Quinoa ‘tous-qui’ salad

During an impromptu dinner party in Montreal a few years ago I learned an interesting French slang, «tous-qui». It’s a portion of «tout ce qui reste» which I was told kinda translates into “all that remains.” Thrown into a cooking context you get good ol’ leftovers.

But doesn’t it just sound better in French? Seriously, compare your friends’ expressions when offering them leftover soup vs. tous-qui soup. Better still, switch the word order to Soupe Tous-qui and add another star to your ratings. Exotique! Cinque étoiles! Just like being in the south of France.

So how about the post then?

One night I wanted to make quinoa salad so I looked into the fridge for things to add. Quinoa is somewhat tasteless on its own but you can add just about anything to make a great dish. For anyone who doesn’t know, quinoa is a seed though most people think it’s a grain. The plant has been considered a super food for millennia because it can survive such harsh climates (this is what I learned online). A single serving is loaded with all eight essential amino acids as well as high doses of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

For this salad, the quantities don’t matter, which is a big benefit of tous-qui cooking. In fact, I’ll skip the specifics and just list the ingredients that I have used.

Quinoa ‘tous-qui’ salad

  1. 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups liquid (cold water but stock preferred)
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. Soak the quinoa for 5 min in the cooking pot with no heat then rinse with your hand. Pour off the rinsing water using a fine mesh strainer. This helps the quinoa cook evenly.
  4. Add the quinoa, liquid and salt to the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover pot, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Keeping the lid on, remove quinoa from heat and let it sit five minutes.
  7. Pour out quinoa on to a tray and gently fluff with a fork.
  8. Once the quinoa has cooled place it into a large and bowl and add:
  • Roasted vegetables: onions, zucchini,  garlic, garlic scapes, red peppers, green onions, beets (cut into 1/2” dice)
  • Green olives (pitted)
  • Feta Cheese (cut into 1/2” dice)
  • Tomato (cut into 1/2” dice)
  • Snow Peas
  • Herbs: Parsley, Watercress, Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Baby Spinach
  • Pine Nuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon juice and minced zest

Tous-qui meals are one of my favourite ways to cook. It clears out the fridge and lets me try out new food combinations. Try applying the concept to soups, bread and salads. Dig through your fridge, do some chopping and off you go. What’s not to like?

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Will the new SixTop please stand up

SixTop will be a year old this September and we’re pretty proud. Some big changes are coming. What started out as a hobby has now turned into something we really believe in and would like to see grow.

To start we’re changing the direction of the programming by adding a restaurant section. We’d like to provide a more expanded point of view for great places in Halifax as well as posts about places we find out of town.

Next we’ll be adding new contributors. We have some friends joining SixTop to help provide even more great posts, recipes and reviews.

Last is the website. We’ll be moving the blog to our own new domain. It will feature a  brand new design which will allow for more flexibility for all our posts and photography. You can also contact us directly now at sixtopinfo@gmail.com.

We’re very excited. The new SixTop will provide even more insightful, detailed and entertaining information for the modern foodie. Please stay tuned and in the meantime you can visit our new coming soon page.


Future milk producer

Cute little Georgia was born this week on Chad and Lindsay’s farm. It was a bit of a surprise. One morning she was just standing in the barn beside mama Freckles.

As you can tell from the photos, Georgia is a Nubian goat. We love the puppy/deer/bunny look she has going on.

One day she’ll provide milk for the farm. Until then, it’s just play time.


Garlic scapes: All greens should be this pretty

I loved these the moment I saw them. They were long and curly and smelled a bit like garlic. I had no idea what they were. But we now had a handful of them thanks to our CSA farm.

Turns out garlic scapes are as flavourful as they are pretty. They’re the stems from garlic bulbs, so they have a mild garlicky taste. You can chop them up and use them in just about anything. So far, they’ve been a great side dish in two recent meals.

Here’s one easy recipe:

  1. Cut off the tips of the scapes, then cut into large pieces
  2. Heat pan to medium, add about 1 tbsp of unsalted butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil
  3. Add scapes and move them around. Sauté until they start to brown
  4. Finish with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon
I tried a recipe from 2 Sisters Garlic and ended up modifying it a bit since I didn’t have all the ingredients. Here’s what I used:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz garlic scapes (tips cut off)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (chunks)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • pepper
  • salt
Now follow these easy steps:
  1. Heat oil in pan, add sugar
  2. Stir to caramelize for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add scapes, cover and sauté over medium heat for up to 3 min (don’t scorch!)
  4. Add tomatoes and wine, stir
  5. Cover and reduce heat to low, cook 5-6 min or until scapes are tender
  6. Season with salt and pepper
Apparently scapes are only available in early summer. Too bad.  They’re so versatile. I’d like to use them all year round.

This little piggy came from market

It’s been quite a while since we’ve posted a recipe n’es pas? Here’s one for a delicious pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon with an apple/onion chutney. Please note it was an off the cuff DYI creation so the measurements aren’t totally precise. Don’t let that stop you!

Oh, and in the spirit of our recent “CSAing” I’ll add that this meal was almost completely local. We used our CSA apples and the tenderloin was purchased at the awesome Windy View Farms. Please support them.

Pork

  • 1 Pork tenderloin
  • 6 Strips of bacon
  • 1 tbps Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Dry thyme
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butchers twine
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Clean the tenderloin of most of the fat and silver skin.
  3. Grind the fennel seed and dry thyme to a powder.
  4. Lay the bacon out flat and over lap a bit to make a “bacon blanket” (got your attention now?) the width of the tenderloin.
  5. Rub the tenderloin with the spices, salt and pepper and place on the bacon higher than centre so that the bacon overlaps when you…
  6. Roll the tenderloin in the bacon, then tie it up. I used the half-hitch method I learned in that never tiring Jacques Pépin video from a few posts ago.
  7. Apply the last of the rub.
  8. Heat oil over medium heat. Brown the tenderloin for 2 minutes a side. When it’s nice and caramelized place it on a plate and cover with tinfoil.

Chutney

  • 2 cups Apples (small dice)
  • 1 large Onion (small dice)
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
  1. Use the same pan with all the brown bits. Place it on medium heat. When hot add the butter. Swish it around until it’s melted and the foaming has stopped.
  2. Add the onion and apples. Stir them around. After a few minutes add some salt, pepper and the sprig of thyme.
  3. Once the onion and apples have softened add the cider.
  4. Raise the heat a bit so the cider reduces.
  5. After seven or eight minutes make a space in the centre of the pan and put the tenderloin back. Pour in the juices from the plate.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is about 140° in the centre.
  7. When done take out the pan and let the meat rest 10 minutes before carving.
  8. Spoon some chutney on a plate with two to three 1” thick pieces of pork.

To customize you could easily skip the bacon or serve the tenderloin with whatever vegetable you prefer. I think we had a salad with ours.

So far cooking this summer has been great. With the CSA veggies and local meat we find we’re eating healthier and feel better about what eat. With simple recipes like this and great ingredients how can you go wrong?