Christmas Short Ribs

Okay let’s get fancy! Christmas is all about bringing your closest peeps together and offering them your best of the best around the holidays. That is why I am bringing you beef short ribs braised in red wine and seasoned with sour cranberries and savoury rosemary. These short ribs are insanely delicious and the best part, easy as pie! I choose this recipe as short ribs have always been such a treat in our household that they were saved for a special occasion, and what is more special than Santy-Clause?! This dish can be prepared the day before for easy holiday serving or day of, it’s a one pot, make-it-and-forget-it kind of a dish. 

The Short Rib?

A little story about the beef short ribs. It is the most tender part of the cow (especially when it’s cooked for 3 hours on low heat), which is why you tend to pay a pretty penny for them. Sometimes, when the butcher gets too many of these and puts them on special, that’s when you MUST snatch these babies up! Store them in your freezer for a special occasion. However, on the reg, these tend to go for 8$ per pound. These are the perfect cuts for braising as they are beautifully marbled and become so moist when cooked. 

How much do I need?

As the bones are fairly small, I portion out two per person. If you have the option, ask your butcher if he can cut thick size short ribs, these are just a little bigger and tend to cook more evenly and be more tender about 2 inches by 2 inches. I always pick up 2-3 extra servings incase there is an unexpected guest (always good to be prepared!), and of course, because these ribs are so damn good and you’ll want to have some for leftovers the next day. 

Platting

I recommend plating these short ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes, or my personal favourite Celery Root Puree! The carrots in this recipe are a great addition, however, to mix up the carrot game a little more check out this tahini dressing. 

Pro-Tips

  • Searing the beef is game-changing for this recipe. I literally can’t say it enough. Get a hot skillet, a pan or pot that you know gives you some nice color, do not use a non-stick pan as it will not give you as nice of a sear. 
  • When you pick up your beef at the butcher, ask if they have any homemade beef broth and pick that up as well. This stuff is liquid gold and can intensify the flavours of your dish by a mile! 
  • Tying your beef is one of the most important parts of the recipe as this will affect your plating and making this dish look restaurant worthy. Try tying the short rib together with butcher twine to ensure that the bone stays intact with the meat and it doesnt fall apart. Right before serving cut off the string and you’re good-to-go!  

Christmas Short Ribs

These short ribs are insanely delicious and the best part, easy as pie! Serve these one-pot-wonders to your family and friends this holiday season!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian, French
Keyword Christmas Dinner, Dinner, Large Groups
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 400kcal
Cost 80$

Equipment

  • Oven safe dutch oven or baking dish

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Onions Medium
  • 4 Carrots Medium
  • 1 Garlic Bulb
  • 2 cups Dry Red Wine
  • 2 cups Beef or Veal Broth
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 Bay leafs
  • 2 cups Fresh cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, sear the ribs on both sides. Remove the ribs to a plate. Using butcher twine, tie the beef together, set aside.
  • Dice onions, cut carrots in 1⁄4's lengthwise.
  • Slice the top of the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, squeeze out the roasted garlic and turn into a paste. Set aside. 
  • In the same pan used to brown the beef, add the butter and sweat the onions and carrots, cook 5-10 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize. Add wine, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the beef and sprinkle over the cranberries. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 hours.
  • Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and discard. Scoop out short ribs and carrots, cover and set aside. 
  • Meanwhile, add the roasted garlic paste to the dish a tablespoon at a time. Taste after each addition. From one garlic bulb to the next, the intensity of the garlic flavour changes, so add slowly and taste the sauce frequently until its attained the desired taste. Season with salt if necessary.
  • Serve the beef short ribs and carrots over a bed of puree celeriac, top with the sauce and enjoy!

Tried this recipe? Let us know! Tag @butterandotherdrugs or leave a comment below


Tahini, Pomegranate Heirloom Carrots

This is a delicious side dish to accompany any main course, its beautiful colours are a perfect way to bring brightness and freshes to the table. Heirloom carrots are seasonal throughout august till november, however the big orange (winter) carrots will do as well.

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a toasted sesame paste that is associated with asian cuisine. It is a delicious umami flavour that lends well with the sweetness of the carrots. You can find tahini in most grocery stores in the Oriental isle or in the organic section. This tahini sauce can also be used as a salad dressing, a veggie dipping sauce and much more! It is so versatile and perfect to have stored in the fridge for a quick dinner or snack. 

Why the Pomegranate Seeds?

Back in culinary school, they taught us the importance of a balanced dish, not health wise but with flavours. The five tastes are bitter, salty, sour, sweet and umami. We were constantly challenged with having as many of the tastes on the plate as possible. The five flavours are present on this dish, which makes it such a delectable and appealing plate. The carrots are sweet, the tahini is salty, bitter and umami and the pomegranates are sour. Try and challenge yourself when building a dish to include as many tastes as possible. 

Here's What You're Gonna Do

  • Clean those carrots, using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots. 
  • In a baking dish, coat the carrots with oil and bake. 
  • Combine vinaigrette ingredients
  • Remove pomegranate seeds 
  • Plate carrots, top with vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds

Tahini, Pomegranate Heirloom Carrots

This is a delicious side dish to accompany any main course, its beautiful colours are a perfect way to bring brightness and freshes to the table.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Canadian, French
Keyword Carrots, Side Dish, Tahini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 200kcal
Cost 15

Equipment

  • Large Baking Sheet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound Heirloom carrots
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 °F
  • Wash carrots and peel outer dry skin. Arrange on parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes until carrots are tender.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients. 
  • Remove pomegranate seeds from the flesh. Set aside.
  • Once carrots are cooked, assemble on a platter and drizzle sauce over top carrots. Finish off with a sprinkle of the pomegranate seeds.

Tried This Recipe? Tag @butterandotherdrugs or leave a comment below!


Ratatouille

A dish Rémi would approve of! 

Yields 4 servings as a main course or 6 as a side dish.

Ratatouille is a classic and authentic french dish that contains, savoury eggplant, rich zucchini, sweet peppers and tomatoes. It’s covered in a thick rich sauce, that is slowly simmered with white wine and loads of garlic.  I originally learned of this dish in culinary school, which we used as a base to pair with other mains. The technique is to layer the food on the plate to make it as visually pleasing as possible. To achieve that “aesthetic”, place a small amount of Ratatouille in the center of the plate and place a piece of protein on top. Pair the Ratatouille with a rich protein, such as grilled steak, a hearty fish like halibut or even my herb crusted rack of lamb (yes, shameless plug).  Alternatively, for vegetarians, serve ratatouille with crunchy fresh bread and some hard cheeses such aged cheddar or pecorino. This meal is perfect to serve in the summer or fall when the vegetables are just ripe! 

 

Pro Tips

  • This dish requires a bit of chopping and sauteing, so prep it prior to your guests arriving, as it simply needs to be heated through before serving. 
  • If you’re a real “Organized Olivia” then make it a day before and heat it up on the stove-top! This keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. 
  • Plating technique: In culinary school we learned that appealing plates are just as important as the taste! In the center of your serving plate, place a round ring (biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter, large mason jar lid,etc) and fill the ring with ratatouille. Press down on the edges to fill the ring tightly. Gently remove the ring, and voila! You have a perfectly shaped circle of ratatouille in the center of your plate.

Here's What You're Gonna Do

Prep your mise, i.e chop everything! This is a great recipe to practice your knife skills. Chop eggplant in 1cm cubes, zucchini in half lengthwise then in half again to create little triangles. Cut the peppers in 1 cm squares. And finally, dice the onion and mince the garlic. 

Now that you’re all set lets get cooking!This next step is removing the skin of the tomato by blanching the tomatos in boiling water. Place small pot of water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, remove the eye of each tomato and make a small “X” on the other side. This will help with the peeling process. Boil the tomatoes for 10 seconds until the skin begins to blister. Remove them from the water and run the under cold water to stop the cooking process. Now remove the skin and discard. Dice the tomatoes. 

In a large saute pan heat up some olive oil and saute eggplant, zucchini, peppers in batches. Once cooked transfer to a large bowl.

Once eggplant, zucchinis and peppers are cooked and in the bowl add the butter and remaining oil to the pan and sweat the garlic and onions. Cook out the tomato paste and wine until it’s fully reduced. Then add all the veggies, balsamic, salt, bay leaf and cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic and authentic french dish that contains, savoury eggplant, rich zucchini, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword Side Dish, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 side dish
Calories 250kcal
Cost 15$

Equipment

  • Large Sauce Pan
  • Large Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Green Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Zucchini
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 tbsp White Wine
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Chop eggplant in 1cm cubes, zucchini in half lengthwise then in half again to create little triangles. Cut the peppers in 1 cm squares.
  • Finely dice the onion and mince garlic.
  • In a small pot, boil water. While the water is boiling, remove the eye of the tomato (where the stalk meets the fruit) and make a cross in the skin at the base of the tomato with your knife. Place tomatoes in the boiling water for ten seconds. Once cooled, peel the tomato skins and discard. Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Finally, dice the tomatoes. 
  • In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté zucchini for 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside. 
  • Add another 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan then add the eggplant, sauté for 8 minutes. Once cooked, add them to the large bowl with the zucchini.
  • Place 1 tsp of olive oil in a sauté pan and add peppers, saute for 5 minutes, add to the bowl with the other veggies. 
  • Add the remaining olive oil and 2 tbl of butter to the pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes, then add the wine and cook until fully reduced, 3-4 minutes.
  • Once wine has reduced, add all remaining vegetables to the large pan with the balsamic, salt  and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Prior to serving, taste the ratatouille and see if it requires more salt or balsamic. 

Notes

Plating technique: In culinary school we learned that appealing plates are just as important as the taste! In the center of your serving plate, place a round ring (biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter, large mason jar lid,etc) and fill the ring with ratatouille. Press down on the edges to fill the ring tightly. Gently remove the ring, and voila! You have a perfectly shaped circle of ratatouille in the center of your plate.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Herb crusted rack of lamb served on a bed of Ratatouille 

This is one of those recipes saved for special occasions, like a birthday, anniversary or a plain old celebration. Lamb is so rich in flavour and tenderness, you will be blown away by how this cut of meat just melts in your mouth. Serve this lamb on a bed of ratatouille; the fresh veggies pair incredibly with the richness of the lamb, and it looks beautiful!  it is exceptionally delicious and fairly simple to throw together. Rack of lamb takes as little as 20 minutes to cook, so incorporate some exciting side dishes and salads to bring this meal to the next level.

When purchasing lamb, you do not what to cut corners. This lamb will be the “piece de resistance” ie the centerpiece to your table and you want it to be perfect! Talk to your local butcher, or the person at the meat counter at the grocery store, and ask for a Rack of Lamb. Typically the lamb will still have some meat or film on the exposed bones, ask your butcher to “French Trim” the bones, this will make them look beautiful when cooked. This is a bit of work on their end, so maybe bring your friendly butcher a coffee before you ask him to take on this task!

How much will Lamb cost you?

As for the price, Lamb is relatively expensive, and I tend to estimate 3 ribs per person, a rack usually has 8 ribs. So for four people, you would need 2 racks, then you have a little extra for leftovers. Now a rack of lamb tends to be between 30-40$, however if you have a costco membership (or know someone who has a costco membership) it can cost as little as 25$. 

Importance of Temperature

Serve your lamb medium-rare to medium.The lamb rack is extremely tender cut and if it is cooked more than medium it can become chewy.

For medium-rare, you want your rack of lamb to reach an internal temperature of 135 °F, and for medium 145°F. However, when you remove your lamb from the oven and rest it, it continues to cook up to 4 degrees. So remove the lamb from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 131°F for medium-rare and 141°F for medium. Using a thermometer takes the guessing out of cooking, and allows your to relax and not stress about serving a delicious mealS

Pro Tips

  • Do not be afraid of high heat! You need to give your rack of lamb a good sear on all sides before transferring it to the oven. This also is the base of your glaze, so don’t be stingy! Lastly when searing your meat, give the meat a little wiggle before flipping it over. If it is stuck to the bottom of the pan, leave it for another minute or so. Once the piece of meat comes away easily from the pan, you know you have a good sear on it. 
  • Use a thermometer! I can’t tell you enough how useful a meat thermometer is, they’re inexpensive and is worth it as you won’t waste the money you already spent on the lamb because you overcooked it.

Here's What You're Gonna Do

The first thing I learnt in culinary school was the imprortance of a “Mise en Place”, which is a nice way of saying “Get your sh*t together”. Measure, cut and get all the necessary pans and equipment ready. Now you’re ready to start cooking. 

Using a handy food processor (or handy knife skills) finely chop parsley and bread crumbs and place on a plate or a cutting board spread out. 

In an oven-safe pan, heat oil on high and sear the rack of lamb. Searing is a crucial part in this recipe and this will deepen the flavour of the sauce. Once all sides are seared brush with mustard then coat with parsley. 

Now that your lamb is ready to go, bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up, check the temperature of the lamb and remove it from pan. Cover with tin foil and set aside. 

While your meat is resting, combine the balsamic sauce ingredients. 

Once your meat has fully reseted, using a sharp chefs knife, cut in between the bones, serve 2-3 ribs per person. 

Enjoy!

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

This is one of those recipes saved for special occasions, like a birthday, anniversary or a plain old celebration. Lamb is so rich in flavour and tenderness, you will be blown away by how this cut of meat just melts in your mouth
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword Dinner, Worth the Splurge
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 400kcal
Cost 35-50$

Equipment

  • Oven Safe Pan

Ingredients

Lamb

  • 2 Racks of Lamb
  • 2 tbsp Oil Vegetable, Canola, Avocado
  • 1 cup Parsley
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Dijon
  • 2 tsp Salt & Pepper

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 Small Shallot
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 °F
  • In a food processor (or with handy knife skills), mince the parsley. Once finely chopped, combine with bread crumbs on a flat plate. 
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil on high heat. Add the racks of lamb and get a nice sear on each side. 30 seconds  to 1 minute per side. 
  • Once all sides are seared, remove from pan and brush the tops of the rack (not the bone side) with the mustard, then press the rack into the parsley and crumb mixture. Return to pan, crumb side facing up and ribs facing down. 
  • Place in oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and check doneness with thermometer. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes. (see pro tip for doneness)  
  • While rack of lamb is resting, mince shallot and garlic. 
  • On medium heat, using the same pan as the lamb, add butter to pan and sweat garlic and onion, 3-5 minutes scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add balsamic and bring sauce to a simmer for 2 minutes. 
  • Slice lamb, serving 2-3 ribs per person. Drizzle a little sauce on each rib, serve hot!

Notes

  • Temperature; serve your lamb medium-rare to medium.The lamb rack is extremely tender cut and if it is cooked more than medium it can become chewy. For medium-rare, you want your rack of lamb to reach an internal temperature of 135 °F, and for medium 145°F. However, when you remove your lamb from the oven and rest it, it continues to cook up to 4 degrees. So remove the lamb from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 131°F for medium-rare and 141°F for medium. Using a thermometer takes the guessing out of cooking, and allows your to relax and not stress about serving a delicious meal! 

Let me know how your recipe turned out! Tag me @butterandotherdrugs


Holiday Stuffing

This stuffing recipe is an age old tradition in my family, that has never failed to please. It’s guaranteed to bring on the nostalgia of Thanksgivings past; probably reminiscent of your grandma’s house, just like mine, while also being delicious and surprisingly easy to assemble. It makes a hearty amount, which let’s be honest with ourselves, is the only kind of stuffing recipe worth making for this holiday.  

What Makes this Stuffing Taste so Good? 

The ground Savoury and Sage. This is the big secret! These herbs can be sound in the isle where spices are kept, do not skip this ingredient! 

Here’s What You’re Gonna Do:

  • Slice your white bread into 1 cm squares
  • Bake bread until lightly browned
  • Saute onions and celery with spices
  • Combine everything in a large bowl
  • Bake for 30 minutes, serve hot! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • Baking Sheet
  • Saute pan
  • Large Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of white bread (cut in 1 cm squares)
  • 1 sprig of thyme (1 tbl of fresh thyme leaves) 
  • 3 large white onions
  • 3 celery stalks 
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 ½ tsp sage 
  • 1 ½ tsp ground savoury (a green looking spice) 
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees celsius. 
  2. Slice bread into 1 cm squares- you should have 10 cups of bread cut into squares. Spread bread out on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place in large bowl. 
  3. Meanwhile, finely chop onion and celery. Melt butter in large pan and add onions, celery,sage, savoury, salt and pepper. Sweat for 10 minutes. 
  4. Transfer onion mixture to bread bowl. Add wine,broth and combine. 
  5. Set aside 3 cups of the mixture for the chicken breasts. Place the remaining mixture in a greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees celsius for 25 minutes. 

Stuffing

 It’s guaranteed to bring on the nostalgia of Thanksgivings past; probably reminiscent of your grandma’s house, just like mine, while also being delicious and surprisingly easy to assemble.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Canadian, English
Keyword Side Dish, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 250kcal
Cost 10$

Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Baking Sheet
  • Medium sized Saute Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 bag White Bread cut in 1 cm squares
  • 3 large White Onions
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp Ground Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Savoury
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees celsius.
  • Slice bread into 1 cm squares- you should have 10 cups of bread cut into squares. Spread bread out on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place in large bowl. 
  • Meanwhile, finely chop onion and celery. Melt butter in large pan and add onions, celery,sage, savoury, salt and pepper. Sweat for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer onion mixture to bread bowl. Add wine,broth and combine.
  • Set aside 3 cups of the mixture for the chicken breasts. Place the remaining mixture in a greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees celsius for 25 minutes. 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

 

Friendsgiving anyone? This delicious stuffing filled chicken breast is the perfect Thanksgiving recipe to feast on this holiday season and is incredibly easy to make. Use to slaving away in the kitchen brining a dry turkey? Well not this time! Now, you can enjoy extra time relaxing with family and friends. 

 

What is Brining? 

Brining allows for the chicken breast to retain its moisture and stay juicy and flavourful. Brining only takes 20 minutes and it allows for the chicken to come to room temperature, which helps with even cooking. Simply fill a large bowl with lukewarm water and 3 tbl of salt. Allow the salt to dissolve for a minute or two before adding the chicken breast. Once the chicken has been added to the brine, cover with cling film and allow for it to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the brine and carry on with any recipe, feeling confident that your chicken is going to be moist and juicy! 

 

How do you Butterfly a chicken breast?

Using a sharp knife is very important! Place your hand on top of boneless, skinless chicken breast and slice slice horizontally into the chicken, dividing it in half. Stop at about a ½ inch from the opposite side. This will allow the chicken breast to open up like a book, so it lies flat. 

Here’s what your gonna do; 

  • Brine that chicken! A step that should not be skipped
  • Butterfly the chicken
  • Flatten chicken until its ½ inch thick
  • Fill chicken breasts with delectable stuffing
  • Roll chicken tightly and wrap with twine
  • Bake chicken
  • Enjoy! 

What you’ll need; 

  • Meat thermometer
  • Large bowl
  • Baking dish

Ingredients: 

Brine Mixture:

  • 3 tbl salt
  • 4 cups of lukewarm water

Directions 

  1. Remove chicken from packaging and place in a bowl with brine mixture. Cover and place in fridge for anytime between 15 minutes to 2 hours.  
  2. Remove chicken from brining mixture and pat dry. Butterfly the chicken, then flatten chicken with a rolling pin or tenderiser until ½ inch thick. Do this with all the chicken breasts. 
  3. Place flattened chicken breast on a piece of cling film. Fill with ⅓ cup of stuffing. Using the cling film, roll chicken breast tightly. If you do not have cling film, roll chicken breast tightly then tie with butcher’s twine. Do this with the remaining breasts. 
  4. Place stuffed chicken breasts in a greased baking sheet, cover and bake for 25 minutes or until the thermometer reads 72 degrees celsius. 
  5. Slice cooked chicken breasts in 3-4 pieces, serve with baked stuffing and mashed potatoes, Happy Friendsgiving! 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This delicious stuffing filled chicken breast is the perfect Thanksgiving recipe to feast on this holiday season and is incredibly easy to make.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian, French
Keyword Chicken, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 450kcal
Cost 25$

Equipment

  • Baking Dish
  • Meat Tenderizer or Rolling Pin
  • Butcher Twine

Ingredients

  • 5 large Chicken Breast
  • 3 cups Holiday Stuffing

Brine Mixture

  • 4 cups Lukewarm Water
  • 3 tbsp Salt

Instructions

  • Remove chicken from packaging and place in a bowl with brine mixture. Cover and place on counter for anytime between 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Remove chicken from brining mixture and pat dry. Butterfly the chicken, then flatten chicken with a rolling pin or tenderiser until ½ inch thick. Do this with all the chicken breasts.
  • Place flattened chicken breast on a piece of cling film. Fill with ⅓ cup of stuffing. Using the cling film, roll chicken breast tightly. If you do not have cling film, roll chicken breast tightly then tie with butcher’s twine. Do this with the remaining breasts. 
  • Place stuffed chicken breasts in a greased baking sheet, cover and bake for 25 minutes or until the thermometer reads 72 degrees celsius. 
  • Slice cooked chicken breasts in 3-4 pieces, serve with baked stuffing and mashed potatoes, Happy Friendsgiving!

Get-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Yields 5 cups of gravy 

You know Grandmothers are the best and smartest cooks, they need to feed many mouths, cook the food in a short amount of time all the while keeping an assemblance of “lessez-faire”. Well this recipe is a well-kept secret that used to save my grandmother (no not the French one…) as she could easily make it in advance and defrost it on Turkey Day. This gravy is my all-time favourite, as there seemed to be an endless supply and it just tastes so damn good! 

The secret to keeping Turkey Day/FriendsGiving an easy and stress free event is planning and making as much ahead as possible. This get-ahead gravy is something you can get out of the way in September all the while still tasting delicious, trust me you will have everyone fooled!

Pro Tips 

  • This is technically a chicken gravy and my grocery store does not carry turkey wings…by all means use turkey wings equivalent to the pound stated in the ingredients. 
  • A brown roux is a flour and butter mixture that has cooked for 2-3 minutes and has turned a beautiful brown golden colour. Trust me this is not a step you want to miss as it give a deep nutty flavour to the gravy. 
  • Once ready to freeze, store it in a ziplock bag or an airtight container. Remember to leave extra room as liquids tend to expand when freezing. 

Ingredients

Stock

  • 3 pounds of chicken wings
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stocks
  • 1 large BG (a couple sprigs of thyme, parsley and a few bay leafs)
  • 2 tbl salt
  • 1 tbl butter
  • 10 cups of water

Brown Roux

  • ⅓ cup of butter
  • ⅓ cup of flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Prep your Mise! Peel and chop onion, carrot and celery stock (do not chop too small as this stock will simmer for 3 hours). Prep BG and tie with kitchen string.
  3. Place wings on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt (make sure it has edges as to not lose any of the juices). 
  4. Bake for 1 hour flipping 30 minutes in. 
  5. In a large pot, melt 1 tbl of butter and add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute and add chicken wings and cover with 8 cups of water. 
  6. Pour 2 cups of water onto the baking sheet and scrape up all the delicious juices and crispy bits. Add to stock. 
  7. Let stock simmer uncovered for 3 hours or until reduced by half. Once reduced strain out chicken and vegetables, discard and return stock to pot. 
  8. In a medium pot, melt butter and add flour, cook out flour for 2-3 minutes or until it turns a golden shade. Set aside until room temp. 
  9. Once the roux is at room temperature, slowly add the stock while whisking. Bring to a boil until sauce has thickened. Taste and season accordingly, you may need to add more salt. Let cool and freeze up to one month or in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

Salmon with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa

Salmon with Coconut Rice

Serves 4 

 This salmon dish will transport you to your Caribbean dream vacay in minutes. The combination of a tangy salsa (hope cilantro dosn’t taste like soap for you…if so simply omit it) with the meaty salmon all on a bed of coconut rice…your tastebuds will thank you! This is the perfect dish to throw together on a hot summer night. For one, it can be prepared ALL in advance and two, it is light and fresh but hearty enough to fill you up.

Every week at my local grocery store, a different type of seafood or fish tends to go on sale. I usually follow the flyer to decide what I’m making that week. This week, salmon was on sale near me, however, go with whichever fish is in season in your area. That way you’re helping the ecosystem by purchasing in season produce and it’s more wallet friendly (double win!). 

 

Pro Tip

  • This makes for a great meal prep recipe as the salmon holds well (up to 3 days in the fridge) and the salsa won’t fall apart. Simply double the recipe and you’re on your merry meal preppin’ way! 
  • Coconut milk, there are many different kinds, I use whole coconut milk for the rice as I wanted a rich coconut flavour. Feel free to use light coconut milk or even coconut water to be on the lighter side. 
  • I baked the salmon, however feel free to grill it, poach it, broil it, whatever your little salmon heart desires. 

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets of salmon (Approx 115-130 g per filet) 
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 1 cup of whole coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅛ red onion chopped 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful of cilantro 
  • 1 fresh mango (can use frozen) 
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 tbl olive oil 
  • Salt & Pep 

Directions

  1. Prep your Mise! For the salsa, dice your mango and pepper, corsley chop cilantro and finely dice the red onion (no one wants a biteful of onion) and place in a medium size bowl. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to the salsa mixture.
  2. Add juice of half lemon, 1 tbl of oil and a pinch of salt to salsa, toss gently.  
  3. Measure out rice and don’t be lazy here-rice is very dusty, it will need to be rinsed once or twice.Once rinsed, place in a small pot with water, coconut milk and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for 12 minutes covered. 
  4. While the rice is cooking, rinse fish, pat dry and coat with remaining olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. At the last 2 minutes, turn on the broil for a bit of color. Make sure to set a timer, it will darken quickly! 
  5. Plate a good portion of coconut rice, a filet of salmon and top with salsa and a few sprigs of cilantro.