Chili Stuffed Zucchini Burgers

Calling these burgers could be a misnomer but they sure are good looking when presented at the table and taste even better.

  • 1 recipe of “Chili-Don’s way” on this site
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernal corn
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) Tex Mex shredded cheese
  • 1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce

Trim the ends off the zucchini. Lengthwise, cut a thin strip just along the top of each one. With a melon baller, scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch thick wall of shell. Discard the pulp.

Add the corn to your chili and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 of the cheese to the mixture.

Spoon the mixture generously into each shell and place in a baking dish. Cover with tin foil tightly and bake  for 30-35 minutes until shell as almost tender. Remove the foil and sprinkle more cheese over each one and return to the oven, baking for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Plate and top with your marinara sauce. Voila! It is delicious.

 

Maple Baked Trout For Dinner

Recipe  #1777

Yum…..this is a super, duper recipe for trout and sooo easy to prepare, bake and, of course, eat.

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 trout portions

Combine everything into a large, sealable container and add the trout.  Toss to coat well. Seal and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Remove the trout from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Place in a baking dish and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes or until done.

Serve with a fresh potato salad and crisp green salad or garlic mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Simply add a warm dinner roll and a glass of the chilled ‘stuff’ and you have a wonderful meal.

Enjoy.

 

Trout Crusted With Pistachios

While at Costco a week or so ago, I bought a bag of shelled pistachios as I was making a few desserts that required them, then I thought why not use the trout fillets we have on hand as well. We did and they were delicious.

  • 6 trout fillets, skin removed, bones as well
  • 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground pistachios (toasted)
  • baby potatoes, steamed
  • lemon wedges

Place the trout on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the mustard over the tops and sprinkle liberally with the nuts, pressing to make sure they adhere.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for about 13-14 minutes or until the fillets flake easily.

Plate a fillet on each plate, add a few baby potatoes, lemon wedge and, of course, a beautiful green salad, sprinkled with some pistachios.

Serve with warm dinner rolls and a glass of chilled white wine. Yippee!

Super Smooth Butternut Squash Soup

This is recipe #1775

 

What can I say? Don is on a roll again today. We had a large squash on hand and he decided to make this soup. OMG! I’m sure glad he did. Make it – try it and you will make it again and again.

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes. cubed
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 1/2 containers of chicken stock (44 ounces)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • grate a pinch of whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. butter

Melt the butter in a large pot and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes and squash for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low , cover with a lid and simmer for 60 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Add the nutmeg and cream.

Using a hand held blender (we called the motor boat) and blend until really, really smooth. If any stock left, add now and again, season with salt and pepper.

YUM!!!!!

Chicken Vol Au Vent

I always have a package of these shells in the freezer and this is a wonderful way to use them and enjoy a great light lunch or dinner before going out for the evening.

  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 minced large shallot
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped white mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2-3 tbsp. good white wine
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 Vol au Vent shells, baked as per instructions on package

In a saucepan, put in the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in a fry pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further minute.

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and golden in colour.

Sprinkle the flour  over and, stirring constantly, cook for a minute. Add the wine and continue cooking until it has all evaporated. Pour this into the stock and add the chicken breasts. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Carefully spoon into the baked shells. If you wish, pour a glass of chilled white wine and Voila! a perfect meal.

Enjoy.

Real Italian Limoncello From Scratch

I made this years ago and the longer it sits, the better it is, (I think).

  • 9 lemons, peeled thinly, no white,
  • squeeze lemon juice into a bottle and place  in the refrigerator*
  • 1 bottle vodka, plain – not flavoured

Okay, that is the hard part….Pour this into a container with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool, dark place for 20 days. Only the vodka and lemon skins.

Once a week, gentle move the peels in the container (do not open, just gently shake).

After the 20th day, boil 6 cups of water and add 3 1/2  cups white sugar. Stir this really well to dissolve the sugar. Strain the lemon solution and discard the peel. Add the lemon solution to the simple syrup and pour into clean and sanitized bottles. Make sure you have corks or similar tops.

This should be served really cold, in small glasses and sipped following a special dinner. In a word: YUM!!!!

 

*this way you will have freshly squeezed lemon juice for any recipe you may be making.

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.