Family favourites (old and new)

Our Family Recipes

Our Family Recipes

Family favourites (old and new)

Recent Posts

Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken

Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken

Quick and easy oven baked chicken recipe that is delicious and filling without the deep fryer. You can add whatever spices you prefer. These were the ones my Mom used. Ingredients 2 egg whites fresh ground pepper 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup) 1 tsp […]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes

Double the veg, double the fun and all in one pan. Ingredients 2 lbs small Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed and halved. 3 Tbsp olive oil 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 2 large sweet potatoes, cut in 1″ dice 1/2 tsp cinnamon 3 […]

Spatchcocked Turkey with Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Zest Dry Brine

Spatchcocked Turkey with Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Zest Dry Brine

If you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen watching your turkey roast and wringing your hands over whether the breast is going to dry out before the thighs cook through, a spatchcocked, dry brined bird is for you. Spatchcocking just means cutting out the backbone of the bird and then flattening the works (aka butterflying the bird). To do this, you need a pair of good, sharp kitchen shears and for god sake be CAREFUL. The ER is on holiday hours and having to sit in triage instead of snarfing pumpkin pie would totally suck.

I’m not going to go into chapter and verse on why this is the best way to cook a bird. I can tell you it produces a juicy, flavourful bird in about a 1/3 of the time as any other method we’ve tried. If you need further convincing, go read Serious Eats’ treatise, How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Eastiest Thanksgiving Turkey.

Ingredients

  • 1 14 lb turkey (no reason you couldn’t use a chicken if you wanted to)

Dry Brine

  • 1/2 C Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest of one whole lemon

Method

  1. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Pat the turkey dry with paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle the dry brine mixture all over the bird (all surfaces). The bird should be well coated although not encrusted.
  4. You will most likely not need all the salt.
  5. Transfer the bird to a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 12 to 24 hours (yes, you read right, uncovered for 12 to 24 hours).

This is how it looks before going into the oven

Spatchcocked turkey

  1. Without rinsing (we did brush off the excess salt), roast the bird omitting additional salting steps in this recipe: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/11/butterfiled-roast-turkey-with-gravy-recipe.html

It’ll take about 80 minutes.

Giblet Gravy Stock

Giblet Gravy Stock

We don’t have any “written in stone” rules for making giblet gravy stock, but this is the one my Mother made for Thanksgiving 2019. Don’t feel like you have to follow the recipe slavishly, it’s just a base. Hate one of the ingredients? Leave it […]

Extra Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Extra Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Pie

The original for this recipe comes from Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Pie a House & Home recipe. However, at our house we use only butter in pie crusts (it’s a taste preference) and we have found that most recipes under-spice the pie filling (no wimpy pumpkin […]

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Port

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Port

Cranberry orange sauce with a hit of port is the perfect compliment to juicy turkey. This recipe for cranberry orange sauce is quick, easy, and can be made the day before. In fact, it’s better if you do make it the day before to let the flavours blend.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (you can use frozen in a pinch)
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 3/4 C port
  • Zest and juice of one large orange

Method

  1. Wash and drain cranberries. Pick out “ta rotten vons” as my Mummu used to say.
  2. Put the cranberries and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar melts.
  3. Add the port and juice from the orange, stir and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes or until the cranberries start to pop.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest and allow to cool. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to serve.
Pappa’s Pan-seared Scallops with Lemon and Caper Sauce

Pappa’s Pan-seared Scallops with Lemon and Caper Sauce

My Dad’s family is originally from Nova Scotia and he’s always loved scallops. On my first night home for Thanksgiving weekend he whipped up a batch of pan-seared scallops with a lemon and caper sauce from the Recipe Critic. So good and all done in […]

Rob’s Raita

Rob’s Raita

This was a sauce that my friend Rob whipped up to go with Yakhni West Point Grey Pilau. It’s not like your completely non-spicy cucumber raita, it’s cooling but it also has a kick from the bird’s eye chili. It was so delicious I thought […]

Yakhni West Point Grey Pilau in the Rice Cooker

Yakhni West Point Grey Pilau in the Rice Cooker

I’m staying with my friends Rob and Annabel for a few weeks this summer, the why of this is a long story involving kids that were not actually supposed to be home for the summer, love you babies ;). Anyway, both Rob and Annabel love to cook and the last time we cooked together (really they cooked, I watched and ate) the result was an invented dish we called Annabel’s Chicken Thighs on Fennel Pillows. During our cooking adventure, Rob said he wanted to try making his favourite Pilau dish (Yakhni Pilau)…in the rice cooker. Gasp, I know right? Now, I love my rice cooker, and my slow cooker and really anything that reduces the amount of time one must slave over a hot stove unnecessarily (risotto aside), so I said, YES! this must be done. So we did, with the help of The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon (circa 1976) and the family rice cooker (circa Panasonic ha ha). Here is how it went.

Flavourful stock

  • 1 small whole chicken cut into pieces (legs, wings, back, breast)
  • 6 cardamon pods
  • 16 black pepper corns
  • 4 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 half large onion studded with 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

Method

  1. Place all the stock ingredients in a large pot (we used a 3.5 Quarts pot).
  2. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 1 hour, 2 is better.
  3. While the stock is simmering prep the rice.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces and allow them to cool.
  5. Strain the stock and measure 4 cups.
  6. Remove the chicken from the bones and cut or tear into bite-size pieces.

Rice

  • 2 1/2 C long grain rice
  • 4 Tbsp butter + Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 1/4 tsp saffron strands
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 3 Tbsp rose water
  • 1/4 cup currants (or sultanas)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (or fried almonds)
  • 1 cup hot cook green peas
  • 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs, halved

Method

  1. Wash rice thoroughly and allow to dry for at least an hour.
  2. Heat the butter and coconut oil in a large frying pan.
  3. Add the onions and saute until golden.
  4. Add saffron, garlic and ginger and fry one minute stirring constantly.
  5. Add the rice and fry 5 minutes longer over moderate heat, stirring with a slotted spoon (this prevents the rice from breaking).
  6. Get out the rice cooker (yes, you heard me).
  7. Add the rice and onion mixture to the rice cooker.
  8. Add the stock, garam masala, cardamon pods, rose water, currants (or sultanas) and the reserved chicken pieces.
  9. Stir well.
  10. Set rice cooker to white rice setting or “quick start” setting depending on your rice cooker.
  11. Walk away (have a G&T).
  12. When rice is cooked, let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff gently with a fork.
  13. Place on a service dish, garnish with pistachios, peas and eggs.

Serve hot accompanied by pickles, Rob’s Raita, and crisp fried pappadams.

This was a phenomenal dish. Full of flavour and would be superb with a lamb curry.

 

The Cass-tini: the Pomegranate Martini to Celebrate Special Birthdays

The Cass-tini: the Pomegranate Martini to Celebrate Special Birthdays

My friend Laura made this tasty pomegranate martini in honour of our friend Cassandra’s birthday. They are yummy, but be careful, they go down waaaaay too easy.


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