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The Sausage Kings

Introducing the Sausage Kings, our short featurette/documentary about Spolumbo’s Fine Foods and Deli in Calgary, Alberta. It’s about 3 ex-professional football players and friends who make great sausage. 20 years ago Tony Spoletini, Tom Spoletini & Mike Palumbo started Spolumbo’s Fine Foods & Deli, now a Calgarian institution and pillar of the local community. It’s hard not to love these local guys with big hearts and a passion for food.

Asian cucumber salad

So simple. This fresh tasting salad is a great addition to any Asian spread. I like it as a side to chicken or soup, you can alter the amount of chili depending on how hot you like it.

Preparation time
10m
Cooking time
n/a
Difficulty
1
Serves
4

salad

Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber (sliced into thick match sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Small bunch coriander (roughly chopped)
  • 1 small red chili (roughly chopped)
  • Sesame seeds
Preparation

Slice the cucumber into thick match sticks and place into a bowl. Add all of the other ingredients, stir to coat cucumber and serve.

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Beet? Nice.

beet

It’s that time of year again, busy summer evenings, ignoring the blog and an early theft from the garden. Nothing makes me as happy as digging up some of our very own backyard produce. Beets, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Garlic will all be on the menu this year…I can’t wait until the rest is ready for harvest.

If you’re wondering about the title, it comes from The Amazing Bobinski.

Potato nibbles

These potato nibbles are a perfect summer snack. Although it takes a little bit of work to make these, they’re well worth it. If you’re having them for a party, just make them in advance – cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to broil them. Tip: Grapefruit spoons are a great way to scoop out the tiny potatoes.

Preparation time
15m
Cooking time
30m
Difficulty
3
Serves
40

potato

Ingredients
  • 20 new potatoes (halved lengthwise)
  • ½ cup Plain yoghurt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • Salt
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut 20 new potatoes in half lengthwise and put them on a cookie tray. Add 3 garlic cloves to the tray (skins on). Rub a little olive oil on the white bit of the potatoes and put the tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes (or until soft). Remove potatoes from the oven and let them cool.

Once cool to the touch, with a small spoon carefully scoop out the middle of each potato – try not to break the potato skins. Place all of the scooped potato into a large bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl and add the yoghurt. Season to taste. Mash the potato mixture to your desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky…but whipped would be just as good.

Scoop little spoonfuls of potato back into the hollow skins. Grate some Parmesan cheese over top and place under a hot broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts and the tops of the potatoes turn a bit crispy and brown.

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ChimmiChurri

This easy sauce is great for just about anything, marinade, dipping sauce, or spread. It adds a fresh twist to lamb, chicken or beef. I recommend liberal use. We had it tonight on some inch thick steaks and it made them that much better. Unlike BBQ sauce it doesn’t mask the taste of the meat, only enhances it, we keep asking ourselves – “How come we haven’t made this before?” (This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on Recipezaar.)

Preparation time
5m
Cooking time
n/a
Difficulty
1
Serves
1

chimmi

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch of corriander
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
Preparation

Put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse to desired consistency. I personally like mine a little smoother.

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Pasta shells with anchovies & pangrattato

I pulled this recipe from a 2006 Waitrose recipe card. The original recipe called for orecchiette, but they didn’t have any at the grocery store, so I used what we had in the cupboard. I love the pangrattato mixture and I’m sure you could add it to salads and sorts of other Italian meals. This dish is a very nice change from typical pasta meals. Note: once the anchovies have cooked down they aren’t too fishy tasting so don’t worry.

Preparation time
10m
Cooking time
15m
Difficulty
2
Serves
4

pasta

Ingredients
  • 400g pasta shells
  • 300g broccoli crown, cut into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic (diced)
  • 20g flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 2 x 50g tins anchovy fillets
  • 1 dry red chili (crushed)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
Preparation

Cook the pasta, add the broccoli to the water 5 minutes before the end of the pasta cooking time. Drain, return to the pot and cover to keep warm.

While the pasta is cooking, make the pangrattato. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the breadcrumbs, half the garlic and half the parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp. Season with pepper, tip on to a plate and wipe out the pan.

Drain the anchovies and place 1 tablespoon of the anchovy oil from the tin, plus the remaining olive oil in the pangrattato pan. Add the rest of the garlic, cook for 1 minute (careful not to burn the garlic) and then add the anchovy fillets. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the anchovies are soft and have reduced. Add the chili, lemon juice and remaining parsley. Pour the mixture over the pasta and mix well.

Spoon the pasta into bowls and sprinkle with the pangrattato (and a bit of parmesan).

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Apple upside down cake

When searching for Canadian food blogs I found this lovely recipe on forks.ca. They have lots of lovely content, so make sure you go and have a look!

Recipe notes: If the batter seems a bit thick, don’t worry it does turn out. Personally, I found that the cake tasted much better on day two, if you can stand the wait.

Preparation time
20m
Cooking time
1h
Difficulty
2
Serves
6

cake

Ingredients
  • For the topping
  • 85g (3oz) butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2.5cm (1in) slices
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 150g (5.5oz) light brown sugar
  • For the sponge
  • 75g (2.8oz) butter
  • 150g (5.5oz) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 150g (5.5oz) SR flour, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 8in springform cake tin with parchment paper.

To make the topping, place the butter in a frying pan and melt over a low heat. Add the sliced apples, lemon juice and zest. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the sugar and cook for 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon remove the apple slices and arrange them in one layer on the bottom of the cake tin.

Boil up the remaining juices until they turn a rich golden colour. Pour this sticky toffee-like substance over the top of the apples in the cake tin.

To make the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and the beaten egg yolks. Then fold in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in the milk.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold these into the cake mixture. Spoon the cake mixture over the apples.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes. Then gently turn the cake out upside down onto a serving plate or cake stand. (You may have to peel off the greaseproof paper.)

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Mom’s Spice Cake

This simple cake recipe seems like it came straight out of the 70s and it likely did as the family can’t remember where it came from. Enjoy!

Preparation time
15m
Cooking time
1h
Difficulty
2
Serves
1

cake

Ingredients
  • cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cloves
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • frosting:
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped cherries
Preparation

Grease 9 X 13 pan. Separate eggs and cream yolks with butter and sugar. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, spices and add alternately with milk to sugar mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff, add vanilla and fold into batter. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes and then cool in pan and frost with butter frosting.

Frosting:
Cream butter, salt, and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Add sugar slowly, beating after each addition. Add 3 milk, beating until smooth. Add more milk until desired spreading consistency is reached. Stir in the raisins and cherries.

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Madeira cake

Madeira cake is a bit of a standard around our house. Apparently it was traditionally served with Madeira wine (according to wikipedia), but we just serve it with milk or tea. For something exceptionally decadent, spread on some strawberry jam. This version is from Nigella’s ”How to be a domestic goddess”.

Preparation time
10m
Cooking time
1h
Difficulty
2
Serves
1

cake

Ingredients
  • 240g softened unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • Grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g of self raising flour
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour for each. Gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally the lemon juice. Pour into a loaf tin. Sprinkle with sugar (about 2 tablespoons) and put it in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven to a wire rack, let it cool in the tin before turning out.

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Teriyaki chicken wings

This is a fantastic recipe to make when you have friends coming over. Tastes great as an appetizer or as a main dish with rice and some steamed vegetables. Make sure you have a ton of napkins around, as they’re deliciously sticky and gooey.

Preparation time
8h
Cooking time
1h
Difficulty
1
Serves
4

wings

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs chicken wings
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
Preparation

Mix all ingredients. Add the chicken wings and marinate at least 8 hours, make sure you give it a stir once in a while. Line a roasting tray with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove to a cooling rack after cooking.

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