Friday, June 11, 2010

urban greens in Kitsilano: moose roast sliced warm on a bed of greens with orange mint and wild ginger dressing

With the garden producing outstanding greens ideas for supper become salad centric.  The lettuce above is called Farmers Market Lettuce Blend from Renee's Garden seed company, comprised of  Little Gem, Tango, Outredgeous and Cimarron. Such a treat after grocery store lettuce all winter.  Tender and robust at the same time. 

The orange mint in pots is pretty and ready for cutting.  I'll use some in a dressing along with wild ginger root picked on a recent hike.
Wild ginger grows in shaded forests and their flowers are quite unusual.  Just peek under the deep green leaves.  Use the roots not the leaves.  After picking keep roots soaking in shallow water until using or dry for later use.

The moose roast below is a gift from the family hunter and will be braised in organic beer.
Time to snip herbs from the garden, yet another thrill.

To make a roast rub:
Minced  2 green onions, large bunch of orange mint,  3 fresh thyme and oregano sprigs and add it to a small bowl with 1/3c Dijon mustard. Set aside.  Season roast with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in a heavy bottom fry pan.

I use a combination of grapeseed oil for it's high smoke point and clarified butter to brown the roast in. 
Peel and slice large white onion and place in bottom of large dutch oven.
Remove the roast from fry pan and place on the bed of onion slices.  Spread the wet mustard and herb paste over the roast.  Pour one bottle of good organic beer and cover with lid.  Braise in 325 F oven for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.  Let set.  Remove the butchers twine and slice thinly. Spoon broth over the sliced meat.

to be continued.... meanwhile

go be delicious

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Breakfast berry smoothie and a scrumptous breakfast of grilled cinnamon buns

A huckleberry smoothie is an nitid way of having the very end of last summers wild huckleberries from the freezer. The early signs are promising for this season, at low elevation we have lots of berries forming on most varieties of huckleberry bush. On a recent hike to Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Park these green huckleberries are coming along nicely.  This is a blue huckleberry  vaccinium pacifica  which are a high bush variety and common in lower elevations. 
The huckleberries below are at mid elevation and are just past the flowering stage.  When it rains the bees don't pollinate as much and if the frost comes late it lowers the yield as well.  I have started picking berries as early as the third week in June ...  time to crave and anticipate the early season taste of tartness.
sprouted chia and flax seed meal, wild huckleberries, coconut oil, vanilla, yogurt and cherry juice from home canned cherries!
Breakfast Smoothie: serves two
In the large jar of the blender place the following ingredients
1 c juice
1c plain yogurt
1 T organic coconut oil
1 t organic vanilla extract
1 c fresh or frozen berries
2 T ground chia or flax seed
Place the top on the blender and start the motor on low speed.  Increase speed after it has begun to turn over to prevent spilling over.  Add more juice to desired consistency.  Drink slowly to taste the flavors.
For a day full of outdoor adventure treat yourself to an added bonus of grilled cinnamon buns.

 Grilled cinnamon buns: slice the buns in half and spread cut side with butter and grill on medium heat for 5 minutes.  

go be delicious

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

first meal from the garden: grilled sirloin and mesclun salad

Mescluns! Of all the wonderful foods we owe to the French this is my favorite. We North Americans have embraced this sensation from Provence by creating our own versions and though ours may not be a purist example of the Nicois mesculumo - meaning mixture or mix we have taken hold of the tradition.

This blend comes from West Coast Seeds and is called Oriental Saladini Blend consisting of unusual greens from the mustard family. In this mesculumo are choi sum, komatsuna, mizuna, pac choi, giant red mustard, red lettuce and spinach. 

For a first time gardener mesclumo  is a quick crop to start with.  One month ago the seeds went into the new raised beds and today we celebrate with our first meals.

The romantic notion of back yard food
is a new reality for us. 
Utopian is how it feels.  This was lunch after the morning gardening.  Deciding to harvest was both loss and elation after nursing and protecting the new growth it was a transition from giving to taking but a needed step.

The ability to take kitchen shears and bowl to the backyard plot and harvest salad ingredients is very seductive ...

Now we have good organic greens from zero miles and no packaging. These French Breakfast radishes and a patch of arugula along with fresh
thyme make up the greens for this salad.

Mesclun is a cut and come again crop.  It only requires a bit of feed and water and it will grow another crop.  I use this feed from Gaia Green - an  organic fertilizer, mild and balanced.  This and compost tea along with the rich soil has everything doing well and I'm happy to tell you the greens are splendid.

The cut and come again method of harvesting is done by cutting 1" above the ground . It works like a charm after just a few days new growth appears.

After two or more cuttings pull the roots and replant.

The rainy weather of late has been marvelous for the garden greens but not for the basil or hot season crops.  Adapting to it is the challenge this month as June can be more like June-uary !

My recipe today is for grilled sirloin and mesclun salad with potatas bravas and grilled onion rings.

One good size sirloin steak cut thickly feeds two with some left over for lunch.

One washed bowl of mescluns patted dry not spun, as I found the spinner a bit harsh on these tender greens.
have ready the balsamic vinegar and organic extra virgin olive oil for tossing just before plating.

For the steak:
pre-heat cast iron griddle or BBQ heated
1 lb. top sirloin brought to room temperature
1 1/2 T organic tamari
2T fresh snipped thyme
fresh cracked pepper

This goes against every rule in the book but is tried and true.  Lay the steak in a tray large enough for the steak and pour the tamari in.  With a fork or filleting knife poke holes all over both sides of the steak and soak in the tamari and sprinkle generously with the thyme as well as fresh cracked pepper and let stand. 
Meanwhile prepare the potatoes and garnish.

Potatas Bravas or Spanish Potatoes
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks and patted dry
1 T grapeseed oil
1 T paprika
salt and pepper

Toss the potatoes in the grapeseed oil and paprika sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread into a baking tray and bake at 375 F oven 25 minutes or until golden and fork tender.

For the garnish:
6 fresh radishes
1 large yellow onion, peeled and slice across into 1/2" rings
1/2 t grapeseed oil
salt and pepper
Brush with oil and season.

To cook the steak and garnish:

With the griddle hot but not smoking or the bbq on medium high cook one side of the steak for 5 minutes then turn and continue cooking the other side for 5 minutes.  Gives a medium rare steak.  Adjust cooking to your personal preferences.  At the same time you have placed the onion rings to the ends or side of the cooking surface and turned them at approximately the same time as the steak.

Remove the steak and turn off the heat.  Let stand on cutting board tented for a good 5 minutes.  Prepare the greens with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, toss with fresh herbs and salt and pepper.  Plate the greens, surround the salad with the potatoes.  Slice the steak thinly across the grain on a slight angle and top the greens with the hot steak.  Garnish with the radish and onion rings.

go be delicious

LA ooxx