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A L B E R TA / F O O D & D R I N K / R E C I P E S N OV E M B E R 2 02 0

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GIFT IDEAS for your Food and Drink Loving Family and Friends

The Scoop on Salt | Craft Beer vs Crafty | Chilaquiles | Nachos


OOD SPIRI N G I P Y E OU E K

GOO

S T I D SPIR

EVERY BOTTLE SOLD HELPS

PROTECT 5 FT2 OF ECOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT LAND IN CANADA

NORTHERNKEEP.CA

@NORTHERNKEEPVODKA ® of Alberta Distillers Limited Calgary, Canada.


contents

Volume 9 / No. 5 / November 2020

departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs

8

Off The Menu

9

Book Review

10

Chefs’ Tips and Tricks

News from Alberta’s culinary scene

Safari Grill’s Masala Mogo Share

38

Blending flavour and culture with cuisine

44 Spice It Up

A guide to the ultimate nachos

50 Open That Bottle

Mhairi O’Donnell of Moonlight & Eli

16

50

16

36 Craft vs Crafty

Hot Potato

Jenny’s Delectables finds success by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

18 Cheese For The Season

Herbed and spiced cheeses by Candace Hiebert

20 Step By Step: Chilaquiles …versatile comfort food with flavour by Renée Kohlman

ON THE COVER 22 Salt to Taste It’s cooling down so we want warming, flavourful food! Many thanks to Tiffin India’s Fresh Kitchen in Windermere, Edmonton, for letting us raid their spice drawers, and to photographer Dong Kim for his beautiful and elegant image of the salts, seeds, whole and ground spices, that enhance our dishes!

The scoop on the seasoning that’s at the core of cooking by Lynda Sea

29 Culinaire Holiday Gift Guide

Brewing a conundrum by David Nuttall

38 From Far and Wide… let’s eat! by Sabrina Kooistra

42 Alberta’s Own Cottage Wines A little love for local treasures by Tom Firth and Linda Garson

46 Making The Case

The final stretch of 2020 by Tom Firth

48 November Spirits

Bottles to hunker down with by Tom Firth and Linda Garson

25 gifts for your food and drinkloving family and friends November 2020 | Culinaire 3


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

THANK YOU Thanks so much for your emails - these certainly brightened my day!

Turning up the heat

All your issues are great, but the September issue is amazing! Thank you so much for making my coffee break so enjoyable. I’m already picking the restaurants, dishes, cocktails, and wine I will try on the basis of your magazine. Well done! - Cheers, Jacqueline G

I

’M GRATEFUL THAT WE’VE BEEN LUCKY TO ENJOY AN EXTENDED AUTUMN THIS YEAR, and so pleased for our restaurants and bars that patio season was extended by an extra few weeks too. But our first snow has fallen, and it’s time for turning up the heat indoors, and in the kitchen too. I’m an adventurous cook and love experimenting with spices and more exotic flavours, so I always love our November issue when we broaden our horizons and learn from experienced chefs how they use spices in their dishes. One of my pleasures is gathering ideas for our holiday gift guide (see page 29), and testing and trialling all the products. We don’t include anything in Culinaire that we haven’t tried ourselves, and that goes for all our regular food, beverage, and product reviews too. Not everything makes it onto our pages, but we try hard to make sure we

let you know of all the good stuff! We’re big supporters of our local artisans and entrepreneurs, and proud that the vast majority of items in the gift guide this year are Canadian, with more than half from Alberta. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief

Thanks Linda! We had a wonderful meal last night and enjoyed our meal and wines (plus delicious cocktail) both outside while the weather was good and inside when it got too chilly. This was our 3rd online Vine and Dine experience and we are both thrilled and appreciative of the time, thought and effort both you and the restaurants involved have put into making our Vine & Dine “events” fun, stress-free, interesting and delicious. - Donna W

Mangia! Mangia! Wishing you and the famiglia a safe and joyful holiday season. Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End

italiancentre.ca CALGARY Willow Park


Alberta / Food & Drink / Recipes

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Managing Editor Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Multimedia Editor Keane Straub keane@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Denice Hansen 403-828-0226 denice@culinairemagazine.ca Sky Hansen 403-993-0531 sky@culinairemagazine.ca Design Kendra Design Inc Contributors Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Mallory Frayn Candace Hiebert, Dong Kim Renée Kohlman, Sabrina Kooistra Karen Miller, David Nuttall Lynda Sea, Keane Straub

To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.

Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804–3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403.870.9802 info@culinairemagazine.ca @culinairemag @culinairemag facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine For subscriptions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

Our contributors Karen Miller

A lawyer by trade, Karen’s attention to details gives her a knack for picking apart recipes and cookbooks for Culinaire reviews. She has a passion for her ever-expanding cookbook collection, and the cooks and the stories they tell provide inspiration for her own cooking style. She believes cooking is meant for sharing and has taught many styles of cooking classes as well as being part of the Calgary Dishing girls (producing two cookbooks).

Great Cocktails, Great Stories.

Lynda Sea

Lynda is a freelance writer/ editor based in Calgary. Currently, she manages web and social media for the Faculty of Nursing as a digital communications specialist at the University of Calgary. Lynda also does copywriting for local corporate clients. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, WestJet Magazine, EnRoute and Flare. You can usually find her out hiking in the Canadian Rockies or eating her way through Alberta. Follow her @lyndasea

Elizabeth Chorney Booth

Busy freelance writer and broadcaster, Elizabeth writes about food, travel, and many other topics. In addition to contributing to Culinaire, national and international publications, she is a Globe and Mail bestselling cookbook author and a regular contributor to CBC Radio and the Calgary Herald. When Elizabeth isn’t out searching for something delicious she’s likely to be found curled up with a good book.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www.culinairemagazine.ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.

Gift Fun, Flare and Flavour This Holiday Season! www.spiritswithsmoke.ca


SA LUTE S & S H O UT O UT S Snippets of good news from our everchanging food and beverage scene! Banff and Lake Louise’s celebration of food and drink, Taste for Adventure, runs to November 13, so you’re still in time to enjoy unique fixed price menus and valueadded offers from the 27 participating restaurants, and maybe win a weekly winter adventure for two or a grand prize! banfflakelouise.com/tasteforadventure. Calgary’s inaugural Taste of 17th festival runs November 20-29, featuring special menus from some of our favourite eateries. Explore dozens of hot spots and hidden gems along 17 Avenue SW, between 2nd and 16 Streets, and register for a $25 food voucher. 17thave.ca. Don’t miss Les Stroud’s Wild Harvest from Edmonton filmmaker, Kevin Kossowan, to watch Stroud and Calgary chef, Paul Rogalski, cooking with ingredients they’ve foraged. Much of the series was filmed in Canada with four of the 13 episodes in Alberta. Mondays on PBS. Inglewood Night Market is back on November 6, 13, 20, and 27, in six retail bays of South Bank Apartment Complex on 9 Avenue SE. Over 10,000 square feet of indoor shopping is filled with local artisans, and food trucks outside! 3 pm to 11 pm. Such a great idea from those clever mixologists at Calgary’s Untitled Champagne Lounge - they’ve created gummy bears with the ingredients of three cocktails, so you can taste the flavours. These complex cocktails have at least six or seven components, so try a gummy bear Lavender French 75, The Belafonte, or Coffee & Bubbles before you order! After 33 years in the same location, much loved Buon Giorno, on Calgary’s 17 Ave SW, closed its doors earlier this year, but two loyal customers were determined to carry on the tradition, and it has now reopened under their ownership. Good news too that the serving staff are back, so it feels like nothing has changed! Lunch and dinner 7 days, Mondays dinner only. 6 Culinaire | November 2020

A lone pine tree stands at the site where the founders of Edmonton’s newest distillery shared conversations and sipped spirits around the campfire, and now Lone Pine Distilling is open in the “Hubcap District” on 59 Avenue. With three gins and two vodkas, you can try sample tastings, take a distillery tour, and kick back and enjoy a cocktail in the new tasting room. Open at 11 am, closed Sunday and Monday. In addition to Calgary Farmers Market and 6 Street NE locations, Hearts Choices have opened Nan’s Noodle House and Vegan Market at 30 Avenue on Edmonton Trail. Come for vegan ramen, pho, subs, and classic Thai dishes, as well as iced Thai bubble tea, and check out the shelves and freezers full of vegan sauces, proteins, plant-based foods, and grab ‘n go meals! Open 7 Days, 11 am-9 pm. Calgary cult fave, Pigeonhole, has been reimagined! From 11 am-11 pm, you’ll find upscale comfort food of egg en cocotte with smoked mash and mushroom jus, wagyu burgers, and large plates of schnitzel, gnocchi, and steak frites, but now it’s booze-forward with cocktails, beer, an absinthe fountain, and $5 “Shotz”, as well as their large, well-curated wine list! Thursday-Sunday. Opening of the month goes to Calgary Chef Jenny Kang and Syndicate Hospitality Group for their new Orchard Restaurant in the SODO building on 10 Avenue SW. Visually stunning, the restaurant boasts 30+ chandeliers and 60+ plants, and Chef Kang’s outstanding menu of familiar European dishes with Asian flourishes. We couldn’t get enough of her crispy rice-coated tiger prawns with yuzu aioli, and her cheese-stuffed garlic bread (and many more dishes) - now we just want to

work our way through her lunch, brunch, snack, and dinner menus, and wash them all down with Orchard’s creative cocktails! From 11 am, closed Mondays. Alberta Food Tours has launched a mobile app, Alberta Food Finder, a fun game of discovery that supports local businesses while participants solve puzzles, complete challenges, and eat some of the best food in Calgary’s Kensington Village. Visit albertafoodtours.ca for details. Edmonton, Banff, and Canmore – rumours are you’re next! Edmonton’s Belgravia community has a new café and patisserie! Chef Ed has been a pastry chef for 40+ years, making cakes for the Queen during her official visit to Canada, and leading the chocolate and sugar program at SAIT – and now he’s opened Mood Café, serving up freshly baked pastries and savouries as well as artisanal thin crust pizzas! 9 am-9 pm Tuesday-Saturday, close 5 pm Sundays. Crescent Heights is home to Calgary’s newest brewery, Two Pillars, the smallest brewery in Alberta! They only produce two kegs per brew, so there’s always something new to try as well as their three core beers, and a collab with Elite Brewing, plus a few regular food choices and specials on the menu board. From 3 pm WednesdayFriday, noon at weekends.


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November 2020 | Culinaire 7


O F F TH E M E N U

Safari Grill’s Masala Mogo BY LINDA GARSON I PHOTO BY DONG KIM

W

e’ve received many emails asking if we can get the recipe for Safari Grill’s Masala Mogo. You’ve told us that they are “like the best fries EVER!” and “sooo tasty and delicious when they’re fresh and hot.” We agree, they’re our favourites too, so many thanks to Safari Grill for sharing the recipe!

Safari Grill’s Masala Mogo Serves 4

Mogo is a root vegetable that we also know as cassava or yuca. It’s starchy and fibrous, and therefore is usually boiled first before being fried. It can be difficult to peel, but is easily available prepared and peeled, as shown on the right. 8 Culinaire | November 2020

1 454 g bag prepared cassava 1½ tsp salt 1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice Oil for frying ¼ cup (60 mL) crushed tomatoes ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cumin 1 Tbs (15 mL) neutral oil 1. Cut cassava into even slices 6-10 cms long and around 1 cm thick. 2. Place in a large saucepan and add 1 tsp salt and the lemon juice. Cover with water and bring to a boil. 3. Cook cassava for around 30 minutes until tender, and then drain off the water. 4. Heat oil in a pan or in a deep fat or dry fryer if you have one, and fry the drained cassava until crispy. 5. To make the sauce, mix together

crushed tomatoes, coriander, cumin, ½ tsp salt and 1 Tbs oil. Stir until smooth. 6. Heat until warm and add the fried cassava. Lightly coat the cassava with the fragrant tomato sauce and serve immediately. If there’s a dish in a restaurant in Alberta that you’d love to make at home, let us know at culinairemagazine.ca, and we’ll do our very best to track down the recipe for you!


B O O K R E V I E W BY K A R E N M I LLE R

Share: Delicious Boards for Social Dining By Theo A. Michaels Ryland Peters & Small $28

G

iven the past eight months, a cookbook focused on sharing seems irrelevant. Michaels’ recipes are designed to be visually appealing, and meant to be presented on one huge platter, and shared by a group - casual socialization at its very best (remember when?). But what if we made his recipes and adapted them to accommodate social distancing restrictions? We deserve good food, and sharing it with others gives us pleasure; this certainly is the author’s outlook. With a few adjustments, this can easily be done; even local bars have prepared their signature cocktails for take out so you can have the experience at home. And because Michaels’ focus is the social aspect, he sees nothing wrong with picking up any of the elements you need to make feeding people easier. Michaels gives strong suggestions

for building charcuterie boards (think outside the box for “boards“) and there is a delicious recipe for “Ouzo-Cured Salmon” (p. 28) which can easily be sliced and served in small jars with all the usual garnishes, and some of his “Fennel Seed & Sea Salt Pita Chips” (p. 35). Salads of any kind (see “Vietnamese Charred Squid Noodle Salad” on p. 80) work wonderfully in Chinese take out boxes. Try “Spiced Butternut Pies” on p. 37 - perfect for individual hand-held eating, and no utensils required. The idea of a beautiful long platter of “Spicy Chicken Shawarma” (p. 40) spread out casually, and scattered with crispy flatbread, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, begs to be dug into, but you can make personal platters instead. The desserts are meant to be layered and messy when cut into, but prepare the

components of the “Baked Figs in Almond Liquor with Yogurt Whip and Fresh Thyme” (p. 149) in a small Mason jar and no one will complain! Check out your cupboards, local kitchen supply store, or dollar store, for inventive individual size serving containers, and use the beautiful pictures in the cookbook as motivation. Be resourceful and be social! Karen is a lawyer by trade, who claims to have been on the “know where your food comes from” bandwagon sooner than most, and now focuses on foraging her daily food from local growers.

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C H E F ’ S TI P S & TR I C KS

Blending Flavour and Culture with Cuisine BY KEANE STRAUB I PHOTOGRAPHY BY DONG KIM

N

OVEMBER IS ONE OF THOSE MONTHS where we hold our breath with each weather forecast, and the holiday hustle start to hit us full force. And still the mercury dips lower, and many of us start devising plans to just hibernate until May. To blast away the early winter chill, we talked to four chefs in Calgary and Edmonton blending flavour and culture. The outcomes are tantalizing, globally inspired dishes infused with herbs and spices that warm the belly and the soul, and ignite our adventurous spirit.

Fay Bruney, owner of Calgary’s Simply Irie, says the concept behind the Caribbean restaurant is to “introduce Canadians to the flavours and the spices and the ambience of what Caribbean cuisine is. Caribbean cuisine is made up of as many dishes as there are islands in the region.” The Ackee (a type of fruit from the same family as lychee) and Salt Fish is Bruney’s favourite, a dish she associates with special occasions. “When we had family come in from Jamaica, they would always bring fresh ackee with them,” she says. Thyme, ginger, scotch bonnet peppers, and green onions are all staples when it comes to cooking authentic Caribbean cuisine - from rice and beans to a pot of oxtail, says Bruney. And, they’re always creating something unique - recently, it’s 10 Culinaire | November 2020

the jerk roasted butternut squash soup, developed by head chef Dré Minto. For Minto, the one thing a home chef can make to incorporate the Caribbean into their cooking, is a good curry. When cooled immediately after cooking, curry sauce will hold in the fridge for at least five days, making it a huge time and money saver. “You can make a curry sauce and add any vegetable, any protein, and you’re good to go,” he says. The same goes for jerk sauce – add it to any protein and the result is a smouldering-with-spice dish that any home chef can make with ease. To set you on the right path, try Dré Minto’s recipe for Jerk Shrimp, and serve with steamed rice, or the traditional Jamaican rice and beans.

Note:

The longer the shrimp is marinated, the more flavour develops, so if you have the time, use it!

Jerk Shrimp Serves 2

8 raw shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and butterflied 2 Tbs (30 mL) Walkerswood Jerk Sauce, divided 1 Caribbean scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 scallion, finely chopped 2 Tbs (30 mL) vegetable oil ½ cup bell peppers, cubed 1. In a small mixing bowl, marinate shrimp in 1 Tbs jerk sauce for at least 30 minutes. 2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients with the remaining jerk sauce. 3. Heat vegetable oil in a medium frying pan on high heat. 4. Add everything including shrimp to the hot oil and sautee for three to four minutes, or until shrimp is pink and opaque, but not overcooked. Serve with rice.


Edmonton’s Tiffin was founded by family, with the idea of preparing and sharing traditional Indian meals as a way of connecting with people – a main ingredient of Indian culture. And for Chef Unni, Tiffin’s corporate chef and partner, many of the dishes draw inspiration from his childhood home in Kerala, India. Most home kitchens have many staples of Indian cuisine such as cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and chili powder, but if you’re looking to add some unique complexity to your cooking, Chef Unni suggests experimenting with kalonji, or nigella seeds. “It’s quiet a versatile spice,” he explains, “and can be added to lentils, curries, stir fried vegetables, and used as a topping on naan and salads.” To develop the best flavours, Chef Unni says freshness is key. “Whole ginger, when grated, adds a superior texture and flavour punch than ginger powder. Instead of using chili powder, try using Thai red chili for an extra aroma boost. And fresh cilantro or mint are always great ways to add some colour and earthy finishes to any curry.” Seafood is plentiful in the backwaters surrounding Kerala, and the menu’s Coconut and Tamarind Basa Fish Curry is especially significant to Chef Unni. “My mom used to make the dish, so it is comfort food to me.” Fresh basa is simmered in a curry of coconut milk and tamarind, flavoured with curry leaves, chili, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. The result is creamy, aromatic and spicy, and sure to warm you from the inside out.

Coconut and Tamarind Basa Fish Curry

Serves 4

2 cups (500mL) water ½ tsp cumin seeds 2 medium sized white onions, finely chopped 4 Tbs (60 mL) canola oil, divided 1 Tbs fresh ginger, finely grated 1 Tbs fresh garlic, finely chopped 1 tsp turmeric powder 2 tsp chili powder 2 tsp ground coriander 1 cup (240 mL) crushed tomatoes ¼ cup (60 g) tamarind pulp ½ tsp salt 1 cup (240 mL) coconut milk made from coconut milk powder (follow directions on package) 500 g basa or any white fish cut into 4 cm cubes 20 small curry leaves 1. In a large sauté pan add water, cumin seeds, onion, and 5 tsp (25 mL) oil.

Bring to a boil until onions are soft and translucent. 2. Heat remainder of oil in a saucepan or heavy wok at medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add back into onions. 3. Add chili powder, coriander, and turmeric. Bring to a boil and add crushed tomatoes, tamarind, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 4. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil, and taste, adjusting salt and chili powder as needed. 5. Add fish to the sauce and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add curry leaves. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. 6. Serve with steamed rice or naan bread.

Note:

Tamarind flesh/pulp can be found in any ethnic market. Try using fresh curry leaves if possible, otherwise dried is always acceptable.

November 2020 | Culinaire 11


Living in Southeast Asia for 30 years gave Jeff and Joel Matthews a broad perspective on the cultures found in the area, from religion and politics to lifestyle and cuisine. The father and son duo brought their experiences back home to Canada and opened Expatasia, an Asian-inspired eatery nestled in Calgary’s Avenida Food Hall. “Being a chef, my focus was always on the variety of cuisines available to us and how we could incorporate them into our daily lives,” says Jeff. “I find that many people like our food as the flavours are intense – spicy, but with exotic flavours you don’t try every day,” he explains. The menu fave is crispy pork belly served on jasmine rice with stir-fired veggies, a recipe Jeff picked up while working in Hong Kong. The Tiger Cauliflower is “out of this world,” says Jeff: cauliflower florets in a light rice flour batter, deep-fried until crisp, and then tossed in an aioli made of blended green onion, ginger, garlic, Korean chili flakes, Indonesian sweet soy, and Japanese mayo. For home chefs looking to work with Asian flavours, Jeff says Asian cookbooks are great resources, as many usually have a list of ingredients that are common in most Asian dishes. For Jeff, ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, and Thai chilli are some of his favourites to work with, and he says are the best for home chefs to have on hand. He adds, “Don’t waste your time making the various Thai, Indonesian, or Malaysian pastes for curries. Buy them!” Give your palate a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia-inspired flavour with Jeff and Joel Matthew’s recipe for Babi Kepac Pork in Sweet Soy Sambal. 12 Culinaire | November 2020

Babi Kepac Port in Sweet Soy Sambal Serves 4

200 g pork shoulder, diced 1/3 cup (80 mL) cooking oil

For the sauce:

2 Tbs (30 mL) fish sauce ¼ cup (60 mL) sweet soya sauce (kecap manis) 4 tsp (20 mL) salty soya sauce 4 tsp (20 mL) oyster sauce 4 tsp (20 mL) water or chicken stock 1 Tbs (15 mL) vegetable oil or peanut oil ¼ cup shallots, julienned ½ cup bell pepper, julienne 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 hot red chilies finely chopped, partly deseeded 1 Tbs (15 mL) ground coriander 1 tomato, chopped and seeded 2 tsp ginger grated 1 stick lemon grass 1 tsp (5 mL) ground black pepper 2-3 pieces broccolini or other greens, chopped Cornstarch if required

To garnish fresh basil or cilantro Preheat oven to 340º F 1. Fry the diced pork shoulder in 1/3 cup (80 mL) hot oil, drain and set aside. 2. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside. 3. In an ovenproof cast iron pan or small saucepan, heat the oil and add the shallots with the bell peppers, garlic, chilies, and coriander. Cook on a gentle heat until just soft. 4. Add the tomato, ginger, lemon grass, and black pepper; continue cooking for one minute or until the tomato is just soft. Add the greens and wilt them for 30 seconds. 5. Add the fried pork and the sauce to the pan and bring to a light simmer. Cover with foil and cook in the oven at 340º F for about 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced a bit and meat and veggies look glossy. 6. Remove from oven and thicken with cornstarch if needed. 7. Garnish with fresh basil or cilantro and serve with fried rice.


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Chef Anas Alsurmi came to Canada from Yemen in 2003 to study engineering at the University of Calgary. Now, almost twenty years later, he’s living his passion for cooking traditional Yemeni cuisine at his restaurant, Yemeni Village, downtown Calgary. The recipes used are the same ones used in villages in Yemen, says Chef Alsurmi. “It’s very authentic cuisine.” Dishes like fahsa, and steam-roasted chicken mandi are popular menu choices. Moofa fish, marinated with a blend of Yemeni spices and grilled in a traditional clay oven, gives Calgarians the opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood, explains Chef. “How we cook the fish is a delicacy itself.” For Chef Alsurmi, black pepper and cumin are “the master of spices” in Yemeni cuisine. “Black pepper is a simple spice, but it really elevates the taste of the dish [it’s used in]. I love cumin because you can tune it up and down to a taste that you like.” When working with spices, Chef Alsurmi advises the home chef to start with a small amount, and to adjust according to your dish. “Fish doesn’t like to be spiced a lot, because you want to taste the omega oil, and the flesh itself, which is very delicate. A little bit of spice on it does the magic itself.” Dishes that are vegetable heavy can handle a bit more spice, as they don’t absorb as much of heat and flavour of the spices. Salta is a great example. Developed as a way to use up leftovers, Chef Alsurmi says, “If you have something from yesterday, save it, and put it in the salta.” Part soup, part stew, and flavoured with cumin and turmeric, Chef Alsurmi’s Salta is certain to warm your senses to a delightful degree on cool November nights. 14 Culinaire | November 2020

Salta

Serves 2 1 Tbs (15 mL) vegetable oil ½ medium white onion, diced 3 Roma tomatoes, diced 2 tsp (10 mL) tomato paste 2 cups cooked rice (optional) 1 medium Yukon gold potato, cut into 2 cm cubes 200 g okra, cut into 2cm cubes 1 medium zucchini, cut into 2 cm cubes Lamb or beef stock 1 tsp ground black pepper 1 tsp curry powder 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cumin To taste salt 1 tsp fresh minced garlic 1 Tbs chopped cilantro 1. Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion, fry until golden. Add

diced tomatoes and tomato paste and fry for three to four minutes (the tomato paste should darken and taste sweeter). Add cooked rice if using, turn off heat and set aside. 2. In large pot add potatoes, zucchini and okra. Cover with stock, bring to a boil and cook for about 8 minutes or until tender. Add black pepper, curry, turmeric, and cumin, and salt to taste. 3. Add veggies and stock to tomato mixture and heat on low, bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes. 4. Remove from heat, add fresh minced garlic and chopped cilantro. Serve with flatbread.

Keane Straub has travelled from Tofino to Charlottetown, sampling the different flavours Canada offers. The passion people have for their craft and culture inspires Keane to tell their stories.


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Hot Potato:

Jenny’s Delectables Finds Success

M

any small businesses grow out of a “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” situation. When Jennifer Kohut lost her job in Calgary’s oil and gas sector as a result of Alberta’s economic downturn, rather than lemonade, she started making stuffed potatoes. In 2016, Kohut started Jenny’s Delectables, a grass-roots business that came about through a combination of necessity, opportunity, and a genuine love of delicious and wholesome food. Having grown up on a farm, Kohut says she’s always had a “profound respect” for food and the people who grow it, but was always too busy with corporate work to pursue professional training or work in the food industry. But with no immediate opportunities in the energy industry available, she decided to build a new career for herself. Kohut found that new calling in the world of potatoes. It seemed like an unlikely choice — there are plenty of frozen potato options in grocery stores and they’re a relatively easy vegetable to prepare from scratch — but she figured that starting with something she loved and was often praised for, made good business sense. “I also have two young boys to feed, support and be a mom to,” Kohut says. “I had been making twice-baked potatoes for years and everyone always loved them and complimented them relentlessly, so one day while sitting down to dinner the idea was presented to sell these potatoes.” Kohut’s friends and family thought that her stuffed potatoes were good enough to sell, which is a common compliment thrown at home cooks, but in this case, they were absolutely right. She booked a booth at the Bearspaw Farmers Market and showed up with

16 Culinaire | November 2020

BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH

a batch of frozen potatoes. Customers who sampled the potatoes couldn’t resist them, and Kohut almost immediately sold out of product. She expanded to do more markets and within a matter of weeks was making a sustainable income for herself. To anyone who has tried the potatoes from Jenny’s Delectables, Kohut’s instant success isn’t all that surprising. Creamy and stuffed with ingredients like

smoked bacon, chives, and cheddar, the potatoes have a comforting, homemade taste. Again, most home cooks can prepare regular baked or boiled potatoes without much fuss, but twice-baked potatoes can be fairly labour intensive, so the convenience factor has definitely worked in Kohut’s favour. Jenny’s Delectables products are made almost entirely with locally sourced produce


and Kohut also prides herself on using natural ingredients. She stays away from preservatives and additives, and air seals her products after freezing to prevent freezer burn. “We want the best quality and the best results for you when you put them on the table,” Kohut says. “Our product is not easy to make and by having a product that is natural, local and high in quality, it not only tastes amazing but it is extremely convenient for the customer to simply pop in the oven from frozen or barbecue without all the prep and work to create it themselves.” Since those early farmers’ market days, Jenny’s Delectables has grown substantially. In addition to markets and boutique food stores all over the province, Kohut’s products are available in Freson Bros. stores and all Calgary Co-op stores. When Kohut got the Co-op order, she needed to make a substantial investment in staffing and equipment to keep up with production, but says that even though the quantity has changed, she still makes the potatoes exactly like she always has, and hasn’t had to sacrifice quality. She’s also expanded her product line, with eight varieties of her Gourmet Stuff’d potatoes (with standard flavours like cheese and broccoli, and cheddar and dill, as well as flashier varieties like the crab-stuffed “King”) plus complementary products like loaded potato skins, shepherd’s pie, and pierogies with fillings similar to the stuffed potatoes. With people sticking closer to home because of the pandemic, and everyone

in need of some comfort food, there’s no stopping Jenny’s Delectables these days. Kohut is in the midst of a renovation of her commercial kitchen with new freezers and packing equipment to facilitate her continued growth, with plans to expand into a separate distribution centre next year. The products are currently in about 80 stores across Alberta, but Kohut expects to hit 250 stores in the province within the next year with the possibility of moving into Saskatchewan and BC before long. “It’s very difficult to plan the growth of something that seems to have a mind

of its own, and is in constant growth and constant restructuring. It takes a lot of logistics to keep the product moving,” Kohut says. “We always joke wondering where we will be 12 months from now and then we look back to where we were 12 months ago. It has been an amazing journey.”

Cookbook author and regular contributor to CBC Radio, Elizabeth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, who has been writing about music and food, and just about everything else for her entire adult life. November 2020 | Culinaire 17


cheese HERBED AND SPICED

BY CANDACE HIEBERT I PHOTOGRAPHY BY DONG KIM

S

OMETIMES A CHEESE HAS SO MUCH FLAVOUR built right in, it hardly needs any dressing up. No need for drizzles, jellies or extras, these divas love to stand alone on a cheese plate and cause a stir. The cheeses we’ve chosen this month are bursting with the flavours of soft herbs and heady spices, making them perfect for a palateawakening pre-dinner snack, or a palate-cleansing last course.

Asiago with Rosemary and Olive Oil – Sartori Cheese Plymouth, Wisconsin, USA

Italian flavours inspire this herbal farmstead cheese, which is enveloped in aromatic rosemary and rich olive oil. The herbs are hand-rubbed into each pasteurised cow’s milk cheese, infusing it with a delicate brightness that elevates the nutty depth of the Asiago. Moroccan Spice Cheese – Coombe Castle International Wiltshire, UK

This ochre savoury cheddar is a trip to the spice market in your mouth. Traditional Moroccan harissa spices, such as coriander, turmeric, and smoky paprika are blended with traditional English cheddar, giving this cheese its rich colour and warm spiciness. Füürtüfel (Fire Devil) – Käserei Studer, Thurgau, Switzerland

Infused with three types of chillies from all over the world, with the addition of black pepper, this spicy cheese lives up to its diabolical name. The mild, semi-soft paste contrasts perfectly with the hit of the hot peppers, and keeps you going back for more.

Garlic Dill Brick – Bright Cheese and Butter Co., Bright, Ontario

The combination of garlic and dill mixed throughout this mild cheese makes it taste like summer days in the garden and homemade dill pickles. The cheese itself is semi-soft and gentle, letting the aromatic herbs and garlic come to the forefront. Le Marechal – Fromagerie Le Marechal, Vaud, Switzerland

Le Marechal is the signature cheese of the family cheese making business of Fromagerie Le Marachal. A firm, intense cheese with nutty mushroom notes and a touch of barnyard, it is rubbed over its surface with a special mix of herbs throughout its ripening, until the cheese is infused with their savoury flavours.

Smoked Cayenne Green Peppercorn Gouda – Sylvan Star Cheese, Red Deer County, Alberta

When you take your first bite, this cheese is mild, gentle, and even sweet. As it begins to dissolve on the palate, the heat of the peppers starts to emerge, finishing as an intensely spicy experience. The crunch of the whole peppercorns is a pleasant contrast to the softness of the gouda, and delivers extra little explosions of spiciness.

Many thanks to Springbank Cheese who provided this beautiful cheeseboard for photography. Candace is passionate about food – eating it, making it, and writing about it – and is up to try any and all new culinary experiences, especially with friends.

18 Culinaire | November 2020


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Step By Step:

Chilaquiles STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENÉE KOHLMAN

20 Culinaire | November 2020


C

orn tortillas are a staple in my pantry, and for good reason. They are fantastic for quick suppers of tostadas and tacos, but every once in a while they lose their freshness before I can use them up. But I’m not sad for too long because that means I get to make chilaquiles! At its most basic, chilaquiles (pronounced “chee-lah-KEE-lays”) consist of fried corn tortilla chips simmered in a brothy salsa sauce and covered with plenty of cheese. The word chilaquiles comes from the Nahuatl language, meaning chilis and greens. A traditional comfort food dish served in Mexico, the recipe hit the United States in 1898 when it was featured in The Spanish Cookbook, by Encarnación Pinedo. The beauty of chilaquiles is that they are so very versatile. Once you’ve got the tortillas lightly fried and smothered in the brothy salsa sauce, you can add a fried egg on top and call it breakfast.

A traditional comfort food dish served in Mexico, the recipe hit the United States in 1898 I like to take a look around the refrigerator and see what needs to be used up. Any little nub of cheese or the remains of a roast are excellent additions. You can switch things up by using salsa verde instead of a tomato-based salsa and the result is quite delicious. Once you’ve tried your hand at making chilaquiles at home, there are plenty of ways to enjoy them. Not only is this dish affordable, but it’s also great for entertaining since the chips and the sauce can be made a day or two in advance. Chilaquiles are also a great meatless option, and perfect for busy weeknights when you’re in need of a meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes. The fun really lies in the toppings. I love the bite of peppery radish slices and the creaminess of avocado. Pickled red onions would also be fantastic.

Chilaquiles with Chorizo and Lentils Serves 4

I love adding lentils to chilaquiles because they boost the nutrition of the dish with added protein and fibre. Topped with crispy chorizo and fried onions, this really is a delicious way to eat corn tortillas. If you are in a major hurry, you can always substitute a bag of good-quality corn tortilla chips, though the texture and flavour will not quite be the same. If you want to go the vegetarian route, omit the sausage. If serving for breakfast, top with a fried egg. ½ cup (125 mL) canola oil, divided 12 medium corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges 500 g chorizo, casing removed 1 large onion, sliced 2 cups (500 mL) your favourite salsa 1 cup (250 mL) chicken or vegetable broth 2 cups (500 mL) cooked whole green lentils Salt ½ cup (125 mL) sour cream juice of 1 lime 1 avocado sliced ½ cup crumbled feta cheese ¼ cup chopped cilantro 6 radishes, thinly sliced 1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Heat a 30 cm skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbs (30 mL) of the canola oil. When it is hot, add about one quarter of the tortillas. Fry them until they are golden and crispy, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Drain on a papertowel lined baking sheet and sprinkle immediately with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla chips. 2. Wipe the skillet out and place it over medium-high heat. When it is hot, crumble in the chorizo and cook, breaking it up with the back of a wooden

spoon, until it is no longer pink inside. If you like, cook a little longer until the meat gets crispy. Depending on the fat content of your chorizo, you may have to add a little canola oil to the skillet. Remove the meat from the skillet and drain it on a paper towel-lined plate and cover to keep warm. 3. Stir the onion into the skillet and sauté until translucent. If there is no remaining fat from the sausage, you may have to add a bit of canola oil to the pan. Remove the fried onions from the pan and place into a small bowl to keep warm. 4. Pour the salsa and broth into the skillet and warm over medium-low heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Warm the mixture through for about 5 minutes. 5. Stir the lentils into the salsa skillet and warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 6. Add the tortilla chips to the warm salsa/lentils mixture. Toss to evenly coat. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for a few minutes. 7. Stir together the sour cream and lime juice. 8. Divide the salsa smothered tortilla chips among four plates. Top with the cooked chorizo and fried onions. Garnish with slices of avocado, feta cheese, cilantro, radishes and a lime wedge. Drizzle with the sour cream/lime mixture. Serve immediately.

Note:

If not comfortable frying tortillas or to save time, use about 5 - 6 cups corn tortilla chips from a bag, and proceed with the recipe.

Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things was published last year.

November 2020 | Culinaire 21


Salt to Taste:

The scoop on the most common seasoning that’s at the core of cooking

I

t may just sit in a shaker on your kitchen counter now, but throughout history cities have been built, empires have fallen and wars waged — all over the mineral we call salt. Essential to preserving, preparing and flavouring our food, salt doesn’t just make food taste better — it also sustains life. Chemically, pure salt consists of sodium and chlorine, and as one of the essential nutrients for human health, sodium chloride helps our bodies and brains carry out biological processes. Simply put, we cannot live without salt.

Salt through the ages

Different cultures have always placed great importance on salt. In ancient Egypt, it was a part of religious offerings; Phoenicians traded salt all across their Mediterranean empire, and early Romans salted their greens and vegetables, giving rise to the word ‘salad.’ Even our word ‘salary’ is derived from salt. Early explorers carried salt as an important trading commodity and

BY LYNDA SEA historic salt routes sprung up all across Europe. In France, the salt tax (gabelle) was a big contributor to the French Revolution. Currently, Canada is the fifth largest producer of salt worldwide. Vancouver Island Salt Co., started in 2008 by a former chef in Cobble Hill, is Canada’s first and largest harvester of sea salt.

Take it with a grain of salt

Salt is a condiment full of contradictions. Our bodies need it as much as we need air and water. It keeps the right balance of water in and around our cells and tissues, helps our nerves function properly and carries impulses to and from the brain. Without salt, our muscles wouldn’t contract, blood wouldn’t circulate, food wouldn’t be digested, nor our hearts pump. Yet, no other compound has been the object of as many numerous health studies and vilified as much as salt. Policymakers have always made a point for people to eat less of it; the World Health Organization says high sodium consumption plays a

part in high blood pressure and increases our risk of heart disease and stroke. This so-called war on salt started in earnest in the late ‘70s when a study showed evidence that salt caused hypertension in rats. But more recently, new research shows the link between salt in your diet and heart disease is actually more tenuous than we think. Adele Henderson is the owner of The Salt Cellar, a local Alberta company that sources and sells a variety of flavoured sea salts and seasoning blends. She agrees that there is still fear around salt if you have health issues, but she says the distinction must be made between sea salt and common iodized table salt. “Table salt has been stripped of its good nutrients,” she says. “Our sea salts are all natural and not refined. Refined salts have bleach and iodine and anti-caking agents to prolong shelf-life and these elements are not things that can be absorbed into our bodies.” Henderson says there are a lot of trace minerals in salt that our bodies need, and natural salts can help reduce fluid tension, balance electrolytes, digestion, and even aid upset stomachs.

Cooking with salt

When it comes to cooking and eating, salt is king. We’re hardwired to know when something is perfectly salted, too much or too little, from the immediate and undeniable slap to your 22 Culinaire | November 2020


tastebuds of a perfectly seasoned bite, to that disappointing blandness of a flat, lacklustre mouthful if something is not salted enough. In her New York Times bestselling cookbook, Salt Fat Heat Acid, author and chef, Samrin Nosrat, stresses the idea of not simply salting more, but better. Add the right amount of salt at the right moment and your dish will sing. She aptly writes, “I began to see that there was no better guide in the kitchen than thoughtful tasting, and that nothing was more important to taste thoughtfully for than salt.” Henderson adds, “When we think of flavours of salt, it’s never salty. It’s only salty if you’ve used too much.”

Not all salts are created equal Table salt is fine and dense and includes anti-caking agents so clumps don’t form. It has a distinct cubic shape and typically has iodine added to it. It’s quite salty in small amounts and can taste metallic. Kosher salt has light hollow flakes and slightly larger crystals, making it ideal for drawing out moisture in meat. It doesn’t contain additives and is quite inexpensive, so it’s great for everyday

cooking and adding to boiling water for pasta or vegetables. Common brands are Diamond Crystal and Morton. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater. It’s more textured, much flakier, and has a pyramid crystal shape. Fleur de sel and sel gris sea salts work best as finishing salts, sprinkled on grilled meats just prior to serving. The most recognizable brand Maldon, from England, is a favourite among chefs. When The Salt Cellar’s long-time employee Corrine Carlson lists some of the sea salts the company sources for more than 21 different blends, it’s clear that, like wine, there’s an astounding array of sea salts, each with their own terrior, tastes and textures. Carslon buzzes with excitement as she describes a grey sea salt from France (“the earthier flavour is great for making rubs or seasoning wild game”) and the red Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, a coarse salt that contains purified Alae clay (“it’s good to season meats with before cooking because it helps to retain juices.”) “We also have a black Mediterranean sea salt [Cyprus Black Lava] that’s infused with activated charcoal from the lava of volcanoes, that has a mild taste and

texture and that’s great for cooking, baking, and can replace soya sauce in recipes,” she says. “There are so many versatile ways to use salt,” adds Carlson. “I use a chipotle salt in water as I boil potatoes for my potato salad and I will even use a lime habanero we sell as a cocktail rimmer, on chicken or fish.” Salt is used in everything from curing and brining to blanching and seasoning. In baking bread and dough, salt acts as a control to the yeast activity, strengthening gluten. In preserving food, salt creates an environment where microorganisms cannot grow, which is ideal for making salt-cured fish and jerky. Added to boiling water, salt reduces your cooking time because it makes the water boil at a higher temperature. Salt will always turn up the volume on our food’s flavours. It can even deepen the complexities of our desserts - just think of salted caramel ice cream or dark chocolate encrusted with salt, and how salt cuts into the sweetness but also seems to balance and enhance the flavours already there. Learn to use salt well and your food will always taste good. Every decision you inevitably make about salt in the kitchen will amplify and deepen flavours, no matter what you are cooking. November 2020 | Culinaire 23


Salty Pretzels Makes 12 2¼ tsp yeast powder 1/8 tsp fine sea salt 2 tsp sugar (for dough) 1 cup (240 mL) warm water 1 cup bread flour 2 cups all purpose flour 2 Tbs butter, softened 2-3 Tbs (30-45 mL) vegetable oil ¼ cup of baking soda 1½ Tbs sugar (for cooking water) 1 Tbs coarse sea salt 1 tsp water 1 egg, beaten 1. In a small bowl, stir yeast, fine sea salt, sugar and warm water until sugar dissolves. Let the mix stand until it gets frothy (typically less than 10 minutes). 2. In a separate large bowl, place flours and softened butter and rub butter into flour with fingers until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. 3. Gently pour the foamy yeast mixture over the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. When combined, gather up the dough and start kneading it on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth. 4. Brush the insides of a large bowl with a light coating of vegetable oil. Add dough and flip it over so it’s coated with

Your safety is a priority at our 6-course Vine & Dine pairing dinners, so they are only available for around half the amount of people we would normally have. All our October evenings sold out, so let us know soonest if you’d like to join us this autumn! You’ll be seated only with the people you request in your booking, no other people will join your table. We’re continually adding new dates so please check our website regularly. Email linda@culinairemagazine.ca if you’d like to be included in our fortnightly updates to hear about events before the rest of the city. 24 Culinaire | November 2020

the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise and double in size. This takes about an hour. Meanwhile, brush baking trays with oil. 5. When the dough has doubled, cut it into 12 pieces. Roll one piece into a long rope (45 cm). Make a U shape, bring the ends together and twist them twice to make a loop. Flip ends down to the base of loop and press into dough. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Place pretzels onto oiled baking tray and let them rise for 20 minutes. 6. Preheat oven to 425º F. Boil a large pot of water and add the baking soda

For full details of events, to reserve your paired dinner packages, places at a Vine and Dine evening, or a private pairing dinner, visit culinairemagazine.ca/events. Vine & Dine Pairing Dinners at Shoe & Canoe November 13, 20, and 28 Our 6-course paired evenings at Shoe & Canoe sold out four times last year, so we’re excited to come back with a choice of three dates and another superb pairing menu in November! $81.75 ++ A One-Off Special Pairing Dinner with Live Classical Music, Asylum for Arts November 21. Enjoy a 6-course pairing menu at this one-off relaxing evening in the performance hall while we are entertained by live classical guitar music. Vegetarian, gluten-free. $88.50 ++

and water. Lower pretzels into water (in batches) and cook for a few minutes on each side, until they puff up and have a slight sheen. Remove from water and let drain. 7. Combine the water with the egg, and brush pretzels with mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and bake until golden, around 15 minutes.

Lynda Sea is a freelance writer/editor based in Calgary. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, Westjet Magazine, enRoute, and Flare. You can often find her hiking in the Canadian Rockies and eating her way through Alberta.

Vine & Dine Pairing Dinners at Flower & Wolf December 4, 12, and 18 We’re excited for Chef Cole Glendinning’s menu of beautifully executed, flavourful dishes, cooked with love and ingredients from local farmers. Choose one of the three very tasty nights at Flower & Wolf in our own private dining room. $81.75 ++ Vine & Dine Online Paired Dinner Packages Have you tried one of our online, multicourse, paired takeout dinner packages, with videos yet? These are restaurant meals from Calgary chefs to eat at home, with small format pairings for each course, and a video with stories to take you through the pairings and flavours. Contactless curbside pickup. Menus and restaurants change regularly, so check out our November paired dinner packages from a variety of Calgary restaurants, and reserve yours now!


ADVERTISING FEATURE

REDISCOVER KENSINGTON: Visit your favorite Kensington businesses and visit some wonderful new businesses too! Kensington is one of the oldest shopping districts in Calgary and still retains much of the feel of a small village main street. Our walkable streets and compact loop layout mean your walkabout will bring you back to your starting point. With about 250 shops, eateries, and services, Kensington has a lot to offer whether you are a local exploring your city or a tourist seeing the sights. Kensington is an easy walk or bike ride across the Louise Bridge from the west end of downtown or come by LRT (get off at Sunnyside).

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Offering over 42 made to order sandwiches, and over 200 homemade Italian products. If you’re looking for inspiration, advice, or just the comfort of simple Italian fare, we invite you to come on down to Peppino’s in Kensington, say “ciao” and let us help you take home a little piece of Italy!

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Established in 1982, Higher Ground Cafe has been committed to promoting community and sustainability on a local and global scale. We guarantee all of our coffee is 100% organic, fair trade and rain forest alliance certified.

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YYC ‘s Steakhouse of the year, six years running. We are also the only steak house to own its own prize-winning black angus bull with Benchmark Angus, located in Warner, Alberta. Born in Alberta, raised in Alberta, harvested in Alberta. That’s real Alberta beef!

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Food enthusiasts of all sorts will love our array of fabulous cooking classes. Our gift certificates and gift boxes are perfect for those on your list with incredible taste (buds)! Cuisine et Chateau’s Interactive Culinary Centre, 403.764.2665 cuisineandchateau.com

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Serving the UK and Irish communities of Calgary for 50 years! We have a large selection of Christmas sweeties and foods including advent calendars, selection boxes, puddings, crisps, chocolate, biscuits, and more! For more information, please visit us at kiltman.ca.

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One of Calgary’s best kept secrets, just like those little hotspot jazz bars that only a few can seem to find. It is more than a wine/spirits/craft beer store, it is an experience... Organizing everything by styles, instead of by country/region, allows you to find your own style!

Located next to Sunnyside Train Station. Large parking lot. We have a vast selection of wine, spirits, coolers and beer open Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday 10am-9pm, Available for delivery on Designated Delivery and Skip The dishes. urbancellarsyyc.com

Not just your average neighbourhood liquor store. We have a huge selection of fresh craft beer, Exclusive Wines found nowhere else in Calgary, and Canada’s best selection of Scotch Whisky. Free citywide delivery for orders over $50. kensingtonwinemarket.com Located in Kensington since 1989, we carry women’s clothing, accessories, footwear & Calgary’s largest designer denim selections! Our brands include Mother Denim, Paige, AG Jeans, Bella Dahl, Rails, Jenny Bird, & more. By appointment only. Call 403-283-3353 or message us on Instagram to book your time to come shop! @splashoffashion_

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26 Culinaire | November 2020


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November 2020 | Culinaire 27


ADVERTISING FEATURE 12

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Enjoy Happy Hour $8 wines by the glass $40 wines by the bottle

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Baking fresh daily pies in sweet and savoury varieties. Also offering frozen pies and soups for stocking your freezer! Find us in the Lido building and online: PieJunkie.ca and on Instagram @piejunkieyyc

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Visit our Instagram for e-gift cards and promotions. $1 from each sale goes to Discovery House Family Violence Support Centre. Book online at mvpmodernbarbers.com or call 403-270-9593 5

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An independently owned teashop that was established in 2008. They are proud to offer a large collection of high-quality teas from around the world and be able to support local artists whose work can be found on their custom tea tin labels.

You can enjoy true, authentic Napoletana Pizza at Pulcinella. From the flour we use to the toppings, all of our ingredients must be approved by governing bodies in Italy. We have gone to great lengths to bring you an authentic Napoletana pizza. Buon Appetito!

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Providing fresh, organic, local farm direct food to our community for 23 years. Come for a visit or check out our curbside pick up service. sunnysidemarket.ca, @sunnysidenaturalmarket.

BODEGA MEXICAN RESTAURANT

We are a small traditional Mexican Restaurant located in the heart of Kensington since 2016 offering simple, delicious and affordable dishes like street Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.

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Purveyor of beautifully unique, quality clothing since 1997. Locally owned, we aim to source sustainable, fashion from both Canada and beyond. Customer service is our passion, and we strive to create long term relationships with our clients and love to see you looking and feeling your best!

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Culinaire Holiday

GIFT GUIDE We’ve scoured our province and further afield to find gifts for your food and drink-loving family and friends, and we’re delighted to present 25 of our favourites here. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

ON THE ROCKS PREMIUM COCKTAILS

There’s a new range of ready to serve premium cocktails to tempt us now too, made from high quality spirits that you’ll already know and love! The Cosmopolitan is made with Effen Vodka, The Margarita is Hornitos Plata Tequila with lime and triple sec, and the Old Fashioned uses a generous pour of Knob Creek Bourbon! Quality stuff in convenient 100 mL and 375 mL bottles, in liquor stores now. 100 mL $7, 375 mL $22, ontherockscocktails.com.

TUMBLER & ROCKS CRAFT COCKTAILS

It’s cold outside, and we enjoy a cocktail after a hard day at our desks, so The Fort Distillery have come to the rescue with four handmade, single-serve and ready to serve craft cocktails using Canadian ingredients, from their distillery in Fort Saskatchewan. Choose Daiquiri, Gin Old-Fashioned, Cosmo or Shaft (vodka/ coffee) in these pocket size 100 mL bottles at your favourite liquor store, $6-$7, tumblerandrocks.com.

CONFETTI SWEETS

Kathy Leskow was a stay-at-home mom looking for something to do. She didn’t know she’d end up with a cookie empire, achieving cult status in Edmonton! Her cookies are so good (we can vouch for that!) that fan faves Chocolate Chunk and Coconut were served twice at pre-Oscar parties in Hollywood! Shop online for cookies and outrageously good cookie mixes at confettisweets.ca, spud.ca, and theorganicbox.ca, or pick up in person in Sherwood Park. From $10.

November 2020 | Culinaire 29


FORTY CREEK NANAIMO BAR CREAM LIQUEUR

BEHIND BARS

High-class cocktails inspired by lowlife gangsters. A perfect gift for budding mixologists and gangster film fans alike, this little book with its novel-style illustrations, is so on-trend with our current love of cocktails and speakeasies. We know gangsters love a good drink, and Behind Bars includes a guide to glassware, techniques, and terminology, with 60 recipes to have you mixing like a mobster! Prestel $20.

Holiday gifting doesn’t get more Canadian than this. Ontario’s Forty Creek distillery has been growing its product line for 28 years, acquiring many fans along the way. And they’re not the only people who are going to love the latest release - Nanaimo Bar Cream Liqueur. Flavours of coconut, cocoa, graham cracker, and custard are perfect for your celebratory coffee, or try as an Alexander or B52 cocktail! CSPC +837249 $30

CASUS ECO-FRIENDLY AND BIODEGRADABLE PORTABLE GRILL

Sometimes you just need a little grill. From Casus, this completely sustainable and bio-degradable singleuse grill provides the option for a little back country or back yard grilling without firing up the propane. While we’d advise against leaving one of these behind in the wilderness to let nature dispose of, it’s sure to be handy for a garage party this winter or a couple of smore’s on the deck. About $15 online and select retailers. casusgrill.com

MATT & STEVE’S CAESAR RIMMER

The ingredients simply say “salt, spice, garlic, flavour” but this rimmer is one heck of a statement. It’s a gorgeous brick red colour to match your Caesar, and it’s spicy – in a good way that has you licking your lips. You’ll see salt crystals, taste celery and more herbs and spices too. You need only a small amount so it’s going to last a long time, and you’ll be glad of that. 150 g, 2-pack $10 at mattandsteves.com, grocery and liquor stores $5-$6 each.

CHEF LOCAL

When COVID hit, digital marketer and Red Seal Chef, Chris Parasiuk, combined his skills to create Chef Local – 2-course master cooking classes from local Calgary restaurants. Included are all the ingredients to create a restaurant-quality meal for two at home, and a instruction video from the restaurant’s chef. Check out cheflocal.ca for classes and kits from restaurants such as Deane House and Klein Harris. 30 Culinaire | November 2020


THE HAPPY PLANNER MINI RECIPE ORGANIZER

Do you lose track of your favourite recipes too? These cute little ring-bound Mini Recipe Organizers could be the solution. They include eight double-sided dividers for Favourites, Main Dishes, Small Dishes, Soups/Salads, Healthy, Breakfasts, Desserts, and Miscellaneous, with space for 160 recipes. Getting organized just got easier! Widely available at Michaels, Staples and Walmart. $28-$30.

STUDIO 50 LIVING ROCK BOTTOM BASE VESSELS

These eye-catching decanters (or carafes) come from Paris, Ontario, and are both eye catching and yes, functional. A glass bottle nestles snugly and safely in a stonelike base that can be chilled or heated to suit to keep your wine, spirit, (or any liquid) at the temperature you want, for an entire evening. Several styles and sizes at studio50.ca, from $88-$150.

MOËT & CHANDON END OF YEAR GIFT BOX

It just wouldn’t be the holidays without bubbly, and the masters of special seasonal packaging, Moët & Chandon, have come up with an End Of Year Gift Box for their Impérial bottle. The signature black tie has dressed the House’s bottles since 1886 and this year, it’s become a silver ribbon in the shape of a holiday tree. Celebrate and gift in style with this limited edition offering. CSPC +766372, $60-70.

GOODIEBOX SNACKS AND BAR IN A BOXES

We’re all about supporting local and encouraging other businesses that do too. GoodieBox have created quite a selection of curated boxes featuring local products for both Calgary and Edmonton, and they deliver them to you. See localgoodiebox.com, for Paloma, French 75, Manhattans, Old Fashioned and Moscow Mule boxes ($95), and snack boxes supporting Edmonton SCARS charity ($40). @yycgoodiebox @yeggoodiebox.

November 2020 | Culinaire 31


SPIRITS WITH SMOKE SMOKING BOARDS

Now you can really impress your guests with a Home Bar Smoking Board from Spirits With Smoke. Taste the difference the wood makes with this 15 x 6” rectangular board, which includes five woods - Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Oak, and Walnut, and it’s enough to smoke up to 850 cocktails. There’s even an option to have it engraved. $96, spiritswithsmoke.ca for a variety of boards and smoked cocktail kits too!

HEYDAY FERMENTABLES SEOUL SISTER KIMCHI KIT

We know that fermented foods are good for our gut, but it can be daunting to start making your own. Heyday have come up with a range of fermented food kits that include fresh ingredients, seasonings, and easy to follow instructions, as well as a 960 mL Kaboodle with self-venting lid. We loved the Seoul Sister kit - in just two days our sour, spicy, and umami kimchi with gochugaru was ready to eat! $35 at heydayfermentables.com.

OKANAGAN WINE TOURING GUIDE

BLACK DOG BAKERY

We’re spoiled for choice with the beautiful cookie decorating kits on Calgary’s Black Dog Bakery’s website! From sports to tools, dinosaurs to unicorns, they’re complete with 12 vanilla sugar cookies, sprinkles, and icings, with GFF available too. We lost our hearts to the Canadian Wildlife kit ($26-$32), but we’re sorely tempted by the Holiday Gingerbread House Kit with two pre-assembled homes ready for decorating ($32). blackdogbakery.ca.

John Schreiner has been talking and writing about B.C. wines since the 1980s, and his latest book, co-authored with writer and educator, Luke Whittall, could be the definitive guide to the wine regions and wineries of interior B.C. Broken into 17 regions and detailing 240 wineries, it’s a very useful book to have in hand when liquor store shopping, but we suspect ours will live in the glove box, ready for our next trip! Touchwood 2020, $25.

SPIRIT WARES FOR HOME

Does your dinnerware do justice to the food you’re serving on it? That was the dilemma for a team of Calgary chefs, so they designed and crafted a range of artisanal tablewares! Choose the Earthen Spirit range or the one-of-a-kind Reactive Spirit range of dinner plates, ramen bowls, coffee mugs, platters, mezcal copitas, and more, or one of the new dinnerware collections at spiritwares.com. Mugs from $12, plates and bowls from $18. 32 Culinaire | November 2020


ROMERO RUM

Here’s a novel gift for the rum lovers in your life – a Custom Blend Tour at Calgary’s Romero Distillery! A history of rum running in Southern Alberta is followed by a tour of the distillery to learn about fermentation, distillation, maturation, vatting, and bottling – and then after tasting different infusions, you get to blend, cork and seal your own bottle to take home with you! $75, romerodistilling.com.

DINNER WITH DICKENS

No Brit could resist a cloth-bound cookbook where the recipes are inspired by the life and work of Charles Dickens. From breakfasts to feasts, via “Food For The Poor” (hurrah for Jam Roly Poly!) author, Pen Vogler, has updated more than 60 Victorian recipes (including some from Dickens’ wife, Catherine’s cookbook!) for today’s home cooks, and included the originals and the back stories too. Cico Books, $35

FUSION WOODWORX

Each one of Fusion Woodworx’s charcuterie and cutting boards, serving boards and trays, benches, consoles, and coffee and dining room tables, is unique as they’re all individually created and handcrafted to order. They use only food safe, non-toxic epoxy for these masterpieces, and even offer classes to create your own! Board shown $90 at Granary Road and at fusionwoodworx.com.

A piece of cake Cibo pasta kit

• 3 eggs • 1/4 cup sugar • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 tsp vanilla • 1 cup pumpkin purée • 1/3 cup olive oil • 1 1/2 cup regular all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice • 1/4 cup Cococo semisweet chocolate drops • 1/4 cup nut butter (almond, cashew or even a hazelnut spread)

Your baking deserves our couverture chocolate

Chocolate Marbled Pumpkin Loaf / by Cut Cooking 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one standard loaf pan. 2. Using an electric mixer, combine everything except chocolate drops and nut butter. Stir well. 3. On low heat, melt chocolate chips and nut butter, stirring often. 4. Add 1/2 of pumpkin batter to the greased pan. 5. Dollop 2/3 of the melted chocolate mixture over pumpkin batter. Using a knife, cut through the batter and spread chocolate, creating a marbled effect. 6. Layer the remainder of the pumpkin batter and carefully spread over the chocolate layer. 7. Drizzle the rest last 1/3 of the chocolate over the top of the loaf. 8. Bake 50 minutes. 9. Allow to cool on cooling rack. Let cool fully before slicing. This recipe freezes well.

chocolate Shop in person: Victoria Park • Bankers Hall • Signal Hill • Southcentre • Dalhousie Station together Easy curbside pickup: Cococo Chocolate Factory in Mayland Heights Shop online: www.CococoChocolatiers.com Recipes: www.CococoChocolatiers.com/blogs/recipes

chocolate together


VILLAGE CRAFT WINEMAKER

New for 2020, and a great gift for wine lovers and aspiring winemakers, you (or they) can effortlessly brew your own quality wine on premise at Village Craft Winemaker for just 45 minutes of your time! Far removed from your old uncle’s homebrew, choose from a wide range of grape varieties from amarone to zinfandel - and you can even make your own fortified wine too. 30 bottles from $194-$350. Gift certificates at villagecraftwinemaker.ca.

ART OF CHARCUTERIE

Edmonton’s Diana Harrison creates beautiful charcuterie boards, and her passion is evident in her choices for these carefully curated boxes. Each Holiday Charcuterie Box is unique and crafted on order to include French and Quebec cheese, Meuwly’s free-range meats, gourmet crackers, olives, fresh fruits and veggies, fresh figs, edible herbs and flowers, and honeycomb. Glutenfree and vegan options too. $155, artofcharcuterie.ca.

Did you catch the cycling bug this summer? Upcycling is a big part of reducing our waste and Caribou Home has a number of cool things for around the house including this Bike Sprocket Trivet - perfect for resting hot dishes or pans without damaging the table. Plus, someone is sure to ask how your most recent century times are… right? $10 caribouhome.com.

VINE & DINE PAIRED DINNER PACKAGES

WALTER CRAFT CAESAR MIX – HOLIDAY EDITION

We don’t drink a lot of Caesars around the Culinaire offices, but when this arrived, we plugged our noses and gave it a try. And wow, wow, does this make a great Caesar. The Holiday Limited Edition has tarragon and sage, and uses sustainably sourced North Atlantic lobster stock making for a richer, daresay… special treat. Just add your favourite vodka, it’s bloody delicious. 946 mL, about $7-9. 34 Culinaire | November 2020

CARIBOU HOME UPCYCLED BIKE SPROCKET TRIVET

Last but certainly not least, we know that not everyone’s ready to dine out yet, but we also know that you deserve restaurant-quality food at home, accompanied by careful pairings at affordable prices. We support our local restaurants, so see vineanddine.ca/ culinaire-vine--dine-online for current offerings of 4-course meals with small format bottles, and a video to tell you the stories of the pairings and winemakers! From $125 for two people.


Ready when you are. Conveniently shop from home.

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Craft vs. Crafty:

F

Brewing a Conundrum BY DAVID NUTTALL

or the first 95 percent of brewing’s multimillennia history, breweries were small farmhouse or cottage enterprises. However, in the last 250 years, technological advancements transformed many breweries into manufacturing giants who are responsible for most of the world’s beer production today. During the first threequarters of the 20th century, through consolidation, mergers, or closure, big breweries became bigger, and small breweries all but disappeared. In North America, the numbers tell the story. In the US, brewery numbers peaked in 1873 at 4,131 breweries. By 1983, only 80 breweries remained. In Canada, the three national breweries (Molson, Labatt, and Carling O’Keefe) had

36 Culinaire | November 2020

breweries in every province (by federal decree) accompanied by only a smattering of others. Small population, vast distances, and competition led most small regional breweries to their demise. In 1980, only eight independent breweries existed nation-wide. Admittedly, two world wars, the Great Depression, and (especially) Prohibition were a quadruple whammy most breweries could not overcome. Despite provincial and state government legislations that made it prohibitive to start a brewery, by the early 1980s a small contingent of entrepreneurs in both countries began to arrive. Call them independent, regional, local, or microbrewery, they soon became known as “craft”. Over the next 40 years, the US saw, on average, about four new breweries

open a week; Canada averaged a new brewery every fortnight. By the end of 2019, the US had 8,386 breweries and Canada had 1,123. Naturally, revisions in patterns of beer consumption followed. Macrobreweries used to be responsible for over 90 percent of production volume in both countries well into this century. However, today they only have two-thirds of the US market and half of the Canadian. Craft breweries sales went from almost nothing pre-1980 to 13.6 percent sales by volume in the US and 30 percent in Canada in 2019, with imports and small independents accounting for the rest. As the big domestic share continues to shrink, the result is a significant revenue shift. Today, overall beer consumption is dropping slightly, losing out to coolers, wine, spirits, or simple abstinence. However, craft beer is still growing - not as fast as in the early 2000s, but usually around 5-6 percent per year. The multinationals, fearing death by a thousand microbreweries, cannot afford to sit around and do nothing. Enter the new paradigm. The largest


breweries began buying up craft breweries, in whole or in part, as early as the 1990s. Some they shuttered and some were left practically untouched, at least to the public eye. Others became hybrids, producing the required mainstream product along with their own offerings. It is here where the distinction between micro (craft) and macro (big domestic) begins to blur. Is a craft brewery still craft if it is owned by a huge corporation? Craft brewing associations say no, to a point. The American (Craft) Brewers Association (est. 1985) and the Alberta Small Brewers Association (ASBA, est. 2013) set definitions of size (production levels), ownership, and, in the case of the ASBA, the location of the brewery and head office (they must be in Alberta). While these definitions have been adjusted over the years, the essential criteria are that craft breweries must be small, local, innovative, and independent. Although dozens of breweries have fallen under the umbrellas of large corporations in the US, in Alberta only two, Wild Rose and Calgary’s Banded Peak, have been acquired by multinationals, both in 2019. Outwardly, neither their breweries nor their beer has changed, so does ownership matter to the finicky public? The usual result is a threeway divide between those who stay loyal, those who disavow them, and those who don’t know/don’t care. What the public may not know is many brands are produced by big breweries and marketed as craft. These so called “crafty” beers purport themselves to be

from a small brewery, when they are just another product from a large corporation. This really rankles craft brewers, as these beers are often sold as such on menus and placed in the craft beer sections of stores. The debate persists on the merit of “craft” vs.” crafty”. On one hand, when wads of cash get thrown at owners of a craft brewery (and some sold for ten figures), it would be folly for them to turn it down. In many cases, the brewery receives an injection of capital, and gets to piggyback on the distribution network and existing sales penetration of the major brewery. How the public perceives their beer is open to interpretation. On the other hand, big breweries who purposefully try to deceive consumers through advertising, labeling, or marketing a beer as if it were made from a craft brewery, often get publicly shamed for it. To help clarify matters, the Brewers Association created the Independent Craft Brewer Seal in 2017 and the Canadian Craft Brewers Association (est. May 2019) developed the Independent Craft Seal of Authenticity in early 2020. The large breweries counter that the public decides which beers they drink and where it comes from isn’t of major importance, adding it’s what inside the package that counts. So on it goes. These days, consumers have a myriad of choices but also more access to information. If they really care where their beer comes from, they can research it. If they like a beer, and aren’t fussy who brews it, they’ll continue to do so. In the future, it will be harder to separate the

two, with more breweries falling under different ownership, and larger breweries producing a greater variety of beers (and other products) in order to try and recapture lost market share. Make choices that matter to you. David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He is a freelance writer, beer judge, speaker, and since 2014, has run Brew Ed monthly beer education classes in Calgary. Follow @abfbrewed.

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From Far and Wide, Let’s Eat! Thanks to early Western settlers, flavours of Northern Europe are close to home

C

ANADA’S HISTORY OF THE WEST is richly woven with stories of settlers expanding westward, starting farms, and building new lives. This shared identity of arrival, coexistence, and prosperity - regardless of where we came from - is indeed the glue that binds us together. But the harmony we live in is in no way a fluke, and we are reminded of this particularly each winter when the nostalgia of tradition returns. For many of us, our Canadian roots are young, but our hearts for our homelands fill us with a desire to share our culture, traditions, and of course, our love of food. In the period of exploration, British and French settlers arrived en masse to Canada’s eastern shores. Scottish, Irish, German, and Italian settlers soon called Eastern Canada home, but early Western settlements enticed plenty from overseas (especially Northern and Eastern Europeans) with its milk and honey. Many who set their sights on Canada’s prairie paradise were of Dutch and Scandinavian descent, and though they weren’t always the most fruitful of farmers back home, Alberta life suited many well. By tending to roots planted long before them (with some modern-day settlement too) quaint, yet welcoming communities across our province promise traditional gastro-offerings to all who seek them. Let’s explore! For Bernell Odegard of The Lefse House, the promise of new horizons brought his Norwegian and Swedish grandparents to the Camrose area – a lively Norwegian community even today. Escaping the instability of home, Odegard’s ancestors simply “brought what they knew.” Lucky for us, farming and baking continued to be part of his family’s fabric. But as many of our own relatives 38 Culinaire | November 2020

BY SABRINA KOOISTRA

Bernell Odegard and Jane Beck, The Lefse House

know, settling the West wasn’t always a picnic. Food and friends saw families like the Odegards through cold winters and served as an opportunity to preserve some of their Norwegian identity. “My grandfather said that we didn’t have much to offer, but people would come by the house and enjoy themselves. I’ve always thought that that’s a neat thing to live up to - to offer hospitality to people, no matter how little we have,” Odegard says. It’s a nice reminder of the reason for the season. This same gift of hospitality, as well as the desire to continue his family’s celebration of Scandinavia can be found at The Lefse House. And their claim to fame? Why lefse, of course! They’re

famous for authentic, made-from-scratch lefse, and while considered a specialty Norwegian treat today, lefse was once survival food. It’s an irony not lost on Odegard who, along with his wife Linda and daughter Jane Beck, have built their business around it. In addition to lefse, customers can find traditional Scandinavian meals, other baked goods such as krumkake and rosettes (great for sharing with friends and loved ones), and giftware imported straight from Norway. Keen to try your hand at lefse? The Lefse House offers everything you need, from corrugated rolling pins and turning sticks to lefse pans and rolling boards, in addition to kits with everything you need already packaged for you.


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Potato Lefse Serves 12

4 cups cooked mashed potatoes 4 tsp butter 1 tsp salt 1 Tbs sugar Splash of cream 2 cups flour Butter Golden corn syrup 1. To the warm potatotes add butter, salt, sugar, some cream, and mash well. Let cool in the fridge. 2. Gradually combine the flour with the potatoes. 3. Divide into 12 pieces. Roll thin on a floured board and bake on a hot griddle. Brown both sides. Place between damp towels to steam. 4. Serve buttered with golden corn syrup. Recipe courtesy the Norwegian Laft Hus Society in Red Deer, where guests can be immersed in Norwegian culture and food.

Swedish roots run deep in Camrose County, particularly in Kingman where the town has dubbed itself the “lutefisk capital of Alberta”. Just before Saint Lucia Day on December 13th (the Swedish start of Christmas), Kingman Community Hall hosts their annual lutefisk dinner where community members and visitors can get a taste of the farcical fish of the North Sea - a cultural icon celebrated more by settler descendants than those in Scandinavia! Lutefisk is white fish (typically cod) that’s dried, reconstituted, then soaked in lye before being cooked. It’s believed 40 Culinaire | November 2020

John and Janneke Schalkwyk, Sylvan Star Cheese

this rigorous process was formed to ensure families had enough protein to last through the winter - a shared reality for Vikings and ScandinavianCanadians, alike. But having Swedish and Norwegian blood doesn’t place Odegard in the camp of lutefisk fans. “People come from far and wide, and sometimes stand in very cold weather (in Kingman) to try the lutefisk,” he says, “you either hate it or you really love it. It’s quite something.” For those who don’t want to brave the chill of the outdoors for this winter treat, pop by The Lefse House to pick up one of their house-made “lutefisk TV dinners.” Like Dutch settlers that came before them, the Schalkwyk family of Sylvan Star Cheese continue a long history of farming and cheesemaking. Hailing from Gelderland, the Schalkwyk family are modern-day settlers who chose Alberta for its large sections of open, arable land and the chance at prosperity. Having learned from his parents, John Schalkwyk spent many years building his

milking and cheese-making operation in the Netherlands, but wanting to consolidate farmland, the family settled in a spot nestled between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake. While central Alberta is home to a thriving dairy community (not independent of its thriving Dutch population) few had branched into the Dutch tradition of cheesemaking. The dearth of flavourful, high-quality gouda led Schalkwyk to resume cheesemaking in 1999, in an effort to offer Albertans gouda so good, even in the middle of winter you’ll think you’ve been swept away to the tulip fields. When asked about preserving Dutch traditions, Schalkwyk replies with a hearty laugh, “We’re Canadians now!” With lots of love for Canada, and great gouda, the Schalkwyks are here to stay. Sabrina is a freelance writer pursuing a Communications and History double major at U of C. She is passionate about uncovering the ways in which history, tradition, and food, shape our identities.


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Alberta’s Own I

Cottage Wines

nternationally, in the wine business, most people have heard that Canada (exotic place that it is) is too cold for winemaking. But they are wrong we have a wonderful, high quality, and varied selection of wine regions making excellent, artisan wines. It’s a shame in some ways that Alberta is just a touch (or more than a touch) too cold to make grape-based wines. While our summers are hot enough, and our seasons long enough, our frigid winters can easily kill most grapevines. What we do have though – in addition to our dynamic assortment of brewers and distillers – is a small but passionate

Birds & Bees 2018 Multiple Berry Orgasm Wine A little off-dry, but the fruits have a beautiful character and plenty of citrus tones to carry the day right through to a bright and juicy finish. Best served slightly chilled, but really hits the spot on its own or with light snack or salads. CSPC +816317 $25

42 Culinaire | November 2020

BY TOM FIRTH AND LINDA GARSON

number of cottage wineries. These wineries include a mere handful of members, which include mead and honey wine producers, but an even smaller assortment of fruit-based wineries. Totalling five fruit wineries ranging across the province, we have Field Stone near Strathmore, Fireside Winery by Red Deer, and then Barr Estate in Sherwood Park, Lake Saskatoon in Grand Prairie, and Shady Orchard and Winery in High Prairie, but what makes them special is not only that they have to utilize a high proportion of estate grown fruit, but making good wine out of fruit just isn’t easy. Some fruits (or rhubarb) don’t quite

produce enough sugar to ferment fully, while others are hard to handle with skill to preserve the purity of fruits. Finally, striking the right balance is the hardest of all as many wines aren’t really that sweet, but the perception is often faulty and consumers sometimes expect that they won’t enjoy these sweeter wines. With a nod to our local producers, we highly encourage giving some of these local treasures a little love. Keep in mind that many are at our local farmers markets, and willing to share with you what they make with perhaps a little taste too.

Field Stone Raspberry Fruit Wine With an almostelectric colour in the glass and the pure, clean aromas wafting out of the glass, what’s not to love? Perfectly evoking the essence of raspberries with a clean, zesty finish, it isn’t bone-dry by any stretch, but for any lover of raspberries, this is a good find. CSPC +792628 $20-22

Field Stone Black Currant Fruit Wine Intensely perfumed and remarkably floral in the glass, it might be hard to guess that this is a wine made from blackberries. On the palate, it becomes quite apparent though with clean fruit expressions, all those floral tones, and a strong core of mineral presence. Best slightly chilled but not ice cold, it’s a pleasant treat. CSPC +783516 $20-22


Shady Orchard & Winery 2019 Cherry Wine Made from Evans cherries, a sour cherry that was rediscovered in an old orchard near Edmonton, and growing there since the 1920s, this full flavoured wine is quite a statement – in a good way! There’s no mistaking it’s made from cherries, and it’s crying out for a duck breast dinner, but we suspect it could also be a terrific brunch wine with crêpes. CSPC +815004 $20-$21

Birds & Bees 2019 Sassy Saskatoon Berry Wine Very pale (for saskatoon berry wine) looking very similar to young tawny ports in the glass. This is a strange and lovely beast. Evoking sasktoon berry pies on the palate, with quite a lot of spice and tartness well suited to the off dry nature of the wine. This would rock a charcuterie or cheese board after a meal. CSPC +726519 $25

Shady Orchard & Winery Strawberry & Rhubarb A lovely pale salmon colour, Shady Orchard’s strawberry and rhubarb is a real food wine. It’s refreshing, so chill it down well and hope for a warm day to enjoy it with your lunch of something salty – we vote for feta cheese - and even better, a watermelon salad with mint and feta cheese. But if you have to wait for evening, anything with a peppercorn sauce would be wonderful! $20-$21

November 2020 | Culinaire 43


Spice it Up

A Guide to the Ultimate Nachos

N

achos may be a stereotypically game-day treat, but with or without sporting events, they are worth making as a meal in and of itself. That being said, as easy as it is to whip up a batch - after all, tortilla chips and cheese are all you need, it’s equally as easy to make them poorly. A lack of cheese, layering, or attention to detail can all contribute to lacklustre nachos, and no one wants that. To prevent such a travesty from entering your kitchen, let’s walk through the basics of making the perfect (yes, truly perfect) nachos.

The chips

Just as you can’t expect to make a good sandwich without good bread, it’s difficult to entertain the notion of nacho perfection without good tortilla chips. 44 Culinaire | November 2020

BY MALLORY FRAYN

What makes a good tortilla chip comes down to personal preference, but there are some prerequisites to keep in mind. First, the salt level; heavily salted chips run the risk of creating an overly salted finished product depending on the salinity of your condiments, while under-salted chips are, well, undersalted. If you’re opting for commercially produced “big brand” chips, look for the low sodium (but not no sodium) ones to be safe. Second, the freshness and durability of your chips is crucial. Although slightly stale chips will be refreshed through the toasting process, you don’t want to end up eating cardboard. Consistent with this, you want a chip that will stand up to the layering process and that won’t sog out when topped with garnishes that have a high moisture content.

Tomatoes are the typical culprits here, and thankfully the disaster that is soggy nachos can be averted by seeding your tomatoes in advance. Finally, don’t forget to consider the colour of your tortilla chips, because as the old adage goes, we eat with our eyes first. Multi-coloured nachos always look, and taste, better than their monocoloured companions.

The cheese

The two most important considerations in terms of nacho cheese are quality and quantity. It’s just nacho cheese if it doesn’t taste like anything. Throw any thoughts of mild cheddar or mozzarella out of the window, and at the very least opt for an aged cheddar that will pack a punch. If you want to get extra fancy, add another melting cheese into the


mix, like gruyere or fontina, which bring nuttiness to complement the tortillas. And for the love of the nacho gods, please do not skimp out on the fromage. Nothing is more disappointing than a cheese-less bite of nachos, or worse an entirely undressed tortilla chip. Nothing. Pro tip: if you’re having difficulties grating soft cheese, throw it in the freezer for a few minutes first to let it harden up so it’s easier to work with. Even better: if you have a grater attachment with your food processor, use it (even if you have to take some time to remember what drawer you stashed it in when you first got the thing, it’s worth it).

The layering

Perhaps just as critical as the ingredients themselves is their composition. You really do want a little bit of everything with each and every bite. Also, this is not a one-layer deal. You can’t make lasagna with a single layer of noodles, cheese, and sauce, and tortillas topped with just cheese are not nachos.

Here’s how we do it:

1. parchment paper on the tray - no one wants to scrape crustified cheese off after the fact 2. tortillas - a single layer of them, arranged to cover the entire area 3. toppings - chopped fine, both to help them adhere and to encourage even coverage 4. cheese - lots of it, make it rain, you should hardly be able to see the toppings underneath 5. repeat - at least twice, but three times if you’re feeding a crowd.

Mmhmm. Crispy chicken skin? Yes siree! Speaking of meat, this is also Depending on how big your batch something to consider adding, although is, you may want to cook your nachos not necessary. Pulled chicken or pork, in stages so all the cheese melts. For or thinly sliced steak, are all candidates. example, if you’re going for three layers, It ultimately depends how hungry you bake at 350º F for 3 to 5 minutes after are and what you have on hand. All in, composing each layer, rather than cooking you don’t want more than five toppings it all at once. Broil to finish to ensure your - beyond that, you won’t be able to nachos get good colour. discern the different bits and bobs.

The garnish

What you choose to add as toppings in addition to the tortillas and cheese is pretty much endless. Tomatoes, peppers, and olives are all standard, but you can make a case for practically anything salty, spicy, or crunchy. Finely diced pickles? Check. Endive?

The dips

Once your nachos are baked off and ready to serve, your final decision is the dips to add alongside. Admittedly, excellent nachos should stand on their own and not require any additional tracklements to complete them. However, a well-made guacamole and/

or salsa can take the dish to the next level. And while these are two of the most obvious dipping choices, there are others at your disposal. Try to go with something creamy and something fresher and more acidic. Plain or flavoured sour cream, refried beans, and cream-cheese based dips can satisfy the former, while beanbased salsas, chimichurri, or pistou fall under the latter. Having a bottle of good hot sauce at-the-ready is of course, a no-brainer. Mallory is a Calgary freelance writer now living, learning and eating in Montreal. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate. com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cuzilikechoclat November 2020 | Culinaire 45


MAKING THE CASE

The Final Stretch of 2020 By TOM FIRTH

H

ere in Alberta, it’s often the case that the “official” changing of the season is at best a guideline. Summer lasts until the first week of September, Fall is about a month, and winter - our glorious winter runs from Remembrance Day through April (if we are lucky). This month, in the spirit of our True North, and all the people past and present that help make Canada great, we’re choosing once again to share some top-end, Canadian-made wine to celebrate the final months of 2020. More than a few of these are well suited to holiday gatherings with close friends and loved ones too. Find these wines by searching the CSPC code at Liquorconnect.com; your local liquor store can also use this code to order it for you. Prices are approximate.

Mt. Boucherie 2019 Riesling Similkameen Valley, British Columbia

First time tasting this riesling from Mt. Boucherie, and from start to finish, a rich and juicy quaffer. Wonderful tropically dominated fruits with a clean, but not too crisp finish well suited for those looking for a pleasing, versatile off-dry sipper. Try with schnitzel, grilled poultry, or something salty. CSPC +602078 $19-23

Hester Creek 2019 Cabernet Franc Rosé Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Honestly, why aren’t there more rosés made from cabernet franc? Softer expressions of berry fruits with cranberry and herbal tones with a smidge of rustic, earthy notes. On the palate, the best characteristics of Okanagan cab franc comes along with a very dry, very easy to drink rosé. Try with pork dishes, or even game meats, sausage, or mildly smoked dishes. CSPC +781690 $24-28

Culmina 2018 “Decora” Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

There is something ethereal about wellcrafted riesling. The lifted mineral characters, zesty lime and citron fruits, and crushed apple, bring it all together. Almost bone dry with just a hint of residual sweetness, this is a lean, driven, and racy riesling. Best enjoyed with other like-minded folks. CSPC +794743 $30-35

Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge. He is the Managing Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine.

Culmina 2016 Merlot Golden Mile Bench, British Columbia

A blockbuster in the making, Culmina’s 2016 merlot is one of their best yet, rife with blackberry and blackcurrants, backed by a light, leafy herbaceous aroma. Much too young to really enjoy now, but all the elements like firm tannins, tightly wound fruit and subtle mineral tones are there promising that in about 5 years, this will be part of a wonderful evening. Perhaps with a rib eye, or a meaty pasta. CSPC +795650 $45-50

46 Culinaire | November 2020


Quails’ Gate 2019 Dry Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Quails’ Gate 2017 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

CSPC +308312 $20-25

CSPC +639633 $28-31

Though it’s labelled as a dry riesling, it does have a little sweetness on the palate, but that sweetness is so perfectly suited to the vibrant acids and lifted flavours of oranges and guava, canned pineapple and sliced apples. A juicy, delicious, and very well balanced riesling. Try pairing with seafood dishes or salty snacks.

Hillside 2019 Un-Oaked Pinot Gris Naramata Bench, British Columbia

There is no denying the pure crushable nature of pinot gris. Just in case, there is also no reason why this is only meant to be enjoyed in the summer months. Fresh and tight with peaches and pears, and more than a little nectarine on the palate, this is perfect for those weeknights where you just aren’t sure if a glass of wine counts as a meal – but want to give it a chance. CSPC +65672 $22-25

Burrowing Owl 2017 Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

There is something perfectly sublime about great merlot from the Okanagan. Embracing firm tannins with deep, savoury spices and tarry notes, and a solid core of black fruits, this is a wine that will age gracefully, but tastes great now. Enjoy with grilled or heavier beef dishes, perhaps with savoury sauces or loads of mushrooms.

Long time fan of the BOV cabernet franc, since it’s one of the Okanagan wineries that really take the grape to the next level. Lean cherries, graphite, spice box and a touch of asphalt on the nose lead into a perfectly balanced palate between fruit, oak, and spice. Plus it’s damn delicious. Drinking well now or buy a few and invite me over….

Burrowing Owl 2018 Chardonnay Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Mt. Boucherie 2017 Summit British Columbia

CSPC +1072531 $35-38

CSPC +805198 $58-62

A bold as brass chardonnay – not afraid of showing off some oak, this is a big and beautiful, curvy and delightful wine. Lush tropical fruits well balanced by creamy, buttery oak presence, and a long graceful finish. This is chardonnay equally at home on the table and in the cellar for a few additional years. Drink with rotisserie from the barbecue or something that needs a big white.

CSPC +1076601 $47-52

A blend of fruits from the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, the aptly named Summit, is a blend of merlot and cabernet franc (yes!) with supporting roles from cabernet sauvignon and a touch of syrah and malbec. A delicious balance of fruit and spice with little bell pepper or green tannins. Loads of coffee bean, tobacco, and leather lurk underneath; this is great now and will only get better in the cellar.

Road 13 2019 “Chip off the Old Block” Chenin Blanc, Golden Mile Bench British Columbia

Hester Creek 2017 Limited Edition “The Judge”, Golden Mile Bench British Columbia

Road 13 2017 5th Element British Columbia

CSPC +450890 $21-24

CSPC +781691 $70-75

CSPC +741856 $50-55

It’s too rare a treat, enjoying lovely expressions of chenin blanc. Road 13 has long had a passion for the grape, and it shows. Seriously. Aromas of honey, lemon, and wooliness, the palate has a subtle richness that is almost sweet but bursting with fruit. A stunner from start to finish. If you don’t know this noble grape yet, you should be friends. Pair with roasted or grilled poultry or just enjoy it for the sake of enjoying it.

I’ve enjoyed a few vintages of this in the past (when I’ve gotten a chance), and watched it tighten up its focus a little more each iteration. A Bordeaux style blend with the two cabs and 30 percent merlot, this is serious, powerful juice. Tightly wound when this young, showing abundant spice, densely packed berry fruits, and more than a little barrel presence, give it 10 years or so, and this will be a rich reward.

A merlot-dominant blend with cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot from two vineyards, one in the Similkameen and one on the Golden Mile Bench, this is one of the flagship wines of British Columbia. Bursting with fruits and floral characteristics leaning towards blueberries and peppery, pipe tobacco and tar aromas. It’s a beast on the palate with chewy tannins and plenty of earthy notes to balance the fruit. Could use a decanting if drinking now, but will rock with a beef-centric menu. November 2020 | Culinaire 47


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BOTTLES TO HUNKER DOWN WITH

BY TOM FIRTH AND LINDA GARSON

S THE REMARKABLE YEAR OF 2020 WINDS DOWN, the threat of another lockdown has always been back of mind. While we always hope for the best, and wish that we can share a drink or some connections with those we love, this month’s recommended bottles- a selection from A to Z, are more than suitable for a quiet, reflective evening at home.

Eau Claire Rupert’s Whisky, Canada The newest release from the Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, Rupert’s Whisky is a bit of a surprise, a very light expression of Canadian whisky with light aromatics of toffees and lemons, cereal notes, and moderate spice. Smooth and easy going, this is a locally made and superior alternative to some -ahem- commercial options you might already know and love, but maybe it’s time to move on from those to this “Crown-killer”. CSPC +832043 $36

Bearface One Eleven Series Canadian Whisky, Canada Taking full advantage of the little known (in most circles) “9.09” rule, which allows up to 1/11th of a Canadian spirit to have other spirits blended into it, the One Eleven has Oaxaca mezcal comprising that small portion. And what incredible results! The added spirit blending so well with the whisky bringing a citrus flavour and salinity to the palate, and from Master Blender Andres Faustinelli a finish of “birthday candles and bacon”. Pretty spectacular. CSPC +819773 $42-45

Ardbeg Wee Beastie Islay, Scotland The latest whisky to join Ardbeg’s permanent range, Wee Beastie is no way cowering or timorous (sorry Robbie!), it’s a monstrously smoky five-year old single malt, and as close to the still as it comes. Intense and mouth filling, it’s smoky and salty with flavours of black pepper, peppermint oil, creosote, and baking spices, and just a hint of dried fruit from the sherry casks. Drink it neat or try in your favourite smoky cocktail. CSPC +835689 $70-80

Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey Ireland While Irish whiskey will always have a place in my heart, it also warms it to see newer, smaller producers appearing in our market. Double Barrel from Glendalough speaks of the Bourbon and Oloroso casks, showing lemon and butterscotch, graham cracker, and bits of candied oranges. Really very enjoyable, and a good bottle to have on hand. CSPC +785398 $45-50 48 Culinaire | November 2020

Cotswold Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky, England Often spotted on shelves, but never tried, I wonder why I waited so long. Rich, woody tones with dried fruits akin to nectarine and dried peaches lead into a deep and almost smoky, malty flavour profile that begs for frigid evenings near a roaring fire. Best with a splash of water to open things up – since it’s hovering around 60 percent. CSPC +819723 $120

Zuidam Millstone Dutch Single Malt Whisky Olorosso Sherry, Netherlands There is just something almost decadent about whiskies aged in sherry casks. Bursting with sherry tones of caramel, rum raisin, and a hint of cocoa, this is a glass to savour. Honeyed and rich on the palate, a lovely spiciness emerges around the mid palate and carries this home. A beauty. SCPC +795962 $85


WINES TO CELEBRATE WITH The flagship of Rioja wines.

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CRAFTED IN AGED WHISKEY BARRELS RICHER. SOFTER. SMOOTHER. JacobsCreek.ca

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SILVER - San Francisco International Wine Competition 2011 BRONZE - International Wine & Spirit Competition 2011 www.campoviejo.com

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O PE N TH AT B OT TLE

...with Mhairi O’Donnell BY LINDA GARSON PHOTO BY DONG KIM

“I

come from a solid line of people caring about what you eat and drink,” says restaurateur Mhairi O’Donnell. She was born in London’s Covent Garden, in a pub from the 1400s that survived the fire of London, where her trailblazing parents were publicans, and early champions of the campaign for real ale. Molson approached them in the ‘80s to open British pubs in Canada, and when an opportunity arose to partner with publicans in Calgary, they immigrated. O’Donnell studied history at Mount Royal, and following a short spell living in Wales with her boyfriend, she transferred to study fashion design at Kwantlen, in Vancouver. She started a business there making custom wedding dresses, but the death of her fiancé brought her home to Calgary. She’d worked summers in her father’s painting company as he believed it was a skill that she would need one day. “And he was totally right,” she says. “So I started a painting company and it went extremely well.” But by 2010, she’d had enough of working with chemicals, and missed social interaction, so with her savings she opened Mission Diner. Badly flooded and denied insurance money, in 2013 she was forced to shut for six months, but opened “The Loop” cafe in Marda Loop. “Finally, by the end of 2014 everything was really looking rosy,” explains O’Donnell. “And then in 2015

50 Culinaire | November 2020

oil prices fell, and we‘d gone through too much and couldn’t hold on. We were let out of our leases, so we left and I started Grate and Barrel, which I had popped up at Mission Diner.” O’Donnell had a photograph of her grandmother and a man sitting on a dock, with ”Moonlight and Eli” written on. It was the most romantic thing she’d ever seen, and decided one day she would open a champagne bar, and call it “Moonlight and Eli.” That day came in July 2019, with the logo her grandmother’s handwriting. And what goes perfectly with Champagne? Cheese fondue! “Absolutely,” O’Donnell laughs, “I opened what I wanted to go to.” While closed for COVID, she’d created a fondue kit, and it went so well that she’s now expanded to offer online kits for delivery in the Bow Valley at weekends to meet the demand from Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise, with a special après ski wine list too. So what bottle is O’Donnell saving for a special occasion? “My true love is vintage champagne,” she says. “We’d had Throwback Thursday, where we’d open vintage champagne, the craziest I could find, and sell three and five ounce pours. I want people to be able to drink champagne, so I sell everything

for a bit less than I could, then it’s affordable for people - and I get to try all these beautiful vintage champagnes too. The neat thing about vintage wines is that they aren’t anything like what you drink. The older champagnes get, the more peculiar they become, and I love that so much.” O’Donnell had read a book about the widow Clicquot, and it had captured her imagination. “Champagne has a really interesting history, and it really sucked me in,” she explains. “And the house is also really supportive of women; it was the female aspect of Veuve, and of champagne, and of the region, and of the history of the houses, which I love more than anything. I love when women’s hands touch things.” Her 1989 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privée Rosé is special as it’s the time O’Donnell came to Canada, and Veuve Clicquot was her path into champagne. And when will she open it? “I think I’m just going to sit on it, and see how old I can make it,” she says. “I was able to taste a bottle of the vintage, which I’ll never forget, so I will be able to compare it. Something amazing happens every week in my life, so I’m sure something amazing will happen in 30 more years - and I’ll be like, “today’s the day!”


Join us! The Taste of 17th has finally arrived! November 20 - 29, 2020

Featuring:

Special menus and favorite staples from your favourite restaurants all along 17th Ave SW from 2nd St to 16th St SW. This foodie event will have something for everyone, from everywhere and for every palette allowing you the opportunity to explore the dozens of hot spots and hidden gems 17th Ave SW has to offer! 

Register today to claim your $25 food voucher* to use during the festival at select participating locations.

Learn more about the Taste of 17th Food Festival at www.17thave.ca

follow us @17thavesw | facebook.com/17thavesw


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Culinaire #9.5 (November 2020)  

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