What’s Stewing at the Market: Grandora Garden Peppers

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The one quality I like best when visiting Grandora Gardens outside at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is the splash of colors that greet me. Who could not feel a sense of happiness after walking beside the many baskets of fresh garden vegetables and fruits. But buyer beware, these vibrant peppers are just as vibrant with their heat. If you’re not sure which ones to buy or how to cook them, then ask RJ at the booth. He’ll offer you some great suggestions and tell you which peppers are good for your palate.

peppers 4

Hot Portugal Chile Peppers: great for sauces and sautéing with other vegetables to give that extra bit of heat.

peppers

Cayenne Chile Peppers: use in salsa, chili, sauces, or dice and add to scrambled eggs, tuna salads, etc.

peppers 5

Habanero: use in chili, sauces, soups, salsa, and jellies.

peppers

Hot Hungarian Chile Peppers, also known as Banana Peppers: pickle, stuff, use fresh in salads and salsa, or relishes.

peppers

New-Mex Chile Peppers: good in egg and vegetables dishes, and stews.

peppers 3

Jalapeños: slice and add to pizza, nachos, salsa, or stuff with cheese and make pepper poppers – my all-time favorite.

peppers

Thai Chile Peppers: infuse in oil, pickle, or add to curry sauces.

peppers 1

Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolokia): extremely wicked. Also known as poison chile and I wonder why! RJ keeps these hidden and sells only to serious and knowledgeable customers.

peppers

Sweet Orange Bell Peppers: eat raw, add to salads, salsa, egg dishes, grill on the barbeque, etc.

Grandora Gardens

Bell Peppers

peppers 6

Cayenne, Hot Portugal, Habanero, Banana, Jalapeño, and Poblano Peppers

dried peppers

Dried peppers and powders

pepper plants

pepper plantsPepper Plants

Notes:

  • Always use gloves when handling hot peppers, wash hands and rinse with lemon juice to remove any oils, and most importantly, do not touch your eyes.
  • The hottest part of a chile pepper is the membrane that holds the seeds. This part of the pepper has the highest concentration of capsicum oil.
  • Dairy products, specifically yogurt, will reduce the heat sensation of peppers.
  • Peppers are rich in Vitamins A, C, and B6, and high in Potassium and Manganese.

For more info on cooking peppers and for recipes visit: The Reluctant Gourmet

Grandora Gardens also sells fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays at the market. RJ always greets everyone with a smile so stop by with one too and buy some delicious produce for your favorite meal.

Stewing at the Market with Chef Michael Smith

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Yes, that’s right, Chef Michael Smith from PEI and Host for several Canada Food Network programs honored Saskatoon today at our local farmers’ market. Chef Michael spent the morning meeting market’s vendors, talking to customers, signing books, and most importantly, having photo shoots with patrons.

Chef Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith

At 5’5″ and wearing heels, I asked Chef Michael if I should stand on my toes. I always knew he was tall, but now I’m nick-naming him the ‘Friendly Food Giant”. I’m sure he’s heard this before.

Chef Michael Smith

Chef Shelly

Chef Shelly Christian from Wild Cuisine Catering holding one of Chef Michael’s autographed books.

Chef Shelly Chef Shelly preparing for food tasting at the Market Kitchen: Savory Lemon Fennel Salad, Bruschetta, Spinach Pinwheels, and Wild Boar Bacon and Black Lentil Burritos. Hope everyone got to taste some samples including Chef Michael.

Fennel salad

Savory lemon fennel salad with raisins, perfect for summer.

cherryt tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes from Floating Gardens.

cherry tomatoes

Chef Shelly

Bruschetta – these were sooo good; I was tempted to take a tray and pass them around.

Chef Michael Smith Chef Michael visiting.

Chef Shelly Christian

Prep for Spinach Pinwheels with puff pastry.

Chef Shelly Christian

These looked easy to make: basically all you need is spinach dip, grated cheese, and puff pastry.

Chef Shelly Christian

Chef Shelly ChristianDeliciously messy

Garlic Guru DipsGarlic dips courtesy of the Garlic Guru

Boar baconBoar bacon from Golden Prairie Wild Boar Meat

Burritos filled with black lentils, wild boar bacon, cheese, and lettuce. Fun to eat and again, deliciously messy.

Chef Michael Smith Well, from what I saw of Chef Michael, I think he thoroughly enjoyed his experience at the market, and he’s invited anytime. But next time —  You’ve got to cook here!!!

Dedicated to Jay who loved watching ‘Chef at Home’.

What’s Stewing from My Oven: Rhubarb Pie

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A trip to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market on Sunday led to a sudden craving for rhubarb pie and all because of Wally. Those fresh-cut stalks of rhubarb spoke buy me and so I bought.

Rhubarb’s a favorite in our family and we often would pick young stalks from the garden and eat them raw. So, I must say, I do like my rhubarb pie tart. My dad is 79 and he makes me a rhubarb pie on each visit to Kelowna BC. Of course, he has a great supplier, our cousin Joanne.

rhubarb

Rhubarb from Wally’s Urban Market Garden.

rhubarb pie and icecream

rhubarb pie

rhubarb

I have not baked a pie in 2 years so must admit that I’m a bit rusty. But here’s the basic recipe:

Never Fail Pastry (adapted from my dear aunt Marg in Surrey BC):
5 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
Sift ingredients together and add 1 pound of Crisco shortening. With a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut ingredients into the size of peas.
 
In a mixing cup add: 1 large egg, 1 tbsp white vinegar, and ice-cold water to fill to 1 cup mark. Blend together. Add slowly to dry mixture and mix (not knead).
 
Use dough immediately. Pastry is sensitive to temperature so keep in refrigerator between dough rollings.
 
Filling:
My filling simply consists of rhubarb cut diagonally into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Make sure you have enough to fill the pie plate and some more.
I sprinkle 1 tbsp of lemon juice over rhubarb, 1/2 cup white sugar, pinch of nutmeg (which often brings out flavors), a tsp butter, and 1/3 tsp of Tapioca (for binding)
 
Bake:
425 degrees for 20 to 25 minute, then turn oven to 325 and bake for another 30 minutes. Enjoy!
 
My secret ingredient: passion, everyone gets to enjoy!
 
Dedicated to Jay – who loved rhubarb
 
 
 

Stewing with Wild Blueberry Muffins

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My childhood summers were spent in one of the most beautiful areas in our country, Georgian Bay. Wild blueberries grew on the rocky shield and often family outings consisted of a boat trip to Echo Bay and filling old pots with blueberries, not to mention our tummies. If we wanted anything blueberry then we had to pick.

Blueberry pancake eating contests, blueberry pie, and blueberry muffins were a huge part of our diet, but of course, we spent endless hours swimming, hiking, fishing, and engaging in so many wonderful outdoor activities that for us, sugar highs or intake were never a problem.

I’ve included in this post my twist on an old-time favorite: blueberry lemon muffins. As an avid lover of fresh food, I grow my own herbs and dry them to use off-season. This recipe includes lemon thyme for that extra lemony zest.

blueberry muffins

blueberry muffins

blueberry muffins Blueberry lemon muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 to 2 tsp dried lemon thyme
Mix together and make a well. To dry ingredients add:
 
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon rind (zest)

Mix into dry ingredients until moist and add 1 cup of blueberries, wild preferably. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar and lemon zest. Recipe is for 12 muffins.

Enjoy!

If you can’t pick or grow your own, then buy fresh herbs and fruits at your local farmers’ market.

Please note, this blog post is part of the Canadian Food Experience Project.

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. Participants share collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through regional food experiences in hope of bringing global clarity to Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.

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Stewing with ‘nvigorate’ – Seabuckthorn Berries

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nvigorate logo

Ever tasted seabuckthorn berries or even heard of them? Packed with vitamin C, these tart berries shine with tropical and citrus flavors when cooked. In fact, these berries are also called ‘Siberian Pineapple’ and they like to grow in cooler climates, which makes Saskatchewan perfect.

Betty Forbes, president of nvigorate, sells the ‘Indian Summer’ variety of seabuckthorn berries at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. She’ll converse you on the health benefits plus give you ideas for using her products. Betty’s interest in seabuckthorn  began in 1998 when her parents and siblings planted 15 acres of seedlings. You can purchase seeds, 25 per package; or plants from 15 to 35 dollars, depending on size, sex, and age.

Some restaurants in Saskatoon using seabuckthorn include: The Hollows, Truffles, Calories, The Saskatoon Club, Weczeria, and Riverside Country Club.

nvigorate booth - seabuckthorn

Seabuckthorn gelatoSeabuckthorn ‘Ostentatious’ Orange Gelato

Seabuckthorn gelato

seabuckthorn berries

Mighty Aphrodite Smoothie
Courtesy: Kalissa Regier
hestiaorganics.ca
 
This smoothie is packed with protein, omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 and Vitamin C.  Fresh ginger is known for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
 
 1/2 cup    Plain low-fat yogurt
 3 Tbsp.    Hestia Organics Hemp Hearts
 1/3 cup    Frozen Seabuckthorn Berries
 1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger
 1 Tbsp.    Honey
 1/4 cup    Water (more or less as desired)
 1 scoop    Unflavoured protein powder(optional)
 Ice
 
Place the above ingredients into a blender.  Blend for 2-3 minutes adding water until desired consistency is reached.
 
Seabuckthorn berry & Red Clover Blossom Syrup vinaigrette
Courtesy: Executive Chef Anthony McCarthy
The Saskatoon Club
 
1 cup seabuckthorn berries
½ cup Red clover blossom syrup
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup White wine vinegar
1 oz Fresh chopped thyme
1 finely chopped shallot
1 ½ cups Canola oil
½ cup Olive oil
Salt and pepper
.
Put seabuckthorn berries, vinegar, orange juice and syrup in a small pot bring to a boil, remove from heat immediately and set pot into a bowl of ice water, stirring to cool; puree mixture, strain; clean blender and return puree, add mustard, thyme and shallot, blend; while blending, slowly add both oils; finish by mixing  a pinch of salt and pepper; and alllow to stand for a couple of hours, or refrigerate overnight.
 
  Label and date; will keep in refrigerator for at least two weeks

Seabuckthorn pureeGreat for making smoothies, or add to your favorite sauces or gravies.

Seabuckthorn dried puree

Seabuckthorn syrup

Seabuckthorn jam

Seabuckthorn icetea Deliciously refreshing on a hot summer day.

Seabuckthorn drink

Seabuckthorn tea These tea leaves, harvested from the male plant, come loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

Seabuckthorn apple cider vinegar

seabuckthorn chocolatesSeabuckthorn Chocolates made with Belgium chocolate and a creamy center.

Seabuckthorn berries organically grown in eastern Saskatchewan, certified by Ecocert Canada, and products produced at government inspected facilities.

The nvigorate booth is open on Saturday, Sunday, and the occasional Wednesday at Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

For more info visit Betty at the market or email: info@nvigorate.ca

Informative websites:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/seabuckthorn.htm
http://www.alive.com/articles/view/22511/the_other_side_of_seabuckthorn
 

Fiesta at Saskatoon Farmers’ Market

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The 2nd annual Taste of Latin on Sunday at Saskatoon Farmers’ Market treated patrons to a Latin culture fiesta. Traditional song, music, dance, poetry, food, and colourful decor filled our afternoon with fun, fun, fun, and more fun. And I danced to the lively music too.

Latin Fest

Latin Fest

The band M3C2 (3 Mexicans, 2 Canadians) getting ready for FIESTA. For band profile visit: http://3m2csaskatoon.shawwebspace.ca/profile/

Latin Fest

Fresh out of the oven Chilean Empanadas. Click Chilean Wine.com for a recipe.

Latin Fest

Pastor Ciro Alfonso Perez posing with one of my favorite Latin dishes. Yes, just hand me the tray.

Latin Fest

Latin Fest

Salvadoran Cheese Pupusas.

Latin Fest Juan Antonio Fuenzalida and Claudio Bustos playing Chilean folk music.

Latin Fest Flamenco guitarist Zeljko Bilandzic. For more info visit: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/zeljko-bilandzic/27/690/427

Latin Fest

Angela and Claudia

Latin Fest

Ana from Columbia

Latin Fest

Columbian Arroz con Pollo

Latin Fest Latin Fest

Mexican Tostadas and Salvadoran Pupusa with rice cake.

For a beef tostadas recipe visit:  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mexican_tostada/ . Want to know more about traditional foods from El Salvador, visit: http://turismo-el-salvador.blogspot.ca/p/cocina-tradicional-de-el-salvador.html

Latin Fest

Band M3C2

Latin Fest Latin Fest 10

Mexican cheesecake, Costa Rican rice pudding, and El Salvadoran rice cake.

Latin Fest

Mexican Hibiscus flower tea (Agua de Jamaica)

Latin Fest Orange Limonade

Check out Ricardo’s recipe: http://www.ricardocuisine.com/recipes/3347-orangeade-orange-limonade-

Latin Fest Latin Fest

Andean Band: Koricancha

Visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Koricancha-Andean-music-Sask/159025764107887

A huge thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, musicians, dancers, and Latin cooks who made this a successful and fun-filled event.

Saskatoon Farmers’ Market in Bloom: Helga’s Herbs

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Helga’s Herbs

When it comes to herbs in the garden, I truly believe there are never enough. There are always more unique varieties to discover and grow. And discover you will when you enter Helga’s Herbs at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

I wanted to grab an armful of these and immerse myself in their delightful fragrances but then I thought, I’d be buying a lot of plants. Can you imagine using fresh herbs in your everyday cooking or baking, or clipping the delicate flowers for that romantic table bouquet.

Some of the herbs you’ll find at Helga’s include basil, tarragon, dill, rosemary, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and mint including chocolate, pineapple, and even mojito for those refreshing summer drinks. Helga also sells edible flowers.

herbs

herbs

herbs herbs 9 herbs

herbs

herbs 4

herbs 5

Visit Helga’s Herbs on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the market. Buy a herb or two or three, and have fun in the kitchen.

Herbs pesticide and herbicide free.

Saskatoon Farmers’ Market in Bloom: G & R Gardens

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G & R Gardens

For over 25 years Gail and Roman from G & R Gardens have provided Saskatoon and area consumers with an array of colorful flowering plants. Geraniums, petunias, violas, gerbers, carnations, gazanias, many daisy-like flowers, plus decorative prairie grasses and more, abound at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

G & R Gardens 3

Jackee and Gail

G & R Gardens 8

G & R Gardens 14

G & R Gardens 9

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens

G & R Gardens 1

G & R Gardens And it’s all about the flowers. So head out to the market and get splashed with color and fragrance. Individual plants and ready-made baskets are available for purchase. Prices vary.

For more information visit Gail’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gails-Greenhouse/183560665030030?sk=info

Saskatoon Farmers’ Market in Bloom: Solar Gardens

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Solar Gardens

Breathtaking succulents greeted me at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. Interesting, beautiful, and strangely alien, I always thought these plants inhabited earth through some prehistoric invasion.

I grew succulents years ago in my rock garden. They’re easy to maintain and they flower more than once. Solar Gardens sells a variety at the market, from individual plants to ready-made baskets.

succulents

succulents

succulents

succulents

succulents

Buy individual succulents and make your own basket, or purchase a hanging planter. Sizes and prices vary.

succulents

succulents

This is the third year for Solar Gardens at the market. Check out their website as they offer more than succulents: http://solargardens.ca/

Solar Gardens is at the market on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Durban Curry Ground Lamb – Tagine Style

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This week I cooked Durban curry lamb in my tagine – and it beats Sloppy Joe’s any day.

I used local ingredients bought at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and other local outlets. Fingerling potatoes and carrots Wally’s Urban Market Garden; fresh basil, salad greens, and cherry tomatoes Floating Gardens;  Hestia organic red lentils Prairie Pantry; Fresh super ginger and chili garlic sauce plus Fresh super ginger salad dressing from Dianne, the ginger lady Just Ginger; and Flat bread from Ebtsam River Nile Oriental Foods and Handicrafts. The lean ground lamb I purchased from Pine View Farms Souleio Foods.

Flatbread

River Nile Oriental Foods and Handicrafts

curry

Pictured: Durban curry, medium curry, cayenne pepper, red curry, turmeric, and coriander.

lamb tagine

Into the oven for one hour at 325 degrees.

lamb tagine Out of the oven : add slivers of basil (roll several leaves of basil together and slice).

Flatbread stuffed

Recipe:
1 lb lean ground lamb
1/3 cup red lentils
4 – 5 chopped carrots
4 – 5 chopped fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp of Fresh super ginger and garlic chili sauce
2 tbsp ginger pepper sauce (hot and spicy sauce from Dominica)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 to 2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 medium red wine
1 tbsp Durban curry
1 tsp red curry
1 tsp med curry
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
pinch cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper
sea salt
butter/canola oil for sautéing onions
fresh basil leaves sliced
 
Note: approximate measurements
 
Brown lamb in saucepan and drain off extra fat. Add lightly sautéed onions, garlic, ginger chili sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in tomato paste and ginger pepper sauce, add vegetables and lentils, half of the red wine and stock, and spices. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add mixture to a Tagine or baking dish.
 
Note: Lentils will soak up liquid so add more stock or wine when needed. To sweeten the heat add more tomato paste.
 

lamb tagine

Serve with a salad of spinach, arugula, basil leaves, sliced onion, and cherry tomato wedges. Salad is lightly tossed with Fresh super ginger salad dressing and a dash of GOCCE No 8 balsamic vinegar. Or add more stock and serve on a bed of basmati rice.

Dedicated to Jay who loved lamb and my cooking.