Farm Party at Murray’s

Like most companies, we try to celebrate the staff that work so hard at Sanagan’s by having a couple of parties a year. The summer party has evolved from having the staff of the small shop up to my cottage for a night (there was only six of us then), to throwing proper bashes at some of our favourite farmer’s places. For the second year in a row we held a great barbecue at Murray’s Farm, where we were graciously hosted by the man himself, Murray, and his awesome team of helpers. Among these helpers were celebrated chef and author Signe Langford and Jason Bangerter, chef of the Relais and Chateaux property Langdon Hall and an old mentor of mine. He was the chef of Auberge du Pommier during my stint there, and I’m lucky to still be an acquaintance of his. My staff were lucky to eat his delicious salads, as well as the sausages our charcutier Scott smoked the day before the party (and the porchetta I made was okay too).

Murray raises heritage breed laying hens, and his eggs are found at the best restaurants and food shops around town. He also raises older heritage breeds of pigs, and he is currently one of only a couple of farmers in Canada who have Saddlebacks free roaming around his yard. They are beautiful animals, and their meat is tender and juicy. The sausages and porchetta were obviously made from one of his hogs, so the meat was superb, and the salads and side dishes were all made with vegetables from his garden. The day was a true celebration of farming and food, and I feel honoured to call these people friends. My staff, who work tirelessly to bring these products to you, our customers, deserved every second of this relaxing day in the country.

Steve, our Prospector and Meat Hawker, took some great photos of this special farm tour that we wanted to share. Our customers commonly ask us how the animals lived before they came into the shop. I’m sure you will agree that these animals look like their having a pretty comfy life.

Back to School

It’s that time of year again. The nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and your kids are getting grumpy because they have to go back to school again! And you’re super relieved not to have to figure out what they’re going to do every day while you, like the rest of the adult world, have to work.

Now for some families, summer is a really awesome time. You may get to go away for a couple of weeks, or perhaps send your kid to camp to get some life experiences that they then want to share with you when they get home. And then there are families with children who are getting ready for post-secondary education. Most of these kids have jobs. Some work at my shop. And let’s face it, if you have a kid who is about to go back to university or college, chances are you’re worried about how they’re going to survive. And not the “school is so hard” kind of survival. I mean the “I hope they don’t starve” kind of survival.

And this is where we come in.

This year, Sanagan’s is going to help you make sure your kid can at least have good, healthy food available to them. We’re doing a special “BACK TO SCHOOL BAG” which will include packages of lean ground beef, boneless and skinless chicken breast, and our signature Italian sausages, all vacuum-sealed and frozen, just ready for them to defrost and cook. This is a $65 value for only $50, available until SEPTEMBER 10. And if your kid is, how can I say it…, not great in the kitchen, we’re ready to help out here as well. I’ve put together a couple of simple and sure-fire recipes at the bottom of this article that your kid can access anytime. They will not only impress their friends with their abilities, but they will be eating healthful, good food, and take those first steps towards leading a life that includes knowing the importance of a delicious meal, and how to prepare it. And that’s a lesson they can’t learn in no darn class-schools!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Equipment you’ll need:

Good knife
Cutting board
Large stock pot (or something big enough for pasta)
Large saute pan
Colander
Wooden spoon for stirring
Measuring spoons, or at least regular cutlery size teaspoons and tablespoons
Cheese grater

Ingredients:

ground beef x 1lb
onion, diced x 1 medium
garlic cloves, chopped x 2 pc
cooking oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola all work) x 1 tbsp
tomato paste x 2 tbsp
chopped tomatoes x 1 small can (about 10 oz)
paprika x 1 tbsp
sour cream x 3tbsp
grated cheddar cheese x 1 cup
pasta x 500 gr
green onion, chopped x 1/2 bunch
salt and pepper to taste

1. Fill a big pot with water. Put on stove top on high heat. Add a tbsp of salt.

2. Put your biggest sauce pot or frying pan on your stovetop on a medium heat. Put the cooking oil in to get hot.

3. When the oil is hot (it will spread quickly if you tilt the pan) put the onion in the pan. Add a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper.

4. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Stir the onion every minute or so. After five minutes add the garlic. Cover and cook for five more minutes.

5. Add the beef and turn the heat up to medium. Don’t cover.

6. Mash up the beef with a spoon so it browns all over. Add the paprika and stir it in. Cook for eight minutes or until beef is no longer red.

7. The water should be boiling. Add pasta and stir. Read the directions on the box for cook time.

8. Meanwhile, add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes to the beef. Stir and cook for ten minutes or so while the pasta cooks.

9. Check the pasta to see if it’s cooked (remove a piece using a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Bite it to see if it’s the desired softness. This is totally your call). Drain it in a colander.

10. Add the sour cream to the beef and lower the heat. Stir it in.

11. Add the cheese and the drained pasta and stir well so the cheese melts.

12. Place in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Tah dah!

Chicken Parmigiana

Equipment you’ll need:
Good knife
Cutting board
Small sauce pot
Large saute pan
Wooden spoon for stirring
Measuring spoons, or at least regular cutlery size teaspoons and tablespoons
3 kitchen work bowls
Baking tray

Ingredients:

For the chicken:
chicken breast, boneless and skinless x 2 pc
all purpose flour x 1 cup
eggs x 2
breadcrumbs x 1.5 cups
dry oregano x 1 tsp
salt x 1 tbsp
pepper x 1tsp
olive oil x 6tbsp

For the tomato sauce
pureed tomato   (also called passata) x 1 small can (about 10 oz)
small onion, diced x 1 pc
garlic cloves, minced x 2 pc
olive oil x 1 tbsp
fresh basil leaves, chopped x 6 leaves
salt and pepper to taste

To finish
fresh* mozzarella cheese, sliced x 8 slices (about one 100 gr ball’s worth)
*You can use regular mozzarella, but if you can find the fresh that is sold in liquid in small bags it is nicer in this recipe.

1. Make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small pot over a medium heat.

2. Add the onion and sweat for about seven minutes, or until slightly caramelized.

3. Add in the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for another three minutes or so, or until everything looks cooked and is fragrant.

4. Add the tomato puree and the basil, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

5. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken.

6. Cut the chicken breast in half length-wise. To do this, lay the breast flat on your cutting board, and slice the breast in half as if you were cutting a bread roll in half.

7. Set up a dredging station. Place the flour in one bowl.

8. Crack the eggs and whisk them in a second bowl.

9. Mix the breadcrumbs, the oregano, the salt, and the pepper in a third bowl. Have a clean plate waiting on the end of all of the bowls.

10. One at a time, put each chicken cutlet in each bowl. Flour the breast, then dip the floured breast in the egg. Put the wet cutlet in the breadcrumb bowl and cover well before placing the finished breaded cutlet on the clean plate. Repeat with the other three breasts.

11. Preheat your oven to 375F.

12. In a large pan on a medium heat, heat up the olive oil.

13. Line a baking tray with a sheet of aluminum foil.

14. When the oil is hot, add the breaded chicken cutlets. Fry for about four minutes per side, or until golden brown per side. When cooked, set on the baking tray.

15. Cover each breast with a few spoons of the tomato sauce. Lay a couple of slices of the mozzarella on each cutlet and place the tray in the oven.

16. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly golden and bubbly. Serve with a salad, or on a toasted bun. Badda boom!