Warm Chorizo Sausage and Medjool Dates with Heirloom Baby Spinach Salad

Spring has finally arrived in southwestern Ontario, and our thoughts are already turning to summer dining.

We are blessed to be located in one of Canada’s most bountiful regions, where an abundance of locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes are readily available throughout the growing season.

It’s one of the reasons why Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are famous for offering an inspired selection of fresh-from-the-farm salads.

This Warm Chorizo Sausage and Medjool Dates with Heirloom Baby Spinach salad is always a guest favourite.

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This Chorizo Sausage salad is a delicious combination of exotic flavours. 

Combining the spicy piquancy of Chorizo Sausage with the unexpected sweetness of Medjol dates and sun-dried apricots makes for an exotic combination that is hard to resist….

Try it for lunch, or a light dinner, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Chorizo Sausage Salad
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 Chorizo sausages cut into ½ pieces
8 Medjol dates, cut in half
3 oz. Heirloom baby spinach, red & green
4 tbsp. Sun-dried apricots cut in half
2 whole roasted red pepper, cut into spears
¼ sliced red onion
8 slices English cucumbers
8 baby tomatoes cut in half
Mix micro sprouts for garnish
Sherry-basil vinaigrette (recipe to follow) drizzled

Directions:
In a skillet sauté chorizo sausage, golden brown, finish in oven; add Medjol dates, roasted red peppers. Set aside; toss spinach with dressing, season with salt and pepper. Arrange spinach in centre of plate, garnish with sliced cucumber, baby tomatoes, Chorizo sausage mixture, red onions, purple radish sprouts.

 Basil-sherry Vinaigrette:
(Makes ½ cup)
¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. sweet sherry
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. shallot minced
¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
¼ tsp. ground pepper or to taste

Directions:
Whisk together oil, sherry, lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and refrigerate. Whisk or shake before serving.

What is your favourite summer salad?

The patios at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are open for alfresco dining all summer long! 

Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Chef Michael Davies first shared his Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe a few years ago it received rave reviews!

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Chef Davis’ Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are always a delicious treat! 

We’ve recently had several requests for a repeat…so here it is again – just in time for Halloween….

Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 35 large cookies

Ingredients:
– 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1 cup golden yellow sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (canned will do in a pinch!)
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp. baking soda
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– ½ tsp ground ginger
– ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
– ¼ tsp ground cloves
– 2 cups milk chocolate chips

mixing
Scare up a batch of these treats for Halloween! 

 

Directions:
– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line them with parchment paper.

– Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth. Beat in white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until mixture is light and fluffy.

– Beat in eggs one at a time; add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree gently mix.

– Mix together all dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture slowly until all mixed. Add chocolate chips.

– Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cookies are browned around the edges.

– Remove cookie sheets from the oven, allow to cool and rest for 2 minutes. Remove from tray with spatula, cool on baking wire racks.

– Cover with your favourite icing [optional]. We used buttercream and grated pumpkin.

These make a delicious after school snack paired with a glass of milk. Or enjoy with a cup of coffee, your favourite tea, or even hot apple cider.

Chef Michael Davies has been the Executive Chef at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa in Ingersoll, Ontario since 1996. His stepson, Chef Trevor Stephens is the Chef de Cuisine at Idlewyld Inn & Spa in London, Ontario. 

 

Cajun Salmon & Sweet Potato ‘Flap Jacks’

With maple syrup season in full swing, we’ve asked Elm Hurst Inn & Spa’s Chef Michael Davies to share his delicious recipe for Cajun Salmon & Sweet Potato ‘Flap Jacks’ – featuring the world-famous Jakemans Maple Syrup.

Their farm is just down the road from the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, and open all year!

dish-with-jakemans-and-bourbon
This salmon is sweet, spicy and delicious1

Cajun Salmon & Sweet Potato “Flap Jacks”
With Jakemans Maple syrup, Lime, Bourbon butter
Makes 4

Ingredients:
4             5oz salmon fillet, skin removed
4 tbsp    Cajun spice
2 oz        Chilled unsalted butter, cubed
4 tbsp    Jakemans maple syrup
1              Juice of lime
1oz         Makers Mark bourbon
1 tbsp    Chopped cilantro

Sweet Potato “Flap Jacks”:
2 cups     all-purpose flour
2 tbsp     Cinnamon sugar
2 tsp        Baking powder
1/2tsp    Baking soda
1/2tsp    Salt
1               Egg
1 cup      mashed sweet potato
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp    ground cloves
1/2 tsp    ground mace

raw-ingredients
A great meal starts with fresh ingredients. 

To Prepare Flap Jacks:
In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients. Make a well, crack egg in centre. Mix well, add buttermilk and sweet potato. Mix batter, (add more buttermilk if too thick). Proceed to cook pancakes on griddle as you would regular pancakes.

To Prepare Salmon:
Sprinkle salmon with Cajun spice on both sides. In cast iron pan, heat a little olive oil and butter until butter turns brown, add salmon to pan and brown on both sides. Remove from pan and finish in 350 degree oven until just cooked. (Should be plump to the touch).

Prepare pancakes at the same time on a griddle while salmon is cooking.  Or, pre-make your pancakes and warm them up in the oven.

To Prepare the Sauce:
In the same pan as the salmon, add butter, melt until brown, add Jakemans maple syrup, lime juice, flambé with Makers Mark bourbon, and add chopped cilantro.

Plate presentation:
Place one pancake in the centre of a plate, set salmon skin-side down on top, and arrange some of your favourite seasonal vegetables on top, finish with the sauce. Enjoy!

chefs
Bon appetit!

How do you like to use Maple Syrup in the kitchen?