Search This Blog

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!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sichuan food is comfort food - Easy Sichuan Cabbage

In our last CSA share, we had a couple of cabbages.  I'm always enjoying Sichuan food as comfort food.  Something about the warming chilies.  The small green cabbage and medium yellow onions came from our CSA share from Heart's Acres Farm.  I lived in Chongqing, Sichuan for a time in 1983-84.  The recipe calls for peanut butter and peanuts but that can be substituted with tahini or ground pumpkin seeds, if there are allergies. 

Sichuan Peanut Cabbage

1 small-medium green cabbage, cored and medium-large dice
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
2 whole star anise
2 whole dried red chilies
small piece cinnamon stick or a good pinch ground
drizzle preferred cooking oil
1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
1/4 whole roasted peanuts (optional)
2-3 tbs soy sauce
a dash of Chinese cooking wine or Mirin
1 good tbs Chinese hot sauce with peanuts (adjust to your own tastes)  Pictured here:

1 tbs Sichuan Peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Heat oil in a wok at medium-high heat.  Add cinnamon and star anise.  Add chopped onion and ginger and cook for a few minutes.  Add cabbage and stir.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  You may need to add a bit of water.

Cook until cabbage is soft throughout.  Serve with rice.  Options:  add tofu cubes, or make with broccoli or other varieties of cabbages.  Some people add a bit of brown sugar to balance the flavours more.


Sunday, September 09, 2018

Celeriac, it is easier than you think!

I got two gorgeous celeriac bulbs in my CSA share last week.  I have to admit to have never prepared celeriac but I was eager to try it out.  It couldn't be easier and more delicious!  I looked up an Alton Brown recipe and adapted it.  Celeriac is available now at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.

Blue Cheese Celeriac Purée

2-4 Celeriac bulbs, brushed clean, thinly peeled, cubed.  (place cubes in a bowl of cold water)
1 tbs butter
1/4-1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup Buttermilk Blue cheese, crumbled
pinch nutmeg
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste

Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to boil.  Boil the drained celeriac cubes until quite soft, about 5-8 minutes.  Drain and place cubes back into the saucepan.  Warm butter and cream in the microwave and add to the cubes.  Add the crumbled blue cheese, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. 

Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth.  Alton Brown's recipe was even simpler, with no blue cheese or nutmeg.  Enjoy!

Pictured above with Turkish roasted tomato salad with pomegranates, Carrot Thoren, and Bulgogi Burgers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Russian Pancakes with the Manitoba Food History Truck!

Today I had the great pleasure of sharing a treat from my childhood with the wonderful people from the Manitoba Food History Truck.  I hadn't had this in many years, but, as the theme is food history, I wanted to honour my Großma and this wonderful food, that I don't know who makes it anymore.

Russian Pancakes

Set oven to 300ºF.  Have one or two crepe, or non-stick pans available.

2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 - 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs butter, melted
pinch salt
1 tsp sugar
butter, for the pans

Whisk or blend the ingredients until well incorporated and set aside.  Prepare the sour cherry sauce.

Sour Cherry Sauce
1 jar sour cherries in light sauce
1 tbs corn starch
juice of half of a lemon
1/4 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, start cooking the cherries, the whole jar except for 1/4 cup of the juice.  Mix the cherry and lemon juices with the corn starch as a slurry and add to the saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until bubbled for at least one minute and thickened and shiny.  Set aside.

Heat pans for the crepes.  Add a tab of butter and let bubble up over the entire pan.  Add a ladle of the batter and turn pan to cover.  When bubbling, flip the crepe.  When cooked, place the crepe on a pan in the oven and spoon some of the cherry sauce over it.  Repeat, stacking and alternating crepes and sauce until finished.  Serve immediately as cut wedges, with options of icing sugar and sour cream as toppings.


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Farmer's Festival at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market

What a day!  There was a wonderful celebration of making great things from local producers today at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.  For my first cooking demonstration, I featured dry rubs and a few tips for great steaks.  The second cooking demonstration, I prepared Fresh Kimchi.  So addictive!

The Napa Cabbage, onion and garlic,  came from Heart's Acre Farm, the carrot from Paseschnikoff Gardens, The garlic chives, from Fertile Farms.  I found the remaining ingredients at Arirang Trading Company, on 1799 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg.

I love the recipes found on Maangchi and I found this fresh kimchi recipe, aka,  Baechu-geotjeori.

One excellent question was, do I have to use shellfish or fish?  This recipe calls for fermented anchovy paste.  I used fermented shrimp paste.  I found that a good way to get the briny flavour is by using Black Vinegar.  The dish will be vegan then as well.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A flight of Manitoba Honey on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

Yesterday, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidwai, I presented the some of the wonderful honey that we have in Manitoba.  The bees and the honey producers work very hard to provide us with this wonderful product.  There is a great range of flavours, due to the different flowers that the bees access. 
 Featured above, at the CBC Studio are:  Ferris Farm Creamed Honey (Downtown Hydro Market, Wolesley Farmer's Market), BeeProject Apiary North End and St. Boniface Neighbourhood Honeys (BeeSpace @ 196 Osborne), Giguere Honey Farms Creamy Cinnamon, Wildflower, Dandelion, Natural, Creamed, and Buckwheat Honeys (St. Norbert's Farmer's Market, Argy's Records).  Not shown, Phil's Honey.

 Some things about Bees and Honey:

  • Bees are a great environmental health indicator species.  
  • Honey is the only natural food that does not go bad.
  • It is a pure product.
  • It will granulate eventually, just enjoy it more!
  • Canada #1 is not neccessarily Canadian.  It is a grade.  Buy Local!
  • Honey has a big taste.  Spread it thinly than other spreads to enjoy without too many calories.  
  • BUY LOCAL!  Manitoba honey is spectacular! Local beekeepers need support.  There were big losses in Manitoba last winter.
  • Enjoy!