Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Coconut & Almond Crumble


Strawberries are here!  I was so excited to see the strawberries out at the farmers' markets and I just couldn't wait to bite into a big juicy berry!  My family and I went to a local farm market to pick up a flat of freshly picked strawberries and a handful of rhubarb, so that I could make a pie!  My daughter had never had a strawberry before, so we took her out by the strawberry patch and watched as she had her first taste of this delightful fruit.



I've been working with coconut flour lately, so I wanted to make a pie crust with it to see how it would turn out.  The flavour was fantastic and it complimented the strawberry and rhubarb very well.


Gluten Free Pie Crust Ingredients


3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
2 eggs, plus 1 egg white (for a wash)
2 tablespoons honey

Directions


Preheat oven, with baking sheet in the oven, to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine coconut flour, rice flour and salt in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs, add honey and butter.

Add the wet mixture to the dry until combined.  Using your hands work dough into a ball.  The dough will not work like a conventional pie dough, so you cannot roll it out.  Using your hands mould the dough into the pie pan.

Using the egg whites and brush a coat onto the pie crust.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pie crust on the baking sheet.  Put back in the oven and bake the crust for 5 minutes.

Set aside and allow to cool.



Pie Filling Ingredients


4 cups strawberries, quartered
2 cups rhubarb, sliced
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
4 tablespoons honey

Directions


Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.

Place into the pie pan on top of the crust.


Crumble Ingredients


1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
3/4 cup oats
14/ cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

Directions

Toss all ingredients in a bowl.  Butter should spread out and leave clumps in the mixture.

Spread crumble evenly across the top of the pie.

Place the pie in the oven and bake for approximately 60 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Ultimate Burger



I wanted to make something for Father's Day that would satisfy the meat loving fathers in my family.  The first thing that came to mind was a burger.  I set my sights on making the most indulgent burger possible.  The typical ground beef burger was not going to cut it!  One type of cheese just wouldn't be enough!  A bun...no way!  This burger had to be something spectacular.  

It all began with taking a pork shoulder out of the freezer.  Thawed it.  Brined it.  Marinated it.  There would be pulled pork on this meat lovers burger.  The patty had to be full of flavour and have amazing texture.  I decided on Top Sirloin steak and bacon for the flavour and that hand grinding the meat (chopping it) would give it the inconsistent texture I was hoping for.  I chopped it all into tiny pieces, but this wasn't enough, it just wasn't going to make this burger what I wanted it to be.  So, I stuffed the burgers with some amazing soft brie cheese.  I was starting to get there, but there were still a couple missing pieces.  The bun couldn't be a plain old burger bun, it had to be a grilled cheese sandwich on both sides, with lots of cheddar cheese (oozing!).  Finally, there needed to be some sort of sauce, so I made a sweet tomato and shallot jam.  Ahhhhh, there you have it...

The Ultimate Burger Stuffed with Brie, Topped with Pulled Pork, Sandwiched Between Two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Smothered in Tomato Shallot Jam


Pulled Pork 


I used the same pulled pork recipe from a previous post Pulled Pork Tacos.


Burger Patty Ingredients


2 pounds Top Sirloin steak
1/2 pound bacon
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Directions


Chop the steak and bacon into tiny pieces.  Cut the steak into smaller chunks and chop one chunk at a time. It is easier this way and you don't have too much on a cutting board at one time.  Place in a large bowl once complete.

Add all remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

Form burger patties.  I made 6, but you could probably get 8-10 smaller patties if you choose.



Tomato Shallot Jam Ingredients


3 tomatoes
4 shallots
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions


Place tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a bowl and puree using an immersion blender.

Stir in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.

Put in a saucepan and reduce on low for 30-45 minutes.


Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients


12 burger buns, sliced
48 slices of cheddar cheese
butter

Using the crust as the inner part of the sandwich, place the cheese in the middle of the 12 sandwiches.

Butter the outer sides of the buns (which is really the inside) and pan fry until golden brown and cheese has melted.

Use one grilled cheese sandwich on the top of the burger and one on the bottom.










Monday, June 10, 2013

Thai Red Curry & Coconut Brook Trout


Fly fishing is an art.  It's not like fishing with a spinning reel, where just about anyone can pick up a rod and fish with some level of success.  Fly fishing takes skill, and when done well it is like dancing; it is rhythmic and graceful.  I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to fish at the Glen Major Angler's Club a few times over the past several years.  This private fishing club is located in the hamlet of Glen Major.  It is situated on over 100 acres of forest, has a rustic clubhouse and two ponds with boats for the members to utilize.  David Taylor, a long time member of the club, hosted us at the club this past weekend for a day of fly fishing.  


We started at the clubhouse where David gathered gear, prepared the rods, reels and flies.  


When everything was assembled and ready to go we headed down to the pond to start fishing.  The ponds are shallow and the water was crystal clear, so we could see the fish swimming along the bottom.  There were also fish jumping at the hatch of bugs swarming over the water, so it was easy enough to know where the fish were and where we should be fishing.  


It wasn't long long before the fish started to bite.   


The day was a success!  We caught four beautiful Brook Trout that we gutted and cleaned for dinner.



I thought I would try to cook the fish with coconut milk.  My father has been raving about the poached fish he has been making with it, so I thought I would include that in my recipe.

The fish had a mild curry and coconut flavour with just a hint of spice.  A perfect meal for a warm summer's day.



Ingredients


2 Brook Trout, skin on (head and tail optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2" ginger, finely chopped
1 shallot, sliced
1 hot red chili, sliced
1 lemongrass shoot, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped for garnish

Directions

In a large frying pan over medium heat add coconut oil.

Once coconut oil has melted add the ginger, shallot, red chili, lemongrass and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until starting to brown.

Add red curry paste and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Place fish in the frying pan and sear each side for 2-3 minutes, so skin browns nicely.

Add coconut milk to the frying pan, cover and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Remove fish from pan.

Remove skin, plate and top with a couple spoons of the coconut milk mixture (make sure to get some of the bits in the sauce to place on top of the fish)

Garnish with cilantro.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Sweet Pea Salad with Creamy Avocado Citrus Vinaigrette



A few weeks ago I was contacted by Uxbridge Town Talk, a local print publication, to contribute a summer salad recipe for their UTT Kitchen segment.  I immediately agreed and got to work! I had the weekend to put it all together,  so off to the farmer's market and the grocery store I went to get all the seasonal salad ingredients I could find.  I came home with enough produce to make salad for 25 people!  I got to work creating a variety of different salad and dressing ideas.  My husband and I tasted all the combinations that I came up with.  Finally deciding to go with this one because it was fresh, light and creamy.  A compliment to any summer meal.  

Welcome summer!  I'm so happy you're here.



Salad Ingredients


2-3 oz baby romaine
1/2 cucumber, cut into half moons
6-8 radishes, finely sliced
1/4 bunch parsley, cut into small florets
1bunch green onions, bias sliced
24 fresh sweet peas, peas removed from pods
1 handful sprouted peas, cut stems short

Dressing Ingredients


1/4 avocado
2 tablespoons creme fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper and coarse salt to taste

Directions


In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients (except sprouted peas).

In a blender combine all dressing ingredients. . Blend until smooth.

Drizzle salad with Creamy Avocado Citrus dressing and garnish with sprouted peas.