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eat well, spend less

CITYPALATE.CA

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


GATHER

AROUND A LOCAL LEGEND

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table of contents

CITY PALATE JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

FEATU RE S

14 18 20

n Great Places to Eat Well, Spend Less

n Community Spirits

Two can eat well for $50 or less

Calgary’s growing craft alcohol industry Erin Lawrence

n Chinese Lunar New Year Festival

Richard White

D EPA RTME NT S

5 n WORD OF MOUTH

Notable culinary happenings around town

7 n EAT THIS

What to eat in January and February Ellen Kelly

Voglia di girovagare. (VOH-lee-ah dee JEE-roh-vuh-GAR-eh)

8 n GET THIS

Must have kitchen stuff Wanda Baker

10 n ONE INGREDIENT

Pork Julie Van Rosendaal

Satisfy your ‘wanderlust’. Our shops showcase ingredients from all over the world to help you plan a culinary adventure - in your own kitchen.

No passport required.

12 n THE SUNDAY PROJECT

Stuffed leg of lamb with Karen Ralph

22 n STOCKPOT

Stirrings around Calgary

24 n 6 QUICK WAYS WITH...

Ginger Chris Halpin

26 n BACK BURNER... SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER

Flexit? Allan Shewchuk

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. COVER ARTIST: Eden Thompson is a full time Calgary artist working in mixed media and paper. Incorporating traditional techniques in a contemporary way, his original art has appeared on magazine and book covers. His unique cut-paper portraits have been commissioned internationally, and can be seen at edenthompson.com.

READ US ONLINE AT CITYPALATE.CA

EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End CALGARY Willow Park

italiancentre.ca

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

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city palate publisher/editor Kathy Richardier (kathy@citypalate.ca)

Not enough women recognize the signs of heart attack and know what to do. My mom was one of them. Help change that. Share the signs. Raise funds for research.

magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (carol@citypalate.ca) contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributors Wanda Baker Chris Halpin Ellen Kelly Erin Lawrence Karen Ralph Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal Richard White contributing photographers Kathy Richardier for advertising enquiries, please contact advertising@citypalate.ca account executives Debbie Lambert (debbie@citypalate.ca) Ellen Kelly (ellen@citypalate.ca) website management Todd Robertson todd@vilya.com controller Jesse Fergstad (citypalatecontroller@gmail.com) prepress/printing CentralWeb distribution Gallant Distribution Systems Inc.

Joannie Rochette

Olympic medallist, figure skating

Read more heartandstroke.ca/women

City Palate is published 6 times per year: January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October and November-December by City Palate Publishing Inc., Suite 419, 919 Centre St. NW, Calgary, AB T2E 2P9 Subscriptions are available for $48 per year within Canada and $68 per year outside Canada. Editorial Enquiries: Please email kathy@citypalate.ca For questions or comments and contest entries, please visit our website

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

citypalate.ca


word of mouth

NOTABLE CULINARY HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN IN OU R OPIN ION

WOW! Not just in Canada, but in Calgary! For only the second time in the history of the event, Canada has been selected to host the prestigious 43rd Concours International des Jeunes Chefs (Young Chefs) Rôtisseurs Competition. The competition, open to young cooks under the age of 27, will be held September 20, 2019, in Calgary and will be hosted and sponsored by the Canadian National “Bailliage” (Chapter) of La Chaine des Rôtisseurs. This supports and promotes future young chefs. The young chefs come from all over the world and they are given four hours to compose a menu and prepare a three-course meal for four using ingredients presented in a “black box.” They are judged on taste, presentation, originality and kitchen technique. For details on the society and competition, visit chainedesrotisseurs.com

Delicious organic pasta Angela’s Fresh Organic Pasta is made by Angela Ross and her crew in Invermere, BC, and it’s available in Blush Lane Aspen and Bridgeland markets, plus Save on Foods in Canmore, and all over BC. This great pasta is 100% certified organic, made with natural semolina flour and spring water, no preservatives or eggs and all ingredients are non-GMO. Semolina flour is very digestible and light, a perfect option for people with gluten intolerance. It does not contain cholesterol, saturated fats or trans fats, it has a high protein content and is low in fat. Semolina flour is rich in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium and loads of antioxidants. Fresh, delicious pasta for a balanced diet. Visit angelaspasta.com for all the tasty details.

Washable paper made in Italy…. Washable paper? It’s called Uashmama and pronounced washmama and made by an Italian who worked in the leather shoe industry and created a sustainable product similar to the process of manufacturing fine Italian leather. Washable paper is made using a virgin fiber through cultivation and not deforestation. The bags are soft yet resilient, where the manufacturing process is similar to leather as the paper is “tanned and stretched” using a vegan method and natural vegetable dyes, making it durable to withstand washing and daily use. Their use is limited only by one’s imagination – bread, flowers, plants, storage around the house or as a tote for trips to the market. Find them at Savour Fine Foods in Inglewood. Visit uashmama.ca for all the interesting details.

Strong food trends for 2019 This from Axiom Foods, a Los Angeles-based company involved in clinical trials, education and affecting change in the global food supply, and one of the largest plant protein makers in the U.S. and one of the largest makers of yellow pea protein. Here’s what they say about what’s coming down the high way in 2019. Trend #1, Larger variety of non-dairy milks; Trend #2, More neutral and higher-concentrated plant proteins; Trend #3, Intestinal biomes and healing foods; Trend #4, Tailoring maillard reactions to get specific animal protein flavours; Trend #5, Improved absorption rate of plant proteins.

Modern Steak downtown is now open! Famous for owning its own prize-winning Black Angus Bull and only serving Ranch Specific Alberta, Modern Steak has opened its second location on Calgary’s busy Stephen Avenue. The restaurant has taken up residence in the historical Imperial Bank building, formerly home to Catch Oyster Bar. Watch for the same amazing feature nights as the original Kensington location, like Date Night Wednesday where two can dine for $78, Half Price Wine Thursdays and $99 Tomahawk Sundays. Also be sure to check out Bar Modern on the main floor. A brand new, casual meat-centric cocktail bar concept that expands the Alberta Beef-focused menu to include 4K pork, Sungold lamb and Kingsland Chicken. Beautiful, up-tempo and value driven, this is sure to be a hotspot. See you there!

Clean, safe, local lettuce Inspired Greens in Coaldale, AB, lives by “clean means clean” with its greenhouse-grown lettuce varieties grown with triple-filtered water in a closed, environmentally safe and secure environment, with plants untouched by human hands from seed to harvest. Available in grocery stores across western Canada. The Palate’s publisher/editor buys them all the time at Co-op stores, because that’s where she shops for lots of food. Visit inspiredgreens.ca for more information.

Read these: Taste Canada Award Winners... October is cookbook month and every year Taste Canada awards Canada’s best cookbooks and food blogs. This year, the culinary narratives’ gold went to Vikram Vij’s VIJ, silver went to Rod Phillips’ 9000 Years of Wine, a world history. The general cookbooks gold went to Lynn Crawford’s Farm to Chef and the silver to Aimée WimbushBourque’s The Simple Bites Kitchen. The regional/cultural cookbooks gold went to Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller’s Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip and silver went to Rod Butters’ The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking. Singlesubject cookbooks awarded gold to Renée Kohlman’s All the Sweet Things and silver to Kristy Gardner’s Cooking with Cocktails. Health and special diet cookbooks awarded gold to Greta Podleski’s Yum & Yummer and silver to Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook. Taste Canada also awards French language cookbooks and blogs. Growing Winter Food: How to grow, harvest, store and use produce for the winter months, by Linda Grey, Fox Chapel Publishing. This won’t be out until March, but it sure does look like a good and useful book, filled with beautiful pictures and lots of good advice on things like making the most of your garden, including when to plant vegetables, herbs and fruits, and when to harvest them. AND, specific vegetables, herbs and fruits affected by bugs and other problems and how to help prevent. Interestingly, it says kale doesn’t have any known problems! Plant lots of kale, it’s good for us! Great recipe ideas, too. Cooking For Friends, by David Wood (Whitecap Books, $34.95, soft cover), the owner of the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company who says: “Food is much more than nourishment. It opens a Pandora’s box full of doors, to variety and excitement, memory, comfort, texture, and flavour, and most of all to the company and conversation of good friends.” Like while eating Polenta and Mushroom Ragout. Comfort Cooking for Bariatric Post-Ops and Everyone Else! By Lisa Sharon Belkin (Friesen Press, Victoria, BC, soft cover, $34.49; hard cover, $47.49). How to eat after weight-loss – bariatric – surgery, which the author had, so she knows. Her recipes are so you don’t regain and also eat well.

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

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JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF

MIXING AND MINGLING - at one of our -

TASTING EVENTS Our wide variety of tasting themes ensures there is something that will suit your palate. If you are looking for something a little more personal, we also offer private tastings. Perhaps a new twist on the office holiday party? There are five tasting centres located throughout the city. For more information on upcoming events and locations, please visit us at:

coopwinespiritsbeer.com/events We look forward to raising a glass with you!

Local Organic Fresh The go-to for getting into hunting, harvesting, and wild game cooking. 6

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


eat this

by Ellen Kelly

WHAT TO EAT IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

Here we are again, another trip around the sun and another grab-bag of available edibles. Sadly, and as usual, not much that’s local… although brave entrepreneurs growing greenhouse and hydroponic produce are giving lie to that. Keep your eyes peeled for sea bass being raised in tandem with salad greens, hopefully soon to be on the market.

Illustrations by Eden Thompson

Citrus has always been our primary winter consolation, but dates and avocados, also from far afield, help immeasurably to relieve our winter blues. And let’s not forget the hardy root vegetables that help make our cold weather soups, stews and braises so tempting. The somewhat lowly parsnip often gets a bum rap, but its sweet nutty earthiness shouldn’t be ignored. AVOCADOS, like tomatoes, are botanically fruits, but eaten more often as vegetables. Avocados shine in spring and summer salads made with smoked fish and grapefruit but are available all year and go a long way to brightening up a leafless winter. Try adding slices to a Caprese-style salad dressed with balsamic vinegar or add cubes of avocado to a tomato salsa fresca. For something different, make a chunky spread with smoked salmon and avocado served on small crostini for your next party. Start by chopping up about 1 lb. of smoked salmon and 2 avocados; don’t cut either too small or overmix or they’ll just dissolve and disappear. Add 1 small red onion, chopped into small dice and fresh herbs like mint, dill and basil, finely chopped. Toss with about 3 T. whole capers and a simple vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

BUY: Avocados bruise easily, so buy them unripe and finish the process at home. Hass avocados are the most common variety we see; they start to turn black as they ripen.

PARSNIPS pair well with carrots – they’re first cousins, after all. Just don’t include parsnips on your crudité platter. They need cooking to achieve their full potential. Add a couple of parsnips to elevate your potato mash and mixed roasted vegetable medleys alike. My favourite parsnip recipe, however, is a rich creamy puréed soup with carrots and white wine. Start by peeling and coarsely chopping 4 medium carrots and 4 medium parsnips. In a large heavy pot, sauté some chopped onion and a bit of fresh garlic in olive oil and butter until translucent. Add the chopped veg and salt as you go. Deglaze with a generous splash of good white wine, whatever you’re drinking, and then add about 6 c. good chicken or vegetable stock. Lower the heat and cook covered until the carrots and parsnips are very tender. Either remove the vegetables and blend or use a hand-held blender, and purée until you get the consistency you like. Taste for seasoning… salt, pepper, a bit more wine, perhaps. Stir in some heavy cream or crème fraiche just before serving. A little chervil as garnish is very nice if you can find it.

BUY: Look for parsnips that are neither too big (woody cores) or too thin (hard to peel and often immature). Hardness and smooth unblemished skins are important indicators of quality as well.

FRESH DATES are not a common sight but are slowly making their way into specialty food stores throughout the season, late summer through winter. Dried dates are, of course, available year-round but even then, try to find the freshest dried dates which will be superior. A distinctive salad of fresh dates, pomegranate seeds and apples is a winter treat. Make sure the dates are ripe, see right. Cut a slit in the sides of about 15-16 dates and remove the seeds. Cut them into 3-4 pieces. Add the dates to the seeds from a large pomegranate and the peeled chopped flesh of a tart apple or Asian pear. Toss with the juice of one lemon, 2-3 T. pomegranate juice, 1 t. honey, 1 t. finely grated fresh ginger, and the merest pinch of both cinnamon and kosher salt.

TIPS: Avocados ripen well at room temperature, never refrigerate them until you’ve cut them open and then in a small tightly sealed container. Apparently ripening can be accelerated by keeping them in a paper bag or buried in rice. I’ve forgotten an avocado in rice once, however, and don’t do that anymore. DID YOU KNOW? Avocados have the distinction of ripening only after they are picked. Another good reason to buy them under-ripe.

TIPS: Parsnips make great chips; just peel and slice lengthwise, a little less than 1/4-inch thick, then fry in peanut oil (heated to 365°F.) until golden. Drain, salt and serve immediately. DID YOU KNOW? Parsnips require a long growing season, 3-4 months, and only really develop their true sweet nature after a frost. If kept properly (in some places, in the ground), good parsnips can be found until March or April.

BUY: If you can find fresh dates, look for light brown fruit sold clustered on a stem that is shiny and plump with softly yielding flesh. Avoid any that have mold or blemishes, but sugar crystals or a powdery sugar coating are not a problem; the dates can be revived with a little steam or on a baking sheet under a damp towel in a 300°F. oven for 15 minutes. TIPS: Make a stuffing from chèvre, chopped nuts, chopped citron and a touch of honey and fill seeded dates, then roll lightly in sugar… the original sweetmeat, possibly even the first candy. DID YOU KNOW? There are about 1,500 varieties of dates, with about 100 grown in California. The one we’re most apt to see is the Medjool descended from the trees brought to California from Morocco in 1927.

Ellen Kelly has written about food, among other culinary pursuits, for years and is a regular contributor to City Palate.

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

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get this

by Wanda Baker

MUST HAVE KITCHEN STUFF

Golden organic nectar

Churrascaria & Restaurante

The sugar bush of the Cosman & Webb Farm in Quebec has been producing the finest, purest, maple syrup for nearly half a century. Their certified organic farm and native maple forest is a sanctuary of biodiversity, and a place of beauty, cherished by a third generation of Cosmans. Taste flavours of caramel and vanilla plus hints of floral, honey and warm spice in this pure maple syrup. Try it on pancakes or waffles, a natural ingredient in baking, sweetener in your hot beverages or sweet addition to salad dressings. Cosman & Webb Pure Organic Maple Syrup, $21.99/500ml, Sunnyside Natural Market

Small-batch award-winning yogurt Water-Buffalo milk is high in protein and calcium and lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk. It is more easily digested and makes excellent yogurt and cheese. Located in Courtenay B.C., fourth and fifth generation farmers, The McClintocks, have been breeding Water Buffalo since 2012. They make their yogurt in a small batch kettle, transfer it to a container, and leave to incubate for five hours in the Balkan style. Containing only two ingredients, water buffalo milk and active bacterial culture, this smooth, thick and creamy yogurt is suitable for those who have intolerances to traditional cow’s milk yogurt. It’s been a delicious welcome to our morning breakfast routine. Water Buffalo Yogurt, $7.59, Community Natural Foods

A new coffee experience As coffee shops continue to sprout up, Calgarians continue to seek out their own coffee experience whether it’s finding the ultimate café or brewing your own java in house. Newcomer Rithet Coffee Company, founded by Kate Rithet Hutchinson & Bill Busst, hit the ground running last fall. This online coffee company offers up the latest coffee blends sourcing beans from around the world and roasting them in small batches here in Calgary. These beans are available online and through local collaborations, like Knifewear. Be sure to follow their website rithetcoffee.com to learn more. Light, Medium and Dark Roast 340g bags, Rithet Coffee Company, $17.50-$19.00

(403) 454-2550 136 2nd STREET SW info@minassteakhouse.com www.minassteakhouse.coM 8

#EATATMINAS

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


Sweet heat on a cold winter’s day Cold days and a piping mug of hot chocolate just go hand in hand. If your childhood memories of steaming cups of hot cocoa, topped with marshmallows, have you craving this favourite cold weather treat, visit the Silk Road Spice Merchant and pick up any of their six unique hot cocoa spice blends. Each blend has been created to pair perfectly with chocolate, offering flavour combinations like Chai Masala Hot Cocoa, Winter Spiced Hot Cocoa and Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa. This sweet heat beverage is comfort in a mug and might even be the perfect gift for your Valentine.

2018

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UNIQUE FOOD EXPERIENCE ON YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION LIST?

Hot Cocoa, The Silk Road Spice Merchant, $9.99 each

COME FOR A VISIT AND ENJOY OUR GLOBAL FLAVOURS 12445 LAKE FRASER DRIVE SE, CALGARY THURSDAY – SUNDAY: 11 AM TO 8 PM

Artisan vinegars Salt Spring Island Vinegars start with local fermented fruit that’s been turned into wine, placed into tanks for natural cultures to convert the alcohol to acetic acid before it becomes vinegar. Sometimes the process can take a year to make, but the wait is worth it. Mix up some salad greens, cooked cuzbed squash, pepitas and feta cheese and serve with this tasty Salt Spring Island Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Simply add 1/4 diced small red onion, 2 t. Dijon mustard, 2 t. honey, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, 2-3 T. Salt Spring Island Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil to a jar. Shake and serve. Salt Spring Island Vinegar, Meez Fast Home Cuisine, $8.00 - $19.50

One pan wonders Each Le Creuset Iron Handle Skillet is made in a single-use sand mold that is destroyed after use, ensuring no two pieces are identical. Once cast, each piece receives two coats of enamel to ensure a chip resistant finish. Enameled cast iron skillets are kitchen treasures that have long stood the test of time. These kitchen staples can be used for stovetop frying, oven baking and can even be used on your grill. With so many magnificent colours to choose from like Cerise, Caribbean, Oyster or Bonbon, you’d be hard-pressed to pick just one. Good thing wedding season is right around the corner.

join us for our new

fa m i ly s t y l e , fa m i ly - f r i e n d ly

s u n day supper

f e at u r i n g l i v e j a z z

Wanda Baker is a Calgary food writer and author of bakersbeans.ca who writes about life, adventures and food.

Kendal + Kevin Photography

Le Creuset Iron Handle Skillet, Le Creuset Chinook Centre, $210 - $230

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d e a n e h o us e . c o m

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Small Group and Private Trips exploring local cuisines and wines around the globe!

Africa • Asia • Indian Subcontinent • Latin America • Europe North Africa • Middle East • South Pacific • Polar Region

Find out about our upcoming Travel Talks on our web ad at citypalate.ca.

bigplanetadventure.com 403-457-0855 | 403-768-0860 | 1-888-257-4181

one ingredient

by Julie Van Rosendaal

PORK

“The other white meat” has come a long way in the last generation or two, since excessive recommended cooking times meant many of us grew up on dry, overcooked pork. A better understanding of pork-related pathogens and improved processing practices means the next generation will not grow up with the same association. Pork is – or should be – wonderfully moist and flavourful, even when you pick up the leaner cuts. And while there’s nothing wrong with a good pork chop, there are so many interesting things to do with pork – cuts can be quick and affordable for daily dinners, or more extravagant when you’re looking for something fancy. A crown roast of pork is stunning, delicious, fun to serve, and comes with a natural well in the middle to fill with stuffing and other good things – it really needs to make a comeback. The biggest obstacle with pork, now that the overcooking issue has been addressed and people are accustomed to the idea of their pork a little pink, is thinking beyond the usual; quick-cooking tenderloin makes amazing satay, and though pork shoulder is made for cooking low and slow, it has much potential beyond pulled pork. Braise it with oranges and milk, chilies for tacos, or red wine and tomatoes for the most satisfying ragu. Fall-off-the-bone ribs are easy (and not as messy) if you pre-roast them first on a rimmed sheet pan in the oven, covered with foil, at around 300°F for 2-1/2 hours; you can then wrap them in their cooking foil to refrigerate until they’re ready to slather with sauce and finish on the barbecue. And if you love a good chop, buy them on the bone and try cooking them like a steak: in a blazinghot cast-iron pan, flipping often (the only difference between a beef steak and pork chop) so that it doesn’t begin to curl. An inch-thick chop should take 6-8 minutes; while it rests, swirl a pat of butter around the pan to loosen any of those flavourful browned bits, and pour it overtop.

Crispy Pork Belly

d

l o g p u g n Servi

Join us as we toast our Chef Dave Bohati after his victory representing Murrieta’s at the regional qualifiers of the Canadian Culinary Championships. Winning gold is the first step on the way to nationals. Congratulations Chef!

If you’re a fan of crispy bits and can find yourself a slab of pork belly, knowing how to cook it will make any carnivores in the immediate vicinity very, very happy. (Presuming you plan to share, that is.) It’s a cinch to cook, and a prime example of what happens when you take a good piece of meat and apply heat. 2 lb. pork belly canola or olive oil 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 onion, halved and sliced

CALGARY 200 – 808 1st Street SW 403.269.7707 CANMORE 200 - 737 Main Street 403.609.9500 murrietas.ca | ? @

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

1-2 small garlic bulbs, left whole and halved crosswise 1/2 lb. (250 g) new potatoes, halved if needed (optional)

Pat the pork belly dry and score the skin and fat with a sharp knife in both directions, without

cutting all the way through to the meat underneath. Rub the garlic clove over the surface of the pork, drizzle with oil and rub all over. Pull the leaves off a couple sprigs of thyme and sprinkle overtop; drizzle with a little more oil. Let the meat stand for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F and place the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the pork belly on top and place a sprig or two of thyme and the halved garlic around it; drizzle the exposed garlic with a little oil and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300°F and continue to roast for 2-1/2 hours, until the meat is tender and the skin is crisp. If you like, toss a few new potatoes into the pan around the meat, shaking it up to coat them with the rendered fat, about three quarters of the way through the cooking time. Let rest on a cutting board before slicing. Serves 4-6.


Sesame Noodles with Pork

Oven Pulled Pork

Braised Pork Shoulder Ragu

While ground beef provides the baseline for so many weeknight meals, even more affordable ground pork is often overlooked. Here’s what to do with it: cook it until crispy with green onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro, and toss it with peanut sauce and quickly cooked noodles.

It’s possible to make a tasty pile of pulled pork even without a smoker. Browning pieces will add more flavour; use your favourite barbecue spice rub, if you have one, in place of the brown sugar and spices.

The cut most famously used for long-smoked or braised pulled pork makes for an amazing pot of ragu – add fennel seed too, if you like, and some crushed tomatoes or passata at the end if you like it saucier.

olive or canola oil, for cooking

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking

3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into large chunks

olive or canola oil, for cooking

sesame oil, for cooking

3 T. chili powder

1 lb. ground pork

1 T. paprika

2-3 green onions, chopped

1 T. brown sugar

1/4 c. chopped cilantro, plus some extra leaves for garnish

2 t. ground cumin

1 lb. boneless pork shoulder

1 small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Pork:

1 28 oz. (796 mL) can San Marzano tomatoes

5-6 lb. crown roast of pork (about 10 bones)

1 c. red wine

olive oil, for cooking

2 sprigs thyme

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed (divided) 2 t. grated fresh ginger (divided)

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 t. crushed dry chilies or a squirt of Sriracha

1/3 c. soy sauce (or to taste - divided)

2 c. chicken stock or beer

1/4 c. rice vinegar (divided)

bottled barbecue sauce, to taste

freshly cooked pasta and grated Parmesan, for serving

1 T. brown sugar

soft white buns or biscuits, for serving

1-2 T. peanut butter (optional)

Drizzle some oil into a heavy, ovenproof pot set over medium-high heat. Place the pork shoulder in a large bowl and toss with the chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, and enough salt and pepper to suit your taste. Brown the meat in batches, transferring it to another bowl or plate as you go. Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to soften and loosen any browned bits in the bottom of the pan.

3/4-1 lb. fresh Shanghai or other Asian noodles

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of canola and sesame oil and cook the pork, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink. Add the green onions, cilantro, a clove or two of garlic and a good grating of ginger somewhere along the way, along with half the soy sauce and vinegar. As you add half of each ingredient, put the other half into a small bowl or measuring cup, along with the peanut butter, chili paste and a tablespoon or two of sesame oil. Continue to cook the pork until it’s nice and crispy, with any excess moisture cooked off. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for a few minutes, or until tender. Drain well. Spoon the meat out of the skillet to a bowl, add a little more oil to the skillet and add the noodles (half at a time, if all of them makes it too full to handle), and pour over the soy-vinegar-sugar-peanut butter mixture. Toss with tongs to coat well, leaving it over the heat for a minute or two, until any excess moisture has cooked off. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the pork mixture and some extra cilantro, if you like. Serves 4-6. 

Return all the pork to the pan and add the chicken stock or beer – there should be enough to come about halfway up the side of the meat. Cover and cook at 300°F for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Pull the meat apart with two forks, adding enough barbecue sauce to moisten. Serve on soft buns or biscuits. Serves 10. 

Crown roast of pork – a bone-in pork loin shaped in a circle with the bones sticking up to resemble the points of a crown – is making a comeback. It’s impressive to serve, easy to carve, and a perfect alternative to turkey when you’re making a special dinner for a small crowd. And it’s far easier to stuff than a turkey; simply mound the stuffing in the middle.

1/4 c. butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 t. chili-garlic paste or Sriracha (optional)

Crown Roast of Pork with Rosemary Stuffing and Roasted Apples

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towel and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of oil in an ovenproof shallow pot or braising dish set over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Move it to one side and add the onion to the pan; cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the butter, tomatoes, wine, thyme and chilies or Sriracha to the pot, stir to combine, cover and braise for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Pull the pork apart with two forks and serve with the pasta, topped with freshly grated Parmesan. Serves 4-6. 

4 tart apples, cored and cut into thick wedges, or ripe but firm pears, cored and quartered lengthwise

Stuffing: 1/4 c. olive oil 1/4 c. butter 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped 1 small tart apple or pear, cored and chopped 1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries (optional) 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary 1 small, day-old loaf of round crusty bread 1 c. chicken stock

If the butcher hasn’t already done so, separate the bones by cutting between them with a sharp knife. If you like, French the bones by carefully scraping off any bits of meat with the tip of your knife. Place the pork in a roasting pan or large cast-iron pan and drizzle with oil. Rub the oil all over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the apples or pears and cranberries in the pan around the pork. Drizzle with a little oil. To make the stuffing, heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet. When the foam subsides, add the onion and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the apple or pear and rosemary and cook for another minute. Cut or tear the bread into a large bowl and add the onion mixture. Pour the stock overtop and toss with your hands to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the stuffing in the middle of the crown roast; place whatever doesn’t fit into a small baking dish. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roast the pork for 2 to 2-1/2 hours – covering the stuffing and bones with foil if they are browning too quickly – until it reaches an internal temperature of 155°F -160°F. (Insert your thermometer into the meatiest part of the roast, ensuring it doesn’t touch the bone, which conducts heat more efficiently than the meat.) The extra dish of stuffing can be roasted alongside the pork, but will only need about an hour. Tent the roast with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving by cutting between each bone into a thick chop. Serve with roasted apples or pears and stuffing. Serves 10.  Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

11


the sunday project

raclette: an event consisting of melting

cheese and then oozing it onto anything and everything. caution: will result in full bellies, laughter, independent culinary creations and utter satisfaction.

STUFFED LEG OF LAMB with Karen Ralph

After the cheer and excitement of December, looking at three more months of cold and snow is a gloomy proposition, but a gathering of friends helps drive away the winter blues. There’s something attractively primal about gathering around a table in the gloom of winter and eating a perfectly roasted leg of lamb.

A T D A L H O U S I E S T A T I O N 403.286.5220 www.zestkitchenware.com

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

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12

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WINE SPECTATOR (2017v)

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Traditionally I’d always rubbed the lamb leg with salt and pepper and roasted it on a bed of lemon slices and rosemary. But after a trip to France’s Jura region, specifically a visit to a Boucherie in Dole, I discovered a tastier and more interesting way to cook lamb; I was working as First Mate on a barge and on a quiet afternoon had biked into town. There, I saw a small, perfectly formed leg of lamb, shank bone stripped clean of flesh, the meaty upper leg stuffed with morel mushrooms and herbs and neatly bound with butchers twine. I had to have it! Back to the boat, I coated the lamb with a paste of minced garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and honey and roasted it. That was a memorable feast – cooked and consumed in the galley kitchen while moored on the mighty Doubs river. Since then, I’ve cooked this stuffed leg of lamb many times. It’s always a spirit-reviving feast.


Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Pear Habanero Compote for a Snowy Soirée To make this like the lamb I had in the Jura, the thigh bone is removed. You are not butterflying the leg – the bone is removed without cutting the leg open – the better to stuff the cavity. If you are confident with your knife skills you can do it yourself, or you can do as I did and utilize your local butcher to do the boning and stuffing for you. This brought me to Dave Sturies, co-owner and head butcher of Empire Provisions. Dave’s free range lamb comes from local producer Ewe-Nique Farms. He was happy to help and expertly boned and stuffed the leg with bread crumbs, minced garlic, chopped flat leaf parsley, tarragon and rosemary. It couldn’t have been easier. Diced morel mushrooms are traditionally used as stuffing, but I cooked the mushrooms on the side. The pear habanero compote is optional – but it’s very complimentary to the lamb and can be made ahead of time and frozen until needed. 1. Removing the thigh bone.

2. Stuffing the leg with bread crumbs, garlic and herbs.

3. Searing the leg.

4. Resting the leg.

5. Slicing the leg.

6. Cooked stuffed lamb sliced and delicious.

Pear Habanero Compote 4 c. water 2 c. sugar 4 pears, washed and quartered, stems removed 1 habanero pepper, seeds removed, sliced into horizontal strips

Bring the water and sugar to a boil, add the pear and habanero and boil to a pulp. Strain the liquid and allow the pulp to cool. Remove pear seeds and stringy bits, mash and use immediately as a side with the lamb.

Stuffed Leg of Lamb 1 5-7 lb. leg of lamb, thigh bone removed

Stuffing: 1 good quality baguette, dried out and pulverized into crumbs 1 head garlic (I recommend Russian Red) minced 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped 3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped 1 bunch tarragon chopped or other herbs of your choice 2 T. extra virgin olive oil 1 T. kosher salt generous grindings of pepper 2 T. grape seed or other oil with high smoke point 1 bunch rosemary or tarragon to set the lamb on while roasting

Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove the stuffed leg of lamb from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to ensure even roasting. Rub the meat with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat the grape-seed oil in a frying pan over medium high heat, add the leg of lamb and sear until brown all over, about 3-5 minutes a side. Place a bed of tarragon or rosemary in the roasting pan, lay the seared leg of lamb on top of it and put it in the oven. For medium rare, roast the lamb for 20 minutes a pound. The internal temperature should be 135°F. When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes. This relaxes the meat and allows the juices to be reabsorbed. To serve: Place the lamb on a cutting board and slice – there is no bone – simply slice straight down to the desired thickness. Serve on a platter with roasted potatoes or polenta and a side of sautéed mushrooms like morels or chanterelles. The pear habanero compote adds a mellow warmth. Serves 8

Karen Ralph is a cookbook co-author and long-time contributor to City Palate, whose syrups and shrubs can be found at Eau Claire Distillery.

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

13


5s17 A good meal doesn’t have to cost a small (or large) fortune, especially these days with all the great casual eateries that offer tasty, interesting, fun food at really affordable prices. For our eating challenge, we chose a handful of discriminating palates to take $50 and buy a tasty meal for two in a fave restaurant. This is what they found. (The $50 didn’t include tax and tip)

634A - 17th AVENUE SW 403-452-0817

5s17.com

Ellen Kelly and Sharon Schuld Located in the heart of 17th Avenue SW in Calgary, 5S17 is a Japanese Fusion restaurant that celebrates the five senses of the culinary experience. French/Asian Fusion Cuisine (with a pronounced Japanese influence) in casual, yet intimate surroundings. Colm McClean and Satoru Kogo make a charismatic duo as owners/operators of this charming little spot on 17th Ave SW. And it is small; with the open kitchen and the long, elevated banquette, it feels like an upscale open-air food stand located in a far more exotic locale. This impression is echoed by the friendly, personalized service and attention to detail, something you experience the minute you walk in the door. We’ve been in before and knew finding enough good food for two – maybe even a couple of glasses of more-than-decent wine – for under $50 wouldn’t be a problem. The obvious care taken with the ingredients at 5S17 (a paean to the five senses) is almost at odds with the remarkably reasonable prices. From the excellent brioche buns (they had me at brioche, I’m afraid) to the well-crafted sauces and marinades, the overall ethic is obviously qualitative. After ordering two glasses of Montalto Pinot Grigio ($8/glass), we decided to start with dumplings, always a favourite, and these pan-fried pork wraps didn’t disappoint. Moist and tasty, a great deal at $7.00 for 4 or $13.00 for 8 pieces. Onward to Steak ‘n’ Chips, Saturo-style, with some of the best fries we’ve had anywhere. Must be that classic French training coming out! Slices of house-marinated skirt steak went beautifully with both the Sriracha BBQ and teriyaki sauces; never mind the ketchup, we happily dipped our fries in, too. My dinner-mate, Sharon Schuld (owner of Pudding Yarn just around the corner… lucky girl), wanted to try one of the delicious-sounding sandwiches as well, so “The Smash” was next up. The combination of slow braised brisket (yuzu rubbed and red chili marinated) and Thai chicken, accompanied by a side of perfectly grilled zucchini sticks, rounded out our early-evening repast perfectly. When the bill came, we were delighted to see that we hit the $50 mark exactly! Don’t let the seemingly endless refurbishing of 17th Avenue deter you. The avenue needs the facelift and the businesses need us! Be patient and eat on!

RECEIPT ********************** 1 Dumplings

7.00

1 Steak & Chips

12.00

1 Smash Sandwich

15.00

2 Glasses Pinot Grigio

16.00

––––––––––-–––––––-–-

TOTAL $50.00 ********************** Thank you for dining with us!

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


Newcastle Pub 2703 - 17th AVENUE SW 403-240-2111

newcastlepub.ca

The Himalayan Restaurant

Allan Shewchuk and Patricia Blocksom

3218 - 17th AVENUE SW 403-984-3384

himalayancuisine.ca

Jason and Pam Zaran After a very active Saturday we found ourselves super hungry and looking to get something special for dinner without breaking the bank. Back in the day we had neighbours from Nepal, and enjoyed the special dishes they would share with us such as Mo:Mos! So on this night we decided to go to The Himalayan, which we had heard rave reviews about. Though we didn’t have a reservation, we showed up at 9 p.m. to a packed house and waited for an open table. Upon entering we were greeted warmly and John, our host, was beyond courteous. Before we were seated, he got us situated at the bar where we quickly ordered some memorable Mo:Mos to satiate our immediate hunger. We barely had time to get comfortable and our table was ready. We were seated in a cozy corner (perfect for a chilly night outside), which provided both privacy and an adequate view of the restaurant décor. The Himalayan looked newly refurbished with accents that referenced Nepali culture – such as the welcoming Buddha at the door! Our host took good care of us by explaining the menu along with sharing both his favourites and the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Immediately afterward the Mo:Mos appeared. These little pillows of pork dumpling heaven came with a zesty dipping sauce. We crushed these quickly. Yummmmm. Our main dishes included The Himalayan Grill with lamb and The Chicken Cauli. There is a choice of spice level from mild to hot, and both my wife and I got our dishes hot. The lamb grill was a beautifully prepared large sizzling hot plate with six big morsels of perfectly cooked lamb served with grilled peppers, carrots, onions and tomatoes. The meal also came with Bhat (saffron rice), Dal (lentil soup), a Nepali salad and some out-of-this-world good flat bread to share. It was lots of food and very tasty. Pam’s chicken and cauliflower stew came in a thick sauce with tomatoes, onions and spices with the Bhat and Nepali salad. She was a big fan of this dish and pretty much licked the bowl. There were so many flavours in both the dishes and, although hot, they were not over the top. We were both very full and satisfied! What a great meal for such a reasonable price. We will go back.

For years we avoided eating anywhere called a “pub.” They normally are dark, smell like stale beer and have sticky tabletops when you sit down. They also inevitably have terrible, greasy food, which comes pre-made from some national food service company. There is no wine list, just bag-in-a-box red or white. Many such places try to hide their food shortcomings by cleverly calling themselves “Gastropubs” but we discovered that mostly this is just a way to dupe unsuspecting diners who end up getting the same old slop. Then there’s Newcastle Pub. Upon entering, the first thing you notice is how clean and bright it is. In summer, a sliding glass garage door puts you in a patio mood, even if you’re inside. There are TVs, but muted, as it is decidedly not a sports bar. Service is friendly and brisk and patrons are from all walks. But most of all you will notice that everyone in the joint is eating and the food looks plentiful and delicious. These positives are because manager Jason Stuart, who will offer a hearty handshake on your second visit like you are an old friend, has been in the food business a long time, both behind a stove and out in front. So, lots of thought goes into the menu as well as fresh, tasty ingredients that are very un-pubby although there are still classics, and all at great prices. As for the pub classics, everyday at lunch and dinner there are great specials for only $10.95 so dining under $50 is a no brainer. Best of all, Thursday is half price wine day and a bottle of Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec is only $19 and juicy steak sandwiches are $10.95 after 4 p.m., so you can live it up for only $40.90. You won’t feel like you are eating pub food when you dig into Ahi Tuna Buddha Bowl overflowing with seared tuna, quinoa, carrot, cucumber, avocado, pea shoots and roasted peanuts, which is a full meal for only $19. Similarly, the Newcastle makes superb pizza and the Mediterranean thin crust at only $15 is loaded with pesto, grilled artichokes, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta and fresh basil and is a big meal. With a 5 ounce glass of the Malbec at $8 and a pint of domestic draught at $7.25 a duo can feast for exactly $49.25. The Newcastle changed our mind about pubs – let it change yours too – without killing your budget.

Nepali Cuisine

RECEIPT

RECEIPT ********************** Pork Mo:Mo

8.50

************************ Ahi Tuna Buddha Bowl 19.00 Mediterranean Pizza 15.00

Chicken Cauli

17.95

5 oz. Malbec

8.00

Lamb Grill

21.50

1 Pint Domestic Beer

7.25

––––––––––-–––––––-–-

––––––––––-–––––––-–––-

TOTAL $47.95

TOTAL $49.25

**********************

************************

Thank you for dining with us!

Thank you for dining with us!

continued on page 16

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

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Gorilla Whale 1214 - 9th AVENUE SE 587-356-2686 continued from page 15

Carino Riserva 2206 - 4th STREET SW 403-454-7668

carinoriserva.com

Geoff Last and Max Brisson Tucked away behind an unassuming doorway in the Mission area is a small gem of a restaurant called Carino Riserva. The theme here is a fusion of Italian seamlessly melded with Japanese ingredients and techniques, not an easy thing to achieve. When fusion dining was all the rage many of them fell flat, essentially neither fish nor fowl, and diners quickly moved on to safer and more familiar territory. This is not the case here; the chef/ owner has a deft touch, bringing together the best of both worlds. For example, beef carpaccio, an Italian standard, is presented here as himachi carpaccio, a combination of yellow tail tuna, cherry tomatoes, feta, yuzu vinaigrette and soy sauce. There’s campanelle, a trumpet- shaped pasta with a meat ragu that incorporates wagyu beef in place of the traditional ground chuck. Rack of lamb – at a very reasonable $28 – is served with frites and a spicy teriyaki sauce. Owner/chef Toshi Karino has a solid background in wine, having spent six years as Teatro’s wine director, and as you’d expect there are some great options in that regard. There’s also a nice selection of sakes and craft beers and the restaurant does allow corkage for $25 a bottle (free corkage on Tuesdays). Ramen is all the rage right now and for good reason; it’s delicious, comforting, filling and reasonably priced. Carino does lunch from Thursday to Saturday and the focus on those days is ramen, four versions to be precise. There’s the “classico” for $10 that includes BBQ pork, green onion, seaweed, bamboo shoots and toasted seaweed, and my favourite, tonkotu gyokai umami shoyu ($14.50) that includes fork-tender BBQ pork, umami paste, bonito flakes, boiled egg and toasted seaweed. In a more fusion-y vein there’s RECEIPT the Genovese ($14) with BBQ ********************** pork, cherry tomatoes, radicchio, arugula, bean sprouts, corn, 2 x Tonkotu Gyokai Umami Shoyu 29.00 boiled egg and parmesan. If you are craving a meatier lunch you 2 x Japanese beers 15.00 could opt for the bucatini with ––––––––––-–––––––-–wagyu beef sauce, a sweet deal at $15. With 32 seats it’s a cozy TOTAL $44.00 little spot and well worth discovering if you haven’t already. My ********************** old pal Max and I got away with Thank you for dining with us! two bowls of ramen, a couple of beers and a tip for just under $50.

gorillawhale.ca

Michelle Barby and Ellinor Stenroos When asked to do the Two Can Eat for $50 or less, the first place that came to mind was a great new restaurant in my neighbourhood, Inglewood, Gorilla Whale. I had been several times before and quickly looked up the menu to make sure I could make the $50 budget work. No problem! I invited my good friend Ellinor Stenroos to join me. She just finished sober October, so this would be a fitting occasion to indulge in great food and drink. When you walk in, the first things that you notice are the Japanese concert tour posters, including Prince, Bowie and Diana Ross, on the walls. A turntable, albums and black and white photos of famous musicians in the restrooms round out the rock and roll theme. Then there is the fabulous music. I might be showing my age, but I could have listened to Bowie, Nirvana, and Lou Reed all night long. To balance these cheeky pop music references (Ellinor’s words, she’s a designer), the rest of the space is minimalist with earth tones and natural wood touches. This Japanese-ish restaurant lounge is energetic, fun and owner Dean and manager Tilly are gracious hosts. Well-known restaurant dude, Brendan Bankowski, put this place together and is the other owner. Gorilla Whale’s menu ranges from snacks and yakitori (sticks) to ramen, burgers, and even a whole suckling pig. On previous visits, I had tried the soft shell crab in a ginger garlic chili sauce, edamame with wild pecans and kefir butter (edamame taken to another level), and several of the sticks, all of which were delicious. There is also a wonderful “dranks” menu including cocktails by Nathan Head of Proof. Some of the dranks feature typical Japanese ingredients like shiso, sake and green tea. My favourites are the Paper Crane and Cold Tea. Dranks also includes wine, sake, beer and cider offerings. Local tap choices from Inglewood and Ramsay breweries like Ol’ Beautiful and Dandy, are all $5 or $6. After consulting with our attentive server, Cody, Ellinor and I decided to spend the bulk of our budget on food. We ordered a BC Growers Broken Ladder cider and a Kettle Sour #11 from Lacombe to drink. We could also have had a glass of sparkling wine and been well within the budget. To eat we chose the Karaage burger and a couple of the yakitori sticks. Karaage is a Japanese technique of lightly coating meat, usually chicken, in flour or potato starch and cooking it in a light oil. The result was a delicious tender chicken burger on an excellent brioche bun, which wasn’t too buttery or sweet. The spicy kewpie, a Japanese mayo, complemented the bacon and American cheese perfectly. It was served with greens. We had to have the Halloumi yakitori because it is literally grilled cheese. What’s not to like? We rounded out our meal with the lamb sirloin stick with basil mint gel. The lamb was juicy, flavourful and perfectly cooked. The yakitori are grilled over binchotan charcoal and served two per order with house tare and fresh egg yolk dipping sauce. These three dishes were more than satisfying for two people. Gorilla Whale does not take reservations but they have seating at the bar, and a “cocktail zone“ where you can have a drink while you wait. Not wanting to leave, we moved on from our assignment and ordered cocktails. As we were enjoying the relaxing fun atmosphere, a table beside us received the suckling pig and all its accompaniments. Definitely on the list for a future visit! ✤

RECEIPT *********************** Karaage Burger 17.00 Lamb Sirloin Yakitori 8.00 Halloumi Yakitori 6.00 Blindman Sour

8.00

Broken Ladder Cider 8.00 ––––––––––-–––––––-–--

TOTAL $47.00 *********************** Thank you for dining with us!

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


patisseriedusoleil.com granaryroad.com/market/ oishidesu

avenidamercantile.com


Community Spirits CALGARY’S GROWING CRAFT ALCOHOL INDUSTRY

by Erin Lawrence It’s a sunny afternoon and light is streaming into High Line Brewing’s Inglewood headquarters through huge floor-to-ceiling windows. The tables are full; at one a couple is playing cards. A pizza arrives to another table, hand delivered from a pizza place up 9th Avenue SE. A group of friends laughs as they sample a tray of High Line’s brews that is set down on their table. This atmosphere repeats itself nearby at The Dandy Brewing Company, and Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery. Calgarians are increasingly choosing to head to local breweries – and now to some distilleries too – to meet friends, converse, sample new sips, and listen to music and take in local art. “I really enjoy the community that builds around craft beer,” says Citizen Brewing’s Head Brewer Ryan Hampton. “It becomes a gathering place, an art space, a community place. It’s an extension of the brewer and the staff and people respond to that. People want to try new things and it becomes a community hub.” Over at Calgary’s Eighty-Eight Brewing Co., 1980s hair metal and synthpop boom from speakers on the second level where a loft-style taproom overlooks the brewery floor. Though there’s no brewing happening on the Saturday we visit, the communal tables are full, and the beer glasses are emptying. Noble Pie is shoveling pizzas out of its pop-up pizza counter as fast as staff can roll them out. Eighty-Eight’s Stuart Valentini says the growing popularity of local craft beer and the burgeoning community might be due in part to the relaxed nature that surrounds beer drinking. “Breweries serve as a really casual place for people to congregate. They don’t have to be as formal or substantial as if you were going out to have a big dinner, so you see everything from families who come with their kids, to people who come and bring board games and set up shop for a bit.” A couple of brewery districts are evolving in Calgary, years after Big Rock Brewery opened up in a southeast industrial area and started it all: The Inglewood and Ramsay neighbourhoods have Cold Garden, Dandy, High Line, Eighty-Eight and Paddy’s. To the west in the Beltline you’ll find Last Best, Trolley 5, Brewsters and Mill Street.

To the south in the Highfield-Alyth, Bonnybrook and Manchester areas, brewpubs are continuing to pop up in once exclusively industrial spaces. Village Brewery may have been one of the first to open up shop, but now they have neighbours in Banded Peak, Annex Ale project, Legend 7 Brewing, The OT Brewing Company and Born Colorado. There are currently about 40 businesses classified as “liquor manufacturers” in the city of Calgary, more outside the city limits (like one of the originals; popular and well-known Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley), and about 130 in total in Alberta. Growth has been massive.

In 2015 there were just 29 breweries and 7 distilleries in Alberta. Today those numbers have ballooned to 98 breweries and 24 distilleries. With that kind of growth, and new brewers and distillers opening all the time, it’s hard to believe the laws that allow them to create a livelihood and community didn’t exist just five years ago. Perhaps the novelty of this new liquor liberalism has yet to wear off. Or possibly it’s because Calgarians are finding new ways to embrace the burgeoning craft alcohol scene. Village Brewery’s Marketing Manager, Eric Daponte, has been part of a trio of breweries organizing cycling tours of Calgary’s so-called “Barley Belt” in the Manchester Industrial area. Along with Banded Peak brewery and Annex Ale’s Project, two years ago they began developing activities designed to explore all the Belt has to offer, including brewery bike tours. It’s all housed on a website at barleybeltYYC.com. “We probably get about 30-40 people out on a bike tour on a summer afternoon,” explains Daponte. “We hang out all day, bike around to all the breweries and check them out. We also do an end-of-summer tour in August where we get buses to take people around to six tap rooms, and it’s called the Barley Belt Tap Tour. Next year we’ll expand it to 10 breweries.”

It’s not just the breweries benefiting from this spirit of community.

“We have been noticing an increase of customers wanting to experience our distillery tours and sample our products during the lunch hour and dinner service,” adds Blair Bullied, Marketing Manager at Burwood Distillery. This year, the Government of Alberta temporarily relaxed its liquor laws to allow soccer fans the opportunity to watch 2018 FIFA World Cup matches with a pint, or a shot. Burwood Distillery took advantage, hosting viewing parties in its new restaurant and lounge. Indeed, pairing fresh food and freshly brewed or distilled liquor is becoming more common. “We’re seeing a lot of growth in the food world and that’s established a path for local spirits and local beer to blend into one category,” muses Keith Robinson, Owner-Operator of Wild Life Distillery. Though the distillery is located in Canmore, Calgarians are coming to visit in droves, and other brewers and distillers outside the city limits report the same thing. Despite the growing number of manufacturers, one thing most of them agree on is that competition is great for business – and helps to forge even stronger bonds. “One of the things that differentiates the craft beer world is just how much camaraderie there is,” says Daponte. “Yes, there’s more competition but at the same time we can work together and promote each other, and that makes the industry better for all of us.”✤

Erin Lawrence is a Calgary TV producer, journalist, and freelance writer who loves food, technology and travel. Find her online at ErinLYYC.com or on Twitter & Instagram @ErinLYYC.

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CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019


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2

Stay stoked when the temperature drops with this tart wheat ale featuring blood orange, black currant & a hint of cranberry

FIND IT AROUND ALBERTA IN JANUARY, 2019

CITYPALATE.ca JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

19


C H I N E S E L U N A R N E W Y E A R F E S T I VA L by Richard White

For most Calgarians, New Year’s Eve is a night of celebration associated with drinking and partying, but for our Chinese community, it is a two-week celebration with food, family and wishes of good health and prosperity. Also called Spring Festival, it is celebrated from the first day of the first lunar month, which varies each year based on the Gregorian calendar. This year it starts on February 5th. The first day, called Lunar New Year, is the most important day of the year for Chinese family reunions. The last day is when the Lantern Festival takes place to signal the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations; this is when children go out at night carrying paper lanterns and solving riddles on the lanterns. Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated at the oldest living family member’s home. Typically, more than 10 dishes are prepared for the feast, though that number varies with the number of family members in attendance. Two weeks prior, much preparation happens – families clean their house of garbage and bad omens of the previous year and they wear new clothes and shoes to welcome in the new year. Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during the entire two weeks as the Chinese words for tangerine and orange sound like the words for luck and wealth respectively.

2019: YEAR OF THE PIG Chinese (Lunar) New Year in 2019 is on Tuesday February 5th and it is the year of the Pig. The Pig is the last animal in the Chinese zodiac and is part of a 12-year zodiac cycle. In fact, there are five types of Pigs – Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, which are part of a 60-year cycle. 2019 is the year of the Earth Pig. People born in 1959 or 2019, are cooperative, communicative, popular among friends and punctual. They are born lucky in life and are well versed in managing financial issues. Earth Pigs become rich in middle age due to their hard work in earlier years and can expect to live in abundance during old age. (Note: Just because 2019 is the year of the Pig, doesn’t mean Chinese families will be eating extra pork dishes this year.) I’m not aware of any other culture where food, language and symbolism are linked with family traditions as they are in Chinese culture.

CHINESE (LUNAR) NEW YEAR IN CALGARY Because Chinese New Year is traditionally a family event, it is most often celebrated at a restaurant. However, if you are interested in experiencing a Chinese New Year’s Dinner in Calgary, your best bet is to get a ticket to the Sien Lok Society’s New Year Gala Celebration. This year’s dinner is on Saturday, February 2 at the Regency Palace restaurant. This year is the 50th Anniversary, get your tickets early as it sells out quickly. Link: eventbrite.ca/e/sien-lok-societys-50th-chinese-newyear-gala-celebration-tickets-50327953263 Terry Wong, Executive Director of the Chinatown Business Improvement area, suggests trying Silver Dragon, Golden Inn or Culture Centre restaurants for a traditional dinner. Tang Dynasty and Great Taste will have a Northern China style meal, while T Pot and Regency Palace are your best bet for “hot pot” fondue delicacies, and Calgary Court and U & Me offer a contemporary Hong Kong café twist. Two Penny, at 1213 - 1st St. SW, is also a good bet. Last year they offered a Chinese New Year’s dinner banquet with dishes like Shanghai Noodles, Ling Cod Soup, Crispy Chicken, Dim Sum, Gai Lan, Mandarin Meringue Tarts and more, daily, during the two week New Year’s celebration. Dinner guests were also treated to receiving the customary red envelopes with special prizes inside. Though most of the prizes were small, one larger prize was given out each day. This year Two Penny is excited to celebrate the Year of the Pig in 2019. It will kick off celebrations on February 5th until the 15th with a banquet menu, in a similar format to this years’ CNY offering but with an evolved menu of Two Penny signature dishes, and a few celebratory dishes, made special for the occasion. This menu will be a great option for group dining, and similar to last year, there will be a few elements of surprise and delight, along with some wonderful cocktails and tea to pair with the meal. It will be around $45, a steal of a deal for the kind of meal being served.

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LUNAR NEW YEAR’S DISHES 101 In most cultures, food plays a very important role in almost every annual holiday celebration, but perhaps none to the extent of the Chinese culture. It is customary on New Year’s Eve to serve FISH at the end of the evening meal to symbolize a wish for abundance in the coming year. The word for fish, “yu,” sounds like the Chinese words for “wish” and “abundance.” The fish, served whole, with the head and tail attached, symbolizes a good beginning and ending of the coming year. SPRING ROLLS AND EGG ROLLS are served as they symbolize wealth because their shape is similar to that of gold bars. LETTUCE WRAPS are popular because the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “rising fortune.” Often, they are filled with DRIED OYSTERS as the words for “dried oysters” sound like the word for “good.” LION’S HEAD MEATBALLS are popular as the “lion” represents power and strength in Chinese culture, while oversized meatballs symbolize family reunion. SWEET AND SOUR PORK is popular with families hoping for a lot of grandchildren, as the Cantonese word for “sour” sounds like the word for “grandchildren.” JAI, a vegetable-only dish (also known as Buddha’s Delight) is popular on New Year’s day given the Buddhist tradition is that no animal or fish should be killed on the first day of the lunar year. And then there are LONGEVITY NOODLES. Symbolizing a long life, they are not to be cut! The popularity of NIAN GAO CAKES is due to their sweetness which symbolizes a rich, sweet life, their layers representing a rising abundance for the coming year, and the round shape signifying family reunion. ✤

Richard White is aka The Everyday Tourist, find him at everydaytourist.ca and rwhiteyyc@gmail.com


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STIRRINGS AROUND CALGARY

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n Open Table posts Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants from coast to coast and this year, Calgary has 16 restaurants featured, which is the second most of any Canadian city. Recognized restaurants: Anju, Pigeonhole, Ten Foot Henry, Royale, Cucina Market Bistro, Bridgette Bar, Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar, Hy’s Steakhouse, Klein/Harris, La Chaumière, The Nash, Posto Pizzeria and Bar, Q Haute Cuisine, Sukiyaki House, Vero Bistro Moderne, WORKSHOP kitchen + culture.

n Murrieta’s general manager, Sabrina, and exec chef, Dave Bohati, who won the top position at the Gold Medal Plates 2018, now called Canada’s Great Kitchen Party. That means he’ll be off to the Canadian Culinary Championships in February competing with the gold medal winners from all over Canada. He’s very good with food and has a very good chance of winning! Good for you Dave, City Palate was one of the judges and loved your dish! And chef Bohati teamed up with a SAIT student at the SAIT Chef To Be competition to help raise money to support the student chefs. Another gold medal for Dave and his student chef-to-be and a $5,000 scholarship was awarded on Murrieta’s behalf to a SAIT student.

n River Café closes in January each year for annual repairs and maintenance, but this year necessary flood mitigation work and some building life-cycle maintenance will keep the doors closed for three more months. Check river-cafe.com for updates, or to make spring and summer bookings, and expect the doors to reopen in late April. In the meanwhile, you can join the River Café team on culinary vacation in Punta Mita Mexico. Proprietor Sal Howell, Chef Matthias Fong, River Café’s Chef de Cuisine Eric Um and Pastry Chef Kevin Yang lead an interactive exploration of coastal Pacific Mexico’s terroir. Packages include a fishing trip, local markets, cooking demonstrations and dinners on the beach – January 23rd to 27th. Check river-café.com for more details.

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n Yellow Door Bistro welcomes a new chef de cuisine, Scott Redekopp. Known for surprising and playful twists on classics, chef Redekopp just launched an enticing new winter menu. Sample the menu during the happiest of hours – Monday to Saturday from 4pm to 6pm, enjoy $5 wine, beer and cocktail features as well as 1/2 price à la carte flatbreads. Reserve your table: yellowdoorbistro.ca n SAIT’s Highwood Dining Room... With winter here, the students at the Highwood know that you want to escape the cold with a dining experience that will warm your soul. The Highwood is accepting reservations for January 9 - February 28. The gourmet buffets will be open for online bookings only and will be offered on: • January 17, 24, 31 • February 7, 14, 28 Visit sait.ca/highwood to view the menus, to find lunch and dinner parking details, campus map and to book online. Support student learning in the Highwood, 1301 - 16th Ave. NW, 403-284-8615, ext. 2, highwood.reservations@sait.ca n Cilantro invites you to “Tempt Your Taste Buds At Our Winter Dinner Series,” January 23, February 27 and March 20. Cilantro will feed you such good food and perfect wines paired with the courses. The evening will be hosted by CRMR’s wine director, Brad Royale, who will walk you through hand-picked wines that have been carefully paired with three courses and one amuse-bouche prepared by Cilantro’s hugely talented culinary team led by chef Lancelot Monteiro. Tickets are just $99 inclusive of tax and gratuity, an incredibly affordable price. Visit cilantrocalgary.com for all the details and ticket ordering.

n Deane House Chef Matthias Fong, now the executive chef for Deane House as well as River Café, is bringing the property’s rich history back to life through a dining experience steeped in culinary history. Inspirations from indigenous prairie ingredients and traditions, and a nod to the earliest imported foods, expect the best locally sourced contemporary cuisine with a fascinating historic twist. Traditional or adventurous tasting menus available with curated cellar selections. n Deane House launches a new weekly Live Jazz Sunday Supper night starting on Sunday January 6th. Jazz trio Haven Vanguard, the house favourite band that played at Sunday Brunch through the summer in the garden, makes its return for a weekly appearance at the family style menu, family friendly and corkage free Sunday Supper. It’s a great way to meet Deane. n Both River Café and Deane House teams are in the Deane House for Valentine’s Day. Bookings now available for a romantic dinner for two, or purchase a seat (or two) for the Annual Valentine’s Champagne Dinner in the library. Visit deanehouse.com for details n Calgary has welcomed its first Chronic Tacos location at the Deerfoot City Shopping Centre at 901 - 64th Ave. NE. Chronic Tacos is a California-inspired Mexican grill that celebrates authenticity and the individuality of its guests through fresh, made-to-order Mexican food. Chronic Tacos offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican foods, including tacos, burritos, bowl-ritos and much more. The menu also features kid’s meals and a breakfast menu available all day. Customers can choose from vegetarian and gluten-free options as well as choices of: carne


asada, carnitas, al pastor, pollo asado and variations of fish or shrimp. Each restaurant incorporates original artistic designs inspired by traditional “Day of the Dead” art, creating a unique “Taco Life” experience at each location For more information, visit chronictacos.com DRINKS DOCKET

n The world of wine awaits. Winefest invites you to indulge in hundreds of wines in all styles and flavours! One ticket includes an all-inclusive sampling of wines, hors d’oeuvres and a take-home wine glass. Guests will enjoy a variety of red, white, rosé, port, sparkling, and dessert wines from the world’s most celebrated wine regions, and a selection of sweet and savoury decadent bites. This year, Winefest is proud to present Rioja as 2019’s feature wine region. This premiere wine region in Spain is known for its tempranillo, but with a total vineyard area of 64,000 hectares, Rioja truly offers a style of wine for every wine lover. Explore and discover Rioja’s remarkable wine, along with many others at this year’s event. Early Bird prices available until Friday, January 11. Winefest takes place February 22 and 23 at Stampede Park BMO Centre, Hall E. Visit winefestcalgary.com for details and tickets.

n BeerGuysYYC announces Calgary’s first and only Beer Guys Craft Club. The Club, which launched officially on December 1, is designed specifically to provide local craft breweries with a platform to promote their establishment, while providing its members with exclusive discounts and unparalleled opportunities to explore Calgary’s ever-growing craft beer scene. Sticking with the BeerGuysYYC mission, this program is at no cost to the participating breweries, in an effort to continually promote and assist Calgary business owners. And while there is a nominal cost to the member, a portion of their membership dues will go directly to supporting local charities. So members can feel good about their nominal monthly fee of $7.95. Deals and special offers change often and are left up to the establishment. The idea for the Club came from friends, colleagues and even complete strangers inquiring as to how they too could become a “BeerGuy” and often, “BeerGal.” After a quick brainstorm, the team realized the potential for a club that not only brought people together, but also encouraged Calgarians to try something new and support local start-ups. As time goes on members can also expect exclusive member-only events and social gatherings that will truly unite craft beer enthusiasts. For more information visitbeerguys.ca and check out BeerGuysYYC on Instagram and Twitter @beerguysyyc.

n Do you know a sommelier between the ages of 21-31 who would like an opportunity to compete locally and internationally for great travel and cash prizes in the upcoming Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Jeunes Sommeliers Competition 2019!

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest wine and food society, welcomes all sommeliers between the ages of 21 and 31 to participate in the annual regional sommelier competition. The mission is to promote the enjoyment, knowledge and understanding of fine wines and crafted beverages, with one of the goals being to provide help, encouragement and support for the young professionals who are to be the best sommeliers of the future. There is no cost to compete. Calgary will be the site of the second annual regional Jeunes Sommeliers competition in Canada. This event will be held annually with the intention of recommending our regional winner to advance to the International Competition in South Korea (September 2019) provided the standards of international competition are met. Registration Deadline: March 15. First Round Written Test: Saturday, March 30 at 1 pm in Calgary. Second Round Final Competition (Theory, Service and Blind Tasting): Saturday, April 13 at 1 pm in Calgary. Details and registration forms can be found at: chainecalgary.ca n Heidi Noble, JoieFarm’s owner and winemaker and apprentice winemaker Alyssa Hubert have introduced the Chic Fille label, a fun, experimental wine inspired by Heidi’s desire to revisit techniques that she had used when first teaching herself how to make wine. The Chic Fille label revisits each one of the techniques singularly with the goal of making fun, textural, eminently drinkable and interesting wines. They – 2017 Pinot Blanc and Rosé – will help improve the already great JoieFarm portfolio. Visit joiefarm.com for more information. n Found another interesting wine: Back from the Dead Red, vinted and bottled by The Buccaneer, King City, California. Another tasty red blend, who cares what they call it, and they’re having fun! Actually love the label, catches your eye in a liquor store! COOKING CLASSES

n SAIT Downtown Culinary Campus: January 10, Vegetarian; January 14 to February 11, Introduction to Cooking; January 17, Fish Cookery; January 18, Date Night; January 19, Artisan Bread; January 24. Thailand; January 31, West Coast; February 2, Viennoiserie; February 7, Chinese Stir Fry; February 8, Date Night; February 9, Date Night; February 14, Date Night; February 21, France; February 23, Artisan Bread; February 25 to March 18, Intermediate Cooking; February 28, Pasta. n SAIT Main Campus: January 8, Knife Skills; January 12, Viennoiserie; January 15 to March 5, Intro to Cooking (Gr. 7-12); January 22, Vietnamese; January 25, Date Night; January 26, Baking Cakes; February 1, Sushi; February 2, Assorted Buns; February 5, Cooking with Cheese; February 6 to March 6, Introduction to Cooking; February 9, Chocolate; February 9, Buttercream Basics; February 19, Winter Stews; February 22, Curry; February 22, Date Night; February 23, Viennoiserie;

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Quality meats, natural spices and old-World recipes. That’s authentic Italian. February 23, Cupcakes; February 25 to March 14, Bar Mixology. n The Tastemarket by SAIT: January 11, Date Night; January 16 to 31, Cooking for Your Health; February 1, Date Night; February 14, Date Night. Visit culinarycampus.ca for details and more courses. n The Cookbook Co. Cooks: January 11/12, A Night Out: Couples Class; January 12, morning, Grown-Up & Kid Class (8+); afternoon, Handmade Pasta; January 13, Tagines: Stews from Morocco; January 16, Thai Classics; January 18/19, A Night Out: Couples Class; January 19 morning, Make & Take Perogies Workshop; afternoon, Vietnamese Cooking – and much more in January. February 3, Crepe-Making Workshop, Sweet & Savoury; February 5, Tuesday on Ice: Gin & Tapas; February 10, Get Them in the Kitchen! Teen Bootcamp Edition (ages 13-16); February 19, Around the Alberta Table: Eat Local; February 20, Around the World with Riesling; February 23, Mastering Fermentation; February 28, Weeknight Vegan: Comfort Food, Fast. And much more! Visit cookbookcooks.com for details and register at The Cookbook Co. Cooks, 722 - 11th Ave. SW, 403-2656066, ext. 1. GENERAL STIRRINGS

n Support thousands of Calgary men and their families dealing with mental health issues, through the Women for Men’s Health’s The Big Ball Gala on Friday, February 1st. The biggest party of the year, held at Hotel Arts, is an evening of dance, drink, food and fun. This powerful initiative acts to increase awareness in areas impacting men, including mental health. Get your tickets here: womenformengala.com n Your Project. Their Experts. Bring them together at the Calgary Renovation Show, January 11-13 at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park. Featuring HGTV Canada star Bryan Baeumler and more than 200 home improvement companies to choose from, we have everything you need to make your home goals happen. Visit calgaryrenovationshow.com to buy your tickets and save $3 on regular adult admission. Satisfaction guaranteed - or the price of admission is on us! And visit the web site for exhibitors and all the details about what’s going on. For example, as RUST-OLEUM says, “Kitchen, spotless. Bourbon, neat.” Sounds good to us!

n Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market isn’t a typical food court, nor is it a standard farmers’ market. In fact, they’re bringing to Calgary something the city has never seen before: an upscale urban food hall incorporating the elements of farmers’ markets, which Calgarians know and love. So what exactly is a food hall? A staple in both historical European cities such as London, Paris and Lisbon, and in vibrant North American metropolises such as New York, Boston and Montreal, food halls offer diners a unique opportunity to experiment, enjoy and discover. They give visitors the chance to affordably and conveniently explore diverse tastes from vendors specializing in cuisine preparation and production methods spanning the globe. All with a local slant. Unlike food courts, which are designed and operated to serve as many people as quickly as possible, food halls are intended to serve as culinary gathering places, facilitating memorable social experiences for the people who visit them. Originating more than one-hundred years ago within European department stores, the food hall concept has spread to major cities all over the world in recent years. Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market will let your taste buds travel while you enjoy an open, inviting and social market atmosphere. It is the first of its kind in Calgary. The 41 vendor booths at the market include: Teff ’N’ Greens, Sunworks Farms, Touch of India, Bangkok Street Food, Pizzeria, Project 196 Ice Cream, Bumbu Grill, Takori, TEAmo Fruit Tea, Herbal Healing, Grainz Bread Shop, Latin Foods Specialties, Planet Wrap, Expat Asia, Arepas Ranch, Yummy Churros, Holy Cannoli, Juice Because, Shirley’s Greenhouse, Walkers Own Produce, So Fresh Produce, Irving’s Pork, Fantasy Pretzels & Donuts, Miss P’s Gluten Free, Mestizo Mexican Street Food, to name a few. Oh, and everything you love about local farmers’ markets is there too!

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6 quick ways with... CASUALLY ELEGANT. UNIQUELY VINTAGE.

by Chris Halpin

GINGER

Ginger is commonly called a root. However, in fact, it’s an underground horizontal plant stem, as are lotus and turmeric. These types of plants are called rhizomes. Ginger has for centuries been sought out for its flavour, as much as its medicinal properties. The active ingredients in ginger are shogaols and gingerols, these most notably neutralize stomach acids and encourage the production of digestive juices and this is why it makes us feel better. Getting to eat and feeling better – that sounds like a win, win to me! Ginger, St.Germain Hot Toddy

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This is so soothing and delicious, great either hot or cold. To a pot add 2 c. water, 1/4 c. sugar, place over high heat and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved, then from time to time. When the sugar has dissolved, add 1 camomile tea bag and 1/4 c. chopped fresh ginger. When this to comes to the boil, allow it to boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow this to steep for another 2 minutes before straining the ginger and tea. In a heavy glass tumbler add 1 oz. of St. Germain liqueur, 1/2 ounce vodka, 1 thin slice of ginger and 1 thin slice of lemon and fill the glass with the warm ginger tea. Makes 4 servings.

Ginger Vermouth Mussels This is one of my favourite fast meals, with a simple salad and a fresh baguette, Mmmmm. In a large skillet add 2 T. butter and place over medium heat. Once the butter is foaming, add 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 T. grated fresh ginger, 1 t salt and sauté for 1 minute. Then add 1 kg. fresh mussels and 1/2 c. vermouth, give them a quick stir and cover with a tightfitting lid. Allow this to steam for about 3 to 4 minutes or until almost all the shells have opened. Add 1/2 c. whipping cream, give them a quick stir, adjust the salt to taste. Remove from heat and spoon the mussels into 2 bowls and divide up the sauce, garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve 2.

Ginger Peanut Lamb Chops This is the sauce I also use for salad rolls, satays and I even add a little more water to make a dressing for salads, so good. In a small bowl add 1/4 c. peanut butter, 2 T. lime juice, 3 drops of fish sauce, 1 T. grated fresh ginger, 1 garlic clove, finely minced, 1/2 t. Sriracha, 1/4 c. water. Whisk until smooth, place in a pot for later. Place a skillet over high heat and allow the pan to get very hot. While this is happening rub some salt and pepper into 4 lamb chops. Add 1/4 c. canola oil to the hot skillet, then the lamb chops. Sear each side for about 2 minutes for medium rare. Remove them from the pan and allow them to rest while you gently warm the peanut sauce over low heat. Arrange the lamb onto plates and generously drizzle the sauce, garnish with sliced green onions and chopped peanuts. Serves 2.


Best Chicken Noodle Soup, Ever! The trick to making chicken broth taste intensely of chicken is ground dried ginger! This is a case where ginger is being used as a flavour bridge. To make the perfect chicken noodle soup, I always cook my noodles separately and store the leftovers separately. I only add the noodles to the soup just before serving. Put a pot of water on to boil. Once boiling add 1 t. salt and 2 handfuls of pasta of your choice. In another pot over medium heat add 2 T. olive oil, 1 onion, diced, 1 chicken breast cut into thin strips, salt and pepper. Sauté a minute or so before adding 2 medium carrots, diced, 2 celery stalks, diced, continue to sauté for 2 minutes more before adding 3 c. chicken stock, 1/2 t. ground dried ginger, 1/2 t. dried thyme and a pinch of dried sage. Once this comes to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer. When the pasta is cooked, drain and run under cold water until cooled, roll with 1 t. olive oil to evenly coat, set aside to continue to drain. Once the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes, add 1/2 c. frozen peas. Just before serving the soup adjust the salt to your taste. Place some of the noodles into four bowls and ladle soup over this and serve. Serves 4.

Squash Ravioli in Ginger Butter with Leeks and Roasted Peppers The ginger butter has such a bright flavour, yet it really complements the squash. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. When the water is boiling rapidly, add 1 small package of squash ravioli and give it a stir. While the ravioli is boiling, place a large pan over medium heat and add 1/4 c. butter and allow it to melt. When the butter is foaming, add 1 leek, thinly sliced, 3 roasted red pepper fillets from a jar, thinly sliced, 2 T. grated fresh ginger, salt and pepper to taste, sauté gently for about 2 minutes. When the raviolis are tender, drain and add them to the pan with the ginger butter, gently stir to evenly coat. Spoon into two bowls and garnish with crumbled feta and fresh ground pepper. Serves 2.

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Ginger Almond Peach Upside-Down Cake The dried ginger really enhances the almond flavour in the cake and the fresh ginger with the peaches brings out the citrus tones in the fruit. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Into a bowl, whisk together 2 c. flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt and set aside. Break 2 eggs into a larger bowl and, with a whisk, slowly beat in 1/2 c. canola oil then beat in 1 c. sugar. Once this is fully incorporated, beat in 1 c. ground almonds. Set aside for later. In a pot that is about 8” wide and at least 4” deep, add 1/4 c. butter and place over high heat. Once the butter has melted, add 1 c. sugar, 1 T. grated fresh ginger and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Now add 3 c. frozen peach slices and sauté for about 4 minutes or until the peach slices have thawed and are warm. Stir in 1/2 c. whole almonds and give it a stir and remove from heat. To finish the batter, stir in 1 c. milk, then stir in the flour until smooth. Pour the finished batter over the peaches in the pot Blvd S.W. Calgary, Alberta | Phone: (403)springs 460-3771 and place the 2330 pot inFish theCreek oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake back in the centre when you touch it. Remove from the oven and let the cake rest for about 2 minutes before turning it out onto a platter. Serves 6 to 8. Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service. mannaonline.com. Recipe photos by Chris Halpin.

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FLEXIT?

Time marches on and another new year is upon us. Turning the page to another January in my daytimer meant that, after I’d resolved to lose weight and stop drinking (with my fingers crossed behind my back), I could embark on something I might actually accomplish, which was my annual Google search to find out what the major food trend of the upcoming twelve months would be. It turns out that the consensus among foodie prediction-makers is that this year, vast numbers of eaters will alter their diets and become “flexitarians.” My first reaction wasn’t to wonder whether this prediction was going to be accurate or not, but rather, to blurt out, “What in the hell is a flexitarian?” This new-fangled word was a head-scratcher. Before looking up the definition of “flexitarian,” I tried to imagine what in God’s name it might refer to. At first, I thought it might be some weight-loss program involving stripping, exotic dancing or contortionism as part of the exercise regimen. Then I thought it might refer to citizens of the U.K. who are angry at the E.U. and hope that Brexit comes to pass, but who will resist boycotting Euro-products and continue to eat French cheese. Brexit into Flexit? Nope. My guesses never even came close, mostly because this may be the stupidest food trend name of all time. You see, “flexitarian” describes a person who is a “flexible vegetarian.” Also known as “veggie-vores,” these are dedicated vegetarians who, from time to time, will eat meat, when the whim strikes them. I’m sorry, but these cheaters aren’t flexitanything – they are just freaking omnivores who happen to usually have a plantbased diet and want to sound all health- and environmentally righteous, while they quietly saw into a T-bone once a week. This trend is just verbal sleight-of-hand, and is the equivalent of someone saying they are “married and monogamous” while refusing to throttle back on dating when their spouse is otherwise occupied.

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Once I got into researching flexitarianism, I found a host of other terms people use to cover up the fact that they claim to have gone mostly veggie, but turn into a drooling Homer Simpson around a burger. To sound all sneaky about it, some folks call themselves “reducetarianists,” “lessetarianists” or, my favourite, “meat minimalists.” The last one sounds like an artists’ colony that might have created a meat garment for Lady Gaga to wear, but would have limited itself to just a thong or a bikini. My reading suggests that as a culture, we like words that confound the truth. In fact, the American Dialect Society not long ago voted “flexitarian” as the year’s “most useful word or phrase.” This just beat out “pre-emptive self-defence,” which was defined as “an attack before a possible attack.” Which sounds kind-of like just an attack to me. I must admit that apart from my being put off by the verbal deception, there are some real positives that arise from even sneaky flexitarianism. The movement has gained real momentum due to the efforts of Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters, Stella and Mary, through their No Meat Monday campaign. As dedicated vegetarians, the Beatle and family are pushing for folks to take one day a week off eating meat. There is pretty clear science that if everyone in the world (or even most of us) took just one day off being a carnivore, the resulting environmental, animal welfare and land conservation benefits would be enormous. And I am in favour of that wholeheartedly, without any need to be sneaky. My research also turned up trending foodie words that I do favour. One of them is “freeganism,” which has a couple of meanings. The meaning that I am sorry exists applies to the poor souls who eat discarded food, usually from dumpsters. But the alternate meaning that I promise I will use in the future is “freegan,” meaning a person who only eats what they get for free. This would apply to many people with whom I have dined out, who suddenly get short arms and deep pockets when the bill arrives, leaving my credit card the only one that makes it into the point-of-sale machine. Be warned, freegans – the next time you are in a restaurant across from me and the bill is presented, pull out your card to avoid suffering a ferocious round of “pre-emptive self-defence.” Wow – a useful phrase, indeed. Allan Shewchuk is a lawyer, food writer and sought-after Italian food and wine guru. He currently has kitchens in both Calgary and Florence, Italy, but will drink wine pretty much anywhere.

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City Palate January February 2019  

The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene - Eat Well, Spend Less

City Palate January February 2019  

The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene - Eat Well, Spend Less