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February 2012

Savour Life magazine

A Romantic Dinner for Two Artisan Cheese Making

Photoshopped Wines?

Saskatchewan Beer

Review Poached Bistro


FEBRUARY ISSUE 2 Our Columnists 3 From the Editor’s Desk

5 FEATURE Artisanal Cheesemaking in Saskatchewan

8 SAVOURY BITES Review: Poached Breakfast Bistro, Prairie Harvest Café opens, Flip Eatery, and other tidbits about happenings around the province. 17 RECIPES Set the Mood for Romance A Romantic Meal for Two 21 WINE He Said, She Said Wine Review, The Back Label: Photoshopped Wines? 25 BEER From Grain to Glass: Saskatchewan Beer

Who We Are Publisher, Editor CJ Katz Editorial Rob Dobson Mark Heise Theo Phillips Steve and Tracy Hurlburt Photography CJ Katz iStockPhoto Blair Dobson How to Reach Us Advertising cj.katz@sasktel.net

Mail 3706 Selinger Cr. Regina, SK S4V 2H1 (306) 761-2032 Savour Life Magazine is owned by CJ Katz. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. Savour Life Magazine is available monthly.

Subscribe! Get the best of Saskatchewan food and drink every month direct to your in-box! Subscriptions are free. Click here to subscribe. Savour Life Magazine currently reaches more than 10,400 subscribers. We operate with a dedicated team of writers who work to bring you the best editorial every single month.


OUR COLUMNISTS Rob Dobson – The Back Label

Is there a connection between photography and wine making? Are winemakers ‘photoshopping’ their wines? Read what Rob has to say and while you’re at it, check out his father’s great black and white Saskatchewan shots. Drop Rob a line at savourlife-wine@hotmail.com. Mark Heise – From Grain to Glass With Saskatchewan being one of the world’s largest producers of barley it’s only natural that we’d be brewing our own beer. Read about some of Mark’s favorite brewpubs and microbrewers. You can reach Mark at mark.heise@alesclub.com. Theo Phillips – Saskatoon Correspondent Theo has been out visiting some new hot spots in an around Saskatoon. Read her review on Poached Breakfast Bistro – a breakfast hotspot in Saskatoon and her write up on Saboroso – the hot new Brazilian steakhouse that is booked solid with reservations. If you have a favorite spot you want noted, drop Theo a line at theo@foodtofit.ca. Steve and Tracy Hurlburt - He Said, She Said Wine Review Our dynamic tasting duo is at it again! Agree? Disagree? Drop them an e-mail at: yumyum@myaccess.ca.


FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

Ouch! It’s Sizzling Hot in Here! Saskatchewan is not just a hotbed for potash investment. The food scene is heating up to sizzling hot levels. And the sizzle can be felt across the province. Opening everywhere are cool and hip restaurants - like the new Prairie Harvest Café in Saskatoon as well as wood-fired artisan pizza cafés, barbeque restaurants, and eateries that smack of Toronto and Montreal. Chefs are pushing the bar to serve amazing food with the best ingredients they can find within our own borders. Some are even taking their passion a step further, like Chef Kevin Dahlsjo in Prince Albert, who works with inmates to give them valuable work experience and a love for the industry. Small-town Saskatchewan is also crackling hot with fabulous restaurants such as The Grotto in Vibank, the New Ground Café in Birch Hills, the Olive Branch Bistro in Carnduff, and the Rockin’ Horse Cookhouse and Bar in Maple Creek. Trendy bakeries dot the landscape like Le Macaron in Regina with its European feel as well as ones that specialize in artisan breads or decadent cupcakes. Organic grocery stores, cheese emporiums, specialty liquor shops, and even spots like the OLIV Tasting Room in Moose Jaw that just sell just olive oil and balsamic vinegar are tempting our taste buds. And don’t forget our fabulous brewing and fruit wine

industry, both of which are amassing a growing chest of medals at national competitions. For the first time we have a small but growing artisan cheese industry with Chapel Cheeses near Maple Creek and Salayview Farms outside Regina. And you can expect more cheesemakers very soon thanks to a new cheesemaking course put on by The Food Centre in Saskatoon. And let’s not forget the cutting edge fruit breeding at the University of Saskatchewan where the Romance series of sour cherries was born. Researchers there are currently working on breeding the best haskap varieties in Canada and in the next few years they’ll start developing awesome hazelnuts. I’m excited about all the creative and delicious flavours and experiences to enjoy. And if you’re not sitting on the edge of your chair with excitement too, then read on and we’ll get you all fired up!

P.S. Drop me a line about your favorite hot spot in Saskatchewan at cj.katz@sasktel.net.


Find it in the District

RENOVATE DECORATE and

Event

Service, Information & Products for Your Home March 8,9 & 10 2012

A THREE-DAY EVENT for ideas on home dĂŠcor, home design, home furnishing and home renovating, all in the heart of the City! Download a passport and collect 10 stamps from the over 30 participating District businesses and then enter to win a major prize package to be drawn Saturday, March 10. Wind Up Event and Prize Draw Saturday, March 10 - 5 to 7pm. Rock Bridge Realty Ltd. 2300 Dewdney Avenue. For more information on store hours and participating businesses visit www.warehousedistrict.ca/RenovateAndDecorate


FEATURE

Artisanal Cheesemaking in Saskatchewan

Cheesemaking has been around for millennia, at least since 6,000 or 7,000 B.C. when rennet, a coagulating enzyme found in the lining of a young animal’s stomach was discovered to magically separate milk into curds and whey. Today, nearly a thousand different cheeses are made in every corner of the world, with each region producing varieties that show the distinctive ‘terroir’ of a specific area. In Canada, cheese production began in 1864 in Norwich, Ontario. Today there is production from coast to coast, from industrial large-quantity factories to smallscale artisan and farmstead businesses. Quebec has become particularly renowned for its cheeses, as has Ontario and B.C. Saskatchewan has one industrial cheese plant located in Saskatoon, which is operated by Saputo. Production there is nearly entirely customized for specific foodservice clients. The Saputo cheeses that you purchase at the grocery or specialty stores in Saskatchewan, such as their good quality bocconcini, is made most likely in Quebec. But what about truly local cheese production - the kind made from the milk

from small herds of animals that have breathed in the prairie air amid the sun, the heat, the rain, and the wind, and have grazed on a variety of prairie grasses and flowers? Until only very recently, there was no artisanal or farmstead cheese production whatsoever in Saskatchewan. Today, two companies produce small-batch cheeses – Chapel Cheeses (www.springvalleyguestranch.com), which produce excellent cow milk varieties from heritage and rare cattle breeds, and Salayview Farm (www.salayviewfarm.com), which makes chèvre from Nigerian Dwarf goats. Both producers are making farmstead varieties - cheese from milk exclusively milked from their own animals. Artisan cheesemakers source milk from various local farms. Artisan cheese production in Saskatchewan is getting a boost from The Food Centre in Saskatoon. It is here under the direction of President, Dan Prefontaine that the very first artisan cheesemaking course took place last month. This was a groundbreaking two-day course in a province eager to have its own artisan and farmstead production. The Centre hired renowned award-winning cheesemaker Margaret Morris of Glengarry Cheesemaking


FEATURE

Participant Murray Gray shows some Gouda cheese curd just before going into the moulds.

Margaret Morris demonstrates how to check if the milk has set to make Camembert.

and Dairy Supply Ltd. located in Lancaster, Ontario to teach the fundamentals. Twenty-one participants attended including those interested in making cheese at home, as well as Saskatchewan’s only dairy inspector for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, dairy producers considering smallscale cheese production, Saputo employees wishing to better understand the cheesemaking process, and at least one woman serious about artisan cheese production and was taking the course to add to her already packed arsenal of cheese courses she has taken over the past year.

Artisan and farmstead cheese makers have one goal: to make a cheese that is better than anything they’ve ever tried before. That means using the freshest milk from animals that have eaten good quality forage, along with good quality natural rennet and bacterial cultures. Then it is a blend of art and science to marry skill with traditional cheesemaking techniques and new technology to create an exceptional product. Morris, who has sixteen years experience in artisan and farmstead cheesemaking, taught the class the basics emphasizing the importance of using pure bacterial cultures, natural enzymes, taking frequent pH readings and understanding how to interpret pH levels, and the importance of diligent and accurate record keeping. She also gave hands-on instruction on how to make feta, mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, and camembert. It was magical to witness how the bacterial cultures and rennet transformed the milk over just a few hours into curds of varying textures and aromas. Later these tender globules made their


FEATURE

Mozzarella curds are heated and then stretched.

way into various moulds for further aging, or were heated and stretched it into bands more than a metre long, or were pressed and cut into squeaky salty curds. Recipes were provided for manageable 8 to 15 litre batches at home, or larger 100 litre batches for small-scale production. There are many challenges facing the industry in Saskatchewan over the coming years. With cheesemaking in its infancy, no true regulations exist at the any level of inspection governing cheese production. Anyone wishing to start a cheesemaking business will have to work carefully with industry and experts. In addition, SaskMilk does not have regulations in place that would create new guidelines for milk quota used in artisan and farmstead cheesemaking. Currently cheesemakers who want to produce cheeses using cow milk must either purchase milk from SaskMilk at a reduced price (a relatively costly option), or are limited to just 25 litres of milk a day from their own dairy cattle. To illustrate, 100 litres of milk produces roughly six to eight large wheels of feta cheese. There is no quota system governing sheep or goat milk production,

Cheddar cheese is pressed through a French fry maker to make curds.

which opens the field immensely and allows for much larger volumes of cheese production. Despite the coming hurdles, there is still huge potential in cheesemaking here. The Food Centre is already working with regulators and industry to make cheesemaking in Saskatchewan viable. The Food Centre has a waiting list long enough to run at least two more classes. Plans are in the works for one in Regina and another in Saskatoon. If you are interested in learning about cheesemaking and would like to take the course, contact Carmen Ly at (306) 933-7556.


Savoury Bites Review

Poached Breakfast Bistro (★★★ 3/5 stars) by Theo Phillips

SASKATOON - Every hero needs a good alter ego and Poached is Flint’s daytime companion. Open from 8 am to 2 pm Wednesday through Sunday, Poached Breakfast Bistro (259 2nd Ave) fills a gap in the city’s breakfast scene. When owner Chad Venne shuts the breakfast spot for the day, a separate ownership transforms the hip location into Flint Bistro Saloon to catch the evening crowds of wine-loving Saskatonians. The restaurant itself is narrow and long with the bar dividing the space from front to back. When you first walk in, a surprising thick blanket-like curtain surrounds the door on winter days to help decrease cool air from entering the intimate space. Exposed brick and gold mirrors offer a nice contrast between 70s retro and modern Manhattan. Despite the retro-modern look, the Poached menu is anything but retro. Simple and flavourful the menu does not

overwhelm you with options but rather focuses your attention to the details. More pricey than many breakfast establishments, Poached shines up traditional “breakfast-eats” like butter on freshly baked bread.

Poached over Asparagus ($11) is two poached eggs over lemon roasted asparagus with herb hollandaise served with choice of toasted bagel or rye bread. The eggs were perfectly done to my liking and the asparagus was crisp. There is nothing worse than soggy asparagus, well, except maybe undercooked eggs. Either way, both were textbook. A surprising twist with the Eggs Benedict ($12) makes it worth the cost. Cornmeal


SAVOURY BITES crusted back bacon nestled over Gruyère cheese served with a lightly dressed spinach salad was satisfying and delicious. A new favourite, the Poached over Crab Cakes ($12) (pictured previous page) is an interesting combination of homemade pollock crab cakes topped with two poached eggs and a tasty red pepper purée perfectly perched atop each other. Although some might turn their noses up at pollock in crab cakes, and rightly so, for someone (like me), who has a shellfish allergy, the pollock was most welcome. The dish was also served with spinach salad and choice of bagel or rye bread, this meal is for large appetites. Waffles, omelettes, and a granola/yogurt bowl round out the menu in addition to the many add-ons you can have to personalize your meal ranging in price from $1.50 to $5.00. Items such as spinach salad, pecan and maple syrup bacon rolls ups, crab cakes, potato croquettes are available in addition to the traditional turkey sausage, bagels, rye and extra eggs. Brewed coffee is not on the menu but espressos, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattés and London Fogs make the list. The restaurant is fully licensed so feel free to “spike” any beverage with liqueur ranging from aged Napoleon brandy to popular favorites - Baileys or Frangelico. Poached, simply put like its unassuming presence downtown, is to be experienced.

Saboroso: Rodizio Cooking SASKATOON – Following up on our writeup on the January 2012 issue, the Brazilian

Steakhouse (www.saboroso.ca) is quickly becoming a fixture on 8th street. The restaurant has experienced overwhelming success and “bossa” Jason Porat and head chef Hanosh Dubash modestly credit all achievement to their customers and staff. Open daily at 4 pm, the team takes a client-centred approach: reservations are permitted (an 8th street anomaly); they close when guests are done eating, drinking and socializing; and staff regularly sample the food and wine to provide a first-hand understanding of the menu. Unlike any other experience in the province, Saboroso is a national leader being the first restaurant to offer an a la carte menu and appetizers to their Rodizio portfolio. And what is Rodizio you ask? It is carefully selected cuts of meat, carved by an in-house butcher, skewered and marinated for up to two days on blades the length of your arm and then roasted on a gas, charcoal grill. The food is served tableside by roving wait staff.


SAVOURY BITES Complimenting your meal is a South American-inspired common table full of crispy polenta, black bean pico de gallo, potatoes, savoury quinoa and corn salad, feijoda Brazilian stew and assorted breads baked daily. Saboroso is not stuffy or exclusive. The menu is able to satisfy the “meat and potatoes” customers and also other tastes with European inspirations, gluten free and vegetarian options. Wine is presented with flair. Visit the glass tasting room to decide which bottle is right for you. With over 35 cases of wine being enjoyed each week, the wines are continually being scrutinized.

Prairie Harvest Café Opens SASKATOON – Another hip spot opened last month in the former Truffles Bistro location at 2917 Early Drive. The Prairie Harvest Café (www.prairieharvestcafe.com) is a cozy 32-seat spot, owned by Michael McKeown and Aaron Wignes. Its specialty is comfort food taken up a notch. As McKeown says, “we’re serving the kind of food we like to eat.” Look for a tight lunch menu that includes a super BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12.50) made with braised pork shoulder and a homemade BBQ sauce and coleslaw on an in-house made lentil bun, a Saskatoon Fish Burger ($14), a Veggie Burger ($11), and a fun Turducken Burger ($13) made with a blend of locally-grown duck, turkey, chicken, pork and a few other items and sides. A longer evening menu features such dishes as meatloaf ($15), lasagne ($17.50), pastas, stews, perogies ($8), and duck confit ($9.50).

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich at Prairie Harvest Café

I tried a selection of menu items the day after they had opened and so far….so good. Everything is made from scratch, including the pasta and the breads. “This is the stuff that reminds you of home. It’s from scratch, it’s a good product with nothing outrageously fancy,” says McKeown. Try the Beet Salad and add the melt-in-your-mouth Beet Cured Steelhead Trout ($12), the Warm Goat Cheese with Veggie Relish ($8), and the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. The café is open from 11 to 11 (or close) Tuesday to Saturday. I highly recommend reservations (306) 2422928.

New Takeaway SASKATOON – In January, a new takeout spot open called The Griffin Takeaway (103311 8th St East beside JYSK) (www.thegriffintakeaway.com). We dropped in just days after they had opened and they were still getting themselves


SAVOURY BITES acquainted with their new digs. I’m sure since then more items have come available. This is strictly a take-out spot – the place you dash into on your way home from work or nip into for a light lunch. Owner Nicole Barr offers a variety of sandwiches such as Goat Cheese and Olive, salads such as Apple Fennel Coleslaw, as well as soup and quiche. There is also a selection of baked goods and desserts (custards, puddings, cakes, cheesecakes) and a few vegan and gluten-free options. You can order head if you’re in a rush by calling (306) 933-3385. Opening Soon:

Simmer Hot Pot Restaurant REGINA – A new Asian restaurant will be making its mark on the Regina dining scene with a new concept – hot pots from Northern China. Owned by Jason Zhao, the new 50-seat restaurant located in the former Just Bean Brewed coffee shop at 2201 Broad St. has an upscale décor. Look for plush purple velveteen chairs and benches, black accents, and understated dark beige walls. The menu is entirely hot pots. Think of a fun fondue with a somewhat spicy broth in which you cook an array of ingredients: very thinly sliced AAA ribeye beef, chicken, seafood balls, tofu and an assortment of vegetables. After you’ve cooked your ingredients, you enjoy the soup! The hot pots range in price from $14.99/person to $43.99 for a dinner for two. There’s even a vegetarian hot pot option ($14.99/person). Expected opening is mid-February, around Valentine’s Day.

Meet Your Favourite Chef REGINA/SASKATOON – Two fun events are happening this month that get you up close and personal with some of the best chefs around. •

‘Meet the Chefs’ in Regina will be held in the Telegraph Room at the Casino Regina on February 23rd beginning at 7 pm until 10 pm. Cost is $20 for great food and table games. The Saskatoon Farmers Market will feature Brent Lloyd of the Simple Chef on February 16 beginning at 6 pm. He’ll be cooking up a 5-course meal right in the new kitchen at the market. Cost is $85/person. Visit www.saskatoonfarmersmarket.com for details.


SAVOURY BITES

Reservations Recommended at Flip REGINA – Regina’s food scene has flipped up a notch with the opening of Flip Eatery and Drink (1970 Hamilton St). Chill in their 85-seat open kitchen restaurant that allows open viewing to the chefs cooking your meal or just sit and watch passers by. Either way, you’ll feel like a hip dude in one of Toronto’s trendy eateries.

Owned by Abbey Doney and Timothy Martin of Atlantis Coffee, and Dave Straub and Jackie van Schie, the menu is an eclectic mix of comfort food and chic fare. Look for zipped up standards like Caesar Salad with a creamy, slightly tart Clamato dressing, roasted half chicken with a tomato mushroom sauce, and a haddock Fish Fry. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, try some of the more upscale items like the briny Drunken Oysters (pictured above), lightly breaded and crispy fried and placed atop an ale cream sauce and garnished with rounds of fried jalapenos, or the Fisherman’s Stew with a generous helping of seafood and fish dancing in a fresh tasting tomatosaffron broth next to pillowy soft potato dumplings, or the divine fork tender Braised Duck Legs (pictured opposite) which comes tucked atop a purée of silky

potato and parsnips, surrounded by a reduction from the wine braising liquid, and topped with a delightful Dijon pear arugula salad – perfect to cut the richness of the dish (I’m still dreaming about this dish!). Chef Dave is in his element, playing maestro as he easily moves from grill to the plating station chatting with guests seated at the bar. Menus are presented on a bamboo cutting boards retrofitted with rings to hold the menu. The wine list features 13 white and 20 red wines, plus cocktails and beers. Oh… and don’t leave without a slice of the Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Caramel Sauce and a cup of their French Press coffee, brought in fresh daily from Atlantis Coffee. Flip is open from 11 am to 12 pm most days, except on Fri and Sat when it closes at 2 am. Closed Sundays. Reservations strongly recommended (306) 205-8345.


Get Out and Renovate and Decorate! REGINA - The Regina Warehouse District (RWD) is rolling out a brand new initiative for the District called, “Renovate & Decorate”, Services, Information and Products for Your Home.” If you love home décor, home design and renovating, then you won’t want to miss this unique event that runs from March 8 to 10. Audrey Price, Executive Director of RWD explains, “Spring is a natural time when many of us begin planning, upgrading or refreshing our home or condo. We want you to know that many District businesses provide renovating and decorating services to help change or refresh your personal environments. Your shopping experience here can be enormously easy and rewarding with great personalized service offered by our local businesses.” The event begins with your downloadable Renovate and Decorate passport (also available at participating businesses), which you will take with you as you visit participating warehouse district businesses. As you go, collect at least ten different stamps from the over 30 participating businesses, and be entered in the major prize package draw. Many businesses are planning special events in their stores to celebrate the campaign. Kitchen Craft is hosting an open house on Thursday, March 8 from 4 pm to 8 pm. Chef Barry Bailey will be cooking up something special to nibble on and beverages will be served. A number of their suppliers will be on hand to answer specific questions on counter tops, specialty glass, cabinetry and accessories.

Sister’s Stepping Stones & Glass fused glass bowl

Sister’s Stepping Stones & Glass is inviting everyone to experience their newly renovated studio, enjoy punch and snacks and to make and take home a fused glass necklace. Visit them Thursday, March 8th from 4 pm to 8 pm. Others businesses are planning special demonstrations, in-store draws, special pricing and more. Some of the district’s warehouse condos will be available for viewing. Check the website for information on store hours and participating businesses. A major grand prize will be drawn at the “Passport Party” on Saturday evening from 5 pm to 7 pm at Rockbridge Realty (2300 Dewdney Ave). To be eligible for the major grand prize, you must be present at the Passport Party. For more information please visit www.warehousedistrict.ca/RenovateAndDe corate. The site will officially launch on February 8.

Seedy Saturday REGINA – Looking for open-pollinated garden vegetables and flower seeds?


OnMarch 3 from 10-2 at St. Mary's Anglican Church (3337 15th Ave) seeds will be available from prairie-based seed companies Prairie Garden Seeds (Sask), Heritage Harvest Seed (Manitoba), and Heliotrope Farms (Sask) and other nonprofit organizations and local businesses. Bring your own open-pollinated garden seeds to trade at the community garden seed exchange table and any unwanted gardening magazines and books for the gardener's swap table. Lunch and snacks are available for purchase. Admission is a donation to Seeds of Diversity Canada.

Quail REGINA – Butcher Boy Meats at 1849 Park St. is now carrying quail as a regular item. These are a Canadian product brought in from Nipissing, Ontario. They have whole jumbo quail as well as semi-boneless quail

SAVOURY BITES (with the breast and backbones removed for easier serving). This is something different for those who want to try and prepare a special gourmet meal.

New Ground Café Closing BIRCH HILLS – Indeed I mentioned in my Editor’s column about the fabulous New Ground Café owned by Jenni Willems. Sadly, the successful business is closing at the end of March. She’ll be selling her building and rolling out a new venture called ‘Chef Jenni.’ A gala launch will take place on Sunday April 22 at the Birch Hills Civic Centre to pay homage to the culmination of a dream and celebrate the start of a new one. There will also be a multi-course meal, music, and art. Call (306) 749-2529 for tickets or e-mail newground@sasktel.net. The restaurant in the meantime is still alive and very busy.


SAVOURY BITES

Two by Dahlsjo Offers Cooking Classes, New Menu PRINCE ALBERT – Kevin Dahlsjo, owner and chef at Two by Dahlsjo has made a few changes to his menu this year. The first is a four-course Table d’hôte. The appetizer is presented family style to share followed by a main course made with local fresh ingredients (where available), then a palate cleanser and something sweet to finish off the meal. Kevin will also be holding cooking classes. The next class is on Monday February 20th and will feature tapas dishes. Call (306) 922-2992 to cook. Cost is $50 per person.

New Infused Camelina Oils ACROSS SASKATCHEWAN – I love playing with flavoured oils – especially in salad dressings and as finishing oils. The Three Farmers has just released two new Camelina oils: Roasted Garlic and Chili; and Roasted Onion and Basil. Both have been infused with oil-based extracts, are nonGMO certified, cold pressed, and high in Omega-3 and -6. These are quite intense and the flavour lasts, even after cooking. They cost roughly $15-$19 depending on the retailer.

Follow Our SK Chef Live at the Canadian Culinary Championships FROM YOUR EASY CHAIR – You don’t need to travel to Kelowna in early February to follow Anthony McCarthy compete at the Canadian Culinary Championships. There will be a live feed of the Black Box competition via the Gold Medal Plates Twitter account at @GoldMedalPlates. Watch it Saturday morning February 11th beginning at 10:30 am (SK time).

Bits and Bites •

For a list of retailers, visit their website at www.threefarmers.ca.

SASKATOON – Chef Dan Walker, owner of Weczeria on Broadway Ave continues to be in the news. He recently received an invitation to attend Michael’s Stadtlander’s Canadian Chefs Congress in Halifax this September. And Weczeria recently had their 3-diamond rating with CAA renewed. REGINA - Jack Keaton’s BBQ & Grill (5650 Rochdale) is now open on Sundays. REGINA – Orange Boot Bakery (3904 Gordon Rd.) has really expanded their offerings to include muffins, cookies and a whole lot more varieties of breads. They also have a good selection of bread throughout the day. Try their sourdough!


SAVOURY BITES •

REGINA – It won’t be long before Lancaster Taphouse near Harbour Landing is open. They have started advertising for all manner of kitchen and waitstaff. SASKATOON – The Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan will be holding their Annual Luncheon, Tea and Fashion Show on March 11 at TCU Place from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Tickets are $35/person and available at (306) 652-4114, ext 4. REGINA – Lindsay e-mailed that Viet Crung Garden (1929 Albert St, 5256688) is very good and is one of the top Vietnamese Noodle places in the city. REGINA – Wendy had this to say about Kavé Haz, a new coffee House with Hungarian "Old World" Sweets and savouries. “It is amazing and well worth a visit, review and a mention! I have stumbled onto Regina's best-kept secret! I have personally enjoyed most of the Hungarian pastries that have real butter, real cream and not too sweet. Every kind of Torte that you can think of as well as 15 or 16 home made gelato! The Pastries are amazing, no

they are amazing, the coffee is great the ambiance is beautiful and the prices are great!” The coffee shop is eat in or take out and they are promoting lunches coming soon with homemade soups and designer croissants. Ken Ramage is the owner, they are at 4908 Dewdney Ave (across from Luther College) 525-2599

What do you think? Send us your thoughts on these and other places around the province. Let us know at cj.katz@sasktel.net.


RECIPES

Set the Mood for Romance

Scallops with Mango Salsa and Cheese Crisps Fratelli’s Chicken Gorgonzola Wild Rice with Raisins & Almonds Pureed Acorn Squash* Orange-Saffron Babycakes (pictured) * recipe not supplied


RECIPES Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and then the towel-dried scallops. Season with a little salt. Sear on both sides until the scallops are just barely cooked through, about 5 minutes.

 In a medium bowl combine the diced mango, avocado, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and red pepper. Add in the juice of ½ a lime and season with salt. Taste and adjust lime juice and salt amount.

 To serve, spoon some salsa into two large martini glasses (you may have some leftover). Top each with three scallops. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with a cheese wafer, a sprig of cilantro and a slice of fresh lime.

Scallops with Mango Sauce and Cheese Crisps This is lovely appetizer perfect for a romantic meal for two. 6 large scallops, dried with a paper towel
 1 tbsp olive oil
 ½ a ripe mango, peeled and diced
 ½ a ripe avocado, peeled and diced
 ¼ of a white onion, diced
 ½ a seeded jalapeno or 1 Thai red chili, finely minced
 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
 ¼ of a red pepper, finely diced 
juice of ½ to 1 lime, depending on your taste
 salt to season 
additional olive oil
 crispy cheese wafer (see directions below) sprig of cilantro and lime slices for garnish


Cheese Wafer Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle a small amount of grated cheddar cheese on the pan (don’t make it thick – spaces between the shreds of cheese are good and give the wafer a lacy look). Cook the cheese until it starts to buble and the edges are barely brown. Using a thin metal spatula, carefully remove the wafer to a cooling rack. The wafer will crisp as it cools.

Fratelli’s Chicken Gorgonzola I clipped this recipe out of the Ottawa Citizen years ago. It’s a perfect main dish for a romantic dinner for two! Serves 2 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts salt and pepper, to taste 2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil ¾ cup (175 ml) heavy cream


RECIPES ¼ cup (50 ml) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese 2 tbsp (30 ml) dry white wine ¾ cup (3 oz/85 g) baby spinach leaves 3 tbsp (45 ml) toasted almonds, crushed for garnish Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add chicken and brown until golden on both sides, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add cream, Gorgonzola and white wine. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced and thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook 30 seconds until softened. Set aside and keep warm until chicken is cooked. Place chicken on plates. Pour sauce over meat and garnish with crushed almonds.

Wild Rice with Raisins and Almonds Serves 2 1/2 cup (125 ml) wild rice 1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml) butter 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped shallots 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped 1 ½ cups (325 ml) beef stock, warmed ¼ tsp (1 ml) dried white sage, or regular sage ¼ cup (60 ml) raisins ¼ cup (60 ml) whole almonds, toasted freshly ground black pepper, to taste Place the wild rice in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 4 hours or overnight. This will help soften the rice and it will cook faster.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped shallots and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Drain the wild rice and add it to the pot. Add the warm chicken stock to the pot. Grind the sage in your palm using your fingers. Add the crushed sage leaves to the pot along with the raisins. Increase the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 45 minutes, or until the rice begins to puff. If the rice needs to cook longer or more liquid is required, add additional chicken stock. When all the water has been absorbed, fluff the rice with a fork. Replace the lid. Meanwhile, roughly chop the almonds. Just before serving, stir in the chopped almonds and the black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm.

Orange-Saffron Babycakes Citrus fruits are in season until early spring and are bursting with flavour. Try this recipe for a change of pace from chocolate. This recipe makes more than you need. Save the extra for devouring throughout the week, or freeze. Makes 12 1 ½ cup (375 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour 2 ½ tsp (12 ml) baking powder ½ tsp (2 ml) salt ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cinnamon ½ cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature ¾ cup (185 ml) granulated sugar ¼ cup (60 ml) liquid honey ½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract finely grated zest of 1 large orange


2 eggs pinch saffron ¾ cup (185 ml) milk Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 12- cup muffin pan. Scoop the flour gently into the measuring cups. Level the top with the flat edge of a knife. Transfer the flour to a medium bowl and add the baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and the honey until creamy. Add the vanilla and the orange zest. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added.

RECIPES Add the saffron to a mortar and pestle. Finely grind the saffron. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) milk to the saffron and stir to combine well. Add the saffron/milk mixture to the remaining ½ cup (125 ml) milk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the saffron/milk mixture in three additions, ending with the dry ingredients. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely. Glaze with an icing sugar glaze. Whisk until smooth, 2 cups (500 ml) icing sugar with ¼ tsp (1 ml) almond extract and 4 tbsp (60 ml) milk, adding 1 tsp (5 ml) more if required. Drizzle over the cakes and garnish as desired.


WINE

He Said, She Said Wine Review By Steve and Tracy Hurlburt

Is twice as much twice as nice? Seems like a loaded question but it gets asked all the time when it comes to wine. Is a $10 wine only half as good as a $20 wine? The answer is no according to merchants of mediocre bulk wines with gimmicky labels that desperately try to draw you into their acidic/flabby/candied embrace. Yes, is the answer from estate wineries that rely on reputations and tradition both real and imagined. We wanted to do a little experiment of our own so we bought two locally available Côtes du Rhône reds from the same vintage (2009). One was $16 and the other was $30 and both are blends. This is what we found. 2009 Ogier Côtes du Rhône ‘Heritages’, Appellation Côtes du Rhône Controllée France 14.5% $16.99 per 750 ml bottle (SLGA) He said: “Pitch black in colour. The nose at first is nothing special, dull and candied it takes some time swirling it to coax anything more out. There is a hint of spice and red fruit after a while. The first sip makes it perfectly clear that this is a young wine with soft tannins galore and a fruit forward alcoholic finish. The finish

isn’t hot mind you just lots of round glycerine glory (as evidenced by the legs in the glass) and an after taste that is really kind of tame. Plenty of Côtes du Rhône wines are acid bombs that lack fruit and tannins. This wine has all those three elements in decent balance but just not a lot of concentration. Too timid for my tastes it won’t offend anyone. Is this negociant red a food wine? As long as the food isn’t too serious it will do the job.” Rating: OK but... She said: “Purple/black in colour it has huge glycerine legs that coat the inside of the glass. A youthful bouquet of black cherry, freshly baked bread, spices, pepper and liquorice all sorts. On the palate the pepper carries through to the alcoholic finish that hides the fruit flavours. I find


the finish too bitter and short. Perhaps this wine would benefit from a year or two in the bottle (it is just a 2009 after all) and things might come together.” Rating: OK but...

2009 Perrin Côtes du Rhône ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’, Appellation Côtes du Rhône Controllée, France 14% $30.55 per 750 ml bottle (SLGA)

WINE just enough tannin evident on the finish to be able to assure steak lovers of a good match. Is this wine in the same class as its big brother from the Perrin stable, Châteaux Beaucastel from the Châteauneuf du Pape AC? No it isn’t as good but neither are most other Châteauneufs. This wine will give you more pleasure than the $16 Ogier but only half as often. J” Rating: Yum!

Mmmm

She said: “Purple/black in colour. Deep, sultry bouquet of red fruits (especially raspberries) with coffee, roasted meat and hazelnuts. On the palate the fruit, acid and tannins balance well. I can appreciate the fruit better in this wine than the Ogier, it has a real focus with the acid helping to define it. Centered if you will. Youthful is also a word that I would use to define this wine. Oh yes, throw in sophisticated and smooth too. Does double the price mean double my pleasure with this wine? Yes it does. There are no guarantees with the wine/price teetertotter but in this instance you get what you pay for.” Rating: Yum! He said: “Opaque it is truly dark with neon purple legs (like a 70’s prog rock band from deepest, coldest Norway). Very interesting nose that is full of spices with citrus notes and game meats. Leather too. The palate is very well balanced with

Yum Yum! Yum! OK but… Blah! Yuck!

Yum Yum Scale Amazing stuff, legendary, cannot be missed! Really good. Go buy some before we get it all. Good. Let’s have another glass. It’s alright but don’t we have a Yum wine in the fridge? Blah, humbug, underwhelming Assault and battery of your taste buds


WINE

The Back Label

Photoshopping Wines? By Rob Dobson, CWE

Photo: Blair Dobson. Taken March 2009, just northwest of Regina.

My father is an award-winning photographer. His specialty is black and white photography. When I was a youngster, I liked to hang out in his darkroom and watch him work. The dim glow of the red light bulb and the smell of the chemicals created an air of mystery and enchantment. There was a certain alchemy in watching a roll of film become negatives. But by far the coolest part was watching him making prints: the momentary flash of light as the picture was exposed and then seeing the picture magically appear on a blank sheet as my Dad moved it through a series of chemical baths. Some shots were so well composed that my Dad would just try to get them onto

paper without messing them up. But his real talent is an ability to take everyday subject matter and make it come to life in new ways. He could make a photo of the wall of an abandoned building take on layers of texture and depth in its weathered wood. He once did a series of prints of snowdrifts that is captivating for the way he captured gradients of light and shade. These are the kind of pictures that you need to spend some time with to fully appreciate. In his hands, the mundane would become magical. Regrettably, this style of photography is pretty much a thing of the past. Digital photography makes manipulating photos simple. Technology now allows any of us


WINE to alter colours, light, contrast, perspective or pretty much any other element of a photograph. The result is that, in a society that is bombarded with images, pictures need to have an impact to get noticed. If a photo is not immediately eye-catching, it tends to be overlooked. Advertisers have learned that the more garish or unnatural a photo is, the more effective it will be. We seem to have become desensitized to subtlety. I‘ve watched similar changes happen to winemaking over the past few years. Advances in technology have given winemakers the ability to effectively ‘photoshop’ their wines. Some of the hitech tools now available to winemakers include: •

designer strains of yeast that create specific flavours or smells;

yeast nutrients and commercial enzymes that alter the way a wine goes through fermentation;

winemakers abuse these tools to create fake-tasting “spoofulated” wines that are just as loud and as flashy as the most outlandish ads. In a market saturated with wine, many producers feel they need the highest possible impact to get consumers’ attention. Some might argue that this is simply progress. I’m not so sure. Sure it’s fun to be blown away by a massively fruity and oaky harlot of a wine, but a wine doesn’t have to be an assault on your senses to be considered good. Like my Dad’s photos, we shouldn’t forget to appreciate subtlety and nuance in a wine. The techniques employed may be more primitive but in many ways the results are more honest and more enduring. You’re probably wondering how commonplace these winemaking tricks are and how you can spot a ‘photoshopped’ wine. Those are excellent questions and will be discussed in a forthcoming Back Label column. Stay tuned!

additives that boost colour and richness such as Mega Purple;

micro-oxygenation processes (a.k.a. microx or microbullage) that soften tannins;

reverse osmosis machines and spinning cone centrifuges that physically deconstruct a wine into its component parts, allowing the winemaker to adjust alcohol or undesirable components before reconstituting the wine.

There’s no question that these processes can improve some wines, but many www.motifake.com


BEER

From Grain to Glass

Saskatchewan Beer By Mark Heise

Beer has been a staple in Saskatchewan as long as there has been a Saskatchewan. For many consumers today, Saskatchewan beer means Molson Old-Style Pilsner, more commonly known as “Pil.” It may come as a surprise, but not only is Pil brewed in Vancouver these days, but it was originally created and brewed at Sick’s Brewery in Lethbridge, Alberta. Molson can keep trying to convince us that Pil is a “Saskatchewan Tradition,” but it just ain’t true. I could almost cut them some slack had they chosen to market their Molson Bohemian (aka “Boh”) as a “Saskatchewan Tradition,” seeing as it was originally created and brewed at Prince Albert Breweries in Prince Albert. However, there are plenty of REAL choices when it comes to Saskatchewan Beer. My good friends at the SLGA have informed me that there are 34 brewpubs, 1 microbrewery, and 1 brewery currently licensed in the province. Read on for some highlights! Saskatoon of course is home to Great Western Brewing. Proudly employee owned, they primarily focus on the light lager and budget brand market. While I cannot say any of the GW beers particularly interest me, they do in fact taste better and offer more flavour than similar offerings from their much bigger counterparts… counterparts that are not

even Canadian owned (no matter how much they claim “I AM CANADIAN”) and have also closed every single one of their breweries across the prairies over the last 20 years. Great Western is the obvious choice of any proud and informed Saskatchewanian when a fizzy, yellow lager is all you want. Paddock Wood in Saskatoon is of course the only microbrewery in the province. Their focus is on craft beer of varying classic styles, including the outstanding Czech Mate Pilsner (pictured above) and Black Cat Schwarzbier (a dark German lager that serves as a great introduction to dark beers). In addition to being available at most SLGA stores and direct from the brewery (can’t get fresher than that!), Paddock Wood is also spreading the good word of Saskatchewan Beer in BC, AB and ON. The Bushwakker and Brewsters (three locations) brewpubs in Regina both produce fine examples of traditional ales and lagers. Seasonal and limited one-off


BEER Prairie Malt Ltd is a major malting facility located in Biggar. They are a major supplier to Sierra Nevada Brewing, one of the largest and most respected craft brewers in the world. When I was a guest at Sierra Nevada in 2009 (located in Chico, CA), it was pretty cool seeing all the CPR grain cars lined up at their private rail spur, full of malted barley from my home province. Every time you drink a Sierra Nevada beer, you are drinking a Saskatchewan Beer!

releases are common and always give you something new and exciting to look forward to. My personal favourites are the Bushwakker Pickards Oatmeal Stout and Brewsters Farmer Tan witbier (pictured above) (hold the orange slices please!). These brewpubs have become popular destination points for the local and travelling beer lover. It is worth noting that Saskatchewan is one of the world’s largest producers of barley, a primary ingredient in beer, though it must be malted before it can be used in brewing. Annual production of malt-grade barley in Saskatchewan is worth approx $70 million. That makes a lot of beer! As a homebrewer, most of the barley I use is Saskatchewan grown, and malted by InfraReady Malt in Saskatoon. Additionally,

I would love to mention all 34 brewpubs, but I am hitting my word limit, and frankly, I have not been to most of them. While it is quite possible that some are producing great quality beer, most of them completely downplay their house made beers, some do not even make beer from malted barley (choosing instead to use malt extract or kits), and for the most part they do not participate in the beer community. I was inside one brewpub that did not appear to even have brewing equipment, let alone offer house beers on tap. Without painting with too wide of a brush, most brewpubs in Saskatchewan exist solely because a brewpub license also entitles you to an off-sale license, which is a very lucrative line of business (many young upstanding gentleman will gladly pay $40 for a 12-pack of their beloved Pil at 2 am on a weekend). Regardless, I encourage you to give all Saskatchewan brewpubs a try (most are small independent businesses) and decide for yourself if their beer should also be loudly and proudly proclaimed as Saskatchewan beer. Send me any tips (mark.heise@alesclub.com), and I just might do a feature on one of these hidden gems.

February 2012 Issue  

Local living, food and drink at its best!

February 2012 Issue  

Local living, food and drink at its best!

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