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Chef Bruce!

Bruce in his kitchen.
This weekend Chef Bruce Wood of Bruce's Kitchen pays tribute to a much respected Salt Spring Islander. 
John Wilcox was a long time farmer and volunteer on the Island and he will be sorely missed by so many friends and by all the people who have enjoyed his harvests.

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Polenta with sharp cheese & roasted garlic


Polenta is the ultimate comfort food. Use it straight from the pot as you would mashed potatoes, or pour it into a mould, chill, slice and fry or grill it. Any way you prepare it it is the perfect foil for rich saucy dishes.


4 cups chicken stock or milk

Pinch dried chilies

1 tsp. Salt

1 cup cornmeal

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1 cup grated sharp cheese

freshly milled black pepper to taste

1 tbsp. Chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, parsley or oregano

1 head roasted garlic


In a heavy bottomed saucepan bring the milk, oil, chilies, salt and pepper to a boil. Slowly pour in the cornmeal stirring constantly. Add the cheese and herbs and continue stirring. Add the roasted garlic and stir well. Remove from the heat and serve hot.


alternately ~

pour the polenta into a well greased cakepan and let cool overnight. Remove from the mould, brush with oil and grill or shallow fry the polenta in a little unsalted butter & olive oil. Remove to paper towels and drain, serve hot.


To roast garlic ~

 Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the top 1/4inch from two heads of garlic. Place the garlic in a shallow ovenproof baking dish and drizzle well with olive oil. Cover the garlic loosely with foil and place in the pre heated oven. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and lightly browned. Remove the garlic from the oven and cool. Reserve the oil for cooking.











Shrimps baked with tomatoes, feta fresh basil and chillies


This is a great dish as it can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge. (uncooked) When it comes time for dinner pop the fridge in a preheated oven and away you go. Shrimps are sold by count, that is 16-20 or 50-60 this indicates the number of shrimp in a pound. Thus the lower the number the bigger the shrimp. For this recipe you need nice plump shrimp so use 16-20.


For the tomatoes:


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 jalapeno, cleaned, seeds removed and finely minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red onion, minced

1 tbsp. white vinegar

8 cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only shredded

sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste


            In a heavy non reactive pan heat the olive oil. Add the jalapeno, garlic and red onion and cook for one minute stirring. Add the vinegar and stir.

            Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and remove from the heat. Reserve until needed.


For the shrimp:


12 large shrimp

1/4 tsp. dried chilli flakes

zest of one lemon

2 tbsp. olive oil


            In a stainless steel bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.


To assemble the shrimp:


The reserved tomatoes

The reserved shrimp

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


            Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.

            Arrange 4 oven proof baking dishes on a baking tray. The dishes should be flat with a lip and enough room to old one half cup of the tomato mixture.

            Place one half cup of the tomato mixture in the bottom of each dish. Arrange 3 shrimps on the tomato in a pinwheel pattern.  Sprinkle the feta over the shrimps and give the feta a good grind of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

            Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices.



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