Tag Archives: dinner recipes

Your New Favourite Fish Dish: The Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Cerveza Battered Cod

We love a classic fish and chips recipe as much as the next person — but if you’re looking to up your kitchen (and seafood) game, make this crispy, battered fish dish from Ree Drummond herself.

Two pounds of fresh cod is simmered in Mexican lager-infused spicy seasonings, while homemade charred lime crema is the perfect topper in addition to the napa cabbage, onions, flour tortillas and lime wedges. Although it might take a little longer than the average dish, go ahead and break out that deep-frying thermometer and get started! Bon appetit!

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Tex-Mex Recipes Will Satisfy Your Cheesy, Meaty Cravings

The Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Cerveza Battered Fish

Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Special Equipment: a deep-frying thermometer

Ingredients:

Crispy Battered Fish

Vegetable oil, for frying
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Two 12-ounce bottles Mexican lager
2 lbs cod, cut into 1/2-by-1 1/2-by-3-inch sticks

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

Serving

12 flour tortillas (7-inch)
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1 cup lime wedges
Charred Lime Crema, recipe follows

Charred Lime Crema

2 jalapenos
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Mexican-style crema
1 lime, zested and juiced ‘

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Fast White Chicken Chili Will Become a Weeknight Staple

Close-up of Crispy Cerveza Battered Fish

Directions:

1. For the crispy battered fish: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Fit a wire rack in a baking sheet; set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375°F.

3. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne, paprika, baking powder and pepper. Add the beer and whisk until smooth.

4. Working in 2 to 3 batches, coat the fish in the batter. Carefully transfer the battered fish to the hot oil. Fry each batch for 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the fried fish to the wire rack on the baking sheet to allow the oil to drain away. This will ensure it stays crispy. Transfer the baking sheet with the fish to the oven to keep warm while you get everything else ready. The fish can sit in the oven up to an hour staying warm.

5. For serving: Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.

6. Unwrap the tortillas and serve alongside the fish and all the fixings: cabbage, red onion, cilantro, lime wedges and Charred Lime Crema.

Charred Lime Crema

1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

2. Toss the jalapenos and onion rounds in the olive oil in a bowl. Grill the jalapenos and onion rounds until charred all over, turning as needed, about 5 minutes total. Place the jalapenos in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Set the onions aside.

3. Cut the jalapenos in half, remove the stems and seeds and gently scrape off the charred skin. Roughly chop the grilled onion rounds.

4. Combine the jalapenos, onion, cilantro and some salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse in 2-second increments until finely minced.

5. Whisk together the crema and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Add the jalapeno-onion mixture to the bowl with the crema and fold everything together until fully incorporated.

6. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve as a flavorful topping on your favorite tacos.

Watch the full how-to video:


Want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family? The Pioneer Woman’s top cooking tips for easier weeknight dinners will help you get started.

Watch The Pioneer Woman via stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Comforting Three-Cheese Cacio e Pepe in Spaghetti Squash Form

Cacio e Pepe translates to “cheese and pepper”, and is the ultimate no-nonsense pantry pasta consisting of freshly ground pepper, noodles, and good quality cheese. Spaghetti squash presents much like spaghetti noodles and is generally available all year-round, making for an excellent alternative for gluten-intolerants (more gluten-free dinner inspiration here) or those looking for a healthy low-carb twist on the classic. So grab your cheese grater, and start prepping tonight’s dinner.

Three-Cheese Cacio e Pepe Baked Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes (includes squash roasting time)
Servings: 4 (raw veg = 5 cups before mixing in cheese)

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 ½  tsp coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup mascarpone cheese or smooth ricotta (optional)
Chopped parsley or basil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and strands with a spoon. Brush inside with 1 Tbsp oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the prepared pan.

Tip: Don’t forget to save the squash seeds and roast them as a snack. Here’s how to roast tamari and sea salt pumpkin seeds (follow the same instructions).

3. Roast until a paring knife is easily inserted in the centre, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

4. Using a large spoon, spoon out and shred into long strands. Spread on a double layer of paper towel or clean kitchen towel to absorb any liquid.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and then the squash, remaining ¼ tsp salt and remaining 1 ¼ tsp pepper and toss. Stir in mascarpone (if using), stirring until just melted and combined. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, tossing to combine.

Tip: Like its namesake, this dish is all about pepper and cheese. For the best pepper flavour, toast whole black peppercorns in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, shaking the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool and crush with the bottom of a heavy bottom pot or skillet.

6. Divide among plates and sprinkle with parsley and more cheese, if desired.

Another cheesy pasta recipe with a twist: this winter greens mac & cheese will make you feel healthy. You’ll also devour this vegetarian spaghetti puttanesca with cauliflower. Lastly, test out these weeknight dinners where veggies replace carbs.

These Coconut Shrimp Tacos are Cheaper Than Taking a Vacation

Looking for a simple, bright and sunny dish to cast away your winter blues? Look no further! These flavour-packed tacos are the key. Fresh and flavourful charred pineapple salsa, zesty pickled cabbage, tender, crispy coconut shrimp and zesty lime crema come together to make for a new 30-minute dinner favourite.

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 tacos

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt, divided
2 cups finely sliced red cabbage
4 slices pineapple, about ½ inch thick
1 jalapeno
2 rings red onion, about ½ inch thick
½ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
2 limes, divided
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp agave syrup or honey
450g medium shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
½ cup flour
¼ tsp pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
12 small flour tortillas

Directions:

1. Bring water, vinegar, sugar and ½ tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cabbage and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pineapple, jalapeno and onion in batches until charred and tender, about 4 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, remove pineapple rind and chop the fruit and vegetables (use the seeds of the jalapeno if you want heat, discard if you want a milder salsa). Toss with the juice of one lime and cilantro.

3. Stir together the sour cream, juice of remaining lime, agave syrup or honey and 1 tsp zest in a small bowl.

4. Place flour and eggs into separate medium sized bowls. Stir remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper into eggs. Stir together coconut and panko in another medium bowl.

5. Dredge shrimp in flour, then egg mixture followed by coconut mixture. Heat enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning halfway and replenishing oil, if needed between batches. Set aside on a cooling rack-lined baking sheet.

6. To warm tortillas, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add tortillas in batches, cooking until browned on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes, turning halfway. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm while cooking remaining tortillas.

7. Spread tortillas with lime crema, topped with pickled cabbage, shrimp and pineapple salsa.

For a vegan alternative, whip up these coconut-crusted cauliflower tacos. For a post-meal treat, stick with the tropical theme and make one of our sunniest dessert recipes.  You can also add this reliable dinner staple to your arsenal of healthy Mexican recipes.

Jillian Harris Opens Up About Her Granny’s Legacy in the Kitchen (Plus Holiday Tips & Recipes)

Jillian Harris knows a thing or two about crafting a well-balanced meal, which might come as somewhat of a surprise to devoted fans of HGTV Canada’s Love it or List it Vancouver star.  Although the vast majority of the pink-hued photos on the social media influencer’s Instagram account are dedicated to decor and design pieces (and her adorable kids!), Jillian also reveals that food has played a significant role in her life since childhood — thanks, in large part, to her beloved Granny and her family’s Ukrainian heritage.

“I really love wholesome, rich comfort food — the food that makes you want to have a glass of wine and curl up and go to sleep,” she says. “We grew up with meals full of pierogis and cabbage rolls.”

Jillian, who has since switched gears to a mostly plant-based diet in her adult years, recently joined forces with her cousin, dietitian Tori Wesszer, for their first cookbook that was released just in time for the holidays, Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations. Given that this time of year is all about spending time with family, it’s fitting that their Granny’s passion for food and loved ones is all over this book.

“She was literally our best friend,” Jillian says of her grandmother, who was bestowed with the nickname Beet Roll Queen, and who passed away this July. Adds Tori, “We were just so sad that she didn’t see this [cookbook] come to fruition. She would have been thrilled to see her legacy and her love for connecting people and family.”

Fraiche Food, Full Hearts takes those same hearty, soothing recipes the cousins grew up with and gives them a healthier, more plant-based spin — although it warmly embraces all dietary needs. “It’s approachable for every family,” Jillian says of the cookbook. “[It gives you the chance] to lean into the whole plant-based diet, but we’ve made it flexible and convertible for everyone.”

So whether you’re expecting a handful of out-of-towners or a slew of extended family this holiday season, there are a few simple hosting hacks that Jillian and Tori suggest you try in order to have a stress-free, dietary-friendly holiday. (Don’t worry — you’ve got this!)

Related: 14 Things You Didn’t Know About Jillian Harris


Get the recipe for Jillian’s Almost Famous Stuffing

Plan Ahead

“Plan out your menu ahead of time, and buy our cookbook!” Jillian says with a laugh. Although this might seem a little obvious, it’s easy to lose track of our schedules during the chaotic holiday season. We always think we have more time than we actually do, but between work, family obligations and shopping for gifts, we’re suddenly left wondering what to whip up in the kitchen for the big day.

Jillian suggests planning early — as in, right now. Be sure to inquire about dietary requirements in advance. No one wants a “food surprise” after you’ve spent the better part of your day cooking the meal. Where possible, make some freezer-friendly recipes in advance for a stress-free holiday.

Related: 20 Holiday Staples You Should Make Ahead This Year


Get the recipe for Jillian and Tori’s Sunshine Muffins

Stay on Top of Dietary Needs

This one is a biggie for both Jillian and Tori — and it’s something that is easy to overlook. “You really want people to feel like [their dietary needs] are as important to you as it is to them,” Jillian says. “They want to know that you’re hearing them. I think it makes people feel really good.”

By way of example, Jillian shares her own awkward, albeit hilarious, common situation. “My parents still don’t quite get [why it’s important],” she says with a laugh. “If I go over and they have hamburger soup, then that’s what you’re getting. But there have been times when they’ll make an extra plate for me and I’m like, ‘thank you for that slice of toast and piece of orange.’ Basically, my dad just thinks my taste buds are messed up.”

Related: 15 Vegan Roast Alternatives for Meat-Free Guests


Get the recipe for Jillian and Tori’s Mushroom Wellington

Stay Calm, Be Flexible

Before your head starts swimming at the thought of creating multiple menus to satisfy those with gluten intolerance or a vegan diet, fear not! “Having recipes that can be flexed either way is important, and it doesn’t mean you have to make an entirely separate menu for people with special dietary needs,” says Tori.

Offer a small variety of side dishes — no one is expecting an entirely separate menu just for them. “Usually people who have special requests don’t expect to be able to eat everything,” Jillian says. “They just want one or two options.”

Another alternative? Host a potluck where guests can bring a wealth of food options that will keep everyone satisfied, and perhaps introduce others to new dietary options.

Related: Our Top 100 Holiday Cookie and Square Recipes

Excerpted from Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Copyright © 2019 by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Photography copyright © 2019by Janis Nicolay. Published by Penguin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

The Best Salmon Burger Recipe With Dairy-Free Tzatziki

We made these burgers for all of you out there who don’t like the fishy taste of fish. The refreshing dill, vibrant parsley, and sharp garlic and shallots mask the taste of salmon so well that many of our clients eat these burgers every single week. The eggs and mashed cauliflower give the burgers a soft, fluffy texture, which means they’re easy to eat. Plus, this recipe is a great way to get more wild-caught salmon into your diet.

Dill Salmon Burgers With Dairy-Free Tzatziki

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6 burgers

Ingredients:

Salmon Burgers:
12 oz piece of fresh wild salmon or two 5.6 oz cans boneless wild salmon
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1½ cups cauliflower florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 egg
½ cup blanched almond flour
3 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp whole-grain mustard

Coconut Tzatziki:
1 cup cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sea salt

Read More: 15 Delicious Ways to Use Canned Salmon

Directions:

Salmon Burgers:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. If you’re using fresh wild salmon, place the fillet on a baking sheet skin side down and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the salmon is baked, set it aside to cool, and then carefully remove the skin. Keep the oven on. If you’re using canned salmon, drain the liquid from the cans.
3. While the salmon is baking, put the cauliflower florets in a small pot with ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer for 7–10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and cooked through. Most of the water should be gone by this point; if it is not, drain the excess water using a colander. Then blend the cooked cauliflower in a food processor until it is creamy. If there is just a bit of water left in the pot, you can add it to the food processor with the cauliflower.
4. Crumble the cooked or canned salmon into the food processor, along with the remaining ingredients, except for the Coconut Tzatziki, and pulse to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, place all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix by hand.
5. Measure out ¼ cup of the salmon mixture. Shape it into a burger patty, and then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
6. Bake the burgers for 20–25 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes. The burgers should be firm to the touch and lightly browned on top when they are ready.
7. While the burgers are in the oven, make the Coconut Tzatziki.
8. Serve burgers with a hearty dollop of tzatziki sauce. Have them in a salad or in a collard or whole-grain wrap, or eat them on their own. Keep leftover burgers in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for 3–4 months.

Nutrition Note: Salmon, especially wild caught, is one of the best types of fish to eat because it contains coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation—and reducing inflammation is linked with slowing cancer growth. Salmon also contains vitamin D and selenium, both important nutrients for antioxidant action to protect your cells from cancer.

Read More: 58 Fantastic Ways to Cook Salmon Fillets

Coconut Tzatziki:
1. Grate the cucumber with a hand grater or in a food processor using the grater attachment.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the grated cucumber with all the other ingredients.
3. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use or serve. This tzatziki will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Note: Make sure to buy yogurt that is made of coconut milk (not dairy yogurt with a coconut flavor). Alternatively, you can use another type of dairy- free yogurt, such as almond milk yogurt. Just make sure you get an unsweetened, plain variety.

Recipe Excerpt:
Excerpted from The Living Kitchen by Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Copyright © 2019 Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Photography by Daniel Alexander. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Tartiflette

A Hearty French Dish to Comfort You This Winter

By Corinna Horton

The chef in my life, Benoit Gelinotte, is Burgundy born. Raised in Renève France, a small village just south of Dijon, he possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine. As a child he shunned family vacations and long, hot days of sitting in the backseat of the family car en route to the French Riviera for the certainty of being well fed in his grandmother’s kitchen. A chef herself, she proved time and again that even the humblest of ingredients; handled with a measure of respect and solid technique, can be made into the mightiest of meals.

On occasion, when he pines for an authentic taste of home, he takes to the kitchen and makes this incredible dish out of a couple of potatoes, an onion, a chunk of bacon, a sizeable amount of cream and a piece of pungent, soft cheese. The result is classic simplicity, in its purest form.

Tartiflette, Courtesy of Corinna Horton, foodgypsy.ca, Aylmer, QC

Tartiflette

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds (1 kg) new potatoes
1/2 pound (225 g) thick-cut, smoked bacon
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups (475 mL) heavy cream
1 lb (450g) Reblochon-style cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Wash and scrub potatoes well. Slice 1/4 inch slices and rinse in cold water. In a medium sized pot, cover with cold, salted water and boil until just tender (10-12 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside. (If using late harvest potatoes peel first.)
2. While potatoes cook, slice bacon in two inch pieces, sauté over medium-high heat until tender.
3. Pour off excess fat, leaving about a tbsp. Add chopped onion to sweat with the bacon until transparent. 4. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat to cool.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle place a layer in the bottom of a large ovenproof pan and season with salt and pepper.
7. Take remaining potatoes and toss with bacon and onion. Season as needed and add to the top of the potato layer.
8. Add cream until potato mixture is almost covered.
9. Cut cheese into 1-inch chunks and place on top before sliding pan into the oven. Bake until tender, with a crispy, browned top (about 45 minutes).
10. Check with tip of a knife. Be sure potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Remove and rest 10 minutes.

Food Gypsy
Corinna Horton Pro Cook. Amateur Mom. Passionate Wino. Gypsy.
Recipe testing, blogging about food, wine and the art of living well from her home kitchen just outside Ottawa; Corinna (Cori) Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia’s Dragonfly Inn, and is currently at work on her second book.

how-to-make-cauliflower-rice-and-flavourful-recipes

How to Make Cauliflower Rice (and 3 Flavourful Variations)

Cauliflower has gained a lot of popularity among healthy eaters for its fibre-rich and disease-preventative benefits. As well, it’s a bit of a chameleon when it comes to nutritious meals. This cruciferous vegetable has a mild, agreeable taste that can take on any flavour and be transformed into risotto, pizza crust and cauliflower “rice” — all without the hefty dose of carbs!

how-to-make-cauliflower-rice-and-recipes

If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this sneaky healthy side dish with a knife or box grater. Here are a few easy ways to make the perfect cauliflower rice, and a few simple seasoning ideas.

Three Ways to Make Cauliflower “Grains”

Food Processor Method:
1. Cut cauliflower into several rough pieces and remove the tough core.
2. Working in 2 batches, add to a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse until the size of rice or couscous. Add to a large bowl.
3. Repeat with the second batch of cauliflower.

Box Grater Method:
1. Cut cauliflower into several rough pieces and remove the tough core.
2. Working in several, manageable batches, grate cauliflower on the medium-sized holes of you grater. Add to a large bowl.
3. Repeat with remaining pieces of cauliflower.

Knife Method:
1. Cut cauliflower into several rough pieces and remove the tough core.
2. Make small slices crosswise into cauliflower pieces.
3. When entire head is slices, chop until fine, roughly the size of rice or couscous.

How to Cook Cauliflower Rice and Flavour Variations

Cauliflower rice is a nutritious addition to meals whether served raw or cooked. Add your uncooked rice into salads, soups, or bake into casseroles for textural delight.

Simple Rice: Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower “grains”, sprinkle with salt and cook covered for 8 minutes until fluffy. Serve as a side dish or bed for curries and stews.

Roasted Rice: Roast rice until crispy, and use as a crunchy topper for avocado toast or hummus. For more flavour, try roasting the rice with cumin, cinnamon and thyme.

Southwestern Cauliflower Rice: Sauté onion, red bell pepper and garlic with cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. Add cauliflower rice and cook until tender. Season with a squeeze of lime juice, salt and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve inside tacos, as a side dish or toss in black beans to make it the main event.

Chinese Fried Cauliflower Rice: Sauté onion, carrot, ginger and garlic. Add cauliflower rice and cook until tender. Season with soy sauce or tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and Sriracha. Stir in diced green onions and serve inside lettuce cups with shredded cooked chicken or duck.

Greek Cauliflower Rice: Sauté onion, garlic, dried oregano, a pinch of nutmeg and chopped fresh rosemary. Add cauliflower rice and cook until tender. Season with salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove from heat and stir in pitted black olives, seeded and diced Roma tomato, chopped fresh dill and crumbled feta. Serve with pita and hummus.

The Warming Gnocchi You Can Make Ahead of Time

By Cassandrea Gascoyne

Gnocchi has always been one of my favourite dishes. The first time my husband and I tried making it at home, it was on a winter night that was -30ºC, so now making and eating gnocchi always makes me feel warm and cozy. This recipe is a little different than traditional gnocchi in that it is made with a light tomato broth instead of a rich cream or cheese sauce.

When we were making the broth that cold winter night, the kitchen windows fogged up from the steam. The whole house smelled of tomatoes and garlic. The broth is light and complements the gnocchi well.

As we ate our heaping bowl of gnocchi and broth I can remember thinking this is the perfect winter dish! The best part is that the gnocchi and broth are freezable, so you can come home from work during a blizzard and know you can look forward to a warm bowl of comfort food that will be ready in just a few minutes.

Gnocchi in Tomato Broth, Courtesy of Cassandrea Gascoyne, chewsandbrews.ca, Spruce Grove, Alta.

This simple pasta dish is the perfect comfort food for dinner in the depth of winter.

 

888x600_gnocchi-in-tomato-broth

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: approximately 80 gnocchi and 2.5 cups (625 mL) broth

Ingredients
Gnocchi

4 russet potatoes
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) whole-wheat flour

Tomato Broth
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
12 oz (341 mL) jar Italian tomato purée
handful fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
salt
pepper
Parmesan cheese

Directions
Broth
1. Meanwhile, in large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Sauté until vegetables have softened and onions and garlic have started to brown.
2. Pour in wine and stir, scraping up browned bits. Cook until wine has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, tomato purée and basil; reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Gnocchi
1. Bake potatoes in 400ºF (200ºC) oven for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a knife. Let cool.
2. Peel cooled potatoes and grate into large bowl. (Or use a potato ricer, instead of grating.)
3. Stir in beaten egg and salt. Add all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time, mixing until the mixture forms a soft dough that isn’t too sticky.
4. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 3 to 4 minutes. Divide dough into quarters; roll each quarter into a long rope, about 3/4 inch (2 cm) in diameter. Cut rope into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces.
5. Place gnocchi on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. If desired, freeze gnocchi on tray, then transfer into a freezer bag.
6. To cook the gnocchi, drop into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook the gnocchi about 2 minutes, or until they float. (If cooking from frozen, let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes.) Drain.
7. To serve, put 10 to 12 cooked gnocchi in each bowl and top with hot tomato broth. Garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Note:
-If you like a traditional-looking gnocchi, there are some neat tools you can use in Step 6 to add ridges, such as the Gnocchi Board or Gnocchi Stripper.
-A slice of garlic toast goes nicely as well, and can soak up any leftover broth at the end!

Chews and Brews
Cassandrea Gascoyne loves to cook and eat, and now has a passion for writing about and sharing everything she cooks and eats. She also enjoys wine, craft beers and good coffee. When she isn’t eating or drinking you can find her camping and hiking with her husband in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Her kids have four legs and are fuzzy and are named Bob and Sam.

ina-garten-dinner-menu.png

Ina Garten’s Easy Dinner Party Menu

The best part about throwing a dinner party is the company. Whether you’re hosting colleagues, good friends or family, the crowd hasn’t just assembled for the feast—they’ve come to catch up with you too. Recipe choices are so important during a dinner party, and as a host, your best bet is to avoid dishes that have you running in and out of the kitchen to stir and mix, leaving you much less time to spend mingling with company.

The Barefoot Contessa is the dinner party hostess of dreams. Her dishes are simple yet sophisticated, and top notch when it comes to stress-free entertaining. Take a leaf out of Ina Garten’s book and partygoers will never know how you made it look so easy.

Preparation is Essential

Finger foods are quick appetizers that’ll keep well as you wait for your guests to arrive. You can prepare them ahead of time, while you check off the rest of your to-do list. A light first course also ensures that your visitors have plenty of room for the entrée.

Try a honey-glazed baked Brie and Marcona almonds with sea salt.

baked-brie-honey-recipe

Serve the Brie with a variety of crackers, dried cranberries and sliced apples or pears. (Quick tip: sprinkle a small amount of lemon juice on the apples and pears to prevent them from going brown.) The sweetness from the honey-glazed Brie mixed with the salty Marcona almonds pair perfectly with cocktails.

Family-Style Dining is a Feast for the Eyes

For dinner parties, roasting meat in the oven is a cinch. Lock in tons of flavour by making your marinade early in the day and combining it with your choice meat for at least an hour in the fridge. And the more you can pop in the oven, the better, as dishes cooked on a stovetop require too much attention.

Try this herb-roasted turkey breast with Parmesan risotto and crispy roasted kale.

herb-turkey-recipe-Ina-Garten

Forget individual plating because ‘family-style’ dining can be just as striking. Showcase your herb-roasted turkey on your finest dinnerware. (Quick tip: if the platter is white, be sure to wipe off any extra juices from the meat, which may have spilled along the sides, while transferring the turkey breast from the roasting tray.) Lay the crispy roasted kale on a rustic cutting board alongside a block of Parmesan cheese and a small grater so you can offer guests freshly grated Parmesan for the risotto.

It’s Okay to Delegate

After the main course, leave ample time for the group to enjoy each other’s company at the dining table. (Dessert is best served once the main course has settled.) When everyone’s ready, politely recruit a willing helper to lend you a hand while you put together your final dish. Don’t be shy about delegating—guests are generally eager to learn new recipes.

Try this five-minute Limoncello and ice cream with biscotti.

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Limoncello is often served as an after-dinner ‘digestivo’ in Southern Italy. Paired with ice cream and biscotti, it’s a well-balanced dessert—creamy, crunchy, sweet and tangy—that looks lovely in a frozen martini glass and finishes off your dinner party nicely.

Palak Paneer: An Indian Favourite

By Suganya Hariharan

One of my most craved, all-time favourite Indian dishes, palak paneer is a scrumptious curry made of rich cottage cheese cubes simmered in creamy spinach sauce—“palak” meaning spinach and “paneer” is the Indian cottage cheese. This dish is famously served alongside fragrant rice and garlic naan in India.

To make it your own, replace the spinach with kale or create a blend of your favourite leafy greens. Spinach already goes well with garlic and cheese, and when it becomes a curry mixed with fragrant spices it becomes infinitely more delicious.

This dish takes only 30 minutes to prepare at home. To make it purely vegan, replace paneer with firm tofu, avoid cream and use oil instead of butter. It tastes great with basmati rice and warm naan.

Palak Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese, Courtesy of Suganya Hariharan, relishthebite.com, Montreal

Take your leafy greens to new heights with this traditional Indian spinach and cheese curry dish.

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients
2 tbsp (30 mL) ghee, unsalted butter or oil, divided
1 small stick cinnamon
3 cardamom pods
1 small dried bay leaf
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds (jeera)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 fresh green chillies, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) chilli powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) turmeric powder
8 oz (250 g) fresh spinach (or other leafy greens), washed
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp (15 mL) kasuri methi leaves, crushed
½ tsp (2 mL) garam masala powder
½ tsp (2 mL) chilli powder
3 tbsp (45 mL) cream
8 oz (250 g) paneer

Garnish
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh cilantro
1 tsp (5 mL) cream
Pinch garam masala

Directions
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and cumin seeds and sauté briefly, until slightly golden in colour. Add onion, chillies, garlic and ginger; sauté until soft.
2. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder to skillet; sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until well mixed and soft. Add spinach and cilantro and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted.
3. Remove bay leaf. Transfer the spinach mixture to a blender and pulse it few times until smooth but not puréed, being careful of hot splashes.
4. Return spinach mixture to skillet; add remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil, crushed kasuri methi leaves, garam masala and chilli powder and cook over medium heat. Stir in cream, adding water, if mixture seems too thick.
5. Add paneer to skillet and simmer, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the paneer has absorbed the curry flavours.
6. Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves, cream and garam masala.

Tip: For extra flavour, try frying paneer lightly in butter before adding to the curry.

Jump over here to print, save or share this recipe.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe here for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

Relish the Bite
My name is Suganya Hariharan, author of Relish the Bite. I do the cooking, writing and photography for the blog. Visit my site for all kinds of recipes but mainly tasty, spicy, flavourful Indian recipes. Never be afraid to try new flavours in your cooking!

Crispy Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This Meatless Monday we’re keeping things easy with this recipe for lightly crisped tofu doused in traditional tangy sweet and sour sauce! It’s perfect served over rice or with sautéed chinese broccoli or bok choy.

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Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Tofu and Batter:
1 brick of medium firm tofu (or firm tofu)
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup cold soda water

Directions:

1. Drain the brick of tofu from the packaging water and cut into bite size cubes. Allow the cubes to sit on a clean tea towel or paper towel to get rid of excess water while you prepare the sauce.
2. To make the sauce mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic, ginger, and chili pepper flakes. Stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic or ginger.
4. Add in remaining sauce ingredients and whisk together over medium heat until just bubbling. Then whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture. Whisk frequently for 10 to 12 minutes until slightly thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside while you prepare the crispy tofu.
5. Heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a medium sized pot to 375°F.
6. Prepare the batter by combining rice flour, cornstarch, sea salt, garlic powder, and ground pepper together in a mixing bowl. Do not add the cold soda water until your frying oil is ready.
7. When you’re ready to fry, stir in soda water to the flour mixture and combine well.
8. Using your hands coat 3 to 4 cubes of tofu and drop each one in the frying oil delicately. Fry for 2 to 2 ½ minutes. If some stick together you can gently separate them in the frying oil with a slotted fryer spoon. Remove crispy tofu from the oil with the slotted spoon and let them sit on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue this process with remaining tofu cubes.
9. Heat up the sauce again if needed. In 2 to 3 batches you can coat the crispy tofu with sauce by adding some sauce to a large bowl and tossing crispy tofu cubes until coated evenly. Serve over rice or vegetables.

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11 Ways with Eggs, Ham and Cheese

Egg-cellent things happen when you make breakfast for dinner, so throw the meal plan a curveball and whip up one of these delicious egg, ham and cheese recipes for dinner tonight!

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1. Easy Veggie and Ham Supper Recipe

2. A Wicked Broken Egg Recipe

3. 6-Minute Egg on Creamy Polenta with Crispy Serrano Ham Recipe

4. Ham Hock, Cheese and Egg Pie Recipe

5. Ham and Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

6. Green Eggs and Ham Recipe

7. Nests with Ham, Eggs and Swiss Cheese Recipe

8. Phyllo Egg Cups with Ham and Cheese Recipe

9. Crepes Stuffed with Eggs, Cheddar, Ham and Vegetables Recipe

10. The Big Egg Monte Cristo Recipe

11. Ham Strata with Greek Salad Recipe