Ricardo & Friends is a programme about the joy of cooking and sharing good food with people we love.
Each meal is a good opportunity to gather family and friends for a special event, whether it is a child’s birthday or his graduation from university, or simply receiving last minute guests.
As well as a specific theme recurring through each programme, Ricardo visits Canadian growers and suppliers to gather ingredients to turn into fabulous meals for his friends and family.
Ricardo, unpretentiously shows us that it is both simple and easy to cook. He’s the guy next door who manages to make you feel confident in your kitchen.
Last Minute Guests? Don’t Panic
Ricardo’s 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.
The Day After
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.
A Taste of Honey
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.
- Bean and Grapefruit salad 
- Panna Cotta with carrots 
- Buckwheat Honey Glazed Lamb Shanks 
- Cheese Nougat 
Strawberry Meal Forever
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.
- Crab and Strawberry Salad with Lime 
- Rib Roast 
- Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Sundae 
- Béarnaise Sauce 
The Breakfast Club
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.
- Breakfast Club Sandwich 
- Orange and Grapefruit Salad “with a twist” 
- Mango and Strawberry Smoothie 
- Pancakes and Blueberry sauce 
Foie Gras Made Easy
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!
- Dish Towel (cheese cloth) Foie Gras 
- Chicken stuffed under the Skin with Foie Gras 
- Morello Cherries Flambée 
Sweet and Simple
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.
- Fiddlehead Omelette 
- Cream of Tomato with a Tarragon Floating Islet 
- Rasberry and White Chocolate Pie 
The Ultimate Comfort Food
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 brownie for kids but with a special twist for grown-ups. With a meal like this, you really hope there will be leftovers!
- Sweet Peas 
- Leek and celery with dressing 
- Sweet Potato Purée 
- 4 Hour Pork Roast with milk 
- Brownies with Espresso Coffee 
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.
- Pumpkin Seed Dip 
- Pumpkin and Veal Ravioli 
- Cream of Cheddar-Cauliflower and Apple Soup 
- Cheddar Croutons 
- Squash Sugar Pie 
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 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.
- Dukka 
- Cod with Dried Tomato Pesto and Pumpkin Seeds 
- Watermelon Salad with feta Cheese 
I’ve Got the Blues
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.
- Bicoloured Celery and Beet Potage 
- Tomato Salad 
- Blue Cheese Lasagna 
- Brown Sugar Chiffon Cake and Mango Salad 
Fish & Tips
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.
- Smoked Trout Rillettes 
- Tomato Coulis 
- Fish Filets Breaded with Shredded Wheat 
- Trifle with Pears and Caramel 
TV Dinner for the Boys
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!
- Guacamole 
- Fried Mozzarella Sticks 
- Spare Ribs in a Beer Sauce 
- Ice cream sandwiches