Recipes

Appetizers

  • True Confessions of an Island Foodie’s Love Affair with Local Prince Edward Island Foods February 7, 2014

    Happy Valentine’s from Prince Edward Island!

    As many of you know, I am part of the year-long Canadian Food Experience Project.  Each month, food blogger participants are prompted by a prescribed theme upon which to base a posting on their individual blogs.  The February theme is “My Canadian Love Affair”.

    What follows is the menu and description of my Valentine’s dinner 2014, using several of my favorite Island food products. In order to meet the timelines of the Project, I have prepared my dinner a week early so it can be included in the Project’s monthly round-up.  My Canadian Love Affair is all about the great local food produced on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province.

    When I think of foods that I love, well….there are many!  But, coming from an Island blessed with rich red fertile soil and surrounded by the sea, I would have to say that seafood and potatoes would rank high on my list.  So, for my Valentine’s dinner, I have incorporated both but the potatoes in one of the recipes may be presented in a form that could surprise some of you.  Here’s a taste to whet your appetite ….

    The following is the four-course menu for my Valentine’s Dinner which features some of my favorite Island products:

    Starter

    Island Mussels

    (steamed in apple cider and herbs and dipped in Island-churned butter)

    Soup

    Jeff McCourt’s PEI Seafood Chowder

    (a rich, smooth, and creamy chowder filled

    with a variety of PEI seafood and Island potatoes)

    Main

    Lobster Newburg served in a patty shell accompanied by a crisp green salad

    (lobster and mushrooms in a rich sherry and cheese sauce)

    Dessert

    Chocolate Potato Cake

    Wine Pairing:  Rossignol’s Little Sands White Wine (PEI)

    PEI Mussels
    PEI Mussels

    It would be hard to surpass PEI mussels.  They are shipped all over the globe and are world renowned.  There are many ways to prepare mussels and there are many different liquids in which they can be steamed, each of which will give a slightly different flavor to the mussels.  The important thing about steaming mussels is to use very little liquid. Using too much liquid will diminish the flavor of the mussels. It is the steam from the liquid that forces the mussel shells open, not the amount of liquid itself.  These delicacies take very little time to cook – they are cooked when the shells open, a process that generally takes about 5-7 minutes.  Be sure to discard any shells that have not opened during the steaming process.

    Today, I have steamed the mussels in a small amount of apple cider enhanced by a sprinkle each of lemon thyme, parsley, and basil all dried from our garden last summer.  How much liquid is needed is based, of course, on how many mussels are being steamed.  Because I was only steaming about 15-20 mussels for these two appetizers, I only used about 2 tbsp of apple cider.

    While mussels are used in various recipes, including mussel chowder, the most common way to eat mussels on the Island is dipped in melted butter (oh-là-là!).  Mussels are a common food found at many get-togethers because they are quick and easy to prepare and are so very tasty.

    For the second course, I couldn’t bypass an all-time favorite of mine – a good seafood chowder.

    Seafood Chowder
    Seafood Chowder

    This recipe comes courtesy of the Culinary Boot Camps at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown.  This award-winning recipe was developed by Chef Jeff McCourt who was the chef instructor at the one-day “Island Flavors” Boot Camp that I attended a couple of years ago.  This chowder was one of the dishes that participants made at the Boot Camp.  The Culinary Institute kindly gave me permission to share the seafood chowder recipe as part of the story I was writing on the Boot Camps.  If you find yourself on PEI during the summer/fall seasons when the Culinary Boot Camps are operating, this is a fantastic way to learn about cooking with local Island products and flavors.  Click here to see my story on the Boot Camps and to get the PEI Seafood Chowder recipe.

    I have made many seafood chowder recipes but have not found any that I liked better than this one.  It is filled with a great variety of delectable Island seafood along with PEI potatoes and has a rich, tasty chowder base.  Seafood chowder is a great way to sample several different kinds of local seafood all in one dish. This recipe suggests a variety of seafood that includes lobster, oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, and crab.  On PEI, we would typically serve the seafood chowder with crusty rolls, biscuits, or baguette slices.

    For my main course, I simply had to choose lobster!  Lobster is still the seafood king on the Island and Islanders love their lobster.

    Lobster
    Lobster

    The most typical way Islanders enjoy their lobster is straight out of the shell, dipped in melted butter, and served with potato salad, coleslaw, and rolls.  A jellied salad and slices of tomato and cucumber are also often  included.

    There are numerous enterprises around the Island that, seasonally, serve lobster suppers that generally consist of mussels, seafood chowder, lobster in the shell, salads, rolls, and a selection of pies and other desserts.  There are three main lobster supper venues on PEI.  Saint Anne’s Church Lobster Suppers in Hope River, not far from Cavendish, PEI, began in 1963 when a priest came up with the idea to have lobster suppers as a means to raise money to pay off the $35,000 mortgage on the church.  New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in New Glasgow, in operation since 1958, and Fishermen’s Wharf Restaurant in North Rustico also serve full lobster suppers as well.  A traditional lobster supper at one of these establishments is a must-stop for lobster lovers visiting PEI.  In addition, most restaurants on the Island will feature lobster in one form or another on their menus.  Last summer, I crisscrossed the Island in search of the best lobster roll on PEI since these are a common menu item for many restaurants.  Click here to read about which one was my favorite.

    The popularity of lobster is somewhat ironic.  Today, it is a high-priced food, often considered by many a luxury and reserved for special occasions.  However, on PEI, that was not always the case.  I remember speaking with an Island woman who grew up about 65 years ago in an Island fishing community where her father was a lobster fisherman.  She remembers being embarrassed opening her lunch at school and revealing a lobster sandwich since lobster was associated with poor people!  My, how times have changed!

    As a child, I had no interest in eating lobster.  In fact, when my family was having a “feed of lobster” at home, my mother always roasted me a chicken!  They would coax me to try the lobster but it just didn’t appeal to me.  Finally, as a young adult, I gave in and tried a bite of lobster….well, let’s just say that’s when my love affair with lobster began and I’ve been making up for all the years I didn’t eat it!

    So, it would be a logical choice that I would choose lobster as the main course for a special Valentine’s dinner.  I have opted to go with a traditional Lobster Newburg served in light and airy patty shells accompanied by a crisp green salad.

    Lobster Newburg
    Lobster Newburg

    Lobster is fished in PEI from spring through to fall so we have no winter lobster fishing season on the Island.  Many of us freeze lobster meat when it is in season to enjoy in recipes, like Lobster Newburg, throughout the remainder of the year.  My recipe for Lobster Newburg can be made with either fresh or frozen lobster meat.

    Lobster Newburg
    Lobster Newburg

    Lobster Newburg, although it is often considered an elaborate menu item, is really quite easy to prepare.  It’s also a good way to stretch lobster to increase the number of servings you can get from the meat of a lobster.  What makes Lobster Newburg so tasty and silky in texture is the sauce.  This is a rich, creamy cheese and sherry sauce so large portion sizes are not necessary.  I traditionally serve Lobster Newburg in patty shells.  However, it can also be presented over toast points or served over a bed of steamed rice.  Or, it may be served in small individual casserole dishes with a side of steamed asparagus spears.  The recipe for my Lobster Newburg follows at the end of this posting.

    Much as Islanders have an enduring love affair with food that comes from the sea that surrounds us, we also have a special fondness for our famous PEI potatoes.  For the past two years, I have followed a couple of potato farmers from the planting of the crop to the harvesting process.  To read these stories and get a couple of my favorite potato recipes, here are the two links to the postings for Smith Farms of Newton, PEI and Eric C. Robinson Inc., of Albany, PEI.

    I have chosen to serve a Chocolate Potato Cake as a finale to my Valentine’s dinner.  Yes, potatoes in a cake!  It’s amazing how many different ways potatoes can be served.  Earlier this week, I posted my recipe for Chocolate Potato Cake on my food blog.

    To make this feast truly a PEI dinner, I chose a white wine from PEI’s Rossignol Winery in Little Sands, PEI.  The Island has three wineries – the other two are Newman Estate Winery in Gladstone and Matos Winery in St. Catherine’s, PEI.  Each makes fine wine that is a great accompaniment to any meal.

    Rossignol's Little Sands White Wine
    Rossignol’s Little Sands White Wine

    To compliment the tablesetting, I chose locally-grown tulips from Vanco Farms’ greenhouses in Mount Albion, PEI.  Aren’t they beautiful flowers!

    Vanco Tulips
    Vanco Tulips

    So, this is my local flavors Valentine’s dinner for 2014, featuring some of my favorite and most loved local PEI foods and wine.  I hope you enjoy them, too!

    Lobster Newburg

    Ingredients:

    4-5 oz cooked lobster (either fresh or frozen)

    1 tbsp butter

    3 oz mushrooms, sliced

    1 tbsp butter

    1½ tbsp flour

    ⅛ tsp paprika

    pinch nutmeg

    ¾ cup whole milk or half-and-half

    2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

    1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

    ½ tbsp sherry

    1½ tsp brandy

    1 tsp liquid chicken bouillon

    salt and pepper, to taste

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    Melt first amount of butter in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add and sauté mushrooms for approximately 2 minutes.  Set aside.

    In separate saucepan, melt remaining tablespoon of butter.  Add flour, paprika, and nutmeg.  Whisk in the milk until mixture is smooth.  Add cheese.  Stir mixture constantly until slightly thickened.

    Add approximately 2 tbsp of the hot sauce to the egg yolk to temper the egg so it won’t curdle when added to the hot sauce.  Add the tempered egg to the sauce in the pan.

    Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the lobster meat and mushrooms.

    Add the sherry and brandy and cook and stir slowly for 1-2 minutes to heat the lobster and mushrooms.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

    Serve immediately in baked patty shells or over toast points or steamed rice.

    Yield:  2-3 servings

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.

    Be sure to visit my Facebook page at My Island Bistro Kitchen.  You may also wish to follow me on twitter @PEIBistro, on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”, and on Instagram at “PEIBistro”.

    Continue reading → Happy Valentine’s from Prince Edward Island! As many of you know, I am part of the year-long Canadian Food Experience Project.  Each month, food blogger participants are prompted by a prescribed theme upon which to base a posting on their individual blogs.  The February theme is “My Canadian Love Affair”. What follows is the menu and description ...
  • The Bistro’s Best Deviled Eggs Recipe March 20, 2016
    The Bistro's Best Devilled Eggs
    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs

    Devilled Eggs are so tasty and easy to make.  They are perfect for potlucks, picnics, snacks, and even appetizers or hors d’oeuvres.  And, of course, they are often found at many Easter gatherings.  To top it off, they are showy, too.  I have never taken a plate of these to any function and had any left over!

    The Bistro's Best Devilled Eggs
    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs

    There are many versions of this timeless food but I like them plain and simple and not too seasoned or spicy.  I do use a pastry bag and decorating tip to pipe the filling into the egg cavities.  However, you don’t have to have these tools. Simply spoon the filling into the egg cavity and swirl it around with the tip of a knife. With a sprinkle of paprika, some green herbs or green onions, you will have an attractive looking plate of devilled eggs.

    The Bistro's Best Devilled Eggs
    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs

    I recommend not sprinkling the eggs with paprika until serving time as, sometimes, the paprika can “bleed” and the eggs can have a smudgy red cast to them.

    The Bistro's Best Devilled Eggs
    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs

    (Printable version of recipe follows at end of posting)

    The Bistro’s Devilled Eggs

    Ingredients:

    5 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise
    2 – 2½ tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tsp sour cream
    ½ tsp prepared mustard
    1½ tsp onion, minced
    ¾ tbsp sweet pickle relish
    2 tsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    Pinch garlic powder
    ½ tsp fresh dill, chopped fine
    ¾ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    Pinch cayenne
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Paprika
    Fresh parsley, chopped
    Sprigs of fresh herbs (optional)
    Method:

    Gently scoop out egg yolks and place in small bowl. Set egg whites aside.

    Mash egg yolks with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.

    Fill egg white cavities with the devilled egg mixture using either a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip (I use a Wilton 6B tip) or, alternatively, use a spoon.

    Refrigerate devilled eggs at least 1 hour before serving. At time of serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or paprika. Garnish each with a small sprig of a fresh herb, if desired.

    Yield: 10 servings (1 devilled egg each)

    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs

    Yield: 10 servings

    Serving Size: (1 devilled egg each)

    Always a crowd pleaser, these devilled eggs are both tasty and easy to make.

    Ingredients

    • 5 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise
    • 2 – 2½ tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp sour cream
    • ½ tsp prepared mustard
    • 1½ tsp onion, minced
    • ¾ tbsp sweet pickle relish
    • 2 tsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    • Pinch garlic powder
    • ½ tsp fresh dill, chopped fine
    • ¾ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • Pinch cayenne
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Paprika
    • Fresh parsley, chopped
    • Sprigs of fresh herbs (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Gently scoop out egg yolks and place in small bowl. Set egg whites aside.
    2. Mash egg yolks with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
    3. Fill egg white cavities with the devilled egg mixture using either a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip (I use a Wilton 6B tip) or, alternatively, use a spoon.
    4. Refrigerate devilled eggs at least 1 hour before serving. At time of serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or paprika. Garnish each with a small sprig of a fresh herb, if desired.
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    The Bistro's Best Devilled Eggs
    The Bistro’s Best Devilled Eggs
    Continue reading →Devilled Eggs are so tasty and easy to make.  They are perfect for potlucks, picnics, snacks, and even appetizers or hors d’oeuvres.  And, of course, they are often found at many Easter gatherings.  To top it off, they are showy, too.  I have never taken a plate of these to any function and had any ...
  • Summer Garden Vegetable Dip August 28, 2014

    I love late August because there is an abundance of fresh garden produce available.  Vegetable and dip platters make a great snack for any occasion.  Vegetables are so colorful that they make any platter look outstanding plus raw vegetables are healthy food.

    I like to use a variety of vegetables, colors, shapes, and textures on a veggie platter, making it pleasing to both the eye and the palette.  Like these colorful dragon tongue beans, for example.  These beans are actually best eaten raw because, if cooked, they lose their color.

    Dragon Tongue Beans
    Dragon Tongue Beans

    I like the crunchiness of raw cauliflower which now comes in a variety of colors – purple, green, or this bright orange.

    Orange Cauliflower
    Orange Cauliflower

    Make sure a variety of veggies are included so there is something for everyone’s taste.

    I love the many varieties and colors of cherry tomatoes available including these pear-shaped and tiger-striped ones.

    Variety of Cherry Tomatoes
    Variety of Cherry Tomatoes

    It’s easy, I know, and sometimes tempting to buy bottled dip from the supermarket but the downside is those dips/dressings may contain ingredients that aren’t necessarily so healthy.  That’s why I like to make my own dip.

    Summer Garden Vegetable Dip
    Summer Garden Vegetable Dip

    The dip recipe I am sharing today actually does double duty in a couple of ways.  First, it contains fresh veggies so, not only do the vegetables get dipped into it but the dip itself also has radishes, onion, green pepper, and cucumber as ingredients in it.  Second, this dip may also be used as a salad dressing on your favorite green salad.  The dip doesn’t contain any unusual or hard-to-find ingredients.

    This is an easy dip to make.  Other than mincing up the veggies, it’s simply a matter of mixing all the ingredients together in one bowl.  It’s best if it chills for at least a couple of hours before serving which also makes it convenient as it can be prepared and refrigerated earlier in the day.  The veggies can also be prepared earlier in the day as well which makes it one less thing to do before a gathering.

    Summer Garden Vegetable Dip

    Ingredients:

    1 cup sour cream
    ½ cup mayonnaise
    1 tbsp sugar
    ½ tsp fine sea salt
    Fresh ground pepper, to taste
    Dash of garlic powder, to taste
    3 tbsp finely chopped radishes
    ¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
    ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
    ¼ cup finely chopped English cucumber, unpeeled

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    In medium-sized bowl, combine sour cream and mayonnaise. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well.

    Add the finely chopped (minced) vegetables and stir to blend well.

    Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours prior to serving.

    Serve with your favourite selection of garden vegetables.

    Note: This may also be used as a dressing for tossed salads.  This recipe is easily halved or doubled according to need.

    Yield: Apx. 2 cups

    Because there is sour cream and mayonnaise in this dip, it needs to be kept cold.  I use a container that has a cavity for ice and then the dip container itself sits on top of the ice to keep it cool.

    Ice in container for dip
    Ice in container for dip

    As soon as I spotted these napkins, I knew they would be appropriate for one of my vegetable and dip trays.

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
    Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
    Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”
    Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro”

     

    Continue reading → I love late August because there is an abundance of fresh garden produce available.  Vegetable and dip platters make a great snack for any occasion.  Vegetables are so colorful that they make any platter look outstanding plus raw vegetables are healthy food. I like to use a variety of vegetables, colors, shapes, and textures on a ...
  • Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini December 3, 2017

    If you are like me, you are always on the hunt for tasty little appetizers or hors d’oeuvres to serve at functions.

    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini

    These easy-to-prepare savory little toasts are my latest creation and are packed full of flavor. Red onion, garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper are sautéed in butter and seasoned with nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme. The seasoned and sautéed vegetables are combined with cooked quinoa added for texture and visual appeal along with Parmesan cheese for additional flavor. The ingredients are bound together with chicken stock, cream, and maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness.

    Spooned on to olive-oiled baguette slices, each crostini is topped with grated cheddar cheese.  For mine, I used a locally produced cheese –  Appletree Smoked Cheddar Cheese produced in PEI by COWS Creamery.

    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini Hors d'oeuvres
    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini Hors d’oeuvres

    These hors d’oeuvres are easily made into a gluten-free version. Simply use a gluten-free baguette and ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free.  One important factor to keep in mind with hors d’oeuvres is to ensure that they can easily be eaten with grace by guests – that means no huge chunks of ingredients that can pull apart when chewed into. Hors d’oeuvres should be able to be eaten with the use of only one hand.  While the mushrooms could be sliced, instead of chopped, for this hors d’oeuvre, they would need to be very small.

    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini

    [Printable Recipe Follows at end of Posting]

     Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini

     Ingredients:

    1½ tbsp butter
    ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup white button and/or cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    2 tbsp red pepper, finely chopped
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    ¼ tsp dried summer savory
    1/8 tsp dried thyme

    4 tsp chicken stock
    2 tbsp heavy cream
    2 tsp pure maple syrup
    ¼ cup cooked quinoa
    4 tsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    ¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese

    Fresh herbs for garnish

    1 French baguette
    Olive Oil for brushing on baguette slices

    Method:

    Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan.  Add onions and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the red pepper, nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme.  Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    In small bowl, combine the chicken stock, cream, and maple syrup.  Add the quinoa, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and combine all ingredients well.

    Slice baguette into 16 slices between ¼” and  ½” thick.  Brush each slice with small amount of olive oil.  Divide mixture evenly between the 16 slices.  Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese.  Place crostini on baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes or just until cheese has melted.  Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve hot.

    Yield:  16 appetizers

    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini

    These easy-to-prepare savory little toasts are packed full of flavor.  Featuring mushrooms, quinoa, cheese, and select seasonings, these tasty bites are sure to be a favorite hors d'oeuvre at your next gathering.

    Course Appetizer
    Servings 16
    Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 cup white button and/or cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tbsp red pepper, finely chopped
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp dried summer savory
    • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
    • 4 tsp chicken stock
    • 2 tbsp heavy cream
    • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
    • 4 tsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
    • Fresh herbs for garnish
    • 1 French baguette
    • Olive oil for brushing on baguette slices

    Instructions

    1. Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan.  Add onions and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the red pepper, nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme.  Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    2. In small bowl, combine the chicken stock, cream, and maple syrup. Add the quinoa, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste and combine all ingredients well.
    3. Slice baguette into 16 slices about 1/2" thick. Brush each slice with small amount of olive oil. Divide mixture evenly between the 16 slices. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese. Place slices on baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes or just until cheese has melted. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve hot.
    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
    Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
    Continue reading →If you are like me, you are always on the hunt for tasty little appetizers or hors d’oeuvres to serve at functions. These easy-to-prepare savory little toasts are my latest creation and are packed full of flavor. Red onion, garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper are sautéed in butter and seasoned with nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme. ...
  • Sausage-Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps January 14, 2015
    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps
    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps

    I was recently contacted by Laure Solange Tchamdja, President and CEO of Aldanel Authentic Foods, of Charlottetown, PEI, to let me know about her new line of tomato sauces being produced right here on PEI. I sat down for a chat with Tchamdja to find out more about the sauces.

    In October, 2013, Tchamdja began producing tomato sauce. The company manufactures five varieties of their tomato-based sauces, all sold in 240ml bottles: Tomato Celebration, Spinach Carnival, Chili Tango, Carrot Symphony, and Rouge Poivron. Over the period of some nine months in the lab, the BioFood Technology plant on the UPEI campus in Charlottetown helped Tchamdja convert her family recipe into a commercial product suitable for the retail market. As the company does not presently have its own manufacturing plant, the sauces are produced at the BioFood Technology plant on the UPEI campus in Charlottetown.

    Tchamdja wanted to create a tomato sauce product that is safe and healthy, not too spicy, and that would help working women, young professionals, and students prepare healthy meals at home. She says her products are versatile and multipurpose and one does not have to be a chef to use them. They can be used directly from the bottle as pasta sauces, added to soups and vegetables, used as a condiment for meat and fish, as a sauce for pizza, on nachos, and even as marinades for meat and fish. So, the product can be used as is without having to cook it again or it can be used as an ingredient in a recipe. Tchamdja says her products are all natural with no preservatives and are low in sugar.

    Initially, Tchamdja sold her tomato sauces at local PEI shops such as Riverview Country Market. She has since expanded her markets to include Sobey’s and Co-op Supermarkets, Pete’s Frootique in Halifax, and Winners and Home Sense stores in Eastern Canada.

    The products are sold under the Aldanel™ label, the letters for which are formed from those found in the names of her children. Depending on the retailer, prices per 240 ml bottle range from $4.49 to $5.99 (as of the time of writing).

    Tchamdja offered me some complimentary samples of her Tomato Celebration sauce to try. Tchamdja is correct – I found the sauce to be a versatile ingredient in several dishes. I have used it as a pizza sauce and found it very tasty. I have also used it in a recipe I created for  baked stuffed fingerling hors d’oeuvres. And, I have used it as an ingredient in the following recipes for sausage-stuffed cremini mushroom caps.

    My recipe for stuffed mushrooms is suitable for hors d’oeuvres or, add a tomato sauce, and they turn into an appetizer.

    I have chosen to use cremini mushrooms but white button mushrooms would also work.  As well, any kind of sausage can be used – I have chosen to use sun-dried tomato sausage from KJL Meats here in Charlottetown.  The herb and garlic Gouda cheese I used is from Glasgow Glen Farm in New Glasgow, PEI. The tomato sauce that I am featuring in both recipes is Aldanel’s “Tomato Celebration” variety but any of their other sauces would work well, too.

    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps
    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps

    Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps (Hors d’oeuvres)

    1 tsp olive oil
    ½ tsp butter

    12 medium-sized cremini mushrooms, washed, dried, and de-stemmed (reserve the stems)
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1½ tbsp onion, finely chopped
    2 oz. sun-dried tomato sausage, removed from casing and loosely broken up
    2 tbsp Ardanel™ tomato sauce
    2 tsp truffle aioli
    ½ tsp basil
    ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
    2 tbsp shredded Gouda cheese
    1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    Trim and discard ends from mushroom stems.

    Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and place mushroom stems into bowl of small food processor. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.

    Add garlic, onion, and sausage and pulse just until mixture is combined.

    Preheat oven to 375ºF.

    Heat oil in small frypan. Add butter.

    Add mushroom-sausage mixture and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until sausage meat is no longer pink.

    Transfer mixture to small bowl.

    Add the tomato sauce.

    Add truffle aioli, basil, breadcrumbs, and cheeses along with salt and pepper to taste.

    Place mushroom caps on parchment-lined baking sheet. Stuff each mushroom cap with mixture, slightly mounding the top. Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

    Bake for about 12 minutes. Garnish with fresh chives, sliced green onion, or parsley, if desired.  Serve immediately.

    Yield: 12 hors d’oeuvres

    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps
    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps

    Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps with Tomato Sauce (Appetizer)

    12 sausage-stuffed cremini mushroom caps (recipe above)

    Tomato Sauce:

    ½ tbsp butter
    1½ tbsp flour
    ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
    ½ cup light cream or milk
    ¼ cup Ardanel™ tomato sauce
    ½ tsp Italian seasoning
    ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
    ½ cup shredded Mozarella cheese

    Method:

    Over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour.

    Whisk in the broth and milk until mixture is smooth.

    Stir briskly until mixture starts to thicken then add the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and cheeses.

     

    Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened to desired consistency.

    Grease four oven-safe appetizer-sized baking dishes. Place three stuffed mushrooms into each dish.

    Pour the sauce over the mushrooms, dividing it equally between the four dishes.

    Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.

    Broil on high for about 5-6 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.

    Yield: 4 appetizer servings

    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps in Tomato Sauce
    Sausage-stuffed Cremini Mushroom Caps in Tomato Sauce

    To learn more about the Aldanel tomato sauce products, visit their website.

    This recipe is also being submitted for the Foodie Pages CHEF’S BOX Challenge.

    ———————–

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
    Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
    Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
    Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

    Continue reading →I was recently contacted by Laure Solange Tchamdja, President and CEO of Aldanel Authentic Foods, of Charlottetown, PEI, to let me know about her new line of tomato sauces being produced right here on PEI. I sat down for a chat with Tchamdja to find out more about the sauces. In October, 2013, Tchamdja began producing ...
  • PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer Recipe June 25, 2016
    Beer-steamed Mussels
    PEI Mussels Steamed in Rhuby Social Beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing

    My recipe for steamed mussels calls for some aromatics to build a flavor base in which to steam the tasty little morsels.  Aromatic cooking involves some type of fat or oil – I’m using butter in this recipe – combined with some aromatic vegetables and herbs.  In this case, I am using onion, celery, and garlic along with some fresh thyme. The combination of a fat product and heat help to release the wonderful aromas of ingredients and infuse dishes with fabulous flavors.  Ever walk into the tantalizing scent of a kitchen where onions and garlic are cooking in oil or butter? That’s aromatics at work.

    Preparing this flavor base at the beginning of the cooking process adds depth and complexity to the dish. Since mussels cook rapidly,  chop the vegetables up somewhat fine as they need to release their flavors quickly in order to add flavor to the dish.

    The fresh mussels should be rinsed under cold water before they are cooked.  If any of the shells don’t close up after this rinsing, tap the  shells lightly. If they still don’t close, discard them. Any “beard” on the mussels also needs to be removed.

    Once the vegetables have been sautéed and released their flavors, it’s time to add a small amount of lemon juice and some beer to the mixture. The lemon juice adds fresh, crisp notes to the broth. This helps to balance the seafood qualities of the broth once the mussels are added. Beer adds both depth and complexity of flavor to the mussels which should be steamed in a very small amount of liquid.  If too much liquid is used, it will dilute the flavor altogether. It’s the steam, not the amount of liquid, that cooks the mussels. In this recipe, I have chosen to use a craft beer that has been brewed right here on Prince Edward Island at Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown (click here for my story on this brewery).  The strawberry and rhubarb flavored “Rhuby Social” witbier with its slight tartness pairs particularly well with seafood.

    It’s important not to overcook the mussels as they will become tough. I find that 5-7 minutes is usually sufficient; however, the amount of steaming time depends on several factors including how many (and the size of the) mussels in the pot, the weight of the pot, and amount of heat over which they are steamed. The ultimate test of doneness is a peek inside the pot to see if the shells have opened.  It’s very important that, at the end of the steaming process, any shells that have not opened be discarded. If a shell has to be pried open, it is not considered safe for consumption.

    These mussels can be eaten with bread dipped in the steaming broth.  Simply strain the broth to remove the vegetables and herbs. Alternatively, they can be eaten dipped in melted butter or even with a simple splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

    (Printable recipe follows at end of posting)

    PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer

    Ingredients:
    2 lbs. PEI mussels, rinsed and beards removed

    1 tbsp butter
    1/3 cup onion, chopped
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    4” piece of celery with leaves, chopped
    ½ tsp salt
    2 sprigs fresh thyme
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1 cup Upstreet Craft Brewing’s “Rhuby Social” Beer

    Method:
    In medium-sized stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, celery and salt. Sauté, stirring briskly, just until onion has softened and has started to become transparent.  Add the thyme, lemon juice, and beer.  Increase the heat to high and bring liquid to a boil.  Add the mussels. Cover and steam the mussels for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the mussel shells have opened.  Remove pot from heat and let mussels stand in broth for 1-2 minutes.

    Remove mussels from broth with a slotted spoon and discard any shells that have not opened.  If desired, strain the broth and use for dipping bread to enjoy with the mussels.  Alternatively, melt butter in which to dip the mussels.

    Yield: Apx. 2 servings

    Pin Me to Pinterest!

    Beer-steamed Mussels
    PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer

    Mussels Steamed in Beer Recipe

    Yield: 2 servings

    PEI Mussels steamed in an aromatic beer broth. Dip the mussels in melted butter for the ultimate treat.

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs. PEI mussels, rinsed and beards removed
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4” piece of celery with leaves, chopped
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 cup Upstreet Craft Brewing’s “Rhuby Social” Beer

    Instructions

    1. In medium-sized stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and salt. Sauté, stirring briskly, just until onion has softened and has started to become transparent. Add the thyme, lemon juice, and beer. Increase the heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Add the mussels. Cover and steam the mussels for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the mussel shells have opened. Remove pot from heat and let mussels stand in broth for 1-2 minutes.
    2. Remove mussels from broth with a slotted spoon and discard any shells that have not opened. If desired, strain the broth and use for dipping bread to enjoy with the mussels. Alternatively, melt butter in which to dip the mussels.
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    Continue reading →My recipe for steamed mussels calls for some aromatics to build a flavor base in which to steam the tasty little morsels.  Aromatic cooking involves some type of fat or oil – I’m using butter in this recipe – combined with some aromatic vegetables and herbs.  In this case, I am using onion, celery, and ...
  • Old-Fashioned Scottish Oatcakes April 27, 2014

     

    Old-fashioned Oatcakes served with Brie and J.J. Stewart's Cranberry Champagne and Crystalized Ginger Preserves
    Old-fashioned Oatcakes served with Brie and J.J. Stewart’s Cranberry Champagne and Crystalized Ginger Preserves

    Oatcakes are very versatile and take such basic, simple ingredients.  A cross between a cookie and a cracker, they are savory bites and are not overly sweet.  In fact, I would describe these artisan cookies/crackers as having a nice short, crisp texture.  Scottish in origin, oatcakes probably made their debut in Canada when they arrived along with Scottish immigrants.

    Oatcakes can be eaten as plain cookies or sandwiched together with jam or date filling.  They can be consumed as crackers served with various condiments such as tangy gourmet preserves and marmalades alongside cheese, such as Brie.  Here I am serving them with J.J. Stewart’s Cranberry Champagne and Crystalized Ginger Preserves made in Stratford, PEI.  You can read the story I wrote earlier on J.J. Stewart’s products by clicking here.

    This product is a bit sharp and tangy and goes particularly well with a plain oatcake and Brie cheese.   Whatever preserve, jam, or marmalade you serve with these, make sure it is not runny.  It needs to be fairly thick consistency so it will stay in place atop the oatcake. Choosing a bright red jam makes these colorful savories!

    Oatcakes can also be dipped in chocolate.  And, yes, they can even find their way onto an afternoon tea table because they taste especially good with a fine cup of tea.  In fact, I served them at my Tartan Day Afternoon Tea this year.

    Oatcakes at Afternoon Tea
    Oatcakes at Afternoon Tea

     

    Old-fashioned Savory Oatcakes

     Ingredients:

    1 cup shortening

    1 cup white sugar

    2 eggs

    1 tsp vanilla

    2 cups flour

    1 tsp baking soda

    ¼ tsp salt

    2 cups oatmeal (not instant)

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    Oatcake Ingredients
    Oatcake Ingredients

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    With electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar.

    Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in vanilla.

    In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

    With mixer at lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture until combined.

    Remove bowl from mixer and, using a wooden spoon, add the oatmeal.  Stir well.

    Roll out dough thin – between ⅛” and ¼” thick.  Cut into 2” circles or squares.

    Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

    Bake 10 minutes.  Remove from oven an let set on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

    Oatcakes freeze very well.  They are a great staple to have on hand along with a good quality preserve or marmalade so, when company drops in unexpectedly, it is quick and easy to pull together some refreshments.  Set out the bottle of preserve, a stack of oatcakes, some favorite cheese, and fresh fruit and you have a savory snack food!

     

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.

    There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

    Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro

    Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”

    Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro”

    Continue reading →  Oatcakes are very versatile and take such basic, simple ingredients.  A cross between a cookie and a cracker, they are savory bites and are not overly sweet.  In fact, I would describe these artisan cookies/crackers as having a nice short, crisp texture.  Scottish in origin, oatcakes probably made their debut in Canada when they arrived ...
  • Lobster-stuffed Cherry Tomatoes September 14, 2013
    Lobster-stuffed Cherry Tomato
    Lobster-stuffed Cherry Tomato

    Our garden produced hundreds of tiny cherry tomatoes this summer.  It’s always a challenge as to what to do with them and it seems everyone I know also has an abundance of them, too.  Cherry tomatoes make great bases for appetizers or hors d’oeurves.  They are particularly tasty when filled with lobster salad!  This weekend, there is a huge shellfish festival in Charlottetown, PEI, so I thought this was an appropriate time to post a recipe using one of my favorite shellfish, lobster.

    I used the same lobster salad recipe as I used for the filling in the lobster croissants that were featured for my labour day picnic.  The only thing I did differently was to chop the lobster into smaller pieces so the salad would fit into the cherry tomatoes.

    To assemble, slice off the stem end of the tomato.  With a small coffee spoon, carefully hollow out and discard the seeds and juicy pulp of the tomatoes.  Fill with lobster salad.  Garnish with fresh herbs such as chives, thyme, and/or dill.

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  

    Be sure to visit my new Facebook page at My Island Bistro Kitchen.  You may also wish to follow me on twitter @PEIBistro and on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”.

    Continue reading →Our garden produced hundreds of tiny cherry tomatoes this summer.  It’s always a challenge as to what to do with them and it seems everyone I know also has an abundance of them, too.  Cherry tomatoes make great bases for appetizers or hors d’oeurves.  They are particularly tasty when filled with lobster salad!  This weekend, ...
  • Chunky Cranberry Salsa December 31, 2015
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d'oeuvre
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d’oeuvre

    By now, if you are a regular follower of this food blog, you have probably detected that I am a big fan of cranberries!  I am always developing recipes using these tasty morsels.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

    Today, I am sharing my newly-developed recipe for Chunky Cranberry Salsa. As its base, it uses my homemade cranberry sauce for which you can find the recipe here.  You need a good thick cranberry sauce for this, not a runny, watery version as many of the canned, commercial versions are. If a watery cranberry sauce is used, it will make the salsa too runny and messy. The photo below shows what the consistency of this salsa should be – it should “hold its own” and stay in place when used on nachos or crackers.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

    Any flavour of dry salsa seasoning available can be used in this recipe. I use the Epicure Brand, “Pico”, Salsa Mix which is a mild flavoring. If you are using another brand, or one that is quite spicy, just be aware that the amount this recipe calls for may not apply and you may need to adjust the amount you use.  Also, I use 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of the Epicure “Pico” seasoning but that can be altered according to taste.  However, I suggest making the salsa first with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the seasoning and then adding more according to your personal taste.  As the old saying goes, you can add more seasoning but you can’t remove it if you put in too much!

    Almost any flavour of balsamic vinegar can be used, even a traditional white balsamic. I have used a honey ginger balsamic vinegar from our local Liquid Gold and All Things Olive store here in Charlottetown as this vinegar flavour pairs particularly well with the other ingredients in this salsa.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa on Nachos
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa on Nachos

    I use this salsa on nachos but it is also exceptionally good served on gourmet crackers. Simply top each cracker with a small slice of Brie or Gouda cheese and some shaved turkey.  Add a small spoonful of the cranberry salsa and, voilà, an instant hors d’oeuvre. Once you have the salsa made, it makes a quick, easy, and tasty hors d’oeuvre.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d'oeuvre
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d’oeuvre

    With the jewel-toned color of this salsa, this hors d’oeuvre also looks very attractive on a serving tray.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d'oeuvres
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa Hors d’oeuvres

    This salsa often finds its way on to my charcuterie boards, too.

    It can also be used to top baked chicken breasts or grilled pork chops. It’s very versatile, especially if you already have cranberry sauce made and in the freezer.  Simply let the cranberry sauce thaw at room temperature and then mix up the salsa. It’s best if the salsa can be made and refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavours to blend and mellow.

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

    Ingredients:

    1 cup cranberry sauce
    ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
    ½ cup Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
    1½  tsp sugar
    1¾ tsp lime juice
    1½ – 2 tbsp Epicure “Pico” Salsa Mix, or to taste
    2 tsp Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
    1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
    ½ orange, finely chopped

    Method:

    In medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow flavour to develop.

    Serve with nacho chips. May also be served as an hors d’oeuvre: Place slice of Gouda or Brie on favorite cracker. Add shaved turkey topped with a small dollop of chunky cranberry salsa. Can also be used as a topping on chicken or pork.

    Store in sealed container for up to two to three days in refrigerator.

    Yield: Apx. 1 2/3 cups

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

    —————————————————————————-

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting and recipe, please share it on your social media websites.

    Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

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    ——————————————————————————

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

    Yield: Apx 1 2/3 cups

    Jewel-toned cranberries transform into a versatile and tasty chunky cranberry salsa

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup cranberry sauce
    • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
    • ½ cup Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
    • 1½ tsp sugar
    • 1¾ tsp lime juice
    • 1½ - 2 tbsp Epicure “Pico” Salsa Mix, or to taste
    • 2 tsp Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
    • ½ orange, finely chopped

    Instructions

    1. In medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow flavour to develop.
    2. Serve with nacho chips. May also be served as an hors d’oeuvre: Place slice of Gouda or Brie on favorite cracker. Add shaved turkey topped with a small dollop of chunky cranberry salsa. Can also be used as a topping on chicken or pork.
    3. Store in sealed container for up to two to three days in refrigerator.
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    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa

     

    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Chunky Cranberry Salsa
    Continue reading →By now, if you are a regular follower of this food blog, you have probably detected that I am a big fan of cranberries!  I am always developing recipes using these tasty morsels. Today, I am sharing my newly-developed recipe for Chunky Cranberry Salsa. As its base, it uses my homemade cranberry sauce for which you ...
  • A Visit to the Barnyard Organics Farm in Freetown, PEI September 21, 2015

    I recently paid a visit to the Bernard family at Barnyard Organics in Freetown, PEI. Sally and Mark Bernard operate one of the largest (if not the biggest) organic farms on the Island and Sally and her daughter, Lucy, were my tour guides.

    Sally and Lucy Bernard from Barnyard Organics
    Sally and Lucy Bernard from Barnyard Organics

    Sally (who grew up on a farm in New Brunswick) and Mark (from an Island farming family) met at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) in Truro, Nova Scotia. Sally has an English degree from Mount Alison as well as a Plant Science Diploma from NSAC while Mark holds an Agricultural Business Diploma with a minor in Plant Science. In 2003, while still in college, Mark knew he wanted to pursue organic farming. His father had recently retired from farming so Mark began the groundwork for preparing the first 50 acres on his family’s farm to be taken out of conventional farming practices. The Bernards officially became certified organic farmers in 2006 and, since 2010, they have 550 organic acres on their farm and also rent additional acreage near Kensington.

    Barnyard Organics, the name of the farm, is certified under Atlantic Certified Organics (ACO), a certification body which is accredited with the Canadian federal government. This body enforces the national organic standards such as buffer zone requirements from surrounding farms using conventional farming methods and it provides a list of approved substances that can be used in organic farming. As such, the farm is required to keep records of any products or substances used. In order to remain certified organic, the Bernards are subject to yearly inspections from ACO.

    The main focus of the farm is on growing grains that include soybean, barley, wheat, oats, field peas, buckwheat, and clover. More than half of the grains are sold to small-scale organic producers in the Maritimes as a complete mixed animal feed. The remaining half goes to Speerville Flour Mill in New Brunswick and to brokers in Quebec and Ontario. Of note, 35-40 acres of the farm are dedicated to growing wheat specifically for bread. In fact, a nearby neighbour, Coral Wood, uses wheat from Barnyard Organics in her Whole Grain Bakery.

    The Whole Grain Bakery Bread made with Grain Grown on Barnyard Organics Farm
    The Whole Grain Bakery Bread made with Wheat Grown on Barnyard Organics Farm in Freetown, PEI

    In addition, the Bernards also have both meat birds and about 150 laying hens.

    The meat birds are raised on a portable pasture system which means the shelters they live in are moved each day so the birds always have fresh grass to nibble on.

    The laying hens are completely free range so they have unfettered roaming privileges in a field nearest the farm buildings. They then take up winter residence inside a barn.

    These are their summer condos!

    This is where the flock hangs out when they are not out roaming about the field.

     

    And, this is what is found on the other side of the “condos”.

    Baby chicks on the farm!

    Both meat and laying birds are raised on organic grains grown on the farm so the Bernards know exactly what their fowl are fed and customers can be assured the chickens and eggs are organic and of the highest quality.

    About 90% of their meat birds and eggs are direct marketed to customers through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares. This is a program whereby consumers (sometimes referred to as shareholders) invest in their food system by paying, the producer, upfront, for a season of fresh farm products. In exchange, the producer agrees to employ good farming practices to ensure a food supply and commits to sharing the resulting farm produce with those shareholders. This method of farming gives the farmer operating capital to buy supplies and run the farm and, in turn, CSA customers get quality fresh produce – in this case, fresh organic chickens and eggs from the Bernards.

    Barnyard Organics currently has 100 CSA members and delivers to customers every two weeks in both Charlottetown and Summerside, alternating week about. Sally packages her fresh chickens and eggs, loads up her trolley fitted with refrigeration, and heads off with her deliveries.

    Through the CSA market method, Sally gets to know her customers directly and they get to meet with the producer of their food and have the opportunity to put money directly into the producer’s hands with no middle parties. In addition, this customer-producer interaction provides the opportunity for customers to know where their food comes from and learn how it is produced. For the producer, this method allows for face-to-face feedback on products.

    The remaining 10% of the farm’s products are sold to customers who regularly drop by the farm to pick up their farm-fresh eggs and chickens from the large cooler the family installed on the farm.

    Barnyard Organics also has a small provincially-inspected processing plant where they process approximately 60 chickens a week, ready for distribution to their customers.

    Farming organically is not without its challenges. For example, the Bernards don’t use chemical treatments that conventional farmers do so they can’t buy just any kind of fertilizer for their fields. Instead, they use mussel shell waste as well as manure from a nearby dairy farm; however, the manure needs to first be composted before being spread on the fields because it is not organic.

    The farm also has its own grain dryer and soybean roaster which are needed because the Bernards can’t take their product to any local commercial dryers or roasters because of potential cross-contamination with non-organic grains.

    Sally says their greatest satisfaction comes from knowing they have healthy soil on their farm to produce healthy food. The Bernards practice healthy crop rotation and focus on feeding the soil, not taking from it and depleting its goodness.

    Lucy Bernard
    Lucy Bernard

    In particular, Sally derives great satisfaction from seeing their children interact with farm life. Because she home schools the children, they are exposed each and every day to experiential learning on the farm. Even 7-year old Lucy is already involved with organic farming. She takes the livers and hearts of the processed chickens, dehydrates them, and sells them for organic dog food. Lucy is also helping with the chicken business on the farm, too, and happily moves about the field of hens.

    Sally jokes that Lucy could give the tour of the farm as well as she can and says their children are so acclimatized to farm life that they don’t even know that not everyone knows what life on a farm is like.

    This summer Sally started a “Rent-A-Chicken” project that was so popular, she ended up with a waiting list. Essentially, the initiative allowed people to have a couple of chickens in their own backyards from June until October, enjoy the eggs, and then return the chickens to the Bernards in the fall without having to worry about what to do with the birds in the winter. The Bernards delivered, to renters, a small, portable chicken coop, two laying hens, feed and grit, food and water dishes, and a guide for raising hens.

    Sally Showing one of the Portable Chicken Coops that are part of her "Rent-A-Chicken" Package
    Sally showing one of the portable chicken coops that are part of her “Rent-A-Chicken” Package

    Ideally, each hen could be expected to lay six eggs a week so renters have a dozen fresh organic eggs every week.

    In the fall, the Bernards will pick up the birds and take them back to the farm. Cost for the package for the 2015 season was around $300. Feedback has been very positive and, in fact, some folks have already asked that the birds be banded so they can have the same ones back next year!

    To find out, from a renter’s perspective, what the chicken rental experience was like, I met with Shirley Gallant who had two birds rented from the Bernards this summer.

    As soon as she heard of the opportunity, Shirley knew it was for her as she had had a few hens in her backyard some years ago but wintering them was a problem for her. Because the Bernards will collect the two hens in the fall, Shirley has been able to have the hens for the summer and enjoy their eggs with no worries about what to do with the hens over the winter. The two hens happily roam around Shirley’s yard during the day and then retire to their coop for the night.  For Shirley, the experience has been very positive and she says she would do it again because “the hens are fun to have around” and she has fresh eggs for her organic diet.

    Shirley Gallant with one of her rented chickens from Barnyard Organics
    Shirley Gallant with one of her rented chickens from Barnyard Organics

    Barnyard Organics farm does offer tours but the Bernards appreciate advance reservations as this is a busy working farm and family. For more information on Barnyard Organics, visit their website.

    As is my standard practice when I visit a local food producer, I like to create a recipe using and featuring one of their products. I have chosen to use the brown eggs to make devilled eggs.  These eggs have gorgeous vibrant yellow yolks so they make colorful devilled eggs.

    Devilled Egg
    Devilled Egg
    The Bistro’s Devilled Eggs

    Ingredients:

    5 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise
    2 – 2½ tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tsp sour cream
    ½ tsp prepared mustard
    1½ tsp onion, minced
    ¾ tbsp sweet pickle relish
    2 tsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    Pinch garlic powder
    ½ tsp fresh dill, chopped fine
    ¾ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    Pinch cayenne
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Paprika
    Fresh parsley, chopped
    Sprigs of fresh herbs (optional)
    Method:

    Gently scoop out egg yolks and place in small bowl. Set egg whites aside.

    Mash egg yolks with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.

    Fill egg white cavities with the devilled egg mixture using either a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip (I use a Wilton 6B tip) or, alternatively, use a spoon.

    Refrigerate devilled eggs at least 1 hour before serving. At time of serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or paprika. Garnish each with a small sprig of a fresh herb, if desired.

    Yield: 10 servings (1 devilled egg each)

    Devilled Eggs
    Devilled Eggs
    Devilled Eggs
    Devilled Eggs

     

    —————————————————————————-

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting and recipe, please share it on your social media websites.

    Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

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    ——————————————————————————

    Devilled Eggs
    Devilled Eggs

     

    Devilled Eggs

    Yield: 10 servings (1 devilled egg per serving)

    Ingredients

    • 5 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise
    • 2 – 2½ tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp sour cream
    • ½ tsp prepared mustard
    • 1½ tsp onion, minced
    • ¾ tbsp sweet pickle relish
    • 2 tsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    • Pinch garlic powder
    • ½ tsp fresh dill, chopped fine
    • ¾ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • Pinch cayenne
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Paprika
    • Fresh parsley, chopped
    • Sprigs of fresh herbs (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Gently scoop out egg yolks and place in small bowl. Set egg whites aside.
    2. Mash egg yolks with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
    3. Fill egg white cavities with the devilled egg mixture using either a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip (I use a Wilton 6B tip) or, alternatively, use a spoon.
    4. Refrigerate devilled eggs at least 1 hour before serving. At time of serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or paprika. Garnish each with a small sprig of a fresh herb, if desired.
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    A Visit to Barnyard Organics, Freetown, PEI
    A Visit to Barnyard Organics, Freetown, PEI
    Continue reading → I recently paid a visit to the Bernard family at Barnyard Organics in Freetown, PEI. Sally and Mark Bernard operate one of the largest (if not the biggest) organic farms on the Island and Sally and her daughter, Lucy, were my tour guides. Sally (who grew up on a farm in New Brunswick) and Mark (from ...
  • A Prince Edward Island-Inspired Menu for Food Day Canada 2014 August 2, 2014
    PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer
    PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer

    It’s Food Day Canada today (August 2, 2014). This is a day to celebrate and enjoy all the great food that is grown, fished, or otherwise produced in Canada. Coming from Prince Edward Island, we are truly blessed with the abundance and variety of fresh food at our disposal.

    As those of you who are regular followers of my food blog know, my focus is on eating local food whenever possible and supporting local food producers, be they farmers, fishers, or other food producers. And, this I do more than one day a year.  It’s a regular occurrence in our household.

    Today, I am pleased to share with you the menu and photographs of what is on my table today for Food Day Canada 2014 and where the food came from. The menu includes foods that come from the waters that surround our Island and from the rich, red soil of our land.

    Food Day Canada Menu 2014

    Starter

    PEI Mussels steamed in beer
    and dipped in melted butter
    Served with Multigrain Bread

    Main

    PEI Scallops pan-seared in butter
    Boiled PEI potatoes
    Medley of steamed yellow string beans, broccoli, and carrots

    Dessert

    Haskap Shortcake
    Whipped cream and a rich haskap sauce
    sandwiched between layers of old-fashioned sponge cake
    with a drizzle of haskap sauce on top

     Wine Pairing

    Chardonnay Seyval Blanc, Newman Estate Winery, Gladstone, PEI

    Starter

    Products & Sources: Mussels – Prince Edward Aqua Farms Inc., Springbrook, PEI
    Beer – Gahan’s Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale from the Prince Edward Island Brewing Co., Charlottetown, PEI
    Bread – Multigrain from the Whole Grain Bakery, Freetown, PEI
    Butter – Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), Summerside, PEI

    I love mussels! PEI mussels are world famous and my mussels today came from Prince Edward Aqua Farms in Springbrook, on the North side of the Island.

    There are many ways in which mussels can be prepared. They can be steamed in water, wine, beer, apple juice, or in just about any liquid that strikes your fancy. The key is to use just a small amount of liquid as too much liquid dilutes the flavour of the mussels. It is the steam that opens the mussel shells, not the amount of liquid used.

    While I am not a beer drinker, my preferred liquid for steaming mussels is beer. Today, I am using Gahan’s Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale, brewed by the Prince Edward Island Brewing Co. in Charlottetown, PEI (click here to read the story I wrote on the Brewery).

    While nothing other than the beer is really required for steaming the mussels, I like to add some herbs, spices, a bit of garlic, onion, carrots, and celery to the steaming liquid for additional flavour. It usually takes only about 7-10 minutes to steam a pot of mussels. The amount of liquid needed will, of course, depend on the size of the pot you are using and how many mussels you are steaming at a time. Remember to discard any shells that have not opened during the steaming process – do not pry them open. If they haven’t opened via the steaming process, they are not considered safe for consumption.

    Dip the mussels in good PEI-churned butter (I’m using ADL butter today) and they are simply delicious. Some also like to use the steaming broth in which to dip bread, soaking up the flavors. My recipe for steamed mussels follows at the end of this posting.

    Multigrain Bread from the Whole-Grain Bakery in Freetown, PEI
    Multigrain Bread from the Whole-Grain Bakery in Freetown, PEI

    The bread I am serving with this appetizer comes from the new Whole-Grain Bakery in Freetown, in the central part of the Province. This bakery uses locally-grown organic wheat which the baker grinds just at the time of the bread making. The bread on the table today is a multigrain bread that has a lovely dense texture and exceptionally good flavour. It makes a fine accompaniment to the steamed mussels.


    Main Course

    Products and Sources: Sea Scallops, fished off East Point, PEI, sourced from MR Seafoods, Charlottetown, PEI
    Potatoes – Farm of Brent Craig, Tryon, PEI
    Vegetables – Jewel’s Country Market, Marshfield, PEI

    Scallops have long been a favourite of mine. Today’s scallops were fished off of East Point in the Eastern end of the Island and were sourced through MR Seafoods in Charlottetown. While there are a host of ways in which sea scallops can be prepared, sometimes I like them simply pan-seared in butter which is how I am serving them today – sear 1½ – 2 minutes on each side, in a hot pan with butter, and this is a quick, easy, simple, and tasty way to prepare scallops.

    Pan-searing Sea Scallops in Butter
    Pan-searing Sea Scallops in Butter

    Add a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley and serve with a lemon wedge or your favourite tartar sauce, if desired.

    Pan-seared PEI Scallops
    Pan-seared PEI Scallops

    With the early PEI potatoes now on the market, they were a logical choice to serve with the scallops. Just a slather of butter is all that is needed for these! The round white Island spuds come from the farm of Brent Craig of Tryon.

    And here is the complete main course, all products of PEI.

    This time of the year, there are so many fresh-from-the-garden veggies available. I chose the yellow-orange-green color scheme to add color to the plate: yellow string beans, carrots, and broccoli, which came from Jewel’s Country Market in Marshfield, PEI.

    Dessert

    Product: Haskap berries – Farm of Lynn and Becky Townshend, Rollo Bay, PEI

    For dessert, I headed east to Rollo Bay for haskap berries to make a rich and sumptuous haskap shortcake. I recently shared my recipe for this delightful dessert and you can find the recipe by clicking here.

    Haskap Shortcake
    Haskap Shortcake

    Wine Pairing

    My wine of choice for my meal is a Chardonnay that comes from Newman Estate Winery in Gladstone, near Murray River in the Eastern part of PEI. Click here to read the story I previously wrote about my visit to this winery.


    It’s so easy to prepare a tasty meal when local foods are sourced. The ingredients are super fresh because they haven’t traveled many miles for many days before they reach the dinner plate.

    What’s on your menu to celebrate Food Day Canada today?

    Steamed Mussels – My Island Bistro Kitchen Style

    Ingredients:

    1 cup Gahan’s Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale
    ½ cup onion, chopped
    2 tbsp carrots, diced
    2 tbsp celery, diced + some celery leaves
    ½ tsp puréed garlic
    ⅛ tsp coriander
    ⅛ tsp fennel
    ⅛ tsp thyme
    ⅛ tsp basil
    ½ tsp parsley
    1 lb PEI mussels

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    In 5-litre pot, place all ingredients, except the mussels.

    Bring mixture to a boil and boil gently over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes.

    Add mussels.

    Increase heat to medium. Cover. Let steam for 7-10 minutes until shells have opened.

    Scoop mussels into serving bowl(s). Serve hot with melted butter and your favourite bread which may also be dipped into the steaming broth that was used to steam the mussels.

    Yield: 2 appetizer-sized servings.

     

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
    Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
    Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”
    Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro”

     

    Continue reading →It’s Food Day Canada today (August 2, 2014). This is a day to celebrate and enjoy all the great food that is grown, fished, or otherwise produced in Canada. Coming from Prince Edward Island, we are truly blessed with the abundance and variety of fresh food at our disposal. As those of you who are regular ...
  • Baked Stuffed Fingerlings December 18, 2014
    Baked Stuffed Fingerling
    Baked Stuffed Fingerling

    I love miniature potatoes. They’re fun to work with. They make wonderful hors d’oeuvres, are the perfect size for roasting, and are the ideal size to drop into soups just the way they are without cutting them up.

    Through the Food Bloggers of Canada association of which I am a member, an opportunity arose this fall to take little creamer potatoes produced by the Little Potato™ Company of Alberta and create an original recipe using the potatoes. Coming into the Christmas party season, I immediately saw them as potential hors d’oeuvres.

    Stuffed Baked Fingerlings
    Stuffed Baked Fingerlings

    The Little Potato™ Company grew their first acre of tiny potatoes in 1996. A father and daughter team, Jacob Van der Schaaf and Angela Santiago, planted, weeded, and harvested the first crop by hand. It was a success and soon Angela began marketing the potatoes at Farmers Markets and to restaurants.

    The tiny potatoes grew in such popularity that production expanded and, today, the Little Potato™ Company grows six varieties of the little gems which are available at grocery stores across North America, including at the local Co-op store in my hometown of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The produce manager at the Co-op Food Market on Walker Drive tells me that these potatoes have quite a loyal following of consumers on the Island.  To learn more about The Little Potato™ Company and their various varieties of miniature potatoes, visit their website.  You can also find them on Facebook.

    The Little Potato Company varieties of potatoes available at the Co-op Food Market on Walker Avenue in Charlottetown, PEI
    The Little Potato Company varieties of potatoes available at the Co-op Food Market on Walker Avenue in Charlottetown, PEI

    Two bags each of Little Potato™ Company yellow fingerlings and Something Blue® mini potatoes arrived via UPS at my door one evening. I was thrilled that the oblong fingerlings were sent since they are the perfect shape and size to use when making miniature stuffed baked potato hors d’oeuvres. The recipe I have created especially for these little creamer potatoes can also be used to stuff mini round potatoes as well but the shape of the fingerlings really lends them to being stuffed attractively.

    I have used some fine PEI products in the tasty filling I created for the potatoes. The sausage came from KJL Meats in Charlottetown, the herb and garlic mild gouda cheese from Cheeselady’s Gouda now being produced in New Glasgow, and a brand new product on the market – Aldanel™ “Tomato Celebration” tomato sauce made in Charlottetown.

    Any flavour of sausage can be used in this recipe. My choice is sweet Italian but, if you like hot flavours, then chipotle would be a good option. The sausage needs to be removed from its casing and it is important to break up the sausage meat really well as it is being scramble-fried because it is going to be piped through a pastry bag. Also, its purpose is to add flavour to the filling and a large chunk of sausage is not desirable in a tiny hors d’oeuvre.

    It’s also necessary to extract as much fat as possible from the cooked sausage as the fat can drip through the potato skin and make a messy hors d’oeuvre. To remove the fat, let the cooked sausage drain in a colander for about 15 minutes then wrap the meat in paper towel, repeating the process a couple of times, if necessary, to remove the excess fat.

    The little fingerlings take about 15 minutes to cook. Once they are removed from the boiling water, just barely let them cool enough that they can be handled. Slice each fingerling in half, horizontally. Then, using a melon baller, remove the potato pulp, leaving about a 1/16th inch thick wall of potato in each half to give the potato shape. Transfer the potato pulp to a potato ricer.

    Press the potato through the ricer into a small bowl. The potatoes can be mashed instead of ricing but the potato ricer gives a smoother, finer texture that is completely lump-free.

    Add the remainder of the ingredients to the riced potato and mix well.

    The filling can be transferred to the potatoes with a spoon but a piping bag and Wilton tip 8B makes the job quicker, easier, and will give a neater presentation.

    Add a sprinkle of paprika, and pop these little hors d’oeuvres into a 375ºF oven for about 12 minutes. Use either a parchment-lined baking sheet to bake the stuffed potatoes or, if you have a baguette pan, it works really well, too.

    Garnish, if desired, with a sliver of green onion or chopped chives, then serve to the delight of guests at your next party.

    Stuffed Baked Fingerling Hors d'oeuvre made with potatoes from The Little Potato Company
    Baked Stuffed Fingerling Hors d’oeuvres made with potatoes from The Little Potato Company

    Baked Stuffed Fingerlings

    Ingredients:

    1 – 4 oz sausage (e.g., Sweet Italian, Sun-dried Tomato, Chipotle, etc.)
    1 tsp olive oil

    12 Little Potato Company fingerling creamer potatoes
    ½ tsp liquid chicken bouillon
    ½ tsp minced garlic
    1 green onion, finely chopped
    1½ tsp truffle aioli
    2 tbsp sour cream
    3 tbsp Cheeselady’s Herb & Garlic Mild Gouda cheese, finely grated
    1½ tsp Aldanel™ “Tomato Celebration” tomato sauce
    ⅛ tsp basil
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    Paprika
    Slivers of green onion tops or chopped chives for garnish

    Method:

    Heat olive oil in small frypan. Remove sausage from casing and crumble. Add to hot oil. With the end of a flat, heat-resistant lifter or spatula, continue to break up the sausage as it cooks. Scramble fry until sausage is brown, approximately 7-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a colander and let fat drip out for about 10-15 minutes. Then, roll the cooked sausage in paper towel to remove any remaining fat. Set aside.

    Cook fingerling potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 375ºF.

    As soon as the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, cut each in half, horizontally. Using a melon baller, remove the potato pulp from the skin, leaving about a 1/16th inch thick wall of potato in each half to give the potato shape. Transfer potato pulp to a potato ricer. Press pulp through ricer into small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated.

    Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with Wilton tip 8B. Pipe filling into each fingerling half. Sprinkle with paprika. Place mini stuffed potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in the cradle of a baguette pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Remove and garnish with a sliver of green onion or chopped chives. Serve hot.

    Yield: 24 hors d’oeuvres

    Disclosure:  The potatoes used in this recipe were provided to me, free of charge, from The Little Potato™ Company for the purposes of sampling them and creating a recipe with them.  The recipe for Baked Stuffed Fingerlings in this posting is an original recipe developed by me in my home kitchen.

    ——————————–

    Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

    Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
    Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
    Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
    Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

    Continue reading →I love miniature potatoes. They’re fun to work with. They make wonderful hors d’oeuvres, are the perfect size for roasting, and are the ideal size to drop into soups just the way they are without cutting them up. Through the Food Bloggers of Canada association of which I am a member, an opportunity arose this fall ...

Beverages

  • Strawberry Slush July 11, 2016
    Slush
    Strawberry Slush

    Strawberry Slush is my newest summer drink creation and it has quickly become a favorite!  Strawberries take center stage in this beverage but there is also a mix of other fruit juices that include rhubarb, pineapple, lemon and orange juices, and some pink lemonade.  The addition of Epicure’s “Summer Berry” sweet dip mix deepens the flavor and adds some interesting speckles throughout the slush. Because I know Epicure products may not be available everywhere, I have included this as an optional addition as the slush will still taste quite fine without it. My recipe calls for gin and any brand may be used.

    Slush
    Strawberry Slush

    Slush takes 2-3 days to reach the desired consistency. Be sure to store it in the coldest part of the deep freeze and stir it once or twice each day while it is freezing.  This helps to ensure that all the ingredients continue to be mixed. For other tips on making slush, visit my posting on making Rhubarb Slush by clicking here.

    Strawberry and Rhubarb Slush
    Strawberry Slush

    Mix this slush with your favorite clear soda. There is no set ratio of how much slush to serve to the amount of soda. I use the slush to fill between 1/3 and 1/2 the glass and top up the remainder with soda. I prefer lemon-lime soda with this slush but seven up or gingerale also work well, too.

    This is a lovely, colorful, and refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon.

    Slush
    My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Strawberry Slush

    (Printable recipe follows at end of post)

    Strawberry Slush

    Ingredients:

    1½ cups water
    1½ cups granulated sugar

    7 oz rhubarb, chopped into ½” pieces
    Scant ½ cup water

    1/3 cup pineapple juice
    ¼ cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice (1 small lemon)
    5 oz (apx. ½ can) frozen pink lemonade, slightly thawed
    5 oz (apx. ½ can) frozen orange juice, slightly thawed
    10 oz strawberries puréed to equal approximately 1 1/3 cups purée, mixed with 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1½ tbsp Epicure’s “Summer Berry” sweet dip mix (optional)
    1½ cups gin

    Strawberries, lemon slices, or pineapple chunks for garnish, if desired

    Method:

    In medium-sized saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.

    In separate medium-sized saucepan, combine the rhubarb and scant half cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until rhubarb has broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.

    Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup.  Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible.  This should yield approximately ½ cup of rhubarb juice. Chill.  Discard rhubarb pulp.

    Into a freezable container that can hold at least 8 cups of liquid, pour in the simple syrup, chilled rhubarb juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, pink lemonade, orange juice, strawberry purée, Epicure Summer Berry mix, and gin.  Stir well.

    Place airtight cover on container.  Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process.  Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.

    To serve, fill glass between one-third and one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda such as lemon-lime.  Garnish with a lemon wheel, strawberry, or pineapple chunk and serve immediately.
    Keep remainder of slush stored in the coldest part of the freezer so it will maintain its consistency.

    Yield:
      Apx. 7½ cups of slush

    Strawberry and Rhubarb Slush
    Strawberry Slush

    Strawberry Slush

    Yield: Apx. 7 1/2 cups

    A delightfully refreshing drink made with strawberries, rhubarb, fruit juices, and gin.

    Ingredients

    • 1½ cups water
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • 7 oz rhubarb, chopped into ½” pieces
    • Scant ½ cup water
    • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
    • ¼ cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice (1 small lemon)
    • 5 oz (apx. ½ can) frozen pink lemonade, slightly thawed
    • 5 oz (apx. ½ can) frozen orange juice, slightly thawed
    • 10 oz strawberries puréed to equal approximately 1 1/3 cups purée, mixed with 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1½ tbsp Epicure’s “Summer Berry” sweet dip mix (optional)
    • 1½ cups gin
    • Strawberries, lemon slices, or pineapple chunks for garnish, if desired

    Instructions

    1. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.
    2. In separate medium-sized saucepan, combine the rhubarb and scant half cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until rhubarb has broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.
    3. Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup. Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible. This should yield approximately ½ cup of rhubarb juice. Chill. Discard rhubarb pulp.
    4. Into a freezable container that can hold at least 8 cups of liquid, pour in the simple syrup, chilled rhubarb juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, pink lemonade, orange juice, strawberry purée, Epicure Summer Berry mix, and gin. Stir well.
    5. Place airtight cover on container. Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process. Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.
    6. To serve, fill glass between one-third and one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda such as lemon-lime. Garnish with a lemon wheel, strawberry, or pineapple chunk and serve immediately.
    7. Keep remainder of slush stored in the coldest part of the freezer so it will maintain its consistency.
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    http://myislandbistrokitchen.com/2016/07/11/strawberry-slush/

    Slush
    Strawberry Slush

     

    Continue reading →Strawberry Slush is my newest summer drink creation and it has quickly become a favorite!  Strawberries take center stage in this beverage but there is also a mix of other fruit juices that include rhubarb, pineapple, lemon and orange juices, and some pink lemonade.  The addition of Epicure’s “Summer Berry” sweet dip mix deepens the ...
  • Sensational Strawberry Lemonade Recipe August 6, 2018
    Lemonade
    Strawberry Lemonade

    One of the wonderful things about lemonade is that it can be served simply as is or it can be flavoured with fruits in season such as I am doing today by making strawberry lemonade. How fabulous is that natural red color in the lemonade!

    Lemonade
    Strawberry Lemonade

    This strawberry lemonade is great on a scorching hot day when you need to stay hydrated and crave a thirst-quenching drink.  The lemonade starts with the making of a simple syrup of water and sugar.  This gives the drink that lovely silky smooth texture which could not be gotten by simply combining sugar with cold water – no matter how much you stir it, sugar and cold water will never fully mix and you will be left with a grainy texture drink.  By boiling the sugar and water to make the syrup, you are sure the sugar is fully dissolved.  I find using super-fine sugar (which you may know as caster sugar, instant dissolving sugar, or berry sugar) is the best to use to make simple syrup although regular granulated sugar may also be used. Typically, a simple syrup for drinks is made with a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water.  However, I find that that is too much sugar for my taste in this lemonade so I use 1 cup of the superfine sugar to 1 1/2 cups water.

    For this recipe, purée the strawberries, add some water to them along with freshly squeezed lemon juice and the simple syrup.  In order to get rid of the hundreds of little tiny strawberry seeds and to have a clear drink, the mixture will need to be strained through a very fine wire mesh sieve.  You’ll be amazed at how many seeds strawberries have!

    Lemonade
    Strawberry Lemonade over Ice

    This is a delightful summertime drink served over ice and it has an absolutely fabulously rich colour that is all natural thanks to the ruby red strawberries.  To add a bit of fizz to the drink, mix half a glass with the lemonade and half with your favorite clear soda (lemon-lime is especially good). Add ice and garnish with a fresh strawberry and/or lemon wedge or wheel.

    Lemonade
    Strawberry Lemonade

    This is often a drink I make to take along on picnic outings. It’s handy to have frozen because, as it thaws on the way to the picnic location, it also helps to keep the food cold.

    [Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

    Strawberry Lemonade

    Ingredients:

    1½ cup water
    1 cup super-fine sugar (aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar)

    1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind

    3 cups strawberries, sliced
    2 cups water
    Pinch salt

    Method:

    For the simple syrup:  In small saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 water and 1 cup sugar together.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours) to allow the flavors to blend.  Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind.  Discard the pulp and rind.

    For the strawberry purée:  Place strawberries in large blender.  Purée until smooth.  Slowly add in the 2 cups of water, continuing to pulse/purée until mixture is smooth.  Slowly add the strained simple syrup with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Purée until all ingredients are well combined.  Strain mixture through very fine wire mesh sieve to remove the strawberry seeds.

    To assemble:  Transfer lemonade to a large jug or bottle.  Chill.

    To serve:  Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a tall glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade.  Garnish with a fresh strawberry or lemon wheel, if desired.  Another serving suggestion includes filling a glass half full of strawberry lemonade and topping with clear soda such as lemon-lime.

    Lemonade will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well.

    Yield:  Approximately 6½ – 7 cups

    Strawberry Lemonade

    This “summer in a bottle” lemonade makes the most of fresh in-season strawberries and is a colorful, refreshing, and thirst-quenching summertime sipper when served over ice.
    Course Drinks
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Lemonade
    Servings 8
    Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

    Ingredients

    • cup water
    • 1 cup super-fine sugar (aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
    • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind
    • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
    • 2 cups water
    • Pinch salt

    Instructions

    1. For the simple syrup: In small saucepan, combine the 1½ water and 1 cup sugar together. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours) to allow the flavors to blend. Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind. Discard the pulp and rind.
    2. For the strawberry purée: Place strawberries in large blender. Purée until smooth. Slowly add in the 2 cups of water, continuing to pulse/purée until mixture is smooth. Slowly add the strained simple syrup with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Purée until all ingredients are well combined. Strain mixture through very fine wire mesh sieve to remove the strawberry seeds.
    3. To assemble: Transfer lemonade to a large jug or bottle. Chill.
    4. To serve: Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a tall glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade. Garnish with a fresh strawberry or lemon wheel, if desired. Another serving suggestion includes filling a glass half full of strawberry lemonade and topping with clear soda such as lemon-lime.
    5. Lemonade will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well. Yields approximately 6 1/2 - 7 cups lemonade.

     

    For other great Lemonade recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the following links:

    Lemonade
    Blueberry Lemonade
    Rhubarb Lemonade

    Pin Me To Pinterest!

    Lemonade
    Strawberry Lemonade
    Continue reading →One of the wonderful things about lemonade is that it can be served simply as is or it can be flavoured with fruits in season such as I am doing today by making strawberry lemonade. How fabulous is that natural red color in the lemonade! This strawberry lemonade is great on a scorching hot day when ...
  • Sangria on the Verandah on a Saturday Afternoon in July July 14, 2012
    “Island Sangria”

    It has been some years since I have had sangria.  The last time would have been in London, England.  I have never made sangria before but the gift of a couple of bottles of a friend’s homemade Pinot Noir prompted me to make it and it has now become my 2012 signature summer drink.

    Sangria is really nothing more than a wine punch.  It is typically associated with Spain, Portugal, and Mexico but is also popular now in other areas of the world as well, particularly as a summer time drink.  While it can be made with white or rosé wines, classic sangria is made with red wine.  A small amount of brandy is also a common ingredient.  Chopped fruit — often citrus —  is also a usual ingredient and what you add to it basically consists of what you have available.  Lemonade or orange juice can also be added and the addition of a sweetener, such as sugar or honey, is included in the list of ingredients, too.  These ingredients get mixed together and left for an hour or two to allow the flavours to blend.  Sangria can be drunk without the addition of a carbonated soda but adding lemon-lime soda, Sprite, 7-Up, or gingerale, certainly adds fizz and spark to the drink and I think makes it more refreshing.

    Sangria – A Refreshing Summer Drink

    Mix the sangria in a lovely glass pitcher so that you can enjoy the deep burgundy-red color of the drink as well as the mixture of fruits floating in the punch.  I like to serve the sangria over ice in tall pedestal flutes.

    Glass of Island Sangria

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    Island Sangria

    By Barbara99 Published: July 14, 2012

    • Yield: 4 Servings
    • Prep: 1 hr 30 mins

    A deep, rich burgundy-red wine punch

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Chop fruit. Set aside.
    2. Pour wine, orange juice, and brandy in to a glass pitcher. Add sugar and salt. Stir.
    3. Add chopped fruit. Let stand for at least an hour at room temperature to let flavours blend. Then, refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to cool. Add the carbonated soda at time of serving. Serve over ice in pedestal flutes. Enjoy!

    WordPress Recipe Plugin by ReciPress

    Continue reading →It has been some years since I have had sangria.  The last time would have been in London, England.  I have never made sangria before but the gift of a couple of bottles of a friend’s homemade Pinot Noir prompted me to make it and it has now become my 2012 signature summer drink. Sangria is ...
  • Rhubarb Slush July 14, 2015
    Rhubarb Slush
    Rhubarb Slush

    I love to develop summertime drinks! This recipe uses rhubarb as the base for this tasty slush drink. The addition of a mix of freshly squeezed citrus juices, sweet pineapple juice, and frozen lemonade concentrate make this a flavorful beverage. This is an alcoholic beverage as it uses gin. There is no fixed ratio of slush to soda but I generally fill a tall glass about a third to half full of the slush and top it up with a clear soda such as lemon-lime. Serve with a lemon wheel or wedge and it’s a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

    Rhubarb Slush
    Rhubarb Slush

    I do have some tips to share for making this slush:

    • Use the the brightest red rhubarb stalks you can find as this will give the slush color.
    • Use freshly-squeezed citrus fruit juices, not bottled (fresh is always best!).
    • Strain the citrus juices twice to remove all traces of seeds and fruit pulp.
    • Chill the rhubarb and citrus juices, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and gin. The colder the ingredients are to start with, the quicker and better the freezing process for the slush.
    • Plan ahead to make this slush as it will take at least 2-3 days for it to reach the optimal “slush” stage.
    • Stir the slush 2-3 times during the freezing process to ensure ingredients remain mixed during the freezing stage. It will not freeze rock hard solid as it’s not meant to.
    • For best results, store the slush in a tightly sealed container deep in a deep freeze (as opposed to a refrigerator’s freezer compartment). Otherwise, the slush may remain in a fairly liquid form and not freeze, and stay frozen, at the slush stage.
    • Once mixed with the cold soda, serve immediately as the slush melts quickly.

    This is a pale, pastel drink that is packed full of flavour. Sometimes, I add some lemon balm leaves and edible pansies to add color and interest to the drink. I think this would make a lovely bridal shower signature drink.

    Rhubarb Slush
    Rhubarb Slush
    Rhubarb Slush

    Ingredients:

    1½ cups water
    1½ cups sugar

    3 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½” chunks (enough to yield 1 cup rhubarb juice)
    ⅔ cup water

    Juice of ½ pink grapefruit
    Juice of 1 orange
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Juice of 1 lime
    1¼ cups pineapple juice, chilled
    ½ can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed

    1 – 375 ml bottle gin (I used Beefeater London Dry Gin), chilled

    Method:

    Assemble ingredients.

    Ingredients for Rhubarb Slush
    Ingredients for Rhubarb Slush

    In medium-sized saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1½ cup sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.

    Making the Simple Syrup
    Making the Simple Syrup

    In medium-sized saucepan combine the rhubarb and 2/3 cup water.

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes until rhubarb is broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.

    Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup.

    Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible. This should yield 1 cup of rhubarb juice. Chill. Discard rhubarb pulp.

    Prepare the citrus juices and strain twice to remove any seeds and pulp. Chill.

    Squeezing Citrus Juices
    Squeezing Citrus Juices
    Straining the Citrus Juices
    Straining the Citrus Juices

    Into a freezable container that can hold at least 7 cups of liquid, pour the cooled simple syrup of sugar and water.

    Add the chilled rhubarb, citrus, and pineapple juices along with the semi-thawed lemonade concentrate and the gin. Stir well.

    Place airtight cover on container. Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process. Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.

    Slush Starting to Freeze
    Slush Starting to Freeze
    Slush Freezing
    Slush Freezing

    To serve, fill a tall glass about a third to one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda, such as lemon-lime.

    DSC_0297-001

    Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge and serve immediately. Decorate with a sprig of lemon balm and/or an edible pansy, if desired.

    Yield: Apx. 7+ cups

    Note: There may be some slight variations in colors between different photos in this posting due to different lighting used.

    Rhubarb Slush

    Yield: Apx. 7+ cups

    A pastel-colored refreshing drink using rhubarb

    Ingredients

    • 1½ cups water
    • 1½ cups sugar
    • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½” chunks (enough to yield 1 cup rhubarb juice)
    • 2/3 cup water
    • Juice of ½ pink grapefruit
    • Juice of 1 orange
    • Juice of l lemon
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1¼ cups pineapple juice, chilled
    • ½ can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed
    • 1 – 375 ml bottle gin (I used Beefeater London Dry Gin), chilled

    Instructions

    1. Assemble ingredients.
    2. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1½ cup sugar to make a traditional simple syrup. Over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and boil gently for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.
    3. In medium-sized saucepan combine the rhubarb and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium low and cook gently for about 10 minutes until rhubarb is broken down into a soft sauce-like consistency.
    4. Pour rhubarb and its liquid into a fine sieve/strainer placed over a bowl or large measuring cup. Let juice drip from rhubarb, periodically pressing the rhubarb pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much juice as possible. This should yield 1 cup of rhubarb juice. Chill. Discard rhubarb pulp.
    5. Prepare the citrus juices and strain twice to remove any seeds and pulp. Chill.
    6. Into a freezable container that can hold at least 7 cups of liquid, pour the simple syrup of sugar and water. Add the chilled rhubarb, citrus, and pineapple juices along with the semi-thawed lemonade concentrate and the gin. Stir well.
    7. Place airtight cover on container. Freeze in the coldest part of the deep freeze, stirring 2-3 times during the freezing process. Be patient as this will take 2-3 days for it to reach the desired slush consistency.
    8. To serve, fill a tall glass about one-third to one-half full of slush and top up with a clear soda, such as lemon-lime. Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge and serve immediately.
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    Rhubarb Slush
    Rhubarb Slush
    Continue reading →I love to develop summertime drinks! This recipe uses rhubarb as the base for this tasty slush drink. The addition of a mix of freshly squeezed citrus juices, sweet pineapple juice, and frozen lemonade concentrate make this a flavorful beverage. This is an alcoholic beverage as it uses gin. There is no fixed ratio of ...
  • Rhubarb Lemonade July 22, 2018

     

    Rhubarb Lemonade
    Rhubarb Lemonade

    Lemonade is one of the most common of summer drinks.  Served cold, it’s very refreshing on a hot summer’s day.  Sometimes, I like to flavour my lemonades as I am doing today with rhubarb in the form of rhubarb lemonade.

    Rhubarb
    Rhubarb Patch

    We have a good-sized patch of rhubarb so I make good use of it in many ways.  I will often cook up some excess rhubarb near the end of rhubarb season, strain it, and freeze the juice for later use or, sometimes, I will make up an entire batch or two of rhubarb lemonade and freeze that to have at the ready for sipping on those sweltering hot summer days.

    Lemonade
    Rhubarb Lemonade

    To make the rhubarb lemonade, I start with making a simple syrup of super-fine sugar (which you may know as caster sugar or instant-dissolving sugar) and water.  The typical ratio for simple syrup is traditionally 1:1 sugar to water.  However, with the super-fine sugar, I find that ratio is a bit too sweet so I back up the sugar content to 3/4 cup.  Using the super-fine sugar (as opposed to granulated sugar) results in a lovely, silky smooth syrup.  If I was to simply try and mix sugar with cold water, it would not dissolve properly and would leave a gritty, unpleasant texture to the drink.  In a previous post for Blueberry Lemonade, I give more details on this process and you can access that post by clicking here.

    Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, simply add the freshly-squeezed lemon juice and some lemon rind to the syrup and let it sit a bit for the flavour to develop, then strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lemon pulp, seeds, and the rind.

    To make the rhubarb juice, cook rhubarb with water until the rhubarb is super soft and mushy.  This will take about 8-10 minutes of cooking.  It’s always hard to judge exactly how much rhubarb will be needed to generate the 4 cups of juice needed for this rhubarb lemonade but, generally speaking, 3 pounds of rhubarb and 3 cups of water should yield the 4 cups of juice.  If it falls short by  one-half cup or less, simply add up to one-half cup of water.  If it is more than a half cup short, you will need to cook some more rhubarb in order to keep the rhubarb flavour sufficiently strong enough.  Rhubarb juiciness varies depending on the variety and growing conditions, as well as its age, so that’s why it’s not an exact science as to exactly how much rhubarb to cook. Also, if the rhubarb is cooked too fast, too much water will evaporate and it will result in less juice.

    To extract the juice from the cooked rhubarb, fit a fine mesh sieve with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a deep heat-proof bowl.  Transfer the rhubarb to the sieve and let the juice drip through on its own.  Near the end of the dripping, if the amount does not quite equal 4 cups, you may gently – very gently- press the back of a large spoon against the rhubarb mash to squeeze a bit more juice.  Don’t press the mash too hard because some impurities from the mash will slip through the loose weave cheesecloth and the lemonade will not be clear.

    The color in the rhubarb lemonade photos is natural.  There is no food coloring used.

    Rhubarb Juice
    Rhubarb Juice

    The glorious deep coral-red color comes from using the extracted juice from bright red rhubarb stalks so use the deepest red stalks you can find.

    Rhubarb Stalks
    Rhubarb Stalks

    To make the lemonade, simply combine the strained lemon syrup with the rhubarb juice. Mix and chill then serve over ice in pretty glasses.

    Rhubarb Lemonade
    Rhubarb Lemonade

    This lemonade freezes well but it can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you wish, you can also add some clear soda, such as grapefruit and lemon, to this lemonade for a fizzy drink. This rhubarb lemonade is a great crowd pleaser and is a lovely addition to summer picnics and gatherings.

    Rhubarb Lemonade
    Rhubarb Lemonade

     

     [Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

    Rhubarb Lemonade

    Ingredients:

    1 cup water
    ¾ cup super-fine sugar (aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar)

    ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 – 2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind

    3 lbs rhubarb, chopped into 1” chunks
    3 cups water

    Method:

    For the simple syrup:  In small saucepan, combine the water and sugar together.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours) to allow the flavors to blend.  Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind.  Discard the pulp and rind.

    For the rhubarb juice:  Combine the rhubarb and water in a large pot.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until rhubarb is completely  softened.  Place a large sieve over a big heatproof bowl.  Line the sieve with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth.  Remove the rhubarb from the heat and pour into the sieve, letting the juice drip through.  It may be necessary to use the back of a large spoon to very gently press the rhubarb pulp in order to extract all the juice out of the rhubarb.  This should yield about 4 cups, depending on the age and juiciness of the rhubarb.  If it is slightly less than 4 cups, up to ½ cup water may be added to bring the amount to 4 cups.

    To assemble:  In large jug or bottle, combine 4 cups rhubarb juice with the simple syrup and lemon juice mixture. Stir well.  Chill.

    To serve:  Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade.  Garnish with a lemon wheel, if desired.

    Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well.

    Yield:  Approximately 6 cups

    Rhubarb Lemonade

    With a perfect blend of sweet and tart notes, rhubarb and lemon combine to form Rhubarb Lemonade, a refreshing and thirst-quenching summertime sipper.
    Course Drinks
    Cuisine American
    Servings 6
    Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup water
    • ¾ cup super-fine sugar aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar
    • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 – 2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind
    • 3 lbs rhubarb chopped into 1” chunks
    • 3 cups water

    Instructions

    For the simple syrup: In small saucepan, combine the water and sugar together. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours) to allow the flavors to blend. Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind. Discard the pulp and rind.

    For the rhubarb juice: Combine the rhubarb and water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until rhubarb is completely softened. Place a large sieve over a big heatproof bowl. Line the sieve with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth. Remove the rhubarb from the heat and pour into the sieve, letting the juice drip through. It may be necessary to use the back of a large spoon to very gently press the rhubarb pulp in order to extract all the juice out of the rhubarb. This should yield about 4 cups, depending on the age and juiciness of the rhubarb. If it is slightly less than 4 cups, up to ½ cup water may be added to bring the amount to 4 cups.

    To assemble: In large jug or bottle, combine 4 cups rhubarb juice with the simple syrup and lemon juice mixture. Stir well. Chill.

    To serve: Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade. Garnish with a lemon wheel, if desired.

    Recipe Notes

    Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well.

     

    For other great lemonade recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

    Lemonade
    Blueberry Lemonade

    Pin Me To Pinterest!

     

    Rhubarb Lemonade

    Rhubarb Lemonade

    Continue reading →  Lemonade is one of the most common of summer drinks.  Served cold, it’s very refreshing on a hot summer’s day.  Sometimes, I like to flavour my lemonades as I am doing today with rhubarb in the form of rhubarb lemonade. We have a good-sized patch of rhubarb so I make good use of it in many ...
  • Rhubarb Cordial June 24, 2013

    Oh, those lazy, hazy hot days of summer!   They sure can work up a thirst.  One of the most refreshing summertime drinks in my repertoire is Rhubarb Cordial.  Not only is it refreshing, but it is tasty and a very showy drink with its bright orange/red color.

    Rhubarb Cordial
    Rhubarb Cordial

    Making Rhubarb Cordial is also another great way to use up rhubarb from the garden but make sure you pick the brightest red stalks as that is what gives this drink its superb color.