The Winter Bounty

Well, the second class in the winter series was certainly decadent – smoked mackerel pate, golden beet salad, parsnip and apple slaw, lamb risotto, lobster risotto and cranberry steam pudding with a butterscotch sauce. It was… delicious. Christine, class participant, foodie and photographer extraordinaire (check out http://wonky-eye.blogspot.com/), snapped a few photos during the course of the evening. Being that a photo is worth a thousand words, I’ll let Christine’s beautiful images do most of the talking. Be warned – these photos will make your stomach rumble.

As the sun went down, we each made our way to Local Source Market. By six o’clock we were gathered and exchanging hellos. Our teacher for the week, Sheila, introduced herself and her menu. Within minutes we were busy at work.

There was pate to be made (using Willy Krauch smoked mackerel).

There were golden beets and chioggia beets to grate.

There was lamb to prepare.

There was risotto to stir.

And steamed cranberry pudding …

with warm butterscotch sauce to eat.

These are recipes you should really try at home.

Smoked Mackerel Pate – serves 4
½ lb smoked mackerel  
1-2 tbsps olive oil
1 ½ tbsps lemon juice
4 tbsps double cream
Freshly-ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
Remove skin, bones and fat from the fish. Combine with butter if using in the processor until smooth. Stop the machine and add the pepper and cayenne. Start the machine and add the oil and lemon juice through the feed tube and process til light and creamy.  Finally add the cream, process til just mixed, check seasoning and pile into a serving dish. Serve with hot toast and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.  

Shannon, who joined us for dinner and to talk about sustainable seafood options in Nova Scotia and Off the Hook Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) (http://www.offthehookcsf.ca/), particularily enjoyed the smoked mackerel pate. Mackerel is a very sustainable seafood choice!

Raw Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese -serves 3 as an appetizer or 2 for lunch-
3 smallish raw golden and chioggia beets, trimmed and peeled
1/2 small red onion, peeled
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Two good pinches of salt
A few good grinds of black pepper
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
Cut the beets and onion on the julienne blade of a mandoline, or grate them largely. Combine the beets, onion, walnuts, orange zest and shallots in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Divide the salad onto serving plates and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Parsnip and Apple Slaw – serves 8 to 12 people –
1 lb parsnips, peeled and grated
2 lbs tart apples, peeled, cored, and rubbed with a cut lemon, then grated
1 cup yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger of 1.5 tsp powdered ginger
2 tbsp shredded cocomut, toasted lightly
In a large bowl combine apple and parsnip.
In a small bowl combine ginger and vinegar. Let stand 10 minutes. Add yogurt and mix. Pour over parsnips and apple. Toss to coat. Top with coconut.

There are so many options when it comes to apples in Nova Scotia – even in January! The day before the class, I picked up supplies at the Farmer’s Market. On the advice of a local apple expert (a Valley farmer that is), I chose crispin apples  – also known as mutsu. The Mutsu apple is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Indo apple varieties first grown in Japan, and named after the Mutsu Province of Japan, where it was presumably first grown.

The Lobster Risotto and Lamb with Egg and Lemon Sauce Risotto recipes came from the cookbook, “Risotto: More Than 100 Recipes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northen Italy” . The recipes are terrific  and quite detailed.
Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
(from Edith Davis, Sheila Stevenson’s Tombstone, Arizona grandmother)

Pudding 
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda
½ cup molasses
½ cup hot water
2 cups cranberries
½ cup flour

Use the ½ cup flour to mix with the cranberries. Sift 1 c. flour with salt and soda. Mix molasses and water; add to flour. Add whole floured cranberries. Mix well. Pour into greased double boiler and steam over low heat for 3 hours.
 
Sauce
Mix over low heat and stir til dissolved:
½ cup butter + ½ cup brown sugar
Add ½ cup cream + 1 tsp vanilla. Heat slowly
Serve over pudding

Yours in food, Keltie

Special thanks to Christine of http://wonky-eye.blogspot.com/ for the beautiful photos!

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