The great thing about making pizza at home is that it’s easy to customize. In fact, everyone can make their own designer pizza, adding the ingredients that suit their tastes. Making the dough is a highlight as you get to be a part of the process of turning flour, water and yeast into a restaurant-worthy pizza crust. Set a date with the family to make pizza.
Yield: makes six 15 cm (6 inch) pizzas Preparation Time:About 2 hours
Different areas of Italy include different ingredients to the tomato sauce they make. In northern Italy, where the area of Tuscany is located, they include a mixture of vegetables to add extra flavour to their tomato sauce. This mixture is called a soffritto.
This “big bowl of red” is perfect for practising knife skills and feeding a crowd. It’s a one-pot meal loaded with goodness. The spices add amazing flavours making it deep and rich in taste, but not overly hot. A bonus is that many of the veggies you will be eating grow locally in BC. This recipe can be made with canned pantry ingredients, spices and frozen vegetables, all of which have a long shelf-life. It is also inexpensive and great for batch-cooking making it the perfect recipe to add to your repertoire. Making chili can be competitive as everyone thinks their chili recipe is the best, including us! We think our Project CHEF chili is THE best recipe out there. Try it out, we’ll let you decide.
Yield: Serves 5 – 6 people Preparation Time: About 20 minutes Cooking time: About 45 minutes
If you are new to cooking, this is a great recipe to practice many important cooking skills, in particular, knife skills. You will have the opportunity to practice your Claw & Saw as you precisely cut the tomatoes and onion. This simple recipe can be put together in a flash, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in flavour. It is one of our favourites and is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Roll up your sleeves, wash your hands and let’s get started!
Yield: 5 quesadillas Preparation Time: About 20 minutes Cooking time: About 4 – 5 minutes each
Baking bread might be your best excuse for a science experiment at home. It’s fun to watch yeast come alive in the right environment and work it’s magic on dough. Practice your accurate measuring skills in this recipe and use math to divide the Focaccia into fair amounts for everyone in your household. It’s going to smell heavenly and you’ll want to eat it warm because it’s just too hard to resist. Focaccia is an Italian flat bread. You can use different toppings, however this recipe calls for the classic Italian flavours of rosemary and parmesan cheese.
Yield: one dinner-plate sized loaf Preparation Time: 1 ½ hours, including rising time Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Cooking with ingredients that are in season makes a recipe taste so much better. In BC, corn is a summer grain and this Fresh Corn Chowder is best made when you see fresh cobs of BC corn at your local market. You can use frozen corn if you really can’t wait to try this soup but making this at the peak of summer with fresh corn will make a big difference to the flavour of the chowder. This recipe comes from John Bishop, a long time supporter of Project CHEF.
What makes a good curry? It’s all in the spices. India, in particular, is famous for the variety of sought after spices that are important to Indian cuisine. Spices were so precious, early European explorers set off around the world to source valuable spices. So what exactly is a spice? Spice is a dried part of a plant, such as the seed, fruit, root or bark, that adds flavour to our food. Have a smell of each spice, are any of them familiar to you?
Yield: 6 servings
Preparation Time: About 30 minutes
Cucumber is a favourite veggie of many. Oh, but wait a moment, it has seeds! Is it a vegetable or is it a fruit? Botanically speaking,a fruit is a seed-bearing part of a flowering plant that is edible. A vegetable is an edible part of a plant without seeds. Acucumber is botanically a fruit but we often classify it as a fruit-vegetablebecause it has seeds but is not as sweet as an apple or strawberry. This sweet and sour cucumber salad has a fantastic flavour combination that will please your palate.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes (plus one hour in the fridge)
In June, gardens are overflowing with fresh and tender lettuces and salad greens. Use this quick and easy recipe to showcase local greens from your garden or the market. It’s easy to customize with other veggies, such as grated carrot, or even a sprinkle of cheese.
Yield: 4 servings Preparation Time: About 15 minutes
A pesto is a sauce or dip of crushed ingredients. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle is used to pound and crush the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. The most commonly known pesto is the Genoese Pesto originating from Genoa, Italy, which is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiana Reggiano and olive oil. This is the flavour profile we will be using in our recipe. Pine nuts can sometimes be hard to find and are very expensive, therefore can be replaced with other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Check your pantry and use what you have. If you are growing basil, you can use this fragrant herb fresh from your garden. Before getting started, ask an adult to set up the food processor and help you to use it.
Yield: 4 servings Preparation Time: About 10 minutes
En papillote is a French term and a cooking method that means “in paper.” Today we are cooking our ingredients inside paper, not just any paper, but parchment paper that is designed for food and can withstand high temperatures. We are creating a tightly sealed paper parcel where the salmon will cook by steam.
Steam is a versatile moist cooking method where liquid is vapourized into steam. The steam carries heat to the food and cooks the food. Steaming food preserves many of the nutrients and seals in the flavours.
Be sure to use BC Ocean Wise salmon to ensure that the salmon was sustainably caught.
Yield: 4 small servings
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes
Cooking Time: About 10 minutes (longer for larger pieces of fish)
To be a chef you need to be part artist, part hard worker and part scientist. To really understand cooking it is important to understand the science behind behind the recipes. En papillote is a French term and a cooking method that means “in paper.” You guessed it, today we are cooking our ingredients inside paper, not just any paper, but parchment paper that is designed for food and can withstand high temperatures. We are creating a tightly sealed paper parcel where the vegetables will cook by steam. Steam is a versatile moist cooking method where liquid is vaporized into steam. The steam carries heat to the food and cooks the food. Steaming food preserves many of the nutrients and seals in the flavour. Try using different combination of herbs, vegetables, and even spices to create your very own veggies en papillote.
Yield: 4 parcels Preparation Time: About 20 minutes Baking Time: About 20 minutes
Here is a side dish you can prepare in a snap using common household items. Take a look through the list of ingredients, do you notice anything that stands out? You may think that ingredients like honey and cinnamon are reserved for sweet foods, but they have their place in savoury foods too. Many cuisines are created by carefully balancing out flavours that tickle our tastebuds. Salty, sweet, sour and spicy are the predominant flavour categories that are used in everyday cooking. Create this recipe then taste your creation. Really taste your food and become a chef. Perhaps you would like the salad to be saltier, sweeter, more sour or spicier. What could you add next time?
Yield: 4 servings Preparation Time: About 20 minutes
Peperonata is an Italian dish of slowly cooked sweet bell peppers. It can be enjoyed in many ways – it’s delicious by itself, on a toasted baguette, or even as a pizza topping. Many peperonata recipes include capers. Culinary capers are the unopened flower buds of the caper plant and can be purchased pickled. The star ingredient here is the bell pepper. On a Scoville scale, these peppers score a zero, meaning they have no spice at all. All bell peppers start off green, then slowly change colours as they mature. At the farmers markets you can find yellow, orange, red, and even purple peppers, depending on their varietal. At each stage, the nutrition within the peppers changes, and so do the flavours. When the peppers are green, they are a bit bitter, and become sweeter as they mature.
Let the Project CHEF team know how you enjoyed your peperonata!
Yield: 5 servings Preparation Time: About 30 minutes
We can travel the world through food and today we are preparing a delicious snack that is a popular street food in Mexico and Central America. A tostada is a crispy tortilla typically made out of corn, however, it can also be made with wheat tortillas. Tostadas can be made with a variety of toppings. Experiment to find your favourites.
These pickled carrots are fresh and tasty, with the perfect bit of crunch. Serve them as a salad, or as part of a snack tray. In the spring, try to find tiny new carrots to pickle for a lovely presentation. If all you have are large carrots though, as we did here, slice them up in bite sized pieces. They will look delicious as well.
Grissini, or breadsticks, are a fun and easy addition to the snack tray. Make a batch and dip them into hummus. Or, wrap in prosciutto for an Italian-style appetizer. Vary the toppings depending on preference, or what you’ve got in your kitchen. Don’t forget to serve them in a jar or vase so they look like a delicious bouquet of flowers!
Yield: About 12 grissini Preparation Time: About 2 ½ hours Baking Time: About 15 minutes at 425 F
Every culture has recipes that are important to that culture. By making and sharing these recipes, we remember family, friends and familiar places. Even though families move to new countries, we can connect to our culture through the food we make and eat.
Tortillas are flatbreads popular in Latin American cuisine, and are eaten at all times of the day. They are often made with corn, a whole grain that is grown abundantly in Latin American countries, but can also be made with wheat, which is plentiful here in Canada. They are readily available in most grocery stores, but often, the package lists ingredients that we don’t recognize! When we make tortillas at home, we know all of the ingredients. This is a fun project to try, perhaps for Taco Tuesday?
Yield: 8 x 20cm (8”) tortillas Preparation Time: including resting time, about 40 minutes Cooking Time: about 10 minutes
This one-pan recipe has lots of colours, is incredibly delicious, and is quick to make. It ticks all the boxes. A gratin is a dish that originated in France. It’s often made with vegetables, is topped with cheese and sometimes breadcrumbs. This recipe uses different types of vegetables common in the south of France and a special herb combination called herbs de Provence. If you are missing some of these herbs, it is easy to replace them with what you have at home. Give this delicious Vegetable au Gratin a try!
Yield: 4 – 5 servings Preparation Time: About 15 minutes Cooking time: About 25 – 30 minutes