What to Eat for Winter's Last Hurrah

The calendar SAYS it’s spring, but the wild weather we’ve been having here on the east coast sure doesn’t seem like it. Somewhere between “the best defense is a good offense” and “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, we came up with last night’s dinner idea.


On the table in a couple of hours, while we watched the freezing rain coating the trees outside: Apple braised veal shank with roasted winter vegetables. We started with some delicious veal shank from Halifax’s Seaport Market. Four servings meant we would have leftovers for today’s lunch.

After browning the shanks in olive oil, we put them aside on a plate and added a sliced onion, a sliced clove of garlic, and a stalk of celery to the pan, stirring until translucent. At the same time, we reconstituted a package of wild dried mushrooms in 1-3/4c boiling water and 1/4c or 60ml apple brandy in a heatproof measuring cup. 2c/500ml of apple slices went in next, along with 1c/250ml of sliced fresh mushrooms, and the reconstituted fungi and their broth. A sprinkle of tarragon and nutmeg rounded out the flavour.

We nestled the shanks in the vegetable mix, and covered it in preparation for the next step.

Meanwhile, in a separate casserole dish, we put a carrot, a small turnip, and some sweet potato, roughly chunked. This was tossed with dried rosemary, and 2T/30ml each of olive oil and maple syrup.

Everything went into a 350F oven for the remainder of the 2 hours. The meat was strictly “do not disturb”, but we stirred the veg about 3 times.

Our conclusion? Winter WILL go away eventually, but until then, we will stave off the chill with one last go at some of our favourite winter recipes.

More Pizza, Please!

Sliced onionsFlour for pizza doughFor our Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza, we started with the same basic crust as the Delicious Artichoke Pizza, but we put some chopped fresh tarragon in the dough.

Meanwhile, we were caramzelizing the onions…two onions, thinly sliced, and about a tablespoon (15ml) each of butter aPizza Doughnd olive oil. Yes, it’s an indulgence…but well worth it. Onions cookingWe also added about 5ml of maple syrup to add an extra flavour note. Cook the onions over medium-low to medium heat, stirring often, as they turn a delicious golden brown. When they look not quite brown enough, stop…they’ll continue to cook a bit. When you’re nearly at the end, add a tablespoon or so of white wine vinegar (balsamic would work also), and about a quarter cup (60ml) of water. Stir, cover, and let this stand and cool until your dough is doubled in size (about 10 minutes).

Next, press the dough out into a circle on a piece of parchment. This makes a Pizza crustmedium-thin crust on a standard pizza pan. Divide in two if you like extra-thin, or use a smaller circle if you want a thick crust.

Use the onions instead of sauce. Top with sliced mushrooms – we used a mix of cremini (brown) and white (button) mushrooms, but any kind you like will work. We topped this with some nutty gruyere and a Adding Cheese to Pizzabit of part-skim mozza.

Pizza ready to go in the ovenAt 400F, the pizza doesn’t take long – about 18 minutes. Then cool on a board for about 4 minutes, slice, and indulge yourself in onion-y goodness.

Pizza...ready to eat