Wine Braised Oxtail Stew

This is a perfect make ahead dish- it improves with flavor if you cook it one day and serve the next. You can make it and serve it same day if you like though. Same day -you will need about 7 hours start to finish. It is only about 30 + 30 minutes of hands on time to prep it for the oven and then strip the meat and reduce the sauce. Or you can prep and braise it one day and strip and reheat heat the next. Continue reading “Wine Braised Oxtail Stew”

German Rouladen

Rouladen is a traditional German recipe which literally translates to ‘roll ups’.  It is melt in your mouth by the time it has simmered in its juices for an hour or two.  This is a typical Sunday dinner or holiday recipe.   Continue reading “German Rouladen”

Eggplant Napoleons

Eggplant Napoleons

We are having a heat wave in Ontario this week so I was planning for a meal that I could cook on the grill.  I was working on a ‘supper on a stick’ theme!  I experimented with various types of meatballs that I could skewer and then I hit on these little vegetable stacks.  They turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

I used Kirkland Basil Pesto sauce ready made. There are lots of awesome pesto recipes out there but I don’t always have enough basil to make my own.  And.. have you seen the price of pine nuts lately?  They are crazy expensive.. so I looked it up. Apparently pine nuts typically come from China or Russia.  The crops have not been up to par for the past 2 years while demand was going up as people became aware of them as an ingredient for pestos, sauces,  salads etc.  Add to that the process of extracting the nuts from the pine cones is very labour intensive… and here we are today…expensive pine nuts.

You may find that the large end of the eggplant is too big to use for this recipe,depending on the size and the  shape of the eggplant you use.  I only used the ‘neck’ portion to make 8 vegetable stacks.  I used up the fat end in another delicious Vegetable Strudel recipe.   Elegant and good for you too!

I also experimented with using mini Bocconcini cheese in the spirit of a Caprese salad on a stick but it melted as it cooked and was too bland.  The goat cheese was far better since the eggplant really only takes on whatever flavour you add to it.  You could use other dense, flavourful cheeses as well.  Just be sure they don’t melt too quickly and slide off the base.



Veal Stock

I wish I had understood the value of a real veal stock much earlier in my cooking career!  I am in love with real stock. Let’s face it – we put a lot of time and effort into many of the dishes we create for  friends and family. I was often irritated that I couldn’t quite get that same umami level you get in a good restaurant. Well-I finally learned – it is the veal stock!! Continue reading “Veal Stock”