Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese

Easily impress with seasonal flavors and scrumptious recipes this holiday

Butternut Squash Tart (recipe below)

Butternut Squash Tart (recipe below)

(BPT) – The holidays are here and that means it’s the season for parties, events and get-togethers. Put your best dish forward with seasonally inspired recipes guaranteed to tempt your guests’ taste buds.

Packed with flavors that embody the hearty and warm tastes of the season, Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese is easy to make and easy for guests to enjoy. Perfectly versatile, this tart is easily served as a small bite or served as a light entree.

Complete the dish with Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay for the perfect pairing. The Chardonnay’s flavors of green apple, orange zest and buttery toast complement the golden puff pastry, sweet butternut squash and the salty prosciutto, making for an elegant pairing that is sure to please.

Crafted in California’s most renowned cool-climate region for Chardonnay, the Russian River Valley, and grown using earth-friendly practices, Frei Brother’s Reserve Chardonnay is an excellent choice to have on hand for this season’s holiday gatherings. To learn more about Frei Brothers Reserve, wine pairings, and more visit www.Facebook.com/FreiBrothersReserve.

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage, Prosciutto and Pecorino Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

3 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

10 sage leaves

Shaved pecorino cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place prosciutto onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Set aside until needed. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

Microwave the whole butternut squash for 3 minutes. This will not only make the squash easier to peel and slice but aids in pre-cooking. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. With a knife, slice the neck of the squash into 1/8-inch thick rounds. You will need 18 slices.

Roll the thawed but cold puff pastry into a 12-inch square and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the puff pastry with the egg wash. Arrange butternut squash slices in an overlapping pattern on top of the pastry leaving a 1-inch border on all sides; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes until puff pastry is golden.

While the tart is baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Working with five leaves at a time, place the sage leaves in the hot oil and fry for 20 seconds until leaves are bright green and crisp but do not turn brown. Place on a paper towel to drain.

Once the tart is finished, top with crumbled prosciutto slices, shaved pecorino cheese, and fried sage. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve with Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

Editor’s Note: California Table Wine, Copyright ©2014, Frei Bros. Winery, Healdsburg, CA. All rights reserved.

Family Fiesta Tacos

Boost kids’ nutrition with tips on creating a balanced plate

Family Fiesta Tacos (recipe below)

Family Fiesta Tacos (recipe below)

It’s no secret a wholesome diet helps keep kids healthy while giving them the energy and nutrients they need to concentrate and excel at school. Healthful meals and physical activity are essential for child growth and development, and parents hold the key to proper nutrition for the entire family.

Fortunately, eating right doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money or time in the kitchen. By relying on nutritious and convenient canned and frozen foods, in addition to fresh, any parent or caregiver can create quick, delicious, nutritious meals the whole family will love.

The best place to start when planning a healthy meal is to consider ingredients and portion sizes. MyPlate, the food graphic that replaced the food pyramid, is an easy guide. The graphic emphasizes building a plate with variety and appropriate portions of fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy.

Focus on fruits and vegetables: According to MyPlate, kids should be eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, with slightly more emphasis on colorful veggies. Fortunately, there are many ways to enjoy these nutrient-packed foods. All forms of fruits and vegetables, whether they are canned, fresh, frozen, dried or 100-percent juice, count toward the recommended daily intake. Stock up on canned fruit and vegetables to save on prep time and keep nutritious foods at your fingertips year-round.

Vary your protein choices: It’s easy to default to chicken and beef when it comes to getting protein into meals. But variety is the spice of life, and a diet rich in different protein sources helps children expand their palate. Animal sources of protein include meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Plant sources of protein include beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds. Experiment with main dishes made with canned beans, seafood or chicken, nutritious protein options that can be part of dinner on any busy school night. How much is enough? Most people ages 9 and older should eat 5 to 7 ounces of protein each day, recommends the USDA. One ounce of protein is equal to: 1 ounce lean meat, poultry or seafood; one egg; 1/4 cup cooked beans or peas; 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds; or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

Add whole grains: Bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and tortillas are just a few examples of grain products people eat often. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or barley counts. Strive to make whole-grain foods at least half of your family’s daily intake of grain by choosing whole-wheat bread and pasta or getting creative with unique sources like brown rice, barley or even canned hominy to add to soups and casseroles.

Don’t forget the dairy: As an alternative to plain milk, try offering other dairy options like yogurt and cheese. Start the school day right with an energizing breakfast of whole grain cereal topped with low fat yogurt and canned fruit like peaches or Mandarin oranges; this will keep even the pickiest eaters satisfied until their lunchtime.

Listen to health experts: A recent survey of health professionals found that the vast majority of dietitians (95 percent) regularly rely on canned ingredients at home and agree canned foods are a great way to meet dietary goals. In fact, 9 out of 10 dietitians say they regularly recommend canned food to others. And while moms and dads are turning to canned ingredients because they are convenient, often less expensive than fresh and available year-round, the survey also found they still have a number of concerning misperceptions about canned food compared to dietitians. Check out an infographic at www.mealtime.org to learn more about what these nutrition experts already know.

Keep taste top-of-mind: If kids don’t like the taste of a food, they won’t eat it. Be creative and prevent mealtime battles by adding vegetables to spaghetti or mixing them with their favorite casseroles and soups. Or try engaging kids in meal preparation or building their own plate with easy-to-make recipes like these Family Fiesta Tacos from Mealtime.org.

Family Fiesta Tacos from Mealtime.org

Ingredients:

For the taco meat filling:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can (4 ounces) diced, mild green chilies
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, no salt added, drained
1/2 cup drained canned corn
1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned red kidney beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt, to taste (optional)

For serving:

Spray oil
8 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas, warm according to package directions
1/2 cup fancy, shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup finely shredded lettuce
1 cup diced avocados (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and saute until lightly browned, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
3. Add beef and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
4. Add chilies, tomatoes, corn, beans, chili powder, cumin and pepper and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt, if needed.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep warm.
7. To serve the original Family Fiesta Soft Tacos, plate up warm tortillas, dish up the cheese, lettuce, and avocado (if desired).
8. Serve with taco meat filling.
9. Assemble and enjoy.

Lemon Cranberry Biscotti

Treat loved ones to homemade biscotti

Lemon Cranberry Biscotti

Lemon Cranberry Biscotti

Sometimes the best gifts are edible. This year, spread some holiday cheer to a friend, neighbour, or colleague with a freshly baked batch of crisp and flavourful biscotti. Package these delicious cookies in a decorative tin and attach a handwritten note containing the recipe so recipients can bake them as well. Lightly sweetened with naturally-sourced stevia, no one will guess these thoughtful offerings are only 83 calories per serving.

Lemon Cranberry Biscotti

Makes 24 servings

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) Pure Via Granulated sweetener*

1 cup (250 ml) dried cranberries

2 tbsp (30 ml) grated lemon peel

2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder

3 large eggs

3 tbsp (45 ml) butter, melted

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Combine flour, Pure Via, cranberries, lemon peel and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until well blended.

3. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir together using a rubber spatula until a stiff dough is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead in any remaining bits of dough. Divide dough in half. Gently form each half into a log 12 x 11/2 inches. Place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, leaving at least 3 inches between the logs. Flatten the top of each with the palm of your hand until the log is 2-inches wide. Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until the top of the log is firm to the touch.

4. Cool the logs completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (150°C). Carefully remove the cooled logs to a cutting board. Cut each diagonally into 1/2-inch wide slices. Place on the same baking sheet. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until slices are dry and light golden in colour. Cool biscotti on baking sheet on a wire rack. Store at room temperature in container with tight fitting lid.

*Or substitute 24 packets Pure Via sweetener.

Additional dessert ideas are available at www.purevia.ca.Note that stevia, the sweetener in Pure Via, is also known as steviol glycosides.

Nutritional information per serving (2 biscotti): Calories: 83, Sodium: 68 mg, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Cholesterol: 27 mg, Protein: 2 g

www.newscanada.com

Alpen Salami Panini with Tomato-Chili Jam

Alpen Salami Panini with Tomato-Chili Jam

Alpen Salami Panini with Tomato-Chili Jam

Charcuterie meats for perfect party paninis

Serve these tantalizing crusty bread sandwiches to your holiday guests.

Alpen Salami Panini with Tomato-Chili Jam

Ingredients (Panini)

3 Italian crusty buns

1 pkg. 175g Piller’s Charcuterie Alpen Salami or Cervelat Salami

350 ml (1 ½ cups) baby arugula

125 g (4 oz.) Oka cheese, sliced

75 ml (½ cup) tomato-chili jam (purchased, or recipe follows)

30 ml (2 tbsp.) olive oil

Ingredients (Tomato-Chili Jam)

796 ml (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 jalapeno pepper

10 ml (2 tsp) garlic, chopped

30 ml (2 tbsp.) ginger, chopped

30 ml (2 tbsp.) fish sauce

250 ml (I cup) brown sugar

175 ml (¾ cup) red wine vinegar

Directions (Panini)

Cut buns in half lengthwise. Layer Alpen salami slices on each bun; top with arugula and cheese slices. Spread tomato-chili jam generously on the inside of the top of each bun.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan and place another large heavy pan on top of them. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until bread is golden and cheese is melted, turning sandwiches halfway through. Cut in half to serve. Makes 3 sandwiches.

For another taste experience try Piller’s Charcuterie Westphalian Ham.

Directions (Tomato-Chili Jam)

In a food processor, puree half of the tomatoes and their juices with jalapeno, garlic and ginger. Place in a deep pot with fish sauce, sugar and vinegar and boil slowly, stirring constantly. When it reaches a boil, lower heat to simmer and add remaining tomatoes. Simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes until dark red and jam-like. Pour into a bowl, cool and refrigerate until needed.

www.newscanada.com

Westphalian Ham and Arugula Pizza

Charcuterie meats in the perfect pizza

Westphalian Ham and Arugula Pizza

Westphalian Ham and Arugula Pizza

Make this perfect party pizza for your special holiday guests.

Westphalian Ham and Arugula Pizza

Ingredients:

Prepare pizza dough for one 9×12-inch pizza, or use recipe below.

Pizza Topping

Flour, for dusting

50 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 ml (½ tsp.) fresh rosemary, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

75 ml (½ cup) part-skim ricotta cheese

250 ml (I cup) mozzarella cheese, grated

500 ml (2 cups) baby arugula

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

Juice of ½ lemon

4 slices Piller’s Charcuterie Westphalian Ham, cut in half

lengthwise

Pizza Dough (makes three 9×12” or 11” round pizzas)

425 to 500 ml (1¾ to 2 cups) all-purpose flour

250 ml (1 cup) cake and pastry flour

11 ml (2 ¼ tsp.) instant or bread-machine dry yeast (or 1 envelope)

5 ml (1 tsp.) salt

300 ml (1¼ cups) very warm water

Directions Pizza Dough (for 3 pizzas)

To make dough, stir together 1¾ cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour, cake flour, yeast and salt in a mixer fitted with a dough hook; make a well in the centre. Add water. Mix on medium speed until all flour is incorporated into dough; add remaining flour as needed to have soft, slightly sticky dough. Alternatively mix by hand. Turn out on well-floured surface. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide into thirds.

Place a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Gently flatten dough into a round or rectangle on a lightly floured surface, creating a rim. Transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or another upside-down baking sheet; slide dough onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl with garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove pizza from oven, brush with the olive oil mixture and top with the ricotta and mozzarella. Return the pizza to the oven; bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 6 more minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the arugula and shallot in a large bowl with the lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the pizza with the arugula salad, Westphalian ham and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cut into wedges or squares with scissors; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

You can substitute Piller’s Charcuterie Alpen or Cervelat salami for another tantalizing taste experience.

www.newscanada.com

Roasted Squash and Pepper Pasta with Cider and Chipotle Sauce

Apples let us savour the flavours of fall

applesEach season boasts unique flavours and ingredients. The fall harvest, in particular, is known for apples, and Canada is known for its multitude of varieties – from sweet to tart. Each type of apple offers a distinct taste and characteristic, especially when it comes to cooking. If you don’t have apples on hand, substitute an apple beverage in your cooking, such as Molson’s new Mad Jack apple lager, which is another easy way to bring this sweet, crisp flavour to life.

Cider as well, is spiking as the fastest growing beverage in Canada and its flavour evolves throughout the harvest season depending on the variety of apples available. This delicious recipe incorporates the fresh and crisp flavour of an apple beverage into a seasonal vegetable pasta dish.

Roasted Squash and Pepper Pasta with Cider and Chipotle Sauce

pastaServes: 6

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

• 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

• 1 onion, finely chopped.

• 1 red pepper, diced

• 750 ml (3 cups) butternut squash, diced

• 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

• Salt and pepper, freshly ground

• 2 ml (½ tsp) Chipotle pepper, ground

• 6 slices of pancetta

• 450 g (1 lb) capellini or spaghettini

• 1 473 ml can of Molson Canadian Cider

• 375 ml (1½ cups) 35% cream

• 500 ml (2 cups) arugula or spinach sprouts

• 125 ml (½ cup) parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

2. In a lasagna dish, mix the garlic, onion, pepper and squash. Coat with olive oil, season and sprinkle with Chipotle pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until the diced squash is tender and golden.

3. Spread the slices of pancetta on a baking sheet overlaid with parchment paper. Bake in the oven until crispy. Set aside.

4. In the interim, cook the pasta in accordance with the instructions on the package. Strain and set aside.

5. Pour the Molson Canadian Cider into the pan used to cook the pasta and reduce by a third. Add the cream and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat.

6. Serve the capellini in soup plates. Garnish with roasted vegetables, arugula, parmesan and pancetta chips. Enjoy

More information about apple-flavoured beers is available at facebook.com/MolsonCanadian.

www.newscanda.com

Quick Cinnamon-Almond Rice Pudding

Cinnamon-Almond Rice PuddingInstead of a traditional figgy pudding this season, try a new take on rice pudding with a delicious cinnamon-almond flavour. Sprinkling roasted almonds on top adds a terrific crunch that everyone will enjoy.

Quick Cinnamon-Almond Rice Pudding

Courtesy of the California Almond Board

Ingredients

3/4 cup (175 mL) leftover cooked rice, preferably basmati or jasmine 3/4 cup (175 mL) Almond Breeze Original1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon 1/4 cup ( 50 mL) sliced almonds, roasted 1 tsp (5 mL) honey

Directions

Combine rice, almond beverage and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 4 to 5 minutes, until liquid is thicker and rice is a bit creamy. To serve, place in a bowl, top with roasted almonds and drizzle with honey.

To roast slivered, chopped or sliced almonds: spread in an even layer on an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350ºF (180ºC) oven and bake 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to assure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to roast slightly after removing from oven.

Yields: 2 Servings

Nutritional Analysis: Per serving: 424 calories, 20 g fat (1.7g saturated fat), 49 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 7 g fibre, 24 mg sodium, 100 mg calcium, 541 mg potassium, 8.6 mg vitamin E.

More information and cooking inspiration can be found at www.almondbreeze.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Spicy Guacamole Dip

Serve this tantalizing guacamole dip to guarantee rave reviews

Spicy Guacamole Dip

Spicy Guacamole Dip

Holiday entertaining is all about the appetizers and some of the most delicious recipes are often the most simple. Celebrity chef Lynn Crawford shares her secret recipe for guacamole, a must-have menu item which she says will guarantee your ‘nice’ spot on Santa’s list. .

Spicy Guacamole Dip

Makes: 2 Cups

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

• 2 ripe avocados

• 2 tbsp lime, juiced

• 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (remove stems)

• 4 tbsp Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions1. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a bowl and gently mash with a fork, leaving them somewhat chunky.2. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together to gently mix.

Tip: For some heat, add in 1 pickled jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped.

Complete nutrition information is available at www.hellmanns.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Impress your guests with a flavourful, triple cream brie

Room-temperature, triple cream brie is always a winner when entertaining. So why not elevate it to fabulous with this recipe from President’s Choice:

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Prep time: 10 minutes

Stand time: 4 hours

Ingredients

2 tbsp (25 ml) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp (25 ml) finely chopped fresh basil

Pinch salt

8 oz (250 g) wedge PC® Triple Cream Brie

2 drained, canned pear halves packed in light syrup, thinly sliced

Half a baguette

Instructions

In a small bowl, stir together oil, basil and salt.

Cut cheese in half horizontally. Place bottom half cut side up on a serving plate. Spoon half of the oil mixture over cheese. Place half of pear slices on top in a flat layer. Place remaining piece of cheese on top, cut side down. Spoon remaining oil over and layer with remaining pears. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours or until cheese is soft.

Meanwhile, cut the half-baguette into thin slices. Toast and serve with the brie.

Makes 6 servings

More recipe ideas are available online at pc.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Delight dinner guests with the final few bites

One- or two-bite desserts are hot, even when they’re cool. In this recipe from President’s Choice, for example, instead of the usual graham crumbs for the crust, try using chocolate sandwich cookies filled with vanilla crème.

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Serves: 24

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

8 PC® “Eat the Middle First” Cookies

1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp (7 ml) granulated sugar

1 tub (250 g) PC Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese- Caramel

1 egg

24 Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

24 toasted pecan halves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a 24 mini-muffin cup pan with foil liners.

In mini food processor, process cookies to fine crumbs. Place 1 tsp (5 ml) crumbs into each muffin cup. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently press crumbs together into bottom of cup. Bake in the centre of oven for 5 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together flour and sugar. In a bowl and using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and flour mixture until smooth. Beat in egg. Spoon 1 tbsp (15 ml) of mixture into each muffin cup. Bake in the centre of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or just until cream cheese looks set. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Place one chocolate chip flat side up in centre of each cheesecake bite; immediately top with a pecan. Chocolate chip will melt. Cool to room temperature on rack, about 2 hours.

Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate until firm and cold, about 2 hours.

More recipe ideas can be found online at pc.ca.

www.newscanada.com

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