Bon Appétit magazine recipes

American Thanksgiving 2015

There were two standouts from this year’s Thanksgiving dinner:

Roasted Beets with Beet Green Salsa Verde
Created by Tyler Florence for Food & Wine magazine, this dish uses ricotta, beets and their greens, dill, pomegranate seeds, olive oil and sherry vinegar. It is at once earthy and fresh, vibrant and creamy. If you can’t find beets with beautiful greens, Swiss chard or curly spinach leaves can be used instead.

Recipe

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The best thing I ate this month – October 2015

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Photograph by Peden & Munk

“These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!” “Where did you get these?” “Who made these?” “Seriously, where do I find them?” For the most part, that’s how the interrogation began moments after unleashing the Chocolate Chunk-Pumpkin Seed Cookies upon my colleagues. Some of the cookies somehow found their way around the campus buildings and that’s when the deluge of phone calls, texts, and emails began. I was sought out and I basked in the glow of celebrity. I became Kardashian-like for the next few hours. And it was all unintentional. (more…)

Best Recipes of Thanksgiving 2015

For Canadian Thanksgiving this year, I had the usually fare: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and vegetables. Of these, two recipes really stood out.

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Southern Dinner 2015

I’ve long ago surrendered to the fact that I was just born with smothered chicken gravy running through my veins. And why should I fight it? There are worse fates than having an innate ability to cook fried chicken and shrimp & grits. When it comes down to it, I am drawn by Southern cuisine’s hallowed traditions and unique cooking styles, its use of fresh ingredients, but mostly of its ability to provide feel-good comfort.

It is for this reason that every year I play host to a group of friends who indulge me in my zeal to create a Southern tradition north of the border. And I’m more than happy to be their comfort food ambassador. Here are some pics from this year’s “Southern Dinner.”

Recipe: Lee Bros. Fried Green Tomatoes

Every Southern Dinner begins the same: with Lee Bros. Fried Green Tomatoes. Tomatoes are especially delectably sliced and deep fried; their tangy flesh is a perfect foil for a rich, toasty crust. The tartness of the tomatoes are amped by the Buttermilk-Lime Dressing. This creamy herb dressing is refreshing and green, and the small amount of honey rounds out the acidity in the lime and buttermilk.

Recipe: Patti LaBelle's "Over the Rainbow" Mac & Cheese

As told in LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About, back in the 60’s when Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles was touring London, the British band, Bluesology, played backup. Elton John or Reggie Dwight as he was known in those days, was the band’s piano player. Patti writes that she used to prepare a savoury, spicy, soul food feast for the band members while on the road. It was Ms. LaBelle’s macaroni and cheese that Reggie loved the most. As you’ll note from the recipe, it’s made with five different kinds of cheese, and as she tells it, that’s how many times Reggie went back for more. In my house, it’s a Southern Dinner staple and we always go back for more. God bless Patti Labelle and her Mac N’ Cheese!

Recipe: Bon Appétit Skillet-Fried Chicken

What’s not to love about fried chicken?  The crunchy crisp crust, the fantastically moist and juicy meat,  the luscious flavours and textures. This recipe from Bon Appétit brings it all together in one easy to execute recipe. I can bring some down home Southern soul even way up North of the Mason-Dixon Line. As god is my witness, I will never use another fried chicken recipe again!

Recipe: Kil't Greens with Bacon Jam

In all the haste of getting the dinner on the table, I forgot to snap a solo pic of the most talked about dish of the night, Kil’t Greens with Bacon Jam. See below top-right for a small glimpse. Published in Garden & Gun, a magazine about the sporting, culture, food, music, art, and travel of the Southern United States, this recipe was simple as can be. When delicate greens meet a boiling-hot dressing of bacon, onion, and vinegar, they soften and wither immediately. The result? A savoury and syrupy deliciousness that made this dish the star of the night. Chef Ouita Michel serves a versatile version of this Appalachian classic at the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Kentucky.

Early Thanksgiving

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Who knew I could bake? For this early Thanksgiving dinner I attempted a Salted Caramel Apple-Pear Tart from Fine Cooking Magazine. It looked great (if I do say so myself) and was not too arduous. This lattice-topped tart combined fall fruit with cardamom. Salted caramel tied the flavours together and large-crystal sanding sugar on the lattice added crunch. The Classic Pumpkin Pie, also from Fine Cooking Magazine, had a flaky, buttery crust and a creamy, spiced pumpkin filling.

The other standout dish was the Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Onions (again from Fine Cooking Magazine) which was flavoured with thyme and a little cider vinegar. The soft and sweet onions nestled into the tender, roasted sprouts, so you got a taste of them with every bite.

I swear I’m not sponsored by Fine Cooking Magazine but I have to say that it was a nice having them by my side whilst cooking this whole feast.

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Salted Caramel Apple-Pear Tart

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Classic pumpkin pie

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Roasted brussel sprouts with caramelized onions

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Bread stuffing with fresh herbs

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Pecans

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Potato and Celery Root Gratin with Leeks

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Apricot-glazed turkey

Two amazing Thanksgiving recipes

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One down, one to go. Just finished serving up a scrumptious Canadian Thanksgiving spread and I’m gearing up to dish out American Thanksgiving in a few weeks. And there’s a common element in both of my feasts. The turkey and the cranberry sauce.

Try out Food & Wine’s Apricot-Glazed Turkey. This roasted turkey tastes as good as it looks. It’s rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with a mixture of coarse salt and pepper, and stuffed with bay leaves, lemons, garlic, thyme, roasemary and sage. The gorgeous mahogany colour comes from a glaze of lemon-infused apricot jam. The meat is flavourful and moist. And, it all cooks in less than three hours.

Cranberry Sauce

Bon Appétit’s Cranberry Sauce with Vanilla Bean and Cardamom is a tangy and flavourful relish. Fresh cardamom and vanilla seeds make for a version that’s sweet, sultry and exotic. It’s my family and friend’s favourite.

Southern Dinner 2014

The nature/nurture debate ends right here. I’ve had a full-on obsession with Southern cuisine as far back as I can remember. It is my favourite food. If I ever have the misfortune of being on death row, my last meal request will be Leah Chase’s Fried Chicken, Patti LaBelle’s Over-The-Rainbow Mac ‘N Cheese, Lee Bros. Fried Green Tomatoes, James Villas’ Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse-style Biscuits and some sweet tea with bourbon. I could then die in peace.

But where did I develop my admiration for Southern food? I mean, it’s a reasonable question and one that’s often asked. I’m a French-Canadian dude who lives far north of the Mason-Dixon line. I didn’t grow up under a cypress tree in Charleston nor did I visit any relatives in Augusta during summer break. I was raised squarely on escargots, soupe à l’oignon and Coquilles St-Jacques. Not a biscuit to be found for kilometers. So really, there is no explanation other than I’ve coveted fried okra and peach cobbler since my beginnings. I’ve long ago surrendered to the fact that I was just born with smothered chicken gravy running through my veins. And why should I fight it? There are worse fates than having an innate ability to cook fried chicken and shrimp & grits. When it comes down to it, I am drawn by the cuisine’s hallowed traditions and unique cooking styles, its use of fresh ingredients, but mostly to its ability to provide feel-good old-fashioned comfort.

It is for this reason that every year I play host to a group of friends who indulge me in my zeal to create a Southern tradition north of the border. And I’m more than happy to be their comfort food ambassador. Here are some pics from this year’s “Southern Dinner.”

Bon Appétit Skillet-Fried Chicken
Light, crispy, juicy, tender and delicious. This best describes Bon Appétit Skillet-Fried Chicken or as the magazine describes it, “the only fried chicken recipe you’ll ever need.”

Tart and brimming with brisk flavour and apple-like crunch, these fried tomatoes are topped with a refreshingly creamy butter-milk lime herb dressing. This dish is unusual and one that my friends clamor for every year.

Lee Bros. Cherry Tomato and Soybean Salad 
Soybeans are married with sweet cherry tomatoes and tossed with a buttermilk-basil dressing. A good, fresh-tasting complement to any Southern meal.

Lemon Meringue Pots de Crème
Light, airy and tangy with a delicate lemony flavour, these pots de crèmes were the perfect ending to the feast.

The guide to Thanksgiving 2013

Every year I vow to throw a Thanksgiving feast that will outdo all feast.  I act as the chief executive  gourmand presiding over a meal that I hope friends and family alike will love. For me, Thanksgiving is more than a culinary tradition. It is a day a day to pause, reflect and humbly offer thanks for our health and well-being. And the football and the food don’t hurt. Check-out this year’s recipes.

Food & Wine’s Apricot-Glazed Turkey

Fine Cooking’s Classic Potato Mash (Rosemary and Garlic)

Bon Appétit’s Classic Dressing

Food & Drink Magazine’s Warm Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Roquefort & Hazelnuts

Cook’s Illustrated Best Turkey Gravy

Bon Appétit’s Cranberry Sauce with Vanilla Bean and Cardamom

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

No One Diets on Thanksgiving!

Thanking is important. Giving is essential. That’s why Thanksgiving is just simply the perfect holiday. Not overly commercial, no need to buy gifts, the drama is at a minimum and it’s mostly about the food. And that’s the way I like it.

I love Thanksgiving so much that I celebrate it twice. Canadian Thanksgiving in October with my family and American Thanksgiving in November with my friends. The double holiday gives me an opportunity to cook some of my favourite food and watch some football. So without further ado, check out my Canadian thanksgiving family feast below!

I’ve cooked many turkeys in my lifetime but I always keep coming back to this recipe from Food & Wine magazine, Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Fresh Herb Gravy.  I do appreciate how delicious the bird always turns out. Stuff the turkey with herbs, some garlic, baste it in the last half-hour and it’s done!
This next dish is my favourite. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Pecans from Bon Appétit magazine. The secret is to whip the cooked sweet potatoes in a food processor and then top them with butter, brown sugar and pecans. So good, you don’t understand.

If there is a dish that I couldn’t care less about it’s mashed potatoes. Never been my favourite. But my mom and sister covet them with such intensity that I make sure that the spuds I serve are first-class. I try and keep it simple. This recipe is for Rosemary Mashed Potatoes from Bon Appétit magazine. And there’s usually a healthy portion left over for take away (cause I certainly won’t be eating them).

Maple- and Tangerine Glazed Carrots from (where else?) Bon Appétit magazine are easy to make. A pinch of cayenne pepper adds a little bit of a kick to them.

I quite liked these green beans and will probably make them again. Cook the green beans and then toss them with a vinaigrette. Pretty simple. Check out the recipe for Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette.

The stuffing was not the best in the world but my family enjoyed it. I usually make the stuffing from scratch using country bread but I ran out of time. I used Marcy’s Gourmet Stuffing Mix from Costco.

I dont eat cranberry sauce other than this one. Check out the recipe for Cranberry Sauce with Vanilla Bean and Cardamom.

And for the finale, my mom made pies. Sugar and pumpkin. They were both delicious (as usual).

That marked the end of Canadian Thanksgiving 2012 and we were all officially stuffed. One Thanksgiving down, one more to go. And for that (and may other things), I am thankful.