Friday, March 28, 2014

Saturday on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Squash K�fte and a taste of Spring

I am presenting the following recipes tomorrow on CBC' Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  

Easy to prepare in advance and a taste of Spring all year round if portions are frozen.  The K�fte were a big hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike at my restaurant.  Try with Quinoa instead of Bulgur if looking to be gluten-free.
(photos after Saturday)

Squash K�fte

1 small squash, about 2 � lbs (baked and scooped out of skin)
3 tbs olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tbs Harissa
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
9 ounces medium-fine bulgur
generous pinch salt
1 egg
(optional, 1 tbs Turkish Baharat)

Saut� onion, pepper paste and spices in olive oil until softened over a low heat for about 15 minutes.

When pumpkin is scooped out, puree or mash.  Add to onion and spice mixture. 

Rinse bulgur and add to the squash mixture.  Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Mix in eggs and then cool.

Preheat oven to 350�F.  On a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet, form squash mixture into oblong patties.  Bake until firm, about 15 minutes.  Cool.   At this point, the k�fte can be wrapped and frozen for future use.

In a pan, heat olive oil and fry k�fte until crispy.  Serve with grilled vegetable on flatbread with a yoghurt tahini sauce.


Pea Shoot Pesto
1/4 lb fresh, young pea shoots (or pea tips!)*
1 bunch chives, chopped (or spring onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds)

Place the pea shoots, chives, garlic, cheese, olive oil, pine nuts salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms.
Enjoy with pasta, fish or other pesto uses.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Pickerel with Pernod - an adaptation of an excellent Turkish Fish recipe

I made this for dinner for Desmond last night.  Not able to get Raki here in Winnipeg any longer, I used Pernod as it isn't as sweet as Ouzo or Sambuca yet has the flavours needed.   Quite delicious.   I'll remember to take a photo next time.

Why am I posting this now?  Gorgeous pickerel is in season until March 31st.  The sweetness of the fish makes it so versatile for so many cooking methods and recipes.

Pickerel with Raki (Pernod)  
4 filets pickerel
2 tomatoes, grated
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs Turkish Baharat *
1/2 cup (less) olive oil
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup fish stock
salt and white pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch dill
2 tsp raki (Ouzo)

Heat skillet and saut� the garlic and add the onion and saut� for 3-4 minutes. Add bay leaves and Turkish Baharat. Add the vegetables, pour over the stock and simmer for 2 minutes. 

Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on top of the vegetables. Simmer for about 4 minutes. Chop the dill. Add lemon juice, chopped dill and raki and simmer for about 2 minutes. Arrange the fish and vegetables on a serving dish and serve immediately.
*Turkish Baharat now available at Pollocks Hardware Coop.
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring will be Sprung. Pickerel and Spring on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 Tomorrow morning after the 8:30AM news, I will be presenting the following dishes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry Macleod.

I chose these recipes for a few key reasons.  First, the Winter Pickerel season ends on March 31st so get them now!  These sweet, pink fillets are delicious and very versatile.  Second, these recipes are very simple to make at home and since the ingredients are so close to home, even easier.   Third, whether observing Lent or celebrating Spring and the Vernal Equinox, these recipes fit.

Enjoy!  Spring will come. (photos tomorrow).
(Prepping parchment paper fish, photo by Karen Peters)

Parchment Paper Fish
Per Fillet:
1 fillet Pickerel � now on sale at Gimli Fish
1/2 carrot, peeled and then peeled into strips
1-2 spears asparagus, in ribbons or sliced on a bias
pinch sea salt
pepper to taste
3-5 basil leaves, chiffonade (or pesto)
parchment paper
spray olive oil*

Preheat oven to 400�F. Place fish on top of very lightly oiled parchment paper. Place basil, carrot, asparagus and pinch of salt and pepper on top of fish. Lightly spray with olive oil. Seal paper and place in oven or on top of grill for up to 20 minutes in the oven, depending on thickness of fillet. If using a BBQ, place fish on upper level and not directly over the heat. The fish is so delicate. Paper will puff up. Remove and serve immediately.

Pickerel Fillet Fish Tacos
Serves 2

2 pickerel fillets
juice of 1-2 limes
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
pinch sea salt
1 chopped jalepeno (I used dried chipotle chilies)

Marinade the fish in the juice and spices for at least 20 minutes.

1 thinly sliced red onion (I caramelized it)
sour cream
1-2 thinly sliced green onion (cut on the bias for thinner slices and nicer presentation)
Sour cream or crema
Warmed corn tortillas (toasted for a few minutes)

Prepare all of the dishes for the taco and then saut� the fish in a bit of olive or canola oil, 1 -2 minutes per side. Remove fish from heat and flake. Assemble tacos and enjoy!
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

More Spanish Tapas for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy with the MLCC

It was so much fun to present these recipes last night with Bonnie Tulloch of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Jody Twomey, Product Consultant for the MLCC.  

The reception beverage was a Lemon Sherry Cocktail. 
Antaaro Rioja Crianza was also served to contrast with each dish ($12.99)
(Fritatta, photo by Karen Peters)

1. Spanish Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Garlic and Olive Oil
Paired with Marques De Riscal Sauvignon Blanc  $15.96
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 large roasted bell peppers, from a jar

Place the olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes into a small stone baking dish, pretty enough to serve the dish in.  Stir everything together.  Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and into a preheated 425�F oven for 10 minutes.  The garlic will just be starting to toast and the oil will be bubbling hot.

While the garlic is in the oven, slice the red peppers into strips.  Once the garlic and olive oil comes out of the oven, stand back and gently place the peppers into the hot oil.  They will stop the garlic from burning, and the hot oil will warm and flavor the peppers.  Serve with tonnes of bread!


2. Spanish Smoked Paprika Shrimp
Paired with Mas Amor Rosado, $15.95

1 lb peeled, wild caught shrimp
1 tbs butter
Drizzle olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
Pinch sea salt

Heat butter and oil in saut� pan. Add shrimp and toss well. Add garlic and then paprika. Serve with bread when shrimp is firm and pink. 

 3.Frittata (with sun dried tomatoes but spinach and Parmesan are optional)
Paired with Segura Vidas Brut Reserve Cava, $14.49
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 eggs
3 thinly sliced potatoes
1 cup (1/2 lb.) chopped raw spinach
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
pinch grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350�. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except oil.Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove.  Pour egg and potato mixture in skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-7  minutes. Place in oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until top is set. Cut into wedges and serve.


4. Almond Cookies (Moorish!)
 Paired with Chocolate Shop Sangria

1 cup butter
� cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups presifted flour
� tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (can use pecans or almonds)

*Note, if mixture dry and crumbly, add egg and/or a bit more butter.  Depends on humidity.

Cream butter, add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.  Add vanilla, flour and salt.  Mix well.  Add in nuts.  Use 1 tsp � 1 tbs, depending on the size of crescent or cookie that you prefer, to shape in hands to make the crescents.  Bake on ungreased sheet at 325�F for 30 minutes.  Roll in icing sugar while warm. 

These cookies take time to make but look and taste good.  They freeze well but do not pack well.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Oscar Party favours

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Agatha Moir.  These dishes are good for any Oscar party.  Try some lovely Gimli Fish golden caviar, proscecco or champagne but in this weather, mulled wine.

(chocolate mousse)

Cheese Fondue

1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Cave-aged Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch*
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.
Try with breads (day-old can work the best as it isn't too soft and will stand up to the cheese), saut�ed whole mushrooms, apple slices, etc.

*I've used Desorrono or Frangelico when I didn't have Kirsch on hand.


This olive spread can be labour intensive if you are pitting the olives yourself but it goes a long way and the taste is a rich and unique flavour that is quite versatile.

1 cup Moroccan olives pitted
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/4 � 1/3 cup good olive oil
1 tsp black pepper

Blend all ingredients together to a paste. You can enjoy this on crackers and baguettes. A little can be used in earthy tomato sauces to add richness to the flavours. Tapenade can be used to stuff chicken  breasts, to coat roasted chicken. As a dip or filling for lamb.

Chocolate Honey Mousse

Sweetening the mousse with honey adds a Proven�al touch to a classic French dessert.

2 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons honey
Stir 3/4 cup cream, chocolate and honey in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally.
In large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups cream until soft peaks form. Fold cream into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Divide mousse among eight 3/4-cup ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream to firm peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream in center of each mousse.
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