Often called the breadbasket of Italy, Puglia is a less familiar part of the country to foreign travellers. But Italians flock there in the summer to take advantage of its beautiful beaches and its simple, flavourful food. Puglia is home to orecchiette pasta, burrata cheese, wonderful tomatoes and rich wines. This is a typical Easter dish from the region. The only trick in the dish is to add the egg mixture just before serving to prevent curdling. I make the dish and then reheat when needed, adding the egg thickener just before serving. You can omit it, if you prefer, because the dish is wonderful with or without it. If you cannot get fresh peas use frozen and just reheat in the sauce.
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2½ lbs (1.25 kg) boneless lamb cut from the shoulder in 1½-inch (4-cm) chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 oz (90 g) chopped pancetta
1 large onion halved and thinly sliced, about 2 cups (500 mL)
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
1 cup (250 mL) white wine
1 dried red chili
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped parsley
2 cups (500 mL) fresh green peas
½ cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese
1 Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
2 Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat. Season lamb with salt and lots of pepper. Add lamb to oil in batches and fry until well browned on all sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove from pan and reserve.
3 Reduce heat to medium and add pancetta. Cook for 2 minutes or until it renders its fat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened; add garlic and sauté 1 more minute.
4 Pour in wine, stir in chili and 2 tbsp (30 mL) parsley and bring to boil, scraping any brown bits at the base of pan. Simmer for 2 minutes to combine flavours then return lamb to skillet.
5 Cover and bake for 1½ to 2 hours or until lamb is tender. Add green peas and return to oven uncovered. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until peas are tender.
6 When ready to serve, beat together eggs, Parmesan cheese and remaining parsley. Reheat lamb. Stir eggs into lamb mixture until incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Season again with salt and pepper and serve at once.
“If you remember the general ratio of three parts of oil to one part vinegar, you’ll never need recipe, either. Just add salt and pepper and emulsify by whisking, shaking in a jar or blending in a machine. And that’s it: vinaigrette.
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 small to medium shallot, finely minced (optional)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper as well as mustard and shallots, if using. Let sit until salt dissolves and shallots soften, about 15 minutes.
Slowly add olive oil, whisking until emulsified. If possible, wait at least 30 minutes for flavours to marry. Taste and adjust oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
These are hearty, comforting flavours that meld into a sauce with pleasantly surprising complexity, given its few ingredients. Serve with the same beer you use in the recipe for a perfect pairing experience.
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 5 min – 10 min
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 French shallots chopped
1 bottle (341 mL) amber ale
2 1/4 lbs (1 Kg) mussels scrubbed clean
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) Canadian Sharp Cheddar shredded
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh parsley chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter at medium-high heat and sauté shallots. Deglaze with beer and reduce by half.
Add mussels, cover and let cook about 5 min, until mussels are all open (discard any that don’t open). Remove mussels from saucepan and reserve in a serving dish.
Add shredded Cheddar and cornstarch to saucepan while stirring. When thickened, add fresh parsley and pepper. Pour sauce over mussels and serve immediately.
Canadian Cheese alternatives: Swiss cheese, Provolone, Gouda.
In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and yellow pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
With the back of a large spoon, make 4 wells in sauce. Break egg into each well. Reduce heat to medium-low or low; cover and cook until eggs are firm, 4 to 6 minutes.
Heat tortillas in microwave until warm, about 20 seconds. Place 1 tortilla on each plate. Place egg on each tortilla. Divide sauce over egg, sprinkle with cheese, and coriander, if using. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Here’s a satisfying twist on classic potato hash with the mild spice of chorizo and the nuttiness of Canadian Swiss cheese.
1 cup (250 mL) chorizo sliced
1 leek thinly sliced
3 large potatoes diced and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper au goût
1 cup (250 mL) Canadian Swiss cheese shredded
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil chopped
In a large skillet, cook chorizo on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add leek and potatoes; stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; add Swiss cheese and basil. Let cheese melt and serve as an accompaniment to eggs for breakfast or brunch.
Canadian Cheese alternatives: Provolone, Cheddar, Gouda.
2 racks of beef back ribs (about 12 ribs/12 pounds
In bowl, mix together fresh cracked pepper, brown sugar, oregano, smoked paprika, celery salt and cayenne pepper. Rub all over ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours and up to 2 days.
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onions until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute. Stir in beer, honey, ketchup, chili powder and mustard powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and summer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Transfer ribs to a roasting pan. Pour beer mixture over ribs. Cover with foil and place in 350 degrees over for 2 hours, turning ribs occasionally. Remove ribs with tongs and transfer to a platter. Transfer cooking liquid to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to a thick sauce, about 20 minutes.
Brush ribs generously with sauce and transfer to a greased grill over medium-high direct heat. Grill on both sides until sauce starts to caramelize, turning once, for about 15 minutes. Slice into single ribs and serve with extra sauce.
1 beef top sirloin steak (1 inch thick and 1-1/2 pounds)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat broiler. In a large broil-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat; saute onion until tender. Transfer to a bowl; stir in cheese and bread crumbs.
Cut steak into 4 pieces; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In same pan, heat remaining butter over medium heat; cook steaks until desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°), 4-5 minutes per side.
Spread onion mixture over steaks. Broil 4-6 in. from heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.