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COOKING ON DEADLINE: Steak Fajitas

This year I’m looking to shake up the Super Bowl gathering a bit. Normally, a pot of chili anchors our party, but this year I’m thinking fajitas. They are customizable, have lots of visual appeal, and will definitely fuel the armchair athletes as they offer their unsolicited advice to the television. Fajitas are surprisingly easy …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Dan Dan Noodles

Dan Dan Noodles are a classic Chinese dish originating in the Sichuan province. Noodles have been part of Chinese cuisine for over 4,000 years, and long strands symbolize longevity, one of the nicest things you can wish for on the Lunar New Year (on Feb. 16 this year). Dan Dan Noodles are essentially long skinny …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Escarole and Spinach Soup

I have been in possession recently of a very large can of Virginia peanuts, one of my favourite things to eat on earth. It’s foolish to pretend that a small handful will curb the peanut craving. But I do take out a small handful, put the lid back on, put the can away (Ha, the …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Chopped Winter Salad

How often do we read some article about how meaningful it is to cook with the seasons? But winter can test those good intentions. You try and make a meal out of two rutabagas and a turnip. But hey, I’m not really that curmudgeonly about winter. I love cold-weather cooking, in fact. And I like …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Lemon Curd

So, what is lemon curd, and what do you do with it? Lemon curd is essentially a preserve or condiment made with lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter. The first three ingredients get blended and softly warmed so that the eggs thicken the mixture. Whisking in cold butter finishes it off and smoothes it out. …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Big Butterscotchy Oatmeal Cookies

I haven’t been consistently happy with my oatmeal cookie recipe for a while. Sometimes they turn out perfectly — fairly flat, chewy and moist in the middle, with crinkly, caramelized edges (not cakey or rounded) and a butterscotch-esque flavour. Other times, they don’t follow orders, staying too puffed, or becoming a little dry and less damply dense …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts lovers, you are in for a treat: a side dish that will threaten to steal centre stage. Spanish chorizo, a wonderfully spiced smoked pork sausage, gets sauteed just enough to brown a bit and release its oils. Then fresh bread crumbs are sauteed in the same pan and set aside to become a …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Garlic

There are certain vegetables that I bring home and have a stare-off with for a while before cooking them. I think sweet potatoes top the list, partly because they will last forever, so the staring contest can go on for quite some time. And partly because they have eyes. Oh, yes, you are right, I …

Fall’s a great season to create a ‘cabinet of curiosities’

Digging around in a favourite flea market a couple of years ago, I found a handmade, compartmentalized box that someone had lovingly crafted from wood, probably 100 years ago. It looked like it could have been a tool kit, fishing tackle box or something a builder would use. Undeterred by the fact that I had …

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Mongolian Beef

My family cannot get enough of Asian food, and any time I crank out a dish that announces itself with aromas of garlic, ginger and soy sauce, I pretty much know dinner will be a success. That’s why I’m earmarking this dish for Halloween, since getting something hearty in my boys’ stomachs before the sugar-palooza …

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