Archive | July, 2010

Summer Salad

27 Jul

Further evidence of our pizza/salad love combination: here are some summer salads we’d like to pair with grilled pizza.

* Little Gems lettuce with green goddess dressing and tart beets.

* Macadamia-crusted goat cheese with garden lettuces, and blueberry dressing or mango salsa.

Blueberry Vinaigrette
1.5 cups blueberries
1 lime, juice and zest
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
About 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of red chili flakes
2 lavender flower buds (about 1/4 tsp

Blend blueberries, lime juice and zest, and sherry vinegar in a food processor. Strain out blueberry skins using a strainer, pressing down on the blueberries with a rubber spatula to release all of their juice. Whisk blueberry juice, maple syrup and oil together and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lavender.

* A Thomas Kelleresque salad of romaine with stone fruits (plums and nectarines), sliced cucumbers, candied spiced pecans and a spearmint yogurt dressing (also good on watermelon)
1/4 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1 tbs. shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh spearmint, coarsely chopped
In a bowl emulsify yogurt and olive oil together with a whisk. Add the shallots, spearmint, vinegar and salt. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate till serving.

Dice the watermelon(s) and serve it on a bed of sunflower sprouts. Drizzle spearmint yogurt dressing on top and garnish with fresh ground black pepper and spearmint.

* Using pureed peach or nectarine for dressing atop peaches, arugala, other greens.
(2 tablespoons Peach Puree, 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot, 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 pounds ripe peaches, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)

Pizza Pizzazz

26 Jul

pizza margherita
ABOVE: Margherita pizza and corn and pesto, before hitting the barbecue…

We could eat pizza and salad for dinner every night.

With summer fruit and vegetables abounding right now, there’s no better time for our favourite duo, paired with a glass of cool rose or robust malbec. Sunset optional.

For us, the simpler the better when it comes to pizza. Pesto and cheese. Tomato and basil. Garlicy zucchini and onion. Shaved asparagus.

This season, we’d like to try adding fruit to our molten cheese pizzas blasted on our barbecue.

We’ll keep taking inspiration from 1980s pizza heroes Alice Waters (goat cheese and duck sausage, etc) and Wolfgang Puck (pesto and shrimp etc). Or Pizza Bianco’s the Rosa: topped with red onion, Parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios.

Summer slices over at Cheese Board include:

* Peaches, mozzarella and ricotta salata cheese, arugula in a Lemon vinaigrette.
UPDATE: We added skinned peaches, ribbons of spicy salami, pine nuts and a drizzle of chili honey to our mix of mozzerella and provolone.

* Fresh corn, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, basil pesto.

How about thinly sliced baby beet, chopped beet greens, goat cheese and parmesan.

Or eggplant with reduced balsamic.

And we never get sick of our go-to fig and prosciutto; and pear, pine nut, gorgonzola.

Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Pizza Dough will do just the trick.

Pizza Dough/Sponge:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye Flour

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1-3/4 cups unbleached King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1/8 cup Bob’s Redmill cornmeal (reserved for pizza peel)

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella
1/2 can Muir Glen Organic tomatoes
2 tbsp oil olive (to brush crust)
Torn fresh basil leaves (topping)

Mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick.
Add more flour to the board as you knead so the dough won’t stick (but no more than is absolutely necessary). A soft moist dough makes a light an very crispy crust.
Knead for 10-15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Put the dough in a bowl rubbed in olive oil and cover and let rise in a warm place. (If making in advance put dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use). Let the dough rise to double in size about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 450-500 degrees.
Generously cover peel with the cornmeal to help with the transition to the oven (act as ball bearing and slides the pizza right of the peel onto the stone).
Roll out/shape pizza, brush with olive and add toppings (reserving the basil).
Bake until cooked to your liking — 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.


153 grams 00 flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons)

8 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)

2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)

4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (a little less than 1 cup) lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)

To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top and bake.

Tuna School

20 Jul

The Frugal Gourmet introduced us to tonnato sauce; that elegant Italian take on tuna sauce for veal or turkey.
It changed our thinking about tinned tuna and its aptitude for smooth dips and sauces.

Our first effort was a can of tuna blended with olive oil, salt, kalamata olives and lemon. It was pure bliss. Mayo, capers, and lemon on their own would be great also.

The NYT serves it on sliced summer tomatoes.

Essentially tuna salad put into the blender until it liquefies” is how Melissa Clark described tonnato sauce back in 2012, when she brought this recipe to The Times, with the caveat that “it tastes much better than it sounds.” The method is as simple as can be: The sauce is whipped together in a blender (though a food processor would also work), then spread over some fresh tomatoes. It’s the best kind of summer meal — fresh and seasonal, easy and packed with flavor.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 three-ounce can imported tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons drained capers

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 anchovy fillets, optional

1 fat garlic clove, smashed and peeled

2 tablespoons tightly packed basil leaves, more for garnish

2 pounds mixed tomatoes, large ones cut in slices, small ones cut in wedges

 Coarse sea salt

 Black pepper

 Crusty bread, for serving

In a blender, combine olive oil, tuna, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic and 2 tablespoons basil and purée until creamy.

Lay tomatoes out on a platter and spoon sauce over the tops. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper and garnish with basil leaves. Serve with bread.

So here we have a study of the Frug’s tonnato mayo, an elegant tuna mousse, a cold tonnato turkey salad and a startlingly stylish roast rolled turkey with tonnato sauce to be served chilled to room temperature.

Very summertime, non?

Source: Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet

1 7-oz can tuna packed in water
8 canned flat anchovies, drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy
3/4 cup olive oil, room temperature
dash of Tabasco
1 tablespoon capers
Place the tuna, anchovies, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until all are mixed together.
Add Tabasco. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the machine runs. Remove the sauce from the container and stir in capers. Serve over meats (cold roast chicken or a turkey breast), vegetables, pasta, or salads.


1 3 oz can white tuna – flaked
1 clove garlic – minced
2 anchovy fillets – minced (opt)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup yogurt -or- sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups turkey – cooked and diced
2 medium potatoes – cooked, peeled, cubed
1 bunch arugula – or watercress
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup black olives
2 tablespoons parsley – coarsely chopped

For dressing, puree tuna with garlic, anchovies, mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt. Season with pepper.
For salad, combine diced turkey with cooked potatoes.
Mix with 1/2 of dressing.

Taste for seasoning. Arrange arugula or watercress on large plate. Mound potato and turkey mixture in centre. Arrange slices of turkey on top of chopped salad. Drizzle remaining dressing.
Arrange tomatoes and olives around outside of the salad and sprinkle with parsley



•1 boned; rolled and tied turkey breast (3 1/2-pound)
•3 anchovies; cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•1 large garlic clove; slivered
•2 can(s) chicken broth; (14 1/2-ounce)
•2 cup(s) dry white wine
•2 onions; quartered
•2 carrots; cut into 2-inch pieces
•4 fresh parsley sprigs
•2 bay leaves

•1 can(s) white meat tuna packed in water; well drained (6 1/2-ounce)
•5 anchovies
•3 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
•3 tablespoon(s) drained capers
•1 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon) (8-ounce)
•Chopped fresh italian parsley
•Drained capers
•2 lemons; halved lengthwise, sliced

For Turkey:
•Make slits in turkey with tip of small sharp knife; put 1 anchovy piece and 1 garlic sliver into each slit.
•Place turkey in large saucepan or dutch oven.
•Add all remaining ingredients.
•Add water to cover.
•Bring to boil.
•Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until meat thermometer inserted in center of turkey registers 140f, about 1 hour.
•Turn off heat and let turkey cool in cooking liquid.

For Sauce:
•Puree tuna, anchovies, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons capers in processor until very smooth, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally.
•With machine running, gradually mix in oil and blend until creamy.

•Remove turkey from broth reserve broth for another use.
•Cut off string and pull off turkey skin.
•Slice turkey into thin rounds.
•Coat platter with some of sauce.
•Top with single layer of turkey slices.
•Spread turkey with more sauce.
•Sprinkle generously with parsley and capers.
•Continue layering turkey, sauce, parsley and capers until all of turkey is used.
•Surround with lemon slices.
•Cover with plastic; chill turkey and any remaining sauce separately for at least 8 hours.
•Can be prepared 2 days ahead.
•Let turkey stand at room temperature 1 hour.
•Serve, passing any remaining sauce separately.

Stampede detox 2.0

19 Jul

This is the first day of the rest of your summer… Stampede is over and everyone’s beat. Beef and beer bloated, to boot.

How will we ever recover our girlish figure?

Time for another post-Stampede detox.

Here are some light summer salads perfect for detoxing, courtesy of Gwenny from GOOP. Ever the inspiration…

From GOOP: “This dressing is the jam! Great on salad and also as a dip for vegetables. This recipe makes enough dressing for two salads, so be sure to save the extra.”
TIME: 5 minutes

For dressing:

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons water

For salad:

1 head of baby gem lettuce (or any greens), roughly cut
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 avocado, diced

Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Combine the lettuce, onion and avocado in a bowl, drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.
One quick soup, and then on to more summer salads:

Ginger and Scallion Soup
Fresh ginger—peel and dice about 5 slices
3 scallions chopped
1.5 cups water
Boil the ingredients lightly uncovered about 10 minutes and drink. It should induce a light sweat. This is a home remedy for colds and runny nose.


GOOP summer salads:
For the dog days of summer. These very tasty, wonderfully easy-to-make salads are terrific on their own, as side dishes or for rounding out your picnic basket.

I like this a lot better than the standard deli chicken salad (which does have an appeal of its own). I added peppery arugula, apple and walnuts to the chicken-mayo-celery combo and finished it off with a squeeze of lime for some zing. I love this as an open-faced sandwich on grilled sourdough.

TIME: 20 minutes

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (poached or roasted is good, incidentally this is great recipe for leftovers)
1 large stalk celery, cut into 1/4” dice
1/2 green apple, peeled and cut into 1/4” dice
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 handfuls arugula, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Veganaise, or your favorite mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
coarse salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Stir everything together.

Admittedly kitschy, but so delicious. Crab and avocado is a wonderful combination, a bit luxurious but worth it for a special meal. Marie Rose Sauce (sometimes called ‘Mary Rose’), very similar to Russian dressing, is said to have Irish origins.

TIME: 10 minutes

8 ounces fresh jumbo lump crab meat
1 lemon, cut in half
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Veganaise or your favorite mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 small shallot, finely grated
2 avocadoes, cut in half, pits discarded
In a medium bowl, squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon over the crab and stir to combine with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk the Veganaise, ketchup and shallot together in a large bowl and fold in the crab, being sure not to break it up too much. Fill each avocado half with a quarter of the crab salad. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and serve alongside the stuffed avocados.

My dear friend, Lee, made this recently and served it with a chicken wrap—a great summer lunch, full of crunch and flavor.

SERVES: 4 as a side dish
TIME: 20 minutes

1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely grated
one 1″-piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon spicy toasted sesame oil (or more or less to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
coarse salt
2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Whisk the garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar together in a bowl and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This is a good time to cut up your vegetables if you haven’t already. Whisk the soy sauce, agave and sesame oil into the vinegar mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the cabbages, carrot, pepper and scallions together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing at the last minute, sprinkling the seeds on top.

Soba noodles are wonderful and really good for you – hot or cold. Here, I tossed the al dente cold noodles with a bright combo of soy, sesame and herbs. Lovely on its own or accompanying grilled salmon.

TIME: 15 minutes

8 ounces buckwheat soba
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons light agave nectar
2 teaspoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup neutral oil (grapeseed)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or Eden Shake (a prepared mixture of sesame seeds and seaweed)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Cook the soba in boiling water, according to the package directions (about 6 minutes). Immediately rinse the soba under cold water. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, agave, mirin, vinegar and oils in a large bowl. Toss the cold soba with the dressing and mix in the sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions.


18 Jul

Adding alcohol to a dessert this rich is gilding the lilly at Stampede time. For a short while, we contemplated serving guests tiny beer floats, inspired by the recent gift of blueberry beer.

But we are rather smitten by the frozen Margarita Pie our friend G served at a final Stampede party.

The boozy, no-bake pie is coated with salty, crushed pretzels. The puckery lime insides are impossibly creamy, and pack a wallop with shots of tequila and Triple Sec.

It’s the calorie-bomb combination of condensed milk and whipping cream that makes this such a dreamy treat. We suppose, if you had to be a buzz kill, you could soften low-fat ice cream, or use lime sorbet, in their place. Sort of like a margarita ice cream pie. Nothing wrong with that.

This recipe has been adapted from Al Roker’s book, “Big Bad Book of Barbecue” Makes one 9-inch pie.

Adding extra sprinkles of crushed pretzels on top helps cut through the rich taste. Or decorate with whole pretzels and whipping cream.

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. Press mixture into a pie pan.
Bake this at 350 for eight or so minutes and let cool completely.
2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tablespoons tequila
4 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lime slices, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, zest, juice, tequila, liqueur, and salt.

Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
Pour filling into crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firmly set, for at least 2 or up to 8 hours.
Just before serving, whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold in sugar and vanilla, whipping until stiff peaks form. Garnish pie with whipped cream and lime slices, if using. Serve immediately.

Cheddar biscuits

15 Jul

If you’re suffering from stew/chili overload, don’t come crying to us.

Cheddar biscuits will make you crave a ladle-full of either.

Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Smitten Kitchen

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Drained and chopped pickled jalapeños, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.

Fill yer boots

13 Jul

During the Calgary Stampede, you’re guaranteed at least one dark stormy day. A comforting ladleful of deep, glossy mahogany-hued stew will warm your bones. Stew is western comfort food at its finest. Rich, velvet pools of chicken or beef perfectly nap hot cheese biscuits or buttery clouds of mashed potatoes flecked with chives.

stewAdding a bottle of red wine (boeuf bourguignon) or Belgian beer (les carbonades Flamandes) will only make your bubbling pot better. We confess to preferring our stew dark and saucy, with bite-sized chunks of meat, potatoes, onion and carrot. Too many chunky vegetables or a gluey consistency and you’ve lost us. If you can, try to prepare stew a day in advance.

These two western-style stews make use of Canadian ingredients. Maple syrup, juniper berries and dried blueberries make these distinct tastes.

This stew, by name, has a vile history with ingredients better left unsaid.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/2 lbs meat cubed 1″
1lb diced carrots
1lb onions
1lb diced red potatoes
5 celery stalks
1 cup flour
2 qts beef stock
2 or 3 juniper berries
1/2 cup dried berries (cranberry, blueberry, saskatoon (rosehips?)
2 1/4 lbs sausage chorizo, or Italian, thickly sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped thyme
Bay leaf
Salt pepper
Heat oil, sear meat in batches. Set aside. Add veg and saute til soft. Return meat, stir in flour until meat and veg are well coated
Add stock and and stir well. Reduce heat to low. Add berries, sausage and herbs. Simmer for one hour or until meat is tender. Season.


Makes eight servings
3 pounds/1.5kg lean beef, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups potatoes, skin on , cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
2 cups turnips, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
1 cup, green onions, cut into small rounds
4 cups beef stock
salt and pepper

In a pan, heat the oil and cook the beef until the cubes are brown on all sides about five minutes.

Add the onions and continue cooking for three minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the potatoes, turnips, and green onions and cook stirring for three minutes. Add the beef stock, salt and pepper and simmer for one hour.
Barefoot contessa
2 1/2 pounds good-quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1(750 ml bottle) good red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
6 ounces bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
All-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 (14 1/2 ounce can) beef stock
1 large (2 small) branch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (not petits pois)

1.Place the beef in a bowl with the red wine (I use a good one since it’s an important flavor), whole garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight.

2.The next day, preheat the oven to 300°F.

3.Brown the bacon in a large (12-inch) sauté pan for 5 to 7 minutes, over medium-low heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess. In the sauté pan, brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Place the beef in the Dutch oven with the bacon and continue to brown the remaining beef, placing it all in the Dutch oven.

4.Lower the heat to medium-low, add the onions to the sauté pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Place all the vegetables in the Dutch oven with the beef. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved marinade (discard the rest) to the sauté pan and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring it to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250°F or 275°F.

5.When the stew is done and the meat is tender, whisk 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of the sauce together and pour it back into the stew. Simmer for 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.

Tootin’ along the trail

12 Jul

Burritos = cowboy food.
We think a little Stampede fusion would transform the annual barbecue beanpot buffet dish into a cowboy burrito classic.
From SF Gate: Flour tortillas, a fraction of the size seen in today’s wraps, made easy carriers for workmen’s lunches — a fast dab of beans, maybe rice, sometimes a little lean, rangy meat.
“It was cowboy food,” says food writer and Chronicle columnist Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, noting that burrito means “little donkey.”
“It was saddlebag stuff. Sometimes they’d even wrap it in a second tortilla, which they’d throw away before eating, to really seal in the beans and the meat, which of course was tough. If they were lucky, there’d be a slice of onion or chile, too.”
Chicago’s Rick Bayless puts the official crossover at Tijuana/San Diego and the burrito “epicenter” in Los Angeles.
“In Northern Mexico, serious cooks may know what a burrito is, but they won’t make one.”

After a steady stream of beef-on-a-bun and hamburgers already during Stampede, Cowboy Bean Burritos are a welcome switch-up.
Keep ’em small and simple.
We have sampled the standard beanpot recipe below at every backyardecue we’ve ever been to. This year, try adding some chorizo in place of ground beef. Add a bit of chipotle heat to maple syrup-sweetened beans.

Wrap them and sear the stuffed flour tortillas on the grill so they are blistered and flaky. Drape shredded spicy jack to melt over top. Folks can squeeze lime wedges, dollop sour cream or quacamole, and add some smoky salsa.

Cowboy Bean Burritos would shake things up at brunch.

Or as cigar-shaped cocktail-sized corn taquitos.

Or as hors d’œuvres of mini tostatas by dropping blobs onto round tortilla chips and topping with shredded jack.

Or serve Prairie Dogs: barbecued smokies or frankfurters topped with bean mixture.

We’ll stop now.

from The Best of Bridge: Royal Treats For Entertaining
“A tasty variation of chili – perfect for holiday get-togethers.”

6 slices bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef 500g
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. molasses 30ml
2 Tbsp. brown sugar 30ml
2 tsp. dry mustard 5ml
1/3 cup vinegar 75ml
19 oz. can tomatoes 540ml (fire roasted if available)
14 oz. can kidney beans 398ml
14 oz. can lima beans, drained 398ml (we’ve had this without and it was fine)
14 oz. can pork & beans 398ml (two cans if you omit lima beans)
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce 5ml
salt, pepper & tabasco sauce, to taste

Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble. Brown beef and onion. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large casserole. Bake at 300F (150C)oven for 2 hours. Serve with caesar salad and baguette sticks. Serves 4-6

Spaghetti Western rides again

10 Jul

We can’t lie: we are obsessed with our Spaghetti Western theme (check out our Stampede category for the evidence). We have amassed a small collection of beefy, beery versions of party-style pasta just perfect for Stampede.

Rachael Ray
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan
3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce (eyeball it)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin (half a palmful)
1/2 bottle pale beer (eyeball it)
1 can, 14 ounces chopped or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped
Yields: 4 servings
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt, then the pasta and cook spaghetti until al dente according to package directions.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, about 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary but leave just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the sirloin and crumble it with a wooden spoon as it browns, 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, and season with salt, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder and cumin. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add the beer, cook for 1 minute more then add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring up to a bubble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
While the meat sauce is cooking, make the cheese sauce: Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat and add butter. When the butter melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and then the milk. Thicken for 2 minutes then stir in the cheese and melt, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the jalapenos and scallions. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Drain spaghetti, add to the meat sauce and combine.
Pour into a large serving bowl and pour the cheddar cheese sauce over the top.

Chuckwagon Chili Mac

8 Jul

More Stampede recipes for the greatest 10 days ahead.

Spaghetti Western 3.0: Smoky bison chili topped with cheesy wagonwheel pasta.

Here’s a two-toned casserole perfect for Stampede time. Sick of beef on a bun? Can’t stomach another corn dog?
Time for chili mac, Stampede style. This would look smashing on a buffet table with a crisp green salad and a grilled vegetable platter. Our beloved GR is the inspiration.
The chili should be sparse and saucy, like a curry. Redolent with smoked paprika, cocoa, coffee. Deep tomato and bison flavour. Bean-free, thank you very much. Then, a sophisticated fondue-napped pasta top.

adapted and inspired by
Pasta and cheese:

500 grams wagonwheel-shaped pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
5 cups grated cheese
3 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. As the pasta boils, start on the cheese sauce. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a pot. When frothy and bubbling, add flour and mix until well blended. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. After it has thickened slightly, add 4 cups of the grated cheese. Stir until melted, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Top with cheese sauce and mix together.


Preheat oven to 425F.

Layer chili in the base of casserole dish. Top with macaroni and cheese and then sprinkle over remaining one cup of cheese. Bake covered for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of your casserole dish). Remove lid and bake another 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling on top.