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Archive for January, 2012

3 oz (2 slices) fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tbs clarified butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
pinch, plus tsp kosher salt
3/4 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb lean ground pork or veal
2 large egg yolks
about 12 turns of a pepper mill
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
canola oil for cooking meatballs
Tear bread into small pieces, place into a small bowl and drizzle with milk. Set aside.
Into a large frying pan over medium low heat, add butter. When hot, add onions together with a pinch of salt. Sweat until soft, then remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add bread mixture, ground meats, egg yolks, seasonings and onions. Turn to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes.
Form mixture into 25-30 1-oz meatballs, placing them on a baking sheet.
In batches, fry meatballs over medium-low heat. Cook until golden on all sides. Remove, using a slotted spoon, to a casserole dish and place in a 350F oven to finish cooking (to an internal temperature of 160F).
Meanwhile, reduce heat under pan, melt remaining butter and add flour. Whisk until light brown, about 1 or 2 minutes. Gradually add beef stock, whisking until sauce begins to thicken. Add cream, whisking until sauce reaches the consistency of gravy. Adjust seasoning. Pour over meatballs and serve with egg noodles and sour cream.

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2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups oat bran
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
6 tbs canola oil
1 Fuji (or other) apple
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a second large bowl, whisk together eggs brown sugar, milk and canola oil. Add to the dry mixture and bring together with a fork until just combined.
Core and cut apple into 8ths, then thinly slice. Fold into batter. Divide batter into 12 prepared or lined regular muffin tins and bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from pans onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

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about 3 liters homemade or organic chicken stock
1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced
4 large parsnips, chopped (discard tough core)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
Note: Keep chicken stock hot on the stove in a separate pot.
Add parsnips and fennel to a medium pot and add stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are just barely tender to the tip of a knife (par cooked).
In a large, heavy-bottomed, pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and leeks and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until tender. Add flour and stir to thoroughly coat onions and leeks and cook the flour. Add a couple ladles of stock, stirring, until it’s a thick, bubbly paste. Add the parsnips, leeks and the stock they cooked in, stirring as it comes back up to a simmer. Keep adding ladles of hot stock until you reach a “creamed soup consistency” (no kidding, that’s what he said).
Allow soup to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veg is very soft. Puree, using a hand blender, and return to heat. Add stock, if needed, and season with salt and pepper.
Pictured with a toasted, smoked gruyere “cracker” and apple garnish.

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1 large shallot, finely sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
In a small pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and “sweat” until softened. Add berries, wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer.
Strain out berries and onions, reserving the liquid. Return liquid to pot and reduce down to a syrupy consistency (about 10 minutes). Add berries and onions back into liquid. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the baked brie:
Place a whole 125g wheel of  brie in a brie baker or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place into a 350F oven for about 30 minutes, until cheese is gently warmed and softened. Serve with a pot of the blueberry relish and slices of baguette.

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1 tsp butter
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, torn
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 package cream cheese
1 cup shredded provolone
2 cups chopped, marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup marinated roasted red pepper, drained and coarsely chopped
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
In a skilled over medium heat, melt butter and saute garlic until soft. Add spinach and continue to cook, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta and cream cheese. Add artichokes and roasted pepper. Season.
Transfer mixture to a creme caramel or lasagna boats. Place in the oven under the broiler and heat until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve warm with crackers and sliced baguette.

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3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and milk.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide batter into 8 mini bundt moulds (about 3/4 cup batter per mould, depending on size). Bake at 350F for 28 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Cool completely before glazing.
Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla
5-6 tbs milk
With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until very smooth. Add vanilla and icing sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in milk, 1 tbs at a time, until the consistency will allow glaze to flow from a spoon in a continuous ribbon.
Drizzle generously over cakes that have been set on a rack over a a baking sheet.

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4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried berries
Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter. Whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of flour mixture and add milk mixture. Bring together with a fork until combined. Do not overmix. Add dried berries.
Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto Silpat-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.

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