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Country Club Hamburgers

12 Aug

When we’re not obsessing over 1980s Seventeen Now You’re Cooking pages, we’re smitten with Better Homes and Gardens 1950s and 60s cookbooks.

And this artery-clogging, but super summery supper:

retro recipes, country club hamburgers, seventeen magazine recipes, better homes and gardens

And get a load of these “high-society franks.” Highly questionable, more like.burger 2

high society franks

Stuffed patties are a bit of work, but we are intrigued by the bacon collar and think these patties would be exceptional served sans buns and with a spectacular summer veg and herb salad.

Egads: what if you subbed in split, grilled kielbasa for the franks, swapped the pickle for sauerkraut topped with the same duchess potato topping. Very prairie! Photos to follow!

COUNTRY CLUB HAMBURGERS
Better Homes and Gardens Best Buffets 1963

2 lbs ground beef
Blue Cheese Filling (Note: another online version has doubled these amounts)
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion (we’ll grate and add juice)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

12 slices bacon, precooked slightly (we will look for the thinnest slices possible).
Salt
Pepper
6 large, well shaped mushrooms

Divide ground beef in 12 mounds. Flatten each between squares of waxed paper to 1/2 inch thickness.

For Blue-cheese filling, cream the cheeses together; stir in onion, horseradish, and mustard. Top half the patties with filling, leaving 1/2-inch margin for sealing.  Cover filling with remaining patties, sealing edges well.  Wrap edges of each burger with the bacon, using 2 slices and securing ends with toothpicks.  Broil 5 inches from heat about 6 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn and broil about 5 minutes more or until done just the way you like them; season second side.

Flute the mushroom caps. While burgers are cooking, lightly brown mushrooms in butter (we’ll let them bubble away in our mini cast iron frying pan on the grill, maybe with a shot of brandy). Top each burger with a mushroom.

Makes 6 servings.

*If beef is lean, have 6 ounces of suet ground with this amount.  Burgers will be at their very best!

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Fruit Cake*

3 Sep

browned butter plum cake
* From the I Don’t Want To Make Babies, I Want to Make Dinner files

Labour Day long weekend — a.k.a. summer’s last hurrah — is upon us.

How very sad to be packing away our summer clothes (whites and Lilly Pulitzer), books (The Great Gatsby, Archie Digests, Nancy Drew) and general happiness. Wah.

We have one last kick at the cat where summer lounging is concerned. Time to celebrate summer’s fruit bounty.

Slip into your Nantucket Reds (cuffs rolled, obviously), pour yourself a tall Cape Cod (more cape than cod, please), and tuck into this lovely plum cobbler.

This is the easiest dessert we’ve ever made. Seriously. This is a keeper.

The secret is browned butter and plums. The original recipe calls for apples, which we’re keen on trying this fall.

But for summer, nothing is better than luscious, tart plums.

We substitute eight sliced plums sprinkled with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for the apples and lemon juice.

UPDATE: Now we’re thinking about five-spice powder in place of the spice additions?

FullSizeRender (46)

LIGITA’S QUICK APPLE CAKE
from: Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax

10-inch single layer cake; serves 8

3 medium-size tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups) with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-inch Pyrex pie pan. Update: we prefer an 8-inch sq Pyrex square dish. You can cut nine squares or six rectangles.
2. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon. Spread the apples evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Pour the clear, browned butter into a bowl, leaving any sediment or foam in the pan.
4. Stir the 3/4 cup sugar into the butter. Gently stir in the eggs; stir in the flour until blended. Spoon the batter evenly over the apples and spread into a layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
5. Bake until lightly golden and crusty, 40 to 45 minutes.
6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve from the pan warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.

End of Summer Shrimp Boil

23 Aug


We are total posers when it comes to shrimp boils (pronounce: bawls). Yes, we love them but we are landlocked most of the time and have to rely on thawed seafood.

No matter. Corn, new red potatoes, prairie kielbasa and the rest more than make up for the frozen fish.

We wonder if the leftover broth (with shrimp shells) could be reduced for making dirty rice — or maybe that’s just too much salt? Perhaps we could do half water to half broth for rice — would make a great start for jambalaya the next day…

PEEL AND EAT SHRIMP BOIL
Canadian Living 2007

We traditionally pour a liberal amount of Old Bay into our water, and more lemon. Heck, more garlic, too, if you desire. (1/4 cup Old Bay to 16 cups (4 quarts) of water with a beer.)

3 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
2 lemons
4 smashed garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppercorns
6 small red potatoes, halved
4 ears corn, shucked and cut into fourths or thirds
6 oz narrow kielbasa sausages, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 1lb large or jumbo shrimp, with shells
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Garlic Butter
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 minced clove of garlic

hot sauce

horseradish cocktail sauce (1/3 cup mayo, 1/3 cup ketchup, heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish)

Preparation:
Pour enough water into large Dutch oven to come three-quarters up side. Add bay leaves, onion, two halves of one lemon, squeezed, garlic, salt and peppercorns; cover and bring to boil.

Add potatoes, corn, and kielbasa; return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, about 8 minutes.

Add shrimp; cook until pink, about 3 minutes. Reserve a few cups of liquid for dipping and then drain well. Arrange on platter or dump on paper-lined table. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with remaining lemon cut into wedges and bowls with reserved broth.

Garlic Butter: In small bowl, mix melted butter with garlic; serve for dipping.

Strawberry salsa

11 Aug

Globe and Mail


We love fruit salsa and spicy chutneys paired with tangy chevre.

Our tried and true peach chutney is a winner, but we’re keen give this strawberry salsa a whirl.

Perhaps a good match for that dreamy Tommy Bahama Big Island Goat Cheese we’ve been meaning to duplicate — warm macadamia nut encrusted goat cheese served with mango salsa, flatbread and a sweet soy glaze.
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STRAWBERRY-SALSA-AND-GOAT-CHEESE BRUSCHETTA
Lucy Waverman, Globe and Mail
This savoury/sweet appetizer is notable for its simple yet rich flavour. Get your goat cheese to room temperature so it will be easier to spread.

6 slices grilled bread

12 ounces (375 grams) goat cheese

Strawberry salsa:

1 cup diced strawberries

1 cup diced tomatoes

Pinch sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia

Pinch freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Method

Spread goat cheese over each piece of toast. Combine strawberries, tomatoes, sugar, lime juice, jalapeno, onion and pepper. Stir in basil. Top toasts with salsa.

Serves 6.

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STRAWBERRY AND CUCUMBER SALAD

This recipe was inspired by cookbook author and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s strawberry and cucumber pickles. The salad makes a wonderful accompaniment to chicken or a great topping for melted brie.

3 cups strawberries, hulled and halved

1 small English cucumber, cut into small chunks (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place strawberries and cucumber in a mixing bowl and toss with vinegar, sugar, mint and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Serve salad drizzled with juices from the bottom of the bowl. Serves 4.

Tarts R Us

10 Aug

We seem to hoard an awful lot of Canadian Living recipes. This was our very first tomato tart, and we still love it. Nothing’s easier than rolling out puff pastry, but our beloved GR’s parmesan pastry recipe at bottom is mighty tempting.

HARVEST TOMATO TART
Recipe from Canadian Living
(our very favourite roasted tomato tart)
9 freshly harvested vine ripened tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 (4 1/2 ounce) package goat cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Garnish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or parsley
Directions
Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices; spread on parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet.
Brush with 2 tablespoon of the oil; sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400f degrees oven until slightly shrivelled, about 45 minutes; let cool (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate on tray for up to 24 hours).
On lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry 1 inch larger that 14 x 4 inch rectangular or 9 inch round tart pan.
Press into pan and trim edges; prick bottom with fork.
Brush bottom with mustard; spread with cheese.
Cover with tomatoes; tuck garlic among slices.
Sprinkle with basil, pepper, then remaining oil.
Bake in bottom third of 400f degree oven until pastry is golden, about 30 minutes.
Garnish with basil or parsley.
Note: If all you really want is the tomatoes, the tart is wonderful without the cheese.

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ONION PIE WITH JARLSBERG AND THYME
By Andreas Viestad

In Norway, this simple dish is usually made with Jarlsberg or Gouda, but Andreas has also made it with Parmesan or Gruyere. This dish goes well with meat or poultry.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
2-3 whole cloves
fine sea salt
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
1 cup grated Jarlsberg, Gouda, Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Season with salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Line a medium-size ovenproof dish with puff pastry. Remove the cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf from the onions and discard.

Place the onions in the dish and add the grated cheese and one teaspoon of thyme. Bake in the oven on the lowest rack for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Just before serving, sprinkle on the rest of the thyme.

ALTERNATE ONION FILLING
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons port wine
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces finely grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 egg, slightly beaten

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or pot. Add onions and salt. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, about 30 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the pepper. Cool.

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ASPARAGUS GRUYERE TART
Martha Stewart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

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ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO TART
by Gwendolyn Richards

GR’s pastry looks amazing, and she tops it with a pound of so of cherry/grape tomatoes tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. She tops the whole thing with fresh basil. Amazing.

1½ cups (375 mL) flour
7 tbsp (115 mL) butter, cold and cut into small cubes
½ cup (125 mL) cream
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated Parmesan
pinch salt

Add the flour and pinch of salt to the bowl of a food processor, then sprinkle the butter cubes on top. Pulse two or three times until the butter starts to break down, then add the Parmesan. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is in pieces no larger than a pea.

Add the cream slowly while pulsing until the dough starts to come together. (It will bunch up and the food processor noise will change.)

Empty the contents onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to pull the dough together.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).

Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/3 inch to 1/4 inch (8 millimetres to 6 mm) thick. Press into tart tin (9 inch/23 cm round tin or a 14-inch/35 cm rectangular tin), stretching it as little as possible, and cut off excess. Arrange tomatoes in the tart tin.

Bake for an hour until tomatoes are soft and pastry is golden brown. Remove and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Roll basil leaves like a cigar and then slice them to make herb strips. Sprinkle over tart.

Serve while still warm.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Tastes+Summer/3034156/story.html#ixzz0oEZanLcf

Bar-B-Qooz

6 Aug

Again with the fantasy cottage food. Cedar-planked brie topped with a mash of wild berries sounds like a good plan. We may not have a summer getaway, but you can bet these oozy cheese treats will be just as good cooked on our city balcony barbecue.

 

FANTASY CAMPFIRE CAMEMBERT
Recipe by Laura Calder
1 block Camembert cheese with its box
white wine
1 sprinkle chopped thyme leaves
Pepper
Remove the cheese from its box and unwrap it.
Put the cheese back in its box.
Poke all over the top with a fork, and splash on a little wine to run into the holes.
Scatter over the thyme and sprinkle over the pepper.
Close the box.
Wrap in foil.
Bake at 400ºF/200ºC for 10 minutes or until very hot and runny.
Serve immediately with crusty bread.

A Summer Place

2 Aug


The year: 1983, summertime.

The place: our best pal’s lakeside cabin.

The soundtrack (rather horrifying, courtesy of ever present Top 40 AM radio):

Our House – Madness
Come Dancing – Kinks
China Girl – David Bowie
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
Rock The Casbah – Clash
Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

When we weren’t waterskiing or holed up in the cabin reading Archie comics, People, and Seventeen, there was baking to do — that’s what 14-year-old girls do.

This is an especially good project for a rainy summer day. Here’s a perfect farmer’s stand classic. It’s light as air, and as we snacked on this last night, we sprinkled a touch of icing sugar over top. We later wondered if we shouldn’t have split the slices and filled them with whipped cream and summer berries. Or added orange zest to the batter, or copied Dave Lebovitz and drizzled a puckery lemon glaze over top.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Recipes from Best of Bridge: Winners
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips (we upped to a full cup, naturally.)

Instructions:
Cream butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Mix in zucchini and chocolate chips. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan or a 9″x13″ greased pan at 325 F. for 45 minutes.