Thursday, October 27, 2011

DSG's 7th anniversary sale!

7th anniversary sale!

friday november 4th, 2011
10 am to 7 pm

drop by to:
  • taste delicious samples of our new line of entrees featuring 'hogtails' bbq!
  • take a look at our new gourmet foods, holiday treats and entertaining accessories
  • enter to win a gourmet gift basket 

take advantage of:
  • banana bread $6 (reg price $9.98)
  • sun dried tomato pesto cheese torte $11 (reg price $15.98)
  • classic Indian (Thiru's) soups $7 (reg price $9.98)
  • 15% off all items featuring 'hogtails' bbq meats
(note: limit of four of each item, per customer please)
dana shortt gourmet
55 erb street east unit 101
waterloo ontario


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Masala

I’ve had serious cravings for Indian food lately.  There’s just something about the cool fall weather that makes me want to get into the kitchen and cook plenty of belly-warming, richly-spiced dishes.  

I recently spent an entire Sunday morning leafing through various Indian cookbooks and on-line recipes until I determined exactly what I was craving.  I decided to make two big-batch dishes – a south-Indian style vegetable curry with coconut milk, cauliflower & root vegetables, as well as a butter chicken dish of sorts, with more subtle Indian flavours.

If you aren’t all that familiar with Indian food, but you’d like to try your hand at preparing something, this dish is an ideal one to start with.  It contains garam masala which means “hot mixture” in Hindi.

This Indian spice blend is usually used for finishing dishes but despite the name, garam masala is not especially spicy.  In fact, the "hot" may refer to the fact that the spices are toasted before grinding (but I’ll be honest and tell you that I usually cheat and buy the bagged, pre-ground version).

My husband David remarked that this dish tastes like an Indian version of a creamy rose (tomato-cream) pasta sauce, and he agreed that it would be pleasing to a “beginner” who might be a bit wary of Indian Food.

Chicken Masala
serves 4-6

·        4 (four) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into 1 inch cubes
(OR use one  whole rotisserie deli chicken, skin removed and chopped into small pieces), set aside
·        6 (six) tablespoons butter, divided
·        4 (four) cloves garlic, minced
·        3 (three) small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
·        2 (two), 28 (twenty-eight) oz. cans whole tomatoes in puree, reserve juices
·        1 (one) teaspoon garam masala spice blend (found in the spices/baking sections of most grocery stores)
·        3 (three) tablespoons ground cashews
·        ½ (one-half) cup heavy whipping cream
·        salt and pepper to taste
·        ¼ (one-quarter) cup chopped fresh cilantro
·        brown or white basmati rice, for serving

1.      Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add four tablespoons of the butter and once melted and foamy (but do not let brown), add the shallots and garlic. Turn heat down to low and cook until shallots/garlic have softened and are golden brown in colour, about 7 minutes.  Increase temperature slightly if the process is taking too long.
2.      Meanwhile, puree the whole tomatoes in a blender (reserve juice in cans).  Add to the browned garlic/shallot mixture and stir well to combine. Add salt, pepper and garam masala and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the sauce is quite thick.  Then, turn off the heat, add the ground cashews and heavy cream and stir well (note: if the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a bit of the reserved tomato juice from the cans until the desired consistency is reached).
3.      Add in the cooked chicken pieces. Return to heat and cook on medium low for an additional 5-7 minutes, to allow the flavours to mingle.
4.      Serve over basmati rice, with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

recipe: classic Canadian buttertarts with Caramel Sauce

What do you think makes a good buttertart?  Is it the flaky, buttery pastry?  Or, are you, like me, all about the gooey, syrupy filling?  Do you love raisins in your buttertart or not so much?  What about nuts?  Do you prefer old-school corn syrup or pure maple syrup?

Such was the question that Kirstie and Jody of “The Culinary Studio” posed to a bunch of us chefs and foodies when they challenged us to compete in their first “Buttertart Competition” held back in their studio in August.

It was a sweet day (pun intended) and a lot of fun.  Our blackberry balsamic buttertart took home third prize.  Congratulations to Martin’s Family Fruit Farm who won first prize, and to Relish Cooking Studio who placed second.

If you haven’t heard of Relish yet, you should definitely make a point of stopping by their cooking school on
Regina St.
in Uptown Waterloo.  Their space is homey and inviting, and owners Donna-Marie and Maria are fervent foodies, passionate about teaching.  These caramel-laced butter tarts are to die for, and certainly worth every decadent calorie!

Relish Cooking Studio’s Classic Canadian Buttertarts with Caramel Sauce(makes 12 buttertarts)

ingredients crust

·        3/4 (three-quarters) cup all purpose flour
·        1/4 (one-quarter) cup bleached cake flour (we prefer Swans Down)
·        3 (three) oz. (or 3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter
·        2 (two) tbsps. chilled vegetable shortening
·        1/4 (one -quarter) cup ice water (plus a few droplets if necessary)

ingredients filling

·        3/4 (three-quarters) cup dark brown sugar
·        3/4 (three-quarters) cup corn syrup
·        1/2 (one-half) cup unsalted butter, melted
·        2 (two) large eggs at room temperature
·        1 (one) tsp white vinegar
·        1 (one) tsp. vanilla extract
·        1/2 (one-half) cup golden raisins

ingredients caramel sauce

·        1 (one) cup granulated sugar
·        1 (one) tbsp. corn syrup
·        1 (one) tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
·        1/4 (one-quarter) cup water
·        3/4 (three-quarters) cup whipping cream
·        1 (one) tbsp. unsalted butter
·        2 (two) tsps. vanilla extract


1.      To make crust:  Put the flour, salt and diced butter in the container of the processor and pulse (on-off half second clicks) 5 or 6 times to break up the butter roughly.  Add the shortening, turn on the machine and immediately pour in the ice water, then pulse 2 or 3 times.  Remove the cover and feel the dough (it should look like a bunch of small lumps, and will just hold together in a mass when you press a handful together).  It’s important not to over mix; it should not mass on the blade of the machine. If it is too dry, pulse in droplets more water.  From now on work rapidly to keep the dough cold and manageable.

2.      Turn the dough out onto your work surface; press it into a rough mass.  For the final blending, rapidly and roughly with the heel (not the palm) of your hand, push egg-size clumps of dough out in front of you in a 6-inch smear.

3.      Form the dough into a disc (it should be fairly smooth and pliable).  Wrap in plastic, slide it into a plastic bag, and refrigerate.  Freshly made dough should chill 2 hours at least, allowing the flour particles to absorb the liquid, as well as to firm the butter and relax the gluten.

4.      To make filling:  Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan. In a bowl, whisk sugar, corn syrup and butter in a bowl by hand until combined.  Whisk in eggs, then vinegar and vanilla.

5.      Sprinkle a few raisins in the bottom of each muffin cup and pour filling over the raisins.

6.      Bake the tarts for 5 minutes, then reduce oven to 375 °F and continue baking until butter tart filling starts to dome, about 20 more minutes.  Cool tarts in the tin, and chill the tarts in the tin before removing. Drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.

7.      To make Caramel Sauce:  Bring sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and water to a boil over high heat in a covered heavy-bottomed saucepot.  Do not stir!  Remove lid once boiling and let sugar cook, brushing sides of the pot right against sugar with cool water once or twice, until an amber colour.  Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream (watch out for steam). Stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

8.      Caramel sauce can be prepared ahead and chilled until ready to serve.  Simply heat in microwave to warm. Carmel sauce will keep up to a week refrigerated.  Yield: approximately 1½ (one-and-a-half) cups.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 2011 Store Newsletter

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October 2011 [image]

::: what's in our fresh fridge today? -turkey dinner casserole with cranberry stuffing topping $9.98 sm; $19.98 med
-lots of fresh quiches (4 varieties)
-butternut squash, apple and ginger soup $9.98 per L
-bacon, apple, cheddar and caramelized onion quesadilla $9.98 each
-chicken, cheddar and salsa quesadilla $9.98 each
-tons of ready-to-bake scones $8.98 each or 3 packages for $25.00
-lots of fresh loaves - pumpkin, carrot or banana bread $9.98 each
::: recipe-of-the-month
Spanish style chickpea soup with sherry
This recipe comes from Chef Lynda Young, a former chef at Dana Shortt Gourmet. This was a popular soup that we featured on our menu several years ago.
It's a warm and comforting meal, perfect for this time of year (and perhaps for next week, after a filling turkey dinner....and leftovers!)
*note* recipe can be halved
4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup olive oil, I use the Australian picual that we sell in the shop
4 yellow onions, peeled and finely diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 litres chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup heavy, 35% cream
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and start to lightly brown, about 10 - 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, stirring. 2. Add the chickpeas, stock and half of the thyme. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a bare simmer, and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the soup from heat and add remaining olive oil.

4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Stir in the cream, vinegar and the remaining chopped thyme. Taste for salt, pepper and vinegar. Adjust if necessary.

::: thanksgiving features Our store is stocked with gourmet goodies to make your thanksgiving weekend even more delicious!
Try our new "thanksgiving dinner casserole" (tender pieces of boneless, skinless turkey breast with assorted root vegetables in a light cream-herb sauce, topped with cranberry stuffing). This was so popular last Christmas that we will now be offering this dish from now until Christmas day (fresh & frozen).
We make thanksgiving dinner easy! If you're too tired or running out of time to make everything, consider picking up some of our side dishes to ease the pressure:
-mashed rutabaga $5.98
-scalloped potatoes $5.98 sm, $11.98 lrg
-sweet potatoes $11.98 lrg
-assorted salad dressings $4.98 and up
-assorted soups $8.98 and up
-cheese & herb scones $8.98
-baking (see below)
We didn't forget the sweets! Nibble on our new pumpkin loaf, pumpkin-pie shorTTbread cookies, decorated cupcakes and dessert squares.
We also have plenty of fall & halloween candies and chocolates available, such as foil wrapped pumpkins, chocolate leaves, assorted fall chocolate suckers, and more.
::: october's special of the month
$13.98 for TWO, ready-to-bake wood fired pizza's, all month long. And that price is including tax! (regular price is $15.98 for two).
We offer the following 8 varieties:
Four cheese - parmesan, mozzarella, goat, blue & marinated tomato
Double smoked fun guy - bacon, portobello and cremini mushrooms, spinach & parmesan
Tsunami - hot sausage, provolone, roasted garlic & caramelized onion
Sweet & Spicy - sopressata salami, caramelized onion & goat cheese
Pepperoni - the best ever!
Queen - marinated tomatoes, fresh mozzarella & pesto
Beauty - olives, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, asiago & mozzarella
Nutty Pie - nutella & banana (dessert pizza)
::: relish cooking studio class
I'm teaching a class at the newly-opened "Relish Cooking Studio" on Thursday, October 20th, 2011.
The "cookbook club" class is called "barefoot in the kitchen" because I'm featuring several recipes from Ina Garten's wonderful "Barefoot Contessa" series cookbooks.
The class costs $75.00 and additional details can be found online at:

catering, gourmet food shop, gift baskets