fresh local food

 -  Sean Connor/Capital News
— image credit: Sean Connor/Capital News

from Jude’s kitchen

We’ve just embarked on 10 days of opportunities to sample fine wines with fabulous food at the 27th annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, so I hope you’ve already made reservations to take in your favourite event.

In all, there are literally hundreds of events throughout the Okanagan Valley between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7 showcasing the province’s wine industry, and coincidentally, our burgeoning restaurant industry.

We’re incredibly lucky that our stellar wine industry has attracted some of the nation’s best and most innovative chefs to set up shop here. There are also leading edge foodies here in the valley now, which results in lots of conversation about the importance of letting the climate and the soils, the aspect and the seasons dictate what you eat.

Ironically, it’s a peasant thing—to be restricted by what’s available in what you cook for each meal—but it’s become a gourmet thing today, to use all the best and freshest herbs and vegetables, fruits, cheeses and meats to feature at each meal.

And, the latest fad, to try and eat only what’s available from within a 100-mile radius—just carries the whole concept of enjoying the freshest available, and supporting local farmers, a step further.

Like motherhood, it’s a concept that’s difficult to disagree with. Your taste buds, your local economy and your family’s health will all be winners.

Even if you don’t achieve it, the objective is to get you thinking about where your food comes from, and how important it is—in many different ways—to eat food that’s local. It means asking questions at your favourite stores about where those apples, pears and plums come from and asking why they’re not from the Okanagan, if they’re not.

It means being aggressive in your pursuit of local food, and being determined to ensure it really is local, and not from Washington State or California, Florida or Chile, due to an oversight in correct signage on the grocer’s part.

We have the power to make changes in how stores market products, and we have the power to force them to correctly identify the origin of those products so that we know we’re choosing the ones that are grown or produced closest to home.

Give it some thought, and make a decision that’s in the best interests of your health and enjoyment, and that of your friends and neighbours.

Slow Ginger-Orange Pork

This provides your favourite pork roast with a drizzle of tastebud-tickling sweet and sour and spice, along with some sweet veggies. Serve this with rice or pasta or potatoes and serving of fresh broccoli or beans—and the rest of the chardonnay, or gewurztraminer.

3 lb. pork roast 1.2 kg

1 large onion 1

1 large garlic clove 1

2 celery stalks 2

2 tbsp. ginger 30 ml

1 orange 1

1/2 tsp. five spice powder 2 ml

1/2 tsp. sea salt 2 ml

1/2 tsp. black pepper 2 ml

1/4 c. orange juice 60 ml

1/4 c. chardonnay 60 ml

3 tbsp. soy sauce 45 ml

1 tbsp. honey 15 ml

1 tsp. worcestershire 5 ml

1 tbsp. cornstarch 15 ml

1 tbsp. cold water 15 ml

Sliver onion and mince garlic and ginger. Slice celery. Zest orange and juice it into a small bowl. Add chardonnay, honey, soy and worcestershire sauces and mix well.

Pat about half of the garlic and ginger, the five spice, salt and black pepper over the roast. Put about half the vegetables in the bottom

of the crock pot or slow cooker and set the roast on top. Put the remainder of the onion, garlic, celery and ginger around and over the roast, then pour the orange juice mixture over top of it all.

Cook on low for about six hours, then remove the roast to a cutting board and tent it with foil. Increase the heat to high and stir in the mixture of cornstarch and cold water. Cover for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken the sauce, while you cook the pasta or rice.

Slice the roast and serve drizzled with sauce.

Serves 3-4.

Glemba’s Goulash,

Hungarian Style

CapNews photographer Sean Connor had a Hungarian friend out for a holiday during the summer, who agreed to share some of his cultural heritage.

Luckily, Andy Glemba agreed to jot down what he threw into the stew pot, and so, here we have Glemba’s Goulash.

He topped this with dumplings, but we’ll leave that up to you.

A robust red wine such as a full-bodied syrah or cabernet franc would go well with this.

2 lb. stew beef 1 kg

5 tbsp. olive oil 75 ml

4 carrots 4

2 large onions 2

1 parsnip 1

1/2 tsp. black pepper 2 ml

1 1/2 tbsp. vegeta or salt, to taste 22 ml

1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika 15 ml

3/4 tsp. marjoram 3 ml

1/4 tsp. caraway seeds 1 ml

1 lb. new potatoes 454 g

3 small tomatoes 3

1/2 green pepper 1/2

Cut stew beef into one-inch cubes; chop onions finely, dice parsnips into quarter-inch dice and slice carrots into quarter-inch slices. Cut tomatoes and potatoes into quarters.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil (I think I’d use a little less, but that’s up to you) and add the onions, carrots and parsnip, stirring frequently until the onions are transparent.

Add stew beef, vegeta or salt, to taste and black pepper, and cook until the meat has browned.

Cover meat with three inches of water and simmer until about half cooked.

Add paprika, crushed caraway seeds and marjoram and let simmer for five minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the meat is tender.

If desired, remove pepper and tomato skin.

Andy says you could use hot Hungarian paprika, or half and half, depending on your taste.

Serves 4-6.

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