Last month, Darlene Warner wrote in asking about a recipe for the Gouda sticks that were sold at the Bagel House on Academy. David Topper emailed to tell me this has been an ongoing question in the Recipe Swap column, and that my predecessor, Darlene Henderson, had discovered that because of a confidentiality agreement, the original owner's recipe will never be known. As a consolation, Albert Kolthof offers a recipe for another kind of Gouda pastry, a savoury cookie that's kind of like cheese and crackers rolled into one. Albert, who's Dutch, found the recipe on a Dutch food website.
Brenda Hughes from Clear Lake wrote in to say that she sympathized with my search for crispy yam fries. She has decided that deep-fried yam fries are a restaurant treat. At home, she makes baked yam wedges, and while they may not be crispy, they are healthy and -- with a sprinkling of brown sugar and spices -- delicious. She says it's impossible to eat just one.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
200 g (about 400 ml or 1 2/3 cups) grated aged Gouda cheese (not processed)
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
50 ml (3 1/2 tbsp) soft butter
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder
Pinch black pepper
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the ingredients form a crumbly dough. Press into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest in fridge for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough very thin (about 3-5 mm or under 1/5 inch). Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, continuing to roll out the dough until you have used it up. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake biscuits for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden at edges and slightly brown underneath. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.
Testers' notes: These are lovely savoury biscuits with a delicate texture and a nice bite to the taste. The dough could have a different consistency depending on a few factors, including the moisture content in the cheese. I found at first that my dough was a bit too crumbly and wouldn't come together enough to be workable, so I treated it like pastry. Without overworking it, I added about 30 ml (2 tbsp) ice water. These cookies were best when served just cooled, but they would keep in an airtight container for a few days.
3 large yams, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) wedges
15 ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) chili powder
1 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper, or to taste
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. In a large bowl, place peeled, cut yam wedges and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle dry mixture over wedges, a little at a time, tossing after each addition, until all are coated. Spread on a nonstick baking sheet, and don't overcrowd. Roast for 30 minutes, turning every 10 min, until tender and browned.
Tester's notes: The combo of brown sugar and spice makes these yam wedges tasty. I cut the yams lengthwise into eighths, which gave wedges of about 2 cm or 3/4 inches at the bottom. I used parchment paper on my baking sheets, which cut down on sticking and made for easy cleanup.