Each year, for the past five years, St. Thomas has had its own food & beverage tasting event take place at the historic CASO station. What started as a one-night event pairing local producers with chefs has turned into a weekend-long event showcasing the best in culinary achievements from across the county. As the major fundraiser for the station restoration, supporting FreshFest means supporting the community. The event took place July 19-21, 2013.
Elgin Harvest served "Croughnuts" and also teamed up with Brad & Janine Lunn from Lunnvale Farms to present a locally-sourced, ingredient-packed sample for the tasting event held on the Friday evening. A little rain didn't stop us from celebrating a delicious night full of Mexican-Korean-Canadian-Elgin County love.
The gardens and flower pots are bursting with greenery. What's a girl to do with all this mint, basil, sage, and cilantro? Make simple purees then later use the purees in everything from mayonnaise and vinaigrettes to semifreddos and dessert sauces.
Pro-tip: to preserve the bright green colour in purees and pestos, simply blanch and refresh the leaves before processing into a smooth paste. How do you do that? Remove the leaves from the stems and rinse to remove any sand or grit. Place leaves in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes to soften slightly. Immediately place the blanched leaves in to a bowl of ice water to "shock" and "refresh". Once cool, strain, and press out as much water as possible.
Roughly chop the herbs before placing into a food processor (or Magic Bullet!) and puree using a few tablespoons of liquid. Your choice of liquid can be anything from water, olive oil, grapeseed oil, to simple syrups, or vodka.
Depending on how much puree you have, store in a tightly lidded jar in the fridge up to a week or longer in the freezer. You could also spoon the puree into ice cube trays - storing in bags once solid for use in stews or pasta sauces as needed.
If you prefer, you can keep the purees or pestos relatively simple. I added sage puree to creamed butter along with some sheepsmilk cheddar cheese...because I like cheese. And butter. And corn. And grilling.
There is a food fad sweeping its way across North America and it's full of fat, sugar, and immorality. It seems completely sinful to take croissant pastry dough, cut it into a round shape, then deepfry it like a donut. But wait - there's more! After being fried, the cronut (croissant + donut) is filled with pastry cream then iced with a glaze. Sometimes the edges are even rolled in sugar. Sinful? Perhaps. Delicious? In a completely over-indulgent, go-big-or-go-home, kind-of way - yes.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.