Brie and Apple Salad with Cider Vinegrette

By Corinne

This is one of my favourite salads. It comes together quickly, and even though you bread and fry the cheese (just a little bit and it’s totally worth it) I still think it qualifies as a pretty good post-holiday-gluttony supper.

I absolutely adore pomegranate. It has a reputation of being difficult to peel and messy, but really it’s super simple. I was going to take pictures of how I peel it, but here’s a great video instead. You can even be less finicky with cutting off the top than this person is and it will still pull apart beautifully.

Time: 20 minutes or less – tonight I started this at 6 and we were finished eating at 6:30.

Serves: 4 as a light supper salad (I usually do half of this for just two of us)

You will need:

For the salad

  • 2 small heads of romaine, washed, chopped and dried
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 small crisp apples
  • 1 7oz (200g) wheel of double cream brie
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tbsp canola for frying

For the dressing

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or olive oil if that is your preference, though I find it is sometimes over powering, especially in a salad like this that has rather delicate flavours)
  • several grinds fresh pepper
  • pinch of salt to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Chop, rinse, and dry romaine. Open pomegranate and put all of the arils (that’s what you call the little bits you eat!) into a bowl.

Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan.

Cut brie wheel into eight equal pieces – two will go on each salad.

Whisk one egg in a small bowl and put 3/4 cup of panko crumbs into a pie plate.

Dip each piece of brie into the egg and then into the bread crumbs, pressing them in and coating each side.

When all brie pieces are ready to go, core apples, halve, and thinly slice. You want to wait until now to do this step so your apples don’t brown before you are ready to serve the salad.

Place 4 slices of brie into the pan, they will only take a few seconds on each side for the breading to brown. Remove and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining 4 slices.

Arrange salad on plates- romaine, apple slices, handful of pomegranate arils and then top with two pieces of fried brie. Give the dressing another whisk before drizzling on top.

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Pears with Prosciutto and Cheese

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By Corinne

I know there are a lot of people who love blue cheese. I do not. I appreciate what other people like about it; I get that it’s tangy and creamy… but… to me it tastes mostly like licking the damp corner of the basement. Not to dissuade you from doing this with blue cheese if that’s your thing. I made half of them with Stilton because I know people love it. The half I wanted to eat I made with Oka cheese.

Oka is a Canadian cheese with a rich history. It originated in around 1893 in an abbey in Quebec. It has a unique taste and a pretty and edible orange rind. If you find the rind makes it a bit too tangy for you, you can of course remove it for a milder flavour.

I feel like the combination of pears and prosciutto will likely work with any good flavourful cheese, so try it with something you enjoy!

These are a super quick app to make, but you don’t want to make them too far in advance (an hour or so at most) as the pears will discolour a bit as they sit.

This is easy to double if you wish, but I made a fairly small amount as I was making a variety of other apps as well 🙂

Time: 5-10 min depending on if you’re doubling or not. This comes together super quick

Makes: as written – 10-12 pieces

You will need:

  • 1 ripe pear
  • 5 -6 slices of prosciutto*
  • cheese of your choice! for this plate I used Stilton (blue cheese) on half, and Oka on the other half
  • blackberries for garnish if desired

Cut pear in half and remove seeds and stem. Cut into 10-12 equal sized slices.

Cut up your cheese- I used blue for half and Oka for the other half.

Cut each piece of prosciutto in half length wise.

Begin your assembly. Grab a piece of pear, put a piece of cheese on it and wrap your piece of prosciutto snuggly around it. The prosciutto tends to sort of stick to itself a bit, so it’s unnecessary to use a toothpick to keep it together.

Arrange on a platter and toss some blackberries on there, because they’re pretty and the acidity of them nicely complements the richness of these delightful bites.

*prosciutto is generally gluten free, but you should always double check the package if you are sensitive to gluten

Easiest Scalloped Potatoes

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By Corinne

I love scalloped potatoes, but sort of hate making white sauce for them. While this recipe uses heavy cream, making white sauce uses copious amounts of butter, flour and milk or cream, so I feel like it more or less evens out in terms of fat/calories and being easy and even more delicious means doing it this way wins for me.

These are seriously so easy that there’s no need to save them for a special occasion 🙂 Plus, the sauce thickens to creamy deliciousness without adding flour, so they happen to be happily gluten free.

Cooking time will depend a bit on whether you are using a deeper square shaped 2 quart dish or a shallower rectangular shaped dish. 
You will need:

  • 4-5 medium/large potatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • paprika
  • fresh ground pepper
  • about 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (250mL) heavy cream
  • about 1/2 tbsp butter

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Rub butter on a 2 quart baking dish. Finely mince about half of a large red onion, about 1/2 a cup and set aside. Grate about 2 cups of shredded cheese and set aside. Use a mandolin to slice potatoes very thin. I usually leave the skin on as because I hate peeling potatoes and like the skin anyway. This is pretty much the only reason I have a mandolin, and it’s TOTALLY worth it, even though I don’t do scalloped potatoes very often.

Layer two layers of potatoes into dish. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, paprika, about 2 tbsp of minced red onion and a light sprinkle of shredded cheese. Continue layering potatoes, stopping every 2 layers to repeat onion, pepper and paprika. On the final layer, top generously with shredded cheddar cheese.

Drizzle 1 cup of heavy cream over potatoes, cover dish with foil, and bake in a 350F oven until potatoes are tender, 60-80 minutes depending on the size of your dish and the thickness of your potatoes. Broil to finish for a few minutes if a more crispy bubbly top is desired.