Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holiday Brunch Treats with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Last night I presented the following dishes of Holiday Brunch Ideas for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.  Bonnie Tulloch, Education Coordinator for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, presented on the spices, fruits and vegetables featured and Kelly Burton of the MLCC, provided lovely beverage pairings, starting with the Fall Margarita.

1 part Sour = lime or lemon juice
2 parts Sweet = Sugar or juice
3 parts Strong = Tequila or other Liquor
4 parts weak = Ice/soda/Ginger Ale

1. Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Paired with Devil's Rock Sparkling Riesling, $13.99

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 or sour cream, smoked goldeye, etc.

2. Brandied Farmer�s Sausage with apples
Paired with Angry Orchard Cider, $2.52
1-2 Farmer�s sausages, sliced on the bias ~ 1�
2-3 apples, cut into thin wedges
� cup honey
� tsp cinnamon
Brandy, to deglaze (or your favourite non-cream liquor)

Saut� apples in honey and cinnamon.  Set aside.  Cook sausage in pan until brown on both sides and done.  Pour in brandy.  Add apples. 

To serve, skewer or lay out on platter with toothpicks.

3. Toasted Panettone with Barolo Poached Pears
Paired with Bottega Prosecco DOC, $17.99
You can cook the pears the day before and re-heat them.
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.

4. Caramelized Shallot Tarts
Paired with Malamado Malbec, $23.99

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.