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 !

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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??

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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My Premium Olive Oil Experience!

I am so thrilled that Penticton is now home to the latest Oliv Tasting Room.

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photo courtesy of https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

I had noticed an ad somewhere for the opening or “Coming Soon” type event but didn’t realize where the shop would be until I stopped for my Friday shops of fresh veg, meat and bread on Riverside Drive and Violá! There was the new Oliv shop so I ventured in and was immediately greeted by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff member who asked if I’d ever had an Olive Oil Tasting before.

No! Never! Bring it on!

olivPhoto courtesy of oliv

To start me off my server poured a tiny amount of  varietal oil into a little cup and had me warm it in my hand while she explained the origins of the oil and a bit about the company. All the Olives are grown in South Africa by owners Awie and Isabeau du Toit who established the first Oliv shop in the unlikely location of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan !

Once the oil was at the right tasting temperature, I sipped the golden liquid and coated the inside of my mouth as I would with wine for a delightful result! Of course I use Olive Oils on a daily basis but I suppose I never just taste the oil on it’s own. This first oil, Mission, was delicious, light yet  deep and complex with  a hint of apple and a buttery finish. Next I tasted the Leccino which proved to be my favourite and my first purchase. It was sweet and possibly oaky with hints of fruit.

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My Purchase!

To be honest, after the first couple of tastings , I had a hard time keeping track of what I had tried, liked, and the different nuances of each but it was so fun I just kept up with everything my lovely hostess poured! We moved on the the Balsamics and then the combinations of Vinegars with the vast selection of flavoured oils on bits of bread from Cobs.  It was  a taste extravaganza and my taste buds became as excited as I was to be living this whole new experience.  I can’t wait to return to Oliv and stock up on some of their vast array of  balsamics and have plans for a delicious bread dip using Oliv’s Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and their Chili Balsamic. Yum! That was by far my preference of the combos but I also loved the sweet Balsamics on fruit.

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I highly recommend this experience to all of you and if you are lucky enough to live near one of the Oliv Tasting Room locations , do go in and Taste!

There are 5 locations in Canada including  here in the Okanagan Valley in Penticton.  As we seem to be smack dab in the centre of the growing B.C wine industry and an ever increasing selection of great restaurants and Foodie enthusiasts such as myself, I think our area is a brilliant choice for this new shop and I wish them much success! I will be back soon!

598980_438340212908409_756722759_nCourtesy of Oliv

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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