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More Gourmet Recipes  

Farmer's Markets (September 12, 2016)

Kale with Apples, Leeks and Feta
Sweet Potato Dumplings (Gnocchi) with Sage-Buttered Apples
Happy Cow Meatloaf
Shrimp Po' Boys
Peach and Raspberry Custard Tart

In our travels around the world, one "must do" stop is always the local market. From England to Thailand to Mexico to Bolivia and of course the fabulous markets in France, we've seen and eaten our way through them all!

Markets have existed worldwide for centuries; they are a delightful, often fragrant picture reflecting the local culture and economy. They're found in cities and towns and along the road; sizes range from a few stalls to several city blocks. Depending on where you are, you might find fresh and cooked food, live animals, personal and professional goods and crafts, vehicles of all types, and – as one Cockney accented gentleman remarked about his goodies – "They all just fell off the lorry this morning!" One of our favourite memories was the older gentleman in La Paz selling what had to be a 1920s blood pressure machine; it was as big as he was! But all that aside, as really, it's the food first!

In the last decade or so, consumer demand for foods that are fresher – and for foods with more variety – has led to growth of farmers' markets over traditional grocery stores. Plus, by selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, lighting and air-conditioning is also reduced or eliminated. Everyone wins here; the middleman is eliminated, with the take going directly into the farmers' pocket and the consumer getting equal or better quality found in grocery stores.

We'll be seeing more of them in the future; according to the USDA and Farmers Markets Canada the continent sports more than 10,000 markets with locations increasing every year! With that number you're bound to have one close to you with fresh local food grown less than a day's ride – and possibly harvested or caught that morning!

But how shall we enjoy the bounty we've just bought?

It's been bursting out for the few last seasons, and bigger and better than ever! Gorgeous, green and good for you, but there are so many lined up in the stalls it can be confusing... oh please, which one to choose please, and how do I cook it!

We look in our old friend, The Book of Kale by Sharon Hanna, which contains over 80 recipes on this tasty superfood. This excellent bible on the vegetable tells us the history of kale (well, who knew?), how to grow your own, the different varieties and much more. Her well-tested recipes include breakfast, starters and light meals and soups, pastas and mains! Don't wait to get your copy!

Organic Meat
More and more farmers are providing us with certified organic, grass-fed, free-range meat and poultry with the happy result being a healthier, more sustainable and better tasting product! We turned to North Bay Farmers Markets Cookbook by Brigitte Moran with Amelia Spilger for inspiration on how to enjoy the plentiful array of seasonal foods and especially proteins. The book is a great read, and a good guide to local markets if you find yourself on the West coast.

From the Sea
We grew up in Florida next door to a family that owned shrimp boats! They would often drop off shrimp that had been pulled out of the Gulf that morning, and we still dream of the sweet/tangy taste that only comes from the freshest catch. Along the coasts you find fish markets perhaps close to the harbour, selling that day's haul.

Southern Living magazine, that venerable chronicle of the American south, is the ultimate insiders' guide to Southern culture, recipes, travel, and events. They have a brilliant test kitchen out of which has come The Best of Southern Living Cookbook with more than 500 of their all time favourite recipes. The best of the best, all with gorgeous photographs.

Vegetables and Fruit
Fall is coming, and the markets will be offering late season vegetables and fruit. The world's best peaches (yes, we do think so!) are being harvested in Ontario's Niagara peninsula as we speak, and the apple crop across the continent is not far behind!

We picked up a wonderfully satisfying, comprehensive cookbook, Country Comfort: Cooking Across America by Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Chef Nicole Roarke, which highlights popular ingredients from each region of the United States. It includes over 175 enticing recipes and accompanying anecdotes from cooks throughout the country from the quaint seaside towns of the Northeast to the surfing villages of the West coast. Mary Elizabeth, a professional nurse for over 30 years, earned a certificate in Pastry and Baking Arts in 2008; her work can be found in dozens of cookbooks and other publications. Chef Nicole is an honors graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, teaches private cooking classes as well as those at the Culinary School in Syosset, NY. These are two talented sisters!

Up in Canada, professionally trained chef and pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of the popular TV series Bake with Anna Olson and has found time in her busy life to write seven bestselling cookbooks on baking and cooking; the latest is the eponymous Bake with Anna Olson with more than 125 of her most popular recipes from the show. She and her chef husband Michael Olson live in the Niagara wine region of Ontario, where the peach harvest is just in; you'll have to try her gorgeous peach tart... stop drooling and get started!

On today's menu:

Download this article in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF 353 kB)



Kale with Apples, Leeks and Feta

Kale with Apples, Leeks and Feta

In The Book of Kale author Sharon Hanna says this recipe goes perfectly with pork: tenderloin, chops or roast. She suggests Tuscan kale will give this stir-fry the most vivid colour, while apple gives the dish sweetness, feta lends depth and acidity and leeks mellow it out. Oh, my, kale never tasted so good!

  • 1 cup (250 mL) leeks, sliced, including some green
  • 1 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
  • About 4 cups (1 L) kale, ribbon-cut into strips
  • 1 large tart apple, cored but unpeeled and quartered lengthwise, sliced into thin wedges
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) crumbled feta cheese
  • Black pepper

Stir-fry leeks over medium heat in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil until they soften-about 2 minutes. Add kale and continue to stir-fry about 4 more minutes. Turn up the heat to medium. Toss in apple slices and continue to cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until apples are tender gut not limp. Add feta, grind in a little pepper and toss lightly. Serve drizzled with remaining oil.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire or New Zealand



Sweet Potato Dumplings (Gnocchi) with Sage-Buttered Apples

Sweet Potato Dumplings (Gnocchi) with Sage-Buttered Apples

Ah, yes, fall is coming along with all those wonderful apples; here's another savoury recipe reflecting the flavours of fall harvest ingredients. A favourite of prairie church suppers and neighborhood pot lucks, and no wonder; you'll wow them at your next gathering. This recipe came from Cooking Across America by Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Chef Nicole Roarke.

Serves 8 to 10

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups plus 1/2 small cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots or 1 medium sized mild onion, finely chopped
  • 4–5 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  1. Bake the sweet potatoes at 425°F or an hour or so until fork-tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool to room temperature. Peel the potatoes and press through a potato ricer or medium sieve.
  2. Place egg and egg yolk in a food processor that is fitted with a dough blade. Add softened butter, salt, pepper and sweet potatoes, and combine. Add flour, 3/4 cup at a time, and pulse just enough to incorporate (overprocessing can result in tough dumplings).
  3. Remove the dough from the processor and form into a large ball. Dust in flour as needed. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into baseball-sized pieces and roll into a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Dust in flour. Using the tines of a fork, press down on the small pieces of dough, pulling the fork toward you as you press down. The dough will curl with the fork marks inside the curl. Fold the curl backward so that the curl is on the outside. This step deviates from traditional eastern European dumplings and follows the Italian gnocchi preparation to create more surface area on the dumplings, allow them to cook more quickly and absorb more of the sage-butter sauce.
  5. At this point, the dumplings can be placed in a single layer on a large sheet pan and frozen. Place the frozen dumplings in a zip bag and return to the freezer.
  6. Melt one stick of butter in a large frying pan. Add shallots, and sauté until translucent. Add chopped sages leaves (reserve a few for garnish), either whole or in thin slices, and apple slices. Sauté until the apples are tender.
  7. While the apples are sautéing bring water and 1/2 tsp of salt to a rapid boil. Add the dumplings. Once they have floated to the surface, cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and stir into the sautéed apples. Garnish with the remaining sage leaved.

Tony's wine recommendation:
a warm region Chardonnay – California, Australia



Happy Cow Meatloaf

Happy Cow Meatloaf

What a great meatloaf: moist, full of flavour and depth, and guaranteed to become a much requested classic in your family. It's one of the many recipes from the Meats section in North Bay Farmers Markets Cookbook by Brigitte Moran with Amelia Spilger.

Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup organic milk
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • Several grinds pepper
  • 1½– 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • 1½ cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms, plus 2 whole mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 strips local bacon, chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings.

Gently mix in ground beef and all other ingredients except whole mushrooms and bacon. Shape meat mixture into a loaf in a glass pan, top with the whole mushrooms and the bacon. Bake 1 hours or more depending on preferred doneness.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Pinot Noir or a cru (village-named) Beaujolais



Shrimp Po' Boys

Shrimp Po' Boys

When the freshest fried shrimp is nestled onto a crusty baguette and slathered with just enough Rémoulade sauce and crispy lettuce, you know you've died and gone to heaven, or at least New Orleans! It was a hard choice, but this is one of our favourites from The Best of Southern Living Cookbook.

Makes 4 sandwiches

  • 2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 French bread rolls, split
  • Rémoulade sauce
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

Peel shrimp, and devein if desired.

Combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir together milk and egg until smooth. Toss shrimp in milk mixture; dredge in flour mixture.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°F. Fry shrimp, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until golden; drain on wire racks.

Melt butter; add garlic. Spread cut sides of rolls evenly with butter mixture and place on a large baking sheet

Bake at 450°F for 8 minutes. Spread cut sides of rolls evenly with Remoulade sauce. Place lettuce and shrimp evenly on bottom halves of rolls; cove with roll tops. Serve immediately.

Rémoulade Sauce

  • Makes 1½ cups
  • 1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Creole mustard
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • Stir together all ingredients; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Chablis, Muscadet or Soave



Peach and Raspberry Custard Tart

Peach and Raspberry Custard Tart

You've admired and drooled over versions of this gorgeous tart for years; now is the time to start making your own with fresh peaches and raspberries from the farmer's market! It's easier than it looks – Anna Olsen in Bake with Anna Olsen tells you how in 8 steps! This recipe and all her others will elevate you to a professional level you never dreamed you had!

  • 1 recipe Pâté Sablèe Dough
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk, divided
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (36 g) cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) orange liqueur or brandy (optional)
  • 2 fresh peaches
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) apple jelly
  1. On a light floured works surface, gently knead the chilled dough just a little to soften, then roll it out to a circle about 12 inch (30 cm) across and 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Carefully lift the pastry and line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) removable-bottom fluted tart pan. Press it into the pan, and trim away any excel dough. Chill the tart shell for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper for aluminum foil.
  3. Place the chilled tart shell on the prepared baking tray and dock the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake the tart shell for about 20 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Cool the tart shell in the pan on a cooling rack to room temperature.
  4. For the custard filling, bring all but 2 Tbsp (30mL) of the milk, the vanilla, and the orange zest to just below a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Place the butter in a large bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl, ready for when the custard has thickened.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, cornstarch and remaining 2 Tbsp (30mL) of milk. Slowly pour the hot mild into the egg mixture while whisking and then pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk this over medium heat until the custard just comes to a boil, thickens, and becomes glossy about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan form the heat, strain the custard through the sieve, and stir until the butter is melted into the mixture. Add the liqueur (if using) and then cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap sits directly on the surface of the custard. Cool to room temperature, then chill, still covered, for at least 2 hours.
  7. To assemble the tart, whisk the custard to soften it and then spread it evenly over the bottom of the cooled tart shell (leave the tart shell in the pan). Peel and slice the peaches and arrange them and the raspberries over the custard.
  8. Melt the apple jelly in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until smooth. Brush the peaches and raspberries with the melted apple jelly and chill, uncovered, until ready to serve. Carefully remove the tart from the pan and place it on a serving platter before slicing. The tart is best served the day it is made, but can be stored refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Pâté Sablèe Dough

  • 10 Tbsp (145 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 Tbsp (80 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 yolk from a large hard boiled egg
  • 1 large raw egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups (225 g) cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp (1 g) salt

For the dough, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Push the hard-boiled egg yolk through a sieve and stir the raw egg yolk and vanilla into it. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended.

Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Shape this unto a disc (it will be soft), wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm about 2 hours.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Special Select Late Harvest Riesling or Sauternes



We wish to thank the following for permission to publish material and photographs:

For The Book of Kale by Sharon Hanna: Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC, Canada. © 2012 Sharon Hanna. Photography © Christina Symons.


Raincoast Books, Vancouver, and Gibbs Smith, Layton, Utah, for North Bay Farmers Markets Cookbook by Brigitte Moran with Amelia Spilger. Text © 2009 Brigitte Moran with Amelia Spilger. Photographs © 2009 Scott Ellison.


Oxmoor House, Inc, the Book Division of Southern Progress Corporation, Birmingham, Alabama, for The Best of Southern Living Cookbook. © 2008 by Oxmoor House, Inc.


Hatherleigh Press, a member of the Publishers Earth Alliance, committed to preserving and protecting the natural resources of the planet while developing a sustainable business model for the book publishing industry, for Country Comfort: Cooking Across America, by Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Nicole Roarke. Text © 2012 Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Nicole Roarke. For more information, go to


Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, for Bake with Anna Olsen.© 2016 Olsen Food Concepts Inc and Peace Point Entertainment Group Inc.


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Helen Hatton and Ron Morris at Le Caveau des Gourmets in Gigondas




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