Yellow Split Pea Soup with smoked Berkshire hock (Wildfire Farms)
1 onion, chopped
1 smoked pork hock (available at Wildfire Farms at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market, Zinn Farms)
1 tbs olive oil
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cups yellow lentils (try varieties such as green split peas, red lentils, etc.)
1 tbs Cajun spices (equal parts hot smoked paprika, cumin, and chipotle)
1 tsp salt (to taste)
Pepper, to taste
4-6 cups water or broth
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, Smoked Ham Hock. Sauté until soft. Add lentils and stir through. Add water or broth and bring to a boil. DO NOT ADD SALT YET!
When the meat on the hock is tender to fall off of the bone, remove from the pot, and piece out the meat, discarding the skin and bones. You may, at this time, choose to purée the soup and adjust the liquid content. Lentils will continue to expand so allow for that when adjusting for thickness of soup. Chop up meat and add back to soup if using meat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy on a cold day with some hot toast on the side.
Crusty Rustic Bread Recipe (easy bread recipe with great results from Inn at the Crossroads in Game of Thrones)
3 cups of water
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Coarse Salt
1 /1/2 Tablespoons of Yeast (2 packets)
1-2 Tbs. honey
6 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (I use Prairie Flour from Elie, MB for this recipe)
Flour to dust dough ball
Run your tap until the water is warm, just about body temperature. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Add the yeast and honey to the water and mix it up. Don’t worry if all the yeast does not dissolve; it will finish mixing in the flour. At this point, add the flour and salt and begin working into the mixture. You can use a spoon, but will probably have to dig in with your hands to finish the job.
Shake some extra flour out on the counter. To knead the dough, dump it out onto a clean, floured countertop. Knead for around 5 minutes, pushing with the heel of your hand, then gathering the dough back into a lump. Add a little flour at a time as needed if the dough is too sticky. Knead until the dough becomes one big mass; You will know when the dough is ready by poking it: if the dough bounces back, you’re all set.
Now place your dough into a clean bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit in a warm place for about 2 hours. You can also let it rise overnight by putting it in the refrigerator, where it will rise more slowly. You can even let the dough sit in the fridge for a couple of days, at which point it will begin to take on a slight sourdough taste.
Once your dough has at least doubled in size you are ready to form it into loaves. Divide the dough into thirds. This is the only time you really handle the dough. You need to pull it down to form a ball, tucking all the ends in at the bottom. The ball should be semi smooth.
Now, sprinkle a dash of cornmeal on a baking sheet and place the dough on top. The corn meal keeps the bread from sticking. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Before putting the bread in the oven, dust the top with a bit of flour and make some light slices into the dough for that artisan look. You can make the loaves any shape you like, although a larger loaf will take longer to bake.
One final trick to a nice loaf of rustic bread is to make the crust crusty. To achieve this, fill a second baking dish or a broiler pan with water and place it under the rack where your bread will go. The steam from the water adds a nice crunch to the loaf. Place your risen loaves in the oven, close the door, and bake for around 30 minutes to start. The crust should have a dark brown color, and the loaves should sound hollow when you tap them.
You will be tempted to break into the hot bread, but if you can stand to wait, it will give the bread a chance to really settle into perfection. Serve the bread sliced, plain, with seasoned olive oil, honey, or your favorite butter.
Seared Tuna Sandwich
2 slices Rustic Loaf (above recipe, or, wonderful sourdough bread from Old Church Bakery at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market)
1 Wild Caught Ahi Tuna Steak (Available at Gimli Fish)
1 generous tbs favourite spice blend for coating tuna (I used a smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle blend today)
Favourite sandwich toppings: I’m using pesto, a little mayo, Dijon Mustard, cheese, etc.
Coat tuna steak in spices (or sesame seeds, pepper, dried herbs, etc.). Heat pan to medium-high to high heat. Add sesame or olive oil and sear tuna steak on each side for 1 minute. Remove steak from heat and let rest.
Toast bread and prepare with your favourite fillings. Cut tuna steak to fit into sandwich, wrap and enjoy your lunch!
Gluten Free Lunch!
Corn Tortillas (Available at Dino’s Grocery Mart on Notre Dame)
Assorted microgreens (available at Fresh Forage Microgreens Sunday at The Forks Farmer’s Market)
Cooked Quinoa (available at Tamarack Farms at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market)
Salsa (try the recipe below with Farmer’s market offerings: Late Summer Salsa Mexicana (served with toasted tortillas)
Options: black beans, refried beans, cheese, etc.
Bring ingredients for lunch, lightly toast the tortillas in a toaster or toaster oven, and assemble. Enjoy!
Late Summer Salsa Mexicana
Makes about 2 cups
1 small white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/4 cup)
1 red mirasol or jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded (if you wish) and finely chopped
1 pound late summer tomatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh herbs, lemon verbana, chives, cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off), or any combination of herbs you may like
Juice of 1 lime
Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold tap water, shake off the excess and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the mirasol chile, tomatoes, herbs and lime. Stir well, taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon. This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.