ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen: Hearty eats to fuel up this winter

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Whether you’re charging up for your favourite winter activity, or simply warming up from the cold, here are some hearty recipes to keep you satisfied and energized this season.


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With cream cheese and smoked salmon, our Smoked Salmon Pate is rich and creamy. Lemon juice, horseradish and dill help to cut through the richness so that it’s not too heavy.

Our Aztec Chili has a few “secret” ingredients — cocoa, beer, and allspice, which all add a deeper flavour to the chili. This recipe is meant to feed a crowd, but leftovers can be frozen.

The slow cooker is the perfect tool to make moist and tender meat. Our Slow Cooker Beef Dip is no exception — this recipe results in a sandwich that’s juicy and flavourful.  


4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp salted butter, softened

1 pkg (85 g) frozen smoked salmon, thawed and coarsely chopped

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp prepared horseradish


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1/4 tsp dill weed

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, process cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add salmon, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Add lemon juice, horseradish, dill weed and pepper. Process until smooth.

Spoon pate into a small bowl and sprinkle with reserved salmon. Cover and chill until firm. Pate may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Do not freeze. Serve with crackers or thin slices of baguette.

Yield: Makes about 1 cup.


3 lb (1.5 kg) lean ground beef

3 cups chopped onions

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tbsp canola oil

3/4 cup chili powder

2 tbsp cumin

1 1/2 tbsp oregano, crumbled

1 1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cans (28 oz/796 mL each) crushed tomatoes

2 cans (28 oz/796 mL each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained


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1 can (10 oz/284 mL) beef broth

1 cup beer

1 1/2 cups diced green bell peppers

3 cans (4.5 oz/127 g each) diced green chilies, drained

1 tsp salt

Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, sliced ripe olives and sour cream

In a very large heavy pot, cook beef, onions and garlic in oil until browned. Drain off excess fat. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and allspice; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in cocoa. Stir in remaining ingredients (except toppings); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Reheat to serve. Serve with toppings.

Yield: Serves 14

Cook’s Note: As this recipe makes a large quantity, the recipe may be halved or prepared in two Dutch ovens.


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2 1/2 lb boneless beef sirloin tip roast

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp canola oil

4 cups sliced onions

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (10 oz/284 mL) beef broth

1/2 cup water

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp rosemary, crumbled

3 bay leaves

2 baguettes

1 tbsp salted butter, softened

14 slices deli provolone cheese

Sprinkle roast with pepper. Heat oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Add roast and brown on all sides. Transfer roast to a 6-quart slow cooker.

Add onions to the same frypan and sauté over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture over roast. Add broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, rosemary and bay leaves to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat setting for 6 hours.


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Transfer roast to a platter and cover with foil. Let roast stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves from broth mixture; set broth mixture aside.

Preheat broiler. Without cutting all the way through, cut baguettes in half lengthwise. For each baguette, spread half of the butter over one cut side; place half of the cheese slices, overlapping slightly, on the other cut side. Cut open baguettes in half crosswise. Transfer open baguette halves to foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Broil until baguettes are lightly toasted and cheese is melted.

Slice roast into thin pieces. Top toasted sides of baguette halves with beef, dividing equally. Remove onions from broth mixture with a slotted spoon and place on top of beef, dividing equally. Close baguette halves and cut each in half crosswise.

Serve each sandwich with a small bowl of broth mixture to dip into.

Yield: Serves 8

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