Smoked Bacon and Potato Soup January 26, 2010

Smoked Bacon and Potato Soup

In Blog, Recipe, Soups / Salads On August 24, 2015 0 Comments

Tune in to CTV on August 26 at 8:15 and and 8:23 am. I’ll be preparing one of my favourite soups. In the spirit of my upcoming Alberta culinary tour to Camrose and Provost on September 12 and 13, 2015, it uses ingredients from farms that we will be visiting on this local culinary tour, including bacon from Irving’s Farm Fresh in Round Hill.

Method to make Smoked Bacon and Potato Soup: In medium soup pot over medium high heat, melt butter and sauté the onion and bacon for two minutes. Add dried thyme and continue to sauté until onions are tender and bacon is cooked (about three to five minutes). Add the flour and continue to stir until flour is combined and a roux is formed (a paste consistency). Cook on low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the heated chicken stock*, while constantly stirring to form a smooth paste. Add the milk and stir well to blend. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add one cup of grated cheese and stir to blend. Adjust seasonings with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If soup is thick, add more milk. Serve piping hot in large bowls, top each serving with remaining grated cheese, finely diced green onion or chopped parsley. Garnish bacon bits. Serve with rustic slices of bread.

 *Save the water from the cooked potatoes and use this as part of the 3 cups of stock.

Express Cooking Classes for the Fall

In Blog On August 22, 2015 0 Comments

Two express classes (2 hour demonstration cooking classes), still have lots of room, so check your calendars and contact if you can make it – bring a friend along. Doors open at 6:15 and Gail’s demons start at 6:30 pm sharp to 8:30 pm with samples of recipes to share. It’s a good idea to eat a light dinner before attending.

Sides for Thanksgiving:  September 30, 2015
Gail will prepare 3 to 4 dishes that will work on your Thanksgiving table or at any time of year.

Holiday Entertaining: November 18, 2015
Gail will prepare 3 to 4 hors d’oeuvres style dishes that will become part of your holiday entertaining repertoire.

Beet Borshch

Beet Borscht with Chèvre and Fresh Dill

In Recipe, Soups / Salads On August 22, 2015 0 Comments

Regardless of it’s origin (Russian, Poland, Ukraine, Romania…), every beet borscht recipe is the ‘right’ one. This one has a modern twist and was a popular dish at my award winning catering company, Gourmet Goodies created by my former executive chef, Dave Nicolson, who’s is Scottish by the way!  Serve with lots of rye bread and butter.

Method to prepare Beet Borscht with Chèvre and Fresh Dill: In a heavy soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the beets, carrots, onions, turnip and potatoes for about five minutes (do not brown). As the vegetables become tender, add the chicken stock and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. (The soup at this point should be a frothy beet colour with a slight vinegar tartness.) Place the chèvre in a medium mixing bowl and stir in a cup of the hot broth. Stir in one more cup of broth until the chèvre has thinned enough to mix smoothly into the pot of soup and add to the soup and mix well. Add the fresh dill just before serving.

*I love to use Fairwinds Farm Chèvre from Fort McLeod, Alberta. It’s available at most health food stores (Blush Lane, Planet Organic, Earth’s General Store) and Paddy’s Cheese Shop in High Street. You can substitute softened cream cheese.

Cooking Tip: Working with fresh beets can be messy. Use rubber gloves or surgical gloves when peeling and grating beets.

Serving suggestion: For an easy garnish make this easy crème fraîche: mix 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tbsp buttermilk or equal parts of sour cream and whipping cream together and, place in a glass bowl and lightly cover. Place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.