Sunday, March 25, 2012

Graham Crackers

I still have a copy of Good to the Grain in my possession and I'm still loving many of Kim Boyce's recipes. A little while ago I picked up Teff and Graham flour, and finally, on Thursday evening, I set aside some time to make Grahams.

After trekking through the snow storm for a half hour to grab milk I was happy to stay inside with all the warm ingredients that make up these crackers - allspice, cinnamon, cloves, butter and milk, honey and molasses, plus the hearty, nutty graham and teff flours. The dough came together quickly and easily, with just a little mixing involved before the discs went into the fridge for an hour or so.

Once the dough chilled, I rolled out one of the discs to the specified 1/8" thickness, before cutting out rectangles and dotting the tops with a fork. Finally, they got a dusting of cinnamon-sugar before heading into the oven for 12 minutes or so.

The result was an incredible midnight snack. Crisp edges and pillowy tops made us swoon, not to mention the aroma the warm crackers lent our apartment. Along with a glass of milk, we gobbled up half a dozen of the slightly sweet treats in no time at all.

*You can find the recipe here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eat Alberta 2012

I'm a little late with this, but nonetheless...

I had a great time volunteering at Eat Alberta last year. Fresh pasta, bread and sausage making, cheese tasting, wine and info on Edmonton and Alberta's food community were all wrapped up into a fun, educational day. I can't make it this year, but if you have Saturday, April 14th free, I'd encourage you to check it out. Further information on sessions and registration can be found here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More eggs, please.

I have been eating a lot of eggs. And I mean a lot. Serben Free Range has a great deal on eggs each week at the City Market - two dozen for $8 - that I've been taking advantage of. Combined with a little spinach, and usually a piece of toast, I'm perfectly happy with poached, fried or scrambled eggs at either breakfast or dinner. For lunch, hard boiled eggs have become a quick standby.

By far the best egg-involved recipe I've come across is on the cover of Nancy Silverton's "A Twist of the Wrist" - Pappardelle with bagna cauda, wilted radicchio and a fried egg.

At first I was a little confused by this book. Really, most of Silverton's shortcuts are things I already do everyday; the majority of our pasta comes from a bag or box, our mayo from a jar and our tomatoes from cans. But what I think she's asking people to do is meet her halfway. To pick up a great can of tomatoes, or a really great pasta, and go from there, instead of heading toward frozen entrees or take out. Her combinations are quick and easy, and most importantly, tasty. Plus, they're introducing tinned/jarred items that I wouldn't normally keep stocked at home, like anchovies.

I've tried to make bagna cauda - a combo of butter, olive oil, anchovies, garlic, lemon and parsley - in the past and it didn't go well. The oil must have been too hot and the anchovies too cold, because they spattered everywhere and were burnt far before melting into the olive oil like they were supposed to. So this time I turned down the heat and pulled the anchovies out of the fridge and tin about an hour before I needed them, and everything went beautifully. In just five minutes the sauce was done. No jarred bagna cauda required.

Instead of pappardelle I used some tagliatelle we had in the pantry, and instead of radicchio, I braised some kale the night before and warmed it in the sauce before adding the pasta, pasta water and parmesan and topping everything off with the fried egg.

For such a quick meal this one is beautifully rounded. Salty and savoury from the sauce, silky smooth thanks to the egg and pasta. The kale cut through the richness well, as I imagine the radicchio would too. What I love most about this recipe is that it can be scaled up or down quite easily. I quartered it and had enough for yesterday's dinner with a little leftover for today's lunch. If you need something a little more hardy, it's easy enough to add that extra egg.