Page 1

The Travel Issue

Formerly City Palate

The flavour of Edmonton’s food scene | March April 2011 |

WAITER, THERE’S A DIETITIAN IN MY MENU. Health Check in restaurants! TM

Choosing healthy meals in restaurants just got easier with Health Check. Each Health Check menu item must meet nutrient criteria developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians, based on recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide.

Participating restaurants:

Find out more at

™ The Health Check logo, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta logo, and Finding Answers. For Life. tagline are trademarks of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and are used under license.



Mary Bailey


publisher BGP Publishing

copy editor Amanda LeNeve Don Retson

designer Bossanova Communications Inc.

contributing writers Peter Bailey Jan Hostyn Blair Lebsack Judy Schultz Karen Virag

illustration/photography Mary Bailey Curtis Comeau Photography Il Boscareto Resort Travel Alberta

design and prepress

6 8 12 14 16 20 22

Cooking School in Piemonte How to clean a truffle and other lessons in the kitchen | Mary Bailey

Q and A with Jean Pare Jean Pare reflects on a life in food | Judy Schultz

On the Road Again Southern Alberta | Mary Bailey

Cooking for Easter and Passover Recipes for family and friends

The Revenge of Bud the Spud Eat your carbs | Karen Virag

The Breadstick The story of Torinese grissini

Blair’s Stage Blair Lebsack

Bossanova Communications Inc.


printer Transcontinental

distribution The Globe and Mail For editorial inquires, information, letters, suggestions or ideas, contact The Tomato at 780-431-1802, fax 780-433-0492, or email For advertising information call 780-431-1802.

the tomato is published six times per year: January/February March/April May/June July/August September/October November/December by BGP Publishing 9833 84 Avenue Edmonton, AB T6E 2G1 780-431-1802

5 10 18 24 28 30

Dish Gastronomic happenings around town

Feeding People The self-check blues | Jan Hostyn

Beer Guy Desert Island Beers | Peter Bailey

Kitchen Sink What’s new and notable

Gadgets New for Spring

According to Judy Down to the sea in ships (or not) | Judy Schultz

Cover photos: left: Southern Alberta wheat fields; upper right: sizzling pots at Piedmont’s Ristorante La Rei, il Boscareto Resort; lower left: chef Kris Spencer of Waterton’s Bel Lago picks tomatos.

Subscriptions are available for $20 per year. Exercise your power as a consumer thoughtfully.

The Tomato | March April 2011 3

Coming soon! The Wine Issue: Top 20 under $20 Discovering Barolo How to navigate a wine list The making of Parmigiano Reggiano

Now That’s Italian! Bakery • Deli • Produce Specializing in European Products

DOWNTOWN 10878-95 Street 9-9 Everyday

SOUTHSIDE 5028-104A Street 9-9 Everyday



gastronomic happenings around town | Earl Grey’s birthday party

Dr. Vandana Shiva in Calgary

Did you know that Earl Grey loved cribbage and dogs? Or that he fathered nine children? Learn more Earl Grey facts at Cally’s Teas homage to the bergamot-scented tea during the Earl’s birthday week, March 15-19. Bring your cribbage boards. There will also be a variety of Earl Grey teas and goodies to sample. Cally's Teas, 8610 99 Street, 780-432-3294

Environmental activist, philosopher and author Dr. Vandana Shiva is in Calgary March 9-10 to receive the 2011 Calgary Peace Prize. Dr. Shiva founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in 1982 which led to the Navdanya network of seed keepers and organic producers. Now there are 54 community seed banks; 500,000 farmers trained in seed sovereignty and sustainable agriculture; and the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in India. Tickets to the awards dinner and Dr. Shiva’s talk at Murray Fraser Hall are available at

Dine downtown and win Downtown Dining Week, March 4-13, is your chance to try feature priced menus at over 32 restaurants downtown including the Hardware Grill, Moriarty’s Bistro & Wine Bar, Madison’s Grill, The Wildflower Grill and The Marc. Not only will you enjoy great food, there are draws for prizes such as dinner for four at Sabor. Visit for the full list of participating restaurants and menus.

Happy birthday dude.

Family friendly farming Farmer, speaker and author Joel Salatin, advocate and practitioner of what he dubs “localized, compost fertilized, pasture-based beyond organic farming” is the keynote speaker at Relish Stir Sip Savour, the Canadian College and University Food Services Conference (CCUFSA) in Edmonton on Thursday, June 30. Hear first hand how he brought “this little family farm into the forefront of the non-industrial food system.” Visit for tickets.

Hand-crafted beer lovers rejoice Here’s the spring lineup from Sherbrooke/Alley Kat: Chinese New Beer (in collaboration with the Lingnan, celebrating the year of the Rabbit) is a Mandarin witbrew with orange peel and coriander, similar to Hoegaarden. Mojo A'Peel, brewed with demerara sugar and vanilla, tastes just like Bananas Foster. Sherbrooke Shamrock, a Belgian-style lager is just in time for St. Paddy’s Day. Early March sees the release of a limited quantity of Single Star: oatmeal stout aged in a barrel of Jack Daniels. How does this work? Sherbrooke purchased an entire barrel of Jack Daniels from the top two floors of their warehouse where the temperature extremes create the best aging conditions. Ordinarily, the empty barrel is varnished but they were able to convince them to ship it “wet” suitable to age the oatmeal stout. Sherbrooke Liquor, 11819 St. Albert Trail, 780-455-4556.

Winning wine

A winner from Wine Quest.

Cheesy grilling If you’ve been finding grilled cheese sandwiches a bit too difficult to make the conventional way, try the new Tosta bag. Here’s how: put cheese between two slices of bread, slide that into a Tosta bag and pop in your toaster. The result is hot and toasty on the outside, cheesy and gooey on the inside. Boska Tosta bags come in a pack of three reusable bags (they say they can be used up to 50 times each) for $7.50. We’re not sure if this is the greatest culinary invention ever (well, second to personal-sized Pringles) or the end of the world as we know it. Everything Cheese, 14912 45 Avenue, 780-757-8532.


Edmonton-based wine importers Susan and Barb Giacomin (Wine Quest) have a winner with DeAngelis Marche Rosso Anghelos 2007 (high $30). It garnered Best in Show at the 2011 Vancouver Magazine’s Wine Awards. The Montepluciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend from the hillsides of Le Marche near the Adriatic is a find. Rich and chewy savoury flavours follow the delightfully floral, plummy, earthy aromas, backed with a refreshing acidity. Perfect with lamb shanks on a blustery March evening. Wine Quest has worked with DeAngelis (featured in M/J 2010 Tomato) for several years. A great buy from the same producer is their Rosso Piceno, on the wine list at Corso 32.

You’re such a cream puff

A new take on an old favourite.

Fans of Vancouver’s cream puff emporium Beard Papa’s can stop jonesing for a fix. They’ve opened in the mall! As donuts are to Canadians, cream puffs are to the Japanese. Beard Papa’s are freshbaked choux pastry, flaky and slightly sweet, filled to order — we love the green tea and strawberry fillings. The company began its North American domination on New York’s upper east side. Find them now at West Edmonton Mall near Galaxyland. Outrageously delicious! The Tomato | March April 2011 5

Cooking School

plan your own visit Enrico Trova:

Pietro Baldi: contact the writer La Spinetta:

Agriturismo il Milin: Tenuta dei Fiori:

Bagna Cauda Pietro Baldi 4 portion (little - normal) gr 120 acciughe sotto sale gr 80 aglio gr 30 burro gr 200 latte gr 120 olio extra vergine oliva Pulire l’aglio, togliere il germoglio, metterlo a bagno nell'acqua per circa 4 - 5 ore. Levare il sale alle acciughe con poca acqua, togliere le lische metterle a bagno-maria caldo coperte di olio e farle fondere. Scolare l’aglio farlo bollire nel latte a fuoco basso, quando cotto scolarlo e farlo a purèe. Unire l'aglio e le acciughe,aggiungere eventuale rimanente olio e il burro, amalgamare bene e servire caldo a 70°celsius con verdure cotte e crude.In questo modo non viene cotto l’olio e rimane molto più facile da digerire.

6 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Clockwise from left: our freshly made pasta with truffles; chef Pietro Baldi making pasta; chef Enrico Trova mixes flour and potato for gnocchi; a package of award-winning butter; Blair Lebsack makes gnocchi. Photos by Mary Bailey.

in Piemonte

Mary Bailey

Pietro picks us up at La Spinetta in a large, cluttered white van. It’s a bit of a production. Our chef instructor can fit only five people in his kitchen so he’s decided to host us in the church. We don’t all fit in the van either — someone from the winery enlists the help of a family member who, in another van, takes the rest of us to the little stone church in Castiglione d’Asti where we’ll cook. We troop in to see a long table set up for dinner, a small cluttered kitchen where something already cooking smells wonderful and, in an adjacent room, packages of gluten free pasta, flats of large brown eggs, sacks of tipo “00” flour and a small pasta machine. The tiny kitchen holds an industrial six burner gas stove, topped with a capacious stock pot coming to a boil; a filled-to-bursting refrigerator; a utility sink. There are bags of corn meal and some gnarly truffles on a cutting board. In the corner is a cardboard box containing several bottles of prosecco, white wine and Pietro’s own Barbera and Moscato. The savoury aroma of roasting meat pricks our appetites. We pour glasses of wine as Pietro empties several bags of cornmeal into the water. I start stirring the polenta. My friend Joanne Zinter had been to International Culinary School (ICF) in Piedmont. Did she know anyone we could take a class with? “Why not Pietro Baldi?” Chef Baldi had been one of her instructors at ICF, but Joanne did not have a current contact for him. I found a few references to Pietro cooking here and there throughout the region; there was an article online by a guy who had cooked with him in his house. I came across someone with the same last name. Maybe they’re related? I email this other Baldi and he replies with a telephone number and email for Pietro. We start chatting back and forth about wine and truffles and cooking. Our schedule is jam-packed with winery visits but we are able to work out a date for Friday night dinner. That’s how we ended up, on a crisp fall night, in a church basement in Piedmont, cooking with Pietro Baldi. It’s truffle season in Piedmont and our menu takes full advantage of that. Pietro shows us how to clean the precious funghi. A few of the

smaller ones turn out to be stones, a lesson to anyone considering buying truffles off the back of a truck. Pietro, who had hunted these himself, is not unduly concerned, we still have enough truffle to blanket the pasta, and then some.

and his home town of Asti. Michela Rovero from the agriturismo Kirstin had found online, Il Milin, suggested we take a class with Enrico. We find an engaging youngish guy determined to teach us how to make proper gnocchi.

Pietro doesn’t say much although his English is very good. He doesn’t need to. All we need to do is watch as he cuts some veg — effortless. Long practice and his mellow demeanor make it all look so easy.

We were not encountering any definitive style of gnocchi in Piemonte. Some were large and floury, some had the texture of little bullets. Some were soft and bland and others had very few ridges, which is the point really, that’s what holds the sauce. We were feeling like the Goldilocks of gnocchi. By the time Enrico put the potatoes on to cook we were wary.

It’s time to make the tagliatelle. Pietro shows us how to pour the flour on to the table and make a well. Eight eggs are cracked into the well, and we mix the pasta by hand. When mixed, we take turns pulling it through the machine attached to the side of the table until the pasta is to Pietro’s satisfaction. The Brads (Lazarenko and Smoliak) are quick to master the pulling and cutting of the tender noodles, which are then spread out on a floured surface to dry. Our menu starts with the fresh egg tagliatelle with copious shavings of white truffle and parmigiano, then we eat bagna cauda with celery and cardoons, the relative of celery we have seen in the region’s markets. “Bitter, sweet, salty, crunchy, garlicky, yummy!” is how Alison describes the flavours of the warm sauce on autumn vegetables. Next up is the polenta with roasted meat and potatoes, simple, delicious, homey fare. For dessert? Classic Piedmontese bunet, along with Pietro’s moscato, sweet and lightly sparkling. We help clean up — Joyce and Alison busy at the utility sink tackling the dishes, others clearing the table. We relax with the end of the wine, and laugh about how full we are. The next morning we head to the centre of Asti to take a cooking class with Enrico Trova at the Scuola di Cucina di Asti. Enrico has a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Trattoria Amici and divides his time between California

We needn’t have worried. Enrico knows gnocchi. “Have no more than 25 per cent potato,” instructs Enrico.” “Weighing it will give you the best results every time as it takes into account that some potatoes have more or less moisture.” He laughs a bit at our clumsy attempts to establish a rhythm. We make about three to his 10 except for Blair who is a rocking rolling cutting machine. I’m having trouble with the little flick of the wrist to get the gnocchi rolling off the tines of the fork just so. As the gnocchi dry, Enrico takes us through how to make a proper ragu, starting with the holy trinity of Piemontese cooking: onions, celery and carrot. To this he adds sausage meat and wine, plus some herbs. It’s all about patience he explains, you can’t rush a ragu. The bunet we make will be simple to replicate at home: cocoa, sugar, eggs, amaretti cookies, rum, easy-peasy. We roll gnocchi and chat with Enrico about the biggest difference in cooking in California and Piedmont. “The vegetables,” he says. “This time of year I can have so many, even tomatoes and peppers, right out of the ground.” Hail to California. Please see “Cooking” on page 9

The Tomato | March April 2011 7

with Jean Pare — J udy Sch ult z —

Over three decades, the name Jean Pare has become an international symbol for good old-fashioned home cooking. Company’s Coming cookbooks average more than two for every Canadian household.

“That’s pretty good for the woman who worked on her first cookbook in a spare bedroom of her rural Alberta home and delivered books from the trunk of her car,” says her son, Grant Lovig. Jean announced February 28 that she would retire from her active roles in Company’s Coming. Here’s one conversation between two food writers following the announcement. JS: Thirty years, 30 million books, more than 200 titles. That has to be a publishing record. In the beginning, did you have any inkling of what a howling success Jean Pare would eventually become?

dish. Also, when it comes to certain kinds of seafood, and snails, I gladly leave the taste testing to others. But anything chocolate? Stand aside!

JP: We thought success would be selling out that first printing of 15,000 copies of 150 Delicious Squares. Being optimistic, however, we planned to produce a series of 10 cookbooks! The name we chose for our books, and our company, came to me while driving from my home in Vermilion to my son Grant’s home in Saskatoon in the fall of 1980. The trunk of my car was filled with pans of squares, ready for the photographer. As I drove along the Yellowhead I made notes. Tea For Two? Sweet Treats? Nothing seemed right, until I remembered what my mother would say when they had guests coming for a meal, ”Company's coming.“ When I arrived at Grant’s, I announced, “Company's coming.” He said, “I know. You’re here.” I said “Yes, but what do you think of that as the name for the book(s)?” He liked it.

JS: I’ve seen your books in kitchens all over the English-speaking world. Of all the travelling you’ve done, was there one ingredient you especially enjoyed bringing home?

JS: I know you like recipes with ingredients “that anybody would have on hand,” but you‘ve seen a lot of changes in what those items might be. JP: We've published more than 17,000 kitchen-tested recipes to date. The availability of ingredients has changed dramatically over the years, as has the number of places to find them. Many of the recipes in our books can still be made using ingredients on hand in most kitchens. We go to great lengths to ensure that all ingredients called for are easy to find. With ethnic ingredients, I’m careful. My readers don’t want to spend a lot of time or money shopping for some unusual spice when they only need a quarter teaspoon. JS: Do you ever have to set personal taste aside? JP: Yes, in order to share certain recipes. For example, I’m not a big fan of cilantro. I find it overpowers the other flavours in a

8 March April 2011 | The Tomato

JP: Friends in New Zealand, Australia and England were determined I’d taste every dessert they knew, many of them chocolate. Chocolate is the universal language that binds good cooks together! JS: In recent years, your books have changed. More art, more sophisticated ingredients. Why? JP: Travel has certainly influenced me, but the changes you’ve noted are from trying to reach new readers who might be looking for something different, something that better suits their own personal taste. At the core of every book we’ve published, however, are recipes that work and taste great, while being relatively quick to make, easy to follow, using accessible ingredients. JS: What’s your favourite food destination? JP: My family table would always be my first pick. In the middle of an Alberta winter, I wish I’d been raised in Hawaii, but wherever you find my family is where I want most to be. JS: What things are you most looking forward to at this new stage in your life? JP: Spending more time travelling. Visiting my kids and their families. And of course, I want to be available to the Company’s Coming recipe development team, whenever they need me. Judy Schultz is a food and travel writer.

cooking Continued from page 7

We have lunch with Enrico in his school — a large arched room filled with light, with an efficient cooking set up, different from our experience last night, yet similar too. In comes Enrico’s mother to do the dishes. She waves us off, won’t let us help.

Our communal experience in the kitchen was the bridge that spanned our differences in language and culture. Not only did Pietro and Enrico share their recipes with us, they opened a window into their region and their lives.

bagna cauda pietro baldi Bagna Cauda means warm bath or warm sauce, depending on whom you’re talking to. It is made with all things a rural Piemontese would have had on hand; demi johns of oil, barrels of salted anchovies and winter vegetables. Served warm out of the pot with vegetables and bread, and a lot of red wine, preferably Barbera, it is an excellent party dish. Pietro poured it over peeled cardoons, celery, carrots and potatoes. 1/3

c (about 1 large clove) or more if you want it really garlic-y

2 sml tins anchovies (about 120 g)

Note from Pietro: With this methodology the oil is not cooked and remains easier to digest.

gnocchi al ragu di salsiccia

la scuolo di cucina di asti, enrico trovia The gnocchi we made under Enrico’s direction were perfect, toothsome little bites, flavourful, not starchy or doughy and absolutely right with the sausage sauce.

4 c


11/3 c

sugar (1/3 c for caramel)

2 lbs


3 t

cocoa powder

½ lb


½ lb amaretti cookies (about 12) crumbled*

1 egg salt 1 c

grated parmesan

Boil whole unpeeled potatoes in salted water. When cooked and still hot, peel and mash. Cool the potatoes and mix with the flour, egg, salt and cheese. Work the dough just until smooth. Make the classic gnocchi shape and cook in salted water for one minute. Note: If you plan to freeze, shape then place on a parchment-covered baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze, then bag. Cook from frozen.

sausage sauce Enrico’s recipe is simplicity itself. 1 lb


rosemary and bay laves


tomato sauce




carrot, chopped


celery stalk, chopped


2 glasses red wine




Sauté the chopped vegetables and sausage until dry (about 30 minutes). Add the wine and the tomato sauce. Cook for another 30 minutes or so. Toss with the gnocchi.

Clean the garlic, remove the sprout and soak in water for 4 to 5 hours. Rinse anchovies and carefully remove the bones. Put the cleaned anchovies in a warm pan, just cover with olive oil. Drain the garlic and boil in milk over low heat. When cooked, drain well and mash.

The cocoa and amaretti cookie custard called bunet is classic dessert fare in Piedmont. There are minor variations, Enrico put the cookies in a food processor, Pietro crushed by hand. The word bunet is a Piemontese word for little round hat, which was the shape of an original copper mold. Both Pietro and Enrico made the traditional smallish, round individual bunets but you could make it in a pan. La Ghianda in Vancouver serves slices from a loaf of bunet.



extra virgin olive oil

la scuolo di cucina di asti, enrico trovia

6 eggs


½ c


Serves 6, generously.

½ glass

Sip up. Slurp. Kiss the noodle. Japanese ramen & Shanghai noodle dishes enjoy! Open daily except public holidays 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

中華美食 日式拉麵 韓風燒烤

As we say goodbye to Enrico and his mother I reflect on how, like wineries, no two cooking classes are alike. The equipment may be the same, the technique and ingredients, even the menu. The experiences were completely different, yet equally valuable.

Mix together the anchovies, garlic, butter and any remaining oil. Blend well. Serve warm, at 70ºC, with both raw and cooked vegetables.

Noodle Maker Restaurant By Siu To 9653 102 Ave., Edm.

rum (about ½ c)

Pre heat oven to 350ºF and prepare a bain marie.* To make the caramel, pour 1/3 c sugar into a small pan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until it has become entirely liquid and the colour of honey, about 10 minutes or so. Quickly and carefully pour caramel into the bottom of each muffin tin. Reserve. Bring the milk to a boil then turn down the heat. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and cocoa with the crumbled cookies. Add milk and blend. Pour into the caramelized muffin tins. Place in bain marie and cook for about 30 minutes. When cool, place in refrigerator for about four hours. Unmold, ensuring a bit of caramel cascades around the bunet, and serve.



10235 - 124 Street N.W. Edmonton, AB

Makes 6 bunet * Bain marie refers to cooking in a water bath, surrounding delicate custard-type dishes with warm water. You can use anything (baking dish, loaf pan) that will allow the water to come about half way up the dish. Muffin tins would require a fairly shallow bain marie. Use a roasting pan filled with about one inch of water. Place in the oven during the preheat, then place filled tins in the water.

780.488.7656 MoNdAy to FridAy 11AM - 8PM SAturdAy 11AM - 5PM

10235 - 124 Street N.W. Edmonton, AB

780.488.7656 MONDAY to FRIDAY 11AM - 8PM SATURDAY 11AM - 5PM

The Tomato | March April 2011 9

feeding people

| jan hostyn

The self-check blues

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Bzzzt — please wait for assistance.” “Bzzzt — please put item in bagging area.” “Bzzzt — please try again.” Bzzzt, bzzzt, bzzzt and... enough already. I simply want to buy my groceries, load all my carefully packed bags in the car and then cart them home. All without talking, smiling or making eye contact with another living soul. That can’t be too much to ask, can it? Evidently it can, even when you’re using the spiffy new self-checkout at your favourite (or your notso-favourite) grocery store. I like using the self-checkout at the grocery store — or the thought of using it, anyway. I like not having someone scrutinize what I’m buying, I like not feeling obligated to make awkward small talk and I like scanning my apples (and pears and pomegranates and other such pernickety creatures) gently, so they don’t end up with inopportune bruises all over their delicate little bodies. And I quite like bagging my own stuff — the broccoli in the bag destined for the garage fridge, the mangoes in the bag bound for the big bowl on the dining room table. It makes the whole dreaded unpacking thing so much easier. I know, it kind of sounds like I’m a bit of an anal control freak. I’m not, though. Not all the time, anyway. I just take my grocery shopping seriously. Especially the whole bagging and transporting and unpacking part of grocery shopping — the big not-so-fun chunk. I actually like the shopping piece of it, the seeing-what’s-newand-exciting bit and the pickingout bit. But when it comes time to go through the till and lug my

10 March April 2011 | The Tomato

bounty to the car, not to mention the whole putting away thing, well, that I’m not too fond of. And I’m not at all enamoured with finding a bruise or a dent or a crack in one of my new acquisitions — something that wasn’t there an hour before. Not at all. And that whole till thing? Well, usually, I’d just rather not. I kind of have cashier-phobia. It’s not that I’m anti-social — not all the time, anyway. Sometimes idle chitchat puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step. But sometimes, just sometimes, debating the merits of a particular brand of toilet cleaner is just, well, work. Trifling natter aside, those groceries going down that spiffy little conveyer belt are my groceries: my blood oranges, my kumquats, my star fruit and my bags of quinoa. And every time my eggs are thumped, my apples are plopped or my tomatoes are tossed — all which I have just spent significant time picking out so that they show no signs of having been thumped, plopped or tossed — a little uncontrollable twitch starts taking over my face. And when that big heavy bag of potatoes is plunked mercilessly on top of my dainty container of blackberries? Guttural noises threaten to escape from my mouth. Oh, and the questions. Questions like “What does one do with quinoa?” or “Are you sure you want to buy those star fruit? They seem awfully expensive.” Sometimes — okay, quite often — my mood and questions simply don’t mesh. These are my groceries, people, mine, and I can darn well buy whatever I please. No questions or comments required, thank you very much. So yeah, I sound like a bit of a

tyrant. But I’m not — not usually, anyway. And I’m usually quite pleasant. But it can be work.

system mastered, think again.

So, yay for self-check, that lovely little innovation that’s operated by me — just me. Except when I need help. Then it’s not operated by just me. And I seem to need help a lot. Like when I scan something wrong, or when the code is nowhere to be found on the product or in the machine, or when I don’t bag something fast enough, or when I take a bag off that little scale too fast, or when I want to use a coupon, or when I spend too much money or when the whole selfcheck system is simply having a particularly finicky day. And each store has its own little quirks, so when you think you’ve got the

But if it gets me out of that humongous store with all my groceries intact, it’s worth it. Excuse me as I breeze past all you die-hard, cashier-worshipping, change-abhorring shoppers who are waiting not-so-patiently in one of those excruciatingly long line-ups just to make idle chitchat with a complete and utter stranger — and then having them bump and thump your valuables. I’m off to that sterile solitary oasis known as self-check because I like being in control. And I’ll relish that control fiercely — until the “bzzzt-ing” and “please-ing” starts, that is. Edmonton writer Jan Hostyn prefers to bag her own groceries, thank you very much.

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The Tomato | March April 2011 11

On the road again Wandering around Alberta checking out this little town for the best pie or that hamlet for a hidden u-pick patch or visiting the newest cheese makers continues to be one of my favourite pastimes. Last year when Travel Alberta asked Judy Schultz and me to put together a foodie media tour in southern Alberta, we jumped in the car and buried ourselves in maps and notebooks, ready to explore new ventures and check in on old faves. Here are some of the highlights of the tour. — Mary Bailey

the cowboy trail Marv’s Soda Shop 121 Centre Avenue Black Diamond 403-933-7001 Peanut butter and dill pickle burger anyone? Only if you can wash it down with a true ice cream soda in every flavour imaginable, lime, black cherry, you get the drill. If you’re lucky, Marv will break out his guitar and play a rockabilly version of Hound Dog. This ode to the ‘50s soda shop somehow pulls it off without seeming trite or pastiche. We think the secret may be Marv himself, a true delight. Plus, the French fries are second to none. Worth a stop. Longview Jerky Shop 148 Morrison Road Longview, 403-558-3960 This shop makes their high-quality jerky in a large oven contraption behind the shop. Look for several flavours of jerky, and outstanding bacon, too.

12 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Twin Butte General Store Twin Butte, 403-627-4035 The historic local bar, store, post office and nightspot is a gathering place for the surrounding countryside. Look for the leaning cactus and cowboy (an example of southern Alberta’s predeliction for metal cowboy cutout art) and stop in for music, brews, thirst-quenching margaritas and excellent, fully-loaded nachos.

of warning: Do watch out for the singing bus driver, and try to make your exit before he gets to his third number.

Creek-made smokie; the toppings are fresh, inventive and tasty; the sweet potato fries worth a detour. Friendly, efficient service, open late.

Wieners of Waterton 403-339-1079

Ye Olde Lick and Nibble 403-859-2466

This hot dog and fries joint is more in keeping with what you might expect from park food but hold on, they do it really well. The dogs are Nathan’s Finest, the all beef kosher dog, and a Pincher

It’s a Waterton institution. How can you not like a place with a name like that? Enjoy every sort of flavour of ice cream, shakes and sundaes.

waterton park


Bel Lago Ristorante 403-859-2213

360 Inspired Cuisine 100 5th Street South, 403-329-3609

Italian-inspired, accomplished cooking, Bel Lago is impressive all the more so for the fact that it’s open only for the summer season (Waterton is a seasonal park). The beef is from a ranch up the road; somebody’s sister grows the vegetables; the mozzarella di bufala is from Mountainview. Chef Kris Spencer knows when to dazzle and when to get out of the way of stellar ingredients. A word

Picture this: lemon thymescented leg of fresh roasted Picture Butte rabbit served with asparagus risotto. Well-made food, a handsome room, and efficient friendly service make this contemporary bistro a standout in the sea of chain restaurants that dominate Lethbridge.

Chef Kris Spencer, Bel Lago Ristorante

sommelier Karen Patterson. Choose from a superbly curated, well organized selection including spirits and beer in every price range. Café Divine 42 McRae Street, 403-938-0000

Darren Nixon of Café Divine.

Nakagama Japanese Foods & Giftware 322 2 Avenue South, 403-327-5337 Ken Nakagama’s shop is chock full of sushi-making supplies, Japanese tableware and fun Japanese foods. It’s in the area that’s now called Chinatown, a haunting and historic block of tong houses and shops that date back to the turn of the century and the first wave of Japanese and Chinese immigration. Ken Nakagama is one of many who are trying to preserve the area in a meaningful way. Lighthouse Japanese Restaurant, 703 3rd Avenue South 403-328-4828 This smaller restaurant in a quiet part of downtown is worth searching out. The food is tasty, beautifully prepared and inventively presented. Expect sushi, sashimi, several selections of tempura including yam and potato, udon, katsu. Broxburn Vegetables & Café Broxburn Road, 403 327-0909 Famous for red peppers and red pepper cream soup. Take a tour of the gardens, buy some vegetables and herbs and have a homey lunch in the café. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden 9th Avenue South and Mayor Magrath Drive, 403-328-3511 The tranquil gardens provide a respite in every season.

okotoks olde towne The Wine Station 21 North Railway Street 403-995-0371 A very good shop operated by Frank Kennedy and certified

Chef/owner Darren Nixon and sous chef Adrienne Penny’s menu reflects their close collaboration with area ranchers and farmers — juicy Driview Farms lamb burger, toothsome Sudo Farms squash gnocchi or a delicious braised shoulder of Olson’s High Country bison. Heartland Café 46 McRae Street, 403-3995-4623 The Heartland is an offshoot of the café of the same name in Calgary. Ron and Cecille Swartz remodelled a church to provide atmospheric dining in Okotok’s old town. Try any of the really good pies. Chinook Meadery Box 12, Site 14, RR1, 403-995-0830 Beekeepers Cherie and Art Andrews pioneered mead in Alberta and now also make highquality vinegars. Visit the tasting room for liquid honey, honey products and answers to all your bee questions. Kayben Farms 314064 32 St East, 403 938-2857 (seasonal) The Kolk Family operates a landscaping business, tree farm and berry u-pick along with a café and shop. Daughters, chef Stephanie and baker Jolene, work in the family’s JoJo’s Café. Stephanie’s garden produces most of the salad greens, herbs and tomatoes used in the café while Jolene uses the home berry patch for her pies. The black currant syrup is deliciously tasty with sparkling wine, or have it on your pancakes. Celadonna Kitchen Shop 22 North Railway Street 403-995-6599.


Tosca April 9, 12, 14, 2011 • 7:30pm

The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium • 780-451-8000

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This well-equipped spot for tabletop, kitchenware, tools and glassware offers expert service and cooking classes. Find all the notable brands such as Le Crueset.

The Tomato | March April 2011 13

Cooking for Easter and The Italians have a saying: Christmas you have with your family; Easter you have with whomever you wish. Whether or not you spend Passover and Easter week with, family or friends, or both, ham and lamb are classic spring dinners, and these straightforward recipes are good to have in your recipe repertoire.

roast lamb with rosemary, roasted garlic and pan sauce 1 Four Whistle Farms lamb leg, bone in 2 cloves


to allow the meat to rest. While the meat is resting, remove the fat from the pan. Add the wine and stock to pan and scrape up any brown bits. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced by about half. Swirl in butter. Keep warm. To serve: Carve long thin slices with a very sharp knife. Serve with pan sauce, with any assortment of roasted vegetables such as potatoes, fennel and carrots. Serves 6-8 with leftovers.

14 March April 2011 | The Tomato


½ c


parsley sauce

4 T

brown sugar

11/3 c

2 T red wine (traditionally, a sweet kosher wine such a Manischewitz)


1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stalks and leaves finely chopped, reserve leaves

black peppercorns

1 T


1 T


1 carrot peeled and cut into chunks

Occasionally brush the lamb with the remaining herbed oil. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 155°F. The meat will continue to cook while it rests. Let stand covered for 10 minutes

½ c

1 t

thyme, chopped fine

Roast the garlic while you preheat the oven. Score the lamb all over and season. Place most of the cut-up rosemary in the score marks. Pour the oil in a bowl with the roasted garlic and mash. Add the rest of the rosemary and the chopped thyme. Cover the lamb with the garlic/oil/herb mixture and place on a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes — surround by new potatoes if desired. Reduce oven to 350°F.


Nicola Irving of Irvings Farm Fresh says the English prefer their ham unsmoked with parsley sauce, whereas “Canadians like their smoke.” Either way they’ll have ham available for Easter; try to give them two weeks notice for the best selection.

1 sprig

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

½ c


onion peeled and quartered


dried apricots

1 t


1 T

½ c

shallot, peeled and sliced

canola or olive oil


Place the pan in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes until the fat is crisp and caramelized. Rest for 10 minutes.
 Serve with the parsley sauce


¼ c

1 c

golden raisins

british sunday lunch ham with parsley sauce

Irvings Farm Fresh ham

red wine

1 c

bay leaf


1 c

5 Granny Smith green apples, peeled and cored


4-5 sprigs rosemary cut in one-inch (or so) lengths

sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

leaving as much fat as possible. Score the fat and rub with the honey and mustard. Season with black pepper.

1 celery peeled and cut into chunks 2

bay leaves

2-3 sprigs thyme 1 t

coriander seeds

1 t

black peppercorns

1 T

runny honey

1 T

Dijon mustard

Soak the ham in cold water overnight to remove excess salt. Drain well. Place ham and the rest of the ingredients, except the honey and mustard, in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover the pot with a lid and cook on the lowest setting for about 2 hours (25 minutes per kilo).Leave to cool in the poaching liquid. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Place ham on a roasting pan and carefully peel off the skin,

Sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper

juice of ½ lemon

Put milk, parsley stalks, bay leaf, shallot, mace and peppercorns in a small pan and bring to a boil. When the milk starts bubbling, take the pan off the heat. Cool the milk by pouring through a fine sieve and discard the solids.
 Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk, until smooth. Continue whisking until the sauce is thickened and is glossy. Just before serving, add parsley leaves to the heated sauce and season. Add lemon juice to taste.

mrs. beroff’s charoset Charoset, served at the Passover Seder while telling the story of Exodus, is meant to remind us of the mortar made by Israelite slaves. Each family’s recipe is a slightly different mix of nuts and dried fruit. This is the family recipe of a childhood neighbour, Mrs Beroff. It’s delicious on matzoh or on toast the next morning.

1 t

orange zest

1 t

lemon zest

½ t


Put all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it’s mixed but still lumpy. Taste and adjust sugar or cinnamon, if desired. Cover and refrigerate.

paska easter bread The beautiful Ukrainian bread decorated with dough birds, crosses and flowers is found in homes and bakeries all over our region. It reminds me of panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas bread, and is delicious toasted. Moderately experienced bakers will have no trouble with this classic recipe from Traditional Ukrainian Cookery, published in 1957, by Savella Stechishin. 1 c 1/3


milk flour

2 t


½ c

lukewarm water

3 pkgs

dry granular yeast


egg yolks


whole eggs

1 t


1 c


1 c

unsalted butter, melted

2 t


zest of one lemon

5½-6 c

sifted flour

1 c

raisins (optional)

d Passover Bring the milk to a boil and remove from heat. Add the hot milk gradually to the flour and beat thoroughly until smooth and free of lumps — if necessary, strain or press the mixture through a sieve. Cool the mixture to lukewarm. Dissolve the 2 teaspoons sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over it and let stand until every yeast granule is softened. Combine with the lukewarm milk-flour paste. Beat well, cover and let it rise in a warm place until light and bubbly (the sponge). Beat the egg yolks and the whole eggs together along with the salt. Add the cup of sugar gradually and continue beating until light. Beat in the butter, vanilla and lemon rind. Combine this mixture with the sponge and mix well. Stir in enough flour to make a very soft dough. Knead it in the bowl by working the dough over and up continually for about 10 minutes. This can be done by hand or with dough hooks. Note: the usual method of kneading does not apply to paska dough. This dough is very soft. Thorough kneading is essential to develop its elasticity. If raisins are used, add them after the dough is kneaded. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk. Punch down, knead a few times and let it rise again. This second rising may be omitted if desired. Opinions on this matter differ — experienced cooks say that the second rising gives a superior pascha. Prepare tall, round baking pans by buttering them generously with soft butter and sprinkling them lightly with fine bread crumbs. Large tube pans may also be used, but the traditional pascha is always baked in a tall, cylindrical pan. Note: Coffee cans work very well. Fill the pan 1/3 full with dough. This is very important. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it reaches the brim of the pan. It should

triple in bulk. Brush the dough with a beaten egg diluted with 2 tablespoons of milk. Bake in a moderate oven (375ºF) for about 7 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 325ºF and bake for about 30 minutes. Lower the temperature again to 275ºF and continue baking for 10 to 20 minutes longer. The baking period will depend on the size of the loaves and your oven. If necessary, cover the loaves with aluminum foil to prevent scorching. Pascha dough is very delicate and temperamental. It should be baked at a moderately high temperature at first in order to puff up and form a firm crust, and then the temperature should be lowered as this dough is very rich and scorches readily. Remove the baked loaves from the oven and let them stand in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Tip each loaf very gently from the pan onto a clothcovered pillow. Do not cool the loaves on a hard surface. This is extremely important. Careless handling of the baked pascha may cause it to fall or settle. As the loaves are cooling, change their position very gently a few times to prevent settling. If desired, the cooled loaves may be iced or glazed and decorated with bakers’ confetti. This is the custom in Ukraine.

Henry buys his glasses at Women With Vision ...

Where to buy local lamb and ham: Four Whistle Farms Lamb: Old Strathcona Farmers Market

... that’s why he gets all the hot chicks!

Irving’s Farm Fresh hams: Old Strathcona Farmers Market Sunterra Market Lendrum 5854-111 Street, 780-434-2610

10515 - 109 Street 780.423.3937

The Tomato | March April 2011 15

the revenge of bud the spud Karen Virag

Everyone should eat good carbs — whole wheat and spuds and rice And on a dark and wintry night, a bowl of oatmeal’s nice Carbohydrates give us energy and also make things sweet And foods like pasta, fruit and beans are oh so nice to eat All this crazy low-carb carping on my nerves it really grates I’d rather give up dreams of gold than give up carbohydrates.

16 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Pity the poor P.E.I. potato farmer back around 2004. Despite Stompin’ Tom’s rollicking musical paean to the potato, Bud the Spud, the low-carb, no-potato Atkins diet (and others, such as the Zone and the South Beach Diet) was wreaking havoc on the potato industry. In 2004, at the height of the no-carb craze, the number of truckloads of PEI potatoes bound for markets plunged by more than 1,400 compared to the same period the previous year. At the same time, the no-carb movement promised people that they could reduce their bulging waistlines by eating fat and meat. Bacon and brie, cream and cashews were now allowed. What was not allowed was carbohydrates — no potatoes on which to slather butter, no fettuccini for Alfredo sauce, and not even any wine to wash away your blues. So what are carbohydrates and why do so many people talk bad about them? A carbohydrate is a natural organic substance (a sugar or a starch) that is our major source of metabolic energy. Almost all societies have a carbohydrate staple, be it grain (for example, wheat and rye), rice, potatoes, maize,

millet, cassava or sorghum (an important cereal grain in Africa). And because of their predominance in almost every diet since recorded time, many carbohydrates have considerable social and religious significance. For example, rice, the main dietary staple for more than half the world’s population, is so central to life that in many Asian countries the words for “rice” and “food” are the same. The custom of throwing rice at newlywed couples points to rice as an important symbol of fertility (although in some societies thrown rice was meant to feed evil spirits, based on the premise that a well-fed evil spirit will not cause trouble in a marriage). Wheat, too, has been associated with fertility — brides in ancient Rome carried wheat sheaves and wore wheat in their hair. And in Christian countries, a wheat product, bread, is a potent religious symbol: the Lord’s Prayer asks God to give us our daily bread, and bread symbolizes Jesus’ body in the communion rite. And as any cool cat of a certain generation would know, “bread” and “dough” are metaphors for something we can’t live without: money. Carbohydrates constitute the major source of dietary energy for the majority of the world’s people. In poor countries, they provide up to 80 per cent of energy intake; in North America, about 50 per cent. At the same time, people in poor countries get about 10 per cent of their calories from fat; North Americans get a whopping — and alarming — 40 per cent. Is it just me, or is there something ironic about the rich West eschewing the carbohydrate-rich diet of

poor countries, where obesity is generally not a problem, while promoting the consumption of fat, which constitutes too high a proportion of the diet in North America, where obesity is a problem? And one cannot help but be struck by the class implications of low-carb diets — a rich in meat and dairy diet would be completely unaffordable in much of the world. So why do so many in our society spurn the staple foods that have sustained us, bodily and culturally, for thousands of years? The increase in obesity, our desire for quick solutions, our tendency to overreact and to adopt fads, and our legitimate desire to be healthy all figure into our eating patterns. Unfortunately, common sense sometimes does not. A better approach to healthy eating is to focus on the quality of carbohydrates rather than on banning them. Complex, or good, carbs are contained in vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes, and are much healthier than simple, or bad, carbs — white flour, sugar, cakes, candy and pop, all of which have a high glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly carbohydrates enter the bloodstream as sugar. The faster the digestive system breaks down carbs, the more quickly the blood sugar increases and the higher the GI. Generally, simple carbohydrates break down almost immediately, while complex ones take time. However, there are anomalies; for example, some vegetables, such as carrots, have rather high GIs, but contain little carbohydrate. It is true that many dieters following an Atkins regime lose weight, though eventually most gain it all back (the studies are astoundingly similar: 95 per cent of people who diet regain lost weight, and often more besides). A study from Vanderbilt University explains the problem with lowcarb diets: “Although the dieter will probably lose some weight,

the changes are entirely due to changes in water balance. … these diets would not be suitable for long-term weight loss because once the dieter resumes their normal eating habits the weight will return very quickly.” So, what can I say but carbohydrates, shmarbohydrates. In the end, it comes down to the two Qs: quality and quantity. With respect to the former, weight loss is a numbers game — eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. As for the latter, a diet high in highly processed white foods, like sliced white bread and sugary breakfast cereals, which are woefully lacking in vitamins, minerals and fibre, provides instant energy, but little else. Dieticians encourage a balanced and varied diet that includes lots of whole unprocessed foods,

including carbs. This is good news to Mary Sonier, of the PEI Potato Board, who told me that although the low-carb craze “is not so big now, it is still there.” As a consequence the board vigilantly promotes the potato’s nutritional heft. Sure, if you dress him up with butter, bacon and sour cream, you have a problem, but an unadorned medium spud contains about the same calories as an apple, 45 per cent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and more potassium than a banana. Michael Pollan’s famous manifesto from In Defense of Food, comes to mind here: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I would add: “Eat whole foods. Avoid unpronounceable additives. And forget fad diets.” Karen Virag is an Edmonton writer and editor who tries never to be starchy.

ways to eat rice and potatoes

The Tomato’s Annual Award for Exemplary Contribution to Edmonton's Culinary Life

Nominations for the 2010 Frank Award The Tomato’s Frank Award honours the person, place or thing that has most contributed to culinary life in Edmonton in the past year: farmer, rancher, chef, restaurateur, market/grocer, scientist, food or dish.

To nominate your choice for the 2010 Frank Award: Visit the and download the Frank Award Nomination Form  Write a letter to Frank Award 2010 The Tomato, 9833 84 Avenue Edmonton AB T6E 2G1

Nominations close January 31, 2011

Shop where the chefs shop.

Mary Bailey The Arabians brought rice to Italy in the late middle ages, when they dominated Sicily and parts of the southern mainland. But rice proved to do better in the marshy valley of the Po River, in northern Italy. Now, we associate rice with the Veneto, Lombardia, Piemonte, and especially, the city of Milan, due to risotto alla Milanese with its hint of saffron. Risotto is an easy, versatile dish requiring nothing more than some rice, some liquid, a pot, a stove and a half hour or so. I follow Marcella Hazan’s five to one rule; five cups liquid to each cup rice.

Cilantro Risotto This recipe was inspired by a recipe for bacon-wrapped Maine monkfish stuffed with lobster and avocado from the Boulevard Cookbook (Ten Speed Press). In that recipe you butterfly a monkfish, stuff it with chunks of lobster and silky avocado, wrap the whole thing in salty streaky bacon, brown, then roast the fish, cut in half, and serve on

top of the vibrantly green risotto with green almonds and fried coriander leaves. It’s an all-out dinner party dish. Alone, the risotto is simplicity itself. You can serve it with roast chicken, grilled salmon, or braised pork. The colour is a glorious harbinger of spring.

278 Cree Road in Sherwood Park • 780.449-.3710 Open Monday to Thursday 10-5 • Friday to Saturday 9-6

Cilantro Puree 1 c

fresh flat leaf parsley

3 T finely sliced fresh chives (about one bunch) 2 c fresh cilantro leaves (about one bunch) Blanch parsley and chives for one minute in boiling water. Add coriander leaves and cook for 30 seconds longer. Drain, reserving ½ cup of blanching liquid. Place the blanched herbs in a blender and puree until smooth using just enough water to allow that to happen. Perfectionists could push the mixture through a chinois for an absolutely silky puree. Reserve.

Diversify Your Palate. RICE HOWARD WAY



P: 780.757.2005

Please see “Potatoes” on page 26

The Tomato | March April 2011 17

beer guy

| peter bailey

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Life is short. Winter is long. Spring is cruel. But beer is good — so drink up. Gardeners survive winter by browsing seed catalogues and dreaming of flowers. Beer guys cash in their empties and hope it is enough to get them to Cancun where they can complain about the resort’s beer selection (“Señor, Corona Light is still just Corona.”). I had enough empties a couple of years ago to make it to Maui. Sure, the beaches were fabulous but a highlight for me was wandering the beer aisle at Safeway and Long’s Drug Store, cackling maniacally when I scored a dozen Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at an incredible price (“Start the car!”). But most winters we can only dream of the beers we would bring if we were, say, stranded on a desert island. I’ve borrowed ‘choosing desert island beers’ from the venerable BBC radio program, Desert Island Discs, first broadcast in January 1942 in the dead of winter, at the lowest point of the Second World War. To this day, guest castaways suggest eight pieces of music they would bring to a desert island. Nick Hornby riffed on this concept in his novel, High Fidelity, where character Rob Fleming has many personal Top Five lists, like “Five Best Side One Track One Songs.” For beer, a six pack is appropriate, and I canvassed beer geeks, asking what six beers they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. There was a remarkable amount of consensus among this council of hobbyists, writers, and brewers. Most noted that a steady diet of easy-drinking thirst quenchers would not be sufficient for an extended time on the island, and so suggested a variety of beer styles. Comedian John Wing quite literally dreamt of beers, supplying a list of a dozen delightful-sounding beers that, alas, are figments of his rich imagination. It’s a shame as I’d like to try Al Purdy’s Goddamn

18 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Homebrew from Coach House Press Brewing. Or, maybe not. Demonstrating the collegiality of Edmonton’s brewing industry, local brewers Jim Gibbon, owner of Amber’s Brewing and Neil Herbst, owner of Alley Kat Brewing, agreed on Neil’s Charlie Flint Lager. Neil noted modestly that Charlie Flint is “a nice crisp refreshing lager, perfect for a hot afternoon on the island.” Jim chose four lagers, including his own spicy Australian Mountain Pepper Berry Lager. Calgary and Edmonton agreed on something too: hoppy IPAs. Calgary’s Tina Wolf of Wild Rose Brewery, and Edmonton’s Mark Suits of the Edmonton Journal, both love Central City’s Red Racer IPA and Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Then again, who doesn’t love these delicious hop bombs? The beer folks felt a big beer was required to keep them company on those lonely, tropical nights. Several different high-alcohol, big-taste Russian Imperial Stouts, Tripels and Barley Wines were suggested. Big beers are handy as they age nicely, in case we’re stuck on the island for a long time. Some beer folk were quite strategic. Alan Macleod of A Good Beer Blog chose five stellar beers like Michigan’s Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, but added in macrolager Miller High Life “to give to anyone who comes by to keep their hands off my good beer.” And Yukon Brewing’s marketing director Neil Stephen chose a couple of Yukon brews, but also picked Budweiser, noting that it’s “always important to bring water when stranded on a desert island.” Indeed, in beer there is wisdom.

Desert Island Six-Pack Six fabulous beers that would help anyone survive a stranding on a desert island. The assumption by my council of beer geeks was that a desert island is a hot, tropical place, hence the emphasis on thirst-quenching drinkability.

Easy Drinking: Samuel Adams Boston Lager From Boston, the ground-breaking Vienna Lager that changed how Americans thought about “microbrew.” A best-seller in the U.S., today, Sam Adams continues to be a well-made beer — coppercoloured, balanced between sweet, light malt and mild hop bitterness. Jason Foster, Edmonton beer writer, suggests Boston Lager as a refreshing and reliable thirst quencher for any desert island.

ys Thursda M P 4:30 - 8

Quaffable: Anchor Steam Beer

Fresh & Local Year Round

From San Francisco, the classic Steam Beer that helped launch the craft beer movement. Every beer geek has a beer that changed the way they thought about beer, and Anchor Steam was key for me. I wouldn’t think of being stranded on an island without this very pleasant, very satisfying beer. Anchor Steam is understated and subtle — a bit dry, a bit caramel sweet, but all delicious.

Sherwood Park’s year-round farmers’ market. Located inside the Salisbury Greenhouse 1 mile south of Wye Road on RR 232. Every Thursday from 4:30 to 8 pm.

Refreshing: Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale From Edmonton, the Pacific Northwest-style American Pale Ale with the power to break the back of any thirst. The Edmonton Journal’s Mark Suits speaks for Full Moon’s many local fans when he says that on a desert island, Full Moon would be his “I miss Edmonton beer.” Centennial and Cascade hops give Full Moon an assertively bitter and fruity taste, with some balancing from caramel malts.

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Wheaty: Charlevoix Dominus Vobiscum Blanche From Quebec, a Witbier (wheat) beer, as one cannot live on barley alone. Top local homebrewers agreed a wheat beer was needed for the six-pack, with Ernie Boffa choosing the Charlevoix and Owen Kirkaldy the Estrella Damm Inedit from Spain. Let’s buy Canadian and go with the Charlevoix, a wonderful example with a full citrusy nose, and a taste of wheat with lemon, tangerine and lime.

Hoppy: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA From Delaware, the style-defining Imperial or Double IPA. Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione discovered that adding hops constantly throughout the boil in the brewing process allows the full flavour of the hops to flower, while lessening unpleasant bitterness. In the 90 Minute IPA, we get a big and flavourful beer with intense hops, but one that is still thirst quenching.

Big: Les Trois Mousquetaires Baltique Porter From Quebec, this big beer from a small brewer was declared the World’s Best Baltic Porter at the 2010 World Beer Awards. Troy Burtch, of TAPS: the Beer Magazine, suggested this mighty porter — a good stand-in for all the big beers others suggested for the desert island nights. This Baltic Porter is dark brown with a fruity-chocolate aroma and a delicious roasty, raisins meets chocolate taste. Peter Bailey is an Edmonton-area librarian.

The Tomato | March April 2011 19

The Breadstick. One of the first food things you notice in northern Italy is the long, skinny, crisp breadstick, found on every restaurant table, upright on coffee bars, in bakeries. Grocery stores have several styles arrayed in boxes, in plastic bags, and loose, wrapped in paper or ribbon. There are gourmet breadsticks, artisan breadsticks, breadsticks with fennel seed or cheese. The bread stick is ubiquitous. Why so? The home of the breadstick, called grissini, is Turin, home of the Savoy. The story goes like this: It was 1679. Carlo Emanuele II, the Duke of Savoy, had a son named Vittorio Amedeo II. He was ill, refusing food. The duke asked his court baker, Brunero, to come up with something that his son could enjoy that was easy to digest. Brunero came up with a thin, crispy stick similar (but thinner and smaller) to ghersa, a popular style of loaf in Turin. This word morphed into grissini and now, to be terribly technical, we have two kinds, straight, stirato and rolled, rubata.

20 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Evidently grissini did not help poor Vittorio as he died young, but the fashion for thin, crispy sticks of bread caught on.

la rei restaurant grissini stirati

grissini torinesi

How emblematic of Piemontese food is the grissini? Consider that the Grand Hyatt Honk Kong named its restaurant featuring Northern Italian cuisine Grissini, and features the oven in the entrance of the room.

1 kg

flour Tipo “00”

80 gr

corn flour

1½ c lukewarm water (about 100ºF)

120 gr

extra virgin olive oil

35 gr

baking powder

5 gr


365 gr


There are several kinds of grissini available in Edmonton, with the Italian Centre north side location having the largest selection to choose from.

21 gr


Eat them alone, serve with other antipasti such as olives or wrap proscuitto around them for a quick appetizer. Or, make your own. La Rei, the restaurant in Il Boscareto Resort offered a stellar breadstick, slightly chewy, crunchy and flavourful. They were kind to share the recipe.

Prehead oven to 400ºF. Mix all the ingredients together and let it leaven for ½ hour. Divide the dough into 3 and make 3 loaves. Let them stand and extend them until the loaves have a 5 cm circumference. Brush them with oil and cover with film. Let them leaven for ½ hour. Sprinkle with corn flour and cut them in cylinders, stretch them and put them on a baking pan and cook in the oven for 8 minutes.* * La Rei breadsticks had large sea salt crystals on the outside. Sprinkle on after cutting in cylinders.

1 T

active dry yeast

3 c + 2 T unbleached bread flour 2/3 c

semolina flour

2 T

unsalted butter, softened

1 T

extra virgin olive oil

1 T

kosher salt

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of the water and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Whisk with a fork to dissolve the yeast and let stand 5 minutes until it bubbles. (If it doesn’t bubble, use new yeast.) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast-water mix, bread flour, semolina flour, butter, oil, salt and remaining 1¼ cups of water. Mix with a dough hook on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Or mix by hand with a wooden spoon and then knead by hand for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Coat the dough with the oil, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

shaping and baking ½ c

unbleached bread flour

½ c

semolina flour

¼ t


2 T

extra virgin olive oil

1 T


shaping Lightly oil 4 heavy-rimmed baking sheets (or bake in batches). Combine the bread flour, semolina flour and salt in a small bowl and stir to blend. In another small bowl, combine the olive oil and water. Sprinkle the work surface thickly with the flour mixture. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and flatten it with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 18 x 6 inch. If the dough is too soft, transfer it to a floured sheet pan and put in the freezer to firm (about 10 minutes). Return it to the floured work surface before continuing.

Cut the dough into 6 inch by ¼ inch strips, cutting just a few at a time. Keep the rest of the dough covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Pick up each strip by the ends and put on the baking sheet, and allow each strip to become only as long as the sheet. Arrange side by side, close but not touching. Let rise about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake the breadsticks until light brown and crisp all the way through, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack. Makes about 5 dozen. The sticks keep well in a closed container for about two weeks. It may seem like a large yield, but they are addictive. Photos: grissini upper left and boxed selection from the Italian Centre Shop, Curtis Comeau Photography; cook preparing grissini in the La Rei kitchen, Il Boscoreto Resort.

Brush the surface of the rectangle with the oil-water mixture, then sprinkle generously with some of the flour mixture.

The Tomato | March April 2011 21

Blair’s stage Blair Lebsack

The Pont de Pierre bridge which connects cours Victor Hugo to quartier de la Bastide in Bordeaux.

I left Edmonton last fall to travel to northern Italy and spend a few months in France — especially the cities of Lyon and Bordeaux. I had no agenda as to where I had to be, but knew that I needed to be close to food and the kitchen — my home away from home. My plan was to talk to chefs and ask permission to grace their kitchens for an unpaid work experience. Cooks refer to this period of voluntary labour as a stage, common in our line of work. To cook with masters of cuisine, to watch and learn their techniques, trucs and secrets, is payment itself. Surrounded by celebrated vineyards, close to the Basque country, Arcachon and the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux is a haven for great food. Hundreds of traditional bistros, brasseries and fine dining hotel restaurants line the cobbled streets. There is also a new breed of restaurants serving cutting edge foods and flavours. My first week in Bordeaux consisted of eating through a range of classic fare, but ultimately scoping out the latter. I read about great modern cuisine being created at a hole in the wall near the quay. The description spoke of a chef trained under the great Alain Ducasse, and an

22 March April 2011 | The Tomato

adventurous menu that didn’t break the bank. I grabbed my girlfriend and insisted on a night out. As we wander through the labyrinth of streets looking for the restaurant, there are many others that would suffice to allay hunger pains, but I am on a mission to find this particular restaurant. It's in a more colourful part of Bordeaux where the touristy brasseries give way to small speakeasies, jazz clubs and theatres. Finally, down a dark and narrow cobblestone street, 18th and 19th century buildings on either side, above grand glass doors, a small copper sign reads C’Yusha. We have found it! We enter a vision of beautifully restored stone walls, large wooden ceiling beams, a raised dining area with a long open kitchen on one side and three tables directly across. A server quickly approaches and asks cheerfully if we have a reservation. We're momentarily worried that we might be turned away as she looks at the book, but the response is positive. She leads us further into the room where it opens to showcase a space that in French fashion seats 45 people, but is comfortably hosting about 30 guests. We are already

enjoying the music, the candlelight and the minimalist décor, then I realize there is a perfect view of the action in the kitchen. When it comes to deciding what to eat, there is no real question, we both order the chef’s tasting menu — potage aux cepes with a whipped cream and hazelnut churro; pumpkin and foie gras mousse; risotto with enoki mushrooms and scallops. There are amuse bouches, cheeses, pre-desserts and postdesserts that are touchingly unique and leave a lasting impression. The meal is a perfect harmony of flavours, textures, temperatures. The timing of service? Impeccable. All the while, the chef, Pierrick Célibert, is alone in what turns out to be the most efficient kitchen I‘ve encountered so far. He is cook, chef and master of this restaurant and I observe the care and speed with which he plates each course, not letting the server take out anything that is less than perfect. As the dining room starts to slow down a little, he takes time to talk to everyone as they leave. That’s perfect, as I must let him know how much we enjoyed everything, and gauge how accommodating he would be for a stage. I thank chef for the great dinner and ask him

one simple question. What was the cream flavour with the potage? He beams. “It is rose petal. I infuse it in cream and make a foam.” Chef starts to reveal his total passion and love for food. He starts pulling leaves off a potted plant for me to taste. I’m astounded. It tastes like oysters! It’s called huitre vegetale du Basssin d'Arcachon and chef is working with a producer who lives on the shores of Arcachon (home of the fines de claire oyster), and they have developed something that pulls the flavour of oyster right into the leaves — essentially oyster sprouts. Chef takes more things out of the cooler and offers other morsels for me to taste. We could talk all night. This is exactly what I am looking for, so I ask if I can do a stage. Chef's response is: "Work for free? How can I say no?" I've done it, I've talked my way into a stage in a true French kitchen. The next morning I wait out front for chef to open the restaurant. He says to be there at 8am. At 8:15 I go a few doors down the street for coffee. A few minutes later he arrives with a leg of lamb, wrapped in butchers paper over his shoulder. I love this restaurant! He does not have a supplier that delivers, he purchases from the

butcher shop four doors down. He knows all of his producers and works closely with the local shops to keep him supplied with his needs. This is the guy for me. I am in a kitchen in a building that seems older than time yet I’m astounded at the modernity. There is a combi oven for roasting and steaming, a hot plate for searing/ grilling, an immersion circulator for sous vide cooking, induction burners for pot and pan work, a flash freezer, warming drawer and everything else that I could possibly want in my kitchen. I’m a kid again surrounded by all the latest toys and I don’t know where to start. Chef tells me. I shuck fresh scallops, clean vegetables, make crepes and cookies, then watch while he cleans and prepares the meats. I ask tons of questions and unlike the cold, authoritarian stereotype, chef is an open book. We talk about flavours and technique. After being open less than a year, his restaurant has made it into the Michelin Guide, and my gut tells me his Michelin star is coming soon. The French enjoy food so much, it’s impossible to ignore the important role played by restaurants, street markets and vineyards in daily life. Not only do chefs and restaurants respond to their unique landscapes, but also contribute to establishing the identity of their towns and cities. As I travelled through France, a chef with no kitchen, determined to touch, see, hear, smell and taste everything that food has to offer, I ended up cooking more than I ever anticipated. I rediscovered what it is that I love about food. It’s the smiles and proud faces of the men and women who work tirelessly to bring us the best and most unique products, and the wonderful meals that follow. I’m back in Edmonton now, ready to cook. I can’t wait to be part of shaping Edmonton in this decade, supporting our own amazing products, producers and chefs. Ice climber, mountain biker Blair Lebsack, formerly exc chef at Madison's Grill, is on the hunt for the ideal location for his restaurant showcasing our great local foods.

lamb chop and braised shoulder A good butcher makes all cuts of lamb appealing. In France the roasts and chops looked so great I had to cook both for one meal. The comfort of braising with the tenderness of a roasted rack is perfect for early spring. 2 cloves



yellow onion, rough cut


carrots, rough cut


small celery root, rough cut

1 T

tomato paste

2 c

veal stock or water

2 lbs

lamb shoulder

4 sprigs

fresh rosemary

1 rack

lamb (8 bones)

In an oven-proof saute pan or roasting pan, put 2 tablespoons of canola oil on medium high heat. Put vegetables in pan and saute until lightly browned, add garlic and cook until aromatic. Season the lamb shoulder and put in pan and brown on all sides. Add tomato paste and enough water (or veal stock) to cover ¾ of the way up the lamb. Cover with lid or foil and braise in 325ºF oven until fork tender, about 3-4 hours. Once lamb is tender remove from roasting pan, strain liquid from solids and discard the solids. Shred lamb shoulder.

lamb rack Season with salt and pepper. Sear in pan on medium high heat until brown. Finish in 400ºF oven until medium rare or internal temperature of 140ºF. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

to finish dish Reduce ½ of the reserved braising liquid by half or a bit more to intensify the flavour. Reheat the lamb shoulder in the other ½ of the braising liquid. Divide braised shoulder onto 4 plates. Cut the rack of lamb into 4, 2-bone portions and place on top of braised shoulder. Serve with mashed potatoes and mushroom ragout. Serves 4.

The Tomato | March April 2011 23

kitchen sink

| what’s new and notable

restaurant buzz Chefs Daniel Costa and Ben Chalmers opened Corso 32 (10345 Jasper Avenue, 780-421-4622) over Christmas and it’s been packed ever since. This is the kind of food we don’t have enough of in Edmonton — food with a point of view. Expect accomplished cooking with great respect for ingredients. The smallish menu is Italian inspired. The modern all-white interior with spiffy lighting and blonde woods is Italian inspired as well; Corso would not look out of place in Turin or Milan. So far — perfect rabbit pappardelle, crispy gnocchi, a very good flat iron steak. Opening for lunch soon-ish. A reso is a must or expect to wait for one of the 32 seats. The name is fun, after the address of the family home in a small town near Salerno, also famous for its cipolla onions. NAIT is giving away four pairs of tickets to the sold out Element of Taste Luncheon, Wednesday, March 16. Hokanson Chef-inresidence Susur Lee will be working with NAIT Culinary Arts students to prepare the lunch. As well, winners will receive a signed copy of this extraordinary chef’s biography and cookbook Susur: A Culinary Life. Visit to enter. Shaw Conference Centre’s pastry chef, James Holehouse, was part of medalwinning Culinary Team Canada at the recent Expogast Culinary World Cup. The team scored gold medals in the hot kitchen and cold display categories, and finished fifth overall out of 28 countries. Bravo! Check out Mini Mango Vietnamese Food (Market at Summerside, 1056 91 Street, 780-756-6464) a miniature version of Sweet Mango on Whyte Avenue. Great for healthy, tasty food on the go. The Bistro Praha (10117 101 street, 780424-421) has reopened and, yup, it looks — almost — exactly the same. Best bets are the warming cabbage soup, smoked pork hocks and the tender apple strudel. After many construction delays The Queen of Tarts Bakery Bistro (10129B 104 Street, 780-421-4410) below 29 Armstrong, is open. Visit for quiche, her delicious pies and tarts or salads, signature sandwiches and vegetarian items in the café.

24 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Eden Restaurant in The Rimrock, Banff was awarded the coveted CAA/AAA Five Diamond category for the seventh consecutive year (only five restaurants in Canada are included in this prestigious group). Eight Alberta restaurants including Catch, Il Sogno, and La Chaumiere in Calgary, and nine hotels including the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald were awarded the Four Diamond rating. The ratings, highly regarded in hotel and hospitality circles, are awarded yearly through on-site evaluations. They are not given out lavishly: AAA/CAA Four and Five Diamond establishments make up just 3.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, of the total 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond-rated lodgings and restaurants. Transcend Coffee is opening a new location downtown at 10349 Jasper Avenue (formerly Axis Café). We are looking forward to trying Chad Moss’ Central and South American coffee origin street food menu of empanadas, pupusas, aprepas, and pao de queijo plus great breads hand-made by Jeff Johnson. The new café plans to be up and running in March. A burger throw down is shaping up in Sherwood Park. The American chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries has opened off Wye Road, in close competition with Fulton Market Burgers on Broadway Boulevard. Will either be as good as a South Street burger, made with local Spring Creek Ranch beef? As Cross Iron Mills is a long drive for a burger, let’s hope South Street opens soon, closer to home. Congratulations and a big hurrah to Martin Juneau (Newton, Montreal) the 2011 Gold Medal champion chef. Jeremy Charles (Raymond’s, St. John’s) took second place; and Robert Clark (C, Vancouver) was the bronze medalist. Edmonton’s contender, Andrew Fung exec chef of Blackhawk Golf Course, came home empty handed but it was close, so so close. Madison’s new look is complete and it’s wow! Check out the black quartz boardroom table that sits 14 people in the Vintage Room. Everything looks fresh, updated, new and lovely.

wine tasting, happenings and events The California Wine Fair rolls into town March 8 for the afternoon trade event and evening fundraiser for the Citadel Theatre. Always fun; always tasty. Tickets: 780-4251820, Crestwood Wine’s Food, Wine and Conversation evenings continue on Tuesday, March 8. Chef Emmanual David of the new Bistro La Persaud presents tapas, $30 per person. On April 12, Kimberley Theoret, the Blue Pear’s sommelier, tastes spring patio sippers, $20 per person. Call 780-488-7800 to book. Wednesday is Winesday at Sherbrooke Liquor Store 11819 St Albert Trail, 780455-4556, Enjoy sampling from 4pm to 7pm. As well, Mill Creek Café and Sherbrooke are having a series of fun informative tastings. Tickets are $50, available at Sherbrooke or Mill Creek Café, 9562 82 Avenue, 780-439-5535. Here’s the lineup: Tuesday, March 15; Fortified wines and other delights; Tuesday April 19, Italian wines. Visit the Campbell Liquor Store, 3 Curial Drive, St. Albert, 780-419-3444 for themed weekend tastings from 3pm-7pm Friday and 1pm-5pm Saturday. The Environmental Research and Studies Centre presents Dr. Nettie Wiebe as part of their Food Futures Lecture Series: Growing, Knowing and Loving Food. In addition, Jessie Radies, founder of Live Local Alberta, will be speaking on Eating Local - How & Why, March 3, The Localvore’s Dilemma, part of the U of A Alumni’s Educated Palate series, visits produce distributor Sunfresh Farms, then takes a field trip to a grocery store to spot local produce on April 28. Details: ualberta. ca/alumni/educatedpalate Bin 104 is offering a three-tasting bundle called Wine Journeys – France, Mondays, April 11, 18, 25, from 7-9pm. The cost is $150. Visit or call 780-4368850 to register.

Autumn is the most spectacular time to visit wine regions and three stellar estates — Hugel, in the Alsace, Prüm, Germany, and Gobelsburg in Austria — are on Peter Blattmann’s October tour itinerary. Enjoy hands-on preparation of regional delicacies in historic restaurants; cruise scenic rivers lined with the world's steepest vineyards. Visit for details of the Alsace-Germany-Austria tour. Love wine? Want to know and taste more? Looking for practical techniques to help you make the best choices? Wine & Sprit Education Trust (WSET) courses, are taught in over 58 countries and considered the gold standard in wine education. Course material includes wine service training, fortified and sparkling wines, spirits, terminology, viticulture and how to read a label. WSET Intermediate Level Two begins Tuesday, April 5 to June 14, Advanced Level Three this fall. To register, call 1-800-667-7288 or visit

product news The Italian Centre Shops (1087895 Street, 780-424-4869, 5028 104A Street, 780-984-869) stocks an absolutely delicious cheese called Il Forteto Boschetto with White Truffle. Il Forteto is an agricultural cooperative, northeast of Florence that produces Pecorino Toscano. The Boschetto featured is a sweet, tender and mild sheep and cows milk cheese, aged with shavings of luxurious white truffle. $6.99/100gm. Java Jive Coffee Factory (9929 77 Avenue, 780-432-9148) stocks the other Hawaiian, Maui-Number 1, available in a 450gm bag for $18.95. Great value; wonderful taste. Hurry, quantities are limited! Noodle maker Siu To has mastered the art of the Montreal-style bagel in sesame seed, poppy seed, multi-grain, and his favourite the cinnamon-apple-raisin. Bagels are two for $3 or three for $5, available fresh or frozen to go at the Noodle Maker Restaurant, (9653 102A Avenue, 780-428-0021).

If you prefer roast turkey for Easter, First Nature Farms (Jerry Kitt) has a few big birds available, as well as turkey breast, ground turkey, turkey sausage, and turkey stir fry. Stop by the stand in the Old Strathcona Market to purchase. Be on the lookout for the first of Alley Kat’s big bottle series Three Bears Oatmeal Stout (650 ml). “This brew is just right,” says Neil Herbst,“ with its silky smooth mouth feel, soft roasted malt aroma and taste to tingle the taste-buds.” Only 3000 litres of each innovative, high flavour profile beer will be brewed. ( Check out beer lover Shane Groendahl’s beer of the month program showcasing some fantastic new brews at 123rd St. Fine Wines & Spirits (10505 123 Street, 780-420-1650). Visit for feature wines and new products. Tree Stone Boulangerie Artisanale (8612 99 Street, 780433-5924) has a much larger sign and three new rye breads — caraway, walnuts, raisin — each made from a blend of 50 per cent organic rye and 50 per cent organic wheat. Baker Yvan Chartrand likes to call his true European breads, pastries and sourdoughs the 100km breads as he sources his flours from close by. The rye is from Barrhead; the organic wheat is from Camrose. You must get there early if you want a croissant or pain au chocolat — they are generally gone by noon.

slow food edmonton events Friday March 4: Nettie Wiebe, first female president of the Canadian National Farmers Union, 7-9pm in the Edmonton Room at The Edmonton Public Library. Sunday, March 20: Explore the burgeoning number of ways to purchase locally grown food, including CSA (community supported agriculture) food boxes, co-ops, community gardens, or clubs at Beyond the Supermarket. This event

is a partnership between Slow Food Edmonton and Just Food Edmonton, and will be run in conjunction with Seedy Sunday. Saturday, April 30: What is the best wine to drink with potato chips? What about popcorn? Learn the pleasurable art as well as the science of wine and food pairing in an entertaining tasting with certified sommelier Mary Bailey. Taste several top-notch BC wines paired with Alberta cheeses. This is just one of the sessions offered during Eat Alberta: DIY Play with your Food! a day of workshops, demonstrations, tastings, discussions and cooking — all centred around local food stuffs. Monday, June 13: Indulgence, a Canadian epic of wine and food celebrates local gastronomy at the Delta Edmonton South. Tickets after May 2, 780-439-3272. Visit for more information on all SFE events.

G ourmet k itchen tab letop fin e lin en s b ridal reG istry

in dulG e your sen ses

Crestwood Centre | 9646 142 Street 780.437.4190 |

no preconceptions. The best way to enjoy our wines is to allow them the opportunity to entice your senses—you are your best wine critic.

New and/or interesting food and drink related news for The Kitchen Sink can be faxed to 780-433-0492.

The Other Red™ from raspberries. The Barb™ from rhubarb.


It’s as easy as

1-2-3! 1.

The largest selection of Beer in Canada!

The largest selection of Rum in Edmonton!



The largest selection of Scotch on our block!

11819 St. Albert Trail, Edmonton

The Tomato | March April 2011 25 Sherbrooke_12V.indd 1

10-12-10 7:44 AM



Continued from page 17

risotto 4 c

chicken or vegetable stock

2 t

olive oil


1 c

finely diced onion

Artisan Bakery

1 c white wine (or water) warmed


1 c arborio or carnaroli rice

2 T 8612-99 Street 780.433.5924

unsalted butter

sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper Heat the stock and keep hot. In a large saucepan sauté the onion in the oil until it’s soft and translucent and not yet beginning to colour, about 5 minutes. Put the rice in the pan and sauté until the grains become opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add half the wine or water. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, then add the other half, stirring constantly. Add the warm stock half a cup at a time, stirring, adding more when the rice has absorbed the last addition. After about 15 minutes, check the rice — cut into it to see if just a little core of white remains at the centre of the grain. Or, bite a grain to see if it’s done — there should be some resistance. Be careful not to over cook as the rice will continue to cook and absorb liquid even after it’s taken off the heat. When the rice is done, stir in the butter and coriander puree and season to taste. To serve: divide the risotto between four warmed dinner plates. Serves 4

5482 Calgary Trail

Pity the poor Albertan trying to eat local in early spring. No ramps, no pea shoots, asparagus will be at least another month. What to do? Use the last of the winter potatoes, winter greens such as kale, grown in BC, or frozen from your garden, and local hot house produce. Roasting the vegetables caramelizes the natural sugars and adds depth to the flavours. Make this satisfying soup on the raw days. Like most soups this can be made the day before and reheated. It also freezes well, just add a bit more stock or water upon thawing. 2 lbs potatoes (about 6-8 large potatoes, russets, Yukon golds, reds all work well) peeled and rough chopped 4 leeks, trimmed and cleaned, roughly chopped

Best right out of the pan — a deliciously decadent treat.

sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Pour at least 1-inch of oil into a deep pot and heat it to 350ºF.Slice the potatoes into thin matchsticks (1/8-inch thick) with a vegetable slicer or mandoline, dropping them into a bowl of cold water as you cut. Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Drop the potatoes in batches into the hot oil and cook for 3 to

26 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Bothy_8H.indd 1

roasted potato leek soup with bacon and crispy kale

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 large russet potatoes, peeled


Season potatoes with freshly cracked black pepper, or malt vinegar, if desired. Serve alone or with a mayo based dipping sauce. Serve immediately. Best eaten by hand with a glass of Champagne. Serves 2-6

pommes frites in duck fat

duck fat (canola oil if duck fat is not available)

• Extensive malt whisky selection • By-the-glass wine, champagne & sparkling • Cheese, paté, charcuterie & gourmet haggis • Available for private functions

5 minutes, until golden brown. Be careful, use a splatter guard and wear gloves. Remove from the pot with a wire basket skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Salt generously, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

10/19/09 9:43:47 AM

¼ c canola or extra virgin olive oil

6 c

chicken or vegetable stock

1 c

white wine

crème fraiche, yogurt, cream or sour cream for garnish 2-3 slices mild pancetta (or 2-3 rashers bacon) 1 bunch kale, washed, ribs removed, and torn into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Toss vegetables with oil and seasoning in a large bowl, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally until tender and slightly browned.

Place vegetables in large pot or dutch oven with the stock. To get all the good crunchy bits from the baking sheet, place the baking sheet over two burners on the stove top. Add wine and cook over low heat scraping up all the browned bits. Add these to the pot of vegetables. Simmer soup for about ½ hour or so to marry the flavours. While the soup simmers, cook the bacon until crispy and reserve. Leave some of the fat in the pan and crisp the kale in batches draining on paper towels. Reserve. Using an immersion blender puree the soup in short bursts, making it as chunky or as smooth as you like. You could also transfer the soup in batches to a food processor and puree. Season to taste. To serve: Ladle hot soup into bowls. Drizzle a spoonful of the crème fraiche, plain yogurt, cream or sour cream on soup. Place crispy kale and crumbled bacon on top. Serves 6

week night rice bowl I love rice bowls, their all-in-one aspect, their ease of prep, their flexibility, their soup-as a-meal adaptability. If you use a rice cooker you probably make more rice than you need for one day. Keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to two days or (sacrilege) freeze in one-cup baggies. Reheat on the stovetop or in microwave. This rice bowl is low fat and ultra healthy, with three sources of protein, fibre and lots of vitamins. Don’t be afraid of the stinky fish sauce, it adds unami.

marinade 2 T mirin (rice wine), or rice vinegar 1 T


1 t

wasabi paste

1 t

tamari sauce

zest of ½ small lemon

1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1 t

fish sauce

Whisk all ingredients together and brush on the meat or tofu. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

rice bowl wild salmon in two 3-4 inch pieces (or so), or pork, duck, or tofu 1-2 c

hot cooked brown rice

1 c green vegetable — shelled edamame, asparagus or broccoli stem cut in small pieces. 3 t

toasted sesame seed

1-2 t

sesame oil

truffled mac ’n cheese with baby lobster, shiitake mushrooms and white truffle oil — a true original!

2-3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal sliced cucumber, pickled ginger for garnish Take the fish out of the marinade and place in a hot pan, skin side down. Cook until the fish is opaque, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a boil then take off heat. Reserve. Divide the rice between two bowls and top with green vegetables. Place a piece of fish on the rice and pour marinade over. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onion and drizzle with sesame oil. Garnish with cucumber and pickled ginger if so desired. Serves 2

Plain: not our strong suit Lunch served Monday through Friday 11:30 am – 2 pm Dinner served Monday through Saturday from 5 pm Bring a friend to lunch! Visit, sign up for our newsletter and receive a gift certificate for a second entree of equal or lesser value when you purchase a first. *Valid only when two or more people are dining. Not redeemable for cash. Not valid in the month of December.

97 Street & Jasper Avenue | Reservations 780.423.0969 or

where to buy ingredients: Miso, a fermented soybean paste, adds a creamy texture and savoury taste to any dish. It’s also chock full of B vitamins. A very good artisan miso is made on Denman Island and is available at Planet Organic, 7917 104 Street.

Special City Hall Edition City Hall Foyer Every Saturday March 12-14, 10am - 3pm

Duck fat keeps well in the refrigerator, and it’s worth keeping it around. It’s available from Greens Eggs and Ham at the Alberta Avenue Market on Thursday evenings or throughout the year at Ocean Odyssey Inland, 10027 167 Street. Arborio and carnaroli are two short grain rice from northern Italy. Find the best selection at The Italian Centre Shops 10878-95 Street, 5028 104A Street, and Zenaris, 10180 101 Street (main floor Manulife). Edamame are available frozen at most larger grocery stores such as Superstore.

The Tomato | March April 2011 27

In association with Slow Food Edmonton:


A Celebration of Our Local Food Heroes

Save your herbs


Local food heroes will teach and share their love of food at Eat Alberta, a new food conference. Join us for a day of hands-on learning, tasty food, delicious drinks and lots of fun! Saturday, April 30, 2011 Edmonton Registration information available soon at:

We still have a few months before we can go to the kitchen garden and pick some basil or fresh parsley. The Prepara Herb Savor lengthens the life of fresh leafy herbs, such as parsley, for up to three weeks. As the stems sit slightly submerged in the water-well, it’s also ideal for asparagus spears. Made of clear plastic and stainless steel sized to fit perfectly inside the refrigerator door. $30.

Turn up the heat Non-stick pans are fine at low temperatures, but what happens when you need to cook with some heat? Performance drops, and the vapours are thought to be bad for our health. Henckell has a new non-stick on the market that can take the heat, up to 850ºF. The Zwilling Spirit non-stick fry pan has a granite ceramic coating (called ThermalonTM) for excellent performance, superb temperature control, and easy non-stick clean-up. Other features include ergonomic stay-cool handles, a brushed-stainless exterior that doesn’t show scratches, and a three-ply base construction for superior even heat on all types of cooktops, induction, gas and Ceran. The slope of the side panels encourage flipping without compromising searing/ sauté function. In four sizes, it’s a winner. Look for it at Bella Casa, Bosch Kitchen Centre, Call the Kettle Black and Dansk Gifts.

Play with your vegetables Having trouble making the kids eat their vegetables? The Deco Slicer from Westmark is a handy tool which makes cool shapes out of any long vegetable: carrots, zucchini, cucumber, or French breakfast radishes. The hot orange colour of the tool is so darn cheerful we’d pull it out of the drawer just for that. $19

28 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Oy! bring me a Skoy Trade in your nasty rags for the Skoy cleaning cloth — 100 per cent biodegradable, reusable, compostable, and can hold 15 times its weight in liquid. If that’s not enough, it’s washer and dryer safe or can be popped in the microwave to remove any bad smells. Use instead of paper towels or sponges. We found it at Dansk Gifts, four to a package, $11.

H A P PY Feaster

For rested mothers, plates licked clean, satisfied bellies and a happy family, let Sunterra take care of your Easter menu.

Easter Feastings Four-course, fully-prepared Easter meal Crisp spring produce Local Sunterra Farms Ham Creamy scalloped potatoes Sweet fruit pies

Stove top joy Fans of Le Crueset enameled cast-iron cookware are positively giddy over the recent introduction of a new colour, fennel, a fresh spring green. The cookware, made in France since 1925, is sand-cast, with an enamel finish that is impervious to scratches, heat, and spills. The cast iron cooks evenly, preventing hot spots, and retains heat while the design of the lids holds in moisture and flavours. Le Crueset is easy to get along with — bake in it, braise on the stove-top, put in the refrigerator, then haul it off to the dishwasher. Soups, stews, casseroles, mac and cheese, chicken curry — everything tastes better in La Crueset. Not all colours in all stores, may be available to order. Find at Bella Casa, Call the Kettle Black and Dansk Gifts.

The Tomato | March April 2011 29

according to judy

| judy schultz

Down to the sea in ships (or not) Canadian food writers are coming for lunch. What edible icon can I bring to the table? Our local Maori Wild Foods Festival would have been the perfect menu: whitebait fritters, possum pies (gamey, I’m told), flambéed huhu grubs (chewy, they said), and creamed bubus (haven’t a clue). Apparently it was the party of the year. Sadly, we missed it by a hair. The Auckland Seafood Festival is also just over; a three-day orgy of anything that lives in the sea, served in every guise from pizza to paella. Plus, of course, whitebait fritters. Frankly, I don’t get the whole whitebait thing. All those itsybitsy infant fish, all those beady little black eyes. Love of whitebait is cultural, they tell me. It’s in their blood. I’d love to have fresh-caught snapper on this menu, but even on a calm day, getting out of the harbour in a boat involves a trip through the treacherous Manukau Heads, which once sank the good ship HMS Orpheus and drowned 189 sailors. Our boat is small, and for the past 24 hours we’ve been riding the tail-end of cyclone Wilma. Wild winds, high seas, small boat? No snapper.

From seedling...



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Visit us in Edmonton and Sherwood Park

Campus Tower | Edmonton City Centre | Government District Market at Summerside | Synergy Wellness Centre

30 March April 2011 | The Tomato

Still, this is a seafaring place, so it has to be fish. We have crabs and oysters, pipi and paua, snapper and scallops. Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh. What we don’t have is a local prawn, but Mooloolaba prawns have suddenly appeared in the fishmarket. Happy dance in the kitchen! Mooloolabas are wild king prawns from the 2,000 km stretch of ocean between here and Oz known as The Ditch, aka the Tasman Sea. For the trawlermen who go after them, prawn fishing in cyclone season is a hell-and-high-water story. Eating Mooloolabas (huge, pink, tasty, juicy) is a tribute to the trawlermen, and my foodies will love them.

The menu, then. For openers, a big pot of local green-lip mussels. White wine, garlic, lemon grass, butter. Yum. Next, small bay scallops with the roe attached, simmered in coconut curry. We’re allowed to take 20 scallops per day per person. We’re also allowed to dive for up to six rock lobsters (giant crayfish) per person, but I’d drown before I got one. The very idea of diving gives me nightmares. No crayfish, then. So Mooloolabas will be the main, notwithstanding my aversion to any animal that wears its eyes outside its head. Pull off the shell, dispose of the hefty sand vein, leave the tail on. Skewer and grill, one minute per side. Brush lavishly with Joanne Zinter’s horseradish pepperpot jelly, which I bring over here by the half-dozen. I was running out, but friends arrived from Canada this week with reinforcements, tra-la. The perfect accompaniment to grilled Mooloolabas is a mound of fragrant rice and a drizzle of compound butter made with fresh and dried limes and finished with a good bash of chopped cilantro. The fresh limes are grown just down the road by an Austrian exchef who once worked in Quebec City, and the dried ones are from a Middle Eastern market. (In Edmonton, El Safadi brothers carry dried limes, which look like small walnuts.) Meanwhile, tomatoes are overwhelming the garden, and the lime-grower also has avocados. Tomato and avo salad is delish with shellfish. Forget the whitebait, cancel the snapper. Sorry about the crayfish. Nobody will go home hungry. Judy Schultz is a food and travel writer based in Alberta and New Zealand. She has never eaten a huhu grub.

A celebration of regional gastronomy

June 13, 2011 Don’t miss it!

Join Edmonton’s top-notch chefs, local farmers and producers as they prepare succulent dishes to complement Canada’s best estate and VQA wines. • Silent auction • On-site wine store

Presented by Slow Food Edmonton. Tickets $50 available after May 2 from The Junior League of Edmonton 433-9739

Indulge in an evening of fine VQA wines and prairie cuisine.








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The Tomato Food & Drink  

March/April 2011 edition