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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Healthy living resolutions on CBC's Weekend Morning Show! Plus, locally sourced awesome braised Beef Short Ribs

On Saturday morning, I'll be presenting the following ideas and resources as well as a recipe, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten.

 The lovely grass-fed beef short ribs are available at Wildfire Farms.  They will be at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday, January 2nd, if you are interested in the following healthy living resolutions.  

1. Enjoy making food. For yourself or for others.  By yourself or with others. I love it, but so many do not.  By enjoying the planning and making of your meals, you are cooking with love and you will taste the difference.  For friends and families, it can be an important time together, learning and celebrating.

2. Try a new food at least twice a week.  Either in preparation or when dining out.  Look up recipes, use your cookbooks to try something new.  Go to our amazing restaurants that you hadn’t considered.  Try making different soups or pastas from around the world.

3. Buy local.  If you can’t afford a whole share of a CSA, buy a half share or go into a share with other people.  You will meet some great people who grow your food and other members buying the food.  Go to the Farmer’s markets.

4. Plant a garden/plant something.  If you can and have space, plant a garden.  Plant a tomato in a pot.  Grow some wonderful culinary herbs.  Join a community garden group or allotment gardens.

5. Cook together.  Food costs are rising.  A cooking club can bring down your food costs, get you out with great people, learn new skills, and can be made to your needs.

You will have your own resolutions.  These are part of healthy living in that it isn’t only about a diet.

Braised Beef Short Ribs (serves 2-4)

4 Beef Short Ribs
2 sprig fresh sage leaves (torn, with stems)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (torn)
2 bay leaves
~ 10 peppercorns
sea salt, to one’s tastes (sprinkle over meat)
1 ½ cups rustic red wine (I used a Bulgarian wine but ask a product consultant)
1 (+) cup beef or veal stock (to cover)
drizzle olive oil

Put all of the above ingredients in a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight.

For the braising:

4 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 tbs good tomato paste (such as Tat, available at Millad’s Supermarket on Notre Dame)
sprig fresh thyme
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 slices (rashers) bacon, cut into lardons, aka, small rectangular pieces or matchstick pieces
1 cup veal or beefstock
salt and pepper, to your taste
optional:  carrots and other vegetables

Drain ribs, reserving liquid.

On medium heat, start to cook the shallots, bacon and thyme in a oven-proof pot.  Spread tomato paste over ribs.  When the shallots and bacon start to brown, push aside in pot and brown ribs on both sides.  When browned, add veal or beef stock and marinating liquid, and seasoning.

Place pot open in a 300ºF oven and braise until ribs are starting to come off of the bone. Half way through braising, add vegetables, optional. 

For serving, remove ribs and vegetables from pot, strain liquid and reduce in a pan, adding seasoning and wine or butter.

Enjoy with potatoes, breads, or rice.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

CBC radio today - Gluten-Free Latkes!

I lost my voice but should be on the mend in a couple of days.  I had planned on presenting these dishes on CBC Radio's Weekend Morning Show.  The Wild Rice Flour is available at Gimli Fish and is a great, local product for Gluten-Free options.

The final photo of the purple potato latkes was not possible as they were inhaled before the camera was brought out.


Update:  I featured these on yesterday's CBC Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod along with the Ginger Apple Sauce and Sliced grilled beef on Focaccia Crostini with Wasabi Sour Cream. 
The apple sauce is very simple to prepare. 

2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and diced
1 large knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbs sugar
splash of Mirin, Vermouth or apple juice

Cook all ingredients together in a small saucepan until soft, stirring regularly.  When the apples are soft, mash or purée.

The Wasabi Sour Cream is also very simple to prepare.

Sour Cream
Wasabi paste
pinch sugar

Combine all ingredients, to taste.  Use with shrimp, beef, vegetables, etc.


Gluten-Free Latkes!

4-6 purple potatoes, grated
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
1/2 cup Wild Rice Flour
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs salt (potatoes and the Wild Rice flour can dull the seasonings)

Mix all ingredients together and adjust seasonings as needed.  Let mixture set for 30 minutes, so as to allow the Wild Rice Flour to absorb the moisture.  In a hot pan, drizzle olive and sesame oil and fill pan with a 2 cm thickness of the potato mixture.  Cook until crispy on one side on medium heat.  Flip and cook until crisp and done.  These can be prepared in advance.

Serve with sour cream, ginger Granny Smith apple sauce, soy or your favourite hot sauce.  Can also be served with Chermoula.


Chermoula with Eggplant

3-5 large cloves garlic
¼ tsp cayenne
1 heaping tbs cumin
pinch saffron
½ bunch parsley
1 whole bunch cilantro
juice of one lemon
2 tbs vinegar
1 generous tbs olive oil
salt, to taste

1 Eggplant, sliced, then grilled or sautéed.  Important to note, eggplant takes time to cook.  Do not undercook it or you may experience an unpleasant reaction, such as a burning on the tongue or an upset stomach.

Blend all of the first ingredients in a food processor and place in glass bowl. Set some chermoula aside for extra at the table.   Place cooked eggplant slices back in a sauté pan and cook with the Chermoula.  When cooked through, serve immediately.  

Can also use Chermoula with sautéed carrots or marinate or in grilling fish.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Tagine cooking demo today at D.A.Niels! From 11-3PM

 I'll be presenting these dishes as a Tagine cooking demonstration today at D.A.Niels at 485 Berry St..
Regarding the very good tomato paste, listed in the Squash recipe, try Tat brand, available at Millad's Supermarket at 396 Notre Dame.

Moroccan Beef Tagine (can use lamb)

2 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly sauté onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.


Moroccan Squash Tagine

1 small butternut, hubbard or winter squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 eggplant, cubed
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs “tomato magic” or very good tomato paste (ask chef)
1 tbs turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon Ras El Hanout *
Splash of Rosewater**
1/2 chopped pickled lemon (just the peel)***
Pinch of salt
Optional: eggplant, zucchini

Place all ingredients together in a casserole dish (traditional cooking vessel is a tajine). Cover and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook covered at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve with rice or couscous or bulgur.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crispy Korean Chicken and Gingerbread Biscotti for CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I'll be featuring the following recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.

This may look like a long and detailed recipe but once you have all of the elements together (mise en place), it is quite simple to prepare.

Enjoy for your Grey Cup snacking or make it a regular feature!

1. Crispy Korean Chicken

Mix chicken with seasonings and cover in starch.
Fry in hot oil for 7 to 8 minutes.
Shake off, let sit, then fry for another 12 to 15 minutes.
Coat in seasoning sauce.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve immediately.

3½ pounds chicken wings (about 1.6 kg), washed and drained
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2/3 cup potato starch or corn starch
⅓ cup peanuts (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 large dried red chili peppers, seeded, cut crosswise into ⅓ inch pieces (optional)
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice or corn syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil, peanut oil)

Cut off the tip of each wing and chop the wing in half. After this is done you should have about 3 pounds of chicken, with 24 to 26 pieces.
Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with salt, ginger, and ground black pepper by hand.
Put 2/3 cup potato starch in a bowl and dip each wing in the powder to coat it, one by one. Squeeze each wing to press the coating to it tightly.
Make the sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce:

Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil, minced garlic, and the dried red chili pepper.
Stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant for about 30 seconds.
Add soy sauce, rice syrup, vinegar, and mustard sauce (optional). Stir with a wooden spoon and let it bubble for a few minutes.
Add the brown sugar and continue stirring. Remove from the heat. Set aside.
Fry the chicken:

Put 4 cups of cooking oil in a frying pan or pot and heat it up for 7 to 8 minutes over high heat.
See if the oil’s ready by dipping a test wing into it. If the oil bubbles, it’s hot enough to start frying. Slide the coated wings one by one into the hot oil and cook for about 12 to 13 minutes, turning over a few times with tongs.
Take the wings out of the oil and shake them off in a strainer. Turn off the heat, and let the wings sit for a few minutes.
Reheat the oil and fry the wings again for another 12 to 15 minutes until they all look golden brown and feel super crunchy through the tongs. If your frying pan or pot is not large enough to fry all the chicken at once, divide it into batches like I do in the video. If you use a larger frying pot to cook them all at once, you’ll have to use more cooking oil.
Coat the fried chicken with the sauce:

When the chicken is done, reheat the sauce until it bubbles.
Add the hot chicken and mix well with a wooden spoon to coat.
Remove from the heat and transfer the coated chicken to a large platter. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over top and serve immediately. This chicken won’t lose its crunchiness, even by the next day. You don’t need any dipping sauce.

2. Gingerbread Biscotti

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp Frangelico (or try kirsch, or coffee liquors)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix butter sugar and molasses until smooth. Add one egg at a time and mix. Add vanilla and liquor and mix until smooth. Combine dry ingredients and mix slowly into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Turn out dough onto floured surface and form into a large log. Divide dough into three pieces and flatten out each piece into rectangles onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and cut into biscotti pieces. Turn cookies and bake for 5-7 minutes at 300ºF. When cooled, drizzle melted chocolate or make a simple icing of icing sugar and liquor.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Easy Comfort Food on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Easy Comfort Food

This morning I am presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod.  

Both dishes are so easy to prepare, that I made them this morning in short order.  

Local honey from Beeproject Apiaries can be purchased directly through them.  They will deliver, within a reasonable distance. 

1.Honey Sautéed Zucchini (with Lavender)

1-2 sliced zucchinis (sliced on the bias)
pinch lavender flowers (optional)
Heat a sauté pan and add the honey and then the lavender.  Add the zucchini slices and cook until done.  Serve. 

2. Baked Cheesy Pasta

(for a large baking dish)

2 pkgs short pasta (farfalle, penne, shells, etc.)
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 dried red chilies, crushed
1 tbs dried oregano
pepper, to taste
chipotle peppers, or other chilies ½ tsp (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
good pinch nutmeg
white wine or vodka
olive oil

Cheeses:  your favourites, such as blue, chevré, brie, gruyere, Emmenthaler, etc., crumbled or grated in a large bowl.

Grate and crumble cheese.  Cook pasta less than time recommended.  That is, if the dried pasta package recommends 10 minutes, take off 2+ minutes in cooking time.

Cook sliced onions in a large saucepan with some olive oil. Add tomatoes and spices.  Add garlic and red wine or vodka.  Bring up to a simmer.  Now make the white sauce IN the red sauce.  That is, add cream, nutmeg and white wine or vodka. 

I don’t add salt to the sauce as the cheese is salty enough. 

Drain pasta and add to cheese.  Add sauce and stir thoroughly.  Fill a large baking dish with the mixture and bake at 350ºF until bubbly. 

Let rest for a few minutes and serve. 
Hint:  When reheating, bring to hot temperature, covered, in an oven.  A microwave will result in an unpleasant and mushy pasta.

*other optional ingredients include, red wine, vodka, roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cooked bacon, cooked chicken, Crispy onions, etc.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Cooking with Tajines at D.A.Niels!

On Saturday, I presented the following dishes for a cooking demonstration using tajines at D.A. Niels.  I'll be there again on December 5th to give another tajine cooking demonstration.  

The photo with the eggs was at the beginning of cooking.  Cooking eggs in the tajine whole results in a creamy egg.  Quite remarkable!  One person tried the beef tajine recipe using my Ras el Hanout with Moose meat!  He loved the result.  My spice blends of Ras el Hanout, Turkish Baharat and Tea Masala, are all available at D.A. Niels.  

Come and see me at the Downtown Hydro Market on Thursday, November 12th, for more cooking ideas and products!


Moroccan Beef Stew (can use lamb)

2 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly sauté onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.


Moroccan Squash Tajine

1 small butternut, hubbard or winter squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tbs turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon Ras El Hanout *
Splash of Rosewater**
1/2 chopped pickled lemon (just the peel)***
Pinch of salt
Optional: eggplant, zucchini

Place all ingredients together in a casserole dish (traditional cooking vessel is a tajine). Cover and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook covered at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve with rice or couscous or bulgur.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quinoa Pilaf in Turkish Dolmas on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following Dolmas using local Tamarack Farms Quinoa, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  

Turkish Dolmas with local Quinoa pilaf (Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking, by Ayla Algar)

2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, finely diced
2-3 tbs olive oil
½ cup fresh tomatoes, finely diced
½ cup almond slices (or pine nuts.  I used almonds due to cost and allergies)
1-2 Tbs Turkish Baharat – or – ¼ tsp each of cinnamon, dried mint, fresh dill, nutmeg, cloves, pepper
3 tsp sugar
¼ cup currants (or zerishk)
¼ cup raisins
3 tbs lemon juice
salt, to taste

For the Cabbage:  ¾ cup water, 3 tbs lemon juice, salt
For the Peppers:  Rich tomato sauce, red wine

1. Sauté the onions in olive oil in a pot.  Add seasonings, tomatoes, almonds, currants, raisins, currants and then salt and lemon juice.  Add the quinoa and coat through.  Add the stock (or water) and bring to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for 20+ minutes.  Let cool.

2. For the cabbage leaves:  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a cored cabbage in the water for 4 minutes.  Peel off leaves and return to pot to repeat to remove more leaves. 

Cut out a small triangle of the core of each leaf.

Place a tablespoon or two of the pilaf at the top of the leaf, and roll, like a burrito or salad wrap, and place in a baking dish that has been lined with extra cabbage leaves at the bottom.

Fill the baking dish and cover with the water, lemon juice, olive oil and salt mixture. Bake at 300ºF for 1-1/2 hours.

Serve warm or cold.

3.  For the peppers:  Core the peppers and cook in the boiling water for 4 minutes, to soften.  Fill with pilaf and place in a baking dish with a rich tomato sauce with red wine.  Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour, or until soft.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

Enjoy !

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Squash Two ways for CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following recipes using local squash, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with Host Terry MacLeod.

Gorgeous Heirloom varieties are available at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market, until Oct. 31st from producers from Wiens Farm and Trudy Penner/Penner Pumpkins.

Tuscan Squash Salad

1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts
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
½ cup crumbled feta

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.

Squash Halwa- Easy Diwali Sweet Recipe

1 Seeded and baked Squash (Acorn, Hubbard, Delicata, etc.) ~ 4 cups
Milk- ¼ cup
Condensed milk- ½ can or 150 ml
Saffron, strands (optional)- ½ tsp strands soaked in 1 tbsp milk
Ghee- 4 tbsp
Roasted Almonds, whole or chopped- ¼ cup (roasted in ½ tbsp ghee)

Peel the skin off the squash and dice it into medium size.
In a non-stick cooking pan, cook the diced squash in water till it turns tender and well cooked.
Drain the water from the cooked squash and put it back into the pan.
Using a wooden spoon, mash the cooked squash without any lumps.
Switch on the stove to medium heat and place the pan with the mashed squash over it.
Add milk and combine well stirring constantly breaking any lumps present in it.
Add the condensed milk to it and combine well stirring constantly.
Pour 2 tbsp of ghee at this point and keep stirring.
If you are adding saffron, add the soaked saffron to the mixture.
Let it thicken and don’t forget to stir it.
When the mixture is no more watery and has thickened, add 2 tbsp more of ghee.
Keep stirring for a minute and remove from the heat.
In a small pan, roast whole or chopped almonds in ½ tbsp ghee till it turns golden in color.
Grease a platter with little ghee and spread the squash halwa onto the plate.
Even out the halwa level using a flat spatula.
Garnish the squash halwa with roasted almonds.
Chill the halwa for an hour and serve.
You could tweak this recipe according to your needs.
You could adjust the sweetness, amount of ghee added accordingly.
Also add pistachios, raisins or other nuts for extra crunchiness.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Gluten free and fabulous on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 On Saturday, I'll be presenting these recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod.  The Gluten Free tart shells are made with unsweetened Almonds by Piccola Cucina and can be found at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market. 

Two Tarts Today (Gluten Free)
Piccola Cucina Tart or pie shells, made in Manitoba, are gluten free, dairy free and vegan.  They come in a variety of sizes from pie to tartlet and are available at the St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market.

Pre-bake the shells at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes.  Cool before filling with the following recipes.  You can cover the edges with foil to prevent over browning. 

1. Caramelized Shallot Tarts

port or wine
rosemary or thyme
drizzle olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take the skins and ends off of the shallots and place them in a shallow baking dish. Add remaining ingredients and bake at 350ºF oven for up to one hour or until the shallots are soft. Enjoy in a number of options or as a garnish to meats and vegetables or, combine with Okanagan Cherry reduction in tarts:

Dried Okanagan Cherry reduction
1 cup tart dried Okanagan cherries *
1 cup port
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbs butter
1 cup dry red wine or port
Soak cherries in port over night or for several hours.
In a sauce pan, heat soaked cherries and add wine or port and rosemary. Bring to a boil and add butter. Remove from heat and purée. Use on tarts or as a drizzle for meats or poultry.  Add chèvre to each tart shell and top with shallot/cherry mixture.  Bake until hot throughout.

2. Quiche Lorraine (with Beef Bacon!)
Beef bacon can be purchased at Wildfire Farms, at St. Norbert’s Market on Saturdays and the Downtown Hydro Building on Thursdays.  Nature’s Farm eggs can be found at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market and well as a number of grocery stores.

for 6 medium tart shells

1 tbs butter
6 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound beef bacon (or Berkshire, another local bacon), chopped
1 finely chopped leek whites
1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add leek and bacon until starting to soften and brown.  In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and cream together.  Add the leek and bacon with the cheese and seasonings.  Pour into crust and bake until the centre of the quiches are just set, ~ 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Market days still ahead.

Production day today, making Roasted Butternut Squash Mostarda with Cranberries, Apricots and Okanagan Cherries, Onion Jam, Mango Salsa and bread.  See you at the Downtown Hydro Building Farmer's Market on Thursday and the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Smoking Teriyaki Rabbit on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I presented the following recipe for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  I had been noticing a number of posts on Facebook, inquiring as to where to find rabbits to eat.  Zinn Farms is one place, at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.  This recipe also uses tea from Daniel Song from Tea-Story.  I used the Lapsang Souchon tea, but Pu-er tea can also be used for its smoky quality.

Smoking Teriyaki Rabbit

1 cup Lapsong Suchon tea **– steep strongly
1 drizzle sesame oil
1 heaping tsp. Ground ginger
1 drizzle chili oil
1/4 cup Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tbs. Sugar or honey
1/8 tsp. Ground white pepper

1 Rabbit, pieced (Rabbit available at Zinn Farms at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market, Deluca’s and some major grocery stores)

Marinate rabbit in Tea/Teriyaki marinade for several hours, or overnight.  Preheat BBQ grill to medium high heat.  Grill, turning, until the rabbit meat comes off of the bones.  Brush with marinade while grilling.


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A rare evening of entertaining. A Labour Day traditional BBQ?

Last night I had the pleasure of having some lovely friends for dinner.  Great wine, good beer and wonderful celebration foods to share over lively conversations.  Perfect!

1. Appetizers:
Georgian Eggplant
Pesto Escargot
Tuna Tataki

2.  Mains
BBQ'd French Fries 
Roasted purple potatoes
Ras el Hanout Pomegranate grilled chicken
Lamb Shashlik

3.  Dessert.
Didn't make it that far.  :)

BBQ French Fries

2-4 potatoes, washed and then cut into thin fries, skin-on
Olive oil, to coat

Cut the potatoes into fries and soak for a while in very cold water.  When ready, drain and dry the potato pieces and toss with olive oil. 

On a hot BBQ grill, covered with a Cookina BBQ sheet, spread out the potatoes and cook, stirring, until potatoes are crisp and brown.  Remove from heat and toss with seasoning.  Serve immediately.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Farmer's Market Chowder on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning, I presented the following recipe for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  This was made all with items that I have from this week's farmer's markets and my CSA, Farm Share, Including the chicken stock.

Farmer’s Market Chowder

This can be prepared as a vegetarian option by omitting the bacon and using vegetable stock.

4 ears corn
1 lb tomatillos, husked (Binkley Farms - Sundays at The Forks Farmer's Market)
3-5 potatoes, cubed (God's Acres - Thursdays at the Downtown Farmer's Market)
1 leek, sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped slab bacon (Zinn Farms for Berkshire or Wildfire Farms for Beef Bacon!)
1 red pepper
1 Summer Squash, cubed skin on.
and/or 1 lb patty pan squash or zucchini, sliced or cubed
4 cups stock (vegetarian, chicken, etc)
1-2 roasted jalapeños
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
500 ml whipping cream (for heart healthy recipes, try one tin fat free milk)
salt, to taste

Roast or broil corn, jalapeños, and tomatillos for a few minutes per side.   When cooled, cut corn off of cobs. One method is to place cob upright in the middle of a Bundt pan and cut around. Sauté leek with bacon pieces until leek becomes translucent. Add tomatillos and soup stock.  Cook and purée, using an immersion blender, or leave chunky.  Add corn,  potatoes, red pepper and zucchini/and/or squash and combine. Add spices and bring to a boil. Simmer and cream. Season as needed.  Serve hot.


To make chicken stock, keep the bones and neck of the chicken and put it it in a stock pot with a few cut up carrots, celery with leaves, 2-3 star anise, cut onions with skin on, 1 tbs peppercorns, 1 + tbs salt, water to cover, thyme, etc.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-8 hours.  Let cool and strain.  If you haven't strained the stock through a cloth, chill and remove fat before portioning to freeze or use.
Please note, using vegetable trimmings if you save them for stock but not Brassica, or cabbage family trimmings.  Those will leave a bitter, gassy flavour.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Herbs for Dinner! On CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with guest host, Laurie Hoogstraten. 

Everyone's Tarragon is bursting forth these days.  The French tarragon has the flavour, while the Russian, sadly, disappoints.  Tarragon Pistou is a classic French sauce, similar to pesto, but without the cheese.  I'm serving it in a cream sauce with mussels for this dish but is excellent as a garnish in soups, on grilled fish or on a toasted tomato sandwich.  Fresh gorgeous PEI mussels are available now on sale at Gimli Fish.

The Perilla, or Shiso leaf kimchi is one of my favourites.  The large herb is available at many Asian specialty markets.  I'm going to try this with carrot tops to make kimchi as well.

 (Getting ready for the perilla leaf kimchi)
(Perilla leaf Kimchi all stacked with paste)

Perilla Leaf Kimchi (Aka, Shiso leaf and Ooba leaf)

3 cups Perilla leaves (can use large mint leaves)
3 tbs fish sauce
1/4 cup thinly slice onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of green onion (or chives), chopped
1 tbs honey
1-2 tbs Korean hot pepper flakes
1-2 tbs good soy sauce
roasted sesame seeds
2 tbs thinly sliced carrot

1. Wash and drain the leaves well and let dry in a basket.
2. Make kimchi paste as follows; mix minced garlic, green onions, sliced onion, matchstick carrots, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, honey and soy sauce well in a bowl.  Spread paste onto leaves and stack as you coat them in the paste.  WEAR GLOVES!  Store in a non-metallic container(glass refrigerator box).
3.  Enjoy Perilla Leaf kimchi with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Tarragon Pistou (on fish or mussels)

1 clove garlic
2/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for searing the fish
2 1/2-lb fillets of boneless, seasonal fish (halibut, sole, pickerel, salmon)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Lemon for serving

In a blender or food processor, purée the garlic and add the tarragon and basil leaves, pulsing to start.  Add the walnuts and season.  Pulse until a fine grainy texture.  Turn on and drizzle in olive oil.

Coat fish with a generous amount of pistou.  Bake at 350ºF for 1- - 12 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.  If serving with mussels, steam mussels in lemon and olive oil water with tarragon leaves and white wine in the water until mussels are open.  Drizzle pistou over mussels and enjoy with BBQ Frites. Or, make a white sauce with cream, butter, tarragon pistou and white wine.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

This Saturday on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Suffering Succotash with green beans.

On Saturday's CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten, I'll be presenting the following two seasonal dishes.  

Traditionally Succotash is made with Lima Beans but green beans are in season now and here is another way to prepare them.  I give the option of parboiling the beans and cooling them in an ice bath but the colour remains without that step and I prefer crispy beans to soggy beans.  I also added more chilies and a 1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika.

The beans are in the market now.  Okra may not be so look for it in the freezer.  You may find all that you need for these dishes in the Farmer's markets.  I'll be at the Downtown Winnipeg Manitoba Hydro Building Farmer's Market on Thursday. 

Suffering Succotash no more!

1/4 lb bacon, small chop
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ears corn, kernels cut off and cobs reserved for making stock
1 large fresh jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 lb green beans, trimmed and parboiled for 2 minutes, then in ice bath
1/2 lb okra, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices (fresh or frozen)
3/4 lb grape tomatoes (1 pint), halved by filling on a yoghurt lid, place another lid on top and with a very sharp knife, slice through the tomatoes while holding down the top lid. 
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or to taste
a few sprigs fresh thyme
a few leaves fresh sage, chiffonade
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, cook bacon and shallots together over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir for a minute.  Stir in corn, chilies, green beans, okra and tomatoes and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, herbs and season. 

Serve with fresh herbs sprinkled on top as well.


 Caprese Salad Skewers

Very easy to prepare.  Mini bocconcini, fresh grape tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, skewered and seasoned and drizzled with Balsamic reduction.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wild on hot days with Sockeye Salmon on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

Yesterday, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host, Laurie Hoogstraten, I'll be bringing in these two dishes.  Gorgeous wild caught sushi grade Sockeye Salmon is fresh in bi-weekly at Gimli Fish.  Get it skin-on as both recipes use the skin to add a crispy element.
(Wild Sockeye Salmon sashimi on Cold Dressed Soba with avocado and crispy salmon skin)
1. Wild Sockeye Salmon Sashimi on cold-dressed Soba or Udon noodles

For 4 people:  1 filet Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon, skin on.

1 bundle dried noodles per person*

1-2 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp grainy mustard (optional)
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tbs vinegar
2-3 tbs Mirin
1 tsp good sesame oil
drizzle chili oil (optional)
½ tsp sugar
1 tbs soy sauce

Other options:  chopped green onions or chives, avocado slices, shredded cucumber, etc.

1. Skin the Salmon filet and keep the skin.  It is very simple to skin the filet.  With a very sharp knife in one hand, grab a pinch of sea salt in the other, to use as a grip, hold the small end of the filet and slice the skin off pulling the skin toward you.

2. To crispy cook the skin, cover with sesame oil and cook at high heat on a skillet or on a hot grill.  Set aside.  Cut into smaller pieces when cooled and crisp on both sides.

3. Slice Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon into bite sized sashimi slices.  Keep chilled.

4. Cook the noodles for less than the package states.  For example, cook the Soba noodles for 4-5 minutes instead of the 6-7 minutes.  The Udon should cook for 7 minutes, not 10 – 12 minutes.

5. Drain the cooked noodles and run under cold water until the noodles are completely cooled.  Drain thoroughly.  If not using immediately, drizzle with sesame oil to prevent sticking.  Keep the noodles cooled.

6. Dressing can be made in advance.  Mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl until will emulsified. 

7.  You can either prepare all ingredients into one large bowl or prepare individual bowl servings.  Dress the noodles and divide into bowls.  Top with slices of sashimi, avocado and crispy salmon skin. 

You can sprinkle sesame seeds on top, more green onions, soy, etc.  Have fun with the dish.

* Look for dried Soba or Udon noodles in the noodle section of an Asian market such as Oriental Market or Sun Wah, Lucky’s, etc.  Can use buckwheat or green tea Soba.

2. Blackened Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon (adapted from Alex Guarnashelli)

1 filet Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon, skin-on

1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne (to taste)
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp sea salt (or kosher)
3-4 tbs canola oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced

Mix spices and salt together in a small bowl.  Place mixture on a plate and coat the salmon portions, flesh side only. 

Heat cast iron skillet or grill to medium heat.  If using a grill, try a grill sheet such as Cookina and add a bit of oil to the sheet. 

Place salmon, flesh down, on the pan or grill sheet and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn and cook until the skin becomes crispy.  About 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with lemon zest and lemon juice.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Don't Throw it Away! What to do with your CSA or Farmer's Market produce.

I've been interested in using whole vegetables for some time.  Kimchi with carrot tops is the next project!  This recipe is one that I made up on the weekend.  I'm surprised how sweet and tender the radish leaves are and how sweet the cooked radishes become.

Top photo, green onions and bacon sautéeing.  Bottom photo, added greens and radishes)

Don't throw it away!

2 bunches radishes, trimmed with radish cut into wedges and leaves chopped 
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped 
2-4 slices of bacon, chopped *
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika 
2 tbs butter
S&P, to taste 
1/4 tsp chipotle 

Heat pan and melt butter. Add chopped green onions and bacon and cook until bacon begins to crisp. Add radishes and leaves and remaining ingredients. Cook until through and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the radishes become softer and sweeter.

*Vegetarian/vegan option:  caramelize onions and add hot smoked paprika.

Next, Kashmiri radish curry!

Kashmiri Radishes curry, with leaves
3-4 bunches radishes (I used mainly white radishes for this recipe), trimmed with leaves and roots chopped
2 tbs mustard oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 dried red chilies
2 tsp Tea Masala (Or any garam masala.  I used the tea masala as it has dried ginger in it and that makes it a Kashmiri garam masala)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste

In a heavy pot, heat mustard oil and sputter the seeds with the dried red chilies.  When they begin to pop, add the masala, sugar and turmeric.  Then add the radishes with the chopped leaves.  Add a bit of salt, water if needed, and cook for 20-30 minutes on medium low, until the radishes are sweet.


Serve with a radish raita (strained yoghurt, finely chopped or sliced radish roots, grated garlic and a pinch of salt). 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Moroccan Beef Short Ribs on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 This morning I'll be presenting these amazing looking and smelling local beef short ribs on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  You can get these great ribs at Wildfire Farms at St. Norbert's and Downtown Winnipeg Farmer's Markets.

(Photos above marinating, below, simmering)
Grass-fed Moroccan Beef Short Ribs (Ribs from Wildfire Farms and available at the St. Norbert and Downtown Winnipeg Farmer's Markets!)
(For 6-8 ribs)

1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
2 tbs ground ginger
1 tbs ground Turmeric
2 tbs Ras el Hanout (available at the Downtown Winnipeg Farmer's Market or Pollock's Hardware Coop)
1 tsp Kosher or sea salt
zest of one lemon
Place meat in marinade and coat.  Let chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Remove ribs and reserve liquid.

For braising the ribs:
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup beef broth, aka bone broth (also available from Wildfire Farms)
1/2 lemon, sliced
2 tbs lemon juice*
1-2 tbs honey
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a medium sauté pan and brown the meat.  Remove and place all remaining liquids to a large tagine or braising pot.  Bring up to simmering heat and let cook for a couple of hours, until meat is loose from the bone.
* Preserved lemons can be substituted for fresh!
Serve with couscous or quinoa.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pride Week Chili on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning I presented this chili on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.

Happy Pride Celebrations!
Photo by Karen
The chili will not be these bright colours at the end of cooking.

Pride Chili
1 kg ground beef (I used Halal beef, available at Millad’s Supermarket on Notre Dame and Halal Meats and Specialty Foods on Maryland)
2 red onions, thinly sliced
3 cups black eyed beans (cooked from dry, soak overnight)
1 chipotle pepper (can be purchased tinned) or 1 tsp dried
1 Queer beer (in Manitoba, Half Pint’s)
1/2 cup dark chocolate callates (chips)
3 cups chopped tomatoes (tinned, unsalted)
2 red or yellow pepper (large chopped)
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
1tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dried chipotle peppers
1 head roasted garlic
2 tbs molasses
salt and pepper to taste. (I used Pink Himalayan, for pride colours)

Using a slow cooker is a nice way to make flavours intense and round them out. In a sauté pan, sauté one medium chopped onion. When caramelized, add to slow cooker. Brown the ground beef. Add to slow cooker. Put slow cooker on high setting. Add beans. If tinned, rinse thoroughly to remove tinny taste. Add tomatoes, pepper, cumin, cilantro, paprika, chipotle peppers, roasted garlic, molasses, and chocolate. Stir in well. Add beer. Cook through the day or overnight.  Blue Corn Tortillas or garnish with borage flowers.

Red - peppers, tomatoes, chilies
Orange - peppers
Yellow - peppers, corn
Green - Herbs
Blue - Garnish of borage flowers and corn tortillas
Violet - Purple onions

Additional colours represented are pink salt, brown meat and molasses, spices, black and white beans.

To make vegan chili, leave out the ground beef and add 1 cup bulgur in slow cooker.  It gives the look and texture of beef chili.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

This morning I presented the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten.  Canadian Lobster tails and Arctic Char are available at Gimli Fish.  Pesto is so versatile and delicious.

Arugula and Chive Pesto
2 cups young arugula
2 cup roughly chopped chives
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup grated Parmesan reggiano or padano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 + cup good olive oil
pinch salt, to taste

Grind up all ingredients to a paste.  Enjoy as a pesto, as an ingredient, as a sandwich spread, etc.  In pasta, try with chopped tomatoes to bring out the sweetness of the chives.  The Arugula is peppery but is softened by the sweetness of the chives.

Served today mixed in pasta with grilled Canadian Lobster tails and Dugald, Manitoba Arctic Char. 

Lobster grilled with garlic butter.  Arctic Char grilled with pesto.  Served on top of pasta with grated Parmesan and cracked pepper.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Turkish treats on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning I presented Turkish treats for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  These recipes are all easy to prepare and can be prepared in advance.  

Pomegranate White Bean Dip

2 cups cooked white navy beans (aka, canelini)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (unsweetened) or a bit less pomegranate molasses (paste)
Pinch salt, to taste
minced garlic, optional

Purée ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve with breads.  Top with pomegranate seeds or paprika and/or olive oil.  Enjoy!

Patliçan Yogürtlü

1 lg eggplant sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Slice and salt eggplant and let sit in a bowl of cold water. If eggplant is very young, skip the step of salt and water. Rinse and squeeze out water from slices.

Mince garlic and stir into yoghurt with salt.

Sauté eggplant slices on medium high heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and let sit for a moment on a paper towel. Place on platter and top with yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle rubbed oregano and paprika over yoghurt. Top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with baguette slices or water crackers.


Mushrooms with Turkish Baharat

2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
1 tbs butter
drizzle olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 tbs good tomato paste
1 tbs Turkish Baharat
pinch salt
vermouth or white wine to deglaze

Heat sauté pan to medium high heat and add butter and oil.  Add mushrooms and garlic and a pinch of salt and let cook until soft.  Add tomato paste (a bit of water, if needed), Turkish Baharat and cook until all softened.  Deglaze the pan with vermouth or white wine.

Serve immediately with bread or can be heated later or served at room temperature.

Enjoy!  Afiyet olsun arkadaş!