Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas from around the world with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC


Tonight I will be presenting the following recipes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC on the theme of Christmas from around the world.  I did suggest local Golden Caviar as an option for the Latkes but, alas, it is no longer available in Canada.  It is all shipped to Europe and they won't make a local run as packaging costs too much.  

Bonnie Tulloch, of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, will be presenting on the different plants represented in the foods and Jody Twomey of the Manitoba Lotteries and Liquor will be presenting beverage pairings.  Enjoy!  Happy Holidays! 


1. Caramelized Shallot Tarts, a taste of Provence

Shallots
port or wine
rosemary or thyme
drizzle olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take the skins and ends off of the shallots and place them in a shallow baking dish. Add remaining ingredients and bake at 350�F oven for up to one hour or until the shallots are soft. Enjoy in a number of options or as a garnish to meats and vegetables or, combine with Okanagan Cherry reduction in tarts:

Dried Okanagan Cherry reduction
1 cup tart dried Okanagan cherries *
1 cup port
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbs butter
1 cup dry red wine or port
Soak cherries in port over night or for several hours.
In a sauce pan, heat soaked cherries and add wine or port and rosemary. Bring to a boil and add butter. Remove from heat and pur�e. Use on tarts or as a drizzle for meats or poultry.

2. Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

Potato pancakes are served in Germany, Russia, many parts of Eastern Europe and Israel.  They can be found in Christmas markets and homes.

3 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 onion, shredded
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour or maztah meal
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)

Optional:  Golden Caviar (Available at Gimli Fish)

Mix potato pancake ingredients together and fry in pancake size in a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and using cookie cutters, cut bite sized pieces from the pancake.

Top each latke bite with cr�me fraiche and golden caviar.

3. Spanikoptia Triangles, served as bites for entertaining or �Lasagna style�.  A taste from Greece

1 pkg filo dough
2 pkgs frozen spinach
1 white onions chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 c mushroom sliced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp paprika
3 1/2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 c feta cheese crumbled
1 egg
pepper to taste
1/3 c butter
Thaw pastry in package. In advance, prepare filling. Saut� onion and garlic
until translucent. Add mushrooms and saut�. Add thawed spinach and
spices. Cook on medium-high heat until some of the water has cooked off.
Add grated feta. Mix in one beaten egg. Remove from heat and cool.
To prepare pastries: Heat oven to 350F. Dampen tea towel. Cut rolled
pastry into four equal parts and lay out on cutting board. Cover with
dampened towel. Melt butter and set aside with pastry brush. Fill pastries in
desired shapes (triangles, pockets, in muffin or cupcake tins, etc). Brush
pastries with melted butter before filo turns papery. Bake until golden, about
15 minutes.

4. Toasted Panettone with Barolo Poached Pears

You can cook the pears the day before and re-heat them on Christmas Day.
SERVES 4
Barolo wine (or a Piedmont wine such as Barbera) 400ml
lemon rind (unwaxed) 2 strips
orange rind (unwaxed) 2 strips
cloves 2
bay leaf 1
caster sugar 200g
ripe pears such as Williams - do not peel just wash, then cut in half 2
panettone 4 slices, to serve
Add all the ingredients, except the pears and panettone, and 180ml water to a pan that will hold the fruit. Bring slowly to the boil and stir to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 15 minutes. Lower the heat, add the pear halves, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pears are tender � when you can pierce them easily with a knife. Keep the liquid for later. Chill the pears and re-heat in the liquid.
Toast 4 slices of panettone and place on four plates, add 1 piece of hot pear on top and ladle over a little hot poaching liquid. Optional:  Serve with mascarpone or ice cream.


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