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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Italian Countryside for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the MLCC


Tonight I will be presenting the following dishes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.    I'm really loving this Bruschetta recipe (see tomato coulis).  Roasted tomato/shallot focaccia is rising in the pan.
(Tuscan Squash Salad)

1. 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.

2. Bruschetta
4 medium tomatoes
4+ oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic,
2-3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch basil
dash of crushed red chilies
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients and chill.  Spread over Italian bread that has been toasted with olive oil and garlic. 

Enjoy!

3. Karen's Beef Lasagna

1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
2 lbs ground beef
1 tbs olive oil
8 large oven roasted tomatoes or large can of tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepot, brown ground meat in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to pot and slowly brown onions. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Purée sauce and add dried porcini mushrooms and meat back to the sauce. Simmer until well incorporated.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.


4. Drunken Figs

1 package of dried figs
red wine such as Lambrusco works great as it is a sweet wine to begin with, but merlot, shiraz, zinfandel or pinot noir would work great too!


Place dried figs in a glass bowl, cover with wine. Place in fridge. DONE

Enjoy on their own, with ice cream, pound or angel food cake, etc.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Turkey Schnitzel and Tomato Coulis for CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  

Make Thanksgiving easy but full of flavour!  
(from top:  Turkey schnitzel, garlic roasted potatoes with yoghurt tahini, squash and pear with Frangelico, Carrot Thoren, tomato coulis and centre cranberry relish)

Turkey Schnitzel

1 turkey breast (for 3-4 servings) (available at Millad’s)
~1 cup Corn Flakes crumbs or Panko or combination
½ tsp grated nutmeg
smoked paprika (optional) (available at Millad’s)
salt and pepper
1-2 eggs
½ cup milk
2-3 tbs butter
drizzle olive oil

Cut the turkey breast into even slices across the grain, cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and pound flat without shredding the meat.

Mix egg and milk in one bowl and crumbs and seasonings in another bowl. 

Dip pounded meat into egg/milk wash and then cover in crumbs.  Sauté in medium-high heat pan with butter and olive oil. 

Serve immediately with your favourite toppings, cranberry sauce, chutney or try a tomato coulis.

Enjoy!

Tomato Coulis

4 medium tomatoes
4+ oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic,
2-3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch basil
dash of crushed red chilies
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients and chill.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Relish

 In a food processor or blender, combine the following ingredients until a fine relish consistency.

1 pkg cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice or 1-2 chopped peel-on oranges
2-4oz Frangelico or Disorrono liquor
scant cup sugar

Chill and serve with Turkey, sandwiches, curries, etc.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Mediterranean Tour with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy Foodie Series with host Karin Lind of the APC and Scott Strizic of the MLCC.   These can be made in advance if you are planning something special for Thanksgiving.


1. Toenail of a dog - Köpeğoğlu

1 globe eggplant
1 red pepper
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup tahini
1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs dried oregano
Salt and pepper

Wash the eggplant and prick all over with a fork. Drizzle oil over eggplant, whole pepper and the white of the leek. Roast in a hot BBQ, turning occasionally. Remove eggplant when soft. Remove red pepper when blackened and leek when soft and caramelized. Cube eggplant with skin on. Peel blackened skin off of pepper and chop. Slice leek into thin rounds. Mix all ingredients together and chill until serving. Serve with French bread or a baguette.

Enjoy!



2. Spanish Tapa Potato wedges with roasted garlic dip

3 lb potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp salt

Roasted Garlic Dip
2 garlic bulbs, roasted
1 tbs olive oil
5 tbs sour cream
4 tbs mayonnaise
hot smoked paprika, to taste
salt

Roast the garlic for 25 minutes at 350ºF until caramelized. Let cool enough to handle. Squeeze out and mash. Mix in a bowl with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Season with salt and paprika. Chill.

For the potatoes, cut each potato half into 3 wedges and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic and salt and toss well. Transfer to a roasting pan and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 1- 1/14 hours, or until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with roasted garlic dip.

Enjoy!


3. Moroccan Beef Tajine

1 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.

Enjoy!


4. French Profiteroles

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts.  Set aside.

Cut each profiterole in half, fill with whipped cream or lemon curd or ice cream.  Close and drizzle with chocolate sauce. 


Friday, October 03, 2014

Moroccan Fare for the Foodie Series


On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of presenting the following recipes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.  Bonnie Tulloch presented on the country's rich vegetation and spices and Jody Twomey, of the MLCC, presented beverage pairings and a welcome beverage.
The recipes are from Paula Wolfert's, The Food of Morocco.  It is an invaluable resource.

Reception Beverage; Moroccan Cider

1. Beet Salad I and II
Paired with Pelee Island Pinot Noir VQA, $13.95 and XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel, $15.99

1 lb Beets
1 tb Sugar
1 Lemon; juice of
1 tb Olive oil
1 lg Pinch of cinnamon
1 tb Chopped parsley
Salt; to taste

Wash beets well, being careful not to break their skins. Cut off the
tops, leaving a stalk of about 1 1/2". Boil in a 3 quart saucepan
until tender, covered. Allow the water to cool, then slip off the
skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the beets. Let marinate
for 1 hour before serving.

Beet Salad II: Prepare as described above, but add 1 tsp. orange
flower water, 1/8 tsp. cumin, a pinch of paprika, and a little water
to the sauce.

2. Eggplant Salad, Rabat Style
Paired with Junta Momento Res Viogner/Sauv Blanc, $14.99

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic, peeled and slivered
2 tbs chopped parsley
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs olive oil (or less)
1-2 tbs lemon juice
pinch salt

Stud the eggplant with garlic slivers, using a pairing knife to cut slits into the eggplant. Bake at 400ºF until very soft. Remove from oven to cool when darkened and "collapsed".

When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the flesh of the eggplant into a sieve. Discard liquid and skin of eggplant.

Mash or push the eggplant and garlic through a food mill (avoid a blender as it won't give you the desired effect).

Add the chopped herbs and spices and mix well. Fry in the olive oil over moderate heat, turning often until all of the liquid has evaporated and the eggplant has been reduced to a thick black jam, about 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Serve warm or slightly cooled.

Try with grape tomatoes and good toasted pita bread.

Enjoy!

3. Chicken Tajine with prunes and almonds
Paired with Shock Top Spiced Pumpkin Ale, 12 pkB, $22.26

1 chicken – (3 1/2 lbs)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup prunes
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole blanched almonds
vegetable oil for frying

Rub all the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for one hour.

Soak prunes if very dry.

Place onions in a wide shallow casserole with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Brown the almonds in 4-5 tbs oil in a large skillet and drain on paper towels. Brown the chicken evenly on all sides in the oil and transfer to the steamed onions. Cover with parchment paper and cook in tajine on the lowest heat for about 1 1/4 hours.

Discard the parchment paper. Add the prunes and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. Serve with almonds sprinkled on top.

4. Moroccan Haroset (Charoset)
Paired with House of Mandela Cab Sauv, $12.15

1 lb blanched almonds
1 lb pitted dates
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 tsp ground good cinnamon, plus ½ cup for rolling
¼ tsp ground ginger

The day before, finely grind almonds in a food processor. Add the dates, apples and 1 tsp cinnamon and the ginger and continue pulsing until the apples are chopped into tiny pieces and the mixture comes together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, shape the mixture into balls the size of a large marble. Put the ½ cup cinnamon in a bowl and roll the balls in it.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Scallops 2 ways for CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

Today on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Host Terry MacLeod, Nova Scotia Scallops two ways!
These buttery Scallop pillows are available at Gimli Fish.  So easy to prepare and so delicious.  Perfect for the last kick at Summer!

 

Scallop Ceviche

1 lb Nova Scotia scallops, quartered
1 cup grape tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 green or red Serrano chiles, seeded and minced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
salt, to taste
3 tbs finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 16 hours.

Spoon the ceviche into small glasses and garnish with cilantro.


Seared Scallops

As an appetizer, 2-4 per person, as an entrée, 4-6 per person

Dry scallops off on a paper towel to remove moisture.  On a plate, mix ground sumac, salt and pepper and dip each scallop on two sides into the spice blend. 

In a hot pan, melt 1-2 tbs butter.  Sear scallops for  1-2 minutes on each side.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Italian Countryside with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC


 Tonight I will be presenting the following dishes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC.  The Foodie Series is available through the City of Winnipeg Leisure Guide and the park.

Bran Adams, of the APC, will be presenting information on the vegetation indicated by these recipes and beverage pairings will be provided by Kelly Burton,  Product Consultant of the MLCC.  

I just pulled a shallot focaccia out of the oven to serve with the salad and Caponatina.

1. Tuscan Squash Salad
Paired with Villa Vulcan Catarratto, $12.73

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.

2. Caponatina di Melanzane(A very popular dish for antipasto.)
(Sicilian eggplant relish)
Paired with Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, $22.47 (YUM)

This is one of Sicily’s most popular and versatile eggplant dishes. You can eat it with bread, as part of an antipasto, or as a side dish with hot or cold meats or fish. This is the original recipe from Palermo. A caponatina is a “small” caponata.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
600g meaty eggplants
Salt
6-8 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery hearts (inner heads only), cut into little chunks
5 - 7 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup pitted green olives
1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 ripe but firm pears, cored, peeled and sliced
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1-2 tbs white sugar
50ml white wine vinegar

Ideally you want the pale violet type of eggplant, without too many seeds. Cut the eggplants into cubes the size of a walnut. Immerse in salted water for 1 hour, then drain, squeezing the water out. Pat the eggplants cubes dry.

Heat about 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the eggplant cubes until golden. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Adding more oil to the pan if necessary, fry the onion until soft, then fry all the other ingredients, apart from the sugar and vinegar. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add the eggplant to the mixture with the sugar and wine vinegar. Taste for salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Caponata can be eaten warm but it is also delicious cold.

3. Karen's Beef Lasagna
Paired with Frappato DOC Vittoria, $22.47

1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
2 lbs ground beef
1 tbs olive oil
8 large oven roasted tomatoes or large can of tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepot, brown ground meat in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to pot and slowly brown onions. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Purée sauce and add dried porcini mushrooms and meat back to the sauce. Simmer until well incorporated.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.


Karen's Vegetable Lasagna

1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
4 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups medium diced zucchini
3 red peppers, seeded and diced
1 tbs olive oil
1 large can tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
2 large onions, diced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepot, sauté onions in olive oil over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until soft. Add zucchini and peppers and cook until soft. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Simmer until well incorporated.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.

4. Drunken Figs
Paired with Blandy's Alvada 5 year old Madeira, $12.99

1 package of dried figs
red wine such as Lambrusco works great as it is a sweet wine to begin with, but merlot, shiraz, zinfandel or pinot noir would work great too!


Place dried figs in a glass bowl, cover with wine. Place in fridge. DONE

Enjoy on their own, with ice cream, pound or angel food cake, etc.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lapsang Souchon poached Steelhead Trout for CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Host Terry MacLeod, I presented the following elegant lunch items.  Lapsang Souchon Poached Steelhead Trout and Pancetta, peas and mint pasta.

Lapsang Souchon Poached Steelhead Trout

2 fillets Steelhead Trout (or Wild Sockeye Salmon)

1 l Lapsang Souchon Tea (Available in most Asian markets, tea shops such as Cornelia Bean), steeped and cooled
1/2 cup Mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
good drizzle good sesame oil (I like Kadoya, found in Asian markets)
1/4 + soy sauce
1tbs sugar

Mix marinade/poaching liquid when tea is steeped and cooled.  Place fillets in marinade after scoring the skin to prevent curling the fillet in poaching.  Leave skin on to keep fish moist.  It can be removed after cooking.

Let marinate over night or for a few hours.

Pour poaching liquid into a pan large enough to hold the fillets.  Bring to boil and then simmer the fillets for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve hot with reduced poaching liquid or chill for a luncheon.  Garnish with chives or chopped green onions. 
Pancetta, Peas and Mint Pasta
 (serves 3)
5-10 Strips Pancetta, cut into smaller strips
1 cup peas (frozen)
few sprigs fresh mint, chopped or shredded
chilies, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch nutmeg
few tablespoons cream
drizzle olive oil
cooked pasta (I used shells but farfalle is traditional)
grated parmesan


In a sauté pan, heat oil and add pancetta and garlic and cook over medium heat.  Add some spoons of pasta water to soften if too crisp.  Add peas and remaining ingredients.  Toss together with pasta and grate cheese over top.  Enjoy!