Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Meal

Here is the final menu for New Year's Eve. Appetizer: Shrimp in Pernod Sauce Salad: Mixed Greens with Maple Balsamic Dressing, Straw Potatoes, Feta and Roasted Pecans, Main Course: Beef Croustades with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce, and Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic served with Pinot Noir Sauce. Dessert: Chocolate Crepes filled with Bananas and Nutella topped with Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Cream.

Pictures to follow soon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nacho Pizza

I love nachos and I love pizza. This recipe combines the both.


1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 lb (500 g) extra-lean ground beef
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
2 cups (500 mL) thick chunky-tomato salsa


1 small green pepper
1 small red pepper
Kraft Tex Mex cheese mix
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced red onions
1 medium bag tortilla chips


To make sauce, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef and sauté, stirring often for 5 to 8 minutes or until browned. Drain off any accumulated fat. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and sauté 1 minute. Stir in salsa then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Seed and thinly slice green pepper. Arrange oven racks with 1 on lowest level and 1 just above oven centre.

Preheat oven to 500F

Spread dough with beef sauce. Scatter top with cheese; top with tomatoes, onions and green pepper.

Place pizza on lowest rack. Bake 5 to 10 minutes. Use a spatula to turn up 1 corner of the dough to check for browning. When nicely browned, move pizza to top rack for 5 to 8 minutes or until top is golden.

Remove pizza from the oven and top with nacho chips.

Winter Cooking Season

Well with a fine dusting of snow and the temperature at -8 Celcius, the Winter cooking season is officially upon us. I have always associated cooking with the change of seasons. Spaghetti in the summer? Never!!! Pasta salads or lobster rolls in the winter? I don't think so. Winter is time for comfort food, red wine, pasta, and hearty soups. Some of my favourites are Farm House Soup, Beef Croustades, Chowders and Bisques with crusty rolls, Chilis, and of course my all time favourite The Arrogant Chef's Spaghetti. It is time to take out the slow cooker. Time to experiment with pizza and wine pairings on a Friday night after driving home from work in a snow storm. (I must say though that pizza really does transcend the seasons.)

Tonight I will be making Bistro Turkey Baguettes. I will post pictures and the recipe later this week. These baguettes are perfect for sitting in front of the TV and watching your favourite sport. Great served with frites, and homemade coleslaw with a nice Pinot Noir or premium ale.