culinary creations for the best night of the week

Category: Side Dishes

Potatoes 1

This one’s an original! Every good Canadian loves poutine, and this is a great way to incorporate it into a fancy meal! Real poutine is made with white cheese curds, which can be hard to find if you don’t live in Quebec. However, both Whole Foods and Choices Markets sell pre-packaged “squeaky cheese curds” which […]

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto



4 cups chicken broth

2 – 3 tbsp. olive oil

1 med onion – finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted

3/4 cup sliced mini Portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper





Heat broth until warm – either microwave or stove top.

Heat olive oil in heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook until caramelized, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for about 3 minutes until the rice is lightly toasted, and slightly translucent in color. Add the wine, and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes to allow alcohol to evaporate. Top rice mixture with chopped mushrooms, and stir until combined.

Add 3/4 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often (about 5-10 minutes). Repeat previous step multiple times, until all remaining broth is absorbed into the rice. Stir in the peas and Parmesan (keep some parmesan on the side to serve as a garnish). Remove from heat, and cover. Let rest 5 minutes to achieve ultimate creaminess.

To serve: Spoon risotto onto serving plates, and top with parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Lazy Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes are amazing. No gravy necessary! So often are we served bland mashed potatoes, and we’re forced to desperately save all the juices from whatever it is we’re eating, just to help liven up the potatoes! Well, not these bad boys. These are potatoes that can stand their own.

I call these “lazy” potatoes, because I leave the skins in for added taste and texture, and purposefully don’t mash them to runny oblivion. Having varying textures through this dish is what makes it so successful, as every bite bring a new potato taste explosion!

Ok, I admit.. I may be getting a little over excited about these potatoes. But really, you’ve got to try them.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1.5″ cubes (do not remove skin!)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed and diced

2 green onions

 1 chicken bouillon cube


Boil cubes potatoes for approx 20 minutes in a large pot, on high heat. Drain, and transfer to large bowl.

Combine butter and cream in a small heavy pot, and heat over low heat until warm. Stir in chicken bouillon cube until dissolved. Add cream mixture, garlic, and onions to potatoes, and mash roughly. The key here is to mash them enough to have a fairly creamy texture, while still having small chewy chunks of potato in the mix. This, along with the added texture and nutrients from the potato skins, make this dish unique and absolutely delicious!