Archive for August, 2010

2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs all-purpose flour
4 tbs vegetable or canola oil
3 medium onions, medium dice
2 celery stalks, medium dice
10 cloves garlic, sliced
2 medium carrots, medium dice
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3 tbs tomato paste
3 cups beef stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Toss beef in flour to coat, then shake off any excess flour. Heat half of the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven. Brown beef on all sides, drain on a paper towel-lined dish.
Heat remaining oil in the same pan and cook onions, celery, garlic and carrot until softened. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid reduces to 1/4 cup. Add beef along with tomato paste, beef stock and herbs. Bring to a boil and cover. Transfer to a 350F oven for 2 hours.
for the dumplings:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g (3 1/2 tbs) cold butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Beat together egg milk. and Make a well in the centre of the crumbs and add milk mixture, parsley and parmesan. Bring together with a fork until just mixed into a soft, sticky dough.
When the stew has twenty minutes left to cook, remove from oven. Stir and remove thyme sprigs. Drop dumpling mixture by level tablespoons onto the surface of the stew. Return to oven and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.

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This is as good as comfort food gets. The arborio rice has a high starch content, helping to thicken the pudding.
1 cup arborio rice, rinsed
8 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup sugar
pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup whipping cream
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine rice, milk, vanilla pod and seeds, sugar and salt. Over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, bring to a boil. Continuing to stir frequently, reduce heat and simmer 35-40 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Remove pod, stir in cream and transfer to a shallow glass baking dish (the greater surface area will allow quick cooling and prevent early spoilage). Cover with plastic wrap, making contact with the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Cool for half an hour then transfer to the fridge to chill before serving.
Optional: For chocolate rice pudding, stir in 3 oz of good-quality chopped dark chocolate along with the cream, stir until melted and combined.

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London Fog/Chai Latte

London Fog for one
3/4 cup hot water
2 Earl Grey tea bags
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tbs vanilla syrup
Steep both tea bags in water for very strong tea. Meanwhile, froth milk with the steam attachment of an espresso machine (or heat and use a latte whip). Remove tea bags from tea. Add vanilla syrup and steamed milk, reserving froth for the top. Serve immediately.
Chai Latte for two

1×3 inch piece cinnamon stick, broken

1 teaspoon black cardamom pods

3 peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 allspice berries

1 cup water

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons Darjeeling tea leaves

1 inch piece vanilla bean

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, toast whole spices about 2 minutes, until fragrant, shaking the pot constantly.

Add water to the spices and reduce heat to medium. Stir in milk, sugar, ginger, vanilla and tea leaves. Cover and heat to a bare simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat further and let steep for another 5 minutes. Strain out spices before serving.

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4 large eggs
1-540ml can lentils
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tbs mild curry paste
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with cool, liberally salted water with a generous splash of white vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer for 11 minutes. Drain and cover with very cold water (and voila! perfect hard boiled eggs). Peel when cold. Note: older eggs peel more easily.
Add lentils, including the liquid they’re canned in, to a medium baking dish.
In a large skillet, heat half of the oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add to lentils. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Saute carrots until tender-but-firm. Add curry paste and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a couple minutes more. Add to lentils and combine ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Add boiled eggs and stir in gently. Cover and bake at 375F for about 45 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Serve as a main course, or a side dish with another curry and rice or naan (naan recipe at nicefatgurdie@wordpress.com).

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Scrape sides and add eggs and extract and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix slowly at first, then at medium speed until incorporated. Add chopped almonds and mix to evenly distribute.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto Silpat- or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 300F for 20-22 minutes. After a few minutes, transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Makes up to 60 cookies, depending on how much batter you eat.

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Mini Choklat-y Cupcakes

There’s a chocolate shop in Calgary’s Inglewood area called Choklat. Go there. Have their cupcakes. And if you can get them to part with their recipe, tell me! The folks at Choklat shook their heads when they saw I’d used cocoa instead of melted chocolate. It’s an awfully good recipe, even so!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup best quality available cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
5 oz butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
For the chocolate ganache frosting:
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz dark variety of Choklat, or other chocolate, chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients.
In the bowl of a power mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 5 minutes on medium speed, until light and pale. Incorporate egg. Alternately, in 2 batches each, add flour/cocoa mixture and milk/cream mixture. Mix until batter is uniform and smooth.
Line 36 mini-cupcake cups with paper liners. Fill each 3/4 full and bake at 350F for 12 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, place chopped chocolate in a medium, stainless steel bowl. Heat cream in a pot over medium until just boiling. Immediately pour hot cream over chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. Whisk until chocolate is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Continue to stir frequently with a rubber spatula, scraping sides, as ganache cools. When completely cool and thickened, frost cupcakes using an offset spatula.
Note: Recipe will also make 12 regular-sized cupcakes. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

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Saskatoon Berry Moos

It’s Mennonite fruit soup. Because fruit is always better cooked in cream.

1 quart Saskatoons
2 quarts water
2/3 cup sugar
4-5 tbs flour
1 cup sweet cream
Cook fruit and water until soft.
Add half of the sugar.
Add the other half of the sugar to the flour and mix with cream until smooth.
Add mixture to the pot and stir constantly until thickened.
You can serve this warm or cold.

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