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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Italian countryside for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the MLCC


 Last night I presented the following recipes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy's Foodie Program with the MLCC on the theme of Italian Countryside.  Kelly Burton, Product Consultant for the MLCC, provided wonderful beverage pairings and Melissa Scouten, Education Coordinator for the APC, presented on the plants and culture of different regions.
 Photos to follow soon!

 Reception Beverage:  Limoncello Lemonade
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup club soda, divided
2 cups limoncello, divided
1 cup St. Germain (elderflower liquor)
Ice cubes, crushed


1. Fave con Pecorino
(serves 4)
Paired with Ruffino Orvieto Classico #31062, $11.95

2 lbs fava beans, peeled
4 ounces Pecorino Toscano, sliced into 1/2 inch/1 cm long matchstick-thick segments
1/4 cup olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 leaves radicchio, sliced very thinly

Place the fava beans and pecorino in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper. Toss very gently, just to combine the flavours and not to break the beans or crush the cheese.
Mound a quarter of the beans and cheese in the centre of each salad plate. Top each serving with a few slivers of radicchio.

2. Sage Butter pasta (Burro e salvia)
Paired with Gabbiano Chianti DOCG # 710324, $13.99

1/3 cup butter.
Bunch of fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Black pepper.

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.

Enjoy!


3. Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli
Eggplant Parmigiana Eggplant Parmigiana

Paired with Feudo Badala Negroamano #15086, $11.82

Ingredients
The Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, halved, and cut into thin slices
6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano whole plum tomatoes
The Eggplant:
2 medium eggplants, washed and cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying, as needed, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound provolone cheese, grated
2 handfuls fresh basil, leaves only, torn

Directions

For the tomato sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and the canned tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break up some of the whole tomatoes and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning, the tomatoes should be fairly broken down and the flavors coming together. Cook for another few minutes if the tomatoes still taste like they need a little more time to break down. Set aside to cool.

Put the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the oregano and fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Dip each eggplant slice in the flour and shake off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat both sides of each slice of eggplant. Arrange them in single layers on the baking sheets.

In a large skillet, pour enough oil to accumulate about 1/2-inch in the bottom. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly (alternatively, test with a thermometer and wait until the oil registers between 380 degrees F and 400 degrees F). Use a pair of kitchen tongs to add a single layer of the eggplant to the pan. Cook them until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a kitchen towel so the eggplant can drain as the others cook. Season lightly with salt. Take care to reheat the oil back up to temperature before adding another batch of slices to the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble: In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, spoon about 1/4 of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of the fried eggplant; the eggplant slices can overlap slightly. Top with about 1/3 of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with about 1/4 of the Parmesan and provolone cheeses. Top with a layer of torn basil leaves. Spoon sauce and repeat the layering 2 more times to make 3 layers. End with the remaining mozzarella. Carefully press the layers down firmly into the dish once assembled. Place the dish in the top part of the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

4. Osso Bucco
Paired with Masi Costasera Amarone #317057, $44.99
 
 1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces Beef, Bison or Elk shank
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1-3 tbs butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
1 head garlic, cut horizontally through the middle
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth (I had homemade chicken broth on hand instead)
1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed

Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the meat, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned meat to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You're going to use that to create your sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using the same pot, sauté the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the meat back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the meat tender and nearly falling off the bone.
Remove bay leaves.

Enjoy!


3 comments:

Valerie Tonner RMT LCSP (Phys) said...

Greetings Karen

The menu looks lovely.

Valerie

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Karen Food aka Bistro Arkadash said...

Thanks! It was a fun event.

Holli Moncrieff said...

This all sounds so good! Thanks for posting the recipes.