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Chef Bruce; Oats!

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Just in time for those late Robbie Burns Day celebrations, Chef Bruce (of Bruce's Kitchen on Salt Spring Island) has some great ideas for cooking with oats, and some surprises!
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Recipes from Bruce's Kitchen on Salt Spring Island

Oatmeal, walnut & prune bread

 By using organic flour when you make bread you are accomplishing many things.  The first is that you know the integrity of your food, there are no additives, no chemicals and consequently what you get is a product that has a nicer texture and better flavour than something produced with an over processed flour from a large mill. Red fife wheat is a wheat that is being revived and is a uniquely Canadian wheat. There is a woman on Salt Spring who mills it and we get it for use in the restaurant.


40 grams Dry yeast

1 tbsp. Honey

2 tbsp. walnut oil

900 ml. Warm water

1.7 kg. organic flour ~ it can be 3/4 white and 1/4 whole wheat

1 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground in the food processor

1 cup prunes, pitted and roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts toasted in a pan with 1 tbsp. walnut oil

1 tsp. sea salt


In a large bowl combine the yeast, honey, canola oil and warm water and mix well. Let proof for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Turn out onto onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5-7 minutes or until you have a smooth soft mass. Place the dough in a well greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Place in a warm, draught free place and let rise for one hour or until doubled in bulk.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the dough to a clean board and cut in half. Form into two balls and cover with a dry tea towel. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Form the dough into two loaves and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the loaves lightly with oil and slash the top in diagonal slices.

Cover with a dry tea towel and let rest 20 minutes. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when thumped.

Remove from the oven cool on a rack and serve warm.



Midlothian Oatcakes


1 ½ cups fine oatmeal

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

3 oz. Butter

Cold water to mix


Place oatmeal in bowl. Sift in flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Rub in the butter and then mix to a stiff dough with cold water. Turn dough onto a board sprinkled with oatmeal, knead lightly. Roll to ¼ inch thickness and cut into rounds. Place on lightly greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.


Almond challah french toast with brandied peaches


One of the nicest gestures you can make for someone is to cook for them. It doesn't matter if it is toast and tea you have still taken the time to do something nice for your sweetie.


2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tin peach halves (I like Del Monte in fruit juice as they are Canadian)

1/8 tsp. Vanilla

pinch cinnamon

2 tbsp. brandy


in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan heat the butter until lightly browned, add the peaches, vanilla and cinnamon and cook for 3-4 minutes

add the brandy and gently flame the peaches, remove to a clean bowl and allow to cool (this can be down up to three days in advance)


for the french toast ~

2 slices challah, cut 3" thick

3 tbsp. sliced almonds or rolled oats

1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp. whipping cream & 1 tsp. White sugar

2 tbsp. unsalted butter


slice the reserved peaches into small pieces

cut a slit in the side of the piece of challah and cut a pocket in the bread

stuff the pocket with approx. 1/4cup of peaches

heat a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and add the butter

place the almonds in the egg mixture and dip the bread into the egg mixture, place the bread in the hot pan and pour over any remaining batter

cook until well browned, approx. 3-4 minutes

turn over and cook a further 3-4 minutes

remove to a clean plate, dust with icing sugar and serve hot with the sausage patties


for the patties ~

8 oz. ground pork

2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

1/8 tsp. Mixed spices*

2 oz. ice water


mix all ingredients together and let rest for one hour refrigerated

form the mixture into patties 3" in diameter and fry in a little butter until well browned turn and cook a further 3-4 minutes, serve with the french toast


* I always keep a jar of mixed all purpose spice for meat pies etc on hand it is a mixture of one part ground coriander, one part ground nutmeg, one half part ground cinnamon, one quarter part ground cloves and one part dried savoury





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