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Why McLean's Pub is THE best place to watch Habs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



by Robyn Flynn, AllHabs.net (special to HabsTweetup.com)

MONTREAL, QC -- When you're a Habs fan, you could be watching the game alone in your living room and you'd still be screaming like a lunatic. But it's nice to be in a warm atmosphere, surrounded by other screaming lunatics, er, Habs fans. Such an atmosphere can be found right in the heart of downtown Montreal on Peel.



Now I can go on about the reasonably priced eats, the glorious beer towers (yes, towers), the excellent location, but there are several bars in Montreal which meet that standard. What sets McLean's apart is the experience.

Rapidly becoming the official Montreal location for Habs Tweetups, the warm and inviting ambiance definitely makes you feel right at home, and this is enhanced by the incredible staff that works there, most notably Adrienne and Jay.

Adrienne is a waitress extraordinaire who takes the time to learn your name, remember your favourite drink, find out what you do for a living, etc. She's an absolute sweetheart, be sure to tip her well!


Jay is a manager who makes every single person in the bar feel as though they're an integral part of the good times being had. He's sweet, funny, and completes the experience.

Honourable mentions have to go out to the rest of the staff, including Manon, Helen, and Darcy, and anyone else whose name I've yet to learn.

The food is reasonably priced, and during Habs games the pub offers a menu with meals named after Habs players past and present. I recommend the Guy Lafleur (chicken wings and fries) or the Mike Cammalleri (fish and chips).

McLean's is also a spot where local celebrities like to hang out, such as Chris "Knuckles" Nilan (who was there during Game 1 vs the Bruins signing autographs) and Annakin Slayd, the man who brought us Habs anthems like "Feels Like '93" and "MTL Stand Up". He frequents the bar on a pretty regular basis (and he's also a really, REALLY nice guy, a huge Habs fan, and appreciates ALL kind words from ALL his fans).

Whether the Habs win or lose, McLean's Pub is THE ultimate Habs watering hole.

Follow me on Twitter: @ladyhabs

photo credits: Pablo Ortiz and Robyn Flynn

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Home Cooking with Habs Tweetup: Playoff Pastry Pockets

Sunday, April 10, 2011



Now that the playoffs are upon us, it's time to start planning your playoff parties! Snack food is a vital staple at any game day gathering but you don't have to rely on the boring 'same old, same old'...why not try something new?

This week's edition of "Home Cooking with Habs Tweetup" comes courtesy of our Vancouver Habs Tweetup Event Coordinator, Veronica! Her Chilean heritage is highlighted in this recipe for a very tasty pastry called an empanada. Enjoy!

by Veronica, HabsTweetup.com (AllHabs.net)

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- These little pockets of beef heaven are a staple on traditional Chilean holidays, and most every other family gathering, patio party, etc. In Canada these would be suitable for a meal, but in Chile they are merely an appetizer. We do love to eat.

The recipe calls for raisins in the beef mix, but I don't use them. I would NEVER get the kids to eat them with raisins, and I'm not fond of them either. So, you can try the recipe with, or leave them out, and I promise they'll be delicious anyway.

I got this from About.com, because the recipe is exactly right, and the recipes I have are a) in Spanish, and would take forever to translate, and b) not precise about measurements; it is just taken for granted that of course you would know how much flour and shortening goes into the dough, for example - like any good Chilean.

Empanadas Chilenas de Pino (Chilean beef empanadas)

In Chile, the most traditional empanada filling is called "pino". Pino is a seasoned mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and hard boiled eggs. The dough is quick and easy to make, and can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. The pino tastes best if made the day before and allowed to rest overnight before filling the empanandas.

Empanada Dough

4 cups flour
1-2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, chilled
12 tbsp lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
3/4 - 1 cup water
2 egg yolks

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the salt and the sugar.
2. Blend the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with two knives, until fairly well blended.
3. Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 cups water. Stir in the 1/2 cup of water/egg mixture, a little at a time until the dough starts to come together smoothly. Keep kneading the dough, adding more water/egg a little bit at a time as necessary (you made need a few tablespoons extra of water), until the dough is smooth.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. (Dough can also be kept overnight or a couple of days in the refrigerator.) Dough should be soft and smooth, and not elastic - if you poke a hole in it with your finger, the indentation should remain.
5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll into desired thickness.

Makes enough dough for 10-12 large empanadas


Empanada Filling

3 large onions, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder 1 tbsp paprika
1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped olives 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk

1. Cook the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil and butter until softened. Add the ground beef, cumin, chile powder, paprika, beef bouillon, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add the beef, stirring and crumbling the meat, until browned. Add the flour and continue to cook for 5 or 10 minutes more.
3. Remove the meat mixture and let cool. The beef mixture will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
4. Shape the empanadas: Separate the dough into golf ball size pieces, and roll into smooth balls. Let rest for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a 6 inch diameter circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Add 1 tablespoon of the beef filling, a few raisins and some chopped olives, and a slice of hard boiled egg to the middle of the circle.
5. Brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half over the filling, to make a semi-circle.
6. Seal the edges by pressing down with your fingers. Brush the sealed edge lightly with water, then turn the edge toward the middle and press with your fingers to seal.
7. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk, and brush the empanadas with the mixture.
8. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut them in half for the steam to escape, and EAT.


Do you have a favourite recipe that you'd like to share? Whether it's traditional or something a tad unique, send it our way! Email your recipes (and a photo of the finished product!) to amy@allhabs.net and you could see your recipe featured here on HabsTweetup.com!

photo credit: www.minuevohogar.cl

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Home Cooking with Habs Tweetup: Better with Bacon

Sunday, April 3, 2011



by Amy, HabsTweetup.com (AllHabs.net)

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- If you don't agree with the title of this week's column, you should probably just lay down your right to ever eat anything tasty again and run away. It's BACON people!!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks...you name it, bacon makes everything better. Even you vegetarians have your own soy-based versions of crispy pork fat. Dessert? That's covered too. I recently got to sample maple ice cream topped with candied bacon pieces. That's right, candied bacon! Deeee-lish!

So it should come to no surprise that bacon can be used to make one of the most common dinner foods into something a little more spectacular. Chicken is a staple in kitchens everywhere and this week's recipe is sure to please.

Not only does this dish feature bacon (YUM!) but it also allows one of my favourite beverages to take center stage: cider! The recipe calls for regular apple cider, but you could use an alcoholic version too. These ingredients create a smoky, rustic flavour that pairs well with a side of rice and broccoli...and a freshly poured cider!

CHICKEN WITH CIDER AND BACON SAUCE
adapted from "Cooking Light" (Jan/Feb 2005)


4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bacon slices, chopped
1/4 cup onion, minced
3/4 cup unsweetened apple cider
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth


1. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness after placing them in between two sheets of plastic wrap. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
2. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, set aside. Add chicken to pan and cook in bacon drippings for 6 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside; keep warm.
3. Add onion to pan; cook until tender, stirring often. Add cider and chicken broth to pan and bring to a boil. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits of onion and bacon. Cook until liquid is reduced then stir in cooked bacon. Pour sauce over chicken breasts and serve immediately.



Do you have a favourite recipe that uses bacon? Whether it's traditional or something a tad unique, send it our way! Email your recipes to amy@allhabs.net and you could see your recipe featured here on HabsTweetup.com - Enjoy!


photo credit: http://miamidish.net/2008/07/08/miami-dish-loves-bacon/

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