Roasted cauliflower mixture:
2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)
1/2 cup pancetta (thinly sliced)
1/2 red onion (chopped)
1 TSP lemon juice
2 TSP sugar
salt and pepper
Pasta and sauce:
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
2 cups cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 TSP tomato paste
2 cups red swiss chard (chopped and blanched)
4 cups cooked gnocchi
2 TSP balsamic vinegar
So, I finally got a ‘real’ camera, a ‘big boy’ camera, if you will. Thank you for the golf claps (I imagined golf claps after the first sentence). It was an expensive purchase, slightly scary, but, I find, pricey times like these seem less real when you just close your eyes and hand someone your credit card. I approach the majority of life’s situations like this…Anyway, five days later, here I am with this ‘big’ camera and a couple different lenses that I don’t know how to deal with and all I’m thinking is: ‘Is this what puberty was like?’. Yes, yes it was. Except it didn’t cost me $1000.
I do realize that this recipe is going up on Valentine’s Day and, although, gnocchi doesn’t necessary lend itself to ‘romance’, I think eating this for dinner could be, at the very least, chalked up to a fun foodie fling.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Put the cauliflower mixture into a prepared baking dish and let bake in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, give the dish a quick stir, turn heat to high broil, and let cook for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower and pancetta really start to caramelize and crisp up. Remove from oven and set aside for now.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add in the flour and whisk to form a rue. Pour in the cream. Once the liquid begins to simmer and thicken, stir in the grated cheese, sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce to medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
Now you can add the cauliflower/pancetta mixture to the pan as well as the chard and cooked gnocchi. Toss a few times to coat everything in the sauce. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar and give the pan one last, solid toss.
Serve nice and hot to hungry dinner-mates!
Total cook time…40 min
1 yellow onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 fuji apples (cored, chopped)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP lapsang souchong tea (crushed…also optional if this freaks you out!)
salt and pepper
Over the past couple summers, I’ve become slightly addicted to creating my own BBQ sauces (see espresso or root beer versions) simply because they’re quick to make, and much more pat-on-the-back appropriate than anything that you can buy out of a bottle. This apple BBQ sauce is awesome as a marinade for anything you’re wanting to pop on the grill, except for apples…with apple BBQ sauce? That would be inappropriate, too much apple. Anyway if you’re unfamiliar with lapsang souchong tea, it is a strong black leaf that has a nice hickory-esque flavour to it. Throwing a tablespoon of this dried black tea into the mix will give it an awesome smokey taste. Trust me!
Alright, start things off by cooking down the onions and garlic in a large pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat. Once the onions have softened, about 5 minutes, toss in the apple chunks. Season with some salt and pepper and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, add in all remaining ingredients and stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place contents of pan in a blender and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. The cayenne should give the sauce enough of a kick, so I’d lay off on adding a pile of pepper.
This BBQ sauce should last up to three weeks in a covered container in your refrigerator. Slather on whatever you please, and enjoy!
Yields 3 cups of sauce
Total cook time…35 min
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup fresh basil (firmly packed)
3 cloves garlic
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
olive oil (2/3 cup approx.)
Finally! I’ve had some time to post a recipe, even if it’s just a super simple one. These past couple months have been ridiculously busy, having a lot of different things going on, especially with Kick The KD, but I see more free time (and sanity!) on the horizon. I made this pesto to go as a garnish for a vegan caprese salad I made a couple weeks back. Just something to spice things up a bit. I definitely would not put this on a hot pasta dish, but it is great on crackers, in a pasta salad, or with a cheese like brie. Definitely a nice addition an at-home charcuterie board, if you’re planning a get-together any time soon! Send me an invite!
Place the first five ingredients in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt, and a good helping of ground black pepper. Slowly pour the olive oil into the food processor while pureeing. Stop once the mixture turns to a paste. Have a taste, add a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Then process a final time.
Remove from processor and store in the refrigerator in a covered container.
Yields 2 cups pesto
Total prep time…10 min
1 acorn squash
1/2 garlic bulb
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup romano cheese
1 TSP tumeric
2 TSP yellow curry powder
salt & pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 pound smoked salmon (chopped, skin removed)
5 cups cooked pasta (I used ditali, but feel free to switch it up!)
Let it be known that the mighty tomato does not always rule in the land of pasta sauce! Don’t get me wrong, I have had/made/enjoyed plenty of tomato-based sauces on my noodles, but in times like these (and by these I, of course, mean winter) squash is a nice, hearty alternative.
Let’s start off by roasting the squash and garlic. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the ‘guts’ and brush the halves with some olive oil. For the garlic, try and keep the 1/2 attached to the base and slice off the tip of the garlic bulb. Brush the top with a bit of olive oil as well and wrap up with some tin foil. Place the squash and the garlic on a medium-sized baking tray and let cook in the oven for 35 minutes.
While you’re waiting, feel free to watch an episode of 30 Rock or make a salad, or something…If you decide to make a salad, try out this dressing!
Once those 35 minutes are up, remove tray from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Scoop out the flesh of the squash into a blender, and squeeze the roasted garlic in as well. Also add-in the cream, water, cheese, and spices then puree until smooth. Pour into a small pot and let the sauce come to a simmer on medium heat, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Now it is time to assemble the pasta! Place all remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Pour the squash sauce over top and mix gently with tongs (so you won’t. Portion out into pasta bowls and enjoy!
Sorry Tomato, you weren’t invited…
Total cook time…50 min
Merlot Pizza Sauce:
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 medium-sized tomatoes
1 cup merlot
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TSP dried basil
1 TSP sugar
salt & pepper
2 chorizo sausages (cooked, sliced)
6 red swiss chard leaves (blanched, chopped)
1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup pitted green olives (sliced)
1 cup goat’s cheese
Now you can have your wine and eat it too! My favourite part about cooking with wine is that you can drink what you don’t use. Needless to say, I cook with wine quite often, but I digress…I had never thought of putting swiss chard on a pizza until I had the Swiss Chard Pie at Una Pizza. This is, more or less, an ode to them. Thank you for inspiring me with that utterly delicious pizza pie! This one is not quite at their pizza level, but delicious nonetheless! Shall we?
Just to briefly address to the pizza dough situation. Feel free to use a plain old run-of-the-mill frozen pizza shell, but making your own pizza dough at home is super easy! Most pizza dough-appropriate yeast’s will have the recipe right on the jar. C’mon, enjoy a sense of do-it-yourself satisfaction!
To make the sauce you’re going to start by chopping the onion and garlic. Place into a medium-sized pan with some olive oil. Turn to medium-high heat and cook until softened. While you’re waiting, chop the tomatoes. When you add the tomatoes, sprinkle some salt on top of the mixture. It helps release their juices. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add-in the remaining ingredients. Give a good stir and once everything starts to bubble, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by 1/2. Remove from heat, pour sauce into a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Now for the pizza dressings…This recipe is set to cover 2 12″ diameter pizzas, with some sauce leftover (for crust dipping of course). Start with a nice slathering of your merlot sauce, followed by the chorizo sausage, swiss chard, red onion slices and green olives. Finish the pizza by crumbling the goat cheese on top. Place into your preheated oven and let bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool briefly before slicing. Top with some sliced green olives and a drizzle of olive oil.
Served best with the remainder of that bottle of merlot you used in the sauce.
Total cook time…40 min
3 TBSP butter (or vegan margarine)
3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked beets (roasted or boiled)
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP nutmeg
It’s just about that time to start preparing for your holiday feasts! Unless a Grinch comes by and steals away your Christmas dinner offerings, you’ll probably need some tasty cranberry sauce to go on top of all those delicious dishes you’ve been creating for friends and loved ones! This homemade sauce is nice and simple, and the addition of the beets helps to balance out the tartness of the berries.
Start by melting the butter in a small pot. Add-in the cranberries and sugar, give the pot a good stir and let the cranberries cook down for 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. While you’re waiting, chop the cooked beets into small chunks. Next add the beets and all remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir, turn down to medium heat, and let the mixture bubble away, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Take the mixture and place into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in the refrigerator, covered, to chill until you are ready to serve. This can be made several days ahead of time.
Yields 2 1/2 cups
Total cook time…25 min
Thank you CHEP – Good Food Box for featuring this recipe in your monthly newsletter.
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