Recipes

BEERAMISU
BY DUC NGUYEN AND DOMINIQUE COUGHLIN
Beeramisu

Inspired by a take on beer and tiramisu from Chris Badenoch

Serves 8-10 (filled 12 small cups)

Ingredients
6 eggs, separated
1⁄4 cup superfine sugar
500 g mascarpone
 (Tre Stelle sells it in tubs of 475ml)
1 cup coffee or chocolate stout beer
1⁄2 cup espresso
24 savoiardi (aka ladyfingers)
Shaved dark chocolate
Raspberries

Method

Notre: For the beer I found a moka stout called L’Exploité by Les Brasseurs du Monde. You can find it at Atwater Market, at Veux-tu une bière and many deps. They have a complete list at their website.

1. Using electric beaters, beat the eggs yolks with the sugar until they are pale and thick, then mix in the mascarpone.

2. After cleaning the beaters, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Carefully fold into the mascarpone mixture (important to keep it light and fluffy!). Alternatively, you can throw the egg whites into a stand mixer while working the egg yolks.

3. Mix the stout and cooled espresso together and quickly dunk the savoiardi, one at a time, into the liquid. Let any excess liquid drip off a second or two. Layer the biscuits into serving glasses, followed by a thick layer of mascarpone mixture. Continue layering until you have used all the ingredients.

4. Let the cups chill at least 2-3 hours in the fridge before serving. When ready to serve, top with shaved dark chocolate and a couple of raspberries. I enjoyed it with some of the same moka stout to highlight the beer. Delicious!

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VERMONT CHEDDAR SOUP WITH FAN TAN ROLLS
BY KATHERINE AND MANY

This soup a bread roll combination is to die for! The creaminess and cheesiness of the soup is surprising and the rolls pull apart beautifully. This is a definite crowd pleaser!

CHEDDAR SOUP courtesy of Simon Pearce

Ingredients
1.5 quarts water (6 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup and a bit of butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
2 cups grated Cabot Sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup celery, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup half & half
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Chives

Directions

  1. In 6 cups of water, blanch carrots and celery for a minute. Drain well, keeping water.
  2. Bring water to a simmer once more.
  3. Melt butter in heavy stockpot, add onions and garlic, cook until softened.
  4. Add flour to butter & onion mixture. Stir to combine well, turn heat very low. Stirring occasionally, cook about 15 minutes or until flour is golden.
  5. Add simmering water 1/3 at a time. Don’t worry if it looks very liquidy as you will be adding the veggies and creams. Stir with whisk until smooth. Season with thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add grated cheese.
  7. Boil water in separate saucepan, add celery and carrots, cook until just tender. Drain well.
  8. Add celery-carrot mixture to large stockpot.
  9. Add half & half and heavy cream. Stir well.
  10. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce and chives.

FAN TAN ROLLS coutersy of Daily Delicious

Ingredients
225 ml milk
5 g instant yeast
2 tsp caster sugar (or reg. white sugar)
450 g flour
2 tsp salt
30 g butter
4 cloves of butter
2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
55 g salted butter softened

Directions

  1. Heat the milk and set aside to cool to room temperature. Skim.
  2. Mix the yeast with the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk. (if using instant yeast, mix the instant yeast with all the milk and the sugar)
  3. Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Cut the regular butter into small pieces and rub into the flour.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, egg and most of the remaining milk. Mix to a soft but not sticky dough, adding more milk (I add about 2 tbsp of milk) or flour as necessary.
  5. Knead for 6 minutes by machine or 10 minutes by hand until satiny.
  6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it in a thin film of oil. Cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  7. Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly butter 16 muffin tins.
  8. Knock back the risen dough by kneading for 30 seconds then roll it into a rectangular measuring 80 X 30cm.
  9. Spread the garlic mixture over the dough. Cut the dough length ways into 6 strips.
  10. Stack the strips then cut them into 16 (5 cm) pieces. Place the pieces in the muffin tins and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove until soft and pillowy, about 30 minutes.
  11. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Serve warm.
  12. To reheat, place the rolls on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 180°C for 10 minutes.

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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BROWNIES WITH CANDIED PECANS
BY KIM MATURO


CARAMEL SAUCE

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (whole), room temperature
1 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
2/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 vanilla bean (slice bean in half and with a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar over med-high heat, whisking when the sugar begins to melt. Make sure to whisk continually because you do not want it to burn or stick to the bottom of your pan.
  2. Once the sugar reaches a dark amber color, whisk in the salt, vanilla bean and butter, until it’s completely incorporated.
  3. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and add the heavy cream. The caramel will foam up a bit but continue to whisk until smooth and creamy. Set aside for at least 15-20 minutes.

BROWNIES

Ingredients
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8-inch pan with overlapping parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. This step will allow you to cut your brownies into perfect squares.
  3. In a double boiler melt the chopped chocolate and butter, until completely melted and well incorporated.
  4. Mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a separate medium bowl. Do not over mix as this will make for dry brownies and no one wants that!
  5. Whisk the warm chocolate into the egg mixture, then stir in the flour until just combined.
  6. Pour half the brownie mix into the prepared pan (making sure to pat into the sides), then spoon about 8-9 caramel dollops on the top.  Cover the caramel with the other half of the brownie mix.
  7. Bake until puffed and a toothpick comes out slightly crumby, 35-45 minutes.  Cool for about 2 hours before cutting.
  8. Remove brownies from pan with parchment and cut into squares. When serving your brownies, sprinkle the top with candied pecans and drizzle the entire serving with left over caramel. Enjoy!!

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FULLY LOADED BAKE POTATO
BY AURÉLIE PTITO

I love potatoes. In any shape, size or variety. Boiled, mashed, baked, fried, steamed, even microwaved. In fact, you could say I’m slightly obsessed with them and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that my last name (Ptito) even sounds like potato. It’s no surprise then that my go-to comfort food would feature these delicious starchy gems.

FULLY LOADED BAKED POTATO (6 servings)

Ingredients
6 russet potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
Coarse salt
1 package bacon
1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated American cheddar
1 can French’s fried onions
2 tbsp. chopped chives
1 cup of sour cream
1 sliced avocado

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and rub them with the salt and olive oil. Place on a lined baking sheet and cook for an hour or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy, drain and set aside.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, cut the top off each one and scoop out the flesh. Mash the flesh with the butter, bacon and Asiago or Parmesan cheese (I used a potato ricer to make sure the potatoes were smooth).
  4. Stuff the potato skins and top with the grated American cheddar and fried onions.
  5. Turn oven down to 375° and heat the stuffed potatoes until the cheese is melted and the onions are crispy.
  6. Serve on top of the avocado slices with a side of sour cream topped with chives.

BACON OLD-FASHIONED

Ingredients
1 750ml bottle of bourbon
Angostura bitters (Guest throwdowner Duc recommends a great website that offers different flavours of bitters: http://www.feebrothers.com)
Maple syrup
Several slices of smoky bacon

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a pan and reserve the fat.
  2. Pour the bourbon and 2 ounces of bacon fat into a glass jar and let sit at room temperature for 1-3 days. To strain the fat, place the jar in the fridge or freezer until it separates and then scoop out fat. Funnel the bacon bourbon back into the bottle (I used a coffee filter in the funnel to make sure no bacon fat was left).
  3. In a short glass, mix 2 ounces bourbon with 1\2 an ounce of maple syrup and a few dashes of bitters. Add ice and garnish with a bacon curl.

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5 STAR CHILI
BY CHRIS ELVIDGE

Ingredients

Meats:

  1. Beef
  2. Pork
  3. Chicken
  4. Lamb
  5. Bison

Peppers:

  1. Ghost (bhut jolokia)
  2. Jamaican bell
  3. Finger chillies
  4. De Arbol
  5. Chipotle

Tomatoes:

  1. Beefsteak
  2. Plum
  3. Vine-ripened
  4. Cherry
  5. Grape

Beans:

  1. Red kidney
  2. White kidney
  3. Romano
  4. Large fava
  5. Black turtle

Onions:

  1. Red
  2. Spanish
  3. Green
  4. Shallots
  5. Chives

Directions

  1. Sweat the onions with chopped garlic
  2. Add meats, cook until browned
  3. Add tomatoes and hot peppers with some water to reduce
  4. Stir in the beans
  5. Simmer for several hours over low heat, until desired consistency is reached
  6. Add corn (in this case, peaches & cream kernels).
  7. Season to taste with: chili powder, cumin, chipotle seasoning, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt

*Seasoning should progess in a stepwise fashion. You can’t season to taste before simmering, because the final product will be too salty & spicy. You also can’t reduce the chili and then season, because the spices will not have married and mellowed properly. Start with a modest amount of seasoning in the early stages (i.e. while browning the meat(s)) and add very gradually as the chili thickens.

Served with a shadon beni raita (shadon beni is a West Indian cilantro analogue, mixed in 0% Greek yogurt) and shredded cheddar cheese.

Voila.

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HOMEMADE CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP AND CHEDDAR GOLDFISH CRACKERS
BY CAMILLE MACNAUGHTON

This is my ultimate comfort food, perfect when I’m feeling especially lazy! Though I would normally heat up a cup of Campbell’s cream of tomato soup and open a bag of fish crackers, for a more posh equivalent, follow this recipe and substitute with your own favorites!

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP

Ingredients
¾  of 1 container of chicken broth or vegetable stock
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ red Spanish onion and ½ yellow onion
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cans whole stewed tomatoes (don’t skimp on the quality of the brand!)
1 cup cooking cream (15%)
Coarse salt and black pepper
Bay leaves, fresh basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and oregano cut into chiffonade, add to taste
Chopped chives for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a deep soup pot, over moderate heat.
  2. Add garlic and onions, cook until soft.
  3. Add celery, carrots and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add stewed tomatoes and mix
  5. Add the chicken broth
  6. Add stock or broth and bring to a boil
  7. Once bubbling, add fresh herbs, salt and pepper
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer, place lid and allow to simmer for several hours (longer is better!)
  9. A couple of hours prior to serving, add cream and additional seasoning (if needed)
  10. Puree the soup with a hand blender or immersion blender

*The acidity of the tomatoes makes it unpalatable early in the preparation so allow the soup to mellow for a couple of hours prior to adding the cream and serving. I also suggest adding the seasoning bit by bit, tasting the soup as it mellows.


HOMEMADE GOLDFISH CRACKERS

Now for the pièce de résistance… the homemade goldfish crackers! These are by far my favorite crackers but as another foodie blogger put it, their long list of ingredients would make anyone hesitate. Inspiring myself from her homemade recipe which lists only 5 ingredients, I decided to highlight the specialty cheeses from Québec that are easily found at la Fromagerie, located at the Atwater market.

http://www.fromagerieatwater.ca/products_bo.html

http://www.fromagerieperron.com/eng/produits.shtm

http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2011/09/22/homemade-goldfish-crackers

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
8 oz cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

Directions

  1. Measure the cheese, beautifully sharp and crumbly extra old cheddar (9 years) from the Perron farms, located in the Saguenay, Lac-Saint-Jean region in Québec.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, pulsing until dough forms ball (at most use1-2 teaspoons).
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  5. Roll dough out to 1/8″ and cut shapes.
  6. Place 1″ apart on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, until crisp.

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DELUXE CHEESECAKE
BY STEVEN GENTILE

“First and foremost, I need to give credit to my mom for winning this Throwdown. I grew up on her cheesecake and have eaten it more times than I care to remember, enjoying it every single time. Whenever there’s a family celebration (and coming from an Italian family there are many) someone always asks my mom to bake this cake. She reluctantly agreed to give away her coveted recipe. I promised that I would leave out one key ingredient to keep people guessing. Decadent, cheesy, not overly sweet, this cheesecake is sure to make a few of you feel just right and add a little love to those handles.” – Steve

Ingredients
Crust:
– crushed graham crackers
– 1/2 pound melted butter

Filling:
– 6 whole eggs
– 1 1/2 cups of sugar
– 6 tbs flour
– 3 packages cream cheese (the bricks)
– 2 tubs soft Italian cheese that cannot be named (rhymes with gotta)
– 1 tub sour cream

Directions
1) Mix crushed graham crackers with melted butter to form base of cake and press down in spring form pan (very important to use a spring form pan).
2) Mix wet ingredients together adding cream cheese little by little for the filling and pour into pan.
3) Bake in 350°F oven for 1 hour.
4) Turn off heat and let rest IN OVEN for 1 hour.
5) Set aside to cool off and refrigerate overnight.
6) Be creative with the topping. I usually go for a classic strawberry glaze with fresh cut strawberries but anything goes (ex: pineapple, blueberries, raspberries).

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BEEF CARPACIO WITH HOMEMADE PICKLED SALAD
BY CHRIS ELVIDGE AND CAMILLE MACNAUGHTON

“The inspiration for our dish came from a visit to the Spice Station on Bernard, the week before the challenge. Up until this point, we both were drawing blanks on what to serve because, let’s face it, we both like to COOK and the raw throwdown was out of our comfort zone.

With our specialty salts (Hickory smoked and Bonfire smoked salts) and pickling spices in hand, we set off to prepare our meal of beef carpacio with homemade pickled salad.” – Camille

Ingredients
Raw Filet Mignon
White wine vinegar
Olive oil
Jalepeño peppers
Garlic cloves
Specialty salts
Pepper
Red and yellow beets
Lebanese cucumbers
Baby corn
Arugula
Sugar

Directions

  1. Filet mignon cut beef marinated in white wine vinegar, olive oil, sliced jalapeño peppers, crushed garlic, Bonfire smoked salts, crushed pepper. Leave over night in the fridge.
  2. Red and yellow beets, Lebanese cucumbers and baby corn, pickled separately in a white wine vinegar, pickling spice and sugar. Leave over night in the fridge.

Presentation

  1. Slice filet into thin slices and fan over plate.
  2. Mix arugula and pickles in a bowl and mound in the middle of the plate. Presentation is everything so make it look pretty!
  3. Drizzle olive oil over and serve.

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RAW BROWNIES WITH ALMOND MILK
BY AURÉLIE PTITO

“I was super excited about the possibilities of a raw throwdown (oysters, scallops, gravlax, my classic beef carpaccio), but in the end I opted for originality and decided to make a dessert. A friend recommended the My New Roots blog by Sarah Britton, a vegetarian chef who incidentally works in a restaurant in Copenhagen, city of inspiration for my sandwich throwdown recipe. The raw brownie looked decadent and I was curious to see what four ingredients and absolutely no baking would produce. It was absolutely awesome and I plan on making it again very soon.” – Aurélie

Ingredients
2 cups whole walnuts
2 ½ cups dates, pitted
1 cup raw cacao
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ tsp. sea salt

Directions

  1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.
  3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running.What you should end up with is a mix that appears rather like cake crumbs, but that when pressed, will easily stick together (if the mixture does not hold together well, add more dates).
  4. In a large bowl (or the pan you plan on putting the brownies in), combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mould.
  5. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve (it is also easier to cut these when they are very cold). Store in an airtight container.
  6. I plated a square of the brownie topped with a walnut with a small glass of almond milk.

Source: My New Roots – The Raw Brownie

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OVERNIGHT MARINATED MUSHROOM AND CASHEW TARTS
BY JULIE-ANNE PETRILLI

This is a wonderful recipe that Julie-Anne presented at the Raw Throwdown. It has a smooth, creamy and crunchy, nutty taste punctuated by tangy sweet mushrooms. They are quite filling, so you may want to make them on the smaller side.

{Makes about 10 tarts}

Marinated Mushroomsadvanced preparation
3 cups mushrooms roughly chopped (go crazy with different varieties)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (choose one with a smooth taste)

Directions

  1. In a Ziploc bag, pour the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and mix in the mushrooms.
  2. Place bag in the refrigerator for about 8 hours and turn occasionally to make sure mushroom are evenly coated.

Cashew Crust
2 cups soaked and drained almonds
2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup brown flax seeds
1 big pinch sea salt
pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place in food processor almonds, hazelnuts, flax seed, salt and pepper. Process until a coarse meal texture is achieved.
  2. Pour mixture on a baking sheet and roll out until about 1/3 inch thick.
  3. Take a medium size circular mold (you can even use a rinsed, empty can) and make about 10 crusts. Place in dehydrator for 1-2 hours at 115 degrees, then cool. If you don’t have a dehydrator, place crusts in the oven on very low heat.

Filling
4 cups soaked cashews
1 whole lemon’s juice
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 tbs shallots, roughly chopped
pinch sea salt
2 cups of the Marinated Mushrooms mixture, drained (save 3rd cup for topping)

Directions

  1. Place the cashews, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, and salt in the food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Remove mixture from food processor and mix in 2 cups of the Marinated Mushrooms.

Tart Assembling

  1. Get your crusts out. To top the crusts nicely, use the same mold you used to make the crusts and top each one with the mushroom filling. Make the layer about 1 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Top with additional Marinated Mushrooms.

Recipe based on http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-spinach-mushroom-tart/

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PATÉ CHINOIS/SHEPHERD’S PIE TUNA TARTAR
BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS MICHAUD AND CATHERINE MOREAU

With the completion of our 7th Throwdown, The Foodie Collective turns 1 year old! This last one in particular was tough. How does one make a raw dish original, appetizing, and safe to eat? By definition, “Raw foodism can include any diet of primarily unheated food, or food cooked to a temperature less than 40 °C (104 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F). The most popular raw food diet is a vegan diet, but other forms may include animal products and/or meat. Raw foodists can be divided between those that advocate raw veganism or vegetarianism, those that advocate a raw omnivorous diet, and those that advocate a 100% raw carnivorous diet.”(Wikipedia) With this cooking temperature limitation in mind, the throwdowners came up with exciting dishes that really surprised our palates. Two people in particular thought outside the box by combining tradition with innovation. JF’s and Cat’s Shepherd’s Pie Tuna Tartar was original, fresh, and flavorful, enabling them to score top grades across the board. Find out how they did it!

“They say you have to get back to basics sometimes. Well, on this one, when Moreau and I decided to team up, it just felt natural to get back to the Classique du Québec. Growing up, I was never a big fan of Pâté Chinois, but you would think that if you switch beef for Sushi grade Tuna, things would get exciting. And they did… Next up… Switch the powder cheese in your Kraft Dinner for 25 year old Parmegiano Regiano; Switch the beef in your burger for a big truffle; Louis 13 Cognac can only taste better when refined with Dr. Pepper. You catch the drift…” -JF

Ingredients (serves 6)
8 oz sushi grade tuna
1 mango
3 tb chopped cilantro
3-4 tb lime juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 can hearts of palm
1 red thai chili pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Puree hearts of palm in a blender until smooth. Add olive oil while blending to help puree. Set aside.
  2. Chop the mango in small cubes. Set aside.
  3. Cut tuna into bite-size cubes and toss in olive oil. Add cilantro, lime juice, garlic and salt. You can thinly slice some red thai chilis to add some kick. Toss all of the ingredients together.
  4. Using a cylindrical metal mould, put the tuna first, then the mango and top off with the faux mashed potatoes (aka hearts of palm puree).

Enjoy this tasty classic!

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COD AND CHAPLURE OR THE ART OF SIMPLE FISH CAKES
BY JULIE-ANNE

“A few weeks ago, after having been assigned the plate I was to prepare for Katherine’s Portuguese themed birthday dinner party, it came to my attention that making Bolinhos de bacalhau (cod balls) required 48hrs of soaking salted fish. I grew up in a home where meals were always prepared from scratch and time consumption was not an excuse for delving into prepared and frozen foods. However, in this case, I needed an easier alternative; I was super busy at work and I looked for a recipe for cod balls about 3 hrs before the said dinner party. Still, I did not resort to ready-made food and instead developed a plan B (aka calling a friend for help). Finally, I was told that fish cakes would be a seamless swap and so Google provided me with a recipe that could be done within an hour and that did not require me to run all over the city for ingredients.” – Julie-Anne

Ingredient
1 large Russet potato
1 lb of cod
1 egg , beaten
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce (whichever one you like)
1/2 cup finely chopped dry breadcrumbs
1 cup vegetable oil for frying

“This recipe was meant to be a side dish, but as we were going to be quite a few people I decided I would make a double batch. I have the bad habit of reading recipes for the first time as I am cooking, resulting in a lot of improvising and running around. Somehow, the results have confirmed that cooking should be about having fun and being free to experiment. So with a glass of wine in one hand and a kitchen filled with cooking companions, I embarked on my culinary journey.”

Directions

  1. Peel and chop the potato into cubes (the smaller they are the quicker they will cook).
  2. Cook the potato in the boiling water until tender (15 to 20 min).
  3. Take out the potato cubes and keep the water in the pot. Mash the potato (mine was soft enough to just use a fork).
  4. In remaining water, poach the fish with the heat on medium-low for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.
  5. Drain the fish and flake it (here again I used a fork.. the recipe said to use a “food processor until smooth”, do as you wish but if like me you want to spare your friends some additional dish washing then stick to the fork).
  6. In a large bowl, mix the mashed potato, the fish, a beaten egg, the freshly chopped parsley, dill, and onions, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  7. Pour some bread crumbs in a plate.
  8. Take the mixture and make small rounded patties (about 1-1/4 inch in diameter) and press the patties into the crumbs, coating all sides. Lie them on a separate plate.
  9. Heat up half an inch of oil in large nonstick skillet (the oil has to be very hot).
  10. Over medium-high heat cook the fish patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they become golden brown.

“The resulting fish cakes were paired with an improvised aioli for dipping (ask Aurelie for her recipe). These little fish patties turned out to be what many people called “a great success!!”

(Recipe based on the following: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/fish_cakes.php )

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SAVORY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
BY KIM AND PETER

“Fall is my favorite time of the year for many reasons… the smell in the air, the changing of the leaves, new fall fashion, etc. But one thing that always comes to mind is a yummy stick-to-your-bones soup. When trying to come up with a recipe for this throwdown, it was simple for us to come up with a tasty soup. However, plating is everything in this competition and we wanted to have fun with it.

At the Jean Talon Market, right before Halloween, you can find all kinds of fun and interesting pumpkins. Peter and I were debating serving our soup in the classic mini orange pumpkin or if we should use these ghostlike green pumpkins. In the end, the orange ones looked adorable on the white dishes. The trick is to make sure to clean them out completely, bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15mins and make sure they are still warm when you serve your soup. These fun bowls can be used for any puree of your choice. Enjoy!!” – Kim

Ingredients
1 Butternut squash
1 Large sweet potato
1 Large onion
1 Sprig of thyme
1 Sprig of sage
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 to 3 cups of chicken broth (we used homemade broth, but you can always substitute for store bought)
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of cumin
2 Tablespoons of paprika (1 for roasted veggies and one for soup)
Salt
Pepper

Garnish
Dollop of sour creme
Sprinkle of chopped chives

Directions

  1. Cut up all of your veggies into cubes and place in roasting pan.
  2. Cover the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and fresh herbs.
  3. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until veggies are soft
  4. Once veggies are fully cooked, transfer them to a large pot.
  5. Place the pot on the stove, turn the heat to medium and cover all of the veggies with chicken broth. If you do not have enough broth, add water. Bring it all to a boil.
  6. Once broth is boiling, add paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let mixture boil for one minute.
  7. Remove pot from heat and with a hand blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. If you do not have a hand blender, you can use an ordinary one.
  8. Return pot to stove-top and heat on medium/low until ready to serve.

Please note that this recipe can be vegetarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken broth.

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HARVEST ROTI
BY CHRIS ELVIDGE

“I’ve been lucky enough to do some research on guppies in Trinidad for four years running, and along the way I have endeavored to glut myself on any local dishes I can find. East Indians were brought over to Trinidad by the British to act as overseers and administrators for their African slaves, and these Indians attempted to replicate their native dishes with ingredients available to them in the Caribbean. Consequently, many Trinidadian dishes have distinctly Indian flavors or elements, but are markedly different from what we typically think of as Indian dishes.

Many foods are available on the street from vendors, and are quite cheap. A vegetarian roti, for instance, can cost as little as $1.50CDN, while meat rotis (with goat, duck, chicken, shrimp, or sometimes beef – although Hindus typically don’t eat beef, much like Jews and pork) can be “as much” as $5.00CDN.

A little-known fact is that “roti” refers not to the entire, but just to the bread or wrapping. Indian rotis are typically used to scoop up portions of the other ingredients and eaten like finger-food, while blacks tend to serve their rotis wrapped up, sandwich-style.

Not having made rotis before, I thought it would be interesting to incorporate some Canadian ingredients and see how it turned out. Not too shabby (I would put my curries up against those of real Indian grandmothers any day), but I just can’t make any of their breads authentically for reasons I will get into shortly.” – Chris

HARVEST ROTI

1. Bread/wrapping: Dhal puri roti

I can’t take any credit for this part of the dish; I don’t really like baking so I just steal recipes off the intertubes. Trinigourmet.com is a good place to start. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to really replicate any of the various breads I’ve eaten in Trinidad at home. Bread can by very temperamental to make, and the heat and humidity at 10°N latitude results in lighter, fluffier breads that also absorb less oil – and most Indian-derived breads are fried at some point.

In any case, dhal puri roti is (ideally) 2 layers of unleavened bread with ground, seasoned yellow pea flour sandwiched in between. The rolled roti is then fried using a bit of vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter) on a tawah, which is basically a flat, cast-iron pan like one would use for blackening in Cajun cuisine.

2. Fried Aloo

“Aloo” is the common name for potatoes amongst East Indians in Trinidad. I chose to use blue potatoes for novelty, and also because they seem more autumnal than the usual PEI/Idaho/Yukon tubers.

A sure-fire way to make kick-ass homefries is to dice the potatoes, parboil them until they are ⅔ to ¾ cooked, drain, then give them a quick fry in a bit of vegetable oil. In this case, I added about ½ of a chicken bouillion cube for flavour. For breakfasts, I would put less chicken stock, and add paprika and a bit of steak spice.

3. Gheera channa

“Channa” is the local name for chickpeas, a/k/a garbanzo beans. Lots of diced onions, garlic, and tomatoes (canned) are sautéed with the chickpeas, and seasoned with salt, pepper, a bit of curry, and lots of gheera (cumin), then stewed for about an hour. Chickpeas are not all created equal, and different brands actually vary quite a bit in their consistency. How long they need to be stewed depends on how firm they are in the can. You want them soft but not mushy.

4. Curried boar (or any meat)

Diced onions and garlic are sautéed until they sweat, then add the meat and a bit of canned tomato. This is a long process, so canned diced tomatoes are perfect. Season with salt, pepper, lots of curry, and a bit of cumin. Cover the pot, and stew away on low heat.

I cannot emphasize enough: curries, tomato sauces, chilli, pulled pork, ribs, etc., all need to cook for AT LEAST 2.5 hours on low heat. The length of cooking time is what makes the difference between a decent stew and a great stew. You just can’t make any of these dishes in under an hour. Don’t even try. As examples, my ribs and pulled pork cook for at least 3 hours every time (and as long as 6 hours in some cases) and I aim for 4-5 hours of simmering for a pot of chilli. How long a dish actually takes is case-dependent: meat is ready only when it is about fall apart, and chillis need to be fully reduced so they aren’t runny. If you are going to put the effort in at all, follow through and don’t try to impose time limits.

When you are cooking anything for that long, flavours become magnified. So if you season a chilli, for instance, to taste BEFORE you simmer it for a few hours, it will be too spicy for most people to eat when it’s done. Add a moderate amount of seasoning & spice at the beginning to infuse the flavour, and wait until it’s almost done to finish up the flavour.

5. Mango pumpkin puree

I hacked up a mini pumpkin and put the pieces on a baking sheet, drizzled with a bit of oil and roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes. This allows you to literally pull the skin off instead of peeling it, which is a huge pain and totally sucks. It also leaves you with perfectly cooked pumpkin. I added a can of mango to the pumpkin and pureed the mixture. That’s it, that’s all. No seasoning required.

6. Caribbean hot sauce

Typically scotch bonnets or Jamaican bell peppers, but you can use any type you have on hand. Puree the peppers (leaving the seeds in makes it hotter) with vinegar, salt and mustard (hot mustard, powder or yellow mustard will all work). I added a plum tomato and half a yellow pepper to 3 scotch bonnets and one finger chilli from the Macnaughtons’ garden in Vermont.

I chose to wrap the ingredients and serve my rotis sandwich-style.

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BLUE CHEESE AND ROASTED VEGETABLE TARTLETS
BY AURÉLIE PTITO

“One thing I love about the throwdowns is how all the chefs have incredibly different inspirations, techniques and cooking backgrounds. Even though the “harvest” theme was a bit vague, we all ended up using squash in one form or another with wildly different (and tasty) results. For this throwdown, I wanted to focus on simplicity and cut down on my prep time the actual day of so, as I explained to Emmanuel Hessler, I could better focus on the eating part! So here is the recipe for my very easy tartlets, which, by the way, are an excellent idea for party snacks.” – Aurélie

Ingredients (for 2 dozen tartlets)
1 package good quality pie dough (available at most bakeries)
2 dozen aluminum mini pie moulds
1 small butternut squash
1 sweet potato
2 leeks
1 apple
1 red pepper
1 red onion
Fresh rosemary and thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
150g of blue cheese (I used the creamy, fairly mild Bleu d’Auvergne, but you can use any blue cheese according to your preference. If you’re one of the many who absolutely loathe it though, I recommend substituting smoked Gouda or sharp cheddar).

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°. Chop all the vegetable into small pieces (you want to be able to fit as much of the mixture as possible into the tartlets) and in a bowl toss with the diced herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes.
  2. On a flat surface, roll out your pie dough and using a cookie cutter, cut circles that are slightly bigger than the largest part of the mould. Press the dough into the moulds, prick the base with a fork (so dough doesn’t rise too much) and bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes (until the dough is golden-brown).
  3. Remove the tartlets from the oven, fill them with the vegetables and crumble the cheese on top. Put them back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and voilà! You can garnish with a sprig of thyme or rosemary.Note: I really like this recipe, but tartlets can be filled with absolutely anything: caramelised onions; apples, bacon and cheddar; confit tomatoes and garlic with basil and mozzarella; any egg mixture for mini quiche; fellow throwdowner Camille Macnaughton’s bourbon pumpkin chiffon filling, etc. So always keep some ready-made pie dough in your freezer and use your imagination people!

Enjoy!

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO WITH CRISPY PANCETTA
BY AMANDA AND JEAN-FRANÇOIS

“I feel almost guilty for coming in 2nd because absolutely each and every dish at this Throwdown blew my mind. Also, this recipe had been in my repertoire for a couple of years already and taught to me by my brother, a trained cook (now working at Barroco in Montreal. If you haven’t been, go for your next “special occasion” as I did last month – that meal made it to my “Top Meals of All Times” list) so it almost feels like cheating. Almost.” – Amanda

This is the kind of dish I like to make when I’m expecting company because it always gets rave reviews and is much easier to make than it looks. You just need to keep in mind these 5 essential rules to making a good (read: kickass) risotto:

  1. Use arborio rice
  2. Use hot broth
  3. Add small ladels of broth at a time
  4. Only add broth when the previous ladel has evaporated
  5. DON’T STOP STIRRING!!!

Here’s the (approximative) recipe which yields 4 portions and leftovers for lunch:

Ingredients

1 medium butternut or buttercup squash
6 cups of broth (I cheated and used store bought, but added vegetables to it: fennel tops, soft celery, carrots, onion)
350 g. arborio rice (non-negotiable, must be arborio)
2 small onions
1 small glass of white wine
0.5 cup heavy cream
2 cups of parmigiano reggiano
salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Heat your broth in a pot.
  2. Peel and cut your squash into small pieces and add them to a pot. Cover the squash with broth and let it boil about 20 or so minutes until the squash is tender.
  3. Add cream to the squash mixture and, using a hand blender or regular blender, puree until smooth.
  4. Heat a thick-bottomed pan and add some olive oil to it. Add your onion, salt & pepper and stir until soft and translucent.
  5. Add your rice to the pan and stir constantly. When the rice is warm (not browning!), add a small ladle of hot broth. Stir constantly. When the rice has absorbed all the broth, add another small ladle. Keep stirring! And repeat.
  6. When the rice is almost al dente, add your squash mixture to your rice and keep stirring.
  7. Add the parmigiano to the rice and keep stirring.
  8. Serve al dente or once the rice has reached the texture you prefer.

I hope you enjoy!

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BOURBON PUMPKIN CHIFFON PIE
BY CAMILLE MACNAUGHTON

Ingredients

3 ½ tsp unflavored gelatine
¼ cup bourbon or brandy
6 large eggs, separated
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2¼ cups of solid pack pumpkin
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ginger
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cup heavy cream

Baking Directions
Pie dough is not my forte and seeing as Montréal is home to some truly exceptional bakeries, I bought a pie crust from Première Moisson at the Atwater market.

  1. Roll out the pie dough and prebake until the edges are golden brown. This process is called blind baking and there are easy indications on how to make your own basic pie dough and prebake the shells in the Gourmet Cookbook.

Filling Directions

  1. Sprinkle the gelatine over the bourbon in a small bowl and let soften (Leave to the side until further use). Beat together yolks and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce speed to medium and mix in pumpkin, spices, and salt.
  2. Transfer pumpkin mixture to a heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160F on a thermometer, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add the gelatine mixture, and stir until dissolved.
  3. Transfer to a large metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, stirring occasionally until the mixture is the consistency of raw egg whites, about 15 minutes. Remove from ice bath.
  4. Beat egg whites in another clean, cool bowl with cleaned beaters at high speed until frothy. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Gently but thoroughly fold into the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Beat cream in another large bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks. Gently, but thoroughly fold into the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Pour filling into pie shell and smooth the top. Refrigerate, uncovered for 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate until the pie is set (at least 3 hours).
  7. Before serving, garnish with fresh whipped cream and crystallized ginger.

This variation on a thanksgiving classic is light and spicy and best of all, will impress even your more scrupulous judges! There are basic baking techniques and specific terminology (such as blind baking and “folding in” eggs and whipped cream) that can deter any novice baker from attempting this recipe, but there are instructions within the cookbook and online that I find very useful.

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FOIE GRAS HOT CHICKEN SANDWICH
BY EMMANUEL HESSLER

This recipe came to me while I was chowing on some of Katherine’s 3-day-old short ribs sauce. All I wanted was to put sauce on everything… even hummus. Randomly, a flashback of my kicthen days resurged. There I was, working at St-Hubert BBQ having fun assembling the Québécois staple known as Hot-Chicken. These reveries collided with the fact that the sandwich throwdown was 2 weeks away and that the throwdowners generally have a penchant for fatty foods. Eureka! I had a revelation of winning proportions: I was gonna make a got’dam Foie Gras Hot-Chicken sandwich! To be honest, I’m still not sure if my dish won because of how delicious and beautiful it was, or if it was because it was so heavy that it literally crushed everyone’s judging capabilities to my advantage. Oh well… I’ll take ‘em where I can.” Many

Ingredients
Whole grain-fed, free-range organic Chicken
Can of beer
200g of foie gras
6 egg yolks
1 tbls salted butter
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbls chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups veal stock
2 cups inexpensive red wine
50 ml of 35% cream
Whole grain country style bread
green peas

Chicken

  1. Give the chicken a nice thorough rinse (inside and out) and pre-heat oven at 400F.
  2. Place chicken in a deep pan. Pour the can of beer over the chicken and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place chicken in oven. Cook for an hour and baste with beer every 10 to 15 minutes. If chicken skin starts burning, cover chicken with aluminum foil.
  4. Take chicken out of oven and make sure it is well cooked. Set aside until cool enough to pick apart. Make sure to grab all the delicious meaty bits and place them in a piece of Tupperware for later. You can use whatever is left of the chicken to make your very own stock (delicious and you know exactly what went into it).

Foie Gras Gravy Sauce (huge props go to Katherine Macnaughton and Martin Picard)

  1. Melt butter in a pan on medium-high heat. Throw in the onion and cook till translucent. Then add the garlic and stir 1 minute.
  2. Add veal stock and wine. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat. Let it sit uncovered and reduce till it has a gravy-like consistency.
  3. Set aside ¼ of the sauce for presentation.
  4. In a food processor, mix the egg yokes, foie gras, and cream until completely homogenous.
  5. Slowly add the veal stock to the mixture.

Assembly

  1. Place a piece of bread on a deep plate. Place the warm chicken on the sandwich. (To warm the chicken, you can either microwave it or place it in boiling water for 30 seconds using a sieve. I would caution against putting it in the oven (wink wink Aurélie and Amanda) as the chicken will tend to dry out very quickly.)
  2. Pour a generous amount of the foie gras sauce over the open-face sandwich.
  3. Drizzle some of the reduction you previously set aside for a contrast in color.
  4. Add the boiled green peas.

Et voilà! Keep phone near by for ambulance assistance…

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VERMONT CHEDDAR GRILLED CHEESE WITH PEAR AND PESTO
BY KIM MATURO

“I first tasted a similar sandwich in this cute bar in Toront called Drift Bar. I was having a little lunch with a co-worker and she mentioned that I had to try this sandwich. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was hungry (because I had been traveling all morning) or it truly was the sandwich but I was hooked. The combination of cheese, pesto, and pear … mmmmm! So yummy!! When I first ate it, the sandwich was not fully pressed; the bread was lightly toasted. In my version, I have assembled the sandwich, buttered the exterior of the bread and pressed it. Voila! A fancy grilled cheese! However you choose to make it, i’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”Kim

Ingredients
3 slices of Cabot extra sharp cheddar
1/2 Bartlett pear thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of pesto (homemade or if you don’t have time you can buy some)
2 slices of whole wheat miche bread

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ITALIAN SAUSAGE PATTY WITH MONTEREY JACK CHEESE, GRILLED PINEAPPLE SALSA AND POACHED EGG ON HOMEMADE ENGLISH MUFFIN
BY DUC NGUYEN

Being my first throwdown, I was really nervous about what to expect. Plus I ran into Many 2 weeks before and he confidently stated he knew what he was doing, and then came the trashtalking (all Many). I love brunch, so I wanted to make a breakfast sandwich based on a homemade sausage and tomato salsa I had in NYC a few years ago. I figured I should make my own bread – have you seen the previous entries on this blog? candied bacon?? I wanted a twist on tomato salsa and settled on pineapple. Awesome.

The evening of the throwdown I was crestfallen the lottery left me last up of 9. Judging all the sandwiches took 3 hours, and half-sandwich portions were cut to quarter portions just so we can get through all the food. It was close to 11pm before I was up, and I opted for half portions, each shared by two people. Twelve judges, 6 half portions. Despite that, everyone gawked at the size of the half sandwich. I don’t blame them, it had been a long night.

All in all, super enjoyable, delicious food. Unfortunately, Many took first place (I fell for his sob story about never doing well in the throwdowns and gave him the bonus point). I didn’t know what to expect, but came away inspired by everyone’s passion for cooking and entertaining. Thanks to everyone for welcoming me to my first throwdown. I also love going down to Vermont and want to thank our hosts for letting a gang of foodies descend on their location for a couple of days to brawl it out. On to the next one!” – Duc

Start with preparing the English muffins, as they need time to rise. While they are rising, start with the pineapple salsa.

English Muffins:

Ingredients
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/4 cup melted shortening
6 cups bread flour (all-purpose is OK)
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise.
  3. Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, empty tuna can, or small bowl with thin edges. I like mine larger than the store-bought size, because the sandwich is tall and will spill if the bread is not large enough. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
  4. Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked.

Pineapple Salsa:

Ingredients
4 (1/2-inch-thick) round slices fresh pineapple (1/2 pineapple)
1/4 cup mild olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. If not grilling on the BBQ, set the oven to broil and position the rack 8 inches from the heat source.
  2. Brush the pineapple slices with some of the oil and broil or grill them until they’re browned on both sides and tender, approx 8 minutes a side under the broiler. Let them cool to room temperature.
  3. Dice the pineapple (about 1/8 inch), discarding the core, and mix it in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt.

This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Sausage:

  1. Buy your favorite fresh sausages, I prefer a mildly spicy pork sausage.
  2. Remove the meat from its casing (you can use a pairing knife to slice from one end to the other and peel it off), shape into patties approximately 1/2 thick and cook over medium-high in a large nonstick skillet. Keep the heat low enough to avoid burning your sausage too quickly, until both sides are brown and there are no remaining pink spots. Expect to cook at least 4-5 minutes per side this way, depending on the amount of sausage and the heat of the skillet.
  3. When assembling your sandwich, place the sausage on the cheese so that the residual heat melts the cheese.

Poached Egg:

  1. Add water to a high-edge skillet until it reaches near the top. Add 2 tbs vinegar and a tsp salt, and heat the water to a boil. The vinegar will help decrease the temperature at which the egg whites set, which lets you remove the skillet from the heat to stop the boiling and keep your egg whites from spreading too much.
  2. Crack each egg into an individual bowl. When the water is boiling, tip each bowl into the water to let the egg slide in. Cover the skillet and remove from the heat.
  3. Leave the eggs 4 minutes in the water for a medium runny egg, or 30-45 seconds shorter/longer for more/less runny. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.

English Muffin recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/english-muffins/detail.aspx

Salsa recipe:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salsa-de-Pina-Asada-con-Habanero-Roasted-Pineapple-Salsa-364410

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MALBEC BRAISED SHORT RIBS AND PANKO CRUSTED EGGPLANT TOWERS
BY KATHERINE

“I recently had my parents and grandmother over to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Eager to find a menu that would knock my mom’s socks off, Many and I put our noggins together and came up with a winner! First, we needed an appetizer. Inspired by fellow throwdowner Aurélie Ptito‘s account of a friend’s recipe, we decided to prepare the same dish: tomato, basil, and goat cheese served between two slices of Panko fried eggplant with a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. It’s a sort of twist on the Caprese salad that I know my mom loves. After this fresh and surprisingly light dish, we followed with a Malbec-Braised Short Rib served with rosemary mashed potatoes and parsnips, with a side of green beans. This recipe was exciting to do as we had no idea of how to prepare the meat at all. Thankfully, La Maison du Rôti, probably the most incredible butcher and fine foods store in Montreal, was there to help. They were quite surprised when we asked for 5 portions of short ribs, côtes courtes in French, and that we were looking to prepare them the way they do in restaurants, with part of the rib exposed. Not a common request I guess. La Maison du Rôti was great in that they have butcher blocks with plexiglass around them (to protect the customer from flying juices I suppose) so that they can show you how to cut and prepare your meat. So, after a half an hour detailed explanation we took our meat along with a two cup tub of their delicious veal stock and quickly headed home (we had three hours until my parents arrive and as you will see, short ribs take a long time to prepare and cook.)” – Katherine

Below is a detailed explanation of how to make the appetizer along with these succulent short ribs. I was so surprised by the ribs and my family’s reaction, that I wished I had made them for the BBQ Throwdown!


PANKO CRUSTED EGGPLANT TOWERS
1 large eggplant
1 cup of flour
2 cups of Panko
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
Firm goat cheese with rind
2 tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil
Pepper and salt to taste
Balsamic reduction

Makes 6 portions and takes about 30 minutes to prepare

Directions
1. Cut the eggplant in pairs of even slices and set aside.

2. Sprinkle the flour in a plate; whisk the eggs in large bowl; sprinkle some Panko in a second plate.

3. Take your eggplant slices and coat them with flour. Dip each floured slice in the egg until evenly coated. Press each slice into the Panko crumbs several times on each side until they are covered. Set slices aside.

4. Heat up the vegetable oil in a large deep frying pan. Give yourself about 1/2 an inch of oil. Take a few Panko crumbs and test temperature of oil before putting in your eggplant slices. If the oil starts bubbling immediately around the Panko crumbs (like simmering water) without splashing, then your oil is ready.

5. Fry each eggplant slice and flip them so that both sides are golden. Do not fry them for too long as the oil will still cook the eggplant after you’ve taken them out. Place each fried eggplant slice on paper towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and keep warm in the oven until ready to be stacked.

6. Cut even slices of the tomato and goat cheese. The point of getting a goat cheese with rind is that it holds its shape nicely when cut into slices, then melted on the warm eggplant.

7. The easiest and most fun part comes now. Create your stacks by placing the larger eggplant pieces on the bottom, then top with the goat cheese, the tomato, the fresh basil leaves, followed by the second eggplant slice.

8. Drizzle the balsamic reduction around and on top of the stack.

9. Sit back and enjoy the praise!

This recipe is best served with a crisp, nicely chilled, Sauvignon Blanc.


Meanwhile your ribs should have been cooking in the oven for 2 1/2 hours…


MALBEC-BRAISED SHORT RIBS (adapted from Bon Appétit)
5 separated 4-5 inch long short ribs
3 tablespoons room-temperature butter
Coarse kosher salt
2 1/2 cups chopped red onions
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled parsnips
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 750-ml bottle inexpensive Malbec
2 cups low-salt veal broth, preferably homemade and not in cube
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Serves 5 people copiously and takes 45 minutes to prepare the meat before cooking it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours

MASHED PARSNIPS AND RUSSET POTATOES
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound large parsnips, peeled, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions
Ribs
1. Preparing the short ribs so that part of rib is exposed: this is the tricky part. Each short rib has a thin end and thick end of meat. From the thinner end of the rib, feel for the side of the rib where you feel the bone and slice a slit from the thin end to the middle of the rib. Slice a second slit across the bone and perpendicular to the first slit. From the first slit, peel the flesh from around the bone until completely separated down to the middle of the rib. Fold loose meat over thicker end of rib and tie together with string.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with coarse salt and pepper. Add to pot in single layer and sauté until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to large bowl.


3. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot. Sauté onions, parsnips, garlic and rosemary until brown. Add wine and broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

4. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to pot, arranging in single layer so that ribs are entirely covered (add a bit of water if necessary). Bring to simmer; cover and place in oven. Cook until ribs are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.


5. Using tongs, delicately transfer ribs to clean tray and place on BBQ grill to char the outside of the meat.

6. Meanwhile, boil juices until just beginning to thicken, about 10 minutes. Mix 1 tablespoon butter and flour in small bowl to smooth paste. Whisk into juices in pot; simmer until thickened enough to coat spoon, about 5 minutes longer. Season gravy with coarse salt and pepper.

7. Serve ribs, exposed bone on bottom (like a spoon), on mashed potatoes and parsnips, with a side of green beans. Drizzle gravy over meat and potatoes.

Potatoes
1. Cook potatoes and parsnips in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring milk, butter, and rosemary to simmer in small saucepan.

3. Drain potato mixture and return to pot. Stir briefly over medium heat to evaporate excess moisture. Add milk mixture and mash well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer ribs and gravy to large shallow bowl. Serve with short ribs.

We paired the ribs with a round South-African red wine. Enjoy!

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HOT JALAPEÑO POPPERS
BY KATHERINE MACNAUGHTON

Brace yourself for this one, cus it’s a hot one!

Ingredients

6 jumbo jalapeño peppers
6 large strips of bacon
1 cup of cream cheese
1 red pepper chopped finely
1 large garlic clove
1 italian sausage
toothpicks

Directions
1. With a sharp knife, slice the top off each pepper and set them aside. With a fondu fork, stir the seeds out of the pepper. Make sure to get ALL of them out, otherwise you might choke your friends!

2. In a frying pan or on the BBQ, grill your Italian sausage. Slice the sausage open and empty the casing.

2. In a bowl, combine diced pepper, garlic, sausage and cream cheese. Add a bit of ground pepper if you like.

3. Spoon mixture into each pepper. Once filled, grab a piece of bacon and wrap it around the pepper starting at the opened top to the bottom. Using a toothpick and the sliced pepper tops to fasten the bacon.

4. Cook peppers on the grill for approx. 20 minutes. If the stuffing starts oozing out and pushing the peppers tops off, remove them from the grill. Enjoy!

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MOZARELLA BUNDLES
BY JULIE-ANNE PETRILLI

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Pesto 1/2 cup
12 dry-packed sun-dried tomato halves
1/4 cup pesto from above
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Radicchio Bundles
8 large radicchio leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 8 slices
8 (4 to 6 oz) thin prosciutto slices
Olive oil for brushing
8 pieces cotton kitchen string, each 8 inches long

Directions
1. Place tomatoes in a bowl, cover with hot water and let plump for 20 minutes. Drain and finely chop tomatoes. Place in a bowl and add 1/4 cup pesto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Blend with whisk or in food processor. Set aside.

2. Prepare a hot fire in a grill.

3. Place a large pan of water over high heat and bring to boil. Blanch radicchio by dipping leaves into boiling water for 5 seconds. Remove with tongs and plunge into bowl of ice water. When cool, remove leaves and place on paper towels to drain. They should be limp and pliable.

4. Wrap each mozzarella slice in a slice of prosciutto. Wrap bundles with radicchio, enclosing completely. Secure each bundle with string and brush with oil. Grill bundles for about 3 minutes each side, or until nicely browned, turning with tongs or a spatula, so as not to pierce them.

5. Transfer to a heated platter and Serve warm.

Yields 8 servings

Courtesy of The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide by Paula Lambert (Simon and Schuster)

___________________________________________________________________________________________

DECONSTRUCTED HAWAIIAN PIZZA
BY AURÉLIE PTITO AND EMMANUEL HESSLER

This dish is very simple and easy to prepare and can be served as an appetizer for lunch, or for brunch. Enjoy!

Ingredients (8 portions)
1 Pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch slices
8 slices of ham (any ham will do)
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup honey
2 tsp cinnamon

BBQ bannock bread
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/8 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of margarine or butter

Directions

1. For the bannock bread: First stir together all the dry ingredients. Then mix in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add enough water to make a thick dough. Roll it out into long pieces about 1 inch thick and wrap around a clean skewer (if using a wood skewer, make sure to soak it before so that it doesn’t catch on fire). Cook until it turns golden brown over bbq or fire.

2. Mix the lime juice and honey. Brush on both sides of the pineapple slices and sprinkle
with cinnamon.

3. Combine mozzarella and cheddar and sprinkle a little cheese on each slice of ham. Roll
up the ham, making sure the sides are sealed. Secure with a toothpick.

4. Heat the BBQ and start grilling. Serve 1 slice of pineapple with a ham roll and a piece of bread. Optional: serve with homemade tomato sauce.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

GRILLED YELLOW CURRY AND SWEET POTATO STUFFED RAVIOLI
BY NOAH FORREST AND GENEE LATREILLE

Pasta dough

2 cups of unbleached flour
6 eggs
1 teaspoon of water
1 teaspoon of Olive oil
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons curry powder

Filling
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (or 4 small), cut into 2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons coconut oil (can be replaced with olive oil)
4 tablespoons Yellow Curry Paste.
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
½ large onion, minced
½ can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt to taste

Pesto

2 cups packed cilantro, large stems removed (save some for garnish)
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 3 limes
Salt & Cayenne Pepper to taste

Sides
4 large red peppers, cut diagonally into 2 inch wide strips
3 cans coconut milk (refrigerated for 24 hours)
1 large unripe mango, cut into julienne style wedges
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil for brushing (olive oil can be substituted)
2 tablespoons chili oil for drizzling
10 chive sprigs, thinly chopped
Lime wedges

Directions
For the pesto, add almonds to the food processor and reduce to a large crumble. Set aside. Next add cilantro and chop, adding olive oil and lime juice as you go. When it begins to turn into a paste, you can add the almonds back in. Continue adding olive oil, lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper until desired consistency and taste are reached (ideally the almonds shouldn’t be over-chopped; the pesto should feel grainy on the tongue).

For the whipped coconut milk, remove the cans from the fridge. When you open them, the fat and the water will have separated. Scoop out the fat from all three cans and whip until it becomes the same consistency as whipped cream. Place back into the fridge until ready to plate (best to do within a couple of hours of serving).

You can make the pasta dough by hand, or using a mixer.  Making it by hand is surprisingly easy, however slightly messier than with the mixer. Place the flour on a large work surface (giant cutting board, chopping block, kitchen table, etc…).  Make a well in the center of the mound – make sure it is large enough to allow the ingredients to rest in there without going over the edge. Add the eggs (unbeaten), water, olive oil, salt and curry powder.  With a fork, gently start to whisk the mixture inside the well. After a few seconds, start expanding your diameter, slowly adding flour to the mixture all the while keeping the integrity of the well.  Once about half the flour is combined, set the fork aside and start adding the remaining flour into the mixture with your hands.  Once all is well combined, begin kneading the dough.  Do so for about 5 minutes until it becomes very difficult to continue kneading.  Form the dough into a sphere, cover with flour and place a large bowl over it.  Let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Using a large, sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. You will be working with each piece individually, so make sure the others remain covered during the rolling process. Roll out all the pasta down to the second lowest setting. Each eighth of the dough will give you about a two foot long sheet.   As you go along, I recommend you do not lay them down on a hard surface, as they can stick.  If you have to, sprinkle flour on the surface first (the problem with that is it can make it a bit messy when doing the ravioli). One trick I have discovered is using a folding laundry rack, it helps hold the sheets and they don’t stick. Without a pasta roller, the process can be a bit more difficult, but still possible. You can visit http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/a-basic-recipe-for-fresh-egg-pasta for instructions.

Once you have your eight sheets, you can begin making the ravioli.  Using the same hard surface, sprinkle some flour and place down a sheet of pasta.  Starting from one end, add about a tablespoon and a half of filling every 3 inches (leaving 3 inches on the ends as well). Using a cooking brush and a small bowl of water, brush the areas around the filling. Take another sheet and gently lay it over the first. Using your hands, gently press down the mound and then seal the dough surrounding it, making circular shapes.  Once done, cut around the ravioli, leaving about a centimeter of sealed area.  Using a fork, press down on the sealed area, creating little rivets. Repeat this process for the rest of the ravioli.

Start BBQ on high heat for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, on your stove top, bring a very large pot of water  to boil. Add half the ravioli at a time to the boiling water. Once they float to the top (2-3 Minutes), remove and plunge immediately into an ice bath. Remove them from the ice bath and place on a dry towel. Pat both sides until dry. Place on a plate or tray and brush both sides with sweet almond oil.

Add red peppers to the grill and cook to your desired texture; set on the top rack to keep warm.  Begin adding ravioli to the grill.  Cook on medium to high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Every BBQ is different so do not allow them to burn – you want them to crisp and to get a slight char. They are usually about done when they puff up and start to expand.

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6 thoughts on “Recipes

  1. Liliane says:

    What a beautiful adventure! Bravo!

  2. meg says:

    Fantastic recipes!! I received your cookbook as a gift and love it 🙂 I will absolutely more the next one! Keep up the good work!

  3. meg says:

    Sorry serious typo! The comment should have read…

    “Fantastic recipes!! I received your cookbook as a gift and love it 🙂 I will absolutely get the next one! Keep up the good work!”

  4. Bonjour!
    How can I reach you (and who should I speak with) for a potential content partnership?

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