The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 09.14.04


Summer's-end Stew

Dear readers, thanks for the letters. The volume of comments I've received related to corn methodology has been overwhelming and insightful. Here are a couple more reader suggestions for the culinary idea box.

"Your column was most interesting this week. We all like to eat fresh produce, especially corn, which is available for such a short time. There is a great little stand on Pierrefonds Boulevard, simply called Fruits et Légumes. It is on the right-hand side, if you are driving on the right, past St. Charles, and not far from the corner of St. Charles and Pierrefonds boulevards.

We love Quinn's, too, but it would be great if you could mention this kiosk in a future column, because it would be a shame for it to go out of business due to lack of people knowing that it's there." -- Mary

"Have you ever tried Cheez Whiz on corn? Very yummy!"

"Mr. Duncan, I thought I'd let you know that my family can eat a whole bag of twelve dozen ears of corn in two days. Mind you, we are six in total."

"Thanks to your column we now are experimenting with any and everything in our cupboard as corn toppings. We have two items that failed the test. We gave ketchup a two out of five and mayonnaise a three out of five. Our favourite discovery was Worcestershire sauce. Soy sauce faired well too."

And finally, a reader asked what ever happened to good old yellow corn. They commented that it seems that most growers are growing and selling the peaches and cream variety. A tour of the area reveals that this is true and vendors cite customer tastes and demand for this phenomenon. Not a recent trend at all, according to one vendor. A reader tells me that old-fashioned yellow corn can be bought at the farmers' market in Dorval.

As it is the season of pool closings and chilly evenings I thought a recipe for a good harvest stew might be in order.

Those who return from work and school will be delighted with the smells and aroma upon entering the house. There is something so comforting about a one-pot meal loaded with vegetables and meat.

This recipe uses ground beef and shortens the usual cooking time involved when using tougher cuts of stewing beef. This is ideal for busy back-to-school and work schedules.

Easy summer's-end stew

one to one and a half pounds ground beef
one tablespoon olive oil
eight to 12 medium tomatoes cut up
two cups beef bouillon
two medium onions, chopped
one clove garlic, minced
half teaspoon pepper
two teaspoons salt, optional
four to six medium potatoes, peeled and diced
three to five carrots, sliced or cubed
two cups corn
two cups green beans
two cups peas
two to three celery stalks, sliced
one cup cubed or sliced squash
quarter cup chopped fresh parsley one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large pot with lid, brown meat in olive oil over medium heat. Drain off excess fat. Add tomatoes, beef bouillon, onions, garlic, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Add potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas and celery and simmer 15 minutes. Add squash and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serves six to eight.