11/19/2013 04:19 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Mince & Tatties, marinade and flavoured salts from 'At Home with Lynn Crawford'

Chef Lynn Crawford has compiled 200 of her favourite easy-to-make recipes in "At Home with Lynn Crawford."

Selections in her second cookbook include breakfast and weekend brunch dishes, lunches and dinners for any occasion, along with scrumptious desserts. She even shares a recipe for the cookie treats she bakes for her dogs, Charlie Pickles and Pork Chop.

Here are a few recipes to try.

Mince and Tatties

Scottish for ground beef and potatoes, mince and tatties holds a special place in Crawford's heart. Her parents moved to Canada from Scotland and brought with them this simple but amazingly delicious dish, which she says continues to be one of her favourites.

15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil

500 g (1 lb) lean ground beef

30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter

250 ml (1 cup) finely chopped onions

50 ml (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour

750 ml (3 cups) beef stock

10 ml (2 tsp) Worcestershire sauce

250 ml (1 cup) diced carrots

250 ml (1 cup) frozen peas

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 l (4 cups) hot Whipped Potatoes (recipe follows)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and cook, stirring frequently and breaking meat down with back of a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.

Add butter and onions and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until well incorporated, about 2 minutes more.

Gradually stir in stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

Add carrots and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in peas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve spooned over hot whipped potatoes.

Makes 4 servings.


Whipped Potatoes

Crawford loves potatoes and offers several variations on spuds in the book. "When I was young, it was my job to peel the potatoes and get them on the stove," she writes. If you don't have a ricer, just mash the potatoes while adding the cream mixture.

1 kg (2 lb) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy (35 per cent) cream

125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

45 ml (3 tbsp) unsalted butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, heat cream, milk and butter until butter has melted. Keep warm.

Drain potatoes well, then force through a ricer into warm cream mixture. Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.


My Dad's Steak Marinade

Crawford says marinades are great to have on hand and are worth the effort to make at home. Her father used to make his special marinade to serve on steaks or other meats such as pork chops or chicken breasts when friends visited for summer afternoon get-togethers. She's made it ever since.

125 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce

75 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil

50 ml (1/4 cup) balsamic vinegar

30 ml (2 tbsp) Dijon mustard

30 ml (2 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce

1 large clove garlic, grated

Stir all ingredients together. Pour into an airtight container, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

Makes about 325 ml (1 1/3 cups).


Flavoured Salts

Flavoured salts make an awesome addition to vegetables, meats, fishes and even desserts. They also make great gifts.

"Twenty years ago when I started making my own flavoured salts I wish I had put them in jars and started selling them then," she says with a laugh. "I've always made my own seasoning salts. Lemon rosemary, coffee, chili lime salt. ... The coffee one is beautiful on lamb, on steak, bison, any sort of game meats, good in chili too. It adds such a beautiful aromatic quality and taste."

Crawford prefers starting with flaked sea salt, which doesn't have additives. Then she suggests experimenting with different herbs, spices and other ingredients. Here are three recipes to get you started.

Coffee Salt

45 ml (3 tbsp) finely ground espresso beans

15 ml (1 tbsp) black pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) sea salt

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container and use within 2 months.

Makes about 125 ml (1/2 cup).

Chili Lime Salt

60 ml (4 tbsp) red pepper flakes

Grated zest of 6 limes

125 ml (1/2 cup) Maldon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container and use within 1 month.

Makes about 125 ml (1/2 cup).

Lemon Pepper Rosemary Salt

60 ml (1/4 cup) grated lemon zest

Leaves from 3 sprigs rosemary

15 ml (1 tbsp) black pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) Maldon sea salt

In a food processor, combine lemon zest, rosemary and pepper. Process until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add salt and pulse until mixture is well blended, about 30 seconds more.

Store in an airtight container and use within 1 month.

Makes about 125 ml (1/2 cup).

Source: "At Home with Lynn Crawford" by Lynn Crawford. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada Books Inc. Photo credit: Kathleen Finlay.