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All Our Fingers in the Pie

For the love of food...the love of creating...the love of eating...with friends

Updated: 2018-04-21T23:30:37.625-06:00


Rhubarb Semi-Freddo


 Rhubarb is the harbinger of spring. It was the first up in my garden. Even ahead of the chives. I have dutifully plucked the smallest, most tender stalks for this recipe. The larger stalks will be made into a rhubarb simple syrup and a rhubarb bitters for summer drinks and cocktails.

Rhubarb Semi-Freddo

2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 slices fresh ginger
2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
 4 purchased or homemade meringues

Line a loaf tin with kitchen plastic film. Put the chopped rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the sugar, ginger and 2 tablespoons water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the rhubarb and simmer for a few minutes until the rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape. Take off the heat and cool. Remove ginger pieces after cooling.

In a large bowl, whip the egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar over a pot of simmering water with a hand beater until stiff, then set aside. In another bowl, whisk the yolks with the icing sugar until they’re pale and starting to thicken. Heat the cream to scalding and temper the egg yolks with it. Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue to cook over low heat until thickened. Cool.

When completely cooled, mix the egg white meringue with the egg yolk and cream mixture. Stir in half the meringues, broken.

Gently spoon a third of the cream mixture into the prepared tin and freeze for 20-30 minutes or until  set. Keep the rest of the cream mixture in the fridge. Once it has set, take it out of the freezer and pour in half of the cooked rhubarb. Reserve a little of the cooked rhubarb for decorating later, if you like. Top with another third of the cream mixture and return to the freezer for another 30 minutes. Once this layer has set, add the remaining rhubarb, followed by a final layer of cream. Cover with cling film and put it back in the freezer for 2 hrs to firm up.

To serve, turn it out onto a serving plate and peel away the parchment. Decorate with any reserved rhubarb, the remaining meringue pieces and the candied ginger. Slice and serve immediately.

Spring and Candied Violets


I remember that as a child violets were one of my favourite flowers. We most often found them growing in virgin prairie grass in wooded areas. They are such a delicate sweet flower.

Years later I found candied violets at Harrod's in London and purchased a little packet of them. I don't know how you can even compare these hard candies to the delicate woodland flower. I tried to love the candies but I couldn't.

About seven years ago I moved back to Saskatchewan and purchased a little 1960's bungalow in a mature neighbourhood of a small prairie city. To my delight violets were growing in my backyard. That is the first time I candied my own. They have a delicate flowery fragrance that carries well through drying.

Candied Violets

dried egg powder
small artist's paint brush
parchment paper
fine granulated sugar

Pick the violets with their long stem. Be sure to pick from an area that has not been sprayed with chemicals.

Mix about a tablespoon of dried egg powder with a tablespoon or more of cold water until the powder is completely dissolved.

Dip the flowers into the egg mixture by holding onto the stem. Gently remove any excess egg white with the artist's brush. Clip the flower from the stem with scissors and drop it into dish of sugar. Coat flower with sugar and place on parchment paper to dry.

Dry completely, about 24 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Use as a garnish on cupcakes, cakes and ice creams and other desserts. They are edible.


Mushroom and Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



Confit of Duck


Confit of duck never grows old. The rich saltiness and flavourful meat is very satisfying. I cooked the three duck legs I found in my freezer. I have always been ultra concerned that the legs are completely submerged in duck fat but it isn't necessary. These are ready for shredding into risotto or a crisp salad. Or straight up with a side salad.

I used gray sea salt from France. It is a coarse salt that will draw out the moisture without leaving an overly salty flavour. If you don't have extra duck fat on hand (who would?) a good quality olive oil can be used.

Confit of Duck Legs

1/4 c. gray sea salt
1 tsp. crushed juniper berries
generous grating of black pepper
pinch of lavender buds
duck fat

Mix salt, juniper berries, pepper and lavender together and rub over the legs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days.

Brush off all the seasonings from the legs. Place in a baking pan one layer deep and add another cup of duck fat. Roast at 270 F for about 3 hours or until very tender.

Pack these in the fat and they will keep in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 weeks.

Chicken Paillards with White Wine Veloute


This is beyond satisfying. I must remember to make this more often. It comes together in minutes if you have the velouté ready to go. I will be keeping velouté ready made in the freezer for easy gourmet meals.

A Paillard is a thinly sliced then pounded piece of meat. With the chicken breast I slice it in half horizontally, then pound it very thinly. It cooks in a few minutes and stays juicy tender.

To keep all the flavour, sauté the chicken first and then deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine. Use the same pan throughout.

Chicken Paillards with White Wine Sauce

1 chicken breast
1/4 c. chicken velouté
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. dry white wine
sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
canola oil

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to lightly cover the bottom. Season the pounded chicken breast with sea salt and black pepper. Gently sauté until lightly browned on both sides. Don't turn it until the pan lets it go. When fully seared the pan will release the chicken and it will lift easily.

After browned on both sides and fully cooked, but not overcooked, remove the chicken to a serving plate.

Add wine to the pan and reduce to half. Add velouté and then the cream. Bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken paillards and serve immediately. Serves 1 or 2.

Chicken Velouté

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 c. homemade chicken stock

Melt butter. Stir in flour. Cook for a few minutes so there will be no raw flour flavour. Add hot stock and stir until completely mixed. Let simmer for about 45 minutes to develop flavour. Use immediately or freeze for future use.

Lamb Shank on White Beans


I finally have an afternoon with lots of time to make this slow cooked dinner. I took the lamb shank out of the freezer yesterday and it was nicely defrosted in the refrigerator. The beans were not soaked but it wasn't a problem. I soaked them for an hour in water that I brought to a boil then did the slow cook in beef stock. It worked well. I soaked them with a teaspoon of baking soda in the water. Then drained and rinsed before cooking in beef stock. Lots of rich flavour here. The lamb cooking liquid in this recipe is reminiscent of an Espagnole sauce, one of the five French style mother sauces. Jacob lamb is an heirloom breed originating in Israel and then moved throughout the world over the past century. The flock in the old country has dwindled and a couple from Abbotsford, who are neither shepherds or farmers, have taken on the task of repatriating them to Israel.  Ewes from a flock near Swift Current were purchased by this adventurous couple and they are reported by CBC News.   The New York Times also presented the story of these sheep from Canada. The couple reportedly slept with the prized sheep while they were in quarantine for several weeks.Silver Spirit Farm butchered the rams and are officially out of the shepherding business. This lamb/ram is mild, flavourful and tender. I adapted this recipe to cook the one lamb shank I had. Tom Valenti's Lamb Shanks  Tom was the first chef in New York City to serve this recipe. It is in his cookbook "Welcome to My Kitchen". 6 lamb foreshanks Coarse salt and pepper, to taste 3 tbsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil 2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped 1 carrot, roughly chopped 1 onion, roughly chopped 2 tbsp. tomato paste 5 sprigs of dried thyme 1 bay leaf 8 whole black peppercorns 1 tbsp. anchovy paste 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half crosswise 2 c. red wine 1 c. white wine 1/3 c. white-wine vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 3 c. beef stock Preheat oven to 325 F. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion; cook until very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, anchovies, and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add the wines, vinegar, and sugar; raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add the broths. Leave over medium heat while you brown the lamb shanks. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into a sauté pan. Over medium-high heat, brown the lamb shanks well on all sides, using tongs to flip them over. Transfer lamb shanks to a roasting pan and pour the braising liquid on top. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, turning the shanks over every half hour until the meat is very soft. Remove the shanks from the braising liquid and strain the liquid. Skim any fat that rises to the surface, then use the liquid as a sauce. Serve in shallow bowls atop White Bean Puree.  White Bean Puree        from Epicurious [...]

Kitchen Sink Granola


We jokingly call our stews and soups 'Kitchen Sink' because everything goes into them except the kitchen sink. This is exactly how I make my granola.

Granola is a simple formula - butter or other fat, sweetener, rolled oats or other grain and dried fruits and nuts.

Today I cleaned out 8 containers from my cupboard by using up these saved bits and pieces. I added toasted coconut, hazelnut praline, dates, dried mango, honey, vanilla, organic rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios and toasted almonds to my rolled oats.

The benefits of making your own granola are worth the once a month ritual. Fats, sugars and salt is lower resulting in lower calories and sodium per serving. You will have better quality oats and more of the good morsels. And no unknown additives.

Formula for Granola

10 c. old fashioned rolled oats, spelt flakes or any other grain flaked
1/2 c. butter, or any other fat such as coconut oil, canola oil, camelina oil
1/4 c. honey, or any other sweetener such as maple syrup or sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar or homemade jam
2-3 c. combination of chopped dried fruits and nuts
1 tsp. pure vanilla, or any other flavouring such as cinnamon or maple
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add sweetener, vanilla and sea salt.

Mound rolled oats, nuts, seeds and coconut on a 12 x 18 inch baking sheet. There is no need to grease the baking sheet. Pour the butter mixture over it all. Gently mix until everything is coated. Pat the mixture into the pan.

Cook at 325F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir so that browned edges are now in the centre of the pan and the unbrowned bottom layer is stirred up to the top. Pat down again. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until edges are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool, undisturbed.

Meanwhile put all the dried fruits in a large bowl. When the granola is completely cool add it to the dried fruits. Mix so as not to break up any chunks of oatmeal mixture. Store in a tightly sealed container or in freezer bags and in the deep freeze. Will keep for a month in the cupboard or three months in the freezer.

Golden Milk - On the Turmeric Trend for 2017



Curried Meatballs



Announcing Cooking Classes


I have two upcoming cooking classes. Find the information by clicking on this link.

Cooking Classes

Catalan Stew with the warm flavours of chocolate and cinnamon


A few years ago I spent Christmas in Paris. It was two weeks of bistros, fine dining and petits dejeuners. And Paris is where I saw the movie Julie and Julia! It was a rainy afternoon and cold so rather than walk and see more sights I chose the coziness of a movie theatre.

But I digress. I remember one meal in particular at a small quiet yet classy restaurant on Ile St. Louis which was within walking distance of my hotel. I ordered a simple beef stew however, it was anything but simple. The flavours were complex, well balanced, beef perfectly tender with hints of chocolate and orange. I didn't take notes but I thought it was perhaps a daube, a Provencal beef stew, yet I have not found a daub recipe with chocolate. This Catalan stew comes close to what I remember.

Catalan Stew

8 oz. pancetta or other unsmoked cured pork
1/3 c. quality cooking oil such as olive, camelina or organic canola
4 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2  medium sized yellow onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 c. beef stock
1 c. dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 - 4 inch cinnamon sticks
4 sprigs fresh thyme or dried
3 strips orange peel
3 tbsp. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
fresh Italian parsley, garnish

Turn oven to 350 F.

In an ovenproof pot add a tablespoon of the cooking oil and chopped pancetta. Saute until lightly browned. Remove to a bowl.

In three batches brown the beef in the same pan and adding more cooking oil as necessary. Remove to the same bowl as pancetta.

Deglaze pot with red wine vinegar. Add to beef mixture.

Add another tablespoon or two of cooking oil. On medium low heat saute onions and garlic until tender but not browned. Add meat back to pot. Add the rest of the ingredients except Italian parsley.

With the lid on the pot cook in the oven for about 2 hours or until beef is tender. Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Next day remove any congealed fat before warming to serve. Serve in heated bowls garnished with chopped Italian parsley. Or as I did, top a dollop of mashed potatoes with the stew and garnish with roasted baby carrots. Serves 8.


Preserved Lemons


When I left my home in a city of over a million people and moved to a town with only 16,000 souls I had to give up a lot when it came to ingredients and grocery choices. For this reason and because it is enjoyable I now make some of the things I can't buy in a local food store. Preserved lemons is one of those items.

Preserved lemons are commonly used in Moroccan cooking. I love Moroccan foods with their aromatic cinnamon, cardamom, saffron and rosewater. I often use Meyer lemons, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are sweeter and less acidic.

These preserved lemons will keep in the refrigerator for several months and I almost always have some on hand.

Preserved Lemons

1 jar with a tightly fitting lid
lemons to fill the jar
lemons to make juice to fill the jar
kosher salt

Slice the lemons into quarters without cutting completely through so they still hold in one piece.

Rub the cut edges with coarse salt and stuff into the jar until the jar is filled. Alternate with more coarse salt. End with more salt. Fill the jar with fresh squeezed lemon juice. Seal.

Leave the jar on the countertop for one or two days so the juice is more quickly released from the lemon. Then refrigerate for 2 - 4 weeks before using.

Cassoulet that won't take 3 days to make ...


A fast cassoulet is an oximoron of the greatest degree. There is really no such thing but this is a close facsimile. However, if you are like me, and crave confit of duck leg in it, then it will take a couple of days. Cassoulet is essentially a French stew and can be made with the meats, beans and lentils on hand. Pork, duck and lamb give it the best flavour but substituting beef for one of these is entirely acceptable. Unlike a typical stew where everything is thrown into the pot and cooked at the same time a good cassoulet will have the ingredients cooked separately and then mixed together for the final baking. I am cooking for myself and as a result my recipes often only feed one or two persons. Four at most. I only like to eat leftovers once and I have a decided dislike for most frozen food. A problem for those who rarely cook with duck or do not live in a large city is the lack of extra duck fat to make the confit. If you are starting with a whole duck it isn't such a problem. The fat from the rest of the duck can be rendered out to use it here. I have a blog post that describes how to render duck fat by clicking on this link How to Render Duck Fat. Another mild tasting oil can be used in the place of duck fat to make the confit. Canola oil is one option or a mild olive oil. If making duck confit isn't appealing, then simply sear a duck breast, dice and add to the dish instead. And if you are not using duck at all, then please use bacon and the rendered fat. Pork belly is delicious. This dish needs some flavourful fat. And your next question may be, "What do I serve with cassoulet?" Traditionally, nothing is served 'with' cassoulet. You may begin the meal with a crisp salad and of course, a light dessert to finish. Sarah's Cassoulet Serves 4. 1 duck breast or confit leg 2 lamb sausages 1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, cubed 1/2 c. navy beans 1 bay leaf 1 sprig thyme 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 c. French green lentils 1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/2 c. dry vermouth 1 tbsp. tomato paste 1 c. beef, chicken or duck stock 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs 2 tbsp. flatleaf parsley, finely chopped To Make the Duck Confit  kosher salt 1 cloves garlic, smashed 1 shallot, peeled and sliced 1 sprigs thyme Coarsely ground black pepper 1 duck legs with thighs About 1 cups duck fat Sprinkle salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Preheat the oven to 225 F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck. The duck pieces should be covered by fat. Place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Note: The duck fat can be strained and reused. To Make the Beans Soak the beans overnight in cold water (soaking is optional, but makes the texture creamier and the cooking time shorter). Drain, rinse again, and put in a large saucepan or 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch (more, if you didn’t soak them). Add the onion, thyme, rosemary, savory (if using), bay[...]

Potato Latkes


Today is the last day of Hanukkah and as feasts unfold in homes across the continent one dish is sure to be served. But it isn't the potato that is significant, it is the oil. When the Jerusalem Temple was recaptured and reconsecrated there was only enough oil to last for a day. Miraculously the oil burned and provided light for eight nights.  That was enough time to make more oil.

Potato latkes are best served right out of the pan and onto the plate. Potatoes are traditional but latkes are also made with sweet potatoes. Serve with applesauce and sour cream. Small latkes are perfect for serving with creme fraiche and caviar.

Potato Latkes

2 pounds large russet (baking) potatoes (about 4)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large onion (1 pound)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250 F with rack in upper third.

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate into a bowl using large teardrop-shaped holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk. Add lemon juice and toss to coat.

Coarsely grate onion into same bowl. Transfer to a kitchen towel (not terry cloth), then gather up corners to form a sack and twist tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible.

Wipe bowl clean, then return potatoes and onion to bowl and stir in flour, eggs, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt until just combined.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Fill a 1/4-cup measure halfway with latke mixture and carefully spoon it into skillet, then flatten to 3 inches in diameter with a slotted spatula.

Form 5 more latkes in skillet and fry until undersides are deep golden, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. If latkes brown too quickly, reduce heat to medium. Turn over and fry until deep golden on the other side, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then transfer to a metal rack set in a baking pan and keep warm in oven. Make more latkes.

Latkes can be kept warm in oven up to 1 hour.



 Well, hello! It has been several months since I have posted on my blog. Life was very busy. All summer long I am vending at the local farmers' market.

Every week I make 70 loaves of  bread, almost 200 scones, 60 hand pies and other sundry and varied items. I dabbled in organic salad dressings. They were moderately successful. I had a few regular customers but mostly it was a hard sell to get them out of the cooler. My hummus, on the other hand, was a hit. It is the creamiest. I have a secret recipe to achieve this creamy texture. And it sold very well.

Then I moved right into Christmas markets. I travelled to larger cities with my gourmet marshmallows and my wild picked berry jams. Both are quite special. It was so nice to get out of town. I had an opportunity to meet new customers, fellow vendors and dine out at new and wonderful restaurants. I'll be doing that again next season.

Christmas baking is completed, almost. I only have a batch of cinnamon buns to bake in the morning. And now I am footloose and fancy free. Well, almost. I am now involved with a trio, including me, making fine dining meals as a pop-up restaurant. We have only delivered one event so far but another two are in the offing.

No rest for the wicked, they say.

Tonight I roasted a little Cornish Game Hen for myself. I dug through my pantry and came up with a wild rice, morel and shallot stuffing. Tossed in celeriac, potato and baby carrots. Finally taking time to make myself some good food.

Stay tuned. I'll be sharing more recipes and ideas this winter.


Played with my food tonight and this is what I made ...


Today was opening day for our farmers' market season. There were a few changes and I have new helpers so it was with a touch of anxiety that I awoke this morning to do it all over again.

I wish I had taken a few pictures. The market was flooded with happy people anxious to buy our offerings. I love market day. After a week of kitchen work it is time to meet your buyers face to face and enjoy a bit of camaraderie.

Tonight I played with food that arrived in my foraged food box from northern Saskatchewan. What a grand meal.

The burn morels were prime. Large, dry and not wormy. They made a flavourful risotto. Dandelion greens are heavy in the dietary fibre so no need to make a lot. Their bitter flavour complimented the risotto. And I have about 6 dozen quail eggs. It was fun to poach a couple. But seriously, they only take a minute. Quail eggs taste like chicken eggs but they proportionately have a large yolk.

Satisfying simple dinner.

Phyllo Balkan Feta Torte with Spring Herbs


I recently visited a new business in Moose Jaw, SK  -  Coteau Hills Creamery. There are precious few cheese makers in this province so the opening was an event to be celebrated. I came home with their Balkan style feta. It is softer and saltier than the Greek style but just as versatile. Here is a bit about Kirby and Crystal, the owners: The British Columbia wine industry was good to Kirby and Crystal Froese but after almost two decades it was time to return home to Saskatchewan. “We really wanted to come back to our hometown of Moose Jaw to be with our families. Our nieces and nephew were growing up fast, our parents were getting older, too,” shares Kirby. It didn’t take long for their entrepreneurial spirit to resurface and after researching various opportunities cheese making seemed like a natural transition from wine making. “Time, temperature, pH, hygiene and patience are elements of both businesses.” They are a dynamite combination to have their own small business. Kirby was the winemaker and Crystal worked in communications and marketing. They opened the Coteau Hills Creamery with a 750 litre (200 gal) batch pasteurizer/cheese vat. Local milk is delivered every second day from Caroncrest Farms at Caronport, SK and two other local dairies. Milk is pumped directly into the vat and is held at 63 C (145 F) for 30 minutes before it is processed into cheese. As production increases milk will be delivered daily. Kirby and Crystal are setting their sights on distributing their cheese throughout the country. In order to be federally registered to sell outside of the province, a “Certificate of Analysis” must accompany all the ingredients and come from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency registered facility. Their first cheese is a Balkan style feta and will be available soon. It is softer and creamier than a Greek feta and saltier. Next they plan to experiment with other small batch handmade cheeses without using additives to increase yield or add colour. A hamburger cheddar and a brie style are in the works. They are also working on a saskatoon berry rubbed tomme style cheese, which has a lower butterfat content, firmer and with a rind, for release in August. Phyllo Balkan Feta Torte With Spring Herbs This is much ligher than a dip and can be heaped with microgreens for a dramatic effect. Serve with crostini or crackers, if you wish. 1 c. fresh whole-milk ricotta 250 mL 3/4 c. Coteau Hills Creamery Balkan style feta 175 mL 2 large eggs 1/3 c. chopped soft spring herbs or baby greens (any combination of dill, mint, sorrel, chives, dandelion, parsley, arugula) or pesto 75 mL 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 2 mL 1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted 75 mL 1 box phyllo dough, thawed overnight in refrigerator Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). In a large bowl, combine ricotta, feta, egg, herbs and pepper. Brush 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) spring form pan with some of the melted butter. Drape 2 sheets of phyllo on top of Bundt pan. Do this with 2 more sheets placed perpendicular to the first 2 sheets. Continue adding phyllo sheets in this crisscross manner until all sheets are used. Edges of phyllo should hang over edges of pan. Scrape half of the ricotta filling into pan. Spread pesto over the cheese. Spoon the rest of the ricotta mixture on top. Fold edges of phyllo over filling. Using a sharp knife, poke at least 10 holes in dough that reach all the way to bottom of pan. Slowly pour melted butter over torte. Some butter will seep through holes and some will remain on top of dough. Place pan on a baking sheet an[...]

Spring is Rhubarb Time


I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. Rhubarb in the spring was a staple but we never had any on our farm. I pined for rhubarb pie and did not learn how to make one until years later. This is another version that I thought I would try.  The crust is a butter crust rather than a lard crust. It has a meringue. A nice variation from the standard. [...]

Now This is a Yorkshire Pudding



Poached Steelhead Trout with Lemon Risotto


During the World Women's Curling Championships here in Swift Current I was sourcing a lot of local food for the opening banquet. One of the items we picked up for the banquet was steelhead trout from Lucky Lake. Wild West Steelhead has a wonderful farm on Lake Diefenbaker. Their fish is very good. Not only is it delicious and fresh they know how to farm fish and be kind to the environment. The fish food is government approved. The eggs are neutered so the fish cannot reproduce, if by chance any escape. I was immediately impressed by the texture of the fish. It is firm and cooks to flake easily. I think I'll be making that two and a half hour trip over bad country roads at least once a year from now on. For the banquet the fish was cured and made into gravlax, sliced thinly and added to the starter salad. Poaching fish is highly under-rated. Poaching is especially convenient in the summer. The fish can be cooked ahead of time and chilled to be served cold or at room temperature. Serve with a homemade mayonnaise or aioli. I have also included a very easy slow cooker poached version. [...]

Soba Noodle Salad with White Miso Dressing


Salads are the crunchy version of a soup or stew. They can be made with whatever is at hand. My month of crunchy salads is on day 6. There is no real recipe today. Just an inspiration.

I have a few leftovers from previous meals so they came together in this salad with the addition of cold soba noodles. Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Finely chopped kale, romaine and green onions were tossed with cold cooked soba noodles and yesterdays salad dressing Miso, Carrot and Sesame Dressing. Garnished with spicy pepitas and sea buckthorn berries. Nutrition overload.

Miso, Carrot and Sesame Dressing



Curried Couscous and Sidestripe Prawn Salad


Serving only sustainably harvested seafood is very important to me. BC sidestripe shrimp is ethically and sustainably harvested. It is a top choice of the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program. Always look for their logo on any fish or seafood you purchase.

A long time ago when I was in real estate sales one of my clients was from mainland China. Every time his entourage came into town we had a feast at his partner's restaurant. That is when I first learned to eat shell-on shrimp. Now it is the only way I want it.

Curried Couscous and Sidestripe Prawn Salad

1/2 cup cooked couscous
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
2 teaspoons peach chutney
1/2 small head of romaine lettuce
8 side stripe prawns
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
olive oil
sea salt

Wash and crisp romaine leaves. Leave them whole.

Cook couscous according to package instructions. When finished add curry powder, corn kernels and one teaspoon of chutney. Stir to mix. Season with sea salt to taste. Set aside

Toss prawns with smoked paprika and add to a hot pan that has been oiled with olive oil. Turn once and cook until done.

Prepare salad by laying 2-4 romaine leaves on a plate. Fill with couscous. Top with sauteed prawns. Serve immediately. Serves one.


Black Kale Salad with Navy Beans


It is Crunch Challenge month. Eat a crunchy salad every day for a month. I committed to posting every day whether it was pretty or not. Today I dined a little later and the natural sunlight was fading. That makes it difficult for taking a good picture. But here it is.

I enjoyed this salad but could have thought it through a little more. The pine nuts are the same size, colour and shape as the navy beans. They taste good together but not very eye appealing. I was considering saskatoon berries to sweeten the bitter kale but took the lazy way out and used some pomegranate jelly that was hiding in my refrigerator. It worked very well. Shaved parmesan would be ideal but I had none.

The dried navy beans were cooked in my pressure cooker with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda added to the water. Cooked for 5 minutes from the time full pressure was reached and they were perfect. The outer skins separated and rose to the top of the water. Skimming these off will solve your problem with flatulence and beans.

 My sea salt comes from an artisanal producer operating on Salt Spring Island. Canadian flavoured sea salt! Yay! The brand name is Salt Spring Sea Salt. This is pure with only balsamic and garlic added to pure sea salt.

I rarely use bacon fat. I don't like the flavour and idea of all the sulphites and additives. However, I was fortunate to find a pastured pig that was made into old style bacon. So delicious. I could not waste a drop of that liquid gold.

Black Kale Salad with Navy Beans

3 or 4 leaves of black kale, rib stripped out and leaves chopped
1 tablespoon good quality bacon fat
1/4 cup cooked navy beans
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
balsamic garlic sea salt
pomegranate jelly

Saute kale in bacon fat until just tender. Arrange on serving plate. Top with navy beans and pine nuts. Season with balsamic flavoured sea salt and pomegranate jelly. Serves one.