Archive for April, 2022

This recipe from NYT Cooking turns inexpensive dried beans into a healthy and tasty supper. Cover the beans in cold water (water should cover the beans by 2 inches/5 cm) overnight. Cook the soaked beans with onion, garlic, Parmesan rinds if you have them, olive oil and salt. Toast the bread and rub with a garlic clove. Place a slice of toast in a bowl and ladle the beans and broth over it. Garnish with olive oil, salt, fresh herbs, grated Parmesan and pepper. Cook’s note: I used dried navy beans. I keep Parmesan rinds in the freezer and use them to add flavour to stock and pasta sauce. If you like heat, add some hot pepper flakes when you garnish the dish. To quick-soak dried beans, cover them with 2 inches/5 cm of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let the beans stand in the hot water for an hour. The beans will then be ready to cook.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Genuine Parmesan contains no colour or additives. Look for the name stamped on the rind. Ace Bakery crusty bread is additive-free.

Rub a clove of garlic on the toasted crusty bread

Ladle beans and broth over toast and garnish with fresh herbs, pepper and Parmesan



1 cup dried beans, such as cannellini or cranberry

1 small onion, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled

Up to 4 ounces (113 g) Parmesan rinds

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt

To assemble

4 thick slices crusty sourdough bread

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons (30 ml) parsley leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) marjoram leaves, chopped

Flaky sea salt, finely grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper, for serving


Soak the beans in cold water overnight, or for 10 to 12 hours (or quick-soak the beans). Rinse beans, and place in a large heavy-bottomed pot with onion, garlic, Parmesan rinds, olive oil and salt. Cover beans with water, so the water level is a couple of inches (5 cm) above the beans, and bring to a boil, then turn heat down so it’s simmering gently. Put a lid on the pot, and cook until beans are tender, adding more water as needed to keep the beans submerged. This could take 1 to 2 hours or more, depending on the beans and whether or not you soaked them. (If you’re using an electric pressure cooker: Add 5 cups water, set the machine to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes, then allow the machine to slowly depressurize on its own.)

Use a spoon to fish out the onion, garlic and cheese rinds; discard. Taste a couple of beans along with the broth. The beans should be opaque and slightly creamy; adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed.

Brush both sides of each piece of bread with olive oil, and place on a foil-lined sheet pan. Run the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, so the bread is crisp at the edges and nicely toasted, then flip bread and repeat. While the bread is still hot, rub a garlic clove along one side of each piece, as if you were grating the garlic on the bread, pushing just firmly enough for the clove to fray and dissolve slightly into the bread.

To assemble, place a piece of bread at the bottom of four wide, shallow bowls and ladle hot beans and broth on top. Wait a few seconds for the bread to absorb some broth, then ladle a little extra on each one, so it’s swimming. Garnish the bowls generously: Drizzle olive oil all over the beans, sprinkle with herbs and flaky sea salt, cover with finely grated Parmesan and grind a little black pepper on top. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This classic dish is perfect for Sunday dinner. Cook bacon, brown chicken pieces and set aside. Cook onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and then add flour, wine, stock and bay leaf. Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle with bacon and cook for about 40 minutes, uncovering halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf and boil the sauce and vegetables until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Pour sauce and vegetables over chicken and garnish with parsley to serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use bacon preserved with celery salt and check the thyme to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use unbleached flour. I used Imagine Organic chicken stock, which is free of artificial colour and flavour and a Frogpond Farm white wine that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million.

Brown chicken and set aside

Sauté onions and garlic

Cook carrots and mushrooms, add flour, wine and stock and return chicken to the pan

Remove chicken and keep warm, then boil sauce and vegetables until reduced. Pour over chicken.

Coq au vin


3.5 lbs (1.75 kg) chicken pieces (legs and breasts)

2 onions

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb (454 g) mushrooms, quartered

3 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tsp (5 ml) thyme

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour

1.5 cups (375 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock

1 bay leaf

Chopped fresh parsley


Separate chicken legs at joint. If breasts are large, cut diagonally in half. Cut onions in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise.

In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; using slotted spoon, transfer to plate. Increase heat to medium-high and brown chicken, in batches, about 10 minutes. Add to plate with bacon.

Add onions and garlic to pan; cook over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, adding up to 2 tbsp (30 ml) water if sticking to bottom. Add mushrooms, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated. Stir in flour for 1 minute. Stir in wine, stock and bay leaf; bring to boil.

Nestle chicken into vegetable mixture; sprinkle bacon over top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Transfer chicken to platter; cover and keep warm. Discard bay leaf. Bring sauce and vegetables to boil; boil, stirring often for 5 to 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour sauce and vegetables over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living’s Best Weekend Pleasures

This tasty one-pan meal from The Kitchn is ready in less than half an hour. Toast orzo for a few minutes, then add garlic, spices and canned tomatoes. Simmer until the orzo is done. Top with uncooked shrimp and feta and broil for a few minutes until the shrimp is done and the cheese has softened.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Blue Menu canned tomatoes and PC Organics frozen shrimp, thawed. Tre Stelle feta is additive-free. Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Toast the orzo for a few minutes

Once orzo has cooked in the sauce, top with shrimp and feta

Broil until shrimp is cooked and feta has softened


1 (28-ounce/793 g) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ cups (375 ml) orzo pasta

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried oregano

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

12 ounces (340 g) uncooked medium peeled and deveined shrimp

Freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces (85 g) feta cheese, crumbled (about ¾ cup/187.5 ml)

Coarsely chopped fresh mint, for serving


Empty the canned tomatoes with their juices into a large bowl and carefully crush them with your hands (you’ll have some bite-size pieces remaining). Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, the liquid is absorbed, and a thick sauce has formed, about 10 minutes. Stir a few times while simmering to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet. Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper.

Place a rack in the top third of the oven (6 to 8 inches from the broiling element) and preheat the broiler to high.

Stir the orzo once more, spread it into an even layer, and scatter the shrimp and feta over the top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the shrimp are pink and opaque and the feta is softened and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with mint before serving. Serves 4.

From The Kitchn

This scone recipe is from The Baker in Me by one of my favourite food writers, Daphna Rabinovitch. These savoury scones are great for breakfast or a snack and they freeze well. Combine your dry ingredients and cut in butter. Add buttermilk, egg, cheese, prosciutto and chives Mix until moistened, place dough on a clean surface and knead into a moist ball. Pat down into a rectangle and cut into 12 triangles. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until scones are golden and baked through. Cook’s note: I used green onions instead of chives.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use unbleached flour and butter and cheese that does not contain colour. Use prosciutto cured in salt with no added preservatives or bacon preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites.

Cut the dough into triangles

These scones are great for breakfast or a snack


2-1/3 cups (582 ml) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground black pepper

½ cup (125 ml) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes

¾ cup (187.5 ml) cold buttermilk

1 cold large egg

¾ cup (187.5 ml) shredded Gruyère

½ cup (125 ml) chopped prosciutto or cooked bacon

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped chives


Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and black pepper in a food processor fitted with blade attachment to combine ingredients. Add butter and pulse until butter is cut into small pea-sized chunks. (Alternatively, use a large bowl to mix everything and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut butter into pea-sized chunks.) Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Pour over flour mixture along with cheese, prosciutto and chives. Toss with a fork until mixture is thoroughly moistened. Some flour may not be fully incorporated, that’s OK.

Transfer dough to a clean work surface and knead gently until dough just forms a moist, cohesive ball. Pat dough down to a rectangle that is 8-by-5-inches (20-by-12-cm) long and 1-inch (2.5-cm) high.

With a knife or pastry cutter, cut rectangle in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 6 triangles. Transfer scones to lined baking sheet.

Bake in centre of oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until scones are golden and baked through. Cool scones on a wire rack for at least five minutes before serving. Makes 12 scones.

From The Baker in Me by Daphna Rabinovitch