There must have been a day when summer was officially switched off and autumn’s chill began in earnest. Now that the clocks have gone back, those late summer breezes and golden afternoons are warm memories we invoke as we light the first fires of the dark months.
Before I share the delicious recipes we enjoyed at our September meetup, here are the details of our November Gathering, which will be hosted by the lovely Jean!
- Date: Thursday, November 19
- Time: 6.30pm-ish
- Where: Jean’s house. Email me at email@example.com to confirm your spot and get directions.
- Theme: Cold Weather Comfort Food. The frost has begun – what dish do you reach for when the season begins to turn towards winter?
- What to bring: Your glorious creations don’t have to be baked, but you can certainly bake if you want to! Also, remember your Tupperware for leftovers!
On with the September recipes!
It was a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon when our small clan of foodies gathered at SummerGate Winery in Prairie Valley. Not only did we get to sip wine with our goodies, but owner Gillian Stohler treated us to samples of Kerner juice as well as juice that had been partially fermented, on its way to becoming wine. If you ever get the opportunity to taste organic wine in these different phases, I highly recommend it!
They have a tradition at SummerGate of serving a special dish to celebrate young fermenting wine known as federweisser. Zwiebelkuchen, aka Onion Pie, is a rich dish that will make your house smell heavenly. Think of bacon, sour cream, onion (lots of onion) and fresh oregano. The recipe can be found on their website. It would be splendid with a green salad, and, of course, a glass of good wine. http://www.summergate.ca/our-wines-2/our-recipes/
Jean’s Zucchini Stuffing Casserole
This dish is so Moorish, I think Jean could make it for our comfort food meetup and those of us who have already tried it would be perfectly happy to eat it again!
- 7 cups chopped zucchini-bite sized cubes
- 1 small chopped onion
- 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 c. shredded carrot
- 1 box ‘Stove Top Stuffing’
In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in boiling salted water about 8 minutes. Drain well. Saute onion and carrot in a little margarine until soft. Combine this with soup, sour cream and about 2/3 box of stuffing bread and seasoning. Fold in zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining stuffing mix on top. Bake in casserole dish about 30 minutes at 350′.
Denise’s Caramelized Apple, Bacon, Onion and Blue Cheese Pizza
I could eat this pizza again and again, provided lovely Denise would make it for me. Thank you, Denise, for taking the time to slowly caramelize onions. It is a much beloved treat that I rarely get to indulge in because I usually run out of patience and burn them.
I made a spelt pizza dough and let it rise until doubled then spread it onto an oiled large 10 x 15 inch stone pizza pan. You can use whole wheat, coconut, or any crust you prefer.
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 large kale leaf, diced
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 small round of brie, cut into small slices
- 4 tart apples (I used McIntosh), peeled. Sliced and soaked in a saucepan with 1 cup maple syrup.
- 4 slices of softly cooked bacon, diced. Lay bacon on paper towel to soak up the excess oils.
- 1 to 3 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- Heat oven to 470F
- Soak your sliced apples in a saucepan and gently warm to absorb maple syrup. I used just enough syrup to gently coat the apples.
- Heat your skillet on medium head and add the butter and the onions. Occasionally stir onions and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until they are soft and caramelized.
- Add the kale to the onions and lightly cook.
- Sprinkle the pan of pizza dough with a little olive oil.
- Sprinkle pizza dough lightly with the mozzarella.
- Sprinkle the pizza dough with blue cheese and the small slices of brie.
- Top with the apple slices, then bacon, then caramelized onion and kale, and chopped rosemary.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is baked through and the edges are lightly golden brown.
Lory’s Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini
These are one of those appies that are easy to pick up, and pick up, and pick up, and before you know it you’ve eaten six. Hey, it could happen to anyone!
Gerri’s Mediterranean Terrine
What a beautiful dish this was. Like something out of a magazine. If there is one among us who can make photographing food easy, it’s Gerri. Just look at it! Yum. Now, when Gerri sent me the recipe she forgot the cheese layer, so I’m doctoring things using her follow-up instructions and hopefully I’ll get them right. If you’re confused, just look at the photo and wing it! As long as you get the flavours right, it’s bound to be delicious.
Choose a theme and layer the ingredients inside a suitable shaped container (I used a bread pan) and plastic wrap the whole inside with lots sticking over the edges.
Cut a couple of good sized eggplants in one inch slices lengthwise, salt and brush with oliver oil. Roast the eggplant in the oven on “broil” for about 10 minutes each side – cut the soft slices into strips and cover the bottom of your pan with one half of the slices.
Next layer – some white kidney or navy beans mixed well with juice of one lemon and 1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin (or any spice you prefer). You could also mash the beans and the juice and spice – it will probably hold together better but I like the look of the whole beans.
Next layer – roast some peppers – red or any colour – I used our garden yellow Hungarian peppers. Cut in strips and cover the beans with roasted peppers.
Tomato layer – puree four or five fresh really ripe tomatoes and two whole cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup parsley (or you could of course use basil or oregano) – just until it is blended – don’t liquify it. Spread over top of eggplants.
Put another layer of the roasted eggplant strips here.
For the last layer you mix up some good feta cheese with all fat greek yogurt and press it onto the other layers.
Cover with plastic wrap and a piece of stiff cardboard that fits just inside the container so you can put heavy weights on top of it. Put in fridge overnight and when ready, put plate on top, flip over and gently pull the terrine out of the container with the plastic wrap you have left hanging out.
You can make terrines out of anything – choose a theme and layer away!
Laura’s Pull Apart Bread
Not only was this bread delicious with white wine, but it would also be rather grand with beer. It’s the kind of thing that would be a hit at a dinner part or watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s just so tasty.
Makes 1 9″x5″ loaf
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- handful fresh basil, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
Make the dough:
- In a large bowl, heat milk and water until warm – about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the rest of the dough ingredients (butter through flour) to the milk mixture, stirring everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand (or with a dough hook attachment) until it’s smooth and elastic – this will take about 10 minutes (or less if using a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Make the filling:
- While the dough rises, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
Shape and bake the loaf:
- Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and cut it into 1″ pieces. Roll each piece of dough in the oil mixture and transfer to the prepared pan; continue until the bottom of the pan is covered. Then sprinkle on half the tomatoes and half the mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining dough pieces to the pan and top with the rest of the tomatoes and cheese.
- Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- About 15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove pan from oven and turn out bread onto a wire rack. Let cool slightly before serving.
And that does it! I look forward to seeing what everyone makes for our comfort food meetup later this month.