I spent the November long weekend in Jasper for the 25th anniversary of Christmas in November. The landscape was breathtaking, the company was amazing and the food was, well, extremely filling. After returning home to Calgary, I was a little hungry, but after having more than my fair share of rich dishes over the past few days, I opted for something a little healthier.
I had some meyer lemons and leftover tomato sauce in my fridge after whipping up a batch the week prior (similar to this recipe, sans-vodka and artichokes), so decided on making a simple vegetable-forward stew for dinner.
What you’ll need…
1/4 cup pancetta (diced)
1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 acorn squash (peel on, 1/2″ cubed)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked split peas
1 meyer lemon (zest and juice)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
Cook pancetta in a medium pot on medium-high heat until crispy on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from pot and place onto paper towel to absorb any excess fat. Reduct to medium heat and cook down sliced red onion for 5 minutes.
Next, add in the squash and vinegar and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Place the remaining ingredients in the pot, reduce to low heat and let cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until liquid reduces by 1/3.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm with toasted bread for dipping!
Total cook time…1 hour
Love it or hate it, the cold weather is upon us! Warming up during dinner has never felt so important, so best do it in a delicious way. This dish is easy to put together and when plated has a nice colour contrast (dare I say almost a Christmas colour palate?) making it look pretty damn nice too.
Toss any leftover cassoulet the next day with some extra chicken or vegetable stock you have lying around into a big pot with some chopped up root vegetables and you’ll have a nice, rich batch of soup to feed the masses for the rest of the week. Repurposing dinner is always a great thing!
I have a confession: I’ve been using the lamest blender in my kitchen for over seven years. Alright, so perhaps it wasn’t so ‘lame’ when I moved here from Saskatoon in the summer of 2006 (likely a hand-me-down from my parents, I can’t quite remember), but the old gal has definitely seen better days. The handle is starting to crack off, I lost little plastic piece that goes in the centre of the lid about a year ago and have been using a cup to cover the hole while blending. Seriously, this is starting to sound a little ghetto…
Well, as luck would have it, a brand new blender showed up at my doorstep last week. I’m not really sure if KitchenAid Canada could sense my need for a replacement, but, regardless, they’ve provided me with the slick, new 5-Speed Diamond Blender. It’s shiny, it’s new and it’s red. Three of my favourite things.
I hate the word fusion. Upon hearing it, my mind refers to ‘upscale’ chain restaurants that put a ‘soy glaze’ on this or a ‘ginger aioli’ on that. Having said that, I do love to play tricks on people. April Fool’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year, queue this interesting take on the classic spaghetti and meatballs.
People eat with their eyes first, so when my friend sat down to eat, she was not expecting what she was about to bite into. Of course, the wafting smell of lemongrass and ginger may have given a bit of the surprise away, it’s still interesting to enjoy these kind of Asian flavours in an unexpected fashion. While this may very well be a bastardization of both Asian-style cooking and Italian, I was pleasantly surprised with the tastiness of this dish. I stand behind 100% and think you should try it out for yourself!
Since April, I’ve been doing a biweekly column, ‘Behind The Line’ for Swerve Magazine. In addition to getting to sit down and chat candidly with some of the Calgary’s amazing chefs, they share a tasty home cook-friendly with me each week to accompany their interviews. The best part, aside from procuring tasty chef quality recipes, I’m also learning more and more about the city’s history, which is vast and dynamic, to say the least.
From Michael Allemeier and Shawn Greenwood to Top Chef Canada’s lovely lady of season three, Nicole Gomes, here are some great recipes from fantastic Calgarian chefs that you can whip up in your home kitchen this week!
Risotto is my go-to dinner on a fairly regular basis. It’s the kind of dish that you can make for 2, or 4, or even 8 people (pan size permitting) without a lot of stress. I’m also kind of a strange guy and like to eat cold food as midnight snacks and I think risotto is particularly tasty fresh out of the fridge in the middle of the night. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it…
This dinner definitely falls under the category of ‘Hm, what can I make with these leftover ingredients in my fridge’. Since my love for kale seems to be undying this year, I happily tossed some into this dinner as well. Barley is a great substitute for arborio rice when it comes to risotto. Especially if risotto intimidates you, I find barley to be way more forgiving. This was the first time I had ever tried to put mascarpone cheese into the rice dish as well. It added a rich, creaminess that was pretty fantastic.
- Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon Soup
- Coconut and Acorn Squash Bisque
- Winter Squash, Tomato and Split Pea Stew
- Honey Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomato and White Bean Cassoulet
- Avenue Magazine: Restaurant Round up for the Fall
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States