Friday, August 30, 2013

Green beans with camelina oil and hemp seeds

A big handful of green beans
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp camelina oil
1/4 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp hemp seeds

Pour the water into a skillet. Bring to a boil. Drop in the green beans and place the lid. The water needn't cover the beans as they will primarily cook by steam. After 3-4 minutes, test a fat bean to see if it's cooked to your liking.

When the beans are cooked, pour off remaining water. Back on the burner, add the camelina oil, salt and hemp seeds. Cook on high, stirring, until the beans are shiny and the hemp seeds slightly toasted.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zucchini Quiche with Flower Power

Those who follow my blog may know that zucchini is my favourite summer vegetable:
5) it grows without fail in my garden in Saskatchewan
4) the flowers are big and sunny
3) it produces a ton of zucchini (well, a slight exaggeration)
2) it can be cooked in so many different ways (such as this simple quiche recipe)
1) the flowers are edible, too!

Zucchini Quiche
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp other mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano)
2 medium zucchini, cut in rounds and quartered
1/4 cup chopped orach (or spinach)
Parmesan cheese, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) square
Cheddar cheese, about 1 inch (2 cm) square
1 pie crust in a tarte pan
5 eggs
Salt & pepper
8-10 johnny-jump-up flowers

Heat the butter in a skillet. Sauté the onion and herbs until soft. Add the zucchini and orach. Cook a few more minutes, until the zucchini is just tender.

Meanwhile, grate the cheese and spread evenly in the pie crust.

Crack the eggs into a bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir in the zucchini mixture. Pour over the cheese. Dot with the flowers, pressing each one lightly into the egg.

Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until the centre of the quiche is set and the pastry is lightly brown.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Crab Apple Jelly

These lovely little crab apples gave the juice a beautiful colour, which produced a deep hued jelly. There was plenty of natural pectin to create the jell. In the second batch (the shorter jars) I added two sprigs of rosemary to flavour the jelly for roasts and port chops, one of my favourite uses for apple jelly. I love it on toast with bacon, too!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cool Springs Ranch Dinner

Talk about customer appreciation! Cool Spring Ranch in scenic Saskatchewan parkland hosted 250 customers for a Farm to Fork Dinner featuring the meat raised on their farm along with the products of their neighbours.

We took a flatbed tour of their farm then sat down to wonderful dinner cooked by Chef Remi Cousyn of Calories Restaurant in Saskatoon.




Cool Springs Ranch is an inspiration in holistic and natural farming and in building a sustainable rural community of likeminded food producers. Read more on their website.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Canadian Food Project - A Regional Food Hero

It would be cliché to say Marc Loiselle is outstanding in his field. But he definitely is. Marc is an organic farmer from Vonda, Saskatchewan, and passionate champion of the historic wheat called Red Fife.

Red Fife was bred on a farm near Peterborough, Ontario (by a farmer named Fife), and was so successful it spread across the North American plains. It was the first wheat grown by many of the settlers to Saskatchewan, my great great great grandfather among them.

Red Fife had all but disappeared but, thanks to Marc's persistence, it is now grown in such quantities that this heritage variety has been "saved" for future generations. It was the first Canadian entry in Slow Food's Ark of Taste and, in 2004, Marc presented Red Fife – in the form of bread – at the first Terra Madre symposium in Turin, Italy.

Red Fife has a loyal following among bakers who appreciate its strong nutty flavour. I appreciate it for the heritage it represents, the hopes and dreams of so many pioneers who settled the prairies, and the tenacity of outstanding farmers like Marc Loiselle.

Rhubarb Red Fife Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Red Fife whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups small chopped rhubarb
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Toss in the rhubarb. In another bowl, blend well the sugar and oil. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the rhubarb mixture, stirring just until it is incorporated. Spoon the batter into a greased or lined muffin tin. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle a bit on each muffin. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes.

To learn more about Red Fife or to order some Red Fife grain/flour, visit the Loiselle farm website.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crab Apple Jelly for Everyone

Well, every one of my sisters... Back when the weather was cooler, I promised to make apple jelly for all three of them. Well, the day has arrived. Actually, three days. Day #1 pick the apples (sister in law's mother's tree). Day #2 chop the apples, boil them down and drain the juice overnight. Day #3 add sugar and boil to the gel stage - which took forever. Then into jars. Then onto a piece of toasted and buttered baguette...

The real reward will be my sister Maureen's apple jelly jam jams. Yummm. Well, I deserve them!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Dinner Menu

A picture of summer: zucchini flowers, stuffed with cheese and herbs, sizzling crisp in a skillet.

My friend Jenni and her guy Hal came for dinner last night. Jenni is a chef and caterer who loves to use fresh and wild ingredients, so of course I had to try to impress. I love this time of year when every course starts in my garden or the local farmers' market. Here's the menu, perfect for a summer evening in Saskatchewan:

Lemon sorbet with raspberries
Zucchini flowers, chard, herbs - my garden
Flat Iron steak - Benlock Farms, Saskatoon Farmers' Market
Arugula - Floating Gardens, Saskatoon Farmers' Market
Raspberries - my friend Gwen (across the back alley)
Ravioli - homemade with eggs from Cool Springs Ranch
Sorbet - the grocery store

Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Pulse of Food Day Canada

Pulse : the edible seeds of various crops (as peas, beans or lentils) of the legume family; Middle English puls, probably from Anglo-French puuiz gruel, from Latin pult-, puls, probably from Greek poltos.
First known use: 13th century. -- Miriam Webster online

Best known use: Food Day Canada dinner at Boffins Club on Thursday evening!

Steelhead trout with chickpea crust and a dill & lentil cracker

Rosehip seared breast of duck with mustard lentil pickle and a stook of romaine with a camelina birch balsamic vinaigrette

Calico baked beans with cherry-honey braised pork belly and a crostini with Herschel Hills Cendres de Prairie cheese

Rhubarb crème brulée, truffle mousse on a black bean brownie (wrapped in chocolate), fried vanilla bannock and
seabuckthorn compote 
Thanks to Saskatchewan Pulse Growers for inviting me to this lovely dinner to celebrate Food Day Canada and two food celebrities, Anita Stewart (founder of Food Day Canada) and Al Slinkard, university plant scientist and indefatigable promoter of pulse crops in Saskatchewan. It was a memorable and inspiring event!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 Breakfast, lunch and dinner!