7 Winter Recipes By Top Vancouver Chefs And Restaurants That’ll Keep You Warm
When fall turns into winter, some folks look forward to skiing and skating, others to warm fires and hot cocoa—but not you. You’re looking forward to the robust winter home cooking that’ll feed your soul from head to toe.
Plus, with the extra time you’ll be spending indoors during the coldest season of the year, you’ll have the opportunity to try any one of these seven winter recipes from local Vancouver chefs and restaurants! While trying your hand at any hearty meal from our list, you’ll be introduced to a whole new dimension of culinary excellence.
From the savoury richness of beer and cheddar soups, to the nuance and spice of duck curry, you’ll find winter recipes that fill you with warmth, comfort, and excitement. These dishes offer an exquisite array of sophistication, texture, flavours, and deliciousness that will make it nearly impossible to leave your kitchen from December to April!
1. Aji De Gallina Empanadas
By Executive Chef Ricardo Valverde From Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio
Photo Credit: Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio
This Peruvian-inspired Aji De Gallina (shredded chicken) empanadas by Chef Ricardo Valverde was available on the Fall 2018 brunch menu at Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio.
Serves Four (4)
1 cup all purpose flour
125ml cold unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
70ml cold ice water
1 egg yolk (if baking)
Mix flour and salt together in a food processor.
Add the cubes of butter and pulse until dough is mealy.
Add cold water, as needed, pulse and mix until clumps of dough start to form.
Remove dough from food processor and knead until a ball is formed.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least one hour.
To make the empanada discs, roll out the dough into a five-millimetre thick layer and cut into circular shapes (approximately 12cm diameter) using a mold or a small plate.
Dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge up to three days.
1 large red onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
90 g aji amarillo paste (available at Granville Island Public Market or online)
250 ml chicken stock
370 ml evaporated milk
2 slices white bread, crusts removed (soak in 120ml of evaporated milk)
210 g pulled poached chicken breast
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
3T tbsp. chopped roasted walnuts
½ cup fresh chopped parsley Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, sweat the onion and garlic with canola oil until translucent over medium heat.
Add the aji amarillo paste and sweat for 10 minutes.
Add the soaking bread, stirring continuously, and let cook for two minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients – except for parsley – and adjust seasoning as needed.
Remove from heat.
Once mixture is cold, mix in parsley
On a floured surface, remove rolled dough and place 1.5 oz. of filling in the middle of each circle of dough.
Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg mixture.
Fold the pastry over to form a half circle pocket around the filling.
Using a fork, pinch down the edges to seal the empanada.
If baking, brush dough on both sides with beaten egg and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes at 375°F or until golden brown.
By Chef and Co-Owner Felix Zhou of Heritage Asian Eatery
Photo Credit: Heritage Asian Eatery
This Thai-style duck curry by Chef Felix Zhou won first place at the 2017 Chef’s Table Society of BC Curry Cup.
750g Yarrow Meadows Duck Legs
12 cloves Garlic
1 medium piece Ginger
4 Lemongrass Stalks
12 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 x 400g cans Light Coconut Milk
100g Brown Sugar
4 green Bird’s Eye Chilies
4 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 bunches Fresh Thai Basil
1 bunch Fresh Coriander
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
8 pods Cardamom Seeds
2 Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns
250mL Canola Oil
250g Dried Bean Curd, soaked in warm water for 2 hours (or until soft) and cut into 2 cm pieces
Parboil potatoes until just tender, but not soft. Allow to cool fully for at least a couple of hours.
Peel, and coarsely grate potatoes. Season with sea salt.
Heat oil in a pan. Add grated potatoes, shaping into flat cakes by gently pressing. Cook until golden and crispy.
To make the curry paste, peel, roughly chop and place the garlic, shallots and ginger in a food processor.
Trim the lemongrass, remove the tough outer leaves, then finely chop and add to the food processor as well. Trim and add the chillies along with the basil and the coriander stalks. Blitz until finely chopped.
De-bone and slice the duck legs into 2 cm cubes. Heat a splash of canola oil in a large pan on medium heat, add the cubed duck and fry for 5 to 8 minutes, or until just turning golden and the fat has rendered down. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the curry paste mixture from above. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Lightly toast all seeds and peppercorns and grind to a fine powder. Add to the curry mixture to infuse.
Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Add lime leaves and brown sugar. Turn the heat up and bring to a gentle boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced.
Transfer to a Vitamix blender and blend until smooth, then pass through a fine strainer. Return to the pan along with the duck legs and dried bean curd allow to cook on medium low heat.
Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the duck is cooked and tender through. Add the lime juice for the final 2 minutes of cooking.
Season carefully to taste with sea salt.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Blanch the basil leaves for 10-15 seconds, then immediately place them in ice water. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and place in a Vitamix blender with just enough oil to cover the basil. Blend until smooth.
Place a bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice water. Poor the oil mixture into the top bowl in order to quickly cool it down. Refrigerate overnight, and strain through a fine strainer.
Place crispy potato rösti in desired serving dish, and top with duck curry and braised bean curd. Garnish with fresh coriander, Thai basil and pickled jalapeños. Enjoy!
By Pastry Chef Mario Pelletier of Railtown Catering and Railtown Cafe
Photo credit: Railtown Cafe
Pastry Chef Mario Pelletier’s Classic Pecan Pie is available by the slice at Railtown Cafe’s four locations in Vancouver throughout the holiday season and part of Railtown Catering’s gourmet Turkey Holiday To-Go Packages.
Recipe yields two pecan pies
3 1/3 cups (470g) flour
½ (60g) ground almonds
1 cup (240g) butter
1 ¾ (180g) icing sugar
1 tsp. (4g)
Crumble all dry ingredientstogetherexcept eggsin amixing bowl.
Slowly add eggs and combine until smooth.Line the base mixture in two 10-inch circle tart tins.
Place tins in the oven at 170°C(roughly 340°F) and blind bake (usingbeanson top of the crust)forapproximately 20-25 minutes until the crust is half cooked.
Ingredients 9 eggs 2 ½ cups (500g) demerara sugar 1 ¾ (612.5g) golden syrup ½ cup (125g)butter Pinch salt 9 cups (1kg)pecans
Preheat your oven to 175°C (roughly 350°F).
Melt the butter.
In a mixing bowl and slowly mix inthe eggs, sugar and syrup.
Incorporate the butter, salt andthen the pecans.
Dividethe pecan filling between thetwo pie crusts and cook for approximately 30 minutes.
Remove pies from oven and allow to cool before serving.