Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Red Wine Potatoes

Use a medium potato for this recipe, something with a firm skin.  For a nice vegetarian dish sprinkle with feta or goat cheese while still hot, otherwise serve with a roast of your choice.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Magazine

1.125 kg medium size potatoes, skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp coriander
1 cup dry red wine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, parsley or fresh coriander


  • Using smooth side of a kitchen mallet, crack the potatoes so there are cracks, but potato is still fully intact.
  • Heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat.  Add potatoes in a single layer.  Turn potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.
  • Sprinkle with coriander, cook 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Pour over wine and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cover.
  • Reduce heat so potatoes simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until much of the wine has evaporated and potatoes are tender when pierced.
  • Pile potatoes into serving dish; sprinkle with herbs.  Pour pan juices into a deep small dish.  Use a tine spoon to drizzle just a bit over each potato when split open.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Danish Potatoes

Who knew I have been doing these wrong! Well maybe not wrong but my version of this recipe was to mix brown sugar with butter and fry with small potatoes until they caramelize.  This has been a constant for our holiday dinners and I always thought that was the only way to do it.  I found this in Food and Drink Magazine and absolutely love it.  Use good quality, fresh mini potatoes.

750 g very small thin skinned potatoes
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp water
Coarse salt


  • Boil potatoes in water to cover for 8 to 10 minutes until they are not quite cooked and offer some resistance when poked with a skewer.  Drain, rinse under cold running water and cool.
  • Add sugar to a saute pan large enough to later hold potatoes easily in lamas a single layer My cast iron works great for this.  Cook sugar over high heat until just melting.  Reduce heat to medium high, add butter and stir for a minute to incorporate.  Slowly add water while stirring constantly.
  • Add potatoes; turn to coat with sugar mixture.  Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring and lifting potatoes constantly, until a rich deeply coloured caramel glaze forms on each potato.  Turn into a warmed dish; lightly sprinkle with pinches of salt.  Serve right away with chicken, lamb or pork.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Really Gooey Butter Tarts

In honour of todays Butter Tart Festival in Midland, Ontario today here is a recipe for your own butter tarts. I used the No Fail Pastry from this blog.  I am a no raisins in my butter tart person so I just used 3 to 4 full pecans per tart for this.  You could add the raisins, or used chopped walnuts or put in raspberries…experiment and have fun! I mad a mistake and didn’t line the tart tins with parchment paper - this makes it very hard to get the tarts out without breaking the pastry….next time I will line them.


3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut in 8 pieces
1/3 cup cold water
2 tbsp white vinegar



  1. Ina bowl, combine flour and salt.  With a pastry blender or fingers, cut in butter and vegetable shortening until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  2. Combine water and vinegar and sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time tossing together with a fork until the pastry is moist enough to hold its shape when a little piece is pressed between the fingers.
  3. Gather pastry into a ball - it should not feel sticky.
  4. Flour the counter or pastry board lightly.  With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12 inches.  Fold the pastry into thirds like a letter.  Turn the dough so the open edges face you and roll out into a rectangle again.  Repeat this procedure again.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill one hour.
  5. For smaller pies, use half the dough, larger ones need two thirds or all of it.  Freeze any remaining dough for another occasion.  Dough should bee rolled 1/4 inch thick

1 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 chopped nuts
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/ cup raisins

Line tarts tins with pastry.  Mix corn syrup and brown sugar in saucepan.  Cook gently for 5 minutes; cool slightly.  Pour over beaten eggs slowly - otherwise it will cook the eggs.  Beat continuously, adding butter and salt.  Put nuts and raisins - or whatever you are filling your tarts with in the tarts and pour the filling over to make the shells 2/3 full.  Bake 10 minutes in 450 F oven; reduce heat to 350F and bake until set, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Campfire Coffee

Served warm or over ice this is a great campfire coffee.

To a thermos add 12 oz Kahlua, 4 cups coffee, 4 oz chocolate syrup and a dash of your favourite hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne. Stir to mix. Serve in cups topped with whipped cream.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Tri Colour “Pasta” and Chicken Meatballs

I have been cutting down a lot on pasta and breads lately.  I won’t eliminate them, but I don’t indulge as much as I used to. Here is a great recipe from Food and Drink Magazine that replaces the pasta with veggies.  I don’t have a spiralizer so I just cut them up as fine as I could and it worked well.  The homemade sauce was really nice but if you are short of time you could replace it with your favourite canned variety.

TOMATO SAUCE
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (each 794 g) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
½ cup (125 mL) dry red wine
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes

CHICKEN MEATBALLS
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (500 g) lean ground chicken
½ cup (125 mL) bread crumbs
Pinch of chili flakes
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

TRI-COLOUR “NOODLES”
2 large carrots
2 large Yukon gold potatoes
1 broccoli stem (reserve florets for a steamed vegetable side dish)
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

GARNISH
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh basil leaves, shredded
¼ cup (60 mL) freshly grated Parmesan
1. For tomato sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat for an hour, uncovered, stirring every so often. Taste and adjust seasoning if need be. Purée with an immersion blender if a smoother sauce is desired.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

3. For meatballs, in a small pan, heat olive oil and cook finely chopped onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Tip into a bowl and cool. Meanwhile, mix together ground chicken with bread crumbs, chili flakes, egg, salt and pepper. Add cooled onion-garlic mixture. Wet hands and form mixture into 14 to 16 meatballs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly space meatballs on sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

4. Wash and peel carrots, potato and broccoli stem and trim all ends to make flat. Place onto the spiralizer glider, making sure the centre of the vegetable is aligned with the circular centre blade. Push the glider towards the front blades as you turn the handle and watch as your spiralized veggies materialize. Keep a bowl nearby to collect “noodles” and clean out the pulp and cores as you go. Toss spiralized vegetables with 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil.

5. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook vegetables in several batches until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Toss with sauce in pan. Serve with meatballs and top with shredded basil and Parmesan.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

These elegant little desserts are from Food and Drink magazine Winter 2017.  

Classic little tea cakes topped with a rich white chocolate cream… And one bite is all you need. Well, there will be plenty if you insist on more than one bite.I used a mini muffin tin. The batter and white chocolate cream should be prepared a day in advance, with baking, whipping and decorating all done on the day of serving.

FINANCIERS
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) unsalted pistachios
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp (75 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking powder
3 large egg whites
About 1 cup (250 mL) frozen raspberries

WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM
4 oz (125 g) white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

Fresh raspberries, pistachios and white chocolate shavings for garnish
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and continue cooking until the butter foams, turns golden brown and has a nut-like fragrance. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

2. Place the icing sugar and pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the nuts are very finely ground.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add the icing-sugar-ground- nut mixture and whisk to combine.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are foamy. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the egg whites and brown butter. Cover the mixture and chill overnight.

5. For the white chocolate cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl and the cream in a saucepan. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute, then stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Chill overnight.

6. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

7. If using a mini muffin tin, lightly grease and flour the moulds. If using a Silpat mould, place it on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity about three-quarters full with the batter. Insert a frozen raspberry into each mould.

8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until slightly mounded on top and golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack then remove from mould. (The financiers are best the day they are made, but can be stored in a sealed container, at room temperature, for up to 1 day.)

9. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the white chocolate cream to stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a decorative mound onto each financier. Garnish with a fresh raspberry, ½ a pistachio nut and white chocolate shavings.
Makes about 25 mini Financiers

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Salt and Vinegar Russets

If you are going to have potato with dinner, you should be making this one!  Russets are best for this recipe but if they aren’t available use what you have. From Food and Drink Magazine Autumn 2016.

1.125 kg russet potatoes, about 4 large
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed but intact
1 tbsp salt
1/3 cup malt vinegar
coarse salt


  • Scrub potatoes and prick in several places with a skewer.  Arrange in a a circle in microwave; microwave 10 minutes, turning once. or until a skewer can be easily inserted but encounters some resistance.  Cool until able to handle.
  • Cut potatoes lengthwise so the halves are as flat as possible.   Using a sharp knife, score about 1/2 inch deep in a criss cross pattern about the same distance apart.  Do not slash skins.  Place in a glass or ceramic dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. (do not use a metal pan).
  • Microwave olive oil and garlic for 25 to 30 seconds or until hot.  In another container, add salt to vinegar; microwave 20 seconds or until hot.  Stir to dissolve salt; then mix oil and vinegar together.
  • Lightly brush oil and vinegar mixture over potato slits.  Grill over low to moderate barbecue heat, starting skin side down for 5 minutes.  Brush slits again; immediately return to grill slit side down.  Grill another five minutes.  Continue brushing slits with more oil mixture as needed for another 5 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.  Brush again before serving.
  • Sprinkle potatoes with pinches of coarse salt.  SErve right away with grilled steaks, chops or chicken.