Eggs Benedict

There is honestly nothing we love more on a lazy Sunday morning, than the chance to sleep in and make Eggs Benedict for a late morning brunch. This recipe has been handed down to me and the Hollandaise sauce is truly what makes it – no packaged sauces around here!

The sauce is honestly the hardest part of the recipe, which is why I’ll focus mostly on that here. But let me tell you, when it all comes together on a perfectly poached egg, with two freshly cooked pieces of bacon and a nicely toasted English muffin, this is heaven on a Sunday!

 

Hollandaise Sauce

• 2 Eggs (separated)

• 1/2 Cup Sour Cream

• 1 Tbsp. Tarragon Vinegar

• 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

• Dash Tobasco Sauce

• 1/2 Tsp. Salt

• 1/4 lb. Butter

Separate the eggs and set aside the whites for other uses. Whip the yokes, sour cream, salt and liquids together until smooth and yellow. Pour into a small sauce or frying pan and stir on low heat. Do not allow sauce or frying pan and stir on low heat. Do not allow mixture to boil. Add butter in small amounts, stirring until it melts. Serve when hot. It is imperative the mixture does not boil because it will separate. If it does, whip it back together until smooth.

If you need some tips on poaching eggs, check out this site: The Spruce

The trick to bringing everything together at the same time is to ensure your bacon and sauce are made prior to toasting the English muffins and poaching the eggs. Once you’ve got your bacon and sauce made, set them aside. Then once your water is boiling, put your English muffins into toast and crack your eggs to poach at almost the same time.

When eggs are cooked, add a layer of bacon on top of a toasted muffin. Then add the poached egg on top and finish with generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce.

As an aside, this Hollandaise recipe can’t be beat over top of cooked asparagus, crab melts, or steak. Enjoy!

Western Thanksgiving

If you’re sitting in your house watching the raging blizzard outside your windows, it’s hard to imagine this coming weekend means Thanksgiving, in October – not a blustery day deep into December or January. However, a snow-mageddon presents the perfect opportunity to do some planning. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to give thanks and reflect on our blessings of the past year. And it’s the perfect time to blend the elements of our western lifestyle around us, into a creative and elegant setting for a feast with our loved ones.

After all, I feel as though no one can do Autumn like western folk can – with harvests done, cattle moved into their winter pastures and much of the horse show year now behind us – this is our season!

The ultimate would be to serve Thanksgiving dinner in the barn. But if you’re inclined to stay indoors near the warmth of a hard-working oven, here are six ideas for integrating your western lifestyle into a beautiful Thanksgiving feast.

Source: Country Living.

1. Pendelton Pumpkins. These sassy, geometrically-designed gourds are certain to be all the rage this year. Get yourself some soft pastel paint colors and washi tape and you too, can create beautiful pumpkins that scream western elegance.

Source: Country Living

Credit: Jenn Webster

2. Mason Jars filled with cutlery. Mason jars have been popular for everything from drinking sweet tea, to featuring beautiful motifs in candle displays. This year, we’re using them at each place setting to carefully delegate eating utensils and napkins.

Source: Tone on Tone

3. An Antler & Pumpkin Centerpiece. This stunning, yet simplistic centerpiece is created with white candles, flowers and antler sheds. Set on top of a white-washed farm table, you can’t go wrong with the artistic western balance of it all.

Credit: Jenn Webster

4. Charcuterie Board. A no-cook way to get the party started. Served on a round wooden slab, a selection of meats, pickled beans, cheeses, grapes and shell-shucked dry roasted almonds can stimulate appetites, while allowing the host a few more minutes for dinner preparation. The addition of a harvest-inspired centerpiece will give your table an elegant western flare.

Credit: Tone on Tone

 

5. Decorate Your Barn with Pumpkins. Who says all the Thanksgiving decor has to be up at the house? Or conversely, bring a barn sign up to your house, to compliment all the fall accents.

Credit: Pinterest

6. Beautifully Set Table. A stunning tablescape will set the tone for your dinner. A table left with a little space for food is good, but a filled table can be gorgeous. Use natural foliage for table accents or napkin holders. Use rustic-looking charger plates and chic glassware to instill an exclusive element.

Red Lentil Humus

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

When it comes to first class sideline picnics, preparation is key. So when Western Horse Review had the opportunity to take in a polo event with a group of our closest friends and we realized we didn’t have the time to prepare some amazing food ourselves, we enlisted the help of the Deane House. While watching a few chukkers, the Red Lentil Humus quickly became a crowd favorite. The Deane House has graciously shared their wonderful recipe with is. Here are their insider instructions for creating this wonderful light, appetizer:

Photo by Natalie Jackman, www.have-dog.com

Ingredients:

1 L red lentils (rinsed and drained thoroughly)
1 L water
33g garlic cloves smashed
½ cup white wine
1 head roast garlic
5 medium sized roma tomatoes, wood grilled for 6 minutes

Method:

– Simmer the mashed garlic and white wine.
– Add the remaining ingredients.
– Cook on medium heat covered until lentils are completely tender.
– Remove from heat.

To Finish:

300g Highwood Crossing canola oil or Mountainview canola oil
17 g salt
7g Okanagan sumac
½ cup toasted & ground coriander (or fresh coriander berries 
 crushed)
½ g Broxburn jalapeño peppers; smoked, dried and ground into
chipotle powder
40 g white wine vinegar

Method continued:

Puree the cooked lentils using a handheld immersion blender.
Blend in the remaining ingredients except sumac.
Allow the hummus to cool to room temperature before folding in the sumac.
Refrigerate until chilled then serve.

Smokin’ Q

 

BY ESTEBAN ADROGUE

For many, Sunday morning came around smelling of fried eggs and homemade pancakes, with a fresh glass of squeezed orange juice. Tip-toeing all the way to Mom’s room…  For others, Sunday morning had a completely different meaning.

 

The sound of wood burning away in the BBQ’s, heating up the air, spreading that familiar smell, that aroma that takes us back to our childhood… It can only mean one thing: The Smokin Q BBQ Pitmasters Competition was finally here!

 

Lynnwood Ranch (Okotoks, AB) once again played host to the 3rd annual KCBS sanctioned BBQ Competition and BBQ Feast. The Smokin Q gathered 35 of the best Pitmasters and their crews from all around Alberta, in a sizzling battle against the toughest judges to become this year’s Pitmaster Champion.

The competition consisted of four different entries: first entry was BBQ chicken, a classic! Half hour later, competitors presented the judges with their best smoked ribs. Third entry consisted of delicious tender pulled-pork. And last, but definitely not least, judges were delighted with a low and slow roasted brisket. Makes you want to become a judge, doesn’t it?!

 

But before Sunday’s competition all participants had a chance to put their skills to the test.

Saturday night hosted the BBQ Bash Feast and Frolic. This year’s event consisted of competitors displaying a little preview of their abilities, not only to the judges, but to almost 300 guests as well. Everyone was eager to taste the pitmasters’ wonderful creations, which included everything from chorizo tacos with coleslaw, to a delicious fig and shrimp canapés

After sampling magnificent delights, guests were treated to a delicious brisket and salmon dinner, with a side of locally grown steamed veggies, salads and corn on the cob; followed by a dessert course of seasonal fruit trays and sweet delicatessens.

Once dinner was over, it was time to get up from those seats and shake that body to the rhythm of live jazz-fusion music. People came together to share a great time, laughed, had a few drinks and danced the night away as this year’s BBQ Bash came to an end.

To fully appreciate and understand the hard work behind such a fantastic culinary experience, we must venture back to Saturday morning; 10:00 am brought with it the first few trailers loaded with BBQ equipment, food, and competitors ready and full of ambition to demonstrate what they are capable of.

While pitmasters got their fires going, Western Horse Review went around interviewing different cooks and their crews, and talked about which elements a BBQ team should include to be the best.

 

They each described a “perfect BBQ” as having two crucial factors: food and atmosphere.

 

“It has to be the perfect balance among smoke, spices and meat. Not overpowering any single one of them.” – shared pitmaster Chris, head of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

All competitors also shared one unanimous tip: low and slow.

 

“…the best? Low and slow! It is a long and slow process, 250 degrees fahrenheit for about 8 to 12 hours” – said pitmaster Danny Cooper, from Fahrenheit 250 BBQ.

 

Sydney from Bordertown Bar-B-Que commented – “It’s all about friends coming together to have fun, a good time. You want to create a ‘party’ rather than a competitive atmosphere.”

 

Not only did they talk about friendship between their crew, but amongst their other rivals too. “We are all (competitors) a big family. If we don’t win, we are thrilled they (rivals) did! Barbecue it’s like golf; it’s not you against the competitors, it is us against those judges.” – Logan, part of the crew of Rocky Mountain Smokers.

 

As a very thankful attendee, I must admit with every bite of the tender brisket I took, I tasted that camaraderie, I felt that love, effort and passion pitmasters put in every single BBQ they cook.

 

Western Horse Review can’t wait to see y’all there again next year!

 

For more information, visit the Lynnwood Ranch website.

 

Decadent Dessert

 

 

By Ingrid Schulz

Rob and Jody Bolton toured the best barbecue houses in Texas, joints like Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and Blacks Barbecue in Lockhart, before they swung open the doors of their own style of barbecue house – Big Sky BBQ, just outside of Okotoks, Alberta. Every day they crank out such revered barbecued staples as smoked pulled pork or chicken, and homemade jalapeno cheddar sausage, matched with delicious sides of jalapeno corn bread, baked beans and coleslaw. With an ambience that can be described as eclectic West/biker, the restaurant is quickly becoming a local favorite for the dressed-up or casual. For events they offer a smoke-wagon catering service for small or large groups, but perhaps their biggest convenience appeal is the BBQ App they recently launched, where customers simply log on, place an order from the menu, pay and state what time they’d like to swing by the drive-through window to pick it up. You won’t even have to drop your trailer to access the drive-through as it is designed to accommodate truck-and-trailer combos!

While it’s the barbecue fare that brings in the customers, Big Sky is turning a few heads with it’s inventive and decadent desserts, like barbecue pit master Ryan’s signature bacon and whipped cream-dripped chocolate chip cookie. So good, we had to ask for the recipe.

Barbecue Chocolate Cookie with Maple Bacon Drizzle
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Total Servings: 16 cookies
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
Whip cream    ½ cup
Candied bacon (for whip cream)    1 strip

Brown sugar    1 cup
Butter (softened)    1 cup
White sugar    1 cup
Eggs    2
Vanilla extract    1/8 cup
All purpose flour    3 cups
Baking soda     1 tsp
Salt    ½ tsp
Chocolate chips    2 cups
Smoked candy bacon    10 strips
Warm water    1/8 cup

Method

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together with the butter, and make sure it is well mixed with the chopped bacon.
  2. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, mix in all the liquid ingredients very slowly until you get a smooth dough ball.
  3. When the dough is ready cover it and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
  4. After an hour your dough is ready.
  5. Portion your cookie dough into four-ounce balls and place them on the cookie sheet.
  6. Pre-heat the oven for 280°F. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes.
  7. While the cookies are baking whip the cream and add a bit of crumbled candied bacon to the final whip.
  8. Pull out the cookies and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Decorate with whipped cream and candied bacon.
  10. For an extra kick of decadence, drizzle warmed caramel sauce over the entire cookie and whipped cream.

Thanks to Rob Bolton for this recipe and barbecue talk. Visit Big Sky BBQ on the north side of Okotoks, or at www.bigskybbq.ca or download their app, Big Sky BBQ Pit.

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.

Macho Salad

A hearty salad worthy of a cowboy appetite.

By Ingrid Schulz

Photos By Krista Kay Photography

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Whoever said dates and goat cheese couldn’t be manly clearly hasn’t dived into this creation. At first glance, it may seem an odd mix, but trust us, this is one salad that delivers a complicated and delicious layering of taste. The cornbread croutons lend a southwestern flavor the dates add a touch of sweetness and the goat cheese, a generous tangy zip. Throw in your chicken, toss is all in the light oregano and garlic flavored homemade dressing and you’ve got a salad meal packed with protein and high on flavor.

This salad is especially great for those early still summer warm evenings, when the last thing you want on your chore list is hanging around the kitchen fixing supper. Certainly not when there might be summer’s last light and warmth to enjoy or horses to ride. You can make it all ahead and simply pull it out of the fridge and assemble a few minutes before serving.

Use the leftovers of your Sunday dinner roasted farm-raised chicken if you like, but a store-bought rotisserie chicken works just as well. Similarly, bake your own cornbread, or as a quicker alternative, buy a cornbread loaf or muffins at your local bakery. Cut the bread into bite size pieces, brush it lightly in corn oil, salt and pepper them, and toast in a 400F oven for five to ten minutes.

Cornbread and an oregano-based dressing lend to the complex flavors of the macho salad.

Cornbread and an oregano-based dressing lend to the complex flavors of the macho salad.

Macho Salad

Simply add as little or as much of each of the ingredients below in a salad bowl amply filled with a bunch of fresh greens – preferably a mix of romaine and spring greens.

Sliced chicken meat

Chopped tomatoes or grape or cherry tomatoes halved

Diced avocado

Corn, either off the cob, or canned

Chopped dates

Chunks of goat cheese

Sliced, and if preferred, toasted almonds

Cornbread croutons

Salt and pepper

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Dressing

2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1-2 tsp brown sugar

1-2 cloves minced fresh garlic

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/3 tsp dried oregano

1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Mix together all the ingredients.

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Wild West Cocktail – Pear Stagecoach

pearsc2When I bartended at a Calgary lounge in the late 90’s, and at the tail-end of an epic oil boom, it was all about the cocktail hour. Mixing up a precise combination of a whiskey sour, old-fashioned, fizz or martini – which, whether shaken or stirred, was always made with gin, never vodka – was a bit of an art form to those of us who proudly considered ourselves classic drink masters. The regulars who seated themselves at the smooth dark leather barstools of our horseshoe-shaped bar had discerning palettes and we prided ourselves on fixing a cocktail with deliberate perfection. The citrus fruit combination of a lemon, lime and orange, as well as maraschino cherries and a bottle of bitters was never far from hand, and it should be said, though the bar menu featured a half dozen pages of unique combinations, we would have rather walked barefoot on the contents of the evening’s broken glass pail, than be caught having to look up the ingredients of any cocktail ordered out of the well-worn, leather-bound menus.

I thought that sort of bartending artistry had long been forsaken in the mundane flavored-bottle offerings of today’s establishments, which have all but lost the classic Western cowtown vibe of those idyllic lounges. That is, until I travelled to Seattle to meet a friend with the sole intention of catching up on each other’s lives, whilst working our way through two full days of exceptional restaurants and drinking establishments along the wharf. There, what I had long considered to be a lost art in cowboy town was a thriving ingredient of the Seattle dining scene. Bartenders were mixing their own house bitters, creating amazing tinctures and fusing these ingredients all into a new generation of vintage-like cocktails, serving it all up behind the sort of white aproned and black tie pride I remembered from another place and time.bittersThe entire experience filled me with a nostalgic longing and inspired me to envision a return to the idea of a classic cocktail with a western twist. Hence, the Wild West Cocktail column, and my starter spring cocktail, the pear stagecoach. In another world, this might be referred to as a “sidecar,” but I’m striving for a western rift here, so I’ve taken a few liberties. Of note, no matter how precisely I’ve poured this recipe, it doesn’t take kindly to doubling. If you’re serving more than two, be patient, and revel in the art of the creation of each set.

Pear Stagecoach

Serves two.

Four ounces (120 ml) pear brandy

Two ounces (60 ml) triple sec (such as Cointreau)

One ounce (2 tbsp) freshly squeezed lime juice

Lime zest to garnish

Combine all into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into two chilled martini glasses. You may want to sugar rim them if you decide the drink is too puckery on its own. Garnish with twisted lime zest.

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