From the Farm: The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association Cookbook

Last fall the Alberta Farmers Market Association published a beautiful little cookbook to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as an Association.  Like the Pure Prairie Eating Plan, it highlights foods that are produced on the Prairies.  The recipes were developed by chefs across Alberta and include Breakfasts, Starters, Vegetables, Mains, Desserts and Pantry staples like chicken stock.

The meats in the book range from beef, pork, lamb and chicken to bison, goat and rabbit.  There’s Pan-Seared Alberta Lake Whitefish with Eggplant Relish, Crispy Kennebec Potato Rosti & Cumin Aioli and Pan-Seared Queen Charlotte Halibut with Spring Peas and Morel Risotto.  I loved the cookbook just for the titles of the recipes :)!  There’s lots of imaginative vegetable recipes too, as well as desserts.

I was particular looking for recipes for asparagus and I wasn’t disappointed.  I tried the Poached Egg over Roasted Asparagus with fresh bread (as suggested).  The recipe (see below) calls for 1 egg per serving, which is great for a small appetite, but I recommend 2 eggs per serving for a heartier appetite.  The other recipe with asparagus was a terrine – ‘Asparagus Green Bean and Apple Cider Ham Terrine with Greens and Radish’ developed by Chef Blair Lebsack at Rge Rd Restaurant in Edmonton- it looks lovely.  I hope someone will test it and let us know how it is.  The cookbook is available on-line at http://www.albertamarkets.com/news/afma-cookbook/

Poached Egg over Roasted Asparagus, Egg Farmers of Alberta

Serves 4:  Serving Size 1 egg and 5 spears of asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch (approx 20 spears) asparagus, trimmed

1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

salt and pepper, sparingly

2 tsp (10 mL) white vinegar (to poach the eggs)

4 eggs

1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup (62.5 mL) shredded Parmesan cheese

fresh bread, optional

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425oF.
  2. Toss asparagus with canola, salt and pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and tender-crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, fill saucepan with about 3 inches of water.  Heat until water simmers gently.  Stir in vinegar.  Break cold egg into small dish or saucer.  Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip the egg into water.  Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water for 3-5 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are cooked to the desired level of doneness.  Remove eggs with slotted spoon.  Drain well on paper towel and keep warm.
  4. Melt butter in small non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add breadcrumbs.  Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  5. Divide asparagus evenly between 4 plates and top with poached egg.  Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  6. Serve with fresh bread.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving with 1 egg and 1 piece of bread):   304 kcal, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 16 g protein, 414 mg sodium.