" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak

Wrap Up


Well here we are, about to wrap up another year.
I love this season with all the parties and special dinners and I always like to prepare a special meal on New Years Eve and New Years Day.

This is an elegant dish that is perfect for entertaining.
There is a bit of preparation involved but the effort is worth it.
This recipe is based on one by Gordon Ramsey which is often prepared on Hell's Kitchen.
Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable such as baby Brussels sprouts.
This dish is sure to impress.

Happy New Year!

Beef Wellington


  • 1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin
  • 2 cups of cremini mushrooms diced fine
  • 4 slices smoked or plain prosciutto (I used both)
  • 1 sheet of butter puff pastry rolled out
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and quickly sear beef all over until it’s just brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor to a puree. Scrape the mixture into the pan you seared the meat in. Cook until all the moisture is out of the mushrooms.
  • Roll out a generous length of plastic wrap, lay out the four slices of prosciutto, each one slightly overlapping the last.
  • Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto.
  • Place the beef fillet in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the prosciutto and mushrooms over the beef into a tight roll. Twist the ends to secure the wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, to let the beef set.
  • On a floured surface roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick. Unwrap the meat from the plastic wrap.
  • Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry cut off the excess and turn over so the seams are on the bottom.
  • Egg wash all over top and sides
  • Chill again to let the pastry cool for 15 minutes. Egg wash again before baking at 400F for 20 minutes then lower heat to 350F and cook for a further 15 minutes. Rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  • The beef should be pink in the middle when sliced.


Wine Suggestion: Cabernet / Shiraz


Cheers!



Be Merry



At this time of year with so many family gatherings and holiday parties it can be challenging to find new and different appetizer ideas.

This one is unique as it combines the sweetness of honey with the subtle taste of fresh thyme. Keep an eye on it in the oven as it can become too soft very quickly. You can substitute any soft or semi soft cheese in place of the Camembert such as Brie.

Serve with assorted crackers and sliced ripe pears.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!


Thyme and Honey Baked Cheese

  • 1 wheel of Camembert
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350F
Cut a thin layer of the rind top off of the cheese.
Place cut side up in a small baking dish with a lid
Scatter thyme leaves over the top and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Drizzle with honey and cover with lid.
Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until just soft and lightly bubbled on top.

Serve with crackers and pears.

Wine Suggestion: Riesling

Cheers!

Snow Day


In our city today we had a rare snow day.

The kids had no school and most adults were sent home from work if they even went into work.
Its nice when you are cosy at home and don't have to drive in it.
After all the shoveling its nice to come inside to a hearty meal.

This dish is a different twist on spaghetti sauce. The use of Moroccan spices impart a sweet and spicy flavour to this sauce.
You can use ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef if you wish.
Top with crumbled feta instead of or along with the usual Parmesan.

Let it Snow!




Moroccan Style Spaghetti


  • ~olive oil
  • 1 pkg of spaghetti
  • 1 pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tbsp each cumin and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of paprika, salt and basil
  • 1 tsp of minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 798 ml can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a large deep saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until softened.
Add the meat and cook until no longer pink and crumbly.
Add the spices and tomatoes and mix well.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serve over hot spaghetti and top with crumbled feta.

Wine Suggestion: Malbec

Cheers!

Rinse and Repeat

I know I know.
I have said it all before.
Pork is one of the most versatile meats around and super easy to prepare.
When it comes to entertaining nothing is easier than this dish.
You can vary the stuffing ingredients to suit your tastes.
Lingonberry preserves can be found at Ikea. If you don't have any on hand cranberry sauce works well too.

You can assemble this dish in mere minutes and hangout with your guests while it roasts.
Serve with baked squash and brown rice pilaf.

Like I said. Easy. Just sayin'...




Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (approx 1.5 to 2 pounds)
  • ~olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • half cup of chopped walnuts
  • 3 slices of smoked ham or bacon diced
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp lingonberry preserves or cranberry sauce
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F
On a cutting board slice the pork loin lengthwise and open like a book.
Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a mallet to make it thinner.

In a frying pan heat some olive oil and add the onion and apples. Saute until softened.
Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
Spread over the pork loin evenly and roll up like a jelly roll.
Tie with butcher twine at each end.
Place on a rack in a roasting pan.
Roast until internal temperature registers 165F . ( about 1 hour or so)

Remove from oven , slice and serve.

Wine Suggestion: Chardonnay

Cheers!


Loving It

This is the time of year when the kitchen becomes the heart of my home again, after hanging out on the patio all summer.
The island is the "hub" where we gather to do homework, cook, crafts or just hangout.
I love the warmth of the kitchen as cosy comfort food cooks in the oven filling the room with the aroma of dinner.

This is an easy dish to put together and smells wonderful while cooking.
You can use any parts of chicken that you wish. I used legs and thighs this time as they were on sale that week.

This dish can be served over pasta or rice.




Baked Italian Chicken

  • 8 chicken parts (legs, thighs or breasts)
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • 2 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 798ml can of tomatoes
  • handful of chopped basil, rosemary and oregano
  • 1/2 cup of pitted black olives
  • 1/2 pound of mozzarella and Romano cheese blend shredded.


Preheat oven to 375F

Dredge chicken in flour until coated.
Heat olive oil in skillet.
Brown chicken on all sides. Remove to a platter keeping warm.
Drain off all but 1/4 cup of juices in pan.
Add the garlic tomatoes and herbs to the pan. Cook on medium breaking up tomatoes while stirring.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Spoon some of the sauce into a large deep baking dish. Place chicken onto sauce and top with remaining sauce.
Top with cheese and olives.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Let stand for a few minutes then serve.

Wine Suggestion: Montepulciano

Cheers!





Turkey Time

My favorite holiday is only days away.
Thanksgiving.
The holiday that celebrates family, food and the fall harvest.

This is a bit of a twist on the usual run of the mill roasted turkey.
I brined and smoked this bird to take it up a notch.

Brining is a method of placing the turkey in a salt water bath that is centuries old. It makes the proteins in the meat change their pattern which traps the moisture to create the ultimate juicy turkey.
To finish it off I brushed on a Bourbon Glaze that created a very tasty crispy skin.
A Spicy Apple Gravy to serve along side and simple cranberry salsa completes this dish
There may seem to be a lot of steps to this dish but it is well worth every minute.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!




Smoked and Brined Turkey with Bourbon Glaze , Spicy Apple Gravy and Cranberry Salsa

Brine and Turkey
  • 1 turkey 10 to 25 pounds
  • 4 cups of kosher salt (or 2 of table salt)
  • 2 gallons of water
In a large vessel such as a cooler or deep roasting pan combine the salt and water. Mix well.
submerge the thawed turkey . If not covered make more salt water until covered.
place in a cool place or in a fridge overnight.

~
Preheat the grill to 400F

Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well. Remove as much water as you can so that it is as dry as possible.
Stuff as desired.
Brush with oil and place on a grill that has a prepared smoker box or smoker packet as described here.


Bourbon Glaze
  • 3/4 cup of Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp chili powder
Combine in bowl and brush on turkey during the last half of roasting time.

~
Roast until turkey is cooked through.
The temperature of the thermometer inserted into stuffing should read 165F and in the turkey thigh 180F when the turkey is fully cooked.
Remove turkey from pan to a platter and remove stuffing to a serving dish and carve turkey as desired.


~
Spicy Apple Gravy

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tsp of oil
  • 4 tbsp of flour

In a pot heat the oil and add the flour.
Stir until it thickens. (this is called a roux)
Add the remaining ingredients while stirring.

Simmer and stir until desired thickness.

Cranberry Salsa


  • 1 can of cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • tbsp of minced white onion
  • 2 tsp of minced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp cracked peppercorn
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 1 tsp each of orange and lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve.


Wine Suggestion: Riesling

Cheers!







On the Go


Well here we are.
Summers over and everyone is back to school and work.
In my home that means a more hectic pace as everyone has a busier schedule.
Fast and healthy supper options are what I look for as we settle into our new routines.

One of my go-to dinner favorites is pizza. I use dough from my local deli to save time instead of making it myself.

You can vary the toppings to suit your taste. I try to put on as many healthy vegetables as as I can.
Unfortunately my tomato crop is doing very poor this year so I chose to use sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh.
I have left out exact amounts of toppings as you can adjust to suit your tastes.

While the pizza is in the oven toss a big green salad and there you have a great weeknight meal that can even be served to friends on the weekend.




Mediterranean Style Pizza

  • 1 ball of homemade pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
  • olive oil
  • sliced green and black olives
  • sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • sliced mushrooms
  • sliced red peppers
  • basil leaves chiffonade
  • diced bacon
  • diced onion
  • sliced pepperoni
  • sliced anchovies
  • tomato sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400F

Prepare toppings as needed.
Roll out dough to desired size to fit your pizza pan or stone.
Brush with olive oil
Spread tomato sauce evenly or the olive oil.
Sprinkle cheese over the sauce.
Evenly arrange remaining toppings over the cheese.

Place on pan or stone and bake in the oven until the dough in done in the centre and cheese is bubbly.
Remove and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Wine Suggestion:Montepulciano

Cheers!



Growing Season


There is one good thing about the hot summer we are having here in Ontario, my tomatoes are growing really well this year.
I noticed this week the first crop of cherry tomatoes are ready to be picked,
it won't be long until the bigger Roma and Beefsteak varieties are ready too.
You just can't beat vegetables grown right in your own garden can you?
It doesn't get more organic than that.

Here is a simple Italian style salad that takes minutes to put together.
I have left out amounts as you can adjust to suit your taste.
This dish is great to serve alongside grilled meat or fish.




Tomato Salad

  • Sliced ripe tomatoes
  • Sliced red onions
  • Bocconcini cheese halved
  • olive oil
  • fresh minced oregano and basil (or dried if no fresh available)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
On a platter arrange slices of tomato, add onion and cheese slices on top.
Sprinkle with herbs and pepper.
Drizzle olive oil over the top.


Cheers!


Poached



The heat is on!
It is so hot one cant even barbecue or dine outdoors comfortably.
If that is not enough the thought of turning on the oven inside isn't to appealing either.
It can be difficult to have a light decent meal in this weather.

These are the times when non conventional dinner ideas come to mind, such as eggs.
Eggs make a great supper dish as they are a complete protein and are very versatile.
The accompanying hollandaise sauce is a recipe I discovered in an issue of Chatelaine magazine.
We were very impressed with it as it is way easier than the traditional double boiler method.

Serve over top of toasted English muffins. You can add a few sausages along side or a garden salad if you wish.

So instead of feeling like a poached egg in the kitchen or outside try this easy quick light meal and then kick back take it easy !




Perfect Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce


  • 8 eggs
  • 4 split toasted English muffins
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Melt butter in a small pan skimming off any foam.
Pour butter into a measuring cup leaving solids any behind.
In a food processor or blender add yolks, lemon juice, hot water and salt.
Whirl on high for 1 minute.
Add the hot butter slowly through opening in lid. Whirl until thick. Keep warm till eggs are cooked.

In a shallow wide pan heat about 2 inches of water to boiling. Add 1 tbsp on vinegar.
crack eggs gently into the water, reduce heat and cook for about two minutes or until desired doneness.

Lift out eggs with slotted spoon onto a hot buttered English muffin.
Top with hollandise sauce and serve.

Wine Suggestion: Prosecco

Cheers!



Speedy


Weekday evenings can be hectic. Between getting home from work and school and after supper extracurricular activities it can be hard to make a fast healthy meal on a budget.

Bay scallops are cheap, tasty and quick to cook as they cook in record time.
You can make this dish even faster substituting by the dry variety of pasta you need to boil for quick cooking fresh pasta.

There are no excuses for eating healthy as this dish is speedier then a drive through or frozen dinners and much better for you.


Pesto Scallop Pasta Sauce


  • olive oil
  • 1 pound of bay scallops
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 1 tomato taste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 1 large portobello mushroom sliced
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
In a large deep frying pan heat the olive oil and add the scallops and cook until almost opaque.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes until scallops are opaque.
Pour over pasta of choice.


Wine Suggestion : Pinot Blanc


Cheers!



Rosemary and Wine

I love spring! My herb garden finally in full bloom.
Rosemary is my favorite herb of all.

This dish is a great for a dinner party. It takes no time at all to put together.
Once in the oven it doesn't need any fussing over and cooks unattended so you can visit with your guests.

Sweet potatoes and steamed green beans round out this meal quite nicely.



Pork Roast with White Wine, Garlic and Herbs


  • olive oil and butter
  • 1 3 or 4 pound pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • a head of garlic separated skins left on
  • leaves from 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bottle of white wine
Preheat oven to 300F

In an oven proof roasting pan heat the olive oil and butter.
Season the meat with the fennel and rosemary and brown in the pan.
Add the rest of the herbs and wine.
Cover and cook in the oven until meat temperature reaches 150F.
Tent with foil on a platter.
Place pan on stove top and bring to a low boil scraping bits off the bottom. Simmer until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.
Serve roast with sauce drizzled over top.

Wine Suggestion: Chardonnay

Cheers!



Fiesta



There are times when one just wants to walk in the door and eat right away with no fussing or waiting.
Alternatively one may want to mingle with guests or family and not tied to the kitchen.
Either way this dish fits the bill perfectly!

Again I praise the slow cooker. The answer to the busy working family or hostess.

This dish can be assembled in less then five minutes and yet tastes like you have been in the kitchen all day.

All you need to do is steam some white rice and your all set.

Fiesta? You bet!


Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
  • 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of black beans drained
  • 1 jar of salsa of choice (I used a mix of half each of medium and mango lime types)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin

Mix all except chicken in bowl.
Place chicken in a slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Serve over hot rice and garnish with Monterey Jack cheese if desired.


Wine Suggestion: Muscat

Cheers!

Mini Me


Now that I am back to work the dinner time preparation has become a shared task among all family members.
My girls love to help mixing the ingredients together and filling the muffin cups in this dish.
(They love cooking as much as I do!)
This variation takes the traditional meatloaf that normally takes an hour to cook and halves the cooking time to 30 minutes.
You can vary the additions to the meat to create your own creation.

In 30 minutes you can have mashed potatoes and green beans done to accompany this great all time favorite family meal.



Mini Greek Meat Loaves
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1 tbsp of oregano
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F In a bowl combine all ingredients .

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.

Fill each muffin pan until full.

Bake for 30 min or until internal temperature is 160F.


Wine Suggestion: Cabernet Sauvignon


Cheers!


T.G.I.F


This past Easter weekend many traditions were observed.
One of them that I have always done is serving fish on Good Friday.

Instead of lining up at a local fish and chips place for beer battered fish I decided to make my own this year.
I was surprised at how easy it is, and I don't even own a deep fryer.
I used cod here but any firm fleshed fish such as halibut, tilapia or pollock work well too.
Be sure to use a deep pot as the oil may splatter when the fish is submerged.

Serve with crisp french fries, malt vinegar and tarter sauce.
We thought this fish tasted better than any restaurant version we have had!
T.G.I.F. everyone! (Thank God its Fish! and Thank God its Friday!)

Beer Battered Cod Fish
  • Roughly 4 cups of vegetable,canola or safflower oil ( enough to fill the dutch oven about 4 inches deep and to cover the fish )
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 bottle of cold dark beer
  • cornstarch for coating
  • 1 1/2 pounds of firm fleshed fish fillets
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk in the beer until smooth and free of lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Place the cornstarch in a shallow plate. In small batches coat the fish in cornstarch and then dip into the batter.
Heat the oil in a deep dutch oven until it reaches 375 F.
Lower in to the oil with a slotted spoon. When the batter is set gently turn over and cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Wine Suggestion: Riesling or Lager

Cheers!



Hola!



In case your wondering I recently returned from a week long vacation on the Mayan Riviera, Hola means Hello in Spanish.
We had a great time, although while it was enjoyable eating from an all you can eat buffet every day I did miss cooking in my kitchen after awhile.

I came across this recipe and changed a few things. It brings back memories of my vacation with the spicy Mexican flavors. If you find jalapeno peppers too hot you can use chipotle or
pepperoncini peppers which are more subtle.
You don't need to use an expensive cut of beef for this dish. A blade, rump, round or sirloin tip which I have used here all work well.
Serve with corn and mashed potatoes with chipotle puree mixed in to complete this Mexican inspired meal.

The sun is shining, the air is warm..."Hola" spring!

Mexican Style Beef Roast

  • vegetable oil
  • beef roast of choice about 4 to 6 pounds
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 yellow and red pepper diced
  • 2 hot peppers such as jalapeno diced
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp each of oregano and cumin
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 dark beer
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • cornstarch water mix in a jar
Preheat oven to 300F

In a large dutch oven heat the oil and brown the roast on all sides.
Remove to a plate.
Add the onions garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice.
Bring to a low boil mixing well.
Return beef to the pan cover and place in the oven for 3 to 4 hours or until beef is fork tender.
Turn the beef a few times throughout the cooking process.
When the beef is done remove and tent with foil on a platter.
Place the dutch oven on stove top and bring the mixture to a low boil.
Add the lime juice.
In a small jar mix the cornstarch with cold water and mix well.
Add to
the sauce stirring well until desired thickness is reached.
Serve along side the
carved beef.

Wine Suggestion: Chilean Shiraz Blend




Cheers!








So Worth It

As the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait"
Well this is one of those things. The effort you need to put into this dish is well worth it in the end.

Risotto is a classic northern Italian dish made with high starch rice. The unique cooking method of using hot broth draws out the starch which thickens the broth making the dish very creamy.
You can vary the spices and add your own ingredients at the end such as peas, mushrooms or sun dried tomatoes. Risotto can be served as a main or side dish.

This is the definition of satisfying, slow food.

Parmesan & Herb Risotto

  • 10 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp each of oregano and parsley

Heat the chicken broth over medium heat in a pot.
In a wide sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic.
Cook until soft.
Pour in the rice and stir well for a few minutes to coat every grain and until they are lightly toasted.
Pour in the wine and stir quickly as the rice absorbs the wine.
Now begin to add the warm stock 1 cup at a time. Stirring well to make sure all the broth is absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup.
Repeat this process until the rice is tender and creamy. This process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
Taste often to determine the tenderness of the rice.
Add the cheese and herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately.

Wine Suggestion: Pinot Grigio

Cheers!




Puffed

This is one of those dishes that looks intimidating and labor intensive but really isn't.
I adapted this recipe that is in one of my Jamie Oliver cookbooks.
I thought I had everything to make it exactly as written but I was missing a couple of key ingredients ( like Guinness, mushrooms and raw cubed beef), so I just decided to use some leftover steak I had on hand and create my own version as I had already thawed the pastry.

I still plan on making the original however everyone thought my version turned out really good.



Deep Dish Beef Pie



  • olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 pound of cooked cubed beef steak or roast
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle of dark beer
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup of shredded old cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg of puff pastry thawed
  • 1 beaten egg


Heat oven to 375F

In a deep dutch oven heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrot, garlic and celery.
Cook until slightly softened.
Add the beef, butter and seasonings and mix well .
Add the beer , stir in the flour and bring to a simmer.
Cover and place in the oven for 1 hour or until sauce is dark and thickened.
Remove and stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile divide the puff pastry into two pieces, one third and two thirds. roll out the pastry on a floured surface to make a bottom and top for the buttered casserole dish you are using for the pie.

Line the dish with the larger of the pastry so that the sides hang over the edge.
Pour in the stew and top with remaining cheese.
Place the other piece of pastry on top and fold over the hanging pastry on top twisting slightly.
Cut a crisscross design with a sharp knife and brush the top with the beaten egg.
Bake for 45 minutes until top is golden and puffy.

Wine Suggestion: Shiraz or dark beer


Cheers!







Hibernation Time

Amazing..
in a matter of a few days we have gone from having no snow to nearly two feet.

Well this
is Canada, known for its harsh long winters.
Time to hunker down inside and soothe our souls with good comfort food.


I recently had this dish at a local restaurant over the holidays and loved it so much that I decided to recreate it at home . I felt the restaurant's version needed a bit of a boost of seasoning and more bacon.
Cooked chicken breast slices can be purchased in the deli section of most grocery stores or at Costco where I get mine.
This dish is very quick to put together making it either a great weeknight dish or for weekend entertaining.

Enjoy digging in to this comforting dish after you dig yourself out of the snow!


Smokey Bacon & Chicken Peppercorn Rigatoni

  • 1/2 a package of Rigatoni
  • 6 slices of bacon diced
  • 1 pound of warm sliced grilled boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • Roughly 1 cup each of  milk and cream
  • salt to taste
Cook the pasta according package directions.
Meanwhile in a heavy wide saucepan fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon to plate. Drain off the bacon fat and heat the oil.
Add the flour whisking until smooth .
Add the milk or cream whisking until the cream sauce is to your desired consistency.
Add the oregano, peppercorns, garlic and salt mixing well.
Drain the cooked pasta and toss in a large bowl with the bacon and cream sauce.
Serve onto pasta bowls and top with the chicken and grated Parmesan cheese.


Wine Suggestion: Merlot

Cheers!