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Moving down the River

Moving down the River

Every once and a while I get into conversations with people about why I write recipes the way I do and how I approach food. These conversations usually start out by me explaining how I’m seeking to better understand relationships to the food we eat by engaging in reciprocal relationships with people and the land.

Every once and a while I get into conversations with people about why I write recipes the way I do and how I approach food. These conversations usually start out by me explaining how I’m seeking to better understand relationships to the food we eat by engaging in reciprocal relationships with people and the land. I talk about understanding and respecting the ingredients being used in the kitchen and why they hold that value to me.

Working with food is medicine to me. When change was desperately needed in my life, knowing I was on a very wrong path, something called me back to the kitchen after a brief but seemingly long hiatus from professional kitchens. In the middle of that hiatus, I had a very short stint at a family run restaurant in Toronto’s Corso Italia at Lansdowne and St. Clair. I worked there for less than a month and despite this, the chef there at the time has left a lasting impression on me.

As my life kept falling into a worse and worse place, the memory of working with food, the responsibility of feeding people, the pride I felt serving good food went from being a glimmering and distant star to a bright light shining in my face.

Since that moment of realization, my life has path and purpose continues to unfold. All the puzzle pieces started and continue to fall into place. Through my experiences with community, land and food previously inexplicable thoughts and emotions have become clear. When life isn’t comfortable those things remind me to trust and keep walking, moving forward.

The recipes I write are an extension of that mindset. I do not like putting exact amounts – I will on occasion for the purposes of understanding yields – I’ll usually suggest ratios, nothing more. I understand how this can seem confusing to people not familiar with this format. I say, trust your cooking abilities, try something new, if you don’t know reach out to me or a family member. Engage in conversation about food. The recipes are only a guideline. When you step out of your comfort zone and cook with conviction and an open heart the possibilities are endless. A good mind for you and those you are cooking for is just the beginning.

As I settle into a new home with a loved one, our meals have had to be simple as we don’t have everything set-up and unpacked just yet. Here is what we ate for dinner in preparing our first meal at the house.

One Pan Dinner: Sausage, Potatoes and Greens

  • Sausage
  • Potato
  • Swiss Chard (sub spinach or any leafy green if you wish)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Unsalted Butter

Directions

  1. You’ll need a pan or pot that can go in the oven. I recommend using a cast iron skillet.
  2. Cut potatoes and onions into a small dice. Slice garlic thinly.
  3. On high heat, sear your sausage to achieve a nice golden colour.
  4. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil if needed and cook potatoes and onions for a couple minutes until they take on some colour then add garlic.
  6. Add swiss chard to the pan and place sausage on top.
  7. Add a small amount of water to help steam the greens.
  8. Cover with foil or a lid and place in oven at 450F for no more than 15 minutes.
  9. Remove sausages and mix in cold butter to emulsify into any liquid that remains to make a sauce.
  10. My love likes dijon mustard with her sausage so we had some with it as well. Feel free to add parsley or any fresh herb you like. Enjoy!
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