We have been working on this recipe for a while. We love pulled pork Sunday at our house. You can throw the roast in the slow cooker and go about your day. At the end of the day you have a delicious pulled pork sandwich and a great protein for the week’s meals. You can throw the leftover meat with some peppers, onions and fresh corn for a delicious pulled pork taco or used it to top a quick dinner of pizza or perogies.
4 lb. pork shoulder
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. yellow mustard seed
2 tsp. black mustard seed
2 tsp. toasted fennel seed
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. toasted cumin seed
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. celery salt
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp. of dried chili flakes (to your desired spice level)
6 tsp. brown sugar
1 cup tomato purée
Toast the fennel and cumin seed in a dry pan on medium heat. Remove from heat when you can smell the herbs being careful not to burn. Grind the seeds to a fine powder. Combine the remaining dry ingredients and stir to form a rub. Crust all the surfaces of the pork shoulder with the spice rub. Heat oil in pan and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. Place browned pork in the slow cooker – add tomato, chilies, brown sugar and vinegar. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the meat begins to fall apart. We like to serve the pulled pork on a bun with fresh coleslaw.
This recipe comes from a freelance hobbyist sometimes known by the name of Guitar Blair. Perhaps it’s the influence of the delicious Indian food in the South Okanagan but this blend of spices brings great balance and depth of flavour to any curry dish. We are particularly fond of it in our creamy curry roasted cauliflower soup. The best tip for curry blends is to use fresh ingredients and make it often, so it always tastes fresh! Keeping track of spice variations in each blend helps hone the mix that best suits your palette!
3 tbsp. coriander seed
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fenugreek seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. yellow mustard seed
1 tsp. black cardamom seeds
2 tsp. crushed peppercorn
6 whole cloves
2 tbsb. turmeric
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)
Break open the cardamom pods to reveal the seeds inside. Slow toast all the seeds in a dry skillet being careful not to burn! When you can start to smell the spices take them off the heat. Cool seeds. Add the peppercorns, cloves and red pepper flakes. Grind the blend till fine, stir in turmeric and start cooking!
Zest the citrus. Combine the sea salt and sugar together. Cut the filet in two pieces. It will work best if the two pieces are the same size.
Lay one piece of salmon skin down in a glass casserole dish. Cover the flesh of the salmon with the sea salt and sugar mixture. Cover the salmon with citrus zest and dill. Cover the other piece of salmon similarly with the sugar and salt mixture. Place the remaining zest and dill on the first piece. Place the second piece on the first piece to sandwich them together, flesh sides facing each other. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
The mixture will cook the salmon and as it does so, the salmon will throw off a lot of liquid. The next day, remove both pieces of salmon from the dish and drag each flesh side down through the liquid that the salmon has thrown off. Sandwich the filets together again (fleshy parts toward each other). Repeat this twice each day. Flip the sandwich stack so that each filet gets equal time sitting in the liquid mixture. Remain covered for 48 hours. If the fish looks like it has thrown off too much liquid and its edges are being cooked too much by the liquid, pour some of the liquid off so that it does not overcook the fish.
After 48 hours, the salmon will look bright with a lovely colour. Taste the brine to determine the flavour. Lay the salmon on a metal drying rack over a casserole dish and place in the fridge overnight to dry off some of the residual liquid.
The next day the salmon will be ready to serve – either on its own, or with red onions, cream cheese and capers on bagels, on salad, in smoked salmon eggs benedict – the possibilities are endless! Enjoy this recipe which one of our favourite chefs, Sandi Irving, taught us to make during a great visit we had together. This recipe was a critical way to help deal with the homesickness solely felt for the home-smoked salmon we devour whenever back in the northwest. Sandi is the Executive Chef at Nimmo Bay Luxury Wilderness Resort and in her off-seasons, she works as Entremetier at the Sooke Harbour House, both on British Columbia’s locavore heaven, Vancouver Island.
*A quick safety note: The fresh salmon that you buy at the store will have been frozen at sea, which is sufficient to stave off worms and other lovelies. If you are using salmon you’ve freshly caught yourself, please freeze it for 24-48 hours in order to ensure that this is done. Once the Gravlax is made, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days – if it lasts that long.
This is an annual hobbyist canning tradition and signals the end of winter and beginning of canning season. Along with a delicious marmalade the first signs of spring means making Preserved Lemons. This is one of the easiest things to can and it has so much versatility for cooking. We inevitably devour ours over the Fall and Winter months. Since you eat the peel of the lemons we always use organic lemons. Regular table salt will give them a chemical taste so be sure to use kosher or sea salt.
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Wash and dry the lemons. Slice off the stem end and place flat part down on the cutting board. Cut a ‘X’ through the lemon stopping about 1/2″ from the end. Pack salt into the lemon (1-1/2 tbsp. per lemon). Repeat, stuffing salt filled lemons into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. When the jar is full press down on the lemons firmly to get the juices flowing. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning press them down again to release more juice. Repeat this for 2 days. If you need extra liquid squeeze the juice of an additional lemon into the jar to cover the salted lemons.
Put the finished jar(s) in the fridge and wait 4-6 weeks. When they are ready to go, scrape out the pulp and slice or dice the peel. This is a fun one to experiment with so be creative. We love it tossed with some quinoa, shallots and roasted vegetables. It is also a hobbyist favorite on naan bread pizza. Enjoy!
Chop the chilis roughly and then cover with boiling water, leaving them to soak for approximately one hour. Drain the water and puree the chilis in a food processor. Add the spices and garlic, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. Puree the mixture together for 30 seconds, then use a spatula to scrape the sides of the food processor before mixing for another 30 seconds or so. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp of sea salt, then puree the mixture again. Continue this cycle, repeating the process until all of the olive oil and sea salt has been added and the mixture has formed a thick paste.
Sterilize the canning jars, using either medium sized jam jars or large squat jars, while sterilizing the lids and rings as well. Spoon the paste in the clean, sterilized canning jars. Process the jars by placing them in a pot of boiling water, with an inch or so of water covering the jars. Keep the jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool.
The harissa is excellent for adding that bit of needed spice to couscous, paella or most any recipe around the kitchen that needs a bit of kick. There is always a revolving jar of harissa in our fridge since it finds its way in a surprising number of our dishes…
Cook the peppers under the broiler for about five minutes on each side or until thoroughly blackened, removing those that blacken first as the rest finish. Place poblanos in a paper bag, closing it to let them steam for 15 minutes. Rub the skin off of the poblanos, then remove the stems and seeds of all of the peppers and dice them. In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the onions and cook them for 10 minutes or until they are just starting to soften and turn brown. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chilis, potatoes, broth, cilantro and spices. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened enough. Scoop out 2 cups of the soup and set aside. Puree the rest of the soup in a food processor (or with a wand) until smooth and then mix in the portion set aside. Add the milk and half and half (or yoghurt) and cook until warmed. Add the lime juice and serve with queso fresco and a bit more chopped cilantro.
Thanks to the Homesick Texan, Lisa Fain, for her livening up of an El Paso Junior League recipe, which we played with a bit further and hope she approves. Check out her site for some great recipes.
Ever since we had their version of this soup at Edible Canada Bistro on Granville Island we’ve been utterly infatuated. Fitting that we post this recipe on Valentine’s Day because we are in love with this soup. Who knew that blue cheese and cauliflower were meant to be together. If you can get your hands on some bacon salt to garnish the top you won’t be disappointed. We haven’t tried using roasted cauliflower but think it would add terrific flavour. We will be sure to try it next time and report back. Paired with a delicious riesling (like the Pressing Matters R9 Riesling) or gewurztraminer and you have a great meal ahead of you.
1 medium head of cauliflower
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
3 tsp. all purpose flour
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
1 tsp. ground pepper
2-3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Chopped fresh chives, bacon salt and fresh extra virgin olive oil.
Break down the cauliflower into small florets. Over medium heat, melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion, leek, celery, and cauliflower. Cover and cook until onion is tender, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add flour, paprika and pepper and stir for two minutes. Gradually stir in broth and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until vegetables are tender and soup has begun to thicken (about 20 minutes). Puree soup in blender and return to saucepan. Bring to a simmer and gradually add the stilton cheese. Once the cheese has combined into the soup add the apple cider vinegar. Season to taste with white pepper and salt.
While we love to host a big blowout dinner, day to day we are busy folk who relish a quick and easy recipe during a busy work week. This fall we decided to try mastering a few quick and easy baking recipes. We can’t count the number of times we have woken up on a Saturday morning to realize we have nothing for breakfast. This recipe is a Saturday morning saviour and splurge all in one. It is hard to beat a fresh warm biscuit out of the oven, especially on a rainy fall or winter morning. The recipe requires so few ingredients you almost always have them lying around the house. They are so easy you can have them fresh out of the oven before your first coffee is cold.
1-3/4 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup fresh herbs (see suggested blends below)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cheese (optional)
Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk and cheese stir until a sticky dough consistency. Pull off ~1″ diameter balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter to get a nice golden coating on top.
Herb Blends – the mixture of herbs you can use in these is part of the fun. You can either raid whatever is growing crazy in the pantry or make a blend to suit your mood/meal. We love a simple parsley and cheddar with meat stews or soups. Lemon or orange zest is great with melted butter and fresh jam on a weekend morning. If you are having a fish based soup try lemon and tarragon. The possibilities are endless!
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