Archive | October, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

31 Oct

This is Julie Van R’s as it appeared in the Herald this week. Amazing. But even with 2 kg of stewing beef, only needed a cup of red wine and a cup and a bit of beef broth, rather than the 5 cups of liquid called for.

It made a dreamy sauce served over Best of Bridge’s Elsie’s Potatoes, at bottom (mashed with a brick of cream cheese and sour cream. Swoon.)

However, we may try these carrot mashed potatoes:
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1.Place potatoes and carrots in a small stockpot with enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and return to pot; place over low heat to dry out, 1 to 2 minutes.
2.Remove pot from heat. Pour half-and-half over vegetables, and add butter; roughly mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

But back to the stew: We also skipped the pearl onions and thyme because our plant is looking rather grey. Perfect with a green salad, crusty baguette and lots of wine!

Streamlined Beef Bourguignon

An upscale beef braise, the classic French dish Boeuf Bourguignon was recently brought back into vogue by the renewed popularity of Julia Child. It’s delicious, but the process can be lengthy; fortunately, it requires little effort and can be fasttracked with equally tasty results.

canola or olive oil, for cooking

2-3 lb (1 to 1.5 kg) stewing beef, cut into 2-in (5-cm) cubes

1 large onion, halved and sliced

2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 cups (250-500 mL) red wine

2-3 cups (500-750 mL) beef stock

2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste

3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) chopped fresh thyme, or ½ tsp (2 mL) dried

1-2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) butter

20 (approx.) small white pearl onions, peeled

1 lb (500 g) button mushrooms, halved or quartered if large, left whole if small

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

Drizzle enough oil to coat the bottom of a heavy skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, brown the beef in batches, without crowding the pan. Once browned, transfer the meat to a small roasting pan or large lidded baking dish with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until starting to soften and turn golden. Add to the beef, sprinkle the flour overtop and toss to combine and coat the meat and onions with flour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour in the wine and enough stock to come halfway up the meat mixture. (If you like, pour some of the liquid into the cooking pan first to loosen all the delicious brown bits, then pour it back in with the meat.)

Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme.

Cover and bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the meat is very tender. Toward the end of the cooking time, heat another drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, add the butter, and saute the pearl onions and mushrooms for 5 to 8 minutes, until both turn golden. Stir into the beef mixture when it comes out of the oven.

Serve immediately over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

Serves 6.

Best of Bridge Enjoy
A must with turkey dinner……can be made ahead and frozen.

5 lbs. potatoes or 9 large 2.5kg
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese 250g
1 cup fat-free sour cream 250ml
2 tsp. onion salt 10ml
1 tsp. salt 5ml
pinch of pepper
2 Tbsp. butter 30ml

Cook and mash potatoes. Add all ingredients, except butter, and combine. Put into large greased casserole. Dot with butter. Bake, covered, at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes.If making ahead, cover and refrigerate or freeze. Thaw before baking. Serves 10-12


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 in fall.Notable

Exhibit A:

Hot Dish

21 Oct

enchilada casserole

Tried and true, secret family shame. An heirloom recipe. Practically health food when served with Special Cool Salad, a.k.a. Dorothy Lynch Meatless Taco Salad of diced tomatoes, kidney beans, grated cheddar, scallions, black olives marinated for 8-24 hours with French dressing before tossing with half a bag of Fritos corn chips and iceberg lettuce. Ulp.


Brown a package of lean hamburger (up to 2 lbs), add 1 chopped white onion & 1 chopped green pepper.

Season with chilli, cumin, oregano leaves, salt & Montreal Steak Spice/pepper.  (A squirt of beef bouvril and a bit of water to the pan once everything is well on its way and the onions are translucent doesn’t hurt) Uncle Bob used to add a can of green chiles.

Add 1 can of chopped tomatoes (398 ml size) or salsa, or a can of enchilada sauce or Rotel, 2 cans of full fat/full salt/gross cream of chicken soup & 1 can of romano beans.  Let it bubble away for 5-10 minutes.

Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with half a bag of Frito corn chips (or enough to cover).

Pour hamburger mixture on top of chips.

Top with remaining corn chips, and shredded tex-mex cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, but watch to make sure top doesn’t get too brown.)

Let cool for a bit so it firms up, then serve.


DOROTHY LYNCH Meatless Taco Salad
3-4 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 300-can kidney beans, drained
(Retain 1/4 cup juice)
Black olives, sliced
1 head lettuce, torn into small pieces
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese
One-half package large corn chips (chips may be broken and tossed into salad or used as garnish)

Combine dressing, scallions, beans and olives. Refrigerate 8-24 hours to marinate. Before tossing with lettuce, pour off liquid and set aside. Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and corn chips with kidney beans, onion and olive mixture. Pour dressing marinade over salad just before serving.

From the Best of Bridge


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.