A multi-task menu

Dairy Farm­ers of Canada recipes per­fect for to­day’s life­styles

The London Free Press - - FOOD - RITA DEMONTIS

We are a na­tion of multi-taskers, where, at any given mo­ment, there’s one thing or an­other be­ing tossed and turned over our heads. School, work, sports, gro­ceries, car­ing for fam­ily and friends and get­ting from here to there all the while jam­ming as many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in be­tween.

Cana­di­ans sure have their work cut out for them.

We ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples to our meal plan­ning and recipe prepa­ra­tions, too — cer­tainly our menu choices are all about keep­ing things sen­sa­tional yet sim­ple.

Just re­cently, the Dairy Farm­ers of Canada (a na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing Cana­dian dairy farm­ers that was founded in 1934) cre­ated a series of new recipes that are re­flec­tive of this new at­ti­tude, at the same time find­ing in­spi­ra­tion in Canada’s lo­cal, sus­tain­able, hand-crafted foods. Na­ture’s pantry is ev­i­dent in all foods that make Canada great.

Here’s a se­lec­tion, cre­ated by well­known food writer and recipe devel­oper Heather Trim, per­fect for the up­com­ing fall and win­ter sea­son.

“These recipes truly pack a onetwo punch — not only do they cham­pion some of the best foods Canada has to share, they nour­ish our fam­i­lies’ from the in­side out,” says Trim.

And they’re per­fect for the mul­ti­ple-may­hem life­styles we all seem to have.

For ad­di­tional de­tails and ideas, check out Qual­i­tymilk.ca. MilkCal­en­dar.ca. Dairy­good­ness.ca.

HEARTY SWEET POTATO AU GRATIN This ver­sa­tile side dish will go well with pretty much ev­ery­thing.

2 medium sweet pota­toes, about 1½ lb. (750 g) in to­tal 2 Tbsp. (30mL) but­ter 1 large clove gar­lic, minced ½ tsp. (2mL) salt

2 Tbsp. (30mL) all-pur­pose flour 2 cups (500mL) 18% cream 2 Tbsp. (30mL) chopped fresh thyme (op­tional) ½ cup (125 mL) shred­ded aged Cana­dian Ched­dar Pre­heat oven to 375F (190C). Peel pota­toes; slice into rounds no thicker than 1/8 inch (0.3 cm). In a medium saucepan, melt but­ter over medium heat; add gar­lic and salt. Stir 1 minute. Whisk in flour un­til com­bined. Grad­u­ally add cream, whisk­ing un­til com­bined.

Bring to a boil, whisk­ing oc­ca­sion­ally un­til thick­ened, for 2 to 3 min­utes. Layer half of pota­toes in an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) bak­ing dish. Scat­ter with half of thyme. Top with half of cream sauce. Re­peat with re­main­ing pota­toes; driz­zle re­main­ing cream mix­ture over top.

Press pota­toes to even out lay­ers and coat in cream. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 min­utes. Sprin­kle with ched­dar cheese and re­main­ing thyme.

Bake un­cov­ered for 15 min­utes un­til bub­bly and top is a deep golden brown. Let stand for 10 min­utes.

Serves 8-10.

SU­PER EASY CHICKEN PARM Switch it up and turn it into an Ital­ian sand­wich.

½ cup (125mL) bot­tled tomato pas­sata ¼ cup (60mL) dry Ital­ian bread­crumbs 1 lb. (500g) bone­less, skin­less chicken breasts, about 2 2 Tbsp. (30mL) but­ter, di­vided 1 clove gar­lic, minced 2 Tbsp. (30mL) all-pur­pose flour 1 cup (250mL) milk

½ cup (125mL) shred­ded moz­zarella ½ cup (125mL) grated Parme­san 2 Tbsp. (30mL) chopped fresh basil (op­tional) 4 small Ital­ian buns (op­tional)

Pre­heat oven to 400F (200C). Spread pas­sata over base of a 9 x 13-inch (3 L) casse­role dish.

Place bread­crumbs on a plate. Hor­i­zon­tally slice chicken breasts in half to form 4 cut­lets. Press both sides of each cut­let into bread­crumbs to coat. Set aside. Melt 1 Tbsp. (15mL) but­ter in a large non­stick fry­ing pan. Add chicken, cook­ing un­til golden brown on each side for 2 to 4 min­utes (chicken will not be cooked through). Place in casse­role dish.

Wipe pan clean. Melt re­main­ing 1 Tbsp. (15mL) but­ter in the clean pan. Add gar­lic; cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour, then milk un­til blended. Bring to a boil, whisk­ing un­til bub­bly and thick­ened, about 2 to 3 min­utes. Re­move from heat and stir in moz­zarella. Driz­zle moz­zarella sauce over chicken. Sprin­kle with Parme­san. Bake for 15 min­utes. Sprin­kle with basil. Serve as is, or place chicken and some sauce in buns.

Serves 4.

MILE-HIGH CHOCO­LATE PUD­DING PIE Who can re­sist this clas­sic, choco­latey good­ness?

Crust:

1/3 cup (75mL) un­salted but­ter 1½ cups (375mL) choco­late cookie or graham wafer crumbs

Fill­ing:

¼ cup (60mL) EACH un­sweet­ened co­coa pow­der, gran­u­lated sugar, corn­starch ¼ tsp. (1mL) salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

2½ cups (625mL) milk

¾ cup (175mL) finely chopped bit­ter­sweet or semisweet choco­late, about 3 oz. (90g) 2 Tbsp. (30mL) un­salted but­ter 1 Tbsp. (15mL) vanilla Top­ping:

1½ cups (375mL) 35% cream 2 Tbsp. (30mL) gran­u­lated sugar 1 tsp. (5mL) vanilla Coarsely grated choco­late (op­tional)

Pre­heat oven to 375F (190C).

Crust: Melt but­ter in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Re­move from heat; stir in crumbs. Turn into a 9-inch (23 cm) shal­low glass pie plate. Press evenly up sides and on bot­tom of pie plate. Bake for 8 min­utes in cen­tre of pre­heated oven un­til set.

Fill­ing: In a medium saucepan, whisk co­coa with sugar, corn­starch and salt. Whisk in egg as best as you can; add milk. Con­tinue to whisk un­til smooth and no lumps re­main. Set over medium heat. Stir­ring con­tin­u­ously, bring to a boil, 3 to 5 min­utes. Fill­ing will thicken and bub­ble. Re­duce heat to low; sim­mer gen­tly and stir for 1 minute. Add choco­late and but­ter. Stir un­til melted. Stir in vanilla. Turn into slightly cooled pie shell. Re­frig­er­ate for 2 hours or un­til cold and set.

Top­ping: Beat cream with sugar and vanilla un­til stiff peaks form. Spoon onto chilled pie. Swirl. Grate choco­late over top if us­ing. Re­frig­er­ate un­til ready to eat. Best eaten within a day of mak­ing. Serves 8-10.

Vari­a­tion: For a fancier ver­sion, use a 9-inch (23 cm) tart shell. Gar­nish with goose­ber­ries, cher­ries and choco­late curls.

Clock­wise from left, Hearty Sweet Potato au Gratin, Su­per Easy Chicken Parm and Mile-High Choco­late Pud­ding Pie

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