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March 2012

Savour Life magazine

Canadian Culinary   Championships   The  Dishes   The  Top  Chefs   The  Winning  Wine    

  Soup’s  On   Four  Satisfying  Soups   To  Chase  Away     the  Winter  Blues  

Photoshopped Wines:   Part  2   What’s  in  Your  Glass?  

Demystifying Dark  Beer  

New Menus,  New  Chefs   New  Bakery,     New  Foodie  Books    


Who We Are Publisher, Editor CJ Katz

3 Our Columnists 4 From the Editor’s Desk

Editorial Rob Dobson Mark Heise Theo Phillips Steve and Tracy Hurlburt

5 FEATURE Strong Showing for Saskatchewan at the Canadian Culinary Championships

Photography CJ Katz iStockPhoto SaskPulse Growers How to Reach Us Advertising

12 SAVOURY BITES Gold Medal Plates; Hot Racks Bakery; Crave Kitchen’s New Exec Chef; Discover Lentils with Michael Smith; Books worth noting; and more.

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.

23 RECIPES Soup’s On: Four Soups for the Last Days of Winter

Savour Life Magazine is available monthly.


28 WINE He Said, She Said Wine Review, The Back Label: PhotoShopping Wines Part 2: What in Your Glass?

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33 BEER From Grain to Glass: Demystifying Dark Beer

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(Pictured on cover: Chef Marc Lepine’s Winning Dish at the Cdn. Culinary Championships in Kelowna, B.C.)


OUR COLUMNISTS Rob Dobson – The Back Label Rob continues this issue with some eye-opening nuggets about some of the ‘stuff’ that’s in your wine. It might just have you seeing blue! You can drop Rob a line anytime at

Mark Heise – From Grain to Glass Mmmm….dark beer? Or not so mmmmm. If you’ve stayed away from dark beer because you thought it was too strong or calorie-laden, think again. Mark dispels some of the myths around this tasty brew. You can reach Mark at

Theo Phillips – Saskatoon Correspondent Theo has been out tasting bread and cupcakes. Check out her article on the new Hot Racks Bakery. And be sure to try the cupcakes at Crave and tell us what you think. If you have a favorite spot you want noted, drop Theo a line at

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:



A New Gig Brings Southern Saskatchewan to Your Palate! On Wednesday March 7, I officially took over as Restaurant Columnist for the Regina Leader-Post. With this fun new position, I’ll be setting out to profile restaurants within Regina and across southern Saskatchewan. I’m looking forward to checking out the new spots as well as some places you may never have heard of before.

home), and Wallnuts Expressive Catering (making take-home healthy creative dishes you’ll want to devour).

David Ramsay was the columnist until the end of last month (he’s moving down east to the Maritimes to check out the dining scene there) and he profiled nearly 60 restaurants… so you can imagine that he’s eaten his way through all the obvious eating spots. It would be counterproductive for me to retrace his steps, so I’ll be on a quest to discover the undiscovered! You know, those lesserknown places that are gems in the city. My first profile was on a little Asian spot called Ngoc Anh (they make amazing Wor Wonton Soup), Peg’s Kitchen (bringing home-style Ukrainian cooking into your

Do you have a hole-in-the-wall spot that you just love, or a favorite restaurant you think deserves some attention? Please drop me a line at and I’ll check it out.

Also, summer is road trip time! I’ll be profiling some of the great cafés and cool eating spots in Saskatchewan’s small towns. There’s some on my radar screen that I can’t wait to share with you!

Until next month,



Strong Showing for Saskatchewan at the Canadian Culinary Championships Text and Photos by CJ Katz

There’s plenty to be proud of this year coming away from the Canadian Culinary Championships (CCC), the culmination of the Gold Medal Plates events held across Canada every fall. As the Senior Judge representing Saskatchewan for the second year, I’ve left this grueling three-day pressure cooker excited and energized. Both years, our chefs—Dan Walker of Wezceria last year and this year, Anthony McCarthy of the Saskatoon Club—have held their own next to some of the best chefs in the country. And that alone is one of the best reasons to celebrate! This year’s event, the sixth in the CCC series, was among toughest ever with nine of the top chefs from across the country, including the famed Rob Feenie, competing for top spot! Each chef’s dish—four in all— went under the microscopes of eleven very discerning senior judges. The event began with a reception Thursday evening at Quail’s Gate Winery, where competitors were given $500 to shop and prepare one appetizer for an evening soirée to happen about 18 hours later, and a bottle of a unknown “mystery” wine. The budget came out to about $1.47 per head! Chefs were not permitted

Chef Anthony McCarthy breaks down steelhead trout during the black box competition


to receive any comp’d product and were required to produce receipts for every ingredient they used. And since chefs should be budget conscious anyway, points were docked if they went over the $500. Their creation must pair as perfectly as possible with the mystery wine. This year that wine was a multi-award winning 2008 Old Vines Riesling from Chateau des Charmes in Niagara. Head Judge, James Chatto described it as “medium-bodied with a racy acidity, exuding complex aromas of citrus, peach and petrol – uncompromisingly dry but rich, refreshing and delicious.” Incidentally, all 350 people at the Mystery Wine reception along with the judges partook of the last of this vintage in existence! To pair with the wine, Chef McCarthy prepared an Ivory Spring Salmon belly confit with a gastric of citrus fruits, an apple verde, swiss chard with ginger, garnished with Tobeko caviar and a taro root tuille. It was an elegant dish. (see photo top of page 8)

Cloudberries (aka bakeapples) from NFLD and then transporting it to the teaching kitchens at Okanagan College. The other ingredients were wild rice from Manitoba; domestic goose from Ontario; Rassembleu cheese from Quebec; and cloudberries (aka bakeapples) from Newfoundland, a difficult product since few chefs have ever worked with these tart native berries. Regardless, one of the most impressive dishes in the Black Box event was prepared by Chef McCarthy, who obviously had a plan prior to knowing the mystery ingredients—to serve the judges breakfast! It was a brilliant idea that garnered him plenty of points with the judges for presentation, originality, and wow factor. Chef McCarthy presented a soft poached egg with a wild rice-potato pancake, a tomato salad and a very refreshing cloudberry smoothie. His second dish was a broth soup infused with lemon and herbs. Immersed in the broth were slices of goose breast and tortellini pockets stuffed with parsnips and ricotta cheese.

Saturday morning was the Black Box competition where the chefs each had one hour to prepare two dishes using a selection of pantry ingredients, a list of which was provided in advance, together with six mandatory black box ingredients that were unveiled moments before they competed. This year, the Black Box included a selection of wares that highlighted various regions in Canada and were selected by the judges. From Alberta was parsley root. I brought Saskatchewan Lake Diefenbaker Steelhead Trout compliments of Wild West. It was quite an interesting ordeal trying to arrange flights so as not to meet up with any competing chefs, ensuring there were no identifiable markings on the gigantic Styrofoam crate,

Less than eight hours after the completion of the black box event, the chefs had to be ready to plate a finale dish for 600 plus guests and the judges at the Delta Grand 6

FEATURE Okanagan. Most of the chefs prepared their winning dish from their Gold Medal Plates win however since it would have been nearly impossible for Chef McCarthy to source more than 600 perfect morels to replicate his dish, he opted for something new and fresh to pair with his selected wine, the Nichol Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc-Syrah from B.C. His dish was a quartet of components: (1) slice Brome Lake duck on a demi-glaze, (2) a pave of vegetables garnished with crumbled pancetta and (3) a salad of julienned peppers topped with a crisp of two-year-old goat cheese, a lovely swipe of Saskatchewan seabuckthorn purée, and finally (4) a mousse of foie gras nestled on a Carmine Jewel cherry sauce. Marc Lepine from Atelier in Ottawa was the strongest competitor, a clear first place winner from the beginning of the weekend. He had a very strong showing at this GMP with the most resounding win of any previous competitor. Rob Feenie of the Cactus Club in Vancouver and a secondtime competitor, maintained his second place showing throughout the entire weekend. Third place was anyone’s win going into the Finale. Ultimately, Montreal found itself on the podium with JP St. Denis from Kitchen Gallerie Poisson.

Chef Anthony McCarthy’s Finale Dish 2012 Competing Chefs • Michael Dacquisto, Winnipeg, MB, WOW Hospitality • Michael Dekker, Calgary, AB, Rouge • Jan Trittenbach, Edmonton, AB, Packrat Louie • Rob Feenie, Vancouver, BC, Cactus Club Restaurants • Anthony McCarthy, Saskatoon, SK, Saskatoon Club • Jonathan Gushue, Toronto, ON, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa • Marc Lepine, Ottawa, ON, Atelier • Mike Barsky, St. John’s, NFLD, Bacalao

If you would like to read a full description of each dish and the event in detail, please visit the ( In the following pages is a pictorial look at the event.



Food Pairing with a Mystery Wine

Anthony McCarthy, Saskatoon

Rob Feenie, Vancouver


Marc Lepine, Ottawa


Rob Feenie together with his sous chef decides on his dishes.

Anthony McCarthy preps the fish.

6 Black Box ingredients the chefs must use. Marc Lepine smells the cloudberries from Newfoundland.

Head Judge James Chatto

Black Box Chefs prepare two dishes in 1 hour.



A Selection of Dishes from the Black Box Competition Saskatchewan Lake Diefenbaker Steelhead Trout was one of the Ingredients

Michael Dacquisto

Marc Lepine

Anthony McCarthy

JP St. Denis

Michael Dekker

Jan Trittenbach

Jonathan Gushue

Mike Barsky 10

Rob Feenie


Finale Marc Lepine 1st Rob Feenie, 2nd JP St. Denis 3rd Presented by Harry McWaters

Marc Lepine

Rob Feenie


Sorry, no photo for JP St. Denis’ dish

Savoury Bites Culinary Championships are so impressed with Saskatchewan, our amazing chefs, and the support from the business community that they are adding a 10th city to their line up. Regina will be hosting this lavish and upscale event this November. Gold Medal Plates pairs fabulous chefs with medal-winning athletes to raise funds to support Canadian Olympians. CEO and founder, Stephen Leckie announced at the opening reception that kicked off the three-day Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna this past February that Regina was coming onboard! Saskatoon’s event is already fixed for November 3 at TCU Place and a date is just being worked on for Regina. The roster of competing chefs in both cities will be announced at the end of March. Any chef interested in competing in Regina or Saskatoon should contact me before March 15 at

Orofino Top Wine at Cdn Culinary Championships KELOWNA – For the first time at this year’s Canadian Culinary Championships, a panel of Canadian wine professionals from western Canada (Rhys Pender and Gurvinder Bhatia) along with Toronto’s David Lawrason selected the Best of Show wine from nearly 60 wines poured at the event. The winner was Orofino Vineyards 2009 Syrah from the Similkameen Valley. This winery is near and dear to Saskatchewan hearts as owners John and Virginia Weber hail from Saskatchewan. Congratulations!

Hot Racks Bakery SASKATOON - In August 2011, Red Seal Baker Andree and her husband Warren Bobinski opened the doors to Hot Racks Bakery (50-304 Stone Bridge Blvd.) We checked out the bakery one morning unannounced and within minutes felt the passion and commitment that Andree has for her baking.

Gold Medal Plates Coming to Regina REGINA – It seems that the organizers for Gold Medal Plates and the Canadian 12

New Spring Menu at Willow on Wascana REGINA – Executive Chef Tim Davies at The Willow on Wascana (3000 Wascana Drive) recently released a new spring menu—a collection of rich, braised comfort dishes and fresh bistro-style fare. But before I get into the food though, I want to commend the folks at the Willow and Dave Burke in particular for their outstanding commitment to continually sourcing new wines and developing strong relationships with small wine producers. Their wine list is amazing, well thought out, and stocked with wines that are simply not available anywhere else. It really says

Andree Bobinski Photo courtesy Hot Racks Bakery Her specialty is artisan and award-winning sourdough bread. Like wine, sourdough bread cultures mature and improve with age. Andree’s is three years old. As the starter culture develops its own character, the bread too will evolve making each sourdough loaf as unique as the baker preparing it. Hot Racks also has an assortment of sweets, gourmet sandwiches and specialty coffee. The open concept allows you to see the bakery where everything is prepared daily from scratch with no fillers or additives. It is very much a familyowned business that values flexibility and variety in the daily routine. Their breads are also available at Tastebuds Café/restaurant on Lorne Avenue. Find them online or on facebook to catch daily breads or specials. They are open Tuesday to Friday (7 am to 6 pm) and Saturday (10 am to 4 pm). Closed Sunday and Monday.

Prairie Paella at The Willow on Wascana 13

something about The Willow when a restaurant in a small city can attract wellmade small lot wines. I highly recommend asking Dave and his staff to pair a great bottle of wine with your meal. A great start would be the smooth and silky Four Graces 2000 Pinot Noir to pair with the Prairie Paella. This dish is the chef’s whimsical take on Spanish Paella. The wild rice is simmered in a slightly spicy clam broth with diced vegetables. Atop the rice is a tender fillet of Lake Diefenbaker Steelhead Trout and a fabulous preserved lemon salsa, which adds a fresh, bright contrast to the dish. The Gramercy Cellars 2009 Syrah with its leather and chocolate notes is an excellent complement to the Mole Chicken and its smoked pepper and roasted sunflower seed mole sauce. Another very cool dish on the menu is the Duck Braesola Salad. This is a dish worth noticing. The work that went into its preparation deserves to be savoured and appreciated in every bite. The Braesola is made with in-house cured duck breasts that Chef Tim rubbed with a special salt mixture and cured for one week, during which time he poured off any moisture that accumulated. Each breast was pierced and threaded with butcher’s twine to hang in the refrigerator for three weeks to dry. The finished product is very reminiscent of prosciutto – salty with an edge of sweetness and ever so slightly moist. You’ll see thin slices rolled into rosettes atop your salad and nestled next to delightful candied orange slices, roasted pine nuts and dried cranberries. Dave served it with the Joie PTG 2009 Gamay Pinot Noir. For vegetarians, there is a mushroom ravioli that’s filled with a fresh chevre filling infused with orange zest and

Top: cured braesola Bottom: Duck Braesola Salad fresh thyme, and a spicy Marrakesh-style tajine packed with sweet potatoes, beans, dried fruits. It’s served on couscous. The menu runs until roughly May. Reservations are recommended. 14


Go Eat a Crave Cupcake. Plain and Simple. SASKATOON - Imagine an art gallery where you can watch the artists work. Crave is like a cupcake gallery with each piece on display behind a glass window. However, this gallery is interactive and you can touch, eat and savour every last bit. That is the feeling you have at Crave, if you can peel your eyes away from the pastel icing and observe the from-scratch baking, using everyday ingredients, taking place in the back. The story of Crave is (almost) as good as their products. Owner, Carolyne, decided she needed a career change and opened her first bakery in Calgary. Partnering with her sister Jodi, this duo would arrive to their store in the middle of the night to bake, then shower quickly, and be ready to sell the cupcakes during the day. That first month, they did that every single day in order to understand the demographic. Today, that “taste-test” approach is still strong with their first out of province location here in Saskatoon.

feels like a staple on the Broadway scene. Try the chocolate, vanilla and red velvet varieties, mounded with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peppermint, lime, peanut butter or cream cheese icings. Theo, our Saskatoon writer, loves the peppermint cupcakes but location favourites are either the red velvet or chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. Carolyne travels back and forth from Saskatoon to Calgary once or twice a month. When asked why YXE, she said her friend Susan (who is also the co-owner of Living Sky Winery) commented that Saskatoon is a young, vibrant city with a great food scene. When Carolyne found the location on Broadway, she knew “it just felt right.” And, if there ever is a day she wonders why she has a business baking cupcakes, she said, “I just have a bite and I remember!”

The premise is simple: use flour, butter, eggs, sugar… mix …and bake. This method works in your kitchen but in the baking industry, supplying these simple ingredients is not easy. Both Jodi and Carolyne needed to find sources for all ingredients as many suppliers had gone to pre-mixed products, an unacceptable option for scratch bakers. Everything is baked fresh daily and bakers ice the cakes throughout the day to ensure fresh. Crave in Saskatoon has only been in operation for a few months but it already 15

More than just cupcakes, Crave also indulges in cakes, cookies and even the occasional whoopie pie. They have a Craving of the Month and will cater weddings and special events. Crave is situated on the corner of Broadway and 10th St. and are open Tuesday to Friday (10 am- 6 pm), Saturday (10 am – 5 pm) and Sunday (noon – 5 pm).

moves to whimsical locations and serves only small intimate groups of diners. They’ve done dinners in fields, at the zoo, historical buildings, a church, and even Bills House of Flowers. To find out more or get on their e-mail list, email Moe at

It’s Open Table! SASKATOON – Chef/Instructor Moe Mathieu just can’t sit still. One of the founders of The Willow on Wascana in Regina, and the first restaurant in Saskatchewan daring enough to serve virtually an entirely local menu, Moe is ever on the move to take his culinary abilities to the next level and to keep life just a bit more interesting, if not a bit busier. In addition to teaching young up-and-coming students wanting to become chefs, he recently took on opening pop-up restaurants. He did this a couple of summers ago at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market and now he’s popping up at various locations in Bridge City.

New Exec Chef at Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar REGINA – With Saskatchewan booming economically, it was only a matter of time before some of Saskatchewan’s talented chefs started to move back. Jonathan Thauberger, son of folk artist David Thauberger, is moving back to the Queen City after 20 years. During that time he’s honed his craft working at many restaurants in Vancouver. His most recent kitchen has been as the Executive Sous Chef at Burrowing Owl Vineyards in Oliver, B.C. working his way up over the past four years from Kitchen Assistant. Prior to that he’s worked at such Vancouver establishments as Delilah’s and Villa del Lupo. He will take over the kitchen at Crave on March 21.

The newest pop-up called Open Table featuring White Birch is inside the Encore Espresso Bar space at the Saskatoon Opera. Together with Cava Wines and his company, White Birch Catering, he is presenting a fun but classical menu that lends itself to drinking some great wines along side some quality food. “I always try to do good food with a purpose so this is a great opportunity for me,” says Moe. Reservations can be made by calling Dan Ried at (306) 933-9888. Moe also has a roving restaurant called White Birch Dinner Club. The club 16

Sask Pulses Receive Canada Business Award

Conference Draws Chefs from Western Canada

The Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry has awarded the Saskatchewan pulse industry with the Canada Business Award in the category of “Best Canadian Exporter to Bangledesh from Canada.” This award honors organizations based in Bangladesh and Canada for their outstanding contribution toward economic growth. The pulse industry in Saskatchewan grows 95% of Canada’s lentils and 61% of the world’s lentils. It also produces 63% of Canada’s peas and 50% of the world’s peas. Bangladesh is a major purchaser of Saskatchewan pulses.

REGINA – Regina hosted some of Canada’s top chefs at the end of February for the Western Chefs Conference of the Canadian Culinary Federation. The weekend included meetings, meals and banquets. Executive Chef Ryan Katchuk from Casino Regina hosted the chefs for an evening banquet. Below is a pictorial look at some of the dishes he and his team prepared. (Photos courtesy Ryan Katchuk.) Top: Herb Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette Leather, Yukon Gold Potatoes and Olives Bottom: Sous Vide Pork Loin and Belly with Rhubarb Mustard, Grilled Vegetable Lasagne, Sweet Potato Purée and Beet Spouts

Farmers Market News •

REGINA – The Spring Markets are starting up. Regina’s opened in the Cathedral Neighborhood Centre on March 3. Available are fresh greenhouse vegetables along with beef, chicken, turkey and duck meat, spring lamb, wild boar, and pork. There is also honey, jams and pickles as well as cheese. The spring market runs Saturdays only until April 28. Then the market will move outdoors.

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Farmers Market is continuing to host their Executive Chef Event Series, which includes a 5-course dinner and wine pairing. The March 15 event features Chef Ryan Marquis. Ticket prices vary for each event. Tickets for the March 15 event are $75 per person. E-mail for tickets.





Discover Canadian Lentils Looking for some cooking tips, easy recipes or creative ideas for cooking lentils? Canadian Lentils has launched a new series of 12 web-i-sodes hosted by Chef Michael Smith. “I love lentils, they’re a big part of my family’s food lifestyle,” says Chef Smith. “I love how easy they are to cook, how healthy and tasty they are.” Two of the 12 episodes were filmed in Saskatchewan—one at The Willow on Wascana in Regina and the other at Nagel lentil farm in Mossbank. The web-i-sodes are available on line, along with complete recipes you can download and print off. (See the adjacent page for photos of some of the recipes.) And if you want more ideas, has also released a very cute and engaging recipe book called The Big Book of Little Lentils. It’s available for free and I highly recommend it. Just go to their website and order it. They’ll ship you a copy in the mail.

is pairing up with ten local restaurants to bring awareness to the Best Buddies Program. Proceeds from each bottle and glass of wine sold at these restaurants during the month of March will go to the charity. Drop into Bliss, Prairie Harvest Café, The Ivy, Souleio Foods, Truffles Bistro and Patisserie, Flint Saloon, Tusq, The U of S Faculty Club, The Spadina Freehouse, and Weczeria Food and Wine.

Celebrate Spring Asparagus REGINA - April marks the beginning of the asparagus harvest in Germany, which is celebrated with a food festival called Spargelfest. The Regina German Club is hosting a specially themed Spargelfest asparagus dinner on April 21. All four courses will showcase asparagus and promise to delight your taste buds. Cocktails at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Tickets are only $20 (advance purchase only.) Seating is limited so get your tickets early! Call 352-5897 or visit the Regina German Club (1727 St John Street)

African Supper & Dance MOOSE JAW – The International Charity for Africa (ICA) is raising funds for the Ghana Rural Water Project with a dinner and dance on May 4, 2012 from 6 pm to 11 pm. The event will be held at the Wildlife Federation Hall (1396 3rd Ave NE). Tickets are $25 and available from Alan Atsu (306) 693-0611.

A Toast to Best Buddies SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan Best Buddies Program 19




Books Worth Exploring

Favorite Cheap Eats – in Calgary, Banff and beyond.’ The paperback book features 160 gems that serve a breakfast or lunch for under $15 and dinner for under $20. This book will take you away from the classic chain restaurants and get you exploring real Alberta cuisine – from family diners to ethnic spots, delis, sushi bars and a whole lot more. The book is now in its second printing. More than half the restaurants in the latest edition are brand new. If you want the app, go to: The book is available for $15.95 at any bookstore in Calgary and at Indigo on line.

From Baba with Love Written by a volunteer committee of the UWAC Hanka Romanchych Branch in Saskatoon, From Baba with Love will be presented at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (910 Spadina Cres East in Saskatoon) Friday, March 16, 2012 at 7 PM. The book, which was published in 2011, features ethnographic material explaining the spiritual, cultural and folkloric descriptions of selected religious feast days and sacraments as well as treasured favourite, family home tested food traditions. Copies are available for $35 at McNally Robinson Booksellers (3130 8th St E 306/955-3599, toll-free 1-877-506-7456

Piece of Cake With our harried lifestyle today, there aren’t many who want to make a cake from scratch. Most are scared and others see scratch cakes as time

My Favorite Cheap Eats Saskatchewanians love to go on road trips, particularly to Calgary (where there is a large ex-pat population) and beyond to wine country in B.C. I’ve been doing trips every August driving through Calgary, Banff, Canmore and to Kelowna. I’ve discovered some excellent dining spots. A handy, dandy guide that’s available in hard copy and as an iPhone app is CBC Radio restaurant critic, John Gilchrist’s ‘My 21

consuming to make. Camilla V. Saulsbury recently released Piece of Cake: Onebowl, no-fuss, from-scratch cakes. These cakes are all as easy as a mix to make yet they are all made from scratch in one bowl. I’ve made quite a few cakes from this book, and have found all ro far to be surprisingly very, very good. One of my favorites is the Lemon-Glazed Gingerbread Bundt, which is a typical gingerbread cake infused with a lemon syrup poured over while it’s still warm. Granny’s Secret Ingredient Golden Bundt, which is lightly flavoured with lemon zest. Its secret ingredient is a mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream. When apricots were in season last summer I made the Apricot Upside-Down Cake, which didn’t last long! The cake bakes over halved fresh apricots and then is inverted while still warm and cooled. Piece of Cake sells for $29.95 and is available at most major booksellers.

Bits and Bites •

WHITE CITY – Urban Sushi and Grill, (328 Great Plains Road) opened in midFebruary in the former Tokyo Sushi, located next to Choice Family Meats. The interior has been redone and according to one of our readers, Lindsay, “service is great, prices are standard and it tastes great.” We will be checking it out in the near future. REGINA – Simmer Hot Pot (see last month’s write-up) has finally opened at 2201 Broad St. They started serving customers their Northern Chinese Hot Pot meals in mid-February. REGINA - Peg’s Kitchen (1653 Park St.) purchased Easy Dough Foods in October. If you, or your little ones, love cookies but you’re looking for that 22

taste of home, try their frozen raw cookie dough. They have oodles of varieties that come in logs. They take about 20 minutes to thaw. All you have to do is slice or form them to the desired size and bake! There are no additives or preservatives and they are made with pasteurized eggs. I love the Pecan Chews. SASKATOON - Our Saskatoon correspondent, Theo Phillips recently tried the new Rhubarb Cider from Living Sky Winery and proclaimed it “amazing!” Living Sky sells their product at the Saskatoon and Regina Farmers Markets. It’s also available with your meal at Prairie Harvest Café. SASKATOON - And speaking of Prairie Harvest Café (2917 Early Dr.), Theo tried their turducken burger and was mighty impressed. This burger is made with a blend of duck, turkey, chicken and pork. She says, “it’s a hearty sandwich served with potato and beet chips. A must stop!” Their Saskatoon Fish Burger was also a hit.

Soup’s On! Try these four unique soups to warm you from head to toe on the final days of winter.

Mushroom Cappuccino Soup


Mushroom Cappuccino Soup

Remove the lid and let the mixture slowly cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.

This fabulous soup captures the flavour of our favorite forest find. The trick to this soup is to be patient and cook the mushrooms until all their water has been cooked off. If you have access to local wild mushrooms, try using a selection of chanterelle, morel and matusake mushrooms for all or some of the mushrooms in this recipe. Enjoy this soup as a creative starter to a dinner party.

Add the chicken stock and the thyme. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream and additional stock or water, if necessary. The soup should have body and not be thin.

Serves 4 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter 3 ½ oz (100 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced 3 ½ oz fresh oyster mushrooms, sliced 7 oz (200 g) fresh cremini (brown) mushrooms, or button mushrooms, sliced 2 shallots, peeled and diced (about 2 tbsp (30ml)) ½ cup (125 ml) diced onion 1 clove garlic, minced ½ tsp (2 ml) kosher salt 2 cups (500 ml) full-flavoured chicken stock ¼ tsp (1 ml) dried thyme leaves ½ cup (125 ml) cream (35% or half and half), optional ¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock or water, if required ½ cup (125 ml) milk, for frothing 1 tbsp (15 ml) mushroom dust*, for garnish

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Reheat but do not boil. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk to almost the boiling point, whisking constantly and vigorously to create foam.

Matzoh Ball Soup These matzoh balls are light and fluffy. The key to making great matzoh balls is to use soda water in the batter and not to press them too tightly when forming the balls. Serves 4 Matzoh Balls 4 large eggs ½ cup (125 mL) club soda or 1/8 tsp (.5 mL) baking soda 6 tbsp (90 mL) chicken fat or canola oil 1 ¼ cup (300 mL) matzoh meal 1 tsp (5 mL) salt ¼ tsp (1 mL) onion powder ½ tsp (2 mL) black pepper

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shiitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms along with the shallots, onion, garlic and salt. Stir to combine and cover. Let the mixture sweat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 24

Tom Kha Gai

Broth 8 – 10 cups (2 L – 2.5 L) chicken stock 1 parsnip, thinly sliced 1 carrot, thinly sliced 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced 1 bunch fresh dill

(Thai Coconut Milk and and Chicken Soup) This is a wonderful soup with all the characteristic Thai flavours. A winner! 2 cans coconut milk
 2 cups chicken stock
 2-4 red Thai chilis, sliced thinly
 1" fresh galangal root, thinly sliced and very finely chopped
 1" fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
 1 can straw mushrooms, drained and halved lengthwise
 1 stalk very finely chopped lemon grass
 4 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and thinly sliced
 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cut into 2 inch lengths
 2 tbsp lime juice 
2 tbsp fish sauce
 2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp (45 mL) water, for forming the balls ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish To make the matzoh balls, in a medium bowl beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the club soda, chicken fat or oil, matzoh meal, salt, onion powder and black pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the parsnip, carrot and celery. Tie the dill bunch together with kitchen string. Add the entire bunch of dill to the hot broth. In a small bowl, place 3 tbsp (45 mL) water. Lightly moisten your palms with the water. Using a tablespoon, scoop some of the matzoh mixture into your palms and gently form a large ball about 1 ½-inch (4 cm) in diameter. Drop the ball into the simmering broth. Continue forming balls and adding them to the broth until all the matzoh mixture has been used.

Bring coconut milk and stock to a boil; add thinly sliced galangal, minced ginger, and Thai chilis. Simmer on medium for 10 minutes.

 Add sliced chicken, straw mushrooms, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. Add more Thai chilis if necessary. Simmer for 10 more minutes; stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked and tender.

Gently simmer the broth for 20 to 30 minutes during which time the matzoh balls will expand somewhat. Remove the dill bunch and serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

Turn off heat and add brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and stir well. Top it off with cut cilantro.


Asian Noodle Soup Feel free to jazz up this tasty soup with cubes of tofu, sliced beef or chicken. Looking for a quick weeknight meal? The seasoned broth can be frozen before adding the vegetables. Just add the noodles and vegetables once the seasoned broth has come to a boil and you’ll have dinner in about 5 to 10 minutes. 8 cups broth (vegetarian, chicken or beef. If using commercial broth, use 4 cups broth diluted with 4 cups water or diluted with a combination of water and liquid from soaking the mushrooms) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 tsp grated fresh ginger

soften, stems removed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup) 2 green onions, finely sliced In a large stock pot, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Add minced garlic, finely chopped shallot and grated ginger. Let simmer gently for 5 minutes.

½ cup light soy sauce 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 2 tbsp Asian sesame oil 2 tsp dry sherry or sake 1 tsp brown sugar 1 tsp Sambal Oelek sauce (chili garlic sauce)

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Asian sesame oil, sherry and brown sugar. Whisk to combine and then add to the soup. (Soup can be frozen at this point for later use.) Add noodles and carrots and cook until noodles are not quite soft.

4-6 oz rice stick noodles or thin chow mein noodles 1-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced 2 cups sliced bok choy ½ red pepper, finely sliced 5 dried whole shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes to

Add remaining vegetables, except the green onion, and cook another 3 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with a little green onion. 26

Letters from Readers

Drug Regulations also have a role in regulating the production of cheese.

Re: Artisanal Cheesemaking in Saskatchewan (February 2012)

These regulatory requirements are monitored and enforced by CFIA as part our regular duties.

Thanks for forwarding a link to the February edition of Savour magazine. I very much enjoyed reading your article on the cheese making course offered at the food centre. However, I feel you may have come away with the incorrect impression that there is no regulation regarding the making of cheese. The CFIA enforces many regulations specifically relating to the production of cheese. Our Dairy Products Regulations, sections 28 through 45 and section 70 have extensive requirements for permitted ingredients for cheese, standards for different types of cheese as well as covering processed cheese products. In addition, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations and the Food and

Unfortunately, what the regulations do not cover is the steps in between, or what "makes" a cheese, they are only concerned with inputs and finished products. This was the main reason for my interest in the course. I sincerely hope that my presence at the course did not inadvertently convey a casual regard for one of our more highly regulated commodities. Kind regards, Catriona Shinkewski Food Processing Specialist Inspector Canadian Food Inspection Agency



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

California Dreaming?

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Paso Robles, California Hope Family Wines 13.5% $21.00 per 750 mL bottle (SLGA)

This month’s tasting column takes the two of us back to California, the place where we jumped into the deep end of the wine world.

She said: “Impenetrable deep purple, almost black in colour. Sweet strawberries with nettles and cloves on the bouquet. It also smelled a bit candied for a while. On the palate? Wow, it’s sure hard to tell that this is a cabernet from 2009! The tannins are so smooth and hidden that you could almost say they don’t exist. I realize that sounds silly but I couldn’t coax them out even after an hour or so. This wine does not have a typical cabernet structure and the finish is very short as a result. Lots of jammy fruit in the middle leads me to think that this would be a great burger and hotdog wine. This is a red wine that isn’t about seriousness but rather about smoothness.” Rating: Yum! (for the ‘not too serious’)

California in the late 1980s and early 1990s saw a wild range of winemaking styles and new micro-climate wine regions popping up regularly. Sort of like Southern BC and Washington State is like today. One of our favourite California wine regions was the Central Coast with its combination of near desert hillsides and coastal night fogs and breezes. Oh yeah, Robert Parker, garlic, earthquakes and the San Andreas fault all were part of the story along with extracted pinots, vegetal cabernets and blowsy chardonnays. Basically the central Coast was a blast and a great place to learn about extremes in wine. Do the wines below follow that tradition? We will see!


He said: “Black with purple edges and big legs in the glass. The nose smells peppery with a huge helping of red/black fruit. Oh yeah, speaking of fruit; dis da bomb! An old fashioned California fruit bomb in a good way. Lots of juicy acidity does what it can to help balance out a wine with next to no tannins. Does this taste like a Cabernet Sauvignon? Not really. It is more like a juicy/soft zinfandel with a short smooth finish. That said this easy drinking red wine can help to give you some pleasant California dreams of your own this summer on the deck or at a BBQ.” Rating: Yum!

She said: “Partially barrel fermented this wine shows green-gold in the glass. A bouquet of toast, fresh bread, and spiced baked apple. On the palate this chardonnay has a creamy, smooth mouthfeel with well balanced acidity. A medium length toasty, somewhat warming finish. Yum, this is good! This wine is a bit of a vinous wallflower; subtle and hard to notice at first a swirl of glass and your taste buds are dancing with a beauty. Is it a knock out? No, but even more than its red counterpart it deserves a chance to shine at this price.” Rating: Yum Yum!

Liberty School Chardonnay 2009, Central Coast, California Hope Family Wines 13.5% $21.00 per 750ml bottle (SLGA)

Mmmm Yum Yum!

He said: “Light gold in colour. Tropical fruit notes with a hint of spice and coconut on the nose and no, before you ask, I am not reading travel brochures. Good concentration on the palate with great acidity. The mid palate shows lots of tropical fruit and toasty notes and the finish has good length with just a touch of oak at the very end. Central Coast Chardonnays like Calera and Chalone have been favourites of mine for years and there are hints of these big chardonnays here too. I am demanding when it comes to wines from this area and this smooth, well integrated chardonnay passes the test at a reasonable $21.” Rating: 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

The Back Label

PhotoShopping Wines: Part 2 What’s in Your Glass? By Rob Dobson, CWE

Most winemakers will tell you that they favour a hands-off approach: that their role is to interfere as little as possible in the process of grapes becoming wine. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Winemakers make decisions and actively intervene at every step of the process. Each of these decisions will change the final product.

try to explain what they are designed to enhance (or prevent) and how a wine might reflect an overuse of each technique. I should mention that I have no actual winemaking experience and possess just enough knowledge about this subject to end up with my foot in my mouth. I know that several winemakers read this column, so if they would like to make corrections or contribute their thoughts, please drop me a line at and we’ll gladly publish your comments.

While winemakers like to romanticize the winemaking process and claim to keep it as “natural” as possible, fermentation is basically a glorified rotting process. Fermenting grapes left to their own devices would invariably end up as an undrinkable, vinegary disaster. Winemakers must intervene to keep the process on track and to nudge or, in some cases, shove the resulting beverage in a certain stylistic direction.

Freshness/Aromatics You know how when you bite into an apple, it will quickly begin to turn brown? The same thing happens to grapes once they are crushed. Some winemakers will pick at night to slow that process, but most use sulfur dioxide to protect grapes from bacterial spoilage and preserve freshness throughout the fermentation process. Overuse of sulphur can make a wine

Here are a few of the more common tools that winemakers have at their disposal. I’ll 30

reductive in character or smell like burnt matchsticks. In extreme cases, the wine can smell like burnt rubber, spoiled cabbage, or rotten eggs. Alcohol Alcohol gives wine its rich mouthfeel and full body. It comes from the fermentation of the natural sugar in wine grapes. In cooler growing regions, winemakers will add additional sugar during fermentation to raise the alcohol level. This process is called Chaptalization. However, with global warming the more common challenge is too much alcohol. Many winemakers will add water to the crushed grapes to reduce the alcohol. If a wine ferments out with an alcohol level that is too high, winemakers can now use high-tech machines to separate alcohol from their wines. Too much added sugar will make the wine seem “hot” (high alcohol leaves a burning sensation in the wine’s finish); while adding too much water can make the wine seem, well, watery. Using reverse osmosis or a spinning cone to reduce alcohol can make the wine seem like it has been in a car accident (disjointed or reassembled by Dr. Frankenstein).

Mega Purple Photo courtesy W. Blake Gray enzymes to the must that will break down the skins and increase the absorption of colour and flavour from the skins. They may also add grape concentrate to boost the colour. “Mega Purple” is one of these products whose use is both common and controversial. A dose of Mega Purple will increase the colour, but too much will obscure the natural varietal and regional characteristics of the wine.

Colour Nearly all grape juice is clear. The colour in a red wine comes from letting the juice remain in contact with the crushed grape skins. There is a mistaken notion that good wines must have dark colour, so many winemakers want their reds to have “good colour”. The problem is that the longer the juice remains in contact with the skins, the more tannic the wine becomes. Winemakers address this by chilling the ‘must’ (crushed skins, seeds and juice) to delay the start of fermentation. They may also add chemical

Tannin Tannin from the grape skins, seeds, and stems were once desirable in a young red wine. Although a lot of tannin will make a wine bitter and drying, it was acceptable as it indicated that the wine was structured to improve with bottle age. However, most consumers no longer want to age their wines. So winemakers have had to 31

figure out ways to get all the good stuff that comes from extended skin contact without the resulting astringency that tannin adds. Pre-fermentation cold soaks have helped to make ripe, rich wines with minimal tannin. But perhaps the biggest modern innovation for tannin amelioration has been micro-oxygenation or microx. This process involves pumping tiny streams of bubbles through the wine. Tannins mellow with age and this process of contact with oxygen effectively accelerates the aging process. These processes make the wine enjoyable at a younger age, but if overused, they can rob the wine of its ability to improve with age or make it seem unstructured.

between a tomato that has been grown in your back yard and one that has been shipped from Mexico and gassed. If you would to try a wine that shows many of these winemaker tools being used to advantage, I’ll suggest one. Try Ja-Mocha Pinotage from South Africa (SLGA $16.95). Pinotage is a hybrid grape variety (Pinot Noir and Cinsault) that in my experience produces a light-bodied often weedytasting wine that sometimes smells like model airplane glue. This wine is very darkly coloured, with a rich, ripe body, toasty flavours and a soft, smooth finish. It is enjoyable to drink, but I doubt anyone who is served this blind would ever recognize it as Pinotage or as being from South Africa. In addition to the skilful winemaker enhancements, check out the cosmetic surgery that has been done to the package: an eye-catching modern label and a very heavy bottle. Does all this make it a good wine? I don’t know. Try a bottle and decide for yourself and let me know.

Other Manipulations The most obvious unnatural addition to wine is oak flavouring. More expensive wines obtain this by spending several months in oak barrels (which also impart their own version of micro-oxygenation). Less expensive wines might get it from having oak boards suspended in a steel tank (sometimes called “inner-staving”) or by having a mesh bag of oak chips thrown into the tank. Winemakers may also make a variety of other chemical additions to “adjust” a wine that is not doing what the winemaker wants. The most common of these is to correct the acidity of the wine. In most cases these adjustments will make the wine more palatable, but if overused the wine will begin to taste unnatural and manipulated.

Check out these websites for more information on: Mega Purple: ell-of-mega-purple.html grape-juice-concentrate-and-mega-purple Spinning Cones: m

So, how do you recognize a wine that has been overly manipulated? It’s hard to point to anything specific, but as you drink more wines, you’ll start to recognize wines that have been ‘spoofulated.’ You’ll know it the way you can tell the difference 32

From Grain to Glass

Demystifying Dark Beer By Mark Heise

The colour black can be bold and intimidating; some may even associate it with darkness and evil. Dark beers are often viewed in a similar (lack of) light; menacing and something that should be avoided. But as I have come to learn, there is good in everything once you understand it, so let’s see what all the fuss is about and set the record straight.

beer may seem about as appealing as a glass of blue milk. So what makes a beer black? Raw barley is very pale, but during the malting process, it is kilned (aka “roasted”) to some degree to stop the germination process but also to contribute colour and flavour. Pale malt is kilned at a low temperature for a short period of time which keeps the colour light. Roasted malt is roasted at a much higher temperature, turning it black. This process is almost identical to roasting coffee beans; the raw beans are pale green, then kilned to create a whole spectrum of light, medium, dark and extra dark roasts. The comparison does not end there, as roasted malt has the same sort of flavours as coffee, ranging from smooth to bitter, with notes of chocolate and nuts.

Most beer produced in the world today has a pale straw yellow colour, but this was not always the case. It was not until the late 1800s when truly “pale” malt was created, and even then many brewers did not use it (such as those in Munich and Dublin) as it clashed with the mineral content of the local water. However, we have been trained to think of beer as a yellow product, so the idea of a drinking a black 33

There is a common falsehood that all black beers are strong. However, colour is not an indication of strength. Many pale Belgian ales are upwards of 10% abv, yet they don’t look much different than your average industrial lager. Whereas Guinness is often referred to as a strong beer with motor oil thickness (“a meal in a glass”), yet it contains a mild 4.2% abv (just a smidge more than Coors Light), and is very thin and dry with low carbonation. They do add some nitrogen to Guinness to create a creamy, long lasting head, but that is all that is “thick” about it. As a result, Guinness is a refreshing and easy to digest beer, making it a superb thirst quencher on a hot summer day.

Guinness is the most well known stout in the world, even though it started as a porter (told you it was fuzzy). It is an okay introduction to black beers, but seems rather tame in comparison once one samples other offerings. In Saskatchewan, we have access to many fine porters and stouts. The Bushwakker in Regina produces their Palliser Porter (towards the burnt/bitter end of the spectrum). Paddock Wood in Saskatoon offers three year round black beer at the brewery and SLGA stores; Bete Noire Oatmeal Stout, London Porter, and the German-style Black Cat Lager (a much better introductory black beer than Guinness, and one that I still return to). Brewsters in Regina carries the formidable Shaughnessy Stout. The SLGA has been carrying one of the best stouts in the world for many years, Montreal’s St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout which packs a ton of flavour and complexity into a reasonable 5% abv. There is also the coffee infused Half Pints Stir Stick Stout from Winnipeg (regularly available on tap at Beer Bros in Regina). You will find many other seasonal offerings and imports at the private stores and fine pubs/restaurants.

As I stated previously, black beers have a lot in common with coffee. I am not talking about a double double from Tims, or those fou-fou coffee based drinks full of whipping cream and syrup. I am talking about real coffee or espresso made from high quality, freshly roasted beans. Many black beers also have a distinct chocolate flavour, ranging from sweet milk chocolate to dark bittersweet chocolate. As such, coffee lovers and chocoholics often love black beer, they just may not know it yet. Most black beers fall into the stout or porter category. The differences between the two are rather fuzzy, and a source of great debate which I won’t bore you with.

As with any good quality beer, stouts and porters are best when drunk at non-frigid temps. Colder temps will create a harsh bitterness while masking the complementary flavours. Try serving around 8°C to 12°C in your favourite clean beer glass, alongside hearty meats (stews, roasts, BBQ), fine cheddar and chocolate/nutty desserts of all kinds.


Savour Life March 2012 issue  

A powerpacked issue with the hottest news about food and wine in Saskatchewan. Read about new restaurants, new chefs, hot new bakeries, new...

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