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city palate T H E

F L AV O U R

O F C A L G A R Y ’ S S I N C E 1 9 9 3

F O O D

S C E N E

the entertaining issue CITYPALATE.CA

NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018


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table of contents

CITY PALATE NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

FEATU RE S

14 16 18 20 22 26

n An Entertaining Menu

n Gift These

Great gifts for the boozers in your life Tom Firth

n Kitchen Technology You Need Now

Gifts that foodies love to give and get Wanda Baker

n And These

This year we turn to Mercato’s executive chef, Spencer Wheaton

Cook smart with these high tech kitchen gadgets Erin Lawrence

n Going through SAIT’s Professional Cooking Diploma Program

Harsimran Chahal

n City Palate Crossword

The answers and the winner!

D EPA RTME NT S

5 n WORD OF MOUTH

Notable culinary happenings around town

7 n EAT THIS

What to eat in November and December Ellen Kelly

8 n DRINK THIS

Calvados: from the humble apple to liquid gold Geoff Last

Intrattenere (In-TRA-TEN-air-Eh)

This is how we say “Entertain” in Italian. For Italians, entertaining and sharing meals is how we celebrate the holidays. In our shops you’ll find everything you need to make your holidays easy and stress free, and of course, to wow your guests.

Gather with family and friends and celebrate the holidays with us.

10 n ONE INGREDIENT

Caramel Julie Van Rosendaal

12 n THE SUNDAY PROJECT

Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu with Karen Ralph and Christina Appave

24 n STOCKPOT

Stirrings around Calgary

28 n 6 QUICK WAYS WITH...

Chestnuts Chris Halpin

30 n BACK BURNER... SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER

DPDB Allan Shewchuk

Cover Artist: Hannah Drennan is an Algonquin College student who entered this cover in City Palate's annual cover competition for Algonquin College students. We thought Hannah's cover perfectly fit the Entertaining Issue.

READ US ONLINE AT CITYPALATE.CA

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End CALGARY Willow Park

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

3


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

Not enough women recognize the signs of heart attack and know what to do. My mom was one of them.

magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (carol@citypalate.ca) contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributors Christina Appave Wanda Baker Harsimran Chahal Tom Firth Chris Halpin Ellen Kelly Geoff Last Erin Lawrence Karen Ralph Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal

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Subscriptions are available for $48 per year within Canada and $68 per year outside Canada. Editorial Enquiries: Please email kathy@citypalate.ca

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word of mouth

NOTABLE CULINARY HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN IN OU R OPIN ION

Thank You

Read these: City Palate would like to thank all the businesses that offered their congratulations to us on our 25th Anniversary co-op pages in the September October issue. We are pleased to let you know that a donation has been made to the Calgary Food Bank, on your behalf, for your participation. City Palate will continue its commitment to enhance our city’s splendid culinary scene and our community.

Crossword Puzzle Winner Congratulations to Doug Rideout whose crossword puzzle won the City Palate prize of tickets to the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. We received lots of correct crosswords, but his was the FIRST fully correct one to come in. Thank you all for participating and hope you had fun doing it.

Le Creuset Colour Le Creuset is always about colour and that’s one thing people like at an entertaining dinner – cheerful, colourful, fun. This beautiful serving platter may be had in cerise, flame, Caribbean, blueberry and oyster at the Le Creuset store in Chinook and at fine kitchenware retailers. Check it out, along with all the other beautiful Le Creuset serving items, at lecreuset.ca.

Jeans and Jazz This is totally fun, Vin Room Mission and West invite you to come on Saturday nights to Jeans and Jazz featuring live jazz from 8-11 p.m., to accompany the 85+ wines by the glass, beers, spirits and globally-inspired small plates and tapas. Go as you are, it’s totally casual while supporting local musicians. No cover charge, but reservations are recommended. Visit vinroom.com for details and reservations, or phone Mission (403-457-5522) or West (587-353-8812).

Conjuring up more chocolate fun There’s been so much going on in the Cococo chocolate factory this past while – in the midst of the Holiday Season chocolate making, Cococo Chocolatiers will be opening a new and expanded retail shop in Bankers Hall in November, right next door to their current space on the second floor retail level. Harnessing all of the good energy that this time of year can bring, this new downtown locale will reveal new chocolate surprises while still offering much-loved classic confections. Cococo (say it like “ho ho ho”) is Calgary’s purveyor of fine, sustainable cocoa confectionery, including Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut® products. cococochocolatiers.com

Canada teams up with Africa for nutritious, sustainable foods Farafena which means ‘Africa’ in Bambara, the national language of Mali, is an African-Canadian food company that works with women farmers in Africa to provide nutritious foods to sustainabilityconscious consumers in Canada. Farafena promotes health and sustainability through its offerings of nutritious grains, flours and powders, as well as through an equitable exchange with local women farmers in Africa. For more information, visit farafena.com. Even better, visit facebook.com/Farafena/ and find these good products at more than 600 retailers, includling Loblaws, Superstore, Safeway, Sobeys.

Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson, Recipes to Bring Comfort and Joy, Appetite by Random House, hard cover, $40. Anna Olson has been around since about forever, and this is a perfect book that brings great recipes from starters to sweets for the festive season and almost every day. There's a Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry that will get you started so happily, and followed up with Caramel Apple Bars or a Pecan Butter Tart Cheesecake or Pomegranate Chocolate Tart. Chefs Eat Melts Too: A Pro’s Guide to Reinventing Your Hot Sandwich Game, by Darren Purchese, hard cover, Hardie Grant Books, $28.99. If the concept of a book all about melty sandwiches isn't compelling enough on its own, this beautiful little hardback's intriguing cover is reason enough to give it a second look. It's textured like a perfectly griddled melt just where the toasty bread is pictured, convincing enough to bring up fond memories of the last melt you ate, and the one that you're going to eat next. The perfect gift for the one on your list forever in pursuit of the perfect grilled cheese. The Nordic Baking Book, by Magnus Nilsson, hard cover, Phaidon Press, $59.95. Powerhouse Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson of Michelin-starred Fäviken fame has a book that’s part baker’s compendium and part travelogue. He explores classic and contemporary Sandinavian baking practices and discusses the four grains of the Nordic region. The Jeweled Table: Cooking, Eating & Entertaining the Middle Eastern Way, by Bethany Kehdy, hard cover, Hardie Grant Books, $50. Kehdy takes the reader by the hand and guides you through the perfect Middle Eastern entertaining experience, from cocktails to table décor, small plates to family-style platters, and dessert. Topics range from the history of moussaka or the role of tea, coffee and alcohol in Middle Eastern cuisine. Insightful and beautifully illustrated, this book is, itself, a real jewel.

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018


eat this

by Ellen Kelly

WHAT TO EAT IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

As the holidays approach, a whole new round of culinary opportunities presents itself. Not only are we planning festive family dinners and fetes for friends and colleagues, it’s especially nice to have on hand homey handcrafted hostess (and host) gifts to thank those who entertain us in turn. Gifts of food and drink are gifts from the heart, I say. Jars of cranberry sauce or spicy candied nuts are always welcome this time of year, and sweet satsumas simply epitomize the season. CRANBERRIES are available frozen (which is perfectly acceptable) all year long, but we start to see the fresh berries after Labour Day and up until December. Although our first thought is usually cranberry sauce, this vitamin C rich berry, when combined with other fruits, provides a tart counterpoint to chutneys, pies, muffins and cobblers. Its ability to morph from sweet to savoury makes it a valuable asset in the holiday kitchen. It’s time to re-visit a favourite cranberry chutney recipe provided several years ago by the talented Grayson Sherman, especially apropos on our 25th anniversary. I’ve said it before, but what the heck, I’ll say it again… this is the best cranberry ”sauce” I’ve ever eaten. Start with 1 lb. of fresh or frozen cranberries and spread 2/3 of them in a single layer on a buttered baking sheet. Sprinkle the berries evenly with 1 c. white sugar, cover with foil and bake at 350°F. for 45 minutes. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 c. raspberry vinegar, 1 c. cider vinegar, 1/2 a lemon (seeded and chopped, including the peel), 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. white sugar, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. cayenne pepper, 1 t. Chinese five-spice powder, 1/2 t. ground cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the remaining 1/3 lb. cranberries, 1/2 c. chopped dried apricots, 1-1/2 T. chopped candied ginger and 1/2 c. golden raisins. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Mix in the cranberries from the oven and give it another 5 minutes. You can jar the chutney while hot or allow it to cool, and then refrigerate where it will keep nicely for several days, improving in flavour as all chutneys do.

It’s truly wonderful that in our northern clime we can still benefit from the citrus season although it’s not a crop we can call our own. ORANGES were a staple in our youth and as grown-up cooks, the juice and zest perk up our everyday dishes. But it is the loose-skinned mandarin that truly heralds the holiday season. The scent of that first peeled satsuma takes us right back to Christmas’ past. Nothing is prettier than a bowl of satsuma or clementine oranges with stems and leaves attached. As homely and common as oranges are, they still seem exotic to me.

NUTS are basically edible kernels enclosed in shells. The shell, in turn, can be thin, brittle, tough or woody, depending on the nut. While some are not technically “nuts” (botanically, peanuts are legumes and Brazil nuts are seeds), we can leave that for the small talk at cocktail parties. I’ve been making a variation of these candied nuts for a few years now and they’re always well received and disappear too quickly. Barb Tipton, who gave me the original recipe, called them Swedish Nuts, but wasn’t sure they weren’t actually called Sweetish Nuts. With a little investigating, I discovered that Swedish was correct, but we continue to refer to them as “sweetish” out of contrariness. Melt 1/2 c. butter on a foil lined baking sheet at 325°F. On another sheet, toast 1 lb. nuts (blanched almonds, pecan halves and/or walnut halves) until aromatic, about 10 minutes. Watch the nuts carefully and stir a couple of times. Remove both nuts and butter and allow to cool. Beat 2 egg whites until almost stiff; slowly add 1 c. sugar and 1/2 t. vanilla, then beat until stiff peaks form. Last minute, toss in 1 t. Maldon salt, 1/2 t. ground cinnamon (or try cardamom) and 1/2 t. cayenne. Next, fold the now cooled nuts into the egg whites. Spread the meringue mixture over the melted butter and bake in the pre-heated 325°F.oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until nuts are covered with a light brown sugary coating and no butter remains. Let the candied nuts cool and keep in a tightly sealed container. Makes about 4 cups.

Illustrations by Eden Thompson

BUY: As fresh cranberries are only sold prepackaged, as far as I know, sorting through them before purchasing isn’t possible. Once out of the bag, however, discard any that are discoloured or shrivelled. TIPS: Dried cranberries are a tasty alternative to raisins or currants in baking and savoury stuffing, or just as a snack. DID YOU KNOW? While cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and North America, they are extensively cultivated, often called bounceberries, which is apparently how to recognize a ripe berry. Who knew?

BUY: Look for satsuma and clementine oranges at Asian and Italian markets, as well as some specialty food stores. Seasonal Valencia and navel oranges, now at their best, will be available everywhere. TIPS: Keep an eye out for the ever more elusive Seville orange used primarily for marmalade. Even if you don’t plan to make this classic preserve, the dried zest (removed with a vegetable peeler) is a boon in everything from osso bucco to Moroccan tajines. DID YOU KNOW? The word orange comes from the sanskrit naranga, and thence from the Tamil naru, meaning “fragrant.” Instead of the fruit named for the colour, the colour is named for the fruit. An interesting transliteration typical of culinary language and definition.

BUY: Buy the freshest nuts available. I’m convinced that most people who claim to dislike walnuts, for instance, have been given nuts that have sat for too long on a shelf. The amount of oil in nuts will easily turn rancid without some care. TIPS: Freeze unused shelled nuts and toast for a few minutes, once thawed, before using them. Unshelled nuts will keep much longer than shelled. DID YOU KNOW? Nuts are abundant with monounsaturated fat (the good kind) and it’s said that a daily 1 oz. portion can considerably reduce the risk of heart disease. Regardless, they are a tasty and nutritious snack.

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

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

7


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CALVADOS: FROM THE HUMBLE APPLE TO LIQUID GOLD

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

The French have a long history of making the best of what nature has to offer. As is the case with most cultures in the world – North America’s being a glaring exception – very little food is wasted in France. I’ve dined on pig’s ears, blood sausage and cow face during my trips to France, and all I can say is, the French can make anything taste good. Some of my most memorable meals in France were found in the Normandy region; its rich culinary heritage has contributed treasures that include cheese (Camembert, Pont l’Évêque, Brillat-Savarin), brioche, salad cauchoise (a tasty combo of spuds, celery, ham and walnuts), slowly simmered rabbit with morels and some of the best oysters in the world. There’s one key element missing from this list, however, and that’s wine. In France, wine is food, but the Normans must be content with getting it from the rest of the country, as their cool maritime climate is not grape-friendly. As such, the beverage of choice in Normandy is cider, and the brandy distilled from cider, known as Calvados. Apple orchards pepper the landscape in Normandy and the cultivars are legion. There’s evidence to suggest that some form of Calvados has existed since the 8th century, but the first documented production took place in 1554, by Lord Gilles de Gouberville (the apples he cultivated are now known as Goubervillean varietals). He discovered that many of the 40-plus varietals he’d created were unsuitable as table fruit, but were ideal for cider, and today there are more than 200 varieties of cider apples grown throughout Normandy. The varietals tend to fall into one of four basic flavour categories: bitter, sweet, bittersweet and acidic. In 1942, the Calvados region was given official appellation (AOC) status, and the boundaries and rules have been revised twice since then, in 1984 and again in 1996. The key appellations that form the AOC include Calvados, Orne and Manche, and, of these, the sub-appellation of Pays d’Auge – situated within Calvados – is thought to yield the finest examples of the spirit. The production of Calvados is fairly simple; the apples are pressed, and the resulting juice is fermented into a dry cider. Most producers encourage a long, slow fermentation over several months, as this process helps ensure stability and concentration of flavour. From there, it undergoes either a single (in a column still) or double (in an alembic pot still) distillation. The rules for Pays d’Auge stipulate a double alembic distillation along with a minimum of two-year ageing in oak barrels, although the finest examples are typically aged much longer, sometimes up to 30 years (or more) for the rarest examples. On occasion, you’ll find the term “fermier” on Calvados labels, and this means that the spirit is both grown and produced on a single farm. There’s also an AOC for Calvados, produced from a combination of pears and apples, known as Calvados Domfrontais, and some of them can be excellent, albeit rarely found outside the region. Young Calvados delivers an intense apple flavour, making it ideal for cooking. It works equally well with sweet dishes (I like to add a splash to tarte tatin, for example) or savoury, so I like to keep an inexpensive version on hand for cooking, and a premium example for sipping.


In Normandy, there’s a tradition of consuming shots of Calvados between courses, to cleanse the palate and aid digestion. The local term for this is known as “le trou Normand,” or “the Norman hole.” The practice does seem to work, but you basically trade a feeling of being overstuffed in favour of being half-sauced before dinner comes to an end. As Calvados ages, it tends to lose much of its apple flavour – although never entirely – and takes on flavours not unlike those of fine Cognac or Armagnac. As with most aged spirits, the predominant flavour comes from the oak barrels, but even very old Calvados retains a modicum of the fruit from which it was distilled. This is what truly separates it from grape distillates such as Cognac; Cognac retains virtually no grape flavour after time in a barrel. There are numerous age statements for Calvados, and they’re as follows: Fine (2 years of age and sometimes labeled as trois etoiles or trois pommes); Vieux (a minimum of three years); V.O. (very old); VSOP (very superior old pale); Vieille Reserve (a minimum of four years); and XO (extra old, sometimes referred to as Extra or Hors d’Age; at least six years). Very old Calvados – which can be spectacular – tends to be priced much like older Cognacs, which is to say they’re expensive, but still much cheaper than single malt whiskies of a comparable age. In the kitchen, Calvados can be used much like brandy, and, as you’d expect, it has an affinity to pork dishes. Thick-cut pork chops can be seared in a pan and then finished in the oven, which tends to leave some tasty bits behind in the pan, perfect for deglazing with a splash of Calvados (watch those eyebrows – it tends to ignite) and drizzled over the meat. I often throw a splash into spiced apple cakes, tarte tatin, and just about anything else that stands to benefit from a touch of apple essence. Cheers!

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For cooking (or sipping): Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge - $34 This is my go-to for cooking, a basic example of the spirit, but decent, for the price. It lacks the complexity of the others listed here, but the price is right, and in my house, it’s a pantry staple.

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For drinking and contemplative moments: Christian Drouin Calvados XO Pays d’Auge - $83 This family-run domaine makes lovely Calvados, cider and pommeau (an aperitif made from unfermented apple juice and Calvados). The XO’s a great starting point for fine calvados, complex with a nice amount of apple essence. Christian Drouin also has a 1990 vintage ($200 and untasted by me, as yet) that, by all accounts, is excellent.

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Pierre Huet Calvados Tradition 15 years old - $111 Huet is another family-run domaine with a very good reputation. It ages this Calvados in pommeau barrels, a process that contributes a small amount of sweetness with an intense apple bouquet for a 15-year-old (at this age, the apple component is usually quite subtle).

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Geoff Last is a long-time Calgary wine merchant, writer and broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Calgary Herald, City Palate magazine and other publications. He instructs on food and wine at the Cookbook Co. Cooks and was recently awarded a fellowship to the Symposium of Professional Wine Writers based in Napa Valley.

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

9


Che h f de Cuisine Tob o ias Larcher

one ingredient

by Julie Van Rosendaal

CARAMEL

There are few culinary transformations as delicious as that of sugar into caramel; high heat turns sugar from onedimensionally sweet to something altogether different, creating new flavour compounds and a nutty complexity. Caramel comes with an adjacent bitterness that depends on the depth of the caramel – the longer the sugar has spent over heat, the deeper, more intense and bitter-edged it becomes. Its flavour is so distinct, caramel is often referred to in wine and whisky tasting notes. If you consider it an ingredient, caramel can be used as a sweetener, as you might use sugar, molasses or honey, incorporated into a cookie, cake or filling, or drizzled over a dessert to finish; in most sweet applications, it’s considered its own flavour, like chocolate or strawberry. And because people love the dichotomy of sweet and salty, caramel has become a famous vehicle for flaky salt. Salted caramel is so popular, it transforms everything from ice cream to granola bars into bestsellers. Although caramel is simply sugar that has been heated until it caramelizes, it can be intimidating to make. As a starting point, there are two basic ways to do it: dry caramel is made by setting a pan of dry sugar on the stovetop and allowing it to melt; it will do this gradually, starting in spots that identify your pan or burner’s hot spots, and tends to go from white to dark quickly. Wet caramel is made with the addition of syrup (corn or Roger’s golden) and/or water to the sugar to help move things along. If there’s water in the mix, it will take longer to simmer the caramel, as the excess moisture must then cook off, but it can be easier to work with a liquid mixture that can more easily be moved around the pan, and is slower to darken and caramelize. Some recipes instruct the cook to stand at the pot, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water, which will wash down any sugar crystals – it will, but will also slow down your caramel-making process as the added water will then need to be cooked off. Adding a few drops of lemon juice will help convince the mixture to stay liquid, and not crystallize around the edges.

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

If you want to get the hang of making caramel, sugar is inexpensive, and worth playing around with until the technique is no longer scary. Once you have a pan of caramel, cooked to the degree of darkness that coincides with the intensity of flavour you’re going for, it can be turned into chewy caramel candies or a pourable sauce by whisking in butter and/or cream, or into syrup by whisking in water. (You may choose to warm your liquid first; introducing something cold to the hot sugar will cause it to splatter, and if some of the candy solidifies in the process, more heat and stirring will melt it back into the mix.) Left alone and poured into puddles on parchment, you’ll have hard caramel candy. If it starts to smoke, you’ve likely gone too far: actual burnt sugar is a bit too bitter. And if things do go sideways and you wind up with a mixture that’s not the exact texture you were going for, I can almost guarantee it will still taste delicious.


Caramel Sauce

Sour Cream Caramels

Once you’ve made a batch of caramel sauce from scratch, you’ll be hooked – it’s unbelievably easy and delicious, and makes a perfect gift, packaged up in a small jar. Try adding vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick, a pinch of espresso powder (or ground beans) or chai spices along with the salt to change up the flavour. Then pour the sauce over vanilla ice cream and make yourself a caramel sundae of any flavour you want!

If you were at any point in your life hooked on those square caramels that are everywhere at Halloween, these are for you. We made them one day when we were out of cream, and sour cream is almost better, lending a subtle tang that tempers the caramels’ sweetness. And the method is particularly easy, especially if you have a candy thermometer.

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. water (or thereabouts)

1/2 c. butter

1/4 t. lemon juice (or a few drops)

1 c. full fat sour cream

1/2 c. heavy (whipping) cream

1/2 c. corn syrup or Rogers Golden Syrup

1 T. butter

1 t. vanilla

pinch of salt

1/2 t. salt

In a heavy saucepan, heat the sugar, water and lemon juice over medium-high heat. If you like, stir just until the sugar dissolves.

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla and salt. Cook over mediumhigh heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Keep cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar starts to turn golden. Have the cream and butter ready and pull the pot off the heat and add them immediately as soon as the caramel turns deep golden – it will spatter and steam. Stir until smooth – if there are any set chunks of caramel in the pot, they will melt back in. Stir in a pinch of salt. Cool completely and pour into a jar to keep in the fridge. Makes about 1-1/4 cups. 

Gingerbread Caramel Corn Make sure you use a saucepan or pot with enough room for the sugar mixture to foam up (it will about triple in size) when you add the vanilla and baking soda – this is what makes it light and crisp, and not so tooth-breakingly heavy. It doesn’t require a candy thermometer, which is a good thing if you haven’t found one in your stocking yet. 8-10 c. popped popcorn 1 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 c. corn syrup or Rogers Golden syrup 1/4 c. butter 1 T. molasses 1/4 t. salt 1 t. baking soda 1 t. vanilla 1 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. dry ginger

Preheat the oven to 250°F and put the popcorn in a big bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, molasses and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla – it will foam up at first. Stir in the cinnamon and ginger and quickly pour over the popcorn; stir with a heatproof spatula or tongs to coat well. Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool and break apart. Makes about 10 cups.

1 c. sugar

Continue cooking, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 244-250°F, or a small amount of the caramel dribbled into ice water can be squished into a soft, pliable ball. Stir in the vanilla and salt and pour into a parchmentlined 8x8-inch pan. Chill until set, and cut into squares. If you like, wrap each in a piece of parchment. Makes 3-4 dozen pieces. 

Burnt Sugar and Espresso Ice Cream You don’t actually want the sugar to be burnt here, but dark enough to be on the verge of bitterness. It’s like a more sophisticated caramel that pairs beautifully with espresso. Adapted for a Canadian winter from The Sweet Life in Paris, by ice cream genius David Lebovitz. 1 c. sugar 1 c. heavy (whipping) cream 1-1/2 c. 2% milk pinch of salt

Sponge Toffee

6 large egg yolks

I like to sift the baking soda first, so that I don’t get any lumps in the toffee. Have a parchmentlined sheet at the ready; once you add the soda, it foams up fast.

1/4 c. strong espresso (optional)

Put the sugar into a heavy pot, such as a Le Creuset Dutch oven, and set it over mediumhigh heat. Let it sit until it starts to melt and liquefy in spots. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it melts completely and turns deep golden. Carefully pour in the cream and stir. The mixture will splatter, and the caramelized sugar will seize up and harden – stir to dissolve any hard bits. Stir in the milk and salt. Beat the egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl. Slowly pour some of the hot caramel into the yolks, stirring briskly, then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the caramel in the pot. Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – if you draw your finger through, it should leave a trail. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl and stir in the espresso. Cool and refrigerate. Once the mixture is well chilled, freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 6 cups.

3/4 c. sugar 1/4 c. corn syrup or Rogers Golden Syrup 1-1/2 t. baking soda

In a large saucepan, melt the sugar and syrup over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan often, for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture turns deep golden. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let sit until cooled, then bash into pieces. Makes about 1 lb. 

Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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the sunday project

HAKKA-STYLE STUFFED TOFU

with Karen Ralph and Christina Appave

Following the time-honoured tradition of oral history, Christina’s Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu has been passed from one generation of her family to the next, travelling from Mauritius to Calgary while staying true to its roots. The tofu is deep fried, stuffed with a pork mixture and then steamed. Depending on your crowd, estimate two triangles per person. It makes an excellent appetizer or unique addition to a many-coursed dinner. The stuffed tofu triangles are versatile and traditionally served hot. They are great cold with a drop or two of sesame oil, a lemon juice spritz and maybe some hot sauce like sambal oelek. Leftovers can be frozen or made into a satisfying breakfast with the addition of fried eggs. Christina’s Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu will enliven and enrich your cooking repertoire.

WILLOW PARK VILLAGE 10816 Macleod Trail South | 403.278.1220

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

We used medium-firm tofu and firm silken tofu. Medium-firm tofu is readily available in almost every supermarket. It has a rough skin and dense interior, which makes it easy to hold and handle. Firm silken tofu can be found at Planet Organic and most Asian markets. Slick and delicate, this is superior quality tofu that demands a light touch. The block crushes easily and will crumble if handled roughly, but the flavour and texture are more refined than the medium-firm tofu. The end result is worth the effort.


Christina’s Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu Stuffing: 2 lb. ground pork 1 T. fish sauce 2 T. dark soy sauce 1 t. fresh grated ginger 1 T. minced garlic 1 t. cornstarch 1 T. diced scallions 1 t. oyster sauce 1-1/2 T. dried shrimp pulverized in a mortar and pestle few grinds of black pepper (Try Silk Road’s long black peppercorns from Indonesia)

Combine all ingredients, checking for balance by smelling it as you go. It should be mildly spicy, earthy and aromatic with ginger, fish sauce and hints of garlic. You can adjust the amounts of ginger and garlic to your palate. Once all ingredients are thoroughly combined, set aside. Tofu technique: 4 packs medium-firm or firm silken tofu

1. Tofu cut into triangles.

2. Ingredients for pork filling mixture.

3. Putting the pork mixture together.

4. Frying tofu triangles.

5. Stuffing tofu triangles.

6. Steaming stuffed tofu triangles.

Cut the tofu diagonally to form two triangles, pat it completely dry with paper towels and set aside. Frying technique: Heavy-bottom pot, cast-iron pan or deep fryer 48 oz. (6 c.) grapeseed, vegetable, peanut or canola oil for frying (or any oil that can be heated without smoking)

If you have a deep fryer, this is the time to use it because deep frying the tofu yields the best results. Remove the wire basket, the tofu will stick to it. Add enough oil so that the tofu can be completely submerged while frying, heat the oil until it shimmers but doesn’t smoke – about 350°F. Use a heavy cast-iron pot if you don’t have a deep fryer. Making sure your tofu is completely dry – if not it will cause a grease explosion – carefully set it in the oil. Fry it in small batches. When it’s a golden colour, gently remove it from the oil with tongs or a long handled wire scoop (spider) and set it on paper towels to cool and drain. Continue until all of the tofu is fried. Alternatively you can fry the tofu triangles in a cast-iron skillet. Add enough oil to completely cover the bottom of the pan, heat and add the tofu. Cook each side until it’s a golden brown. This method takes a lot longer and there is more chance of the tofu falling apart as it tends to stick to the pan. You can also omit the frying and steam the pork-filled tofu triangles. They will lack the crunchy exterior but are still delicious. Add a few Bonito flakes, a sprinkling of scallions and a little ponzu sauce for a light snack. Stuffing method: Allow the tofu to cool until easy to handle, then scoop out about a tablespoon or less – depending on the size of the triangles – on the cut side, and gently stuff with the pork mixture. Fill the hole and cover the rest of the surface with a thin layer of the meat mixture. Do not over-stuff because it will break your tofu. As mentioned before, silken tofu is the premium brand but it’s very delicate – so be extra careful with it. Steaming method: Add water to your steamer and bring to a boil. Put parchment paper or a nonstick cake pan in the steamer basket, add the stuffed tofu and steam for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the amount of stuffing. Cut into the pork to make sure it’s cooked. Steam the tofu in batches unless you have a multilevel steamer and can do them all at once. If not, keep them warm in the oven after removing from the steam basket. Serving and garnish: Arrange on a large platter and top with a drizzle of sesame oil, hot sauce of your choice, scallions, and if desired, a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve Christina’s Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu family style as an appetizer or part of a larger meal. Serves 4 as an appetizer, two triangles each.

Karen Ralph is a cookbook co-author and long-time contributor to City Palate, whose syrups and shrubs can be found at Eau Claire Distillery. Christina Appave is a registered massage therapist and global traveller who loves her dad's cooking.

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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An Entertaining Menu SPENCER WHEATON EXECUTIVE CHEF, MERCATO Each year at this time, we check in with one of our talented chefs or foodie friends for entertaining food to celebrate the holiday season. This year we turn to Mercato’s executive chef, Spencer Wheaton.

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Tallegio and Pistachios 6 fresh ripe figs (Mission/black) 6 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto 3 oz. Tallegio cheese

THE MENU PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED FIGS STUFFED WITH TALLEGIO AND PISTACHIOS WINTER PANZANELLA SALAD WITH PERSIMMONS AND ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS RADICCHIO AND CHANTERELLE MUSHROOM FAROTTO RACK OF WILD BOAR WITH MOSTARDA AND VINCOTTO ROASTED CARROTS BLOOD ORANGE OLIVE OIL CAKE WITH WHIPPED MASCARPONE SERVES 6

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1 oz. pistachio nuts 1/2 c. arugula balsamic vinegar or honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roughly chop or crush the pistachios and spread out on a baking sheet. Toast the nut pieces until they are just beginning to turn golden brown, then remove and set aside. Using a paring knife, cut a slit through the stem of each fig, 1/3 of the way down. Turn 90 degrees and repeat the cut, making an X. Gently pry each fig open with your fingers and push a sugar-sized cube of Tallegio down into the middle of it. Sprinkle in a good sized pinch of the toasted pistachio pieces, and gently close up the top of the figs again. Wrap each one with a slice of prosciutto, leaving a little bit of the top exposed. If serving stand-up cocktail style, cut figs completely in half and scoop out some of the inside making a tiny pocket, then follow the same process. (This can be done up to a day in advance.) Stand the wrapped figs up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they don’t stick. Bake at 425°F. for 10-12 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp and the Tallegio begins to ooze out the top. Serve on a bed of arugula leaves with a drizzle of good quality balsamic or honey if you like.


Winter Panzanella Salad with Persimmons and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Rack of Wild Boar with Mostarda and Vincotto Roasted Carrots

For the salad: 1/2 loaf good quality country-style bread (enough to make 6 c. torn pieces)

For the boar: 1 large eight-bone boar rack (frenched)

3 ripe persimmons

3 cloves garlic

2 t. kosher salt

1 T. freshly ground black pepper

2 c. Brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)

2 T. each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme (minced)

1 bulb fennel

zest of 1 lemon

olive oil

3 T. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. coarse sea salt

2 T. small capers

For the mostarda:

1/4 of a red onion (thinly sliced) 2 c. baby arugula leaves 1/2 lemon

For the dressing:

Radicchio and Chanterelle Mushroom Farotto

1 T. olive oil 2 bartlett pears (peeled, cored and diced into 1/4-inch cubes)

(A grain version of risotto)

3 T. white wine

3 T. red wine vinegar

1-1/2 c. farro (find in Italian markets, specialty food and health food stores)

1/8 c. dried black currants (rehydrated)

2 anchovy fillets (chopped)

2 T. salt

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 T. each, mustard powder and mustard seeds

3-4 c. vegetable or chicken stock

reserved persimmon juice

1 pinch chile flakes

1/4 c. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c. sugar

3 c. chanterelle mushrooms (cleaned and halved)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks until you have roughly 6 cups and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the bread with a couple of good glugs of olive oil and toss until all pieces are somewhat coated. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the bread is very hard but not overly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven up to 375°F.

salt and pepper to taste

For the carrots:

Halve the Brussels sprouts lengthwise after peeling off any undesirable outer leaves and trimming the stems and place in a mixing bowl. Quarter the fennel bulb and cut out the triangular piece of core. Cut into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices and add to the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss until well coated. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables begin to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

While the vegetables are roasting, cut the persimmons in half with a kitchen knife and remove the stem. Cut each half into 8 pieces and place in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle over 2 t. of kosher salt and toss to ensure it is mixed throughout. Set aside and let drain for at least 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Reserve the juice. In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and the persimmon juice in a small high-sided container. Emulsify with a hand blender, making sure there are no unblended bits of anchovy. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside. When the vegetables are cool, combine them with the bread, persimmons, capers, and dressing in a large salad bowl. Toss frequently, making sure the liquid is absorbed by the bread evenly. After approximately 10-15 minutes, try a piece of the bread and adjust the seasoning if necessary. It should be soft but still have a bit of a crunch in the center. If it seems too dry, let the salad sit for another 5 minutes and try it again. Depending on the ripeness of the persimmons, the salad may need some added acidity. If so, squeeze some lemon juice over the salad and toss again. When the bread has reached the right texture, gently mix in the sliced red onion and arugula. Portion the panzanella out onto plates or serve family style in the middle of the table and finish with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

1/4 c. dried apricots (roughly chopped and soaked in water)

4 shallots (minced)

2 bunches heirloom or rainbow carrots (washed and scrubbed)

1/3 c. white wine

1 T. olive oil

1 head radicchio (cored and shredded)

2 T. vincotto

1 c. Parmigiano Reggiano (finely grated)

1 small bunch fresh thyme

4 T. butter

salt and pepper to taste

salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the wild boar rack, in a mortar and pestle or small food processor, combine the garlic, pepper, fresh herbs, lemon zest and olive oil into a paste. Rub the rack on all sides with the paste, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

extra virgin olive oil as a garnish

Add 2 T. of salt to 6 c. of water and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve and set aside. In a small pot, bring the stock to a boil and reduce heat to low. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan heat 2 T. of the 1/4 c. of olive oil on high. When hot, add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and, over medium heat, sweat the shallots until translucent. Next, add the farro and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, making sure all the grains are coated in olive oil and lightly toasted. Deglaze with the wine and stir until almost completely absorbed. Stirring often, cook for 25-30 minutes, adding one ladle of hot stock at a time. Do not add more liquid until the previous ladle has been absorbed by the farro. After 25 minutes, taste the farro and if the grains are tender, add the mushrooms and shredded radicchio to the pan. If not, keep adding hot stock until the desired texture is achieved. Cook for another 2 minutes until the radicchio is wilted, then add the grated Parmigiano and butter and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon or spatula until a creamy texture is achieved. Adjust the seasoning to taste and add more hot stock (if necessary) so the farotto moves fluidly. Spoon the farotto onto 6 small plates, or serve familystyle in the middle of the table. Finish with a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil and some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

While the boar is coming to room temp, make the mostarda. Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced pears, and lightly caramelize without letting them get too dark. Deglaze with the wine, then add the currants, apricots, mustard powder and seeds, chile flakes and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool. Heat a heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven on high and add 1 T. of olive oil. Season the meat liberally with sea salt then sear the boar on the ends, and rib side down until browned. Flip the rack over onto its fat cap and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the thickest part of the meat registers 140-150°F. on a meat thermometer or probe. Transfer from the pan to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to rest. Halfway through the roasting process, add the carrots, thyme, olive oil and vincotto to a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss until all the carrots are well coated and spread out on a small, parchment-lined baking sheet or shallow roasting dish. Bake at 450°F. for 10 minutes while the boar finishes roasting, then lower the heat to 400°F. for another 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are tender, but still have a slight crunch in the middle. After the boar has rested for 10-15 minutes, slice the rack into individual chops using a very sharp carving knife. Arrange a chop on each plate with a few carrots, a good spoonful of mostarda, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or serve everything family style on a wooden board in the middle of the table.

SEE PAGE 25 FOR DESSERT! CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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Buying gifts during the holidays can be a daunting task, especially if you are like me and have no idea what to buy for people. Some like to cook, some do not, but we all have a love of food in common so in this column we have tried to include ideas that would appeal to everyone. We have selected items for the coffee fanatic, the brunch lover, the knife nerd, the charcuterie enthusiast, the Italian fan, the small appliance collector, the book lover, the nature fan and the linens fancier.

GIFTS THAT FOODIES LOVE TO GIVE AND GET by Wanda Baker

ENTERTAINING MADE EASY If you are planning on entertaining this holiday season, you will want to check out the Charcuterie Kit from Luc’s European Meats. It’s full of gluten-free and wheat-free European meats, fine artisan cheeses and charcuterie condiments. Many of their sausages can be sampled before hand at any of their market locations so you know exactly what you are getting. The team at Luc’s is knowledgeable about their meats and educates you at every bite. All you need is a platter or wooden board and your favourite olives. Feeds approximately 10-12 people. Charcuterie Kit, Luc’s European Meats, $38, Calgary Farmers’ Market, Granary Road Market, Crossroads Market

THREADS THAT BIND US Canada’s unofficial, official flower, the bunchberry is now available on a Le Jacquard Français linen tea towel at Inspirati Fine Linens. Every detail on these towels has been carefully selected including 150 mini Canadian flags at the top, plus one on the bottom representing Canada’s 151st anniversary this year. The vibrant colours in this piece will not fade even after being in the dryer. With only a couple thousand printed, this limited-edition Bunchberry Canadian Flower Tea Towel won’t last long. It’s a lovely addition to any collection.

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A beautiful way to preserve a memory or person is to have a favourite photograph transferred onto a special tapestry. Inspirati is currently offering custom work called Tap-s-tri, which includes special photos woven into their linens. Bring in a high-res black and white photo and they will transform it onto a table cloth, wall hanging tapestry or a linen of your choosing with some size limitations. Truly the perfect anniversary gift for your favourite couple. Custom orders take up to 3 months to complete so best to plan accordingly. Bunchberry Canadian Flower Tea Towel & Tap-s-tri, $40 and up, Inspirati Fine Linens

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

FROM ITALY WITH LOVE

This year the Scarpone’s Family is celebrating sixty years in business in Alberta. As one of the first Italian families to lay down roots and set up shop, they have grown with Calgary and continue to expand their product offerings. New to Scarpone’s this year is their antipasto line they offer up to 50 items including several varieties of olives, artichokes, mushrooms, cipoll to list, we can say we’ve sampled a few them and we are definitely feeling the Italian love i Scarpone’s Antipasti, The Italian Store, $7.99 and up


TIMELESS COFFEE MAKER First invented in 1941, the Chemex coffeemaker has stood the test of time. This manual pour-over style glass coffeemaker offers high quality, heat-resistant glass. An attractive polished wood collar serves as an insulated handle around the middle finished with a quaint leather tie. When used with the Chemex brand coffee filter, you end up with a clear, pure, flavourful coffee without bitterness or sediment in about four minutes. Cover and store leftover coffee in the refrigerator for reheating, making iced coffee or adding to your favourite holiday recipe. Lovely to look at, easy to use. Chemex Coffeemaker, Eight Ounce Coffee, $53.50

BRINGING NATURE INDOORS Handmade in Canada from ambrosia maple wood trees, these bowls by Stinson Studios are individually carved into a smooth, functional, food safe and unique piece. Don Stinson started his business in a 100-year-old horse stable in the 1980s and has evolved it into a family affair with both his sons working alongside him. These bowls are simply stunning and bring a touch of nature into your home. Fill them with ornaments, fresh baked buns, fruit or even salad. Stinson Maple Wood Bowls, $80 - $360, The Compleat Cook

NO WAFFLING ABOUT THESE WAFFLES Weekend brunches are looking a whole lot better with the Norwegian Waffle Maker Starter Set from Torill’s Table. This set includes a 5-heart Norwegian style waffle iron plus 2 bags of Torill’s original waffle and pancake mixes. The mix has the good stuff too, it’s filled with almonds, flaxseeds, whole wheat and oats, plus it comes in a gluten-free version. We love the idea of thinner waffles allowing us to add more fillings and eat more waffles when we prepare those weekend brunches. Torill’s Table Norwegian Waffle Maker Starter Set, $105, Alpine Sausage, Edelweiss Imports, The Italian Centre Shop, The Little French Market

ALL IN ONE With multi-purpose cookers being all the rage these days, along comes the Temp Tracker 6 Quart Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach. You get a slow cooker, sous vide, poacher, the ability to simmer, braise, fondue and make yogurt plus more, all in one unit. You can even use the probe to maintain your food’s temperature for up to 24 hours. If you’ve always wanted to sous vide or fondue, and have no equipment, here’s the appliance for you. With Christmas right around the corner, this will be going on our wish list. Temp Tracker 6 Quart Slow Cooker by Hamilton Beach, $99, Home Outfitters, London Drugs, The Bay, Walmart

e. Carefully selecting and using only the best products from Italy, lini, onions, and an Italian favourite friarelli. With too many items in this food.

THE RIGHT KNIFE FOR THE JOB The perfect gift idea any time of the year is a new knife, especially if you have a foodie in your life. The Masakage Koishi 120mm from Knifewear is a necessity in any kitchen and one of their best sellers. This Japanese kitchen knife is lightweight, compact and will keep an edge for a long time. It will appeal to those who do not feel comfortable using a larger chef knife. Find everything you ever wanted to know about Japanese knives in the newly released book The Knifenerd Guide to Japanese Knives, by Kevin Kent. Kevin is the knifenerd behind Knifewear who takes readers behind the scenes with a personal look into the lives, skills and artistry of the blacksmiths who make the world’s finest knives. From forging and sharpening these knives, to choosing and collecting, discover exactly why so many of the world’s chefs choose to use a Japanese knife above all others. Masakage Koishi 120mm Knife, The KnifeNerd Guide to Japanese Knives, Knifewear, $214 & $40

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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Another year come and gone. As we bid farewell to 2018, we’ve seen the recession officially come to an end, and economic recovery coming slowly. What better way to close out the year than with a dram, or a glass, of something special, shared with the people who matter to us. Whether you spend the holidays flitting from party to party like a social butterfly, or feasting on roast fowl, sitting cheek by jowl at a long table with the whole family, there is nothing better than breaking bread with those you love. Or having a sip or two. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

GREAT GIFTS FOR THE BOOZERS by Tom Firth IN YOUR LIFE

THE COMIC BOOK STORY OF BEER

IMEA GINEPRINA D’OLANDA GIN

Let’s be perfectly honest, most of the beverage reference books are pretty dry (no pun intended). For all but the most devoted enthusiast, a book on terroir, a world atlas of wines and so on can be a little weighty. Bring on the Comic Book Story of Beer. Well-illustrated, it’s also well told, with an abundance of knowledge to share with readers who might just be interested in a casual but educated read about a favourite beverage. $25, Willow Park Wines and Spirits, Amazon.ca, and other vendors

Gin is still experiencing a wave of enthusiasm from cocktail aficionados and spirit neophytes. Providing an alternative to English or North American gins, Imea is Italian, and sourced from Italian ingredients. It’s bright and floral with a spicy core over a sweeter vanilla creaminess. Plenty of juniper flavours (as it should have), anise, mace and cinnamon make for a pleasant gin that’s easy to visualize in a number of classic cocktails. $70, CSPC +791648 (this is the order code, it’s the Canadian Standard Product Code)

SCREWPULL STAR AND STOPPER Talk about first world problems: what does a sparkling wine aficionado really need under the tree? Try the Screwpull champagne star and stopper set. While many don’t care to admit it, it can be a little tough on stiff hands to open a bottle of the bubbly. The star effectively grips the cork, allowing a little more leverage when popping it. Didn’t finish the bottle (it happens)? Seal it up with the stopper, letting you enjoy the rest over the next few days. I highly recommend champagne with breakfast… $75, The Compleat Cook

BARR AN UISCE WICKLOW RARE SMALL BATCH IRISH WHISKEY Irish whiskies continue to impress, and not just for offering a slightly different experience for enthusiasts of Scotch, American, or Canadian whisky (or all those other regions producing excellent whiskies). Matured in bourbon barrels and finished in Olorosso casks, it’s a very smooth tasting experience with hints of orange and great cereal characters – checking off all the boxes for an Irish whiskey. I like it with a press of water, but neat is perfectly all right, too. Retailing for about $80-85, CSPC +802506

ARDBEG “AN OA” SINGLE MALT WHISKY BARBEITO BOAL RIBEIRO REAL 20-YEAR-OLD MADEIRA Madeira only has a handful of producers remaining, but thankfully, they continue to push the envelope with rare or special offerings. Barbeito is an absolute leader on the island (and a favourite of mine from a visit there several years ago) that I’m thrilled to see on the market. Coming from the Ribeiro Real vineyard, the Boal is on the sweeter end of madeiras, but this is a stunning bottle – in fact, they all are. Very small quantities available. About $200-220 in most markets, CSPC +800261

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

Islay whiskies aren’t for the faint of heart – or the neophyte whisky drinker. Typically easy to recognize for their peaty aromas and flavours, they can be a bit like opening up some stinky cheese in a small room – everyone knows what’s going on. The latest special release from “peat-forward” Ardbeg, An Oa is a bit like a lemon, wrapped in an old boot, set on fire; then someone tried to put out the flames by throwing old tires on top of that charred mess. And it’s awesome! A little chewy on the palate, too, with a bare hint of sweetness at the finish. For the peated whisky lover in your life. $100, CSPC+795272


BURWOOD “MEDICA” HONEY LIQUEUR

GLENMORANGIE SPIOS SINGLE MALT WHISKY Part of the Glenmorangie Private Editions, and the ninth iteration of the line, this one is aged in rye whisky barrels. Sadly, it’s American rye whisky rather than what is, of course, the finest rye whisky - those from Canada, but it’s still interesting, nonetheless. Caramel and roasted nuts are overlaid by rye aromas with mint, salt water and cocoa. Nice and smooth in the mouth, it’s quite spicy, but finishes on leather, chocolate and the need to sit in front of a roaring fire. $125, CSPC +1147477

I’ve become a devotee of a number of the bottlings from this recent addition to Calgary’s roster of craft distilleries. My favourites include Burwood’s unique “Medica” honey liqueur. Medica is a traditional Croatian liqueur that’s almost unheard-of by Canadians, let alone this brand, which is made with locally sourced Alberta honey. Look for a clean, aromatic nose that is definitely understated, while on the palate, the liqueur is perfectly balanced between honey and spice characters, without too much heat. Quite dry, its mixing possibilities are endless. $50 at the distillery (4127 6 St NE) and at select liquor stores

TAYLOR FLADGATE 1968 VERY OLD SINGLE HARVEST PORT

BLANDY’S 10-YEAR-OLD VERDELHO MADEIRA

This is the latest release of Taylor Fladgate’s 50-year-old tawny ports, and possibly the last one for a little while. (Imagine that, stocks of 50-year-old barrels of port are in short supply.) This sort of bottle is very rare, handsomely packaged, and delicious. Unopened, it will also be just fine resting in the cellar for an extra special occasion, if 50 years already isn’t quite special enough. On the nose, it evokes leather-bound old books with roasted nuts, dried lemons and a touch of honey; on the palate, it’s intense and polished, making for a perfect port experience. Around $270-290, CSPC +797520

The fortified wines of Madeira are some of the great wines of the world. They’re aged in warehouses that undergo heating and cooling cycles with the seasons, ultimately yielding a wine full of citrus and caramelized flavours, like lime and toffee, and a mild spiciness, but also a wine capable of aging for centuries (yes, I did say that). Verdelho is medium dry and pairs best with creamy soups, drier or savoury desserts, and cheese. Will keep a year or two once opened. (500mL bottle) $50, CSPC+759914

GLENGOYNE 18-YEAR-OLD HIGHLAND WHISKY I’ve really been enjoying Glengoyne the last few years, having tried most of its offerings, and I’ve had occasion to try them multiple times. The 18 sees some time in the classically preferred ex-sherry barrels, lending a touch of sweetness to its character, which is led by cereal and toffee flavours, some apple and a salty, spicy finish. A heck of a whisky, for a very reasonable price, too. I enjoy it with a splash of water, but it’s also a tasty number neat. $120, CSPC +761954

VIRTUAL VINO Sometimes, you just might be stuck figuring out something for that special someone. Or even more likely, you just might run out of time or patience to fight traffic or crowds of people. Virtual Vino, from the well-organized folks at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festivals, has a number of well-curated selections of special or mixed cases and even make-your-own options via its Virtual Vino program. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a wine rut, and having someone else pick the wine can open whole new avenues or turn up a new favourite. A whole host of pick-up locations (even outside of Calgary) or delivery options make this very convenient, too. virtualvino.com Available in a variety of prices and selections

Tom Firth is Cowtown Wine, find him at cowtownwine.com and @cowtownwine

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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Kitchen Technology You Need Now

Joule Sous Vide Cooker ($249CAD)

COOK SMART WITH THESE HIGH-TECH KITCHEN GADGETS

If you’re not familiar with cooking sous vide, once you learn more, you may be hooked. Sous Vide cooking uses a precisely controlled hot water bath to cook food to within half a degree. Joule Sous Vide is an ultra-compact version of these machines, which until now had been used only in professional kitchens.

by Erin Lawrence

From self-driving cars to virtual digital assistants and even kitchen robots, technology is changing our lives and making ordinary tasks easier. That goes for home cooking too. An array of new gadgets can help you cook better, eat better and stay on top of everything that’s going on in the kitchen.

Amazon Echo and Google Home

Joule connects to your phone, where you can choose from numerous pre-set recipes for things like ultra tender chicken, soft-cooked ramen eggs, the tenderest salmon or perfectly medium steak. You can also set your own temperatures. Joule will mean you never overcook anything again, since it will never let your food go above the pre-set temperature, and it will hold it at that temp once the food is done, even if you forget. Though forgetting might be tough, thanks to smartphone notifications. chefsteps.com/joule

(Amazon Echo $99CAD, Google Home $179CAD) Amazon Echo and Google Home are amazing additions to the kitchen. For starters you can ask them to play music while you simmer and stir, since they’re controlled with your voice. But they’re also powerful kitchen partners, because you can ask them to do recipe and measurement conversions and set timers so you never need to get raw chicken hands on your speaker. amazon.com/echo, store.google.com

Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 (About $129CAD)

We all know how satisfying it is to grow your own food. For lots of us, however, climate and space considerations (or hail!) can make having a garden difficult or impractical. That’s why Click and Grow is such a great idea. Click and Grow is a small planter box with built-in lighting and water where you can grow an astonishing variety of plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables. The Smart Garden 3 planter box holds three seed pods and is designed to be self-watering, holding enough water to properly irrigate the seeds for about a month at a time. There’s special LED grow lights that arc overtop, and they come with extensions so you can raise the lights as your plants grow. A fresh herb crop is ready in weeks and you can re-plant it any time or mix and match seeds. clickandgrow.com

Smarter FridgeCam (About $250CAD)

Ever get to the grocery store and wonder if you need milk or eggs or if you still have lots? Smarter’s FridgeCam lets you peer inside your fridge from almost anywhere. This specialty wireless camera also promises to recognize foods and note expiry dates, sending notifications when you need to finish up the whipping cream. Is the pricey camera worth the money you might save by not buying more unneeded food, or throwing out expired leftovers? That depends how much stuff you toss out now. smarterfridgecam.com

Ember Mug Meater Connected Thermometer

(Ceramic version $79US, Travel Mug $149US)

The trouble with old school meat thermometers is that you need to constantly open and close the oven door or the grill to check the temperature of your food. Meater solves this problem with a temperature probe that can remain in place in your meat while it cooks, because it’s connected to your smartphone. The Meater app lets you dial up different settings so you can cook precisely, and remove your meat before it’s overcooked. It will even send notifications to your smartphone and you can check the status of your cook at any time – all without opening the door. meater.com

Are you the kind of coffee or tea drinker that needs to let your hot beverage cool to a more drinkable temperature before you enjoy it? Then rejoice, because the Ember Mug lets you set the perfect drinkable temperature and the mug does the rest. It can keep it warm, or cool it off for you to enjoy en route to the office, or once you arrive. With a companion app that lets you dial in your favourite temp and monitor battery life, this mug is the ultimate smart gadget for hot beverage lovers. ember.com

(About $69US)

Erin Lawrence is a Calgary-based writer and journalist with a passion for cooking and technology. When she’s not whipping up fancy food with robot assistance, she’s blogging at TechGadgetsCanada.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram @ErinLYYC.

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JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF

MIXING AND MINGLING - at one of our -

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

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

oh what fun!

Shop at our 11 Calgary locations or online at www.cococochocolatiers.com

Unleash your senses,

Chocolates that taste good and feel good too.

bolerocalgary.com 403-259-3119 6920 Macleod Trail S, Calgary, AB T2H 0L3

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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Going through SAIT’s Professional Cooking Diploma Program by Harsimran Chahal

I think that if all kids aspire to reach a point where they could feed themselves and a few of their friends, this would be good for the world, surely. – Anthony Bourdain

The Professional Cooking diploma provided by SAIT is considered one of the best programs in Canada, due to it teaching students to master the craft of the culinary. The program includes a hands-on training system set up by world-renowned chefs, including Michael Dekker and Michael Allemeier. The PCK (an acronym for the two-year Professional Cooking Program) program is not simply for those who merely aspire to be chefs. It’s for culinary enthusiasts such as myself, who wish to comprehend and execute the different techniques and teachings that are needed in order to be part of the culinary industry. This program introduced me to many job opportunities within the industry, such as pâtissière, event planner, sommelier, and food stylist. I’ve been provided with the tools I need in order to share my thoughts in a critical manner within the industry. I was 17 years old when I first started the PCK program. I didn’t know much about the culinary industry; however, I understood that in order to start my career as a food editor/critic, SAIT would be an amazing first step. I then acquainted myself with many different chefs from different ethnic backgrounds. In addition to sharing their techniques with me, they shared stories of their own paths to success. When I first applied to the SAIT culinary program, I expected to gain real-life industry experience, with a broad knowledge of different culinary trades, which I received along with so much more. I met teachers who’ve become friends, who continue to guide me in the right direction as an aspiring food critic. SAIT provided me with the opportunity to communicate and connect with culinary professionals who taught, disciplined, and mentored me. I was introduced to each of these instructors within a small class, which allowed me to connect and understand the instructors, a perfect building block that helped me achieve success. Chef Michael Dekker, the previous executive chef at Rouge, was one of the many instructors who wished deeply for the success of his students. I recall having a one-on-one conversation with him on the last day of lunch à la carte. He asked me what I wanted to do after culinary and if I wished to pursue a career as a chef. Instructors like chef Dekker are one of the many reasons the PCK program at SAIT excels in ensuring the success of its students. I still remember the moment I stepped through the kitchen doors in my chef whites. I entered

a classroom of very ambitious people, all with unique objectives. The atmosphere that SAIT provided, especially the hospitality and tourism program, was beyond sensational. I grasped an ample amount of the knowledge that I believe is essential for a future cook. I was introduced to the five mother sauces, butchery, fundamental cooking techniques, and so much more. My experience was heightened the moment I met my classmates – we prevailed together and approached each obstacle with open minds. PCK challenged me every day, while simultaneously turning each obstacle into an opportunity to learn and educate myself about each new topic. I was confident I would gain a job during or after my program because SAIT provided me with all of the opportunities to do so – its grad employment rate is standing at 89%. SAIT students such as myself are given the chance to attend a bi-annual Career Direction Fair that attracts more than 100+ employers from some of the largest Canadian companies. This job fair not only allowed me to widen my network and connect with leading professionals, but helped me secure a job in the industry. I got my first real taste of a true kitchen environment through the PCK program. I was instructed in a variety of different live classroom settings, such as the incredible Highwood Dining Room, the 4 Nine kitchen, the downtown culinary campus, and the newly developed Tastemarket. This not only taught me how to act in front of watchful eyes, but also how to interact with and understand the customers in order to satisfy them as a cook. I did not just gain lifelong instructors, or remarkable chefs as friends, or a certificate showing my dedication and hard work during these two years. I gained skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Patience, a sense of urgency, attention to detail, cleanliness, and multitasking are just some of the many beneficial traits that I have gained. My passion was elevated and my path became much more clear. I stood in my cap and gown during graduation, facing the instructors that mentored and guided me, and the students who started out as strangers but soon turned into “family.” At that moment, I understood exactly how lucky I was to have been introduced to an amazing facility that put my education first. I am thankful to my classmates for encouraging and supporting me, for the teachers who turned into role models, and a unique program that gave me the opportunity to follow my dream.

Harsimran Chahal attends Mount Royal University, working towards obtaining a degree in journalism to achieve her goal of being a writer within the culinary industry.

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Chef-driven Market Cuisine

located inside Bite – Grocer & Eatery 1023 9th ave S.E. Inglewood • beaseatery.com

Local. Unique. Convenient. FOOD & DRINK

FASHION

Britannia Wine Merchants

Ginger Laurier

Suzette Bistro Britannia

HEMM Active Fashion

Starbucks Sunterra Market

HOUSE & HOME

Village Ice Cream

Britannia Kitchen & Home

PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

BOOKS

Britannia Dermedics

Owl’s Nest Bookstore | Owlets

Britannia Hair Company & Esthetics Britannia Pharmacy

PETS

Chinook Optical

Optimal Pet Foods

Britannia Medical Clinic The Ritual Fitness Studio

ELBOW DRIVE & 49 AVEN UE SW O PEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

B R I TA N N I A P L A Z A . C O M

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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stockpot

STIRRINGS AROUND CALGARY

RESTAURANT RAMBLINGS

n Perched on the summit of Banff’s Sulphur Mountain, Sky Bistro is the dining sanctuary in the sky. Guests can enjoy the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains with a new fall menu that features distinctly Canadian selections and unique flavours that include a selection of regionally sourced local meats, produce and ingredients. n Don’t miss the Village Brewery Dinner at Cilantro on October 30 at 6:30 p.m. The evening will start with a custom Cilantro brew, created by talented brewmasters at Village, followed by a four-course dinner prepared by chef Lance Monteiro and his culinary team at Cilantro, each course paired with one of Village’s outstanding craft beers. Tickets are $85 and include tax and gratuity. Get them at eventbrite.ca. Get your tickets and be entered to win a Village Brewery experience for four that includes swag, a private tour and a taste of what it’s like to work in a small brewery. Fun! n The Teatro Group has told us that the new year brings a new lunch menu to Royale, that will be offering a three-course lunch menu for $25, Tuesday through Friday! This menu will be fresh and rotated often to keep things exciting. Reservations and walk-ins welcome! n Good Earth Coffeehouse has debuted a single origin Guatemalan coffee called Finca Danilandia, an ethical and sustainable coffee for Canadians that gives back to local communities. It’s very tasty, too – we need very tasty in our coffee – full-bodied with caramel aroma and notes of sweet dark chocolate, toffee and almond. Perfect with your morning paper or afternoon gathering with friends or a business meeting. DRINKS DOCKET

n Family-owned and managed for three generations, Rutherford Wine Company is dedicated to the art of crafting fine wine. Based in Napa Valley’s renowned Rutherford appellation, its extensive portfolio includes

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Rutherford Ranch, Scott Family Estate, Predator Wines, Rhiannon Red Wine, Lander-Jenkins, Silver Buckle, Four Virtues Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel, and Round Hill California wines. The range of brands showcases the diversity of California’s many appellations and the unique personality of each site. These acclaimed wines, named some of Napa’s greatest values by critic Robert Parker, come from a family who is committed to sustainability, both at the winery and in the vineyard. The winery is certified as California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) and estate vineyards are certified as California Sustainable Farming (CCSF). These wines are very tasty, find yourself some! Particularly fond of Predator Old Vine Zinfandel because we like zinfandel very much and the name Predator is a little scary-fun.

From L-R above: Rutherford Ranch Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, CAD 39.95 Lander-Jenkins Cabernet Sauvignon, CAD 19.95 Morgan Bay Cabernet Sauvignon, CAD 15.95 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel, CAD 24.95

n Beer and Wine Advent Calendars from Bin 905 – the perfect gift for the boozers in your life! Perfect for the wine and beer lovers out there, these calendars come filled with 12 unique bottles, including some exclusive picks to Bin 905. For those who have their favourite wines already picked out, there is also the option for customization! Make it an early holiday gift or treat yourself – nobody is judging – least of all Mr. Claus himself. This year’s wine advent calendar is $235 and the beer advent calendar is priced at $133.


An Entertaining Menu

The Tastemarket by SAIT: November 9 & 30, Date Night. For details and more courses visit culinarycampus.ca.

n We’ve been watchers of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead since it showed up on AMC that tends to have watchable programs. One day, I was in the Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store looking for wine and what did I see but a promotion of wine called The Walking Dead Blood Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon, bottles with labels of walkers. After a good laugh, I could not resist getting the Blood Red Blend to take it home to see if it was really the colour of blood! It isn’t, and the wine is very tasty despite what you might expect. This wine is vinted and bottled by The Last Wine Company, Sonoma, California. n The Cellar wine store offers a great selection of events: November 6, Sugar Rush, Wine and Desserts; December 4, First Annual Cellar Shopping Party; December 7, Port, Cheese and Chocolate; December 11, Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles. To sign up, call 403-503-0730, or email agm@cellarwinestore.com, 137 - 8th Ave. SW.

n The Cookbook Co. Cooks: October 29, A Tour of Italy with Allan Shewchuk, Italophile and great cook, demonstration class, $100; November 1, Girls’ Night Out: Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres with Chris Halpin, Manna Catering, hands-on class, $90; November 2, A Night Out: Couples Class with culinary instructor Georgia Annis, hands-on class, exciting cooking ideas for the weekend, $95; November 3, morning, Vietnamese Cooking with culinary instructor and great cook, Ching Li, hands-on class, $90; November 3, afternoon, Make & Take: Marvelous Macarons with pastry chef Salvador Valdes, hands-on, $100; November 3, evening, A Night Out: Couples Class with Melissa Gorsedin, Cookbook Co catering/pantry chef, hands-on, $95. And much more great cooking, including November 10, a 4-hour hands-on chocolate-making workshop with Anne Sellmer, Cochu Chocolatier – gifts for the holiday season or for just eating because the chocolate is so good – $125. Visit cookbookcooks.com for more information and all the tasty classes. GENERAL STIRRINGS

n The Calgary Farmers’ Market is going to have a baby in the spring of 2020 in the new northwest community of Greenwich! It will be so good for the city to have another Calgary Farmers’ Market, called Calgary Farmers’ Market West, that will offer what we’re so pleased to have at the parent Farmers’ Market South – great ingredients, delicious meals, unique local shopping.

Main Campus: November 2, Date Night; November 3, Assorted Buns; November 3, Baking Cakes; November 13, Vietnamese; November 16, Sushi; November 17, Viennoiserie; November 17, Fondant; November 22, Knife Skills; November 23, Curry; November 23, Date Night; November 24, Sausage Making; November 24, Artisan Bread; November 24, Chocolate; November 27, Cooking with Cheese; December 1, Viennoiserie; December 1, Chocolate; December 4, Italian; December 7, Date Night; December 8, Butchery for Hunters; December 8, Bean to Bar; December 11, Herbs and Spices; December 15, Viennoiserie.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Mascarpone For the cake: 4 blood oranges (or substitute navel) 1/2 c. mild-flavoured extra virgin olive oil

5S17 Ramen & Poke bowl

4 large eggs 1 c. sugar 1 c. cake flour 1 T. baking powder 1/2 t. salt

For the whipped mascarpone:

traditional japanese cuisine with a flourish of modern culinary techniques and inspiration. 634a 17th ave sw 403.452.0817 www.5s17.com

1 c. mascarpone cheese (small container) 1/4 c. whipping cream 3 T. icing sugar 1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a microplane, zest all four oranges and juice two of them into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk until well combined. Using a very sharp paring knife, cut the top and bottom off the two remaining oranges and slice off the remaining pith. Segment and set aside. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the wire whip attachment, beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt then slowly add to the egg mixture until just incorporated. Next add the olive oil and orange juice and zest and mix on medium speed until smooth. Grease a 9-inch cake pan, or spray with non-stick baking spray. Pour in the batter and bake on the center rack for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, wash and dry the mixer bowl, then add the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar and vanilla. Start mixing on low speed, slowly increasing to high, and whip until light and airy.

COOKING CLASSES

n SAIT classes: Downtown Culinary Campus: November 1, Pasta; November 15, Knife Skills: Butchery; November 16, Date Night; November 17 & 24, Introduction to Cooking; November 19 to December 17, Introduction to Cooking; December 1 or 8, Christmas Cookie Exchange; December 6, Desserts.

continued from page 15

n Amazing Fruitcakes for the Festive Season. Calgary Unitarians have been making gourmet fruitcakes for over 40 years now. In addition to traditional light and dark cakes, they offer a luscious cherry chocolate version (great with vintage port) and a cranberry apricot apple version (amazing with fruit wine or tawny port). Each cake is almost 1 kg in weight and is baked with the finest ingredients and is attractively gift wrapped, (makes a great hostess or corporate gift too). Cakes will be ready for pick-up end November, $35 each. Email fruitcakes@ calgaryunitarians.ca to order. n This Bar Saves Lives – that’s the name of a very tasty snack bar that’s nutritionally good for you to eat and with

Cut the cake into generous wedges and serve with a good dollop of whipped mascarpone and some of the blood orange segments. ✤

CALGARY FOOD BANK

Community Owned Community Supported 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.

calgaryfoodbank.com 5000 11th Street SE 403-253-2059

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of Lyon’s must-see hot spots alongside noteworthy Canadian chefs, food industry pros and influencers OR opt for a two-day competition package and visit some of the city’s most popular Michelin-star restaurants on your own. Either way, you’ll get to support the team at the most prestigious and difficult global culinary competition where they hope to make history by getting on the podium for the first time. Visit bocusedorcanada.ca/lyon-2019.html for all the details of the trip options.

every bar sold, food aid is provided to a child in need, a mission to end childhood malnutrition. For all the good details, visit thisbarsaveslives.com. Order lots of different flavours online, such as Vanilla Almond & Honey, Dark Chocolate and Cherry or Coconut, Wild Blueberry & Pistachio and more, including a variety pack of 12. A box of 12 will set you back about $24, and you’ll help children who need nutritional help.

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA. A panel of internationally certified chefs, all members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, judged the competition – and Canada came out on top! Yay. They each had four hours to prepare a menu using “black box” ingredients and Joseph created a menu consisting of: appetizer blue crab and shrimp terrine, tofu and chive puff, miso aioli, scallion beurre blanc; main course marbled lamb rack, salt baked lamb cap stuffed potato, braised leeks and carrot, soy and porcini jus; dessert banana and cream cheese mousse, citrus sable, white chocolate and passion fruit macaroon.

n Hutch Kitchen is Canada’s newest contemporary online retail kitchenware and accessories company, headquartered in Calgary. The products are carefully curated to deliver aesthetic appeal, functionality and superior performance – all at prices within reach! Hutch has recently celebrated the grand opening of its first storefront location at #4135, 7005 Fairmount Dr. SE. Great quality products, check, them out at hutchkitchen.com. n Say “au revoir” to Paris and “bonjour” to Lyon, France’s second largest city and home of the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or competition. Foodie travelers from around the globe will be there this January to cheer 24 of the best chefs on the planet who made it through the pre-qualifiers earlier in the Spring. Just in time for the holidays, Team Canada designed two ultimate foodie trips for the gourmet on your holiday gift-giving list. Either tag along for a five-day tour

1

city palate

crossword ANSWERS

congratulations TO OUR WINNER

DOUG RIDEOUT who received 4 tickets to:

The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival kindly donated by the festival!

n Canada’s Joseph Tran, a 25-yearold chef at the Inn at Laurel Point’s restaurant AURA in Victoria, B.C., took the gold medal at the prestigious 42nd Concours International des Jeunes Chefs (young chefs) Rotisseurs Competition held in Keelung, Taiwan, on September 7. Twenty-two of the world’s finest young chefs were chosen through selection competitions held in their respective countries – Australia,

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n Since International Coffee Day happened on October 1, this is the perfect time to review what it takes to achieve a perk-worthy brew from Canada’s top barista and an international coffee influencer, Calgary-based Cole Torode.
Cole understands better than anyone that the perfect cup of joe depends on several factors – from the quality of your beans to the purity of your water. To help coffee drinkers settle into their morning routines and get their morning jolt in the process, Cole shares his top three tips for home brewing the perfect coffee-shop quality cup of java:

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1. Look for a roast date on the bag of coffee that you’re purchasing, not an expiration date. Coffee is best consumed within the first month of being roasted.

A Victorian Christmas Dinner Every Saturday in December before Christmas

2. Store your coffee like you’d store your wine – temperature stable, away from sunlight and sealed off from oxygen. Just like wine, coffee will spoil and oxidize, taking on rancid flavours that will present in the cup.

Sunday Roast Buffets Meals to go – Heat & Eat BOOK NOW FOR CORPORATE AND PRIVATE PARTIES.

3. A lot of people don’t realize how coffee goes from bean to cup. In the simplest terms, it’s oil and water. Grind beans to different grind sizes to expose different amounts of oil and then use hot water to help pull the oils off those grinds. In order to obtain the ultimate flavour, you need to use a water that doesn’t already have dissolved minerals in it, because that results in a flat and flavourless cup of coffee. Often, tap water is very hard because of calcium and magnesium in the water streams – this makes it near impossible to extract a vibrant, flavourful and juicy cup of coffee. For taste consistency we use water purification systems. For home baristas, getting a reverse osmosis filtration system like the one from Reliance Home Comfort is a smart choice if you want to brew coffeeshop quality coffee at home.

Reservations are essential 403.337.2800 • pasu.com

4. Water makes up around 99% of a filtered coffee and between 88-92% of an espresso. Don’t overlook your water! n Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters say that coffee subscriptions are THE hot gift idea this Christmas, because coffee lovers can be hard to buy for. Phil & Sebastian coffee subscriptions can be customized by choosing espresso, filter or decaf coffee and the length of the subscription is completely flexible, to meet any budget. The gift that keeps on giving! Visit philsebastian.com for details. n And, speaking of coffee, the Banff Roasting Company Ltd. offers some of the tastiest coffee you’ll find anywhere. In Calgary, you can find it at Community Natural Foods. Artisan roasting, also known as small batch roasting, allows the most control to produce beans for a fresh, high-quality cup of coffee. We’ve tried some of these and they really are awfully good – Howling Wolf, medium dark organic Mexican and Brazilian beans (we just liked the name and Mr. Wolf howled happily) and Mt. Rundle Roast, a fourbean blend espresso.

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YYC Pizza Week officially concluded on September 30th. More than 40 restaurants participated in the friendly competition, creating signature pizzas to sell, with $3 from each sale going to Calgary Meals on Wheels. The winners were:

Best Thick Crust: Windsor Pizza Co., The Nacho Pizza Best Thin Crust: Scarpetta, Triple Pig

Out of the Box: Ollia Macarons & Tea, Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Macaron-izza New this year is The Baker Award in recognition of YYC Pizza Week‘s founder Wanda Baker. This award is chosen by Calgary Meals on Wheels and given to the restaurant that shows the most community and pizza spirit during the event. The 2018 Baker Award went to: Beer Revolution. For more information on YYC Pizza Week, visit yycpizzaweek.com.

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

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Celebrate your holiday event in style!

6 quick ways with...

by Chris Halpin

CHESTNUTS

Chestnuts have always held a festive charm for me. Wistful thoughts of chestnuts roasting and eating them with butter and salt; all so romantic! But the truth is, if I am going to be actually cooking with them, I always go the easy route and buy a jar of boiled and peeled chestnuts. They freeze well (up to six months) and can be cut easily while still frozen. All so much more convenient, and they have the same wonderful flavour. You will find them in most Italian or German markets and some specialty food shops. In all these recipes, I am using this type of chestnuts. Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Radicchio Salad with Chestnuts

Warm Hospitality, Brazilian Style

This is a perfect winter salad – the vegetables and chestnuts have a wonderful counterpoint. To make the dressing, in a bowl whisk together 1/4 c. avocado oil and 2 T. maple syrup. Whisk in 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 1 t. finely minced shallots and set aside. In a salad bowl, put 1/2 head cored and finely sliced radicchio, 6 Brussels sprouts, finely sliced, 4 chestnuts, roughly crumbled, and the dressing, and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss again and serve. Serves 4.

Butternut Squash and Chestnuts with Sage

Churrascaria & Restaurante

The richness of the squash sits beautifully with that of the chestnuts. While the sage and onions bring out the earthiness. This is one of my favourite turkey-dinner sides. In a large skillet, over medium heat, put 2 T. butter and 1/4 c. olive oil. When the butter has melted, add 1 red onion, finely sliced, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Then add 3 c. peeled and diced butternut squash, sauté for about 1 minute. Then add 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/2 t. dried sage, sauté to evenly coat and cover with a lid, then stir from time to time until the squash is softened, about 5 minutes more. Just before serving, stir in 8 chestnuts, roughly crumbled, and 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, adjust the salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

I have always liked the idea of cauliflower soup, but found it hard to come up with one that was full flavoured, yet not another “cheese” soup. The chestnuts add a lovely creamy quality to the soup and enhance the cauliflower in such a nice way. In a large pot, over high heat, put 3 c. chicken or vegetable stock, 2 c. chopped cauliflower, 6 chopped chestnuts, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 t. nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Once this has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When the cauliflower is very tender, remove from the heat and purée in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and bring the soup back to the boil before serving. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a little bit of chopped chives. Serves 4.


Tortellini with Sausage, Chestnuts and Rapini This is a fast and easy weekday dinner, with a little bit of “wow factor” thrown in. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. While this is happening, place a large skillet over medium heat and add 3 spicy Italian sausages with 1/4 c. olive oil. Fry the sausages, turning from time to time, until they have cooked through. When the water is boiling, add 1 small package of cheese tortellini and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausages from the skillet and place on a chopping board for later. In the same skillet put 1 red onion, thinly sliced, and sauté for about 3 minutes. While this is happening, slice the sausages into 1-inch rounds and return to the skillet. Drain the tortellini and leave it in the colander until you need it. Now add 4 rapini stocks, cut into 2-inch pieces to the skillet and sauté for a minute. Then add 4 chestnuts crumbled, the tortellini, season with salt and pepper, sauté for another minute before serving. Spoon the pasta onto plates and garnish with grated parmesan. Serves 4.

Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Chestnuts and Brandy Chestnuts, pork and brandy are all on the same flavour plain. It seems like each helps to bring out the best qualities in all. Salt and pepper 1 large pork tenderloin. In a heavy skillet, over high heat, put 2 T. butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the pork and brown on all sides. Once the pork is evenly browned, remove from the skillet and set aside. Turn the heat off, then add 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 t. crushed fennel seeds and 1/2 c. brandy. With a wooden spoon, rub the bottom of your skillet to deglaze. Add 1 c. water, return to medium heat and bring to a boil, return the pork to the skillet and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, turning from time to time. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add 6 chestnuts, roughly crumbled, adjust the salt and pepper to taste. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the skillet to rest, while you are finishing the sauce. Make a paste with 1 T. cornstarch and 1/4 c. water, stir into the sauce and thicken. Slice the pork into medallions, arrange on plates and spoon sauce over, garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 2 to 4.

EXPERIENCE E X C E L LE N C E .

Chestnut Chocolate Drop Cookies The chestnuts, cinnamon and cocoa mix to make a flavour all their own and so delicious. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, sift together 1 c. flour, 4 T. cocoa powder, 1/2 t. cinnamon and set aside. In another bowl, put 1 c. butter, at room temperature and 3/4 c. brown sugar, and with an electric beater, whip until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. To this, add 8 chestnuts, finely crumbled, and with a wooden spoon, work them into the dough. Drop teaspoon-sized balls on to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar. Make 2 dozen.

LET OUR WINE EDUCATORS GUIDE YOU THROUGH A SEATING TASTING EXPERIENCE IN THE STUNNING OKANAGAN, UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE. ENJOY INCREDIBLE WINES AND IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BEAUTIFUL VINEYARD SURROUNDINGS.

For more information & reservations: Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service. mannaonline.com. Recipe photos by Chris Halpin.

www.blackhillswinery.com 250.498.0666

CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

29


back burner

SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER

Offering a locally inspired menu, featuring items that are meticulously crafted.

Allan Shewchuk

DPDB

This year, I’m celebrating 22 years of teaching Italian cooking. For my classes, I always try to find some interesting dish that I’ve discovered in my travels to prepare along with the classic recipes of la cucina Italiana. Given that I teach at least two classes a year, and that I always do five or six completely different dishes each time, I now have more than 250 typed recipes in my repertoire. Many, like spaghetti cacio e pepe (which is just three ingredients – spaghetti, sheep’s milk cheese and black pepper), are crowd-pleasers that are also simple to make. So, armed with all these recipes and all that experience, you’d think that if I threw a dinner party, the cooking part would be as easy as falling off a log. But it always turns out to be the exact opposite, because, like almost every cook I know – professional or novice – when it comes to feeding people at home, I suffer from a condition I call “Dinner Party Dummy Brain” or DPDB for short. DPDB commences on the eve of a dinner party, when the host/cook decides to abandon all his or her fail-safe, or tried-and-true, recipes, in favour of something he or she has never, ever prepared, or even tasted, before. The hallmark of DPDB is that the recipe ultimately chosen has to be (a) extremely complicated and demanding; (b) horribly long to prepare; and (c) chock-full of hard-to-find ingredients, or requiring expensive but necessary kitchen gadgets that the cook does not possess. This combination ensures that the DPDB sufferer will embark on an inevitable comedy of errors with a build-up of stress that increases exponentially as the time before the guests arrive shrinks.

2 0 0 8 A i r p o r t R o a d N E , C a l ga r y | w w w.y a k i m a y y c .c o m

Made from Scratch All Butter Crust Just like your grandmother’s ... but better.

Perhaps the best illustration of novice DPDB was in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary, wherein the hapless heroine, who can’t even boil water, decides to celebrate her birthday by making a ridiculously complex French dinner for friends, which a potential beau winds up crashing just before they arrive. In the middle of preparation, she realizes she doesn’t have butcher twine to tie together the leeks in her potato-leek soup, and the only substitute she has resembling string is blue dental floss. To the horror of her potential beau, asked to check on the soup, the dental floss has turned the dish the colour of aquamarine toothpaste. This epic fail is a classic DPDB outcome. My personal DPDB downfall is that I’m constantly buying new cookbooks, which means that I see professionally shot photos of really interesting recipes, to which I am attracted like a moth to a flame. I decide to make the dish based on how it looks, and not on any detailed review of the recipe. This once led me to try an artichoke ravioli from Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry that appeared short and simple, but once I got into cooking it, I realized that every constituent part of it had its own separate recipe. So every short paragraph of the recipe said, “See page 189 for artichoke reduction,” or “See page 217 for extremely complicated ravioli stuffing.” It should have also said “Seek professional mental health help for choosing this recipe.” Nine hours into slaving over a hot stove and pouring pot after pot into progressively smaller strainers, I still hadn’t finished the first reduction and I had to abandon the full preparation or I still would have been cooking at midnight while my guests starved. The only positive thing I can say about my choice of recipe was at least the ravioli weren’t aquamarine. I can’t explain why most of us fall into this dummy-dumb trap. Perhaps by watching cooking channel chefs who have all their prep work done for them, we are duped into believing that it’s all easy, when it’s definitely not. Or maybe it’s the competitive instincts of human beings – we are driven to DPDB madness thinking we have to outdo a friend who has hosted a truly wonderful dinner party that looked seamless but probably also involved significant DPDB learning curves, days of shopping and hours of straining reduced sauces. Probably the reason we do this is just hubris, and a desire to impress others with our culinary prowess, especially when we don’t have any. But we know from Icarus what happens when we try to fly too close to the sun. This dinner party dummy needs to smarten up and stick to three ingredients – and the spaghetti in the pot should count as one of them.

PieJunkie.ca

8 Spruce Centre SW 403.452.3960 | 1081 - 2nd Avenue NW 403.287.8544

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CITYPALATE.ca NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

Allan Shewchuk is a lawyer, food writer and sought-after Italian food and wine guru. He currently has kitchens in both Calgary and Florence, Italy, but will drink wine pretty much anywhere.


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