Halloweener

17 Oct

fullsizerender-7fullsizerender-4fullsizerender-6fullsizerender-5

fullsizerender-8fullsizerender-9

Fall comforts: Seventeen pastitsio

21 Sep

With cooler weather arriving, the time is right for some retro casseroles.

A reader says the recipe pages included an egg and lemon soup and baklava.

Greek-style Casserole (aka Pastitsio)

Meat Sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Salt

Pasta:
1 lb ziti or elbow macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 egg whites slightly beaten

Béchamel Sauce:
6 tbsp butter
¾ cup flour
3 cups milk
1 can (10 ¾ oz) chicken broth
¾ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 egg yolks slightly beaten

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until golden. Add ground beef; brown. Drain off excess fat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and cinnamon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as package directs. When it’s done, drain and toss with butter, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese and egg whites until the butter has melted.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon half of the macaroni mixture into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish or a lasagna pan, then spoon the meat mixture. Cover with the remaining macaroni mixture and set aside.
    4. Béchamel Sauce: In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until completely blended and smooth, remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Return to heat, cook and stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper.
    5. To blend egg yolks into the hot béchamel sauce: First stir 1 cup of sauce into the egg yolks, then add the yolk mixture into the rest of the sauce.
    6. Pour sauce over top of the casserole. With a knife make a few holes into the casserole all the way down to the bottom of the baking dish to allow the sauce to reach the bottom layer. Sprinkle the top with remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Makes 6-8 servings.

Wine Country Vineyard vs Beach Cantina

17 Aug

IMG_1105 (1)

A week in western Canadian wine country packed with vineyard touring, tastings and fabulous charcuterie offerings. Trust us to stumble upon a beach shack cantina and return to it within a day or two.

These al pastor tacos were perfect both times. Pork coated by a combination of dried chilies, spices and pineapple, then crisped almost like bacon with just-grilled white onion (maybe the effects from a quick trip under the broiler – look how crunchy!). Supple yet crunchy corn tortillas delivered the goods topped with lashings of thin sour cream and avocado sauce.

IMG_1111

We’ve often pined to try making al pastor at home, but balked at the difficulty: we are not rotisserie-type people.

But huzzzah: here’s a cheat that looks uncompromising. A thick chili coating on sliced pork threaded onto skewers, resting on a bed of pineapple to slow cook for two to three hours in the oven. We are that kind of people!

The trick is slicing the meat as thinly into pieces about 3 inches by 3-inches, and ¼-inch thick. Thread onto two parallel skewers to hold in place, packing tightly so there are no gaps. (you’ll have enough to make three rows using six skewers.) Then it goes into a 250 degree oven for two to three hours.

Sounds as uncomplicated and delicious as our favourite carnitas recipe.

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 dried avocado leaves (no idea if we can find these)
1/4 cup achiote paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 pineapple
12 corn tortillas, warmed

IMG_1112

IMG_1110t

 

 

 

 

 

Seventeen Nacho Casserole

18 Jul

Here’s a bit of nostalgia, courtesy of lovely Linda O. This looks soooo much better than my ghetto photocopy from days gone by. Many thanks!

Hop into this Tex-Mex time machine from November 1982:

Nacho Casserole

Says Linda: “I made the Nacho Casserole a bunch of times many years ago, and then just a few months ago I whipped it up for a dinner and it was as enjoyable as ever!”

The same issue also had a recipe for shortbread, not shown.

The ’80s was Tex-Mex crazy, and this page is a hilarious reminder. There was also a fajita recipe page: Zest of the West. If anyone has it, please share!Nacho Casserole recipe 2

Jean’s Beans: Stampede style

12 Jul

An old recipe for Stampede time, from Jean Hoare – Driftwillow Ranch, Stavely, Alberta

SERVES 6 to 8

1-1/2 cups assorted dried beans
Water to cover beans
1 large onion
8 whole cloves
¼ cup ea molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup
½ cup ketchup or chili sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup boiling bean water
diced salt pork, bacon ends or leftover baked ham

Beans may include one or more of the following: small white navy beans, the larger Great Northern beans, pinto, limas, kidney, blackeye, garbanzos or chick peas.

Put assorted beans into a large heavy pot and cover with water, about three or four times as much water as beans. Let stand overnight. Drain and cover with fresh water. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer slowly until tender. Test for doneness of beans by blowing on them. If done, the skins will blow off. The small navy bean will take the longest to cook. Do not add meat or other ingredients yet or the beans will not soften. They should boil alone in water until tender.

When beans are tender, drain reserving the liquid. Stick whole cloves into the onion and add to the cooked beans. Add molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup, dry mustard, salt, Worcestershire sauce and half the reserved liquid. Add meat. Cover and bake at 250○ F for 6 to 9 hours, adding extra bean water or more ketchup if the mixture becomes dry. Uncover for the last half hour and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

For camp, prepare the beans up to the final baking stage. Then dig a hole at least 4 inches deeper than the heavy iron bean pot. Prepare enough coals to have a good layer underneath the pot and on top of it. Put the bottom layer of hot coals into the hole, then lower the pot into the hole, covering the lid with foil to keep out any dirt. Cover with remaining coals and bury with at least 3 inches of dirt. Bake in the pit for at least 4 hours, watching that the dirt stays in place, thus holding in the heat.

A final word about beans. To speed up the soaking process, cover the dried beans with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and let stand, tightly covered, for 1 hour. Blanching beans like this is equivalent to about 8 hours soaking.

Seventeen Recipe Terror

23 Jun

For all the nostalgic, wholesome memories of old Seventeen magazine recipe pages we share, there are some real horrors.

seventeen 1970

Deli-go-round Ready to Whirl. Or is that hurl? Circa Seventeen August 1970

“Potato salad mold for teen girls to spin up with ‘madcap olives flaunting carrot and pepper fringe.'”

The 1980s brought you dorm room cookery under a Katrina and the Waves poster. What could go wrong?

figure15

Sausage and peppers with garlic toast and a tomato mozzarella salad with banana s’more tarts for dessert? Served with a side of sweat socks.

The sandwich press only adds to the horror:

369edcfdec4256862661f8beba50fae1

Or the assistance of “mini machines” for all your instant, ulp, food supplies…

1eb44b1d8edcb9ceb70b645061c29442

 

Cinco de Taco

7 May