Seafood-Gorgonzola Pasta Shells

One of my all time favorite pasta dishes to make are jumbo stuffed pasta shells. They are easy to prepare and are perfectly portioned for individuals and groups alike.The best part is the multitude of different fillings you can make them with.

Some years ago, Brion and I had the pleasure of eating lunch at Gayles Bakery & Rosticceria in the little seaside town of Capitola, California (see my blog article from July 2016 for Fig & Gorgonzola Chicken Breast). It was there I tasted Spinach-Gorgonzola Pasta. Until then I had never even tasted this kind of cheese. With a strong dislike for Blue Cheese, it looked suspiciously similar. Long story short, it seemed everyone was ordering this pasta so I decided to try it. It was just incredible! The combination of Gorgonzola, ricotta and parmesan make this dish especially decadent and delicious.

Info I found on Gorgonzola Dolce reads like this — Imported from Italy, this sweet or ‘dolce’ Gorgonzola has the characteristically creamy texture and nutty aroma Gorgonzola is known for, yet is milder due to a shorter aging period. A great option for those who normally shy away from blue cheese.

The fact that Brion and I are both seafood lovers, I decided to incorporate this kind of pasta with a little seafood medley. The end result did not disappoint, bringing back that ‘taste of a memory’ once again.

Seafood-Gorgonzola Pasta Shells
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Servings
12-14 shells
Servings
12-14 shells
Seafood-Gorgonzola Pasta Shells
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Servings
12-14 shells
Servings
12-14 shells
Ingredients
Bechamel Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
Bechamel Sauce
  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, combine flour & butter in another heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon or whisk until the mixture has gently bubbled for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown flour.
  2. Begin to add the hot milk to the flour mixture a little at a time while whisking vigorously. Continue to add the milk until it is fully incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes. It should resemble heavy cream. Crumble the cheese & add to hot bechamel sauce, whisking continuously until smooth. Add nutmeg & pepper & stir. Remove from heat to cool.
Pasta & Filling
  1. Cook the pasta shells in salted boiling water to which a small amount of oil has been added for 8-10 minutes. Drain & set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter. Saute spinach & mushrooms until spinach is wilted. Remove to paper towels. Add shrimp & scallops to skillet; saute for 3-4 minutes until opaque & just barley cooked; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, shrimp, scallops, crab meat, ricotta cheese, garlic & salt & pepper. Fill pasta shells. Spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Lay filled shells single file in pan. Pour remaining sauce over all & top with a sprinkling of parmesan. Bake 20-30 minutes, until the cheese becomes a little brown.
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Bacon Wrapped, Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breast

Today, November 23rd, our American neighbors are celebrating their Thanksgiving Day. A public holiday, originating as the ‘harvest festival’, is now celebrated along with Christmas and New Year as part of the broader ‘holiday season’.

Here in Canada, our Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 9th. Generally at the heart of this feast is a roast turkey with all the trimmings. I thought I would get a little more creative today and break with tradition as well as giving an acknowledgement to the US holiday.   

BACON WRAPPED, GUACAMOLE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST  seems like an interesting idea. Guacamole, an unlikely stuffing for chicken breast as it usually served as a cold tortilla chip dip. It’s one of those taste ‘sensations’ you have to taste to believe. Of course, you have to start with liking avocados —

As history tells us, the Aztec empire created  guacamole spread with some of the same ingredients that we use today as far back as the 1500’s. Published recipes first started appearing in the 1940’s.

Along with the guacamole, I used some smoked Gouda cheese in these little delicacies.  I was careful not to add any salt in the guacamole. Between the bacon and the Gouda, I felt it had enough for our liking. The meal makes a nice presentation as well as having a great taste.

Bacon Wrapped, Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breast
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Tender chicken breast stuffed with creamy guacamole & Gouda cheese all wrapped in crispy bacon!
Servings
2
Servings
2
Bacon Wrapped, Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breast
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Tender chicken breast stuffed with creamy guacamole & Gouda cheese all wrapped in crispy bacon!
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Guacamole
Servings:
Instructions
Guacamole
  1. Mash avocado with a fork, leaving some chunks. Mince onion & coarsely chop sun-dried tomato pieces. Combine all guacamole ingredients to blend.
Chicken Breasts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut a slit into the center of each chicken breast to make a pocket. Lay breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap & pound flat to about a 1/4-inch thickness. On cut side of breasts, lay sliced Gouda cheese. Divide guacamole between breasts; roll up chicken breasts & wrap each one in two strips of bacon. Make sure bacon ends are all on one side. Use toothpicks to ensure all stays in one piece.
  2. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked & bacon gets nice & crispy.
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Oven Roasted Squash with Apples & Onions

Being one who appreciates both roasted vegetables and the origins of things, I was curious as to when roasting vegetables became a ‘thing’

The presence of a platter of blistered carrots and parsnips on our dinner table is happily commonplace these days. However, this was not always the case.

Restaurant chefs have forever roasted vegetables for certain preparations, especially classics like roasted plum tomato sauce and charred red peppers for antipasto.

Dry-heat cooking in an oven has traditionally been associated with meat, poultry and game. Roasting other foods like fish, vegetables and fruit seals in and intensifies flavors, imparts an attractive burnish and often uses less ‘fat’ than other cooking methods. The use of ‘professional’ quality sheet pans, roasting pans and ovenproof skillets is best for such roasting.

This roasting technique came into vogue in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Clearly, roasting is the only way to treat vegetables. The taste is legitimately superior to older techniques in almost all cases as it concentrates and enhances via caramelization. So, it begs the question, why did it take so long to become the default vegetable cooking technique? A lingering preference for boiled, steamed and sauteed veggies seems to be the main reason. Although technology has not changed that much in several decades, sensibilities regarding how certain foods should be prepared have shifted greatly. The days of limp, tasteless, boiled vegetables are gone!

This simple recipe is one Brion and I enjoy often.

Oven Roasted Squash with Apples & Onions
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Servings
2-4
Servings
2-4
Oven Roasted Squash with Apples & Onions
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Servings
2-4
Servings
2-4
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix dressing, sugar & rosemary. Toss apples, squash & onions in dressing mixture. Spread on baking sheet. Bake about 20-30 minutes until tender & caramelized.
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Stuffed Pork Rolls with Cornbread & Caramelized Onions

Pork tenderloin can be stuffed with anything, imagination is the limit. What’s not to like — easy to prepare, boneless and fork tender. The pairing of pork with cornbread seems perfect, add caramelized onions and you got it!

Cornbread is one of those nostalgic foods for me. It always brings me back to my mother’s kitchen. I remember very clearly that wonderful smell of fresh cornbread coming out of the oven and that small Pyrex, rectangle baking pan she always baked it in. Those special memories came to mind today as I was trying to come up with a supper ‘idea’.

I love stuffing or dressing, whatever you prefer to call it. Of course, my ultimate favorite is the one I grew up with. On the other hand when you just need a very small amount, I see nothing wrong with using a box of ‘Stovetop Stuffing’. Of course I can’t resist telling you just a bit of the history about the product itself —

 In 1972, General Foods  which is now known as Kraft Foods  introduced ‘Stovetop Stuffing’. It was quick, convenient, tasty and therefore was an instant hit. 

The secret lies in the crumb size. If the dried crumb is too small, adding water to it makes a soggy mass; too large, and the result is gravel. The nature of the cell structure and overall texture of the dried bread crumb used in this invention is of great importance if a stuffing which will hydrate in a matter of minutes to the proper texture and mouthfeel is to be prepared.

Ruth Siems, a home economist that spent more than three decades on the staff of General Foods was instrumental in arriving at the precise crumb dimensions — about the size of a pencil eraser.

That being said, here is my idea for this great little combination. We really enjoyed it!

Stuffed Pork Rolls with Cornbread & Caramelized Onions
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Stuffed Pork Rolls with Cornbread & Caramelized Onions
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Caramelized Onions
Cornbread Stuffing
Red Wine Gravy
Servings:
Instructions
Caramelized Onions
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion & sprinkle with salt. Cook & stir about 15 minutes or until moisture is evaporated & onion is soft. Reduce heat; sprinkle with cider vinegar. Cook & stir until golden. Sprinkle with brown sugar; cook & stir until caramel brown color.
Cornbread Stuffing
  1. Prepare as directed on package.
Pork
  1. Slice tenderloin into 4 pieces. Using a meat mallet, pound into thin slices. Divide caramelized onions between them and spread over meat. Top with a layer of prepared cornmeal stuffing. Roll tightly encasing the filling inside & tie with kitchen twine. Roll pork rolls in the 1/4 cup flour that has been seasoned with salt & pepper to coat lightly.
  2. In a large skillet, heat butter & oil; brown pork rolls well on each side. Remove rolls to a platter,
Red Wine Gravy
  1. Stir 'brown bits' remaining from frying rolls, with garlic, thyme & red wine. Simmer about 5 minutes. In a small dish, combine cornstarch with chicken broth; add to wine mixture, season to taste. Return pork rolls to the pan. Cover, simmer gently for another 8-10 minutes.
  2. Place pork rolls on serving platter & stir fresh parsley into gravy. Spoon gravy over pork rolls & serve immediately.
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Roast Chicken ‘en Papillote

Dinner in a bag! When I first saw the ‘Look’ oven cooking bags years ago, I just had to try them. It seemed like a no brainer. What could be better than cooking your entire meal in this bag, getting perfect results and then the ultimate bonus —no clean-up!  Of course, along the way the aluminum foil pack  cooking has been used as well. As research suggests, small amounts of aluminum may leach into our food with higher heat so that brings me to cooking in parchment paper. It certainly seems like the best alternative. Not only is the technique easy to do but is healthy as well. You barely need any oil or fat to cook because the food effectively steams inside the parchment. Your result is very tender meat and veggies, flavored with whatever herbs, spices or sauces you have included.

Instead of roasting chicken parts today I am doing the whole chicken in parchment paper with some brown mushrooms, onions & herbs. Should be great! 

Roast Chicken 'en Papillote
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Roast Chicken 'en Papillote
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Season chicken inside & out. Season cleaned mushrooms & moisten with oil. Place as many mushrooms as possible, together with some of the thyme, inside the chicken cavity. Season the shallots & moisten with oil.
  2. Place chicken in the center of a large sheet of parchment paper. Place the remaining mushrooms, shallots, garlic & some thyme underneath the chicken. Moisten the skin of the chicken with olive oil. Wrap up in the paper & roast for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, or until browned & very tender.
  3. Serve with the roast mushrooms & shallots, topped with the roast juices.
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Peppers Stuffed with Bacon Risotto

One of the most interesting facets of the culinary revolution is our growing fascination with culinary history. It seems the more I learn about the ethnic melting pot that makes up our dinner table, the more curious I become about regional cuisines and the origin of specific dishes.

Stuffed peppers probably go further back than the 1890’s. Many cuisines around the world have a traditional stuffed pepper that has been passed down for generations. Here’s a few I found interesting:                                             Denmark:     Fyldte Peberfrugter – Bell pepper stuffed with bulgur,  mushrooms and kale                                                                                                          Hungary:     Toltott Paprika – Bell pepper stuffed with ground meat, rice and paprika. Served with sour cream.                                                                      India:            Bharawn Shimla Mirch – Bell pepper stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes                                                                                                                   Korea:          Gochu Jeon – Chili peppers stuffed with tofu                                   Mexico:       Chili Rellenos – Poblano pepper stuffed with carnitas meat, kielbasa and topped with cheddar cheese                                                            Phillippines: Pandak na tao pinalamanan peppers – – Bell peppers stuffed with shrimp, pork and water chestnuts                                                             Romania:     Ardei Umpluti – Bell peppers stuffed with pork and rice and served in a creamy sour cream sauce                                                                         Spain:            Pimientos Rellenos de Arroz con Salsa de Tomatoes – Bell pepper stuffed with Valencia or arborio rice and saffron, then cooked in a tomato sauce                                                                                                                            Tunisia:        Fil Fil Mashsi – Bell pepper stuffed with lamb, rice and sprinkled with nutmeg, saffron and cardamom                                                              United States & Canada:  Classic Stuffed Peppers – Bell pepper stuffed with ground beef, rice and cooked in a tomato sauce

The recipe today, pairs flavorful bacon risotto with colorful sweet bell peppers. The fact that they can be frozen for up to 6 months sure makes for an easy meal on a busy day.

Peppers Stuffed with Bacon Risotto
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Peppers Stuffed with Bacon Risotto
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Lay on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp of the bacon drippings in saucepan; set aside. Cook onion & mushrooms in drippings until tender; add rice, cook & stir 2 minutes more. Carefully stir in broth; bring to boiling & reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in bacon & peas. Let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese. If desired, season with salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut large peppers in half lengthwise. Remove membranes & seeds. Spoon risotto mixture into peppers. Place in a shallow baking dish. Cover with foil; bake, covered, for 30-45 minutes or until heated through. If desired sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Serve with heated zesty pasta sauce.
Recipe Notes
  • Can be chilled for up to 12 hours then baked for 50-55 minutes.
  • Can be frozen for up to 6 months then baked (frozen), covered, about 1 hour or until heated through.
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Egyptian Kofta

Over the years, our travels have taken Brion and I to many interesting places in the world. Each has left us with amazing memories.

In November of 2009, before Egypt was in such disarray, we explored this ancient country. You could safely say that time has not lessened the mystique of the world’s oldest tourist attraction. No matter how many pictures you look at, or how much you read on the internet, there is just nothing as powerful as seeing the real thing. Brion’s ability to speak fluent Arabic was a huge bonus for us while in Egypt.

The flight from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Cairo, Egypt was a bit grueling at 16 hours long but we ‘recovered’ fairly fast. To make the most of our vacation, we divided it into four segments; – five days in Cairo, six days in Alexandria, eight days on a Nile River cruise and the last week at Sharm El Shiekh on the Red Sea.

The Nile River cruise was definitely the highlight of the vacation. We boarded the ‘Helio’ cruise ship in Luxor which took us to Aswan and back. Each day the ship would dock at various sites along the way and our personal guide would take us to explore temples, tombs, the high dam and the beautiful botanical gardens at Kitchener Island. It was such an incredible experience viewing the sights and sounds as you slowly sailed along. Travel is a good reality check to make us appreciate what we have in our own lives and so often take for granted.

Every evening, the supper buffet on the ship was created with a different theme. One of the items Brion really enjoyed was ‘EGYPTIAN KOFTA’. Egypt’s local and rich resources of fresh foods coming from the Nile Valley, has given the world some of the most coveted cuisines. Egyptian food is a mixture of all the different civilizations that came to Egypt in the history of its existence.

The word kofta (or kefta) has its origins in Persia. Although you can make meat, seafood or vegetarian kofta, the most popular in Egypt is a mixture of ground beef and lamb combined with onions, garlic, parsley and a ‘BAHARAT’ spice blend.

Along with my recipe today, I thought you may enjoy to look at some of the photos from our Nile River cruise. 

 

 

Kofta
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This is the burger meat of the Middle East.
Servings
16 skewers
Servings
16 skewers
Kofta
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This is the burger meat of the Middle East.
Servings
16 skewers
Servings
16 skewers
Ingredients
Servings: skewers
Instructions
  1. Soak 16 wooden skewers in water for about 1 hour; remove from the water when you are ready to begin. Lightly oil grates of grill or BBQ & preheat to medium high temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Divide meat mixture into 16 portions. Mold each onto a wooden skewer to form a 'kofta kebab' about 1-inch thickness.
  3. Place kebabs on lightly oiled, heated grill or BBQ. Grill for 4 minutes on one side, turn over & grill for another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with mini pita breads, tahini, hummus or yogurt dip.
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Individual Chicken Pot Pie

The humble pot pie was once the height of culinary style. During the Elizabethan era, these savory pastries — decorated with flowers, fancy designs, etc. were elaborate assertions of the chef’s skill in the royal households of France and England. Among the lower classes, pot pie were popular because the addition of a crust helped feed another mouth or two, while individual pastries, empanadas and perogies were well suited for sale by street vendors as portable meals.

Fortunately, the resurgence in so called ‘retro’ foods has brought pot pies back to the table. There is no reason why they shouldn’t do just as well in the 21st century. To some, chicken pot pie is a staple comfort food. The recipes mix of meat and vegetables in a chicken broth seasoned with herbs, produces a spectrum of flavors that’s like no other.

The trick is getting all the ingredients to the right degree of doneness at the same time. It may be these timing issues that led to the abandonment of the homemade pot pie in favor of the frozen variety. One thing for sure, is that they are definitely worth the time and effort. It makes good sense to make a big recipe, freeze them unbaked (if you choose) and there ready when you need them.

Individual Chicken Pot Pie
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Individual Chicken Pot Pie
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Filling
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add chicken, season with 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside but not dry, 4-6 minutes. Remove from skillet & set aside.
  2. Decrease heat & add remaining oil. When oil is hot, add onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, dried thyme & savory; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add margarine & melt.
  3. Stir in the flour & cook for 1-2 minutes; gradually stirring in chicken broth & milk. Bring to a simmer, continue stirring until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in peas, thyme, mustard & reserved chicken. Cover & set aside while preparing pastry.
Pastry
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt. With a pastry blender, cut in white & yellow Crisco. In a measuring cup, place the egg & vinegar; add enough cold water to make 1 cup & whisk together. Make a well in flour; pour in all of the liquid & combine.
  2. Roll out pastry. For 6 individual pies, prepared in mini foil pot pie pans, cut 6 - 8" (20 cm) circles for the bottom shells & 6 - 5 1/2" (14 cm) circles for the tops. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Place pastry lined pans on a baking sheet & divide chicken filling among them. Moisten edges with milk or water; place pastry circles on top, crimping edges with a fork. Whisk together 1 egg & 1 Tbsp water; brush tops of pot pies with egg wash. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Recipe Notes
  • This amount of pastry will actually make enough for a double recipe of filling or just some extra for another time. If wrapped tightly it will freezes well.
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Beef Barley Stew with Roasted Vegetables

Stews have been an important food for most of the world’s people for thousands of years. They are wonderful concoctions, savored for their flavorful combinations as well as their reminders of home and family.

Geographical location plays a big role in how beef stews are made from different regions. In areas where the cold season is longer, the stew will usually be thicker in sauce, cooked longer and have heavier or more flavorful ingredients. In areas that have a warm climate, stews will be a lot spicier in flavor for inducing perspiration to cool the body.

In the Western world, meat stews are categorized as ‘brown’ or ‘white’. This means that the meat is browned in fat before liquid is added for brown stew; meat for the white stew is not cooked in fat before liquid is added.

The culinary history of both Canada and the United States includes numerous examples of stews brought by European settlers. Beef stews have been the most popular recipes among this legacy. In addition to being versatile in their ingredients, stews can also be used as filling for pastry shells, over mashed potatoes, rice or biscuits.

Brion and I have always enjoyed the combination of beef and barley. To my knowledge, the idea originated from the ‘Scotch Broth’ soup. In today’s particular stew the vegetables are roasted, using their natural sugars to caramelize, helping to create additional flavor in the stew.

 

Beef Barley Stew with Roasted Vegetables
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Servings
6-8
Servings
6-8
Beef Barley Stew with Roasted Vegetables
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Servings
6-8
Servings
6-8
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Add meat; toss to coat. In a Dutch oven heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the meat; cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from Dutch oven; set aside. Repeat with another 1 Tbsp oil & remaining meat.
  2. Add onion, garlic & thyme to Dutch oven. Cook & stir for 3 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of the Dutch oven. Add remaining beef broth & water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a shallow roasting pan combine potatoes & carrots and/or parsnips. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp oil; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, for 35 - 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender & lightly browned, stirring once or twice.
  4. Stir barley into beef mixture. Cook about 35 minutes more or until barley is tender.Stir in roasted vegetables. If desired, sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Recipe Notes
  • Stew can be placed in an airtight container, covered & refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
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Sweet Potato Boats

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!

When I think about Autumn here in Canada, it could be likened to a      van Gogh painting. The landscape transforms into a beautiful tapestry of red, gold and yellow. As the days grow shorter and the mornings darker, your tastes turn from salads and cool drinks to your favorite comfort foods. Smells that bring you back to your childhood……. evoking so much from one moment in time is the sheer essence of Autumn.

The truth being is that fall just gives us a different perspective. The word Thanksgiving  itself makes one pause and ask, what am I thankful for this year? We start to reflect on the year we have had with it’s inevitable highs and lows.

Fall also represents a time of change. As nature bursts with it’s fabulous fall foliage, it gives us a little bit of extra time to make the most of what we have left in this year before the grand finale.

For the last 60 years, Canada has celebrated Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October. It’s one of those holidays that tend to bring families together, both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately though, in this highly technological age, it seems as if we have become more connected digitally than emotionally. Thinking about the food aspect of this holiday, sweet potatoes have become synonymous with Thanksgiving (and Fall).

Native to Central and South America, sweet potatoes are some of the oldest vegetables on the planet. Distantly related to commonplace, starchy Russets and Yukon Golds. Western markets have tagged some sweet potatoes with the deceptive name ‘yams’ to differentiate the southern from the northern crops. True yams are rough-skinned tubers, related to lilies.

Enter the ‘Candied Yam Casserole’. It seems to be the most divisive of the side dishes served, a real ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ kind of thing. Definitely not a venerated Thanksgiving tradition but more of a marketing promotion that caught on. It was 1917 when the first instance of sweet potatoes baked with a coat of marshmallows appeared in a recipe booklet commissioned by Angelus Marshmallow Company. The recipes in the booklet showed you how to incorporate marshmallows into everyday dishes so that their product wouldn’t fail and ‘viola’, the classic and capitalistic pairing was born.

I do remember my mother making this casserole for our special Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, being a kid that loved sweets, it tasted real good. At this point in time, I would rather just have them with salt and pepper for most part.

My blog recipe is one I came across in a Pillsbury booklet from 2010          ( pillsbury.com ). We have enjoyed it several times as it fits in perfect with a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Sweet Potato Boats
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Sweet Potato Boats
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork & rub with oil. Place on baking sheet & bake 45-55 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp; remove & drain on paper towel. In bacon drippings, cook onion & celery about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add broth & 2 Tbsp butter; heat to boiling. Stir in stuffing mix, cranberries & 2 Tbsp of the walnuts. Remove from heat, cover & set aside.
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato flesh, leaving a 1/3-inch thick wall on inside of shell; set aside. Place potato flesh in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp syrup, remaining 2 Tbsp butter & the nutmeg; mash. Spoon about 1/2 cup of stuffing mixture into each potato shell; spoon mashed sweet potato mixture over stuffing, leaving some stuffing exposed around side of shell.
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil again & spray with cooking spray. Place potato boats on sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle potatoes with crumbled bacon bits & remaining 2 Tbsp walnuts; drizzle with additional syrup.
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