Cooking Classes


Spring and Candied Violets

I remember that as a child violets were one of my favourite flowers. We most often found them growing in virgin prairie grass in wooded areas. They are such a delicate sweet flower.

Years later I found candied violets at Harrod's in London and purchased a little packet of them. I don't know how you can even compare these hard candies to the delicate woodland flower. I tried to love the candies but I couldn't.

About seven years ago I moved back to Saskatchewan and purchased a little 1960's bungalow in a mature neighbourhood of a small prairie city. To my delight violets were growing in my backyard. That is the first time I candied my own. They have a delicate flowery fragrance that carries well through drying.

Candied Violets

dried egg powder
small artist's paint brush
parchment paper
fine granulated sugar

Pick the violets with their long stem. Be sure to pick from an area that has not been sprayed with chemicals.

Mix about a tablespoon of dried egg powder with a tablespoon or more of cold water until the powder is completely dissolved.

Dip the flowers into the egg mixture by holding onto the stem. Gently remove any excess egg white with the artist's brush. Clip the flower from the stem with scissors and drop it into dish of sugar. Coat flower with sugar and place on parchment paper to dry.

Dry completely, about 24 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Use as a garnish on cupcakes, cakes and ice creams and other desserts. They are edible.


Mushroom and Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is not only an economical meal but easy to prepare for a large group. Each tenderloin is browned in a pan then finished in the oven. Can you see where this is going?  Yes, prep all the stuffed tenderloins first. Then heat a large pan or a couple of smaller pans over medium high heat. Add cooking oil to the pans. Heat until almost smoking. Add the tenderloins and turn until all sides are browned. Remember to let the pan release the meat. Otherwise the tenderloin will stick to the pan.

Mushroom and Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 c. chopped mixed wild and cremini mushrooms
1/2 lb. pork sausage meat
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
cooking oil
2 pork tenderloins

Saute the mushrooms in enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the mushrooms are soft add the sausage meat and seasonings. Saute until fully cooked. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, butterfly both tenderloins. Cut down the centre but through so they lie flat. When the mushroom sausage filling has cooled spread it over the flattened tenderloins. Close the tenderloins and tie with cooking string.

Sear on all sides in a hot pan with cooking oil. Remove to a 375 F oven to finish cooking until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 F, about 10 - 12 minutes. Place tenderloins on a cutting board and cover with kitchen foil. Let rest for 10 minutes until slicing. Slice into medallions about 1-inch thick. Set on serving platter or individual plates. Spoon pan sauce around and serve immediately.

Pan Sauce: Make the pan sauce by deglazing the cooking pan with 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add 2 -3 tablespoons of Lowbush Cranberry Mustard. When it is all blended and bubbling add 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until emulsified.

Lowbush Cranberry Mustard
3/4 c. lowbush cranberries
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. red wine
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil until tender. Remove from heat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.