Tag Archives: Ottawa Food Photography

Ottawa Food Photography :: Chicken Fajitas with Pineapple Mango Pico de Gallo!

The creation of this recipe was inspired by a recent visit to a new little taco place that opened up here in town. The other day I ate some SUPER delicious tacos there and I have not been able to stop thinking about them since! This of course got me thinking about the amazingness of Mexican hand foods, and how very little I cook it despite really enjoying it. Now like any ethinic food I attempt, I make no claims to the authenticity of this dish. I simply cook based on my own tastes and what I think my family will eat! I do, however, guarantee that this will be one of the most unique, delicious, colourful and flavourful dishes you will ever make in your own kitchen! It’s also surprisingly easy to prepare if you don’t mind a bit of prep work! Probably the best thing about this dish though is the presentation. It LOOKS like you spent hours crafting and preparing this masterpiece…when in fact, it was even less involved than I initially thought. The flavours and textures mingle so nicely that it almost creates a unique flavour all it’s own. Highly recommended as a cool and impressive dish for entertaining this summer!

 

1 ripe mango cubed
1/2 fresh pineapple cubed
1/3 of an english cucumber peeled and cubed
12-15 sweet baby tomatos sliced into quarters
1/2 red onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely minced
A small handful of cilantro roughly chopped (or however much desired)
Juice of 1 large-ish lime.
sea salt to taste
(Optional ingredient ideas: Avacado, Jalapeno peppers, Tomatillo, Red/yellow/orange peppers.)

Place all chopped and peeled fruits and veggies into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the ingredients. Salt to taste. Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate covered for an hour or two before serving to let the flavours ‘mingle’. Serve cold on tortillas over top of fajita chicken (see recipe below) Note: This Pico de Gallo will keep if covered in the fridge, however the mango and pineapple will likely get mushy very quickly so eating quickly is a good idea. Not that this would be a problem of course. 😉

 

 

2-3 cubed chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4  teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like it spicy!)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
Heat a few glugs of oil in a skillet and cook chicken over medium heat until completely cooked (no pink). Add 1/2 cup of water (or lime juice) and 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning mix and stir well. You will have some left over fajita seasoning after making this recipe. So you could easily use more than I’ve recommended, or store the left overs it in an air tight container for next time. Alternatively: Any of the fajita spice packets available at the grocery store would work for this too, and would save a bit of time. We like the sodium-reduced house brand stuff at our local Loblaws.

 

 

Aren’t the colours phenomenal?! If food could be sexy, I believe this would be it! 😉
Are you an Ottawa or Gatineau area bakery, restaurant or cafe owner who is in need of some unique images of the delicious foods you serve? Perhaps you’d like food photos for a website, blog or menu? If so, I’d love to discuss the possibilities with you!

Ottawa Food Photographers :: The Yummiest Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So here’s my weakness. Chocolate Chip Cookies. In fact, I’m SO weak for these that they almost didn’t last the length of this photo shoot! My only criteria for a good Chocolate Chip Cookie is as follows: Must be chewy (not crispy), must have LOTS of Chocolate Chips and must be undercooked by at least 2 full minutes. Go ahead…call me gross, but I LOVE a good under-cooked cookie. 😉

This recipe was one modified from one I had found on The Food Network Canada website. I, of course, tweaked it to suit my tastes and after my first batch made two weekends ago, I’ve officially proclaimed them to the The Yummiest Chocolate Chip Cookies! The great thing about this recipe is that when made the way I like them they are soft in the middle, just a teensy bit crispy on the outer edges, and contain enough chocolate chips to make the cookie to chocolate ratio a perfect one. And when you are a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur like me, these things are important. According to the original recipe, what helps keep the centre chewy is the corn starch. Now, I’m no chemist or chef so I can’t confirm those claims, but for the sake of a ooey gooey centre, I’ll take it! 😉

 

 


 

The Yummiest Chocolate Chip Cookies:

 

3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (we prefer milk chocolate, fair trade if possible!)

 

Directions:

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer like me!), cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
4.  Using a standard tablespoon, drop dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8 or 9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  Or if you like to live on the edge like me, reduce that cooking time to 7 minutes baby!
5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely before eating the ENTIRE pan to yourself. Because you will. And its really okay. I promise not to tell. 😉

 

 

Do you have a favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe? I’d love if you’d share yours in the comments section below!

Ottawa Photographers :: Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Summer Rolls, Fresh Rolls, Salad Rolls…whatever you call them, they are a staple at every Vietnamese restaurant and one of my absolute favorite ‘light and healthy’ things to order or make at home!! There are a number of ways to prepare and serve Salad Rolls. The way I’ve chosen to make them this time excludes a couple of the common ingredients like fresh mint and basil, mostly because I just find they are too over-powering for my taste on this particular dish.

The great thing about this recipe is that its very flexible and adjustable depending on how many you’d like to make, what types of things you’d like in them and how much of each ingredient you wish to put in. Since my husband isn’t a fan of seafood, I often make his with just veggies. I have, however also had them with chicken and they are delicious that way too. Feel free to add in or substitute any of the veggies I’ve used below for some of your favorites. Red, yellow or orange peppers could be a nice addition and would add some lovely colour!

This Peanut sauce is one that I have modified from a recipe I had found on CHOW…and its a REALLY fantastic one! I’m not sure how it compares to a traditional Vietnamese peanut sauces, but for my North-American palette, I found it complimented the more mild and subtle flavors in the Salad Rolls. Just the perfect blend of flavors!

 

What you’ll need:

1 Package of circular Rice Paper wrapper sheets (found in the Asian or International foods isle of your grocery store)
1 package of thin vermicelli rice noodles.
1 package of small-medium, pre-cooked and deveined shrimp with tails off (or you can take the tails off yourself)
1 large carrot
1 head of lettuce
1 package of bean sprouts (I used about 1.5 cups worth)
1/2 cucumber

1) Prepare all ingredients for the filling of your salad rolls: Cook vermicelli noodles according to instructions on package and set aside. Remove tails from shrimp and rinse. Peel and cut carrots into long match-stick size pieces or grate. Peel and slice cucumber into long match-stick size pieces. Break apart lettuce, wash and shred. Rinse bean sprouts well with cold water and set aside.

2) Set out wooden cutting board on your counter (this will be your folding station). Fill a large pot about 1/4 of the way with water and warm up on stove until you see tiny bubbles forming on the bottom, just enough to get the water hot and then turn off heat. Place one rice paper sheet into the hot water and allow it to fully submerge (you may have to poke it down into the water a bit to prevent it from curling). This is the trickiest part: once sheet is in the water, leave it in for only THREE seconds and pull out gently. I find a large spatula works well for this. Place wet rice paper wrapper on your cutting board and use your fingers to smooth it out flat.

3) Fill your salad roll! Place 3-4 pieces of shrimp down first in a line across the middle of your rice paper wrapper, leaving a bit of space at the ends for folding. Add in lettuce, sprouts, carrot, cucumber and a noodles in any amount you want according to taste. To wrap your roll by folding in the ends and rolling it away from you, making sure to tuck in any stray noodles or bean sprouts that might try to pop out.

4) Set aside completed rolls on a plate. Its a good idea to keep a piece of damp paper towel handy to cover them as you are making them. They must be kept a little moist on the outside or they’ll dry up very quickly and the wrappers will crack.

 





What you’ll need:

1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1 tsp white sugar
2 heaping tbsp of hosin sauce (found in the Asian or International foods isle of your grocery store)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp of Sesame Oil
1/4 cup water

1) Simply add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk thoroughly until all ingredients are well blended. Serve with your salad rolls and ENJOY!

Notes:

~ At some stores you can actually find carrots pre-cut into match-stick size pieces. I know our Loblaws store often does. So that’s one way to cut down on prep time if you can find them!

~ If your wrapping skills aren’t top notch yet, don’t fret! I’ve found that this is a skill that I’ve developed over time so keep practicing. No matter how you wrap them, they’ll still taste delicious! And if they do happen to be on the loose side, don’t be afraid to use a spoon to pour some of that yummy sweet peanut sauce directly onto your roll!

~ These will not freeze well, but I’ve found that they can easily be stored in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Place rolls on a plate covered with a lightly moistened paper towel. Then cover entire plate with plastic wrap.