Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

Coming Soon: Oct 15th thru 17th

Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival.

http://www.rockymountainwine.com/calgary.html

When not to deep fry......

I have to be honest. I love deep fried food. Fish & Chips. Wantons. Chicken Fingers. Tempura. I could go on.
BUT, there are all sorts of foods that should never be dipped in the bubbling fat, like cake for instance...I don't think any sane person would do this. However, in my travels I've come across some deep fried oddities, and I'm not talking about bugs (funny how these things always seem to show up at fun fairs, outdoor carnivals and circus'. Is eating this strange stuff the reason the fat lady has a beard or the truth behind the mysterious dog-boy?). For example, who's bright idea was it to deep fry a peperoni stick ?? They're already tasty and bad for you in their natural form, let alone deep fried. I'm sure some might liken this to a corn dog, but I disagree. Also, what Einstein decided a Mars bar would be the 'be all end all' when it was deep fried ?? I've also seen Deep Fried Ice Cream, Oreo's and dough. YES dough...isn't that a doughnut ? Apparently not.
Now, I consider myself adventurous, so at some point I'm sure I'll throw back a deep fried peperoni stick...but I think it will be a cold day in hell before a deep fried Mars bar ever crosses these lips.
What are your thoughts ? To Deep Fry or Not to Deep Fry ? That is the question.....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Millarville Farmers' Market

Not too far of a drive from our home is the town of Millarville. They hold the title of Largest Farmers' Market in Southern Alberta. We like to get out there a few times every summer and last weekend was the first time we made it this year. I love the fresh produce and the Hutterites can be counted on for good cheese and maybe a few pies.
We like to try something new once in a while and last week we bought some farm raised elk from E & L Ranching. We opted for a package that came with 2 New York Elk steak, 5 Elk Burgers and 6 Elk wieners. The prices were fair. I am not usually one for hot dogs but the Elk wieners could make me change my mind. They tasted so good, not processed and not really fatty. The burgers have been a nice change in the usual BBQ fair and we are going to have the last of them tonight. The steaks though, wow, fantastic. I was worried that they would be dry or gamy tasting and they were neither. We kept them simple with a little oil and some salt and pepper, grilled them to about medium rare and dug in.
I highly recommend checking out the elk people if you see them at another Farmers' Market or if you see them out in Millarville. You can reach them at efalk@xplornet.com or 403 224 2396 to make your own package up. 1/4, 1/2 and whole carcasses are also available.
Oh and if you go, bring your own bags, bring a toonie for parking and if it rained recently where your rubber boots!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mussels with Bacon

Last night I had a hankerin' for some seafood. I swung by the grocery store on the way home and picked up 2 lbs of medium sized Atlantic Mussels and some fresh French Bread.
We didn't use a specific recipe and just went with what we had in the 'fridge (it's too bad, 'cause I thought we had some cider for the sauce but I was out of luck).
Here's what we did:
- Cut up approx. 5 strips of bacon into small cubes and get this frying in a large pan.
- when the bacon is about 75% done, add chopped onion
- when the onion is about 80% add fine shopped garlic
- Add fresh thyme and a small dash of chili flakes
(I would wait to add salt and pepper at the end since the bacon will add a fair amount of salt to the dish)
- now that these ingredients are good to go, add the mussels (pre-cleaned)
- add a splash of flavour and cover the pan (in our case I wanted to add cider but didn't have any so I went with a white wine we had in the 'fridge) - be careful with the amount as the mussels hold water and it will start to release once the shells open - you want these to steam not boil.
- Mussels don't take long to cook so keep an eye on them
- After they're cooked, remove the mussels into another bowl or pan, reduce the remaining liquid, season for taste (the bacon should add a fair amount of salt so you may not need to add any extra)
- pour over mussels and enjoy
I could eat mussels every day. I think the next version we will use a strong stout for the broth.
enjoy