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Easiest roast turkey and gravy

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2015




  • Stir brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Rinse turkey and dry very well with paper towels. Place turkey in a large pan or large plastic bag, then pack brownsugar mixture all over the outside of the turkey as best you can, and place some in the cavity as well. Cover pan or tie bag, and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 450F. Rinse brine from the turkey, inside and out, gently rubbing under cold running water so it all comes off. (Don’t worry if the legs and wings look purple, which is the result of brining.) Pat dry. Stuff sage into cavity.
  • Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Bend and tuck wings under the body and loosely tie drumsticks together. Brush butter all over turkey. Loosely cover with foil. Roast for 30 min. Reduce oven temperature to 325F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 175F, about 21/2 to 31/4 hours. Remove foil during final hour of cooking.
  • Transfer turkey to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest at least 25 min before carving.
  • To make gravy, carefully spoon most of the fat out of the roasting pan, leaving behind about 4 tbsp fat as well as all the brown bits. Place the pan on the stove over medium and stir in flour, whisking to completely incorporate flour into drippings. Cook for 30 sec, then whisk in wine and water. Increase heat to medium-high, whisking constantly, until thickened, scraping up and incorporating all the brown bits from the pan, about 10 to 15 min. Reduce heat to low. If needed, whisk in additional water or homemade turkey stock to reach the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cod cakes

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2015

Mairlyn Smith came up with this recipe after a recent trip to Newfoundland — a creative use for leftover potatoes. Plus, kids will love the mild cod flavour. Serve with tartar sauce, if desired.

Cod cakes

Makes 12 servings or 24 cod cakes


2 slices bacon, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium onions, diced
1 1/4 lbs cooked cod to equal 2 cups (500 mL) flaked, cooked cod
2 lbs russet potatoes, about 4 large, mashed to equal 4 cups (1 L) mashed
1 tsp (5 mL) iodized salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fine bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko.)


In a medium skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy, remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.

Add onion and sauté until well browned about five to eight minutes. Add salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix together flaked, cooked cod, mashed potatoes and cooked onion. Crumble bacon in and lightly mix together.

Place bread crumbs into a shallow bowl.

Using a half-cup measuring cup, scoop the mixture into the cup, shake out into your hand and form into a patty.

Gently press into the breadcrumbs.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Place fish cakes into hot oil and cook over medium heat until golden to medium brown on both sides.

Courtesy Mairlyn Smith

Haddock with tomato relish

Chatelaine | posted Monday, Sep 21st, 2015

Haddock with tomato relish


  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (reserve 2 tbsp oil)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 6 haddock fillets, about 250 g each
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2/3 cup dry couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • fresh pepper, to season


  • POSITION racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Boil a kettle of water.
  • MEASURE out sun-dried tomatoes, reserving 2 tbsp oil. Drain and mince tomatoes. Stir sun-dried tomatoes with tomatoes, feta and olives in a medium bowl.
  • ARRANGE haddock fillets side by side on prepared sheets. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with reserved oil and lemon juice. Bake in centre of oven until a knife tip inserted into the thickest part of fish and held for 10 sec comes out warm, 10 to 12 min. Top 4 fillets with 1/2 cup tomato relish. Cool and refrigerate remaining 2 fillets and 11/2 cups tomato relish for Mediterranean Fettuccine.
  • COMBINE baby spinach and dry couscous in a large bowl. Add boiling water. Stir and let stand, covered with a kitchen towel, for 5 min. Stir in lemon zest. Season with fresh pepper. Divide among 4 plates. Top with fish.

Parmesan-crusted baked chicken with tomato sauce

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Sep 8th, 2015

This single dish makes two separate meals — a chicken finger plate for the kids and a real meal for the adults. Leftovers can be made into a sandwich for lunch the next day.

Baked Parmesan-crusted chicken with oven-roasted tomato sauce

Serves a family of 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Special tools: empty wine bottle, freezer bag, Vitamix


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups whole wheat pita chips
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • Sprinkle of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Roasted tomato sauce:

  • 8 very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 bulb fennel
  • 1/2 white leek
  • Handful basil
  • Lots of olive oil love
  • Salt and pepper


Tomato sauce:

Turn oven to 400 F.
‎Dice tomatoes, carrot, peppers, fennel, leek, basil and garlic. Toss in a heavy amount of olive oil, season and place in roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Let rest and blend.


In a large freezer bag, add mustard and buttermilk. Not so gently pound out the chicken to 3/4-inch thickness.
In a blender, toss chips, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend till smooth and lay out on a plate.
Heavily coat the chicken on both sides with Parmesan mixture and place on oven rack. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 450 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Top with tomato sauce and a side of pasta!

Courtesy Randy Feltis

15-minute peach crumble in a cup

Chatelaine | posted Monday, Aug 31st, 2015

What’s better than warm fruit crumble with cold vanilla ice cream on a hot day? Not having to share it! Inspired by a late-night craving, below is a recipe for peach crumble — that’s just for you!

There’s no need to lay out the virtues of crisps, crumbles, and cobblers — they speak for themselves. But I will say that while peaches are in season, you should do as much with them as you can. Fresh, local peaches are a whole other breed compared to what we have access to the rest of the year. Sweet, floral and tender with vibrant orange flesh, they’re out-of-sight.

August is the middle of the peach season, and the varieties available right now are ideal for cooking. When buying peaches, look for smooth, firm skin. Avoid wrinkly skin as the fruit may be overripe, and also avoid those with bruises or uncharacteristic marks. Store peaches at room temperature until they’re ripe — you can tell they’re ripe when you gently press on them and the flesh indents. At this stage, it’s best to store them in the fridge.

This recipe for personal peach crumble is quick and easy. I like peaches to remain a bit firm in my crumble, but if you prefer yours soft and mushy (I don’t judge), then cook for an extra 30 seconds in the microwave. Also, go wild with flavours — adding berries or other fruits (such as plums and apricots) will work just as well.


Personal peach crumble

Prep: 5 min
Total: 10 min
Makes: 1 serving


  • 2 tbsp quick oats
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch lemon zest


  • STIR oats with flour, butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small frying pan over medium high. Cook, stirring until mixture is crumbly, golden and the flour is cooked through, 3 to 5 min. Reserve.
  • COMBINE peaches with 2 tsp brown sugar, lemon juice and zest in a mug. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  • SPOON crumble over peaches. Serve with ice cream. Enjoy!

Chai Banana Smoothie with Kéfir

BT Vancouver | posted Tuesday, Aug 25th, 2015

Quantity: 2

Preparing time: 10 minutes



Chai Spice Blend:

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) ground cinnamon

• 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice

• 1 tsp (5 mL) finely crushed fennel seeds

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg

• 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cloves

• 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper



• 1 cup (250 mL) Liberté Plain Kéfir

• 3 tbsp (45 mL) chia seeds

• 2 large frozen bananas

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract



Chai Spice Blend:

1. Stir cinnamon with ginger, cardamom, allspice, fennel, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.



1. Place kéfir and chia seeds in a blender; let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Add banana, maple syrup, 1 tsp (5 mL) Chai Spice Blend and vanilla; purée until smooth.

3. Pour into 2 glasses. Garnish with a pinch of the spice blend.



• Making a large batch of the spice blend makes it faster to prepare smoothies and it can also be used to flavour granola, rice pudding or toss with fruit.


• Peel, chop and arrange ripe bananas in an even layer and freeze until firm then transfer to an airtight container to have on hand for smoothies.

Middle Eastern Stuffed Eggplant with Kéfir-Feta Sauce

BT Vancouver | posted Tuesday, Aug 25th, 2015

Quantity: 4

Preparing time: 15 minutes



Kéfir Feta Sauce:

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) Liberté Plain Kéfir

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely crumbled feta

• 1 small clove garlic, minced

• 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) finely grated lemon zest


Stuffed Eggplant:

• 2 medium eggplants, about 12 oz (350 g) each

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, divided

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper, divided

• 1 lb (500 g) lean ground lamb

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg

• Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken broth

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

• 1 cup (250 mL) drained and chopped roasted red peppers

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint, divided

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) toasted pine nuts

• Lemon wedges



Kéfir-Feta Sauce:

1. Combine Kéfir, feta, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest in a blender. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days or until ready to serve.


Stuffed Eggplant:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the eggplant flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch (5 mm) border intact; chop eggplant and set aside.

3. Brush 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil on the inside of the eggplant cavities. Season with half the salt and pepper. Roast eggplant for 20 minutes or until slightly softened.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground lamb; season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or lightly browned. Add reserved eggplant, onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne (if using). Continue to cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

5. Add broth and lemon juice; simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in roasted red pepper, parsley and 3 tbsp (45 mL) mint. Remove from heat.

6. Divide lamb mixture evenly among roasted eggplant halves. Continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until eggplant halves are fork-tender. Garnish with remaining mint and pine nuts. Serve with Kéfir-Feta Sauce and lemon wedges.


• Note: Make this meal vegetarian by substituting canned or cooked lentils for the ground lamb and vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Tender Green Salad with Creamy Kéfir Dressing

BT Vancouver | posted Tuesday, Aug 25th, 2015

Quantity: 4 to 6 servings

Preparing time: 15 minutes



Creamy Kefir Salad Dressing:

• 1 cup (250 mL) Liberté Plain Kéfir

• 1 cup (250 mL) baby spinach

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) avocado oil or olive oil

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh chives

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) anchovy paste

• 1 clove garlic, chopped

• 1 tsp (5 mL) honey

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper



• 4 cups (1 L) watercress

• 4 cups (1 L) pea shoots

• 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks

• 2 radishes, thinly sliced

• 1 ripe avocado, cubed

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) pumpkin seeds




Creamy Kéfir Salad Dressing:

1. Add kéfir, spinach, parsley, avocado oil, vinegar, chives, tarragon, anchovy paste, garlic, honey, salt and pepper to a blender; purée until smooth.  Makes 1 1/2 cups (375 mL).



1. Toss watercress with pea shoots, carrot, radishes and 1/2 cup (125 mL) dressing. Stir in avocado and pumpkin seeds.


• Tip: The dressing can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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