Recipes – Dana Shortt Gourmet

Recent Recipes

Caramelized onion, bacon + beer dip

Delicious served with fresh baguette, crackers, potato chips and/or vegetables.

Caramelized onion, bacon + beer dip

Ingredients

2 tablespoons DANA’S harissa olive oil (or any unflavoured extra virgin olive oil)

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup beer (we use Abe Erb “buggywhip” – an IPA)

375 grams cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons maple syrup

½ tsp cayenne

½ cup beer (we use Abe Erb “buggywhip” – an IPA)

4 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped

4 green onions, finely chopped

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese (we use smoked cheddar cheese)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add ¼ cup beer and saute for an additional 10-20 minutes, until the onions are brown and starting to caramelize. Cool.
  2. Place the cream cheese, Dijon, maple syrup, cayenne, ½ cup beer, bacon, onions and cheddar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the reserved onions and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Serve with vegetables and/or crackers and chips.

 

Wild Mushroom Risotto

The perfect cold-weather comfort food!

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

2 tablespoons DANA’s wild mushroom and sage infused olive oil (or substitute unflavoured evoo)

2, 8 oz packages of sliced cremini mushrooms

1.5 cups dried wild mushrooms, soaking in 2.5 cups boiling water

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3 tablespoons DANA’s garlic infused olive oil (or substitute unflavoured evoo)

¾ cup shallots, finely diced

2 cups Arborio rice

¼ cup brandy

½ cup white wine

4-5 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine

¼ cup parmesan cheese, additional for serving, if desired

Salt and pepper, to taste

White truffle oil, for drizzling, if desired

Method

  1. Heat two tablespoons wild mushroom and sage olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the cremini mushrooms and saute until they are soft and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. After the dried mushrooms have been soaking for 20 minutes, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the mushroom liquid for step #6. Puree the mushrooms (without the water) in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of garlic olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots. Saute until shallots begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in the centre, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of warm broth. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes. Add 3 more cups broth, one cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next and stirring frequently, about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Stir in the reserved sautéed cremini mushrooms, reserved pureed wild mushrooms, thyme and rosemary. Add the reserved mushroom liquid (the liquid that the dried mushrooms were soaking in) 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next and stirring frequently.
  7. Remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until butter has melted. Note – if the risotto is dry or the rice isn’t quite cooked, add more broth by 1/3 cup, stirring frequently, until desired doneness is reached.
  8. Portion risotto into bowls or on plates and top with additional parmesan cheese and/or a drizzle of white truffle oil, if desired.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Recipe adapted from Tina Roberts “Two Sisters Cookbook”

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Ingredients

for sauce:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup red onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (can substitute 1/3 cup chopped basil if you don’t like cilantro)

1 1/2 cup clamato juice

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup horseradish

2 Tbsp salsa

2 ripe but firm avocados, diced

 

for shrimp:

2 lbs. shrimp. 31/40 size, peeled deveined, tails removed

3 Tbsp DSG+G Persian Lime olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Multigrain tortilla chips or scoops for serving

Method

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for a few hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place shrimp on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake shrimp for 4 minutes, turn, bake for another 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked. Remove from oven and let shrimp cool. Chop shrimp into 3/4″ pieces (note – if using small size shrimp, leave whole).
  3. Add shrimp to sauce mixture 30-60 minutes before serving. Return to fridge.
  4. Serve shrimp in individual glasses or bowls with tortilla scoops on the side for serving.

Tofu with Leeks and Peanut Sauce

This is by far my favourite “meatless meal”. I know it sounds a little strange, but it is so delicious!

Credit goes to Nettie Cronish (author of “The Idiot’s Guide to Being a Vegetarian”). When I was attending chef school, I also worked at Dish Cooking Studio and Upstairs at Loblaws Cooking School, assisting chef’s in the kitchen.

Nettie taught classes at both of these venues, and through working with her, I gained an appreciation of the wonderful flavours of vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

You’ll see that the recipe calls for “arame” which is a sea vegetable (a type of seaweed). It is a good introduction to seaweed because of it’s mild taste. It is high in calcium and zinc, and has cancer fighting properties. You can findit in health food stores or well stocked grocery stores. The dish is still delicious without the arame, should you wish to leave it out.

Again, you’ll have to trust me on this one! Even a meat lover enjoys this dish.

Tofu with Leeks and Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 leeks, white part, sliced and well-washed
  • 1 each red and green pepper, slices
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup arame, soaked in 1c cold water,
  • 5 mins, drained
  • 1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp. natural peanut butter (not sweetened)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp tamari (you can substitute soya sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Method

 

  1. Heat 2 tbsps sesame oil in large skillet over medium/high heat.
  2. Stir in leeks and peppers, stir fry for 3 minutes.
  3. Add carrot, ginger, and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Layer arame over the stir fry  vegetables.
  5. Cover with a lid and remove from heat.
  6. In medium bowl, whisk together remaining sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, vinegar, tamari and cayenne pepper.
  7. Add tofu to sauce and toss to coat.
  8. Add tofu mixture to vegetables and return to heat.
  9. Stir fry for 3 minutes (until heated through) 

“Spa” Granola

The more my business grows, the more I make it a goal to take better care of myself. I had a handful of spa gift certificates tucked away and I was determined to use them up! I am happy to say that I had a few wonderful spa experiences – part of the spa experience (at least for me, anyway) is lingering in the lounge afterwards, sipping tea and munching on granola.

Here is a low-cal, low-fat spa granola recipe from chef Kate Dowhan of Guelph. I assisted chef Kate back in 2000 when she was teaching a low cal spa class in Toronto. This granola is delicious with milk, yogurt or on it’s own as a light snack.

“Spa” Granola

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole, unblanched almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • yogurt, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 F.
  2. Toss all of the granola ingredients (except the fresh fruit) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Spread thinly on a baking sheet and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring often so that the mixture browns evenly.
  4. When the granola is golden and the texture starts to become crunchy, remove and let cool.
  5. To serve, place yogurt in a bowl and top with granola and fresh fruit.

Banana Cream Pie

I had my parents over for dinner to thank them for all of their support. I had good intentions of preparing a fabulous 5 course meal…..but the work week got away from me (so I ended up serving something a little simpler).

I did, however, manage to bake one of my Dad’s favourite desserts – banana cream pie. This is a very simple recipe and it’s great when there isn’t a lot of fresh fruit in season.

Thanks again Mom and Dad!

Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3-4 ripe bananas,
  • peeled and sliced
    toasted coconut, optional
  • fresh whipped cream, optional

Method

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Melt butter in a microwave safe dish. Add mashed banana, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix well until moist.
  3. Press onto bottom and sides of a 10″ diameter glass or tin foil pie dish.
  4. Bake crust until golden and set – about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling

  1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in whipping cream, milk, and egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (or add 1.5 tsp vanilla extract).
  2. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful – it can scorch/burn very easily!
  3. Remove custard from heat. Whisk in butter (preferably unsalted butter). Discard vanilla bean, if using. Transfer custard to large bowl; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.
  4. Stir custard to loosen, if necessary. Spread 1 cup custard over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set – a couple of hours or up to one day.

Notes

Optional – When I’m feeling decadent, I like to top the pie with freshly whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Dana’s Irresistible Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • ¼ cup shallots, minced
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • ½ cup red or orange bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, use more if you like a lot of mayo
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (optional, if you like it spicy)

Method

  1. Using a box grater, grate the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

Serve on artisan baguette, olive bread or croissants. For a low carb option, use rice paper or lettuce wraps.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lbs sirloin tip roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • vegetable oil, as needed
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups dry red wine (optional: additional wine for the chef)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 lb button mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 cups pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned and fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Toss beef in flour mixture.
  3. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the bacon fat for 3-5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides and adding a little oil as needed. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of sear.
  4. Stir in chopped onions, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until onions are softened.
  5. Stir in garlic and reserved bacon and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme and mushrooms.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 1½ hours or until meat is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and pearl onions.  Cook until browned.
  8. Once meat in the stew pot is tender, stir in pearl onions; simmer stew another 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  9. Serve over buttery mashed potatoes and sprinkle with parsley.

Toasted Almond Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds, well toasted and finely ground
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons liquid honey
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola oil)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and roast the nuts until they are tobacco colour. The nuts will begin to have the aroma of coffee beans roasting.  Remove from the oven and cool.
  3. Once cool, place almonds into the work bowl of a food processor and finely grind.  Set aside.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, add the vinegar and dissolve the salt and pepper into the vinegar.  Whisk Dijon and honey into the vinegar.  Slowly whisk in the oil.  Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Mix in the ground nuts until well combined.

Notes

Drizzle dressing over chopped romaine, baby spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. Add sliced vegetables such as carrots, cucumber and tomatoes, if desired. Or try serving with fresh or dried fruits and crumbled goat cheese.

Store any unused dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Pasta Bar + Kid-friendly Avocado Fettuccine

Ingredients

FOR SAUCE

  • 1 large (or 2 small) ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 egg, raw *
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, if your kids like it (mine don’t unfortunately!)

*if you’d prefer not to use raw egg or want to keep the recipe vegan, substitute a few tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil for the egg (and omit the cheese and bacon as well, when assembling).

FOR PASTA

  • 1, 454 gram box fettuccini (I buy the high fibre kind – my kids like the “Catelli Smart” brand because it tastes like white pasta)
  • ½ cup cooked, chopped bacon pieces
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper and fresh chopped herbs, optional

Method

  1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse the garlic on high until minced. Add all other ingredients and pulse until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Once pasta is cooked, drain quickly and then toss with avocado sauce until well coated. Add in cooked bacon and parmesan, top with additional black pepper and fresh herbs (slivered basil, chopped parsley or chives), if desired.
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