Creating gourmet dishes doesn't need to include ingredients
you've never heard of or endless hours over a hot stove. Try one of
these 10 gourmet comfort foods the next time you want to impress
your guests with a meal that looks divine and tastes decadent.
Grown-up Grilled Cheese
This childhood favourite gets a grownup twist to make it gourmet
by using high-end ingredients and well-matched flavours. Try one of
these combinations: granny smith apple, Benedictine blue, Raclette
and organic honey on raisin-walnut bread; Extra old white cheddar,
provolone, Monterey Jack and tomato with Dijon on sourdough;
Fontina and avocado with mayo on flax-seed bread. Garnish with
homemade ketchup, rustic potato chips and a dill pickle.
Pulled pork poutine
This Quebec staple makes a decadent appetizer at an outdoor
barbeque or wintry Friday evening dinner. To create, make your
favourite extra-saucy pulled pork recipe in a slow cooker. Cook
French fries in a deep fryer or oven, then mix with pulled pork and
authentic white cheese curds.
Lobster mac n' cheese
This kid-friendly food goes gourmet with the addition of fresh
lobster and quality cheese. Cook macaroni until al dente. Boil
fresh or frozen lobsters, then cut meat into bite-size pieces.
Create sauce by blending cream, flour, cheddar and Monterey Jack
over medium heat. Mix with lobster and macaroni and a dash of
paprika. Spoon into individual ramekins and sprinkle with
breadcrumbs and parmesan. Bake in oven for about an hour. Try Michael Smith's Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Mini beef sliders
Mini beef sliders are popping up on every upscale restaurant
menu-and taste as good as they look. Form mini-burgers out of
ground beef (or lamb or veal) mixture by using a small juice glass
for size. Then, top each burger with one of the following (or
create a topping bar and let guests create their own custom
burger): brie, grilled shitake mushroom, avocado, prosciutto, and
black olive tapenade. Serve on mini buns or make your own by
cutting small "buns" out of larger burger buns.
This campfire favourite is not only easy to make but is the
perfect sweet to end an outdoor meal. Top a graham wafer with a
piece of organic dark chocolate or chocolate ganache and handmade
marshmallow then drizzle with raspberry coulis or caramel sauce.
Top with remaining wafer, wrap in aluminum foil and cook on grill
or in toaster oven for a few minutes until chocolate is melted.
Try this recipe: Chocolate Caramel S'mores
Turn your hot dog into an haute dog by swapping your typical
beef wiener for a swankier sausage. Many butchers sell gourmet
sausages-try lamb topped with feta and rosemary, veal with roasted
red peppers and red onions, or duck sausage with homemade cranberry
Pork n' beans
This inexpensive meal makes a rich main or side dish to steak or
other wild game dish. Soak white beans in boiling water for 40
minutes, then drain. Brown pork sausage or wild boar steak in a
skillet, then mix with beans, a bay leaf, parsley, thyme, cloves,
onions, tomato, chicken broth and olive oil in a large, heavy pot.
Cook for several hours until tender.
This traditional Ukranian dish becomes an impressive yet easy
make-ahead meal with the use of unique fillings. To make your own
perogies, follow this simple recipe for the dough. Then, fill with
the following combinations: wild mushrooms and onions; spinach and
goat cheese; sweet potato, caramelized onion and praline; or
pumpkin pie filling served with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Tuna salad sandwich
Swap your second-grade sandwich staple for ahi tuna to make this
epicurean lunch. Sear tuna, then break it into bite size pieces.
Then top your sandwiches with these combinations: wasabi-ginger
mayonnaise and cabbage coleslaw on rye bread; red bell pepper, red
onion, garlic mayo and leafy lettuce on multigrain; white cheddar,
avocado and herbed mayo on croissant. Serve with a pickle.
Ice cream sandwich
This summery treat gets reincarnated with a homemade twist. If
you have time, make your own ice cream and cookies. If not, buy
rich, creamy ice cream and home-baked cookies. Try these unexpected
combinations: gingersnaps with lemon sorbet, white chocolate
macadamia cookies with dulce de leche, chocolate cookies with
orange gelato or oatmeal raisin cookies with coconut ice cream.