Posts Tagged ‘summer recipes’

Hot Food Trends at Herbfest

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Herbfest is an Ottawa Valley tradition combining a large marketplace of over 100 vendors and artisans, informative lectures, a Chef Cook-off, live entertainment, and much more with time to relax and meander through the beautiful landscaped herbal garden beds.

Savvy Company will be out in full force at this year’s Herbfest.  Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, will be on-hand to moderate the Chef cook-off  while Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons, will do a presentation on Summer Cheese Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese. Don’t miss this fun day out for the whole family!

While you wander along the wild herb walk, taking in the garden tour and maybe even catching a glimpse of garden fairies you can also pick up some great new recipes from Executive Chef Rehaad A. Ali.  He is cooking up a storm at Saffron & Chives Creative Catering & is also partner of FUZE Productions, an Events Food and Venue company 613.858.9250

Rehaad gives the ultimate food experience to the client. He constantly follows the hot food trends and is proud to create some of his own… adding to the Ottawa dining scene.  Rehaad was trained by some of Ottawa’s top chefs—such as the Ottawa Westin Hotel’s executive chef, Philippe Whetell (formerly of La Baccara) and the Ottawa Crowne Plaza’s executive chef, Willy Wetcher.

Here are some of Chef Rehaad’s mouth-watering recipes…

Stuffed Ground Bison Crocchetta (Meatball)


10 oz ground bison to serve 5 persons
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 kg vidalia onion fine diced and cooked on low heat until carmelized
2 cloves chopped garlic
2.5 oz chopped cooked pancetta choppped coarsely
2.5 oz shredded Oka
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to fry


Season bison with salt and pepper, add carmelized vidalia and fresh thyme, mix and set aside

Equally divide bison into 2 oz balls and proceed to flaten each balls, add Oka and pancetta to the centre of meat. bring up edges to form a ball. On medium heat on, use a heavy deep pan, fry croccohettas until brown, about 4 mins, should be nicely cooked at 160 0 F, cover and keep warm at 140 0 F


Something special featuring this year’s “Herb of the Year”…the Elder

Elderberry Chipotle Maple Compote


5 tbsp Elderberry preserve or jam
1 tbsp chipotle chopped finely
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro


In a small bowl combine all ingredients and set aside.


Butternut Squash Mash with Coconut Oil and Chives


1 small butternut squash
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste


Peel and scoop out seeds from squash, cut into medium cubes. Heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add squash and sautée  for 5 mins and then cook covered until tender, about 20 mins.  Remove from heat and mash, add oil and season then chives, set aside and keep warm.


Red kale and Fennel Slaw


1 cup shredded kale
1 cup shredded fennel
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
sea salt to taste


In a medium bowl mix all ingredients and set aside.


Hodge Podge – a summertime favorite!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This is a family favourite in my house.  Both of my parents are from Nova Scotia and ask any Bluenosers about Hodge Podge and their reaction is usually – “yummy!” Loaded with any fresh veggies from the garden or picked up at the farmers market. Left overs (usually not much at my house!) are just good as the first time around.

It is important that the freshest veggies are used, so this is definitely a summer recipe. Use whatever you have on hand (that you would usually boil or steam) & tinker around by adding different vegetables and quantities … the bacon is a must!

Hodge Podge – Fresh Garden Vegetable Chowder

6 to 8 slices bacon – cooked until crispy
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 onions – roughly chopped

Any 4 to 6 of the following fresh vegetables:
12 small whole new potatoes – a mix of red & white are my favorite
1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
1 cup fresh green or yellow beans, trimmed and snapped
1 cup fresh peas – use either snow peas or shucked peas
1 cup of yellow or green zucchini – cubed
2 or 3 cobs of corn – boiled & kernels cut off
salt & fresh ground pepper – to taste
1/4 cup butter – cubed
½ cup  to 1 cup 2% milk (or if you like – cream!)
1/2 cup water


Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble and set aside.

Wipe the skillet with a paper towel leaving just enough bacon fat to lightly fry the onions. Reheat skillet on medium heat & stir in the chopped onion. Cook until the onion has softened. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring 3 or so cups of water to a boil.  Keep in mind that you want to boil the vegetables in an order where those that need the most time in the water are done first, then staged to those vegetables that need just a few minutes.  There is nothing worse than over boiled veggies! My suggestion is to begin with potatoes for 5-6 minutes, then add cauliflower until tender, then beans & carrots for 2 mins.  By the time you add zuchinni, peas & corn, the potatoes should be perfectly done!

Drain off all but 1 cup of the water (can pour into a bowl & use as vegetable stock for another recipe).  Return to low heat. Add onions.  Pour in enough milk to cover all of the vegetables in the pot. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch out that you do not boil the milk…just want to heat it through.

Add butter to melt & crumble in most of the bacon (set a handful of bacon aside). Stir gently.

Serve into large bowls & top with more bacon.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

This recipe begs for a full bodied white wine like a buttery oaked Chardonnay.  For something a bit lighter with more acidity, uncork a bottle of Chenin Blanc or Vouvray.  On the flip side – for fun – serve with a bottle of sparkling wine to toast in the best things of summer!