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January 2012

Savour Life magazine

Comfort Food to Warm the Soul Pulses, Chicken, Wild Rice, Apples Review

Enso Sushi and Japanese Cuisine Sushi for the ‘Moment’

Cheese Making Course Artisanal Cheese

Cooking for Gold Chef McCarthy Prepares for Kelowna

 

 


JANUARY ISSUE 3 Our Columnists 4 From the Editor’s Desk

5 FEATURE Cooking for Gold

7 SAVOURY BITES Review: Enso Sushi and Japanese Cuisine, Artisanal Cheese, and other tidbits about happenings around the province

14 RECIPES Comfort Food to Warm the Soul Saskatchewan Soup, Chef Anthony McCarthy’s Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Cashews, Chicken with Dried Fruit and Port, Apple Roll-Ups

19 WINE He Said, She Said Wine Review The Back Label: Washington Wines

23 BEER From Grain to Glass: Mead Mania

 

Who We Are Publisher, Editor CJ Katz Editorial Rob Dobson Mark Heise Theo Phillips Steve and Tracy Hurlburt Photography CJ Katz Tamara Klein Rob Dobson iStockPhoto Cypress Hills Winery 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, with the prior written consent of the publisher. Savour Life Magazine is available monthly.

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  Get the best of Saskatchewan food and drink every month direct to your in-box! Subscriptions are free. Click here to subscribe. To subscribe, e-mail CJ at cj.katz@sasktel.net. 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.


This Issue is dedicated to the memory of Food Matters Columnist

JOHN RUSSELL December 6, 1953 – September 9, 2011 John passed away suddenly this fall. He was just 57 years old. A friend, a columnist with a loyal following, and a long-time subscriber who penned many Letters to the Editor, John’s probing mind and insightful look into the state of our food supply will be sadly missed. God bless.  

 


OUR COLUMNISTS   Rob Dobson – The Back Label Long time readers will know Rob and his column well. Over the years he’s developed quite a following and I’m delighted he’ll be back with his pen and Bordeaux glass in hand sharing his thoughts, wisdom and opinions on whatever is happening in the world of wine. Over many years he’s honed his knowledge about wine, winning the national

Canadian Wine Taster of the Year competition, holding a Certified Wine Educator designation from the Society of Wine Educators, and graduating from the German Wine Academy. In his spare time, Rob likes to plug in an electric guitar and play loud and sloppy rock ‘n roll. Drop Rob a line at savourlife-wine@hotmail.com.   Mark Heise – From Grain to Glass Mark, who wrote on beer last year, is back with a regular column. He is the current President of the Ale and Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan (ALES), a group that ranks 6th among the top clubs in North America with over 70 members. Mark is a certified beer judge, is an instructor for the international Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), an intensive 6-month course that covers brewing processes, classic beer styles, sensory training, and beer judging. He is the first nationally ranked judge in Saskatchewan, 9th in all of Canada. You can reach Mark at mark.heise@alesclub.com.  

Theo Phillips – Saskatoon Correspondent A dietitian by day and foodie by night, Theo fuses health, nutrition and delicious food (yes, they can go together). Her casual attitude includes the belief that food needs to be shared and enjoyed while her quirky nature allows her to smile at the small things (such as polka dots, straws and miniature anything). Theo runs a nutrition consulting business, Food To Fit and hopes to one day answer the question: why do we eat what we do? Theo has a passion for travel, a love of pictures and craves all things savoury. She lives with her husband Aaron in Saskatoon and can be reached at theo@foodtofit.ca.

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

Steve and Tracy are back with their cheeky, candid, humourous, and frank wine reviews. The couple, who have been wine enthusiasts since attending their first Wine Educators Conference back in 1989, enjoy exploring new wines, spirits and beers. Tracy is a Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist and Steve is the Regina Branch Manager of Research Capital Corporation. Don't agree with Steve and Tracy's assessment, or maybe you do? Drop them an e-mail them at: yumyum@myaccess.ca.


FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK  

We’re Back!  

After a nine-month hiatus, we’re back! The time away was invaluable. It gave me a much needed mental break after publishing virtually every week for eight years. Few business owners get an opportunity to take a step back, take a cold hard look at their business, think, get creative, and decide on the next direction. As you can see, Savour Life has a new home. It’s now part of a fresh, simple and clean new website under http://www.cjkatz.com/. The magazine also has a new look. It’s blossomed into a full-fledged adult from its infancy as Prairie Food Bytes, its time as a teenager website/magazine, and now as a colourful, glossy mag. Look for it monthly in your inbox. It’s not available yet for viewing on the iPhone or iPad but that will be coming soon. And sorry, we won’t be publishing any hard copy, paper editions. Feel free to browse the site. Check out the ‘Documentary’ Food Photography section, the Feature Recipe from The Wheatland  

Café, and tab called TASTE about my upcoming cookbook. Thank you to each and everyone of you who took the time to drop me a line or stop me on the street to tell me how you much you have missed the publication. We’re back monthly and hopefully, with the financial support from all levels of the food industry, the magazine can continue reporting on all facets of Saskatchewan food for many years to come. Drop me, or any of the columnists a line anytime with your thoughts on a new restaurant, a great food product, a nifty wine, a cool find at a farmers market, or just to say hello. You can reach me at cj.katz@sasktel.net. Until next month!


FEATURE

C o o k in g fo r G o ld

 

Text by Theo Phillips and CJ Katz

There was no doubt as to Chef Anthony McCarthy’s emotion as he bounded, skipping and whopping, to the podium like a school boy who’d just aced his grammar test. It was a prize McCarthy, Executive Chef at the Saskatoon Club, had aimed his wooden spoon at since taking bronze at last year’s Gold Medal Plates culinary competition. His dish this year had been in deep planning since the day after last year’s competition. McCarthy, conceptualized, tested, tasted, refined, retested, and tweaked his closely guarded recipe until every component was as perfect as a Lauren Harris painting. And it paid off with him taking the gold medal at Prairieland Exhibition Park on November 5, 2011. His winning dish at the 2011 Gold Medal Plates was created with local flavours and seasonal ingredients. Imagine one thousand perfect spring morels hand picked in Saskatchewan’s boreal forest, stuffed with a luxurious silky foie gras mixture and a  

brunoise of black winter truffle, crispy on the outside and meltingly warm, delicious and rich on the inside. Pair that with a potato pasta pocket stuffed with slowly braised moist organic Saskatchewan beef and warm oozy Cambozola cheese, a swipe of sweet autumn butternut squash purée, a tuft of micro-greens, and a deeply rich and perfectly satisfying classic demi-glaze, and you have a gold medal winner. Joining McCarty on the podium was silver medalist Ryan Marquis, Executive Chef of the Delta Bessborough in Saskatoon and bronze medalist Trevor Robertson, Executive Chef at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon Last year’s winner, Dan Walker of Weczeria took a seat at the judges’ table.


FEATURE  

McCarthy’s win means he’ll be representing Saskatchewan at the two-day, threecomponent Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, B.C. this February. And no different from previous competitions, this one will be fierce. McCarthy will be up against nine of the best-of-the-best from across the country including chefs like Vancouver’s Rob Feenie of the Cactus Club Restaurants, Calgary’s Michael Dekker of Rouge, and Toronto’s Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa. For Chef McCarthy, his goal is to stay true to his philosophy and style of cooking using local, seasonal ingredients. Trained in Banbury, England, McCarthy has worked in hotels, on private luxury yachts in the Caribbean, at exclusive French restaurants in England, and owned his own establishment in Brandon. Manitoba. Currently, he is committed to creating an  

excellent dining experience at the Saskatoon Club, situated one block west of the scenic Saskatchewan River in downtown Saskatoon. The private club serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and also does the occasional catering for professional events and executives. Chef McCarthy is married and has two sons, Jacob and Thomas, and has made Saskatoon his home since 2007. He is currently president of the Canadian Culinary Federation, Saskatoon Branch. He can be reached at anthonym@saskatoonclub.com. Feel free to drop him a line to wish him luck!

Try Chef Anthony McCarthy’s recipe for ‘Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Cashews’ in the RECIPES section.


Savoury Bites

Review

Enso Sushi and Japanese Cuisine (★★★✩ 3.5/5 stars) By CJ Katz

Regina – Enso Sushi and Japanese Cuisine is the newest sushi restaurant to open in Regina. Owned by one of the former chefs at Michi Sushi in downtown Regina, Kenta Kitamura is maintaining the same excellent standard but putting his own signature on his dishes.

signature roll?) packed with tuna, salmon, crabmeat, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and lettuce and accented with wasabi mayo. I warn you, it’s big so the ladies may wish to use a knife to make a smaller portion. The Dynamite Roll ($6.50), always a favorite at any sushi house, is stuffed with two fat tempura-breaded shrimp. In total, Enso, has more than 27 rolled sushi from which to choose.

The décor is “Michi taken up a notch” with lovely earthy tones of sand-beige accented with black wooden blinds, dark furnishings, tall green bamboo plants, and sleek white modernist china. The walls have been accented with powerful original paintings and Japanese ink drawings created by Kenta’s sister, Akiko McDougall, a graduate of the University of Regina Fine Arts Program. It all comes together to create a casual yet sophisticated space. The menu features an ample line-up of traditional Japanese dishes with a strong emphasis on rolled sushi, nigiri, sashimi, and teriyaki. Try the Salmon Firecracker Roll ($5.95), a fabulous inside-out (ura maki) roll filled with tender raw red salmon and topped with crunchy tempura crumbs and a spicy homemade chili sauce. It packs enough zip to let you sit up and take notice, especially if you add a dollop of wasabi. The Banzai Roll ($6.50) is another excellent ura maki roll (perhaps their  

The Banzai Ura Maki Roll


SAVOURY BITES   enrobed in a slightly sweet, nicely balanced teriyaki sauce with just the right viscosity, not overly thickened with cornstarch like many others I’ve tried. From 5 until 9 pm, there is an a la carte menu as well as set dinners ($14.50$17.95), which range from tempura, sushi, and donburi selections and the very popular Dinner Special for Two ($49.95), which includes miso soup, salad, gyoza, gomaae, tempura, kushiaki (skewers), and sushi. If you’re ordering a la carte, be sure to try the Gomaae (spinach) ($4.50), which is slightly sweet with smokey flavours from toasted sesame seed oil; and the vegetarian Sunamono Salad ($3.95), an intensely refreshing and delightfully sweet-sour concoction arriving with an ample portion of silky rice vermicelli, tender kelp and thin slices of cucumber.

Vegetarian Sunomono Salad

Open from 11:30 until 2 pm daily for lunch, Enso features a la carte dining and five lunch specials ($9.95-$12) that include a maki and nigiri set and three teriyaki options. The specials come with a simple salad and the restaurant’s own inhouse made miso soup prepared with bonito flakes, kelp, two types of miso paste, and cubes of tender tofu. On a cold winter’s day, there’s nothing that helps reset your spiritual balance like miso soup. I always feel an ‘ahhh’ each time I have a taste of the warm, salty mixture, and Enso’s does just the trick. The Chicken Donburi ($9.95) comes in a large bowl with pieces of tender chicken  

Kenta, who trained under the best chef at Michi Sushi, opened the 40-seat restaurant about three months ago. He runs it together with his mother, Harumi. Kenta stands out front at the sushi station and rolls sushi fresh to order, while his mother runs the back kitchen. She prepares the other dishes, including the tempura ($6.95-$10.95). Her recipe uses a very high quality tempura flour called ‘shoa’ which produces a light-coloured delicioustasting crispy coating that is not overly light and not heavy either. Quality is front and centre in every bite. Kenta says he purchases only the best fish (which we understand comes from the same supplier as Michi). He uses his own seasoning recipe for the sushi rice, which has a lovely balance of sweet and salt, and he has even paid attention to the smaller


SAVOURY BITES   details such as the gari (pickled ginger), which is served ‘au naturel’ without the added red food dye that makes it traditionally pink. Enso, like the round symbol that is the restaurant’s signature, is an expression of the moment. And it’s a moment that has the potential to last a long time. Enso is located in east Regina at 3243 Quance St. (next to Soleman and in the same parking lot as Rock Creek) Tel: (306) 205-9442. Hours: Tues-Sat 11:30-2 and 5-9. Liquor license.

Cheese Making Course SASKATOON - This is big news! Saskatchewan is holding its first ever cheese-making course. And this means, the growth of a brand new industry in the province – artisanal cheese making! On January 30 and 31, 2012 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm the Food Centre in Saskatoon will be presenting a two-day workshop exploring the basics of cheese making including different types of cheeses. The Centre is bringing in award-winning cheese maker, Margaret Peters-Morris of Glengarry Cheesemaking in Lancaster, near Cornwall, Ontario to teach the course. The Food Centre’s Erin Hiebert will also be teaching food safety and the key points of sanitation. This course is restricted in class size to allow for plenty of questions specific to your operation or business objective. Each participant will receive a certificate of completion. For more information on how to register contact Erin Hiebert at (306) 964-1818 or email:

 

ehiebert@foodcentre.sk.ca. The cost for the course is $235 (plus GST), which includes a workshop manual, refreshments and lunch.

Koko Opens 2nd Location REGINA – The Hotel Saskatchewan is now home to Koko Bakery’s second location, situated in the former coffee shop in the main lobby. Drop in for a European-style espresso made with Café Umbria beans, or try their gourmet hot chocolate (chili chocolate, ginger, or bittersweet). Grab a quick take-out sandwich for lunch ($7.95-$9.95) and of course splurge on a sweet something like the Lemon Genoise cake with Morello cherries, the flourless dark chocolate cherry truffle cake, or cookies. They are open Mon-Fri 7:30 to 6, Sat 9-2.

Jack Keaton’s BBQ Opens REGINA – Smokin’ Okies and Hickory Smokehouse are no longer the only BBQ in town. A new kid is on the block with the opening of Jack Keaton’s BBQ and Grill located at 5650 Rochdale Blvd. Although


SAVOURY BITES   Jack’s has a decidedly franchise feel to it, it is an independently owned and operated restaurant targeting the casual quickservice crowd. As owner Brett Huber says, “Saskatchewan is a meat and potatoes crowd, so let’s give them the best meat and potatoes.’ Huber, who formerly was the Executive Chef at Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar makes virtually everything on the menu from scratch. He adds his own signature rub to all his meats 24 hours prior to the long slow smoking typical of southern barbeque. The menu features Combo Plates ($9-$16) with brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs (super popular!), chicken or for the non-meat lover, beer battered haddock. There is also a very decent list of side dishes as well as sandwiches and a kids’ menu. Speaking of kids, the name Jack Keaton’s comes from Huber’s two sons’ names (Jackson and Keaton). A liquor license is on the way. Hours are Mon-Fri 11-9, Sat 12-9 and closed Sundays. Call 522-7BBQ.

Lancaster Taphouse Expected to Open Soon REGINA – The Lancaster Taphouse is expected to open in early 2012. I love the name, especially since it’s my maiden name (my Dad’s name was Ron too, but we’ll  

save that for another story!). It’s not entirely clear yet what the menu will be but Chef Joel Williams recently had a dry run at the Table 10 cooking up Truffle Fries with Dubliner Cheese, Bistro Grilled Steak with a spicy Creole mustard sauce, and a White Chocolate Cheesecake with cumin, pistachios, raspberry coulis and crème anglaise. Other possible menu items are The Lancaster Greens Salad with a lime and Leffe vinaigrette, New York Roast and Banana Bread Pudding. We’ll keep you posted on their opening and the menu.

A New Chocolate Shop? REGINA – The European-style bakery located on Quance St behind Applebee’s had been a huge success since opening one year ago. Le Macaron owners Gilles


SAVOURY BITES   and Jacqueline Gobin say the response from customers has surpassed all expectations. They now have a chocolatière from Casablanca working as Gilles’ assistant. This pastry chef comes with impeccable credentials, not only excelling in chocolate making but also extraordinary sugar work and piping. With such talent, the Gobin’s are looking to open a chocolate shop in the east end of the city near their current location. “This shop will feature everything connected with chocolate.” Think chocolate truffles, chocolate pastries, and chocolate cakes. We’ll keep you posted on the location and the opening.

Looking for a Taste of Jamaica? REGINA – For those who miss the island flavours of Jamaica and the Caribbean, don’t dispair. Jamdon’s Restaurant and Catering located in the Orr Centre (3004400 4th Avenue) behind the Western Christian College and Queen City Collegiate is serving up authentic island cooking. Owner Dave Hall, who moved to Regina three years ago and set up the restaurant a year ago cooks up his favourite Jamaican specialties daily. Check out the curried goat, jerk chicken, oxtail, and rice and peas on the Jamaican buffet. He also serves up traditional Canadian fare too. The menu changes daily according to product availability. The restaurant is located in the cafeteria and open for lunch and dinner ($13.65) until 7 pm Mon-Wed, and until 8 on Thurs and Fri. They also have a Sunday buffet brunch ($15.75). Lunch buffet is $11.55. Call 543-1518.

 

Ngoy Hoa Moving REGINA – The popular Asian store on 11th Avenue is bursting at the seams. If you’ve ever shopped there, they carry just about anything you could possibly need to prepare authentic Asian fare. The owners of Ngoy Hoa will be closing the location on 11th and moving to the corner of 9th Ave and Albert St. March is the expected opening.

Fe-BREW-ary’s Festive-Ale REGINA – Here’s a chance to taste some of your favorite suds. Held on February 3 and 4 at the Conexus Arts Centre, FestiveAle is a huge beer show. Now in its seventh year, it will feature loads and loads of various beers and beer styles plus wines, spirits and live entertainment. For tickets, call (306) 525-9999.  


SAVOURY BITES  

Brazilian BBQ has Hit Saskatoon!   SASKATOON - If you can get into Saboroso Brazilian Steakhouse, then you will enjoy the Rodizio syle of eating where gauchos go from table to table with an endless supply of grilled, seasoned beef, pork, chicken and even a whole roasted pineapple on a large skewer ($34). Complimenting the meal is a South American-themed buffet with rice, beans, potatoes and quinoa. Menu service is available and if you didn't get enough meat make sure to order a Caesar, which comes with its own bacon-wrapped pickled bean. The menu also features seafood and shellfish appetizers ($11-$15), sharing platters of charcuterie and seafood, main dishes ($17-$22) such as vegetables and seafood paella, lasagne, and a wide range of side dishes including crispy polenta, salads, and starches, and of course, desserts ($7-$8). Saboroso is located at 340-2600 8th St. East, Saskatoon. Tel: (306) 249-4454. www.saboroso.ca.  

Cook-Off to Feature Amateurs’ Best Soup SASKATOON – Get out your wooden spoons and polish up your soup terrines. PotashCorp’s Wintershines Saskatoon will be featuring a Soup Cook-off at the Saskatoon Farmers Market where beginner chefs will compete against each other for the honour to move onto the Warm the Heart Cook-off two days later. The Warm the Heart Soup Cook-off on February 1 from 5:30 to 8 pm, will feature the best of soups from the January 29th competition. Guests for $5 can purchase a bowl of soup and bread or for $10 a bowl  

of soup, bread and a glass of wine. A portion of the proceeds will go the Heart and Stroke Foundation. For more information on how to enter, http://potashcorpwintershines.ca. Wintershines runs from January 28 to February 12.

Crave Cookies and Cupcakes Opens

SASKATOON – Broadway Avenue just got a bit sweeter with the long anticipated opening of Crave Cookies and Cupcakes located next to Il Secondo and across the street from Bulk Cheese Warehouse. Drive by and you won’t miss the large bright windows. Walk inside and more windows invite you to peek right in at the bakers making their goodies from scratch daily. We understand that many of the recipe are the owners’ Grandmothers’ recipes. So you can expect good ol’ fashioned butter, flour, sugar and cocoa. Known to sell out before close, you may


SAVOURY BITES   want to get your cupcakes early! www.cravecupcakes.ca

Robbie Burns Supper SASKATOON – Celebrate the Scottish heritage with great food, Celtic dancers and pipe drummers at St. Patrick’s Parish (3339 Centennial Dr.) beginning at 6:30 on January 21. Meal is $30 for age 13 and older, and $15 for youth. Children under six are free. For tickets phone (306) 373-9122 or (306) 955-8444. Silent auction, 50/50 draw and raffles.

Cooking Classes SASKATOON - New cooking classes available with Chef Simon at http://www.simonsfinefoods.com. Classes vary from cooking with pulses, to a couples cooking class, to learning how to make a Beef Wellington. Classes start at $50 per person.

 

Annual Potluck BORDEN – A potluck dinner will be held on February 11 at the Community Centre in Borden. Dinner begins at 6 pm followed by entertainment. For information, contact (306) 997-4833 or emmaj@sasktel.net.

Valentine Winter Festival LOVE – Take a drive to Love, SK in early February and spend the weekend taking in the 40 th Annual Love Valentine Winter Festival. The event features a Sausage and Pancake Breakfast and good ol’ fashioned fun like sack races, basketball throw, a Smoosh-Smoosh race, power saw, and pillow fights.


RECIPES  

Comfort Food to Warm the Soul

  Photo: Saskatchewan Soup


RECIPES  

Saskatchewan Soup What better name for a soup filled with hearty Saskatchewan ingredients – chickpeas, wild rice, lentils and garden vegetables! Enjoy with fresh whole grain bread. (see photo opposite) Serves 6 to 8 generously 19 oz (540 ml) diced tomatoes ½ c (125 ml) washed wild rice ½ cup (125 ml) small whole red lentils (do not use split red lentils)* 19 oz (540 ml) cooked chickpeas, well rinsed 1 large onion, diced (about 1 ½ (375 ml)) 1 bay leaf 1 tsp (5 ml) dried summer savoury leaves, lightly crushed 16 cups (4 L) chicken beef, or vegetable stock 1 cup (250 ml) frozen peas 1 cup (250 ml) frozen corn niblets 1 cup (250 ml) cut-up cooked spaghetti noodles, cut into 2” lengths** 3 tbsp (45 ml) finely sliced fresh basil leaves salt and pepper, to taste In a large stockpot, combine the diced tomatoes, wild rice, whole lentils, cooked chickpeas, diced onion, bay leaf, dried summer savoury leaves, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 2 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, add the frozen peas, frozen corn, and cooked spaghetti. Stir and continue to simmer soup.  

Just before serving, stir in the fresh basil. Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste. * large whole green or brown lentils can also be used, although the texture of the soup is more appealing with the small whole red lentils, which are sometimes called beluga lentils. ** uncooked noodles can also be added. Break the strands into 2” lengths and measure out ½ (125 ml) cup. Add to the soup 1 hour before serving.

Chef Anthony McCarthy’s Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Cashews This is one of those incredibly easy, throwtogether appetizers that will be gobbled up before you know it. The staff at CTV couldn’t keep their hands off this dish! The plate was clean in no time! 19 oz (540 ml) canned whole tomatoes ¼ cup (60 ml) diced shallots 2 large cloves chopped garlic ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil leaves Salt and pepper ½ cup (125 ml) coarse chopped cashews ½ cup (125 ml) crumbled goats cheese additional chopped basil, for garnish salt and pepper, to taste canola oil, for sautéing


RECIPES   In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallots and garlic in about a tablespoon of canola oil until softened. Transfer the canned tomatoes to a bowl. Using your hands, crush each tomato. Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Stir and let simmer for several minutes. Toss in the basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. The dish at this point can be transferred to a serving dish and topped with the cashews and crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with a small amount of chopped fresh basil. Alternatively, transfer the tomato mixture to a heatproof serving dish. Top with crumbled goat cheese and then cashews. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with a small amount of fresh basil and serve with crackers or crusty bread.

Anthony McCarthy is the Executive Chef at the Saskatoon Club, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Chicken With Dried Fruit and Port A superb weekday meal with the flavours of the season. If you wish to use red wine, add 1 to 2 tbsp of honey to the sauce. Serves 4 to 6 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ½ cup (125 ml) halved, dried prunes ¼ cup (60 ml) raisins  

¼ cup (60 ml) dried cranberries or sliced dried apricots ¼ cup (60 ml) pine nuts 1 large shallot or 2 small shallots, finely diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon 1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander ½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock 1 cup (250 ml) port or sherry 1 tbsp canola or camelina oil salt and pepper, to taste Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine the prunes, raisins, and dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Heat the chicken stock to boiling and pour over the fruit. Let stand for 1 hour. In large skillet, add the oil and brown the chicken breasts over medium-high heat. Do not cook through. Transfer breasts to an oiled, shallow pan and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Meanwhile, in the pan drippings in the skillet, lightly sauté the shallots and garlic over medium-low heat, about 30 seconds. Add the cinnamon and coriander. Stir quickly and then deglaze the pan with the port. Add the soaked fruit and chicken stock. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve the sauce with the chicken.


RECIPES  

Apple Roll-Ups

apples into 6 wedges (you’ll have two wedges left over).

These little pastries are a delicious change of pace from traditional apple pie.

On a floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 16” x 12” (40 cm x 30 cm) rectangle. Using a spatula, spread it with the soft butter, being careful not to tear the pastry. Sprinkle the top evenly with the brown sugar, then the almonds followed by the currants. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.

Makes 16 2 large or 3 small apples, peeled and cored 1 recipe Basic Flakey Pastry (below) ¼ cup (60 ml) soft butter ¾ cup (185 ml) packed brown sugar ½ cup (125 ml) sliced almonds ¼ cup (60 ml) dried currants 1 tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon 1 egg, beaten Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the apples into wedges. If using large apples, cut each into 8 wedges. Cut small  

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the pastry in half lengthwise, and then in half crosswise. Cut each smaller rectangle into three equal strips. You should have 16 equal strips when you are done. Place one apple wedge at the end of one of the strips. Roll up. Place the parcel, seam side down, on a parchment paperlined, rimmed cookie sheet. Continue with


RECIPES   the remaining apple wedges until all 16 are rolled. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake another 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the roll-ups cool. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of icing sugar. Basic Flaky Pastry (Pâte Brisée) 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unbleached allpurpose flour
 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
 1/3 cup (80 ml) frozen, all-vegetable shortening
 3 T (45 ml) cold butter


 

½ cup (125 ml) ice water, approx In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt; mix well. Use a box grater to grate in the shortening and butter. Sweep up some of the flour with the fat as you grate. Using the palms of your hands, gather up some of the flour-fat mixture between your palms and rub in a downward motion once. Repeat 10 times, gathering up the flour-fat mixture each time. Use a fork to mix in about 5 tbsp (75 ml) ice water. Continue to add water in small amounts, until the mixture feels slightly moist and begins to stick together. Roll out the pastry as required.


WINE  

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

  Look out evil forces of wine snobbery, beware purveyors of mass produced critter wines, we are back and very unlikely to take prisoners. To celebrate we promised ourselves a pair of good wines to start the New Year and our first column in CJ’s new magazine. Did we succeed? Well, that is the question isn’t it? Our choices were two new listings at the SLGA specialty store (you can order them from any SLGA store or licensee). The wines are a 2008 Chardonnay and a 2009 Pinot Noir from Mt Difficulty Wines in New Zealand. Mt Difficulty not Mount Difficulty we were admonished and warned. OK say we (pirate talk for yes), you can spell it any way you want to but are they good? Wait says we. The thing about these wines is that in spite of their semantically challenged title they are grown on a riverbank not a Mountain/Mount/Mtn./Mt. etc etc. So to the chase.... Mmmm 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

2008 Mt Difficulty Chardonnay, Bannockburn Central Otago, New Zealand 14% $29.95 per 750 ml bottle at the SLGA She said: “A screw cap enclosure = non-corked wine. Light to medium gold in colour. Pineapple, stones, minerals, butter, toasted bread and rubber bands make up a very complex bouquet. On the palate this Chardonnay is creamy with good balance and a medium length, smoky finish. I was expecting more in the mid-palate after the first taste. The initial flavours and aromas were excellent but more stuffing (shades of the holidays) would have been nice. Given how good an overall impression that this wine made that may be a touch greedy to ask but I am worth it. All in all an alluring Chardonnay that I would to happy to serve or drink anytime.” Rating: Yum Yum!


WINE   He said: “Golden coloured with good legs in the glass. There are mineral notes on the nose as well as a lightly toasted French oak finish. The spicy and delicate fruit aromas are much more subtle than you get from most New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and there is no way that you will mistake this for an Aussie Chardonnay. There is very good acidity and decent balance. It reminds me of some high-end Chardonnays from California like Kistler and Mount Eden. This is a really good wine that could use a bit more intensity and flavour in the middle of its palate. The mouth-feel is round and creamy with a medium length and toasty clean finish. Definitely an interesting wine to start the year off with.” Rating: Yum Yum! 2009 Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Central Otago, New Zealand 14% $39.75 per 750 ml bottle at the SLGA He said: “Screw cap enclosure. Dark red/ruby with good legs on the side of the glass. The nose is a real chameleon, constantly changing. A young wine, it has strong spice and berry notes at first. These aromas really shift about and keep you swirling the wine in the glass in order to tease more out of it. The flavours also seem to shift between a Burgundian style with focused red fruit and a more sensuous Californian approach that Myles from the movie Sideways would probably approve of. I first tried this wine  

last summer at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville Oregon. It was served at an alfresco tasting event along with 100 or so other 2009 Pinot Noirs from around the world. This very same Pinot was my favourite New World wine that day and one of my top three at the tasting. What is reassuring to me is that the wonderful outdoor setting wasn’t the only reason I liked this wine, it hasn’t lost a thing since last July. Great balance together with a long somewhat tannic finish shows me that this wine should be able last for quite a while. In fact I recommend opening this wine for at least an hour before you serve it. Oh yes, you will want to serve this wine though sharing is optional. Worth every penny of its $39.75 price.” Rating: Yum Yum! (now) Mmmm! (in 2 to 3 years) She said: “Deep garnet in colour with massive legs running down the sides of the glass. An intense bouquet of strawberry, raspberries and a collection of spices like white pepper, cloves, mint and cinnamon. Finesse is the one word that would sum up this bouquet. On the palate there is more than enough fruit and tannin to help it age for at least three to five years and maybe more. I doubt however that I could manage to keep from drinking this wine that long. Smooth, seamless red fruit flavours are accompanied by a well balanced match between acid and tannins. This a highly pleasurable Pinot Noir and I am excited that it is available here in our SLGA stores. In the words of the late, great Etta James ‘At last,......’” Rating: Mmmm!


WINE  

The Back Label

Washington Wines Text and photos by Rob Dobson

I hope you’re as thrilled as I am to see Savour Life back in action. I missed you guys. Now pour a glass of wine and pull up a chair while I tell you what I did on my Summer Holidays… I went to the 25th annual International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Oregon and feasted on outstanding wine and food. I met winemakers and fellow Pinot lovers from all over the world. I was pleased to see a Canadian presence and am proud to say that the wines from B.C.’s Tantalus and Blue Mountain wineries easily held their own with the world’s best Pinots. Of all the wine festivals I’ve attended, the IPNC is my favorite and I highly recommend it. Another highlight was a trip to Washington State to check out the wine scene there. I had visited the Yakima Valley region many years ago, but only had time to visit a couple of wineries. This trip was a tour organized by Dave Burke of the Willow on Wascana’s wine club. Turns out that club member Gavin Jensen is an expert on Washington wines and he organized an outstanding agenda for our group. We visited a perfect balance of large and small wineries, including some that are not usually open for visits. Who doesn’t love visiting a wine region? There’s always such a positive vibe when  

listening to winemakers passionately talk about their wines; not to mention the aroma of fermenting grapes. Like B.C., Washington has seen an explosion of new wineries. From about 160 wineries in 2000 to about 700 today. Our group spent a bit of time in the Prosser area, but concentrated our visits around Walla Walla. The terrain is fairly similar to the Okanagan Valley, perhaps a bit flatter and more arid. There are not a lot of native trees. Many of the vineyards are large, often sprawling across ridges or at the base of foothills. One of the things that quickly struck me about Washington is that many wineries do not own any vineyards. Consequently, it wasn’t uncommon to have several wineries adjacent to each other, all within easy walking distance. As well, it became apparent that many of these wineries source grapes from the same vineyards. As we visited wineries, the names of several large vineyards kept reappearing on labels: Boushey, Ciel du Cheval, Champoux, Klipsun, Pepper Bridge… While these are established, highly regarded vineyards that produce good grapes, it seems to me that there are several interesting issues that arise from many wineries sharing grapes from a few large vineyards. No matter how passionate


WINE   or detail-oriented a winemaker may be, they may be at a disadvantage if they do not have control over their raw materials. Also, because so few large vineyards are supplying grapes to many wineries, a sense of sameness in the wines is inevitable. It seems to me that this arrangement imposes some limits on the level of quality that many wineries may be able to achieve. The grapes that these wineries are sharing come from vineyards that range from about 60 to 800 acres! Let’s face it, it’s impossible to micromanage grapes in such a large vineyard. These vineyards weren’t planted with the same obsessiveness that many modern vineyards are. They were planted by farmers who cared about the cost of land, fertility, ease of farming and access to markets. They are planted so that tractors and trucks can get in and out. Some of their buyers have to truck their grapes many miles from these vineyards to their wineries. What I saw on my visit to Washington was a disconnect between the many qualityoriented small wineries and a source of grapes that is born from a culture of quantity and economies of scale. That’s not to say that Washington wines aren’t good. They are. But I tasted few that were exceptional. For now, Washington’s strength is producing wines with an excellent quality to price ratio. Wineries like Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle continue to produce vast amounts of delicious wine at great prices. But there are exceptions. There are many wineries that have smaller estate vineyards that are producing fine wines. There are fewer yet that are exploring what an obsession with finding the right sites and  

planting them with the right clones can produce. Christophe Baron has elevated Cayuse Vineyards to the very top of Washington’s wine producers by planting small vineyards in barren, rocky places with biodynamic farming practices. French vignerons have long known that dense vine plantings produce fewer, more concentrated grapes. Baron planted one vineyard with an insane 4,800 vines per acre, something that no doubt had the big vineyard owners shaking their heads in disbelief. But the result was exceptional, expensive and elusive terroir-driven wines. As more wineries start to follow Christophe Baron’s lead, I believe we’ll see Washington wines ascend to higher levels of quality. One winery that caught my attention was Reynvaan. The first tip-off was the winery’s centerpiece: not a crystal chandelier or a marble tasting bar – but a huge, top-of-the line Bucher grape press. This looked like a winery whose emphasis is on making the best wine they can. They have planted their own vineyards, notably one that is called In The Rocks. I was impressed with the Syrah. It had a minerality and depth that was missing from much of the other wine I tried while in Washington. They are still fairly new, their production isn’t very large, but this is a winery to watch. Oh, and Christophe Baron is a consultant for Reynvaan Winery.


BEER

From Grain to Glass

Mead Mania By Mark Heise

I hope everyone got a chance to “savour” and share all sorts of incredible holiday food and drink over the last month. This may have included a taste or two of the limited release Bushwakker Blackberry Mead, or maybe you missed out entirely and are hoping to get a chance next year. Either way, it is now January and the preChristmas ‘Mead Mania’ has died down somewhat but the desire for this fabulous drink has not. Well, chin up my friends. There are a few options available. Cypress Hills Winery near Maple Creek has mead in stock. Their melomel-style Black Currant and Honey Mead, which incidentally was a medal winner at the 2010 and 2011 Canadiana Wine Awards, will soon be available in SLGA stores ($18.75/750 ml bottle). They also make a spring wine that is a blend of Saskatchewan Sour Cherry and Mead, and a sweeter style dessert wine in a 375 ml bottle. You can order directly from the winery at www.cypresshillswinery.com. Slow Food Pub in Regina offers a session strength 5% mead on tap. But another viable option is to brew your own! Mead making is incredibly simple, all you need is some honey and the same basic equipment you would use when making a beer or wine kit. At its essence, mead making involves dissolving honey in  

water and adding yeast. That’s it! Yes, there are a few more steps, but if you can bake a loaf of bread from scratch, then you can probably make mead. The Regina-based ALES Club has many talented mead makers, most of whom use local honey and fruit to make what are called Melomels (fruit meads). Local honey is readily available at Farmers’ Markets or directly from producers. Most honey produced in Saskatchewan would be of the clover, canola or wildflower variety, all of which are fairly light in colour and have delicate fruity and flowery aromas. You can make an excellent mead with nothing but honey (the orange blossom varietal works particularly well) but our local honey is better suited as a base for further flavour additions. One important note is that pasteurization strips away some of the natural character, and preservatives can lead to fermentation problems. Most local honey is unpasteurized and preservative free but it is always good to verify. I will get to the fruit in a moment, but you can add other “stuff” to mead, particularly herbs and spices (ginger is a popular one, as is cinnamon, and vanilla). Find the freshest, best quality whole spices and herbs that you can, then grind, crack, and chop them right before adding. As with cooking, a little goes a long way.


BEER late fall for me, but anytime is a good time to make mead). You can make mead of any strength but most fall into the 10 to15% abv range. A well made mead can be ready to drink in as little as two to three months, and will age gracefully for at least five years, possibly into the 20 to 30 year range. Mead making is easy, natural, local, and the varieties are endless. I particularly like serving mead as a digestif or nightcap as the residual sugar and warming alcohol makes for a perfect end to a meal or evening.

Now to the fruit! The combination of tart, acidic fruit, luscious sweet honey, and the magic of fermentation results in a beverage that is truly the ‘Nectar of the Gods.’ As with cooking, quality ingredients are key, so I always use local whole fruit. My favourite is sour cherries, but I have tasted great meads made from saskatoons, raspberries, strawberries, chokecherries, crabapples and apples. The ‘new’ haskap (blue honeysuckle) would also be an interesting fruit to experiment with. Again, you can find these fruits at Farmers Markets, direct from the orchard, or you can even grow your own. I buy the fruit when it is in season, then vacuum seal and freeze until I make my mead (usually  

I know I have completely skipped over the detailed “how to” but if you want to learn more, the authoritative book on the subject is The Complete Meadmaker by Ken Schramm, or check out http://www.bjcp.org/mead.php for a ton of useful information and links for beginners and experts alike. Better yet, join the ALES Club where you can taste all sorts of excellent meads and learn straight from the “experts!”

P.S. We’d love to know what other Saskatchewan-made mead is being made in the province. Drop me a line at mark.heise@alesclub.com and let me know!


Savour Life Magazine - January 2012