Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Spelt Risotto


The Food Network is always on in our house and often times I catch an interesting recipe without even sitting down to watch a show.  That is how I heard about this Spelt Risotto recipe.  Then yesterday, by coincidence I was at Organza Market because I was meeting someone for lunch at the adjoining Dandelion Eatery.  I picked up a bag of spelt in order to experiment a bit.  What I found most intriguing was the fact that spelt being a grain similar to wheat, does not require the same amount of cooking time as a rice risotto.eeandrey090800093

 So here goes:

 1 cup spelt
8 cups water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
butter, to taste
1/2 cup chopped shallots (divided in two)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup white wine (+ 2 tablespoons)
2 cups chicken broth
freshly grated Parmesan cheese 3859848_s

Soak the spelt in cold water 20 minutes. Drain; rinse. Bring 8 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup oil and the spelt. Simmer 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse.

Clean and slice mushrooms while spelt is soaking. Heat up a small amount of oil in a medium sized skillet, put in 1/2 of the finely diced shallots. Cook for about a minute, then put in mushrooms. After the mushrooms have started to soften, put in a splash of the white wine. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms and shallots start to get sticky and golden. 

Put a little bit of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; saute 1 minute. Add spelt and wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth 1 cup at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed each time. After the third helping of liquid (1 wine and 2 chicken broths), stir in the mushroom mixture. Let the liquid continue to evaporate. This should take about 15 minutes or so. Taste the risotto to make sure spelt is soft. Stir in cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Kath’s quote: “Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.”-Thomas Carlyle

Sister #3 -Isla Mujeres (Part 5-Loncherias)

Chicken Sand
 “While not much can beat a Montechego cheese sandwich with lime mayo on fresh buns from the Super Mercado, (we added left over chicken and avocado to this one) there are plenty of Isla restaurants that serve lunch to temp you.
Tacos Pastor
“Loncherias” offer up everything from tacos to rotisserie chickens.     
Homebrew-hope you don't mind that I snagged this photo from an 07 Isla Story

Homebrew-hope you don't mind that I snagged this photo from an 07 Isla Story

A highlight this year was a visit to Poc Chuc for Chiles Relleno and Pollo Mole.

Kath’s quote: “A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and centre of her soul. Not a chicken or turkey or duck in the barn-yard but looked grave when they saw her approaching, and seemed evidently to be reflecting on their latter end; and certain it was that she was always meditating on trussing, stuffing and roasting, to a degree that was calculated to inspire terror in any reflecting fowl living.”-Harriet Beecher in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin


Shark Attack


One weekend while I was out of town, my son called to see if he and his wife could drop in for a Saturday night dinner.  My husband was so thrilled that he started recipe searching and shopping right away.  He headed to Neptune Seafood  on Dufferin in the North End of Winnipeg where he met a Food Musings blog follower who works there.  She suggested that he try shark and personally sliced  it for him.  Macadamia_crusted_Shark

This is the recipe that he decided upon: Macadamia Encrusted Shark

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts, roughly chopped in a food processor
  • 2 pounds shark, cut into 4 (8 ounce) portions
  •  salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs, whites only
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Directions

    Lay the 4 pieces of shark on a clean work surface. Season each piece with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Using a brush, quickly spread a thin layer of the egg whites on top of the fish and then sprinkle over the chopped macadamia nuts. Press the nuts into the fish to secure. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large saute pan coated with the oil to medium heat. Place 2 pieces (or 4 if the pan is big enough) of the fish, macadamia side-down, in the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, until the macadamias are golden brown. Flip the fish and cook for another 3 minutes. Repeat the process with the 2 remaining pieces of fish. Place all 4 pieces of fish in a baking dish and cook in the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes.

    Kath’s quote: “Fish, to taste right, must swim three times – in water, in butter, and in wine.”  ~Polish Proverb 
    JMCAY2CC8HCAIWW9CQCAJG5HRFCAULURCJCA1XL4W9CAEFTT33CAFXYKTICAUIIKIECAQFQR3FCAD7I1Z1CASRTM5UCAF1BAW5CAUQ328ECAQDWQRXCAXOTP9ECA59HZKVCAV2HH7JCA4V0SFSCAECAHWTPost Script: My  little Grandma and my sweet Dad were both born in Poland and my heart is grieving with the people of Poland at this time.

    It is Official


    On Saturday I began my annual quest to see which new restaurant in our cottage area has the best hand cut French fries.  We headed to Grand Beach, which at this time of year is a short drive down a forest road.  We had lunch at the newly purchased Stationhouse Restaurant.  Alas, theirs did not pass the taste test. 


    On the way back to our beach, we stopped at The Spirit Rock Cafe.  Now this is a place to love!  It is filled with exotic jewelry and gift-ware.  The prices are very reasonable and everything is just my taste.  The aromas from the open kitchen of coffee and lunch preparations were divine and I highly recommend it, even though we did not taste anything.  The desserts in the display case and the clean plates going back to the kitchen were testament enough.  The cafe is owned and operated by a couple who’s two adorable children are part of the cozy atmosphere.

    A long walk and a sit in the sun, filled the rest of the time until we got the barbecue out for dinner.  D grilled succulent strip loins while I was inside steaming baby potatoes & asparagus and sauteing mushrooms in garlic and red wine.


    This morning D was the chef for brunch, frying up the left over potatoes and serving them with Italian sausage, red pepper and cheddar omelets.  Toast from the local bakery completed the meal and we pulled our chairs into the sun and ate out on the front deck.P4110086

    Its spring on the prairies!

    Kath’s quote: “That outdoor grilling is a manly pursuit has long been beyond question. If this wasn’t firmly understood, you’d never get grown men to put on those aprons with pictures of dancing wienies.”-William Geist 14-Lovely-Hearts-for-St-Valentines-day-sandwich

    Easy Breezy Chicken recipes


    There was a time in our home when hamburger was always in the freezer and therefore always on hand for last minute dinner options.  We  are  less inclined towards ground beef these days but always seem to have chicken breasts either in the freezer or left over in the fridge.

    Here are some suggestions with what you likely already have in your fridge or cupboard:

    Baked “Nacho” Chicken

    Place 4 small chicken breasts on a foil lined cookie sheet, top each with a smear of salsa (1/2 c in total)-substitute with spaghetti sauce if you’re in a pinch.  Bake 15 mins. at 400 degrees.   Remove and top with ½ c crushed taco chips and ½ c shredded spicy cheese (any jalapeño or pepper variety).  Return to oven for another 5 mins or until cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream if desired and serve with a Mexican style rice.

    Sesame Chicken Toss

    Use leftover chicken cut into strips or cook 2 breasts and cut into strips.  Cook 300 g of spaghetti in a large saucepan until el dente adding 1 c of snow peas (fresh or frozen) to the water in the last 30 seconds (frozen green beans will also work).  Drain and retain ¼ c of the water.  Mix 2 T of peanut butter, 1 T of soya sauce and ¼ c of a sesame dressing (or any other Asian style dressing); gradually stir in the reserved water.  Toss together the above ingredients with 1 sautéed red pepper cut into strips, 1 c of sautéed slivered carrots and 3 green onions cut on the diagonal.  Top with 2 T chopped peanuts.

    Kath’s quote:  ‘Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken of the Sea.’ “-Jessica Simpson


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