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Friday, February 08, 2019

Its so easy to make great meals!

Last night I made roasted vegetables, tossed with Duq'qah (Dukkah, Dukah, etc).  Could not be easier! I filled rotis from Famena's with the roasted vegetables and added a soft fried egg from Nature's Farm.  On top, we drizzled pomegranate tahini sauce. 

Roasted Cauliflower, and other supporting cast vegetables

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small flowerets
1 onion, thickly sliced
1 zucchini, sliced rounds in half
1 orange pepper (any pepper)
Options:  Any vegetables that you have on hand to roast
1-2 tbs Duq'qah (great news!  Available on Saturday at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market Valentine's Sale!!)
salt, to tastes
olive oil, to coat the vegetables

Set oven to 375ºF.  Toss all ingredients together.  Spread out on a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.  Roast, until softened and browned.  Enjoy as a side dish or in Rotis.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Onion Bhajia with Yellow Pea Flour

I was craving a nice crispy snack and decided to make Bhujia (pakoras) and Imli (tamarind dipping sauce).  These already are gluten-free when I make them with chick pea flour, but I wanted to use our wonderful and versatile local Yellow Pea Flour, by Tamarack Farms

Onion Bhajia

2 cups sliced onions (yellow, red, white)
1 1/4 cup yellow pea flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
water, to make a batter
1/2 tsp grated ginger
oil, for frying
options:  chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, etc

Mix all ingredients together and adjust flour and water to make a batter that holds together.  In a pan of hot oil, spoon in mixture into portions and fry on each side for a few minutes until brown.  Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel.  Enjoy with some Imli.

Imli (tamarind dipping sauce)
1 1/2 cups water
3 heaping tbs tamarind paste
1/2 cup jaggery, or brown sugar
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin

In a small saucepan, cook up all ingredients until well incorporated and shiny.  After a short while, the sauce should thicken slightly.  It will thicken a bit more when cooled.  Enjoy with Bhajia, samosas, etc. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Ikra! A Russian Relish to relish.

I had the ingredients on hand.  I had been wanting to attempt making this for a long time.  Now that I have, it is much easier to prepare than I had imagined.  Ikra.  It is a Russian condiment that I grew up having with meat buns, or, Fleischpersky.  Stephan, from Blue Lagoon Organics, gave me a couple of parsley roots, that I knew were part of the ingredient list.

I consulted the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes, and my Mom, for advice on how to make Ikra.  It seems like a kitchen sink kind of recipe to make with what one has on hand.  I had the following, that made 6 500ml jars.


4 onions, grated*
2+tbs olive oil
2 medium globe eggplant, finely diced
4 medium carrots, grated
2 bulbs of Parsley Root, grated
3 -4 celery stalks, grated or finely diced
3 yellow peppers, grated
4 good tomatoes (I used 4 large yellow tomatoes that I had frozen in Autumn)
4 tbs good Tomato Paste
1 dried red chili
1 tbs chili flake (I used Aleppo)
1/2 sugar
Salt and pepper, to tastes.
water, adjust as needed

*Grated, was done through the food processor blade.

I cooked the onions first and then added the remaining vegetables and seasoning.  After the water began cooking out, I added the remaining ingredients and cooked for up to 30 minutes. 

I sterilized 6 500 ml jars and lids.  Then, I filled each jar, closed the lids just under tightly closed, and cooked in the canner for 20 minutes.  I heard the lids popping now.


Monday, December 24, 2018

Easy Squash Gnudi with wonderful local ingredients.

Something easy.  Something delicious.  Something with ingredients that I have on hand now.

I baked a large Hubbard Squash to add to my daughter's food (hidden in pasta and muffins).  With some of the baked squash, we made gnudi.  It is much easier than one would think.  We prepared half of a recipe. 

The squash was grown by Kelly Ditz, of The Farm.  The eggs, are by Nature's Farm.  I used local Notre Dame Butter and Prairie Mills flour. 

Squash Gnudi
1  squash, about 3 lb. (baked and scooped out of shell)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
2 cups flour, sifted
8 Tbs unsalted butter, browned
10 fresh sage leaves (to taste)
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

 Pass the baked squash through a ricer or mash well.  When cooled, add beaten eggs and seasonings and mix well.  Sift flour into squash mixture and stir until well incorporated.  Add enough flour to make a light sticky batter.  Chill at least one hour.

Set a pot of salted water to boil.  Brown butter in another pan and add fresh sage leaves toward the end.  Turn butter off until gnudi is ready.  When water boils, drop gnudi into gently boiling water with a small spoon.  When the gnudi floats, scoop out of water, drain and add to hot butter. Let coat gnudi and plate.  Top with grated cheese.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

December 22nd - Last Christmas sale at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market!!!

I'll be at Saturday's St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday, December 22nd for the last Christmas sale!  I'll have my spice blends of Ras el Hanout, Turkish Baharat, Tea Masala, and Duq'qah. I'll also have Onion Jam, Snap Pea Coconut Chutney, and More!  Perhaps Biscotti.

It has occurred to me that, while I use Duq'qah all of the time, I haven't featured is as much on my blog.  It is so versatile.  Traditionally, with flatbread, salt and olive oil, it is also great as a dry rub on meats and for roasting vegetables.  I've put it on popcorn, Corn on the Cob, Chicken, lamb, burgers, and has given me a new taste for broccoli. 

I hope to see you at the market on Saturday.  It is open from 10 - 2PM.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Easy entertaining. Pickerel Cheeks

This is really such a delighfully simple dish to make.  Great local ingredients that shine.  Pickerel cheeks (yes, Walleye, to my non-local language purists) are so sweet and getting a package from Gimli Fish is inexpensive.  You don't have to do the work!

Sautéed Pickerel Cheeks

1 pkg pickerel cheeks
1-2 tbs butter (Notre Dame Butter is lovely)
Favourite herb (I used chopped sorrel, but have made this with basil, thyme, tarragon, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
splash of Vermouth or Mirin, to deglaze

Heat pan and melt butter.  You can also have browned butter for this dish.  Add chopped herbs and pickerel cheeks.  Cook, turning once, for a couple of minutes per side at most.  Deglaze pan and serve immediately.

Serve as an appetizer with breads or on crackers (rice crackers for Gluten-Free), or increase amounts for an easy entrée.


By request! Tomato Chutney

There are only a handful of recipes that I treasure that I haven't shared.  I've been selling and serving tomato chutney at the Farmer's Market for a while.  I serve it with the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and sell it in containers.  It is a yummy product and I did look into larger scale production of the tomato chutney but there are so many permits and hoops to jump through to produce anything with tomatoes. 

Tomato Chutney

1 medium onion, finely diced
olive oil, drizzle or more
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 tin unsalted chopped tomatoes
1-2 tbs curry spice blend (garam masala, cumin, coriander, mustard, chilies, star anise, pomegranate, cinnamon, cloves,
etc, ground, with turmeric)
1-2 tbs brown sugar or jaggery
salt, to taste
1-2 tbs vinegar

In a large saucepan, heat up oil to medium heat and add chopped onions.  When translucent, add spices and stir.  Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients.  Cook until fully softened for crisper onions, or long and slow, for a deeper flavour. 

Enjoy as a condiment, a side dish, dipping sauce, etc.  The secret is out!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

An Autumn Harvest tradition - Stuffed Peppers

What's for dinner?  Bags full of peppers, excellent ground beef, tomatoes, spices, rice, etc.  This is a Turkish version of stuffed peppers.  Well, they likely originated the dish.

Come to the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday between 8-3PM for many of these wonderful ingredients!

Turkish Stuffed Peppers

 2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup Zereshk (Iranian currants, aka Barberries)
drizzle olive oil
pinch salt
3 1/2 cups water

Prepare rice ahead of time.  Zereshk can be found at Millad's Supermarket on Notre Dame in Winnipeg.

1 lb ground beef
1 onions, sliced
1 + tbs Turkish Baharat
3 chopped tomatoes (I used roasted tomatoes that were still soft and juicy)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
salt, to taste
 1/2 cup good tomato paste, also available at Millad's Supermarket on Notre Dame

Sauté the onions until soft in a drizzle of olive oil.  Brown the meat and add the Baharat.  Add the remaining ingredients and some water or wine to dilute the tomato paste a bit.  Mix with the cooked rice and set aside.

Depending on the sizes of the peppers, up to 12 peppers, cored from the top.  In the baking dish, mix tomato paste, water, Turkish Baharat (about 1 tsp), and a pinch of salt, to cover the bottom of the dish at least 2-3 cm.  Fill each pepper and place, upright, in the baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350ºF for at least one hour.  Remove foil and continue baking until peppers have browned.

Serve hot or warm.  Enjoy!