Wis­dom and stuffles

The Western Star - - FOOD - Terry Bursey The Food Dude Terry Bursey, oth­er­wise known as the Food Dude, is a New­found­land chef trans­planted to On­tario who en­joys putting his mark on tra­di­tional recipes and in­vent­ing new tasty treats with un­ex­pected in­gre­di­ents. Reach him at the­fooddu

As a pri­vate cook, I’ve had some crazy re­quests over the years from some very imag­i­na­tive peo­ple who un­der­stand­ably lacked the cook­ing skills to bring their unique vi­sions to life. Re­cently, I was com­mis­sioned to cre­ate a dish for a friend named Ted who des­per­ately missed the taste of his ex-girl­friend’s cre­ative cook­ing and, while he could cer­tainly man­age to cook for him­self when it came to a few ba­sic meals, he was no ex­pert and far from cre­ative. Be­ing a fam­ily friend of sorts, I de­cided to wave my usual fees and only charge him for some choice in­gre­di­ents that I thought would make for a tasty cre­ative dish. I was also ex­cited to see him, as well, as it had been a long time since we last had a proper visit.

“You’ve been pretty down in the dumps lately, Terry,” he said, as I laid my load of in­gre­di­ents out on his yel­lowed and doily-pep­pered kitchen counter.

Be­ing ever ob­ser­vant of peo­ple’s emo­tions and a man who ap­pre­ci­ated open hon­esty, I ex­plained to Ted that the mother of my child in On­tario was with­hold­ing con­tact with my son for rea­sons yet to be ex­plained and that I wasn’t even al­lowed to know his ex­act ad­dress since I was forced to move back home to New­found­land. All of this, of course, was weigh­ing deeply on my heart al­most con­stantly. He clasped a tight hand of sup­port down on my shoul­der and gave me a small know­ing smile, as he had gone through al­most the ex­act same sce­nario when he was my age more than 20 years ago.

“It’s sad to see that so many changes have been made for the bet­ter in so­ci­ety since I was a young man but that when it comes to fa­ther’s rights, there’s still such a long way to go. Sym­pa­thy sways the masses, b’y, and there’s rarely any of that for a grown man,” he said with solemn sad­ness.

As we talked, Ted helped me pre­pare our in­gre­di­ents and be­gan giv­ing me ad­vice how­ever he could and as the min­utes wore by I be­gan to feel bet­ter about the heart­break­ing sit­u­a­tion I was in. My ego took a bit of a beat­ing from some of the ad­mon­ish­ing state­ments that came with his ad­vice, but I knew Ted to be a far smarter and wiser man than me and thus worth lis­ten­ing to, re­gard­less of the oc­ca­sional sting­ing words.

When all was said and done, we had pre­pared a fine New­found­lan­der’s din­ner (main­lan­der’s lunch) of open-faced hot oven sand­wiches stuffed with ground beef, a vari­a­tion of my own per­sonal trump card dish called Stuffles. With re­spect, here is the recipe:

Dad’s Stuffles

4 ex­tra-thick slices of soft bread, any kind

½ lb lean ground beef

1 small onion, small diced

4 thick slices of pro­cessed ham

1 green pep­per, juli­enned

½ pack­age of ba­con, diced

1 cup shred­ded mozza cheese

1 cup shred­ded old ched­dar cheese

1 cup green onions, diced

1 small can of pizza sauce

½ cup salsa

2 tbsp gar­lic but­ter

1 tbsp Ital­ian sea­son­ing

1 tbsp basil

Salt and pep­per to taste

Di­rec­tions

In a large sauté pan, use a small amount of but­ter or oil and medium-high heat to brown your ground beef with diced onion, salt, pep­per, basil and Ital­ian sea­son­ing.

Add pizza sauce and roughly 2 tsp of wa­ter and stir well to cre­ate a meat mix­ture. Set aside. Pre­heat oven to 400 F. Pre­pare ba­con in a sep­a­rate sauté pan on medi­umhigh heat, drain and set aside. Pre­pare re­main­ing top­ping in­gre­di­ents as listed and do the same in prepa­ra­tion for top­ping. On the bot­tom edge of each slice of bread, care­fully cut a hor­i­zon­tal hol­low out of the in­side be­ing sure to leave about an inch of bread along the edges to make a bread pouch. Care­fully spoon an even amount of the meat mix­ture into the hol­low of each bread slice. Next, pre­pare a 9x 13 bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per and lay out each slice of stuffed bread. Smear each slice with gar­lic but­ter, then top in or­der with sliced ham, ched­dar cheese, pep­pers, green onion, salsa, ba­con and moz­zarella cheese. Top with pep­per and salt as de­sired. Bake for roughly 12 min­utes or un­til edges be­come golden brown in colour.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Dad’s Stuffles is the Food Dude’s own per­sonal trump card dish.

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