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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.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

You say Tomato... On CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Nadia Kidwai, I presented tomato recipes.  The tomatoes are just perfect right now and here are two dishes in which to enjoy them.

Tomato Saffron Poached Trout

(Makes 4 servings)
1 shallot minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 chopped tomato (a wide variety available now in season at Fertile Farm at St Norbert's Farmer's Market)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Saffron*
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/2teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
¼ cup orange juice (makes a very fresh flavour)
4 trout fillet pieces (Watersong Farms and available at Gimli Fish)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in olive oil and cook until translucent. Add tomato, Saffron, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, tomato puree and wine. Cook on medium heat until well incorporated. Add Trout Fillets on top of sauce. Cook on high for a minute (varies by thickness of fish) and turn fish pieces over. Continue cooking until fish begins to flake. Remove from heat and serve.

Turkish Roasted Tomato Pomegranate Salad
For each salad,
2-4 tomatoes (Roma, Black Russian, cherry, etc.), sliced in half or, if larger, into 4 slab slices
pinch of salt of each tomato half
pomegranate, seeded
Pomegranate Molasses (I prefer Sera brand)
drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Set oven to 200ºF or lower.  Place each tomato slice onto a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.  Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt over each slice, and bake in the oven for several hours, or, until mostly roasted but still plump.  Cool or eat immediately with pomegranate molasses, seeds, olive oil, seasoning, with some bread. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Duq'qah/Dukkah/Dukah, etc

Recently, I added a new spice blend to my repertoire.  I love it.  Duq'qah is an Egyptian blend, often with ground hazelnuts, and spices, to be used in olive oil as a dip, rub, etc. 

I have been so pleased with this blend.  Mine has ground pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika in the blend and it works in so many ways.  I use it as a dry rub, in marinades, on flatbread with olive oil and a pinch of salt, on popcorn, or corn on the cob.  I tossed it with broccoli, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roasted that in the oven. Spectacular!  I put it on nachos and was delighted.  It goes on and on.

You will find my Duq'qah spice blend, and others,  at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday.

Some uses of Duq'qah;

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Food Safety is local. Get to know your producer on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Yesterday, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Laurie Hoogstraten, I featured local beef sausages, in response to a recent report on sausages in Canada not being what is labelled.  This is generally never the case when buying from your local producer, butcher, farmer, etc. 

Get to know your local producer!  I featured the beef breakfast and beef smokies of Manitoba Beef, locally produced grass-fed beef.  When you speak to to butcher, or the farmer at the market, you can be guaranteed that you are getting the product that you expect, in fact, they were great!

Local Halal butchers offer the products that you expect as well.

Featured below are beef breakfast sauasages and smokies by Manitoba Beef.  Also featured are Cook's Creek Kimchi, and Nature's Farm eggs.  These products are all available at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.