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D is for Dinner: March 2013 Archives

D is for Dinner - Art-Is-In's Croque Monsieur

croque monsieur.JPGMany in Ottawa have grown fond of the doughy delights created by Art-is-In bakery, and sold at grocery stores across the city.  It'll soon be harder to get your hands on that bread.  Art-is-In says it can no longer distribute wholesale, instead concentrating on the cafe side of the business.  Stephanie and Kevin Mathieson are the people behind the bakery.  They brought one of their concoctions in to studio.  Alan Neal got a taste of their croque monsieur. 

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Art-is-In's Croque Monsieur Recipe:


2 slices of Kevin's white sourdough
2 oz of bechamel
4 slices of swiss gruyere cheese
100 grams of shredded gruyere


Spread one ounce of bechamel on each slice of bread. Add 2 slices of cheese each.  Pile the ham on one side, then top with the other piece of bread.  Layer the shredded gruyere on top, and bake until golden brown.

D is for Dinner - Maple Syrup


Marie-Cecile "Cezin" Nottaway of Wawatay Catering uses maple syrup as the not-so-secret ingredient in most of her cooking. She swears by the Awazibi syrup produced on the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Reserve.

Cezin dropped by Studio 12 to walk Alan through how to turn sap into sticky taffy.  She also shared her recipe for Maple Dijon Sage Butter.
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Maple Dijon Sage Butter


1 lb salted butter(room temp)
1/2 cup Awazibi maple syrup (or more!)
3 tbsp Dijon grainy mustard
1/4 cup fresh sage


Add all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix mix well. Store in container or roll out on parchment paper. Enjoy with bread or mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, on steak or chicken!

D is for Dinner - Beef and Guiness Pie

Mat Desjardins.JPGIf you've ever wanted to go to Ireland, 2013 could be a good year to do it. Throughout the year, Ireland will welcome tourists with special gatherings organized in villages, towns and cities across the country.

But if you can't make it Ireland, the Ottawa Irish Festival has many events planned to bring out the Irish in you this week. This year, D is for Dinner decided to forgo the pitcher of green beer and consume beer the way any self-respecting Irishman or woman would -- in a pie. Mat Desjardins is the chef to Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett. He shared his recipe for Beef and Guiness Pie.

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Beef & Guinness Pie

Pie Filling - Four Individual Pies
    1 tbs butter
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 onion, diced
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    600g beef cut in 1/2 inch cubes (sirloin, but round will do).
    2 carrots, sliced
    1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
    500ml (1 can) Guinness
    1 cup beef stock
    1 dash Worcester sauce
    2 tsp tomato paste
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1 sprig thyme
    salt and pepper

    125 grams Margarine
    3/4  cup of boiling water
    2 1/4 cups of flour
    1 egg, beaten

1.     Prepare pastry first, as it needs to rest in the fridge.  Melt the margarine in a large bowl, add the boiling water, and sift in the flour.  Leave it to set in the fridge for at least an hour.
2.      Heat butter in heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and garlic, stirring until they soften.  Set aside in a bowl.
3.      Add oil to pot and allow to re-heat. Toss beef in seasoned flour and add to pot in batches, browning off. Bring onions and garlic back into pot, throw in carrots, mushrooms, thyme, black pepper, dash of Worcester sauce and tomato paste, stirring vigorously to coat everything.
4.      Pour in Guinness and beef stock. Stir well and reduce heat. Put lid on pot and allow to simmer quietly for an hour, until beef is tender and juices reduced.
5.      Allow a generous sprinkle of flour on the table when you're rolling out the pastry.  Ensure the circles are slightly wider than the bowl you'll be cooking them in, so that pastry falls over the sides.
6.      Place pie mixture into oven-proof bowls and layer the circle of pastry on top, patting down to seal the edges. Brush well with beaten egg, pierce a small hole to allow steam to escape, and pop in the 350 degree pre-heated oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes, until the pastry lid is golden brown. Remove and serve.