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November comfort food

By November, we’re all hunkered down for winter with the crops in the bin, the vegetables all safely stored, the garden put to bed and the first snowflakes beginning to fall. Spending time in the kitchen preparing warm meals feels relaxing and rewarding. This beef curry is easy to make in the slow cooker.

BEEF CURRY

2 tbsp. butter

1 c. finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 lbs. boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 c. beef broth

3 tbsp. coconut

2 tbsp. curry powder

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. salt 2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 c. flour

1/4 c. water

1/2 c. cream

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in butter until tender. Transfer into Crock-Pot. Brown stewing beef in oil; add to onions and garlic. Add beef broth, coconut, curry powder, tomato paste, salt, bay leaves and thyme. Combine water and flour and mix to a smooth paste and add to mixture in Crock-Pot. Cover and cook until meat is tender and sauce has thickened; about 4 hours on “high.” Stir in cream and serve over rice. Serves 6.

VEGETABLE FRITTATA

From Canadian Living magazine

This makes a hearty, healthy main dish on days when you have to get dinner in a hurry. Serve with a whole-grain bread and salad.

1 sweet potato (8 oz.)

2 c. chopped broccoli

4 eggs

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1/4 c. chopped green onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried tarragon

1/4 c. shredded fontina cheese OR other mild cheese

Peel sweet potato; cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in steam basket over boiling water; cook, covered for 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cook, covered for 4 minutes or until potato is tender and broccoli is tender-crisp; set aside. Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper; set aside. In 9-inch ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic and tarragon, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until softened. Arrange sweet potato mixture in bottom of skillet, pour egg mixture over top. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for about 12 minutes or until bottom is golden and edges are set but centre still jiggles slightly. Sprinkle cheese over top; broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden and cheese is bubbly. Makes 4 servings.

MARINATED GARDEN TOMATOES

From 2002 Taste of Home Annual Recipes 6 large tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions

1/3 c. olive OR canola oil

1/4 c. red wine vinegar OR cider vinegar

1/4 c. minced fresh parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. snipped fresh thyme OR 1 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Place tomatoes and onions in a shallow serving bowl. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over tomatoes. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Yield: 10 servings.

CHEESY POTATO CASSEROLE

This recipe also works well using leftover potatoes.

2 lbs. potatoes

1-1/2 c. sour cream

1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 medium carrots, shredded

1/3 c. minced onion

2 tbsp. minced parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika

Cook potatoes with peel until tender; peel and shred. Combine potatoes with sour cream, 1 cup cheese and remaining ingredients except paprika. Turn into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and paprika. Bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

BAKED BEETS

From the Canadian Honey Recipe Book 1 lb. beets, pared and thinly sliced

1 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. grated orange rind

1/3 c. orange juice

1 tbsp. butter

Slice beets thinly. Combine honey, salt, cloves, orange rind and orange juice and mix with prepared beets in l-quart baking dish. Dot with butter; cover and bake at 375F for 1 hour or until tender. Serves 4.

CARROT PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE

3 eggs, beaten

1 c. melted butter

1 c. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. crushed pineapple, undrained

2 c. grated carrots

3 c. whole-wheat flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1-1/2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1-1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Combine eggs, butter, honey and vanilla; beat well. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients; beat into egg mixture. Stir in pineapple and grated carrots. Pour into greased, floured bundt pan and bake at 325F for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove. Ice, if desired, with your favourite cream cheese icing.

PUMPKIN PECAN BARS

1/2 c. butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

1-1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

1 c. oatmeal

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. puréed pumpkin

1 c. half-and-half cream

1/4 c. honey

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat until creamy. Add flour, oats, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt; mix until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup flour mixture, press remainder on bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine pumpkin, eggs, honey, half-and-half cream, spice, vanilla and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread over crust.

In a small bowl combine reserved 1/2 cup flour mixture with pecans, and sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until set. Cool. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

Edna Manning writes from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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