February 27, 2007

Cooking Club - Restaurant Recipes

Recipes from your favourite restaurant was the topic of our most recent Cooking Club. It turned out fairly well and amazingly enough there were no duplicates.

Here is the menu:

Danielle - Creole Peanut Soup from Magnolia Grill in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Jillian - Spinach Special Deep Dish Pizza from PizzaPapalis in Detroit, Michigan
Dana - Mushroom and Horseradish Beef Tips from Three in Windsor, Ontario
Rosemary - White Chocolate Brownies from Moxies across Ontario

Pizza Papalis – Spinach Special

Premade Pizza dough (make my own if you have time – I didn’t)

1 bag of baby spinach, washed, dried
½ pound fresh mushrooms, washed and cut into 1/8" slices (optional)
1 small onion, cut into 1/8" slices (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ lb whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used skim)
¾ cup ricotta cheese (or how ever much looks good)
¼ cup freshly grated Asiago (or parmesan) cheese (or how ever much looks good)
Salt & pepper, to taste

While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 500-degrees F. Prepare the filling by heating the olive oil in a large skillet and adding the spinach, garlic, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the spinach wilts and most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Drain the spinach in a colander and set aside until needed. Cook the mushrooms and onions and set aside until needed.

Topping Recipe
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and roughly crushed
2-3 tablespoons pesto sauce (or 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves and 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped)
¼ cup freshly grated Asiago (or parmesan) cheese

Roll the large portion of dough out into a 16" circle. Place the dough into a lightly greased deep-dish pizza pan. The dough should come up on the sides. Put layer of half the cheese, followed by a layer of all the spinach, then all the mushrooms and onion and then the remaining cheese. Roll out the remaining dough into a 14" circle and place it on top of the filling. Pinch the top and side edges together to seal (cut off excess dough). Prick the top with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 500-degrees F. for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400-degrees F. and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Mix tomatoes with pesto (or basil and garlic), spread on top and then sprinkle with Asiago during the last 10 minutes of baking time.

Moxie's White Chocolate Brownie
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside. Using a large pan, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Let this cool for about 10 minutes and then add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to beat well after adding each egg.
Add the flour mixture, the nuts and the chocolate chips and blend well. Spread in the greased pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides. Cut into small squares when cool.

**Garnish with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream and Chocolate/Fudge sauce

February 24, 2007


There is nothing more enticing than the smell of warm popcorn being freshly popped. A friend of mine adores popcorn. He only wishes that he had one of those huge movie sized poppers in the middle of his living room - that and a bunch of pepperettes and the guy is set for life.

The Globe and Mail discusses the idea of a popcorn bar, in a recent article. I love the idea of "Chipotle Caramel Corn" - what's not to like about something spicy, sweet and salty?

February 16, 2007

Colbert On A Cone

Stephen Colbert has landed his own ice cream. Ben & Jerry's was able to create a flavour that is called "The sweet taste of Liberty in your mouth".
Colbert responded to the news of this new flavour by stating "I'm not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda. What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case."
Source: USA Today

February 13, 2007

And I Thought French Laundry Was Expensive!

Check this out. A meal totalling $25,000 per person in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mmmm, Dom sorbet and truffles? Stupid budget...

February 8, 2007

Chili Cookoff

Once again, I did not even come close to winning the Annual SuperBowl Chili CookOff. Booo! Personally, I think it tasted fine - but most people think that plain is better than fancy. The tomatoey ones always seem to score highest!

Here is my losing recipe - adapted from Epicurious.

Danielle's Cincinnati Chili

3 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
chopped6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5 lbs hot pork sausage
1 pound ground beef chuck
1/3 cup chili powder
2 T chili flakes
1 T tabasco sauce
1 T cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried orégano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 cups water
a 16-ounce can tomato sauce
large can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans

In a large heavy kettle cook the onions, peppers and the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are softened, add the beef and sausage, and cook the mixture, stirring and breaking up the lumps, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the spices and cocoa and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, the water, the tomatoes, tomato sauce, the vinegar, brown sugar and the molasses and simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep the meat barely covered, for 2 hours, or until it is thickened but soupy enough to be ladled. Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with salt and pepper. The chili may be frozen or made 4 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled.

Makes about 8 cups, serving 6.