If you’re already a fabulous cook and just looking for ideas on what to make your loved ones – don’t forget to check out my Dinner Gallery where you’ll get lots of great ideas, as I really do believe the hardest part about cooking is trying to come up with something new & exciting to make!
Ragout De Boulettes – (French Spiced Pork Meatballs in Gravy) These are very tender and tasty meatballs simmered in broth. Serve them with fluffy mashed potatoes or with buttered noodles. They freeze beautifully as well. Ingredients:2 slices of good white bread, 1/2 cup of cream, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 finely chopped onion, 2 lbs of finely ground lean pork, 4 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley, 2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of fresh ground pepper, 1/4 tsp of cloves, 1/2 tsp of ginger, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of dry mustard, 1 cup of each beef & chicken stock, 1/4 cup of white flour. An additional 3/4 cup of beef stock to mix with your flour. Method: Crumb or cube bread very finely and soak in cream for 5 minutes. In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter and sautee onion until tender. Transfer to large bowl and add pork, bread and milk, parsley and seasonings. Mix thoroughly with hands; form into balls about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. It should be a very sticky consistency. Melt remaining butter in skillet and, over medium heat, brown meatballs, one layer at a time, on all sides. Place meatballs in medium-size saucepan. Pour 1 cup (250 mL) stock into skillet and heat, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; pour this and remaining stock over meatballs. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Taste stock and adjust seasoning. Now the secret to the goodness of a French Canadian ragout: Sprinkle flour into a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until flour becomes an even mid-caramel color; cool. In jar with tight-fitting lid, shake flour with your 3/4 cup of cold beef stock to make a smooth creamy liquid. Pour this slowly into simmering stock, stirring constantly, so stock will thicken without lumps. Simmer stew another 10 minutes. Sprinkle generously with parsley if desired and serve.
Tomato Basil Bisque Linguini Sauce : 1 can of tomato soup (Heinz), 1 sm can of chopped stewed tomatoes , 1 cup cream, 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp salt, sugar, basil, thyme, pepper, 1 heap tbsp garlic cheese (Boursin), 4 chopped green onions. Add butter to a pot, simmer onions add cream and spices, stir in tomatoes and soup. Simmer. Use leftover roasted chicken adding it to the pot 5 minutes before serving. Have your linguini cooked “el dente” and set it aside, with a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of chopped basil. Just before serving crumble about 1 tbsp of blue cheese into the sauce. Serve the pasta, drizzle with some basil olive oil and top with some more blue cheese.
Halibut Beer Batter – 1 cup of flour, ½ cup corn starch, 1 cup (dark) beer, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, ½ tsp thyme. 1 cup of peanut oil for frying…..make sure to pat the fish completely dry before dipping into the batter. Fry in a really good oil, like Peanut oil or I’ve even used Cocoanut Oil as it can stand the highest heat. I use a deep cast iron skillet and pour an inch of oil in it, turn the heat up to med-high. Do a batter test by dripping a pinch of batter into the pan. If it floats an bubbles rapidly then your oils ready. I fry my fish last, if I’m doing fries first – I don’t want them to taste fishy! Be very careful when using oil on the stove and make sure you have a splatter screen or it will be a mess! Shown here with Yam Fries. Recipe for Homemade Tartar Sauce: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickles, 1 tbsp of relish, 1/2 tsp of mustard powder, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp of Paprika, 1/4 tsp of Cayenne pepper. Combine all ingredients and chill until needed. I like to make this a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Served with Malt Vinegar is a hit too!
Chicken Wings & Spanish Rice – With this recipe you should use a deep Cast Iron skillet. Fry your chicken wings until browned on all sides and set aside. Leaving the chicken grease in the skillet as a base, add 1 chopped Spanish Onion with 1 tsp of crushed garlic. Add a can of tomatoes (I like to use my oven roasted home canned tomatoes), then add 1 tbsp of chicken soup base, 2 tbsp of soya sauce, 1 tbsp of chili powder, and 1 cup of rice (your choice). Cook on low heat and stir frequently until rice is almost cooked. If you need more liquid I like to add clamato juice. Toss in your cooked wings and let simmer another 5 minutes. One meal all in the same skillet!
Roast Beast a La Crockpot – I love calling all my roast beef dishes “Roast Beast” just like Dr.Seuss does! Okay this is simple but there’s a little prep involved. The gravy this makes is to die for. So make sure you pair it up with something like mashed potatoes or serve hot roast “beast” sandwiches. I use an inside round roast, or eye of round as the crock pot will make the meat tender. Cut slits into your roast and stuff the holes with raw garlic. Then rub the roast with Montreal Steak spice. Turn your BBQ on high and sear every side of the roast. This gives it a smoky flavor. Now place your roast in the crock pot on high and set it for 5 hours. SAUCE: In a saucepan pour 1 & ½ cups of Merlot wine (+1 glass for yourself!), simmer until the smell of alcohol has evaporated and it’s reduced by half a cup. Add 1 tbsp of Montreal steak spice, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 cup of water and ½ cup of Presidents Choice marinade (memories of Tuscany balsamic vinegar & Fig sauce ). Finally add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. Simmer for 10 minutes. If it’s too salty add more fig sauce. Push all the liquid through a sieve and add the strained smooth sauce into the cock pot. Top off with a drizzle of Olive oil, a few bay leaves and couple spigs of rosemary, and 1 tsp of thyme. When it’s done and fall apart tender, you can pull it apart to serve it or put it on a platter to cool 15 minutes before you slice it. You can pour the juices into a pot and thicken with a little flour or corn starch. Add some gravy to your slices meat so it won’t dry out. You will never be able to make the roast beast any other way after you’ve tried this recipe!