Tag Archives: Potatoes

Ricardo’s Tourtière

This year Chris and I decided to give some of our Christmas gifts in food form, and settled on traditional, meaty and hearty tourtière.  For many people it’s a Christmas-time comfort food and it’s a great one dish meal that can easily be thrown into the oven some busy winter evening.   I personally think it’s a great gift idea, mostly because I love it whenever people give me food as a gift.  It doesn’t exactly wrap well for under the tree, but I haven’t encountered anyone who will turn away a home cooked item for their freezer!

Get your recipe out and line up some of your ingredients.  I used Ricardo’s recipe for tourtière this time, and it also passed Chris’ french-upbringing-tourtiere-eating test.  This is a legitimately québecois recipe!


Get out a big pot for the filling (which I neglected to photograph for some unknown reason).  A mixture of beef, pork,potatoes, onion, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.  And salt and pepper, of course.  The spices are pretty mellow but add a nice subtle flavour to the filling.  Pretty traditional and highly delicious….this recipe makes enough for six pies!


Cook the onions and garlic in a bit of melted butter until they get soft and golden.


Then throw in the beef and pork, and cook, stirring regularly, until no more pink remains.  Then dump in the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for about 45 minutes.  Not complicated at all!

In the meantime, prepare your dough, using the crust recipe from this pot pie recipe.  Light, flaky and perfect.


There is a serious lack of counter space in my apartment, so Chris McGyvered up a chair-table to fit all the pies!


Scoop the filling out into the crusts, and use whatever dough you have leftover to make fancy patterns on the top!

triple tourtiereAll of these went in the freezer to be used (mostly) as Christmas gifts, so stay tuned for pictures of the cooked, finished product!



The tourtières turned out excellently!  Just like I had hoped they would.  The crust was light, flakey and buttery, 🙂 and the filling was exactly how I remembered it tasting when my french-Canadian babysitter used to make it when I was little. But this time, because we served one of these at our New Year’s Eve dinner party, I decided to fancy it up a little bit by serving it alongside some homemade ketchup. It was the perfect compliment, and I will post the recipe soon!

Here is the one we cooked up on New Year Eve!  Maybe in the oven for slightly too long, but not so long that it ruined it. No complaints from the dinner crowd!



Here it is alongside some homemade ketchup and poutine (also homemade :)).  Did I mention it was a Quebecois themed dinner party?  We also had a variety of beers, including 50.  Très authentic.

Quebecois Dinner Party

Quebecois Dinner Party

And here is another one we pulled out of the freezer a few nights ago.  The ketchup was done, so we served it with a few slices of cheddar cheese instead.  I’m sad there are no more of these left in the freezer, they were such a treat!



Ricardo’s Tourtière Recipe

4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground pork
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground veal
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
250 ml (1 cup) chicken broth
180 ml (3/4 cup) breadcrumbs
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Rolled-out pastry dough from this pot pie recipe (x 2), or store-bought crust

  1. In a large saucepan, soften the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the meat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring to crumble the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes begin to fall apart. Let cool. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely chilled.
  4. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
  5. Line six 23-cm (9-inch) pie plates with pastry. Cover with the cooled meat mixture, about 1 pound of meat per pie. Cover with a second crust, and make an incision in the center. Or top with crust pattern or shapes of your choice. Press the lip the seal with a fork or your fingers. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.

From:  Ricardo



Filed under Comfort Food, Main Courses

Awesome Twice Baked Potatoes

These potatoes really are awesome – they’re a smooth and cheesy good time.   What makes them especially awesome is the cheese, sour cream, chives and garlic mixture that gets stuffed back inside a scooped out once-baked potato.  Think mashed potatoes stuffed into baked potatoes.  Hence,  awesome. An excellent side dish for a cool fall or winter (yes, sadly it’s on its way) dinner.

Start by scrubbing and baking a bunch of potatoes for about 25 minutes, until they’re tender and their skin is flakey :).  Then cut them in half and scoop out the center.

Scooped out potatoes

Then comes the part where you mix the potatoes with cream cheese and other magical ingredients.

Potato Filling

Then stuff the mixture in the potato bowls…

Stuffed Potatoes

and bake ’em up….smooth, savoury, creamy, potatoes!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Serve with roasted chicken and some sautéed peas 🙂

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes, Sautéed Snow Peas

Heck yes!

Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe

12 New potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tbsp olive oil
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tbsp minced chives
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and toss them to coat.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are tender and the skin is slightly crisp.
  4. Halve the potatoes.  Use a spoon or small scoop to remove the insides, leaving a small margin of potato intact.
  5. To the scooped-out potatoes, add the cream cheese, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, chives, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mash until the potato mixture is totally smooth, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the potato shells.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate them until dinner time.
  7. Bake the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Serve with steaks, chicken, or just a nice green salad and a glass of wine.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Vegetarian

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

What makes these potatoes perfect is the fact that they’re roasted in duck fat.  Yup, duck fat.  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to tell you about the duck fat!!  Basically, a friend of mine just happens to be married to a chef, who just happens to have rendered a giant tub of duck fat one day.  Being well aware of my food obsession, my friend kindly shared some of it with me, and ever since then these crazy good roasted potatoes (among other things) have been high on the dinner rotation.  Now I’ve never actually bought duck fat in a store, and I’ve never actually made it myself so I can’t tell you exactly how to get it, but I do know that somehow you need to get some of this in your life.

Chop your potatoes and season with salt and pepper, rosemary and maybe a bit of garlic powder.

Prepped Potatoes

Get the duck fat melted into liquid form so you can toss it with the potatoes.  Pretty much you can just use it as a substitute for olive oil or butter.

Duck Fat

Roast everything up until potatoes are cooked through with a crispy skin.  mmmmmmmm:)

Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes

Sprinkle with fresh chives and get ready for the crispiest and most savoury roasted potatoes of your life!

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

Perfect Roasted Potatoes Recipe

6 – 8 cups chopped potatoes

¼ cup melted duck fat

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (about 1 – 2 tsp each)

1 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp fresh chives

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss potatoes with remainder of ingredients (except the chives) until evenly coated.
  3. Spread potatoes out evenly on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes.  Flip potatoes and roast for another 15 – 25 minutes, until crispy and cooked through.
  4. Adjust seasoning as necessary and sprinkle fresh chives on top.  Serve.


Filed under Apps & Sides

Chicken Schnitzel

I can’t deny it, fall makes me think of Oktoberfest, and Oktoberfest makes me think of schnitzel (among other things).

I find german food very comforting.  Something to do with all the breading and high fat content I’m sure. Schniztel  really isn’t that complicated either; you just have to whip up a breading mixture, pound your chicken flat and then fry it all up.  I served this with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans, and it’s safe to say Uncle Häns would approve.

So to start, get all your ingredients for the breading mixed together, and pound your chicken to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet.

Ingredients for breading

Dip the chicken into some milk, to ensure the mixture sticks.   Coat the chicken as thoroughly as possible with the breading mixture, and you’re ready to cook!

Breaded and ready to fry!

Almost there…..good job admiral!

Almost ready to go....

Golden, crispy, juicy schnitzel served with mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, and gravy!  Probst to that!

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel Recipe

4 Large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup Milk
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup flour (whole wheat if you like!)
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 tbsp fresh chopped herbs
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp coarse salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

1.    Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound flat with a meat mallet or roll with a rolling pin until about ½ thickness.
2.    Mix Panko, flour, Parmesan, herbs and spices together in shallow bowl.
3.    Dip the chicken in milk for a few seconds, and then dip into bread crumb mixture.  Flip to coat a few times, to ensure a thick crust.
4.    Heat frying pan to med- high heat, and add butter and olive oil.  Once pan is hot, add breaded chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side, to create a nice crispy brown crust.  Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10 – 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Add a few tsp of water every during cooking to deglaze the pan.
5.    Serve!

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Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza

I’m not going to muck up this post with a bunch of words.  Here is what you need to know:  this pizza is insane, you have to try it.

Dough Ingredients

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making your own dough.  There are only 4 ingredients, and you don’t have to do much other than wait.  Just activate the yeast in some warm water, mix it up with the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for about two hours so it can rise.  (The picture below is right after mixing, before the dough has risen.Forgot to take an after shot.  Oops.)

Dough Ball

Cut the dough in half, and either put half in the freezer for another day, or get ready to make yourself a second pie! Spread/roll the dough out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  You probably don’t want the dough to be perfectly flat, use your hands to knead it a little bit and create little bumps.  This way you create pockets for delicious flavours to get trapped in.

Layer with potatoes sliced paper thin.  You might think it’s strange to not use tomato sauce (or any kind of sauce for that matter), but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Thin layer of potatoes on top of the crust

Next, layer big slices of fresh mozarella.

Layer of fresh mozarella

Leeks, bacon and crumbled feta finish it off.  The secret here is to cook the bacon first, drain off most of the grease and then throw the leaks into the bacon pan.  MMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Ready for the oven

Not everyone is a fan of leeks, so I did this version half and half – one side all dressed, the other without leeks or feta.  Both were insanely delicious.

Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza


Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza

One more shot, just for fun 🙂

Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza


Pizza Crust Recipe

1 tsp or ½ packet active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1.    Pour 1 ½ cups warm water into a bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water.
2.    Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  (Or in the bowl of your food processor if you want to make your dough that way.)
3.    With and electric mixer (or food processor) on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated.
4.    In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture and drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball.  (You can also mix by hand until the dough comes together)
5.    Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl.  Toss the ball of dough into the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.
6.    Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
7.    To prepare the pizza, preheat the oven the oven to 500 degrees.
8.    Divide the dough in half.  Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or rimmed backing sheet.
9.    Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing the dough into the pan with your fingers.  The thinner the better!  The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks.  All the better to receive and hold toppings!
10.    Lay the desired toppings over the dough and bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
11.    The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

Potato, Leek and Bacon Pizza Recipe

1 Pizza Crust
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
5 small red or Yukon gold potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 ounces feta cheese (or goat’s cheese if you like it)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2.    Prepare the pizza crust and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.
3.    Begin by placing the bacon in a skillet over medium heat.  Fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp.
4.    Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
5.    Pour off most of the grease.  Do not clean the skillet.  Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat to medium-low.
6.    Add the leeks to the pan and sauté over medium-low heat until soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
7.    Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice the potatoes very thin.  You’ll need to do this just before you need them, as the potatoes will brown very quickly.
8.    Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges.
9.    Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes.
10.    Place the leeks on top of the cheese.  The flavour of leeks sautéed in bacon grease is not to be believed.
11.    Next, sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top.
12.    Followed by a generous addition of crumbled feta, grated parmesan and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
13.    Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Cut into wedges or squares and serve immediately.

From:  The Pioneer Woman (I love her)


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Elgin Street Diner

This pile of heart attack comes from the Elgin Street Diner, a 24-hour diner around the corner from my place, with solid food and consistent fast and friendly service.  It’s dangerous to live so close to a place like this….Their four cheese poutine is a wonder.  It fills an entire styrofoam take-out container with shoestring fries, smoothered with a rich mushroom based gravy, and four delightful cheeses, including squeaky cheese of course 🙂 It’s also really salty, and reeeeeally bad for you, but every now and then it’s a requirement!

Four Cheese Poutine

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Filed under Restaurant Food, Vegetarian

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze and Gingered Peach Salsa

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a meat and potatoes kind of meal.  I love this recipe because the pork is juicy and flavourful, and seasonal peach salsa adds a shot of freshness.  It’s a hearty, yet somehow light summer dinner.  The leftover pork and salsa make a great sandwich for lunch the next day too, not that you’ll have trouble getting rid of these leftovers. Added bonus?  It’s totally healthy.

This is delicious served with mashed potatoes and my go-to green salad!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/ Gingered Peach Salsa

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze Recipe

1 pound pork tenderloin
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp each salt and pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.    In saucepan, bring vinegar to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until slightly syrupy.
3.    Rub pork tenderloin all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4.    Heat a frying pan until hot, then fry tenderloin for 30 seconds on each side until its slightly browned.
5.    Put tenderloin in baking dish and pour balsamic vinegar overtop.  Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, or until pork is slightly pink inside.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with gingered peach salsa.

For the Gingered Peach Salsa, assemble the following ingredients:

Gingered Peach Salsa Ingredients

Chop/grate everything into a bowl, and voila!  The longer you let this sit, the more the flavours will mingle 😉


Gingered Peach Salsa Recipe
3 Medium peaches, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup red pepper, chopped
¼ green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
½ tsp salt

For Salsa:  In a bowl, stir together peaches, garlic, red pepper, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, ginger and salt.  Set aside and refrigerate.

From the G.I. Diet Cookbook

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