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Golden Gazpacho

Golden Gazpacho

Few summer soups capture the freshness of the season with the clarity of gazpacho. This version takes a bit of time to let the many layered flavours combine, but can be adjusted to accommodate whatever texture or ingredients you choose. It’s a wonderful starter or a summer lunch on its own. 5 lbs (2.5 kg) ripe field tomatoes 5 lbs (2.5 kg) yellow heirloom tomatoes, halved and seeded 1/2 red onion 1/2 cucumber 1/2 yellow zucchini 1/2 green zucchini 1/2 jicama (Mexican tuber, available year-round) 1/2 red pepper 1/2 yellow pepper 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped 1/3 cup (80 mL) white wine vinegar 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Tabasco sauce Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Olive oil Pulse field tomatoes in food processor. Tie off pulp in cheesecloth, add pinch of salt to draw out liquid, place in large strainer, and let sit over a large bowl in refrigerator for 24 hours. The following day, puree yellow tomatoes until sauce consistency. Finely dice all other vegetables and add to yellow tomato puree with chopped coriander. Squeeze any remaining liquid from cheesecloth before adding tomato water from bowl to the puree and diced vegetable mixture. Discard solids remaining in the cheesecloth. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 24 hours, then dress with a few drops of olive oil before serving. Serves 6. source: " One ", alive #309, July 2008

Vanilla Coconut Pannacotta with Strawberry Compote

Vanilla Coconut Pannacotta with Strawberry Compote

Pannacotta elevates the final course to a sumptuous art. Spoon extra compote over yogourt to yield a delicious dessert. Pannacotta 6 gelatin leaves or 2 packets (30 mL) powdered gelatin 1 cup (250 mL) whipping (35 percent) cream 1 cup (250 mL) whole milk 1 cup (250 mL) condensed milk 3 cups (750 mL) coconut milk 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise Fresh mint for garnish Strawberry Compote 1/4 cup (60 mL) organic sugar 2 cups (500 mL) strawberries, quartered 2 cups (500 mL) water To prepare pannacotta, place gelatin in cold water to soften (about 1 minute). Warm whipping cream, whole milk, condensed milk, coconut milk, and vanilla bean in saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring mixture to simmer (about 10 minutes) and then remove from heat. When mixture cools enough to touch but is still hot enough to melt the gelatin, add gelatin, whisking until dissolved. Remove vanilla pod. Divide mixture among 6 small ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. To prepare strawberry compote, heat strawberries and water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Strain, setting aside strained liquid and berries in separate bowls. Place strained liquid back into pot with sugar and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool to the touch before adding reserved strawberries. To serve, turn each pannacotta out onto a plate and spoon the strawberry compote over top and around base. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 6. source: " One ", alive #309, July 2008

Chilled Lobster Salad with Pink Grapefruit, Avocado, and Citrus Dressing

Chilled Lobster Salad with Pink Grapefruit, Avocado, and Citrus Dressing

Sweet Atlantic lobster is always a treat. It vies for attention when offset with a touch of tartness and dressed with fresh greens. Local farmers’ markets offer a great selection of greens at this time of year; don’t shy away from adding small doses of edible florals. 3 - 2 lb (1 kg) lobsters, steamed and then chilled 2 pink grapefruit, segmented 3 avocados, halved and pitted 6 cups (1.5 L) organic greens 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped 1/4 bunch fresh chervil, chopped 1/4 bunch frisee lettuce 1/2 cup (125 mL) celery leaves 1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped Citrus Dressing 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) lemon juice 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice 1 Tbsp (15 mL) organic sugar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2 cups (500 mL) olive oil CrèmeFraiche 1 cup (250 mL) whipping (35 percent) cream 2 Tbsp (30 mL) buttermilk The day before, prepare crème fraiche. Whisk together whipping cream and buttermilk and let stand at room temperature overnight. Prepare citrus dressing by whisking together lemon, lime, and orange juices, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Shell cooked lobster and slice into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces. To assemble the salad, arrange 1/2 lobster, 1/2 sliced avocado, and 4 to 5 pink grapefruit segments on each plate. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with crème fraiche. Toss greens, coriander, chervil, frisee, and celery leaves with citrus dressing. Top lobster with dressed greens and drizzle more crème fraiche, if desired. Top with chopped chives. Serves 6. source: " One ", alive #309, July 2008

Fresh Berry Tart with Goat's Milk-Lemon Pastry Cream and Polenta Pastry

Fresh Berry Tart with Goat's Milk-Lemon Pastry Cream and Polenta Pastry

Sourcing goat’s milk is easier every day; it has a unique flavour and ease of digestion that contributes to its increasing popularity. This is a year-round dessert that lends itself to whatever fruit is fresh and local. Pastry Cream: 1 cup (250 mL) goat’s milk 1 cup (250 mL) lemon juice 6 egg yolks 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch. Combine the milk and lemon juice, place in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Combine the yolks, sugar, flour, and starch; whisk to combine. When the milk mixture boils, pour into the egg mix, whisking all the while. Pour back into the saucepan, and over a medium-low heat, whisk until the mixture is bubbling and thick. Pour into a container to cool down and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to stop a skin from forming. Polenta Pastry 1 vanilla bean, scraped for beans only 1/2 cup (125 mL) soft butter 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sugar 1 lemon, zest only 1 Tbsp (15 mL) rosemary, chopped 2 Tbsp (30 mL) whipping cream 1 whole egg 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) flour 1/4 cup (60 mL) cornmeal In the bowl of a mixer set with a paddle, combine vanilla bean, butter, sugar, lemon zest, and rosemary. Mix in cream and whole egg until combined. Mix together flour and cornmeal separately and add to butter mix in two or three additions; it should just come together. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Roll out to about 1/4 in (0.65 cm) thick and use to line a 9 in (23 cm) tart pan that you have greased with butter. Trim off any excess dough and line with parchment paper and baking beans. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp and dry to the touch. Let cool. To Serve: 2 to 3 pints (1 to 1.5 L) seasonal berries Icing sugar to garnish Fill tart shell with chilled pastry cream and top with assorted fresh berries; dust with icing sugar and serve. Serves 6. source: " The Spirit of Café Brio ", alive #308, June 2008

Fava Bean Salad with Prosciutto and Warm Mozzarella Crostini

Fava Bean Salad with Prosciutto and Warm Mozzarella Crostini

Buffalo mozzarella is an artisan gem, but do not be discouraged working this recipe through with other high-quality mozzarella. Just avoid cheaper versions with higher moisture contents. 3 cups (750 mL) fava beans, shelled and blanched (Remove the beans from the pod and blanch in boiling salted water for about 25 seconds. Drain and refresh in ice water.) 1 cup (250 mL) mint leaves, coarsely chopped or torn 1 cup (250 mL) basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn 1/2 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice 4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil Salt and black pepper to taste 150 g prosciutto, thinly sliced 1 large ball (1/2 to 1 lb/225-450 kg) buffalo mozzarella (or your favourite kind) 1/2 baguette Extra-virgin olive oil for finishing For the fava bean salad, toss all ingredients (except prosciutto, mozzarella, and baguette) together before serving and season to taste. Leave to come up to room temperature while you prepare crostini. Thinly slice baguette on the bias into 12 pieces and toast in 350 F (180 C) oven until crisp and dry (about 3 to 5 minutes). Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Slice mozzarella, divide amongst crostini, and return to oven until just warm (1 to 2 minutes). To assemble the dish, scoop a pile of fava bean salad onto each plate, dress with the prosciutto, and arrange a pair of crostini atop. Drizzle with olive oil and pepper if you like. Serves 6. source: " The Spirit of Café Brio ", alive #308, June 2008

All-night Roasted Shoulder of Organic Pork with Green Apple, Scallions and Almonds

All-night Roasted Shoulder of Organic Pork with Green Apple, Scallions and Almonds

Sourcing organic protein and working with large cuts is both responsible and delicious, yielding unsurpassed flavour and value. The only way for the choice of protein to be improved is through consumer voice, so don’t be bashful with your butcher. 10 lb (4.5 kg) organic pork shoulder, bone in and skin on (ask for skin to be scored) 1/2 cup (125 mL) salt 1/4 cup (60 mL) black pepper, crushed 3 green apples, cut into quarters 1 green apple, a tart variety 1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds, whole, skin on, toasted in 350 F (180 C) oven for 10 minutes 2 shallots, minced 1 bunch scallion, washed, trimmed, and cut into julienne 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup (60 mL) almond oil 2 lemons, zested and juiced Mix together salt and black pepper. Rub over pork shoulder and let marinate, covered, in refrigerator overnight. Take pork out of fridge 2 hours before you plan to roast it. Wash excess marinade from pork and dry with paper towels. In roasting pan, make a layer of the 3 quartered apples; place pork atop. Cover pork with parchment paper; cover whole pan with foil. Place into preheated 190 F (95 C) oven and cook for 12 hours. This is best done overnight; as long as you set the temperature correctly, you have nothing to worry about. When done, remove from oven, remove foil, and let rest for an hour. Remove pork from pan and place on platter; keep warm. Pour pan juices through strainer and push cooked apple through. Skim off as much grease as possible and bring to boil. In a pot over medium-high heat, cook until slightly syrupy and reduced in volume by 50 percent. Taste sauce for seasoning and adjust as necessary. While pork is resting, slice remaining apple as thinly as possible and toss with almonds, shallots, scallions, almond oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and black pepper; set aside. Serve on 6 warm dinner plates with slices of pork drizzled with sauce and topped with apple salad. Serves 6. Source: " Fuel Restaurant ", alive #307, May 2008

Organic Duck Broth with Fennel, Orange and Thyme

Organic Duck Broth with Fennel, Orange and Thyme

The key here is a good butcher with the bones to prove it! Naturally, you can work with other poultry as well, though the duck bones do bring a greater flavour to the broth. 5 lbs (2.25 kg) organic duck bones (ask your local butcher) 4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 3 heads fresh fennel, 2 roughly chopped and 1 sliced very thinly 1 medium onion, roughly chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 8 cloves garlic, sliced 2 oranges, zested and juiced 1 bunch fresh thyme Olive oil as needed Black pepper, freshly ground Salt Preheat oven and roasting pan to 425 F (220 C). Toss duck bones with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast bones in preheated roasting pan for 20 minutes before adding chopped vegetables, fresh thyme (save a small portion for the fennel salad), and garlic. Continue to roast until everything is a nice mahogany brown (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and scoop bones and vegetables into large stockpot. In roasting pan, pour off accumulated fat. Pour in orange juice and using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits in bottom of pan. Pour into stockpot. Cover bones with 3 in (7.5 cm) cold water. Bring to simmer, but do not boil. Skim well of any foam or fat. Continue to simmer for 4 hours before straining through cheesecloth into a container. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Broth can be frozen at this point for up to 3 months, or kept in fridge for 2 days. To serve, take very thinly sliced fennel and toss with small amount of olive oil; season with salt, pepper, remaining thyme, and orange zest. Place this in bottom of bowl. Bring duck broth up to boil and serve atop immediately. Serves 6 Source: " Fuel Restaurant ", alive #307, May 2008

Roasted Heirloom Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad

Roasted Heirloom Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad

Various types of beets and honey can take this dish in plenty of delicious directions. Honey takes its flavour from the fields that surround the apiary and there are many varieties to explore, ranging from fireweed to blueberry to wildflower. 1 lb (450 g) heirloom beets, as many varieties as you find 6 Tbsp (90 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 bunch fresh thyme 2 heads butter lettuce, washed and dried well 1/2 cup (125 mL) ricotta cheese 3 limes 1/2 cup (125 mL) fireweed honey (or any high-quality honey you like) 3/4 cup (180 mL) peanut oil Salt Black pepper, freshly ground To roast beets, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Wash and trim beets before placing in ovenproof dish, ensuring all are roughly the same size. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss with sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast until tender (40 to 60 minutes, depending on size). Check with tip of sharp knife: they should offer no resistance. Remove beets from oven and cool until you are able to handle them. Peel beets and cut into irregular shapes. This can be done up to a day ahead. To make dressing, zest and juice limes, reserve the zest, and place juice in bowl. Pour in honey and slowly whisk in peanut oil. Season dressing to taste. To make salad, divide leaves of butter lettuce among six cold plates. Toss beets with a portion of the dressing and divide among the plates. Using a spoon, make small mounds of ricotta on salads. Sprinkle tops with lime zest and top each salad with more dressing. Serves 6. Source: " Fuel Restaurant ", alive #307, May 2008

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll with Orange Cream Cheese Filling

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll with Orange Cream Cheese Filling

This gluten-free pumpkin roll is so delicious, no one will suspect that it does not contain wheat flour. Alternate instructions are included if you prefer to use wheat flour. This recipe can be made ahead and stored in the freezer. Cake: 3 large eggs, separated 3/4 cup (180 mL) sugar *1/2 cup (125 mL) fine ground brown rice flour *1/4 cup (60 mL) tapioca flour *1 tsp (5 mL) powdered egg replacer *1/4 tsp (1 mL) guar gum 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg Pinch of salt 2/3 cup (160 mL) canned solid pack pumpkin 2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice 1 Tbsp (15 mL) powdered sugar Filling: 1/3 cup (80 mL) cream cheese, at room temperature 1/3 cup (80 mL) powdered sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tsp (5 mL) zest from organic navel orange 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Grease a 13 x 9 in (33 x 23 cm) rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Cover with parchment paper and allow a little to overhang the ends. Grease parchment paper. Beat egg whites until stiff. In a large separate bowl, mix dry ingredients well. In a third bowl, beat egg yolks until thick. With a wire whisk, gently fold pumpkin and orange juice into egg yolks. Add to dry mixture and mix just until combined. Take a quarter of the beaten egg whites and fold into pumpkin mixture. Using the whisk, add remaining egg whites, folding them in carefully. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until toothpick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes. While the roll is baking, prepare a clean, thin kitchen towel by sifting icing sugar over the surface. When cake is ready, allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Then quickly flip the cake over onto the towel, using the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan. Gently remove the parchment paper. Roll up cake in the towel, starting with the short side of the cake. Allow to cool completely. While cake is cooling, prepare the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar, on high, until light and fluffy. Add the orange juice, zest, and vanilla; mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, whip the cream. Fold the cream cheese into the whipped cream. When cake is completely cool, gently unroll it. Do not worry if there are cracks; they will get filled in with the cream. Spread inner layer of cake with filling and re-roll cake. Place on serving platter and spread remaining cream over the top of the cake. You may serve immediately as this cake is very moist, but it will set better if allowed to chill for several hours before cutting. To decorate, drizzle some maple syrup over the top of the cake, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, or arrange thin orange slices on top. To make ahead: I have had success freezing the cake (after it has cooled) in the deep freezer for up to two weeks. Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Re-roll using plastic wrap between the roll layers. Put roll into a large, sealable freezer bag. To thaw, remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature for several hours; then proceed with the filling instructions. Source: alive #305, March 2008

Scuffins

Scuffins

I wanted to create a delicious high-fibre, colon-loving muffin. What I ended up with is a cross between a scone and a muffin. I’m calling my new creation “scuffins.” These portable snacks, or breakfast food, are fibre rich with both soluble and insoluble fibres. Not too sweet, slightly dense, and diabetic friendly, they offer 13 g of fibre per muffin. Now that’s what I call a true colon cleanser. 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) buttermilk 1 cup (250 mL) pure pumpkin puree 3/4 cup (175 mL) organic honey 1 omega-3 egg 3/4 cup (175 mL) whole psyllium husks 1/2 cup (125 mL) oat bran 3/4 cup (175 mL) organic whole wheat flour 3/4 cup (175 mL) organic ground flaxseed 1/2 cup (125 mL) organic wheat bran 2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic wheat germ 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground cinnamon 2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground nutmeg and ground cloves 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda 3/4 cup (175 mL) loosely packed diced organic dates Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line muffin tin with nonstick paper liners. In large bowl whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, honey, and egg. Stir in psyllium husks and oat bran. Let sit for 10 minutes. In medium bowl using a wire whisk or fork, mix together whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, wheat bran, wheat germ, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in dates, coating well with the flour mixture. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. The batter will be very thick and stiff; don’t worry, it’s supposed to be. Scoop evenly into 12 muffin cups. It will seem like a ton, but these make enormous scuffins. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from muffin pan and cool on wire rack for at least 3 hours. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 12 enormous scuffins. Each scuffin contains: 220 calories; 6.35 g protein; 5.5 g total fat (0.76 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat,); 46 g carbs; 13.2 g fibre; 180 mg sodium. source: " Fibre-Full Recipes ", alive #305, March 2008

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