This could be a salad for one or ratio increase to serve multiples.

Choose a sweet juicy orange. Using a sharp serrated knife, remove the peel completely including the white pith. Carefully start by cutting a thin piece off the top and bottom of the orange to make access easier to peel off the side rind.

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Slice the orange in quarter-inch thick horizontal slices. Pour the escaping juice on the cutting board into a bowl with the orange slices.

Drizzle the orange slices with Bacardi Fiero Vermouth (orange notes) or use your favourite orange liqueur. Gently stir in a tablespoon of fork-mashed St-Germain Elderflower liqueur marinated medjool dates from your refrigerated container.

Add a tablespoon of my kumquat marmalade. If you don’t have it, use a store-bought bittersweet orange marmalade. Refrigerate in a glass container, covered. It’s always recommended to work with glass, not plastic, when preparing acid-based foods.

When ready to serve, drizzle the orange mix with your most expensive rich thick olive oil treat. Scatter your favourite sliced olives, black or green. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper.

Note: Instead of drizzling with olive oil, drizzle with your Mazola Corn Oil Jalapeño Oil, from your pantry jar. But only if you love and can tolerate “heat,” because although the jar of hot peppers is delicious, being jalapeños the wonderful oil is indeed hot! My jalapeño oil is a fabulous dipper for toasted buttered black-olive bread.

In a separate dish, grate using a coarse rasp a little fresh Parmesan block or wedge of cheese or Sartori BellaVitano Raspberry Ale cheese. Paper-thin ribbons of almost sweet Norwegian lite Jarlsberg cheese can be a wonderful switch-up.

In the same dish, again using the coarse side, grate a teaspoon of bitter dark chocolate (65 to 85 per cent).  Sprinkle the cheese chocolate with a generous bit of Atlantic Ocean Amagansett sea salt finishing flakes. Use a fork to marry gently.

Set aside the chocolate cheese salt.

Prepare a mesclun salad or use Boston Bibb organic hydroponic lettuce. When ready to serve, scatter the sliced orange date mix over the lettuce plate and scatter with the cheese salt chocolate mix. Do not stir.

Just a salad – but no ordinary salad

Process the orange in oil date cheese mix in the food processor until it is nearly a paste. Scrape down the bowl sides to save every drop. Put the paste into a cheesecloth and squeeze out any excess oil. Mix the chocolate cheese orange mix into a thick dark chocolate ganache. Add a generous mix of crushed homemade candied nuts from your pantry jar. Refrigerate.

Using a tablespoon and moving quickly, form one-inch balls. Roll some of the truffles in a dish of sea salt flakes, others in desiccated coconut, still others in plain dark chocolate powder that you use to make hot chocolate drinks. You might even dredge in fine ground dried orange zest or grind a mix of dried mixed candied citrus from your pantry sugar jar.

For an exceptional use, place a mix of these truffles on the side of an entree of pan-fried liver and onions. What a surprise tastebud WOW treat!

Christmas salmon sandwich

Toast your favourite multigrain sandwich bread. Butter generously with unsalted butter or use a compound butter coin from your frozen reserve currency.

Cover the base slice with several crispy bacon rashers. Before cooking the bacon, cut each rasher in half so when it’s cooked you have the perfect sandwich bread size. Top with layers of delicious fresh sweet lox or mounds of paper-thin napkins of frozen Norwegian smoked steelhead salmon.

Smear my homemade cranberry mayonnaise on the top bread slice. Add a mound of frisée lettuce. Close and cut the sandwich on the diagonal. It’s a most delicious after-the-holiday-season treat.

If you have refrigerated mashed marinated in St-Germain Elderflower medjool dates (they keep for months), spread the dates on the slice before the smear of cranberry mayonnaise. If you have homemade date syrup, drizzle it over the frisée. You could substitute a drizzle of second season maple syrup or even your favourite honey. My favourite honey is Orange Blossom Honey from Israel.

This delightful unusual special salmon sandwich can be served all year round.

As an alternate you could use any of my leftovers salmon recipes.

For any salmon leftovers, if not a sandwich or even an open-face crostini or tapas, maybe make a few spoons of salmon salad by adding a little of my mustard sauce into your homemade mayonnaise. Finely mince a chive thread and scatter. A little shredded coconut or minced crunchy water chestnuts (they’re delicious and they come in a small tin) or even celery add texture. You could add a bit of citrus (even a quarter of special orange slice from above bowl).

Spoon a little salmon salad into a fresh bite-size tuile nest or fill a pâte à choux for a delightful amuse bouche.

If you are fortunate to have delicate Arctic char, don’t waste even a spoonful. Switch it up like the salmon. Maybe add a tiny bit of my cranberry mayonnaise. Mouth watering yet?

Watch in 2021 for part of my gourmet cookbook series:

From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen to Canadian Expats: Inspirations and Ideas ~ from back home. Speaking to Canadian Expats home cooks relocated around the world… Our Kitchen Expats

Spirits in My Kitchen: Lady Ralston – Canadian Cooking with Bouquets and Aromas – Good Food Made Better Adding Spirits

Taste the Sea ~ Seafood from Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Kitchen: Crustaceans, Fish ~ lobster, shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, salmon, sea salt and more… Fruits de Mer: Jewels of the Sea

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


    “Orange Panna Cotta”

    Using set individual Panna Cotta generous shot glasses, sprinkle with fresh orange zest and spritz with Cointreau or Grand Marnier. You might use Bacardi Black (Puerto Rico) Rum; it has orange under notes.

    If you happen to have kumquat marmalade add a tiny dollop on top. Sprinkle with just a flutter of finishing sea salt flakes from Amagansett Sea salt company in New England. They ship all over the world. Be aware when I bought mine it took several weeks to arrive and that was pre-Covid shipping.

    Serve the dressed Panna Cotta using espresso spoons. Set up each glass on a small clear glass or crystal pie plate on a lace doily.

    This so-light dessert is appreciated after indulging in a particularly heavy meal. Just a treat to enjoy as a finishing touch.

    Compliments of:
    © Lady Ralston : Canadian Contessa’s “Not Exactly Ice Cream” ~ Desserts and More…

  2. “Homemade Cooked Mustard Sauce”

    A handy Covid keeper sauce, refrigerated, keeps well. Sterilize a glass mason jar and its lid. Drape with a clean non-fluffy tea towel and cool.

    HINT: no matter what bottles or containers you open, always lay the lid on a paper towel or tissue to keep counter clean. Easily disposed.

    But most important, keep the lid right side up, the side that comes in contact with food facing down. Just one more way to maybe be logical all the time not just in Covid time.

    Air naturally carries airbourne bacteria and bits of hair particles, even pet hair. You don’t want to replace the lid introducing bits to whatever you have in the container be it mayonnaise, sour cream, or even leftovers; a jar of pickles maybe, or even your peanut butter jar. Replace lids immediately so as not to expose contents. Teach children this in their early years to develop a lifelong pattern. It’s not about overkill, it’s about safety in the kitchen, needed now more than ever.


    In a non-aluminum saucepan whisk six egg yolks. You might choose to use a glass double boiler. (Save the whites to make really easy wonderful nougat, or even my Bird’s Nest Pavlova.)

    Gradually add three-quarters cup of white sugar and stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.

    Stir in a quarter cup of dry mustard powder. Add a full cup of plain white vinegar. Stir to blend well. (Your nostrils will clear.) Reduce on medium heat.

    Flutter a little Amagansett sea salt finishing flakes as the sauce cools to room temperature.

    You can use this tasty sauce warm, cold, or at room temperature. ENJOY!

    Instead of vinegar you could add dry vermouth or even cognac for a most spectacular real mustard sauce.

    You might even want to add a tiny drizzle of your favourite liquid honey

    Store refrigerated in ONLY a glass jar.

    A perfect mustard sauce to serve on ham, salmon, even on sandwiches (especially thin slices of roast beef). Maybe on meatballs or meatloaf.

    Maybe add a few tablespoons of this mustard sauce to your homemade always at the ready thick mayonnaise to create a personalized Dijonnaise. You could add a few crushed capers. How about adding to your Caesar Salad.

    Interesting served on my French-cut green beans. Maybe add a little mustard sauce to my cream sauce kohlrabi or even creamed Belgian White Endive. (Of course with nutmeg.) or offer even on buttered parsnips. (Add a pinch of sugar to parsnips cooking water along with salt, same as when cooking carrots.) You could mash, add butter and serve parsnips with my whipped mashed potatoes, or even with my special Polenta and the mustard sauce.

    Maybe make Parsnip “Fries.” Like my Zucchini Fries:

    A nice drizzle on filled Parmesan Tuiles, too:

    Or as a dipper for these Duckalicious Cigars:

    Compliments of manuscript:
    © Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Kitchen gets Saucy ~ Sauces, Aolies, Dressings, Drizzles, Drops, and Puddles

  3. “Easy Covid lockdown cooking… add special Covid carrots”

    Real estate agents still have to eat during lockdown and feed their families….

    Toss my sugar buttered carrots (don’t forget the nutmeg) with a small spoon of my cranberry orange sauce and maybe a few pomegranate seeds, and add just a drizzle of maple syrup.

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    You could add a few seedless sweet green grapes. Or use a savoury option: add sweet pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives from your refrigerator jar for a sweet and sour mix, for those with the acquired palate.

    Perhaps serve these tasty carrots alongside any salmon dish.

    A drizzle of, homemade from scratch, stovetop made fresh sweet real mustard sauce atop the salmon is a nice touch. I recall that was a favourite salmon dish enjoyed when I was growing up; (I had an adult palate as a child), or even drizzle a little creamy avocado sauce over the salmon. Or drizzle my warm blue cheese salad dressing on the salmon.

    I never peel carrots. I scrape the peels off, under running cold water. And add a pinch of sugar and salt to cold water, bring to a boil just till fork tender.

    Because these carrots are so delicate and sweet they are even nice served alongside precious “Dover Sole meunière.” Don’t ever pass up the opportunity to enjoy real Dover Sole. Quite difficult to come by, and expensive, it has a unique flavour that cannot be replicated. You will enjoy the memory tucked away in your special memory collection for a lifetime. There’s nothing quite like it, if you enjoy fish.

    Maybe arrange to have a coming out treat for when life gets back to some sort of quasi normal as Covid is likely to remain with us for the foreseeable future. Dress up. Dress the table, add flowers maybe from your garden. We so look forward to whatever the new normal will be.

    A Noilly Prat aperitif (just an ounce) sets the stage for organizing the gut flora digestif tract biome, if so inclined. It is said the aperitif helps digestion or upset stomach…

    “Gut flora or gut microbiota are the microorganisms including bacteria, archaea and fungi that live in the digestive tracts of humans and other animals including insects. The gastrointestinal metagenome is the aggregate of all the genomes of gut microbiota. The gut is the main location of human microbiota.”

    If not available in your area perhaps substitute easy to locate Bacardi Martini and Rossi vermouth. Or any favourite bitters. Some, with a European palate might enjoy Unterberg or Jaegermeister.

    As a contributing gratis columnist I have introduced my outside readers to REM and promoted REM for more than a decade through my gourmet cooking columns, where readers learn valuable real estate information from other columnists that my readers then follow.

    © Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Kitchen gets Saucy ~ Sauces, Aolies, Dressings, Drizzles, Drops, and Puddles


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