Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Perogy Poutine

Poutine has been called the Canadian National Dish. Although originally from Quebec, it is enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. It's basic comfort food that combines french-fries, cheese curds and gravy. It really warms your belly on a cold winter's night. 

However, there are many schools-of-thought on how to make the perfect french-fry, and since cheese curds can be hard to come-by (unless you happen to have a cow handy), I will be replacing the french-fries with cheddar-and-potato stuffed perogies. 

But Rob, I hear you say, how many schools-of-thought are there on how to make the perfect perogy? Okay, good point! But the difference is, I don't know how to make perogies, so I buy them. I am lucky enough to live five blocks away from The Mundare Sausage House, world famous for making the best perogies this side of the Ukraine. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in my neighborhood, I have 1 word for you: Cheemo frozen perogies! (okay 3 words)


1 bowl of fully cooked perogies (10 perogies per person/serving)

1 cup beef broth 

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

lots of butter

1 tsp. of parsley

1 tsp. of sage

1/2 tsp. of rosemary

1 tsp. of thyme

1 tbsp. of onion powder

a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

1 chopped fresh onion


1. Heat up the beef broth and stir in the dried seasonings (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper).

2. Combine 2 tbsp. of butter and the flour in a saucepan over medium heat and blend them together with a whisk. 

3. Add the seasoned beef broth to the saucepan and continue to whisk everything together for a couple of minutes until it starts to thicken into a nice beefy brown gravy. Set aside.

4. In a large frying pan, sauté the onions in butter for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the cooked perogies.

6. Turn the perogies and onions in the pan until they look (and smell) really yummy. 

7. Arrange the sautéed perogies and onions in a large bowl and pour on the gravy. 

8. Serve with your favorite ice-cold beverage.

9. Lets eat!

10. And for those of you who hate me for creating this frankenstein-abomination, here's some traditional poutine made with cheese curds and french-fries. 

11. Bon Appétit!


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash is the colloquial name for the best loved British dish consisting of pan-fried pork sausages and mash potatoes. The sausages are referred to as "bangers" because of the noise they make when they hit the hot oil in the frying pan. Bangers and mash is basic comfort food. Specially when you slather everything with gravy.


  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 6 good-sized British Banger pork sausages
  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • half a cup of milk
  • pinch of salt


half a cup of beefy brown gravy (for a simple, all-purpose, beefy brown gravy recipe, see my earlier blog-post "Poutine").


  1. peel and chop the potatoes
  2. pre-heat frying pan over medium/high heat
  3. add cooking oil to the pan - the oil will get hot very fast (few seconds)
  4. add pork sausages to the hot oil
  5. lower heat and keep turning the sausages for about 10 to 15 minutes
  6. while you are cooking the sausages, add potatoes to a pot of boiling water
  7. boil potatoes until they are cooked enough to mash (10 to 15 minutes)
  8. remove potatoes from heat, drain and add salt and butter
  9. using a potato masher, mash the potatoes adding a bit of milk at a time - keep an eye on the thickness of the mixture - stop adding milk when the desired thickness is reached. 
When serving, I like to slather everything with brown gravy. 

Feel free to be creative with your presentation.  

Dig in!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Clemenza's "Godfather" Spaghetti Sauce

"Hey Mikey, why don't you tell that nice girl you love her?  

I love you with all my heart.  If I don't see you again soon, I'm gonna die. 🎝

Come over here kid. Learn something. You never know you might have to cook for 20 guys some day. 

You see, you start out with some oil and you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes. You get it to a boil and you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. Add a little bit of wine and a little bit of sugar. And that's my trick."   

– Clemenza, The Godfather (1972)


  • 4 or 5 meatballs
  • 3 links of Italian sausage
  • a medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • large can of tomatoes
  • small can of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • full glass of dry red wine or sherry (don't drink it, you need it for the sauce)
  • teaspoon of basil
  • teaspoon of oregano
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • teaspoon of sugar


  1. Chop onion
  2. Crush and chop garlic
  3. Fry sausage and meatballs on medium heat for ten minutes turning constantly - set aside

  4. Fry garlic and onions in olive oil
  5. Add your tomatoes, your tomato paste and turn heat to high
  6. bring to a boil, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick
  7. Stir in the oregano, basil, salt and pepper
  8. Shove in all your sausage and your meatballs
  9. Add wine
  10. Add sugar
  11. Turn heat to low
  12. Simmer for one hour stirring occasionally.

    14. Toss with spaghetti and a little parmesan cheese.

    15. Add a side of crusty bread and your favorite beverage.

Now Let's Eat

Buon appetito !!!



Tuesday, February 2, 2021


Bauernfrühstück is a German dish which combines bacon and eggs, with potatoes and cheese.  It means "farmer's breakfast".


  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • half a cup of shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • tiny pinch of salt (optional)
  • dash of pepper


  1. peel and chop the potatoes
  2. peel and chop the onion
  3. slice the tomato
  4. boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes (don't fully cook) and set aside
  5. in a frying pan set to low heat, cook bacon until crisp 
  6. remove and place cooked bacon on paper towel and set aside
  7. keep at least 2 tablespoon of bacon fat drippings in the pan 
  8. raise the frying pan heat to medium
  9. add potatoes and onions to the pan and sauté until golden brown 
  10. cut up the cooked bacon into bite size pieces and add to the pan
  11. add salt and pepper 
  12. add eggs and stir until eggs are almost set (a couple of minutes)
  13. reduce heat to low
  14. top the mixture in the pan with slices of tomato 
  15. cover pan with lid and cook on low for about 5 minutes
  16. sprinkle cheese and parsley on top and cook on low until cheese melts 

Serve and enjoy. Guten Appetit !

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Shepherd's Pie

 As we all know, shepherd's herd sheep. So as the name implies, shepherd's pie is traditionally made with ground lamb (sheep meat). When made with beef, it's traditionally called cottage pie. You can easily substitute other kinds of ground meat. For today, let's go with ground chicken.


pie filling

  • cooking oil 
  • a pound of ground chicken (or you can substitute ground beef or lamb)
  • a medium onion
  • a couple of cloves of garlic
  • a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
  • two tablespoons of flour
  • a cup of beef broth
  • a teaspoon each of dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
  • a cup of frozen mixed veg (I use mixed peas, carrots, beans and corn because its readily available where I live, but you could use peas and carrots or any other combination - experiment and find what you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste

mashed potato pie crust

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • half a cup of milk
  • pinch of salt


pie filling

  1. peal and chop the onions
  2. peal and mince the garlic
  3. in a frying pan set to medium/high heat, sauté the onions 
  4. add the ground meat
  5. add the herbs and the salt and pepper
  6. stir until the meat is no longer pink
  7. add garlic and worcestershire sauce and stir for a minute to let the garlic cook
  8. add the frozen vegetable - stir for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are no longer frozen
  9. add the beef stock and the flour
  10. stir continuously so that the flour doesn't form lumps - the flour will thicken the mixture
  11. as soon as the mixture thickens transfer to a casserole dish

mashed potato pie crust

The pie crust is made with mashed potatoes. Many people have their own favorite way of making mashed potatoes by adding things like cheese, olive oil, cream, garlic powder, mustard powder, and other exotic herbs and spices. I will describe the simplest way I know, since the pie crust isn't the star of this show, it's just a supporting actor.

  1. peal, chop, and boil the potatoes
  2. drain and add salt, butter
  3. stir until butter melts
  4. using a potato masher, mash everything together adding the milk a bit at a time. Important: keep an eye on the thickness of the mixture - if you add too much milk you end up with potato soup which doesn't work as a pie crust

the pie

  1. carefully spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the pie filling - be gentle, don't let the mashed potatoes mix into the filling

  2. use a fork to level the top of the mashed potatoes

  3. put lid on casserole dish, or if the dish doesn't have a lid, you can use foil
  4. put the casserole dish onto the middle rack of the oven, preheated to 300°F 

  5. bake for half an hour
  6. take the dish out of the oven and remove the cover
  7. brush the top with some melted butter and return the uncovered dish to the oven

  8. broil on high for a couple of minutes allowing the butter to blend into the top of the mashed potatoes and form a golden crust
  9. remove the dish from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes to cool before serving

Lets Eat

Bon Appétit!

Leftover pie can be stored in the fridge but not frozen. 

Cooked potatoes don't seem to do well in the freezer - when they thaw out they tend to get spongy. If anyone knows how to freeze cooked potatoes without this happening, please leave a comment below and let us know.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Fettuccine Alfredo Without Heavy Cream

Enjoy a nice creamy alfredo sauce without the heavy cream. 

Lets start with a butter and flour roux, thinned with whole milk. Add some cheese, season and serve over ribbon pasta. Add a side of broccoli and carrots and you're all set. Or leave out the veg and have room on your plate for more pasta. 

Here's what we'll need


  • a tablespoon of butter
  • a tablespoon of flour
  • a cup of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • a generous cup of whole milk
  • a pinch of salt 
  • a dash of ground black pepper


  • whisk
  • spoon
  • saucepan


  • microwave milk for 30 seconds and stir
  • repeat a couple of times until the milk is quite hot to the taste
  • in a saucepan, melt butter over a medium heat
  • whisk the flour into the butter to make a roux 
  • add the hot milk a bit at a time and blend with the whisk
  • repeat until the roux has thinned to a smooth sauce
  • sprinkle the cheese a bit at a time and blend with the whisk 
  • repeat until the the sauce thickens up and gets nice and sticky and cheesy
  • add seasoning to taste - a few grounds of black pepper looks nice in the sauce
  • serve over ribbon pasta (I like fettuccine or linguine)
  • for a side of veg may I suggest steamed broccoli and carrots
  • or leave out the veggies to make room for more pasta  

Lets Eat

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Mum's Spaghetti Bolognaise

 This was always my favorite food as a kid. But I had never heard anyone call it "Bolognaise" since I lived in England back in the 1970's. Here in Canada, it was just called "spaghetti sauce". I talked to my Mum in England, she gave me her recipe. I tried it and it was exactly as I remembered it.  Yum


  • 500g minced beef
  • Can of chopped tomatoes 400g
  • 2 large tbsp of tomato purée
  • approx 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 largish teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Chop onion.
  2. Finely, crush garlic.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the meat until it is no longer pink. 
  4. Add onion then garlic and fry until the onion is softened. 
  5. Add flour. Stir. 
  6. Add tinned tomatoes and tomato purée. 
  7. Add can of water and the seasoning. 
  8. Bring to boil 
  9. Turn down to simmering. Simmer on low flame for approx.  25 to 30 mins. 
  10. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Serve over spaghetti. Generously sprinkle freshly shredded parmesan cheese. I like to add a side of broccoli and carrots (but that's just me 🙂).

Bon Appétit! 

Perogy Poutine

Poutine has been called the Canadian National Dish. Although originally from Quebec, it is enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast to coast...