Johnny Cakes


These old fashioned pancakes are best served stacked high and with sides of Saskatoon blueberry compote or vanilla whipped cream. Sunday morning breakfast will never be the same again.

By MIKE EDGAR, Photos by TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

Ingredients
• 1 Cup Flour
• 1 Cup Cornmeal
• 2 Eggs
• 2 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
• 2 Tbsp. Sugar
• 1 Tsp. Salt
• 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
• 1/2 Cup Water
• 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
• 1 Tsp. Vanilla
• 1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
• Butter or Oil for frying.

METHOD
1. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients; cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
2. Mix the wet ingredients.
3. In the center of your dry ingredients, make a well and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until combined and smooth.

4. Heat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Scoop about two tablespoons each of the batter onto the skillet.
5. Fry each Johnny Cake until brown and crisp; turn with a spatula, and then brown the other side.
6. Plate and serve immediately with syrup and/or butter.

SASKATOON / BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Ingredients
1/2 lb. Blueberries
1/2 lb. Saskatoon Berries
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Let cool and serve.

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
1 Cup 35% Cream
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla Bean, Scraped.
1/4 Cup Sugar

Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean with a knife and add to your stand-up mixer bowl with all the other ingredients. Whip until you reach stiff peaks. Serve.

Boerderij Cheese Fondue

A ranch version of a Swiss classic.


By MIKE EDGAR, PHOTOS BY TWISTED TREE PHOTOGRAPHY


Celebrate the season with a big, beautiful platter of cheese, charcuterie, bread and seasonal fruits. This gooey indulgence is a festive family tradition in many households, but is a delicious treat at any time. Serve it around a holiday table and make an entire evening of memories from it.

INGREDIENTS
½ Pound Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese
½ Pound Raclette Cheese
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Garlic Clove peeled
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Tbsp. Lemon
2 Tbsp. Brandy
½ Tsp. Dry Mustard
Pinch of Nutmeg
Assorted breads and cured meats for dipping.


 METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of a ceramic fondue pot with garlic, then discard.
  2. Over medium heat add the wine and lemon juice to the fondue pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid – melting the cheese slowly encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, nutmeg and mustard.
  3. Surround your fondue with all your meats, fruits, bread and family and enjoy.
  • Thank-you to the French 50 Bakery in Okotoks, AB, for providing the bread for this recipe.

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. 

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

 

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.

Mac & Cheese of the West

Nothing says Wild West like crispy fried mac and cheese, topped with pulled pork and BBQ Sauce! Check out this specialty from Lynnwood Ranch located near Okotoks, AB. Served from their food truck or straight from your backyard smoker, this recipe is guaranteed to keep guests coming back for more.

INGREDIENTS:
1 lbs Dry macaroni
1/4 lbs Butter
1 L Milk (Whole)
1  lb. Shredded Old Cheddar Cheese
8 Tbsp. Flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tsp Onion Powder
2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
¼   Cup Pickled Jalapeno’s + Juice

DIRECTIONS:
Cook macaroni al dente.
Use butter, flour and milk to make a basic white sauce. Once heated add onion powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce, Jalapeños and cheese. Melt together, once it is ready add pre-cooked macaroni and mix in thoroughly. Place in a rectangle cake pan approximately two inches in depth. Cool thoroughly in refrigerator.

FINAL STEP
Cut into cake size pieces. Heat skillet to medium heat and melt butter in pan. Place Mac & Cheese pieces into skillet. Brown nicely on both sides. If your heat is right, this process will have heated the pasta throughly. Plate ready Mac & Cheese, top with Pulled Pork & BBQ Sauce.

RECIPE FOR WILD WILLY’S RUB
1 lb. Paparika
6 oz ground pepper
9 oz sea salt
7 oz white sugar
3 oz Chile powder
3 oz granulated garlic
3 onion powder

Mix ingredients together thoroughly, store in sealed in dark dry place.

BBQ SAUCE – Our top two pick’s. Ranch BBQ’s House Sauce (contact Lynnwood Ranch) or Guy Fieri’s Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce (found at Costco).

PORK BUTT
Start with four to five pounds. Trim excess fat. Rub liberally with Wild Willy’s Rub. Place in smoker at 225 F for 12 hrs. Cook to internal temp of of 185 F. Once internal temperature is achieved, pork will pull easily. Use two forks. * Tip – If you are new to bar-be-queing pulled pork, just google it for a number of educational videos.

 

About Lynnwood Ranch – Located near Okotoks, AB, Lynnwood Ranch recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in business. The ranch boasts a pristine country setting alongside the beautiful Sheep River and offers a picturesque western-style venue. Hosting events throughout the year, Lynnwood Ranch is excited to present the third annual Smokin’ Q this year, an Alberta KCBS-sanctioned BBQ Pitmaster competition on May 13-14, 2017. They also offer one of Calgary’s most requested food trucks, featuring ranch BBQ mobile vending and catering services within the City of Calgary and surrounding area.

Granola Bar Pie

The ultimate pie in a pinch interpretation.

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

Admittedly, there may be those high couture ranch chefs who will turn their noses at the thought of crushing up a package of granola bars, tossing the contents in with a fine selection of other pantry and fridge staples, scraping it all into a store-bought frozen pie crust and turning it out as if it were the latest Julia Child creation. Then again, those women aren’t likely driven to ride one, or any number of horses in a day, muck stalls, have little ones tripping around their legs, hold down a full time job, manage the place, or even – all of the above. Not to mention, live 40 minutes from the nearest grocery store. Or, have spouses who think nothing of inviting the half dozen arena hangers-on in for an impromptu dinner. For those of us who find ourselves in these scenarios on a regular basis, last minute inceptions we can whip up from a half-laden pantry are life-savers. This simple pie handily accomplishes just that, while giving a grand nod to the resourcefulness of our great-grandmothers who produced similar delicious creations with nothing more than a bit of flour, lard and molasses (think the ubiquitous prairie staple- shoofly pie).

Please, do us a favor, and don’t set this on the table with a demure whiff of “didn’t have enough time” and “this will have to do” murmuring, but rather, present it in your fanciest pie plate with a flourish of unapologetic pioneer pride, and know that, despite its non-descriptive ingredients, this is one of the tastiest pies your family and guests will ever have the luxury of biting into.

With its gorgeous texture and luxurious flavor, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen.

With its gorgeous texture and luxurious flavor, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen.

Granola Bar Pie

Tenderflake deep dish or other similar frozen pie crust

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1/8 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches, about 3/4 cup), crushed*

1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup milk chocolate baking chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

– Place pie crust in nine-inch pie plate, and follow the box directions for prepping the pie.

– In large bowl, microwave butter until melted.

– Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended.

– Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs.

– Stir crushed granola bars, oats, baking chips and walnuts (if using) into mixture.

– Pour into crust-lined pie plate and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.

– Cool for a bit, and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream.

* To easily crush granola bars, use a rolling pin to crush bars prior to unwrapping.

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

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Photo by Krista Kay Photography

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

rhubarbcakeA couple of years ago, I purchased a rhubarb plant. I set it temporarily by the compost pile, while I deliberated where to plant it. It was spring. It rained for a long time. Spring turned into summer. Horses, shows and other priorities prevailed. When autumn rolled around, I guiltily pushed the dried up stalk, still in its pot, to the back of the compost pile, out of sight. Finally, sometime before winter I threw the entire plant into the compost pile, on its side, still in its pot. I was fairly certain I’d missed the successful transplanting window by a month, or season, or two.

There may be some truth to the theory that you really can’t kill rhubarb. The following spring, as I was tidying up the compost pile, there it was, on its side, bright green leaves and red stalks pushing out from the dried plant.

This time I didn’t miss the window, and since then we’ve re-discovered rhubarb as one of our favourite springtime treats.

So, good, I decided to make a rhubarb upside-down cake for Wee’s birthday. So simple. The streusel ends up on the bottom of the cake in this case, but it’s still a beautiful thing. I have trouble with upside-down cakes flipping out intact. In this case, it’s appropriate to cool the cake about 10 minutes and then flip it. Too long, and the rhubarb will get sticky.

Streusel 

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

bit of salt

Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups (or more if desired) of cut up rhubarb, tossed in enough sugar to coat it.

1 cup sugar (in addition to the sugar used for coating the rhubarb)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons of salt

1-2 tablespoons orange juice

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

a bit of orange zest, optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter a 9 or 10 inch round cake or pie pan (2-3 inches deep)

3. Spread the rhubarb and sugar mixture into the pan.

4. Make the streusel by crumbling together the ingredients.

5. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in zest and juice. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour in three batches and equal halves of the sour cream in between, beating until smooth. Your batter should be spreadable, add the second tablespoon of orange juice here if necessary.

Note: if you find yourself short of sour cream, you can substitute plain yogurt. Just let it sit in a strainer for 15 minutes mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda. This will give it the same consistency as the thicker sour cream.

6. Spread the batter over the rhubarb and top it off with the crumbled streusel.

7. Bake about 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge, and invert onto a pretty cake plate.

rhubarbsliced