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Archive for the ‘appetizers’ Category

august1.foodpic.darcieIt wasn’t an easy decision when Sam and Ellie decided, along with Sam’s mother, that the best thing for all of them would be to buy a house with a granny flat.

Sam and Ellie had lived with family before, and it had left everyone involved with lingering resentments that they tried to cover up with pie and ice cream and careful skirting around topics that caused tension.

Esther was happy with her apartment, though.

After a long search, the house they found had a basement walk-out that was flooded in the mornings with sunlight and, if she stepped out onto her patio, right to where it met the grass, and leaned to the south, there was a view that couldn’t be beat.

Upstairs, Ellie was nervous about dinner.

On the day they’d all signed the legal documents, they’d agreed, as a family, that Wednesdays would be family dinner night. One night of the week when they’d plan a menu, divide it between them, then enjoy each other’s company around the table that had been an antique when Esther received it for her wedding 40 years earlier, and now occupied Ellie’s dining room.

This week, while Esther  had offered to make a roast beef dinner, complete with Yorkshire puddings, Ellie had wanted to do something special that both showed her mother-in-law that she was glad they lived so close now (because she wasn’t yet sure she was glad), and that built a bridge that would bring them together. Bridges could be built with food, she was sure of it. The Food Network and a hundred glossy magazines told her it was so.

And so, Ellie insisted that on this first family dinner night, she wanted to do everything. Just this time. Perhaps, she’d said, Esther could bring some veggies and dip to start things off.

Esther didn’t want to say anything. Certainly not that her feelings were hurt by being left in the produce aisle. And not that she thought Ellie had bitten off more than she could chew.

Over the decades, Esther had probably prepared a thousand family dinners, often for several dozens of people. And the one thing she knew for certain was that timing a dinner is something easier done when done together.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, when the Farmer’s Market opened, Esther quietly drove herself down the hill from their house, parked in the grassy lot next to all the tents, and spend a good two hours buying things she’d never known existed.

In her mesh handbag she had some fresh dill and parsley for her dip, along with a purple cauliflower, yellow baby carrots, and zucchini the size of her fingers. She stopped to eat a tray of little doughnuts, which she vowed to try making at home one day, then went on to stop at the grocery for a carton of sour cream.

Back at home, Ellie’s plans to shop after work, come home, and make a stuffed trout with steamed baby carrots, and creamy bruleed custards for dessert, had come as far as discovering that she should have unpacked her kitchen, and should have asked for a deboned fish with no scales.

Ellie didn’t even like fish. But she was a good cook. She’d just never had the chance to prove it to Esther.

When Ester came upstairs with her veggies, neatly cup up and arranged around a bowl of dip, she found Ellie scraping against the grain of a fish with a butter knife, sending silvery scales flying into her hair.

“Can I help?” Esther asked.

For a moment, Ellie stood frozen, hoping it would render her invisible.

And then, both women began to laugh. Just a little. It wasn’t exactly a bridge. But maybe a footing.

“You can learn new recipes from a magazine,” Esther said as Ellie tore out a recipe for homemade relish, which Esther set aside without reading. “But they cannot tell you how to cook. For that you need someone to teach.”

Ellie took a deep breath, and left the footing where it was.

Fresh Dill Dip          

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbs shallot, minced
4 Tbs fresh, finely chopped, dill weed
1 Tbs fresh, finely chopped, parsley leaves

flaked Kosher salt/freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, beat together mayonnaise and sour cream with a rubber spatula until combines. Gently fold in garlic and shallot, dill and parsley. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour  to let flavours develop. Adjust seasoning.

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Breakfast:

Brioche Sticky Buns

March 1, 2012 by darcie friesen hossack | Edit

 
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm milk
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 pound butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Set aside in a warm place, 10 minutes, until creamy.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, whisk together flour and sugar. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add yeast mixture and eggs to flour. Mix on low until liquids are completely incorporated; 3 minutes.
With mixer on high, add butter, several pieces at a time. When all the butter is added, knead for 8 minutes. Transfer dough to a very large, buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Roll out to 15×20-inches.
Filling:
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
Spread sour cream over surface of dough, leaving a boarder of 1/2-inch. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle over sour cream. Roll up lengthwise.
Sticky:
1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar
1/2 pound butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1/4 cup golden corn syrup
Cream together butter and sugar. Add syrups and beat until well combined. Spread mixture into the bottom and sides of two 8x11x2-inch glass baking dishes. Cut roll into 12 equal slices. Arrange into pans.
Bake, with a cookie sheet below to catch drips, at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until deep golden. Serve warm.

Second Breakfast:

Prairie Berry Clafoutis

December 1, 2010 by darcie friesen hossack | Edit

I have a new favourite recipe and this is it!
by Amy Jo Ehman, author of Prairie Feast, a writer’s journey home for dinner
2 tbs butter
2 cups mixed Saskatchewan berries, fresh or frozen
(raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, sour cherries and, of course, saskatoons)
1 tbsp flour
3 eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
Heat the oven to 350F. In the oven, melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or large pie plate. Do not brown. Meanwhile, toss the berries with 1 tbsp of flour. In a blender or food processor, mix the eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. With the blades running, gradually add the cup of flour and blend well. Pour the batter into the pan. Scatter the berries overtop. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the centre is set. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with icing sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup.
Cook’s note: Clafoutis is a French custard cake, much like a thick crepe, and makes a perfect brunch or dessert.

Elevensies:

BLT Bread Salad

4 slices bacon, crumbled

3 slices day-old bread, cubed

(or equivalent artisan bread, cubed or sliced into thin fingers, as shown)

2 medium tomatoes

2 cups salad greens

2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

DRESSING:

2 Tbs light mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

dash hot sauce

3 Tbs milk

flaked kosher salt/freshly ground pepper

Fry bacon until crisp, then remove with tongs to a paper towel. Add sliced garlic to bacon fat and distribute evenly around pan. Add bread and fry until golden on one side. Flip and fry on other (or all) side. Remove from pan.

Roughly chop the tomatoes. Place in a large salad bowl and squeeze lightly to release some of the juices.

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over tomatoes and stir. Adjust seasoning. Just before serving, toss in bread.

Arrange salad greens on two large plates. Top with the tomato/bread mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Luncheon:

Baked Potato Soup
flesh from 4 large baked potatoes
4 Tbs butter
2 medium leeks, finely sliced, (white and light green parts only)
5-6 cups chicken stock
2 cups grated cheddar
6 green onions, finely sliced, (white and light green parts only)
5 strips bacon, cooked crisp, drained, chopped
flaked kosher salt/freshly ground pepper
sour cream
Scoop flesh from well-baked potatoes.
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks; sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes and 5 cups stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmering for 10 minutes
Puree using an immersion blender. Thin with additional stock if needed.
Bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated cheddar, green onions, bacon and sour cream.

Afternoon Tea:

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, with crumb cake (next recipe).

Susanne Klassen’s Crumb cake recipe!

(contributed by Elsie K. Neufeld)

2 cups brown sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup margarine (or butter, I suppose), softened.

Mix the above and reserve 3/4 -1 cup for “crumbs.”

Add 2 tsp BAKING SODA to 1 1/2 cups sour milk (or buttermilk). Whisk with a fork.
Pour into the dry mixture. Then beat 2 eggs and add. Turn on mixer. Beat until your intuition tells you to stop.

Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Top with reserved crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 or so minutes.

Bakers’ notes: I wanted to keep Elsie’s mom’s recipe worded just the way it was. I used a different method, so include these few notes:

Whisk together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 3/4 cup crumbs. Whisk baking soda into remaining crumbs.

Whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Add to crumb mixture and bring together with a fork, until the consistency of muffin batter.

Pour into a buttered pan. Top with reserved crumbs. Bake until a tester comes out clean.

Dinner:

Chefhusband’s Ultimate Fried Egg Sandwich

March 30, 2012 by darcie friesen hossack | Edit

 

(makes 2)

4 slices artisan bread

4 fresh eggs

8 slices bacon, cooked, drippings reserved

1 tomato, sliced

4 slices sharp cheddar

2 tbs mayonnaise

herb salad

kosher salt, fresh ground pepper

butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Place a pan over med-high heat.

For each sandwich, butter one side of two slices of bread. Spread insides with mayo and place tomato slices on one side, cheese on the other. Season tomato with salt and pepper. Place bread, buttered side down, in skillet. After 30 seconds, transfer to oven to melt cheese.

Meanwhile, heat 2-3 tsp bacon drippings in a small pan. Crack in 2 eggs and fry over-easy, leaving the yolks runny.

Remove pan from oven. Transfer bread to a cutting board. Add eggs, bacon and a few greens. Assemble and slice in half. Serve immediately.

 

Supper:

This is an old Mennonite recipe. Though I didn’t learn it from my Grandma Friesen, it still reminds me of her kitchen in Schoenfeld, Saskatchewan.
 
2 cups milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbs active dry yeast
1 tbs granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
4-5 cups flour
12 oz Farmers sausage (about 1 1/2 large)
Grease an 11 by 11 by 3-inch baking pan.
In a  small pot, scald milk by warming it over med-high heat until barely simmering. Allow to cool until it is warm but no longer hot (baby bottle temperature).
Meanwhile, proof yeast in water with sugar.
In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Stir in milk and yeast mixture.
Whisk salt into flour and add, one cup at a time into the wet mixture (whisking at first, then changing to a wooden spoon), until mixture is thick and slightly elastic. (It should be like a very heavy muffin batter, but not so thick or overworked that it becomes a dough).
Chop sausage into bite-sized pieces. Fold into batter.
Scrape batter into prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until nearly doubled.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

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8 oz centre-cut wild sockeye salmon, skinned, trimmed & pinbones removed
1 tbs brandy
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4  tbs butter, softened (plus more for sealing)
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tbs creme fraiche (or use sour cream)
4 oz chilled smoked salmon, 1/4-inch dice
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 egg yolk
Place fresh salmon in a shallow dish and sprinkle on both sides with brandy, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, turning over after 30 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer. Place salmon in steamer basket and cover with lid. Gently steam for about 8 minutes, until medium-rare.
Melt 2 tsp butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add shallots. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with a pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until translucent.
In a small bowl, beat remaining butter until it’s very smooth. Stir in creme fraiche and set aside.
In a large bowl, break up cooked salmon into chunks. Stir in smoked salmon, shallots, lemon juice, olive oil and egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in butter mixture. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Transfer mixture to small ceramic crocks, leaving 1/2-inch of room at the tops. Smooth the salmon mixture and wipe the insides of the rims clean. Refrigerate an hour, until cold.
Cover tops with 1/4-inch thick layer of clarified butter and refrigerate for a day to let flavours develop. Store up to a week in the fridge. Use within two days after butter seal is broken.
To serve, remove butter seal. Let stand to warm for 10-15 minutes (to reach spreading consistency). Spread salmon on slices of fresh baguette or crackers.

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(by chef Ross Derrick, Kelowna, BC)
2 kg skinless and boneless fatty pork belly, cut into one inch chunks
400 ml dry white wine
16 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
12 juniper berries, lightly crushed
3 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, crushed
generous grating of nutmeg
kosher salt
  • Mix all the ingredients except the wine together and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Place in a medium size pot then pour the wine over top.
  • Place over medium heat and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice until very tender and cooked.
  • Strain the liquid from the pork pressing on the pork gently to help this along, keeping the liquid.
  • Put the pork in a bowl and shred with two forks .
  • Remove the bay leaves, and any visible signs of pepper or juniper.
  • Taste the pork and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Pack tightly in either vac pac or place in a metal container.
  • Pour over the reserved juices – the fat will form a layer on the top.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a day.

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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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12 fresh squash blossoms

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1 tbs finely chopped parsley

1/2 tsp lemon zest1 large egg, beaten

kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

oil for deep frying
Mix together ricotta, feta, parsley and lemon zest. Fold in egg. Season. Using a piping bag (no tip is needed), fill squash blossoms about 1/2 full with mixture. Dip each filled blossom in tempura batter. Deep fry in hot canola oil until lightly golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
tempura1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/2 cup cornstarch1 tsp baking soda1 tsp baking powder1 tsp sugar1/2 tsp kosher salt1 large egg2/3 cup iced soda water
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat together egg and water. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed.

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