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Ricardo is the most popular TV chef in Quebec -- he has been called "Quebec's answer to Jamie Oliver." In this series, "Ricardo and Friends," Ricardo visits local growers and suppliers to gather ingredients to turn into fabulous meals for friends and family.
Ricardo is babysitting! A good friend needs a babysitter for his four children... and Ricardo is the lucky winner! He prepares a family friendly menu: cream of carrot soup and hot chicken sandwiches made with easy sandwich bread and homemade hot chicken sauce. For dessert, a Quebec classic, a warm ‘pouding chômeur’ which will definitely convince the children to come back. Mission accomplished!
Keep it simple! That’s what today’s meal is all about! With this easy-going menu, Ricardo’s friends won’t believe their eyes. Watch him prepare a ‘Chèvre chaud’ with nuts followed by a pasta with cherry tomatoes and ‘fleur d’ail’ (garlic flower) pistou. For dessert, Ricardo revives an old family favourite: a caramel and salted butter pudding with vanilla cookies – just like his mom used to make for him! So if you’re a caramel lover like Ricardo, you’ll remember this dessert for a long, long time!
Today, Ricardo has a casual, outdoor, Japanese-style menu for his friends. Seated at a small coffee table on big cushions, the group slowly enjoys a warm mushroom miso soup, a classic salmon teriyaki and crispy green vegetable tempura. For dessert, an original and simple look-alike: dessert maki rolls stuffed with fruit. Don’t forget your chopsticks!
Every spring when the apple trees are in full blossom, Ricardo’s family and close friends enjoy a country style lunch at an orchard. This year, Ricardo has thought of everybody. A refreshing orange lemonade for the children, some savoury herb muffins for Brigitte and Juliette, a pork and fig terrine for his friend Hélène, a California-style salad with apples for his daughters and a frangipane tart with pears and crunchy almonds for everyone. A delightful picnic menu fit for the whole family.
Today, Ricardo has gone back in time with childhood memories and has organised a backyard movie drive-in for his daughters and most of their friends. For the occasion, Ricardo has prepared loads to snack on. Strawberry Slush, a sweet and salty party mix, a huge Mexican dip, caramel and barbecue popcorn cakes, spicy tamari nuts for adults and of course some candy apples. In 3, 2, 1… enjoy!
To thank the town workers for all of their good work, Ricardo has invited four of them to share a barbecue lunch. To test their appetite, Ricardo has prepared the biggest starter ever, some American-style double cheeseburgers followed by tender pomegranate-glazed ribs and all-dressed stuffed potatoes. The dessert is a huge summer classic: strawberry shortcake. A real all-boy barbecue!
To celebrate his niece’s graduation from University, Ricardo organizes a finger food cocktail party. On the menu, there’s a lot to savour: bacon-wrapped olives, potato chips with smoked salmon and avocado salsa, onion and parmesan rillette, spicy lamb meatballs and brownie lollipops. Trust Ricardo – nobody can resist these.
To cope with hot and humid summer days, Ricardo has a menu that’s cold from A to Z. A creative frozen cocktail, bloody Caesar-sicles start this delightful menu, followed by an Asian-style beef Carpaccio, a colourful Asian shrimp salad and a light fruit salad with lemon yogurt jelly. The perfect summer meal, with or without rain!
Today, Ricardo is turning his house into a Deli! He visits a well know Delicatessen Schwartz’s and brings home some of his favourite smoked meat... along with Frank, Schwartz’s manager! While he tries to discover the secret mixture of herbs and spices of this Montreal specialty, Ricardo also prepares dill pickles, coleslaw and a creamy potato and cheddar salad. The final hit: a spectacular New York-style cheesecake topped with a delicious strawberry glaze.
It can be quite stressful to cook for friends who arrive without any warning...but here is Ricardo’s secret: just keep it simple! Discover two soups in one: a vichyssoise (served cold) or a parmentier (served warm). Impress your guests with colourful tomato napoleons and watch Ricardo prepare a quick molasses and mustard glazed pork tenderloin. Finally, his caramel-ripple ice cream pie is so easy to make; it’s always a winner! No one will ever know how really surprised you were!
For his annual summer family reunion, Ricardo, his wife and his three daughters have invited us to discover the lovely Gaspésie, one of Quebec’s many regions. By the sea, Ricardo cooks a special banana-chocolate French toast for a camper’s breakfast and a traditional Gaspésie lunch: crab cake sandwiches. As for the family reunion dinner…with the precious help of more than 40 people, Ricardo prepares chicken breast marinated with ‘herbes salées’, plenty of salad with a frothy cream dressing and loads of potatoes baked in the coals. This is a reunion to remember.
Ricardo shares some great recipes for weekend cooking. Let him inspire you with cock-a-leekie, a traditional Scottish soup with homemade dumplings and watch him prepare the perfect comfort food: ‘choucroute’ (Sauerkraut) and tender pork served with savoury baked apples. And for dessert: warm oatmeal cookies topped with vanilla ice cream. Take your time and enjoy!
In season, nothing’s better than delicious, juicy and refreshing peaches. Because we normally buy way too many, Ricardo shares ideas on how to cook them. Try a nice peach gazpacho, a barbecue grilled chicken with peaches and fennel, and two different desserts: poached peaches and a fabulous peach-almond crumble tart. These recipes are sure to quickly empty your peach basket.
With our long Canadian winters, everybody dreams about the sun, the sea and white sand beaches. To counter the cold, Ricardo has decided to cook a typical French West Indies menu. His first rule is to keep his guests warm with a local cocktail called ti-punch! After this delicious drink, crispy acras (cod fritter beignets) are served follow by a richly flavoured chicken and coconut Colombo and a squash gratin. His friend Martine’s sugary banana dessert will add sunshine to the plates.
What’s better than a friendly hockey game followed by a nice meal? Today, Ricardo prepares a menu to keep his friends warm: cheese fondue, tender filets mignons on crispy leek puffs and roasted root vegetables. For dessert: a tasty lemon pudding cake. Delicious!
Some of Ricardo’s friends just moved into their first apartment. Remembering this great part of his life, Ricardo has cooked basic and essential freezer meals for a limited budget. On the menu: chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, Italian tomato sauce with leek and lemon meatballs and three tasty fruit pies. And to top this all off, Ricardo makes a home-delivery.
Back from the market, Ricardo is truly inspired by all the nice seasonal produce he found. With all this good food on hand, he decides to prepare a French classic soup with a special easy twist: squash and shrimp bisque. For the main course, a mustard-roasted chicken served with caramelized carrots and pears followed by a mouth-watering rustic pear spice cake. Fantastic!
Some of Ricardo’s friends are vegetarians so he has prepared an exotic Indian vegetarian dinner. He serves his guests some crispy vegetables samosas made with fresh phyllo dough followed by two different curries: a cauliflower and raisin one and a potato and spinach one. Delicious with warm naan bread, it’s a perfect, colourful and tasty meal.
Inspired by fond memories Ricardo cooks up some of his favourite recipes from the Italian side of his family; a hearty passatelli soup, a beautiful sausage and arugula penne, and a lamb leaf salad topped with Niagara vinegar dressing. For dessert, his godfather’s favourite: homemade cannoli. Bravo! Deliziosi!
Ricardo can’t stop thinking about the wonderful Jewish dinners that his friend Mona has prepared for him so today, he returns the favour. He invites Mona, her husband and their two children over to his house where he tries his hand at some of her recipes: a classic matzo ball soup, a slow cooked beef brisket and a traditional side dish, kasha. To add a bit of colour to this meal, Ricardo prepares a beautiful beet salad with honey-horseradish dressing. The pressure is officially on.
Dreaming of fresh and healthy Mediterranean Greek cuisine, Ricardo cooks up a lentil-vegetable soup, traditional stuffed vine leaves, creamy moussaka and an easy on the budget but yummy dessert: yogurt with honey. Delicious and good for you!
Every spring, Ricardo needs at least one traditional sugar shack menu. This year, he has decided to stay home and share this very French Canadian tradition with his family and friends. All of his old family recipes are on the menu: slow cooked bourbon baked beans, a tender maple ham with caramelized onion and a country-style omelette served with crispy pork rinds. And for dessert: sweet maple syrup dumplings that will definitely call for a glass of milk. Of course, nothing is complete without maple taffy on snow.
Inspired by his parents’ parties, Ricardo prepares a ‘retro’ menu based on his childhood memories. Don’t miss egg mimosas, cheese spread on celery ribs, and surf n’ turf kebabs served with lemon- barley pilaf. And of course, the stars of the evening: butterscotch cupcakes!
Today, Ricardo really wants to impress his friends, but without any stress and fuss. How easy can it get? Cook a simple menu in advance and reheat it at the last minute. Start with roasted figs on herb scones with Roquefort whip cream; enjoy a succulent Osso Bucco with Ricardo’s special touch and taste a sumptuous molten heart chocolate cake. Let’s take it nice and easy.
While Canada is in the midst of winter, citrus fruits are at their peak and Ricardo’s got a 100 % citrus fruit menu in mind. Enjoy his grilled fennel salad with Clementine’s and his delicious citrus stuffed chicken legs with lemon rice. Learn to prepare a ‘very chic’ pink grapefruit granita and exotic citrus tartlets with a Brazilian nut crust. Talk about a boost of sunshine.
Inspired by his recent summer holiday in Barcelona, Ricardo is cooking a traditional Spanish meal: tapas! Around the barbecue, Ricardo prepares homemade sangria served with crispy chorizo chips, grilled endives with melon and prosciutto, tomato toast, a Spanish version of tortillas, garlicky paprika shrimp and mini chicken skewers with smoked paprika. A perfect Barcelona four o’clock stop.
Ricardo is the host of a good friend's baby shower! He decides on a tea time party for this group of special women. He shows us a very unique way of serving piña coladas, in bottles! He prepares a variety of tea sandwiches; cream cheese, raisins and alfalfa sprouts, chicken with curried mayonnaise and shrimp with cucumber. To complete this lovely array of sandwiches, Ricardo serves mini ham scones and for dessert, strawberry scones, decorative meringues and tea. Ricardo wishes his friend only the best in her new and exciting adventure called Motherhood!
Join Ricardo on his annual weekend with the boys. This year will be hard to top, as a helicopter is involved! To feed this hungry bunch Ricardo has prepared a manly meal, which consists of an onion tarte tatin, roasted duck breasts with spiced whiskey sauce, roasted miniature vegetables and a vanilla Bavarian cream with caramelized apples and almond crumble. After this weekend Ricardo will need a vacation to recuperate
The son of a couple of Ricardo’s close friends is celebrating his birthday and Ricardo prepares a special meal for the event. The only obstacle, the young birthday boy suffers from certain food allergies but is a great fan of Asian food. When one suffers from nut allergies it can get pretty tricky to dine out Asian-style! Ricardo has created a complete allergy friendly menu to surprise and please his young friend! A special bubble tea to start of the evening, followed by the ever so traditional wonton soup, very creative Asian-style chicken lollipops with stir-fried vegetables and a delicious allergy-free chocolate cake!
Béatrice and Clémence, Ricardo’s eldest daughters are coming home from school for lunch. Ricardo whips up a simple and fun menu using bagels, bagels and bagels!!! To feed his hungry bunch he serves a healthy yellow bell pepper soup with bagel chips accompanied by spicy chicken salad bagelwiches. Can’t send them off without a sweet ending, cranberry lime bars!
Ricardo shares some great recipes that are all cooked up from leftovers! Leftover roast beef is deliciously transformed into crispy orange-glazed beef. Leftover vegetables become carrot and cheese soufflés and vermicelli with julienned vegetables and believe it or not leftover mashed potatoes are used to make a unconventional dessert, mashed potato biscuits.
Today it’s dessert time! For the event, Ricardo invites his family friends over to taste the Caramelized Asian Pears, Chocolate Genoise with ganache, Crème Caramel, Custard Sauce and Floating Islands.
Join Ricardo and his family for a family picnic with a very original twist, a donkey! He has packed a great lunch for their special journey. He has made a warm potato salad with snails, a vegetable salad with grapes, a great antipasti loaf, a strawberry lemonade and an orange cake with a strawberry coulis. A terrific menu fit for a fun family outing.
Ricardo decides on a meal to thank his close neighbors! They are gardening fanatics and are always bringing over some flowers or plants from their respective gardens. Watch as Ricardo prepares a fresh and modern menu which starts of with pink grapefruit-flavoured wine and cheese in puff party with fig sauce. The main course is spectacular; skate wing with watercress sauce which is accompanied by a pink vegetable julienne. For this great group of ladies, a delicious dessert, white chocolate pots de crème with passion fruit jelly.
For a classic French dinner, Ricardo invites his friends who like La France. On the menu: Oysters with Pink Grapefruit, Tomatoes à la Provençal, Flank steaks with shallot sauce,Scalloped Jerusalem Artichokes and a very nice Vacherin.
If you don’t know by now, Ricardo is a gardening fan! Inspired by this passion he has created a menu using vegetables from his garden. To share this menu he invites some of his gardening friends. To start off, beet cakes with mascarpone, followed by a fish stracciatella with fresh herbs, spinach polpetti with tomato sauce and a lemon balm tisane.
Ricardo and his wife decide to get away for a weekend and go skiing with their good friends Hélène and Jean-Pierre. Their destination is a picturesque log cabin in the woods near Mont-Tremblant. To warm up his cold skiing party, Ricardo has brought along a soothing almond milk. Back at the cabin, he whips up a terrific feast. To start off the après-ski party he prepares a traditional raclette, followed by braised duck with mashed potatoes and cheese, honey-glazed carrots and green beans with almonds. To finish a perfect day 'the perfect cabin dessert' is served; a rustic apple, pear and date pie accompanied by a glass of ice cider.
In the middle of the winter, Ricardo and his friends are going to a fishing village for a traditional activity just as he used to do as a young child with his parents. For this event, he will use his mom’s recipe of petits poissons des chenaux. But in case the fishing trip doesn't work, Ricardo will prepare at home an easy menu that can be easily reheated. Let's start the dinner with a hot Onion Soup with Beer, then a Slow-Cooked Beef with Red Wine and for a great ending a Chocolate Pouding Chômeur.
Ricardo shares his passion for Lebanese cooking by showing us how to prepare a delicious meal filled with new and different flavours. His menu holds grilled vegetables, grilled helium cheese, baba ganouj, raw kibbeh,tabbouleh, falafels almond-pistachio rice and fattoush. After this colorful and flavorful meal, you will be a fan for life!
Ricardo hosts a dinner for some friends, who are native of les Îles de la Madeleine, a small fisherman’s town known for wonderful beaches and great lobster. Watch as he prepares traditional lobster with different flavoured butters, lemon orange rice, oiled Boston lettuce and a spectacular Framboisier for dessert.
Ricardo gives us a taste of Morocco! He has made a flavour filled lamb and vegetable pastries, an exceptional chicken tajine with apricots and stare anise, a special couscous cake and to top it all off a cup of mint tea.
To celebrate summer, Ricardo throws a casual pool party for his friends, who are more than happy to join him by the pool on this hot and sunny summer day! ON the menu, green gazpacho, shrimp rolls, French fried sweet potatoes, peach melba and to cool his thirsty friends, a great rum punch
Let's do a Canadian wine and cheese to discover local products. For this event, Ricardo surprises 4 of his friends with a cream of brie soup served with mushroom duxelles on top, accompanied by asparagus toasts au gratin And to go with that great cheese, a fig and pear or a cherry and pear jam.Let's finish the menu with a grape and muscat cake.
Ricardo and his wife decide to get away for a weekend and go skiing with their good friends Hélène and Jean-Pierre. Their destination is a picturesque log cabin in the woods near Mont-Tremblant. To warm up his cold skiing party, Ricardo has brought along a soothing almond milk. Back at the cabin he whips up a terrific feast. To start off the après-ski party he prepares a traditional raclette, followed by braised duck with mashed potatoes and cheese, honey-glazed carrots and green beans with almonds. To finish a perfect day 'the perfect cabin dessert' is served; a rustic apple, pear and date pie accompanied by a glass of ice cider.
This menu was chosen by my family because it's easy and kids love it, and adults too. Try this at home. Your family will enjoy the Macaroni and Cheese, the Beer-Battered Onion Rings, the Stuffed Chicken Legs and my Chocolate Carrot Cake!
Why not please Ricardo’s friends with a Latin-American inspired menu like Coriander and Lime Potato Purée, Pork Roast with Lime Juice (Puerco Asado), Salsa Verde, Exotic Fruit Sangria and a good Brazo de Reina.
Ricardo plans a romantic poolside supper for his wife while the children are away at their grandparents! To open this wondeful evening , artichokes with almond sauce. The main course consists of Lamb chops with mint Gremolata and Porcini and sun-dried tomato polenta .Followed by a delicate dessert, mixed berries with muscat sabayon.
This menu was created by Ricardo to please all fussy teenagers and young adults, but everyone will love it! Try these General Tao Chicken Wings, the Potato-Chip Pork Fingers with Yogurt Dip accompanied by a Cheddar Salad Chicken. Then, you'll want to finish with a spectacular Poutine Dessert!
Let's forget about the winter with menu inspired by slaves. We will start with a Cabbage and Beet Soup and follow with Perogies and Chicken with Morels, and for dessert, succulent Profiteroles served with a chocolate sauce.
Ricardo whips up a tasty Puttanesca sauce and a special yellow tomato sauce.
Come and share Ricardo’s getaway to the lovely Magdalen Islands , Québec. He prepares a casual feast for some friends, who happen to be a very popular local music group, Le Suroît. The menu is made up of steamer clams with beer and chorizo, grilled halibut with herbes salées salsa, chicken legs with honey and rosemary, vegetables cooked in the coals, ceasar salad with smolked herring and a country apple and berry tart for dessert.
A whole meal created with coffee in mind, can’t be done you say? Well Ricardo will prove you wrong! To begin, a beef “cappuccino” with parsnip foam, followed by veal medallions with coffee-cognac sauce, roasted root vegetables and a squash purée. A cool banana split with cranberry compote and coffee caramel for dessert.
A fall outing to a local honey farm was all the inspiration Ricardo needed to cook up this sweet meal. Giving traditional recipes a new twist, Ricardo serves up Carrot Panna Cotta and Lamb Shanks Glazed with Buckwheat Honey. Cheese Nougat completes a perfect dinner.
Ricardo and his friends spend a beautiful fall day in his garden raking up leaves, one of Ricardo’s favourite activities. He serves his guests a sparkling pink cider with delicious apple chips. This is followed by several of Ricardo’s favourite comfort foods: seafood chowder, lentil cassoulet and baked apples.
Ricardo entertains his sister and his 8 month old godson. William is his sister’s first child and Ricardo wants to show her that cooking for baby is as simple as one, two, three! On the menu, a simple minestrone soup, whole wheat spaghetti with vegetables and a red pepper spread. To top it all off for dessert a fresh mango lime pie. All healthy choices for little William and the whole family!
Nothing says outdoor dining like a corn roast. All you need is a lot of friends and a lot of corn! Ricardo adds his special touch by creating three flavoured butters. He also serves chicken tamales, cornbread and strawberry marshmallows. Only three words describe this party: fun, fun and FUN!
Ricardo's friends are coming over for supper with their kids. Fish is on the menu. Ricardo prepares Smoked Trout Rillettes, Whitefish in a Light Batter with a choice of two sauces (to please both young and old), and a Caramel and Pear Trifle. This fish-friendly menu will delight everyone.
To celebrate the upcoming nuptials of close friends Sonia and Robert, Ricardo prepares a feast fit for royalty. Quebec has become a producer of some of the world’s finest duck foie gras; Ricardo is a fan and bases the entire meal on this regional delicacy. Torchon-style foie gras and chicken with foie gras are followed by a simple, light dessert: flambéed sour cherries. A memorable meal if ever there was one!
Is blue cheese a mystery to you? Fear not, Ricardo has some terrific recipes using this tasty cheese. First up is two-colour Beet and Celery Soup, followed by Spinach and Blue Cheese Lasagna. A Brown Sugar Chiffon Cake with Vanilla Mango Salad provides a sweet ending. The perfect meal for blue-cheese beginners.
It’s all fun and games when Ricardo hosts a child’s birthday party. To get things rolling, he serves up a funny cocktail and a very different dip. Then come mini chicken wraps and a really sweet caterpillar cake. With a menu like this, we’ll all want to be kids again.
Ricardo' aunt drops in unexpectedly with family. Using only ingredients in his fridge and pantry, Ricardo whips up a quick starter, a main course Asparagus Risotto with fresh parmesan bought in Little Italy, and a scrumptious Apple Tarte Tatin for dessert. His guests will never suspect this delicious meal was put together at the last minute.
Chicken and potatoes remains Canada’s favorite dinner. Ricardo prepares three mouth-watering versions: classic, Asian-style and Italian-style. Also on the menu are mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes and potatoes roasted in salt for a new take on this comfort-food classic. Bon appétit, Canada!
To surprise three of his guests, all nutritionists, Ricardo takes on the challenge of transforming three rich classics into low-fat dishes whose texture and flavour match the originals in every way: imperial rolls that are baked, not fried; penne Romanoff made without cream; and tiramisu minus the mascarpone. Mission accomplished!
It is a freezing cold winter day; Ricardo decides that it is a perfect day for a Louisiana style meal accompanied by his barbecue and some friends! To warm things up he prepares po boy sandwiches. His barbecue sizzles with a delicious blackened fish! This accompanied by a warm Okras and tomato salad and black beans and rice. What better than a beautiful pecan pie to top things off!
Ricardo decides to bring a little sunshine into a dark and gloomy day by having friends over for a Mexican fiesta. He and his guests savour homemade sangria, scallop ceviche, poached turkey breast with mole sauce and yet another show-stopping dessert, fried ice cream. ¡Gracias, Ricardo!
This is Ricardo and his family’s big day—they’re moving into their dream home! Ricardo has enlisted the help of a few old friends. Their good deed will not go unrewarded. Watch as Ricardo prepares a traditional moving-day menu with his special flair. On the menu: Caesar salad, Mozzarella di Bufala Pizza, Sausage and Cheese Pizza and a spectacular Rocky Road Pizza for dessert. While their muscles may ache, the movers are happy!
After a breathtaking trip to Portugal, Ricardo decides to have a Portuguese theme supper for a few friends that have also been to Portugal. They can share pictures and memories from their wonderful trips. After sipping a delicious portonic, they enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes with a fresh twist: a Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Appetizer, a Portuguese Cod Casserole and, to cap a perfect evening, Caramel Flan.
One of Ricardo's friends owns a farm where he grows sunflowers. Ricardo builds an entire meal around this colourful flower. As an appetizer he prepares a mixture of nuts and spices (dukka), country bread and sunflower oil; followed by Watermelon Salad and Fish with a Sun Dried Tomato and Sunflower Seed Pesto. Finally, he shares a fantastic dessert idea using edible flowers. A great menu choice to put a bit of sunshine into your day.
Ricardo takes us over to his friend Vie's to prepare a meal full of autumn flavours. His mission? To get us to appreciate squash. Watch as he prepares a Cabbage and Cheddar Soup, Pumpkin Seed Dip, Meat and Squash Ravioli, and a Squash and Sugar Pie that’s a big hit with everyone. All we can say is "mission accomplished," and even the kids will agree.
Entertaining friends from a popular dance show, Ricardo pulls out all the stops. Strawberries are centre stage. A special snow crab salad kicks off the evening, followed by a traditional Rib Roast with Béarnaise Sauce and a classy variation on a simple Strawberry Sundae—a colourful and tasty meal.
This episode is all about Quebec’s pride and joy, maple syrup! He has invited his friend, who just happens to also be his English coach, Stephanie and her whole family of being for a meal full of flavour and history! He has put very contemporary twist on a traditional menu! As an entrée he has prepared a cream of shallot soup, a delicious main course of pork tenderloins with maple-beet sauce, a cauliflower purée and roasted celery. Not to forget a spectacular dessert, a pecan-maple crumble. Relax and enjoy!
Ricardo prepares a special brunch for his friend Kareen and her family. Ricardo adds his special touch to this great menu and makes it 100% kid friendly! A savoury quilt pie, followed by buckwheat crepe burritos and pink apple sauce. Ricardo will also provide you with a few great tips for a delicious and simple brunch!Brunch Tips from Ricardo• Have bread, butter and water ready in advance. Before anyone arrives, prepare bread baskets and butter dishes; fill your juice and water pitchers and put them in the fridge.
• Don’t serve butter that’s too hard. Take your butter dishes out of the fridge about an hour before your guests arrive. If you want, you can also warm bread in the oven a few minutes before serving.
• Prepare enough plates, utensils, glasses and napkins for everyone. Place everything on the table so that people can easily reach what they need.
• Set up one table for dining and a smaller one for coffee service. Place your coffee maker, all ready to go, on the small table along with cups, saucers and small spoons. Fill sugar bowls and milk and cream pitchers and set out a selection of teas and children’s drinks beforehand; you’ll save precious minutes during brunch.
• If you’re planning to serve white wine or bubbly (for mimosas), it’s essential to refrigerate your bottles the night before. At the last minute, place an ice bucket or two on the dining table along with wine glasses and a pitcher for mimosas or juice.
• Do as much as possible the day before. Make fruit salad, lay slices of bacon on a baking sheet (then all you’ll need to do is run them under the broiler), and so on.
Friends are over for a casual outdoor dinner, and a little known and underused vegetable is the centre of attention: fiddleheads. Ricardo begins with a real showstopper, Cream of Tomato Soup with Tarragon Floating Island, followed by a very simple Fiddlehead Omelette and an elegant Raspberry and White Chocolate Pie—a meal full of new flavours.
Friends from out of town arrive for a much-anticipated visit. Ricardo is up bright and early to prepare an extraordinary breakfast. A cool Mango and Strawberry Smoothie is followed by Pancakes with Fresh Blueberries hand-picked by Ricardo. But that’s not all! Ricardo reinvents a lunch classic, serving a Breakfast Club Sandwich accompanied by an Orange and Grapefruit Salad with a twist. It’s a breakfast to remember.
When the party's over and your friends have gone home, what's left to do besides washing the dishes? Why, cook the leftovers, of course! Watch as Ricardo prepares an inventive salad soup, stuffed cabbage and comforting bread pudding. It's a perfect meal for taking it easy the day after a party.
Ricardo does a bit of casual entertaining for friends and their children. Watch as he prepares Leek and Celery Salad, four-hour Pork Roast with Milk, Sweet Potato and Snow Pea Purée, and gorgeous brownies for kids, but with a special twist for grown-ups. With a meal like this, you really hope there will be leftovers!
Ricardo invites a group of his childhood friends over for an impromptu supper after a football game. He serves up Chicken Wings, Fried Mozzarella, Spare Ribs in Beer Sauce, and Ice Cream Sandwiches. The spread is set up in front of the TV, just in time to watch the hockey game. Boys will be boys!
Ricardo charms his friends – including a committed carnivore – with an entirely vegetarian menu. His lettuce-based vegetarian lasagna, with neither meat nor pasta, is a revelation, as are his vegetable tempura and quick raspberry mousse. Give it a try!
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