Classic Pork Chops

By Chef Mike Edgar, Photos by Twisted Tree Photography

Now that meal prep is top of mind for many, here’s a pork dish that is easy to make and features a delicious cranberry touch. Thick and juicy oven-baked pork loin chops, smothered in a savoury, brandy reduction and topped with a cranberry-mustard are a wonderful way to enjoy a sit-down meal with your family.

BRINE

2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup of Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
6 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp. of Whole Black Peppercorn
Handful of Fresh Thyme
2 Cups of Ice Cubes

BRINE METHOD
Dissolve the salt and sugar in water. Add aromatics. Bring to a boil and pour over ice cubes. Stir until melted.
 

PORK CHOPS METHOD
Sear your pork chops to start. Place two double cut pork chops, (bone in) into the brine for a minimum of eight hours. Remove from brine and dry. Preheat your oven to 425℉. Sear pork chops in a cast iron pan, for approximately five minutes a side. Place in oven, flipping every three minutes until you have an internal temp of 145℉. Bring out and rest for a minimum of five minutes.
 
SPICED SQUASH PUREE

1 Butternut Squash, Diced (Uncooked)
2 Tbsp. of Butter
1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 Tsp. of Allspice
1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp. of Ground Ginger
1 Tsp. of Salt 
1 Tsp. Pepper
1/4 Cup of 33% Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup of Water

SPICED SQUASH PUREE METHOD
Roast squash and spices in a preheated 425℉ oven for 25 minutes, until soft. Place in a blender with water and cream and puree.


CIPOILLINI ONIONS
1 Onion per person, Peeled
 
CIPOILLINI ONIONS METHOD
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pre-heat oven to 425℉. Roast onions seven minutes per side.
 

When arranging your pork chop plate, the asparagus & goat cheese strudel pairs well with the spiced squash puree.


ASPARAGUS & GOAT CHEESE STRUDEL

12 Asparagus Stalks
1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
3 Sheets of Phyllo Pastry
1 Tsp. of Salt
1 Tsp. of Pepper
1/2 Cup of Melted Butter
 
STRUDEL METHOD
Lay one sheet of phyllo pastry down on the cutting board, and brush with butter, repeat two times. Cut the phyllo into four rectangles. Season with salt and pepper and place three asparagus on each rectangle and then crumble equal portions of goat cheese on top. Roll phyllo around the asparagus and goat cheese. Roll to wrap them towards the centre of the spear. Preheat oven to 425℉. Place each pastry on a greased baking sheet and place in oven for six minutes a side.
 

This sweet and savoury brandy reduction is the perfect addition to pork chops.

BRANDY REDUCTION 

2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cups Brandy
1 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp. of Tomato Paste
Handful of Fresh Thyme

BRANDY REDUCTION METHOD
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring items to a boil. Boil until the consistency is that of a syrup.
 
CRANBERRY MUSTARD

1/2 Cup Yellow Mustard Seeds
1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
1 and 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Cup Dry Cranberries

CRANBERRY MUSTARD METHOD
Cranberry Sauce:
Soak cranberries in water for two hours. Strain the water off. Puree in a food processor with half the maple syrup.

Mustard:
Place all mustard seeds and vinegar in a jar. Seal the lid. Shake well. Let sit in a dark place for 48 hours.

After 48 Hours
Remove half the mustard seeds and puree in food processor with the cranberry sauce and the remaining maple syrup.
Mix with the remaining mustard seeds. Serve with your pork chops. 

6 Halloween Treats

Need to send a spooky treat to the school this week? Want to impress your stable mates at a Halloween barn party? Here are 6 of our favorite Halloween snacks. Take the above Sugar Skull fruit platter for example. Loaded with fresh fruit and complimented by a cookie crust and frosting, this is a treat that is perfect for a Day of the Dead party!

Or what about this Candy Corn jell-o? Two packs of Jell-o, some whipped cream and a candy corn topper and these little individual treats are a delight with everyone!

 

Witch finger pretzel rods are a spectacularly sweet-and-salty treat – and a little creepy.

 

These poison apples are to die for… but seriously, aren’t they pretty?

 

We love this Rice Krispie treat idea! The candy eyeballs are the perfect touch – So cute and the kiddies would love them.

 

Lastly, this cheesy witch broom idea is adorable and healthy! Made with only three ingredients, they look as easy to do as they are tasty to eat.

Happy Halloween!

 

Outdoor Oven Pizzas

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Make this drool-worthy homemade pizza, to enjoy with friends or family on the patio.

BY MIKE EDGAR

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

DOUGH:
3 and ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tbsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Honey
1 cup warm Water
¼ cup dry, White Wine at room temperature
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method – In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt and mix well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the warm water, wine and oil. Using a wooden spoon mix the wet ingredients into the dry until the mixture is stiff to stir. Then mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Remove dough from the bowl and knead for five minutes. Oil a large clean bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover with a damp towel and allow to proof in a warm place. Let it double in size.

SAUCE:
100 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Dry Oregano
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Pepper
1 cup Olive Oil

Method – Heat olive oil in sauce pot. Sauté onions, garlic, salt , pepper and oregano for about three minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for two hours at a low simmer. Stir occasionally with a twist to help break up the ingredients as they cook.

ROASTED FENNEL:

1 Fennel bulb
1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Method – Thinly slice the fennel. Sauté in frying pan until tender. Then place in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

CHEESE:
Fresh buffalo mozzarella and fresh goat cheese (chevre). Bocconcini cheese made with cows milk will also work.

SAUSAGE MEAT:

3 lbs. Ground Pork
3 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 tbsp. Onion Powder
1 tbsp. Whole Fennel Seed
2 tsp. Sweet Smoked Paprika
2 tsp. Chili Flakes
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Dry Oregano

Method – Mix all ingredients together. Mince for 10 minutes to ensure all spices are evenly mixed.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Building the Pizza

Portion the dough into 10 oz. portions and form onto balls. Let proof for another hour. Dust work surface with corn meal or flour to aid the rolling process. Roll your dough out into a circle. A 10 oz. dough should make a 10-inch pizza.

Sauce your dough. Add fennel and sausage. Tear the cheese into smaller pieces and place randomly on the pizza.

Use a pizza stone to cook your pizza. Allow the stone 10 minutes to heat up in the BBQ or oven before placing the pizza on it to cook. Slide your pizza paddle under the dough and transfer it to the hot pizza stone. If your use a BBQ, it should be set to 500 degrees. Your pizza will take between five and ten minutes to cook properly. It is ready when the crust is brown.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Once the pizza is cooked, top it throughout with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Enjoy! * Thank-you to Tudor Stables and Connie and Andy Cicoria for allowing us to shoot this recipe on their beautiful outdoor patio.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Mason Jar Chicken Salad

By MIKE EDGAR, Photos by TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Tired of horse show concession food? Here’s a healthy recipe you can pack to take with you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 litre Jar

1 Chicken Breast, boneless skinless

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, plain

1/2 cup Grainy Mustard

1/2 cup Honey

Juice of half a Lemon

1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 pint Grape Tomatoes, cut into halves

1 Cucumber, diced 1/2 cup

Sliced Almonds 100 grams

Goat Cheese, crumbled

2 cups Baby Arugula

METHOD:

Dressing – Mix yogurt, honey, mustard and lemon juice. Once mixed add almonds, cucumber and tomato. Set aside.

Chicken – Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast for 20 minutes. Let cool, then slice.

 

The jar:

Layer 1 – half of the cucumber tomato mix.

Layer 2 – half the sliced chicken.

Layer 3 – half the goat cheese.

Layer4 – half the remaining Dressing.

Layer 5 – half the arugula. Repeat all layers until jar is full.

Deconstructed California Rolls

Tired of horse show concession food? Here’s a healthy mason jar recipe you can pack to take with you, guaranteed to make you the envy of lunch in the bleachers. A take on a sushi staple that displays beautifully in a mason jar.

By Mike Edgar, Photos by Twisted Tree Photography

INGREDIENTS:

2 litre Jar
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
1/4 cup Sesame oil
1 bunch Cilantro
1 bunch Green Onion
2 cups Crab meat
2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
2 tbsp. Ground Black Pepper
6 Fully Cooked Shrimp, sliced in half
2 cups Pea Shoots
2 Avocado
Juice of half a Lemon
1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Nori (dry seaweed), thinly sliced
2 tbsp. Sesame Seeds

METHOD:

Crab salad – Mix the crab, mayonnaise, sriracha and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Avocado – Skin the avocado and remove the seed. Mash with a fork. Add lemon juice, cumin, pinch of salt and pepper.

Quinoa – Bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let sit covered for a additional 10 min. When cooled add sesame oil, 1/3 of the cilantro chopped, green onion chopped, and sesame seeds.

The jar:
Layer 1 – half the quinoa.
Layer 2 – half the crab.
Layer 3 – half the shrimp.
Layer 4 – half the avocado.
Layer 5 – half the pea shoots.
Layer 6 – 1/3 cilantro and half the nori.


Repeat all layers to fill the jar.

Top with olive oil. Enjoy!

This recipe is best served immediately but when stored properly in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) and refrigerated, it is safe for consumption for up to three days afterwards.

 

Backyard Burgers

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

BY MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

These grass-fed beef burgers with smoked cheese, bacon jam, grilled red onion and roasted garlic mayo will ruin you for any future burgers to come. Nothing can compare!

Bun:
Any bun will work, however for this recipe I used a brioche bun. Pretzel is always good idea or a classic burger bun will work too.

Patty:
For these burgers, we used 100% grassfed and finished beef, BlackAngus/Wagyu cross from Bar P Ranch in Nanton. A delicious choice! Once your patties are hand-formed into eight-ounce formations, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. I prefer to sear the patties in a cast iron pan and finish them in a 400-degree oven. But a grilled burger is always a good decision too. About eight minutes a side, on the Bar-be-que.

Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise:
1 cup Mayo
5 cloves Roasted Garlic
2 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tbsp. chopped Fresh Chive
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix.

Bacon Jam
1 lb. Bacon, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1.5 lbs. fresh Tomato
2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsp. White Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground Mustard
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

METHOD:
Fry bacon in skillet until crispy, drain the bacon from the fat, keeping two tablespoons of the fat for later. Fry the onion in the two tablespoons of bacon fat until translucent. Add the bacon and all other ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally. Mixture should yield about two cups.

Charred Red Onion
Peel the onion and cut half inch slices. Separate the onion slices into individual rounds. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on high heat until tender.

Lettuce
Any green lettuce will work. For this recipe, I used a butter leaf lettuce.

Cheese
Smoked blue cheese

BUILDING THE BURGER

When the patty is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest. At this time put on your cheese and let the remaining heat in the burger melt it.
Toast your bun.
Spread the mayo on the bottom bun. Next comes the burger and cheese, followed by the bacon jam. Then, gently place the charred red onion, followed by the lettuce and finally the top bun which also has mayo on it. Top your burger off with a skewered pickle or olive.

 

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

 

Dig in!

Thank-you to Bar P Ranch of Nanton, AB, for providing the beef used in this recipe. 100% grassfed and finished beef, BlackAngus/Wagyu cross. For more information please visit: www.barpranchbeef.com

 

Yogurt Parfait Breakfast

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Tired of horse show concession food? Here’s a healthy breakfast recipe you can pack to take with you, as featured in our May/June issue of Western Horse Review.

BY MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

INGREDIENTS:

2 litre Jar
1 litre Greek Yogurt, plain
1 pint Strawberries, quartered
1 pint Raspberries
1 pint Blueberries
1 pint Blackberries
Zest of 1 Lemon
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 cup Fresh Mint, chopped
2 tbsp. Honey
1/ 2 cup Sliced Almonds
2 cups Granola
1/4 cup Whole Fresh Mint Leaves

METHOD:

Berries – Combine all berries, chopped mint, lemon zest and sugar.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

The jar:
Layer 1 – half of the yogurt.
Layer 2 – 1 tablespoon honey.
Layer 3 – half the granola.
Layer 4 – half the almonds.
Layer 5 – half the berries.
Layer 6 – half of the whole mint leaves.
Repeat all layers again to fill the jar.

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography.

Enjoy this amazing start to your day!

For a video tutorial, check our Facebook page: Mason Jar – Yogurt Parfait

Ranch Sunday Supper

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

By Mike Edgar

Grilled beef tenderloin with carrot puree, drunken onions, mushroom reduction, rosemary and peppercorn butter. Skip the overpriced, overcrowded restaurant scene and create your own five-star steak dinner at home! You can thank us later.

STEAK
Ask your butcher for six, 6-oz tenderloin steaks. Season with salt and pepper, Grill to your desired doneness.

CARROT PUREE
10 large orange carrots, chopped
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. butter
½ cup 35% cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

METHOD
1. In a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven, roast the carrots with the honey and butter until tender.
2. Place in a blender with cream, salt, pepper. Puree until smooth.

MUSHROOM REDUCTION
3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp. whole peppercorns
½ bulb of fresh fennel
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups dried porcini mushroom
2 tbsp. tomato paste

METHOD
1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a sauce pot, reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the liquid into a second sauce pot and reduce that until it reaches a syrup consistency.

DRUNKEN ONIONS
Pearl onions (four per person, peeled)
½ cup port wine

METHOD
1. In a 400-degree oven, roast the onions in the port until the port coats the onions like a syrup. Check every 10 minutes until this happens.

PEPPERCORN BUTTER
1 lb. butter, softened
1 tbsp. pink peppercorns
1 tsp. talt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Zest of 1 lemon
125 grams blue cheese
½ clove fresh garlic

METHOD
1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until all are evenly mixed into the butter.
2. Place on top of the finished steak and watch it melt.

Chef Mike places micro mustard greens on top for a delicious finishing touch. Photo by Callaghan Creations Co.

 

 

 

Drizzling organic Greek olive oil on top adds a fruity note to the dish. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

A PERFECT PAIRING
After a day working horses in the cold, an Alberta beef dinner dish paired with a 2015 Salentein Reserve Malbec from Salentein Wines in Mendoza, Argentina is a welcome luxury to finish off the evening. In 2016 Jane Staples of Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:
Yummy blueberry aromas, followed by Damson plums, ripe blueberry, mocha and vanilla on a very flavourful palate. Satiny and sensuous in the mouth, with a lingering spicy finish.

www.bodegasalentein.com

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

ABOUT THE CHEF:

Mike Edgar graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Culinary Arts. He stayed in Calgary, AB working at some of the city’s top restaurants. In 2007, he opened his own restaurant in Calgary’s east end. After eight years of being a chef there, Edgar decided to take a step back and left the industry to spend more time with his son. His son has now expressed an interest in learning his father’s skills and in horses simultaneously.

Pasta Pomodoro

By Mike Edgar

The ideal way to serve a hard-working crew of cowboys and girls.

INGREDIENTS
Dry pasta of your choice x 500 grams
9 Red Tomatoes Chopped
2 Shallots Sliced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
½ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup White Wine
2 Tbsp. Dry Oregano
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
10 Basil leaves
¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
3 Balls Bocconcini Cheese
2 Tbsp. Butter

METHOD:

1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan.

2. Add garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, oregano, white wine and tomatoes. Let that stew for 15 minutes at medium heat, constantly stirring to prevent burning.

3. When the tomatoes have broken down into the olive oil, remove from heat and puree in a blender, return to pan.

4. Cook your pasta, strain when finished.

5. Bring your sauce back to a boil and whisk in the butter.

6. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, toss in the parmesan cheese and parsley and transfer to a serving bowl. Tear pieces of bocconcini and basil on top of the pasta, drizzle with olive oil and serve. Serves four to five people.

 


ABOUT THE CHEF:

Mike Edgar graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Culinary Arts. He stayed in Calgary, AB working at some of the city’s top restaurants. In 2007, he opened his own restaurant in Calgary’s east end. After eight years of being a chef there, Edgar decided to take a step back and left the industry to spend more time with his son. His son has now expressed an interest in learning his father’s skills and in horses simultaneously.