Do you like the picture? I am channeling my inner hipster (ok, maybe not so inner) lately apparently…I think I was just getting sick of taking pictures of cute things in bowls, time to switch it up a little bit. Not to worry, I’ll likely be back to pictures of bowled items in a week or so.
Moving on, I have an unusual amount of news to share today! First up, let’s talk about Eat North!
When I was visiting Saskatoon in late August, I took full advantage of my mother’s raspberries bushes, bursting with berries, and picked them until they were almost completely naked. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to pillage the fruit so intensely, but my parents were at work and it was my last morning in the prairie city before heading back to Calgary, so I took my chances.
Besides, I’m almost 30 now, so I can’t get grounded anymore, right? This sauce is a great compliment to grilled pork or chicken. So, if you’re still fortunate to have some barbecue friendly weather, have at ‘er!
Well, another long weekend has come and gone. My website has been a little neglected for the past week and a half. Let most people around the city, the flooding situation in Calgary has captured my attention over the last little while. Although not directly affected, the situation was intense, to say the least.
It’s been amazing to see Calgarians come together through a variety of volunteering efforts to put the city back on its feet. Although, it’s clearly not 100% back to ‘business as usual’, it is definitely getting there.
Roasted cauliflower mixture:
2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)
1/2 cup pancetta (thinly sliced)
1/2 red onion (chopped)
1 TSP lemon juice
2 TSP sugar
salt and pepper
Pasta and sauce:
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
2 cups cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 TSP tomato paste
2 cups red swiss chard (chopped and blanched)
4 cups cooked gnocchi
2 TSP balsamic vinegar
So, I finally got a ‘real’ camera, a ‘big boy’ camera, if you will. Thank you for the golf claps (I imagined golf claps after the first sentence). It was an expensive purchase, slightly scary, but, I find, pricey times like these seem less real when you just close your eyes and hand someone your credit card. I approach the majority of life’s situations like this…Anyway, five days later, here I am with this ‘big’ camera and a couple different lenses that I don’t know how to deal with and all I’m thinking is: ‘Is this what puberty was like?’. Yes, yes it was. Except it didn’t cost me $1000.
I do realize that this recipe is going up on Valentine’s Day and, although, gnocchi doesn’t necessary lend itself to ‘romance’, I think eating this for dinner could be, at the very least, chalked up to a fun foodie fling.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Put the cauliflower mixture into a prepared baking dish and let bake in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, give the dish a quick stir, turn heat to high broil, and let cook for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower and pancetta really start to caramelize and crisp up. Remove from oven and set aside for now.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add in the flour and whisk to form a rue. Pour in the cream. Once the liquid begins to simmer and thicken, stir in the grated cheese, sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce to medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
Now you can add the cauliflower/pancetta mixture to the pan as well as the chard and cooked gnocchi. Toss a few times to coat everything in the sauce. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar and give the pan one last, solid toss.
Serve nice and hot to hungry dinner-mates!
Total cook time…40 min
1 yellow onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 fuji apples (cored, chopped)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP lapsang souchong tea (crushed…also optional if this freaks you out!)
salt and pepper
Over the past couple summers, I’ve become slightly addicted to creating my own BBQ sauces (see espresso or root beer versions) simply because they’re quick to make, and much more pat-on-the-back appropriate than anything that you can buy out of a bottle. This apple BBQ sauce is awesome as a marinade for anything you’re wanting to pop on the grill, except for apples…with apple BBQ sauce? That would be inappropriate, too much apple. Anyway if you’re unfamiliar with lapsang souchong tea, it is a strong black leaf that has a nice hickory-esque flavour to it. Throwing a tablespoon of this dried black tea into the mix will give it an awesome smokey taste. Trust me!
Alright, start things off by cooking down the onions and garlic in a large pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat. Once the onions have softened, about 5 minutes, toss in the apple chunks. Season with some salt and pepper and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, add in all remaining ingredients and stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place contents of pan in a blender and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. The cayenne should give the sauce enough of a kick, so I’d lay off on adding a pile of pepper.
This BBQ sauce should last up to three weeks in a covered container in your refrigerator. Slather on whatever you please, and enjoy!
Yields 3 cups of sauce
Total cook time…35 min
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup fresh basil (firmly packed)
3 cloves garlic
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
olive oil (2/3 cup approx.)
Finally! I’ve had some time to post a recipe, even if it’s just a super simple one. These past couple months have been ridiculously busy, having a lot of different things going on, especially with Kick The KD, but I see more free time (and sanity!) on the horizon. I made this pesto to go as a garnish for a vegan caprese salad I made a couple weeks back. Just something to spice things up a bit. I definitely would not put this on a hot pasta dish, but it is great on crackers, in a pasta salad, or with a cheese like brie. Definitely a nice addition an at-home charcuterie board, if you’re planning a get-together any time soon! Send me an invite!
Place the first five ingredients in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt, and a good helping of ground black pepper. Slowly pour the olive oil into the food processor while pureeing. Stop once the mixture turns to a paste. Have a taste, add a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Then process a final time.
Remove from processor and store in the refrigerator in a covered container.
Yields 2 cups pesto
Total prep time…10 min
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