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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Easter!  Hope everyone is having a great long weekend with their families and friends.  Last night I got together with some pals to celebrate a Ukrainian Easter – we had perogies, cabbage rolls and the traditional spiral ham.  That ham was huge and today I used some of the leftovers to create an easy ham and bean soup using stuff I had in cold storage and in the pantry.


Ham, White Bean & Rosemary Soup


2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil  IMG_0553

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 ribs celery, finely chopped + 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped leftover spiral ham (or any leftover cooked ham will do!)

4 cups chicken broth

1 can white kidney beans, rinsed – reserve half cup! IMG_0554

salt & pepper

1 bay leaf


In a large stock pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat.  Cook onions, garlic and rosemary sprigs until onion is translucent.   Add the celery, celery leaves, carrots and chopped ham and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, rinse the beans under cold water and remove half cup to a mixing bowl.  Mash the half cup of beans with a fork.  Once the soup is boiling, drop the heat to medium and whisk in the mashed beans.  Then you can dump in the rest of the beans.  Season with salt and pepper – be careful not to ad too much salt because the ham usually is already salty enough.  Cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 30 minutes.  I originally had planned to remove the rosemary sprig from the pot BUT I forgot and all of the “needles” fell off.  Anyways, they are a pretty edition to the soup, so no harm there.  IMG_0556

Serve with a nice dark rye bread and a pinch of parmesan cheese.


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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you leprechauns out there!  Hope everyone gets to enjoy a green beer today.  Yesterday I ran in a little fun run 5 km race and the weather was a nightmare – it lasted till this morning too, so I took my 10 km run to the indoor track at the Collicutt Centre.  It was still snowing like a mofo when I got home and I decided I didn’t want to venture out on my usual Sunday grocery trip, so instead attacked the deep freeze and pantry!

Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to put together a Steak and Vegetable Pie, using some sirloin steaks and puff pastry that were in my freezer.  I’ve seen a lot of versions of this dish to include Guinness, but I just didn’t have a can kicking around… so I made a much simpler version instead, using something probably everyone has in the fridge: ketchup.  It turned out great and is so easy!!  Takes about 2 hours to cook in total, so maybe it’s not something you could throw together at work – definitely a Sunday supper!!


Steak and Vegetable Pie


1 tbsp olive oil

2 slices smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 lb sirloin steak, cubed small (1 cm)

1 medium onion, chopped IMG_0530

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup beef broth

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 –  397 g pkg Tenderflake Puff Pastry

1 egg, beaten

salt, pepper, flour


In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat and add bacon.  Cook until golden.  Meanwhile, cube the steak very small, about 1 cm pieces.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lightly coat with flour.  Add the beef to the pot and brown over medium high heat, about five minutes.  Next add the onions, carrots and celery and stir, lifting the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Next add the beef broth, ketchup, Worceshtershire sauce and bay leaf.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes with a loose fitting lid.  Stir occasionally, to make sure things aren’t sticking to the bottom.  Take a taste at about 30 minutes and decide if you need to season more.  Preheat your oven to 400F and roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface (it comes in 2 squares – if you love pastry, roll out both squares, one for the bottom and one for the top – alternately, just roll out one half for the topper)  Coat a small baking dish (9×12″) with cooking spray and layer with one of the pastry sheets if you decided to do top and bottom pastry.



Fill the dish with the beef mixture and top with a sheet of pastry  make sure to remove the bay leaf!!  Crimp the edges and cut a few slits in the top.  Brush the top with the beaten egg and chuck in the oven for 30 minutes.   When cooked, let the pie stand for 15 minutes before serving.

st pattys scurry

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