Lunch Tastes Better With Friends

Further confirming that it does indeed “Tastes better with friends”, I was invited for lunch by a friend from work along with a few others. We were told to bring nothing as there would be plenty to eat, so instead I made my way over with some flowers. She was right, there was plenty of food and it was all good!

For Starters (Served with Cava)

Smoked Trout Pate (Lucy Waverman, published in  A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen)

Smoked Trout Pate

  • 8 oz smoked trout, skinned and boned
  • ¼ cup red onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream (or less)
  • 1 tbsp pickled ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives (or green onions)

1)      Place top 7  ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

2)      Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chives.

Serve with endive spears, dried apple slices or crackers with minimal flavour

1st Course (Served with Pinot Gris)

Baked Potato Soup (My favorite of the entire lunch – A fully loaded baked potato in soup form!)

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped double smoked bacon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped leeks (white and light green part only)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) peeled, diced potatoes
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (125 mL) 10% sour cream
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped chives
1. In a large heavy saucepan, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and reserve for garnish. Drain all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the fat from the pan. Add leeks and cook until softened, add potatoes, salt and pepper, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in wine and cook until reduced by half; pour in chicken broth and reduce heat to maintain a simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Using a blender, purée soup in batches until creamy and smooth. Stir in sour cream. Serve in warmed soup bowls topped with bacon and chives.  Serves 6

(‘Food and Drink’ is the magazine published by the Liquor Control board of Ontario (LCBO).  Great articles and recipes that they pair with their wines.

2nd Course (Served with Pinot Blanc)

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese (Lucy Waverman, published in ‘Food and Drink’ Autumn 2009)

Roasted Beet Salad and Casserole

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) beets, preferably golden or mixed colour (4 large or 8 small)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (Loganberry vinegar was used instead)
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (Pecan pieces were used instead)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 cups baby arugula

1)  Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

2) Place beets in a baking dish with olive oil and water.  Cover tightly and bake until crip-tender (40-60  minutes).  Slip skins off and coarsly grate.

3)  Combine dressing ingredients and then combine with beets.  Stir shallots, mint and nuts, and sprinkle with goat  cheese.

4)  Divide arugula between 4 salad plates and top each with a pile of beet salad.

Pasta Casserole with sausage and mustard/braising greens, ricotta cheese and a seasoned bread crumb topping (Made from scratch with no actual recipe and it was delicious)

3rd Course (Served with coffee and tea)

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies (Anna Olson, published in ‘Food and Drink’ Autumn 2009)

Room for dessert?

Pumpkin Swirl

  • 1 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup pastry flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

1)       Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

2)      Pumpkin Swirl:  Stir cream cheese and sugar.  Add pumpkin and beat well. Blend in egg, flour, vanilla and cinnamon.  Set aside

3)      Brownie:  For best results, prepare by hand.  Melt together chocolate and butter.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar.  Stir in vanilla then eggs1 at a time, blending well after each addition.  Sift in flour, baking powder and salt; stir in gently.

4)      Scrape half of brownie batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Dollop pumpkin filling onto brownie and dollop remaining brownie batter around pumpkin.  Swirl filling with tip of a knife and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the brownie comes out clean.  Cool at room temperature before slicing.

Ginger cookies (Made from memory, since she’s made them so often, but they were good, so i’m hoping to get the recipe!)

If you made it to the bottom of this entry, you’re in store for a great meal, bon appetit!



Filed under Anna Olson, Baked Potato Soup, Beets, Friends, LCBO, Lucy Waverman, Pate, Pumpkin

3 responses to “Lunch Tastes Better With Friends

  1. Peter

    mmmm…. I’ll be back for baked potato soup recipe.

  2. What a feast 🙂 the pate looks great and anything is better with cava!

  3. I’m making the potato soup this afternoon for a friend who is getting his wisdom teeth pulled….thanks for the recipe! 🙂

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