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Friday, November 17, 2017

Shepherd's Pie or Cottage Pie? All comfort on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

On Saturday, I will be presenting Shepherd's Pie for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidwai.

I adapted the Gordon Ramsay's recipe.  He uses red wine, I used stout, to bring out the richness of the lamb.  You can watch the video at the bottom of the blog entry.  No language warning required!

This dish really highlights some of the great products of Manitoba, from the lamb, potatoes, carrots, etc., to the eggs and butter.  If you don't have access to ground lamb, you can change this recipe to Cottage Pie by using ground beef.  The St. Norbert's Farmer's Market has excellent ground beef at Wildfire Farms and Manitoba Beef.

Shepherd's Pie

1-2 lbs minced lamb (amounts vary according to your baking dishes) I used Spiritsands Shepherds lamb from Carberry, Manitoba, by Gerry Oliver.  She can be reached for outside of Winnipeg, at

2 shallots, thinly sliced
1-3 peeled and grated carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 Russet potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp dried chilies
1/2 cup (+) good tomato paste (ie, not Hunt's, but there are fantastic tomato pastes from Turkey available at Millad's Supermarket)
1 cup stock, or more (I used lamb stock but use chicken)
1 can rich stout
salt, and pepper, to tastes
1 or 2 egg yolks, or up to 1 cup cream or buttermilk
1/4 cup butter
pinch nutmeg
up to 1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
olive oil, for cooking

Heat a deep saucepan to medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and brown the minced lamb.  Drain off the lamb, when browned, and keep in a bowl.  Cook the sliced shallots and add the browned lamb when the shallots are translucent.  Add the minced garlic, grated carrots and seasonings.  Then stir in the tomato paste, stock, and stout. 

While that is simmering, cook the peeled potatoes until they slide off of the fork when tested.  Drain and put potatoes through a ricer for a delicate texture or mash.  Add butter, egg yolks nutmeg, salt and pepper, and grated Parmesan Reggiano.  Mix until smooth but not gummy.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Spoon minced lamb mixture into baking dish and then spoon on the potato mash.  Top with more Parmesan and fork for a baked design.  Bake for 20+ minutes, depending on the size of your baking dish, until browned and bubbling.  Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. 

Serve with a green salad.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Manitoba Grilled Roast Beef and cheese sandwiches

I made these Manitoba grilled roast beef and cheese for CBC’s Weekend Morning Show with Nadia Kidwai. Roast beef ready sliced by Manitoba Beef, Sourdough Pumpernickel Rye by Old Church Bakery, “Trappist” cheese, as a new product to come. Mostarda, Beef, and Bread are available on every other Saturday at St.Norbert’s Farmer’s Market at the Eagles Club from 10-1.

Sourdough Pumpernickel Rye - Old Church Bakery
Roast Beef - Manitoba Beef
"Trappist" cheese - TBA from Loaf and Honey
Mostarda - from KarenFood
Dijon Mustard
Notre Dame Butter

Build your sandwich with these lovely ingredients and place on medium high heat pan with butter melted in the pan.  Turn over sandwich when browned.  Finish sandwich when cheese is melted.  Cut and serve immediately.



Friday, October 20, 2017

You say fish soup, I say Bouillabaisse, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show

I will be presenting the following dish tomorrow for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Host Nadia Kidwai.   Bouillabaisse is a classic Provençal dish, that is versatile in many of the ingredients as it is based on local and seasonal ingredients. 

The fish and seafood are available at Gimli Fish.  They have a wonderful new delivery system as well! Visit to make an order and you will have amazing fish and seafood within two hours! 

For the soup base, I used onions, garlic, fresh fennel, tomatoes, and herbs, all available now at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.  The tomatoes and fennel are from Fertile Farm, the herbs from Almost Urban, and you can find many other things to add to the soup, as per your tastes.



For the soup broth:

Bones and shells from the fish and shell fish, completely rinsed
9 cups water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
10 whole sprigs parsley

For the soup base:

2 large onions, chopped finely
10 garlic cloves, chopped roughly or crushed
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped very finely
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Small handful fresh thyme leaves
3 to 5 long strips of orange rind (no white pith)
3 bay leaves
6 to 12 saffron stems
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely (remove seeds and white "ribbing")
1 pound frozen cod, thawed and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
A few splashes of Pernod

For the "body" of the soup:

3 to 4 pounds of various fish or shellfish.

Traditional bouillabaisse has no shellfish, but there is no harm in adding mussels, shrimp, crab or lobster if you feel like it.

There are many kinds of fish you can add to make this your own fish soup recipe. Haddock, red snapper, monk fish, sea bass, striped bass are all good choices. Just avoid the oily, fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, as these will overpower rather than blend in with the other ingredients.

1. In a large soup pot, combine all the ingredients for the broth. Bring to a very light boil, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or so.

2. Run the broth through a strainer, and keep it aside.

3. Heat the oil in the soup pot on medium low to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, parsley, fennel seed (1 teaspoon, not both), and salt. Saute until the onions are soft.

4. Add tomatoes, thyme, orange peel, bay leaves, pepper, saffron and jalapeno. Simmer for up to 30 minutes.

5. Return the fish broth to the soup pot. Add the pound of chopped fish and cook until fish is completely cooked.

6. Remove the orange peel (if it is in large strips) and bay leaves and put them aside. We do not want to puree them.

7. Either use a hand-held blender to puree the soup, or puree in a stand-up blender in batches. Add the bay leaves and orange peels back to the soup, and pour in the white wine and cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Add Pernod.

8. Add the various fish to the soup. Add the longest-cooking fish first so all the fish ends up cooked at the same time.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! On CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Happy Thanksgiving!  Yesterday I featured a few easy to prepare Thanksgiving side dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Nadia Kidwai.  One is a Mennonite dish, called Bubbat, which is similar to scones, another is a vegetarian creamy mushroom sauce, and the third is a simple way to prepare Brussels Sprouts with Beef Bacon.

This was a Manitoba menu.  The Brussels Sprouts were from Fertile Farm.  The beef bacon is from Wildfire farm.  Both are available at St. Norbert's Farmer's Markets.  I used Notre Dame butter, also from Manitoba.  For the Bubbat, which also uses a wonderful local flour by Prairie Mills, I used wonderful raisins that are available at Millad's Supermarket, on Notre Dame Ave.  They originate in Afghanistan, but are at a great local store.

Mennonite Bubbat
There are many variations on this recipe, dating back to traditions before there were Russian Mennonites in the Molotschna and Chortiza colonies, I'm sure.  
Preheat oven to 350ºF
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 cup raisins, soaked and dried
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup butter melted (I melted the butter in the oven in the 8X8 pan so that it would be greased at the same time)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream (can add more if more moisture is required)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the raisins.  Mix together the milk, cream and egg in a measuring cup.  Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, mix and then add the milk mixture.  Stir well, incorporating all of the mixture.  If it is too dry, add more cream.  Spread mixture into the 8X8 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF.  Let cool and serve with dinner. 
Brussels Sprouts roasted with Beef Bacon and Maple Syrup
1 -2 stems Brussels Sprouts, removed from stem and cut in half (Available from Fertile Farm at St. Norbert's Farmers Market)
4 strips beef bacon, cut into chunks (available from Wildfire Farms, at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
drizzle olive oil
drizzle balsamic vinegar
a couple pinches salt
up to 1/2 cup maple syrup

Stir all of the ingredients together in a roasting pan.  Roast open at 400ºF for up to 30 minutes or more, until done.


Mushroom Sauce
2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs butter
drizzle olive oil
1 cup cream
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
thyme, to tastes

Sauté onion in a saucepan on medium heat in butter and olive oil until translucent.  Add mushrooms and cook well.  Add seasonings, to aid cooking mushrooms down.  Add cream and wine and simmer.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Soups on at CBC's Weekend Morning Show

On Saturday, I presented the following 3 soups for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidwai.  Each are quite simple to prepare with loads of great flavours.  I'm very passionate about soup having a lot of big flavours.


Roasted Red Pepper Soup

4 red peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled
1 large oven roasted yam or sweet potato
1 head roasted garlic
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2-3 cups broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
Optional: 1 pinch saffron

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter and olive oil. Sauté onions until light brown in colour and add remaining ingredients. Cook until well incorporated and purée using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender or food processor.

Garnish with crouton or crème fraiche and/or crispy fried herbs.



2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tbs curry spice blend (I make my own in small batches as I roast and grind the spices but try a garam masala with more chilies,
2-3 tbs olive or vegetable oil
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup spinach leaves
~ 4-6 cups water
~ 1 cup yoghurt
salt, to taste

Optional:  chopped sorrel, kale, spinach, zucchini, all are wonderful and available at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday

In a larger pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. In a separate pan, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add spice blend and cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic and be careful not to burn. When the water in the lentil pot is boiling, add hot onions and spices to the pot and stir. Simmer and add vegetables. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir in yoghurt and test for salt.


Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

1 yellow onion, chopped
pinch coarse salt
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs butternut, kabocha, or calabaza squash halved, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups) (available at Fertile Farm, Almost Urban Vegetables, and other producers at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp La Kama Spice Mixture (1 tsp each of ground ginger, turmeric and white pepper, good pinch of grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and optional cubeb pepper)
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
1/2 lb crumbled chevre
1 tsp or more to taste Harissa paste
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook onion in heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish (tajine) on medium low heat with the olive oil until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes
2. Add the squash, cover with parchment paper and/lid and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, spices and 4 cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the squash is tender, about 20+ minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Blend in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream and 3/4 of the cheese and the harissa at the end. Purée until velvety.
5. Bring up to heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into warmed bowls and top each portion with a light sprinkling of the remaining cheese.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lamb chops with Ras el Hanout

I recently bought a lot of lamb from a fantastic producer, Gerry Oliver from Spiritsands Shepherds.  I will be featuring some lamb dishes this upcoming Manitoba Fibrefestival, Friday evening and Saturday at the Red River Exhibition Grounds.  Manitoba lamb is some of the best in the world.

Here, I have prepared an elegant meal that is very easy to prepare, of Ras el Hanout rubbed lamb loin chops, wild rice pilaf, and chipotle butter corn on the cob.

Ras el Hanout rubbed Lamb loin chops with orange and pomegranate.

4 lamb chops (2 per person)
Enough Ras el Hanout to rub all over the meat.
olive oil
salt, to taste
2-3 tbs butter
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1 tbs Dijon mustard
~1/4 cup of Pomegranate liquor (can substitute with an orange liquor or brandy)

Brown chops that have had Ras el Hanout rubbed onto them and let chill for a few hours in olive oil and a bit of butter, for 2 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and let rest.  Add juice, zest, liquor, mustard, and butter to the pan and incorporate well.  Add the browned chops back to the pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes.  Season and serve with Wild Rice Pilaf and corn.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

More harvest ideas for beets and carrots on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Nadia Kidwai, I will be presenting the following recipes.  These dishes are so easy to prepare with loads of flavour.  

Carrot Thoren
2 cups finely shredded carrots
salt, to taste
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp black gram dhal or urdad dal *
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-2 green chilies, sliced thinly in rounds
a few curry leaves *
1/2 cup finely grated coconut *

1. Heat oil in a pot on medium high heat and add the mustard seeds.
The seeds will pop. Then add the dhal and fry until it becomes golden
brown. Add onion, green chilies, curry leaves and sauté. When
almost translucent add grated coconut and stir for a few minutes.
2. Toss in the carrots and add salt to taste. Gently sauté until
water has been absorbed or evaporated.

Note: red and green chilies have a lovely appearance. Cauliflower,
beans, cabbage and other vegetables can be prepared similarly.


Chilled Roasted Beet Soup

4-5 large beets (I used red beets from Fertile Farm at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
1 head roasted garlic (available now in the markets)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2-3 tbs good olive oil
1/4 cup champagne or sherry vinegar
1/2 - 2/3 cup orange juice
2-4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

On a hot BBQ or in oven, roast peeled beets wrapped in foil until soft, turning to prevent burning. Roast garlic at the same time.

In a large skillet or soup pot, sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat until soft and translucent. Add cut up beets and squeeze out garlic into pot. Sauté until vegetables have softened. Add soup stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. If using golden beets, use white pepper.

Remove soup from heat and add orange juice and vinegar. Using an immersion blender or food processor, purée until smooth. When soup has cooled, chill in refrigerator at least over night. Top with a dollop of Creme Frâiche and sprinkle with a few threads of saffron.