by Colin Hodgson
RED DEER, Alta – Few people would realize the culinary interest or prowess of such high-performance curlers as John Morris or Mike McEwen. However, conversations can often be heard between myself, Mike and Johnny Mo about our recent culinary excursions in the kitchen.
This fire (don't say that too loudly around Johnny or he'll get the hose out) and desire to cook might be able to be explained by the lack of... how should I put this... kitchen "flare" that our significant others seem to not embrace like us foodies. However, this is definitely not a shot at the ladies Jenny Gates (sorry hun) or Dawn Askin (who wears the pants in that relationship with six Hearts appearances and three wins).
So, in the spirit of the STOH playoffs this weekend, Mike McEwen and yours truly decided it would be a great idea to come up with some great recipes to share with you all... at the expense of great skips such as Nova Scotia's Heather Smith-Dacey, Kerry Galusha of the Territories, Team Canada's Amber Holland and Alberta skipper Heather Nedohin (Kruger Products/CCA photo at left).
Enjoy your "Holland-Aise" Sauce, Galusha Goulash, Heather "Smith-Date" Squares, and Cinnamon "Sugarballs"!
Heather Smith-Date Squares
1 -1/2 cups rolled oats • 1- 1/2 cups sifted pastry flour • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda • 1 cup packed brown sugar • 3/4 cup butter • softened 3/4 pound pitted dates, diced • 1 cup water • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine oats, pastry flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates, water, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook until thickened. Stir in lemon juice, and remove from heat. Spread the filling over the base, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until top is lightly toasted. Cool before cutting into squares.
30mL vegetable oil • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 1/2 tsp powdered sweet paprika • Salt to taste • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds • 3 or 4 black peppercorns • 1 med. carrot, cut into quarters • 1 med. parsnip, cut into quarters • 1 or 2 whole sweet paprika • 1 bay leaf • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
Cube the meat and potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Stew the onion in vegetable oil over low heat until golden yellow (not brown). Remove the pot from the heat, add the paprika, meat, salt and 1 1/5 liters (1 quart, 3 oz) of water. Add the caraway seeds and peppercorns in a tea ball or small bag (for easy removal before serving). Return to low heat and simmer.
After 30 minutes, add the carrots, garlic, leaf, parsnips and paprika peppers. When the meat is nearly tender (around another 30 minutes), add the potatoes. Serve and enjoy!
Nedohin's Cinnamon Sugarballs
(Not S**tballs – video here)
1 cup margarine, softened • 2 egg whites • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar • 2 tablespoons cinnamon • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400. In a mixing bowl, combine margarine, egg whites, and vanilla extract. In another mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Chill dough until firm. Then, roll into balls the size of walnuts. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar together. Roll balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 2" apart on unprepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
Classic Holland-Aise Sauce
3/4 cup unsalted butter • 3 egg, yolks • 1 tablespoon water • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • salt • 1 pinch pepper
Remove 2 tablespoons (25 mL) of the butter and keep cold in refrigerator. In small saucepan, melt remaining butter; keep warm. In heavy-bottomed saucepan or in stainless steel bowl, whisk egg yolks until thickened and pale. Whisk in water and lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the cold butter. Set saucepan over low heat or place bowl over saucepan of 1 1/2- inches (4 cm) barely simmering water; whisk until bottom of pan can be seen between whisks and wires of whisk become lightly coated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, immediately whisk in remaining cold butter to stop the cooking of the yolks. By driblets, whisk in enough of the melted butter to thicken to consistency of whipping cream. Increasing amount of butter slightly, whisk in remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper.