Thursday, October 27, 2005

Roasted Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

meat from 1 whole roasted chicken
¼ cup butter
½ cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups light cream (or milk)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 medium button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until smooth, cooking for one minute. Whisking constantly, add chicken stock and light cream. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer, continuing to whisk for another minute. Add onion and carrots and continue cooking, stirring, until vegetables are barely tender. Add roasted chicken, red pepper, mushrooms and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Scrape into a medium shallow baking dish and cover with biscuit dough.

For biscuit dough:
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cold butter
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs cream

Whisk together flour and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in egg and milk (lightly whisked together). Bring together loosely with a fork, then turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead 8-10 times. Pat into the dimensions of baking dish and place on top of chicken mixture. Pierce dough in several places, and brush top with cream.

Bake at 375-degrees for about 20 minutes, until filling is bubbling and biscuit topping is golden brown.

Potato Pavé

by Executive Chef Dean Hossack
of the Okanagan Golf Club

1 medium leek
2 tbs butter
salt pepper
5 large russet potatoes, peeled, sliced very thin
¼ cup cream
½ cup Emmenthal cheese, finely shredded
(reserve 1/3 of cheese for later)

Layer an 8-by-11.5-by2-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

Chop leek in half where the white part meets the green; discard greens. Slice leek lengthwise and rinse under cold water to remove any grit from between layers. Thinly slice width-wise.

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer bottom of baking dish with a layer of sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping. Season lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with cream. Repeat, adding shredded cheese and sautéed leeks to every third or fourth layer. The very top layer should be potatoes only. Cover with parchment and then aluminium foil and bake at 350-degrees for about 1 ½ hours, until potatoes are soft in the centre of the dish and thoroughly hot. Remove foil and let cool on a baking rack for half an hour. Place a second baking dish of the same size on top of the parchment-topped Pavé as a weight to compress the potatoes (or use another dish that fits and weigh down with cans). Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

To turn out Pavé, turn both baking dishes over so the second one acts as a platform for the potatoes. Slide onto a large cutting board and cut into servings. Top with remaining cheese and reheat on a parchment-lined baking tray before serving.

Baked vanilla custard

1 ¼ cups whipping cream
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, whisk together cream and milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the hot cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture slowly, whisking constantly, until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla.

Ladle mixture into four six-ounce custard cups and place them in a small roasting pan. Fill pan with enough very hot water to rise half way up the outsides of cups. Place in a 275-degree oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the custards have set. Remove pan. Remove custard cups from the water, placing them on a baking rack to cool to room temperature, or chill and serve cold.

Chocolate zucchini cake

1 cup butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Fold into butter mixture until smooth but not over mixed. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Divide batter between two prepared loaf or cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cranberry-apple dressing

1 stalk celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium apples, large dice
1 tsp poultry seasoning
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup fresh cranberries
2-3 slices turkey bacon
¼ cup plus 2 tbs butter
1 medium-sized loaf artisan bread

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbs butter over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and bacon. Sautee until carrot is just tender. Add apples and sauté until just tender. Add bread and seasoning and toss together with remaining butter. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with both dried and fresh cranberries, tossing lightly to incorporate. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes.

Note: The term dressing and stuffing are often used interchangeably to describe the same dish. And while they may have the same shopping list, “stuffing” is always stuffed into the cavity of the bird, while “dressing” is cooked separately. Stuffed birds usually end up having to be overcooked for safety’s sake, on account of the stuffing insulating the insides.

Where to find it: To find the recipe for Mixed Grain Pilaf with Oka Cheese, visit past recipes at

Toffee crunch chocolate cheesecake

1 ½ cups graham crumbs
¼ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tbs brown sugar
¼ cup butter

2 packages cream cheese (8oz/250g each), softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup Skor toffee bits

In a medium bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Melt butter and incorporate into the crumbs. Press firmly into a parchment paper-lined 8-inch spring form pan and bake at 350-degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 275-degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer set to medium-low, cream together cream cheese and sugar until very smooth and fluffy (about 5-7 minutes), scraping down sides as needed. Beat in sour cream. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in melted chocolate. Stir in ½ cup Skor bits.

Sprinkle 4 tbs of the toffee bits over the cake base. Scrape cheesecake batter over base, tapping pan on counter to distribute evenly. Sprinkle remaining Toffee bits over batter. Place a baking dish, 1/3 full with hot water, on the lowest rack of the oven (the water and low temp help prevent cracking). Set cheesecake on a baking sheet and set on middle rack. Bake for about 2 ½ - 3 hours, until just set in centre. Leave in oven with heat off for another hour (also to prevent cracking). Cool thoroughly, then refrigerate overnight. To slice, use a large chefs’ knife, cleaning the blade between each cut.


4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
3 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1 large potato (white), peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, scrubbed and chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
1 ½ tbs vinegar
½ cup whipping cream
1 tbs flour
1 tbs chopped fresh dill
kosher salt/fresh-ground pepper

In a large pot or stock pot over high heat bring stock, water, beets, potato, carrot and onion to boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer rapidly for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are just tender. Skim off foam as it collects around the edges of pot.

Stir in peas and vinegar. Add flour to cream and stir until smooth. Stir into soup. Add fresh dill and season to taste with salt and pepper.

kielbasa and cheese calzones

1 ½ cups warm water
1 envelop (2 ¼ tsp) dry yeast
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour (approx)
1 tbs “Herbes De Provence” spice mix

¼ each yellow and red bell peppers, sliced
¼ small red onion, sliced
4 sundried tomato halves; reconstituted, chopped
1 cup diced turkey kielbasa
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar or havarti
4 tbs pizza sauce
1 tsp corn meal

In a large mixing bowl, stir yeast and sugar into water and set aside until dissolved; about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil and salt. Add flour and stir to begin to bring it together into dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, incorporating a little more flour if still sticky, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, turning it over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about an hour and 15 minutes.

Place a large pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead until smooth. Divide into quarters, shaping each into a ball. Roll out to 9-inch rounds. Spread 1 tbs of sauce in centre of each. Divide other ingredients between calzones. Fold dough over filling, forming half circles. Pinch edges together to seal. Sprinkle stone with corn meal and transfer calzones to stone (you may have to do this two-at-a-time) and return to oven. Bake about 15-17 minutes, until golden brown (longer if not using a stone).

Options: Besides using your own favourite ingredients, try making eight smaller calzones. Or slice the larger ones into “fingers” for smaller portions.

Where to find it: The “Herbes De Provence” spice mix, among a garden of others, are available in specialty stores, and at Canada Post’s are the only shipping charges that apply.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cheesy Rice & Nut Loaf

1 tbs butter
1 medium leek, split lengthwise and sliced
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup finely chopped unsalted cashews
1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
2 medium carrots, grated
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated aged cheddar
2 large eggs, beaten
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add leek (white part only), pepper and tomato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Process nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Place in a large mixing bowl, and combine with leek mixture, grated carrots, rice, cheese, eggs and salt and pepper. Mix well. Firmly press mixture into a buttered loaf pan, lined on the bottom with parchment paper. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked in centre. Let set for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Slice and serve.