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Larch lunch

10 Oct

What happens when you search four stores (4! Stores!) in search of butternut squash hummus and end up with bupkis?

When life hands you lemons, you switch to eggplant.

Fall hiking sandwich Exhibit 4:

Smoked turkey, roasted red peppers, pickled eggplant, and eggplant hummus.
Ah. Maze. Ing.

Check the others here.

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Cheater perogies

21 Sep


We would never diss your Ukrainian Baba’s perogies, but boy howdy are those homemade pillowy potato dumplings time-consuming.

Same goes for hearty cabbage rolls, which we, slattern, make unstuffed: sauteed ground beef or turkey, onions, green pepper, cooked rice, a package of raw coleslaw, tomato sauce, dill, and black pepper. (Full disclosure: we grew up calling the cabbage stuffing mixture Putty Mutty. Weird)

Our Big Sis makes a mean perogi casserole. All of the taste, none of the hassle. Luscious layers of potato, dilled sour cream (our idea!), cheddar, bacon, and sauteed onions between sheets of pasta baked and topped with, yes, more cheese.

The first day of autumn upon us. We have great memories of attending a random church fund-raiser fall supper, complete with perfect fried chicken thighs, sausage, and perogies. When the first frost comes and a craving for a bit of Prairie comfort hits, we’re going to try scuffles, and make this lasagne-like casserole. Maybe some cardio first to combat all that luscious carb glory.

But we’re thinking of adding goat’s cheese and artichokes to the potato filling for a modern twist (see bottom recipe). Or maybe layering a bit of squeezed sauerkraut.

If you’re trying to cut back on fatty bacon, why not just use a few rashers and use slices of leaner turkey kielbasa to layer?

While we’re commiting acts of blasphemy, why not add mashed sweet potatoes with cheese?

SISTO’S PEROGY CASSEROLE
Her directions:
Cook bacon until crispy & remove from pan.
Crumble and set aside. Keep a bit of the bacon grease in the pan. (Toss the rest if there’s a gross amount.) Add chopped onions to the bacon pan with a bit of olive/grape seed oil if it starts to seem dry. Saute until translucent.
Boil/mash potatoes. Add dilled sour cream, a bit of milk and salt/pepper to taste. (You can also add cheddar cheese if you want to bump up the cheese flavor &/or add a bit of color to the potatoes so they stand out against the white lasagna noodles)
Boil a 500g pack of lasagna noodles.
I usually use a 380g package of shredded cheese because I hate grating. Old Cheddar/Italiano/Mozza-Cheddar/Double Cheddar… whatever sounds good to you (you could always grate it if you don’t hate that)
500 g sour cream (optional)

Once all the ‘parts’ are prepared I start assembling it like you would lasagna:
lasagna noodles (basted in a little melted butter to keep them from drying out – genius)
mashed potatoes
onions
bacon
lasagna noodles
mashed potatoes
layer of sour cream (optional)
onions
grated cheese
top with crumbled bacon and chopped green onion for colour.
Cover & bake at 325-350.
——————————————-
For another non-traditional twist on perogies:
Traditional Hand-Pinched Goat’s Cheese Vareniki
Chef Michelle Ducie

Vareniki dough:

1 egg
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
3 cups (750 mL) white flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
water as needed to form dough

“The un-heart-smart filling.”

2 cups (500 mL) regular mashed potatoes
1/4 cup (50 mL) snow goat cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) diced canned artichokes
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh basil
1 tsp (5 mL) crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the egg and oil, add water to make 1 cup (250 mL) and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the egg-oil mixture to the dry mixture and mix by hand. Add water or flour as needed to make a dough.

When combined, form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and let rest 3-5 minutes.

Combine the filling ingredients, mixing well to eliminate any lumps.

Lightly flour the table surface so the dough won’t stick. Roll out to a pasta-like thickness, less than 1/4 in. (.5 cm). Cut the dough into squares, add a small spoonful of filling in the middle. Bring corner to corner to form a tight seal, pinching.

In like a lion, and into our tummy

10 Mar

Ann Lander's World Famous Meatloaf Recipe

MARCH IS A month at war with itself. Cold, windy evenings eventually give way to promising sunny, spring days only to blow back into blustery darkness.

March is, therefore, the perfect month for meatloaf.

Old-fashioned, warm and comforting dinners transform into hipster-friendly cold sandwiches for lunch the next day. See? Conflict resolution, people.

We were raised on our grandmother’s onion soup staple, and a sweeter, jammy ketchup and bacon-topped home variety.

As teenhood advanced, our household turned to adding oatbran or oatmeal and grated carrot and squash, which turned meatloaf into something entirely different — a little something we liked to call child abuse.

But seriously, our love of this dual dinner-to-lunch staple will never fade.

We flirted with a white wine and lemon scented New York Times version, and an allspice number with a ketchup, brown mustard and steak sauce pan gravy. We love the kitsch of our friend R’s cheeseburger rollup style: a diner-esque jelly roll stuffed with shredded cheddar and grilled onion, topped with mustard and ketchup, and served with cold dill pickles. A classic from L.A.’s The Ivy. And there’s this Pioneer Woman bacon-wrapped goodness.

But we want something that tries a little less, just like us. Because, people – this is meatloaf, not chateaubriand.

We are simply mad for the lashings of red pepper jelly served atop Diner Deluxe’s veal meatloaf alongside Dijon mashed potatoes and Avenue Diner’s AAA beef meatloaf served open-faced on savoury bread pudding.


DINER DELUXE MEATLOAF

Recipe by Dwayne Ennest

1.2 kg ground veal
1.2 kg ground beef
4 eggs
1 cup diced carrots, roasted
1 cup diced parsnips, roasted
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp HP Sauce
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, mustard powder, Worchester sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix all ingredients together. Cook a small piece of the mixture on the stovetop to taste and check seasonings.

Place the mixture in two or three loafpans and bake until internal temperature is 120°F, approximately two hours.

Red Pepper Jelly

2 cups pureed roasted red bell peppers
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp red chili flakes and Tabasco sauce each
salt, pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients, except for cornstarch and water, in a stainless steel pot; bring to a boil. Mix the starch and water and stir into the jelly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for two hours until it is thick and jammy with a shiny bright colour. Cool and refrigerate in airtight container. Keeps two weeks and can be frozen. Makes four cups.

___________________________________

ROSEMARY-APPLE MEATLOAF
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, shredded
1 cup shredded apples
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl and with a gentle hand, mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil. Add some additional breadcrumbs if the mixture seems wet. Mold into a loaf and place in a standard loaf pan. Spread the olive oil over the top of the loaf (this keeps the moisture locked in) and place in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Allow to sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

________________________________________

CATHI’S ‘SORRY IT’S SOLD OUT’ MEATLOAF

with herb wine jelly

1.25 kg lean ground beef
1 cup onions, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
salt, pepper
3 tbsp combined chopped fresh basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme

Combine all ingredients and pat into a 20 cm  by 10 sprayed pan.

Bake at 325°F for 30 to 45 minutes.

herb wine jelly

1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs: rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 cups sugar
1 bottle of Certo

Combine herbs with boiling water and let steep for one minute. Transfer herbs and water to a saucepan. Add wine and sugar and boil for one minute.

Add Certo and remove from heat. Continue to stir well for several minues, straining any foam from surface.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1 cm at top and seal.

Makes 6 one cup jars.

______________________________________
UPDATE!
BILL BLASS’S MEATLOAF

2 lbs ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 ground pork
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried marjoram
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large mixing bowl gently combine ground sirloin, veal and pork; set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sautéed celery and onions and all remaining ingredients except chili sauce to meat mixture.
Combine well and form into a loaf. Place loaf in a baking dish and top with chili sauce.
Bake 1 hour in a preheated 350° oven.

Halloween apples…

2 Nov

God forbid you should find yourself in the dire circumstance of having too much leftover Halloween candy.

Two ways to make do with it:
UPDATE! THREE WAYS TO MAKE DO WITH IT.

: Halloween candy-stuffed apples and Candy Pie. We vote for the former!

Halloween candy stuffed apples

  • 4 medium apples, top 1/2-inch removed
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped toffee candy bar (recommended: Skor)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chocolate covered nougat nut candy bar (recommended: Snickers)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toffee candy bar (recommended: Skor)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chocolate covered nougat nut candy bar (recommended: Snickers)
  • 3/4 cup soft apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, accompaniment

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an apple corer and small melon baller, scoop out the stems, cores, and seeds from the apples, leaving the bottoms intact. Cut off the top 1/2-inch of each apple and then stand in a baking dish.

Stuff the roughly chopped candy bars in the apples (2 total tablespoons of candy per apple). Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter in each apple on top of the candy. Stuff the finely chopped candy in the apples (2 total tablespoons of candy per apple).

In a bowl, whisk together the cider and sugar. Pour over the apples. Bake uncovered until the apples are tender, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place the apples on plates and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon the pan juices over the ice cream and serve immediately.

 

 

Halloween Howler

30 Oct

halloween

Here at Saucy Cherie, we hold two truths quite dear. One: we are saucy! And two: we love Halloween.

This year, we are hatching a plan for a monster movie marathon with friends, complete with a booooffet of horrors d’oeuvres.

We are in full party planning mode and here are our ideas thus far.

UPDATE: we just discovered the ultimate Halloween apple dipper: Dulce de leche made in the slow cooker.

Nothing goes better with movies than popcorn. We can’t decide between these two ideas: pumpkin pie spiced pumpkin seeds tossed with regular popcorn, or caramel apple popcorn. For the latter, we’re thinking of combining two separate batches of flavoured popcorn: tossing caramel corn with a batch from this recipe (thank you Seventeen magazine).

one bowl of fresh, dry white popcorn
one small pkg of green apple Jell-O
one cup sugar
one cup corn syrup
Combine all but popcorn in saucepan and heat until it bubbles-stirring constantly. Drizzle over popcorn, mix well to coat. Pour popcorn onto wax paper to set.

UPDATE:

Pink Popcorn
from dinnerwithjulie
15 cups of popcorn

2 cups sugar
1/2 small box red Jell-O gelatin powder
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Put the popped popcorn in a large bowl, carefully picking out any unpopped kernels. Preheat the oven to 250F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with foil.

In a medium saucepan (with room for the mixture to at least double in size), bring the sugar, Jell-O, water and butter to a boil. Once fully boiling cook for 4 minutes without stirring, swirling the bowl occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and soda. Pour over the popcorn and toss with tongs to coat completely. Spread out onto the baking sheets and bake, stirring once or twice, for an hour. Set aside to cool.

Then, we’re on to the savory yummies.

halloween food 1

BLOODY MARY DIP

1 small or 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup clamato
1/3 cup tomato paste or sun dried tomato
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon red dye
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix and chill. We’re going to serve ours with celery sticks, cucumber and fat pretzels for dipping.

MONSTER MASH
While we plan to serve this as a spread for baguette, we are also dazzled by the thought of spreading it on naan and topping it with cambazola to melt in the oven.

Roasted Garlic and White Bean Spread

Prepare the garlic by trimming the top of a bulb and placing it on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the exposed tips, sprinkle a bit of coarse salt, and wrap tightly in the foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour.

Spread
Cloves from two medium heads roasted garlic
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp or more coarse kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil for thinning (optional)

Vinaigrette
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
Sliced baguette, toasted pita bread wedges, or crusty Italian bread for serving.

To make the spread: Squeeze the soft, golden cloves out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor. Use the back of a spoon to mash the cloves against the side of the bowl. Add the beans and salt and process until the mixture is smooth and holds its shape. (If the mixture is too thick, stir in a little olive oil.) Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if desired.

To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard.

To serve, mound the spread on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with sliced baguette, toasted pita bread wedges or crusty Italian bread.

halloween food 2

BAT WING DRUMETTES

We love the graveyard good looks of exposed bone when you scrape chicken wing drumettes into lollypops. We are going to create a sticky/ burnished/lacquered teriaki version of chicken wings.
Use 3 lbs (1.3 kg or 24 pieces) of chicken wings: Using a paring knife, cut around the bone just below the knuckle, at the skinny end of each drumette. Slice through the meat and tendon. Scrape the meat up towards the fat end of the drumette, creating a ball-like shape at that end. (There is no need to be precise; the cooking process will complete your artistry.) Trim off the bit of fat at the knuckle. Transfer chicken to a large re-sealable plastic bag with marinade for at least two hours.
Marinade
1 C. soya sauce
1 C. honey
1 1/2 T. ginger  (or more if you like)
1/4 C. lemon juice or Jack Daniels (or other whiskey or bourbon)
3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic

Put on sheet and bake with the marinade on them for about 1 hr. at  400.   Flip wings throughout cooking so both sides are nice and brown.
Just before eating – drizzle honey over top of wings and cook just a bit longer.

SEA CREATURE SKEWERS

What’s easier than threading shrimp onto skewers, grilling and dipping?

We are torn between a pumpkin seed satay sauce and a pumpkin seed pesto. We can imagine how bright tasting a cilantro/lemon/cumin/coriander/orange zest pesto would be — and perfect with grilled shrimp.

CANAPEYES

Simple. Brush baguette slices with Italian roasted red pepper spread. Top with slices boccocini and green olives for eyes. Eat.