Creating Your New Fall Favourites
Spice of Life
We’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful warm, fall weather we’ve experienced late this week, BUT we haven’t forgotten that we woke up to snow on the ground on Monday. So, we’re stocking up on our favourite fall recipes and figured we’d share some of those with all of you over the next few weeks!
And bonus: if you’ve been missing the wine you used to enjoy at your favourite restaurant, we’ve got some tips on wine shopping locally!
Local Wine Shops
The convenience of the LCBO is undeniable, but we think a trip to your local wine shop is worthwhile, and here’s why…
With the pandemic shutting down your favourite restaurant or bar, you might be craving that delicious wine you can’t find at the LCBO. Many wine producers supply restaurants exclusively and create a whole different line of product for retailers. If retailers don’t have a bottle you’re looking for, it might be time to visit your local wine shop. Some may have the wine you’re looking for, but if not, they can suggest an equivalent wine for you to try. Most shops will be happy to take on this challenge.
If you love wine like we do, the most important step toward improving your drinking experience is to shop at a store that loves wine rather than somewhere that treats it as a random consumer product. These local shops will have assembled an inventory of scrupulously made wines from meticulously famed grapes. Wine Rack and The Wine Shop stores can be found in almost all of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, with other privately owned stores being frequent as well.
We wish you happy hunting!
Tomato bisque is a super silky-smooth version of the classic tomato soup we all love with a finishing touch of heavy cream – all completed in less than an hour. And, the best part? There’s no need for you to babysit the pot!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat and cook the onion, celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, and basil for about 5-6 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the garlic and stir an additional 45 seconds before adding in the broth, tomatoes, and sugar.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes before blending until perfectly smooth with an immersion blender. Add in the heavy cream, mix well and serve using more heavy cream and parsley as garnishes.
Authentic Italian-style risotto, cooked the slow and painful way, but it’s oh so worth it – we promise! Complements grilled meats and chicken dishes very well.
- 6 cups chicken broth, divided
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
- Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden colour, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Classic Beef Chili
This traditional beef chili recipe is perfect to warm you up on those chilly fall nights. See what we did there? Seriously though, give this recipe a try!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb 90% lean ground beef (swap in turkey, quinoa, or other meat substitutes)
- 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth (skip for thicker consistency)
- 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and option cayenne. Stir until well combined.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
- Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
There are few desserts that scream fall more than a delicious, simple apple crumble. But there’s always one big question: What apples should I use? Crisp, slightly tart varieties work best. Granny Smith is the most obvious choice, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady work wonders in this recipe as well!
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans, plus more for serving
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 large apples, cored and cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat over to 350oF and grease a large baking dish with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pecans, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in melted butter until texture is coarse and sandy.
- Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice to baking dish and toss to combine. Spread in an even layer, then press crumb mixture on top of apples. Bake until apples are bubbling and topping is golden, about 50 minutes.
- Serve warm with ice cream!