May 10, 2008

Cooking Club II - Spring

The weather in Windsor has been gorgeous for the last month - a well deserved treat after the awful Winter we were dealt. Jillian hosted our cooking club meeting for April and chose Spring as her theme. We had a smaller group of four that evening which made it a great time to get to know each other more and really get into some interesting food discussions.

The menu included:

Jillian- Budding Cocktail (recipe below)
The Maple Berry (recipe below)

Budding cocktail has a great appley tart flavour while the Maple Berry is a gorgeous burst of fruit!

Christine - Malaysian Spring Rolls

Looked like an amazing amount of work but were soft, crispy, crunchy, spicy and delicious.

Lisa - Pork Tenderloin with Plum Chutney

This reminded me that I need to start using plums in my cooking more often.

Jillian - Polenta with Spring Vegetable Ragout (see recipe below)

Great way to showcase Spring veggies.

Danielle - Pink Peppercorn Pavolva with Strawberries, Vanilla Cream, and Basil Syrup

Way easier to make than I expected. Could find the peppercorns but worked well anyway. I used a Silpat instead of parchment and I chopped up the blanched basil into the syrup and boiled on low heat for a short time. Will make this again!
Budding Cocktail (Michelle P. E. Hunt & Lisa Hunter)

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 1½ oz Bacardi Big Apple rum. Top with limeade and garnish with an apple slice and a mint sprig.

The Maple Berry

To a cocktail shaker at 1/8 cup blueberries and 1/8 cup strawberries. Muddle or mash. Fill the shaker with ice and add 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1 oz white cranberry juice, 1/2 oz maple syrup and 1/2 oz lemon juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a skewer of fresh blueberries.

Polenta with Spring Vegetable Ragout
(from A Matter of Taste, L Waverman and J. Chatto)


2T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup cornmeal
4-6 cups boiling water
2t salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup parmesan cheese

Vegetable Ragout

2T olive oil
12 oz. mixed wild mushrooms (chopped)
8 oz asparagus, (chopped)
1/2 cup green peas
1 bunch wild leeks (green onions if you can't find them)
1 cup chicken stock (i used veggie)
2t Balsamic vinegar
2t chopped parsley
2t chopped chives
2T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

Heat oil in oven proof pot over medium high heat, saute onions until transparent. Add cornmeal and mix, pour in boiling water, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring, add salt. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Beat in butter and parmasean.

While polenta is cooking heat oil at medium high heat. Saute mushrooms for 2 minutes, add asparagus, saute for 1 minute. Add peas, leeks, stock and vinegar. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp, tender and sauce is thickened slightly. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Serve over Polenta.

No comments: