read More

  • Zahtar & Sumac Crusted Flank Steak

    Zaatar & Sumac Crusted Flank Steak   Recipe Type: Main Author: Chef Suman Roy Serves: 6 servings We used a simple sous vide machine (immersion circulator) to cook the flank steak to perfect medium rare. At home, first marinate overnight, pat steak dry then sear in a heavy skillet and finish cooking in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135F Ingredients 3 tbsp Zahtar Spice 1 tbsp Sumac Spice 1 tbsp Garlic Powder ½ tsp Kosher Salt 2.5lb flank steak, cleaned and trimmed Instructions In a mixing bowl, mix together all the spices (zaatar, sumac, .garlic powder & kosher salt) Cut the flank steak in two pieces so it is easier to manage. Dredge ...Read More

  • Black Barley Beef Soup

    Black Barley Beef Soup   Recipe Type: Soup Author: Chef Suman Roy Serves: 8 Servings This is one of the best winter soups we have ever tasted! The rich beef base, the nutty flavours of the black barley and then perfectly balanced with the balsamic vinegar. The ultrasperse 3 adds sheen to the soup without having to add additional oil. Ingredients 1 tbsp canola oil 2 cups diced stewing beef 1 cup diced onion 1 tbsp minced garlic 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary 1 tbsp cajun seasoning ¾ cup black barley, rinsed ½ cup diced carrots ½ cup sliced celery 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp beef base 10 cups water 2 tsp ultrasperse3 ½ cup chopped parsley Instructions In a large heavy bottom ...Read More

  • Maple Bacon Scone

    Maple Bacon Scone   Author: Nicole MacVicar Serves: 1 Dozen Ingredients 2 cups gluten free flour 4 tsp baking powder ½ tsp kosher salt 4 tbsp butter 2 tbsp shortening ¾ cup heavy cream (35%) 1 egg, beaten 2 cups chopped crisp bacon, divided ½ cup granulated maple, divided Instructions In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Cut in the butter and shortening. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream and egg. Add to dry ingredients. Stir in half the bacon and granulated maple. Turn the dough into a floured surface. Roll the dough and cut into biscuit size rounds. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon and granulated maple on top of the scones. Bake the ...Read More

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