Creamy Chicken, Corn & Vegetable Chowder

With so many veggies at their peak in the fall, it’s a great time to make a hearty bowl of chowder. This recipe makes great use of leftover roasted turkey and stock, too – often we’ll just use a meaty stock that has not been strained, rather than measure out leftover roast chicken or turkey. This soup is equally delicious with leftover chopped ham in place of the chicken.

As with most soups, ingredients can be played with and measurements are approximate – use what you like, add more carrots if you like carrots, add a handful of baby spinach (we did, when we reheated the leftovers) or chopped kale or chard. Soup is infinitely versatile, inexpensive, and can be frozen for a quick meal down the road.

Creamy Chicken, Corn & Vegetable Chowder
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Ingredients
  1. canola or olive oil, for cooking
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 stalk celery, chopped
  4. 1 carrot, chopped
  5. 1 cup leftover shredded roasted chicken or turkey
  6. 2 Tbsp. flour
  7. 1 tsp. thyme
  8. 1 L chicken stock
  9. 1-2 small thin-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  10. 1 cup sweet kernel corn
  11. 1/2 cup half & half (or to taste)
  12. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Drizzle some oil into a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until soft. Add the chicken or turkey, sprinkle with the flour and thyme and cook, stirring, for another minute. Stir in the stock, add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Stir in the corn, and cream if you’re using it, and allow the chowder to return to a gentle simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.
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Herbed Bulgur Salad

 

Herbed Bulgur Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup dry bulgur (cracked wheat)
  2. 1 cup boiling water
  3. big handfuls of fresh parsley and cilantro, leaves pulled off the stems and coarsely chopped (a bunch or two)
  4. a smaller handful of mint and/or dill
  5. a small handful of chopped toasted walnuts
  6. juice of a big, juicy lemon
  7. a good drizzle of good olive oil
  8. if you like: tiny tomatoes, crumbled feta, shaved cucumber
Instructions
  1. Put the dry bulgur into a bowl and pour the boiling water overtop; cover with a plate and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Pour off any water than hasn't been absorbed (I like to do this in a sieve, shaking it to make sure all excess moisture is gone) and transfer to a bowl and set aside or in the fridge to cool.
  2. Add the herbs, squeeze over the lemon juice and a good glug of oil, toss and add the toasted walnuts (and anything else you think would taste good). Serves 4-6ish.
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Many people overlook fresh herbs as a potential salad ingredient – classic Middle Eastern tabbouleh is a notable exception, loaded with flat-leaf parsley, grains and typically cucumbers and tomatoes. It’s a perfect candidate if you have all three growing in your back yard (or at their peak at the farmers’ market), but if you want to make use of a wider variety of herbs, this leafy, herb-heavy bulgur salad is packed with green goodness: parsley, cilantro, mint and dill, but you could use anything you have on hand and love. 

This salad is simple to make – bulgur is simply soaked in boiling water, so you can plug in the kettle and don’t even need to put a pot on the stove. A squeeze of lemon gives it a brightness and brings out all the green, herbal flavours, and a drizzle of olive oil adds richness, healthy fats, and smooths everything out. We added a handful of chopped toasted walnuts, but pine nuts would  be delicious too. Feel free to add tomatoes and cukes to make it more like a classic tabbouleh.

Winter Slaw

Need a new idea for a crunchy Thanksgiving salad using wintry vegetables? Sure, you could go the kale route, but why not try chopped napa cabbage and thinly sliced or shaved jicama or kohlrabi? Both are fresh and crunchy; kohlrabi is a brassica vegetable and once peeled, tastes like the inside of a broccoli stalk. Jicama is a root vegetable that doesn’t look like much, but is so snappy and fresh tasting you’ll find all kinds of uses for it, from veggie platters to salads.

Measurements here are up to you – use as much of each ingredient as you like, depending on your taste and how many you have to serve. If you like, top with chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, too.

Winter Vegetable Slaw
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Ingredients
  1. finely sliced Napa cabbage
  2. thinly sliced, slivered or julienned jicama and/or kohlrabi
  3. thinly sliced celery (leaves too)
  4. julienned apple
  5. crumbled feta
  6. toasted walnuts
Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  4. 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  5. 1 tsp. sugar
  6. salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pile the veggies in a shallow salad bowl or on a platter, saving the walnuts to scatter on top. To make the dressing, shake all the ingredients up in a jar and drizzle overtop; toss gently to coat. Top with walnuts and serve. Serves as many as you like.
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Classic Bolognese

Although it still feels like summer, and we still eat outside when it’s sunny enough, fall is definitely here – back to school time makes me crave those classic dishes from my childhood: shepherds’ pie, chili, classy chicken, and spaghetti loaded with sauce. When we start getting back into the groove of fall schedules, I like to make a habit of preparing twice (or more) as much dinner as we need, and freezing the surplus for an almost instant dinner on another night. A classic bolognese is the perfect candidate for the freezer – and makes use of fall veggies in season, like garlic, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, if you’re inclined to add any. Or roughly chop a bunch of veggies and skip the meat altogether for a vegetarian bolognese.

This recipe is fairly small, but can be doubled or even tripled for a larger batch – or bulk it up with extra veggies and tomatoes. Often when I have overripe tomatoes I’ll toss them in the freezer whole, then add them to sauces later.

Classic Bolognese
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Ingredients
  1. olive oil, for cooking
  2. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  5. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3 slices bacon or pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
  7. 1 lb. lean ground beef, or half ground beef and half ground pork
  8. 1 28 oz. (798 mL) can diced or whole plum tomatoes, drained
  9. 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  10. a few basil leaves
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1/2 cup half & half (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep skillet, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bacon in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps of meat until no traces of pink remain. Add a splash of wine if you like, and cook until the liquid evaporates.
  2. Crush the tomatoes with a fork and add them along with the balsamic vinegar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour to an hour, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Add the basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste, stir in the half & half and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over pasta with grated Parmesan cheese at the table. Serves 4-6.
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Inside-Out Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back to school time is cookie season for us – I don’t know whether I make them out of self-preservation or to fill lunchboxes. Everyone needs a little comforting treat when summer comes to an end, and I like baking a batch of cookies on the weekend to wrap and tuck into lunch boxes all week. Sometimes, when I’m really on the ball, I’ll make and freeze balls of dough so I have something to slide into the oven after school – there’s nothing like walking in the door after a long day and the house smells like chocolate. Bonus: with a stash of dough, you can bake a few at a time in the toaster oven, and not have a couple dozen to eat your way through.

To freeze and bake, freeze balls on a sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag; take them out, place them on a parchment-lined sheet and let them sit while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.

Inside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/3 cup cocoa
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and almost fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low until almost combined; add the chocolate chips and stir just until blended.
  4. Drop dough by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on their size) until set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
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brown butter loaf

Boozy Brown Butter Loaf Cake

brown butter loaf

Brown butter seems to be all the rage these days — for good reason. Cooking butter in a pan so that the milk solids turn a golden brown gives butter a deep and nutty flavour. Brown butter is great over vegetables and adds a unique flavour to baking. We love putting it in this deceptively simple loaf cake. Read More