Adventures in Hot Sauce

On Canada Day we decided to be pretty low-key as it was hot and we’d just had a lot of family stuff going on the past few weeks. We went down into Penticton to check out the festivities in the afternoon. The usual vendors and food tents were set up in Gyro Park with a throng of people milling around or sitting on the grass listening to some cool sounds from a two piece band whose singer had a gravellish Tom Waits thing going on. We wandered past the vendors and hawkers seeing the usual wares but I spied someone/something different. In one sunshade tent sat a gorgeously animated man selling Hot Sauces and Marinades with a highly joyful smile. I love supporting small business, local business and products that are just Different !

pacificpalate

Nelson B.C‘s Hot Sauce Guy Edmond Segbeaya has been selling his Ebeesse ZoZo Hot Sauce‘s and winning competitions since 2002. Segbeaya, 48, landed in Nelson 12 years ago after a decade-long diversion in Germany. He had fled there without his wife and twin daughters after demonstrating against a military dictatorship in his homeland of Togo, Africa. He sells a line of his fiery sauces all over North America yet I had never encountered them and was excited to try the samples and Zowee! Great heat and taste! I bought a jar of the Mild Coconut Milk Marinade Sauce and couldn’t wait to try it at home …but how ? What to choose??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I decided to use the marinade on jumbo prawns I had in the freezer. After safely thawing the prawns, I poured about a 1/4 cup of the marinade into a bowl then coated the prawns and left them to marinate in the fridge roughly 2 hours. The sauce is a lovely curry-yellow with strands of real coconut. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile , as the prawns were busy soaking up the tasty sauce , I trimmed up some multi-coloured bell peppers to accompany the shrimp on the barbie. We like to trim them so they lay nice and flat on the grill for best blackening results. I drizzled a bit of olive oil on the peppers to slightly coat them. The weather has been hot hot here like the sauce so this was to be a mostly outdoor grilling dinner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When it was nearly grill time I threaded the Prawns on to metal skewers. Wooden ones would work also.  I always soak the wooden ones in water before using so avoid flame ups.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I then passed the prepared Prawns off to The Grill Guy along with the peppers while I made a quick side dish by sauteing minced, fresh garlic in a dash of olive oil then adding a cup on trimmed Snow Pea pods and gave them a brisk fry around to heat but not lose the crisp bite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The results were superb! The Grill Guy did a brilliant job and the flavours of the three choices melded together very well. And the Prawns!? The Coconut Marinade was a lovely sweet and spicy, rich taste extravaganza!

I highly recommend you pick up some Awassi Ebesse Zozo or any of the products when you see them at a Farmer’s Market or better gourmet shop! The price is worth the taste and a little goes a long way!

Advertisements

The Best Summer Steak Salad Recipe!

I was inspired last year to try a recipe from Cooks Magazine that used fruit and steak in a warm summer salad and we liked it so much that we’ve added it to our list of favourite home meals. It combines the sweetness of Mango, the crunch of Asparagus and the bite of Red Onion with an Asian influenced dressing and warm, grilled steak!  This combo of veggies and protein appeals to Salad Dodgers and Lovers of the Plate o’Green alike. It’s easy to prepare and easy on the pocket book while being “fancy” and “foodie” fun. ( say that fast 5 times!)

(Recipe and the bottom of the page)

Image

I started with a piece of Hormone-free Sirloin , about 8 ounces for two people. I seasoned the steak with olive oil, ground pepper, coriander and kosher salt and let the flavours meld in the fridge for about an hour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile I quick blanched 8 fresh stalks of Asparagus, rinsed under cold water and drained them. Then I went outside to pick some greens for the plate. My garden is bursting with Chard, Lettuce, Spinach and Herbs so I snipped a selection. I added a few sprigs of mint, oregano, and cilantro to the greens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I sliced up the Mango and Red Onion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and prepared the dressing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then, when I was all pretty much organized and plating the greens, mango and asparagus, I had “He Who Likes to Cook the Protein” fire up the BBQ and grill the steak to our taste, fairly rare, then trim and slice it on the cross grain to add to the salad. I drizzled (technical term) on the dressing and Presto! Salad Magic!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We chose one of our favourite local wines to accompany this meal,  a bottle of 2009 D’Angelo Tempranillo and I thought it complimented the meal very well!  Eat! Pour! Repeat!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the Steak

1/4 Tbs black peppercorns

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 Tbs olive oil

For the Salad

3 cups mixed salad greens and fresh herbs of your choice

8 stalks fresh asparagus quick blanched and cooled

1 ripe mango peeled and sliced

1/2 Red Onion thinly sliced

For the Dressing

1 1/2 Tbs low salt Chicken stock

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 1/2 Tbs Hoisin

1 Tbs White Vinegar

1 tsp Soya Sauce

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 Dijon Mustard

1 tsp minced garlic

s and p to taste

—-

Rub the steak with the olive oil. Grind the seeds and corns with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and rub onto surface of the steak with the salt. Refrigerate at least 30 mins to 2 hours.  Prepare the salad greens, fruit, onion and asparagus. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Arrange large platter with greens, fruit, asparagus and onion. Grill or broil steak to taste , trim off any visible fat and crave on the cross grain into 1/2 inch wide, 2 inch long strips and arrange those on top of salad. Drizzle on dressing and serve immediately.

Serves 2 generously

—————————-

I have so much Chard ready now ! I need to find some yummy ways of using it before it goes to waste! Watch this space 😉

Lamburgers and Foch!

Last night we made one of our favourite dinners. Lamburgers with Roasted Red Peppers and Bacon. this is more of a Paleo/Primal version of a burger sans bun. It’s a meat eaters dream combining flavours of smokey cheddar, coleslaw, lamb and succulent red pepper. this time we added Tzatziki sauce to see how it blended with the lambiness and it was a brilliant addition! Recipes at the bottom of the page!

Image

The more we make this meal, the more we enjoy it. I know it looks like a huge pile of  stuff but Oh My! The flavour!

I start by pan roasting the cut pieces of red pepper in a grill style frying pan. You could do this under the broiler or in a hot oven . I trim the sections so they lay as flat as possible in the pan and cook them at medium heat until they are soft with the blackened lines that just look grill ish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While the peppers are cooking we constructed the burgers. No egg is used as a bit of salt seems to keep things together. Finely diced garlic and onion along with a dash of grainy mustard gives the patty a boost. These patties we also cooked in the grill pan as the lamb would really flame up on the BBQ but your mileage may vary and you may want to try them on yer barby.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We used homemade coleslaw, the creamy style, just a simple mayo based dressing. I also whipped up a quick bowl of Tzatziki using plain yogurt, grated cucumber, dill, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then for an accompaniment I did a quick Greek Salad. I use the simple dressing rule of thumb; 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil and a handful of fresh Oregano plus fresh ground pepper. I add the olives and feta separately and some people don’t like olives (pah!) and I find the feta gets messy in any leftover salad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We agree that the burger and fixins’ part is enough without a starch on the side, and I rarely do starchy foods anymore. This meal would be suitable for those requiring a Gluten-Free diet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To finish off with a Sp!ash! I selected our favourite bold an meaty Red, a 2011 Lang Marechal Foch. At $18 it’s a great value wine with a robust flavour. It’s not a VQA wine so you won’t find it at the BCLCB but need to find a local wineshop that carries it or go to the Naramata Bench Winery for yourself and have a taste!

Now the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lamb, beef or mixture of your choice
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 small white onion, diced finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced finely
  • 1 tsp Celtic or sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 whole red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil for frying (or oil of choice)
  • 2 to 4 strips of free range bacon
  • 2 slices of smoked aged or any cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup homemade or store bought creamy coleslaw

Cut red pepper into sections using the natural shape of the pepper and remove seeds and pith. Trim the 4 sections so they lay flat as possible. Pre-roast the red pepper in a 350° oven or pan roast without oil, turning frequently for about 30 mins or until it is soft and pliable. Remove the skin (optional).  Set aside.

Combine meat, mustard, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and form mixture into 4 firm patties. Cook the patties on a hot grill pan, frying pan (or BBQ) until cooked through turning often. While burgers are cooking also precook and drain the bacon on paper towel and keep warm. When the burgers are cooked, finish them off with the cheddar by melting the slices on two of the four burgers using a lid over the pan for a minute or 2. Drain the burgers if desired.

To construct the masterpieces place a cheese topped burger on each plate and top that with a slice of the red pepper and a slice of cooked bacon (and tzatziki if you want to be adventuresome). Place the remaining patty on top of that and garnish with the remaining pepper, bacon and a large dollop of coleslaw. (We have also thrown some Coleslaw between the patties but this makes them a bit slidey)

Eat with a Knife and Fork!

Prep Time :20 mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Number of servings: 2