Creamy Leek & Mushroom Pasta with Bacon Crumble

Serves 2 Generously 

4 slices bacon, chopped
4 tbsp. butter, divided 
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup breadcrumbs
4-5 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

½ lb mushrooms (cremini ), thinly sliced
1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
5-6 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
¼ cup white wine
1 cup 35% cream

300g of pasta (short shape like farfalle, penne, rigatoni)
3 tbsp. kosher salt
oil, as needed 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. 
  2. Make crumble:  fry bacon with 2 tbsp. of the butter until medium crisp.  
  3. Use a spatula to scrape all into a small bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese & parsley.  Set aside.   
  4. Make sauce:  Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 
  5. Add a little oil to frying pan, followed by mushrooms.  Season with salt, allow to cook, undisturbed for 1 minute.  Add a splash of water and continue to cook, undisturbed for 4-5 minutes.  
  6. Add remaining butter, leeks, garlic and thyme.  Cook until leeks are softened.  Add white wine.  Reduce.  
  7. Add cream, reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. 
  8. Add 3 tbsp. kosher salt to boiling water and cook pasta until very al dente.  
  9. Using a fine mesh strainer, pull pasta straight from water to your pan with the sauce.  Add in about 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, bring back up to medium heat and simmer until all is combined.   
  10. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with bacon crumble!   

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Maple Spice Pecans

Maple Spice Pecans
Perfect for serving with cheeses, or jar up with a ribbon for a gift!  

75g (3/4 cup) pecan halves
40g (2 tbsp.) maple syrup
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. Garam Masala (or another favourite spice blend, or even a pinch of cayenne) 
1 small wheel of local brie (we love Gunn’s Hill Brigid Brie)
1 small baguette

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375F.  
  2. Toast pecans on baking sheet in oven for 3-4 minutes
 (it's ok to do this while oven is preheating.  Actually ideal, as it's a gentle heat).  
  3. Place syrup and oil in a frying pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat
.  
  4. Toss toasted pecans in syrup mixture, tossing to coat well.   Scrape back onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar, salt & garam masala and return to oven for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
  5. Serve with brie cheese and warm baguette!

NOTE: You can easily double or triple this recipe!   Nuts will stay crisp & delicious in an airtight container for several weeks.  

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Family Beef Barley Soup

Family Beef Barley Soup 
Feed & satisfy many at the table with little time and pantry staples.   Love in a bowl! The combination of tomato paste & tomatoes adds richness and umami, especially if you don't have stock on hand.  
Serves 4-6

1 lb Ground beef
2 tbsp. butter 
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced 
2 celery ribs, finely diced 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
1/4 cup tomato paste 
1 cup good quality canned tomatoes
8 cups beef stock, chicken stock or water 
1 large, fresh bay leaf
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 
1 cup barley 
salt and pepper, to taste 

  1. In a heavy soup pot brown beef; strain off any excess fat, but do leave some.
  2. Add butter to melt, then add onion. Allow to cook for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and stirring until soft.  Add carrot, celery and garlic.  Season and stir for a few minutes.  
  3. Stir in tomato paste & tomatoes, breaking up larger pieces of whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  
  4. Let tomatoes come to a high simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until concentrated.
  5. Add stock, herbs & barley.
  6. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cook until barley is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as you like.

 

*Note: you may have to add a little extra stock or water if soup becomes too thick during cooking time. 

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Kung Pao Shrimp!

Kung Pao Shrimp!*


For the Sauce:
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp roasted sesame oil

For the Cornstarch slurry:

2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

For the Stir-Fry: 

1 lb. marinated shrimp (see below)

3 Tbsp neutral oil
2 slices (10g) fresh ginger
2 cloves (5g) garlic, smashed
1 small zucchini cut into ½ inch dice
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch dice
2 green onions, sliced ½ inch thick
½ cup roasted peanuts

  1. Mix all sauce ingredients together and set aside.  
  2. Mix slurry ingredients together and set aside.  
  3. Marinate shrimp and set aside while you chop ingredients for stir-fry.  
  4. Make Stir-Fry: Preheat wok or pan on high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and swirl to coat. Immediately add the shrimp and spread into a single layer and cook without moving until lightly browned (about 1 minute). Continue cooking, tossing and stirring until exterior  is opaque for the interior is still slightly raw. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
  5. Wipe out wok or pan and reheat over high heat. Add remaining oil and swirl to coat. Immediately add ginger & garlic for about 10 seconds. Immediately add zucchini and peppers and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 1 minute. Add green onions & peanuts and toss to combine.

  6. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss everything to combine. Stir in the sauce by pouring around the edges. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook, tossing, until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about 30 seconds longer. 

  7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with steamed rice. 

For the shrimp marinade:

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
Small pinch pepper
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp neutral oil

  1. Place shrimp in a bowl, add marinade ingredients and stir well to combine.   Set aside at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

*NOTE: feel free to use chicken instead, or a combination of both, as pictured!  

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Winter-Spiced Potato 'Salad' with Garlic Yogurt

Winter-Spiced Potato 'Salad' with Garlic Yogurt 
A delicious side dish, or better yet, the perfect brunch or light supper with a fried egg!  The local garlic makes a real difference here!  Serves 2

2-3 medium-sized yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced 
2 tbsp. vinegar (white or apple cider) 
1 tbsp. salt 
1 cooking onion, julienne 
3 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for frying eggs) 
1 tsp. smoked paprika (hot or sweet, depending on your taste) 
1/2 tsp. each ground cumin & ground coriander 

1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt 
1 large, fresh local garlic clove 

Salt, as needed 
2-4 eggs
Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish.  

  1. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water and add vinegar & salt.  Bring up to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low simmer.  Cook until fork tender.  The vinegar will keep the potatoes firmer and intact in their shape.  
  2. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil oil, followed by onions.  Season with salt and allow to cook, undisturbed until crisp & golden, turning occasionally 
  4. Stir spices into onions for the last 30 seconds. 
  5. Use a spatula to scrape onions & spices onto potatoes.  Gently toss. 
  6. Mince garlic with a knife & about 1 tsp. of salt.  This will be the most effective way to give you a super garlicky, sticky paste.  Mix with yogurt. 
  7. Divide yogurt amongst two plates, and top with potatoes.  
  8. Fry Eggs:  wipe out frying pan and bring back up to temperature over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of oil followed by 2-4 eggs.  Fry until sunny-side up.  
  9. Serve atop potatoes and sprinkle with herbs.  

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Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce
The possibilities are endless here with this sauce (think grilled meat or vegetables, pasta sauce, on grilled bread).  If covered with enough olive oil, will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.  

1 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of ½ lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh oregano or cilantro, chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp capers, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. Sherry wine vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt

  1. Chop fresh herbs, capers and garlic. Add lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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Sunshine Soup!

Sunshine Soup

Perfect to warm you up and cheer you up on a grey winter’s day.  This is when we can turn local winter vegetables become the star of the show.  Remember, seasoning with salt as you go will give you a more balanced soup at the end. Fresh ground pepper at the table is nice.  

2 tbsp. coconut oil or canola oil
1 onion
1 large clove of local garlic
1-2" piece ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. black pepper
2 carrots peeled & roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 can coconut milk (we like Aroy-d)
3 cups water, or as needed 
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat.   Add coconut oil to melt, and then add onions.  Sweat until soft and translucent.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, sweat for a couple mintues before adding spices.  
  3. Cook spices for 30 seconds, then add carrots, sweet potato and squash.  
  4. Add coconut milk and water, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer
  5. Simmer until vegetables are very soft, and then blend soup in a blender.  When you think that you are done blending…blend a longer. Finished soup should be silky smooth!
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve!

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Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara
A reminder when life gets busy, whip up this dinner with ingredients you most likely have on hand!  
Serves 2, can be doubled

250g pasta (spaghettini)
1⁄4 lb/6 slices bacon
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup grated cheese (parmesan or romano) plus more for serving

  1. Fill a large pot with water and put it on to boil
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add bacon, butter & olive oil
  3. Fry over medium-low heat until fat is rendered but not overly crisp.
  4. In a medium sized bowl add eggs and scramble well  with salt and plenty of black pepper.  Whisk in 1⁄2 the  cheese.
  5. When water comes to a boil add about 3 tbsp. salt  and cook pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes.
  6. Work quickly to finish the dish: remove cooked pasta  from water with tongs directly into hot pan with bacon and butter. Toss well and then add pasta and bacon into the eggs. Toss well, adding about 1⁄2 cup pasta cooking water.
  7. Serve immediately topped with more cheese and freshly ground black pepper

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Roasted Tomato Bisque

Roasted Tomato Bisque

1 large can whole tomatoes or about 2 lbs plum tomatoes

2 tbsp. butter

3 strips of bacon, diced

1/2 cooking onion, finely diced

½ carrot, finely diced

1 rib celery rib, finely  diced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

splash of brandy (or white wine)

 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 ½  cups Stock, or Water, as needed

1/2 cup 35% cream

 

 

  1. If using fresh tomatoes begin here (if using canned begin at step 5): heat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Core and halve tomatoes (if using fresh)
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
  4. Roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until skins are slightly blackened; cool and slip off skins
  5. Meanwhile, heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add butter & fry bacon until browned but not too crispy. 
  6. Add onion and sweat for a couple of minutes until soft, but not browned. Follow with celery and carrot
  7. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds
  8. Add tomatoes (canned or roasted). Allow to cook until reduced and thickened. 
  9. Add herbs and spices, followed by wine or brandy. Boil for a few minutes. 
  10. Add water, as needed; simmer for 15 minutes
  11. Stir occasionally, breaking up tomatoes
  12. Finish by stirring in 35% cream and salt and pepper to taste

 

 

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Miso-Cider Vinaigrette

 

Possibly the only vinaigrette you'll ever need!  Real punchy and delicious for hearty Fall & Winter salads.  Drizzle it on your favourite salad combination! We served it on a kale, quinoa & carrot salad with roasted salmon.  

2/3 cup cider vinaigrette 
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices 
1 large clove of garlic
2 tbsp. soy sauce 
1 heaping tbsp. white miso 
Juice of 1 lime 
1 tsp. sesame oil 
1/2 tsp. sea salt 
4-5 grinds of black pepper 
1 cup of olive oil 

  1. Place all ingredients except oil in a blender.  Blend for 30 seconds until smooth on high speed.  
  2. Reduce speed and drizzle in oil.  Taste for seasoning.  Dressing will keep for 5 days refrigerated.  Makes about 2 cups.  

 

 

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