My March newsletter is out. I am changing the name to match my blog, All Our Fingers in the Pie. Made more sense to me than rebranding with yet another name. Two names are enough - Sarah and All Our Fingers in the Pie.
If you would like to receive my newsletter on a regular basis, please leave a comment or email me. I will not be posting it on my blog after this month.
Food is my passion. This is the first time I have participated at a Farmer's Market and it has been a learning curve! It has been so much more work than I ever imagined. You feel like you are on a treadmill sometimes. I have cooking classes in my home, offer cooking class parties in your home and have a blog called "All Our Fingers in the Pie". This is my free monthly newsletter. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of this page. Or if you would like it sent to a different email address, just let me know! Thanks!
Vindaloo Basa Basa is so cheap and it readily takes on any flavour you want to add. Tonight I used some of my Premala's Vindaloo Curry Sauce. Saute celery, onion, plantain and sweet pepper in canola oil. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add 3 - 4 tablespoons of the curry sauce. Add basa and brown on both sides. Add the vegetables back. Saute until the basa flakes easily. Serve immediately.
Brome Lake Duck Brome Lake ducks set the standard for duck in this country. I could not believe my good fortune to find individually frozen legs at Co-Op today. I have a lot of rendered duck fat in my freezer so I will be making confit with these two lovely legs. They then can be turned into a risotto, a winter salad with bitter greens or just crisped in a pan to have with some pan fried potatoes. Such a nice treat on a cold winters day. And, did you know that duck fat is far healthier than butter but not quite as good as olive oil.
What Are You Planting This Year?
Please communicate back to me! I would love to hear what you have planned for your garden this year. My usual is mesculun greens for salad, multi-coloured chard, roma tomatoes, carrots and beets. I have a very small patch. My perennials are rhubarb, strawberries, French tarragon, and chives. I want to add a few more herbs. I want to enlarge my patch. But I would love to hear what exotics and lovelies you will be cultivating this year. And if we can create an exchange of plants, all the better!
Wine of the Month...
Heritage Road Bloodstone 2010 Shiraz was a wine that one of my cooking class participants recommended. I bought some, and yes, it is yummy! Full bodied and was great with our Cinghiale Sugo and Duck Breast with Pomegranate Chile Sauce. And only $14.
For the love of food...the love of creating...the love of eating...with friends.
Food is the great socializer. Whether we are gourmands or simply eat to survive there is no denying that we all eat with friends. Friends are offered coffee or family is offered a meal. Anyone who just drops in is offered some food in most cultures. Whether it is a simple picnic or an elegant dinner, we enjoy breaking bread with friends.
Make Your Own Ricotta
How many times do you use ricotta? I rarely use it for several reasons. Well, first of all it is expensive. And I don't eat much cheese or dairy. But I needed ricotta to make some gnocchi (little Italian dumplings). I priced out a quart of milk - $1.99 - versus a 250ml container of ricotta - $3.99. Well, if you use a quart of milk to make ricotta it equals 250 mls of ricotta. So I have just saved $2.00 and I also know there are no additives.
It is embarrasingly easy to make ricotta. Pour one litre of whole milk into a pot and scald. Turn off the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and cover. Let this sit for one hour. Then line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain the curds from the milk. I strain it overnight in the refrigerator for a drier ricotta.
Taste Travel to Italy.....We had a lot of fun and good food at the class this month. The menu included Cinghiale Sugo (Wild boar stew) with dried Okanagan cherries, black truffle sauce and other aromatics. We made local duck breast with pomegranate chile sauce, sweet potato gnocchi, risotto Milanese, antipasti and vanilla bean pannacotta as one of the desserts. It was a tasting menu with about a dozen recipes.
Register now for the next Dinner Club - Traditional & Contemporary Irish fare on March 17. 5:30pm. $50 per person...the recipes I have chosen are inspired by Ely Hq Gastro Pub in Dublin and The Spotted Pig in NYC. We use as many local ingredients as possible so you can recreate these dishes at home. Register now.
Make Your Own Yogurt
If you liked that ricotta tip then you will love this yogurt encouragement. I make all of my yogurt from scratch. Whole milk or light milk can be used. Bring one liter of milk to just the boil. It is called scalding. The reason for scalding milk is that an enzyme must be de-activated before a culture will flourish. Let the milk cool to 90F or lukewarm. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cultured yogurt or yogurt starter. Cover and insulate with a towel. Let this incubate for 4 or 5 hours. Let this sit until you reach the consistency you desire. Then refrigerate. When it is refrigerated it will no longer thicken. You can add fruit, maple syrup, jams or jellies to your taste. I love it with granola.
Yogurt starter can be found at Nutters. Alternatively, you could carefully read the label of store bought yogurt. If it has live culture, then you can use that as a starter.
At the end of the day, we are the only ones who can be accountable for how we feel. Yes, we can be responsible for our own health. I know I am speaking to the converted but if we truly want to be healthy, then, it is up to us. Choose your team wisely. You will want a physician, a pharmacist, a nutritionist, a naturopath and perhaps a coach to help put this all together for you. We deserve this. These people will help us make choices that will improve our overall health.
Have you met Caroline Barrington yet? Caroline is as passionate about your health as I am about my food. She is a personal health coach. This is what she says, "I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals".
I met Caroline at the Farmer's Market. She walks her talk and has extensive knowledge that will help you get control of your body's health. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grana Padano is the best parmesan cheese. Co-op & Safeway have blocks of this wondeful cheese in a container with its own grater called Twist and Shave. You can have freshly grated parmesan so easily and without having to pull out a grater or buying a special grater. It is far better than the pre-grated cheese that doesn't even look like cheese. Cost? Around $9 and it will last for weeks, or months, depending upon how much you use.
Have You Checked Out Co-op....
I love browsing through Etc Etc or Scentiments but if you want something very basic and simple, have you been to Co-op? I have been here for a year and did not find this hidden gem. There is a wonderful selection of everyday essentials and a cache of essentials for making lefsa.