organic red fife flour tortillas

I’m a week late in blogging this recipe, but… better late than never, right?

I apologize, I’ve had a busy week wearing my Small Print Writing and Consulting hat. But, a good recipe or two is worth the wait, right?

Last weekend, I live tweeted the creation of my dinner. It was my traditional “hockey night fun food adventure,” in real time. The tweeting lacked a photo element. It also should have had a blogged recipe to work from. These are lessons learned, and tools you’ll see next time around. The tweets did, I think, capture some of the fun.

Saturday night, you see, is all about the casual, sport-friendly dinner. It is about food that goes well with hockey. It is pub food, fun food, food that goes just as well with easy-drinking ales and lagers as local red wines. It is food to be consumed while wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey. On Saturday night at Farm to Table, you are likely to find gourmet burgers, specialty pizzas, jerk chicken, chicken wings, fun sandwiches, home-baked chips. You’re likely to be given a beer. Once 7 o’clock hits, you’ll be asked to pay attention to the hockey, not just be present. You might be asked to cheer.

Anyhow, last Saturday was Fajita Night in Canada, featuring skirt steak fajitas on home-griddled red fife tortillas. Local, pasture-fed top sirloin met fresh, hot tortillas. They were topped with sautéed onions and peppers and a variety of salsas and hot sauces.

I’m going to get to the full fajita recipe later in the week, but, in the short term, will fulfill the requests for the red fife tortillas. It has been a week, after all. As usual, look to the bottom of the post for the local producers behind the local ingredients.

Let me get this out of the way first, though. There are going to be some food purists who will turn their nose up at this recipe. First of all, it is a wheat tortilla, not corn. Second of all, it contains a leavening agent (baking powder), where a traditional tortilla wouldn’t.


Tough cookies.

This is Tex-Mex, folks. It is hardly traditional Mexican.

I’m sure I will feature some authentic Mexican cuisine on this blog at some point — or as authentic as a white dude from Central Ontario can produce — but in the meantime, I’m here for some good, clean, hockey night fun.

With that in mind, I give you:

Griddled Organic Red Fife Flour Tortillas.

makes 8 tortillas

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of red fife wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of melted clarified butter
3/4 cups of warm milk

1. Mix together the dry ingredients and oil.
2. Slowly add the warm milk.
3. Mix just until a sticky ball is formed.
4. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface.
5. Place in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 20 min.
6. Separate into eight sections and roll into balls in your hands.
7. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 15 min.
8. Place ball in floured surface and press flat.
9. Roll with a rolling pin, starting from centre, until 7-8 inches wide, and very thin. Do not overwork! Cover until ready to fry.
10. Dry fry on a griddle or in a large frying pan, 30 second per side. They should have a just slightly charred look.
11. Cover with a towel until ready to serve.

Local Producers:
Organic all purpose flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Organic red fife wheat flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Butter: Kawartha Dairy (Bobcaygeon)

mini bean burgers w/ chipotle mayo

mini black bean burgers with chipotle mayonnaise and home-pickled jalapanos. i threw in some of our hot sauces for fun.
i gotta say, i was in the mood for a burger tonight.

with that, i gotta say, i’m in the mood for a burger every night.

but i can’t really eat a burger every night: i’d blimp out. i’d be helping the world starve. i’d feel pretty crappy.

but i felt like a burger tonight.

so i made a burger. a damn good burger. a burger i could feel proud of on a tuesday night. i made a burger that was gloriously mid-week un-decadent, in both health and environmental health.

i made:

mini bean burgers with chipotle mayo

ingredients in place: beans ready to be smashed, dry bread ready to be turned to crumbs.
makes four open-face burgers
1 cup cooked and rinsed black beans
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tsp oregano
olive oil

6 slices of baguette style french/italian bread
cheddar cheese
chipotle mayonnaise
pickled jalapano peppers

1. chop onion and sauté in a small amount of olive oil, until soft
2. in a food processor, chop beans until you have a mix of bean paste and roughly chopped beans.
3. in a medium bowl, thoroughly mix beans, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, chilis, and spices.
4. form into patties.
5 let refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

once burgers have set:

1. heat olive oil in a medium pan under medium heat.
2. fry, turning frequently, until darkly browned on both sides.
3. cover with cheese before last turning

patties at the ready: almost time for cooking.
and to present:

1. toast baguettes in oven.
2. top with chipotle mayonnaise.
3. serve burgers with cheese over top.
3. offer condiments.

and because i always like to list the sources of my ingredients:

dried black beans (sorry, not local)
bread crumbs (made from our homemade french bread)
onion: beyer’s farm (peterborough)
garlic: gaelic garlic (peterborough)
chipotles: dried chipotles from the firehouse gourmet (peterborough), re-hydrated in my own hot sauce
egg: millar farms (keene)
cheese: empire cheese (campbelford)
chipotle mayonnaise: homemade, recipe coming soon, with eggs from millar farms.
pickled jalapanos: grown and canned by farm to table.
hot sauces: from my own peppers, prepared and canned by farm to table.
and those pretty looking peppers in the picture? grown by us and frozen.

gnocchi update

Farm to Table reader/friend, Alison Clark writes:

Cake Walk's beet gnocchi.

[The gnocchi] looks good. You should check out cake walk blog online to get a super beet gnocchi recipe. We have made it a couple of times with overgrown garden beets. It freezes well also. Cheers!”

And check i did.  Here’s the link:

Cake Walk tossed hers in lemon and thyme.  While that sounds interesting, I think I might go a different route when I get to beet season.  Beet gnocchi w/capers and crumbled goat cheese.  The peppery mustard taste of capers will contrast nicely with the sweetness of the beet.  The earthiness of goat cheese will envelop these flavours and offer some good texture.  An olive oil base would work.

Thanks, Alison!

emergency dinner: tomato gnocchi

don't be looking for panache in this emergency gnocchi.

so, dinner plans didn’t turn out the way we wanted, and we’ve missed market for the past several weeks while out of town.

perfect time to order a pizza, right?

well, i thought so, but budget-conscious krista thought otherwise.  as you recall, she’s the one that makes sure the bills are paid.

she gave me a look that said “if you want italian, you’re going to have to make it yourself.” and left the kitchen.

that was when i once again became thankful for krista’s thriftiness (not to mention food preservation skills).  and for the fact that we always keep our leftovers.  reflecting on the gnocchi i had tucked away last fall, i knew that we still had a number of jars of home-canned tomatoes in the pantry.  i also knew i had a few homegrown cayennes* in the freezer.  add that to the basketful of garlic we have on the counter and the end of a rind of manchego from the fridge and i had all the makings for a hardy, peasant-style italian meal.

allow me to walk you through it:

emergency gnocchi
serves 2

2 handfuls of gnocchi (a bit more if your hands are small)
250 ml of canned tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon or so of dried basil
1/4 cup of hard cheese (such as parmesan)
freshly ground pepper
splash of olive oil

1. heat olive oil in small sauce pan.
2. add garlic, sauté until fragrant.
3. add gnocchi and fry until slightly crispy on the outside.
4. add tomatoes and basil and sauté until liquids start to reduce and there some of the basil aroma comes to the forefront.
5. mix in half the cheese, pour into bowls, garnish with remaining cheese and a few twists of freshly ground pepper.

simple, isn’t it.  took 5 minutes.

recipes don’t have to be difficult to be good.  in fact, recipes don’t have to be recipes to be good.  this only became a recipe because i blogged it.  otherwise, it would just be a tuesday night quick fix with some tasty local options.

speaking of local, let’s shine some light on those ingredients.

gnocchi: leftovers from the freezer.  i’m positive of local origins.
tomatoes: grown and canned right here on our little east city property
garlic: the gaelic garlic.
manchego cheese: sorry, a decadent import.  leftover from a party.  but fifth town artisan cheese has some great local hard cheeses.
basil and pepper from the main ingredient.  we grow and dry our own basil, but have just run out.

*because i like heat, i added a chopped and seeded cayenne to the oil with the garlic.  it is definitely not needed.  in fact, i’d recommend you leave it out.  forget i mentioned it.  😉
**for kicks, i rescued some gnarly looking green onions from the bottom of the crisper by peeling off a few layers.  they added a bit of green for garnish.

not 100% local, but not bad in a pinch.

bon appetit.