CBC Calgary

Food & wine with Cinda Chavich and Mary Bailey

Thursdays at 12:20 p.m.

Mary Bailey is the publisher of the Edmonton bi-monthly magazine City Palate - the flavour of Edmonton's food scene and the co-author of The Food Lover's Trail Guide to Alberta Volumes 1 and 2, published by Touchwood Editions.  She's also a certified sommelier.

Cinda Chavich is an award-winning writer, and author of The Girl Can't Cook and The Guy Can't Cook, published by Whitecap. Her website is www.tastereport.com.

Crunchy, delicious and right in your own backyard

RECIPE: THE BIG GREEN

When fresh lettuces are available at the market (or from the garden) combine as many as possible for this fresh bowl of summer flavor. Leaf lettuce, baby turnip greens and romaine all complement each other nicely, offering both flavor and texture contrasts, and taking a plain green salad into serious gourmet territory. If you can get some watercress or arugula it will give your salad a nice peppery bite, or pick some nasturtium leaves from the flower bed for a similar zing.

While you can add anything to a green salad (or nothing at all), it's easy to tote with some chopped green onions, pea shoots and pine nuts balanced on top. Add the sliced pears and avocados with the dressing at the last minute and toss. This salad is comfortable among others on a buffet or individually plated for a fancier dinner. From The Girl Can't Cook, by Cinda Chavich.

Dressing:

1/4 cup orange juice 50 ml

1 teaspoon lemon juice 5 ml

salt and black pepper

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 50 ml

8 cups mixed salad greens 2 L

1 ripe pear (regular or Asian), cored and very thinly sliced 1

1 avocado 1

1 teaspoon lemon juice 5 ml

2 cups pea shoots (optional but often found at Asian markets) 500 ml

3 green onions, finely chopped 3

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts 75 ml

Whirl the dressing ingredients together in a blender to emulsify or combine in a small jar and shake like crazy. Set aside.

Wash the greens well in a sink full of cold water and spin dry in a salad spinner. If not using right away, pack loosely in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel, seal and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. This will insure your salad is crisp.

If you're serving immediately, slice the pear very thin, leaving the skin on, and then cut into flat batons or 1-inch squares. Peel the avocado, and cut into thin slices or slivers. Toss avocado with the lemon juice to prevent it from discoloring. (If you're transporting this salad, don't slice the pear and avocado in advance - do it when you're ready to serve).

Pick out a large, pretty salad bowl and fill with mixed lettuces. Toss to combine well. Top with pea shoots, green onions and pine nuts. If you're taking it somewhere, stop at this point.

Add the pear and avocado, drizzle with the dressing and toss just before serving. Serves 6.

 

Celebrating mothers

ORANGE APRICOT SPICE CAKE

¾ cup dried apricots, chopped

¼ cup golden rum or whisky

1½ cups flour

½ cup ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon and ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¾ cup butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup orange juice

Grated zest of 1 orange

Combine the apricots with the rum in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Set aside for 30 minutes to soak.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, then add the eggs and beat until thick, about 5-7 minutes. Stir some of the flour mixture into the batter, then add half the orange juice. Repeat, stirring until the mixture is well blended. Fold in the orange zest and reserved marinated apricots.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (the pan should not be more than ¾ full) and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched, about 50-60 minutes.

Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then loosen around the edges with a sharp knife and release from the pan. Place the cake on another rack to completely cool. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with a glaze made with equal parts of orange juice and icing sugar. Serves 8-10.

Extraordinary grilled cheese

RECIPE: GRILLED WELSH RAREBIT

Use any kind of cheddar, Gruyere, or other sharp, melting cheese in your rarebit. Chop or shred the cheese, and flavour the creamy sauce with a bit of dry mustard and Worcestershire, then pour it over a thick piece of toasted wholegrain bread and toast under the broiler. Serve with tomato chutney or sweet pickles, for a quick lunch or breakfast.

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/3 cup pale ale, hard apple cider or milk

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (like Keen's)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ pound or about 2 cups, grated sharp cheese (cheddar or a combo of cheddar, Gruyere, Lancashire, Friulano, etc.)

2-4 thick slices whole grain bread, toasted

Smoky paprika or cayenne

1 green onion, chopped

Preheat the broiler.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook together, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the ale, cider or milk to make a thick sauce and cook until bubbly. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire, then the cheese, mixing to melt.

Place the toast on a baking sheet. Top each piece of toast with a thick layer of cheese sauce and sprinkle lightly with paprika or cayenne. Slide it under the preheated broiler, and broil for a minute, just until cheese begins to brown on top. Watch carefully. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and serve. Serves 2-4.

Louisiana Boudin

Recipe: Boudin Balls or Patties

Make this boudin stuffing (aka dirty rice) with pork shoulder and liver for authentic Cajun flavour. Deep fry the mixture for boudin balls, shallow fry for boudin patties, or stuff into a game hen, or a thick pork chop for a special treat.

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes (or use 1 3/4 pound pork shoulder and 1/4 pound pork liver or chicken livers)

6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery (optional)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1-2 teaspoons cayenne, divided
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups uncooked short or medium-grain rice (cooked in reserved pork broth)
flour or dry cracker crumbs
canola oil for frying

Combine the pork, water, chopped onion, garlic, celery, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon of cayenne, Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover an simmer for 1 ½ hours, until the meat is very tender. Drain, reserving the cooking broth for cooking the rice.

Place the meat mixture in a food processor and using the chopping blade, pulse until you have an evenly chopped mix. Alternately, pass the mixture through the largest holes of your meat grinder.

In a bowl, combine the meat with the remaining salt, pepper and cayenne, the chopped parsley, green onions and cooked rice. Add broth, ½ cup at a time, to moisten the mixture. It should be moist, not soupy.

At this point, you can stuff the mixture into sausage casings making 3-inch links (steam or poach sausages 5 minutes before serving) or use for boudin balls. Form the mixture into 1-2-inch balls, the size of a golf ball, roll in flour or cracker crumbs and deep fry in hot oil until brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. You can also make boudin patties, coat in flour or crumbs, and fry until crisp.

Makes 3 pounds.