city palate T H E
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the wine & beer issue CITYPALATE.CA
MAY JUNE 2015
TASTE LOCAL QUALITY Throughout the month of June visit these Calgary restaurants to taste their feature Alberta pork dishes: Anju Restaurant
Oak Tree Tavern
Pig and Duke
Black Pig Bistro
The Libertine Public House
Yellow Door Bistro
JOIN US AT THESE GREAT EVENTS!
June 18 Hotel Arts, Calgary citypalate.ca
June 19-21 Borden Park, Edmonton porkapalooza.ca
CHECK PASSIONFORPORK.COM TO SEE MORE EVENTS THAT WILL KEEP THE ALBERTA PORK PARTY GOING ALL MONTH LONG.
Known for our succulent smoked brisket, our juicy pulled pork and our fall-off-the-bone pork and JUMBO beef ribs. Southern comfort food at its best!
PREMIUM EXTRA VIRGIN & NATURALLY FLAVOURED OLIVE OILS + VINEGARS
THURSDAY – SUNDAY • 9AM – 5PM • HERITAGE & BLACKFOOT
Thanks to irrigation Gourmet Hot Dogs
NOT YOUR AVERAGE SANDWICH BEST ONION RINGS IN TOWN 6
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Lil’ Russ’ Jacket Potatoes Frozen Treats Gelato Milkshakes and other Goodies!.._
The natural choice.
FREE RANGE PORK Pasture raised & naturally fed.
• family owned and operated • focused on quality and taste
Learn more about irrigation at the Calgary Farmers’ Market or visit: thankstoirrigation.ca
Visit us in Rosemary, Alberta www.spraggsmeatshop.com
CITY PALATE MAY JUNE 2015
features 28 n
THE IRON This SOMMELIER year it’s beer!
1 DISH, 3 SOMMELIERS, 3 JUDGES AND...
6 beers Shelley Boettcher
32 n Shelley Boettcher
34 n Pedalling off the Sausages and Beer on Germany’s Romantic Road Carolyne Kauser-Abbott
Foraging 101 FINDING GOOD THINGS TO EAT IN OUR BACK YARDS, FIELDS AND FORESTS. Karen Anderson
Dining Etiquette 2.0 How to use digital devices in restaurants without driving everyone crazy. Kate Zimmerman
T R E N D I N G . . .
Smart sommeliers should
brush up their Mandarin Kate Zimmerman
Cover artist: K. Neil Swanson – an artist with a quirky brush, and an eye for the surreal, seeks the sublime within the obvious to create stories on canvas. See more of his work at knswansonart.com. CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
city palate editor Kathy Richardier (email@example.com) publisher Gail Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bookers Knows BBQ make your reservation for our famous all you can eat ribs every sunday! @bookersbbq
As Seen On
magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (email@example.com) contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributing writers Matthew Altizer Karen Anderson Shelley Boettcher Al Drinkle Chris Halpin Carolyne Kauser-Abbott Ellen Kelly Pierre Lamielle Geoff Last Karen Ralph Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal Kate Zimmerman
Spend less time in a cab... and more time enjoying one.
contributing photographers Regan Johnson Kathy Richardier for advertising enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org account executives Janet Henderson (email@example.com) Ellen Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) Liz Tompkins (email@example.com) prepress/printing CentralWeb distribution Gallant Distribution Systems Inc. The Globe and Mail website management Jane Pratico (firstname.lastname@example.org) City Palate is published 6 times per year: January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October and November-December by City Palate Inc., 722 - 11 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2R 0E4
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CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
CITY PALATE MAY JUNE 2015
11 n word of mouth
Notable culinary happenings around town
13 n eat this
What to eat in May and June Ellen Kelly
14 n drink this
Fervently delicious beaujolais Al Drinkle
pig & pinot JOIN US FOR
city palate’s FIFTH ANNUAL
16 n get this
Must-have kitchen stuff Karen Anderson
18 n one ingredient
Thursday, June 18th
Asparagus Julie Van Rosendaal
22 n feeding people
Pizza on the grill Allan Shewchuk
119 - 12th AVENUE SW 7-10 PM
25 n what’s cooking online?
Online and on-air with wine freaks Kate Zimmerman
26 n the sunday project
Onion Soup Gratinée with Matthew Altizer
44 n well matched
Made-in-heaven food and wine pairings Matthew Altizer and Karen Ralph
46 n stockpot
Red + green grape jellyfish Pierre Lamielle
50 n 9 quick ways with...
Fresh mint Chris Halpin
52 n last meal
14 talented chef teams compete for the coveted “Divine Swine” trophy, sponsored by Alberta Pork, as they create delicious and original pork dishes, with Tamworth Large Black pigs from The Farm with the Good Food. And nothing pairs better with the perfect porcine than the perfect pinot! 7 boutique wine stores will pour an amazing selection of pinot wines from around the world. And you get to taste it all!
with the GOOD FOOD
food prepared by:
Dilan Draper: Avec Bistro ■ Alison & John MacNeil: Black Pig Bistro Chris Dewling: Blink ■ Glen Manzer: Bonterra ■ Rogelio Herrera: Candela John Jackson & Connie DeSousa: CHARCUT Roast House ■ Jonathan Sobol: FARM Andrew Moore / Jen Pena: Ox and Angela / UNA Pizza + Wine Andrew Winfield: River Café ■ Jamie Harling: Rouge Darren MacLean: Shokunin Izakaya ■ Ian Smith: Swine & Sow Mike Duarte: The Cookbook Co. Cooks ■ Duncan Ly: Yellow Door Bistro
pinot poured by:
Keep it simple and seasonal Geoff Last
54 n back burner... shewchuk on simmer
Plus... a great silent auction; a fine wine raffle valued at over $1500; a Cappuccino King Coffee Cart; Silly Booth photos; and live music by Simply Sinatra, featuring Rob Young.
Stirrings around Calgary
47 n kids can cook
A FUNDRAISING EVENT IN SUPPORT OF
What about just dinner? Allan Shewchuk
tickets available now:
read us online at citypalate.ca
T H E
F L AV O U R
C A L G A R Y ’ S
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S C E N E
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
food day Canada YYC - August 1st, 2015 Join us for the largest picnic on the banks of the Bow River in celebration of Calgaryâ€™s leading culinary pioneers at Fort Calgary.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
word of mouth
NOTABLE CULINARY HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
field trips: dinner series
Join City Palate for a fresh, new dinner series – pairing the delicious products of our farmers and ranchers with our talented chefs at the chef’s restaurant – Field Trips: The Chef & The Farmer. June 2 at Candela; August 11 at Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant; September 8 at Rush, October 6 at Bistro Rouge and November 3 at Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue. More coming up in 2016 – don’t miss these. Limited tickets available now at Eventribrite!
watch some great bee-haviour Join Apiaries and Bees for Communities for a leisurely, guided tour along Calgary’s beautiful river pathways and discover our unique urban apiaries. Enjoy a light dinner in a picnic setting, then observe honeybee behaviour from a distance with a glass of mead or put on a veil and take part in a hive inspection. Home2Hive Bike Tours occur June through August, a perfect way to enjoy Calgary’s long summer evenings. Visit: backyardbees.ca/courses/h2h
bee kingdom glass blowers Visit beekingdom.ca and check out what your local glass blowers are up to. They make pretty glasses for your table, plus lots of other treats for your table and for just fun. We all need fun in our lives – these guys do blown-glass fun.
on your next okanagan tootle... Visit Chris Shaften’s kraftykitchen.ca in the Okanagan – it was missed in our last issue’s Okanagan article. Krafty Kitchen + Bar, 281 Lawrence Ave., Kelowna, with Farm to Table and Grape to Glass hospitality, plus a Hip Hop Brunch at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Shaften has cheffed in Calgary and still carries on his Taste First biz – one chef, one sommelier and one great dinner in your home.
eat fit, feel great The Main Dish’s owner, Jason Zaran, has done it again – a good thing for good food for fit people – Fit Kitchen in McKenzie Towne in the deep south of the city. Fit Kitchen provides meal plans and chef-prepared meals that will fit your lifestyle – Performance meals for anyone who leads an active life, Lean meals for those looking to drop some poundage, and FitKids, kid-friendly meals. We think this concept needs a clone-job so we can have it in the other sectors of the city! We loved the Guinness beef stew Performance dinner, flavourful and filling. Good job, Jason.
buy them or make them... These beautiful frying pans and skillets are made by Martin Reinhard in his studio, Willow Creek Forge, in Nanton. They’re hand forged from quality carbon-steel to last a lifetime and to pass down through generations of your family. You can also take classes and learn how to make your own, and other kitchen utensils, like a steak turner, pot racks, hooks and copper pots. Visit willowcreekforge.com for a class calendar.
pig & pinot 2015 Don’t miss City Palate’s 5th annual Pig & Pinot Festival, Thursday, June 18, at Hotel Arts. Teams of talented chefs work their magic on locally raised pork from The Farm with the Good Food, while pinots from around the world are served by some of our finest wine stores. Proceeds go to Meals on Wheels. Tickets are available now for this popular event: pigandpinotcalgary.eventbrite.ca. (See the ad, page 9)
such good spirits! Our very own Eau Claire Distillery is doing it again with its special limited edition spirit, Spring Equinox, a refreshing celebration of spring. It’ll slide us happily into summer with its aromatic and flavourful taste distilled from prickly pear cactus that grows in southern Alberta. Barley based, the citrus-like spirit can be served on ice, with soda water and mint, or make a cocktail with it. Look for your Spring Equinox at your fave booze store! Eau Claire’s new tasting room and visitor centre are now open, check hours at eauclairedistillery.ca.
wonton king’s hot and sour soup at co-op This is one heck of a delicious soup, just the right balance of hot and sour – but you may know that if you hang at the restaurants. However, one of the best things is that you can get this happy comfort food at your local Co-op store! That’s what we do, and we get lots of it because one person can polish off one container at one sitting. You’ll need more than one if you want to share with your loved ones... and you do.
is this fun, or what? Celebrate our railway ties at Aspen Crossing, near Mossleigh, just east of Okotoks. Take a Wine & Cheese Train Tour, train robbery included, May 30 - September 12. Or an Ales on Rails tour with train robbery, June 13 - September 5. Meals in the Field, outdoor lunch, June 28 September 7; Dinner Theatre, where you’re part of the story and get dinner too, July 3 - November 7. Check it out at aspencrossing.com.
This is a really interesting read and reference book: The Drunken Botanist – The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks (Algonquin Books, hard cover, $25.50). It’s “a spirited toast to the marriage of botany and booze,” and it’s packed with detailed information about the stuff our booze is made of, with such illuminating bits as “gin is really nothing more than a flavored vodka whose predominant flavor is juniper.” Huh! This is fun. Death & Co. is considered by those “in the know” as the most important, influential and oftimitated bar – it’s in New York City – to emerge from the contemporary craft cocktail movement. Now you can learn its secrets and inspirations in Death & Co, Modern Classic Cocktails (Ten Speed Press, hard cover, $46). Everything the cocktail enthusiast wants to know about craft cocktails, including the sciences of stirring and shaking, how to evaluate cocktails, and a huge selection of the bar’s signature craft cocktails, including their inspirations, such as one we love called Rock, Paper, Scissors loosely based on the flavours of rocky road ice cream but not so sweet. We’re big on big flavours in our food, so Persiana, Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond, by Sabrina Ghayour (Interlink Books, hard cover, $43.95) suits us to a capital T! Oh, my goodness, the flavours leap off the pages in the likes of Fig & Green Bean Salad with Date Molasses & Toasted Almonds and the author’s fave breakfast/dinner dish, Baked Eggs with Feta, Harissa, Tomato Sauce & Cilantro. Eye candy pictures will have you salivating.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Wine Experience Center at Black Hills Estate Winery
Join us for an exceptional tasting experience in our vineyard lounge. Immerse yourself in our terroir while tasting a full flight of our hand-crafted wines. Feeling hungry? Try one of our artisan pizzas from our vineyard kitchen.
Tastings are available by appointment or by drop-in from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Join us in July and August for extended hours during our â€œSunset Happy Hourâ€? series.
For details and reservations
please contact (250) 498-6606 or visit
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
eat this Even though March 21 is officially the beginning of spring, we on the prairies know better. Our spring creeps up on us, then all of a sudden it’s summer. Let’s celebrate with fresh greens, pink fish and an absurd flower/vegetable that only a very hungry food gatherer could have discovered… the inimitable artichoke. ARTICHOKES can be daunting and labour intensive, but the payoff makes them worth the effort. Stuffing one certainly requires a commitment. The marvelous Deborah Madison, once spokesperson for the California Artichoke Board, suggests grilling large globe artichokes. This effectively does away with much of the fuss and let’s you get down to the good bits sooner. Cut away the top 1/3 of the leaves with a serrated knife and trim the base, leaving 2-3 inches of the stem. If necessary, use scissors to cut off the thorns at the tips of the leaves. Rub half a lemon over the cut surfaces to prevent discolouration. Place the artichokes (one per person) upside-down over boiling water and cook, covered, until the base is just tender enough to pierce with a knife, 20-25 minutes. Now you can quarter them, remove the fuzzy, inedible choke and brush with olive oil. Cook the wedges, cut sides down, on a medium-high grill until golden brown and the leaves are nicely singed. Drizzle with a little walnut oil and sprinkle with Maldon salt; serve with chèvre or ricotta. The fleshy heart is the prize, but don’t forget, there’s a treat at the base of each leaf as well. For most of us, spring salmon is the PACIFIC CHINOOK SALMON, the largest of the species. North American coastal tribes celebrate the first Chinook caught every year. This giant of a fish is fatty, making it perfect for the novice cook; the meat stays moist even if slightly over-cooked, unlike the unforgiving (albeit delicious) wild and lean sockeye. Simple is best when it comes to fish. Make a glaze using whole grain mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice and zest and finely chopped shallots. Pat dry salmon filets and lightly season with salt and pepper. Liberally brush the fish with the glaze and cook in the oven at 350°F. until the flesh gives a little resistance from the pressure of your finger, maybe 15 minutes. Remove and let sit for a few minutes. Serve with an Asian slaw made with shredded red and green cabbage, sliced cucumber, julienned red pepper tossed in a dressing of lime juice, ponzu sauce, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, chile flakes, salt and ground Szechuan pepper.
WHAT TO EAT IN MAY AND JUNE Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle
BUY: Heft a few artichokes to find ones that are heavy for their size. The buds should be tight and squeak a little when gently squeezed. TIPS: “Baby” artichokes are not really new artichokes, but ones that are further down the main stalk and don’t get enough sun to get big and develop a choke. DID YOU KNOW? The artichoke is a huge thistle, a member of the sunflower family, in fact. If left to flower, the buds of the globe artichoke produce large thistle-like blooms, a spectacular burst of purple down. Artichokes grown inland do well enough, but lack the lusciousness imparted by the rain, fog and mist provided by the northern California coastal region where they thrive.
BUY: The flesh should smell a little briny, not fishy, feel firm, and be a vibrant orange (not red); the skin should be bright chrome. TIPS: Fish will continue to cook out of the oven, so pull it just before you think it’s done. You can put it back in the oven if it’s underdone, but there’s nothing to remedy overcooked fish. Obviously, cooking times will vary depending on the size of the filets. Until you’re confident with cooking times, gently pull a bit of the flesh away to check inside for doneness. DID YOU KNOW? Farmed salmon is Atlantic salmon, the way of the future, no doubt, and is an entirely different species.
SORREL is not a common green and isn’t often seen outside of farmers’ markets. However, if you have room in your garden, one or two of these hardy perennial plants will easily provide you with plenty. Sorrel pairs wonderfully with potatoes, eggs, and rich oily fish, especially salmon. The tart flavour works well with the richness of cream sauces and dairy. Try this versatile sauce with grilled fish and vegetables. In a food processor, blend together 2 c. packed sorrel leaves, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1/3 c. full-fat yogurt (Balkan or Greek). Stir in finely chopped chives or garlic chives, sea salt and lemon juice to taste. Salmon chowder is a lovely way to introduce sorrel. The delicate creamy green soup showcases the pink salmon delightfully. It doesn’t taste too bad either. Start with at least 1/2 lb. of sorrel, washed, trimmed and chopped. Sauté it with 1/2 c. chopped shallots. When the sorrel has cooked down, add 2-3 T. butter and then add flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for about 5 minutes, until foamy, and whisk in about 1/2 c. of dry white wine (whatever you’re drinking). Add enough good fish stock to thin to a heavy cream consistency. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes to concentrate flavours and then add 1 c. cream. Break a pre-cooked 3 lb. salmon fillet into bite-sized pieces, add to the soup and cook to heat the fish through. Garnish with chervil, if you can find it, parsley, if you can’t.
BUY: When you find sorrel at a supermarket, look for fresh, springy leaves and no signs of decay. Buy lots; like spinach and Swiss chard, sorrel cooks down to a mere nothing. TIPS: Use the young leaves to give a lift to spring salads and the older, larger leaves for sauces, soups, stews and chowders. Remove the stems and tough spines of older leaves before using. DID YOU KNOW? Sorrel is related to rhubarb and it’s the small amount of oxalic acid in the leaves that gives it its characteristic lemony tang.
Ellen Kelly is a chef and regular contributor to City Palate.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
FERVENTLY DELICIOUS BEAUJOLAIS
CHEF. MENU. BRUNCH.
Most geographically-defined wines can be characterized by style, whereas beaujolais should be discussed and enjoyed according to its spirit. That spirit has been expertly captured in Gabriel Chevallier’s satirical novel, Clochemerle, written in 1934. The denizens of the fictional Beaujolais village of the same name spend the book’s 300-odd pages broadening biblical parameters for coitus and tippling, recklessly pursuing carnal relations with each other and imbibing heroic quantities of wine. Despite the odd unplanned pregnancy and lively contention over a public lavatory, the carefree, life-affirming characters dance along with the beckoning liquid soundtrack that is beaujolais wine. You see, beaujolais is the most fervently thirst-quenching red wine, the most foodready, the most mirthful and the one that most wants to please its drinker. It is not concerned with potency, point scores or unbridled masculinity. Where the measure of a bordeaux wine-maker’s goals might be a powerful product that will elicit the praise of critics like Robert Parker, the typical beaujolais wine grower simply hopes that you’ll choose his wine for your picnic basket. France’s Beaujolais wine region is technically the southernmost sub-region of Burgundy, but lovers of both Burgundy proper and Beaujolais point to significant divergences in soil types, grape varieties and climate that merit separate considerations for this distinct wine-growing terroir.
Galla Winehouse & Bistro 529 17th Ave SW, Calgary, AB 403.802.3988
Beaujolais itself begins where Burgundy’s limestone soils give way to weathered granite and extends south for 55 km, ending just north of Lyon. While Burgundy’s famous Côte d’Or is modestly pastoral, Beaujolais is decidedly idyllic. As a whole, the region is far from homogenous, but there are 10 “cru” appellations in the north where most of the exciting wine originates. It is here that we see one of the world’s greatest confluences of soil type and grape varietal – namely granite and gamay. Nowhere else does the gamay grape express itself as jubilantly as it does in northern Beaujolais. From north to south, the crus are Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulinà-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Côte de Brouilly and Brouilly. Each produces wines with distinct characteristics. When all the fruit for a wine is sourced from a single cru, the bottle will bear its name, often making no reference to Beaujolais at all. The term “beaujolais-villages” will be found on bottles whose origins are a blend of these excelling areas and other, usually granitic, vineyards that are legally recognized as consistently performing above the status quo. Further south in Beaujolais, where we see a return to clay and limestone (à la Burgundy proper), the wines can be delicious, but only a few notable exceptions achieve the alluring quality of many northern crus. This is also where most of the beaujolais nouveau is from. In essence, this style is a light, fragrant expression of gamay, bottled extremely early to maximize fruit flavours and to expedite the celebration of the most recent harvest. Despite this being the best-known style of beaujolais (a fame perpetuated by the sale of 50 million bottles per year), nouveau is far too often the insipid upshot of dubious, industrial wine-making methods. Even when it achieves its goal of deliciousness, by the time it’s air-freighted around the world in order for official release on the third Thursday of November, its cost far outweighs its friendly, unpretentious personality. When a mass-produced nouveau costs the same as an artisanally crafted cru beaujolais, it shouldn’t be difficult to decide what to drink. At its best, beaujolais is fervently delicious, an obviously desirable trait, but one that’s often eclipsed by less important criteria. The stereotypical descriptors, mainly reinforced by nouveau, are bubblegum and banana, but rarely do I find these flavours in truly representative examples. Good beaujolais is crimson with an inclination towards violet, and it’s aromatically redolent of ripe red fruit like raspberry and cherry, often with a persistent floral quality. On the palate, it enthusiastically echoes this, adds cinnamon and often imparts a briskness akin to biting into the perfect apple. The gamay grape’s relative absence of tannin results in a wine that, for a red, is almost incomparably fresh, and serving beaujolais slightly chilled can unlock vivid fruit of unprecedented vibrancy. In warmer vintages, flavours might tend more towards plum, black cherry or even chocolate, and these can be great too. Beaujolais, like most well-balanced wines, is capable of some aging, but almost all of it is also enjoyable upon release. Some producers choose to augment their beaujolais by raising it in new oak barrels, but to me this only serves to raise the price and globalize the taste of the wine – the frank fruitiness of the gamay grape doesn’t require such “make-up.”
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Authoritative wine and food writer, Edward Behr, claims “beaujolais, maybe more than any other kind of wine, tastes good with a wide range of food.” Historically, this remark referred to the cuisine of Lyon, a city just south of Beaujolais that, until somewhat recently, was the gastronomic capital of France. The lively wine provides fruit and “cut” (balance) to rich dishes such as cervelle de canut (fresh cheese and herbs with white wine, olive oil, vinegar and cream) or saladier Lyonnais, certainly one of the world’s heartiest salads. It can contribute a welcome freshness and thirst-quenching counterpoint to offerings like poularde de Bresse demi-deuil (chicken with sliced black truffles tucked under its skin before the bird is poached in carrots, leeks and chicken stock) or tablier de sapeur – “fireman’s apron” – which is breaded and fried tripe, often served in a béarnaise sauce. Thousands of additional dishes from all over the world could be cited as beneficiaries of beaujolais, as
it’s respectful to nuance, sympathetic to subtlety, reciprocal to freshness, congruous with simplicity, encouraging of exoticism, refreshing when there’s richness and assertive amongst intense flavours. Drink beaujolais with dinner tonight and it’s almost certain that you’ll discover an amicable pairing. I feel compelled to add that it’s a contender for the world’s greatest pizza wine and that one doesn’t need to wait until meal time to pull the cork on a bottle of beaujolais – it’s complete all on its own.
Mother’s Day BR U N CH
SUNDAY, MAY 10
Charles Baudelaire might very well have been thinking of beaujolais when he wrote, “Nothing equals the joy of the man drinking, if not the joy of the wine at being drunk.” No other wine so successfully expresses the spirit of this congenial love affair as the perpetually affable and jubilant beaujolais. Despite current fashion tending towards red wines of intensity and complexity, there’s no better time of year than now to choose drinkability and deliciousness instead.
gazebo happy hour MONDAY through WEDNESDAY starting MAY 23
PICNICS STARTING JUNE 1
Look for these beaujolais wines. (L to R) Prices are approximate: 2013 Joseph Burrier Juliénas “Beauvernay” $26 Year after year, this single-vineyard wine offers beguiling aromas of spring flowers and tastes like wild raspberries and fresh cream. 2010 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly “Les Sept Vignes” $32 Assertive, feminine and an example of beaujolais as a mouthwateringly cerebral beverage.
Father’s Day Event SUNDAY, JUNE 21
2013 Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages $24 Beaujolais as the charmingly forthright, rusticated and rural thirst-quencher. 2013 Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais “l’Ancien” $26 Jean-Paul Brun, proprietor of this estate, is the hero of southern Beaujolais. This is soft-spoken gamay, brimming with fruit. Al Drinkle works at Metrovino and compulsively imbibes beaujolais.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
get this mind your maple Tom Littledeer invented a slightly scooped canoe paddle and the design was quickly scooped up by The Stowe Canoe Company in Vermont. When his miniature paddle prototypes found their way into the family kitchen, his wife and mother suggested they were great for cooking and his “pot scoop” was born. Since premiering at The One of a Kind Art Show in Toronto in 1995, the inventor/designer has developed a series of beautiful environmentally friendly kitchen utensils, many specifically for left-handed people. The line is available at The Cookbook Co. To protect against our dry climate, Littledeer’s Mapleware polish contains canola oil and beeswax. He suggests using it according to an old cabinet-maker’s axiom that says you should polish new wood: once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year for a lifetime. While you’re at it, get out that wooden salad bowl, rub it like a genie’s lantern and give it a warm glow to match the season. Littledeer Mapleware Polish, $15.95/6 oz., The Cookbook Co. Cooks
eat our homework
Escape to our patio.
This delicious invitation comes from the student chefs at SAIT Polytechnic School of Hospitality and Tourism’s downtown culinary campus. They’ve cooked up a series of sauces for you to simmer for quick suppers at home. Jackson’s Garden Crushed Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Butter Chicken and Thai Coconut make this the kind of homework that’s fun to complete. Dinner’s not the only time for a study session, though. You can cram some jam into a power breakfast with the delectable flavours of Peach Brandy, Strawberry, Carrot Cake or Apple Pie. Chef Scott Pohorelic heads up the production kitchen at SAIT and brings his flair with flavours to the students’ diligent efforts. No tutoring needed here, all these products taste like an A+. SAIT’s Savoury Sauces, $6.50-$8/500 ml, Jams $5/250ml, SAIT culinary campus
Opens May 2015. For reservations call 403 268 8607 or visit heritagepark.ca
vertical vegetation Gronomics has designed smart plant box systems for small outdoor spaces. Wannabee gardeners need not be green with envy of friends with plots o’ plenty. The six compartment vertical planter box has a two-square-foot footprint, is made of 100% western cedar and requires no tools for assembly. Crate and Barrel carries this small but mighty living wall and two other garden box versions. “Grow on” – you know you want to “just veg out” this summer. Vertical garden box, $369.99, Crate and Barrel
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
MUST-HAVE KITCHEN STUFF
red sky at night - a sailor’s delight That’s how the old pre-weather channel saying goes and generally it pans out with accuracy similar to the most high-tech satellites in Calgary’s volatile prairie meets Rocky Mountain setting. We always hope for a summer of warm evenings filled with sunset watching. This year you can get an early start on this pleasant pastime with the “Red Sky at Night” cocktail guaranteed to keep you cozy while you contemplate the horizon. It was inspired by the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.’s Bourbon Cocktail Cherries found at Luke’s Drug Mart in Bridgeland. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, add 1 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. Aperol and top up with a spritz of ginger beer and 1 t. of cherry juice from the jar. Lay one of these delectable cherry bombs on top and enjoy watching it sink to the bottom while you sit and sip the sun away. Eat the cherry last and call it a great day. Tip: These also rock as decorations on the top of your favourite chocolate cake recipe. Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Bourbon Cocktail Cherries, $19.99/16 oz., Luke’s Drug Mart
digging graves Michael Graves designed his whistling bird tea kettle for Italy’s famed Alessi brand in 1984. Despite it being such a design icon, Graves happily adorned it with a set of playful Mickey Mouse ears when Disney asked him to add it to the collection he designed for them. You can still get the original stovetop model, but because you’d never want to accidentally boil it dry (thus sending your Graves’ kettle to an early grave) check out this 52.5 ounce electric cordless model with an electric base and automatic shut off. It will keep your kettle whistling full steam ahead just like the birds of spring. Michael Grave’s Whistling Bird Kettle on electric base, $299.99, Reid’s Stationary
party planning paradise
Fine Soup purveyorS Since 1995
Paper Eskimo is an Australian company started by Michelle Farrington and Lama Perin, two designers with a penchant for paper. Down Under cookery queen Donna Hay loves the designs and, since their debut at the New York International Gift fair in 2012, the products have flown like paper airplanes across North America. Calgary’s Creative Packaging carries the full line of bamboo cutlery, paper cups and plates, birthday hats, goody bags and party invites as well as ovenproof paper muffin cups and quickbread forms. With a rainbow of colour choices to coordinate, the options are endless. Add beauty and fun to your parties by multi-purposing the bake-able muffin cups for appetizers, personalized dip holders and to bake individual portions of mac ‘n’ cheese as Creative Packaging’s Joanna Palmer likes to do. Paper Eskimo paper products, starting at $4.95, photo by Joanna Palmer Creative Packaging, 6105 Centre St. SW Karen Anderson is the owner of Calgary Food Tours
now 2 locationS to Serve you: Crossroads Farmers’ Market • The Market on MacLeod CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Julie Van Rosendaal
On the subject of asparagus, one major misconception needs to be cleared away once and for all – the idea that thinner is better. It’s a common belief that the most slender stalks are sweeter and more tender, the thicker ones tough and woody; this is not always the case. When it comes to asparagus, size doesn’t much matter – often the wider stalks are the snappiest and most flavourful. It’s true. Elna Edgar of Edgar Farms in Innisfail told me so herself. Farming the biggest asparagus field in Alberta with her family, she prefers broader spears to pencil-thin. Although asparagus is available year-round – like everything else, these days – when you seek out locally grown, it’s perhaps the most fleeting of all seasonal vegetables. Poking through the ground soon after it thaws, single stalks are harvested one-by-one before the plant goes to seed, when it quickly turns into a tall, feathery fern few recognize as asparagus until it returns the following year. Alberta’s sunny days and cool nights make for tender, sweet asparagus, characterized by smooth purple tips. Although stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, it’s not related to stringiness or woodiness, which begins at the base of the stalk – about an inch must be snapped off before you cook it. The exception is the asparagus grown at Edgar Farms, which is harvested by hand and snapped off where the stalk naturally bends and breaks. It requires no further trimming. When shopping for asparagus, avoid spears that are starting to look shriveled, or that bend easily. To store, stand the bundle of stalks upright in a wide glass of water in the fridge – it will keep well for at least a week. In Europe, white asparagus is the norm, often served with a vinaigrette or creamy hollandaise. It can be found here, too, if you look around – grown under a mound of soil, white asparagus gets no exposure to the sun, preventing the production of the chlorophyll that makes it green. This “vampire” asparagus is sweeter and more delicate than its green counterpart, but must be peeled before eating; only the thinnest layer of outer skin needs to come off with a vegetable peeler before cooking. White or green, thin or thick, asparagus can be steamed, roasted, stir-fried, grilled (choose thicker stalks and lie them crosswise on the grates), pickled or turned into soup. It does well tossed with pasta, in curries (add it last, so it only gets a few minutes of cooking), on pizza and in grilled cheese sandwiches. Asparagus is divine in place of (or alongside) toast soldiers to dip into a soft-boiled egg. With the crisp, springy flavour of a garden pea, fresh asparagus is perfectly delicious eaten raw, by the stalk out-of-hand or on a crudité platter, chopped or turned into ribbons with a vegetable peeler to add to salads or pasta and topping dishes like pizza in much the same way you might use a cluster of fresh pea shoots or arugula. Although it’s not often chopped, it cooks quickly that way; fresh asparagus can even take the place of fresh peas, standing in as small cylindrical substitutes with a surprisingly similar colour and flavour.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Asparagus Pizza Whole asparagus, tossed in a little oil, makes an elegant pizza topping. If you like, fancy it up by rolling out thawed puff pastry in place of the pizza dough. 1 lb. pizza dough 1 small bundle asparagus extra-virgin olive oil salt and pepper 4-8 oz. chèvre 1 c. grated aged gouda, parmesan or extra old white cheddar
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Divide the dough in half and roll each into a rough oval shape. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or two). Snap the tough ends off the asparagus wherever they naturally break. Place on a plate or in a bowl, drizzle with oil and toss with your hands to coat. Drizzle the pizza dough with oil and lay the asparagus in a row on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crumble the chèvre over each pizza, sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Cut the pizza into strips in-between the asparagus to serve. Serves 6-8.
Cream of Asparagus Soup One of the best ways to eat sweet asparagus is to sip it in a brilliant green puréed soup. If you like, reserve a few asparagus tips and blanch them, or peel one blanched or raw stalk into ribbons using a vegetable peeler to use as garnish. 2 T. butter 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
recipe photos by Julie Van Rosendaal
½ P R I C E TA C O S & T E Q U I L A
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill to medium-high while you snap the tough ends off the asparagus at the point where they naturally break. Cut the queso fresco into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices and place one piece up against each asparagus stalk; wrap a single (or half, if they’re large) slice of prosciutto around both. Grill for 3-4 minutes, turning as necessary, until the asparagus is charred, the prosciutto is crisp on the edges and shrinks tighter around the cheese and asparagus, and the cheese is oozing a bit out each end. (Alternatively, roast on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 8-10 minutes.)
Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.
T H E FA C E OF 4TH STREET #HALFY HOUR
Asparagus stalks, splinted to a strip of cheese with thinly sliced prosciutto and then grilled or roasted, make a delicious hors d’oeuvre or egg accompaniment for brunch.
thinly sliced prosciutto
· 514 - 17 ave sw, Calgary, AB · livingroomrestaurant.ca · @livingroomyyc
1 large leek, halved and thinly sliced (white and pale green part only) 2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pkg. queso fresco (Alberta-made Fresk-O fresh semi-firm cheese is perfect)
1 small onion, chopped
Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto
1 bunch thick asparagus
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$ 5 M A R G A R I TA S & B E E R S
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 c. half & half or whipping cream crème fraîche, if desired black pepper
In a medium pot, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, sauté the onion and leeks for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the asparagus and stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup in the pot using a hand-held immersion blender, or do it in batches in the blender or food processor until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Serve warm or chill and serve cold, swirled with crème fraîche, a grinding of black pepper, and topped with asparagus ribbons or tips, if you like. Serves 6.
a n e j oyyc | 5 87. 3 5 3 . 2 6 5 6 | # 2 , 2 1 1 6 – 4 t h S t re e t SW C a l g a r y, A B | a n e j o.c a
continued on page 20 CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
one ingredient ASPARAGUS continued from page 19
Pork and Asparagus Hoisin Lettuce Wraps ď ° The filling for lettuce wraps often contains chopped water chestnuts; chopped fresh asparagus adds a similar crunch, with far more flavour. canola or olive oil, for cooking 1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1/2 lb. lean ground pork 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 t. grated fresh ginger 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends snapped off, chopped 1/3 c. chopped cilantro, plus a few extra leaves for garnish 1/3 c. hoisin sauce, or to taste 1 T. soy sauce 1 head butter or leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Cook the red pepper for 3-4 minutes, until soft; add the pork and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until the pork is no longer pink, any excess moisture has cooked off and the peppers are starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the asparagus and cilantro and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus is tender-crisp. Add the hoisin and soy sauces and cook until heated through. Serve the mixture, topped with extra cilantro, alongside lettuce leaves to fill, wrap and eat. Serves 4-6.
Pan-seared White Asparagus with Pancetta and Hollandaise Asparagus cooks quickly in a hot pan on the stovetop; if you want to skip the pancetta, steam the asparagus instead for 4-5 minutes, until tender-crisp.
3 large egg yolks 1/4 t. Dijon mustard 1 T. lemon juice 1-3 t. horseradish pinch salt 1/2 c. butter 1 bundle white asparagus 1/3 c. diced pancetta or prosciutto
To make the hollandaise, put the yolks, mustard, lemon juice, horseradish and salt into a blender; cover and pulse until blended. Melt the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave until melted. While it’s still warm, with the blender on high speed, slowly pour the butter through the hole in the top; the mixture should start to thicken to the consistency of mayonnaise. Once all the butter has been added, scrape the hollandaise out into a bowl and keep at room temperature a couple of hours, until serving time. To prepare the asparagus, peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler. Meanwhile, in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta or prosciutto until crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the asparagus to the fat in the hot pan and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender-crisp. Serve drizzled with hollandaise and topped with pancetta. Serves 6.
Roasted Salmon with Asparagus Sheet pan meals have become the new one-pot meals; everything gets roasted together in one go, with only one pan to clean up. A filet of salmon roasts alongside fresh asparagus in about 10 minutes – this is real fast food. 1 750 g. filet of salmon or steelhead trout 1/2 lb. asparagus extra-virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lemon, quartered
Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the salmon filet, skin-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Snap off the tough ends of asparagus where they naturally break. Lay them on the pan around the salmon. Drizzle everything with olive oil – spread it over the surface of the salmon and toss the asparagus to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put the lemon wedges onto the pan to roast alongside (this will soften them, making them easier to squeeze and release more juice). Roast for 10 minutes. Serve the salmon and asparagus with a wedge of lemon for squeezing overtop. Serves 4. Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
PIZZA ON THE GRILL
Metrovino... Bringing Wine to Life
After living in Italy, reentry into Canada has been a series of culture shock moments. The biggest shock was seeing an advertisement for pizza featuring a monstrosity called a “Triple Cheese Covered Stuffed Crust.” It featured enough cheese product to deplete the state of Wisconsin. Who would possibly eat this aberration? It dawned on me that if people could access authentic pizza they would never order that monstrosity again. And, so they can – and so can you – right on your grill! The dough: 1 c. lukewarm water, plus a little extra, as needed – should be 105°F. 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 t.) 2 T. sugar or more to taste if you want a crispier crust (see instructions below)
722 -11 Avenue SW 403-205-3356 metrovino.com
2-1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed 2 t. kosher salt extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Put the water in a large bowl. Add the yeast and let sit. Little bubbles of yeast will start to form after about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir well to incorporate. The yeast will really start to bubble now. You can add more sugar if you want the crust to be crispier. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add to the water and yeast a little at a time until well incorporated. You want the dough to be sticky and not stiff. If it is too sticky, add extra flour gradually. If the dough is stiff, add water the same way. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Gently knead it for about one minute. It should not be smooth and elastic but should be “shaggy” when you pull it. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot for about an hour. It should at least double in volume. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, again, for a minute or two. At this point you can leave the dough for up to 3 days in the fridge or use it immediately if you wish. You can also freeze the dough for up to a month. You’re now ready to grill. Before grilling, turn the grill heat to maximum. You need to scrape the grates of your grill thoroughly. Once your grill is clean, adjust the heat. With a two-sided burner unit, turn one side to the highest heat and the other side to the lowest. If you have more burners than two, then keep one side at high and the other at low with any burners in-between shut off. Close the lid. Divide the dough into two equal-sized balls. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Lightly oil the dough on the top, then put the pizza shell, oiled-side-down, on a flat dish that’s covered with a sheet of parchment paper. When ready to grill, carry your pizza shell to the grill. Open the lid and grab the pizza dough
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
by two edges closest to you. In one motion, lay the dough flat on the hottest side, from back to front – like you’d lay a tablecloth – by flipping the pizza out and away from you so that it lands toward the middle or back of the hot grill. Once you have draped the pizza onto the grill it will stick, even with an oiled bottom, but don’t worry. Brush the top of the pizza with olive oil. Close the lid. After 30 to 60 seconds, the pizza will start to puff up and the bottom will char a bit. Let the pizza sit on the high heat for 90 seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes, depending on how hot your burner gets. Using tongs, get a good pinch on the edge of the crust and lift it up. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when it “pops” off the grill. Move the pizza crust to the low-heat side of the grill. The pizza will cook slowly on the low-heat side, so now you add the toppings. Remember that with thin crusts, less is more when it comes to toppings. You can add anything, but what you put on will just get hot and won’t cook, so if you’re adding crumbled Italian sausage, or the like, it needs to be pre-cooked. Close the lid once you top your pizza. You don’t want to burn the pizza, but on low heat it will only take 5 to 7 minutes to be done on the bottom and get the toppings hot. If you want it charred a bit, slide it over to the hot side for a few seconds of high heat. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.
The toppings: Once you master the grilled crust, you can top your pizza with anything your heart desires. If you like your pizza saucy, you should have a good, flavourful tomato sauce at hand. I like a marinara sauce, and the recipe for my version follows.
It’s not a concept. It’s a tradition.
Salsa Marinara (Italian-American tomato sauce) This is the sauce that you would get in Hoboken, New Jersey, with your spaghetti and meatballs, right before they blindfolded you and put your body in the auto wrecker. It has the additions of garlic and basil – sometimes oregano – so it’s not a basic tomato sauce. Every Italian tweaks his or her sauce. This one sometimes has salt pork. Sometimes I add parsley, too. Great for pizza! 2 28-oz. cans imported Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) 1/4 c. good olive oil 1 small yellow onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped salt to taste 6 basil leaves, torn pinch dried oregano freshly ground pepper to taste
Remove the tomatoes from the can and reserve the juice. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes and gently remove and discard the hard core from the stem ends. Remove any skin or tough membranes as well. Return to the juice and set aside. Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes, but don’t brown it. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the reserved tomatoes, juice and salt. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to very low and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. The acidity of the tomatoes will disappear as the sauce is slowly cooked. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water, chicken stock or a chicken cube with the water. Stir in the basil, oregano and pepper, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve, or add meatballs and simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Don’t forget to save some for your pizza! Makes about 7 cups.
403.802.0036 2210 4 st SW bistrosuzette.ca
But, you don’t need tomato sauce for every pizza. n The classic margherita pizza is canned San Marzano tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, torn buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil with a sprinkle of salt to finish.
n Pesto with almost anything is a good base as well. Crumbled cooked Italian sausage with marinated red peppers and pecorino cheese works well.
n Fresh pears and gorgonzola cheese are divine, too.
n Finishing almost any pizza with chilled fresh arugula once off the grill adds great texture.
n Cooked potato slices go well with mozzarella, rosemary, thyme, a sprinkle of salt and even a drizzle of olive oil.
n Anchovies kick everything up, too. n My wife loves canned Italian tuna in olive oil, red onion and capers.
Mamma mia! I gotta get the grill fired up! Note: if you are serious about grilling pizza, check out Bob Blumer’s Pizza on the Grill, or Mario Batali’s Italian Grill. You can also buy good fresh dough from Lina’s Italian Market or Mercato. Allan Shewchuk is a food writer and sought-after Italian food and wine guru. Photos by Pat Blocksom.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Get Your Grill On
CATERING • PRIVATE OYSTER BARS • RETAIL • DELIVERY
Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk presents four sizzling barbecue classes at The Cookbook Co. Cooks!
Spring is in the air, and so is the smoky aroma of outdoor cooking! It’s time to upgrade your grilling skills with our go-to barbecue evangelist Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk. Together with Barbecues Galore and Wild Rose Brewery, we’re thrilled to offer a series of classes that will satisfy your cravings. Barbecues Fireplaces Patio Furniture
Barbecues Fireplaces Patio Furniture
Whether you’re a novice griller or a well-seasoned Fireplaces Patio Furniture expert, Rockin’ Ronnie has a class for you! Fireplaces Patio Furniture HIGH STEAKS COOKING Saturday, May 23rd, 10 am-2 pm, $125 per person This class includes a copy of Ronnie’s bestselling cookbook, Barbecue Secrets Deluxe! Across the continent, steak houses are thriving as beef regains its place on our plates. Put the sizzle back in your kitchen with this class as Rib-Eye Shewchuk cooks up a feast of fabulous steaks – from cuts that range from humble to ostentatious.
903B – 48th Ave SE • 403.214.1478 • oystertribe.com
ROCKIN’ RONNIE’S GRILLING ESSENTIALS (Beginner to Intermediate) Monday, May 25th, 6:30-9 pm, $125 per person Wednesday, May 27th, 6:30-9 pm (repeat class), $125 per person Ronnie will show you his award-winning techniques and share his favourite never-fail recipes. You’ll learn how to grill the Perfect Steak, prepare a burger to beat all burgers, and wow your guests with Ronnie’s succulent ‘Cheater’ Ribs. You’ll also learn how to prepare some tasty appetizers and side dishes including Grill-Roasted Veggies and Grilled Quesadillas, and finish the meal with a crazy-good dessert of Grilled Pineapple with Caramel Sauce. BURGERS, BURGERS, BURGERS! Tuesday, May 26th, 6:30-9 pm, $100 per person After this juicy and delicious class you’ll have a library of burger recipes and techniques that will wow your guests for years to come. From the classic Dadburger Deluxe to more exotic fare like the Southwestern Burger with a Chili Butter Core, you’ll emerge from this session a true Burger Master. BEYOND THE BASICS WITH ROCKIN’ RONNIE (Intermediate to Expert) Thursday, May 28th, 6:30-9 pm, $125 per person If you’re ready to take your grilling to the next level, Ronnie will show you the way. Cedar-Planked Halibut with Tropical Salsa, along with Grilled Chicken Thighs marinated in Homemade Teriyaki Sauce and an insanely delicious Butter-stuffed Burger. You’ll start things off with Planked Brie, learn how to make super-delish Grilled Rice Cakes, and finish it all off with Planked Grapefruit with Grand Marnier and Honey. All classes have both demonstration and hands-on components. The grilling portion of each class will take place outdoors – rain or shine – please come dressed for all of Calgary’s weather possibilities.
Rockin’ Ronnie’s classes always sell out quickly, so call to register today!
Phone 403-265-6066, ext.1
THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS
722-11th Avenue SW cookbookcooks.com 24
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Safari Brunch Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Zoo admission combo price before noon
what’s cooking online?
ONLINE AND ON-AIR WITH WINE FREAKS
Admittedly, I’d much rather drink wine than peruse wine websites that wring every last drop of goodness out of it through over-thinking. To me, wine is a delicious beverage made from grapes – not a magic potion so crucial that it could help the world squelch ISIS. I’m not trying to ace the wine aficionado Olympics. My favourite blogs and sites invite me to dive into them, like I would into a tulip-shaped glass full of great zinfandel, and lazily swim around for as long as it pleases me. Honestly, the scope of online wine-related opinion is overwhelming. A Calgary expert pointed me in the direction of one link that listed more than 100 supposed must-read blogs. Along with the best efforts, there are lots of hobbyists out there, poorly producing videos and podcasts, making messy, busy sites, and just plain goofin’ around.
winefolly.com – less for seasoned wine drinkers with a cellar full of dusty bottles
than for the freshly keen, this tidy website from Seattle is loaded with crisp, clear guidance, valuable advice, timely blog posts, infographics and videos. Its content producer and host is Madeline Puckette, a certified sommelier, musician and graphic designer. The site’s Wine 101 section details everything you need to know, from how to properly hand-wash wine glasses to how to clink them without incident (don’t crash their rims together). Organized and easy to read, this is definitely hipster-friendly, best savoured while wearing a tuque.
chasingthevine.com – former litigator Lauren Mowery is the weekly wine colum-
nist for the Village Voice. Her blog, Chasing the Vine, is attractive, stylish, and contains articles with headlines like “Why Pairing Wines With your Super Bowl Snacks Isn’t Pretentious.” Are you familiar with the marriage of wine and snack food called the “Sommelier Special”? It’s bubbly served with Lay’s potato chips. “In my mind I see no problem,” as my husband likes to say.
drinkster.blogspot.com – oh, boy – this one, you shouldn’t miss. Fleshed out with
fantastic cartoons by George Grainger Aldridge, this blog pops with the poetic musings of South Australian wine critic Philip White. “Sod the wine. I want to suck on the writing,” wrote novelist DBC Pierre of White’s evocative skill. Here’s how White explains why he nursed a bottle of Oakridge Meunier 2014 for two days: “Because it’s a beautiful cool sensuous thing, and it teases and teases with its wicked bleeding flesh and the way it makes me pucker and my mouth wince with disbelief. It has the grape smells. You know, real ripe blueberry and crême de cassis and some of the other things we by rote expect of good red wine.” Er, sold. You can also find White’s tasting notes at at his other blog, drankster.blogspot.ca, along with Aldridge’s wonderful cartoons.
johnschreiner.blogspot.ca – for Western Canadian wine “intel,” you can’t do
much better than John Schreiner, who calls himself “Canada’s most prolific writer of books on wine” (he’s written 15). The North Vancouver resident posts newsy articles about the industry along with assessments that, in January, included a vertical tasting of 12 vintages of Mission Hill’s Oculus. The 1999 Oculus was past its prime, he wrote, while the 2007 was still a “svelte and polished wine tasting of a fruit compote with Christmas spices.”
graperadio.com – podcasts (online broadcasts) are often ear candy produced by, and for, nerds. Unlike commercial radio stations, they don’t have to address a huge, multifaceted audience to appeal to advertisers. So they can focus intensely on the interests of their demographic – wine nuts, in the case of the 10-year-old podcast Graperadio. The show’s experts, mostly California-based, roam the globe in their enthusiasm for wine-related subject matter. “You can almost hear them shivering with glee when they talk about pinot noir,” says Chicagoist’s guide to the best wine podcasts.
There are, of course, delightful diversions on the www.... In my travels, for instance, I stumbled on a “Perl script to generate silly tasting notes” at gmon.com/tech/output.shtml. The tasting note it randomly created for me was: “Big and strong and musty Rhône. Opens with yew bark, wicked mocha and dainty salted beef. Drink now through never.”
One can also appreciate the entertainment value of a site like The Red Wine
Haiku Review (redwinehaiku.blogspot.ca), featuring haiku reviews of red wine. Rodney Strong’s Sonoma Cabernet 2012 nets a puzzling “Brothers arm wrestle/Knocking over the table/Neither cares who wins.” I’d love to see what your average wine merchant would do with your request for a New World cab that carelessly arm wrestles.
Now Open Opening Soon 521-10 Avenue SW 521-10 Avenue SW Calgary
Calgary www.pampasteakhouse.com www.pampasteakhouse.com
Vancouver writer Kate Zimmerman is currently on a Côtes du Rhône kick.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
FESTIVAL ART SALE
June 6 & 7 10AM - 4PM
Original unframed artwork, sculpture and fine crafts displayed outdoors
Sculpture Fine Crafts Museum Tours Live Music Kid’s Activites YYC Food Trucks
SUNSET SOIRÉE PREVIEW & WINE TASTING FRIDAY EVENING J U N E 5 t h 5 - 8 p m
T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E O N O U R W E B S I T E
the sunday project
with Matthew Altizer
ONION SOUP GRATINÉE
There are countless recipes for French onion soup. This classic version is simple, hearty, and rich with sweet onion flavour. If you’re in Bordeaux, France, the custom is to splash a bit of red wine into your almost empty soup bowl and then take one last hearty gulp of soup. Brioche may be found at specialty bakeries. Ingredients: 4 T. butter 4 yellow onions, halved and sliced thinly sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped 2 bay leaves 1 c. dry sherry 8 c. chicken stock sherry vinegar to taste 6 1-inch-thick slices of brioche or a good baguette 2 c. gruyère, grated
2 T. chopped parsley
WINE, SPIRITS & CRAFT ALES
Preparation: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it starts to brown, add the onions. Once the onions start to release their juices, season them with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until most of the juices have evaporated. Stir in the garlic, thyme and bay leaves, turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes. When the onions start to develop a crust on the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat and let them sit for a couple of minutes, then scrape up the tasty brown bits with a spoon and stir them into the onions. Repeat this step three or four times until the onions have caramelized dark brown and have become sticky. Add the sherry and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the soup has thickened slightly. Check for seasoning and add a splash of sherry vinegar if the soup is too sweet. Meanwhile, preheat a broiler and toast the brioche or baguette slices on each side. Divide the soup among six oven-safe bowls – top each one with a piece of brioche and a generous sprinkling of the gruyère. Broil for 3 or 4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle each bowl with parsley and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Temperature controlled fine wine room and tasting area We specialize in California, Italy, Spain and France and we offer the finest selection of premium German Rieslings in Canada
Visit bin905.com for upcoming tastings and events Online ordering at bin905.com 2311 4 St SW, Calgary, AB / 403.261.1600 / bin905.com
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
1. Slicing onions.
2. Onions caramelizing.
3. Adding seasoning.
Hand-made using Alberta dairy by the masters at White Gold Cheese, provaloncini are only at Gaucho.
4. Delicious darkly caramelized onions.
5. Adding the wine.
C A LGA RY
100 5920 Macleod Trail SW phone:403.454.9119 6. Onions and stock simmering.
C A N MOR E
629 Main Street phone:403.678.9886
Taste The Authentic Experience. 7. The finished soup.
w w w. b r a z i l i a n b b q . c a
Matthew Altizer is one of the talented cooks at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and teaches all things Mediterranean at The Cookbook Co. Photos by Regan Johnson.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
THE IRON SOMMELIER This year it’s beer! 1 DISH, 3 SOMMELIERS, 3 JUDGES AND... 6 beers by Shelley Boettcher photos by Regan Johnson
Good food. Good drink. And a very good reason to get together. A group of people gathered at The Block Kitchen and Lounge restaurant in northwest Calgary on a sunny afternoon in March. Their mission? To find tasty pairings for food made by one of the city’s top chefs. But wine wasn’t on the table this time. This is City Palate’s 10th annual Iron Sommelier Challenge and in honour of the anniversary, we decided to shake things up a bit by using beer, not wine, as the beverage for pairing. To be completely correct, we should have called it The Iron Cicerone. A cicerone is the correct word (“nerd word,” says one editor) to describe someone who is, essentially, a beer sommelier. But, for the last nine years the competition has been called The Iron Sommelier. We’re not changing it now!
T H E W AY I T W O R K S : This year, the sommeliers had to match beers – one local, one international – with a dish created by The Block’s owner and executive chef Kai Salimaki. Then, three judges, all actively involved in the city’s food and wine scene, had to taste the dish with each beer. Yes, a six-beer lunch. Finally, as a group, they had to choose which one of the beers paired best with the dish. The judges tried the beers blind – they didn’t know the brands they were tasting – and all beers were poured behind the scenes, so no one could try to identify bottle shapes or sizes. Once the beers were poured and the tasting started, sommeliers and judges were kept apart, so the sommeliers couldn’t – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – influence the judges’ opinions.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
THE CHEF AND HIS DISH: Chef Kai Salimaki (L) and his chef de cuisine, Sterling Cummings (R), made a Quebec Milk-Fed Veal Loin with Parsley Purée, Roast Mushroom Sauce and King Oyster Mushroom Tempura. T H E J U D G E S : (L-R) Ross Mikkelsen, owner and manager of Barbecues Galore Blair Bullied, marketing manager at Wild Rose Brewery Dan Clapson, food writer and blogger
THE SOMMELIERS AND THEIR BEERS:
Thomas Dahlgren, Metrovino and Teatro
Last Best Brewing and Distilling, IPA (Calgary, not retail as of publication, but listed at pubs and restaurants) The outrageously exotic hop flavours and aromas are a great counterpoint to the richness and earthiness of the mushrooms and parsley, with just enough refreshing bitters to pull everything together.
Orval (Belgium, $7.29 per 330-mL bottle) Brewed by the monks of the Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval in Belgium. Bracingly dry, seemingly weightless, with just a hint of funk and a ton of refreshment. This beer’s grassy, lemony and slightly tangy flavours pull out the flavours of the leek garnish and the parsley purée without overwhelming the delicate flavours of the veal.
Deena Harris, Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro and Bin 905
Wild Rose Brewery, Natural Born Keller (Calgary, about $15 for a six-pack) The Natural Born Keller is rich with soft caramel notes and toasty walnuts; it finishes with balanced grassy notes. It matches with the richness of the veal and mushrooms, then the parsley purée gives it a nice hint of citrus grassy notes.
TO ØL Brewing, Raid Beer Hoppy Lager (Copenhagen, Denmark, $5.95/ 330 ml bottle) This is a well-balanced lager with a medium body, bold grapefruit and floral notes. The weight of the beer matches the richness of the dish – the acidity of the grapefruit notes helps keep the richness in balance. Once this beer warms up a bit, there are notes of almond skins that match the earthy notes in the dish.
Erik Mercier, Vine Arts Wine & Spirits
Siren Brewing / TO ØL Brewing, 10 Finger Discount (Copenhagen, Denmark, $9.25/ 300 ml bottle) This is an Imperial India Pale Ale that features citra hops. Citra is used for its aromatic profile instead of its bitterness, which means that although this beer is hoppy, it isn’t drying on the palate. This beer is aged in cedar that has a delicate earthiness to it and imparts much less vanilla than oak. The hops really enhance the parsley, leek and lettuce while the cedar plays well with the mushrooms.
The Dandy Brewing Company, Golden Brown Dandy (Calgary, $8.19/ 650 ml bottle) The Golden Brown Dandy is a bottle-conditioned beer. This means that a small amount of yeast and sugar are left in the beer at bottling, carbonating the liquid naturally. This is the same method used to make champagne and results in delicate, creamy, fine bubbles. The yeast that remains in the bottle imparts a umami flavour. The creaminess and umami flavour are the perfect supporting cast for the veal and mushrooms in the dish. continued on page 30 CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
THE IRON SOMMELIER This year it’s beer! continued from page 29
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D :
RM = Ross Mikkelsen, BB = Blair Bullied, DC = Dan Clapson
1. The Last Best Brewing and Distilling, IPA RM: Too floral. Too much of a challenge. It’s good but it’s not for me. BB: The floral notes really came out paired with the dish. DC: Nice. Really lifts everything up, including the veal. An oddly nice complement to the romaine.
2. Orval RM: A little apple-y. I think it goes well with the veal. BB: A little sour on the first taste – lemon, citrus flavour – but it changes to a completely different flavour with the food. Then it didn’t taste sour at all. DC: A lingering bitterness.
3. Wild Rose Brewery, Natural Born Keller RM: Without food, it’s great. But when you have that hit of protein, it’s a bit vanilla. From a pairing perspective, it’s not dynamite. BB: The caramel notes in the beer might go really well with a dessert. DC: With food, it’s really muted. It’s better on its own.
4. TO ØL Brewing, Raid Beer Hoppy Lager RM: Hoppiness, not happiness. Not my favourite at the start, but it happily grew on me when paired with the veal. Really good with the veal. BB: Hoppy, citrus, floral. It tastes like a nice iced tea with the food. It really complements the veal and the mushrooms. DC: My favourite pairing, right from the start. Citrusy, relatively hoppy, sort of apricot-y on the nose.
5. Siren Brewing / TO ØL Brewing, 10 Finger Discount RM: I don’t taste a cedar note, which I expected. But the bitterness is toned down with the food. BB: The bitterness just dissolves with the pairing, and the citrus notes are way more apparent. DC: Quite bitter on its own, but way more palatable with the food.
6. The Dandy Brewing Company, Golden Brown Dandy RM: Old faithful. This is the one I want to take home and live with. I really like it. Maybe it’s not as interesting, but I don’t always want a beer to be interesting. BB: Drink this on the patio. A non-threatening beer that anyone could approach. DC: You could drink this with everything and it would probably taste the same. An easy-drinking, simple beer.
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Quebec Milk-Fed Veal Loin with Parsley Purée, Roast Mushroom Sauce and King Oyster Mushroom Tempura Veal Loin:
King Oyster Mushroom Tempura
We use an immersion circulator to cook the veal to the exact temperature desired, some home cooks have home versions of the circulator but it is not necessary to prepare this dish. Cut your loin into whatever portion size you prefer, we do a 6-oz. portion.
We do two preparations for the mushrooms here. We take the nice meaty stems and slice them into round coins and quarter the heads of the mushrooms and fry them tempura style. For the stem rounds, season them with salt and pepper and pan sear them in canola oil until golden. Throw a knob of butter in the pan at the end with a clove of garlic and baste the mushrooms a couple of times. You’ll need 1 king oyster mushroom per person. Find them at Asian grocery stores.
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
For the marinade: 1 c. buttermilk 1 c. olive oil 3 garlic cloves, smashed 2 thyme sprigs 4 whole black peppercorns 1 pinch of chile flakes 4 to 6 6-oz. portions of veal
Mix the marinade ingredients together and place in a dish large enough to hold the veal, submerged. Marinate at least 4 hours or up to a day. Roast Mushroom Sauce: 2 lb. mixed mushrooms – cremini, white button, shiitake 1 c. olive oil 1 c. whole garlic cloves 1 thyme sprig, leaves only 1/2 rosemary sprig, leaves only 1 shallot, roughly chopped 1 splash sherry vinegar 1/2 c. crème fraîche (available at most grocery stores) salt and pepper
Toss mushrooms, oil, garlic, herbs and shallot together and roast at 450°F. until caramelized, 20-25 minutes. Check halfway through and flip mushrooms once during cooking time. Remove from the oven and drain off excess oil. Purée in a blender with the sherry vinegar and a splash of olive oil, then fold the mixture into the crème fraîche. Salt and pepper to taste and reserve.
For the quartered mushroom heads: Tempura batter: 1 c. all-purpose flour 2 T. cornstarch 1 t. baking soda 1 egg 1 c. ice-cold water oil for deep frying salt
Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking soda together into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and add it to the flour mixture, then whisk in the water – you want a fairly loose batter. Tempura batter works best when it is super cold and your oil is super hot (365°F.). Toss the quartered mushroom heads in a little flour and then dredge in the tempura batter. Drop carefully into the hot oil, avoiding splashes. Fry until golden brown, remove from the oil and blot on paper towel, then season with salt immediately. Reserve.
1/2 lb. spinach 1/2 c. neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola 1 garlic clove 1 t. sherry vinegar salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Quickly blanch the parsley and spinach (1 minute) and shock in a large bowl of ice water to set the colour of the greens. Squeeze the water from the spinach and parsley, throw all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Check seasoning and reserve. Cooking the Veal: Remove the veal from its marinade and wipe off excess marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Get a sauté pan piping hot and add a neutral cooking oil (not olive oil). Sear the veal in the pan until deliciously browned on one side, then flip it over and throw in a knob of butter, a sprig of thyme and a garlic clove and start basting your veal loins. Pull the veal out of the pan at 155°F. and allow it to rest as it continues to cook up to around 160-165°F. for a nice medium. Plating: Here is where you get to play artistic chef. You have all the components to plate with and can garnish with light green baby lettuce or micro greens. Let your imagination guide you. We garnished with seared leek rounds and baby romaine hearts dressed with a white wine vinegar and herb vinaigrette. This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.
The overall winner was...
TO ØL Brewing, Raid Beer Hoppy Lager,
which the judges chose as their favourite with the dish. The runner-up was Last Best IPA, which the judges said was a standout paired with the veal, the parsley purée and the mushrooms. ✤
Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary food and wine writer and co-author of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25. CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
ALCOHOL IN WINE:
Can there be too much? Can there be too little? IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE ALCOHOL IN WINE? AND HOW DOES EITHER ONE AFFECT THE TASTE OF THE WINE? by Shelley Boettcher
A bottle of de-alcoholized wine tempted me at my local grocery store a couple of months ago. So, I bought it, thinking of my dad, who is quite often the family’s designated driver. We opened it one night. We sniffed. We swirled. We tasted. We poured most of it down the drain. Other than the colour – dark purple-red – any resemblance to real wine was purely coincidental. We returned to merrily drinking a good pinot noir, and all was well. When it comes to wine, apparently, we prefer ours with a buzz. But the event prompted me to ask what, exactly, does alcohol contribute to wine? A lot more than just the ability to make you drunk, say experts. Everywhere in the world, alcohol in booze is measured by volume (sometimes abbreviated as ABV), and is defined as the amount of ethanol found in 100 milliliters of liquid (wine, spirits, beer, whatever.) You can see it listed as the percentage on a wine bottle’s label. Alcohol occurs naturally in wine, the result of fermentation. A wine maker adds yeast to grapes, or relies on natural yeasts found in the air and on the grapes. When the grapes ferment, the yeast eats the sugars found in the juice, and grows. As the yeast grows, it creates carbon dioxide and alcohol as by-products. That alcohol is one of the ingredients wine needs to taste good. “Alcohol gives the wine body, the perception of sweetness, balance,” says Marnie Harfield, a Calgary-based wine educator with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the French Wine Society. “It also carries flavours, which is important, right?” “Of course,” any wine lover would reply. Alcohol also acts as a preservative, allowing wine to age and to be stable on store shelves. But these days, some wine makers are being criticized for making wines that are too high in alcohol
Controlling a wine’s alcohol level starts in the vineyard. Some grapes – riesling, for instance – ripen when their sugar levels are lower, so the resulting wine will be relatively low in alcohol. Others, such as petite sirah, require higher levels of sugar to taste ripe. The fruit must hang longer, and the resulting wine will likely be higher in alcohol, says Belinda Kemp, senior scientist and oenologist at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute in St. Catharines, Ontario. “You have to pick when you reach a certain sugar level in your grapes,” Kemp says. “Sometimes you can reach the sugar level, but you might not have the flavours you want yet. That’s when the grapes are left out a little longer.” While the big-wig critics may want high alcohol, the consumer trend is the opposite – perhaps for health reasons. Low-alcohol wines reduce the risk of booze-associated health issues, and they’re generally lower in calories. What’s a wine maker to do? Some rely on science to remove alcohol from their wines, but that can be risky in terms of quality. “Some flavours don’t come out in a wine until the alcohol starts being made, as the yeast converts sugar to alcohol,” says Kemp. “If you’re removing alcohol, you can be removing other good things as well, like flavours and aromas.” Balance between alcohol, sugars and aromas is key. When a wine has too little alcohol compared to those other components, critics and sommeliers may describe it as being simple, light or thin. Even “feeble.” Too much alcohol compared to those other components, and they may describe it as “out of balance” or “hot.” But balance is subjective; one person’s out-of-balance fruit bomb may be another’s wine of the year. And some wines simply need lots of alcohol to be what they’re supposed to be. For example, port is made by fortifying wine – adding neutral spirits to it – to bring the alcohol level to around 20 percent or so. “Alcohol has two roles in port. It’s a preservative, to keep the port stable during ageing, but also it plays an important role organoleptically in balancing the sweetness of port,” says David Guimaraens, head wine maker for Taylor Fladgate and the Fladgate Partnership. In other words, great wines can be naturally high in alcohol: Portugal’s famous ports, for example, or Italian amarone or California zinfandel. (Check the percentage on the label: 14.5 percent or higher is high.)
– higher than they typically were 20 or 30 years ago. There are a few reasons for the change. Many blame influential wine critics – particularly Americans such as Robert M. Parker – who give their highest scores to wines with intense flavours and high alcohol levels. Parker’s own term – “hedonistic fruit bomb”– which he gave to a big California red blend, says it all. Good scores equal high sales and therefore cash in a wine maker’s pocket. Others in the wine business say climate change has also contributed to alcohol levels in wine. Warmer climate wine regions, such as California’s, typically have higher alcohol wines than Germany’s wine regions, which are considered to have cooler climates. “Global warming means that the grapes can achieve more sugar at harvest,” says Harfield.
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Great wines can be found that are naturally low in alcohol, too. Consider German rieslings, Italian moscato d’Asti and prosecco and Austrian grüner veltliner. They’re all wonderfully flavourful, and typically under 12 percent. But many other low-alcohol and de-alcoholized wines are made in the lab. “Regular” wine is distilled – essentially filtered – to remove its alcohol. “It’s really difficult (and expensive) to completely remove all the alcohol, and usually there will still be traces of it in the final product,” says “Dr. Vinifera” (Dr. Vinny, for short), who answers wine questions in Wine Spectator magazine. That’s too much effort for too little taste, as far as I’m concerned. If I can’t have real wine, I’d rather just drink grape juice. ✤
Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary-based writer whose stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world. Follow her on Twitter @shelley_wine.
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Pedalling off the Sausages and Beer on Germany’s Romantic Road
Sausage and Potatoes
Sausage and Sauerkraut
by Carolyne Kauser-Abbott
With visions of sausage, sauerkraut, and artisan beers (my husband’s vision) dancing in our heads, we eagerly agreed to cycle the Romantic Road in Germany with friends last September. Our drive to the starting point of Würzburg involved an overnight stay and local brew sampling in Colmar, the Alsatian town that flaunts its charm with hundreds of candy-coloured hanging flower baskets. The next morning we headed to Germany, passing hillsides covered with flawless rows of grapevines and seemingly endless fields of cabbage awaiting fermentation. A lunch of sauerkraut, bratwurst and mustard on paper plates was delicious, if not fine dining, before our visit to the magnificent, gilded Würzburg Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Weinstuben Juliusspital restaurant at the Juliusspital vineyards in Würzburg offers wood-panelled warmth and a lively atmosphere. It’s an inviting choice for dinner to indulge in the region’s “Franconian” fare – plates of steaming red cabbage and juicy roasted pork. Wines from the 177-hectare vineyards are bottled in stubby, flattened vessels called bocksbeutels. The next morning, it was time to start pedalling the Romantic Road – Romantische Strasse – knowing we had some 440 kilometres to cover between the vineyards and the Bavarian Alps. Established in the 1950s for tourists, the Romantic Road officially stretches from Würzburg to Füssen through beautiful, historic country and towns. However, trade routes, including the Roman Via Claudia Augusta, have existed for centuries in this region. Our first stop was the spa town of Bad Mergentheim, known for its mineral waters. Despite instructions, maps, and at least one functional GPS, our collective navigational skills resulted in a late lunch in Tauberbischofsheim, still 25 km from our destination. Cycling had made us hungry, and the Bavarian sausages with sauerkraut, lentil soup with cocktail wieners and beef goulash filled all the crevices in our growling stomachs.
The cobbled streets of historical Rothenburg ob der Tauber are teeth jarring on a bicycle. Our shakedown was soon eclipsed by the fairytale setting and peaked red roofs of this hilltop hamlet surrounded by 1.5 km of ramparts. Meals can be tricky in a tourist town like this one, where menus and service often compete for a barely average rating. Our hotel suggested that we dine at the herrnschlösschen, a boutique hotel and restaurant in a converted 11th-century residence. The restaurant has a contemporary feel with subdued lighting and crisp linens; our crowd favourite was veal filet with apple horseradish crust and rösti potatoes. During our stay in Rothenburg, we discovered schneeballen, German for snowballs, the baseball-sized pastries on display in every bakery window. They’re made with plain short-crust pastry that’s rolled flat, then cut into pieces and woven together into a sphere. The baker then uses a schneeballeneisen (special
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Romantic Road Green
holder) to deep-fry the snowball before dusting it with confectioner’s sugar or dipping it in chocolate. Our group determined that schneeballen were a lot of effort for not so much reward. Leaving the hilltop town behind, we headed toward Dinkelsbühl, a “short” 60 km ride. On the way, the Romantic Road followed the Tauber River, highlighted by views of a pastoral patchwork quilt of yellow mustard seed, late season sunflowers, shimmering green meadows and parcels of dark brown just-tilled soil. The manure-scented air along the route confirmed why everything was so lush. The charming town of Feuchtwangen was our lunch stop for pumpkin soup, bratwurst and sauerkraut on a sun-drenched terrace. This soup was the best that I tasted on the whole trip, possibly because we had passed so many pumpkin fields, but more likely because of the cream.
5 WALKING AND TASTING TOURS WEEKLY Inglewood Kensington 17th Ave SW Designer District Calgary Farmers’ Market
Dinkelsbühl is a compact medieval town, a walled city with several watchtowers and beautiful half-timbered buildings in the historical Weinmarkt (wine market). On a mission to rehydrate after biking, our male companions discovered Weib’s Brauhaus a microbrewery where we should have stayed to eat. Dinner in the hotel that evening was the most disappointing meal of our trip. There were no choices to accommodate dietary concerns and the staff was a bit rude.
BURSTING WITH FOOD FUN AND ADVENTURE
Reaching Augsburg, our next destination, involved a few wrong turns, some unplanned off-roading and, to travel 130 km, almost nine hours in the saddle. Our group arrived at the Hotel Augsburger Hof in dire need of liquid refreshment and nourishment. I still have foodie visions of beetroot, feta and walnut salad followed by filet of char with pumpkin-ricotta ravioli.
Home of AUTHENTIC Italian sausage, in the heart of INGLEWOOD
Augsburg included a rest day where we women ogled the cornucopia of rainbowcoloured stalls in the Stadtmarkt (city market) while the “boys” sampled beer. Chilled and tired of wandering aimlessly, we chose the cosy, vaulted room at the Bayerisches Haus am Dom for lunch. We all gawked at a man at the adjacent table devouring a dinosaur-sized pig’s knuckle. The next day we were back on our bikes, with a short warm-up loop to Friedberg before continuing along the Romantic Road. It was difficult to pick up the route after Friedberg, and, to our dismay, the bike odometers indicated a trip of 99 km on a short day! Despite the extra distance, we had pedalled gorgeous flat roads under a chinablue sky, finally shedding the layers of clothing that we had purchased in Würzburg. Füssen was almost within our sights as we glided over green rolling hills with the Bavarian Alps as a backdrop. The scenery throughout the trip was gorgeous, but this day was particularly tasty eye-candy. We parked our bikes for the last time in Füssen and ordered flammkuchen – cracker-thin German-style pizza – and ales for lunch. On our final tour day, we visited Neuschwanstein, the extravagant castle built under the direction of King Ludwig II. Our rain-soaked castle tour confirmed there would be no cycling that day. Instead, we settled for a traditional lunch of pfannkuchensuppe, a clear beef broth served with sliced crêpe-like pancakes, veal sausage and extra orders of sauerkraut. Our diets started the next day.
Travel Tips: The Romantic Road was created as a driving trip and is marked along the way with brown signs. The route is also well established for cyclists, with signage at regular intervals. It can easily be done either as a self-guided ride or with a tour company. romanticroadgermany.com
Quality meats, natural spices and Old-World recipes. That’s authentic Italian. wholesale & Retail • 1308 9th ave. se • 403.264.6452
PATE NT E D N O N ST IC K TECHN O LOGY M A DE IN SW I TZE R LAND
Hotel Würzburger Hof, Würzburg hotel-wuerzburgerhof.de/hotel.html Weinstuben Juliusspital, Würzburg juliusspital.de/weingut/en/index.html herrnschlösschen Hotel, Rothenburg hotel-rothenburg.de/en/restaurant-en Weib’s Brauhaus, Dinkelsbühl weibsbrauhaus.de Hotel Augsburger Hof, Augsburg augsburger-hof.de/?lang=en Stadtmarkt, Augsburg stadtmarktaugsburg.de Bayerisches Haus am Dom, Augsburg bayerischeshaus.de/en_index.php Neuschwanstein, Füssen neuschwanstein.de/englisch/palace ✤ Carolyne Kauser-Abbott writes gingerandnutmeg.com, a travel blog for foodies, manages a digital magazine perfectlyprovence.co and has travel apps at edibleheritage.com.
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Foraging 101 FINDING GOOD THINGS TO EAT IN OUR BACK YARDS, FIELDS AND FORESTS story and photos by Karen Anderson
Julie Walker surrounded by very edible Cow Parsnip.
The look on chef Andrew Hewson’s face expresses the magic of finding a morel.
FOR AGING DEFINED Foraging is the act of acquiring food by hunting, fishing or gathering edible plants. If you’re going to head into field and forest in search of food, it’s good to be clear about your motivation and to go with a plan. There are a few, sometimes physically thorny, issues that you might want to think through, like the need to become knowledgeable about what’s edible in your locale. Mostly, though, foraging provides you with delicious, free food. Time with Mother Nature and access to her bounty serve as the proverbial rose to overcome any thorns you might encounter. It’s even captured the imaginations of famous chefs.
FAME AND FOR AGE Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud hired forager Tama Matsuoka Wong for his eponymous New York City Michelin-starred restaurant, Daniel, because, for Boulud, “Foraging is about harvesting the wild, ephemeral, and rare flavours found in nature.” When people visit Daniel they expect these flavours, and Boulud, who has restaurants all over the world, is able to command prices to support the extra work that gathering and dealing with bags full of foraged bounty requires. Wong and Boulud’s chef de cuisine in New York, Eddy Leroux, spent a year experimenting with the wild things Wong forages on her large property an hour’s train ride away in New Jersey. They worked with one goal, to sort the merely edible from the truly delicious. Fortunately for the rest of us, they’ve shared 71 of the most flavourful plants to be found across North America and 88 recipes in a field guide meets cookbook called, Foraged Flavor – finding fabulous ingredients in your backyard or farmer’s market (Clarkson Potter, 2014).
THE EVOLUTION OF FOR AGING Though you might disparage foraging as a “primitive” approach to finding food, consider this: aboriginal people survived and thrived for centuries using their keen senses and knowledge of every local plant and animal species. Today’s massive food distribution systems mean that most of us “forage” at a modern grocery, armed with cash or credit card. Agriculture allowed humans to settle in one place. Cities evolved with the industrial age. We’ve gradually lost direct contact with the source of our food and instead have come to expect an abundance of cheap and convenient food choices regardless of geography or season. Is foraging a post-modern reaction to this? Is it an anti-establishment statement or an extreme form of 100-mile diet? Some say it’s merely an elitist fad reserved for the wealthiest of palates in search of novel flavours. It could be a bit of all these or something entirely more practical.
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Chef Kat Mori makes foraged bounty tempura.
Quebec’s Gourmet Sauvage and B.C.’s Untamed Feast have turned foraging into viable commercial enterprises, providing employment in communities where opportunities were previously lacking. Our desire for incredible tastes and our lack of knowledge of the estimated 4,000 to 7,000 native edibles in North America has created employment for those with savoir-faire. Sometimes foraging evolves as a great family pastime.
FOR AGING ON TERR A FAMILIA Calgary chef Andrew Hewson’s love of foraging began as a boy with days spent hunting and fishing with his father and uncle on the latter’s acreage in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Hewson says, “Though I would see lots of mushrooms and other plants that I thought were probably edible, it wasn’t until I met naturalist Julie Walker that I realized just how rich the area was in wild edibles.” Walker is owner of Full Circle Adventures. Hewson is so inspired by Walker’s connection to the land that he hires her every spring to lead foraging outings for SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism culinary instructors. Full Circle Adventures offers seasonal foraging expeditions for the public as well, spring through fall. Walker advises would-be foragers to come prepared.
FOR AGING ESSENTIALS A good list for your foraging backpack would include field guides for plant identification, a garden trowel for digging, a pocket knife, garden scissors, a collapsible bag, various sizes of plastic bags with sliding zippers for sorting and storing different plants, and heavy gardening or latex gloves – it’s wonderful to find nettles but they’re called stinging nettles for a reason. Other essentials are high waterproof boots, a wide-brimmed hat and brightly coloured clothing in hunting season, plus a camera and a water bottle. When asked about the sustainability of foraging, Walker suggests the following guidelines: take only five percent of a healthy population of more than 50 plants that you see in any area and never pick in provincial or national parks – it’s illegal. Foraging has become such a fad on the east coast of the U.S. that some places are at risk of losing precious indigenous plants for good. For knowing which plants are edible, she definitely recommends positive identification from at least two guide books and uses a rhyme to help her remember generalities about berry edibility, as follows: If white, don’t bite; if red, use your head (you know, strawberries and raspberries are good; otherwise, leave them alone); if it’s blue, good for you.
But foraging isn’t always about limits. If you get to know plants that are considered invasive you can pick all you like because they’re generally species that were accidentally introduced to North America. They have no natural predators here and replicate in a “noxious” way. Dandelions, garlic mustard, chicory, plantain and chickweed are great examples of these edible weeds. Walker urges caution when picking in areas where plants may have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, such as roadsides. You also need permission before picking on private property. One way she’s expanded the availability of the plants she loves is to cultivate a “wild garden” in her backyard. Transplanting species like horseradish, lambs quarters and Saskatoon bushes has given her a supply close at hand.
FAD OR FOR REAL? Globally, Hewson says chefs like René Redzepi, at his restaurant, Noma, in Copenhagen, have made foraging a bit of a fad. Even so, he says, for some chefs, “it strengthens the philosophy about knowing your ingredients, where they come from and the traditions behind them.” It’s a message Hewson successfully passes on to his students. One of them, Mathieu Paré, is now the chef de cuisine at Calgary’s Boxwood Café. Paré spends his time away from work hunting and fishing and thinks nothing of dressing a whole deer on his apartment’s kitchen floor. He grew up in a foraging family. His uncle started Gourmet Sauvage in Quebec, and Paré agrees with Hewson that there’s a more authentic taste to food when you experience the process of growing, foraging or immersing yourself in its culture. Chef Mathieu Paré cooking duck breast.
The chefs are not the only ones to gain from spending time with Julie Walker. She also learns from them and is always inspired by what her chef friends do with the group’s foraged finds.
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THE FOOD OF FOR AGERS SAIT chef Simon Dunn likes to make a wild frittata of butter-sautéed shallots and garlic with morels, tender fireweed shoots and mixed meadow greens. SAIT chef Kat Mori surprised his colleagues on one expedition by hauling along an electric fryer, oil and a tempura batter to delicately cocoon the flavours of spring’s fresh shoots. The chefs always transport a stock base with potatoes, onions, butter and cream and search for greens like sorrel, plantain, and dandelions to purée into a silky soup that can be garnished with minced morels and/or a pretty spring chive flower. Walker loves to make smoothies with the tightly closed protein-filled heads of new dandelions and she stuffs the hollow tube-like stems of cow parsnip with feta and herbs before baking them like cannelloni.
FOR AGING FUNGI Mushrooms are perhaps the pièce de résistance of foraging, but only four percent of mushroom varieties are actually edible; the rest can kill you. After a few forays with Walker, I feel competent to identify puffballs and morels but am not ready to commit to chanterelles or anything else that looks tempting.
OF MORELS AND MORALS I was fortunate to grow up fishing and picking wild strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and fiddleheads with my family in New Brunswick. My brain has always liked to know the names of things in nature and as I’ve matured I’ve made it a point to learn about Alberta’s particular habitat. I’ve lived here for 30 years now. Slowly I’ve grown as a home cook, gardener and outdoors person. I’ve learned that while you can’t always find magical morels, for those who forage with integrity, time spent in our meadows, forests and mountains will yield more than delicious, nutritious food that’s close at hand and fun to find. It also yields a deeper appreciation of nature itself. Elusive morels seem a fair trade for this kind of moral to my foraging story. continued on page 38 CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
continued from page 37
SEEING IS BELIEVING! Here are a few of my favourite foraged finds from last year’s foraging expedition with Full Circle Adventures and friends from SAIT’s Culinary School. Google Full Circle Adventures for info.
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Plantain or Whiteman’s Footprint.
Common Blue Violets.
Tender, early spring fireweed shoots.
Unopened dandelion heads are packed with protein.
Wild Strawberry Blossoms.
Spruce tip tea.
Morel mushrooms. ✤
Karen Anderson is the owner of Calgary Food Tours. She’d like to thank writer Holly Quan for providing the inspiration for this article and for her helpful suggestions.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Dining Etiquette 2.0
“It seemed to hit a real universal truth,” says Taili Coates, Earls’ Manager of Digital Marketing. Coates says most of us know that we ought to put our cell phones away when we’re dining with others, we just don’t seem able to do it. Kevin Simpson, a professional customer service guru who co-owns the Canmore restaurant Tapas with his wife, agrees. He feels the addiction is so widespread that digital device use in restaurants is unlikely to abate. “I think all of us have had that experience, even at home, where we’re not fully present to our spouse or our children, or our children aren’t fully present to us because of the intrusion of this mobile buddy,” says Simpson. “It’s almost like having another person in the relationship, and that person has many arms, whether it be Facebook or texting or whatever. And I think it’s that inability to be fully present to another person or another thing that’s going on in our life that’s the number one cause of the issue here. You know it’s an issue when governments can’t even convince drivers that focusing on the road is more important than returning a text message.” The machines in our hands have made us lose touch with the reason we go out in the first place. “If you’re dining with someone who’s using social media the whole time, the question is why are we dining together? I might as well be dining by myself.” Looking at that little screen is one thing. But from Simpson’s point of view, yakking on your phone is one of the rudest things a restaurant diner can do to tablemates and customers within earshot. Whether they’re Facebooking or talking, oblivious device users might be unaware that they’re displaying terrible manners, yet restaurant workers don’t dare ask customers to put their gadgets away. When the table is turned, however, guests are quick to complain. At one point, Simpson and his wife introduced iPod Touches for taking customers’ orders, only to find that guests were annoyed, assuming servers were texting their friends between tables. In fact, staff could only access the ordering software, but the customers’ automatic assumption was that the use of handheld devices meant inattention to their needs.
How to use digital devices in restaurants without driving everyone crazy. by Kate Zimmerman illustration by Darcy Muenchrath
Tired of your restaurant companions being only half there? Weary of hearing celebrities’ tweets read aloud as your mashed potatoes cool into mortar? Wondering why the last time you went out with friends, they spent all evening posting photos of their food on Instagram? Well, if you feel dissatisfied in social situations, imagine the impressions left on the people trying to serve your table. My daughter once worked as a hostess at a revolving restaurant in Vancouver, where she often helped men set things up for a romantic marriage proposal. One fellow carefully arranged for a panoramic viewpoint and ordered a special bouquet for his ladylove. When the moment of truth came, the bride-to-be tore herself from her cell phone momentarily to accept and grab the ring, then went right back to her screen, presumably to boast about her conquest. “People don’t know how to be present any more,” says my daughter, 24. In her nine years in the restaurant business, she’s seen countless tables where guests ignore each other in favour of their smartphones, and children are pacified with iPads. Many diners now, especially kids, don’t even look at their server as they continue to diddle with their phones while placing their order. They might as well be barking into a microphone at a Timmy’s drive-through, except they aren’t behind a wheel – they’re just digitally engaged with SpongeBob SquarePants. My daughter wishes she could say, “Hello – I’m a human being.” With scenarios like this playing out everywhere, occasionally there’s a gentle effort to reverse the trend. Last December, Lululemon Athletica and three Vancouver/ Whistler Earls restaurants teamed up to do something about the problem of guests’ lack of interaction through a two-night experiment called “#givepresence.” Earls’ servers watched for guests who were actively using their phones and asked them if they’d be willing to “dedicate their time” to their companions and put their phones into a box. The 20 to 30 tables’ worth of customers at each location who agreed to do so learned afterward that Lululemon had treated them to dinner. According to the company’s VP of Community & Brand, Rachel Acheson, #givepresence was about “creating community” by helping Earls’ guests step back and “appreciate the things that are important during the busy holiday season.” Needless to say, the move was popular.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Likewise, Simpson has a realtor friend who purchased a wearable gadget similar to the Apple watch. After a week, he had to ditch it because every time he got a text message while showing a house, his customers felt they were being given short shrift due to his shift in focus. So, from the consumer’s perspective, what’s good for the customer isn’t good for the service provider. Simpson, who travels a lot, says he has yet to encounter a restaurant, bar or store where smartphones are banned outright – that would be bad for business. He notes that despite their drawbacks, a lot of diners wouldn’t be able to go out at all if they didn’t have access to their phones. So, as hard as it is for me to admit, there is another side to this. The “electronic dog-leash” that ties so many people to their workplace also allows them to return essential work-related emails and texts while enjoying a meal with friends. Parents can communicate with babysitters, as well, allowing them a few hours of diaper-free fun, and not having their screaming baby in the restaurant is a plus for everybody. And then there’s that all-important, digitally dazzled millennial demographic. If you have a business, you hardly want to antagonize that crowd by refusing to let them take a selfie. “They don’t want to live their life in the moment, they want to share their life in the moment,” says Simpson. At the same time, he points out, social media mavens provide restaurants with free advertising. Having your customers text “OMG” about your establishment on Twitter, post photos of your arancini on Instagram and tell their friends they’re chez vous on Foursquare is simply good for your bottom line. The trick is for society at large to establish the correct etiquette of gadget use and make it a no-brainer. Herewith, Simpson lays it down.
First, turn off the volume and turn down the brightness of your device when in a theatre, bar or restaurant, to avoid interrupting the ambience.
Second, store your phone off the table, in a pocket or purse, only pulling it out if needed, so you aren’t constantly tempted to check it.
And finally, if you must answer a call for more than a few seconds, have that conversation outside. As for restaurant servers, they should wait for a cessation of cellular chatter before swooping in. “Servers should consider somebody using a mobile device at a table exactly the same way as they would consider restaurant guests who are in the midst of a conversation,” Simpson says. “My method is, you approach the table with grace, and you leave with a purpose.” ✤ Vancouver writer Kate Zimmerman only drinks ’n’ dials at home.
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SLOW FOOD CALGARY PRESENTS
T R E N D I N G . . .
Smart sommeliers should
brush up their Mandarin by Kate Zimmerman
A huge new taste for red wine in China is contributing to an increase in global wine consumption. According to a new study conducted by the U.K.’s International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) and released earlier this year by the international wine and spirits trade show called VINEXPO, the Chinese wine market experienced growth of 69.3 percent between 2009 and 2013, with an additional 25 percent growth expected by 2018.
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In 2014, the IWSR reported that China had become the world’s biggest consumer of red wine, producing 1.87 billion “dead soldiers” in 2013. A Wall Street Journal article said that red wine is much preferred in China, where it’s seen as a health benefit and the colour red is considered “lucky.” As a result of the Chinese enthusiasm and increases in other countries’ consumption, the IWSR predicts an accelerated growth in wine consumption worldwide of 3.7 percent by 2018. Canada is on board, too, if more cautiously. This country’s per capita consumption has risen by about half a percent since 2013 and is expected to top that up by about 4.1 percent by 2018. Canada is currently seventh on the list of consumers of still wines, with our purchase of those expected to grow by 10.4 percent in the next three years. The United States became the largest consumer in the world of still wines in 2014. It also assumed the role of the largest wine market generally, with France and Italy in second and third place. Meanwhile, in Spain, wine consumption has dropped by 12.3 percent since 2009. Around the world, the taste for sparkling wines – not always including champagne – has also blossomed. The Canadian taste for proper champagne – the officially sanctioned sparkler from France – grew by 1.5 percent in 2013, while our appetite for Italian bubbly has grown by 14.4 percent since 2008. At the same time, we’ve become the sixth biggest importer of wine in the world, with a fresh zeal for New World vintages. We’ve shown our desire for New Zealand bottles 17.7 percent more since 2008, while our craving for American nectars has leapt by 9.7 percent and Chilean by 4.8 percent. In terms of wine production, France, Italy and Spain remain the top three countries, with Chile bringing up the rear, increasing its production by 42.5 percent annually since 2009. Spirits are also gaining ground internationally, with global consumption increasing by 19 percent since 2009 and an additional 3 percent expected by 2018. In Canada, however, we’re thought to be cutting back on hard liquor. Although spirit consumption increased by 2.1 percent between 2009 and 2013, we’re expected to lose interest by almost 2 percent by 2018, especially in the brandy, liquor and vodka sectors. As whisky and bourbon pick up steam in Russia, Brazil, Mexico, India and Poland, and Cognac and Armagnac win more fans in Asian countries, it’s tequila that’s expected to seize Canadian imaginations by a further 16.7 percent by 2018. ✤ Kate Zimmerman is doing her best to boost Canada’s wine consumption, but she could use your help.
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lamb mint carrots
onion preserved lemon
Specialty Foods Olive Oils Balsamics Catering
orange zest fennel allspice
Spring Lamb Stew with Preserved Lemon, Carrots and Peas This dish is a riff on a traditional Lebanese stew called “Yakhnet Bazella Wa Jazar.” Serve with plenty of steamed rice and flatbread. 2 T. unsalted butter 1 T. olive oil 4 lamb shanks
Olives Deli Meats &Cheeses Gift Baskets
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 t. each, orange zest, allspice and ground fennel seeds 1 cinnamon stick 2 c. canned whole tomatoes 1 preserved lemon (found at Middle Eastern groceries) 1 lb. baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise 1 lb. freshly shelled peas or frozen peas 1 T. lemon juice 2 T. finely chopped mint
Hot &Cold Lunches
Cappuccino Dessert Bar Pair this dish with:
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CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper and sear them until brown on all sides. Set the lamb shanks aside and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until soft and translucent. Place the lamb shanks back in the pan and add the orange zest, allspice, fennel and cinnamon. Crush the tomatoes into the pan with your hands and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender. Slice the preserved lemon lengthwise into quarters and remove the pulp, then slice the rind into thin strips and set aside. When the lamb is tender, add the preserved lemon rind along with the carrots and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 more minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and half of the mint. Serve sprinkled with the remaining mint. Serves 4.
Domaine Maby, “Variations”, Côtes Du Rhone, 2012, France $23 A blend of the classic southern France varieties – grenache, carignan, mourvèdre and syrah. Full bodied, deep, velvety purple with aromas of herbs, black pepper and crushed ripe strawberries, followed with luscious ripe plums, black cherry, back garden raspberries and subtle spice notes that express the terroir of the region. A perfect wine for spring lamb stew. Ochoa Rosado De Lágrima, 2013, Navarra, Spain $19 Lágrima, also known as teardrop rosado, is a fresh, inspiring, coral-coloured Spanish wine made from garnacha and cabernet sauvignon. The scent of crushed violets, moss and green, freshly snapped twigs is followed by lip-tingling wild strawberry. Ochoa is feisty enough to easily match the meat, fruit and spice flavours of a succulent lamb stew.
recipes by Matthew Altizer wine pairings by Karen Ralph, Metrovino
MADE-IN-HEAVEN FOOD AND WINE PAIRINGS
rose hips onion rose petals
lemon yogurt cinnamon parsley allspice berries
Poached Chicken with Freekeh and Rose Petals Freekeh is young green wheat berries that are picked, then set on fire to remove the husk. Look for freekeh, rose hips and petals at Middle Eastern and specialty shops. 4 chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts, halved!) 4 c. chicken stock 1/2 medium-sized onion, cut into wedges 2 cinnamon sticks 6 allspice berries salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 T. unsalted butter 1-1/2 c. freekeh 1/4 c. dried rose hips, lightly crushed 1/2 t. ground cinnamon 1 t. ground allspice 1/2 c. Greek yogurt (garnish) 2 T. chopped parsley (garnish) 1 T. dried rose petals (garnish)
Pair this dish with:
Rinse the chicken under cold water and place in a large saucepan in a single layer. Add the chicken stock to cover the breasts, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the onion, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and a generous pinch of salt, grind of pepper, and cover. Simmer the chicken for 45 minutes or until cooked through, then remove from the stock and set aside to rest while you prepare the freekeh. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the freekeh and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until it starts to smell toasty. Stir in the rose hips, cinnamon and allspice followed by 3 c. of the chicken poaching liquid. Season the freekeh with salt and pepper, cover with a tight fitting lid, turn the heat to low, and cook the freekeh for 30 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed. Remove from the heat to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the breasts and cut the chicken into thick slices. To serve: Spoon the freekeh into a shallow serving bowl and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Garnish with Greek yogurt, chopped parsley and rose petals. Serves 4 to 6.
Corvidae, “Mirth” Chardonnay, 2012, Columbia Valley, US $20 Corvidae “Mirth” chardonnay welcomes you to the world of un-oaked, un-buttery, delicious chardonnay. Pale gold, crisp and taut with fresh citrus notes, lime leaf, flint and stone, the clean, minimalist esthetic will enhance many dishes, especially poached chicken. Villa Spinosa, Valpolicella Classico, 2012, Italy $19 Corvina Veronese and corvinone from Italy’s hilly Jago and Figari areas are blended to create a young, light fresh wine for everyday drinking. Fun, delicious and affordable, flavours of tart cherry, ripe fruit and spices complement a variety of foods, in particular chicken and pork dishes, charcuterie and aged granular cheeses.
Read all about the best places to sip, swirl, stay and play in BC’s delicious food
and wine world. Go to our website to find out where to pick up your copy of Food & Wine Trails Magazine in Alberta or how to subscribe now. Also online www.winetrails.ca at www.issuu.com/bcfoodandwinetrails CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
STIRRINGS AROUND CALGARY merguez, potato and mustard, smoked salmon, leeks and cream, and farm bacon, potato and sautéed mushrooms. We love galettes. Also steak frites, a Suzette burger and crêpes, such as Normande, of caramelized apple, flambée au calvados and vanilla ice cream. We’re in! bistrosuzette.ca, 403-802-0036.
culinary travel grant winner n Congratulations to this year’s winner of City Palate’s Culinary Travel Grant, Starrly-Anne O’Donnell, a sous-chef at tequila central, Añejo Restaurant. Starrly’s plan for her travel grant is to travel to Thailand and do a WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – where she’ll learn to grow produce in responsible and sustainable ways. She also plans to do stage work at local restaurants, learning about an unfamiliar cuisine, particularly learning how to make and form fresh noodles and how to create the complex balance of flavours and textures in Thai dishes, a complete contrast to her experience and education in rich French food. restaurant ramblings n Bien sûr, we are happy to have a taste of France on 17th Ave. SW with the opening of PARC Café & Brasserie where Borgo used to be. Located at 818 - 16th Ave. SW, it’s another fine offering from the Creative Restaurants Group, parents to the Italian-centric Bonterra Trattoria, Posto Pizzeria, Cibo and Scopa. This time they’re going French! Look for canard a l’orange, steak frites, moules, boeuf Bourguignon and cassoulet. Yum! GM Guillaume Frelot, a native of Brittany, has worked with renowned chefs like Paul Bocuse and Gordon Ramsay – looks like good creds to us!
n Look for a late 2015 opening of Trolley Five in the space formerly occupied by the bar side of Melrose Café on 17th Ave. SW, the restaurant side of which gave way to Corbeaux Bakehouse. The official name will be Trolley Five Restaurant and Brewery, and it will be owned and operated by three Calgary restaurant pioneers – Wayne Leong, founder of Melrose, Ernie Tsu, formerly of Classic Jacks, and P.J. Heureux, founder of CRAFT Beer Market. The name is a tribute to Trolley 5, Calgary’s first street car route that took people from downtown to their homes along 17th Ave. n Hapa Izakaya is now open for lunch. In addition to izakaya classics, like tasty Ebi Mayo prawns and chicken Karaage, ramen is offered only during lunch hours. The delicious pork and chicken broth comes in soy, miso, spicy miso, or black miso (with charred garlic and onion oil) flavours, and is finished with barbecued pork belly and soft egg. Limited quantities are made each day, so get it while you can! On 11th Ave at 8th St SW. n Teatro’s patio is now open. Enjoy the Express Lunch for $25, or after work for Aperitivo Italiano, $5 highballs and $7 beer and wine specials daily, 3 - 6 p.m. n Cucina Market Bistro now offers a $45, three-course dinner menu, Monday to Friday. The menu changes weekly, reservations are recommended. Visit the Facebook page for updates. n Vendome Café sports a newly renovated space, but the great menu hasn’t changed. Live music Thursdays and evening drink specials.
n We do love our tasty diners, and now we can celebrate the opening of much-anticipated Beltliner, A Modern Diner, 243 - 12th Ave. SW. This is another child of Brendan Bankowski, father to the excellent Taste restaurant with Taste’s talented chef Shawn Greenwood at the kitchen helm. Yay! It’s open! You can have breakfast, lunch or dinner every day of the week.
n Keep an eye out on the streets this summer for The Cheesecake Café’s Café Bar Trike. Café Bars – cheesecake on a stick – is a summer-only treat the restaurant has offered for the past five years. The Café will peddle these bars via a custom-made trike to sell at city events throughout the summer. Set-up location will be posted on twitter @cheesecakeyyc. Feature flavour: Orange Cream Cheesecake dipped in white chocolate.
n The latest offering from the founders of Cassis Bistro is Suzette Brittany Bistro. Suzette features authentic dishes inspired by the north of France. Suzette is located where Bistro 2210 used to be, at 2210 - 4th St. SW. Look for a selection of savoury galettes, like
n Tinhorn Creek Vineyards’ awardwinning Miradoro restaurant is now open for the season. Look for a new Mediterranean-influenced menu that showcases the region’s finest ingredients as well as Ocean Wise seafood. The Communal Table features a special
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
menu of family-style fare that is local, rustic, simple and seasonal, $30, for multiple courses. And there might be some award-winning Tinhorn Creek wines too! n At Smuggler’s Group of Restaurants, Mondays are corkage free, Tango Bistro has happy “hour” all night on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are $5 flatbreads and 1/2 price glasses of wine, Thursdays are $8 martinis; Open Sesame has a new lunch menu; Smuggler’s Inn has happy “hour” Monday to Friday 2:30 - 5:30. June 1 is Tango Bistro Community Night with a featured artist, a DJ and special tapas menu. The annual Pig Roast is back on July 9 complete with live entertainment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. n Looking for a modern take on Vietnamese cuisine with amazing fusion flavour? Look no further than 1322 - 17th Ave. SW home of Watercress Express. Watercress Express delivers top-quality food at a low cost. With featured dishes every week, there’s always something new to try! n At River Café: celebrate Mother’s Day, May 10, with a walk in the park and weekend brunch; celebrate 10 years of Ocean Wise with a collaboration dinner with Ocean Wise chefs for a “boat to plate” dinner with spring ingredients, book at river-cafe.com; get your picnic baskets throughout the summer filled with seasonal specialties from the kitchen. Menu details at the website. n Sadly, Il Sogno, one of Calgary’s most-acclaimed Italian restaurants, will serve its “last supper” on April 30. Owner, Patricia Koyich, is a full-time instructor in the SAIT Hospitality and Tourism program. Don’t miss the last supper – reservations at 403-232-8901 or online at ilsogno.org. We will miss you, Il Sogno, we could always count on you for a great meal! wine & beer wanderings n Calgary International Beer Festival, presented by Sobeys Liquor, is the biggest beer festival in Western Canada. Hundreds of local, national and international craft beers with tasty food samples from more than 30 of Calgary’s best restaurants. There’s even a Brew Master Seminar hosted by CRAFT Beer Market and a Rickard’s Cooking with Beer Seminar, Best Beer awards, live music, “Beer University” to help you increase your “Beer-Q.” BMO Centre Stampede Park, May 1 and 2. The festival supports Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary and Kids Up Front. Get tickets at albertabeerfestivals.com n Look for the current releases of these tasty Black Hills Estate Winery wines at your fave wine store, including Willow Park, Highlander, Crowfoot and Brittania. Black Hills’ signature wine, 2013 Nota Bene (Latin for “take notice”), is a proprietary blend, a polished, medium-full-bodied Bordeauxstyle red with rich, smooth tannins;
Cellar Hand 2013 Free Run White has bright acidity; 2013 Chardonnay is well balanced; 2013 Alibi has crisp acidity and a rich mouthfeel; 2013 Viognier has hints of lemongrass and honey; 2012 Syrah is medium-full-bodied with fine cocoa tannins. When in the South Okanagan, stop by the Wine Experience Center at the winery for a relaxing sit-down wine tasting on the patios or inside one of the romantic cabanas by the swimming pool. Black Hills has hand-crafted pizzas and charcuterie to accompany your wine tasting. n The Spring Okanagan “Bud Break” Wine Festival takes place April 30 to May 10 at more than 120 member wineries, inviting you to indulge in more than 90 culinary and wine activities from Osoyoos to Oyama. All the tasty details at thewinefestivals.com n The Dandy Brewing Company, Alberta’s only nano-brewery, brews small batches of premium, handcrafted ale. Launched in 2014, Dandy produces exciting new beers while staying true to the British brewing tradition. Keep an eye out for the new limited release, Smoke Boss, now on shelves around the city. n If you’re in the neighbourhood, don’t miss The Small Guys Wine Festival, Garagiste North, in Vancouver on June 27 at Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac St., and in Kelowna, September 27 at Laurel Packing House, 1304 Ellis St. Garagistes are the best of the smallcase-lot artisan wines, with food trucks and live music. Details at garagistenorth. com; tickets at eventbrite.ca n Fred Konopaki, father of such Calgary legends as The Belvedere and The Palomino, has taken over Spirits West Merchants in Bragg Creek. The store got a reno job and re-opened in April with an extensive selection of fine wines, craft beers and brown liquors. Follow along @spiritswest for updates and more store information. cooking classes n Poppy Innovations paves the way to healthier eating. Parent & Child culinary program starts May 6 in the northwest. Also at the Calgary Farmers’ Market with Cook with Your Kids class in May. Growing your own food is a rewarding way to eat healthy. Poppy has a community garden in De Winton with space available for a bountiful crop in a peaceful country setting. Check the schedule of culinary programs and edible gardening, straw bale gardening and containers for patio or doorstep at poppyinnovations.ca. n Wild & Raw + WHyyc (Wholistic Health YYC) host a triple workshop series at Wild & Raw. Superfood-focused health for families, moms, athletes and health advocates. Fun-filled, hands-on and plenty of tasting. May 3, Superfoods 101, May 31, Moms & Families, June 14, Athletes. Sign up for each ($50) or for all 3 ($125). Details at info@ wholistichealthyyc.ca
n At SAIT’s Downtown Culinary Campus: Rush Hour every Tuesday after work, $40; Sushi, May 1, $90; Chocolate, May 9, $120; Introduction to Baking (new), May 7-June 4, $500; Introduction to Cooking, May 7-June 4, $400; Intermediate Cooking, May 6-27, $450; Advanced Cooking, June 3-24, $500; Thrill of the Grill, June 20, $110; Date Night, May 22, $75; Cheese Appreciation (new), May 21, $90. Visit culinarycampus.ca for all the details.
kids can cook
RED + GREEN GRAPE JELLYFISH
n Nutrition and Culinary Solutions: Culinary Bootcamp: Gluten-Free Baking, May 6. Gluten-Free Whole Foods Cooking: Summer Picnics, May 20. Details and registration at nutritionandculinarysolutions.ca/upcoming-classes-events . n Hands-on cooking classes at Meez Cuisine hosted by chef Judy Wood who shows you the secrets of a professional kitchen. Chef Wood’s cooking classes provide the skills, fun and dedication to bring back the love of cooking. Looking for a unique gift or party idea? Book a private cooking class. Visit meezcuisine.com for details. n Janice Beaton Fine Cheese hosts a Farm-to-Picnic Cooking Class, May 13, where you’ll learn how to create the ultimate portable feast! Janice Beaton will present easy, time-saving and flavourful recipes that are sure to make any outdoor event memorable. Sample each dish, plus the new line of JBFC preserved goods and spreads. $45, JBFC, 1017 - 16th Avenue SW, 403-229-0900. n At The Cookbook Co. Cooks: A Night Out: A Couples Cooking Class; An Entertaining Menu from Yellow Door Bistro; Native Tongues Taqueria: A Taco Party; Thai Classics; The Secret to Fabulous Salads; High Steaks Cooking with Ron Shewchuk; Secrets of Championship Barbecue Workshop with Ron Shewchuk; Burgers, Burgers, Burgers; Girls Night Out: Cocktails & Hors D’oeuvres; Bread Making, a twopart workshop; Calgary Cooks Dinner! Full calendar at cookbookcooks.com general stirrings n It’s not so easy to get hold of duck fat for all the confit you want to make, or the eggs you want to fry, or, or, or.... We love cooking with duck fat – such good flavour! Easy peasy to find at Lina’s Italian Market, jars of Rougié Duck Fat, from the same Quebec farm that brings you all good things duck – pampered ducks, foie gras and the convenience of jarred duck fat. Yay! n Team Rouge cycling team hosts the Tour for Kids fund raiser, June 11, to support children attending camp Kindle, a summer camp for kids with cancer. A night of live music, great food and drink, live and silent auction at Rouge Restaurant, 1240 - 8th Ave. SE. Tickets $150 – with a $100 tax receipt – available online at ridewithrouge. com or call 403-531-2767. continued on page 48 CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
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EDUCATION Building healthier communities by empowering people to make healthy food choices. OFFERING A VARIETY OF HANDS-ON CLASSES FOR ALL AGES • Edible container gardening • Canning and preserving with a twist • Cooking for adults or parents with their children AND JUST IN TIME FOR SPRING:
• Grow n' Learn speaker series and how-to sessions for gardeners • Community garden plots for rent
Learn more at:
n On Saturday, August 1, join Anita Stewart and Calgary’s chefs, restaurants, growers and purveyors for a giant picnic at Fort Calgary in celebration of Food Day Canada. Fill your basket with picnic ingredients at the Food Day Canada YYC picnic market and spend a rare afternoon along the banks of the Bow River enjoying the very best seasonal and regional tastes, sharing the vibrant spirit of our inner city food communities. Details at river-cafe.com and fooddaycanada.ca n The 1st Wednesday of every month is Customer Appreciation Day at Calgary’s Amaranth Stores when all supplements and body care are 20% off. Take the Garden of Life 10-Day Challenge or submit a recipe and win $250 worth of products. Check amaranthfoods. ca/community-events for all the details. n The 9th Annual Main Dish Celebrity Burger Cook-Off is Saturday, May 23, noon - 4 p.m. Four celebrity teams compete to not only create the best tasting burger but also sell the most and help raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta. The teams include an Olympian team featuring many of The Main Dishsponsored amateur athletes, such as Kaillie Humphries and Denny Morrison, the Calgary Stampeders team, the media team of CJAY 92 and another athlete team made up of hockey and lacrosse friends. Village Brewery brings its beer truck to pour local suds with part of the proceeds also going to RMHSA. Celebrity judges pick the winning burger based on taste and number sold. A fun day! n June 6 and 7 is the Leighton Art Centre’s annual Clothesline Festival & Art Sale featuring more than 1,000 pieces of fresh unframed art, craft & sculpture, live music, kid’s activities, YYC food trucks and nature walks. Admission is free. The Sunset Soirée, Friday June 5, offers a sneak-peek at the art, wine tastings, gourmet food and live music with a majestic view of the Rocky Mountains. Tickets for the Soirée and driving directions are available at leightoncentre.org
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CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
n Register now for the Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions Ingredients for Success conference on food innovation 2015, May 26 and 27, Deerfoot Inn & Casino. Designed for food processors, food researchers, government stakeholders and decision makers in the agri-food industry, academia and government. For details visit imcievents.ca/IFS_SITE/index.html n Richmond, B.C.’s Wild Sweets – Canada’s only science-based vintage cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate makers owned by Dominique and Cindy Duby – wins best chocolatiers and confectioners for the third consecutive year in the 2015 Best Choco & Confectioners in America Awards, presented by the International Chocolate Salon in San Francisco. Good show!
n Did you know that licorice is the new black? The delicious, contemporary colour, Licorice, joins Le Creuset’s nine beautiful colours available in Calgary, with items priced from $18 to $440. Look for Licorice at Le Creuset flagship stores in Chinook Centre, as well as select fine kitchen stores. Visit lecreuset.ca for details. n The Women’s Foodservice Forum, a premier leadership development and networking resource, is hosting their annual Calgary round-table on May 5 at the Delta Calgary South from 7:0010:30 a.m. Industry leaders will share their vast experience as well as business strategies and insight. Register on-line at womensfoodserviceforum.com. n The place to be May 16 and 17 is at the Artym Gallery in Invermere, B.C., to catch the show of “Oil, Gold & Stone” that features original oil paintings by Cameron Bird, jewellery by Bayot Heer and stone sculpture by Vance Theoret. The artists will be in attendance. June brings two more incredible shows.The most anticipated solo show of the season opens: Angela Morgan will be there June 6 with a selection of her new paintings. June 27 will feature the works of BC painter David Langevin and distinctive bronze sculptor Sandy Graves. Don’t miss this great lineup, and see all the work online at artymgallery.com n June is Pork Month at 15 Calgary restaurants. Check out special pork features and take the recipe home to try yourself. For a complete list of restaurants, go to passionforpork.com. Taste the goodness of Co-op’s ‘Perfect Pork’ with food samplings at all 24 Calgary locations June 20 and 21, Father’s Day weekend. Sunterra Markets are also in the pork game. Get the latest info about their many pork-centric events featuring Sunterra Farms pork at sunterramarket. com. The 2nd annual Porkapalooza BBQ Festival takes place June 19-21 at Borden Park in Edmonton, where barbecue teams compete for $15,000 in prize money. Lots of barbecue to eat and activities, incuding a Father’s Day brunch and beer gardens, that will keep everyone entertained all weekend. Festivities start Friday night with RibFest! Details at porkapalooza.ca. n The Bridgeland Riverside Farmer’s Market season begins June 18 through October 1, every Thursday. Look for two community tables where new vendors, plus neighbourhood kids and seniors, can try out the market
without having to pay a vendor’s fee. The tables are sponsored by Bridgeland Market and Lukes Drugmart. At the Bridgeland Riverside Community Association, 917 Centre Ave. NE. Details at facebook.com/bridgelandriversidefarmersmarketassociation n Thirteen Calgary Co-op communities will be the homes of 16 Calgary Co-op YYC Pop-Up Farmers’ Markets, beginning July 15 until September 18. During July and August, the Pop-Up Markets operate Wednesdays and Thursdays; in September the Pop-Up Markets run Thursdays and Fridays. And, as part of the pop-ups, you get a chance to meet the producers on the weekends of August 6 - 9 and September 3 - 6. Good food and fun to meet the peeps who grow our food! All the details about the pop-up farmers’ market locations can be found at yycfarmersmarket.com. If you want to be a vendor and if you know others who would like to be part of these pop-up markets, click on the Vendor Registration Page on the website. Share this link with other qualified vendors who can contribute to the positive community atmosphere and retail selling opportunity. n The Friends of Fish Creek invite you to experience Creekfest, a free one-day celebration of water in Fish Creek Provincial Park, July 19, noon - 5 p.m., Bow Valley Ranch. Creekfest will feature musical acts, like Juno-Award winning Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales,
plus award-winning theatre troupe, Parks Canada’s Mountain WIT, and Coyote Kids Theatre will return to the Creekfest stage to perform The Muskrat’s Tail, a fun and innovative look into the world of water-loving mammals. Everyone can learn about local watersheds through interactive games and activities hosted by community-based organizations.Creekfest is an important component of the Friends’ Watershed Public Awareness Campaign, designed to spread the word in communities near the park about protecting our local waterways. Details at friendsoffishcreek. org/event/creekfest n The Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society (MRAS) was awarded the Alberta Agricultural Society Century Award for 108 years of commitment to Alberta’s agricultural community – wooooooo-hooooooo! Good show! The 2nd Annual MRAS Golf Tournament in support of the Millarville Racetrack takes place at the Turner Valley Golf Club June 8, to register a team or sponsorhipe, go to millarvilleracetrack. com. Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market half marathon takes place June 13 – race through the scenic countryside to finish at the market for good food, music and shopping. Details at millarvillehalfmarathon.com or call 403-931-3411. The Millarville Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays, June 13 October 13.
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n You can have a Certified Health Coach & Professional Chef come into your home to show you how simple it is to start a healthy lifestyle and what you actually need to make it happen, including a holistic approach to meal planning. Call Michael Christen now to book your in-home visit! 403-813-3675. Check out the recipes at appetite4life.ca n In Theatre Junction’s final show of the season, Usually Beauty Fails, six dancers and a live rock band take the stage in a performance that shakes up the roles of pop culture and the avantgarde. Performing a concept album of human desires, beauty, love, sex and the challenges of relationships, choreographer/musician Frédérick Gravel ignites the stage in an audacious and carnal work.
Don't forget this food group...
Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank The Calgary Food Bank is able to feed thousands of people each year because of the generosity and assistance it receives from Calgarians. Help comes to us in many forms – volunteer hours, food, cash or in-kind donations – and all are appreciated.
CLASSIFIED AD RESTAURANT PARTNER NEEDED Are you a creative cook/chef looking for an opportunity to partner in a funky little café? This could be for you! Millarville’s Corner House Café (at the turnoff to the Millarville Farmer’s Market on Hwy 22) is looking for a 50% partner. Great community and huge potential. Call Tim at 403-975-4549 or email email@example.com.
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1240 8th Ave SE rougecalgary.com @RougeCal Named #1 Best Overall Restaurant 2015 – Avenue Magazine
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
your local cheesecake specialists. Cafe Bars launch June 1st. Available until Labour Day.
9 quick ways with... I always marvel about the fact that fresh mint has a flavour that’s such a natural marriage with so many other flavours, sometimes taking centre stage and other times, quietly enhancing. It seems that a lot of people think of mint as a sweet flavour and yet I think of it as more savoury. There are so many wonderful things about mint, but most of all, it’s a perennial herb that we Calgarians can count on returning to our gardens every spring and lasting throughout the season. 1. Mint Cucumber Water So simple and so refreshing. In an 8 cup pitcher, add 6 slices of cucumber and 3 large sprigs of fresh mint, and fill with tap water. Using a large spoon, stir vigorously for about 1 minute and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 8 c.
2. Chilled Minted Green Pea Soup
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7600 Macleod Trail SE · 403-255-7443 www.cheesecakecafe.ca
If you can make a margarita, you can make this soup. Mint and green peas enhance each other in quite an amazing way. In a blender, add 4 c. frozen peas, thawed and rinsed, 2 c. chicken stock, 1/2 c. chopped green onions, 1/4 c. mint leaves, 2 T. dill, 1/2 t. Sriracha hot sauce, and salt to taste. Blend until very smooth and serve chilled or warmed – both are so satisfying. Garnish with crumbled chèvre and chopped dill. Serves 6.
3. Red Quinoa Tabouli Salad I think this salad is perfect with grilled or braised meats. Red quinoa is not only eye catching, it’s also very high in proteins and a great alternative to the more traditional bulgur wheat or cous cous. To a large bowl, add 2 c. cooked red quinoa, 2 tomatoes, diced and deseeded, 1/2 c. diced cucumber, 1/2 c. finely chopped mint, 1 c. finely chopped parsley, 2 T. finely chopped shallots, 1/2 t. ground cumin, 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced, 1/2 t. salt, 2 T. lemon juice and 2 T. olive oil. Mix well and adjust salt to taste before serving. Serves 6.
4. Mint and Cilantro-Rubbed Chicken You will find in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions that the combination of mint and cilantro is very common. This is a quick marinade for chicken that can be done on the barbecue or roasted in the oven. This is the roasted version. In a bowl, add 1/4 c. chopped mint leaves, 1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves, 1/2 t. chile flakes, 1 t. salt, 1 T. lime zest, 2 T. lime juice, 1 t. ground coriander and 1/2 c. canola oil. Mix well and add 8 to 12 chicken pieces; rub the marinade onto each. Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days, before cooking. When you’re ready to roast the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan, roast in the oven for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and brush each piece with the drippings, then return to the oven and roast for another 5 minutes to crisp up the skin. Serve with the tabouli salad and/or potato salad. Serves 6.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
5. Mint Ginger Sun Tea This is a fun way to make iced tea, how we often made it in the summer when I was growing up. In an 8 cup pitcher or glass container with a lid, add 6 chamomile tea bags, 1/2 c. sliced fresh ginger, 1 c. mint leaves, 1/2 c. sugar [optional], and fill with cool tap water. Cover with the lid, or if you’re using a pitcher, cover the opening with plastic wrap. Find a sunny spot, either in front of a bright window or a place outside, where it will have 2 to 3 hours of full sun. When the tea is dark enough for your taste, place in the fridge to chill. Makes 8 c.
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6. New Potato Salad with Fresh Herb and Mustard Dressing This potato salad is wonderful served either chilled or warmed by sautéing it in a pan for 1 to 2 minutes. In a bowl, put 1/4 c. grainy mustard and, with a whisk, whip in 1/4 c. olive oil until fully incorporated and the mixture has thickened to soft peaks. Stir in 1 t. black pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 c. chopped mint, 1/4 c chopped green onions and 6 sage leaves, finely chopped. When the mixture is well blended, add 6 c. diced, cooked new potatoes, skins on, and gently toss until the potatoes are well coated. Serves 6.
7. Mint Pine Nut Pesto
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This is a tasty way to preserve the freshness of the mint for later use. I can’t believe how many things I find myself using this pesto in! In a food processor put 4 c. mint leaves, 1/2 c. pine nuts, 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped, 1/2 t. salt, 2 T. white wine vinegar, 1 c. olive oil and purée until smooth, then spoon into small jars. This freezes very well. When the oil has risen to the top of the jar, it acts as a protective barrier, extending the pesto’s shelf life and helps keep it bright green, so leave it there. Try this as a condiment for white fish, or rub it onto pork tenderloin before grilling, brush it on a roast leg of lamb to serve with roasted vegetables or steamed potatoes. The list can go on, but I must say that this pesto is also remarkable with cheese tortellini, either served warm or as a salad. Makes 2 c.
8. Cheese Tortellini with Mint Pesto, Arugula and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad In a large bowl, put 6 c. cooked cheese tortellini, 8 soft sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced, 2 c. arugula, 1/4 c. mint pine nut pesto (recipe above), 2 T. white wine vinegar and 2 T. olive oil. Gently toss together until evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.
9. Minted Melons and Blackberries This is great for brunch or as a palate-cleansing course or a light dessert. I think the white pepper, mint and honey are remarkable together. In a bowl, put 1 small cantaloupe, diced, 1 small honeydew, diced, and 1 c. blackberries. Add 2 T. liquid honey, 6 mint leaves, finely sliced, and a grind of white pepper. Gently stir until the honey has dissolved and all the fruit is well coated. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes to get all the flavours nicely married before serving. Serves 6.
recipe photos by Chris Halpin
Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
last meal KEEP IT
For this decidedly spring-like menu, the main course is a spin on the classic Sicilian lamb stew. Lamb has become a popular Easter/ spring dish for a number of reasons; in centuries past it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time (I’m not sure if the omen remained lucky once you chopped off its head and ate it). It was a popular superstition that the devil, who could take the form of all other animals, was never allowed to appear in the shape of a lamb because of its religious symbolism. A few hundred years later, the pope got behind it – so to speak – and a whole roasted lamb became the centrepiece of the pope’s Easter dinner, and has been ever since.
A Calgary Tradition Since 1921. All in Good Taste.
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The original recipe that I based this on called for lamb shoulder chops which I tried initially. The problem with shoulder is the fat to meat ratio is about 50/50 and I tend to discard most of the lamb fat as I find it makes the meat too gamey, so any savings in the cost of the meat was negated by the waste factor. Boneless leg, on the other hand, has much less fat so trimming is easier and the flavour is excellent.
k por r d n ts a are ou e k s Bri ulders alty! sho speci
Sicilian Lamb Stew 4 lb. boneless lamb leg, trimmed of fat and cut into rough 2-inch pieces salt and pepper 1/4 c. olive oil 2 c. diced red onion 1 garlic clove, minced pinch of saffron 1 c. crushed San Marzano canned tomatoes 1 c. dry white wine (un-oaked) 1 c. water 1 c. black olives (Kalamata work fine, I usually use pitted. Do NOT use canned)
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1 c. coarsely chopped fresh mint
o AAA Alberta beef (aged a minimum of 21 days), lamb, pork, free range poultry, milk-fed veal and many other exotic game meats.
Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high and lightly brown the lamb on all sides, then remove and set aside. Lower heat to medium-low, add onion to pan and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly coloured, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, saffron and tomatoes to onions and cook 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes, then return the lamb to the skillet. Add the water – or enough of it to just cover the meat – and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours until the lamb is tender. Remove the lid and raise the heat to a rapid simmer. Simmer until the juices have reduced by nearly half and the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes (the dish can be done the day before up until this point and refrigerated until ready to finish). Taste and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, reheat the lamb and stir in the chopped mint and black olives. Serve with roasted or grilled potatoes or over rice. Serves 4 to 6.
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CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Wine Recommendation Le Casematte Quattroenne Faro 2012 - $37 Sicilian wines are on fire right now so what better accompaniment to a Sicilian lamb dish than a red wine from the region of origin. Le Casematte is a small estate in the DOC of Faro (in itself a small DOC encompassing 20 hectares), situated on the steep slopes outside of Messina, the town that overlooks the strait separating Sicily from the mainland. It is a blend of four indigenous grapes displaying notes of iron, black fruits and blood orange with firm tannins and a velvety texture.
S IMPLE AND SEASONAL
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan, Lemon Zest and Olive Oil 2 T. olive oil 1 bunch asparagus, washed and dried 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan or manchego cheese
Maldon or other sea salt zest from 1 lemon 2 T. of your best olive oil for drizzling
These can be served either as a starter or as a side dish. Preheat the grill to medium-low (you can also use the broiler in your oven, but don’t take your eye off the asparagus, they can burn easily). Place the asparagus in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil. Grill them for a couple of minutes on each side; they should have just a slight char (the really skinny ones cook even faster). Remove from grill and transfer to a serving platter and immediately add the cheese and lemon zest and toss. Drizzle with good olive oil and sea salt and serve. Serves 4.
Amazing Brownies I adapted these from a New York Times recipe (the website, cookingnytimes.com, is awesome) and have tweaked it a little. Baking them for 35 minutes will provide a moister, gooey brownie while 40 minutes makes them lighter and a little more cake-like.
6920 Macleod Trail South 403.252.4365 #yycbestkeptsecret #businesslunch #tangolove
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, more for pan and parchment paper 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate 4 eggs 1/2 t. salt 3/4 c. dark brown sugar 3/4 c. granulated sugar 2 t. vanilla extract 1/3 c. buttermilk 1 c. flour 2 T. cocoa
recipe photos by Geoff Last
Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350° F. In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt the butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the salt, sugars, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and cocoa powder until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in the pan on a rack. Serves 6 to 8.
AMAZING FOOD • UNIQUE HISTORIC SETTING ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS • MUSEUM ACCESS Sundays from 10:30am-2:00pm | Fort Calgary Barracks For reservations call 403 290 1875 Geoff Last is the manager of Bin 905.
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CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
Join us for a street food party!
SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER
at The Cookbook Co. Cooks and Metrovino Saturday, July 18th, noon-3 pm
YYC food trucks are setting up shop in the parking lot behind Metrovino and Calgary is invited! The roster includes Jane Bond, Bento Burrito, Red Wagon Diner, Sticky Ricky’s, Take it and Go, The Noodle Bus, as well as a selection of delicious, local ice creams, and live music by The Dick Clark 3! There is no cover charge for this event – just show up and purchase what you would like directly from the trucks. Grown-ups can join us inside at Beer & Rosé Garden for a glass of wine or a local craft beer by Village Brewery to pair with your street eats.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been to a few theme parties that were a blast. Perhaps my favourite was an Italian “mobster” dinner where the hosts picked up all of the guests in a vintage limousine complete with “henchmen” wearing big fedoras and pinstriped suits, who were “packing heat” in the form of squirt guns filled with martinis. Whenever someone opened his mouth, he’d get drowned in a hail of gin and vermouth gunfire. Now, that was a clever theme party, although I admit that I’m not all that crisp on how the evening ended. All I know is that I awoke fully dressed in my gangster suit, which had somehow gotten totally encrusted with parmesan cheese. In keeping with the rules of the mafia, I didn’t ask questions afterward.
Location: The parking lot behind Metrovino, 722 - 11th Ave. SW Drink tickets for the Beer & Rosé Garden available on-site, the day of the event.
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My theme party hatred is rooted in the fact that my wife works for a company that makes every function it has a theme party. I’m not kidding. Retirement lunches, office moves and even Friday drinks must have a costume dress-up angle and a topical subject. One such dinner had a James Bond 007 motif and so, given my body type, I went as Goldfinger’s bowler-wearing, keg-shaped bad guy, Oddjob. I spent the whole night sweating under a cheap hobby shop hat with most of my dinner hanging off the prickly glue-on moustache under my nose. It was three hours of hell.
722-11th Avenue SW Phone 403-265-6066, ext.1 VI EW O U R S PR I NG CO O K I NG CL A S S S C HED ULE AT
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Worse yet is that even the company’s Christmas parties have themes. A few years ago, it was Pirates of the Caribbean. This is CHRISTMAS! What’s wrong with just having Santa and reindeer and jingle bells and maybe Christmas as the theme? Instead, I had to line up at the bar with people who had fake parrots on their shoulders, yelling “Haaarrr, Matey!” all night. It was enough to make me want to walk the plank. Another dinner party killer is the dreaded murder mystery. Sure, this genre of entertainment can be fun if all of the guests are totally into it. But my experience is that people lose interest in the plot pretty quickly, and if some poor, starving actor gets hired to play a role all night, he or she usually gets ignored while the volume of the table conversation keeps going up and eventually drowns out the clues being dropped. Pretty soon the pitiful characters in the mystery are about as welcome as a mime outside your window at a fancy restaurant. I’m always surprised that these fake murder mysteries don’t turn into real murders of the host and hostess by the actors who are sweating it out for a rude audience, or by the guests who have to endure this kind of torture. It dawned on me while writing this that perhaps the worst theme parties are those we’ve all attended often – weddings. Think about it. There are costumes – a bride looking like a meringue, and her seven bridesmaids in hideous robin’s-egg-blue dresses. Even though a lot of fussing may have gone into the meal, the dinner is inevitably sabotaged by interminable speeches that begin with, “Now the reply to the toast to the groomsmen!” I suppose it could be worse – people could actually start to have “theme weddings” more often. With my luck, one day I’ll get invited to a Pirates of the Caribbean wedding. I can just see it. “Haarrr, Matey! Do ye take this wench to be yer lawfully wedded wife?” Just shoot me – preferably with a squirt gun full of gin so I can forget it all.
CITY PALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2015
HOW ABOUT JUST DINNER?
I winced as I read the instructions about how to dress, how to get into “character” and the various irritating games we would have to play over the course of what would now, no doubt, be an excruciating night. I immediately started to think of excuses to bow out. Maybe, if we were lucky, we would have to go to a funeral, where I was certain we would have more fun.
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I have bemoaned in the past how my wife and I don’t get invited out very much. Many of our friends admit to being timid cooks who feel uneasy about hosting a culinary instructor. So imagine my joy when a dinner party invitation arrived in the mail from a super-fun couple with whom we love to hang out. I was so hyped thinking about actually going to someone else’s home and not having to shop, cook or clean up. Someone was having us over! Yay! But then I started to read the fine print on the invitation and went from ecstasy to agony in 0.5 seconds – it was a theme party.
The Food Truck Flock is back...
Submit your favourite recipe using any Garden of Life product for a chance to win $250 worth of products! Amaranth will also donate $250 worth to a local seniors' facility. Send questions and recipes to email@example.com.
Allan Shewchuk is a 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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