Available at What’s Cooking….. Early Summer Vegetable Barley Salad

Once again I’m making a flavourful and colourful barley salad with fava beans, tomatoes and young carrots. For more info go to What’s Cooking in Kim’s Kitchen?  If you would rather make the salad yourself, see the recipe here and substitute baby carrots for the asparagus.

Cheers,

Kim

On What’s Cooking… Early Summer Vegetable Salad

I’m making a flavourful and colourful barley salad with fava beans, tomatoes and baby carrots tomorrow. For more info go to What’s Cooking in Kim’s Kitchen?  If you would rather make the salad yourself, see the recipe here and substitute baby carrots for the asparagus.

Cheers,

Kim

Apple Gratin with Frangipane

A few weeks ago, we had a VENC Foodies cooking class at my house focused on theApples are an all-American success story-each ... food of the Provence region of France. It was a fun afternoon with lots of cooking and chatting about food – and everything else. This simple dessert was one of the recipes that we made. I got the recipe in a cooking class that I took in Provence about 15 years ago. After all this time it still tastes great.  This time of year, it’s good made with  pears or apples, but in summer you could adapt it to use peaches or other summer fruit.

Bon Appetit!

Kim

Apples Gratin with Frangipane

This is typical of many Provençal desserts: It uses an in-season fruit as the starting point for a dessert designed to show off, without unnecessary adornment, the simplest, purest flavors.

Yield:                     6-8 servings

Source: Cooking class in Provence

Make Ahead Notes

Apple slices can be cooked an hour or two ahead

Ratings & Notes from Class Participants:
  • The Results (how did it taste):            3.75/4 stars
  • Effort/Skill to Make:                             Quick & Easy
  • Would you make this (again)?            75% of class said Yes definitely or Probably
  • Tips from those who made it:             Try substituting pears or other fruit for the apples. For soft fruit like peaches, skip the cooking (steps 6 & 7).
Ingredients
Frangipane
  • 2                              eggs
  • ¼             cup         butter, softened
  • ½             cup         sugar
    ¼             cup         almonds, ground
Lemon Butter
  • Juice of                 1 lemon
  • 1/3         cup         butter, melted
  • 2 lb         Golden Delicious apples (or Ambrosia or Jonagold)
 Method:
  1. Preheat oven broiler.
  2. Butter 9 x 13 baking dish
Frangipane
  1. Cream butter and sugar together. Add ground almonds, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. The mixture should be creamy.
Lemon Butter
  1. Add lemon juice to melted butter and reserve.
Apples & Assembly
  1. Peel apples, reserving peel. Slice apples in ½ inch thick slices.
  2. Cook apple peels in 3 cups of water for 5 minutes. Discard peels and reserve cooking liquid.
  3. Cook apple slices in reserved cooking liquid for 3-5 minutes, just until tender.
  4. To assemble, arrange apple slices in baking dish. Pour lemon butter and frangipane over apples.  Broil until nicely browned. Serve hot.

Effortless & Tasty: Smoky Pork Stew

It’s Victoria Film Festival week; a great time to put a fuss-free dinner in the slow cooker in the morning & forget about it until you are ready to eat. I’ve made this Smoky Pork Stew many times. It’s flavourful, takes only a few minutes to assemble, makes the house smell wonderful – and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.  Tonight I’ll be serving this with sweet potatoes mashed with lime juice and zest, and steamed cauliflower for a quick dinner before we head out to see the film No. A perfect dinner for a busy day!

By the way, this recipe comes from Canadian Living’s The Slow Cooker Collection. I’ve had this book for a couple of years now, and I recommend it. As someone who rarely used their slow cooker before this book, I’ve become somewhat of a convert. Like all Canadian Living recipes and cookbooks, the recipes are well-tested and always work.  There are a wide range recipes ranging from classic Pot Roasts and Braised Shanks to more contemporary things like pulled pork, ribs, tagines, tacos, short-ribs and vegetable dishes.

Enjoy the recipe and the Film Festival,

Kim

 Smoky Pork Stew

Servings: 4-6
Special Equipment: Slow cooker (3 litres or larger)
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection
Ingredients
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb boneless pork roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free thickener
Method
  1. Place onions and garlic in the slow cooker. Place pork on top of onions.
  2. Combine salsa, brown sugar, Worchestershire sauce, paprika, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over meat in slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low until meat is fork-tender, about 6 to 7 hours. Skim off fat, if any. Move meat and vegetables to one side of slow cooker.
  4. In a small bowl, add ¼ cup cold water, and then the flour. Stir vigorously, until all the lumps disappear, and then whisk into the slow cooker. Gently stir to redistribute the ingredients.
  5. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, and then serve.

Make-ahead: Can be made a day ahead and reheated. Also freezes well.

* Smoked paprika is definitely a great addition to this recipe. You can use “regular” paprika, but it won’t taste the same. You can sometimes find Smoked Paprika in the spice section in our local grocery stores. You can definitely find it at Cook ‘n Pan Deli on Cook St, and many other specialty food stores in town.

Maritime Oatcakes: Regular, G-F and D-F, and in Date-filled Sandwich Cookies

Oatcake Sandwich Cookies with Date Filling

Oatcake Sandwich Cookies with Date Filling

Oatcakes are ubiquitous in the Maritimes where I grew up. As a child, I would always pass over the oatcakes in favour of something sweeter or showier – shortbread or some gooey square.

A few years ago I stumbled across the recipe (below) for authentic Maritime oatcakes in Anita Stewart’s Canada cookbook. Just reading the recipe made me homesick for the Maritimes – so I tried it. It was terrific! I finally got why all of my great aunt’s considered oatcakes such a treat.  They are a little sweet, a little salty, buttery, crisp, with the wonderful nuttiness of the oats. They are perfect on their own with a cup of tea. They also pair beautifully with cheese or a smear of jam or marmalade. And I say “they” instead of “it” because it’s hard to eat just one. They also freeze well so you can make a batch and thaw them as you need them.

This week, inspired and guided by my GFF (gluten-free friend), I tried adapting the recipe to be gluten-free and dairy-free. It was a great success – just as tasty as the original.  (Scroll down for that recipe). We also “glued”  two oatcakes together with date filling (recipe below) to make sandwich cookies – unbelievably good and reminiscent of date cookies and squares of our childhood.

Enjoy!

Kim

Glencoe Mills Oatcakes

Adapted from Anita Stewart’s Canada: The Food; Recipes; The Stories

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Scottish Oatmeal
  • 1 cup rolled oats (I don’t use “quick cooking oats”; I use rolled oats – bulk stores, etc.)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups cold butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ cup boiling water

Ingredient Note: Scottish oatmeal is a coarse meal produced by slowly grinding oat kernels

Scottish Oatmeal

Scottish Oatmeal

between two large mill stones. You can usually find them at bulk food stores, and at some grocery stores.  Bob’s Red Mill produces them in regular, and organic versions, but not in guaranteed gluten-free versions. If you can’t find them

Method
  1. Stir together oatmeal, oats, flour salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter and then, using your hands, rub it into the flour mixture until crumbly.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water; stir into the oat mixture. Combine with a fork until all of the liquid is incorporated.
  3. Gently gather up the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
  4. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425° to 450°F oven until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the pans.

Store and/or freeze in an air-tight container between layers of paper towels.

 Gluten and dairy-free Oatcakes

Adapted by K Weatherby, based on the Glencoe Oatcakes recipe in  Anita Stewart’s Canada: The Food; Recipes; The Stories

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 2 cups guaranteed gluten-free Scottish Oatmeal, or steel-cut oats*
  • 1 cup guaranteed gluten-free rolled oats*
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • ½ tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups Becel Vegan or Crisco golden, frozen for at least 2 hours
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ cup boiling water

Ingredient Note: Scottish oatmeal is a coarse meal produced by slowly grinding oat kernels between two large mill stones. I could not find guaranteed gluten-free Scottish oatmeal, so

Steel-cut Oats

Steel-cut Oats

instead bought guaranteed gluten-free steel-cut oats that I ground in my coffee/spice grinder until they were the same texture as Scottish oatmeal. See picture of steel cut oats at right. To see the texture you are trying to achieve, see the picture of Scottish oatmeal in the previous recipe (above).

Method
  1. Stir together oatmeal, oats, flour salt, xantham gum and sugar. Cut in the Becel or vegetable shortening and then, using your hands, rub it into the flour mixture until crumbly.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water; stir into the oat mixture. Combine with a fork until all of the liquid is incorporated.
  3. Gently gather up the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured (using G-F flour) surface. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
  4. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425° to 450°F oven until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the pans.

Date Filling

Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook

Ingredients
  • 12 oz/375 g pkg pitted dates (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange (optional)
Method:
  1. Stir 2 cups of water and all ingredients except orange zest in a medium saucepan. Let stand for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and boil gently, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough to mound on spoon, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest and let cool.
  2. Store in a covered container in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. Warm slightly (in the microwave), before spreading on cookies or other delicate items.

Kim’s Note: If you are in a hurry, skip the “let stand 30 minutes” step – and just cook the filling a bit longer. It won’t affect the flavour.