Tag Archives: lunch

12 Great Greasy Spoons to Try Across Canada

Some places may not love the term “greasy spoon,” but to me, using that expression isn’t always a bad thing. As much as we all love our plates of confit this, and sous-vide that, at the end of the day, sometimes you just want a greasy burger or a simple sandwich loaded with deli cuts and a proportionate amount of mustard.

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Blackfoot Truckstop Diner/Facebook

That, my friends, is where these satisfying and delicious greasy spoons come in.

Blackfoot Truckstop Diner (Calgary, AB)

Normally I wouldn’t put a restaurant on a list after it was mentioned only a couple of weeks ago, but for Calgary, Blackfoot fits the bill too perfectly for being both a great late-night food spot (open 24 hours), as well as a top notch greasy spoon.

Try the grilled hamburger steak drowned in gravy, with a healthy portion of poutine on the side — you will love (and hate) yourself for it.

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Broadway Cafe/Facebook

Broadway Cafe (Saskatoon, SK)

Anywhere that proudly proclaims they serve Campbells’ soup has clearly read the definition of greasy spoon in the dictionary. Keep things classic at this Saskatoon institution with a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dipping. Don’t forget the milkshakes either — I mean, how else could you wash all of that cheesy goodness down? And, with most menu prices not exceeding the $10 mark, your wallet will feel just as content as you do after sitting down for a diner-style meal here.

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Spoons Diner/Facebook

The Commodore (Edmonton, AB)

In business for 73 years and counting, this casual downtown eatery on Jasper Avenue just might be the longest-running restaurant in the city’s history. Commodore is still owned by the original family that opened its doors back in 1942, passed down through the generations. Talk about a family business!

The food may be simple and the interior no-frills, but you’ll definitely soak up a little bit of Edmonton history anytime you visit this joint.

Cosmos Snack Bar (Montreal, QC)

French toast, crispy bacon, tall breakfast sandwiches with a sunny side egg, sliced in half and dripping down your hands as you pick it up… There’s not much to complain about at one of Montreal’s go-to greasy spoons. For a city that embraces foie gras so much, I’m almost a little surprised you can’t find it served diner-style here.

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Dangerous Dan’s Diner/Facebook

Dangerous Dan’s Diner (Toronto, ON)

If a gigantic burger topped with cheddar, bacon and a fried egg sounds good to you, then Dangerous Dan’s demands your presence. The Queen Street East diner is definitely a hot spot for many Torontonians, and Dan’s delicious deep-fried perogies alone are a good enough reason to check it out.

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Galaxie Diner/Facebook

Galaxie Diner (Calgary, AB)

Calgarians looking for a hangover cure are always willing to brave long line-ups (and cold weather, come November) to get a seat inside this little restaurant that dishes out eggs by the hundreds and hashbrowns by the ton (my estimation), every day of the week. The “Calgary Sandwich” is Galaxie’s popular spin on a Denver and is loaded with everything from eggs, sausage and bacon, to peppers, onions, mushrooms and possibly a kitchen sink too!

Park Cafe (Saskatoon, SK)

What’s a guy gotta do to find some decent shock food in Saskatoon? Well, he has to go to Park Cafe. If you’re unsure what shock food is, just picture some of the more crazy items that Guy Fieri consumes on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and that pretty much sums it up. The “Death by Cheese Sandwich” is not for the faint of heart and is as greasy as it gets. Basically, it’s a nice, thick grilled cheese sandwich that’s battered, breaded and deep-fried. Everything in moderation, my friends.

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Save On Meats/Facebook

Save On Meats (Vancouver, BC)

Lumping Save On Meats into a line-up of greasy spoons may not be the most accurate thing to do. Sure, they cook up simple, comforting dishes like patty melts and Salisbury steaks, but beneath their simple offerings, this restaurant is so much more. The diner is community focused through-and-through, offering a token program where people (you and me) can purchase meals for $2.25 and hand them out to less fortunate individuals that you might encounter in an area of town that is slowly being restored.

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Spoons Diner/Facebook

Spoons Diner (Victoria, BC)

Whether you’re craving an early morning bite, quick lunch or simple dinner, Spoons is here for you. Pancakes, eggs Benny, clubhouse sandwiches… Whatever diner dish you’re craving, you’ll probably find it on the menu.

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The Templeton/Facebook

The Templeton (Vancouver, BC)

Located on Granville Street in the heart of Vancouver, this old diner is charmingly worn and slightly rough-around-the-edges, not unlike the street you find it on. If reasonably priced BLT sandwiches or mini Kellogg’s cereal box breakfasts are your jam, this is the place for you.

The Westcliffe (Halifax, NS)

When Halifax-based food writer Kathy Jollimore told me you can get a cheeseburger and fries for under $5 at this east coast eatery, I almost didn’t believe her. Turns out, almost everything on the menu is $5 or less. Since we’re all the way out on the east coast, you can also find fried clams and fish and chips for one heck of a deal too.

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Zak’s Diner/Facebook

Zak’s Diner (Ottawa, ON)

Ottawa’s ByWard Market has no shortage of shops, restaurants and bars, but when the sun goes down and the street crowds dwindle, whose neon sign shines brightest? Zak’s. Established the same year as Lindsay Lohan (1986, obviously), this 24-hour diner keeps things nice and greasy around the clock with menu items like chili cheese dogs, deep-fried macaroni and so much more.

8-Minute Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

This dish embodies the spirit and heart of Italian cuisine; fresh, simple ingredients with a few key flavours like garlic and oregano. Pan-frying the shrimp with lots of Parmesan gives this dish wonderful contrasting texture.

Perfect for a light summer lunch, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with chunk of toasted ciabatta bread slightly dipped in a good quality olive oil.

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Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 dozen shrimp, deveined, head removed and tail on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Handful finely chopped basil leaves
Zest of one lemon + juice
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided

Directions:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and chopped basil to combine.
2. Add shrimp and 1/2 Parmesan, and toss well with hands to coat.
3. Heat pan on maximum heat, add shrimp and cook each side until pink, about 3 to 4 minutes total.
4. Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice on top; cover with the rest of the Parmesan and serve immediately with slices of toasted ciabatta or baguette.

Shareable Sushi Pizza with Wasabi Aioli

There’s only one thing better than pizza or sushi: sushi pizza. Using a crispy yet chewy rice patty  base and topped with traditional sushi roll fillings, this Japanese-Canadian creation is a delicious way to enjoy two classic foods.

Sushi rice is quite starchy and becomes sticky while it cooks, making it the ideal rice for a pizza base. As for the toppings, feel free to mix it up and top with your favourite proteins, veggies, and sauces.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 16 pieces

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Ingredients:

Wasabi Aioli:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp wasabi powder
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Rice Patty:
2 cups sushi rice
2 cups cold water
½ cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
4 tsp canola oil

Toppings:
½ avocado, sliced
½ lb sushi grade salmon, thinly sliced
¼ cup sliced English cucumber
2 Tbsp sliced green onion
½ Tbsp kelp caviar
½ tsp black sesame seeds

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Directions:

Wasabi Aioli:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolk with mustard.
2. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified.
3. Whisk in wasabi powder and rice vinegar.

Rice Patty:
1. In fine sieve, rinse rice in 3 changes of cold water, stirring vigorously until water runs clear. Drain well.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, combine rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.
6. Add to warm rice and mix gently to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Assembly:
1. Divide rice mixture into 4 balls.
2 On a piece of parchment paper, flatten each ball into a 5-inch round.
3, Heat 4 tsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Cook one sushi crust, turning once, until crisp and lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side.
5. Repeat with remaining sushi crusts.
6. Transfer to cutting board and cut each crust into quarters.
7. Top with avocado, cucumber, salmon and green onions. Top with kelp caviar, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle with wasabi aioli.

Spring Vegetable Panzanella Salad

What’s better than a light, fresh spring salad? A light, fresh spring salad with a ton of toasted bread soaked in dressing, obviously. The panzanella salad originates in Italy and is said to date back to the 16th century. I know nothing of history. But what I do know is that I love a good crouton salad.

This salad is composed of fresh spring veggies that you can find in farmers’ markets this time of year, and really showcases the vegetables. Be sure to buy local and organic when possible, but if you can’t, just be sure to find the best quality veggies near you. It really makes a world of a difference.

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This salad is dressed really lightly with dill-mustard vinaigrette, which brightens and accents the asparagus, favas, grilled scallions and radishes perfectly. I’ve used pumpernickel bread in the recipe to add a deeper flavour to the salad, and pea shoots for a subtle earthy sweetness. You can always substitute those out for whatever bread and tender greens you can find — this dish is super refreshing and versatile.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 side servings or 2 large servings

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Ingredients:

For the croutons:
5 thick slices pumpernickel bread, about 1” thick
Olive oil
Salt

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the grilled scallions:
5-6 scallions
Olive oil
Salt

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 cup shelled fava beans, fresh is preferred
4 radishes, sliced thinly
1 cup pea shoots

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Directions:

For the croutons:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up.
2. Cut the pumpernickel slices into 1” thick cubes.
3. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with a very, very generous amount of olive oil. You want it to completely cover the bread.
4. Transfer the bread onto a baking sheet and spread out in one layer.
5. Season with a bit of salt and bake for 12 minutes, tossing the croutons halfway through.

For the dressing:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and fresh cracked pepper until combined.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.

For the grilled scallions:
1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the scallions and season with a bit of salt.
3. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and softened.
4. Cut the scallions into 1” long pieces.

For the asparagus:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a bowl.
2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the asparagus.
3. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. They should still have some crunch to them.
4. Allow them to cool in the ice bath for 1 minute and then place onto a paper towel. Dab away any extra water. This will prevent the asparagus from getting waterlogged.
5. Cut the asparagus into 1” long pieces.

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Dressing the salad:
1. In a large bowl, toss the croutons with 2 Tbsp of dressing and allow them to soak it up while dressing the remaining components.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the scallions, asparagus, fava beans, radish slices and pea shoots with 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp of dressing. Don’t drown the delicate veggies.
3. Transfer the veggies into the bowl with the croutons and toss gently to combine.
4. Plate and enjoy with extra dressing on the side.

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Notes and Shortcuts:
– Use whatever vegetables are fresh and in season — get creative!
– The veggies and croutons can be made and prepped ahead of time, then dressed before serving. This is super helpful when you have guests coming or if you would like to take this salad as a work lunch.
– Change it up: grill the asparagus and change out the scallions for thinly sliced red onions. And if you can find ramps, it’s your lucky day. Definitely use them.
– Substitute the pea shoots for pea tendrils, micro greens or even sorrel — whatever you can find!

 

How to Pound Out and Bread a Schnitzel

By Colleen Fisher Tully

Having served up schnitzel for breakfast, lunch and dinner for more than 50 years, few places can boast a better schnitzel than The Original Angie’s Since 1962 in Waterloo, Ont. Second-generation owner Teresa Huegle shares the recipe and instructions for quick and easy cooking.

You’ll need:
• 4 boneless pork loin pieces or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• plastic wrap
• tenderizing mallet
• 1 cup (250 mL) flour with salt and pepper to taste
• 3 shallow pans
• 2 eggs
• splash milk
• 4 cups (1 L) bread crumbs with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
• tongs for handling meat
• extra-virgin olive oil for frying
• paper towels
• lemon wedges and applesauce for serving

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1. Wrap It Up
Place each pork loin between sheets of plastic wrap. The wrap helps prevent splattering all over the counter and yourself.

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2. Pound It Out
Using meat tenderizer, gently pound each loin until thin and even. If the plastic wrap tears, you’re hitting it too hard.

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3. Flour Power
Ensure that flour and seasoning are well mixed; add seasoned flour to shallow pan. Whisk together eggs and milk; pour into second pan. Ensure that bread crumbs and seasoning are well mixed; add seasoned bread crumbs to third pan. Using tongs, dredge each loin in flour until well coated.

 

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4. Egg and Crumb
After loins are coated in flour, dredge each in egg mixture, then in bread crumb mixture. Pat lightly to remove excess crumbs. Set aside.

 

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5. Fry ’Em Up
In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry each schnitzel until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Remove to platter with lemon wedges. Serve with fresh applesauce on the side.

Learn more about Huegle’s diner and get the full recipe.

The Sandwich Capital of Canada Is…

Hogtown, the Six, T-dot, the Big Smoke, the Sandwich Capital of Canada. Whatever you call it, Toronto is a big city with big-city pleasures and big-city problems, so it’s no wonder busy residents often eat on the go.

They’ve got sports teams to cheer for and complain about, traffic to get stuck in, and weather to hide from,” says You Gotta Eat Here! host John Catucci. “Torontonians don’t have time to eat their food with a fork and knife — they want to pick it up with both hands! That’s why you’ll find some amazing sandwiches here in Canada’s sandwich capital!”

Want to know what Toronto’s hiding between its slices? In no particular order, here are some of the GTA’s best sandwiches, as featured on You Gotta Eat Here!

Buttermilk Fried Turkey Sandwich, The ClubhouseFried-Turkey-Sandwich-(2)Can’t get to Toronto’s Kensington Market to sample The Clubhouse’s Buttermilk Fried Turkey Sandwich, smothered in smoky mayo and topped with crispy cranberry cilantro slaw? Luckily, we’ve got the recipe.

 Cuban Medianoche, La CubanaBraised-Shortrib-Medianoche-1Pressed sandwiches are the specialty at La Cubana. With two locations in trendy Toronto hoods Roncesvalles Village and Ossington Village, this eatery knows how to please cool Torontonians. The secret? Fresh, classic fare with a throwback vibe. Be sure to try the Traditional Medianoche, a soft white milk bun filled with molasses pork, ham and Gruyère.

Hogtown BLT, The CureThe-Hogtown-Cure---Hogtown-Ultimate-BLT---IMG_8073If hunger is what ails you, Hogtown’s got a cure — The Cure’s Hogtown BLT. The Cure (formerly The Hogtown Cure) piles its signature sandwich with house-made bacon, peameal bacon, arugula and tomato, layering it on a bun smothered with bacon jam and remoulade. Yum!

The Beastwich, BeastBeastwichYou can’t beat the Beast…but you can try. (For real, you CAN try: with this recipe). Or, head on over to this Toronto hotspot for its Beastwich, an intimidating tower of a buttermilk biscuit filled with a fried chicken thigh, pimento cheese, pork sausage gravy and a fried egg.

Smoked Meat Sandwich, Caplansky’s DeliCaplansky's-Smoked-MEat-SandwichCaplansky’s is an old-school Jewish deli, serving all-day breakfasts and sandwiches piled high with house-smoked meats. Chef Zane Caplansky‘s signature dish is not to be missed!

Sloppy Joe, White Brick Kitchen IMG_3291---White-Brick_Bacon-Brisket-Sloppy-JoeIf the only Sloppy Joe you’ve ever had came from a can, prepare for a revelation. White Brick Kitchen’s version is hot mess of ground chuck, bacon, sour cream and BBQ sauce. Try it yourself at home, if you’d like — we’ve got the recipe.

Pulled Pork Beanasaurus, Sul Irmaos Smokehouse BeanosaurusSul Irmaos is a GTA favourite, celebrated for its Portuguese BBQ and comfort food. Their Pulled Pork Beanasaurus is a medley of Southern slow-cooked pork, kettle-cooked baked beans, creamy coleslaw and crunchy fried mac and cheese bites. Prefer to make the Pulled Pork Beanasaurus at home? Here’s the recipe.

Catch new episodes of You Gotta Eat Here! Fridays at 9 E/P. Be sure to visit the location map to find the nearest sandwich shop near you.

How to Make Montreal-Style Bagels

In the bagel world, there’s quite a divide between the classic New York bagel and the sweeter, Canadian counterpart — the Montreal bagel.

Montreal bagels are denser, sweeter and traditionally made in wood fired ovens as opposed to the fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside, baked bagels made south of the Canadian border.

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Both varieties of bagels are made using yeasted dough and are boiled before being baked. NY-style bagels are dipped in boiling water that has baking soda or lye, whereas Montreal bagels get dunked in boiling water that has honey or malt, creating a sweeter, denser dough.

The sweet and chewy nature of Montreal bagels lends them to eating them plain. So put away the cream cheese, jam and butter because once you make a fresh batch of Montreal bagels, you’ll want to enjoy them just as they are!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
Makes: 12 bagels

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 *x 8 g pkg quick-rising yeast or 1 tbsp

1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup honey, divided
4 ½ cups flour (or more if dough becomes too sticky)
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds for tops of bagels (about ½ cup each)

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix in egg, vegetable oil, salt and ½ cup honey. Gradually add flour until mixture comes together to form a dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Pop the dough back into the bowl (no need to clean) and cover with a damp tea towel. Let the dough rise until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with 8-10 cups of water and add remaining ½ cup honey. Bring to a boil while you shape your bagels.
5. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Shape into bagels by either rolling into long logs and joining the ends together or shaping into rounds and poking holes in the middle using a wooden spoon. Stretch the dough around the spoon handle to make large holes. Make the holes quite large as they will rise and shrink considerably when baked.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Put the bagels onto the baking sheets and let rise for about 10 minutes. Place your poppy or sesame seeds onto a plate.
7. Using a slotted spoon dip your bagels, about 2 at a time, into the boiling honey water and leave for about 30 seconds per side. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and dip them straight into the seeds and then back onto the baking sheets, seeds side up.
8. Once boiled, bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Spicy Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

Whenever Fall rolls around, I start to go a little soup crazy. The spicy Italian sausage adds nice heat to this hearty, vegetable-heavy bowl of goodness. With the chickpeas, chunks of zucchini and kale and thick broth, this soup almost feels more like a stew. Needless to say, it is best enjoyed with family or  friends.

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Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh pumpkin (1 cubed)
2 large Italian sausages (casing removed)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups zucchini (halved, 1/2 sliced)
3 cups kale (stems removed, loosely chopped)
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions:
1. Start with preheating your oven to 400°F. Toss the chunks of pumpkin with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and let them roast in the oven until they’re fork tender, about 35 minutes.
2. While that’s happening, cook the sausage in a large pot on medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spoon as you go, until well-browned. De-glaze the pot with the red wine, then add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes or so.
3. Next, pour in the broth, remaining vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Once the pumpkin is ready, remove from oven, place into a food processor or blender with cream and purée until smooth. Stir the pumpkin puree into the pot, along with remaining ingredients. Let simmer for another 20 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper to finish.

How to Make the Perfect Pork Schnitzel

By Teresa Huegle, as told to Jasmine Mangalaseril

For Teresa Huegle, food and restaurants are in her blood. Her extended family owned several restaurants and cafés in Waterloo County before her parents opened Angie’s Kitchen (now The Original Angie’s Since 1962) in Uptown Waterloo in 1962. Today, this Waterloo landmark continues to offer foods once favoured by the area’s early German settlers.

When my parents opened Angie’s in the ’60s, hot beef sandwiches and fish and chips were the big things here. Schnitzel really didn’t become famous until the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest was established a few years later, in 1969.

Customers didn’t want to wait until the festival came, so schnitzel became part of the food we’d serve. All the local university teams ate here—schnitzel was for the pregame meal or for the party after they won. Later, it became part of our catered banquets, while in the restaurant, schnitzel became a staple for an evening meal, or on a bun at lunch.

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Originally, our breakfasts were bacon, eggs, toast, jam and sausages, but people started asking for an egg on top of schnitzel. We eventually created a breakfast platter with Oktoberfest sausage, Krug’s smoked sausage, schnitzel, eggs and a slice of lemon.

While some of the guys like it, the full breakfast platter is a very, very big meal. I think to finish the platter you need to be young and know you can wear it all off! I’ve dissected it and cut the portions a bit, so you can get a taste and have just one of the sausages or schnitzel. At breakfast, sauerkraut isn’t normally served, but you can certainly have it. Personally, I love the flavour combination of lemon on top of schnitzel with eggs and salt and pepper.

My father was Greek, and my mother was Italian, so food was always a part of our lives. Since I was the eldest of five, I was constantly in the kitchen as the clean-up girl. My mum was cooking all the time, and I learned by watching her. My parents used to bread chicken, and also pork, so basically the schnitzel was a family recipe. I married a German-Austrian, which means schnitzel also came into my life through his family.

For me, a great piece of schnitzel is made with salt, pepper and garlic. At home, I’ll often serve it with fresh homemade applesauce. If the kids want pasta on the side, I might add oregano to the breading, just to give it a different flavour. I make a curried schnitzel salad by adding chopped celery, onions, curry powder and mayo to leftover schnitzel that I’ve cubed—it’s awesome!

Schnitzel is a treat, and a treat can also be healthy and fun. For those who aren’t supposed to have salt, take it out, but add some oregano and thyme. Will you miss the salt? Not if you’ve got lemon juice squeezed over it!

When we think of schnitzel, we think of fun. We think of beer. We think of a good time. That’s part of this community, what Kitchener-Waterloo is.

Pork Schnitzel, courtesy of Teresa Huegle

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 boneless pork loin pieces
1 cup (250 mL) flour, mixed with salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
splash milk
4 cups (1 L) bread crumbs, mixed with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for frying
Lemon wedges for serving
Applesauce for serving

Directions
1. Place each pork loin between sheets of plastic wrap. Gently pound each loin with meat tenderizer until thin and even. (The wrap will help prevent splattering the counter and yourself.)
2. Put seasoned flour in shallow bowl or pan, making sure seasoning is well mixed into flour.
3. In second bowl or pan, whip together eggs and milk.
4. In third pan, add seasoned breadcrumbs, again making sure seasoning is well mixed.
5. Dredge each loin in flour, then dip in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs. Pat lightly; put on plate until frying pan is ready.
6. Heat oil in pan. Fry each schnitzel until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
7. To serve, place schnitzels on platter with lemon wedges. Serve with fresh applesauce. For breakfast, I add any style of eggs. You will love the flavours with a bit of extra salt and pepper on your eggs and a squeeze of lemon on your schnitzel. Yummy!

Click here to print, save or share this Pork Schnitzel recipe.

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

A Healthy Cantaloupe Salad

By Janet Malowany

Cantaloupe may seem like an odd ingredient to use in a salad, but the sweet fruit plays a lead role in this delightful, unassuming recipe.

Bulgur—steamed wheatberries that need little additional cooking—is another underused ingredient featured in this salad. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture that melds beautifully with chunks of sweet cantaloupe. For a Middle Eastern-inspired twist, I infuse the bulgur base with a vibrant citrus dressing, fresh mint and parsley. Crunchy hazelnuts round out the flavours and textures.

Pick a small cantaloupe that is firm and fragrant, but not overripe. That way, the flesh you use in the salad will keep its shape better and not overwhelm the other ingredients.

Bulgur and Cantaloupe Salad with Hazelnuts and Mint, Courtesy of Janet Malowany, tastespace.wordpress.com, Toronto, ON

Healthy and vibrant, you’ll love this sweet-and-savoury cantaloupe salad.
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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 6-8, as a side

Ingredients
Juice of two large oranges (about 3/4 cup/175 mL)
Juice of half a lemon (2 tbsp/30 mL)
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) medium-grain bulgur
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, or to taste
fresh-ground pepper to taste
4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped mint
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cantaloupe, cubed (4 cups/1 L)
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Directions
1. Combine orange juice, lemon juice and water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add bulgur and stir. Turn off heat, cover pan and let sit for 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in green onions, mint and parsley. Add cooked bulgur and stir well. Stir in cantaloupe.
3. Just before serving, sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Jump over here to print, save or share this Bulgur and Cantaloupe Salad recipe.

The Taste Space
I’m a doctor by day, amateur chef by night. I enjoy creating and sharing healthy, delicious recipes. Five years ago, I adopted a whole-food vegan diet without refined sugars or flours, and I haven’t looked back. The Taste Space focuses on healthy, whole-food vegan meals.

8 Surprising Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Love

School is back in session which means that it is time to break out the lunch boxes, bags and thermoses and get back into a lunch packing routine. Many of these recipes can be made for dinner then sent as leftovers the next day. You can also make a bigger batch and portion some for future use. Here are some great ideas for delicious, vegetable and fruit-filled meals to set your child up for a day of success at school.

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1. Veggie Quiches and Frittatas
Baked egg dishes are terrific for busy weeknights and for lunch boxes: they come together quickly and pack protein and vegetables into every single bite. Leftovers are delicious warmed up or at room temperature the next day. This Roasted Vegetable Frittata recipe features bell peppers and zucchini which are all at their peak this season which will make lunch even tastier. Or try making these Mini Spinach and Cheese Vegetable Quiches that are cooked in muffin cups. Not only are they a quick and easy option, but also make a great freezer item to be reheated later for a quick snack.

2. Pancakes and French Toast cups
Opening up a lunchbox to find pancakes or French toast cups is a nice surprise and an unexpected break from regular lunch fare. Kids will get their fill of fruit with these delicious recipes. This recipe for Gluten-Free Pancakes with Berry Compote will bring a smile to your kids face and have them gobble up every single bite. Just make sure to pack the compote separately from the pancakes. And don’t hesitate to throw in this Kids’ Smoothie in an insulated bottle to go along with this lunch.

French toast cups also make a fun alternative to traditional lunch. Pack the ricotta and berries on the side so that the French toast cups don’t get soggy by the time the lunch bell rings. This recipe calls for almonds — but you can swap it out for some roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead to make it nut-free.

3. Waffle Pizzas
Pizza is always a hit with kids and is a terrific way to get them to eat some veggies. Instead of a regular crust made of dough, this Waffle Pizza recipe makes savoury sundried tomato waffles as a base and tops them with a selection of tasty vegetables. If you are short on time, don’t hesitate to swap in a pre-made frozen waffle and then top it with tomato sauce, your child’s favourite veggies and a sprinkle of cheese.

4. Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad
Rice vermicelli is available in the Asian section of large supermarkets and at Asian grocery stores. These fine rice noodles cook in moments immersed in hot water which makes them a terrific option for a lunchbox and any quick meal. This Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad recipe combines some carrots, peppers and fresh herbs along with some chicken — leftover roast chicken from dinner would be perfect here — and some dressing that you can pack on the side to be poured over at lunchtime. Note: This recipe calls for red chili and chili paste to add some heat, but you may want to omit for little ones.

5. Vegetable and Chicken Dumplings
Dumplings are a delicious lunch option and a terrific vehicle for protein and vegetables. They are especially useful for using up odds and ends, like a lone celery stalk or carrot, or a half of a chicken breast that you have hanging around in your fridge. You can send these Vegetable and Chicken Dumplings to school hot in a thermos or at room temperature in a lunch box. Kids can also get in on the action and help to fold up the little bundles in conventional or not-so-conventional ways! Dumpling wrappers are available in the produce or deli section of the supermarket.

6. Chicken Noodle Miso Soup
As the weather cools, soup is a perfect lunch to warm up your child before they head outdoors to play. Soup can be warmed up in the morning and sent in a thermos. It is also easily frozen in portions that can be pulled out of the freezer on demand. Chicken Noodle Miso Soup is a tasty twist on traditional chicken soup and uses miso to add depth of flavour without hours of cooking time. It includes no fewer than 6 vegetables, chicken breast and pasta — all of which combine to make a delicious and nourishing whole meal.

7. Pizza Soup
Seems like a genius idea, right? Transforming all of the deliciousness of pizza into a bowl of soup. Your kids are going to be thrilled when they open their thermos to this warming meal. The simple Pizza Soup recipe is written so that you can customize it with your child’s favourite pizza toppings.

8. Chicken Meatballs with Roasted Vegetable Sauce
Chicken meatballs in a red sauce made of puréed roasted carrots, peppers, zucchini, squash, onions and tomatoes are a fantastic dinner for a cool night and an even better lunch the next day. Rolling out meatballs can be a little time consuming but are a terrific task for little hands so invite any aspiring chefs in your house to roll up their sleeves and help out. They are even more likely to gobble up this delicious meal if they had a hand in preparing it.

Aviva Wittenberg is the founder of 196lunches.com, a blog that documents a year of making healthy and delicious school lunches for her kids. Follow her on Instagram at @avivawittenberg.

5 Easy Ways to Turn Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Lunch

So you’ve got visions of Pinterest-worthy lunches floating around in your head — join the club. Like anyone who has ever eaten a sad desk lunch knows, good intentions won’t fill you up. Here are five realistic ways to take last night’s dinner, transform it into today’s lunch and brown bag it like a pro.

Become a Sandwich Master
Leftover roasted vegetables, steak or roasted chicken make for the beginnings of a mean sandwich. Simply stack what you’ve got — red peppers, tomatoes, steak or chicken — and line a soft baguette with a little mayo, goat cheese or some hunks of brie, add few fresh sprigs of arugula and you’re all set.

Try: Grilled Steak Sandwich with Onions & Arugula

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Undress Your Salad
That big salad at dinner will be a soggy mess after a night in the fridge, so if you plan to take it to work the next day, keep it naked. Give it some heft by adding canned tuna, shredded roast chicken, smoked tofu or even leftover quinoa, and save the dressing until the very last minute to keep it perky and fresh.

Try: Bobby Flay’s Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Dressing

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Double Up on Your Sides
Whether it’s brown rice, quinoa, pasta or potatoes, plan to make more than you need. Then, turn those sides into a hearty desk-side salad by adding a simple vinaigrette, a whack of raw or cooked vegetables and some fresh herbs.

Try: Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

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Soup it Up
A hot lunch of leftover soup or stew can warm the biggest office chill, and you can be sure that any soup you’ve got will taste even better while slurping in the staff lunchroom. Make it a main by adding a buttered baguette to dip in chicken stew, some pita wedges for that lentil soup or even a some rice, fresh thyme and and parsley to chicken soup.

Try: The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Rice Soup

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Takeout Transformation
Instead of simply nuking your leftovers, give them new life with a few fresh ingredients and a little creativity. Last night’s pad Thai can be today’s cold noodle salad when you add green beans or shelled edamame, while a Chinese delivery of rice, beef or chicken and vegetables can easily be reborn as a quick stir-fry.

Try: Korean Beef Fried Rice

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BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Traditional Fish and Brewis at Bidgood’s in Newfoundland

By Leslie Bidgood, as told to Valerie Howes

Leslie Bidgood runs Bidgood’s in Goulds, N.L., alongside her father, Rick. Her grandfather, Roger, founded the business with her grandmother, Jenny. The couple began their work together—which would evolve into the Bidgood’s company of today— 68 years ago in Petty Harbour. Back then, it was a small general store, passed down by Leslie’s great-grandfather. Today, it has expanded into a supermarket, restaurant, bakery and wholesale operation with its own food line. Bidgood’s specializes in traditional Newfoundland cuisine, made with home-harvested ingredients. Here, Leslie talks about a customer favourite: fish and brewis.

Leslie Bidgood

Leslie Bidgood

Bidgood’s is much the same today as I remember it from my childhood. It has always had that family feeling. My sisters and I would come up and play hide-and-seek out back in the boxes in the warehouse after school, and I started working here myself when I was about eight, washing dishes and things like that. Two of our aunts and one uncle were involved then. And most of our staff lived locally, so there was always an upbeat, friendly kind of environment. We actually have some of the same staff now as we did when I was out back jumping on boxes and driving everyone nuts.

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Fish and brewis (pronounced “brews”) is one of the main items we sell in the store. It has been a staple Newfoundland dish for so many years. I ate it once or twice a week as a child—I grew up eating everything we make and sell here. And at my grandparents’, we were always exposed to traditional food. Nowadays, I only eat it now and again as a treat. The family recipe we use in the store hasn’t really changed over the years. If it’s working and we’re getting positive feedback from the customers, we don’t mess with any recipe!

To make fish and brewis, the girls soak hard bread overnight, then the next morning they boil it for about an hour to soften it. Then, they put this soaked bread in the strainer to drain excess water. Next, they put it into a huge mixing bowl and add fried scrunchions—diced pork fat cooked up fresh while the bread was boiling. Next, they add salted cod that has been soaked overnight—sometimes twice—to take away some of the saltiness and boiled for about 20 minutes. They stir it all together, allow it to cool and package it.

Hard bread is a traditional bread here in Newfoundland. It has to be soaked in liquid to soften it up. It’s very shelf stable, so many years ago, when people had no means to preserve foods, it was a staple in homes and at sea. As kids, when we’d go to my grandmother’s place and come out of the pool starving, she’d give us hard bread as a snack.

The difference between salted cod and fresh cod is like day and night. Obviously, salted cod is much saltier, while the fresh cod melts in your mouth. Salted cod is also harder, though it softens up once it’s soaked, drained and cooked. It’s not as tender as fresh fish, but it’s not quite as chewy as steak, either.

Fish and brewis is such a simple, quick and easy meal. And it’s tasty. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or supper. Some customers come in and order it for breakfast, and they pour molasses over it. A lot of people who live out of the province then return home, that’s the kind of food they’re looking for. It brings back memories.

See more photos of Lynn Crawford’s visit to Bidgood’s market here.

Sweet and Simple Lobster Rolls in Old Town Lunenburg

By Adam Bower, as told to Signe Langford

Oh, how times have changed! Back in the 1950s and ’60s, when Adam Bower’s mom was growing up in a small fishing village outside Lunenburg, N.S., the curtains were drawn if lobster was on the table for dinner. In those days, it was considered poor man’s food, a source of shame. Today, it’s with great pride the sommelier-owner of Grand Banker Bar & Grill in Lunenburg serves what is now a highly prized delicacy.

By the time I was growing up in Lunenburg, eating lobster was no longer considered shameful or something you had to do when times were tough. It was a pretty special occasion, and we only had a big lobster feed a couple of times a year. Mom and Dad would make a call, then go and meet a lobsterman at the dock for 10 pounds of the freshest lobster—literally, it had been out of the water for just minutes! Mom would boil it and serve it with potatoes, corn on the cob, salad and lots of melted butter. Dad would break them all down—claws in one bowl, tails in another, legs and all the smaller bits in another—so we kids got to pick our favourite parts. The next day, Mom would turn any leftover lobster meat into lobster rolls. But to be honest, I was a picky eater, and it wasn’t until I was in my early teens and had started working in the restaurant business that I really started to appreciate lobster.

When I was 19, I went to work for Alan Creaser at the Grand Banker Bar & Grill. The place was a fixture in Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The restaurant is on the waterfront, across from where the Bluenose II is docked. When Creaser called to tell me he was selling the restaurant and asked if I wanted to buy it, I leaped at the chance to come back home to take it over. I started hearing from locals and loyal customers. I’d get letters saying, “I hope you’re leaving such-and-such on the menu.” So I left core signature dishes but made many enhancements, including fresh menu items, an in-depth wine list, craft beers and switching over to a local artisanal bakery—Boulangerie la Vendéenne—for all the breads and buns we use. That’s one of the reasons our lobster roll is so special; I serve it in a warm brioche roll that’s eggy and a little bit sweet, and it complements the claw and knuckle meat perfectly.

Our lobster roll is simple: some house-made citrus aioli, green onion, a small amount of lettuce and a good quarter pound of claw and knuckle meat—I want the lobster to shine. When lobster is in season, I take a 20-second walk down to the lobster pound for lobster that’s just come off the boats. We don’t do anything fancy; the lobster meat is so sweet and fresh we don’t need to—just boil them in salted water. And don’t forget a cold Propeller pilsner or one of Nova Scotia’s delicious white wines to wash it down!

Nova Scotia Lobster Roll, courtesy of Adam Bower

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yields: 1 sandwich

Ingredients
1¼ lb (565 g) Nova Scotia lobster, bands removed
2 tbsp (30 mL) mayonnaise
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) green onions, chopped
1 artisan-style hotdog bun
1 leaf romaine hearts, chopped
1 handful of parsley, chopped
lemon wedge

Directions
1. In stockpot, bring water to boil. Add live lobster; cook for about 10 minutes, until lobster is bright red. Remove; let cool. Crack claws and knuckles, removing meat. Reserve remaining meat for future use.
2. In bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and green onions. Stir in lobster meat.
3. In oven, toast bun (fresh from your local bakery, if possible), until warm and crisp outside. Score down middle; fill with romaine.
4. Place lobster mixture on top of romaine; sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedge.

Click here to print, save or share this Lobster Roll recipe.

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

 

DIY Packed Lunch Kits You’ll Actually Want to Eat

I blame my grade school days for my great distaste towards packed lunches. Day after day it was the same thing: The same plain sandwich with one slice of meat and no crust, and two boring snacks, which I’d usually eat at recess.

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Though I never lucked out with a pack of Dunkaroos or Gushers, my parent’s were still pretty good at pleasing a kid. I got a one-bite chocolate bar on occasion, or sometimes a few chips. My lunch aside, it was the other kids I had a problem with. There was the one who always had the stinky baloney sandwich, the smell in which would linger until afternoon recess, and the kid that would bring fettuccini alfredo and a carton of milk every Thursday. (Don’t tell me you didn’t just shiver.)

And now, we still don’t really have a choice but to bring packed lunches to work. Health-wise and money-wise, it just makes sense. And so, because none of us can eat the exact same thing every day, I’ve come up with an easy guide to help you choose healthy options guaranteed to keep you full all day long. Sure, you may think it’s a lot of food but it’s all about portions. Eating a little food all day long is a surefire way to keep you full without overdoing the calories.

Now, all you have to do is pick an item from each of the following lists, prep it, pack it, and you’re on your merry way. And yes, don’t worry, I have your sweet tooth covered too.

8 AM: For most of us, the idea of cooking a fabulous breakfast and actually sitting down to eat it is as foreign as leaving the house with wet hair. It just doesn’t happen. So, we resort to eating on the go. Choose one of these easily packable, easy to eat snacks that go perfectly well with the two cups of coffee you always have time for.

  1. Organic wheat cereal, like Kashi’s.
  2. A whole wheat English muffin, toasted, with butter or jam (with no added sugar)
  3. A homemade breakfast bar under 150 cals, like our Peanut Butter Bar version.

10 AM: Your coffee’s done, you still have a few more hours until lunch, but you’re hungry. Or, you’re looking for an excuse to take a break from work for a bit. Fair enough! I’ve got you covered with morning fruit options:

  1. An apple.
  2. A scoop of fruit salad (try our version with a savoury dressing)
  3. A small serving of fruit, granola and Greek yogurt.

1 PM: You made it! It’s lunchtime. That thing you’ve been looking forward to all morning? Ya, it’s here. And we have three lunch options all delicious, and all healthy.

  1. A salad with asparagus, radish, avocado, spring green mix, and any other veggies you’d like to add. This is the fastest option, so if you’re short on time while preparing your lunch before work, go with this.
  2. A little more extravagant, but totally filling, a turkey sandwich on a whole wheat bun is a great option.
  3. The BLTA: Just grab a whole wheat wrap, arrange bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado in it, and you’re done.

3 PM: Right about now, that darn sweet tooth starts acting up. This is the little kick we need to get us through the day, and it’s perfectly fine to indulge in something sweet, as long as this privilege is not abused, Meaning, no, I am not advising you to eat a whole dark chocolate bar, I’m talking about just a square or two.

  1. A small piece of dark chocolate (the darker you can go, the better!).
  2. 1 small cookie, like our chewy oatmeal cookies with apricots and pumpkin seeds.
  3. A small rice crispy square (do it right, and it can only be 150 calories).

5 PM: Some of us may still have another hour of work to put in, and some of us may have a super long commute home ahead of us. So, better take a little snack to hold you over until dinner, just so you’re not tempted to pick up a doughnut… or something.

  1. Fruit and cashew trail mix.
  2. Raw natural almonds.
  3. Light hummus with carrot and celery sticks.

10 Classic Potato Recipes Everyone Should Master

Make your spuds extra special with these tested-to-perfection preparations that are so versatile, you’ll be enjoying potatoes every day of the week.

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1. Easy Cheesy Casserole

Cube several potatoes and boil until soft. Place in a casserole dish with 1 cup each sour cream, cottage cheese and onion. Mix together and top with one cup cheddar cheese then bake in the oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.

Try The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Twice Baked Potato Casserole

2. Baked Sherry Spuds

Put a twist on your typical baked potato. Make several cuts in the potato and add a few slices of onion and pats of butter. Use aluminum foil to create a bowl for the potato to sit in, then pour a bit of cooking sherry over the potato, seal the foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Try this recipe for Little Potato Salad with Sherry, Grainy Mustard and Parsley

3. Steamy Potato Salad

Turn a summertime favourite into a holiday hit. Using your trusted creamy cold potato salad recipe, follow as instructed, but make right before serving or prepare everything but the potatoes ahead of time. Add warm potatoes, mix and
serve.

Try Laura Calder’s recipe for Warm Potato Salad

4. Mashed and Squashed Potatoes

Add 1 cup of canned pureed pumpkin or fresh pureed squash to your mashed potato recipe for a hit of flavour and colour.

Try this recipe for Shepherd’s Pie with “Squashed” Potatoes

5. Double-Baked Squash Potatoes

Boil a butternut or acorn squash, scoop out the pulp and mash with the potato pulp, then replace it into the potato skins, following any double-baked potato recipe.

Try Michael Smith’s recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

6. Chip Trip

Perfect as a side dish at lunch or as a snack, these chips are a cinch to make. Thinly slice Yukon gold potatoes and shake with olive oil in a freezer bag. Lay the slices flat on a plate and cook in the microwave until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with salt and let sit until cool and crunchy.

Try this recipe for Oven Roasted Potato Chips with Rosemary and Rock Salt

7. Potato Pouches

Follow your recipe for mashed potatoes, adding onion and shredded cheese. On a flour or corn soft tortilla, spoon potato mixture, fold, and grill in a frying pan until crispy.

Try this recipe for Garlic and Parsley Mashed Potatoes and then place them on a tortilla of your choosing.

8. Potato Loaf

Skin and mash potatoes adding two eggs, onion, shredded cheddar cheese and any spices you like. Place in a loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 90 minutes. Remove, cool and serve for a slice of nostalgia.

Try Anna Olson’s recipe for Potato Parmesan Focaccia

9. Sweet Potato Pancakes

Add 3/4 cup mashed sweet potato and a dash of nutmeg to your typical pancake recipe for a breakfast treat. Pour maple syrup and serve.

Try Alton Brown’s recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles — you can use the batter for pancakes, too!

10. Crispy Potato Skins

Instead of tossing the skins you peeled from your potatoes, lay them on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with olive oil and your favourite seasonings, then bake until crispy for a spicy snack.

Try this recipe for Grilled Potato Skins with Provolone, Bacon and Sour Cream

The Panfried Pickerel That’s so Canadian

By Patrick Hearn, as told to Devon Scoble

Patrick Hearn and Kent Rumpel live in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood and co-own the Park Cafe and Diner, which has been credited with revitalizing the once-rundown area. One of their most popular weekend dishes is panfried pickerel, something Patrick remembers eating on fishing trips with his dad in northwestern Ontario. While it was Kent who tweaked and perfected the recipe for the diner’s customers, the dish is still made in Patrick’s grandmother’s cast-iron pan.

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Between the ages of seven and 17, I lived in a small mining town in northwestern Ontario. My mum had taken a millwright maintenance course for mechanical at the mine; she was one of the first women in Canada to be a millwright maintenance mechanic—all while raising seven children! So my dad did all the cooking throughout the week, then on weekends, my mum would do all the baking and all the stuff for our lunches.

My mum was pretty creative as a cook, often using cheaper cuts of meat to make stuff go farther. She has an English background, so we’d have pigs in a blanket, Swiss steak and steak-and-kidney pies. My dad was a pretty good cook, too, but he was more of a meat-loaf-and-mushroom-gravy or spaghetti-and-sauce kind of guy. He learned what he knew from his mother, my Grandma Hearn, who was also an excellent cook.

My dad made panfried pickerel for us kids as a shore lunch when we were fishing. He’d heat up potatoes left over from last night’s dinner and fry up a few eggs. He’d catch fresh pickerel from the lake, clean it lakeside, then panfry it with the eggs and potatoes for a delicious lunch.

The fried pickerel recipe we use at the Park Cafe is actually Kent’s. It’s something we’d done one weekend that people really enjoyed. The fish is seasoned and floured on both sides, then panfried in my Grandma Hearn’s cast-iron pan and served with eggs, hash browns and toast. This cast-iron frying pan is something we’ve used in countless ways my whole life. I’ve even turned it into a running joke over the years: “101 uses for Grandma’s frying pan!” Through the week, the panfried pickerel isn’t a big seller, but on Sundays, it just goes.

Growing up, we ate meals accompanied by lots of gravies and sauces and pastas—comfort food, I would call it. And home-cooked comfort food is what the Park Cafe is about. It kept Grandma Hearn alive until 92, so hopefully by eating the way she did, I’m going to be around for a long time!

Park Cafe and Diner’s Panfried Pickerel, courtesy of Kent Rumpel

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients
6 to 8 oz (170 to 225 g) pickerel fillet
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
? cup (75 mL) (approx.) flour
1½ tbsp (20 mL) clarified butter
lemon wedges

Directions
1. Lightly season fillet with salt and pepper.
2. Cover a plate with flour; dredge each side of fillet to lightly coat.
3. Melt clarified butter in cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; panfry fillet for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Flip and fry on other side until golden brown and fish flakes easily.
5. Top with freshly squeezed lemon, or try it with hollandaise sauce. Serve for breakfast with eggs, hash browns and toast.

Click here to print, save or share this Panfried Pickerel recipe.

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

Quick and Easy Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi, that gorgeously-pungent, Korean fermented cabbage condiment that’s ridiculously satisfying and so addictive to eat. Thanks to the palate-crushing combo of spicy and sour and just the right amount of crunch, you’ll be looking for ways to add it to just about everything.

In this dish, I take advantage of all that built-in flavour to create a hearty bowl of fried rice that requires almost no added seasonings. With just a few fresh garnishes, leftover rice gets an umami-flavoured adrenaline shot.

Here, I’ve made it two ways. With a sunny egg that’s fried in sesame oil until crispy, and with a quick fry-up of ground chicken infused with garlic and ginger.

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Ingredients:
3 cups leftover steamed rice (3 cups), or freshly made rice, completely cooled
1 cup chopped kimchi
2-3 Tbsp Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
3 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of roasted seaweed, shredded

Directions:
1. In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat vegetable oil. Add the kimchi and stir fry for about one minute.
2. Add rice and gochujang and stir frequently with a wood spoon for 5-8 minutes. Add sesame oil and remove from heat.
3. Top with chopped green onion, seaweed and sesame seeds to taste.

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Kimchi Fried Rice with a Sesame Fried Egg

Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of roasted seaweed, shredded

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry eggs one at a time until desired doneness. Remove from heat.
2. Place fried egg over kimchi fried rice and garnish with chopped green onion, seaweed and sesame seeds to taste.

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Kimchi Fried Rice with Ginger Chicken

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 shallots, minced

Directions:
1. Place garlic, ginger and shallots with 1 Tbsp vegetable in a blender and mix until chopped but still chunky.
2. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet and fry garlic/ginger mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add ground chicken and cook, breaking up chicken with the back of a wooden spoon and cook until browned, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Add chicken to kimchi fried rice and garnish with chopped green onion, seaweed and sesame seeds to taste.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Soba Noodle Bowl With Garlic Shrimp and Miso Dressing

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become absolutely obsessed with composed bowls. They could be rice bowls, noodle bowls, salad bowls or soup bowls — it doesn’t matter! You can’t get tired of them because each bite has a different taste and texture. Also, they’re so gorgeous; each element is dressed and cared for individually, then arranged in a beautiful way on the serving plate. It’s like having five dishes at the same time.

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This noodle bowl is light and refreshing. You’ve got components that are steamed, marinated, fresh and sautéed, all on one plate. This is a great dish to eat at room temperature but you can eat it warm as well. It’s super easy to make and take for a work lunch. The dressing is tangy and great for salads too. A great way to kick off spring!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

For the sprouts:
2 1/2 cups soy bean sprouts
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch or 2 of gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), optional

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1Tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil

For the soft boiled eggs:
4 eggs

For the noodles:
300 g (10.5 oz) package soba noodles
Salt for boiling water

For the garlic shrimp:
3/4 lb (340 g) shell-on shrimp (head removed)
Salt for seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the bowls:
12-15 steamed asparagus spears
2 radishes, julienned
1 avocado, sliced
Black sesame seeds, to garnish
Maldon sea salt, garnish

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Directions:

For the sprouts:
1. Place the sprouts in a large bowl and season with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and gochugaru (optional).
2. Toss and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

For the dressing:
1. Combine the white miso, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, mirin and salt in a bowl and whisk.
2. While whisking, drizzle in the sesame oil and then the grapeseed oil until the dressing has emulsified.
3. Set the dressing aside in the fridge.

For the soft boiled eggs:
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
2. With a push-pin, make a small hole on the large end of each of the eggs. This will prevent them from cracking open.
3. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil for exactly 6 minutes.
4. Immediately transfer the eggs into the ice bath and leave them in there for 4 minutes.
5. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.

For the noodles:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Drop in the noodles and boil for about 4 minutes until the noodles are completely cooked through.
3. Drain the noodles into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
4. Once the noodles are cool, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with 1/3 of the miso dressing. Set aside.

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For the garlic shrimp:
1. To devein the shrimp with their shell on, use kitchen scissors to cut along the back and remove the vein with a small pairing knife.
2. Season the shrimp with a generous amount of salt on both sides.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the shrimp in one layer. Do not over crowd the skillet! Do this in batches if needed.
5. Sear the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove them onto a plate.
6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic into the residual oil/butter.
7. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
8. Remove from the pan onto the shrimp.

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For plating the bowls:
1. Place the noodles into each serving bowl.
2. Beautifully arrange the steamed asparagus, radish, avocado, marinated sprouts, garlic shrimp and soft boiled egg around and on top of the noodles.
3. Drizzle some dressing over the avocado, asparagus and egg.
4. Garnish with black sesame seeds and Maldon sea salt and enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions, and Shortcuts:
– Gochugaru is used in making kimchi. It’s a bright red Korean pepper flake. This is optional for the sprouts.
– Alternative to whisking the dressing together, you can throw all the ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
– You do not have to use shell-on shrimp. I like the flavour it adds while the shrimp cooks.
– Lots of this can be made ahead of time including the sprouts, eggs, and noodles.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Top 5 Alternatives to Traditional Pizza Crust

Everyone loves pizza. I mean, how could you not? If your love for pizza is strong but are looking for an alternative to regular dough, there are many ways to have your pizza and eat it too. Here are a few of options sure to satisfy your craving while staying health conscious or avoiding an allergy.

888_French-Breads-Pizza

1. French Bread Pizzas

2. Twice-Baked Pizza Potatoes

3. Pita Pizza Rounds

4. Gluten-Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough

5. Portobello Pizzas