Archive | October, 2011

Witch Fingers

29 Oct

These light, sandy cookies are perfect and easy to make. We added pumpkin pie spices and swapped dried cranberries for the almonds.

UPDATE: next year, try the cheese version at bottom!

Canadian Living
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds

1 tube (19 g) red decorator gel, (blood for fingers)
In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla; beat in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful (5 mL) of dough into finger shape for each cookie.
Press almond firmly into end for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape; using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.
Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325°F (160°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond; squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back into place, so gel oozes out from underneath. Remove from baking sheets; let cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

From Food and Wine
Makes approximately 2-3 dozen finger crackers
– 1/2 pound extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
– 6 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
– 1 tsp. kosher salt
– 1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
– 1 cup flour
– 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbs. of water
– sliced almonds (about 1/3 cup)
1. Grate the cheese in a food processor. Add the butter, salt, and cayenne pepper and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour and pulse until the flour is well-combined. Remove the dough and knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until smooth.
2. Divide the dough into approximately 24-36 pieces (I only got 2 dozen out of this recipe because I made my fingers a little larger I think). Roll each piece into a 4-inch finger. Arrange the fingers on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using a butter knife, make small lines in each finger to resemble the knuckles. Brush each finger with the egg wash. Place an almond at the tip of each nail to look like a finger nail. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using separate pans, bake fingers on top and lower thirds of the oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Rotate the pans halfway through.

Jack’o’lantern Cheeseburgers

23 Oct

You knew this was coming.

Dinner and a Mooooovie wouldn’t be complete without the things we hold dear: Halloween, burgers, and hoarded Seventeen Magazine recipes. Ack. This silliness is from the pages of a silly 80s Seventeen recipe page for babysitter’s supper of jack’o’lantern carved cheese slices (melted on Lipton Onion Soup burgers.

All we needed was something fall-like with roasted apple and garlic jam with grainy mustard mayo. Sigh. We love Notable’s monthly burger inspirations, especially this fall number: (7oz naturally raised pork & wild boar patty with double smoked bacon, pickled red onions, housemade black truffle aioli with truffle shavings, homemade foie gras butter (melted unsalted butter emulsified with madeira and maple syrup), oka cheese, local lettuce, tomato on a fresh, house-baked sesame bun with a dill pickle on top).

Exhibit A:

Dinner and a moooovie pt. 2

10 Oct

We are excited for another month-long Halloween movie fest, complete with some nibbles of the gothic gourmet variety.

Finally time to bust out that Exorcist potager.

As for movies, we are keen to keep knocking off classics.

Addams family
Sleepy Hollow
The Birds
Rosemary’s Baby
Night of the Living Dead
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Something Wicked this Way Comes
Shaun of the Dead
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Children of the Damned
The Hills Have Eyes
The House on Haunted Hill (remake)
The Omen
The Bad Seed
The Exorcist
Amityville Horror
The Shining
The Blob
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
Alice, Sweet Alice
The Others
Nightmare Before Christmas
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Witches of Eastwick
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Trilogy of Terror

UPDATE: just found a vintage Seventeen magazine recipe perfect for the occasion.
one 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
one 6-oz. bag chocolate chips
1-1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
food coloring
Step by Step
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cheesecake batter:
 Beat together cream cheese, egg, 1/3 c. sugar, 1/8 t. salt.
Add 12 drops yellow food coloring and 8 drops of red; blend well.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Make cake batter:
Sift flour, 1 c. sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 t. salt.
Stir in water, oil and vanilla.
Fill 15 cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate cake batter.
Drop one heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture onto the top of each.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Monster Mash

Garlic steak skewers

Stuffed chicken wings

Gobble gobble

9 Oct

We are obsessed about making some turkey mulligatawny using Thanksgiving leftovers. Homemade stock with the carcass and cubes of turkey for the soup.

We added coconut milk, curry paste, apple cider, rice, carrots and celery, but forgot to add lentils or more veggies. Still a delicious variation.

This is the first mulligatawny recipe we ever tried. We’ve tried a few, including a Soup Nazi version with pistachios from Top Secret Recipes, but this one is great.

The Canadian Living Cookbook
1/2 cup flour
1 lb chicken breasts (but we are using leftover turkey)
4 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, diced
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 pinch cayenne
6 -8 cups chicken stock (or turkey stock)
1 cup light cream or coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 cups cooked rice

Place the flour in a bag and add chicken, shake to coat. Reserve flour. In large pan heat oil and brown the chicken and set aside.
Add carrots, onions, celery and apples to pan and cook until soft, add curry powder and cayenne.

Sprinkle with reserved flour, stirring for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken stock, return chicken to pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.
Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heating gently over low heat. Do not boil.
Spoon over rice and garnish with cilantro.


“The name Mulligatawny means ‘pepper water’, and curry is the particular ingredient that gives this incredible soup such a delicious flavor…so I’m told. This old recipe was given to me long ago.”
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white rice
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half – cut into cubes
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
  1. Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
  2. Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.
  3. When serving, add hot cream.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 boneless, skinless turkey breast half, about 1 1/2 lb., cut into bite-size cubes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs. curry powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)

Sauté the turkey and vegetables
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the turkey and sauté until lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more to blend the flavors.

Simmer the soup
Add the broth and browned turkey to the pot, increase the heat to high and bring just to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice and cook, uncovered, until the rice is tender and the turkey is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 4.


Sun Nov 12 1995
Mary-Ann Brown, the bright young chef at Calgary’s newest cutting- edge eatery, Turquza, says her “cucina tropical” is different.


Serves four to six

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 chicken breast halves, cut in one-inch cubes

3 Granny Smith apples, cut in one-inch cubes

6 cups chicken broth

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

4 tablespoons cream

1 heaping tablespoon of Patak’s extra hot curry paste (available in Indian groceries and large supermarkets)

1 cup long grain scented rice

4 tablespoons coconut milk

4 tablespoons shredded coconut

salt and pepper

Cook rice in water until tender and toss with coconut milk, shredded coconut, and salt and pepper.

Set aside.

For soup, heat olive oil over high heat and saute garlic and shallots until just softened. Add chicken and apples and cook until chicken is almost cooked through, about five minutes.

Add stock and curry paste, bring to a boil, then turn to a low simmer.

Simmer about 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked but not dried out. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cream and heat through.

For each serving, place about 1/3 cup of coconut rice in a shallow bowl and ladle hot soup on top.

Serve garnished with chopped chives.

Gobble gobble

9 Oct

A little Thanksgiving twist for the unconventional. We don’t have the stones to swap roast turkey for dumplings, but we like the idea of an instant hit of Thanksgiving when the craving hits.

Turkey Potstickers
adapted from Jennifer 8. Lee
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup dried cranberries, rough chopped
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
5 scallions, light green parts only, chopped
2 large eggs
1 (10-ounce) package white button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
Coarse salt
All-purpose flour, for baking sheet
2 (12-ounce) packages round dumpling or gyoza skins
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a large bowl, mix together turkey, lettuce, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, scallions, eggs, and mushrooms until well combined. Season with salt.
2.Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Place about 1 teaspoon filling in the center of a dumpling skin. Use your finger or a pastry brush to moisten edge of dumpling skin with water. Fold skin over filling to form a half-moon shape. Press edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining filling and dumpling skins. (At this point, dumplings may be frozen. To freeze, place dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until frozen. Transfer dumplings to a resealable plastic bag and keep frozen up to 3 months.)
3.In a large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add dumplings and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup water to skillet and cover. Cook until turkey is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes (12 to 15 minutes if frozen).

Serve immediately with Dipping Sauce.
The secret to Chinese dumpling sauce is that most of it is vinegar (black usually)! Not soy sauce (which is too salty). Then add a little bit of soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil.

The secret to frying potstickers is to put them down on a thin coat of oil in a flat non-stick pan. After they fry for like 30 seconds to a minute, you put in a little bit of water 1/4 cup and COVER the pan.

Kung Pao

9 Oct

George likes his chicken spicy, and so do we.

With an easy velveting technique, this kung pao is a cinch to make.

You can easily enhance the sauce by adding mushroom soy or black vinegar.

The key here is to cut the chicken into same size pieces, and to chow the peanuts so they are fragrant.

This is a very adaptable recipe. Once in a rush, we forgot the velveting part and fried the dredged chicken pieces, removed them only to return them to the pan to finish cooking in the sauce after chowing the vegetables, aromatics and peanuts.

from Helen Chen
1 pound cubed chicken breast (about 2 cups’s worth, tho we recently used about nine chicken thighs and liked them better, even if it stretched the sauce.)
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce or regular
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons or more dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons dark toasted sesame oil
2 to 4 dried red chilis, fresh chilis or red pepper flakes to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns
3 cloves garlic
1 diced red bell pepper
up to a cup of jullienned carrots
1 green onion cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths, plus thinly sliced green part to top
2 coins of fresh ginger
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Add chicken to a bowl of 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cornstarch and mix well. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce together along with the sherry, sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Set aside.

Pour the cooking oil into a cold wok or stir-fry pan and add chilies. Heat pan over medium-high heat and stir the pepper until they turn dark brown. Add the peppercorn, garlic, green onion, and ginger root and stir for a few moments. Add chicken and stir quickly for about one minute. Add sauce, peanuts and the thinly sliced scallions.
Turn heat up to high and stir for about 45 seconds until well mixed.
Remove the chilies and ginger. Serve hot.