Recipes

Deep and Creamy: Pomegranate, Coconut Water and Cherry Reduction

This amazing, deep, rich sauce takes a while to make but is well worth the wait. Coconut water, pomegranate juice, stock and red wine are reduced to about a third of original volume. Cream and dried cherries are added and the sauce is reduced further. This is a delicious sauce for goose, turkey or chicken and is a great substite for gravy for guests who are gluten-ntollerant or are on grain-free or paleo diets.

Freezing a Summer’s Day

Basil is funny to grow. It starts as a spindly plant, often with just a few leaves, so few in fact that to take any feels wrong. To snip a couple off for a tomato salad makes me worry that I might kill the plant. In the beginning I always straddle the line between wanting to taste and not wanting to kill. More times than not in early summer I skimp on the basil leaves or I (ahhh!) buy basil.

Then late summer rolls around and my basil plant has turned beast. There are so many leaves that I don’t know where to cut. And then I see them. The seed pods and flowers, inching their way out of the top, getting ready to turn my basil into a bitter compost addition. Not on my time.

Basil, you’re about to get whacked.

The scissors emerge from the kitchen. I grab the entire basil plant and cut it off at the ankles. Brutal to be sure, but necessary because it is at this moment, when the heat of the late summer is overbearing and I am praying for rain as if I live in a desert that I know it is time to make pesto for the winter.

Roasted Sour Cherries

Every once in a while I get lucky and today I got lucky.  I am landscaping a section of my parent’s garden, which means I have to go up to their place in North Van.  If I have a car on my trip up there and it is the summer time then I always, always, always stop at Bob’s fruit stand.  This is especially true during peach season.  I can easily eat five peaches in a sitting and allow myself to gorge on them during their short, beautiful season.  Bob’s trucks their produce up from the Okanagan so their stuff is local and absolutely gorgeous.

As I was preparing for my peach fix, I happened to notice a little something new at Bob’s.  Sour cherries.  I asked about them and discovered that the season here is about a week long, which is why I have never seen them before.

These little beauties are going to be my secret weapon in an upcoming pie competition.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  My next pie competition is coming up and the judges are not going to know what hit them!

Right now my plan is top secret so I can’t share too many details.  One ingredient that my utterly delicious pie will contain though is roasted sour cherries.  Here’s how to do it.

Directions

1) Stem your cherries, toss them with a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pop them in the oven at 350 F and stir every ten minutes or so.

2) The cherries will split and release their juice and once they are soft, they are done.  Let them cool and then remove the pits.  I am freezing mine because I didn’t want to take a chance on them spoiling if canning didn’t work.  I drained the juice before freezing and froze it separately.

Check back in September for my ultra-decadent pie entry.

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Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.

Zucchini Chips with Sumac

Our latest favorite snack is zucchini chips with sumac and black pepper. Sumac is high in vitamin C, can be wild-harvested all across North America and gives a delicious tang to the zucchini chips.

These chips are remarkably easy to make and a wonderful way to have a tasty gut-pleasing snack.

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t sumac
  • 1 t himalayan crystal salt (sea salt is ok too)
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Fermented Hot Sauce: 2-1

My first batch of fermented hot sauce was so successful that I have two orders for more! Never one to rest on my laurels I’ve decided to experiment with the second batch.

I’m starting off with thai chili peppers again. I’ve been reading up on hot sauces and for fermentation you want to use super hot peppers. The high levels of capcaisin (the molecule that makes you burn) help keep bad bacteria at bay. I again added garlic and I’m trying the fermentation process with whole peppers this time instead of ground peppers.

Volunteering at the Market and Roasted Kohlrabi

So I volunteered again at the Farmer’s Market with Klipper’s Organics. Well I’ve volunteered several times but I don’t post enough to detail every single volunteer experience!

I am continuing to enjoy my time at the market, falling into the days rhythm of unpacking, stocking, re-stocking and packing. Taking breaks for chili or scones or just general wandering. I’ve watched cooking demonstrations, listened to wonderful music, and sampled, sampled, sampled!  Oh what fun!

Kale Chips – Tangy Sunflower, Parmesan and Spicy Cashew

It took me a while to figure out the best temperature, amount of oil and dressing as well as the length of time to get the perfect crunch on these babies, but I seem to have basically gotten the hang of it now. As usual my recipes come out a bit differently each time I make them. The latest version, which I am munching on right now, is a bit mustard-y and there isn’t quite enough salt and oil, but they are still crunchy after about 5 days in a jar, so that is a good sign.

They are very quick and simple to make with whatever you have on hand!

Honey & Vanilla Creme Anglaise Parfaits

This is a very simple recipe. This is a grain-free, GAPS, SCD and paleo-friendly, honey-sweetened delicacy. Various layers can be made with fresh fruit, sun-leathers or compotes and candied nuts as well. One of my favorite combos is layers of rich honey-vanilla creme anglaise, grain-free cherry-almond crunch, whipped cream from a local dairy and a honey-raspberry syrup. Oh yeah, you can make them with ice-cream as well ;)

Honey and Vanilla Creme Anglaise

  • 2 c raw milk
  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 5 pastured egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • pinch salt

My first pie competition…

And I was a wreck. I had made two test pies. One was perfect – the second was a horrific disaster. The disaster pie led to a reworking of my pie plans, a subtraction of sorts. I am definitely the type of person who likes to overcomplicate, subtraction is not my forte. While I know this is my pattern, I generally don’t catch it early enough. Ahhh… getting older.

So there I was the day before the competition, ready to start the most nerve wracking part – the pastry. Here is my process.

Sate Chili Sauce

As I wandered my way through fermented hot sauce links and recipes online, I found a recipe for sate chili sauce. This is one of my favorite sauces in the world, but I’ve never known how to make it. Now that I know what is in it (garlic, lemongrass, chili, fish sauce, need I say more???  delicious!) and the general process, my head is spinning – the possibilities are endless. Here is my first attempt sticking fairly close to the original recipe: