Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Around the World in 4 Dishes with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for the Assinboine Park Conservancy Foodie Night with the MLLL (formerly MLCC) under the theme, Around the world in Four Dishes.  APC Education Coordinator, Bonnie Tulloch presented on the plants from the different regions represented and MLLL Product Consultant, Kelly Burton prepared the beverage pairings.

The Lamb Tajine is an adaptation from Paula Wolfert's, The Food of Morocco.

We started with a lovely Summer Sangria:
1 bottle Red Wine
200ml pomegranate Brandy (Wonderful variety from Ontario under the label Persian)
200ml Brandy
orange and lemon slices, lime juice, strawberries
1/2 cup simple syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water warmed on the stove until the sugar dissolves)
1 can Ginger Ale
 Chill and serve 

1. Guacamole and Grilled Pineapple salsa  with corn tortillas
Simple Guacamole
Paired with Gazella Vinho Verde, #3416, $9.99

1-2 ripe Avocados
Lime or lemon juice
Green onions
Chopped Tomatoes

Cut Avocado in half and with a heavy knife, cut into the seed and remove from fruit. Scoop out avocado from peel into a bowl and mash with lime or lemon juice, a few pinches of salt. Add any or all of the options and serve with tortillas.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

1 pineapple, cored then grilled, then chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, roasted whole over grill then chopped
1 ear corn, roasted or 1 cup pan fried
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle peppers
1/2 cup chopped or pureed tomatoes
salt, to taste
2 tbs brown sugar
2-4 tbs vinegar
drizzle olive oil
3 tbs fresh chopped mint

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate and enjoy with tortillas or in your favourite dish.  Try with fish tacos.  Excellent local corn tortillas are available at Dino's Grocery Mart on Notre Dame.

2. Kerala Shrimp
Paired with Patisserie Chardonnay/Muscat, #15997, $13.99
1/4 kg small shrimp
1 tsp ground chilies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tbs cooking oil (grapeseed oil or canola so as to not add flavour)
1 large onion, chopped
a few curry leaves
1/4 tsp. paprika or chili powder (depending on how spicy you like the food)
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Clean and marinate shrimp in chilies, turmeric and vinegar at least 1/2 hour before cooking.

Heat oil in pan and saut� onion until golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside. Fry the shrimp in the same oil until crispy. Then add the fried onion, curry leaves and optional paprika or chili powder on low heat. Add the coconut oil for good Keralan flavour. Test for salt and serve with rice, roti or chappati, etc.

3. Patli�an yog�rtl� (Turkish eggplant dish)
Paired with Sibling Rivalry White VQA, #126144, $13.95
1 lg eggplant sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Slice and salt eggplant and let sit in a bowl of cold water. If eggplant is very young, skip the step of salt and water. Rinse and squeeze out water from slices.

Mince garlic and stir into yoghurt with salt.

Saut� eggplant slices on medium high heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and let sit for a moment on a paper towel. Place on platter and top with yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle rubbed oregano and paprika over yoghurt. Top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with baguette slices or water crackers.

4. Lamb Tajine
Paired with Sister's Run Cows Corner, #15966, $16.99 (surprisingly wonderful white pepper notes!)
1 lb lamb shoulder, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large
tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly saut� onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.