Archive for March, 2010

March 11, 2010

In Celebration of Earth Day: Food4Thought

An evening you don’t want to miss!

Being the accredited Earth Day Canada Co-ordinator for Calgary, I felt we needed a spirited celebration of Food for our city’s Earth Day Festivities. REAP quickly jumped on board and Food 4 Thought was born. This event will wrap up Down to Earth Week, REAP’s Annual education series .

Our evening will host farmers and chefs teamed up together to bring you not only amazing bites of celebrated local food, but a wealth of information and ideas on why susuatiable farming is best. This is your chance to meet your local farmers and ask them about their practises, then talk to some of the cities finest chef’s about why they go to the lengths they go to, to serve the fruits of our farmers labour.

From 6 pm- 7:30 you will Meet, and Eat, mingle and enjoy tasty conversations, then we are pround to be screening (for the first time in Calgary)

Food Fight : A documentary by Chris Taylor on the state of our food industry today, and the new revolution of sustainable food. An inspiration film about our future with real food!

More info here

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March 7, 2010

Carrot & Ginger Risotto

What to do with left over carrot soup…. make it even better by slowly simmering it with Arborio rice white wine and herbs, that’s what! The other night I made a big ‘ol pot of carrot and ginger soup which was silky and zesty, but after we all devoured a couple bowls, that last thing I wanted to do today was serve left overs, So this was my off the cuff solution:

Take  4 or so cups of left over soup and warm on the back burner in a pot along with about 3 cups of additional water (if the soup is really thick). Now it’s time to get out the 3 most important tools for making risotto… I grab my largest deepest stainless frying pan, a big wine glass, and my wide wooden paddle spoon with a tacky giraffe handle.

Open the wine and pour yourself a glass, melt a big knob of butter in the pan and add about 1.5 cups of Arborio rice and a good pinch of salt, coat the rice in butter and warm over medium heat for a minute or two. Now add a good glug of wine and slowly start moving the rice and wine around the pan, I use a sweeping “S” technique, now for the next 30 minutes or so keep moving the rice slowly and each time the liquid level gets low add the warm stock 1 ladleful at a time. continue. repeat. continue. repeat.. mmm don’t forget to top up your wine glass as required.

During this process the only thing I do other than the above is mince a clove of garlic and an extra pinch of grated ginger to add to the pan along with one of the stock ladlefuls. Season with S+P as required, and just keep tasting the rice after you pass the 20 minute mark, you want it cooked through but not mushy, so it’s important that as soon as you have the perfect risotto texture, you remove the pan from the heat and toss in some chopped flat leaf parsley, and grated cheese of your choice… about a handful, mix together and serve hot. I served this with  lemon ginger grilled veggie, and it was perfect.

March 4, 2010

Venison + Stout Stew

There is nothing quite as warming as a hostess gift that includes bundles of game meat and bottles of home made stout. OMG I was in heaven, so I have Dan to thank for this cozy comfort stick to your ribs Sunday dinner!

I thawed about a pound of venison stew meat, which consisted of  lovely huge chunks of beautiful game, not at all the way I think of stew meat, there was no sinew or fatty bits. I cut the chunks into a little smaller portions and tossed them in potato flour seasoned with S+P and cumin.

In my big soup pot I started this stew with olive oil a few good glugs, a couple carrots, 2 celery stocks and a yellow onion all chopped into similar size pieces. slowly brown all these veggies and then add about 1/2” of broth (what ever you have, I used a turkey broth I made over Christmas with my GIANT Winters turkey and froze down) To this I add 3 bay leafs, a whole sprig of rosemary, 5 chopped cloves of garlic.

While these veggies are simmering with just a little broth, get a large heavy bottom pan nice and hot and sear all sides of the coated meat in hot canola oil. When just seared not cooked through toss into stew pot with the veg and quickly deglaze the frying pan with about 1 cup of stout. * This can be a problem when you are arm-wrestling your partner for the last of the mighty home brewed glorious dark beer, finally we shared and he really enjoyed the outcome, as he got to enjoy it twice!

Add the pan dripping stout sauce to the stew along with about 4 more cups of stock. Throw in some cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes, cover and start simmering on low for a few hours.

Throughout the course of this cook time, I add seasoning sporadically, and my best summary of what made this so good is apox: a dash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of apple cider vinegar, a dollop or red pepper spread, more cumin, chili powder, black and white pepper, and a dried herb mix I made from the summer garden, which has thyme, oregano, rosemary, & sage, and some of my favorite blend of sea salt with chili + garlic.

Serve with warm rolls and DO NOT give leftovers to the dog… because it does not smells nearly as good the second time round! On that note… ENJOY.

March 3, 2010

Gluten Free Rosemary Roast Potato Pizza

I have been doing a lot of Gluten Free cooking in recent weeks, because we believe that my boyfriend has a wheat allergy. And for the most part he has been pretty accepting of this new way of eating… with the exception of beer and pizza. I have never really experimented with GF pizza dough before, So he took the lead on this one. We are 4 batches in, and I am really close to confidently posting a recipe for a great GF pizza dough, this last bath was nearly perfect, but the toppings were wonderful! I think this is a great side dish, and it would make a beautiful appetizer.

Start by boiling 5 whole baby potatoes until just fork tender (I was making a homemade soup broth at the time, so I just plopped them into the soup to cook) Once cooked, set them aside to cool a little. In the meantime fill a mixing boil with: 1/4 c olive oil, 1/6 red onion super finely diced, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 minced knob of ginger, 1 large sprig of rosemary bruised and chopped, course sea salt and fresh pepper, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, and a pinch of hot chilies. Slice the potatoes into 1/4” slices and season with a little salt and then gently toss in the bowl until well coated with everything.Place the slices of potatoes on to a prepared pizza crust, and then crumble with gruyere.

Bake until golden and enjoy.

March 1, 2010

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? (rant time)

So I was sitting down to post a recipe for a really lovely venison and stout stew I made last night, when I decided I had had enough of seeing all of these new developments in over packaged microwavable processed “foods”! I just have to rant! With the common awareness seemingly increasing of our limited resources and huge waste disposal problems I  find myself in a horrified state of shock and awe upon seeing endless new products hit the market that throw this awareness to the side and continue to push the limits of health and safety, gross over consumption and waste, to a brave new marketable place.

What a sad world we live in when the newest celebrated achievement in convenience food, also provides consumers with exposure to Dioxins, DEHA + PVC’s (know carcinogens) through their breakthrough steam in plastic trays, while promoting there ultra processed,  GMO, corn filled “meals” as HEALTHY CHOICES!!! How can this be real?  Seriously, didn’t we already learn along time ago  how dangerous micro-waving food in plastic is? Why are consumers so trusting of the producers guidelines for what makes a plastic microwave “safe” Who is buying this stuff? and why?

More on Micro-waving Food and the dangers of micro-waving plastic:

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Packaging-Chemicals-Food-Dec93.htm

http://www.toxicnation.ca/node/165

What about the simple over packaging of these products? Why are producers creating so much single use plastic? I think this is alarmingly clear when you look at the newest product line by Dr. Oetker … a magic rigid plastic tube, you simply add liquid to a pre measured, stabilized, preserved, artificially flavoured muffin mix, then shake, bake ‘oh and toss the now single use garbage container away! Wow.

http://www.overpackaging.com/

http://www.greenlivingonline.com/article/overpackaged

All of this is just really really sad, this isn’t food, it is garbage, toxic waste in a pretty package, and in the case of Uncle Ben’s Bistro meals, their marketing team is also reliant on half naked women to encourage sales, of this obviously unnecessary 90 second product.