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city palate CELEBRATIN G 2 0 DELICIO U S YEAR S 1 9 9 3 – 2 0 1 3

the entertaining issue

citypalate.ca

november december 2013


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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


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FM 800

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EVOLUTION

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403.277.5169

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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Introducing Primo Taglio Meats & Cheeses

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limit 1 coupon per transaction. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase and cannot be combined with any other coupon offer. void if reproduced and where prohibited by law. Coupon cannot be doubled or redeemed for cash. Cashiers: Ensure all applicable items are scanned as well as the coupon and Club Card. Discount will automatically come off once all purchase requirements are met, coupon is scanned or Plu is entered, Club Card is scanned and ‘total’ key is pressed.


CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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NEW LOCATION OPENING SOON AT CHINOOK CENTRE FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT DOUBLEZEROPIZZA.CA

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follow us @facebook.com/doublezeropizza


T H E F L A V O U R O F C A L G A R Y ' S food S C E N E

city palate 1993 – 2013

C E L E B R A T I N G 2 0 D E L I C I OUS Y E A R S wit h 2 0 D E L I C I OUS e v ent s City Palate turns 20 years old this year and we want to celebrate Calgary's amazing food culture with the people who support us and read us. And we want to give back to the community – proceeds from these events will go to Calgary charities. We hope you join us to celebrate this delicious milestone...

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Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013 Top Chef Dinner s o l d o u t !

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Date: January February 2014

Colossal Culinary Crossword

Sharpen your pencils, pour yourself a glass of something tasty and get comfortable. City Palate presents a super-big, super-fun culinary crossword puzzle. When you finish, send it in for your chance to win a delicious prize. Location: January February 2014 issue of City Palate

Date: January February 2014

CP Culinary Travel Grant

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Open to all “back-of-the-house” restaurant cooks – City Palate can help further your culinary education with a travel grant to learn more about the world’s cultures and food. Details will be published in our January February 2014 issue. Location: Submissions via citypalate.ca

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Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014

Bill to Tail: A Specialty Dinner Avec Noble Farms

s o ld o u t!

Ever wanted to enjoy eating duck 20 ways with wines to match? Now’s your chance! Darnell Japp, executive chef at Avec Bistro, pays homage to the noble duck and to Noble Duck Farms, by creating a menu of delectable duck dishes paired with a variety of wines from Okanagan Crush Pad. Location: Avec Bistro, #105, 550 - 11th Ave. SW Tickets: $100 pp, duckdinner.eventbrite.ca

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Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Crowbar 2014

Pop-up party architect Wade Sirois, of Infuse Catering, presents an evening of handcrafted cocktails and small plates food in a secret location. We could tell you more, but that wouldn’t be much fun, now would it? Location: Secret – announced 48 hours before Tickets : $90 pp, crowbar.eventbrite.ca

Date: March 2014 (TBD)

SAIT Kitchen Party

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We will team up with SAIT to create an interactive evening of wine, food and conviviality, tying in with their Culinary Class and Dinner for the Big Taste event in March 2014. Join us for a dinner party where attendees help prepare dinner, then enjoy it with wines supplied and poured by Township 7 Vineyards & Winery. Location: SAIT Downtown Campus, #226, 230 - 8th Ave. SW Tickets: $150 pp, details to come...

Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle

Fo l l o w u s on Faceb o o k and c h eck citypal ate . ca fo r u pdate s, and l ate breaking culinary news !

Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Chefly Screen Shots

Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014, 6-10 pm

20 for 20 Wrap-up Party

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City Palate partners with Calgary Folk Music Festival and Calgary Underground Film Festival to present a series of short, silent, films featuring Calgary chefs. These films will be projected on a large screen while local musicians play live music, composed specifically for these moving pictures. After the screening, the crowd will enjoy appetizers that merrily reference the food prepared in the films. Food. Film. Music. Fun. Location: Festival Hall, 1215 - 10 Ave. SE, Tickets: $40, cheflyscreenshots.eventbrite.ca

City Palate wraps it all up with a sexy summer soirée. Ox & Angela will be transformed into a grand tapas bar, complete with four paella stations and a sherry tasting. This night of divine, Mediterranean revelry is the perfect finish to an exciting year. Location: Ox & Angela, 528 - 17 Ave. SW, Tickets: $75 pp, citypalatewrapparty.eventbrite.ca

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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• • • •

No Pesticides No Herbicides Biological Bug Control Hydroponically Grown

CUCUMBERS TOMATOES PEPPERS LETTUCE BEANS

Blu Seafood Check out our great selection of Fresh Fish, Seafood, Crab Cakes, Salmon Burgers and lots more! GOOD THINGS COME OUT OF THE BLU

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


contents City Palate November December 2013

features

32 n Unwrap This!

“20 for 20” goodies that foodies love to give and receive Karen Anderson

38 n This Year it's Turkey

A traditional Christmas dinner Ellen Kelly

42 n My Favourite Decadent Dish

Some of our fave foodies share their favourite over-indulgunces

48 n Wrap Stars for Your Entertaining

People love to unwrap food and find a tasty surprise inside Matthew Altizer

50 n Hope Springs Eternal in Southern Alberta

Rebuilding after the flood Shelley Boettcher

54 n Small Plates – Big Asian Flavours –

Perfect for Entertaining Ching Li

56 n Aging Wine Under Water

Shelley Boettcher

58 n Lava, Killer Surf and Poke (Poh-keh)

Tootling the Big Island of Hawaii Kathy Richardier

Cover artist Mark Cromwell has been “drawing” on the Calgary area as an artist/illustrator since 1991. Mark is best known for his chalk work or murals... no, his performance art – no! his caricatures. His studio is called “Color Club” and you can see more of his work at colorclub.ca. CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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city palate editor Kathy Richardier (kathy@citypalate.ca) publisher Gail Norton (gail@citypalate.ca) magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (carol@citypalate.ca)

g o od foo l

d

• fee l d f oo d

@RedwaterYYC

Macleod Trail

9223 Macleod Trail South Ph: 403.253.4266

6th Avenue SW

#181, 250 6th Avenue SW Ph: 403.265.3837

w w w. r e d w a t e r g r i l l e . c o m

g

Aspen Estates

#114, 326 Aspen Glen Landing SW Ph: 403.686.6731

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fee

contributing editor Kate Zimmerman

Stadium North

1935 Uxbridge Drive NW Ph: 403.220.0222 facebook.com/redwateryyc

contributing writers Matthew Altizer Karen Anderson Shelley Boettcher Tom Firth Ellen Kelly Geoff Last Ching Li Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal Debby Waldman Eloise Wall contributing photographers Carol Slezak for advertising enquiries, please contact advertising@citypalate.ca account executives Janet Henderson (janet@citypalate.ca) Ellen Kelly (ellen@citypalate.ca) Liz Tompkins (liz@citypalate.ca) prepress/printing CentralWeb distribution Gallant Distribution Systems Inc. The Globe and Mail website management Jane Pratico (jane@citypalate.ca)

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 Subscriptions are available for $35 per year within Canada and $45 per year outside Canada. Editorial Enquiries: Please email kathy@citypalate.ca For questions or comments please contact us via our website:

citypalate.ca 12

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


contents City Palate November December 2013

departments

15 n word of mouth

Notable culinary happenings around town

17 n eat this

What to eat in November and December Ellen Kelly

18 n drink this

Great gifts for the boozers on your list Tom Firth

22 n read this

Serve up literary delights this holiday season Eloise Wall

24 n kitchen tools

Hooked on gadgets Debbie Waldman

26 n one ingredient

Brussels sprouts Julie Van Rosendaal

30 n well matched

Made-in-heaven food and wine pairings Matthew Altizer

64 n stockpot

Stirrings around Calgary

70 n 8 quick ways with...

Bacon

72 n last meal

Keep it simple and seasonal Geoff Last

74 n back burner... shewchuk on simmer

Salad days? Allan Shewchuk

read us online @ citypalate.ca follow us on facebook and win monthly prizes! CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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word of mouth Notable culinary happenings around town

gold medal plates 2013 upcoming 20 for 20 events January February: Colossal Culinary Crossword and City Palate’s Culinary Travel Grant in the January February issue; January 27, Bill to Tail: A Specialty Dinner Avec Noble Farms, featuring duck 20 ways; February 8, Crowbar pop-up cocktail evening. See the ad on page 9 for details, or visit citypalate.ca.

facebook winners

the funnest cakes of all for any occasion

Congratulations to the winners of September’s cocktail-naming contest, courtesy of spirit makers Giffard and Bigallet. Teghan Nightengale named the Giffard cocktail made with Ginger of the Indies and Lichi-Li “Lady of the East.” She gets a bottle of each. Alison Casey named the Bigallet cocktail made with Canadian whisky and Bigallet’s China-China “Rhinestone Cowboy.” She gets a bottle of China-China. Fun!

Lynnette MacDonald is an emergency room nurse on call. When she’s not on call, she makes fabulous custom cakes, as SWIRL Cakes & Cupcakes, for all occasions, like the Tiffany box above. Cakes way beyond the conventional. ‘Tis the season – any season, really – for indulging in cakes with huge “WOW!” Visit MacDonald’s web site at swirlcakes.ca for all the details and lots more pictures of her fun cakes.

champagne in a pink fridge

luxurious cheeses for the holidays

Oh, look what Veuve Clicquot has done for its rosé champagne – plunked it into a pink fridge, just in time for the fun people on your gift list. And for you, too.

Say Cheese Fromagerie at the Crossroads Market has a gift cheese box from Glengarry Fine Cheese that’s filled with the kind of succulent cheeses you’ll want for yourself as well as your best friends: Azzurro di Bufala, a creamy blue blend of buffalo and cow milk; Celtic Blue; Lankaaster Aged, a nutty sweet gouda-style cheese and Fleur-en-Lait, a relative to the French St. Paulin. Also included is raw honey from Wendell Estates, a perfect marriage with these cheeses.

mmmmmmmm, cannoli We love cannoli any time of the year, but the Italian Store will be making pistachio, tutti frutti (mixed dried fruit) and chocolate, as well as vanilla, for the holidays. Made with ricotta and mascarpone, these rich but not-too-sweet classic Italian pastries are as at home on a dessert buffet as they are with coffee on Christmas morning. The pastry is nice and crisp, but if you like it extra crispy, ask to have your cannoli filled to order.

pretty beach-glass bowls For putting stuff – like salt and pepper or mustard or salsa, or almost anything – into for your entertaining condiments. These beautiful Hudson Beach Glass bowls from Rubaiyat are available in lots of colours – they’ll add interest, beauty and sparkle to your buffet or dinner table. The tiny one was made specially for Iron Chef contenders. Get yourself a collection, and give them to your favourite people for Christmas.

The Gold Medal Plates chef competition takes place in Calgary on November 2 at the Telus Convention Centre. Last year, Eden Hrabec, Crazyweed Kitchen, Canmore, took gold. This year she’s one of the judges. This year’s competing chefs are Dave Bohati (MARKET), Connie DeSousa/John Jackson (CHARCUT), Cam Dobranski (Winebar Kensington/ Brasserie Kensington), Rogelio Herrera (Alloy), Andrew Keen (Rush), Duncan Ly (Yellow Door Bistro), Darren Maclean (downtownfood), John Michael MacNeil (Teatro), Roy Oh (Anju) and Andrew Winfield (River Café). Proceeds from the GMP support Olympic athletes.

support your local great food and wine books: If you thought Pierre Lamielle’s Kitchen Scraps cookbook was great fun, wait until you see Alice Eats, A Wonderland Cookbook, cleverly put together by Pierre and Julie Van Rosendaal (Whitecap, hard cover, $29.95). Oh, my, this must be about the funnest cookbook in the whole world. For one, it’s tarted up in full-on colour with Pierre’s bright, quirky illustrations and Julie’s beautiful food photos. For another, it’s filled with recipes inspired by the characters and events from the original story – like cakes labelled “eat me” from the Mad Hatter’s tea party and the Mock Turtle’s Mock Turtle Soup.

MEMORY LANE

Classic 1950s Style Diner Hand-Crafted Ice Cream Home-Cooked Menu Featured on Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here.

118 4 St SW High River 403. 652. 1887 | mlcafe.ca

The third edition of Uncorked, The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25, by Shelley Boettcher and Darren Oleksyn, hits stores in early November, with tons of new wines as well as a few that make it in every year because they’re just so darn fantastic (Whitecap, soft cover, $19.95). Book launch party at The Cookbook Co. Tuesday, November 19th. (See ad page 20)

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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TASTING

EVENTS

Tasting Centre Locations Beddington 8220 Centre Street NE Crowfoot

39 Crowfoot Way NW

Oakridge

2570 Southland Drive SW

Shawnessy

250 Shawville Blvd SE

For tickets email: wsevents@calgarycoop.com For more tasting events visit: coopwinespiritsbeer.com

Beer and Cheese

If you’ve experienced wine and cheese, you won’t want to miss taking your cheese pairing adventures to a whole new level. Come and learn, try, and taste with us as we explore delicious combinations from around the world. You’re sure to leave asking yourself if beer really does pair better with cheese than wine. You be the judge. Crowfoot: November 7, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person

Food and Wine – A Tasty Science Class for Wine Enthusiasts

“Try it to learn it” is the mantra for this class. Become confident in the art of food and wine pairing by discovering the principles of highlighting, contrasting and complimenting food and wine that all the professionals know and use. This is a fabulous hands-on science class that will be both fun and tasty. Oakridge: November 9, 7pm - 9pm • $35 per person

Chocolate Pairings – The Chocolate Bar *Challenge

We’ve put a new spin on a Tasting Room favourite. This fall we’re taking some of your favourite chocolate bars and pairing them up to perfection with a collection of wines, beers and even a cocktail or two. If you’re a chocolate fan you won’t want to miss this class. Oakridge: November 14, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person Crowfoot: November 22, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person *some items in this event may contain nuts

5 & 25 – Entertaining Made Easy

We’ve teamed up with Chef Wade of Boreal Chef to bring you a fun combination of our sommelier team’s favourite picks of wines under $25 and appetizers with 5 ingredients or less to showcase how easy and economical entertaining can be. Crowfoot: November 14, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person Oakridge: November 29, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person

Aromatic Whites

White wines are great in the winter and this class is sure to bring a “wow” to your lips. Join us as we showcase whites that are must-haves for the cooler season and how food-friendly and versatile they truly are. Shawnessy: November 14, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person Beddington: November 29, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person

Big Reds for Fall

Our Big Reds class is always a favourite and so we’ve tweaked it a bit to give it an autumn twist. We’ll be sharing a collection of our biggest and boldest for fall sipping. Beddington: November 22, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person Oakridge: November 23, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person

Sparkling and Sweet – Drinks to Savour and Sip

This class will showcase sparkling wine styles from around the world along with ports, sherries and a few other special sippers that are perfect for a quiet night by the fire, or savouring with good company. Oakridge: December 6, 7pm - 9pm • $25 per person

Classic Holiday Cocktails

Snowball, Cuppa Good Cheer, Candy Cane Swirl, Frosty Noggin and of course, Rudolph the Red Nose Reinbeer; join us for this festive and fun class that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. We will teach you how to WOW your holiday guests with some of our favourite holiday cocktails. Crowfoot: December 7, 7pm - 9pm • $40 per person Shawnessy: December 7, 7pm - 9pm • $40 per person

Like Us On Facebook Get great recipes and stay up-to-date on our latest tasting events. facebook.com/coopwinesandspirits

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


eat this

Ellen Kelly

What to eat in November and December

It’s time once again to hunker down and cozy up, to fill our kitchens with the heady aromas of roasting meat, earthy root vegetables and luscious braises. Time, too, for that intriguing but oh-so-familiar fragrance of far-flung exotic spices – cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and the ever-enigmatic clove. Cloves are best known for their strong, pungent-sweet flavour and a little goes a long way. Ground cloves appear predominantly in apple and pumpkin pie spice mixtures and are an essential ingredient in the versatile Chinese Five Spice. On their own, they can impart a unique and exotic touch. For instance, a whole onion studded with 5-6 cloves adds a new depth to beef stock. This holiday season, make a fruit punch for all to enjoy. Bring 1/2 c. sugar and 1 c. water to a boil with three 2-inch pieces of cinnamon, 1 t. whole cloves, a sprig of fresh rosemary and a small piece of fresh ginger. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove the herbs and spices and chill. Add 1-1/2 c. pineapple juice, 2 c. cranberry juice and 1/2 c. lemon juice. Pour this mixture over ice in a punch bowl, add 1 L. ginger ale and garnish with thin slices of lemons and a few whole fresh cranberries. For a winter sangria, add a bottle of robust fruit-forward red wine. Cheers!

BUY: Look for cabbages that are heavy, tight and firm, with shiny leaves. TIPS: Always include an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, even grated apple) in any red cabbage preparation to keep it from turning blue, not an optimum food colour. DID YOU KNOW? On Halloween, on the Isle of Man, mummers once went door to door with cabbages stuck on the end of poles, singing for treats. How about here, next year?

Celeriac’s ugly, warty exterior belies a mild, sweet, crunchy interior that shouldn’t be passed over. Added to mashed potatoes or finely julienned and mixed with a mustardy mayonnaise for a classic remoulade, this under-appreciated vegetable could stump even your most well-versed “foodie” guests. Potatoes are neutral enough to not overwhelm the mild, nutty flavour of celeriac, also known as celery root. This makes them perfect partners for a mash-up. Peel a grapefruitsized celery root and cut into large chunks. Put into acidulated water while you peel and cut up approximately the same amount of Yukon Gold potatoes. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, add salt and simmer until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and then add back to the pot with a generous amount of butter, whole milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mash well, taste and re-season. Forego the garlic or any other strong flavours to let the celery root take centre stage. To enjoy the refined flavour of raw celeriac, a classic remoulade to serve with slices of leftover ham and turkey is just the thing. Finely julienne 2 small peeled celery roots. Cover with water and add 2 T. lemon juice and 2 t. salt. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 c. good mayonnaise (Hellman’s works), 1 T. Dijon mustard, a pinch of sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 3 T. chopped fresh parsley and 2 t. finely chopped chives. Drain the celeriac and pat it dry. Mix it with the dressing and refrigerate for a few hours, even overnight. To perk up a Boxing Day lunch or brunch, serve the celeriac with cold sliced ham or turkey, or as a side for poached shrimp.

Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle BUY: Cloves are sold dried, but avoid any that are too desiccated. Buy small quantities; the flavour and aroma of all spices are derived from essential oils that are depleted by time and sunlight. Store, well sealed, in a cool dark cupboard. TIPS: An old-fashioned pomander can be made by randomly, but completely, piercing the skin of oranges, lemons or even apples and sticking whole cloves into the holes. Mix 1 t. ground cinnamon and 1 t. orris root (find at Community Natural Foods) in a plastic bag and lightly coat the studded fruit in the powder. Allow the fruit to dry for 3-4 weeks, loosely covered in a bowl or basket. Wrap the dried pomander in something sheer or lacy, affix a ribbon and hang in a closet to scent your clothes and deter moths. These make interesting gifts for the adventurous. DID YOU KNOW? Cloves are the immature flowers of a large evergreen tree from the myrtle family, indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands. The name comes from the French clou, meaning nail.

Raw red cabbage adds that much-needed crunch and splash of colour to our winter salads. Tossed with walnut oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and a dab of honey, shredded red cabbage could become your new favourite slaw. But this unlikely coloured vegetable really comes into its own braised. Quarter, core and finely slice a smallish red cabbage. Finely slice a medium onion as well. In a large, heavy Dutch oven, heat 3 T. olive oil (use duck fat for a bit of decadence) and sauté the onions until soft. Add the shredded cabbage with a splash of sherry vinegar, bay leaf, salt and pepper and about 1/2 c. apple juice or white wine. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Peel and grate a tart apple and add to the cabbage. Stir in 1-2 T. pomegranate molasses and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Check the seasoning. Serve with crispy roast pork and warm German potato salad.

BUY: Choose smaller rather than larger roots; they will be denser and more tender. To store, cut off any greenery left on top and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. TIPS: Celery root turns brown when peeled and cut. To keep the lovely creamy white colour, always put the pieces immediately into water with a little lemon juice or vinegar. DID YOU KNOW? Possibly because celeriac looks so gnarly and is often matted and covered with a little soil, we disregard this excellent vegetable. Once it’s cleaned up, peeled and prepared properly, it’s so much more than it’s better-known kitchenworkhorse cousin, celery. Remember the story of The Ugly Duckling.

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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drink this

Tom Firth

Great gifts for the boozers on your list

LEG[END] O N THE FIRE THU R SDAY & FRIDAY NIG HTS ONLY

‘Tis the season. Chances are good that, at some point during the holidays, you’re going to be hemming and hawing over what to give to special people on your shopping list. Unless the lucky gift recipient is a minor, you might consider a liquid libation. For lovers of fine wine, beers, and spirits, Alberta is one of the best places to be in Canada. We have a wide selection on our shelves and passionate sommeliers and retailers guaranteed to help you find the perfect bottle or two. When in doubt, ask the staff at your favourite wine store. Let them know your preferences and tell them what you know about the intended recipient’s tastes. Here are suggestions for your consideration. Prices are approximate. If an item has limited availability, we’ll tell you where to find it. WineCollective Wine lovers get into ruts. We tend to drink just what we know and like, whether it be a certain country of origin, grape, or appellation. There are a number of organizations that put together selections of wines – good offerings already vetted and often grouped to either broaden your wine-drinking horizons or match the palate you already find comfortable. Organizations such as WineCollective offer different types of packages certain to match your price range. Visit winecollective.ca for details. Packages range between about $200 and $400 for three months. ®

MS Whisky Festival Worried that you might give the whisky lover on your list a bottle she already has or one she doesn’t like? Well, buy her a ticket or two to one of the best whisky festivals in the city, with proceeds going to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. I’ve been to this festival-style event and it’s one of the best places for a whisky aficionado to try old favourites, discover new gems, and take care of a whisky fix. January 16, at the Epcor Center. Details at calgarywhiskyfestival.com. ($95)

The Craft Beer Advent Calendar

THE PRIME- E S T RIB COME G ATHER by t he he a rt h

4611 BOWNESS ROAD NW 403.288.4372

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

The first time I laid eyes on this, I wanted one. Growing up on bad, plastic-flavoured chocolates in my advent calendars, and seeing Lego advent calendars at my nephew’s house in recent years, I thought, “Finally! Something cool for the adults!” This whopper contains 24 craft beers (all from North America in this year’s edition) behind the windows and will be certain to make advent calendars fun again for the craft beer lover on your list. No peeking! ($130)


Taylor Fladgate Estates Collection It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little port at my house, and this two-pack is a perfect way to introduce someone to these great wines. If they already like port, they’ll love this pair of 375 ml bottles from two of Taylor Fladgate’s flagship estates or quintas – Terra Feita and Vargellas. Both are the 2005 vintage. Drink them now, save them for a special occasion, or cellar them for up to 10 years. Compare them side by side and enjoy the difference between single estate ports. ($85)

Fizz tival

Thursday Nov. 28, 6:30 to 8:30pm • $55 Join us for our annual festival of fizz and sample at least 10 delightful, nostril and taste bud tingling sparkling wines from around the world. Enjoy special discounted pricing for this evening only.

Reservations 403.205.3356 metrovino.com/event-registration

722 -11th Avenue S.W. 403-205-3356 • www.metrovino.com

Double Cross Vodka I’ll confess, it’s hard to recommend buying a $60 vodka, but when it’s seriously good like this one, you’ll want to try it for yourself, then plunk down your dough for a special someone. From Slovakia, where the double cross is a play on the Slovakian coat of arms, it’s distilled seven times and filtered seven times, making it incredibly smooth. It still retains some anise, spice, and citrus characters and a rich, almost oily, mouthfeel. I was able to try it both neat and mixed at a cocktail challenge with 12 Calgary bartenders who used it in everything from sours to Caesars. This vodka is perfect for both sipping and mixing. ($60)

farm

fresh

Aha Toro Tequila 3-Pack Tequila has come a long way from the reputation it once had as lowbrow fare. The tequilas available in Alberta these days are well-crafted, smooth and complex, and they’re as at home being drunk straight-up as they are in cocktails. Coming from the highlands of Jalisco (2100 meters above sea level), this set includes one bottle each (375 ml) of blanco, reposado and añejo. Blanco is generally crisp and peppery, good for cocktails and straight, while reposado is usually milder than blanco and a bit fruitier. Añejo has a rich, round flavour and is best enjoyed as a sipping tequila. ($83)

Bring your family and friends to our new Ramsay location for all day breakfast, mouthwatering lunch, or our new dinner features.

1101- 8th ST. S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 2Z6 www.RedsDiner.com

continued on page 20 CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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join us Whitecap books, The Cookbook Co. Cooks and Metrovino invite you to celebrate the release of Shelley boettcher’s all-new, revised edition of

unCoRked The definitive Guide to Alberta’s best Wines under $25

Author Shelley boettcher is a Calgary-based food and wine writer

unCoRked

book lAunCh pARTy

Tuesday, november 19th, 6:30 pm

The Cookbook Co. Cooks 722-11th Ave SW, 403-265-6066, ext 1 $25, inCludeS A Copy of The book

call to register now! Metrovino will be pouring samples of Shelley’s favourite wines, paired with delicious food from The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

drink this Great gifts for the boozers on your list continued from page 19

Bigallet Thym Liqueur Thyme heals all wounds, doesn’t it? Thyme liqueurs typically come from France, and Bigallet has been producing liqueurs and syrups at the foot of the Alps since the late 1800s. Thyme liqueurs can be used as a digestif or apéritif and can also replace chartreuse and St. Germain in cocktails. Bigallet’s Thym is a stunner, with a fresh, botanical, herbal flavour. ($28, 350 ml bottle)

Damilano Cannubi Gift Pack One of the most highly esteemed vineyards in Barolo, Cannubi is a winelover’s dream. The Damilano estate goes back to 1890 and is still family owned. The family also owns a small slice of the famous Cannubi Vineyard. Barolo is one of the kings of the wine world and drinkers can expect black cherry fruit, spice, and plenty of red meat-friendly tannins. This gift pack contains both 2006 and 2007. In addition to drinking well now, these are perfect (and high-scoring) wines for cellaring, possibly for two more decades, if you can wait that long. ($195)

the Whisky Advent Calendar Picture 24 doors of whisky mayhem in a handy gift format. The Canadian exclusive for this super calendar is right here in Calgary at the Kensington Wine Market, but there are only about 250 available. If this is your kind of gift, don’t wait too long! Each 30 ml bottle is enough for a good sized dram or for possibly sharing with a friend. There’s a wide range of styles and distillers, with one special 50-year-old whisky behind one special door. Buy one for yourself, too. Kensington Wine Market. ($300)

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


Bittered Sling Bitters Gift Pack Bitters are experiencing a renaissance and Bittered Sling is one of the best brands for serious bitters fans. Bitters have their roots in medicinal tonics but have come a long way since. A crucial component in many cocktails, they can also be used in cooking, and in non-alcoholic drinks. Despite the name, bitters are not necessarily bitter. Some kinds of bitters are sweet, some spicy and some fruity. The gift pack includes a wide variety, and is sure to include one or two (or more) that you’ll love. Available at Crate & Barrel, The Cookbook Co., Vine Arts and Silk Road Spice Merchants. (approx. $50)

TEQUILA

IT FLOWS IN OUR VEINS Berta Amaretto Di Mombaruzzo Selezione Amaretto goes high end. The Berta Distillery is well known for its grappas, brandies and amarettos. Made from both sweet and bitter almonds, this amaretto is aged in cherry wood barriques, giving it a little extra depth of flavour and elevating it well above the less expensive stuff. Try a splash in whipped cream, desserts, coffee, or whatever catches your fancy during the holiday season. ($68)

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Torres Jaime I. 30 Brandy The Torres family of Spain is well known for making wine, but it also makes one of the best Spanish brandies I have come across. Made in a 30-year-old solera, which utilizes a fractional blending system common in the manufacture of sherry, where older brandies are mixed with newer ones imparting some of their aged character. The brandy is rich and flavourful, with spice and dried fruit notes. The package is quite striking and Gaudi-inspired, making it look as good under the tree as it tastes. ($120)

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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read this

Eloise Wall

Serve up literary delights this holiday season

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Are you looking for that perfect gift for the food lover on your list? Here are five great reads that will take them on culinary journeys through history and around the world. Before “farm to fork” was a well-known phrase, Chef Normand Laprise was using locally produced ingredients in his artful creations at the Montreal eatery, Toqué. After twenty years, Laprise takes us inside his famous restaurant for a look at the recipes and the philosophy that rule Toqué’s kitchen. Home chefs can now replicate the cuisine that Anthony Bourdain claims “raised the profile of Canada to an international level.” Complete with breathtaking photos, Toqué! is an epicurean masterwork. Issues surrounding women, family, friendship and food dominate Jessica Soffer’s Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. Set in New York City, Lorca is searching for a way to her mother`s heart. Victoria is a recently widowed woman suffering from regret. As the two come together to prepare traditional Iraqi dishes, they each learn the meaning of family and forgiveness. Parts of this book are emotionally draining, but the redemptive story will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. Federico Fellini called life a combination of magic and pasta. In her enthralling memoir, On the Noodle Road from Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta, food writer Jen Lin-Liu proves him right. While vacationing in Rome, Lin-Liu is struck by the similarities between the delectable Italian offerings and the noodle dishes her family cooks back home in Beijing. She begins to ponder the origin of the noodle and thus begins her journey over the ancient Silk Road, a 7,000-mile-long network of trade routes dating back to the 13th century. Part travelogue, part social discourse on the status of women and, yes, part cookbook, Lin-Liu takes us on an odyssey we will not soon forget. Lawrence Norfolk’s novel, John Saturnall’s Feast, offers up a repast like no other. With an uncanny sense of smell that allows him to identify each ingredient and the mystifying knowledge of spices and herbs left him by his mother, John becomes the Master Chef of Buckland Manor. It’s the 17th Century and there is war and there is romance but most of all, there is food. As Norfolk himself says: The food became the language of a vexed love story. The dishes became the means to express their emotions across the social divide: quaking puddings, rose-flavoured sugar syrups simmered for hours, quails roasted and dusted in bay-salt then stuffed with pistachio-cream and set in ‘nests’ woven from parsley stalks… The story is magical, the characters are endearing and the details are rich and sumptuous. Recently retired and in his mid-sixties, Ron Gaj decided to indulge his love of food and cooking and return to school. Purple Chicken: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Wannabe Chef is a hilarious and often eye-opening account of his experience as a culinary student. From the interview and admissions process, the endless days of slicing and dicing, to the 180-hour required externship, Gaj’s narrative, while witty and peppered with interesting characters, is definitely food for thought for anyone considering the culinary arts as a profession. Eloise Wall is a freelance and fiction writer. Find her at consummatecopywriter.com.

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kitchen tools

MASTERPIECES RUN IN THE

FAMILY

Debby Waldman

Hooked on gadgets Open FOR LUNCH, DINNER & late night Serving Brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30PM

I feel about kitchen gadgets the way the women on Sex and the City did about shoes. I can’t have enough. I used to blame this on my mother: long before most of the world had heard of waffle-edged choppers, apple corers, and corn-on-the-cob holders, they were standards in her kitchen. But even Mom had only one spatula. I have five, along with three pancake flippers, seven whisks, eight sets of measuring spoons, and six sets of measuring cups. I can’t have a conversation with any of my measuring cups, but that’s only because I haven’t been able to bring myself to shell out $50 US for the Talking Measuring Cup (SpeaksVolumzTM) available online from Meridian Home Products.

local

The TMC is designed to make life easier for people who can’t read the fine print on their speechless measuring cups. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I want to hear from my kitchen gadgets. They’d probably say things like, “Do you really need to be making that cake again?” and “I believe the recipe called for 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, not 3/4.” Also, I’d rather spend my money on new gadgets, like the pepper corer I bought at Barb’s Kitchen Centre (formerly the Bosch Kitchen Centre) in Edmonton a couple of months ago. It’s a plastic circular widget with two pointy blades facing each other. You stab the blades into the top of the pepper and rotate the widget. When you remove it, out comes the top of the pepper, along with the core and seeds. Admittedly, I could do the same thing with a knife. That’s how I’ve been coring peppers for years. But it’s more fun to use a tool designed specifically for that one purpose, especially if it’s fun to look at and, even better, brightly coloured. “Colours are very important,” says Frank Kilian, who, with his brother, Gunnar, owns Kilian International Design in Calgary. “If it doesn’t have the right colour, it won’t sell.” It also won’t sell if it’s drab and fiddly. “It should save you time and make the job enjoyable and be easy to clean,” says Barb’s Kitchen Centre owner Barb Lockert, whose shop stocks more gadgets than I can count. One of the most unusual is a scythe-like apparatus that Lockert began to carry at the request of customers from Trinidad, who use it to remove the meat from a coconut. I suspect it is probably also useful for disemboweling home invaders. The pepper corer looked less threatening than the pseudo-scythe, and was also more affordable (as were the banana slicer, teapot-drip catcher, and combination whisk/flipper), but seeing as how I buy my coconut shredded from the Bulk Barn, I didn’t need a coconut-meat-removing gadget in the first place. Then again, when it comes to gadgets, need isn’t always a factor – at least, not initially. “Quite often it’s something you didn’t actually realize you needed,” Kilian points out. “It’s only when you see it and go, ‘Oh my gosh,’” that you carry it to the cash register. That pretty much describes my experience at Amazing Housewares in Calgary’s Pacific Place Mall.

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=== ===

A friend introduced me to the store, warning me before our trip that I might feel claustrophobic. She wasn’t kidding. I’ve seen bigger coat closets – but not more interesting ones. Owners John and Esther Mui have crammed their postage-stamp of a shop with rice cookers, tortilla presses, meatball makers, enormous stainless steel bowls and tiny bamboo whisks. I bought a whisk, because it was cute and you (well, I, anyway) can never have too many whisks. I also bought a sifter that looks like a layer cake pan, but with a mesh bottom. When I searched for a picture on Google to figure out what it’s called, I discovered that it’s a test sieve, for laboratory analysis. I never realized I needed a tool for laboratory analysis, but now that I’ve used it so often it has a dent (who knew sifting could be so hard on a kitchen tool?), I realize how right Kilian was.


It used to be that you could only buy kitchen gadgets at kitchen stores. Now, just about every store that sells anything to do with food or housewares sells kitchen gadgets. I have a special challenge at Winners, Home Sense, and Bed, Bath and Beyond, where displays near the cash registers are filled with the cutest, most affordable gadgets. These are impulse-buy gadgets, particularly dangerous for weak-willed consumers. I’ve been known to let people cut in front of me in line just so I can spend more time ogling the goods. Maybe if I lived in a tiny apartment, I’d have to limit myself to a couple of knives, a whisk, a garlic press, a cutting board, a peeler, a cheese grater, a heat resistant spatula and a frying pan, which are what Lockert and Kilian recommend for spatially challenged cooks. But as a home-dweller, I can always make space for more gadgets.

Let the festivities begin

Here are some that I find particularly appealing: Microfibre cloths: My Amazing Housewares friend says she’s never gotten her mirrors as clean as she has since using these cloths. I’ve also gotten excellent results using them on my glasses and my computer and iPhone screens. Microfibre salad dryer bag: One of the handiest things I’ve ever used. I wash my salad greens, pat them dry, and store them in this bag in the fridge, where they stay fresh for days, making salad prep much easier.

Your new secret ingredient.

Ice cream scoops with a spring release: Admittedly, when a friend told me that the secret to her perfectly round chocolate chip cookies was an ice cream scoop, I thought she was crazy, not to mention frivolous. But my daughter insisted we adopt the method. Now we own two ice cream scoops – one for big cookies, one for small cookies. Sometimes we use them for ice cream, but mostly we use them for cookies. Or meatballs. If I ever get around to making falafel, I’ll use one for that, too. Tiny condiment bowls: I bought a set a few years ago because they were cute. True to Kilian’s prophecy, they’ve proven indispensible. I use them for food prep and as serving dishes. When a meal involves dips – tacos, Vietnamese salad rolls, artichokes – everyone at the table has his or her own bowl. (It’s not as silly as it sounds; it makes for safe double-dipping.) Baggy rack: This operates on the same principle as the frames people use to hold leaf bags when doing yard work, but instead of holding a 60-litre bag, it holds bags for canning and freezing. It means that if there’s nobody around to lend an extra pair of hands, you can still get the job done. The rack stores easily, taking up very little space, and it won’t beg off early to watch TV or go to a party. Even better, it won’t tell you to stop eating the cake you made using your talking measuring cup.

Debby Waldman is an Edmonton writer who is thinking of buying the talking measuring cup after all, in hopes that it will tell her there’s no room in her gadget drawer for the pineapple corer she’s coveting.

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Ex q u i s i tE s ush i i n a b E au t i fu l , in t imat E s pacE .

ka n pa i s u s h i on 8 t h . . . in thE h Ea rt o f ca lga ry.

one ingredient

Julie Van Rosendaal

Brussels sprouts

A discussion of Brussels sprouts must, right off the bat, address the issue of spelling. They are not brussel sprouts, a common misinterpretation of the word, but Brussels, as in the city in Belgium known for its waffles, chocolate, beer – and, apparently, sprouts. There are few foods as capable of dividing fans and foes than Brussels sprouts. They’re universally loved or despised. The haters argue that they smell like sulphur, a common consequence of overcooking. Maybe these people were over-exposed to those frozen-then-boiled-until-grey Brussels sprouts of our childhood, which were no indication of their potential for crisp greatness. A member of the brassica family, Brussels sprouts may seem more endearing if you think of them as wee cabbages, which is kind-of what they are. At this time of year, you may come across Brussels sprouts on the vine, still intact in their rows on thick, broccoli-like (but generally inedible) stalks. They can be cut off and are slightly fresher for it. The only common practice with Brussels sprouts is to cut an X into their bottoms to allow heat to penetrate the solid inner core. You can do this or not. What I like to do is trim any excess stem and halve large sprouts so that the batch is relatively the same size. In addition, when you’re cooking them in a hot pan, the cut side of a halved sprout has more opportunity for direct contact with the pan, creating delicious crispy bits. If the thought of a large bite is unappealing, these wee cabbages can be broken down by shaving them into fine, delicate shreds or by disassembling them leaf by leaf to be sautéed, caramelized, wilted or tossed raw into salad, where no one but the cook will recognize their presence.

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Like its cousins kale, broccoli, cabbage and collards, Brussels sprouts are hardy, able to withstand the heat of the grill or the roasting pan – some of the most dismissive diners have been converted by sprouts transformed by heat and bacon. Here is a collection of particularly succulent ways with the sprouts of Brussels.


Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad This is my new favourite salad – it’s so crunchy and substantial and I eagerly eat it by the bowlful so that my jaw is generally sore afterward. Unlike most salads, it gets better if it sits for an hour or so before dinner, and leftovers improve in the fridge. Try it with some chopped tart apple or topped with a fried egg. Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit.

Pork & Brussels Sprouts Potstickers Filling: 1 lb. lean ground pork 1 c. finely shredded Brussels sprouts 2 green onions, finely chopped 1 T. soy sauce 2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 bunch leafy green kale

2 t. grated fresh ginger

6-10 big Brussels sprouts

1 t. sesame oil

1/4 c. finely chopped purple onion (optional)

1/2 t. sugar

1/3 c. whole roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped

1 pkg. wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen

1/2 c. grated parmesan or pecorino

chicken stock or water

Dressing:

Dipping sauce:

1/2 c. olive oil

1 T. soy sauce

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 T. seasoned rice vinegar

2 T. grainy mustard

1 t. sugar

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

1 t. Sriracha or other chile sauce

1 t. sugar

1 t. sesame oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, Brussels sprouts, green onions, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sugar and mix the ingredients together with your hands until everything is well combined.

Remove the ribs and thinly slice the kale leaves – do this by stacking or gathering them up in a bunch, then slicing through the stack. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and thinly slice them too, holding onto the stem (and then tossing out the last bit of stem). Put the kale and sprouts into a bowl with the purple onion. To make the dressing, shake all the ingredients together in a jar or whisk them in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing generously over the kale and Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Scatter the salad with the almonds and the parmesan and set it aside for about an hour, or until you’re ready to serve it. Serves 6. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Honey The most basic of Brussels sprouts recipes, this one requires simple roasting, then dressing the vegetable up at the last minute with balsamic and honey. Add a grating of parmesan too, if you like. 2-3 c. Brussels sprouts 1 T. olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 T. balsamic vinegar 2-3 T. honey

canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking

To fill the wontons, place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each wrapper; moisten the edges with water (just use your finger) and fold the wrappers in half over the filling, pressing the edge tightly to seal each one while pressing out any air bubbles. Place the potstickers seam side up on a cookie sheet, pressing them lightly to flatten the bottom, and cover them with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out. (Dumplings can be prepared up to this point, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or they can be frozen.) When you’re ready to cook the potstickers, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet or sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Place about half the dumplings at a time in the skillet, flatside-down, and cook them for a minute or two, until they’re deep golden brown on the bottom. Developing a nice bottom crust will help them release easily from the pan. Don’t crowd the pan. Pour about 1/4 c. stock or water into the pan. Cover it, reduce the heat to medium and cook the dumplings for about 5 minutes – this will allow them to steam, cooking them through. Remove the potstickers carefully from the pan, put them on a platter and keep them warm while you cook the remainder. To make the dipping sauce, stir the ingredients together in a small dish. Serve the potstickers as soon as they’re all cooked, with the sauce. Makes 2 to 3 dozen potstickers.

grated parmesan to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Trim the stem ends of your Brussels sprouts and cut any large ones in half. Toss the sprouts in oil, then add salt and pepper. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment or foil if you want to minimize cleanup) and roast them for 20 minutes, or until they’re tender and starting to char on the edges. Remove the sprouts from the oven, transfer them to a bowl, and toss them in balsamic vinegar and honey while they’re still warm. Serve them immediately, sprinkled with parmesan if you like. Serves 4 to 6. 

continued on page 28 CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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one ingredient Brussels Sprouts continued from page 27

Pasta with Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Feta This recipe came from my friend Jan in Toronto, who disguises her Brussels sprouts as thinly sliced leeks in order for her family to accept them. I added bacon, because it gets along with pasta and Brussels sprouts so well. Feta is a bit sharp and salty; chèvre melts into the pasta, coating it like a cheesy sauce. 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed 1 lb. spaghetti or other dry pasta 6-8 slices bacon, chopped 1 T. butter or olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream 1/2 c. crumbled feta or chèvre

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts with a sharp knife or the shredding attachment of your food processor. Set them aside. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions, or until it’s al dente. Reserve 1/4 c. of the pasta water when you drain the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the pieces are crisp, remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside, leaving the drippings in the pan. Add the butter to the skillet, then add the Brussels sprouts. Cook them for 5-7 minutes, tossing as needed and seasoning with salt and pepper, until they’re soft and starting to turn golden on the edges. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the Brussels sprouts, along with the cream. Toss to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the pasta and sprouts seem a bit dry – toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning (this dish loves pepper) and top the pasta with feta or chèvre, tossing it once or twice. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. ď ą

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Garlicky Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts Creamy roasted cauliflower soup topped with buttery caramelized Brussels sprouts is a great way to start a special dinner. Soup: 1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets olive oil 1 T. butter 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 c. (1 L) chicken stock salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 c. half & half or whipping cream (optional)

Browned Butter Brussels Sprouts: 1/4 c. butter 10-15 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the cauliflower with the oil and spread it out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; roast it for 20-30 minutes, until it’s soft and starting to turn golden. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil with the butter over medium-high heat and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, until it’s soft. Add the garlic and cook the mixture for another minute. Add the roasted cauliflower, chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the veggies are very tender. Remove the soup from the heat, add the cream and purÊe with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. To make the Brussels sprouts, heat the butter in a small skillet until it foams, then starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Add the Brussels sprouts and garlic and cook them, tossing with tongs, for a few minutes, until they’re soft and golden. Remove them from the heat. Serve the soup topped with the buttered Brussels sprouts and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6.


CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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well matched

clams fennel saffron bay leaves garlic wine lemon prawns onion halibut almonds Seafood Stew with Fennel, Saffron and Bay Leaves The addition of crushed toasted almonds creates a rich broth with a nutty sweetness that goes perfectly with the flavour of the fennel. Feel free to substitute pretty much any seafood that you like. 1/4 c. olive oil 1 onion, finely diced 2 large fennel bulbs, cores removed and thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 fresh bay leaves 1 t. fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed 1 c. dry white wine 4 c. fish stock 1 large pinch saffron threads infused in 1 T. hot water

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1/2 c. blanched almonds, toasted and roughly ground in a mortar and pestle kosher salt and chile flakes to taste 1 lb. halibut, cut into 1-inch chunks 1 lb. clams, cleaned 1 lb. prawns, shells removed, tails on

Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high; add the olive oil and the onions and sauté for 15-20 minutes, until soft and starting to brown on the edges. Add the fennel, garlic, bay leaves and fennel seeds. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the fennel has softened and become fragrant. Add the wine, simmer for 5 minutes, then add the fish stock and the saffron water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste the broth and season it with salt and chile flakes. Add the halibut, clams and prawns, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until everything has just barely cooked and the clams have all opened. Gently stir in the lemon juice, taste for seasoning and serve immediately with lots of toasted bread to sop up the broth. Serves 4 to 6.

juice of one lemon

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Pair this dish with:

Clos du Soleil Capella (Canada) $30 This is a bordeaux blend, made in the Similkameen Valley, that offers delicate lemon notes with hints of orange blossom. The stone fruits are light and refreshing, and lead to a delicately mineral finish.

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Clos de la Roilette Fleurie (France) $23 This is a well-made Beaujolais hailing from the appellation Fleurie. The wine is fruit driven and soft, maintaining a nice balance between the tannins and acidity. A fantastic complement to fish dishes if a red wine is required.


Matthew Altizer

Made-in-heaven food and wine pairings

sausage lemon

harissa

cumin yogurt

arugula passata buttermilk fennel couscous orange blossom water

Israeli Couscous with Merguez Sausage, Smoky Harissa and Spiced Buttermilk You might think that ingredients like orange blossom water and rose water are only used in sweets and pastries, but combined with the robust Moroccan flavours of harissa and cumin, the orange blossom water provides balance and freshness to the dish. 4 c. chicken stock 1/2 cinnamon stick 1 t. crushed fennel seeds salt and chile flakes to taste 2 c. Israeli couscous 3 T. harissa paste 3/4 c. tomato passata (available in Italian and specialty food stores), or puréed tomatoes 1/2 c. Greek yogurt 1/4 c. buttermilk 1 t. ground cumin 8 merguez sausages (available at farmers’ markets and specialty stores) 1-2 t. orange blossom water olive oil for drizzling 1 bunch arugula, or other greens, washed and dried 1 lemon, cut into wedges olive oil to drizzle

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat along with the cinnamon, fennel seeds, a hearty pinch of salt and some chile flakes. When the stock comes to a boil, add the couscous and cover. Cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork, cover and set aside. While the couscous is cooking, mix the harissa and the passata together in a small bowl, season with salt to taste and set aside. Whisk the yogurt together with the buttermilk and cumin, season with salt and set aside. To cook the sausages, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cook for 7-10 minutes, until they turn golden brown. To assemble the dish, tip the couscous out onto a large serving platter, sprinkle lightly with the orange blossom water and then arrange the sausages on top. Spoon the buttermilk and tomato sauce over the couscous and sausages, and lay the greens and wedges of lemon on the side of the platter. Finish the dish with a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main.

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Pair this dish with:

Joh Jos Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett (Mosel, Germany) $33 This wine offers pleasant marmalade aromas with delicate hints of lemon and lime. The palate is filled with rich stone fruits and clean mineral tones, the finish is lengthy and quite fruit driven. Scherrer Pinot Noir (California, USA) $52 This pinot noir offers wild and earthy raspberry notes with delicate crushed cranberry undertones. The palate is filled with black cherries and plums, offering a delicate acidity on the mid-palate. The finish is slightly spicy but quite fruit driven.

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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“20 for 20” goodies

In keeping with our 20th anniversary theme, here are 20 ways for you to spoil your loved ones – and yourself – this holiday season. This list is so fun, even the fat guy in the bright red suit is going to use it – he’s stocking up on the baking sheets for Mrs. Claus and whisky cakes for the staff party...

that foodies love to give and receive. Make notes!

A new kind of Christmas cake

by Karen Anderson

Holy City inspires cookbook No matter what your religious background you’ll find food to love in Jerusalem – A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. The Arab west and Jewish east Jerusalem-born friends have created a cross-cultural photo essay and recipes of the food they were raised on and love to make in their five London restaurants. Each dish we’ve tried leaves us in a state of blissful gratitude. Even the authors admit to imagining a peace for their city brought about by the unifying force of food. May that force be with them. Jerusalem – A Cookbook, $39.95, The Cookbook Co. Cooks

Is this platter oaky? Give this gorgeous platter to the friend who always asks, “Does this wine taste oaky?” and tell them that you’re not sure about the wine but the platter is definitely oaky. Made by Australian designer Cathy Davison in her Kaleden, B.C., studio, each platter is created from staves of recycled wine barrels and is as unique as the wines that were made in those barrels. The handles are made from silverware pieces found at antique stores throughout the Okanagan. Use the platter to stage a seasonal centerpiece or while away an afternoon by the fire with cheese and crackers and a good oaky red. Wineplanks platter with handles, $80, wineplanks.com

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Alberta Whisky Cake has become a yuletide tradition around our home. It’s nice to know when you’re eating one that you’re supporting several local companies with your purchase, including Highwood Distillers who make their whisky from grain grown within a few kilometers of the distillery in High River. The cakes come in three sizes and two flavours. We love the “Malted Maple” one, as it oozes with the aroma of the rich flavours of whisky and maple, but the chocolate “Whisky Runner” is heaven with an after-dinner glass of port. Buy one for a friend; buy two for yourself. Alberta Whisky Cakes, 3 sizes ranging from 5 oz to 4 lbs, $10 - $65, albertawhiskycake.com

Cob Ovens are hot! Ashley Lubyk and Heather Noakes of Dirt Craft Natural Building provide workshops on how to build your own backyard wood-fired cob oven. Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, straw and dirt. Participants first attend a workshop where they help build someone’s oven, then graduate to host a workshop in their own back yard. Cooking in a cob oven is a great way to enjoy a social evening with friends. You can start with pizza when the oven is hot, throw in a stew and some bread, and then finish off the evening with a pie. An oven can usually be built and decorated for about $800, where some imported wood-fired ovens can cost $8,000 or more. Cob Oven Workshop Gift Certificates, $99, dirtcraft.ca

‘Tis the seasoning… Salt and pepper are key to a well-seasoned dish. We love these salt and pepper mills from Maine’s Fletchers’ Mill. They have sturdy gears made with stainless steel to grind the pepper and nylon to crush the salt yet stand up to its corrosive power. (Hint: this could be your new go-to gift for the wedding season) Fletchers’ Mill Salt and Pepper Mills, $50 - $70/mill, depending on size, Silk Road Spice Merchants


Golden Bless for the holidays

Silver bells, silver Bodum

If your holidays can’t be blissful, they can at least be “blessful” with Golden Bless Olive Oil in your home. Calgarian Gus Kolias is the head of sales for Golden Bless, he imports the oil from his cousin Theodoros Karras’s family grove in Greece. Karras cold presses the Manaki, Koroneiki and Athenolia hand-picked olives to make their 100% extra virgin oil with less than 0.8% acidity. Steam green beans, dice pimentos and sauté both in Golden Bless oil with freshly chopped garlic; add fresh parsley and serve these golden blessed beans as your new favourite holiday dinner side dish.

This shiny stainless steel Bodum Columbia Coffee Maker will make a festive addition to anyone’s table and will keep the French press coffee it makes nice and warm on cold winter mornings. The durability of the stainless steel construction should allow it to last much longer than previous glass iterations. A tip for brewing is to steep coarse grounds for four minutes and then remove the crust at the top before applying the filter. Clean up will be easier. The coffee has the full body of a good extraction – that’s coffee with a silver lining.

Golden Bless Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $10.99/500ml, Bridgeland Market

Bodum Columbia Coffee Maker, 8 cup size, $87.99, Zest Kitchenware

Oversized and overjoyed People who cook a lot and make big batches of everything will be overjoyed with these oversized utensils for high performance utility. Designer Geoff Lilge took a cue from his chef wife Cindy Lazarenko that an off-set handle and increased length would greatly decrease the wear and tear on her overused chef’s wrists. Their company, On Our Table, produces these sturdy implements in a full 15 inches of solid walnut. Now, when someone wants holiday leftovers turned into turkey soup, you’ll be in an improved position to deliver thanks to a clever designer who listens to his favourite cook. On Our Table Utensils, $125/set of 3, onourtable.ca

Blue Christmas The cool factor on this bucket alone will keep the ice from melting as the action heats up on your home-for-the-holidays entertaining circuit. Designed by hot U.K. indie designer Aaron Probyn, the Orb ice bucket combines chic vintage design elements with an unexpected twist in choice of materials. The transparent icy blue glass and brushed stainless lid could inspire a Blue Christmas Martini with 2 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. Blue Curacao, 1/2 oz. elderflower cordial and 1 oz. lime juice. Shake with ice, strain and serve with a few blueberries for good measure. Orb Ice Bucket, $49.95, Crate and Barrel

Santa’s bread workshop Sidewalk Citizen Bakery owner Aviv Fried makes amazing sourdough bread. He travelled the world to learn from masters and now bakers are coming from around the world to learn from him. Give the bread baker you love a gift certificate to Fried’s monthly bread-baking workshops. The classes are hands-on, include pizza with delectable toppings fresh from the oven, and at the end of the evening everyone leaves with their own sourdough starter and a few loaves of freshly baked bread. Buy a gift certificate by phone or in person at the main bakery and let your wannabee bread baker fit it into his schedule. Photos by Ryan Karr. Sidewalk Citizen bread baking experience gift certificate, $85, 403-400-3067 or at 5524 - 1A St SW continued on page 34 CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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stocking stuffers

continued from page 33

Pick of the party Stick big fat shrimp that have been coated in hot sauce and wrapped with a basil leaf and prosciutto on these classy bamboo appetizer skewers and broil on both sides ‘til crispy – they’ll be the pick of the party. Gourmet Warehouse bamboo appetizer skewers, $5.95/50 pack, Savour Fine Foods

A cup that doth not runneth (the landfill) over KeepCups are cute, they fit under a barista machine’s spout and they’re good for the environment. Designed by an Australian mom, Abigail Forsyth, with her kids’ future in mind and distributed across Canada by Calgary’s own Eight Ounce Coffee Company, these cups really are keepers. KeepCup, many barista-ready sizes, $12 -$16, Café Rosso

Signature wines Break the ice at your party by asking your guests to autograph their wine glasses and maybe doodle a little too with this wine glass writer. Signing names should help you and everyone else keep track of your glasses. If the ice really thaws, someone might even write his phone number on yours. Save the phone number and rest assured the ink comes off easily with a soapy sponge. Wine Glass Writer, $11 for 3 colours, CRMR at Home

Artisan candy caramels These Fleur de Sel Caramels from Poor Boy Candy will have the recipient moaning with the pleasure of each rich creamy mouthful. Perhaps that ability to get a person so in touch with their emotions is why they were recently featured in the prestigious gift baskets at the Emmys. The Poor Boy owners may have to rename the company the way their hand-crafted caramels and candy are selling. Meanwhile, we say it’s a poor boy who doesn’t get some of these in his stocking! Poor Boy Fleur de Sel Caramels, $25, Inspirati Fine Linens

Preserving tradition Innisfail Growers grows a wide assortment of vegetables and preserves any excess using recipes that have been handed down for generations. Favourites include the pickled asparagus and the beets. Find them at their stall in The Calgary Farmers’ Market. A great way to add local to someone’s stocking and their holiday table too. Innisfail Growers preserves, $6-$16, Calgary Farmers’ Market continued on page 36

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


Entertaining Simply Elegant

Our 2013 Holiday Collection cookbook is now available.

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Order your copy today Visit atcoblueflamekitchen.com or call 1.800.840.3393 CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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this! Unwrap

stocking stuffers

continued from page 34

Aged and available No, we aren’t describing Santa, but you could use these words to describe a great scotch. If you like your scotch chilled but not watered down from ice rocks, these Chill’n Rocks are for you. Keep them in the freezer, pop them into your next scotch and wax poetic about its undiluted peaty characteristics ‘til Robbie Burns day. Intercontinental Chill’n Stones, $19.99/set of 9, Kilian International Design

Maple fix At last, thanks to the purists at Turkey Hill, you can have maple syrup that’s portable. Think about this as a gift for the ambitious backpacker, the pancake breakfast aficionado or just someone who likes a bowl of oatmeal mid-morning at work. Each squeeze from this tube will keep your topping sweet and pure. To thy country’s syrup be true. Turkey Hill Maple Syrup Tube, 100 ml, $4.90, Zest Kitchenware

The good gadget The Lékué citrus sprayer is a good gadget because it actually does what it’s supposed to do. Cut the top off a piece of citrus and screw the sprayer directly into the fruit. Use the large pump for grapefruit or orange and the small one for lemons and limes. One squeeze of the pump will treat your salads, seafood or cocktails to the heightened flavour of a light citrus mist. January is prime citrus month – orange you glad? Lékué citrus sprayer, $20, CRMR at Home

Slippery conditions for baking CookRight baking sheets are made in Calgary. Each package contains three nonstick sheets that can be used instead of parchment or foil for baking, roasting, grilling or microwaving. They clean up in a breeze and roll up neatly for storage. Now you can reuse the sheets and reduce both the time you spend cleaning and the number of trips to the trashcan. CookRight baking sheets, $29.99/package of 3, Zest Kitchenware

Forget about roasting chestnuts Go for this glorious chestnut honey instead. This intensely flavoured, rich amber chestnut-infused honey is one of four types grown organically on Sting’s Venuta il Palagio estate in Tuscany. Honey is known to be good for your voice, after all, so apply liberally and enjoy belting out those holiday melodies. Il Palagio Chestnut Honey, $17.95, michaelgreen@wineboy.ca (Hint: If you really like the honey you can rent a guest villa on Sting and Trudy Styler’s Il Palagio estate in the hills outside Florence and let your wallet take the sting. Guest villa rentals, with a chance to hang with Sting, starts at $5500 CDN/week, palagioproducts.com. If you put this in someone’s stocking, you won’t need to do any other holiday shopping... for her.) ✤

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Karen Anderson owns Calgary Food Tours, calgaryfoodtours.com.


Give the gift of “ahhh” This holiday season, put some spa under the tree. With treatments ranging from massage, nail care and facials to specialized treatments for men, teens and couples, you’ll always find the perfect fit. Gift certificates are available online

thesparitual.com

106 Crowfoot Terrace NW | Calgary, AB | 403.547.9558

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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This Year it’s Turkey... A traditiona l Chri s tma s dinner by Ellen Kelly illustration by Mark Cromwell

C o o king t h e B ird

I was 13 before we cooked a turkey for Christmas dinner; it was a very exciting prospect to have a genuine storeThe M en bought bird instead of something we might have to pick u T u rkey buckshot out of. My grandfather was an avid hunter of Gravy wild fowl, and for many years we dutifully devoured the Cranbe majestic Canada goose at every holiday opportunity. rry Sau ce My grandmother did a heroic job of cooking these some- Mashed Pot atoes Brusse times-gamey birds, but I was always more than a little ls Spro uts envious of my friends’ holiday turkey groaning boards. and Pumpk

in Pie

The most important thing to keep in mind about roasting a turkey, as with most other foods, is to not overcook it. Remember, you can cook it more, but you can’t cook it less. Too cryptic? Get an instant-read thermometer, one of a cook’s best friends. The Joy of Cooking suggests 20 to 25 minutes per pound for small, unstuffed turkeys (under 6 lbs.) and 15 to 20 minutes per pound for larger birds. Add about 30 minutes to the total cooking time for a stuffed bird. I find that our altitude requires a little extra cooking time, so be vigilant. This is where the handy-dandy internal thermometer comes in. Cook to an internal temperature of 180°F (thermometer inserted into the centre of the inner thigh muscle) with the stuffing reaching an internal temperature of at least 165°F. After you remove the bird from the oven, cover it loosely with foil and allow it to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving. A tip for the “thawing fearful” – buy a fresh turkey. Fresh tastes many times better than frozen and you won’t have to get up at 3 a.m. to start the thaw. There are some who recommend not stuffing the bird at all but, instead, baking the dressing separately because of the perceived difficulty in achieving, for safety’s sake, the right internal temperature. I usually do both – we love stuffing. Just follow the internal temperature instructions above. I stand the beast on its “head” in the sink, rub the interior with lemon, salt and pepper and shovel the cooled dressing, loosely (it expands), into its nether regions. Do this just before the bird goes into the oven. Metal skewers are a good way to secure the stuffed bird, but 14” kebab skewers will stick out all over the place and might skewer you, so don’t use them. Bamboo skewers will burn.

Not to mention that a Canada goose does not translate well into sandwiches – a bit too greasy, I think. Therein lay the deciding factor. Spending a lot of time preparing a meal that did not result in sandwich makings was, in my mother’s opinion, a wasted opportunity. I have come to share her conviction, at least in regard to the ubiquitous holiday bird. There are few pleasures to compare with turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day. It may be a bit difficult to think of today’s over-developed turkey as a noble bird, deserving of admiration beyond a tasty sandwich. However, Benjamin Franklin called it the “true, original native” fowl and thought so well of the wild turkey that he wanted it, instead of the eagle, to represent the United States. The Aztecs raised a domestic version of the wild bird that had been traipsing across the Americas for two million years prior. These birds were then “discovered” and introduced to Europe by conquistadors in the 16th century. Later, Brillat-Savarin would regard the turkey as one of the finest gifts from the old world to the new. Holiday turkey preparation, complete with stuffing, has undergone various trends over the years, but you can’t run before you walk. Dominating the bird is the first step; you can add the frills later if you like. After many years of fiddling with stuffing recipes, shoving compound butters under turkey skin, turning the poor thing upside down and sideways, I have come to the conclusion that a simple roast bird with a straight-ahead bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy and one or two simple side dishes is pretty hard to beat.

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

A turkey will brown more evenly if it’s roasted on one side first, then turned to the other and, lastly, roasted breast up. If you don’t mind that the back of the bird is not as bronzed as the breast and legs, you needn’t bother with all the turning, but just roast it breast up. If the breast is turning beautifully browned before the turkey is entirely done, loosely cover it with a doubled sheet of foil. If you don’t have a rack in your roaster, make a “rack” by tossing in large chunks of onion, carrot and celery and laying the bird on top. This is my preferred method. It will elevate your turkey and add flavour to the cooking bird and your gravy. Rubbing a softened compound (flavoured) butter all over Mr. Turkey before consigning him to the oven can’t hurt, but in order to impart any substantial additional flavour to the meat, you must put it under the skin in direct contact with the flesh. Before you truss the bird, gently work a large wooden spoon under the skin over the breast. Make flat patties of the flavoured butter and carefully insert them between the skin and the breast, patting the skin smooth on top. Alternately you could just baste the bird religiously every 15 to 20 minutes until done. continued on page 40


Here’s a very delicous

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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This Year it’s Turkey...

continued from page 38

B read St u ffing Melt 1/2 c. butter in a large, heavy sauté pan. Add 1 c. chopped shallots (yellow onion in a pinch), 1/2 c. chopped celery with leaves and 3-4 T. chopped fresh herbs consisting of sage, parsley, tarragon, sweet marjoram and summer savoury, heavy on the sage. Cook just until the shallots are wilted. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 c. chopped tart apple, 1 c. cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage (optional), salt and pepper and any nuts you may want to use (1/2 c. toasted pine nuts are interesting). Add more butter, up to another 1 to 1-1/2 cups (relax, it’s the holidays!) and finally add 10-12 c. fresh, lightly toasted sourdough croutons. Toss well and refrigerate until the bird is ready to stuff. This is a good time to utilize the neck and giblets by putting them in a saucepan with 6 c. of water, 1 large coarsely chopped onion, 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 large chopped carrot, 1 bay leaf, parsley, thyme, salt and a few black peppercorns. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. Strain and reserve the stock for gravy. The giblets can be chopped and added to the gravy, if you like.

G ra v y Once you’ve moved the perfectly cooked bird from the roasting pan to a large warm platter, cover it loosely with foil. I make the gravy in the same pan with the mirepoix vegetables I used as a “rack” to rest the bird on. Add some of the potato water and stock you made earlier (remember the giblets?) and begin to scrape up the tasty bits on the bottom of the roaster. Add as much liquid as you like; it’s nice to have lots of gravy. Continue to cook, constantly scraping, until you’re happy with the flavour. If the gravy is not as thick as you like it, raise the heat and reduce it until it is. If it gets too thick, add more liquid. Taste and season the gravy with salt and pepper, then strain into a gravy boat or pitcher to serve. An elegant way to finish the gravy is to whisk in, bit by bit, a small amount of beurre manie (softened butter and flour in equal parts, worked into a paste) to thicken and add a gloss to the sauce.

M a s h ed P o tat o e s Peel and quarter, if large, or halve, if smaller, enough potatoes to fit easily in the pot you want to use. Cover the potatoes with water or no-sodium stock; add a bay leaf and a goodly amount of salt. Bring to a boil and toss in 3 or 4 whole peeled garlic cloves. Cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and the garlic is soft. Remove the bay leaf and drain, reserving the liquid for gravy making. Put the pot, with the potatoes, back on low heat and add milk, cream or crème fraîche (gasp!), and a whack of butter, a generous grating of nutmeg and salt and freshly ground pepper. Mash. Taste. Add more cream, butter, seasoning as required. Repeat. (Play “What’s in the Potatoes?” with your family or dinner guests by throwing in a couple of peeled parsnips, chunks of celeriac or sweet potato with the white potatoes before boiling.)

C ranberry Sa u ce For many, cranberry sauce is a must with roast turkey, and I’m happy to report that it’s dead easy to make from scratch. Put that can down! All you really need to do is simmer a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries in 1-1/2 to 2 c. water, cranberry juice or orange juice and 1 to 1-1/2 c. white or brown sugar until they start to pop and get jammy. Add a pinch of salt to balance the flavours, and Bob’s your uncle. If you want to get fancy (and why not, I say), you can add orange or lemon zest, grated fresh ginger, a pinch or two of allspice and/or cinnamon (Chinese Five Spice powder is interesting), a handful of currants and/or chopped dried apricots, a grated apple – you get the idea. This makes a nice gift too. Put it in jars and process, as you would jam.

D e l ectab l e , O v en - R o a s ted B r u s s e l s Spr o u t s When buying the sprouts, choose the tiniest you can find. Trim and cut larger ones in half if you can’t. Toss them in olive oil and spread them out on a foil-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle the sprouts with a pinch of sugar, kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Roast at high heat until well browned and a little crispy. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Brussels sprouts cooked this way. They’re harder to stop eating than salted peanuts.

Don’t forget dessert. ‘Tis the season and holiday sweets abound: cookies, squares, chocolates and candies, fruit cakes, coffee cakes and cinnamon buns galore. But in my grandparents’ house, whatever else was brought to the table after the savoury portion of the meal wound down wasn’t dessert unless it was pie.

Boozy B o u rb o n P u mpkin P ie wit h B r o wn S u gar B o u rb o n W h ipped C ream This filling recipe makes two pies. Go ahead and use your favourite short crust recipe, but remember that Tenderflake makes a decent ready-to-bake crust, so don’t eschew pie just because you don’t want to bother making a crust from scratch. Nobody likes a martyr! 3-1/2 c. canned pumpkin 1/4 c. bourbon 5 eggs 1 c. brown sugar, packed 1-1/4 c. half & half cream 1 t. salt 3 t. ground cinnamon 1-1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 t. ground ginger 1/4 t. ground cloves

Combine the bourbon with the pumpkin. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the pumpkin along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Pour into two chilled unbaked pie shells. Bake at 450°F. for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F. and continue baking for 45-50 minutes longer, or until the point of a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve topped generously with whipped cream. Whipped cream: Chill the beaters and the bowl if you can, but definitely start with very cold cream. 1 c. whipping cream pinch of salt 1/4 t. vanilla 1-2 T. brown sugar 1 T. bourbon

Beat the cream until you have soft peaks. Fold in the salt, sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Dollop generously upon wedges of pumpkin pie. ✤

Make a large tossed salad, put out pickles and olives and a basket of fresh crusty buns, set the table with your best china, then sit down and break bread with the people you love. Oh yes, and enjoy the sandwiches on Boxing Day! With lots of cranberry sauce.

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Ellen Kelly is a chef and regular contributor to City Palate.


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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

41


My Favourite

decadent

Dish

Overindulgence defines the entertaining season, but we like to overindulge at other times of the year too – nothing wrong with that. And we like to dive into decadent eating now and then... or frequently, even. So we asked some of our fave chefs and foodies to share a favourite decadent dish, which we share with you, just in case you like to confine your decadent indulgences to the overindulging season!

From chef Dave Bohati, MARKET

From chef Dwayne Ennest, Open Range and Big Fish

Pork Belly and Scallops

East Coast Lamb and Lobster Burger with Cambozola, Guacamole and Roasted Corn Sundried Tomato Salsa

Pork Belly: 5 lb. pork belly 2 c. brown sugar 2 c. salt oil for cooking diced carrots, onions and celery for a mirepoix fresh thyme, peppercorns, crushed garlic for braising liquid 4 - 6 c. chicken stock 24 large scallops salt and pepper 2 T. clarified butter

“Mo-Lacquer”Glaze: 1/2 c. white sugar 1-1/2 T. water 4-1/2 T. brandy 1-1/2 T. molasses 3 T. maple syrup 2 c. reduced pork belly braising liquid

First, cure the pork belly for 12 hours. Mix the brown sugar and salt together well and pat it all over the pork belly, giving the belly a nice layer. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use. After 12 hours, rinse the belly and pat it dry. Remove the skin and sear the belly in oil over high heat. Put it into a dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot. Prepare a braising liquid with the mirepoix vegetables, thyme, peppercorns, crushed garlic cloves and about 4 to 6 cups of chicken stock.

42

Heat the oven to 300°F. and cover the belly with the braising liquid. Cover and braise until fall-apart tender. Check the belly after 4 hours. When fall-apart tender, cool the belly in its liquid. When the belly is about halfway cooled, after about 2 hours, pull it out of the liquid and press it between two sheet pans for a nice, dense, compact piece of pork. Set aside. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve and reduce it to about 2 cups. Reserve. To make the glaze, in a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and water and caramelize until hard ball stage or 250°F. on a candy thermometer. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for about 1 hour, or until the glaze coats a spoon, like a cough syrup. Keep warm.

Lamb Burgers:

Guacamole:

5 lbs. ground lamb

6 avocados

2 large white onions, coarsely chopped

1 large red onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves

6 oz. lime juice (3-4 limes)

1/4 c. chopped parsley

2 T. chopped cilantro

1 thick slice of red onion, diced fine

1 t. ground cumin

1/4 c. HP sauce

3 roasted jalapeño chiles, de-seeded, de-veined, and minced

2 T. Worcestershire sauce 1 T. Tabasco sauce 2 eggs 1 t. ground New Mexican chile powder 1 c. panko 2 T. coarse sea salt

Cut the pork belly into portions of about 6 oz. each – a generous 6 oz. is good! Lacquer the pieces of pork belly well with the glaze before roasting in a 350°F. oven 15 to 20 minutes. Remove, lacquer once more, and keep warm.

2 oz. per burger of fresh East Coast lobster meat (barely cooked)

Pat the scallops dry, season with salt and pepper, and sear in a hot sauté pan in the clarified butter until lightly caramelized on the outside and cooked to a medium doneness (I find that the best way to enjoy them).

Roast the onion and garlic in a 375°F. oven until tender and a bit caramelized, then purée them. Put the lamb in a large bowl, add the onion and garlic and the rest of the ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Scoop about 8 oz. of the mixture – about the size of a baseball – and form it into plump patties. Grill the burgers until just cooked throughout. You want them well cooked but still plump and juicy.

Serve the pork belly and scallops with fresh, seasonal vegetables, or whatever looks tasty in November and December! Serves 8. (Note: You’ll have leftover pork belly that make decadent PBLT sandwiches – pork belly lettuce tomato. You can also reheat it with the leftover glaze. Mmmmm, decadent!)

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

slim slabs of cambozola cheese guacamole (recipe right) roasted corn sundried tomato salsa (recipe right)

To build the burgers, place them on your favourite toothsome burger buns, top with a slab of cambozola cheese to melt it a bit, top with 2 oz. of lobster meat and finish with the salsa and guacamole. Purely rich and decadent! Serves 10.

1 T. coarse sea salt

Peel and dice the avocados and combine them with the rest of the ingredients until well mixed. Let stand 30 minutes. Roasted Corn Sundried Tomato Salsa: 4 cobs of corn, blanched in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, finished on the grill and kernels sliced off (about 1 cup of kernels) 1 c. sundried tomatoes 1 large red onion, diced fine 2 T. lime juice 2 T. chopped cilantro 1 English cucumber, diced 3 roasted jalapeño chiles, minced 1 T. coarse sea salt

Soak the sundried tomatoes in warm water until soft. Drain and dice them. Combine all the ingredients until well mixed and let stand 30 minutes. continued on page 44


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43


Fresh Produce

Antipasti

In-store Bakery

Specialty Foods Olive Oils Balsamics Catering

My Favourite continued from page 42

decadent

From chef Xavier Lacaze, Briggs Kitchen & Bar

From chef Kyle Groves, Catch & The Oyster Bar

Seared Foie Gras with Maple Roasted Pears and Brioche Croutons

Butter Poached Lobster with Fermented Black Bean Sauce

3 oz. whole almonds, skin on

thinly sliced green onions

4 fresh, ripe pears

Sauce:

8 oz. butter, divided equally

1 whole garlic head, cloves peeled

4 T. sugar

8 oz. ginger root, peeled

1/3 c. maple syrup

12 oz. soy sauce

1/3 c. white wine

6 oz. sugar

1 c. reduced brown stock (veal or beef cooked to a thick sauce)

1-1/2 T. Sichuan peppercorns

8 thick slices of brioche (from a bakery such as Manuel Latruwe), or other soft bread

1-1/2 T. cornstarch

Hot &Cold Lunches

Cappuccino Dessert Bar

Visit Lina’s for the real

ItaLIan experience. Watch for the arrival of our panettone!

4 1-1/2 lb. lobsters

4 c. vegetable stock

1 lb. foie gras, approx. (or one whole lobe), cut into 8 slices

8 oz. fermented black beans (from Asian markets)

salt and black pepper

Blend the garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Sweat the mixture, covered, over low heat, about 2 to 3 minutes, to cook it without browning, then add the soy sauce and sugar. Boil the peppercorns in the vegetable stock until they are soft, then blend them in the stock. Add the peppercorn stock to the ginger and soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil.

Toast the almonds for 10 minutes in a 325°F. oven, then crush them roughly with a knife and set them aside.

Olives Deli Meats &Cheeses Gift Baskets

Dish

Halve the pears, de-seed them, and cut each half into 4 wedges. In a large frying pan, melt half of the butter. Add the pears and the sugar. Cook on high heat, stirring often without breaking the pieces of fruit. Once the pears start getting a bit of colour, add the maple syrup. Boil for a minute until thickened, then “deglaze” with the white wine. Cook until thickened again, then add the reduced brown stock. Boil for a minute, then turn the heat off. Set aside. Melt the other half of the butter and spread it on the brioche slices, then trim the edges of each piece. Set your oven to broil and toast the brioche until golden brown – keep an eye on it because it colours quickly! Remove and set aside. Heat 2 large frying pans on high heat. Season the foie gras slices generously with salt and pepper. When the pans are “smoking” hot, place the slices carefully in the pans, 4 in each pan. Cook for approx. 30 seconds, then carefully flip on the other side. Cook for 30 more seconds and turn the heat off. Transfer the foie gras onto a paper towel. To serve, place the brioche on a serving platter or on 8 plates. Place the pears on top and finish with the foie gras. Drizzle with the sauce left from the pears. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of each dish and serve immediately. Serves 8 as an appetizer. (Note: This recipe works very well for most fruits with a firm flesh, like plums, apples and peaches.)

Whisk the cornstarch into 8 oz. cold water to make a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the hot sauce and bring back to a boil to thicken a bit. Add the black beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep warm. Butter Poached Lobsters: Cook four 1-1/2 lb. lobsters in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook 2 minutes. Remove the lobsters and put them in ice water to cool. Remove the meat from the tail and claws, keeping the meat whole. Place the lobster meat into buerre monté (recipe follows) and warm it until it’s cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Ensure you maintain a gentle heat to avoid toughening the lobster meat. To serve, place the lobster on 4 plates. Spoon the black bean sauce over the lobster meat and top with thinly sliced green onion. Add sautéed vegetables, such as snap peas and broccoli that have been cooked with some sesame oil. Serves 4. Buerre Monté: In a non-reactive saucepan, bring 1-1/2 T. water to a boil, then whisk in 2 lbs. cold, salted butter, cut into cubes. Whisk the cubes in one at a time. Once the butter has been whisked in, heat it until just below the boiling point and maintain that heat.

To all our cusTomers:

Merry Christmas &

all the best in 2014!

2202 Centre St NE • 403.277.9166 • www.linasmarket.com

44

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

City Palate publisher/editor Kathy Richardier considers this the height of decadent eating – whole lobsters done on the grill over charcoal. She recently gathered with seven family/friends and seven 2-lb. lobsters from Boyd’s Lobster Shop, pre-cooked for 5 minutes. She cracked the claws and split the tails, drizzled the exposed meat in luscious extra-virgin olive oil and finished them for just under 10 minutes on a grill over hot charcoal, turning them once. All everyone could say was – “orgasmic!” Amen.


From Janet Webb, owner, J. Webb Wine Merchant

From chef Nicole Gomes, Nicole Gourmet Catering

Mushroom & Parmesan Fondue Tart 1 sheet puff pastry, found in the freezer section at major grocery stores

Mushrooms: 4 T. extra virgin olive oil 1 lb. assorted mushrooms (shiitake, portobello, chantrelles, etc), cleaned and sliced 4 garlic cloves, 3 of them chopped pinch of dried chile flakes salt 3 T. flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

Parmesan fondue: 3T. unsalted butter 3 T. all-purpose flour scant 1-2/3 c. milk 1 c. grated parmesan cheese salt

To prepare the tart bases: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a small side plate on the puff pastry and run a sharp knife around the edge of the plate to cut out four, approx. 6-inch, circles. Place the puff pastry circles on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet. Place another piece of parchment paper over the puff pastry circles and another baking sheet on top. Bake in the oven for approximately 10-12 minutes. Check to see if the puff pastry is evenly golden brown. If not, return to the oven, checking every 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside. To prepare the mushrooms: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Add the olive oil, being careful not to allow the oil to smoke. Add the mushrooms, sauté for 2 - 4 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the garlic and chile flakes and sauté for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Lightly season with salt and taste for seasoning. Add chopped parsley. To prepare the parmesan fondue: In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the flour all at once and whisk until the butter and flour form a paste. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking consistently. Whisk in the milk in three additions so the mixture is smooth, with no lumps, after each addition. Turn the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, whisking once in a while. Stir in the cheese and taste for saltiness. Add salt as desired. Remove the fondue from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. To assemble the tarts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of parmesan fondue evenly on the tart bases. Top with mushrooms. Warm in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. Serve with a small salad. Serves 4.

Decadent to me is many things... Fantastic flavours, ease to create, memorable to my guests, and something that those with dietary issues can eat.

Fresh WELLNESS LOCAL

ORGAN

Sicilian Citrus Almond Cake This recipe is gluten free, and dairy free, something that is important to me with a Mom that has these concerns. I have had so many rave reviews on this. It’s also adaptable... the oranges can be substituted with lemons or clementines – 2 regular oranges is 3 clementines or 4 to 5 lemons. With lemons, an additional bit of sugar may be needed – I taste the batter to decide. For those who don’t like orange blossom water, it can be omitted. This cake is dense,

2 oranges 4 eggs 1-1/2 c. superfine (berry) sugar

Orga FRESH FRESH GLUTEN FREE

ORGANIC PRODUCE

Local

ORGANIC PRODUCE LOC Gluten Free FRESH WELLNESS

LOCAL Fresh PRODUCE

rich and totally satisfying. It freezes well too. How’s that for decadent?

Cake:

EVERYDAY GROCERIES Local PREMIUM SUPPLEMENTS

3 c. almond meal 1 t. baking powder

Premium Supplements

WELLNESS LOCAL FRES Fresh WELLNESS LOCA North 7 Arbour Lake Drive NW 403.547.6333

1 t. ground cinnamon 1/2 t. ground cardamom mascarpone, crème fraîche or whipped cream, to serve

Orange blossom syrup 1 orange

Central 1407 4 Street SW 403.457.3663

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Helping Calgarians Stay Healthy Since 1995 amaranthfoods.ca

1/2 c. superfine (berry) sugar 1/4 c. water 1 t. orange blossom water (at specialty food and Middle Eastern stores)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8-inch round springform pan and line the base with baking paper. Place the oranges, whole and unpeeled, in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain. Return to the saucepan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook for a further 15 minutes. Drain and repeat once more, until the oranges are very tender. Drain. Coarsely chop and discard any pips. Place the oranges in a food processor; process until smooth. Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Add the oranges, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom and gently fold until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in its pan on a rack. To make the syrup, use a zester to remove the rind from the orange, then juice the orange. Place the juice, sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Add the orange blossom water and orange zest. Set aside to cool. To serve the cake, drizzle it with syrup, cut it into wedges and serve it with mascarpone, crème fraîche or whipped cream. Serves 8. continued on page 46 CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

45


My Favourite continued from page 45

decadent

Dish

From pastry chef Karine Moulin, Hotel Arts

Best Ever Dark Chocolate Soufflé soft unsalted butter and sugar for preparing ramekins 7 oz. finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 4 T. unsalted butter 1-1/2 t. pure vanilla extract 3 large egg yolks 3 T. warm water 1/2 c. sugar, plus 2 T. 8 large egg whites, room temperature 1/2 t. fresh lemon juice confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) for garnish

Brush 6 (6-oz.) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the fridge. Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, and place them on a baking sheet. Level off the surface of the ramekins, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl. Immediately bake until the soufflés rise about 1-1/2 inches above the top of the ramekins and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately with peppermint whipped cream.

Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan, filled with an inch or so of water, to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.

Peppermint Whipped Cream

Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add the 2 T. sugar and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture.

Once the soufflé has been removed from the oven, using a spoon, make a hole in the center of the soufflé – the size of a loonie – and place a dollop of cream inside. Serve immediately and enjoy. Serves 6. ✤

Remove the prepared ramekins from the fridge.

46

Put the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, and add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy, then gradually add the remaining 1/2 c. of sugar and increase the speed to high. Beat until the whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.

500 ml whipping cream 2 T. icing sugar 2 T. crème de menthe (or 1 t. mint extract)

Whip the cream with the icing sugar and mint flavouring until soft peaks form.


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47


Wrap Stars

for your entertaining

People love to unwrap food and find a tasty surprise inside. by Matthew Altizer

People all over the world have been wrapping their food up for centuries. Whether to preserve it, fry it, grill it or bake it, the one thing that wrapped foods have in common is that they all have a tasty treat hidden inside. Wrapping food protects its filling, keeping it moist and flavourful, and when it comes to your choice of wrap, the possibilities are endless. Grapevine leaves make a delicious wrap. For example, brie cheese wrapped with vine leaves and baked makes an easy, elegant appetizer. Most proteins, like beef, chicken or fish, lend themselves well to being wrapped in parchment paper or puff pastry. Bacon and prosciutto have lots of fat marbled throughout the meat, so they work well wrapped around proteins that might be inclined to dry out a bit when cooking, like fish and poultry. One of my favourite wraps is caul fat. Caul fat is the thin membrane surrounding the internal organs of some animals. Most butcher shops will be happy to order it for you. Wrap a beef or pork roast with caul fat before cooking and it slowly melts into the meat as it roasts, imparting moisture and flavour. The best part about most wraps is that they keep well in the freezer or cupboard. Grapevine leaves, rice paper, nori, bacon and puff pastry are all good to have on hand. Once you arm your larder with a few basic wraps, you’ll be creating your own wrap stars for any occasion, not just for entertaining.

48

Lobster Tails En Papillote with Blood Oranges and Sparkling Wine Cooking seafood in parchment paper seals in all of the flavour and moisture, and makes a pretty and intriguing presentation at the table.

Duck Wellington The thought of making Beef Wellington can be daunting, even for seasoned cooks. This version is reasonably easy and can be prepared a few hours in advance and cooked just before serving. 2 duck breast halves, skin removed

Grilled Sardines Wrapped with Grapevine Leaves The grape leaves not only protect the sardines from drying out, they also add a delicious briny flavour to the fish. Sardines are available frozen at most grocery stores and often are already cleaned and ready to cook.

8 slices of blood orange

sea salt and pepper to taste

4 lobster tails

2 T. grapeseed oil

Tahini Sauce:

4 T. butter

2 slices foie gras (about 1 T. each)

2 T. tahini paste

1/4 c. chopped fennel fronds

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (8x10 inches)

1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt

1 t. sea salt

2 t. quince paste

juice of one lemon

3/4 c. sparkling wine

1/2 t. orange zest

1 T. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut four 15” x 24” pieces of parchment paper. Fold them in half crosswise and draw a large heart half on each piece with the fold of the paper being the center of the heart.

1 egg

sea salt and black pepper

Cut out one of the hearts and open it up. Layer two orange slices, one lobster tail, 1 T. butter and 1 T. fennel fronds on the fold of the parchment. Season with salt and spoon 3 T. sparkling wine over the lobster tail. To make the papillotes (packets), bring the two sides of the heart together and fold the edges together to seal the packet, then twist the tip of the heart to secure tightly. Repeat with the remaining lobster tails. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes. When the lobster is cooked, place the packets into four shallow bowls and serve immediately. The fun part of this dish is when your guests tear the parchment packages open at the dinner table with a delighted “Oh!”. Serves 4.

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

1 T. cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Season the duck breasts well with salt and pepper. Preheat a sauté pan over high heat, add the grapeseed oil and quickly sear the duck breasts until light golden brown. Set aside to cool for five minutes. Put a clean baking sheet in the oven to preheat, which will help cook the bottom of the pastry. Pat the breasts dry, then slice a small pocket horizontally through the meat. Stuff the foie gras inside the pocket, making sure that none is sticking out. Cut the puff pastry into two large ovals, big enough to wrap completely around the duck. Place 1 t. of quince paste and half of the orange zest onto each piece of pastry, then lay the duck on top. Bring the edges up around the duck and pinch them together, cutting off any extra pastry. Whisk the egg with the cream, brush it over the pastry and transfer to the hot baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until dark golden brown on top. Remove from the oven. Let the duck rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Serves 2.

6 sardines, gills removed, gutted 1 t. fennel seeds 1 t. sea salt 12 grape leaves (available at specialty grocers) 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat a grill or barbecue to medium heat. To make the tahini sauce, mix the tahini with the garlic in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and olive oil, whisking until mixed. The tahini might seize up at first, just whisk in a few drops of warm water until the sauce becomes liquid again. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Crush the fennel seeds with the salt in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle the inside of each sardine with the fennel salt. Rinse the grape leaves in cold water to remove any excess brine. To wrap the sardines, cover their bellies with one grape leaf and wrap it around the fish, then cover their backs with another and wrap it around the fish. Grill the sardines for 3-5 minutes per side. The grape leaf should char slightly and when the fish is cooked it will be firm to the touch. Serve with lemon wedges and tahini sauce. Serves 6.


Egg Yolk Ravioli With Sage and Prosciutto Brown Butter

Potato Cakes Stuffed with Lamb and Pine Nuts

These may be a bit of work to put together but one per person is just perfect for an elegant plated first course. The ravioli can be made up to two weeks in advance and frozen.

These are loosely based on the street food of Lebanon. The crispy potato exterior keeps the rich, spicy lamb filling moist and flavourful. It’s very important to make sure that the potato cakes are brown and crisp before you flip them, otherwise they may fall apart.

Pasta Dough: 3-1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1 t. salt 5 large eggs, beaten 2 T. olive oil flour for kneading

Filling: 1 c. ricotta 1/3 c. finely grated parmesan 1 t. truffle oil kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Potatoes: 1-1/2 lbs. waxy potatoes 1 T. flour, plus extra for dusting

1 T. butter 2 T. olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 t. allspice

6 large eggs

1/2 lb. ground lamb

egg wash made with 1 large egg beaten with 1 T. water

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

4 T. unsalted butter

1 T. tomato paste

8 slices of prosciutto cut into matchsticks

3 T. finely chopped Italian parsley

10 fresh sage leaves

grapeseed oil for frying

With a pasta roller, gradually roll out the pasta dough to the second thinnest setting, making sure to use flour so it doesn’t stick. The dough should end up in a long sheet that’s as wide as the pasta roller – if it starts to lose its shape, fold the edges in on themselves to fix the shape and roll the dough through on a slightly wider setting. If you don’t have a pasta roller, you can buy sheets of fresh pasta. Cut out twelve circles of dough with a six-inch diameter and put the six circles on a flour-dusted tray. Cover them with plastic wrap and set aside. Set the remaining six circles out on the counter and place an equal amount of the ricotta filling onto each one. Using the back of a spoon, make a small well in the centre of the filling that will hold the egg yolk. Carefully separate the eggs and place one yolk into each well – it’s very important that the yolk doesn’t break. Lightly brush the reserved pasta circles with the egg wash and place them on top of the filling, pressing the edges together with the bottom pasta circle to seal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Meanwhile, place a sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter until it starts to foam. Add the prosciutto and sauté until it starts to brown, then add the sage leaves and cook until crisp. Gently lower the ravioli into the boiling water and cook for two minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them directly into the brown butter. Divide the ravioli among six bowls and garnish each one with the remaining sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan. Serves 6.

h a n d y

Filling:

flour for rolling the pasta dough

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta with the parmesan and truffle oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

t y l e r

sea salt

2 cardamom pods, black seeds only, ground to a powder

To make the pasta dough, place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. Pulse to combine until the mixture comes together, then tip it out onto a well-floured surface and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cut the dough into four equal portions, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate while you make the filling.

innovative cuisine by executive chef

l iv e m u s i c ev e ry n i g ht

2 T. pine nuts, lightly fried in olive oil

{ 8 11 1 s T s w c a l g a r y } { w i n e - o h s . c o m } { @ w i n e o h s i n c }

1/2 c. Greek yogurt 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover them generously with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re just cooked through. If the skins start to peel off they will absorb too much water. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them sit for five minutes. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and put them through a potato ricer or mash them well. Stir in the flour, season with salt and set aside. While the potatoes are cooking, make the filling. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauté pan; add the onion and sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the allspice, cardamom and ground lamb. Cook the lamb for 8-10 minutes, letting it brown and stick to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and add the pine nuts, tomato paste, 2 T. of water and the parsley. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

savour

fine foods & kitchenware

Quality. Style. Service.

To make the potato cakes, flour your hands and divide the dough into four equal portions. Keeping the work surface well dusted with flour, flatten one ball into a disc that is about 1/2-inch thick. Put 2 T. of the filling into the centre of the disc and bring up the edges to enclose the meat. Neaten the shape of the cake and patch up any gaps. Place on a well-floured surface and repeat with the other three balls of dough. Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan generously with grapeseed oil, about 1/2-inch deep, and place over medium-high until the oil is hot and almost smoking. Gently lower the cakes one by one into the oil and let them cook until they are dark brown and crispy before carefully turning them over. When the cakes are finished, drain them on paper towels and serve with the Greek yogurt and lemon wedges. Serves 4. ✤

Matthew Altizer is the catering chef at The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

1331 - 9th Ave SE Calgary, Alberta Tel: 403.532.8222 savourfinefoods.com

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

49


Hope Springs Eternal in southern Alberta by Shelley Boettcher

First, there was the relentless downpour. Melting snow in the mountains. A rising river. Then a wall of muddy, raging water that devastated everything in its path. The worst natural disaster in Alberta’s known history, the June 2013 floods are estimated to have cost the province more than $5 billion in damages so far. Much has been written about Calgary restaurants and businesses that were affected by the floodwaters. Beyond the borders of the city, however, many other Southern Alberta food producers and purveyors also lost land, equipment, crops and stock. Their homes were damaged, and their livelihoods were shattered. These are some of their stories. Finally, they couldn’t stay any longer. They followed orders and left town. On July 1, when business owners were allowed to return to their High River shops, Aumeier says he was amazed to discover that his building was the only one to be spared major damage. “We had four feet of water outside, up over the windows, but nothing was wrecked inside,” he says. “The only real damage was to the drywall, from the sewer and water backup in the washrooms.” He partly credits the restaurant’s survival to a series of renovations done last year to the 60-year-old cinderblock building. He had sealed the building’s cracks with foam insulation, for instance, and the previous owners had put airtight cladding around the windows.

Another hit was Muddy Waters, a combination of “a very dark bittersweet chocolate ice cream and a light Belgian chocolate swirled together.” Aumeier – a Swiss-trained chef, former general manager of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts and former owner of Valbella Meats – admits business has been slow since the flooding. Locals are still busy dealing with their damaged properties, and tourists have stayed away. He has stopped serving hot breakfasts, now offering “only cinnamon buns, muffins and coffee. There just isn’t enough traffic in town in the mornings.” But lunches are busy, and he’s confident the morning business will pick up once more stores reopen. “We’re getting families with children coming out for ice cream on Sunday afternoons again,” he says. “Things are starting to normalize.” Jackie Chalmers and her family farm 10 kilometres west of Claresholm, along Willow Creek. She plants about five acres of garlic, which she sells to Calgary Co-op, at local markets, and to friends, family and restaurants. The Chalmers’ home was built in the 1890s and had already experienced two major floods, so when they bought it in 2006, they built a berm around it. That saved their place from flooding – and, for a few days, turned their property into an island. “We were surrounded by running water all around our home, as far as we could see,” Jackie says. “We were an island unto ourselves. It was scary. “As we were watching the water rise, we watched an island with three trees floating down the creek. The island was just floating away.” The worst experience, however, was the flood’s effect on the wildlife.

“None of our equipment was damaged at all,” Aumeier says. “We were fully functional again very quickly.”

“It was right after the deer had fawned, and we could hear little fawns being swept away. They make a high-pitched screaming sound, similar to a rabbit, and there was nothing we could do.”

But when his staff at Evelyn’s Memory Lane Café called to tell him about the impending flood and subsequent evacuation notice, he quickly drove back home, where preparations were already underway.

He and his team kicked into action, feeding the construction and clean-up crews that filled the small town. “Comfort food – pies and ice cream and cinnamon buns, that’s what everyone wanted,” he says with a laugh.

Her crops were affected, too. “My garlic was flooded for about 12 hours. Silt is like concrete. To clean it off is virtually impossible. I lost about 40 per cent of my crop, and the heads are all smaller, too. It was almost like it just quit growing when the flood hit.”

“One of our customers brought a pickup full of sandbags, and even Evelyn, the previous owner, was there helping,” he says. The little team of four stapled plastic around the windows, and they moved what they could high out of reach, they hoped, of the impending floodwaters.

To help lighten the local mood, Aumeier also created commemorative ice creams. “Flood Mud ice cream is a light Belgian chocolate ice cream with swirls of chocolate sauce and nut-free brownies chopped in. People loved it, and I think it helped cheer them up.”

Chalmers says she has no plans to stop growing garlic, but she worries about the future. “The water just came up so fast, and you’re helpless,” she says. “If the water ever comes up much higher, we’ll need an ark.”

Hubert Aumeier  had planned to take the day off and do a few errands in Calgary on June 20. Because of the rain, he anticipated a slow day at his homey little restaurant in downtown High River.

continued on page 52

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Hope Springs Eternal in southern Alberta continued from page 50 There are bigger concerns. Overland flooding could cause problems with Highwood Crossing’s organic certification, if pesticides from conventionally farmed land nearby washed onto their property. An inspector checked the land in August, and the Marshalls are awaiting the final report. Tony chuckles when he tells of the insurance agent who asked the couple to send in business documents dating back five years. “Those papers were under water for 10 days. They’re a stinking mess. They have every colour of mold on them you can imagine,” he says. “We offered to send them by courier to the insurance company so they can try to read them themselves, but funny, they said ‘No, we don’t want them.’” Ninety days after the June disaster, Tony and Penny Marshall had spent more than $30,000 trying to fix their house and business. Their farmhouse wasn’t eligible for insurance, but their business is. At least, they hope it is. By mid-September, they still hadn’t seen a cent. Money’s one thing, but they’ve also lost irreplaceable family photos and heirlooms, too. “It’s a roller coaster, really it is,” says Tony. “Generally we’re up, but sometimes...” His voice trails off. It hasn’t been the easiest year. The Marshalls – who own Highwood Crossing – farm and, until the flood, operated a shop in High River. Their popular organic, nut-free granola, flaxseed, canola oil, rolled oats and flours are sold across Canada. On June 20, they were on a flight to Toronto for Ace Bakery’s celebration of top Canadian food producers. But that afternoon, their farm and shop were deluged when the riverbanks overflowed. Since then, they’ve been locked in a never-ending circle of phone calls, emails, and cleanup. There have been positive moments. Staff at Community Natural Foods held a fundraiser. Myriad other chef and foodie friends showed up in the early days to power-wash, shovel mud, tear out drywall and even pick berries, salvaging what hadn’t been destroyed. But about five acres of land have been lost, eroded by floodwaters. Another five acres or so are still under water. Normally that section would be planted with barley, says Tony. “Now there are geese and ducks on it.”

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For now, the couple is in limbo, hoping the insurance comes through. Hoping they can rebuild. “Nobody ever comes out on top after these things,” Tony says. “It’s like the Vegas taxi driver who told me one time how that city wasn’t built on winners.” About eight kilometres east of Fort Macleod, Trevor Aleman and his family grow organic potatoes, onions, garlic, strawberries and herbs, which they sell through their company, Busy Bea’s Market Garden. (Calgarians can buy their produce through Blush Lane and Poplar Bluff at local farmers’ markets.) The week of the flooding, they did what they could – moving equipment to higher ground, emptying their root cellars, moving their chickens into the barn’s attic. Then they waited. “It’s hard to describe,” says Aleman. “You’re just powerless.” He tried to convince his mother-in-law to leave the family farmhouse, but she wouldn’t desert it. She stayed to keep the sump pumps and the generator going. “In hindsight, it was probably a good thing,” Aleman says. “It kept the basement pretty dry.” Once the floodwaters receded, they could assess the damage. Erosion from the water has moved the river about 100 feet closer to the house, and the greenhouse was flooded, too.

“The next flood like that will take the house and barn,” says Aleman. “We have some aerial photos taken the morning after, and you can see the river is itching to go right through there.” Aleman figures he’ll get an eighth or a 10th of his typical potato harvest. Many potatoes were washed downstream or were “buried under two feet of sand.” Potatoes, which normally love water, were over-watered by the June rains. Then they were under-watered in July and August, because Aleman hasn’t yet replaced the expensive irrigation equipment, torn apart by the floodwaters. The sandy soil cracked, letting sunlight in to turn the potatoes a toxic green. To add insult to injury, a hailstorm destroyed the tender young onions two weeks after the June rains. And much of the garlic was killed by disease, likely carried in by floodwaters from non-organic canola grown nearby. The bright spot, he says, is that the experience has brought his family closer together. His six children (the youngest is five and the oldest is 16) are farm kids; they’re used to work. And more than ever, they’re finding ways to help out. “I’m also a full-time school teacher, so we have a steady income. It’s not like we’re starving,” he says. “It’s been quite the summer, but we’re farmers. It’s ‘next year’ country. We just hope and pray for the best.” Kamla McGonigal, owner of Alberta Whisky Cake, is hoping to have 300 cakes to sell at the Millarville Christmas Market, November 8th to 11th. If she succeeds, it will be a bright spot in an otherwise tough year. The day the flood hit, McGonigal was working in Calgary. Katie Vogt, the baker at High River’s Cakery Bakery, where McGonigal’s cakes were made, texted to say the town was flooding. “I’m going to need help in the next few days to clean up,” read Vogt’s note. Things went from bad to worse. The bakery was walloped with about four feet of water, as was Highwood Distillers, where McGonigal buys the rye she uses in her famous whisky-flavoured bundt cakes. Then, after the water finally receded, about $150,000 of the bakery’s equipment – metal racks, mixers, 72 commercial-grade bundt pans – disappeared. Muddy, mouldy and wet, it had been hauled out of the shop for cleaning and itemizing for the insurance company. Neither Vogt nor McGonigal know where it is, or who took it. For now, the building that housed the bakery sits empty. McGonigal has had other bakers offer to help temporarily until Vogt gets her business back on track. And people have asked McGonigal why she doesn’t just make the cakes herself, like she used to when she started the business. But, she says, it would be too difficult to keep up with the demand from her home kitchen. She has a full-time job in addition to the cake business. And, fiercely loyal, she doesn’t want to take business away from The Cakery Bakery or Highwood Distillers. “I’m going to stay with the ones I’m with. It would be unethical of me not to do that,” McGonigal says. “Plus, I took four years to develop this recipe. I can’t just share it with anyone.”✤ Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary-based food and wine writer whose third edition, written with Darren Oleksyn, of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25 will be released in November.


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Asian flavours

perfect for entertaining

Nước Mắm Giấm

Chả Tôm

Chả Thịt Lợn Lá Lốt

This goes with everything, and is usually used as a dipping sauce. I have also used it as a drizzle on grilled meats and fish just before serving. You can store in the fridge in glass jars until you run out.

Sugarcane is a real treat when you can get it fresh. Most often it is found ready to eat in cans at Asian supermarkets. The labour-intensive part of peeling the bark from the bamboo-like stalk has been done. Now it is up to you to extract the juices. It’s hard to eat sugarcane elegantly because it’s very fibrous and needs to be chewed until the juice is gone and the pith is left to discard. In this recipe, the sugarcane is used as a skewer, and after the shrimp is removed, you can chew on the stick for some sweet sugarcane juice.

The betel leaf is part of the pepper family that is high in antioxidants and used for medicinal healing or even as a stimulant. Culturally, it is used to break the tension in awkward situations by passing it around to chew, It’s also used as an offering from a groom to the bride’s family. When raw, the betel leaf is not very fragrant, but when cooked it imparts a light peppery, herbaceous aroma to the pork. Tradition calls for beef but you may use pork or chicken. 1 pkg. fresh betel leaves (available at Asian markets in the produce section near the herbs)

1 lb. tiger prawns, shelled

1/2 lb. ground pork shoulder

1 t. minced garlic

1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and finely chopped

1 egg

3 stalks green onion, finely chopped

3 T. cornstarch

1/2 t. tapioca starch

1 t. salt

4 t. cold water

1 t. pepper

1 egg white

2 T. olive oil

1/2 t. ground pepper

340 g can of sugar cane (available at Asian markets)

1/3 t. salt

(Dipping Sauce)

1 c. water 1/4 c. + 2 T. sugar 1/2 c. lime juice (or lemon or vinegar) 1/4 c. fish sauce minced garlic (optional) 1-2 red Thai chile peppers, thinly sliced (optional)

Mix sugar and water. Once sugar has dissolved, stir in lime juice. Then add fish sauce. Add the garlic and chile if desired. Serves 6.

by Ching Li

The conversation at every family function is about food. Well, with my family it is. From dissecting the ingredients in a dish to talking about what would make the dish taste even better. I was born and raised in China by parents of Chinese and Vietnamese descent. My parents were born in Hanoi and taught my brother and me, at an early age, to help in the kitchen. I always leaned towards Vietnamese cuisine because it is fresh, light and filled with bold flavours that make you want to eat more.

Chả Cá

Last year, my mom and I started teaching Vietnamese cooking classes. At first she resisted, but she has now embraced it, thus bringing us closer together. The classes have helped to document and share our history and my childhood memories. We tell stories about how my mom and her classmates waited in a long line-up after school for crispy sweet potato and shrimp fritters in Ho Tay (West Lake), a district of Hanoi. We tell how my dad would set aside money to sneak off with my brother in tow to have grilled fish – a wild combination of earthy turmeric with refreshing dill and green onions – that was available at only one restaurant in Hanoi that is still open to this day.

Grill the fish. Wait until the fish turns white and does not stick, then turn the pieces over to grill the other side. When they are cooked, place the fish pieces evenly on top of the large platter of dill and green onion.

(Grilled Fish) 4 6-oz. basa filets 1 t. each ground ginger and garlic powder 1/2 t. salt 1 t. turmeric 3 T. each white wine and olive oil 1 bunch fresh dill 4 green onions, julienned 1/2 c. olive oil

Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Add ground ginger, garlic powder and salt to the fish and mix well. Sprinkle turmeric in and mix well. Add the wine and oil and mix. Mince 2 T. of the dill and add to the mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Spread the dill and green onion evenly on a large platter.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil and pour it over the fish, fresh dill and green onions. Serve with greens and herbs, vermicelli, dipping sauce – and a bowl of peanuts on the side for a great crunchy texture contrast. Serves 4.

Here is a collection of recipes from our cooking classes for you to share with your family and friends.

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

(Grilled Shrimp on Sugarcane)

Add prawns, garlic, egg, cornstarch, salt, pepper and olive oil into a food processor and blend well. Drain the sugar cane and cut it into thin sticks, between 1/4- to 1/2-inch in diameter. Fill a bowl with water. Wet one hand and use the free hand to put about 3 T. of the prawn paste in the palm of your hand, spreading it out into a circle about 2-1/2 inches wide and a good 1/4-inch thick. Center a sugarcane stick on top of the paste (covering one half of the stick), then close your hand to make the paste adhere to the stick and surround it. Hold on to the sugarcane stick with your dry hand and turn the stick, all the while patting the paste with the wet hand to smooth out the surface. Set on a baking tray and repeat with the rest of the prawn paste. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Rub some oil over each shrimp portion of each stick to prevent sticking. Grill the shrimp sticks for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning frequently, until the paste is sizzling and getting brown. You may also bake them in the oven at 300°F. for about 8 minutes. Serve with lettuce, vermicelli and dipping sauce. Serves 4.

(Pork Betel Leaf Rolls)

Wash and cut the stems from the betel leaves. Mix the pork, shrimp and green onion in a bowl. Whisk together the tapioca starch, water, egg white, pepper and salt in a bowl and add it to the pork and shrimp mixture. Place the betel leaves with the smooth, shiny side facing down. Place 1/2 t. of filling on a large betel leaf or layer multiple smaller ones to form a large leaf and wrap as you would a taco, folding in the sides. Try to make them flat, as they will be easier to fry. Heat 1 t. oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the wraps in the pan and fry until the leaves are cooked – they’re cooked when they get soft. This will not take very long – less than a minute. Flip them over and fry the other side until cooked. Serve with dipping sauce. You may serve with rice or vermicelli or as an appetizer with beer. Serves 6.


Bánh Tôm

Chả Nem Khoai Môn Thịt Lợn

These fritters, originating in Hanoi, were available at one restaurant along Ho Tay (West Lake). They can now be found in many restaurants along the lake.

1 medium taro root (available at Asian markets)

(Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters)

(Taro Root and Pork Imperial Rolls)

3 medium sweet potatoes

1/2 lb. shrimp 1/2 bunch green onion 1 lb. ground pork 1/4 c. water

1/2 c. flour

1 egg

1/2 c. rice flour

2 t. each salt and pepper

2 t. turmeric

1 pkg. rice paper wrappers

1 t. salt

dark soy sauce

2 c. water

Peel the taro root and cut into thin matchsticks. Set aside in a bowl. Peel and finely chop the shrimp. Finely chop the green onion.

2 dozen prawns, peeled vegetable oil for frying

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 3-inchlong matchsticks and set aside. In a bowl, mix the flours, turmeric and salt. Add water and whisk well until there are no lumps. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well until they are coated with the batter. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Place 3 to 4 heaping spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan and spread it so that it is flat. Make sure the well-coated sweet potatoes stay close together to create a platform for the shrimp. Quickly place a shrimp on top and about 1-2 T. of the batter to cover the shrimp. This will keep the shrimp in place on top of the sweet potato platform. Fry the shrimp cakes for 2-3 minutes, turning them over when they are evenly brown. Remove the shrimp cakes and drain on paper towels. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture.

In a bowl, mix the ground pork and water. Add the shrimp, taro root, green onion, egg, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the soy sauce to a bowl of cold water. Soften 1 rice paper wrapper by immersing in the water/soy sauce mixture, about 10 to 20 seconds. Carefully remove it and place it flat on a large plate or cutting board. Place about 4-5 T. of the filling on the lower half of the wrapper. Make sure you get a sampling of all the ingredients. Roll the rice paper as you would a taco, tucking in the sides, it should stick to itself easily. Place on a plate with the open side down. Repeat until all the filling is used.

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Fry the rolls, turning occasionally, until the colour turns golden brown. Serve with vermicelli, lettuce, mixed herbs and dipping sauce. Serves 10.

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Serve with vermicelli, lettuce, mixed herbs and dipping sauce. Makes 24 fritters.

Bánh Chuối (Fried Bananas)

2 medium bananas – buy bananas that are not curved 8 medium-sized egg roll wrappers 1 egg white condensed milk (optional)

bind it closed. This will prevent the egg roll wrappers from opening when you fry them. Place the wrapped banana pieces on a plate or tray with the edge side down. Fry the rolls until golden brown. Remove them and drain them on paper towels, then serve warm with a drizzle of condensed milk, if you like. Serves 4. ✤

Set a deep fryer over medium heat. Cut each banana in half crosswise, then cut each half in half lengthwise so that you have 8 pieces. Wrap each piece with the egg roll wrapper. Roll as you would a taco, tucking up the sides and the bottom. Using a brush or your fingers, spread a little egg white on the open edge of the wrapper to

Ching Li is a cooking instructor at The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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Aging Wine Under Water

by Shelley Boettcher

I’ll never be brave enough to travel to the bottom of the ocean. It’s too dark and cold, a strange and dangerous underworld filled with bewitching mysteries that stretch across borders, and throughout time and history. But I’ve breathed the salty air at the ocean’s edge, my feet in the sand and my hair whipped by the winds. I understand the siren’s call, the urge to explore and to wonder. So I’m intrigued by a trend among some wine makers to age their creations under water. They’re submersing bottles under the ocean for months, waiting to see if exposure to the waters can give their wine even better, more interesting flavours. Critics say the results are extraordinary. The wines remain fresh and vibrant, but they also develop impressive depth – pun intended – and complexity. Aging wine under water is nothing new. However, in the past, it was mostly accidental. In 2010, Veuve Clicquot champagne from a 185-year-old shipwreck was found off the coast of Finland. Most of the fizz was gone, but the handful of official tasters reported that the wine tasted fresh and delicious – albeit expensive. Eleven of the unopened bottles were later sold as a set for about $136,000 US. Ah, the cost. Shipwreck or not, aging wine under water isn’t cheap. You’d think it would be – who charges rent at the bottom of the ocean? – but the process isn’t as easy as sailing across the water and dumping a few bottles overboard. You need professional divers to sink your wines and metal cages to hold the bottles on the ocean floor. Then you have to worry about seawater contamination, barnacles, pirates and wine-loving mollusks. (Laugh if you want, but I’m told mollusks are a big threat.) The list of potential problems goes on and on.

Mira Winery hauls water-aged wine up to taste.

Still, there’s a demand – not just because of the novelty. It seems the more buzz there is about the process, the more some leading wine makers are experimenting with it.

Gonzalez’s team opened only two of the 48 bottles, but has already sunk twice as many bottles from the 2011 vintage, and the plan is to leave them for six months this time. “We want to continue to do things like this,” Gonzalez says. “We like being disruptive.”

Take Gustavo Gonzalez. His credentials are impressive: he spent a year at the renowned Tenuta dell’Orneillaia winery (home to some of the legendary SuperTuscan wines), then became a lab technician at Robert Mondavi in 1995, working his way up to become Mondavi’s red wine maker. After a decade in that position, he left last year to co-found Mira Winery in the Napa Valley in California.

Another wine maker who seems comfortable disrupting tradition is Piero Lugano, of Bisson di Piero Lugano winery. In his mid-sixties, he’s made sparkling wines from indigenous grapes on the Italian Riviera since 1978. But in 2008, he decided he wanted to age some of his Bisson Abissi prosecco in a marine preserve near Portofino, in northwestern Italy.

Earlier this year, he and his team at Mira aged 48 bottles of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon for three months under water in Charleston Harbor, an inlet in South Carolina. The first American wine maker to try underwater aging, he says part of their inspiration came from tales of sunken wine treasures. But they also saw it as an opportunity to try something different.

So far, so good, says Lugano. “It’s better than even the best underground cellar, especially for sparkling wine,” he told The New York Times in 2011. “The temperature is perfect, there’s no light, the water prevents even the slightest bit of air from getting in, and the constant counterpressure keeps the bubbles bubbly. Moreover, the underwater currents act like a crib, gently rocking the bottles and keeping the lees moving through the wine.”

“We all pretty much make wine the same way and we all love terroir, but what if there are other possibilities that just haven’t been explored?” he says. “With that in mind, we decided to explore ‘aquaoir’ – a term I made up to describe the union of water and terroir.”

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

The bottles spent 13 months 200 feet below the sea, and were then pulled out, dried off and sealed in clear plastic, attached sea critters – barnacles, seaweed, oysters, starfish, shrimp – and all. continued on page 69


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Lava, Killer Surf and Poke (Poh-keh) Tootling the Big Island of Hawaii story and photos by Kathy Richardier

We never go away at Christmas. For one thing, everyone else does, so we figure it’s best to keep our distance from airports at that time of year. For another, we like hanging out here during the holidays. Work pretty much takes a break and it’s fun being festive with friends. But last year we decided to just go for it. My friend Doug and I are landscape junkies. We like to go exploring rather than loll around at resorts and do beach, pools and shopping. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we like our adventures. Sun, sand and ocean, and the warm, moist air that defines a tropical winter during a Canadian winter appealed to us. So, since we’d planned to do a tootle of the Big Island in the new year anyway, we decided we’d see what a Hawaiian Christmas was like. It was, like, A Good Idea. We picked up our rental car at the Kona airport and headed south along the coast to the town of Kailua-Kona and the Kona Tiki Hotel. The Kona district along the coast south of the airport is pretty much wall-to-wall resorts. Our little hotel is not a resort and suited our low-key style. Plunked down practically on the ocean, which was kept at bay only by a low stone wall, it had a swimming pool, a spacious patio, rooms with balconies that overlooked the water and breakfast served on the patio each morning. At night, the sound of the surf lulled us to sleep. Our first day was December 24 – sunny, warm and with just enough humidity to plump the skin and curl the hair. We headed south to the “disappearing sands” beach, a small rocky/ sandy beach that periodically gets obliterated by storms. A local family was fishing off the rocks.

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We noted Estrada’s Surf-N-Turf taco truck and devoured a couple of fish and shrimp tacos. Food trucks hang around the beaches. As Christmas Eve approached, we thought how nice it was to have none of the usual expectations associated with the season. The agreeable owners of the Kona Tiki had invited us to the group potluck dinner that was made up of the other hotel guests. What a great idea, we thought, but since we’d just arrived, we didn’t have anything to contribute so we decided to do our own thing. We wandered into Kailua-Kona to find a Christmas Eve meal just down the street from the oldest church in the Islands, which was busy with families arriving for a traditional service. We could have had a fancy-pants dinner in one of the many nearby resorts, but fancy isn’t usually fun. We chose, instead, a second-floor balcony restaurant, Pancho & Lefty’s Cantina, overlooking the main drag, Alii Drive, where we had a great meal among other tourists left to their own devices on Christmas Eve. We started with besos calientes (hot kisses), whole jalapeños stuffed with shrimp and jack cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep fried – orgasmic! We followed this with tacos accompanied by a Blue Agave drink made with Cabo Wabo tequila and garnished with pineapple, a maraschino cherry and a paper umbrella. When was the last time you had a drink with a paper umbrella? While we ate, a flock of birds in a banyan tree big enough to build a house in warbled Christmas carols at us. Christmas day was overcast but bright and breezy. Kona Tiki’s breakfast was fresh papaya, pineapple and bananas, bagels, grainy bread upon which we slathered peanut butter and jam, English muffins and lots of good coffee and juices. We ate, we digested, then we headed south to a beautiful beach, which is where the locals and their families seem to spend a pretty Christmas Day. (We heard that it was -32 in Calgary. Ugh!) Christmas day ended with a festive dinner in town at the pretty Thai Rin Restaurant, along with other tourists at loose ends. We tied those loose ends up pretty well with great Thai food and the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. By the end of our tootle, we realized that there must be a large Thai population on the Big Island, since we found Thai restaurants everywhere. That night, I woke up aware that I could hear another sound besides the surf. I walked out on our balcony to witness solid sheets of water falling out of the sky. The next morning, the water at our favourite beach was way rougher than usual, and Doug got caught in a breaking wave that mashed him headfirst into the sand. That turned out to have been a bad thing for his neck, but a masseur down the street from the hotel got the kinks out. continued on page 60


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59


Lava, Killer Surf and Poke (Poh-keh) continued from page 58

About halfway between our beach and our hotel we discovered Da Poke Shack, a popular hole-in-the-wall where we could stuff ourselves silly with that quintessential Hawaiian treat, poke, pronounced poh-keh. Poke is made in a variety of ways using raw tuna and other fish and shellfish, tossed with sesame oil and seeds, soy sauce and chiles. Eat it with kimchi, crab salad and seaweed salad. If this food were any fresher, it would swim away. Go early to get your pick of the poke. Much as we loved the sun, sand, surf and poke, there were more adventures to be had before we abandoned the Kona coast. On another beauteous day, we headed south to discover famous Kona coffee at the Greenwell Farms Coffee Plantation. We learned all there is to know about coffee, including an interesting tidbit: it was just three years ago that the coffee plantation people discovered that the coffee berry that surrounds the bean – formerly tossed out – made a great antioxidant drink, so they bottled it and called it Kona Red. We drank lots of it, chilled, and discovered that it mixed well with vodka into a “healthy” cocktail. A bonus at Greenwell was people making Portuguese bread in a volcano rock oven on another part of the plantation. This was hot-out-of-the-oven wheat, white and sweet bread. We bought a bag, took it back to the hotel, ate it later with poke, salami and cheese, plus prosecco, and called it dinner. On the way back to the hotel, a left turn off the main drag onto a side road took us to Kealakekua Bay where we found “peridot beach,” so named by geologist Doug because it was made up entirely of volcanic rock filled with large, shiny, green peridot crystals. On the way back from peridot beach to the main drag, we stopped at a super foodie place, the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative, and bought heaven in a bag – freshly made-on-site chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. They didn’t last long. A couple more days in Kona included a visit to the Alii Garden Market, not far from our hotel, where we found great local stuff – soap, jewelry, clothing and beautiful bowls made from Hawaii’s red koa wood. After some “required” shopping in Kailua-Kona, it was time to hit the road, but not before a meal at the Bite Me Fish Market Bar & Grill at Honokohau Harbor, north of town. Recommended by our Kona Tiki hosts, it was nothing fancy, just fresh fish right off the boat prepared simply. We enjoyed a marlin sandwich and ahi tuna, the catch of the day.

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The next morning, we bid farewell to our home on the ocean and hit Route 11, the highway that circumnavigates the Big Island making it, really, a small island. We were headed to Mauna Loa-land to Volcano Village. Distances are short on the island, so we took our detours where we found them – there are lots of small towns along the way that bear investigation, packed as they are with coffee houses, barbecue joints, Donkey Balls chocolate stores and places to find cool stuff and talk to interesting people. Our first detour was onto South Point Road to the southernmost tip of the Big Island through a pastoral landscape of large, open grassy lands with grazing horses and cattle and the pretty homes of their owners. At the ocean end of the road is the peridot shoreline of Green Sand Beach, the “beach at the end of the world,” we decided. You hike to it, and it’s just stunning with its green sand – from a large deposit of a semi-precious gem called olivine – mixed with black sand and set against the blue sky and water. This is the southernmost point in the United States, though there are Floridians who will argue about that. The Panalu’u Bake Shop is not to be missed, but you couldn’t anyway, since it’s right on the highway in the town of Naalehu. It advertises itself as the southernmost bakery in the U.S. We devoured its dense, delicious bread pudding for lunch after a salad. Hawaii is famous for a sweetbread it claims as its own, but which originated with Portuguese sugar plantation workers. Panalu’u makes many variations of this sweetbread – macadamia nut, guava, taro, mango and combinations of these. After lunch, Route 11 took us out of the hills back toward the water into a dry stretch of grown-over lava fields. We were headed to our next pit stop, the Hale Ohia Cottages B & B, and the instructions to find it were specific: “At the 27 mile marker, put your right turn signal on and turn right at Hale Ohia Road.” So that’s exactly what we did, driving into a rainforest cluster of tall trees with a deep moss- and fern-covered floor. Big change from the coast. Across the main drag from Hale Ohia Cottages is Volcano Village, built in the early ’20s as a retreat from the summer heat for Hawaii’s well-to-do. Its other attraction is its proximity to the Kilauea volcano, currently the longestactive volcano in the world. Since 1983, smoke, ash, poisonous gasses and lava have periodically erupted from the volcano, but in a “controlled” way that attracts visitors. The lava that can be seen to this day pouring into the sea comes from this volcano through a series of underground lava tubes. At dinner time, we discovered that the village’s dining choices were limited to three: the Kilauea Lodge, the Lava Rock Café, which closes after lunch, and the Thai Thai, where we dined sumptuously on pad Thai with short ribs and coconut curry with shrimp. We had enough leftovers for a celebratory New Year’s Eve meal accompanied by a bottle of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine, and chocolate chip mac nut cookies. continued on page 62


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Lava, Killer Surf and Poke (Poh-keh) continued from page 60

But before New Year’s Eve arrived, we explored volcanoes at Volcanoes National Park, starting with the Kilauea crater. You used to be able to circumnavigate the crater, but recently it started emitting too much of its toxic gasses, so downwind is no longer a go. Its most recent lava flow – 1992 to 2005 – resurfaced the landscape downhill to the sea. There’s no telling what it might do next, or when. We explored the drippy Thurston lava tube, partly sealed off due to “volcanic hazards,” before heading down the lava slopes to the sea. There, at the guidebook-recommended Black Sand Beach at the wee Kalapana village, we discovered that the beach had been covered in 18 m of lava since the guidebook had been written. But we found Kalapana to be a funky, hippy-dippy place with a café and people selling smoothies and jewelry. Touristy, but fun. Just outside Volcano Village is the familyowned Volcano Winery cum tea plantation. Volcanic soil and the climate at 4,000 ft. make good grapes. The winery grows its own white symphony grapes (a cross between muscat of Alexandria and grenache gris) plus cayuga white and pinot noir. Some of the excellent wines are blends of grapes and exotic Hawaiian fruits. Our favourites were Volcano Red and Symphony Dry. Do you know what your tea looks like on the bush? Neither did we, but Volcano Winery grows tea bushes alongside its grape vines, so now we know – long, pointed and glossy. The first day of 2013 broke sunny and warm as we packed our bags and headed to Hilo and the north end of the island to our next “camping” spot. Hilo is a pretty city on the east side of the Island, and we found a good lunch at the Coconut Grille: crab cakes done with macadamia nut “panko” and served with sweet chile aioli and papaya relish. The “panko” gave the crab cakes a rich, dark crunch. And if you order alcohol, which we did, you get complementary appetizers – popcorn, pretzels, home made tortilla chips with warm blue cheese dip. North of Hilo, where Route 11 changes to Route 19, sits the charming town of Honoka’a not far from Waimea. On the way, you pass Donna’s Cookies, but don’t pass Donna’s Cookies without stopping. Donna’s Cookies – mac nut are the best – are made in an old wooden building you don’t notice while whizzing by on the main drag. They go all over Hawaii and to the U.S. mainland, they’re that good. We’d go back to Hawaii just for Donna’s cookies. Just beyond Honoka’a was our resting place for the remainder of our stay in Hawaii, the Waipio Wayside B & B, perched high above the ocean and not far from the beauteous Waipio Valley, known for its waterfalls, black sand beach and taro farms. Jacqueline Horne, owner of the B & B, fixed delicious, filling breakfasts each morning that kept us going most of the day. Then, in the evening, we’d haul a bottle of Volcano Winery wine to our go-to eatery, Café il Mondo, for great pizza and salad.

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The B & B was a perfect “home” from which to have adventures. For one, a tootle to the Mauna Loa Observatory took us up the volcano on 17 miles of one-lane, twisty road through fields of many kinds of lava, including crumbly and sharp broken-down debris called “aa! aa!” (we added the exclamation marks) and ropy and smooth ponds of lava called “pahoehoe,” pronounced “pahoy-hoy.” The observatory is “ground zero” for monitoring – starting in the 1950s – the rising CO2 in our atmosphere that launched the global warming/ climate change debate. On a marked “scenic route” off Route 19 north of Hilo, we came upon What’s Shakin, a cute place for food at Onomea by the Sea that’s written up in all the travel books. We believe that “life is short, eat dessert first,” so we downed vast quantities of chocolate and vanilla macadamia nut ice cream. That night, we discovered that not all Hawaiian adventures happen in the daytime. Being on the flanks of a live volcano can come with seismic shocks. About 4 a.m., our B & B shook with the power of a 4.4 earthquake. That was exciting! Apparently, some of the other guests were so “jolted” they ran out naked onto the street. The next afternoon at the Hilo airport we squished into a small, noisy Safari Aviation helicopter with six others and flew into the sunshine to find the glowing red lava that continues to ooze out of the Kilauea crater through seven-mile lava tubes into the ocean. Flying over fields of lava, you appreciate the obliteration it wreaks on the landscape when a volcano erupts. The next day’s adventure was to the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, in the hills off Route 19, not far from our B & B. We were reminded of how small the world is when we learned that the father of the owner was from Acme, Alberta. You can sign up for a five-course vanilla-laced lunch or afternoon tea and a tour of the vanillery. We didn’t, but we ate vanilla ice cream and noted a sign that reads: “Well Behaved Children Welcome. The rest will be turned into Vanilla Pies.” We left with such vanilla-ized treats as soap, salt and southwest dry-rub... but no vanilla pie. The next day we tackled the Waipio Valley, deeply planted between 1,000 ft. walls at 25 percent grade that challenged the knees on the way down. We walked the black sand beach from one end to the other where foolhardy people braved the seriously fierce surf. Among the flowers at one end of the beach, we found a photo memorial to Roland Schnyder of Basel, Switzerland, who died in this surf the last day of December, 1991, age 30. Since our flight back to Calgary didn’t leave until 10 p.m. on our last day, we splurged on a room at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel just a bit north of the Kona airport. It allowed us to lounge around on, reputedly, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, swimming ourselves silly in calm surf. We also got a voyeur’s view of how the resort dwellers live – another “adventure.” With the Canadian and American dollars almost at par, the $200 U.S. room was worth every penny for our last splash of Christmas in Hawaii. ✤


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stockpot Stirrings around Calgary

go team go! n The Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) is sending a team of chefs to the Dubai World Hospitality Championships, November 17-19. CCFCC Culinary Team “Bocuse D’or Laureate” is comprised of former Canadian Bocuse d’Or competitors who will compete against twelve teams from around the world in Dubai, UAE. Our very own Michael Noble, NOtaBLE, is team captain! Yay – sure to win with his leadership! Also, Andrew Springett at SAIT is on the team. More Yay! During the competition, the teams will be required to present a themed buffet and hot meal for a group of 54, including judges and special guests. The event is in its inaugural year, but is expected to become the Middle East’s premier culinary competition. Captain Noble says: “It’s always an honour to represent Canada in international competitions. I’m excited to cook against the best chefs in the world in a city as famous as Dubai.” The Canadian judge at the Dubai competition is Simon Smotkowitz from the Shaw Centre, Edmonton. Go Team Go!

restaurant ramblings n Vin Room West Five Course Classic French Dinner, November 14 at 6:30 pm. For tickets, email info@vinroom.com or phone 587.353.8812. n In 2014, The Ranche Restaurant moves to 747 Lake Bonavista Dr. SE, the previous location of the Newport Grill. It will continue to operate in the historic Bow Valley Ranche House in Fish Creek Park through the end of the year. The new location offers a modernized, year-round restaurant that will also offer a casual lounge as well as fine dining.

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sustainable food. Working in a sushi restaurant, he learned Japanese cuisine. He joined Wine-Ohs as executive chef, where his food continues to evolve. n Baya Rica Café in Bridgeland, 204 - 7A St. NE, features Costa Rican coffees which are roasted onsite. The beautifully renovated sunshine yellow character home provides warmth and charm and serves Belgian waffle brunches on weekends that satisfy those with multiple food sensitivities. n At River Café: throughout November enjoy a Fall Friends & Family Rate of $75 on the five-course fish and game tasting menu. Check website for details. Spend more time with family and friends while hosting Christmas dinner with a fully prepared, ready-toroast turkey dinner to take home. Menu details at river-cafe.com. Purchase an electronic gift certificate online and give to family, friends and colleagues for Christmas. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a seasonal tasting menu and wine from the award-winning cellar. Phone 403-261-7670 to reserve. n At Boxwood: warm up for Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Central Memorial Park with freshly baked pastries, coffee and hot cocoa. 100% of the proceeds go to the Calgary Poppy Fund and The Veteran’s Food Bank. Book a private “Kitchen Party” for groups of 30 to 50, or the community table for a family-style holiday dinner for up to 16. Take a whole free-range rotisserie chicken to go with side salads and vegetables and dinner is done! boxwoodcafe.ca.

n The Libertine Public House has cask beer night the second Thursday of every month – always local. November 14 Libertine taps a cask from Grizzly Paw Brewing at 4 p.m.; December 12 is a cask from Big Rock Brewery. Open to the public. Go taste and enjoy!

n Vintage Group restaurants: Redwater, $20 premium bottles of wine on Tuesdays, Sunday brunch at Redwater Aspen; Vintage Chophouse, dinner before Flames home games, then complimentary shuttle to and from the Saddledome, food and drink specials 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Rush Hour at Rush food and drink specials, including sushi and oysters, Monday to Friday, 3-6 p.m.; Bookers BBQ & Crab Shack, new menu, including pulled pork poutine, redneck tacos and fried green tomatoes, Pulled Pork & Pint Tuesdays – check bookersbbq.com for the menu.

n Wine-Ohs chef Tyler Handy developed his culinary skills at a number of fine restaurants in B.C., completed his training at Camosun College, then spent some time at Sooke Harbour House where he developed a passion for local,

n Ladies Night Out at Il Sogno, Friday, November 15, the “Little Black Dress Party” featuring a three-course menu, #24, 4th St. NE. To reserve, email dominique@ilsogno.org or call 403-232-8901.


n Posto Pizzeria and Bar, 1014 - 8th St. SW, is the sibling of, and has arrived next door to, Bonterra Trattoria. More great pizza in the city – always a good thing – plus innovative takes on the Italian food we love so well. The look is comfortably rustic, the food is deliciously rustic and fun: succulent tuna meatballs, not like your mamma used to make, squid ink ravioli, pizzas on thin, crisp crusts, duck confit arancini (risotto balls) goosed with blood orange aioli and much more. This is the kind of palate-perking, interesting food we love. You will love it too.

Park Wines celebrates 20 years with a whack of great tastings and events. Visit willowpark.net for details.

n Bumpy’s Café serves a great decaf chai latte for those who can’t drink caffeine.No cutting corners by using a pre-made, pre-sweetened mix. Like all their goodies, this is made-fromscratch with high-quality ingredients.

n J. Webb Wine Merchant tastings: November 6, All Things Red, pairing the different styles of red wine with food, $59; November 13, French Food, French Wine, with food from Cassis Bistro, $59; November 20, Backroad Italians, Italy’s wine diversity with food from the Italian Supermarket, $59, Casel Marché location, 17th Ave. & 24th St. SW, jwebb.net for details.

wine & beer wanderings n 20th Charity Wine Auction, Viva Las Vegas, November 9, Willow Park Wines & Spirits’ Vintage Fund in support of Alberta Flood Relief. Best dressed in “Viva Las Vegas” attire wins $10,000 for the charity of your choice. Tickets at 403-296-1640, ext. 277 or events@ willowpark.net. Willow Park Wines & Spirits, Willow Park Village. Willow

n Kensington Wine Market tastings: November 13, Taylor Fladgate 2011 Vintage Port Release. Jancis Robinson, MW says, “Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha 2011 may be the finest wine produced anywhere in the world in 2011”, $50; November 21, La Spinetta Vertical Barolo Tasting, seating is very limited, $95; November 26, Hola La Rioja and tapas, $45, 1257 Kensington Rd. NW, call 283-8000 to register.

n Backyard Vineyards, Langley B.C., is relatively new in Calgary. Look for the fun label and try the wines, including Nosey Neighbour White and Red, sparkling Blanc de Noir Brut, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Meritage. Find them throughout Calgary, including Wine Ink, Co-op Wine, Spirits, Beer,

Highlander Wine & Spirits, Zyn and Willow Park Wines & Spirits. n Wine Ink now carries a fine selection of cold beer and premium spirits. It’s adding to its portfolio all the time, so if you haven’t visited Wine Ink, 932 - 17th Ave. SW, for a while, now would be the time!

cooking classes n At SAIT’s Downtown Culinary Campus, November and December course offerings include: November 2, Fondant Basics, Artisan Bread; November 6, Braising; November 13, Roasting; November 14, Introduction to Cooking; November 15, Date Night; November 30/December 7, Gingerbread Houses. For a complete listing of classes and to register, visit culinarycampus.ca. n Join The Compleat Cook for small group cooking classes featuring Calgary Chefs. Naaco Hors-d’oeuvres, Sweet & Elegant, Greek Holiday Entertaining, Flavours of India, Friday Night Tapas, Oui Oui Paris, Quick Homestyle Italian, Friday Night Date Night, A French Holiday, A Chocolate Holiday, Asian Appetizers, Homemade Pizza, 4-Course Dinner Party, Seafood Appetizers. For all the tasty details, visit compleatcook.ca or phone 403-253-4831.

n At Sunterra Keynote Market: Cooking classes include November 1, All about Pie and Chiles; November 8, Creole Jambalaya and Bananas Foster; November 9, Kids’ Kitchen, Healthy Kids Snacks; November 23, Perfectly Paired, Spanish Wines and Tapas; November 26, The Art of Entertaining, Holiday Survival Guide; November 29, Roasted Winter Squash Soup and Beef Stroganoff; November 30, Kids’ Kitchen, Pizza Party; December 6, The Art of Entertaining, Turducken and Turkey Classics; December 7, Perfectly Paired, Holiday wine, spirits and cocktails; December 13, Sweet Corn Chowder and Chipotle Beef Brisket; December 14, Kids’ Kitchen, Christmas Treats. Details at sunterramarket.com or 403-263-9759 to register. n Sirocco Golf Club hosts Friday and Saturday night cooking classes in November, presented by exec chef Guy Leggat who prepares a five-course tasting menu in a small-class setting, paired with wine, beer and spirits and served at the chef’s table in the kitchen of the Siraia dining room. Mmmmm, fun! Space is limited, cost is $100, reserve with Mike Burns at fb@sirocco. ca or call 403-984-1392.

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Stockpot continued from page 65 n Atco Blue Flame Kitchen: November 1, Bread Making, $20; November 2, Hands-On Cookie Exchange, $65; November 7/8, Gluten Free, $20; November 14/15, Moroccan, a chef-led class, $20; November 16, Chef’s Table, Moroccan, $95; November 21/22, Winter Soups and Stews, $20; November 28/29, Ocean Wise Seafood, $20; November 30, Chef’s Table, Ocean Wise Seafood, $95. All at the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Leaning Centre, 909 - 11th Ave. SW, details at atcoblueflamekitchen.com/classes.

kensingtonriversideinn.com 403.228.4442

general stirrings

n At The Light Cellar Superfood & Superherb Teaching Kitchen: Raw Chocolate Making, Fermented Foods & Drinks, Herbal Pharmacy, Bone Broths, Amazonian Plants, Skin Care, Dehydrating, Medicinal Mushrooms, Liver Care, Raw Pies & Desserts and more. thelightcellar.ca, 6326 Bowness Rd. NW.

n Jme is a collection of beautiful foods made by Jamie Oliver in collaboration with artisans and small scale food producers. From cupboard basics, like chutneys, sauces and preserves, to luxury treats, like luscious chocolate, these are excellent products. Look for them in specialty food stores, including the tasty Bridgeland Market at 1104 1st Ave. NE. Drop in and check out this super-delicious store... if you haven’t already.

n At The Cookcook Co. Cooks: Couples Cooking Classes; Stockmaking and Soups; Sushi Making; Your Mexican Pantry; Preserving for Gift Giving; Artisanal Breadmaking; Gluten, Guilt & GMO Free; Thai Classics; Knife Skills; Christmas Baking; French Country Christmas Celebration. Uncorked Book Launch Party, November 19; For the full calendar cookbookcooks.com.

n Make your protein – chicken, beef, pork, fish, lamb – pasta sauces and grain dishes sing with joy when you cook them with a delish Calgary-made spice paste, Yatu Gourmet Magic. Based on an Ethiopian grandmother’s recipe, visit yatuspices.com for recipes and where to find it, including Green Cedars Food Mart, Sunnyside Market, Sunterra Market Keynote and West

yellowdoorbistro.ca 403.206.9585

KNIT’S COLOUR!

Market Sq., The Cookbook Co. Cooks, Kalamata Grocery and Market 17 at Casel Marché. n Calgary Co-op stores that feature Fresh to Go – Crowfoot and Macleod Trail – do their own coffee roasting. One of the coffees we like best is the Ray Bradbury Roast, dark roasted to 451°F, of course! – dark, spicy and smoky, the darkest organic roast. It’ll wake you up in the morning! Another full-bodied, smooth coffee we favour is the Ethiopian Lemu by Big Mountain. Lots of people carry Big Mountain coffee, but it’s hard to find the Ethiopian Lemu. You can always find it at Big Mountain Coffee at the Crossroads Farmers’ Market.

n Double Cross Vodka from Slovakia was launched with a cocktail challenge at Candela. Talented mixologists created tasty cocktails. 1st place went to Savanna Beach, Raw Bar at Hotel Arts, with Ides of March; 2nd place was Darren Fabien, Candela, with Ama-Mizu, Japanese for “watermelon drink”; 3rd place to Tarquin Melnyk, justcocktails.org with The Kollar Club. n Don’t miss the annual Gluten-Free Market, November 2 at the West Hillhurst Community Association, 1940 - 6th Ave. NW, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s free for Celiac Association members and only $2 for non-members. Children 12 and under free. n Book your holiday catering with Meez Fast Home Cuisine. Chef Judy Wood and her team do everything from full sit-down dinners to casual cocktail parties and everything in between. Check out the catering menus at meezcuisine.com. The holiday catering calendar is filling up fast so don’t wait too long. n The Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) Foods Awards recognizes the best of the more than 4,000 food products processed across the province. Winners included Field Stone Fruit Wines, Mountain View Farming, Rock Ridge Dairy, Honey Bunny honey, Highwood Distillers, Sgambaro’s Signature Seafoods, Thumbs Up Foods, JRK Farms, Siwin Foods and KSL Foods.

hotelarts.ca 403.206.9565

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n Heritage Park always puts on a beautiful and fun Once Upon a Christmas, weekends November


23 to December 22, where you can enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas in the Historical Village. There’s a festive fund raiser, Christmas in Alberta, December 2, in support of Heritage Park and Rosebud Theatre. Tickets at 403-268-8509. Winter CARnival, December 27 to January 5, at Gasoline Alley. Ring in the new year with a great meal at Selkirk Grille New Year’s Eve Dinner, December 31. Reserve at 403-268-8607.

or plain braids and assorted buns. And, all year, rye bread, French pastries and linzertorte. 4306 - 17th Ave. SE.

n Don’t miss the Art Market art and craft sale, November 14 -17, for hand-crafted 100% Canadian gift shopping, Telus Convention Centre. Visit artmarketcraftsale.com for all the details.

n Dine with the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks for Christmas Dinner at Congress Hall, Spruce Meadows, on November 25. The menu is on the association website. Price is $90, tickets at calgarycacc@gmail.com.

n The Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown takes place November 18, 7 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency. The event raises awareness of the importance of using ocean-friendly seafood. Twelve of Calgary’s great chefs will produce their best ocean-friendly chowders, paired with local craft beer. Tickets at vanaqua.org/chowdown. n Get your German Christmas goodies at Gunther’s Fine Baking: fruit bread, honey nuts, fancy cookies, stollen with marzipan filling, buttercream Christmas logs in vanilla rum and chocolate, poppy, walnut and apple strudels, raisin

n Christmas at the Hive, Chinook Honey, Okotoks’ events: December 7th and 14th from 10 am to 5 pm., including fund raising drive for the Foothills County Hospice. Sleigh rides, fireside refreshments, draws and snow candle making, free tours and craft. chinookhoney.com 386087 - 16th St. W.

n The Salt Cellar has a new line of all-natural popcorn blends including Canadian Bacon and Chili Salt. Also new is a limey cocktail rimmer for caesars, margaritas and more. Find it at Bite Groceteria in Inglewood, Kingsland Market and the Cochrane Cookhouse. Try it at the Millarville and Spruce Meadows Christmas markets. n The Huron Carole performs December 17 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Artists include founder Tom Jackson, Beverley Mahood, continued on page 68

At J.Webb Wine Merchant

You don’t just get the bottle,

you get the story. Meet the Gouges family, third generation winemakers in Nuits-St-Georges at one of our many organic, family run estates. Glenmore Landing: Landing: 90th 90th Ave. Ave. and and 14th St. SW Glenmore

|

www.jwebb.net

Casel Marché: SW Ave. SW 17th Ave. and 17th St. and 24th St. Marché: 24th

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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Stockpot continued from page 67

Clapson claim this new site will be the go-to online source for Canada’s food scene, including dining destinations, up-and-coming chefs, local farmers’ markets and suppliers, recipes and lots more. Find the edible best of what Canada has to offer.

George Canyon, One More Girl, and Shannon Gaye. Proceeds to Calgary’s Food Bank, huroncarole.ca. n Cococo Chocolatiers, owners of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, are making milk and dark chocolate yule logs filled with an assortment of chocolates, perfect for home, as a hostess gift, or to share at the office. The chocolate cherries always sell out, so order now! They marinate in Italian liqueur, are enveloped in fondant, dipped in dark chocolate, and, finally, rolled in chocolate shavings.

FRESH OFF THE FARM Extra juicy Co-op Perfect Pork – fresh, no hormones added,* open pen raised Alberta pork that’s 100% vegetable grain fed, marbled for extra tenderness and aged 14 days – is exclusively available at Calgary Co-op. Right now you can find it at the newly renovated

n Join tourmeister Gail Hall on her Seasoned Solutions Culinary Tour of Vietnam, March 1-14 and/or the Culinary Tour of Piedmont and Burgundy, with optional extension to attend the Slow Food event in Torino, Italy, October 11-22. For the itineraries go to seasonedsolutions.ca or phone 780-437-0761 or gail@ seasonedsolutions.ca.

n Did you know that extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of about 20 months from the time the olives are crushed? Blue Door Oil & Vinegar carries only the freshest extra virgin olive oils from around the world. Olive mills in Chile, Peru, Australia and South Africa have just finished harvesting and producing their olive oils – find them on Blue Door’s shelves. Stop in to sample this new collection of fresh oils.

n Simply Choices, made by Wellness Foods, a Canadian company, offer protein bars and savoury protein chips that give you a healthy boost to curb your appetite before going out in this season of overindulgence! There’s more protein with fewer calories than many bars or chips, and these are low glycemic, gluten free, vegetarian and kosher. Find them at whole foods stores, including Amaranth, Blush Lane, Community Natural Foods and Planet Organic.

n A new Canadian web site highlights culinary happenings coastto-coast – eatnorth.ca. Co-founders Diana Ng, Dave Wilkinson and Dan

Crowfoot Co-op food store, by mid-November you can find it at all of our locations.

Perfect Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Citrus 2 Co-op Perfect Pork Tenderloins

1/4 cup Canola Oil

2 Fresh Oranges

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Earl Grey Tea Bags Use a zester or box grater to grate the zest off the oranges, directly onto the fresh pork. Cut open two earl grey tea bags, and sprinkle the tea leaves over the pork. Drizzle with the canola oil, season with the salt and pepper, and then rub all the ingredients into the pork until they’re evenly coated with the citrus and tea leaves. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavours steep into the pork.  The following day, roast the pork in a 400°F oven until just medium, or 135°F internal temperature, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Let rest about 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 4-6.

casually elegant. uniquely vintage. distinctly canadian.

Family-Style Sunday Supper

Three course menu • $34.95 Adults • $17.50 Children ❧

For reservations call 403.268.8607 or visit HeritagePark.ca

Recipe contributed by John Humphreys, Co-op Executive Chef *All Canadian pork is raised without the use of hormones.

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1900 Heritage Drive SW Calgary


Aging Wine Under Water continued from page 56

Despite the unorthodox packaging, the wine itself is apparently quite tasty. “The aroma suggests caramelized lemon peel and dried flower petals with hints of baked apple and allspice. On the palate, it’s surprisingly soft, leading into ripe, almost sweet, white peach followed by bracing acidity and a dry mineral finish,” wrote Alan Tardi, The New York Times writer who sampled Lugano’s first wines aged under the ocean. I tried to track down a similar sunken sipper in Calgary. Most people laughed when I asked. “I can stick it in the back of the toilet to chill it for you,” one friend quipped. “I hear the Titanic has a few,” another snickered. But Artisan Wines agent David Partridge heard about my search, and dropped me a note to tell me his company represents wine maker Raul Perez in Alberta. Perez’s family winery makes a special white wine, Sketch, named in honour of a British restaurant where he and his girlfriend like to hang out. The wine is made from 100 percent albariño grapes grown in Rias Baixas, Spain, 150 metres from the Atlantic Ocean. Once in bottle, it’s aged 60 feet below the ocean’s surface. The most successful vintages so far were the 2002 and 2003. Most of a recent attempt was spoiled, and there’s no word for sure on what vintage will next be released. (Perez is a bit of a rock star wine maker, and likes to keep these things a surprise.)

EXPERIENCE

NEW C H EF ~ YO S H I TA K A C H U B AC H I NEW MENU

E S TAT E H OT E L

Reservations 403-931-0100 I azuridge.ca I Priddis, AB

!

T Y ET A ar K W G r O L a N Ca ’ M E rs TH ME r

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But Sketch does occasionally pop up in Calgary wine shops. It was sold out at the time of writing, but a new shipment is expected in early November. There won’t be much – a handful of bottles at most – and it will likely retail for about $115 a bottle. Like a good pirate, Partridge smuggled a bottle from a private cellar for me to see. Though, alas, not to drink. Liquid treasure from the bottom of the ocean, it tempted me for days before I returned the plunder unharmed. The call of the siren, indeed.

dining A

Want to try wine aged under water? The team at Artisan Wine may have a shipment of Sketch by Raul Perez in Calgary now or soon. Contact David Partridge at davidp@artisanwines.ca if you’re interested.

Others who are experimenting with underwater aging: • Louis Roederer (the champagne house behind Cristal) has been aging some of its champagne off the coast of Normandy, France, since 2008. • Last year, the team at Château Larrivet Haut-Brion in France aged a red wine, named Neptune, in a 56-litre oak barrel, in the Atlantic Ocean’s Bay of Arcachon. • France’s Château Champ des Soeurs has tried aging a white Corbières in the ocean. • In Jura, France, a group of wine makers submerged 276 bottles in the ocean last year as part of a long-term experiment on aging. The plan is to open 24 bottles every 20 years to see how the wine has evolved. • Even breweries are getting in on the action. Scotland’s BrewDog makes Sunk Punk, an India Pale Ale that’s spent time at the bottom of the North Sea. ✤

Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary-based food and wine writer whose third edition, written with Darren Oleksyn, of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25 will be released in November.

• fresh pasta & meals to go • quebec cheese • daily lunches • 55 olive oils & balsamic vinegars to sample • Northern hemisphere harvest arriving in December Calgary’s First Olive Oil & Balsamic Tasting Bar

2116, 380 canyon meadows dr. se. 403-278-2728. sOFFriTTO.Ca

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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8 quick ways with Bacon

home of the

$100 burger!

INCLUDES: 16 oz. waigu beef patty, seared fois gras, duck confit, & black truffle cheese

The entertaining season can render us a bit done-in with its expectations, many of which have to do with baking and cooking and feeding people endlessly on food that we don’t make any other time of the year. It’s good to take a break from the kerfuffle with some of our favourite comfort foods – like bacon. With a tasty seasonal beer – lots of those around – or a glass of fave wine. Of course, you can just fry up a batch of bacon and munch at it straightup. Nothing wrong with that. But here are some new ways with bacon. 1. Sweet and Salty Bacon Bites

One DeliCiOus HOliDay TuRkey DinneR THRee DiFFeRenT Ways TO enjOy iT!

From Fan Fare! Best of Bridge Cookbook. These are great with beer. Make lots. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and oil it. Cut 1 package (about 12 oz.) of pork breakfast sausage links in half – about 14 sausages – and wrap them in 14 slices of bacon, halved, so you have 28 sausage pieces wrapped in 28 pieces of bacon. Put 3/4 c. packed brown sugar in a shallow dish. Gently press and roll the wrapped sausages in the sugar. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until brown and nicely sticky. Serve immediately. With lots of beer! Makes 28 bites.

2. Peppery Glazed Bacon

Dine-In

From the Holiday Collection cookbook from the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.

Delivered

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place a rack or two on top. Place 1 lb. thick-sliced bacon on the racks. Sprinkle the bacon with pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and brush the top of the bacon with 1/4 c. Thai sweet chili sauce. Reduce the oven to 350°F. and continue baking until the bacon is glazed and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

3. Heart Attack Sandwich From our irreverent friend, Pierre Lamielle, in his book Kitchen Scraps, a Humorous Illustrated Cookbook. In a large frying pan, cook 6 slices of thick-cut bacon until crisp. Put them on a plate. Don’t drain, you want the grease. In the bacon grease left in the pan, fry 3 eggs until the yolks are hard, then put them on the same plate. Take 4 thick slices of gleaming white fibreless bread and layer the sandwich like so: bread, a slab of cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 2 bacons, 1 T. mayonnaise, potato chips, bread... and so on, until you have 3 layers of filling smooshed between 4 slices of bread. Using what’s left of the bacon fat, fry the sandwich until it’s golden brown on both sides. Makes 1 memorable last meal.

To Go

4. Maple Glazed Wings with Bacon From Fifty Shades of Chicken.

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For restaurant reservations or to pre-order for pick-up please contact Cravings Market Restaurant at

For catering orders please contact Office Gourmet Catering at

403.252.2083

403.256.9344

cravingsmarketrestaurant.com

Or order online at officegourmetcatering.com

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c. maple syrup, 1/4 c. soy sauce, 1/4 c. chopped green onions, 1-1/2 T. rice or apple cider vinegar, 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 t. ground pepper, and mix well. Add 15 chicken wings, patted very dry with paper towels. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slice 8 strips of bacon in half lengthwise. Remove the wings from the marinade and wipe off any clinging garlic or onion bits. Tightly tie up each wing in a bacon ribbon and lay the wings, tip side up, on a large baking pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden and crisp, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 15 wings.


5. Bacon Whiskey Jam Spread this on your midnight toast! From Michael Smith’s new book, Back to Basics, 100 Simple Classic Recipes with a Twist.



Put 2 lbs. of thick-cut bacon, chopped, into a large saucepan with a big splash of water. Stir frequently over medium-high heat as the bacon cooks in the water, then releases its fat as the water evaporates. As the bacon begins to sizzle and brown, adjust the heat and stir as it gets evenly browned and is still slightly soft and not particularly crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove the bacon, keep 1/4 c. of the drippings in the pan and pile in 8 chopped onions. Cook the onions until soft, caramelized and browned, about 30 minutes. Add in the bacon, 2 c. brown sugar and 2 c. water. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick and jam-like, about 20 minutes. Pour in 2 c. whiskey, reserving a shot for the finish, and cook until jam-like again. Scrape into a food processor, splash in 1 t. red wine vinegar and the reserved shot of whiskey. Pulse until smoother, but still chunky and rustic. Bacon heaven! Makes 2 cups.

T



6. Little Girl Bacon-and-Egg-Salad Sandwiches From Alice Eats, A Wonderland Cookbook, a new, fun book by Pierre Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal.

Cut 1/2 lb. thick sliced smoked bacon into matchsticks and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon, but keep the fat in the pan. Melt 3 T. unsalted butter in the pan and add 1 c. brown sugar and 1 T. water. Boil until soft-ball stage, 235°F. on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute. Add 1/4 c. brandy – stand back, it might spit – then add 1/4 c. whipping cream and stir. Now you have a yummy brandy bacon maple caramel sauce. Pour it over vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a bit of whipped cream and a crispy bit of bacon. Weird, but good.

c ov

dis

brin

••

27th annual art market nov 14 - 17

calgary telus convention centre 136-8th ave. se Calgary's premier art & craft sale is designed for Christmas gift shopping and the discerning collector.

$

on coup

Knifewear Knerd Kevin Kent’s recipe in Club Club Community Cookbook.

•• • ••

8. Bacon Caramel Sundae

uniq

g if t s

Heat 1 T. olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté 1 sliced shallot until translucent. Add 1 lb. clams, scrubbed (about 12 small littleneck clams), and give them a toss, then add 1/4 c. white wine and 2 T. dry vermouth. Cover the pan and cook the clams 2 - 3 minutes, or until they open. Pour the clams into a fine sieve, reserve the liquid and strain it through a cheesecloth. Discard any unopened clams. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 oz. bacon, cut into small dice, and cook it until it browns a bit, then add 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced. Add the reserved clam liquid and reduce by half. Add the clams and simmer until warmed through. Add chopped chives, a good squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over grilled Arctic char or salmon.

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ue

Adapted from a recipe in The Ocean Wise Cookbook.

d ien •

7. Bacon Clam Dressing for Arctic Char or Salmon

g a fr

•• • • •

Peel 6 - 8 large, hard-cooked eggs and roughly chop them in a bowl with a whisk or pastry blender (easy). Add 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. mayonnaise, 1 t. lemon juice, 1 t. Dijon or grainy mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 3 - 4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, 1 finely chopped green onion and 2 T. chopped fresh basil (optional). Spread 6 slices of white sandwich bread with butter, then with the egg bacon salad and top with spring greens, leaf lettuce or pea shoots. Cut off the crusts, if you like. Cut each sandwich into quarters, squares or fingers to serve for tea. Serves 6 to 8 little girls.

2

OFFission

adm

ee turn fr

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www.artmarketcraftsale.com CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

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last meal

Drink Coffee... Do stupid Things faster with more energy!

The humble hamburger must surely be the most celebrated food in North America. The fast-food industry has transformed it into a commodity that generates billions of dollars. Food writers never tire of the ubiquitous burger shoot-out – a battle to see who can deliver the ultimate expression of ground beef nestled between two halves of a white bun. All of this stems from the knowledge that a burger can be a glorious thing when done right. Burgers can get interesting when we enlist pork, lamb and bison in place of the traditional beef, and flavour enhancements are nearly endless. The bun is a crucial component that is often overlooked – why go to the trouble of making a great burger only to slap it between two slabs of bland, pasty white bread? I usually go for the brioche buns from the Yum Bakery in the Calgary Farmers’ Market. They are a little large but soft and buttery, the next best thing to a good homemade bun. Serve with coleslaw and/or my corn salad recipe.

pork

paprika

pancetta shallots

cheddar

cumin

hot pepper sauce Worcestershire

Pork Burgers When using high-quality beef I tend to subscribe to the au naturel camp, but pork is a different beast. It lends itself to a wide variety of spices and seasonings, and the beauty of this recipe is you can play around with it to suit your tastes. I like to cook these to medium-rare, leaving them a little pink in the middle to make sure they don’t dry out.

thick, and allow them to rest at room temperature, about a half hour before cooking. Grill until done, about 4 minutes per side, adding cheese slices during the last minute of cooking. Serve on toasted buns smeared with burger/sandwich spread (recipe follows) and add desired garnishes. Makes 6 large burgers.

2 lbs. ground pork, preferably local, free-range

Burger/Sandwich Spread

1 t. ground cumin

2 T. mayonnaise

1 T. smoked paprika

2 T. prepared horseradish

4 oz. pancetta, diced fine

2 T. Dijon mustard

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. ketchup

2 T. hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s (use Sriracha if you want more kick)

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Leftovers can be kept covered in the fridge for several weeks.

1/4 c. diced shallots dash of salt and pepper, to taste slices of a melting cheese, such as cheddar or gruyère

Mix all of the ingredients, other than the cheese, together in a large bowl until just combined. Use a light touch; you don’t want to knead the mixture. This mixture is best done the night before or in the morning to allow the flavours to meld; refrigerate until ready make the patties. Preheat the grill (they can also be cooked in a castiron skillet). Form patties roughly the same size as your buns, about 1-inch

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CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013


Geoff Last

Keep it simple and seasonal

Spiced Corn Salad

Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

This is best when made with fresh corn but frozen works just fine in a pinch.

This is a take on the traditional banana bread, but the addition of cocoa transforms it into more of a chocolate cake than a bread. It will be slightly gooey in the middle, which is good. This is one of those standby recipes that I often turn to since I usually have these ingredients on hand.

2 T. butter 2 large shallots, diced kernels from 4 ears of corn, or 1 large bag frozen 1 T. good olive oil

1-1/2 c. unbleached white flour

1/2 t. dried crushed red chiles

1/4 c. Dutch process cocoa (I like Bensdorp brand from Holland)

zest of 2 limes

1/4 t. baking soda

3 green onions, green-part only, chopped

2 t. baking powder

1/2 cucumber, seeded, coarsely chopped

3/4 t. salt

1/2 c. (loosely packed) chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 c. mashed ripe bananas

sea salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat and add the shallots, sautéing for a few minutes, until softened. Add the corn and sauté for about 5 minutes; the corn should be cooked but still slightly crunchy. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Serve the salad warm or slightly chilled. Serves 4 to 6.

1/2 c. buttermilk (or whole milk) 1 t. vanilla extract 1/2 c. butter, softened 3/4 c. sugar 2 large eggs 1 c. pecans (or almonds), toasted, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a standard loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl (or blender), mix the bananas, buttermilk and vanilla, breaking down the bananas as much as possible. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat the banana and flour mixtures alternately into the butter mixture in 2 additions each. Stir in the nuts and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a rack and allow it to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 1 loaf.

IT’S OK TO BE NAUGHTY OR NICE

Ridge Vineyards 2008 Ponzo Zinfandel $58

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS

There are lots of options here. You can go white with a good riesling, but my favourite burger wine is California zinfandel. Ridge Vineyards produces some of the most sublime examples of zinfandel in existence, as is reflected in the price, but you can opt for a more affordable example from a zinfandel specialist like Bogle or Cline. The Ponzo is bursting with juicy wild berry and spice notes, with a touch of vanilla and soft, round tannins.

223 – 8TH AVE SW, CALGARY

Wine recommendation:

DOWNTOWN

BOOK YOUR PARTY NOW

t 403.265.3665 f THELIBERTINE.CA

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

73


GUNTHER’S FINE BAKING

back burner S h e w c huk o n s i m m e r

Salad days?

European-style breads and pastries

Gunther & Elisabeth Stranzinger and all the staff at Gunther’s wish you the very best of the season. Don’t forget to come in for Christmas Stollen and fancy cookie platters for the holidays. Ask us about a BÛCHE de NOËL to crown your holiday table.

Allan Shewchuk

At the end of the summer, we took a lazy drive to the mountains and decided to lunch at a resort renowned for its great food. Our server was a young man who had been working there to earn his loot between first and second year university. After some time with the menu, we weren’t sure what to order, so we asked the strapping sophomore what he would recommend. “Have the pasta!” he advised cheerfully.

4306 - 17 Avenue SE • 403-272-0383 • gfbaking.ca

“Is it good?” my wife asked. “Not really,” said the lad. “But you get more of it than the other entrees.” I started to laugh as it had been 30 years since I’d finished my last degree and I realized how much my food priorities had changed since I was a student. It had been a long time since I chose “more” before “good.” Just then, a sudden rush of memories came over me about how I used to cook and eat as an undergraduate away from home for the first time. My laughter abruptly turned to utter shame and horror. Given what I put into my body back then, I had to ask: why was I even still alive? What was I thinking as I emptied mountains of Kraft Dinner, Sapporo Ichiban and Mr. Noodles packages? The answer, of course, was that I was a teenaged male. I wasn’t thinking. Thinking didn’t figure into the equation at all. In fact, it would be a decade after my teens before I was even capable of thinking about proper nourishment, because teenaged males are a unique combination of two things: insatiable appetite and laziness.

The best of the season... fresh Turkeys, smoked Turkeys, Geese, Baking Hams and more!

Illichmann’s sausaGe sHoP lTd. fresh meat and Homemade sausage Bacon and smokies • Custom Cutting • Curing • • Smoking • Game Processing •

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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.

403-253-2059

info@calgaryfoodbank.com www.calgaryfoodbank.com 74

CITY PALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013

Part of the insatiable appetite is a relentless craving for foodstuffs that fit the teenaged male’s dietary requirements – easy, fatty, starchy, salty, and lots of it. This coincides with the onset of puberty, which we all know makes thinking illusory anyway. In fact, the normal daily pattern of a boy living at home and left to his own devices is to sleep in until mid-afternoon, head directly for the fridge, open the door and stare for what seems like hours, hoping that something already prepared by Mom will spring forth so that zero effort needs to be expended. There’s no need to even heat up the food – that would take some work. Ideally, few dishes will be dirtied, as eating directly out of Tupperware, or better yet, an actual pot, makes the experience even more pleasurable. I must say, I don’t miss this time in my life (well, except for sleeping until mid-afternoon without having to wake up to hit the bathroom every three hours). When boys leave home for school and do the cooking themselves, this is indeed the era of K.D. or Ichiban because, even though you have to make it yourself, it can still be enjoyed right from the cooking vessel hot off the stove. Perhaps the addition of wieners or ketchup is in order for those “special” occasions (such as a blinding hangover) when doubling the outrageous sodium content is needed. And during these formative years, the key is to always eat while watching television, lest you miss something important. I harken back to one of my old roommates, who would come home from class for lunch and fix a double batch of Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup. He would open some Wonder Bread and dip the whole loaf, slice after slice, right into the pot while religiously watching re-runs of the Canadian game show Definition with host Jim Perry. I’m not sure which was more deadly – the amount of chemical additives in the bread and soup, or the polyester sported by Mr. Perry. Regardless, with that daily dose of double Lipton, it’s a miracle that I didn’t arrive home on the last day of the first semester to find my roomie turned into a pillar of salt in front of the TV. As I write this, I wonder how our little sophomore server is doing back at university. I suspect that when he doesn’t have early classes he sleeps until noon and then boils up his daily dose of salty carbohydrates. These days, they would be eaten in front of the computer while Facebooking or illegally downloading movies, I suppose. Whatever he’s eating, I’m sure that it’s salty, starchy, fatty and that he is, indeed, happiest when there is “more of it.” I get that, but I’ll never understand why these times are referred to as a young man’s “salad days.” Allan Shewchuk is currently living in Florence, Italy where he spends his time equally between his Tuscan kitchen and the local wine store. The Italian economy may just rebound.


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City Palate November December 2013  

The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene - The Entertaining Issue

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