Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Savouring Local Fare with the Assiniboine Park Conservatory and the MLCC
Savouring Local Fare
Last night I had the pleasure of presenting recipes using local ingredients at the Madison Square MLCC Education Centre as part of the ongoing fundraising and education efforts for the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. Product Ambassador Sheila Nash, for the MLCC, paired each dish with a lovely beverage. Education Coordinator, Bonnie Tulluch, for the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, presented information on the plants and produce to be used in the dishes.
1. Excellent Eggs
Paired with Stellers Jay Brut VQA #3757 $22.99
2 eggs per person - recipe for 2 people
4 eggs (farm fresh or Vita Omega 3 eggs are excellent)
1/4 cup cream (Notre Dame Dairies)
Options: fresh chopped chives, spice blends such as Ras el Hanout
pinch salt and pepper (try white pepper)
butter, for sauté pan (Notre Dame Dairies)
dollop of local caviar, for plating (Gimli Fish)
more options: truffle salt, truffle oil
In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, optional spices or herbs and salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan on medium high heat and melt butter. Pour eggs into pan. If using an electric stove, keep pan on stove but turn off heat. If using gas, turn to lowest setting. Fold the eggs until almost set and creamy texture. Place on plate and top with a spoon full of caviar. Serve immediately. Truffle oil can be added on the plate or in the pan using sparingly.
2. Cheeky Pickerel Cheeks
Paired with La Messagere Red Ale #8207 $21.01
1 lb pickerel cheeks (Gimli Fish)
2 tbs butter (Notre Dame Dairies)
1 bunch fresh sorrel (Market place or garden), cut chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste
Vermouth or white wine, to deglaze pan
In a medium sauté pan, heat pan and melt butter. Toss in the fresh herbs such as sorrel. Sorrel is a lovely lemony perennial and is excellent in soups, stews, curries, salads, etc. Other herbs, such as rosemary, basil, dill, can be used. Sauté pickerel cheeks quickly and turn for each side. Quickly deglaze the pan with the vermouth or white wine. Serve as an amuse, on potato pancakes or as an entrée.
3. Tuscan Squash Salad
Paired with Half Pints Bulldog Amber Ale +6994 $11.83
1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices (Market garden or own garden)
2 tsp fresh pressed canola oil (Tall Grass Prairie Bakery)
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts (Farmer's Market)
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed (Neva arugula is used, found at FOOD and Food Fare)
½ cup crumbled feta (Oak Island Goat Dairy, found at DeLuca's, FOOD, and some Food Fares)
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the honey. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and brush with the remaining honey. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Some varieties take longer to cook.
While the squash is baking, toast the walnuts lightly. Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates. Top with 3-5 slices of squash. Sprinkle with the walnuts and feta, season and serve while the squash is still warm.
4. Sage Butter pasta (Burro e salvia)
Paired with See Ya Later Ranch Pinot 3 VQA #986380 $19.99 and Malivoire Gamay VQA #591313 $15.93 (chef's note: perfect!)
100g butter. (Notre Dame Dairies)
Bunch of fresh sage leaves (Farmer's Market or garden)
80g grated Parmesan
Penne (Nature's Pasta, available at The Forks, DeLuca's, FOOD, etc.)
Wash and dry the sage leaves. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sage. Cook very gently over a low flame taking care not to let the butter burn. Pour over cooked pasta and stir through well together with freshly grated parmesan. This super-quick sauce is ideal with 'naked ravioli' (ravioli filling without the pasta) but is also suitable with any short pasta. In this case, drain the cooked pasta keeping back a little of the water. Return the pasta to the saucepan, add the sage and butter and stir over a low heat for a minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in a good helping of grated Parmesan.
The sauce should look smooth and creamy; if it has dried out too much, add a few drops of milk or fresh cream. Grind a little black pepper over when serving.
5. Fruit Platz
Paired with Rigby Orchards Praire Mead Cassis #8118 $20.50 (chef's note: WOW!!! This was excellent and a great deal for 750 ml.)
1 1/4 c. flour (Tall Grass Prairie Bakery)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 c.butter (Notre Dame Dairies)
1 egg yolk (Vita Eggs or Farm Fresh), beaten with
2 tbsp. milk (or a little more) (Notre Dame Dairies or Oak Island Goat Dairy)
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Cream butter, add sited ingredients and blend. Combine egg yolk and milk, add to butter mixture and mix. Press into a greased 11" x 7" pa. Press 3 cp apple wedges, 3/4" thick (any fruit you like) I use about 5 apples, sliced and pressed in.
3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (opt.) about 1/4 c. butter (or less) to make a crumb topping. Can sprinkle with almond slices (opt.) Sprinkle crumbs over fruit. Bake at 375 degrees F. oven for 50 minutes or until apples are done. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or plain. Good cold, also.
For rhubarb I sprinkle a bit more sugar & a bit of mixed in flour because of the tartness and juice.