Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes


Venison is slightly gamey; ground beef or pork make good substitutes, if preferred. You can omit the dried kidney beans and stir in 1 drained 398 ml can about 20 minutes before finishing cooking.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 2 horus
Serves:  6 to 8



1 tbsp olive oil

2 pounds (1 kg) ground venison

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup diced carrots

4 stalks celery, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp paprika

2 bay leaves

1 796 mL canned whole tomatoes, crushed

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 cups red kidney beans, soaked overnight

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 bannocks



Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add venison and cook until browned. Spoon into a bowl.

Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 min. Return venison to pot.

Stir in chilli powder, paprika and bay leaves and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, kidney beans and 1 ½ cups water.

Simmer for 15 minutes. Add rosemary. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.

Cook until beans are soft, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve chili on bannocks with a spoonful of sour cream, grated old cheddar, and chopped chives.



Venison chili works best with a fruity, opulent red to offset the gamey quality and tame the heat. Try shiraz or zinfandel. Or a citrusy, bitter West Coast pale ale. - Beppi Crosariol

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With corn and tomatoes at their peak, this is the only time of year to serve this salad. The chipotle adds smokiness, but you can use Asian chili sauce or hot sauce if it is not available. This is a good buffet salad as well as a side dish for grilled steaks.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 35 minutes
Serves:  4 (makes 6 cups)


Vegetable mixture:

2 ears corn, husked

1 jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced (10 ounces each)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped Spanish onions

1 cup cooked or canned black turtle beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons chopped basil or coriander


Honey lime vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons chopped chipotle pepper

Salt and pepper to taste



Brush corn and jalapeno with olive oil. Grill on high heat for about 12 minutes, turning occasionally or until corn kernels are flecked with brown spots and jalapeno looks charred. Remove skin and seeds from jalapeno and chop. Slice kernels off cob. Combine corn, jalapeno, tomatoes, garlic and onions with black beans and basil or coriander.

Stir together olive oil, honey, lime juice and chipotle. Toss with vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with smoked-cheese biscuits.

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This beautiful, herbal salad looks spectacular when made with small green lentils de Puy, which retain their shape and texture well. If not available, then use regular green or brown lentils, which cook for slightly less time. This makes a good side dish with grilled fish or chicken.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours, including cooling time
Serves:  6 to 8




2 cups lentils de Puy

6 cups of water

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 slices lemon

1 bay leaf

4 sprigs thyme

1 dried red chili pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper



1 cup chopped green olives

½ cup chopped green onions

½ cup chopped fresh mint

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice



Place lentils in a pot with water, onion, garlic cloves, lemon, bay leaf, thyme and chili pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until lentils are softened. Drain well and discard garlic, lemon, bay leaf, thyme and chili. Season with salt and pepper

Whisk together olives, onions, mint, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir into lentils while they are still hot. Cool.

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My mother used flour to thicken the soup and a combination of eggs and cream to enrich it at the end. Certainly you could use the eggs and cream, but I like the flavour of the coconut milk with the garam masala. I used Pink Lady apples but any tart apple will do.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 40 minutes, plus cooling time

Serves: 4 - 6




2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

2 cups chopped and peeled apples, preferably a tart apple

1 cup chopped celery

2 fresh Thai red chilies, whole

1/2 cup red lentils

1 tablespoon garam masala

4 cups chicken stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup thick coconut milk


1/4 cup chives

1/4 cup coconut milk



Heat butter in a soup pot on medium heat. Add onions, apples, celery and Thai chilies. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until vegetables start to soften.

Add lentils and garam masala, and sauté everything together until you can smell the spices. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender.

Purée in food processor. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cool soup. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Sprinkle with chives and swirl with some coconut milk over top before serving.



Hibiscus tea is the go-to beverage for many in Senegal, a largely Muslim country. Those who do consume alcohol might opt for a local beer, such as Flag or Biere La Gazelle. I’d be more inclined toward a medium-bodied white wine, preferably one with strong aromatic presence to push back against the spicy assault. Riesling and gewürztraminer would work particularly well with this soup, their rich fruit taming heat better than beer. - Beppi Crosariol

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I convinced my friend, filmmaker and writer Gail Singer, to give me her go-to recipe for summer dinner parties. It’s a standout dish that allows you to change the vegetables. (Just be sure there is about 1 to 2 cups of each, cut in julienne or matchstick-size pieces.)

You can buy perilla leaves in Japanese or other Asian markets, or substitute a combination of basil and mint.

To serve: Some people like to pour the dressing into the bottom of their bowl and dip in the noodles and vegetables. Others toss the dressing with the noodles and vegetables before serving.


Prep time: 25 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



300 g (10 ounces) fresh or dried buckwheat soba noodles; 3 litres (12 cups) water


2 peeled mini cucumbers or 1/2 a large cucumber, cut in julienne

2 cups medium carrots, cut in julienne

1 red or yellow pepper, cut in julienne

1 cup daikon or regular radish, cut in julienne

6 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

Salt and freshly ground pepper


¼ cup Japanese soy sauce

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sesame oil

4 teaspoons wasabi powder, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 teaspoons sugar


2 large perilla leaves, sliced about 2 tablespoons (or 4 basil leaves and 4 mint leaves)

1 cup radish sprouts or other sprouts

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Bring water to boil. Submerge noodles, stir gently. Allow to simmer – 7 minutes for dried and 5 minutes for fresh. Check a noodle by taking a bite. There should be no resistance.

Strain through a sieve then rinse noodles thoroughly in cold water, tossing with your hands. Let sit on a dish towel to dry, then refrigerate.

Place vegetables on a pretty dish in separate piles.

Heat vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan. Divide egg mixture in half and make 2 small pancakes. Cook eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, as thinly as possible. Flip and allow to brown slightly. Cool and cut into strips.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss noodles in ¾ cup dressing. Scoop a portion of noodles onto the plate. Top with each of the individual vegetables and egg. Garnish with perilla and radish sprouts. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with remaining dressing if desired.

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This unusual soup has a slight licorice flavour that is more pronounced when served chilled. If you can find baby fennel you will need three bulbs. Shave off a few shards to use as a garnish. The bigger fennel is not tender or pretty enough to use for that (in which case, basil is an attractive option).

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Serves: Six


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 bulb fennel, trimmed and coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped young, white turnips

1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

4 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound (500 grams) fava beans, shelled, blanched, outer skin removed

2 tablespoons sliced basil


Heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add onions, fennel and turnips and sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in fennel seeds.

Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 17 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Puree in food processor or blender. Return to heat and add fava beans. Simmer for 2 minutes then scatter with basil.

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This is the creamiest polenta. Polenta is not a difficult dish to make, just time-consuming and should be made with real cornmeal, not the instant kind. That said, I found that using the instant kind and adding extra cream gave me an approximation of the real thing, and saved a lot of time. Mr. Poon uses both fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms to give the sauce loads of umami and flavour.



1½ cups milk

1½ cups water

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup medium cornmeal

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mushroom Ragu: 

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup flour

Salt to taste

½ cup shallots, thinly sliced

½ cup shallots, chopped

8 ounces (250 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped

¾ teaspoon Chinese five spice

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped chives

¼ cup grated parmesan


Combine milk, water and cream in a large pot and bring to a boil. Pour in the cornmeal in a stream, whisking to incorporate and prevent clumping.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer polenta, stirring often to prevent sticking for 1 hour or until thick and creamy. Season with salt to taste. Keep warm until serving.

Stem dried shiitakes and cover with hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Strain, reserving liquid and shiitakes separately. Dice shiitakes.

Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl. Add sliced shallots and toss to coat. Shake off excess flour. Fry shallots in batches until crisp and golden. Place on paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Discard oil.

Heat remaining ¼ cup oil over medium-low in a skillet or sauté pan. Add chopped shallots and cook for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add fresh and dried shitake mushrooms. Cook, stirring often until mushrooms are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Add five spice and deep-fried shallots. Stir together and cook gently for 2 more minutes or until flavours are combined. Add reserved mushroom liquid and soy sauces. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until slightly chunky and sauce-like. Spoon over hot polenta. Garnish with chives and parmesan.

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I use hot smoked paprika in this dish but the mild works well too. Make the pesto ahead of time and warm it when needed to serve with the shrimp. Scallops and halibut are both good substitutes.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour


Mint and pea pesto:

2 pounds fresh green peas (about 2 cups shelled)

½ cup chopped fresh mint

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter

⅓ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1 ½ pounds (750 grams) large shrimp, shelled

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup chopped shallots

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

¼ cup white wine

½ cup fish or chicken stock

Freshly ground pepper


Bring a pot of water to boil. Add peas and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set 1 cup peas aside.

Add the other cup of peas to a food processor, along with mint, cheese, butter and cream, and process until almost smooth. Stir in reserved peas. When needed, heat in a skillet until warm and slightly runny, adding a little more cream if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Salt shrimp. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until beginning to soften. Add shrimp and paprika and sauté for 2 minutes or until almost cooked through. Add wine and stock and bring to a boil. Cook until shrimps isare pink and slightly curled and sauce is reduced to ¼ cup, about 2 minutes longer.

Stir in pesto. Toss together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Lentils du Puy are dark green firm lentils that were originally grown in the Auvergne area of France. These unique lentils are nutty flavoured and have very little starch so they do not clump together or fall apart. Now they are grown in Saskatchewan, and often marketed under the name “caviar lentils,” black lentils or French lentils. They are a wonderful garnish for the pancetta and eggs.

Servings: Six

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ready In: 50 minutes



1½ cups lentils du Puy

3 dried small red chilies

½ an onion, quartered

4 garlic cloves, peeled

To finish:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, dark green leaves removed, thinly sliced, about 2 cups

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Rinse lentils and place in pot. Add water to cover by 1 inch. Toss in the chili, onion and the garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Strain lentils, reserving any liquid. Discard garlic, onions and chilies. Mix ¼ cup of the liquid with the red wine vinegar.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until leeks are soft. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. Add lentils and cook for 2 minutes or until hot.

Add vinegar mixture and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with pancetta egg cups.

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Polenta or cornmeal comes in a wide range of textures: instant polenta, 5-minute polenta and regular. Follow the timing on the package directions for the kind you buy. But use the quantity of liquid specified in this recipe. As for the artichokes, this classic dish only works with small versions. Cut off the stems and remove all the leaves that are spiky.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: Polenta: 5 minutes; Artichokes: 20 minutes

Ready In: Polenta: time will vary; Artichokes: 50 minutes




4 cups water

1 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup instant polenta or cornmeal


8 small artichokes, halved if larger

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

½ cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 cup water

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper



Bring water and milk to a boil. Season with salt.

Add cornmeal in a thin stream, beating it together with the liquid. When it is absorbed, continue to beat for a minute or more according to package directions. If it is too thick, beat in more milk.

Season with more salt and pepper if needed.


Peel off the about a quarter of the artichoke's outer leaves until you see the pale green tender ones. Cut about ⅓ off the top and drop into a bowl of water with about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to keep the cut edges from discolouring.

Drain artichokes and place in a skillet or saucepan that will hold them in one layer. Add garlic, onion, thyme, water and olive oil. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer them for about 15 minutes or until nearly tender. Remove lid and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until base of artichokes are easily pierced with a fork and the sauce has reduced.

Remove artichokes from cooking liquid and if needed boil liquid for a few minutes longer or until it emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour over artichokes.

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