Battle of Ingredients #3: Farmers’ Market Edition

Battle of Ingredients

The next Battle of Ingredients happened this past weekend.

Here in Canada, we had our Victoria Day long weekend. Montreal was also full of festivities as the city celebrated its 375th birthday. A lot more festivities are on the way as Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday as well. If you do want to ask about the 375th birthday in a 150 year country, Montreal was a French colony and established before Canada was was formed under confederation. That is the short form of the explanation. Since I do get asked that question once in a while, so just in case you are curious 🙂

This edition is all about Farmer’s Market. A fantastic idea from my collaborator for this series, Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road who also happened to have written a great post on the Montreal celebrations. Montreal has a few markets strewn both on the island and in the suburban areas. As some of you may have gathered, we do venture frequently in the suburban surrounding cities of Montreal and this edition’s highlight will be some of the items we bought and the local businesses from Le Marche des Jardiniers located in La Prairie, Quebec. It also happens to be Lobster season so we made a pretty last minute decision to pick up two lobsters at the supermarket and try our hand at it.

Let’s check out our menu for the evening!

Our Wine of the Evening

Appetizer
Bread from L’Amour du Pain

L'Amour du Pain

Main Meal

Phoebe: Oven-Baked Sausages & Portobello Mushrooms

Sausages & Portobello Mushrooms

Sausages are from Charcuterie Frick

Sausages here are 4 flavors:
– Herbes de Provences
– Blueberry Maple Syrup
– Smoked Meat
– Shallots & White Wine

Being a mother of a toddler, Phoebe’s learnt the concept of efficient cooking. Fast and easy to put together. She had done this dish before a few months ago. The concept is to use the oil/fat in the sausages to also give flavor to the mushrooms at the bottom.

My tie for sausages are the blueberry and maple and shallots and white wine. They all tasted great just a preference to those two flavors. Mushrooms turned out perfect as well.

Kim & Phoebe: Roasted Honey-Thyme Endives

Endives were bought at Le Petit Marché de Johanne

Roasted Honey-Thyme Endives

 Recipe via Pinterest: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Honey-Roasted-Belgian-Endives-and-Parsnips

I have only made endives once before (same applies to fiddleheads below). My memory was blurry on how I made it in general. Pinterest gave a simple recipe on putting this together: salt, pepper, honey, fresh thyme and oil/butter for marinade which had to be warmed first then drizzled on the endives before popping it in the oven.

For this dish, I have to do some reading on how to cut endives and prepare them. There was still some bitterness left in it and it has to do with what to remove to prevent it. However, the sauce was pretty good. I did have to modify it to a lower portion because we had less than what the recipe asked for.

Kim: Roasted Fiddlehead

Fiddleheads were bought at Le Petit Marché de Johanne

Roasted Fiddlehead

Recipe via Pinterest: http://homemadeandyummy.com/roasted-fiddlehead-ferns/

Fiddlehead ferns are in season right now. They also happen to be a pain to prepare because of all the washing and cleaning that it takes. With the said, this called for a simple recipe to compensate.

When things get crazy, my mind runs off. This is what happened to the roasted fiddleheads. They ended up being forgotten in the oven a few minutes more and got crispy. It was like fiddlehead crisps which because of the simple salt and pepper worked for myself however, might not be for everyone.

Kim & Phoebe: Boiled Lobster

Boiled Lobster

Lobsters probably aren’t supposed to be the star of the night but it was because it took almost everyone and a few recruits to help us with chopping and cleaning and cooking and plating. Phoebe ate these with garlic butter however, I ate them just like that and it was delicious. Most of the credit goes to her in completing this lobster cooking task.

Dessert

Kim: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Recipe via Pinterest: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/strawberry_rhubarb_pie/

Finally, my forte! Fresh rhubarb from the garden and frozen strawberries yielded this pie. I did use store bought pie shells and this somehow felt a little defective as it had a fold in the shell before going into the freezer so there was a gigantic side opening and that is where the juices and excess water leaked out. While this seemed pretty watery, this recipe is solid. I was worried that the rhubarb wouldn’t be ripe enough and be too tart but turns out it worked out pretty great.

That is a wrap for Battle of Ingredients!
A huge meal and great teamwork got this done and ready for everyone. Plus, it highlighted some of our local vendors which is always important.

Dinner: Roasted Endives with Thyme

Its been quite some time since I last posted up a recipe and here we are! I went on a cooking craze so here we are!!

I’ve been wanting to try out cooking endives for quite some time now. A few weeks ago I went out to Atwater Market in Montreal and came back with a ton of vegetables. Of course, I picked up some endives. After looking at some recipes, we decided to do this simple recipe which we also happened to have all the ingredients. That is definitely a plus. 😉

Also, the recipe below is for 4-5 endives but I only had three so I made little adjustments.

Roasted Endives with Thyme
(recipe from: http://naturallyella.com/roasted-endives-with-thyme)

Roasted Endives with Thyme

Ingredients

4-5 Endives
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp thyme, minced
3-4 tbsp toasted bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Slice the endives in half lengthwise and toss with two teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until endives are tender and starting to brown.
  2. Heat 4 remaining teaspoons of olive oil in a small skillet until warm. Remove from heat, add thyme and when endives are done, drizzle the olive oil/thyme on top and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs.

That’s it! Easy, right?  Still, as I type this up, I realized that I did make some small changes other than a slight adjustment of portions. The main thing is that we ran out of black pepper. Horrible, I know. So instead of using salt and pepper, we ended up using The Keg steak spice. Also, we completely forgot about the toasted bread crumbs so that was omitted. Another thing is that we recently swapped out olive oil to avocado oil. I’m not sure if that would affect the taste.

However, it turned out absolutely delicious. I haven’t had endives many times but it turns out that I like the texture of the vegetable, plus this one blends in simple spices. Definitely an efficient and easy meal to make and that is exactly how I like recipes to be since I’m not such a skilled cook.

Do you eat endives? How do you cook them?