Cheddar Apple Biscuits

When you are preparing a brunch for family or for a light luncheon on the deck, try these biscuits. Really quite nice.

 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 tbsp. frozen butter, grated
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the apple, cheese, butter and pepper. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk and egg. Stir slowly to mix together until combined.

Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead until it just comes together. Gently pat out into a 1 inch thick square.

With a floured knife, cut the dough into 16 pieces and set out on the baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart.

Bake 15-18 minutes until the bottoms are a golden brown. Serve these warm with butter. Anything else is up to your imagination.

Enjoy!

Brown’s Social House

  1. You know when you haven’t been back to a restaurant you liked for quite awhile, you wonder is it the same. Well, the other day (Friday) I had my hair done and, as he always has for almost 30 years, Don took me out for dinner to show off my new ‘do’. He never fails this gesture and I very much appreciate it.
  2. I, of course, ordered my usual Hollywood Burger. I believe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and, along with my meal, a glass of wine.
  3. Don ordered the 6 oz, steak and Frites and said it was really good and he would ordered it again. High praise indeed because when it comes to steak, he is one critical diner. It comes from the fact that he is one awesome cook himself.

The one thing that brings us back here albeit not as often as I would like, is the great servers they have. Ellie (Eleanor) was the lady of choice this time and she is one awesome employee. Always checking but not overdone to see if we needed anything, how was our meal and she even had them change the on TV over our heads so we could watch the baseball game with the Blue Jays. Yea!

Good food, good service and better yet, always on top and always caring. The customers who come here are of the same plane, out for a good meal with good company and never the rowdy group. Love it and just love this restaurant.

The Very Best Cheese Sauce Ever!

For our Sunday dinner, Kelly made a cheese sauce to die for. In fact, we even had it over our eggs on toast this morning. Give it a go and I am sure you will never use any other cheese sauce.

  • 4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 oz. Velveeta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

In a saucepan, melt the butter and slowly add the flour, whisking constantly to make a roux. Remove from the heat.

Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk, salt and pepper and return to a low heat, for about 5-8 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add the nutmeg last.

OMG! this means Oh my goodness….wonderful.

Rotisserie Roast Beef

On Sunday Don put a roast on the bbq and this is the rub he used. It was fantstic and I hope you will give it a try.

  • 1/2 cup red dry wine
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Montreal steak spice

Mix this altogether and spread on the roast and marinate in a sealed bag for 2 hours.

Tie the roast up with butcher twine and place on the spit, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile proceed with the Au Jus below.

 

Au Jus

To the drippings, add

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook on the stove, stirring constantly until thickens.

We served this with garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob (halves) and it was incredible.

Leftover Ham Casserole

We bought a ham and, after two dinners, several days of sandwiches, omelets and soup, there was still some ham so….here we go (my mom would be so proud as we worked this as she could with a small roast of beef).

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small yam, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups plus cooked ham, cubed (use up whatever you have left)
  • 1 can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4-6 oz. cheese, shredded
  • 3-4 asparagus spears, chopped small

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the potatoes until tender, but still firm in a pot of boiling water. Drain and cool a bit.

Combine the ham, corn, asparagus and potatoes and set aside. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a paste and gradudally add the milk and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the ham mixture. Stir to mix well.

Grease a baking dish (11 x 7) and pour in the mixture. Lightly sprinkle with paprika and bake covered in the oven for 20 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350. Remove the cover, add all the cheese and bake a further 20 minutes. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes to get a light brown crust.

Finish with crispy onion topping and fresh herbs.

This, my friends, is bloomin’ awesome.

BBQ’d Pulled Pork

I think Don makes THE best, and here is another version to try, and it is really easy with no fuss or muss.

  • 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder

Line the crock pot with large pieces of celery and carrots and place the roast in a slow cooker and proceed…

Sauce

  • 1 bottle your favourite bbq sauce (we prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey bbq sauce )
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup water

Now for the real tough part… stir together and pour over the roast and cook for 8 hours on low heat.

Finally

Place the roast on a cookie sheet and remove any excess fat. With two forks shred the meat into stringy pieces. Skim any fat off the surface of the sauce left in the crock pot and return the meat to the sauce. Stir well and let sit for about 5 minutes. The meat will absorb the sauce.

Get your favourite rolls, pile the pork on top of bottom half, top with a creamy coleslaw (your choice) and add the top bun.

OMG!!!!! This is so delicious.

Grilled Chicken Salad With A Twist

The days are finally in summer temperature mode and I thought this would help out for making a light supper to be enjoyed on the deck.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch of pepper and crushed oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • spring salad mix (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped coarsely

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well. Let stand for 1 -1  1/2 hours to allow them to mellow out.

Cook the chicken over the grill, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until tender and no longer pink. Cool slightly.

On 4 plates, arrange the salad greens, topping with the grapes, goat cheese and nuts. Slice each breast and arrange 1 per plate. Shake the dressing and drizzle over all.

Add a glass of your favourite chilled white wine and simply enjoy.

Cornbread With Frozen Sweet Corn

Having two members of the family who are here loving Cornbread and I am always looking and trying different recipes, here is one and I swear it is THE best Cornbread I have ever made. Kudos to the Spruce Eats.

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, drained and patted dry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the half and half, beaten eggs, butter and sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix only until moistened – no more than 15 seconds.

Fold in the corn but don’t overmix this or the cornbread will be tough.

Pour into a well greased cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve with a bit of butter and light drizzle of honey. ODG!!!

Next time I am going to add some cheese in the batter and see how that comes out.

 

Mushroom Tart

Here is another way to make something new…we are supposed to be learning something while at home, so this is delicious and you will probably make it again and again.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus 2 additional tbsp.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2-3 tbsp. ice water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • pinch of salt/pepper
  • 4-5 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • dash each of hot pepper sauce and Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (white is preferred)
  • 4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved
  • 2 cups pea shoots
  • white truffle oil, sprinkle only

In a mixing bowl combine the first three ingredients. Cut in the lard until it resenbles a coarse meal.

Add the ice water and mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for about 5 minutes. Roll out the dough on a floured board to a 12 inch round and 1//4 inch. Fold the dough into quarters and place it on a 10 inch tart pan. Roll a rolling pin over the entire surface to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.

In a medium suace pan melt the butter, add onions, salt and pepper and saute for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes until they hahve wilted. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat. Cool completely.

In a small bowl whisk together the cream annd eggs. Season with the hot pepper sauce, Worchestershire sauce and a pinch of salt and peppere. Mix well.

Pour the mushroom mixture into the pastry shell and sprinkle the cheese over. Bake until the center sets which should take about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

In a bowl toss the pea shoots with the slightest drizzle of the truffle oil and garnish each slice with a pile of pea shoots.

YUM!

Braised Short Ribs With Bitter Chocolate and Oregano

I personally feel that Don does up THE best ribs going and this is another version and since we are all still on a temporary stay-at-home situation, why not give this one a try.

  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 5-6 lbs. bone in short ribs
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (strings removed)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled carrots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups drained, canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf.

 

In a heavy pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and epper and in small batches, cook the ribs, browning on all sides. This will probably take about 7-8 minutes per batch. Transfer these to a plate.

Add the onion, shallots, celery and carrots to the pot, cover and cook the vegetables on a lower temperature until soft. Be sure to stir them every couple of minutes during the 10 minute cook.

Add the wine and with no cover, boil until the liquid is now reduced by half. Be sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot for all the good bits for 5 minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Place the ribs in the pot and cover partially and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid completely and cook a further 1 1/2 hours until the meat is really tender. Remove the ribs to a plate. Now make the sauce.

Chocolate and Oregano Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bay leaf. If there is excess fat on the surface, remove it with a spoon. Boil the sauce now until it begins to thicken (about 7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and add all the ingredients, stirring until the chocolate melts. Taste it and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Return the ribs to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes to rewarm it all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Braised Ham With A Maple Raisin Sauce

Mother’s Day is very close and this could be a new way to serve ham.

  • 7-8 lb. fully cooked bone in ham
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup maple sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white cranberry juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cups golden raisins

In a very large (10 qt.) pot, place the ham, cut side own and add the water and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cooking for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and let cool a little.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the ham is cool enough to handle remove the ham from the pot and reserve the liquid, Cut off any rind and excess fat and leave a very thin layer of fat. Transfer ham to a roast pan.

Whisk together all the ingredients, except the raisins and spoon over the ham. Add the raisins and 1 cup of the cooking liquid and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, baste this occasionally so the ham is glazed and the juices are bubbling.

Serve warm to some very appreciative people around the table.

Just add the potatoes of your choice, a vegetable or two and you will be the winner. Just think about the ham sandwiches for tomorrow. Oh yeah!

Olive Varieties With Orange And Rosemary

When we were on vacation a few years ago, we travelled with 2 ladies who became friends and one of them loved olives as much as my husband and these two would ‘steal’ the dishes of olives off all the other tables in the dining room. So…Liz and Don here is a recipe for the two of you (and any one else who loves these little critters).

  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • zest from 1/2 orange, peeled in long strips with swivel peeler
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz. mixed olives like Liguria, kalamata, nicoise, cerignola (green)
  • 1 tsp. fennel
  • zest from 1/2 lemon

In a skillet on medium high heat, put the olive oil, coriander seeds, herbs, orange and lemon zest, pepper flakes. Swirl the pan and heat this mixture until it becomes fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).

Add the olives and cook, occasionally stirring  until the garlic is golden and the zest begins to curl. This should only take about 2 minutes.

Serve these warm or room temperature.