Club Sandwich….With Heat

Earlier this week, when Doef’s Greenhouse updated their twitter (@doefs) about their fresh jalapeños being ready, I was at the market bright and early to get a bundle of them. On my way home I let my mind wander on the bus and thought of roasting some of the jalapeños with onions and make a barbecue sauce. That developed into a sandwich when I mentioned to a friend that we’d have a BLT. So it became a club sandwich with a Roasted Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce.

I started by roasting a few jalapeños with some sliced onions

photo(4)   Then peeled the roasted jalapeños and puréed them with the onions and rhubarb juice (yes, I froze a bunch of rhubarb juice from last summer. It’s awesome).

   I added this purée to a small saucepan with molasses, rice wine vinegar, grated fresh apple and pear and reduced it until thick.

For the Roasted Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce:

   4 Doef’s Greenhouse fresh jalapeño peppers

   1 medium August Organics yellow onion, peeled, thickly sliced

   1 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

   1 cup rhubarb juice (or apple juice)

   1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

   1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

   2 Steve & Dans BC Fruit medium apples, finely grated

   1 Steve & Dans BC Fruit medium pear, finely grated (I used a Confederation pear, but a Bosc or Bartlett variety is fine too)

   Preheat the oven to 200C/425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

   On the prepared baking sheet, drizzle it with the canola oil. Rub the thick onion slices with oil on both sides and place the fresh, whole jalapeños next to the onions. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning the onions and jalapeños halfway through the roasting process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

   Peel the skin from the roasted jalapeños, remove the seeds and roughly chop the onions. Add to a food processor or blender with the rhubarb juice. Purée until smooth. Add this mixture to a small saucepan with the molasses, vinegar, grated apples and pears. Purée this mixture again with a hand blender and simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes or until very thick.

   This sauce is very spicy. As a spread on a sandwich, I decided to cut it 1:1 with plain yogurt.

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   But for coating some shredded roast chicken, I folded the unadulterated barbecue sauce over it.

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   After adding the barbecue, shredded chicken, I added some spinach leaves, along with a simple salad of quartered cherry tomatoes, crumbled 8 year old cheddar, a few drops of cold pressed flax oil and black pepper.

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      And to make any club sandwich complete: bacon. I love the nitrate-free side bacon I get from Sunshine Organic Farm. Their mildly salted, and richly smoked bacon, with rind attached is a crispy delight.

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   All of this sandwiched between two slices of the latest creation from one of my favourite bakeries, Bon Ton Bakery, using Gold Forest Grains heritage Park wheat flour.

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For the Roasted Jalapeño Chicken Club Sandwich:

   8 slices Bon Ton Bakery heritage whole wheat bread

   1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp prepared Roasted Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce

   3 Tbsp plain yogurt

   1-1/2 cups cooked Sunshine Organic chicken, shredded

   1 cup Morinville Greenhouse, spinach leaves

   10-12 Doef’s Greenhouse cherry tomatoes

   100g Sylvan Star Cheese 8 year old cheddar, crumbled

   1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed flax oil

   1/4 tsp ground black pepper

   450g/1 lb Sunshine Organics nitrate-free side bacon, cooked until crisp

   Blend 3 Tbsp of the barbecue sauce and yogurt into a smooth spread. Top each slice of bread with the spread. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce with the shredded chicken and top each alternate slice of bread. Top the chicken with spinach leaves.

   Combine the quartered tomatoes with the crumbled cheddar, flax oil and black pepper and top the spinach leaves. Add the crispy bacon slices and top with the remaining bread slices. Serves 4.

Pancake Day

Whether you’re of Catholic heritage or not, the observance of Fat Tuesday is oftentimes marked with the consumption of pancakes. I’m not one to argue, so here’s my super fluffy pancakes using red fife flour and oats from Gold Forest Grains farm.

Super Fluffy Pancakes

Dry ingredients:

7/8 cup Gold Forest Grains red fife flour

2 Tbsp Gold Forest Grains traditional rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

1 Sunshine Organic large egg

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp melted butter + more butter for frying the pancakes and serving.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the melted butter. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes or until the batter starts to bubble from the activation of the baking soda with the buttermilk. If the batter becomes too thick over this period add a tablespoon of buttermilk to bring back the desired texture.

Preheat a large nonstick pan or cast iron pan over medium low heat. Add a teaspoon of butter to the pan. As the butter starts to froth and bubble, add 1/2 cup of batter in a circle. Griddle for about 90 seconds on one side or until small bubble start to form on the raw batter side. Flip the pancake and griddle for a further 60-90 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 6-15cm(6″) pancakes.

Pepperoni Perogie Poutine

As this week ends, it is also the end of Poutine Week in Montréal. I’m not in Montréal, but part of me will always have an affinity for all things Québec because of the time my mum spent there. Poutine, essentially the provincial dish of Québec, is a blend of fries, cheese curds and a basic, chicken stock-based sauce. If you try to call it “gravy” it is immediately corrected as “sauce.” The thickening is oftentimes done with cornstarch or other starch, rather than a flour-roux base. I’m a non-traditional guy from the Prairies where rules go out the window so my “sauce” is more of a gravy. And my “fries” are perogies. I can make perogies (and there are recipes to come on my blog to do with that), but with a quick poutine-style dish, I enlisted the help of my favourite Ukrainian grandmother-type. Her name is Luba and makes every perogie by hand, hand-rolled, hand formed, hand made from top to bottom. Luba, in Ukrainian, means “love” and she certainly has love bursting from her and in her perogies.

Pepperoni Perogie Poutine

2 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

100g/4 oz Sunshine Organic Farms nitrate-free beef pepperoni, cut into 1/2cm(1/4″) slices.

1/4 cup butter

5 Tbsp Gold Forest Grains red fife flour, sifted

2 cups chicken stock

1 Tbsp Peas On Earth Organic Farms fresh garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

2 dozen Luba’s Ukrainian Foods cottage cheese perogies

2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

2 cups Riverbend Gardens red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups Doef’s Greenhouse red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

150g/6oz Sylvan Star Cheese 8 year old cheddar, crumbled

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tsp canola oil over medium high heat. Add half of the sliced pepperoni coins and fry until starting to darken to a medium brown. Add the butter and when melted gradually whisk in the sifted red fife flour. When it is smooth and combined, gradually whisk in the stock 1/4 cup at a time, ensuring the roux has started to thicken it before adding more stock. When the last of the stock has thickened, remove from the heat and add the minced garlic and salt. Set aside in a warm place.

Boil the perogies in plenty of boiling water in a large pot. When they float remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Heat a large nonstick pan with 2 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat. Brown the boiled perogies on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels or a clean towel. In the same pan, add the remaining pepperoni slices, onions and peppers. Sauté over the same medium high heat until they start to soften and become a light brown.

To serve:

In a small bowl, spread six of the crispy fried perogies along the bottom and edges of the bowl. Sprinkle with some of the fried pepperoni, onions and peppers. Crumble a little 8 year old cheddar over top. Add a small ladle of gravy over the top and finish with a little more crispy pepperoni, onions, peppers and crumbled cheddar. Repeat with remaining perogies, gravy, pepperoni, onions, peppers and cheese. Serves 4.