Fish for Good Friday

Snapper 1Whether you observe the Easter holiday, give up something for Lent, or just like to keep it light, whipping up this Hemp Crusted Red Snapper is one heck of a ‘good’ Friday dinner (nuk nuk nuk). With a crisp layer of hemp seeds that have the most delicate nutty flavour, a sweet and zingy sauce, and delicious green beans, this dinner is not just simple, it’s fresh and downright fantastic. And there’s nothing quite like swinging by to see ‘your guy’ at the market for everything you need to delight your taste buds and impress your friends.

Market-Sourced Ingredients:
Serves 4

2 Red Snapper* filets from Blu Seafood

2 Bags of  Green Beans from Gull Valley Greenhouses

Hemp and Almonds from Going Nuts

1 Jar of Maple Mustard from A Taste of Quebec

1 Orange and 1 Lemon from Souto Farms

Baltimore Bay Line Seasoning from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Flour

Oil

Salt & Pepper

*Halibut, Cod, or Pickerel will also work very well in this recipe.

Snapper 2

Some people are afraid of cooking fish; the skin sticks to the pan, the flesh breaks apart, it’s overcooked.  Oh my!  Take a deep breath, this really is very easy.  Squeeze lemon juice over the snapper, season with salt and pepper, and a dash of Baltimore Bay Line Seasoning from The Silk Road Spice Merchant, you’re well on your way to making this fish your slave.

Snapper 4

Now comes the fun part!  Set up a little ‘station’: a plate with 1/2 cup all purpose flour and another with hemp.  After seasoning both sides of the red snapper, you’ll want to gently place it in the flour and lightly cover all parts.  Then, transfer the fish to the plate of hemp seeds and repeat the process as with the flour.  This part requires a little more love, you’ll have to help the hemp seeds along the way; you kinda want the fish and hemp to hug a little to make them really stick.  Corny, yes.  Effective?  You betcha.

Snapper 5

Don’t be afraid to really cover the red snapper all over with the hemp; this is what is going to give the filet a real crunch.  Kind of like a fried fish, but healthier and a whole new kind of yummy.

Snapper 6

Place oil (you can get creative here using the tried-and-true olive oil or a more interesting, vibrant cold-pressed Canola oil from Innisfail Growers which might just be sunshine in a bottle), but I digress.  Heat the pan to just above medium (too hot and you’ll scorch the oil, hence burning the hemp).  To test if your pan is hot enough: dip the tip of the fish in, if you hear a sexy sizzle, it’s ready.  Then, place the snapper into the pan and let the magic happen.  You don’t need to move it around or fiddle with it, just let it cook.

Now would be a good time to get a pot of water boiling to steam the green beans.

After 4-5 minutes (when the hemp seeds are golden), with a wide spatula (if you’re a stickler for doing it by the book, preferably a fish spatula), turn the fish over and repeat.

Don’t go away!  You need to drop the beans in the steamer.  These only need a couple of minutes as we don’t really want to suck all of the life out of them; they should be bright and with a little snap left in them.

Snapper 3And the pièce de résistance, the orange maple mustard…. drizzle.  Yeah, we’ll call it a drizzle.  This is the easiest and oh-so-yummy accompaniment to fish and it takes, count ’em, two ingredients.  The juice of half an orange (or a whole cute mini orange), and about a tablespoon of the zippy, sweet mustard from A Taste of Quebec.  Combine the two and voilà!  No one needs to know you didn’t slave over this sauce, it’ll be our little secret.

At this point, the fish now with a glowing golden hemp crust and the beans, still full of life, should be done.  Place the fish on a platter and garnish the beans with a small pat of butter, salt and pepper, a quick squeeze of lemon, and a third of a cup of sliced almonds.  If you really wanted to be fancy, you could toast the almonds simply by placing them in a hot pan, tossing them often so as not to let them burn.  Do you have to do this?  Absolutely not.  Will your beans suffer from not having toasty almonds?  Nope.  It’s your call.  Lastly, drizzle the sauce (oh the one you just whipped up?  why yes, that one!) onto the fish.  This is a ‘as little or a lot as you like’ kind of drizzle.

Snapper 7

And there you have it friends: Hemp Crusted Red Snapper with Orange Maple Mustard and Almondy Green Beans.  Not too shabby for Good Friday.  Or a bad Friday.  Or just about any old Friday.

Simple Easter Brunch

371c9c368f7011e29a3e22000a1f90ce_6Easter is early this year, and for some reason it feels really early.  The kind of early that makes you feel unprepared.  Whether you’re hunting for brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies or just celebrating with family and friends… you’ll likely be cooking something.  Ham, lamb, or turkey: dinner is covered.  But what about brunch?  There are so many options, your head might be spinning.

This week, as we launch our Market Blog, we have a recipe to share with you that is simple with only 5 main ingredients, and easy enough for any home cook to execute. An open-faced sandwich that will satisfy any hunger: toasted brioche covered in melted Gruyere, lemony greens, prosciutto, and a creamy, sunny-side-up duck egg nestled on top.  It sounds too decadent to be called simple, but rest assured, it truly is easy peasy.

And you can get all of your ingredients in one stop, here, at the Calgary Farmers’ Market!
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5 Market-Sourced Ingredients:
Serves 6
1 Loaf of Brioche from Yum Bakery

1 Clam-shell of Flower Greens from Cherry Pit

6 Slices of Prosciutto, and 100 grams of Gruyere from Fresh DELIcious

6 Duck Eggs from Greens, Eggs and Ham

Yes! this really is all you need to make a delicious brunch that is sure to impress.

The brioche, a flaky pillow of yum, is lightly toasted, buttered, then topped with grated-turned-gooey Gruyere.  A salty prosciutto ribbon: the perfect place for fresh, lightly-dressed flowery greens to lounge about, waiting to be topped with a rich, poached duck egg.  You can, of course, use a chicken egg, but the duck egg has a smooth, silky, like-sunshine quality to it (perfect alkaline-based balance if you ask Mary-Ellen at Greens, Eggs and Ham, and she’s not wrong).

Getting Started

Toast

So, let’s get started!  Slice your brioche into slightly thicker slices… about an inch thick.  Lightly toast and top with a small pat of butter.  Sprinkle the grated Gruyere over the warm slice of heaven, *ahem*, brioche; this is where you can spread your wings and add as much cheese as is to your liking.  We recommend a happiness-inducing dose of cheese, always.  Set this aside while you poach the egg.  Afraid of poaching?  No problem, you can fry the egg too.  Poaching the egg, however, achieves the ooey-gooey soft centre that is best achieved when swirled into hot water.

Poaching TrickHere’s a tip for you:

Crack the egg (duck eggs’ shell is a little like armour, but it has quite the treasure inside to protect, so we’ll forgive it), into a ramekin, or small bowl.

Bring a pot of water with a splash of vinegar to a boil.  Then, in one round motion, swirl the water to achieve the perfect bubbling hot tornado for the egg to be whisked away. Slide the egg from the ramekin into the swirling water, and voila! An ‘all-together’ egg on its way to being poached perfection. Poach 2-3 minutes.

If this still scares you (or you need to make many eggs at once), you can absolutely use the very convenient poaching pods/cups found at most kitchen retailers.

While the egg is poaching, slide the Gruyere-topped brioche under a broiler to melt cheese, (this doesn’t take long), remove when bubbly and gooey.  Top with prosciutto (at this point, you can choose to return it to bask under the broiler to crisp up the prosciutto, but this is entirely personal preference).  Lightly toss the greens in a little freshly-squeezed lemon and olive oil and place on top of the cheesy-meaty toasted brioche.

And lastly, nestle the soft-poached duck egg on top of the lemony, flowery greens. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Some may think the ‘salad’ portion of this sandwich can simply be served on the side, but the acidity of the lemon and slight bitterness of the flower petals is actually the perfect marriage with the rich, creamy yolk of the duck egg.

This dish is beautiful in its simplicity.  No need for hollandaise.  Or even a second piece of brioche to make the sandwich whole.  No, it’s just right.

So, what will be on your plate this Easter?

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