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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.