Archive for January, 2011

I serve this delicious Indian side dish from the October 1999 issue of Bon Appetit with Tandoori chicken and lamb and also with Chicken with Lemon and Spices (see previous post). It is colourful, tasty and quick to make. Some purchased curry powders contain colour, so I was happy to see that the seasoning for this dish was made from scratch. To make this recipe spicier, add hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

Indian potatoes, peas and cauliflower


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed


Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and ginger; sauté until potatoes are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in cauliflower, then salt, turmeric, chili powder and paprika; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

From the October 1999 issue of Bon Appetit

It’s been ages since my last post, because we have been in the process of moving. We are keeping our house, but now also have an apartment in the city. It’s great – but with no barbecue and an electric range instead of gas, I need to change my cooking style a bit. The good news is that we are near a Whole Foods store, meaning a whole new range of products that are free of additives and preservatives.

One of the first meals I made in the apartment was this Indian-style chicken with lemon and spices from the October 1999 issue of Bon Appetit. It is delicious with rice and with spiced potates, peas and cauliflower – a recipe I will post in a few days.

Chunks of chicken breast are marinated in lemon juice and spices

The chicken is simmered with diced tomatoes and onions

A little sour cream is added just before serving

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, be sure to use fresh lemon juice. Make sure your spices are free of added colour and that the diced tomatoes and sour cream are free of preservatives.


4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sour cream


Mix chicken, lemon juice and turmeric in medium bowl. Marinate 30 minutes.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and cumin seeds and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken with marinade; sauté until most of marinade evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, chili powder, salt and paprika. Cover; simmer 7 minutes. Uncover; simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, about 8 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Mix in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.

From the October 1999 issue of Bon Appetit

This recipe from Canadian Living is a great way to make a cheese tray even more delectable. Figs are simmered with wine and spices until tender and syrupy. This conserve keeps well for several weeks and is especially good with blue cheese and cheddar.

Serve the fig and wine conserve as part of a cheese and fruit tray

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use figs and wine with no sulfites or colour added.


1 lb (454 g) dried light-colour figs

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) white wine

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, broken

4 cardamom pods, crushed

2 whole cloves


Trim tough tips off figs; quarter. In saucepan, bring wine and sugar to boil. Tie cinnamon, cardamom and cloves in cheesecloth; add to syrup along with figs. Reduce heat and simmer until figs are tender and liquid is thick and syrupy, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Keeps well in the fridge for several weeks. Makes about three cups.

From Canadian Living

This is a delicious vegetarian pasta dish from Lucy Waverman that was published in the December 14, 2010 issue of The Globe and Mail. Vegetables are tossed with herbs and balsamic vinegar and are then roasted until brown and caramelized.

Vegetables are tossed with herbs and balsamic vinegar before roasting

They are then combined with cooked penne, butter, milk, cream and three kinds of cheese and baked until piping hot. Served with a green salad, this would be perfect for a casual dinner party.

Pasta with roasted vegetables

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use a balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added and cheese that does not contain colour.


2 medium red onions

4½ cups small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 red peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks

4 plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded

1 banana pepper, sliced on diagonal into thin strips

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound (500 grams) penne

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

½ cup whipping cream

1 cup grated Fontina

1 8-ounce (250-gram) ball fresh mozzarella, grated

1 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut onions in half and cut each half into 4 wedges. Remove root end and separate onion pieces. Combine onion, butternut squash, red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and banana pepper in a large bowl.

Combine thyme, rosemary, olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss with vegetables until well coated. Divide all vegetables between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and switching tray positions in oven halfway through, until vegetables are cooked through and browned. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions until slightly undercooked. Drain. Return to pot.

Heat butter in another pot over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir together until smooth. Combine milk and cream and slowly add to pot, whisking constantly, until combined. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add Fontina, mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to combine. Stir in vegetables. Transfer to an oiled 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and mixture is hot. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan and lots of black pepper. Serves 8.

By Lucy Waverman in the December 14, 2010 issue of The Globe and Mail

This is a great new find from the September 2010 issue of Everyday Food. The recipe calls for sweet Italian sausage and bone-in chicken breasts, but I used hot Italian sausage and chicken thighs instead. The sausage and chicken are browned and then simmered with onion, potatoes and celery until cooked through.

Brown and drain the sausage

Brown the chicken; I used thighs instead of breasts

Cook the vegetables briefly before returning the meat to the pot

The chicken is then removed and the remaining ingredients are combined with vinegar and fresh oregano. Dinner is ready in about an hour and there’s only one pot to wash!

One-pot chicken with sausage and potatoes

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, ask your butcher for an all-natural sausage and use a red wine vinegar with no sulfites added, such as Eden organic brand.


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, broken into ¾-inch pieces

2 bone-in chicken breast halves (with wings attached if desired; 1 ½ pounds total), skin removed, halved

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 yellow onion, diced medium

1 pound waxy potatoes, halved or quartered if large

3 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces, plus leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves


In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown all over, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a dish. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to pan, meaty side down. Cook until golden brown on both sides, 10 minutes, flipping once. Transfer chicken to dish with sausage.

Add onion, potatoes, and celery to pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Return sausage and chicken, meaty side up, to pot and add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Remove lid and increase heat to high; boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. Add vinegar and oregano to vegetables and sausage and stir to combine. With slotted spoon, transfer vegetables and sausage to platter with chicken and top with celery leaves. Transfer sauce to a gravy boat and serve alongside chicken. Serves 2-4.

From the September 2010 issue of Everyday Food

I love duck, but it’s not the easiest thing to make. Typically, the duck is roasted in the oven and involves a number of labour-intensive steps, including removing copious amounts of fat from the pan. And by the time the meat is cooked, the skin may not be crisp. A few years ago I happened upon this much easier method of cooking duck in The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook. The duck is rubbed with brandy and salt and refrigerated for 1-3 days. It is then steamed in a bamboo steamer on top of the stove, which releases the fat and keeps the meat tender and moist.

The duck is placed in a steamer with lemon rind and rosemary

Place the steamer over simmering water in a wok or pan

Cover and steam for 70-85 minutes

Finally, the duck is given a quick turn in the oven to crisp the skin. It’s quick, easy and produces delicious results.

Roast for 30 minutes to make the skin crispy


1 duck, 4 lb/2kg
2 tsp(10 mL) brandy or vermouth
1/3 cup coarse salt, or 1/4 cup/75 ml table salt
4 cloves garlic, mashed
2tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
2tsp (10 mL) pepper
1 lemon
4 sprigs sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tbsp(25 mL) liquid honey


With paper towels, pat duck dry. Rub inside and out with brandy then salt, distributing evenly. Place in dish and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 24 hours or up to three days. Rinse salt off duck under cold running water; dry with paper towels. Pull off excess fat in cavity. Cut off tail bone and excess neck skin. Using skewer or toothpick, prick skin all over, being careful not to prick fat and meat underneath.

In small bowl, lightly mash together garlic, chopped rosemary and pepper; rub inside cavity. Peel off strips of lemon rind. Set aside.

In wok or large pot with 2 inches (5 cm) of water, bring all but 4 strips of the lemon rind and 2 of the rosemary sprigs to boil. Place duck, breast side up, in large bamboo steamer; lay remaining lemon rind and rosemary sprigs on top. Place steamer on wok. Reserving 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) lemon juice, squeeze remaining juice over duck. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 70-85 minutes, adding more boiling water to  maintain level as necessary.

Remove duck and carefully pour out liquid from body cavity. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; transfer to glass baking dish and refrigerate until cold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Discard rosemary and lemon rind.

In small bowl, mix honey with reserved lemon juice; brush some over bottom of duck. Place duck, breast side down, on rack in roasting pan. Roast in 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Turn duck over; brush all over with remaining honey mixture. Roast for about 15 minutes longer or until well browned, watching carefully to avoid burning. Serves 6.

From the Complete Canadian Living Cookbook