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Warm up with chowder and stews

- 123RF Stock Photo

There’s nothing cozier than a pot bubbling on the stove on a cold day

The early winter air is brisk and the threat of a snow day always looming. As the fire crackles in the fireplace and the furnace brings warmth into the house, I often find myself at the comfort of my stove cooking warming chowders and stews ideal for seasonal entertaining. There’s little better on those cold winter evenings than curling up with a one-pot meal. They are easy to make, wonderful to eat and even better the next day if you make enough for there to be leftovers.

Seafood Chowder

  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, diced*
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup yellow flesh potatoes, diced
  • 12 scallops
  • 1 salmon fillet, chopped
  • 1/2 lb mussels
  • 6 sprigs dill, chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Directions: Add the carrots, celery, and onions and sweat until vegetables are soft and bacon cooked. Remove from heat and set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour and stir to make a roux. When bubbling return bacon and vegetables to pot. Add the thyme and white wine. Reduce until liquid half its original volume. Add the milk and cream and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook until soft. Add the seafood and cover pot. Let steam for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure seafood is cooked through and mussels and clams are before serving, melt the remaining butter in pan over medium heat and add all the seafood. Once the mussels have opened and scallops and scallops are cooked through, lower heat to low. Season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh dill.

Beef Bourguignon

  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 lb beef, cubed
  • 1 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 small onions, diced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • Bouquet garni* (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, cooked in butter

Directions: Place butter, beef and bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot set over medium-heat. When the beef is browned, add the onions and carrots and continue to sauté. When all ingredients are browned add the flour. After a few minutes, add the wine, stock, garlic, bouquet garni and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The cooking time will depend on the size of the cubes of beef. Add the mushrooms. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

- 123RF
- 123RF

Brown Ale Chili with Smoky Chipotle Sour Cream

  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 can brown ale
  • 250-ml container sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce*
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, to serve

Directions: Place large pot over medium-low heat. Add the oil, carrot, peppers and onion. Sauté until the vegetables are soft. Add the jalapeño, garlic and spices. Sauté until fragrant. Add the beef. Stir using a wooden spoon. When the beef is browned, drain to remove excess fat. Add the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, sugar and beer. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours. Finish with cilantro and stir. Meanwhile place sour cream, chipotle and lime juice in a blender. Blend until well combined. Serve chili with sour cream, accompanied by shredded cheddar cheese.

*Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce come in a can. It can typically be found with the salsa in your local grocery store.

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