This week's recipes include...
Jason's Ultimate Burger
Excerpted from 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men by Michael Bonacini, © 2010 used with permission from Whitecap Books. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Prep Time: 30 min/Total Time: 60 min. Makes 8 burgers.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: Many people do not realize that the secret to keeping a burger moist while cooking is adding some kind of fat to it. In this case, I use lean beef and the fat from the bacon. When it comes to taste, bacon fat trumps beef fat any day. —Jason
For the burgers-
3 pounds (1.5 kg) lean ground beef
2 cups diced aged cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped herbs
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chopped bacon,
½ cup breadcrumbs
3 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground white pepper
For the glaze:
½ cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the garnish:
8 burger buns
¼ cup grape mustard (or Dijon)
16 leaves watercress
16 slices tomato
8 slices red onion
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, cheddar, herbs, onion, hoisin, garlic, and Worcestershire.
Sauté the bacon over medium heat until cooked through. Add the warm bacon, including the fat, to the beef mix. Stir in the eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Once it’s well combined, form the mixture into 8, evenly sized burgers and chill.
Combine the barbecue sauce with the hoisin, honey, and cinnamon.
Cook the burgers on a very hot grill, brushing with the glaze each time they are turned. Warm the buns on the side or on the top rack. Once the burgers are cooked through, remove from the grill and brush once more with the glaze.
Spread the mustard on the bottom layer of the bun.
Add the burger, watercress, sliced tomato, and onion; cap with the bun top.
Cook’s note: The chopped herbs can be any mix of your favourite seasonings. I like tarragon, parsley, and chives.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Broccoli
Excerpted from The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson © 2006 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.robertrose.ca
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total Time: 3 - 6 hours depending on slow cooker temperature setting.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Complete step 1 then cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. When you're ready to cook, continue with step 2 and step 3. Serve this chicken over pasta, polenta or rice.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
8 ounces (250 grams) cremini mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
1 can (28 ounce) tomatoes, including juice, coarsely chopped
12 bone in, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds/1.5 kg)
2 dried red chile peppers, optional
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cups broccoli florets, blanched
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Add white wine and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil.
Arrange chicken over bottom of slow cooker stoneware. Cover with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a heatproof serving dish and keep warm in the oven.
Sweet Potato Aloo Gobi
Recipe used with permission from Julie of Dinners with Julie
Prep Time: 30 minutes/Total Time: 45 min. Serves 4.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: Serve this vegetarian meal with Naan bread or Basmati rice.
generous drizzle of canola or olive oil
1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoon ground cumin or 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with oil and spread the cauliflower out in a single layer; drizzle with a little more oil and toss the cauliflower around with your hands to coat the pieces. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until tender and golden on the bottoms and edges.
Meanwhile, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until starting to soften. Add the ginger, garam masala, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and potato. Stir to combine everything well, pour 1/2 cup water over top and cover with a lid; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 7 minutes.
Farfalle Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream
Photograph by Lisa Hubbard.
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 30 minutes, Serves 6.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 pound farfalle pasta
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
In a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add sausage mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil and cheese.
Smoked Salmon Chowder
Excerpted from Time for Dinner by Pilar Guzmán, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang © 2010 used with permission from Chronicle Books. Reprinted . All rights reserved.
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 30 minutes. Serves 6.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: Serve this meal with a crusty French baguette and a crisp green salad for a complete meal.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), rinsed and sliced (about 3 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups milk (any fat content)
8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the potato, celery, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth and simmer until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and milk, then the salmon, and bring the mixture back to a simmer for a few minutes. (Don't let it boil, or the milk will separate.) As it simmers, stir in the cream. Remove from heat and garnish with the chives.
Spelt Bread with Flax and Muesli
Recipe used with permission from Cari of Cari Cooks.
Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: Use any variety of muesli you want for the topping or omit it if you prefer a bread without seeds and such. This bread freezes well so do not hesitate to fully cool then wrap the second loaf in cellophane and a Ziploc bag then freeze for a later date.
8 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup ground flax
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/4 cups warm milk
1/2 cup muesli cereal, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, ground flax, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda until well blended.
In a small bowl, combine warm milk and honey. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well until fully combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Use a scale to determine equal weights. Top with muesli and press down gently so that it will stick.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes in the preheated oven until golden and the bread sounds hollow wheen tapped.
Cherry Almond Cake
Recipe used with permission from Amanda of Amanda's Cookin
Prep Time: 20 Minutes/Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes. Serves 8.
Can I get the Recipe Tip: For an additional "wow" factor, serve this cake straight from the skillet with some high quality vanilla ice cream on the side.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, reserve juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 ounces quality white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Grease a 9-10" inch cast iron skillet (mine is 9 3/4). Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In mixer at medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Your reserved cherry juice should measure 1/2 cup. If it's short, add water to reach 1/2 cup. Add the almond and vanilla extracts to the 1/2 cup juice.
Add the flour mixture alternately with cherry juice mixture, beat on low until homogenous. Cut the cherries in half and fold into the batter.
Pour batter into prepared skillet and sprinkle the chopped white chocolate on top. Gently swirl the batter a bit just enough to cover the chocolate. You don't want the chocolate to sink. Sprinkle top of batter with the sliced almonds and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes then carefully invert and cool on a wire rack.
You can return the cake to the skillet to serve if you like, or serve on a cake plate.
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