Paella… Simpler than You Think

You probably have a few dishes in mind that evoke the “oh no, that’s too complicated” sentiment… Beef Wellington, Risotto, Profiteroles… Paella?

Well, we’re here to tell you that Paella is not actually a difficult dish. AND it’s best whipped up with friends in the kitchen (and a glass of wine, of course). This easy to make version uses chicken chorizo and seafood, and everything can be found right here at the market. Yes, the wine too!

What you’ll need:
3/4lb Shrimp, (21/25 count) peeled and deveined
3/4lb Scallops (10/20 count)
1lb Mussels
1lb Clams
*all seafood sourced from Market Seafood
1 pkg (454g) Chicken Chorizo from Missing Link Extraordinary Sausage
1 each Red & Green pepper, diced from Tomato Man
1/2 cup white onion, diced, from Cherry Pit
1/2 cup artichoke from Innisfail Growers
1/2 cup peas, shucked from Innisfail Growers
1/2 cup tomato, diced from Tomato Man
1/2 cup dry white wine from J. Webb Market Wines (Sarah recommended a perfectly paired Atlantis Albarino)
1/2tsp Saffron from Market Seafood
1 cup Paella rice from Market Seafood
3 cups Chicken stock from Stock & Sauce Co.
Salt, Pepper, and Smoked Paprika, to taste, from Silk Road Spice Merchant

Parsley from Terra Farms
1 lemon from Cherry Pit
A few swigs of Fennel Olive Oil from Soffritto

  1. Preheat frying with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Saute onions until lightly brown.
  3. Add the chicken chorizo and cook through. When cooked, set aside.
  4. Add a healthy glug of white wine to deglaze your pan.
  5. Add the rice and saffron, stirring for a minute or two. Stir until wine is absorbed.
  6. Add 2 cups of hot chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time. If you add cold stock to the pan, it takes much longer for the rice to absorb and keep coming back up to temperature. Heating your stock will ensure this is an easy (and speedy) dish.
  7. Stir rice as you add each 1/4 cup of stock until it is absorbed. This is the best time to pour yourself and your guests a glass of wine. Stir, sip, laugh. Repeat.
  8. Add the last cup of hot chicken stock.
  9. Stir in the cooked chicken chorizo.

10. Arrange the seafood atop the rick, tucking the morsels of deliciousness in every spot you can.

11. Bake in a 375ºF oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the mussels and clams open.

12. Add the peas, artichoke, and tomato and bake for an additional two minutes.

13. Garnish with parsley, lemon wedges, and Fennel olive oil.

14. Bring to the table in the pan and enjoy with friends. And maybe another bottle of wine 😉


This Atlantis Albarino (pronounced Al-bar-ee-nyo) is a grape variety indigenous to Spain. This wine is perfect if you love pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc and you’re looking for something new to try. It is fruitful & refreshing with a crisp and clean finish making it very food friendly, from salads to grilled meats, and especially paella! Plus, it’s only $18.95.

Chicken, Kale & Mushroom White Lasagna

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Fall is a beautiful time of year.  It’s a particularly short season here in Calgary as we experience a swift transition between our gorgeous last days of summer, with sunny days and balmy nights to crisp mornings and see-your-breath (ALREADY??) nights.  Check.  And, of course, there’s always at least one good snowfall before it’s even Halloween.  Check.  And while the first day of winter is officially December 21st, we all know that’s a load of cr___ *ahem* cold, 4 foot snowdrifts and slippery commutes.

But that makes it sound like we don’t like Winter around here, and that’s just not true.  Winter is, when it’s not 40 below, a beautiful time of year filled with festivities, a plethora of fun Winter sports with cups of fireside hot chocolate, and delicious cling-to-your-ribs meals, like this Chicken, Kale & Mushroom White Lasagna.  It’s perfect for a comforting dinner with family and friends and you can get everything you need in one warm stop at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.

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Market-Sourced Ingredients

2lbs sausage, removed from casings and crumbled from Missing Link Extraordinary Sausage

1 to 2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), thick stems removed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces and rinsed from Innisfail Growers

1lb of assorted mushrooms from Souto Farms (we used portabello, chantrelles, and brown mushrooms)

2 containers of Alfredo Sauce from The Stock and Sauce Co.

1 large onion, diced and 4 garlic cloves, minced from Cherry Pit

4 large fresh lasagna sheets from Soffritto

1 tub of fresh buffalo mozzarella and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano from Fresh DELIcious

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add kale leaves with a splash of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

We like the addition of caramelized onions to the mushroom medley, so we added garlic and the entire onion, sliced, to a pan with olive oil and a pat of butter (using oil with the butter will prevent it from burning).  Cook on low until the onions have softened, taken on a caramel color, and are sweet yet still slightly crisp.  There’s no need to add sugar to your onions, just let the caramelization process happen naturally… low and slow.

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And then, in a third skillet with a little olive oil, cook the mushrooms off until soft.  We learned a neat trick from Chef Nicole Gomes when she was at the market for an in-house mushroom risotto demo: don’t add salt to the mushrooms while they’re cooking.  This will draw even more water out of the mushrooms and produce a spongy texture.  Neat eh?  So, just cook off the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper after removing them from the heat.

Lasagna Collage

Spread a ladle-full of Alfredo sauce along the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. The lasagna noodles from Soffritto actually come in one long sheet, so you can conveniently cut them to the size of your casserole dish. Place one sheet of fresh lasagna noodles over sauce in a single layer. Top with 1/2 cup Alfredo, spooning the sausage and kale mixture over in a thin layer. This is typically where you’d add a layer of ricotta cheese, but we omitted this to lighten up the dish a bit. Repeat with a second second sheet of noodles, Alfredo, and mushroom medley layer. Top with remaining lasagna sheet, 1/2 cup Alfredo, sliced mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and freshly ground pepper and salt. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is golden in places and lasagna is bubbling along the edges, about 15 minutes.  Remove lasagna from oven and let stand 20 minutes before slicing and serving. *Note: we did not trim the noodles to an exact fit and therefore the overhanging noodles will become crisp.  If you wish to remove these extra bits, just use a sharp knife to carve the excess noodles.

There’s more snow ahead for us this Sunday.  Now you have a twist on the classic lasagna to curl up with on a cold night.  Check!

Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing

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Have you ever met someone who just doesn’t like a cobb salad?  Sure, there are vegetarians or vegans and ingredient-restricted individuals who steer clear of this delicious, often-reinterpreted salad, but there’s something for everyone in the well-rounded salad that eats like a meal.  This version, with a southern sweet onion twist, is sure to please even the pickiest of palates.  While it has many individual elements, it all comes together quickly and taking the time to make your own dressing is entirely worth it.  So let’s get started.


Market-Sourced Ingredients


6 unpeeled garlic cloves from Souto Farms

1-2 large sweet onions, peeled and quartered through the core from Souto Farms

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing from La Cucina

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

juice and zest of 1 lemon from Cherry Pit

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper


1 clamshell of fresh Alberta romaine lettuce from Cherry Pit

1 clamshell of fresh spicy microgreens from Cherry Pit

1 avocado from Cherry Pit

1 bag of sweet tomatoes (your preference) from Gull Valley Greenhouses

2 cups shredded cooked Bowden Farms chicken from Spragg’s Meat Shop

1 package of bacon from Spragg’s Meat Shop

4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola cheese, (1/2 cup) from Fresh DELIcious

1/2 cup toasted pecans, choppped from Going Nuts

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise from Sylvan Star Cheese (or Blush Lane Organics)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Cobb Salad Collage

MAKE THE DRESSING: As we are likely enjoying the last week of warm sun and beautiful blue skies, we opted to grill the chicken and onions.  We even wrapped the garlic in foil and threw it on the grill too.  If you choose to do this step of the process in the oven, roast at 425°. Wrap the bulb of garlic (or individual cloves) in foil and set on a baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.

Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a processor. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1/2 cup of olive oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.  At this point, we’d like to be perfectly transparent and admit that while our recipe calls for absolute measurements, we prefer to free-pour the vinegar and oil and trust our instincts.  Food is all about what tastes good right?  So if you want to add a little more vinegar, knock yourself out!  This dressing should have a good kick to it as it will cut through the rich chicken, bacon, and avocado and balance the salad.  Remember: Taste. Taste. Taste.  Taste as you go.

Set Up

MAKE THE SALAD: In an effort to not overdress the salad (who wants wilty, wet salad?), we placed the romaine and micorgreens in the bowl and arranged the remaining ingredients on top.  Just before serving, add your fresh-made sweet onion dressing and allow your guests to toss it all together to really see the magic happen.

This salad is a full meal that is sure to leave your family satisfied, hitting every mark: crisp lettuce leaves, succulent chicken, salty bacon, creamy avocado, bright tomatoes, nut-crunch…. and that’s just a few!  If you don’t like blue cheese, a milder cheese will absolutely work in this salad.  Choose what you like…. because let’s face it, food is meant to be enjoyed so use what you love and leave with a full and happy tummy.

*The onion dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

One-Pan Roast Chicken

We can hardly believe it’s been two years since we opened the doors to our new location on Blackfoot Trail!  To celebrate a truly fantastic two years, we partnered with The Silk Road Spice Merchant to create a limited edition custom spice blend that can be used on wide array of meat, poultry, and vegetables you can find here at the market.  It’s also great in soups, stews, and pastas.  Call it all-purpose, we call it fantastic.  Inspired by Scarborough Fair, it’s made up of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.  As well as, sea salt, pepper, lemon peel, garlic, marash chilis, freshly ground coriander, and citric acid.

On Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st we will be holding a contest for 200 customers to win a jar of our limited edition spice blend.  And!  One lucky guest will be awarded $100 in Calgary Farmers’ Market Bucks!  For all entry details, check out our website or our Facebook page.

And in case you were wondering just how fabulous the spice is, we have an easy Roast Chicken recipe that is sure to impress.

Chicken Ingredients

Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 Whole Chicken, either Free-Run from Spragg’s Meat Shop or an Organic Sunworks bird from Blush Lane Organics  *This bird is about 4lbs

2 Onions, 2 Bulbs of Garlic, 3-4 Celery Stalks, 1 lemon and 1 orange, 1 Bunch of Rainbow Carrots, and 1 Bulb of Fennel from Blush Lane Organics

1-2 Bags of Fingerling Potatoes from Greens, Eggs, and Ham

1 Litre of Chicken Stock from The Stock & Sauce Co.

Calgary Farmers’ Market Limited Edition Anniversary Blend from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Chicken Collage 1

To prepare your chicken and vegetables

Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 475°F.  There’s no need to peel the vegetables, but you can if you’re a stickler – just give them a wash and roughly chop them. Leave the potatoes whole.  Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.  Leaving them in the skins will give you sweet, savory little pockets of roasted garlic yum that can be squished out into potatoes if you’re mashing them, onto the chicken, or even tossed in with the roasted veggies.

Toss all the vegetables, potatoes, and garlic in a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and a sprinkling of the Calgary Farmers’ Market Anniversary spice, and the juice of half an orange.  Pile everything into the middle of a large roasting tray (preferably with a bottom rack).

Pour 1 – 2 cups of chicken stock into the pan; the entire bottom of the pan should be covered with liquid.

*If you prefer baked potatoes and are looking for a neat way to bring something new to the table, try the accordion potato!  *We pop them in the microwave for 12 minutes before slicing and finishing them in the oven so the inside stays moist and fluffy while the outside crisps up.  (Be sure to pierce potatoes, toss them in olive oil and salt & pepper, place in a glass bowl, and cover with a damp cloth before microwaving).

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil or rub all over with softened butter.  Season well with salt, pepper, and the Calgary Farmers’ Market Anniversary spice.  Carefully prick the lemon all over using the tip of a sharp knife.  Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity with half of an onion and half a dozen of the prepped garlic cloves.

To truss your chicken

Don’t be afraid of this simple task, it’s as easy as tying your shoes.  And it will ensure even cooking which means you’ll have a killer chicken to present to your friends and family.  Here’s a straight-forward video on how to truss a chicken.

To cook your chicken
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the preheated oven.  Turn the heat down immediately to 400°F and cook the chicken for about 1 hour and 30 minutes; the juices should run clear when pierced and the legs move easily.  If you’re a little on the nervous side and you prefer to use a meat thermometer, the temperature should read 165° before resting.

After 30 minutes, baste the chicken and veggies; baste every 15 minutes thereafter.  Add more stock as the pan runs dry.  When cooked, take the pan out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board, cover it with a layer of tinfoil and set it aside to rest while you’re taking care of the rest of the veggies and whipping together your gravy (about 15 minutes).

Chicken Collage 4

To carve your chicken

Carving a chicken really doesn’t need to be scary, it’s actually quite easy.  Here’s a great video if you need some tips.  Make sure to remove any string from the chicken before you start.

Chicken Collage 2

Veggies and Potatoes

Squeeze the deliciously sweet roasted garlic into the bowl with the roasted potatoes.  Add a dollop of butter, a splash of milk, and salt & pepper; smash away.  Pop it back in the oven (which is now off) to keep warm.  Arrange roasted veggies on a serving platter and place in the oven with the smashed potatoes.

Now, let’s make the gravy.

Chicken Collage 3

To make gravy

Some people can’t live without gravy, especially if you choose to pluck the fingerling potatoes and garlic out of the pan to make roasted garlic smashed potatoes – you can make a quick gravy by using the remaining stock.  Remove any chunks from the pan and pour all remaining stock (from the roasting pan and whatever you didn’t use up from The Stock & Sauce Co.) into a pot.  Place the pot directly onto the stove on a medium heat.  Adding flour to the stock is essentially what makes a gravy, you can do this two ways:  1. Stir a couple of tablespoons of flour with a little chicken stock until thickened, and slowly whisk into the pot on the stove.  Or, 2. Sprinkle the flour directly into the stock and whisk vigorously to prevent clumps.  The choice is yours.

Now, here’s the trick to making an outstanding gravy: taste it.  Yup, you heard it, taste taste taste.  It seems odd to say, but most people forget to taste their food as they go.  So, add more salt, pepper, or spices if you feel the gravy needs it.

And, if you feel like this just isn’t your cup of tea, The Stock & Sauce Co. makes a mean ready-to-go gravy.

Place carved chicken on a serving platter and surround with roasted veggies.  Sit at table surrounded with friends and family.  Dig in, and enjoy!

Chicken Dinner

Thank-you for helping us celebrate and supporting our new location. It has been an amazing year and we are looking forward to many more. We’re also looking forward to next year when we will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary as the Calgary Farmers’ Market! We can’t wait to celebrate our first decade with you in the summer of 2014.