CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
We’re all about eggs... with bacon on the side
Sips for Spring | Breakfast and brunch beverages | The Bitter Truth culinairemagazine.ca
flavourful inspired cuisine local fresh ingredients a modern twist on brunch
209-10th St NW 403-283-8988
w w w. v e ro b i s t ro. c a G e t t h e i n s i d e ‘ s p o o n’ o n d e a l s . Fo l l o w u s o n Tw i t t e r @ v e r o b i s t r o a n d F a c e b o o k
2 • April 2013
A Canadian Institution
From humble beginnings in 1960, Smitty’s has grown into the largest family restaurant chain in Canada. By Fred Malley, CCC
OEB: Elevating the Humble Egg Mauro Martina is a man who knows his eggs, and he cracks 170,000 of his special free run, Omega 3 eggs a year. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Brotherly Brew The entrepreneurial Prefontaine brothers are steeped in coffee culture, they’ve grown up roasting, serving and selling. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Beer. It’s What For Breakfast?
Bitters Make it Better
These Calgary attractions are serving up much more than views, zoos, heritage and history at weekends. By Cory Knibutat
Many of our favourite breakfast ingredients are also in these beers – including coffee and maple syrup! By David Nuttall and Meaghan O’Brien
The “sorcerer’s apprentice” in the alchemy of cocktail creation, bitters are regaining their rightful place in the collections of the world’s bars. By Steve Goldsworthy
COVER PHOTOGRAPH Front Cover photography by Julia Murray, with the kind assistance of the staff at Yellow Door Bistro and thanks to Chef Duncan Ly for his sumptuous breakfast creations.
april 2013/Issue #10
Salutes And Shout Outs By David Nuttall
By David Nuttall
Coffee Culture – A Better Barista
By Vincci Tsui, RD
By Executive Chef JP Pedhirney
By Karen Miller
The Fabergé Egg By Jocelyn Burgener
Are Eggs All That They’re Cracked Up To Be? By Vincci Tsui RD
Brown Or White?
Breakfast Like A Champ
By Heather Hartmann And Tom Firth
Step By Step To Making Devilled Eggs
By Natalie Findlay
Eggs Of The Sea
Open That Bottle
By Karen Miller
By Gabriel Hall
By Linda Garson
A Spring Fling
May Contain Fish…
Century Egg - A ‘Special’ Sort Of Egg
By Christine G. Louie
All Cracked Up
Headaches And Wine
Eggs In The Wild
Advantages Of Advocaat
Breakfast On The Go: Mighty Skillet
By Dan Clapson
By Dan Clapson
Chefs Tips (and Tricks!)
The Humble Spud
By Christine G. Louie
Which Came First?
A Pint And A Pickled Egg
The Egg Garden
Spring Into Bocks
4 • April 2013
By Corinne Keddie
By Leonard Brown
By Silvia Pikal
By Jeff Collins
By Meaghan O’Brien
By Tom Firth
By Tom Firth
By Natalie Findlay
By BJ Oudman
By Brenda Holder
By Steve Goldsworthy
Alberta Cocktail Challenge – The Results By BJ Oudman
Shaking It Up By Nicholas Quintillan
OUR CONTRIBUTORS < Dan Clapson Calgary food writer and columnist, Dan Clapson has published works covering everything from restaurant features and chef profiles to creating recipes and hands-on culinary experiences. In addition, Dan has spent time learning in the kitchen with some of the country’s top chefs. He believes a true appreciation of food culture comes by experiencing food from all sides, reflected on his popular blog, dansgoodside.com. When he’s not writing or eating, you can find him teaching university students how to cook through his non-profit cooking initiative, Start From Scratch (startfromscratch.ca).
< Corinne Keddie Corinne Keddie is an architect with her own practice that specializes in spa, retail and hospitality projects. She was recently in New York to accept a PAVE Rising Star award for retail design. When not busy designing (and sometimes while designing), she can often be found with a glass of wine in her hand, traveling the world (yes, more wine) and writing about restaurant and spa design. She is the Area Representative for the Opimian Society, the largest wine club in Canada, and plans many wine-tasting events on their behalf.
< Christine G. Louie Christine moved from her hometown, Vancouver, to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Calgary. She fell in love with the city as well as a native Calgarian, and after graduating, decided to make Calgary her new home. Her food-related experience includes writing for the Simon Fraser University newspaper, the Peak, as well as contributing restaurant reviews for a Vancouver-based website. In her spare time, she devotes her energy to her blog, hittingthesauce. wordpress.com. Christine is looking forward to learning more about the city’s culinary scene with other like-minded individuals.
Culinaire Editor Linda Garson Design Emily Vance Contributors Leonard Brown Jocelyn Burgener Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Dan Clapson Jeff Collins Andrew Ferguson Natalie Findlay Tom Firth Steve Goldsworthy Gabriel Hall Heather Hartmann Brenda Holder Corinne Keddie Cory Knibutat Ingrid Kuenzel Christine G. Louie Fred Malley, CCC Karen Miller Julia Murray David Nuttall Meaghan O’Brien BJ Oudman JP Pedhirney Silvia Pikal Nicholas Quintillan Vincci Tsui, RD Advertising Joanne Black 403-401-9463
Corinne Wilkinson 403-471-2101
Advertising (Wine, Beer & Spirits) Keiron Gallagher 403-975-7177
For more information about some of our many other talented contributors please visit us online at www.culinairemagazine.ca.
Letter From The Editor Spring is sprung - but the first day of spring looked remarkably similar to the first day of winter, didn’t it? And Easter has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed your eggs – both chocolate and hardboiled. Speaking of eggs, it’s the theme of this, our tenth, issue. Eggs represent the circle of life and it’s perfect timing for us as next month we’ll be celebrating Culinaire’s first birthday! And where there’s eggs, there’s breakfast and brunch – we are very lucky to have so many fantastic choices for breakfasts in our city. We’re looking at the brunches offered at weekends by some of our favourite attractions, and when you realize how good these are, it makes them doubly attractive. You can win the chance to enjoy them yourself too! We’re also getting to know Calgary’s Best Breakfast winner, OEB, and the secrets to their success that keeps them full and buzzing seven days a week.
We take a peep behind the scenes of Canada’s largest family restaurant chain, Smitty’s – another Calgary success story for the last 53 years, as well as the Prefontaine brothers at Analog Café, who have lived, breathed and dreamed coffee since they were youngsters. Local chefs are sharing their tips, hints and tricks for cooking perfect egg dishes along with their favourite recipes, and we have easy-to-follow recipes for making those oldtime party favourites, devilled eggs, as well as egg-based soups and desserts. On the drinks front, we learn about whisked egg-white cocktails, as well as one of my favourites for more years than I care to count, the egg-based Advocaat. And we discover beverages for the perfect celebratory breakfast too; there’s more choices than you imagine in our light-hearted breakfast wine and beer articles. As we’re just in the early days of spring, we’ve included spring fresh wines and beers to wash the winter blues away, and learn about the increasingly popular Bitters, that
spike up our cocktails and our cuisine too. We’re also happy to announce the winners of the Alberta Cocktail Challenge and their creations. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in Culinaire’s growth and success over the last year; to those of you who have written with your comments and feedback – we love to hear from you. Thanks too to the businesses who support us and those that carry Culinaire for you to pick up while you’re there, as well as our talented writers and photographers for such ‘egg-cellent‘ contributions. Linda Garson Ediitor-in-Chief email@example.com
Salutes… Wine List Awards Welcome to Calgary, Christopher Cho! One of Canada’s bar heavies, Cho is transforming CHARCUT’s drinks menu for several months, in advance of opening Chef Dale MacKay’s new restaurant in Saskatchewan later this year. “Since drinks matter to the CHARCUT experience, we set out to find a true-tops beverage professional to add to the team,” says co-owner John Jackson. “Christopher will add a lot to the scene, city and the humble bar at CHARCUT.” No stranger to working alongside leading chefs, Cho is known for matching excellent drinks with seasonal culinary fare, and is designing a fluid list to enhance and elevate the flavours from the award-winning kitchen.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival has announced this year’s trade competition winners. Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout B.C. and Alberta were recognized for creating wine lists that complement their menus and concepts. Calgary winners were:
Cilantro, Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro, Vin Room Mission
The Ranche Restaurant, Vin Room West
Buffalo Mountain Lodge (Banff ), Rush
Honourable Mention Bar C
6 • April 2013
..and Shout Outs Congratulations to President’s Choice® Celebrating 25 years of The Decadent® Chocolate Chip Cookie!
In 1987 the President’s Choice team set out on a mission to create the best homemade chocolate chip cookie. They baked dozens of batches, ran hundreds of hours of taste tests and endlessly tweaked the recipes until they settled on a cookie that had more than double the weight of chocolate chips than the leading cookie at the time – and so was born their #1 selling cookie. Look out for the limited edition tin reflecting the look of the very first bag – which hasn’t changed since 1988! $6.99 including cookies.
Breakfast at Mango Shiva Yes, award-winning kitchen and bar, Mango Shiva, are now serving breakfasts and brunches! Indian-inspired breakfast is offered every weekday morning from 8:00am, and brunch from 11:00am Saturday and Sundays. Try favourites such as Butter Chicken Belgian Waffles and Lamb Kofta Baked Eggs, or one of the other flavourful choices, all washed down with delicious chai, of course.
Hola! Posh Mexican Cuisine Forget everything you thought you knew about Mexican food. Partners Sergio Ledesma Jnr and Snr, Omar Campos and Executive Chef Erik Yeverino have elevated their art to fine Mexican gastronomy in their new restaurant, Xocolat on 11th Avenue SW. I might run out of superlatives to describe the dishes we tried: Raviol to start, a simple but delicious assembly of shrimp, lime, avocado and puya aioli; Caracol, a pure comfort food plate of escargot atop a bed of mashed potato with chorizo, cilantro and chilli oil. The Tortilla Soup was a masterpiece, with a tomato and guajillo pepper broth, avocado, queso fresco and strips of crispy tortilla, while the Barbacoa - lamb cooked in banana leaf and baked in clay for 24 hours, just melted in our mouths. Top marks for the beautiful surroundings and ambience, stunning presentation and outstanding flavours, with a boutique wine list to boot. You’ll be hearing a lot more of Xocolat from us in future issues. culinairemagazine.ca
By David Nuttall
2013 California Wine Fair April 10, 2013, 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Hotel Arts, 119 12th Avenue S.W. Tickets: $65 California Wine Fair graces Calgary every April for an evening of fine wine and great food, in support of Calgary Opera. Guests will enjoy a tour of all the major wine-growing regions of the Golden State in one evening, while enjoying delicious hors d’ouevres and a silent auction. Auction items include a variety of private cellar and hard-to-find wines,
personal wine tastings, and unique lifestyle items. California Wine Fair gives fledgling wine connoisseurs a chance to sample a huge variety of wines and hone their sampling skills with some of the best vintages in the world. The wines will be a mix of old favourites and new ones not yet available in Canada. The Fair also gives consumers a chance to speak directly to the vintners. There will be hundreds of outstanding wines from over 90 California wineries to sample California sunshine in a glass!
Friday, april 19, 2013
20th Annual Lawson Lundell Celebrity Hors d’Oeuvres April 19, 2013 7:00 p.m. Southern Jubilee Auditorium Lobby, 1415 14 Avenue N.W., Calgary. Tickets: $75 After 19 years, Alberta Theatre Projects has reinvented Lawson Lundell Celebrity Hors D’Oeuvres as a complete night of live entertainment, unparalleled delicacies, and Hollywood glamour. Experience the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Calgary’s Famous Food Frenzy, where they will be rolling out the red carpet and popping some bubbles - the party will be bigger than ever! The evening consists of Calgary’s top restaurants and most recognizable faces competing in a fun race to conquer your palate. Restaurants are paired with artists, athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs and media personalities, who will use their shrewdest tactics and most devious schemes to sell you the tastiest of appetizers! Featuring live performances by The Joe Slabe Ensemble and
8 • April 2013
other special guests, the lights will sparkle and the plates will sizzle in this all-out battle for your taste buds. All proceeds support Alberta Theatre Projects so they can continue to create and produce superb contemporary theatre from Canada and beyond. http://www.atplive.com/Events/ LawsonLundell.html
Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair, April 13-14, 2013 Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Cypress Centre Auditorium Medicine Hat’s inaugural Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair includes both a culinary competition and a “farmer’s market style” food fair. The culinary competition is open to both amateur and professional chefs. Competitors are provided with an induction burner, basic pantry items and a mystery basket of three items. Competitors can win trophies, cash prizes, bragging rights and recognition by the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance. The complimentary Food Fair provides continual activity for attendees. There will be growers, distributors and restaurants all showcasing their specialties and offering food and beverage samples. http://www.sunshineskillet.com
Real Food Served for Breakfast & Lunch and now... Dinner too!
Wednesday Nights 1 Appetizer 2 Burgers 2 Glasses of Wine 1 Dessert
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CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
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By Karen Miller
Bacon, A Love Story Heather Lauer William Morrow 2010 $15.99 The world is obsessed with bacon. Popular bacon blogger, (yes there is such a thing), Ms. Lauer has combined a passion for the subject matter with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Repeatedly telling us bacon is “The Best Meat Ever”, she starts with the origin of bacon, something I am sure none of us think of while having our strips with breakfast, and its relationship with dates in history. The love story follows a path explaining the curing process and introduces us to some of the producers in the part of the United States best known for bacon, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. Apparently, just like wine country you can travel through these parts and sample yourself into hog heaven.
A Better Barista By Vincci Tsui, RD
There are even bacon remedies for medical conditions and many recipes for “The Best Meat Ever”; bacon wrapped, enhanced by bacon, breakfast, dessert and main course. You may not want to try the recipe for “Candied Bacon Ice Cream” but should try “Todd Gray’s BBQ Sauce”. Bacon has been taken to new heights by so many of our local farmers and chefs alike, and there is no denying we are a bacon loving province. So it seems fitting to know more about it, and this book satisfies that craving. This compelling love story will go on.
The Fresh Egg Cookbook Jennifer Trainer Thompson Storey Publishing. $17.95 Ever thought about raising your own chickens? Well this author did and asserts it is easier than you think. She goes through the thought process and lays out the minimal requirements. When asked how much work it is, she claims the daily chores are easily handled by the kids on the way to school and then the eggs are collected in the evening before bed. Sounds too easy. Her family had space for the chickens to roam and scratch and the chickens were considered part of the family. Thompson concludes that intellectually, it makes sense, providing her family with a connection to the food they eat. Even if you may not want to go so far as to raise your own chickens, all the information about eggs is outstanding. Most interesting is the way she has approached the recipes. The book gives detailed cooking instructions for the very basic of egg concoctions. But the Thompson family went further and approached the classic egg recipes with a view to perfecting them. Lots of great family stories introduce the recipes and make you feel connected. There are lots of great egg-based recipes in this book, boiled, baked, in soups and pastas, pickled and stuffed, all well-chosen and straightforward. I did not try all of the recipes, but I wanted to. Simply put, it does not get much better than an egg.
10 • April 2013
Local barista Jeremy Ho, of Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, will be representing Canada at the World Barista Championships in Melbourne next month. Ho won the coveted spot after beating out some of the country’s best baristas last fall. Competitors serve three drinks – an espresso, cappuccino and a signature drink – all within fifteen minutes. Judges score the baristas based on the taste, flavour and balance of the drinks, as well as the competitors’ coffee-making technique. While serving the coffees, each barista gives a small presentation that links the drinks together; their signature drink should reflect the overall concept. Since his nationals win, Ho has continued refining his technique in grinding, brewing and serving his drinks. In February, he travelled with P & S co-owner Phil Robertson to Ethiopia, to source green coffee beans for use in the competition. Ho had
also used an Ethiopian coffee at the Canadian championships. “There was a lot of talk on potentially sourcing coffee from elsewhere,” Ho says. “But we decided that Ethiopia would be the one that we would go with. The coffees I love the most are from Ethiopia; they have always blown my mind throughout my time working with coffee.” Ho has been collaborating with members of the coffee community across the country in developing his new signature drink, and has also reached out to Teatro Executive Chef John Michael McNeil, for some culinary perspective. “I think there’s a lot of cool collaboration that can happen even within Calgary,” Ho says. “In the past, we experimented with some molecular [gastronomy] on our drinks, but I think it’d be cool to get some opinions from someone who has more experience in that field.”
AskBring Culinaire: Your Egg Game! Janine EvaExecutive Trotta asked Adrian and Carie Lee of Springbank We asked Chef JP Pedhirney, of Watters Muse Restaurant, forCheese his Company for their help and advice to create the perfect cheese board. advice on cooking perfect eggs.
When cooking with eggs, what kind of eggs and techniques can I use to give me the best results? As a Chef, I look at what part the egg plays in the everyday cooking of my kitchen. An egg to me is a binder in sauces and vinaigrettes, a thickener, a leavening agent, a tenderizer for cakes, a flavour enhancer, a foam or a glaze on finished products, and most importantly, it is a source of energy. Handle your eggs with care! I know that is an obvious statement, but I don’t mean just from the store to your fridge. It continues on to when you cook them as well. Eggs coagulate, meaning they turn from a liquid to a solid form at a very low temperature. This coagulation at low temperatures, over slow periods of time, gives us a creamy texture that you would most likely identify in a dish such as crème brulée. Cooking eggs at high temperatures will give you scrambled eggs, which isn’t bad if you’re making breakfast, but it won’t improve your egg game in other recipes (get it, egg game). Mastering poaching or frying an egg at low temperatures does take practice, but the payoff is amazing. Putting these perfectly cooked gems on top of rice, risotto, pasta, or a ham sandwich can turn a simple meal into a texture filled, flavourful dish.
The freshest eggs are BEST for fried eggs. Again, I know this sounds like an obvious point, but for the sexiest, most beautiful sunny side up eggs, the freshest will make it easier for you. As an egg ages, the proteins in the egg white begin to loosen. When you crack that single egg into your Teflon pan, you want an egg white that is nice and tight to its yolk. Otherwise, an older egg white will overdisperse in the pan and overcook, while the egg yolk remains raw. Remember, low heat! Think outside the box and try using different kinds of eggs. The most commonly used egg is the hen egg, which can be found at every grocery store. In my opinion, duck eggs are the best of the best. If you substitute duck eggs instead of hen eggs in a recipe, like a cake or a custard, the quality of the dish is enhanced, creating a consistent and creamier product. Duck eggs are larger in size and will add a richer flavour to your dish. Quail eggs are much smaller than duck and hen eggs, and are most commonly found in Asian supermarkets. Consider quail eggs for your next dinner party, as they are great for small, bite-sized appetizers.
Potato Risotto with Ham and a Poached Egg Serves 1 15 mL (1 Tbs) Unsalted butter 15 mL (1 Tbs) Olive oil 1 ½ cups Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced 250 mL (1 cup) Stock (vegetable or chicken) 30 mL (2 Tbs) White wine ½ cup Green peas ¼ cup Grated parmesan cheese 1 Egg 2 slices Serrano Ham 1. Melt the olive oil and the butter in a saucepan at mediumhigh heat. 2. Once the butter has melted, add the diced potatoes and a pinch of salt. 3. Sauté for one minute. 4. Add the white wine. Cook for 1 minute on medium-high heat. 5. Add half the stock. Stir until the potato has absorbed the stock. 6. Add the remaining stock, green peas and Parmesan cheese. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not overcooked.
If you have a question regarding anything related to dining, beverages, events, cooking and ingredients, our experts are here with answers. Visit us at culinairemagazine.ca, click on “Contact Us” and ask away! We hope to hear from you soon!
7. Bring a small pot of water to a light simmer. Stir vigorously to create a whirlpool effect. Crack the egg into the pot of water. Cook the egg for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of your risotto. Finish with the Serrano ham. culinairemagazine.ca
The Fabergé Egg By Jocelyn Burgener
In 1885, Tsar Alexander of Russia had an idea for a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna. In keeping with the practice of exchanging Easter eggs, the Tsar commissioned Peter Carl Fabergé to create a small bejewelled miniature egg to be worn around the neck. With the creation of the first Imperial Egg, the House of Fabergé began a tradition that captured the imperial love story, withstood the brutal Russian revolution, set an artistic standard through exquisite craftsmanship, and endured as an iconic symbol of opulence for over 125 years. Crafted in gold, the first Imperial Egg was the Hen Egg. The shell, an opaque enamel, exposed a yolk of gold upon opening, which in turn opened to feature a multicoloured gold hen. There was a surprise inside the miniature hen, as it opened to reveal a replica of the imperial crown. The Tsarina enjoyed the egg so much that Tsar Alexander appointed Fabergé a “goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial crown,” and commissioned another egg for the following year. Fabergé’s designs became more extravagant and not even the Tsar knew what form they would take. The only requirement was that each one should contain a surprise. The surprise in the 1890 Danish Palace Egg was a folding 10-panel screen, depicting the palaces and residences of the Empress. The 1900 Trans-Siberian Railway Egg featured the route map engraved in silver across the face, with major stations marked by a precious stone, forming a belt around the egg. The surprise was a miniature clockwork replica of a steam locomotive made of gold and platinum. Run by the turn of a gold key, the train had five carriages with rock crystal windows, labeled “mail,” “ladies only,” “smoking,” “non-smoking” and “chapel.” The House of Fabergé was recognized internationally for its commissions to the Imperial Court of Russia. Around the turn of the century, over 700 craftsmen and sales staff were employed throughout Russia and in London. However, following the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks seized the company’s assets, production was terminated, and Peter Carl Fabergé and his family fled from Russia. In 1927 several of the Imperial eggs were sold by the Soviet government to secure foreign currency. The eggs were kept on display at the Kremlin Armory Museum, though many remained in private collections. Decades later, the Fabergé family lost the marketing rights to its name, but the iconic Easter egg collection, with its links to the tragic and romantic Russian royal family, enjoyed new opportunities in the global economy, and in 2007 the family reconciled under new ownership. In 2011, Pallinghurst Investment Resources Ltd. announced the unveiling of Fabergé’s first couture egg pendants since 1917. On view in Geneva during the summer of 2011, the collection was named “Les Fameux de Fabergé.” The first in a series of twelve one-off high jewellery egg pendants was launched during Paris 2011 couture week. Retailing at $600,000 US, the announcement introduced the Diaghilev Egg, “an egg comprising diamond circles shimmering with rubies, with a secret drawer containing a surprise,” and the Diamond Egg, “a high‐tech titanium egg entirely invisibly‐set with white diamonds in which the diamonds outweigh the titanium frame, a feat never before achieved.” Quelle surprise!
12 • April 2013
Breakfast On The Go:
Mighty Skillet By Dan Clapson
Our city has got a lot of options when it comes to food trucks. From pizzas to sandwiches to pho, there is definitely something for every hungry lunch-er these days. Having said that, what’s a person to do if they’re craving a quick breakfast or brunch while they’re strolling down the street? Well, before other trucks are up and running, Mighty Skillet comes to rescue! Calgary’s first brunch truck, black and splattered with superhero images, started rolling in November 2011, making them the city’s 11th official mobile eatery. Their premiere timing was a ballsy move, considering the fact that it was the beginning of winter and they were brand new on the scene, no doubt with some kinks to work out service-wise. Nonetheless, Mighty Skillet survived their first winter with ease - and help, I assume, from the lovely chinooks we Calgarians love so much.
“Calgary has always had a strong breakfast following,” explains owner Billy Macdonald on why he went with this particular concept with Mighty Skillet, “Breakfast places - the good ones and the bad ones - are always lined up out the door in this city. Calgarians love their Eggs Benny, and no one was doing it yet when we hit the road.”
in this city for truck owners.” he says, “Whenever a few trucks get together, it feels like a party- and we like to party!”
Over the past year and a half, dishes like Billy’s “Fist Fulla Benny” - a sandwich version of a benny with sautéed spinach and back bacon - made for on-the-go consumption, and the “Renegade Round Up” - a sweet-meetssavoury combination of sausage, bacon, eggs and onions wrapped up in a pancake cone and topped with maple syrup - have fuelled many a hungry patron in the early hours of the day. Compared to other trucks around town, Skillet gives you a good bang for your buck, leaving you happily full for $10 or less.
“We have pretty much kept the same menu since we have opened, with the additions of the Bangover Burger, Golden Age Poutine, and Hulk Bacon steaks.” says Macdonald, “Soon I am hoping to have more of a regularly changing menu with monthly or weekly specials.”
With food truck fans aplenty in Calgary, you’ll likely see Skillet participating in most of the truck events and collaborations throughout the peak season. “There is a great community
Send Skillet a friendly tweet @mightyskillet, or check the guys out on Facebook facebook. com/mightyskillet
While they still remain unmatched in the brunch category, Macdonald is looking to keep things fresh and revamp the truck’s menu by the time this summer rolls around.
Mighty Skillet, alongside The Naaco Truck and Braizen, will be featured in the new season of Eat St. premiering later this spring on Food Network Canada.
A Canadian Institution 53 Years And 93 Locations By Fred Malley, CCC
14 â€˘ April 2013
Smitty’s is synonymous with breakfast and pancakes in Calgary. Four generations of Calgarians can show up for breakfast at Smitty’s; great grandpa was there at the beginning and he is bringing his greatgrandchildren. From humble beginnings in 1960, when Walter Chan opened the first one, it has grown into the largest family restaurant chain in Canada. With 93 locations, it is the only one that is truly coast to coast. They offer much more than breakfast, with a lunch and dinner menu, plus a smaller appetites section; all available anytime of the day. From the opening days when the streets in Calgary were rolled up at 10.00 pm, most locations now sport a lounge. The menu is large by any standard, with ten full colour pages featuring photos of some of the more than 120 offerings. It is one of the few
places still offering liver and onions. Whether it’s a skillet, eggs Benedict, chicken Caesar or steak and shrimp, or a sandwich, they have it all. They make a mean waffle too. Smitty’s is competitively priced and the Seniors Club garners a 15% discount on food. Walter is in his 80s and still shows up at the office six days a week. The business is still in the family, with grandson, Chris, at the helm of the real estate investment arm. Chris started as a 12 year old kitchen helper and worked his way through the operation, including stints as cook, dishwasher, busboy, server, manager and shipper receiver. He commented, ”I guess you could say that the hospitality industry is in my blood.” His father owned a restaurant in Vancouver. Chris said. “I love the energy of Calgary; I would find it hard to go back to
Eggs and Omelettes Served with three classic pancakes, or your choice of the following: muffin or toasted bagel or toast and hash browns.
Mushroom, Bacon & Cheese Omelette
Vancouver.” His family is still young, and their favourite outing, guess where, is to Smitty’s buffet for breakfast. Steven Fee is Vice President of Smitty’s Canada; although the lobby plate says Smitty’s Hawaii...I hear Walter loves it there. With over 30 year’s hospitality industry experience, he has been with Smitty’s since 2002, also coming from Vancouver. His wife runs the horse farm and keeps him on a healthy diet of seafood and salads. The pancakes are his favourite item on the menu. The prime people responsible for the food in the restaurants are Michael Dunlop, Operations Manager, and Diane Ross, Operations Assistant. They put their heads together to evolve the menu to keep abreast with some of the trends in the market. A lot of time is spent working with franchisees testing new ideas, while staying true to the restaurant objectives. A new menu item goes through a process of extensive testing before the franchisee menu committee adopts it across the country. When you call Scott Amberson, Director of Franchising and Design, to operate a franchise, it is Michael and Diane who roll up their sleeves, don a chef’s jacket and nurture your business to make it successful.
Three egg omelette with two strips of bacon, mushrooms and cheddar cheese.
Smoked Country Ham & Cheese Omelette 879 Three egg omelette with country smoked ham and cheddar cheese.
when you talk with them. The most telling comment came from Steven when I asked what the most rewarding aspect of working for Smitty’s is. His response, “Smitty’s is a Canadian institution from coast to coast, with an amazing guest following and terrific group of entrepreneurial franchise owners. Round out your Breakfast I take great pride in working with the individual operators on building their business and satisfying their guests with great Smitty’s has been in the branded retail tasting food, fun promotions and business a long time. You can purchase the efficient operations.” buttermilk pancake mix in Safeway stores. The mix is pre-portioned and you use the package You can really appreciate that the company to measure the water. They branded their cares about its operators. I have had the coffee in home-size packets you can purchase pleasure of working with the team on at the restaurant. They even have their own occasion and get into the back of the house. syrup blend. Diane must do a great job, because the areas are clean and organized. I asked Steven to comment on emerging trends that they will need to address going Is there an opportunity for you to run your forward. “The first is the desire for healthy own business? According to Chris and Scott, options, we expanded the fresh fruit and “We see a great opportunity to expand into salad options and continually evaluate our communities across Canada that we are not recipes both for taste and health. The second currently represented in, and frankly, even in is gluten sensitivity, which we have just some that we are. The most important part started to address with an option that allows to expanding is finding the right partners/ operators to prepare a number of dishes that franchisees. This will ensure that we all satisfy the guests’ request. The third is the succeed”. need for speed.“ Now it’s time to order pancakes! Both Chris and Steven exude genuine warmth Benedict Omelette
Three Cheese Omelette
Three egg omelette with broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and tomato, topped with cheddar cheese.
Bacon & Eggs
949 Smoked country ham, cheddar cheese, tomato, onion and green pepper in a three egg omelette and topped with two bacon strips.
Breakfast Sausage & Eggs
Back bacon and cheddar cheese in a three egg omelette topped with Hollandaise sauce.
Three egg omelette topped with our special blend of Swiss, cheddar and partly skimmed mozzarella cheese.
879 Country smoked ham, chopped onion and green pepper in a three egg omelette, topped with cheddar cheese.
Denver Cheese Omelette
One egg any style, two strips of bacon or two breakfast sausages. (Served with two pancakes or toast and hash browns.) Four slices of bacon and two eggs.
Four links of breakfast sausage and two eggs.
Denver Cheese Omelette
Bacon & Eggs
Canadian Back Bacon & Eggs Smoked Country Ham & Eggs
579 Served with three classic pancakes, or your choice of the following: a muffin or toasted bagel or toast and hash browns. Two Eggs - Any Style
Select any of the following choices
Thick Sliced Toast & Jam Toasted Bagel with Cream Cheese Muffin (choice of assorted varieties) Toasted English Muffin Canadian Back Bacon (4 slices) Bacon (4 strips) Breakfast Sausages (4 links) Smoked Country Ham Healthy choices foods
199 239 229 199 299 289 289 289
Corned Beef Hash Grade “A” Egg Fruit Cup Sliced Banana Side Order of
100% cholesterol free.
Golden Hash Browns Hot Oatmeal Cereal Breakfast Cereals
Specialties of the house Signature Selection
319 129 349 179 299 289 329 259
Hot & Spicy
Frittata photograph by Jim Madden
Chefsâ€™ Tips (and Tricks!) By Christine G. Louie
Calgary has no shortage of beloved breakfast and brunch hotspots. However, for the average cook, replicating their favourite dish at home can be tricky. We asked local chefs for their tips and techniques to cook finicky egg-based dishes such as quiche, frittata and eggs benedict. 16 â€˘ April 2013
Jarod Traxel, Executive Chef Blue Star Diner and Dairy Lane Café Prior to being executive chef at these two popular neighbourhood hotspots, Traxel worked at the Calgary Golf and Country Club, as well as restaurants in Vancouver. He loves his chosen profession, is passionate about food and enjoys the experiences associated with dining. Both independently owned cafés focus on serving high quality food, and whenever possible, use locally produced and organic ingredients. It is core to their businesses that they know where the food comes from, and thus they work with local farmers and suppliers to bring in only the best ingredients.
Chef’s Tips: “When making frittata, whisk the yolk and egg whites together. It helps to incorporate air into the eggs, which result in a fluffier frittata. - I use a heatproof rubber spatula to distribute the eggs throughout the pan which ensures that they are level for equal cooking and prevents the bottom of the frittata from burning or browning prior to setting it in the oven. - When the eggs start to firm up in the pan (25% partially cooked to 75% still liquid), briefly remove the pan from the heat to add in the ingredients. The eggs should be soft enough for the ingredients to sink partially into the frittata. - It is important to understand that eggs continue to cook once they are removed from a heat
source. If the eggs look like they are 100% cooked in the pan, they will likely be dry by the time they are eaten. - Don’t add anything too acidic, such as tomatoes, too early on in the cooking process as they will overcook and become mushy. - When baking the frittata, watch for the centre to puff up the same level as the edges. If you aren’t sure the middle is cooked, stick a knife in the middle. The knife should come out clean but not dry. The top of the frittata should be a uniform light brown.”
Smoked Salmon & Chèvre Frittata Serves 3
3 eggs, (beaten in a bowl with 22 mL (1.5 Tbs) of 2% or homo milk) 85 g cold smoked salmon (sliced into bite sized pieces) 15 mL (1 Tbs) minced shallot 1/4 cup tomato, diced small (concasse) 10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil or clarified butter 45 g goat cheese, dime-sized chunks 15 mL (1 Tbs) Fresh Chives, finely chopped To taste salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350º F.
4. Reduce heat to medium.
1. On the stove, heat an ovensafe pan to medium high heat (a small Teflon pan works but be careful you don’t overheat the pan when it’s empty. You can use a well-seasoned small cast iron pan if you are feeling lucky).
5. When the eggs on the edge of the pan appear firm and opaque, place pan into pre-heated oven on centre rack. Cook for 8-15 minutes.
2. Add oil, swirl it around the pan and sauté the shallots until just translucent. 3. Add eggs and stir with rubber spatula to distribute the shallots throughout the pan, similar to making scrambled eggs, but keeping the eggs level in the pan.
6. Remove from oven, pop out onto a serving plate or board. Cut into pieces if you wish to share. Garnish with chives, season with a pinch of your favourite salt and fresh ground pepper.
Dominque Moussu, Executive Chef and Partner, Cassis Bistro Originally from Brittany, France, Chef Moussu moved to Canada seven years ago. He visited and lived in several cities before settling in Calgary. For years, he wanted to open a French bistro and provide Calgarians with affordable, authentic French cuisine in non-pretentious surroundings. Lucky for locals, his dream was realized when he partnered with owner and operator of Cassis Bistro, Gilles Brassart. Moussu was born and raised in his parents’ restaurant in France. He still has a picture of himself when he was 3 years old in the kitchen of his parents’ restaurant, cutting meat. “I was born a chef and I will die a chef. Cooking is my life. This is something I love to do.”
Chef’s Tips: “When using puff pastry, bake the dough prior to adding the custard filling to ensure the crust stays crunchy. Then proceed to bake the quiche on low for 30-40 minutes, because a low baking temperature is preferred when cooking with ingredients such as cream, cheese and eggs. - When using pastry dough, place the mould into the fridge for half an hour or until the crust is cold. Then add the liquid ingredients in the cold crust and bake the quiche in the oven at 400º F. The higher temperature helps to set the crust so it won’t leak.”
Chef Hans S. Puccinelli, Owner Inti Peruvian Cuisine Chef Hans S. Puccinelli was born in Lima, Peru. He decided against following his family footsteps into the law profession, and instead, chose a career about which he was passionate. At the age of eighteen, he moved to Florida and worked in a series of Japanese and Chinese restaurants. When he moved to Calgary, he studied culinary arts at SAIT Polytechnic, and worked in the kitchen at the Elbow River Casino Hotel. After graduating from SAIT, he worked as a chef for the University of Calgary, Marriott Hotels, Executive Hotels and Coast Hotels before finally opening his own restaurant, Inti Peruvian Cuisine. Puccinelli puts a Peruvian twist on the traditional eggs benny. Instead of ham, he places chicharron (crispy fried pork belly) underneath the poached egg. A healthier and more flavourful substitute to hollandaise sauce, Puccinelli tops the poached egg with salsa criolla made with aji Amarillo, a Peruvian chili pepper. However, no matter how you top your eggs benny, for Puccinelli “the most important thing is to nail down that perfect poached egg”.
Chef’s Tips: “Use a deep pot to poach the egg, as distance between the yolk and the bottom of the pot will prevent breakage and leave a nice shape. - Add vinegar to the water, which will help to coagulate the egg and prevents the yolk and egg white from separating. - Once the water boils, crack the eggs into the water and then turn down the heat. The water should simmer rather than boil, as boiling water tears the egg apart. - When the eggs are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and place 18 • April 2013
them on a paper towel to remove any excess water and traces of vinegar. For easy transportation, use a paper towel to nudge the egg onto a soupspoon for final transportation to the plate. - If you are serving a large group, prepoach the eggs and place them in ice water to stop the cooking. When it is time to serve the eggs, place them in hot water until the eggs are warm.”
Christopher Dewling, Head Chef Blink Restaurant Prior to becoming a chef, Christopher Dewling was a philosophy major at the University of Calgary. However, while in school, he decided that he wanted to do something more hands on and began to work in restaurant kitchens. Ten years later, Dewling worked his way up to become head chef at Blink Restaurant. He is a big believer in using only seasonal, local ingredients, “At Blink, we get all of our ingredients, such as our cheeses, meats and produce, from about twenty local farms in Alberta.” Dewling gave us three foolproof tips for making a quintessential quiche.
Chef’s Tips: “A flaky crust is key to the taste and texture of a quiche. Two common mistakes include overworking the dough and rolling it too thin. - Whip air into the royal (custard), which helps to keep the quiche light and fluffy. - When filling the pastry shell, err on under filling rather than overfilling the pastry shell, because the royale soufflés while it bakes. If the level of
royale appears low, it is much easier to add more to the quiche when it is about a third baked, as the outside edges are partially set, which will make the quiche nice and full.”
Wild Mushroom Quiche Serves 4
Pastry: 4 cups all purpose flour 10 mL (2 tsp) kosher salt 450 g (1 lb) butter, chilled 120 mL (1/2 cup) ice cold water
1. Sift flour and place in a food processor with the salt. 2. Dice the butter into 5 mm pieces and chill until very cold, then add to the flour and pulse chop until the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Turn out onto a clean surface.
3. Make a well in the centre and add ice cold water. Gradually draw the flour and water together, being careful not to overwork the mixture. 4. Divide into three pieces and wrap with cling film. Let the dough rest for at least an hour. When rolling out pastry, make sure not to roll out too thin.
Royal (Custard): 1 L (4 cups) homo milk 1 L (4 cups) heavy cream 12 eggs 30 mL (2 Tbs) kosher salt 2 scrapings fresh nutmeg
For the quiche: 900 g (2 lb) mixed wild mushrooms 45 mL (3 Tbs) minced shallots To taste salt and pepper Butter 3/4 cup cave-aged gruyere
Whisk all ingredients together, check seasoning and pass through a sieve.
1. Blind bake the quiche shell for 20 minutes at 400º F. Remove the blind baking weight and bake for another 5 minutes. Brush with egg wash. 2. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms and shallots in butter add salt and pepper, let rest at room temperature on paper towels.
3. Add the cheese to the baked quiche shell, then the mushrooms, and then add the royal. 4. Turn oven down to 375º F and bake for 20 minutes. At this point add more royal to fill the quiche up as much as possible and bake for another 20-30 minutes until quiche is set. The royal moves as one piece when jiggled. culinairemagazine.ca
Which Came First? Egg Farmers of Alberta
By Corinne Keddie Photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
The age-old question has always been: which came first, the chicken or the egg. “We are neutral on this question,” jokes David Webb, Marketing and Communication Manager for the Egg Farmers of Alberta, but then adds, “of course we market eggs, so I guess it must be that.” As the voice of egg producers, and the regional arm of the national Egg Farmers of Canada, David and his team are responsible for getting the word out about eggs. And visit their office and you will see egg-themed décor throughout the space. 20 • April 2013
There are several seemingly obvious questions that are frequently asked, so let’s just answer them now. The colour of the eggshell relates to the breed of the hen; typically brown hen equals brown eggs; white hen equals white eggs. There is no nutritional difference between them. The colour of the yolk is a result of the hen’s diet: lighter yolks equal wheat and grain; darker yolks equal more corn. When one hears farm fresh, eggs definitely fit the bill. After the hens lay the eggs, they are sent to the grading facilities, where the eggs are cleaned, graded, sized by weight, sorted and packaged. They are ready for consumer purchase within 3 to 7 days after being laid. However, buyers beware: according to the Eggs…So Many Choices brochure it should be noted that “eggs sold at farms and farmers’ markets may not have been graded for freshness and quality.” The use of hormones and antibiotics has been entirely banned in the industry. As well, there are strict regulations for the member farms with regard to the supply and classification of specialty eggs. These include ‘free run’, in which the hens are not in cages, but remain in the barn; ‘free range’, in which there is a minimum percentage of time that the hens must be able to spend outdoors; ‘organic’, in which the hens’ feed has been certified as organic; and ‘vitamin enhanced’, which is achieved through a nutritionallyenhanced diet. The Egg Farmers of Alberta tracks the trends in sales and even though there was over 25 percent increase from 2011 to 2012,
these specialty categories only account for approximately five percent of total egg sales. Another ten percent of sales are Omega-3 enhanced eggs, in which the hens are fed ten to twenty percent flaxseed, and contain ten times the amount of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as regular eggs. This is important for lowering blood triglyceride levels and has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. The remaining 85 percent of sales are classic white and brown eggs. Over 150 farmers are members of the Egg Farmers of Alberta. All farms with over 300 chickens must be a member. Most of the farms are multigenerational and familyowned, and have many of the smallest flock sizes in Canada. However, due to outdated national quota allocations, there is a percentage of eggs on our market that come from outside of Alberta, especially extra-large or jumbo-sized eggs. If you want to stick to local product, most large-sized eggs are from within the province. The organization itself is 40 years old and first started in supply management. They still deal with important issues such as on-farm food safety and animal treatment and welfare, and there are full-time field inspectors who visit all member farms monthly to check on these concerns. Housing of the chickens is a topic that generates debate amongst the public. While there are some free run and free range farms, most housing systems involve a cage, either the smaller conventional cage or the larger, enriched cage which allow for the hens to fully flap their wings and can have
additional features such as perches, nest boxes, dust baths and scratching pads. The benefit of this system is that the hens are separated from their waste, thereby keeping the eggs clean and safe from disease. The use of conventional cages has decreased almost 15 percent in the past six years, and no new conventional cage purchases will soon come into effect. An important component of the Egg Farmers of Alberta is education, from a presence at consumer, agricultural, and health and wellness events, to literature, presentations, curriculum and food programs in the classroom. I still remember the “Get Cracking” commercials from when I was growing up and their newest campaigns include commercials that focus on the farmers, as well as “Eggs for Energy”, which talk about the nutritional aspects of eggs. For many years, eggs had a bad rap. It was thought that high blood cholesterol was linked to foods that naturally contain cholesterol, such as egg yolks. However, new studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels. See ‘Are Eggs All That They’re Cracked Up To Be?’, our egg nutrition article on page 26, and ‘An Egg A Day is OK’ website, www. aneggadayisok.ca for more important information on this topic. Egg Farmers of Alberta are at www.eggs.ab.ca where you will find recipes, competitions, egg timer apps for your phone, and lots of fun and fascinating egg reading.
OEB: Elevating The Humble Egg By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
22 â€˘ April 2013
Photography by Julia Murray
Mauro Martina is particular about his eggs. Seeing as he cracks about 2,700 of them a week (or about 170,000 per year), Martina knows the difference between an average egg and a truly spectacular egg that is worthy of the meals he serves at his always-busy brunch restaurant, OEB. When patrons order a blue plate special, omelette, benny, or any other dish at OEB, Martina always starts with the high-quality free run, dark yolk, Omega 3 eggs produced especially for the restaurant. “People always ask what makes us different, and I always say we’re going to start by creating what I think is the most important element of breakfast, which is the egg,” Martina says. “It took me over a year to really find the farms who are willing to go the extra mile for us.” While high-quality eggs are absolutely essential to what Martina does, the OEB experience is about much more than the choice between over-easy and sunny-side-up. Martina, who grew up in Europe and has trained and worked as a chef in cities all over the world, wanted to create a chef-driven restaurant that takes traditional breakfast dishes to the next level. After years of working grueling hours in restaurants that specialize in dinner service, Martina developed the OEB concept as a way to flex his culinary muscle while still being able to spend evenings with his young family. Since OEB is open daily from 7 am until just 3 pm, Martina is able to make his way home to be with his family by the late afternoon or early evening. Just because Martina is creating dishes centred around the basics of eggs, potatoes, and breakfast meat, doesn’t mean that he’s getting lazy with his culinary skills. OEB’s menu is filled with a staggering array of creative selections all made with fresh and, whenever possible, locally sourced ingredients. Menu highlights include a Duck ‘n’ Eggs Blue Plate Special; a French Toast Trifle with Meyer lemon curd, seasonal fresh berries, pistachios and torched Swiss meringue; a Canadian lobster and shrimp scramble crepe; and OEB’s signature Box’d breakfasts. The last item is Martina’s take on the breakfast poutine, with breakfast potatoes, brown butter hollandaise, Quebec cheese curds, poached eggs, and various add-ons like lox, black truffles, pulled chicken, crisp pork belly, bacon lardons, and foie gras. Martina is also
particularly proud of his breakfast potatoes, which are always cooked in duck fat to ensure maximum flavour. “The idea was always to be a chefdriven concept rather than hiring someone from the outside and letting them cook,” Martina says. “Breakfast is always just considered the greasy spoon — you just hire a line cook. I want to change the perception of what breakfast is.” Martina says that he’s committed to sourcing locally whenever possible and uses local butchers and bakers to produce unique meat products and baked goods that are only available in the restaurant. While you’ll often find seasonal locally sourced foods on your plate at OEB, Martina also isn’t afraid to go further afield to get the absolute best ingredients when necessary, but he does try to keep it Canadian when he can. “We source locally, however, certain things are not in our reach so we have to cross the pond sometimes or go into culinairemagazine.ca
different provinces,” Martina says. “Canada has so much to offer, the foie gras out of Quebec, the water buffalo out of Ontario, the sturgeon caviar out of BC. You have to reach out to those – you can’t just stay within Alberta. It’s not just about putting things on the plate and saying ‘Everything is local.’ I’m not going to tell you a story just to say that everything is local.” Martina’s commitment to quality extends to the design of the restaurant as well. OEB isn’t a big room — but even with only 36 seats and small waiting area at the door, he’s managed to make it feel cozy and chic rather than chaotic and crowded. With imported wallpaper and furniture and original high-end artwork on the walls, it was important for Martina to create a look that complements the food and makes patrons feel welcome. He’s particularly proud of the large table that runs through the middle of the restaurant, which is intended to act as a community-building measure. “I had a hard time figuring out what this concept was going to look like, but I knew at OEB I wanted a communal table,” Martina says. “Technology has taken over our lives, we’re constantly on the phone, there’s no conversation. So, I wanted that table because we are in a community and it is always nice to sit at it and if someone walks in I can invite him over to have breakfast with me. Some people love it, some people don’t but it’s going to stay there, we’re not going to change it.”
24 • April 2013
Naturally, all of this results in a fairly decent line snaking in front of OEB on weekends and a consistently bustling atmosphere in the restaurant. Martina sees about 1,400 customers sit in his 36 seats every week, 600 of those over the two days of the weekend. While he knows that some customers are bothered by having to queue, he says that line-ups are just part of the breakfast business and act as a sign that what lurks inside is well worth waiting for. “I’m fortunate enough to have travelled the world, I get to go to New York a lot,” Martina says. “And if I don’t find a place with a line up from here to the moon, I’m not going to go. I want to be in a place that’s humming and buzzing.” OEB can be found at 824 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, T2E 3J6 Tel: 403 278 EGGS (3447) www.eatoeb.com
The Egg Garden By Leonard Brown
Smoked salmon eggs benedict with fresh dill. Steak and eggs with heirloom grape tomatoes. Herbed cheddar mushroom quiche with roasted pepper reduction. Omelette and Yukon Gold hash browns.
For the home chef there’s a theme suggested here: the garden meets the egg. A true kitchen experience is enhanced by fresh seasonal garden accompaniments, especially if you’re able to grow the vegetables in your own yard. Now that winter is officially over, the sun is stronger, the days are getting longer and the frost is thawing. Spring is here. Seed packages and horticultural catalogues are available, so start planning and buying. Imagine all the possibilities. You can select varieties which you’ve grown before or maybe try growing new vegetables, such as heirloom tomatoes, Asian greens, purple carrots, candy cane beets, white squash, blue potatoes. I like to keep lists, so when they’re available in late winter and spring, I will know which seeds or plants to buy. Select a site to prepare indoor growing medium, light source, trays and heating to allow for early indoor seeding, should the varieties of herbs and vegetables need
early starts. If you have a heated insulated greenhouse or an insulated cold-frame, then that’s the perfect location for early beginnings. It’s exceptionally useful to plant and grow in boxes or pots outside the kitchen. You can then have those items close at hand and find that it’s easy to just quickly pick what you need. If you do not have a yard or deck, then you can grow herbs and leaf vegetables indoors. Keep a lookout for appropriate containers that appeal to you. You can even be imaginative in using and recycling tins or other containers. I also ensure that my BBQ equipment is serviced and cleaned, either professionally or at home, with the use of natural ingredients such as vinegar and lemon juice and lots of scrubbing. The cooled racks can be placed into any container that is big enough to hold them (like a laundry sink or bathtub) and pour in enough cola to cover. Let sit for an hour and wipe clean.
If there is no snow and the ground can be worked, then I start to prepare growing areas. It is helpful to place soil additives such as well-rotted compost and manure on top of the soil before digging, lifting, de-clumping and aerating the soil. The soil will be ready enriched for seeding. I mark out rows with a string and trench the soil on each side of the string, then mound the soil along the row lines removing the string before doing so. It may be still too early to plant seeds. It is best to wait till next month when the chance of overnight frost is decreasing. If you have seeded indoors or purchased vegetable or herb seedlings and plants, keep them inside until danger of frost has past. They can be placed in a well-insulated greenhouse or cold frame however, where they will gradually harden-off to environmental conditions. It is wise to clean well and soak garden tools in a 10% bleach solution, so that they are ready for the months ahead. So....Enjoy early spring because May gets really busy.
There’s a lot to love about eggs. Eggs are a versatile food – they can be fried, scrambled, boiled, poached, baked and pickled; whipped egg whites add fluffiness to soufflés, meringues and pavlovas, while egg yolks act as emulsifiers in mayo, aioli and other sauces. From a nutrition standpoint, eggs are an inexpensive source of easily digested protein. They are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and are also rich in vitamins A and E, folate, phosphorus and choline, a nutrient that plays a role in brain development and may help prevent heart disease. Of course, eggs do have their detractors. Many people avoid eggs – egg yolks especially – due to their high cholesterol content. Last summer, eggs made headlines
as a study stated that they were as bad for you as smoking in terms of health risk! So are eggs good or bad for us? At the end of the day, your personal nutrition priorities play a big factor; here are some facts to help you come up with an answer on your own.
Are eggs really as bad as smoking? Nutrition advice from the ‘70s to the early ‘90s recommended that people avoid eggs due to their high cholesterol. However, we now know that cholesterol in our diet has little to do with our cholesterol levels; foods that are high in saturated and trans fats have a much bigger impact. Now that eggs are considered “healthy” by many, it was shocking when a study last year concluded that egg yolks were just as bad as smoking when it comes to heart health. The researchers pointed toward eggs’ high cholesterol levels as the reason behind the increased risk for heart disease. What the researchers actually did was compare the amount of egg yolks and cigarettes that subjects consumed against
the plaque build-up in their arteries. In both cases, subjects who ate more egg yolks or smoked more cigarettes tended to have more plaque build-up, and the pattern of increase was similar, which is how the researchers came to their conclusion. It’s important to remember that correlation does not equal causation. Even though people who ate more egg yolks or smoked more cigarettes had more plaque build-up, it might not necessarily be the cause. The study authors admit that they failed to account for exercise, but they also didn’t consider many aspects of diet and lifestyle that can affect plaque build-up and heart health. Additionally, the subjects were all patients of a vascular clinic, meaning that they probably already had higher risk of heart disease or stroke. Most of the subjects were overweight and their average age was 61.5 years. In comparison, the average age of the population of Calgary is 35 years. It does not make sense to extrapolate the results of this study to our population.
Are Eggs All That They’re Cracked Up To Be? By Vincci Tsui, RD
26 • April 2013
So what is the deal with eggs and cholesterol? It’s true that egg yolks are high in cholesterol. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that most people eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, and a single large egg contains 195 mg of cholesterol. However, studies have consistently shown that for most people, eating up to one egg yolk per day (seven eggs per week) does not increase heart disease or stroke risk. If you have diabetes, high cholesterol or pre-existing heart disease, then you are at increased risk and it is recommended to limit egg yolk consumption to two per week, in addition to limiting saturated and trans fat intake. It’s okay to just avoid egg yolks altogether, but you will be missing out on the most nutritious part of the egg. Egg yolks contain all of the vitamins A, D, E, choline and lutein, and most of the folate and phosphorus found in an egg.
What about omega-3 eggs? Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning that we can only get them from our diet. They have been getting a lot of attention in the past few years as they have been linked to decreased inflammation, heart disease and cognitive decline. Omega-3 eggs are created by feeding laying hens flaxseed or fish oil. However, the amount of omega-3 in the eggs produced is actually very little, about 400 mg. Compare that to a 90 g (3 oz) serving of salmon, which has over 2,000 mg! Most of the omega-3 found in omega-3 eggs are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are mainly found in plants and do not have the same benefits as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega-3s found in fish. While some ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA in our bodies, it does so very inefficiently. The bottom line is, omega-3 eggs are not providing that much extra nutrition.
Are free-range or organic eggs better for me? As concerns grow around animal welfare, “free-range” or “cagefree” eggs are becoming more popular. Aside from some organic certification requirements, there are no legal definitions or reinforcement of those terms, so while we may imagine free-range hens roaming around a sunny, grassy farmyard, the reality may be that they are kept in a crowded barn with a ramp that goes outside. If you are worried about the well-being of the hens who lay your eggs, get to know local egg producers and ask questions about how they care for their hens. Nutritionally, free-range eggs are similar to factory-farmed eggs. If the hens are pasture-raised, their eggs may be slightly more nutritious if they have more variety in their diet.
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All organic products are regulated by standards set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In other words, organic eggs must meet certain standards in terms of what the hens are fed and how they are raised before they can be certified. Still, the current evidence shows that most organic foods are not significantly better than their conventional counterparts. However, if you are concerned about lowering your intake of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals, organics may be a better choice.
www.vineanddine.ca for more information or call Linda Garson: 403 870 9802 firstname.lastname@example.org culinairemagazine.ca
Brotherly Brew By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Fratello Coffee Roasters and Analog Café Raises the Bar for Calgary Coffee Culture
28 • April 2013
Chris and Russ Prefontaine were raised on coffee. Along with their older brother Jason, they grew up watching their father, Cam, build a successful coffee wholesale business, which he eventually sold to his three sons (who were then barely out of their teens) in 1997. The brothers remember cleaning out coffee brewers for their allowance and working for their dad on weekends and in summer, so roasting and selling coffee is literally the only job they have ever known. Which all means that when it comes to coffee, the Prefontaines really know what they’re doing. In 2007, after years of successfully growing their business, Custom Gourmet Coffee, they decided to shift from high-volume wholesale to high-quality specialty coffee and rebranded themselves as the Fratello Coffee Company. Since then, Fratello has been roasting some of the most sophisticated and delicious coffee served in Calgary’s finer coffee shops. What sets Fratello coffee apart from the ground stuff you’ll find at the grocery store, or the coffee brewed by less committed roasters and coffee shops, is the same thing that sets fine wine apart from cheaper mass-market blends. The Prefontaines travel to coffee-growing regions and seek out farmers who grow high-quality beans.
Climate and soil conditions make for different flavour profiles from area to area, with detectable differences occurring even on different plots of land on the same farm. This means that the flavour notes in each variety of Fratello coffee is markedly different, making the roaster a favourite for serious coffee lovers with sophisticated palates. “Roasters all around the world have the choice to go to origin, but it’s a big investment of time and money,” says Chris. “It’s just a lot of work to develop relationships throughout the world. But you might eventually meet a farmer who’s had coffee in his family for generations, sometimes well over 100 years, people who are as passionate about quality as we are here. Our job now is to find these people throughout the world who are in alignment with what we’re doing here.” This commitment to bringing the finest coffee to Calgary is what led Russ and Chris Prefontaine to create their crown jewel: the recently opened Analog Café, located on the corner of 17th Avenue and 7th Street SW, in the location formally occupied by the iconic Buy-Rite Grocery (there is also an Analog location at the Calgary Farmers’ Market). Analog is a beautiful and bustling space, constantly full of discerning patrons and a busy
team of skilled baristas working the espresso machines and hand-pouring drinks. The café doesn’t represent a step back from the Fratello roasting and wholesale business — rather it’s a way for the company to showcase the very best coffee that they have to offer. “The point of the café is to now have a relationship with the end user,” Russ says. “So we can have our own voice and show Calgary and tell the world what Fratello coffee is really about. We’ve been teaching clients for about 27 years and supporting cafes and trying to convince them of our idea of what a proper café can be. We wanted to start showcasing our best products ourselves. It’s a showroom.” The Prefontaines have been thinking about opening a café of their own for years, but felt that the timing is finally right for a high-end café with a focus on quality. With Calgary’s consistently growing restaurant scene and the appearance of similarly-minded roaster cafes like Phil and Sebastian in Marda Loop, the city is ready to embrace a big city-style coffee shop that caters to customers who want more than the average chain-café vanilla latte or machine-drip coffee with double cream and double sugar. “It’s very acceptable right now for roasters to have their own cafes,” Russ says. “We’re not competing with our wholesale customers. What we’re doing is elevating our brand, so that all the other cafes that partner with us also have an elevated brand. We’re not competing with them. The more cafes there are and the better those cafes are, it just pushes everyone to do a better job.” For the Prefontaines, everything they do is ultimately about quality — be it the operation of the café, their wholesale coffee, or the Slayer Espresso machines that are manufactured and sold through their sister company, helmed by their brother Jason. As lifelong Calgarians, Chris and Russ are both excited to bring that commitment to quality to Analog so that our city can get a taste for the high-end coffee culture and local engagement that we often envy in other urban centres. “When you go to Toronto or Vancouver there are so many independent stores — whether you’re talking food or clothes or anything,” Chris says. “There’s just so much more of that. And there’s not enough of it in Calgary. We love that independent boutique high-quality effort that goes in when an owner owns his own business. And that’s what we wanted to do.” culinairemagazine.ca
Brown or White? By Karen Miller
30 â€˘ April 2013
I wasn’t born on a farm or raised on one. We lived in the country when I was growing up but I did not have chickens roaming in my back yard nor do I want to advocate for them. But I love my eggs! My mother was raised on a farm and I do remember as a child going to the farmers markets with her and buying eggs, checking every one. I remember going to her family homestead in Norway when I was a teenager and tasting fresh cream (just warm) and eggs (just collected). I have never turned back. No supermarket eggs for me. For me it is not about whether they are omega 3, free run or brown or white. It is all about the taste! I have cracked open an omega 3 egg and it smelled like fish! Not exactly appetizing. My daughter thinks we should be a reality TV show, with crazy mom picking up food in parking lots and such, clandestine meetings under big hats and sunglasses examining egg cartons with oohs and ahhs. I am not about to build a chicken coop (even if I could in Calgary) but I do like fresh eggs and
My “egg man” is Brian Lehodey, a famous flower guy here in Calgary, and he still does flowers and gardens. For as long as I have known him, he always had an affinity with hunting and gathering. He finally lives on a ranch and is now also a small-scale independent poultry rancher. He started in this business because of the lack of flavour of supermarket products and a desire to eat antibiotic- and steroid-free poultry and eggs.
will go out of my way to get them. When we go to our house in Kelowna the first thing I do is call my “egg lady”. My husband met her on the golf course, her husband runs the flight centre, and they have an acreage with beautiful chickens running loose around their gardens a stones throw away from our, rather boring by comparison, small lot in a manicured gated community. Nestled amongst the extensive flowerbeds and in the shade of a few big trees, the chickens have the run of the yard. Really quite beautiful. The eggs are speckled, light green, blue and, yes, brown and whites, and each one is a treat to crack. There is list of people who want the eggs and they may not get on it just by calling, they may have to wait. Even when not picking up eggs I often walk by the property and watch the chickens as they go about their day in the yard. There are different breeds, so they all have distinctive looks and they certainly do seem to be having fun, clucking and scratching away. And lets get one thing straight, an egg colour is determined by the breed and a brown egg is not more natural, organic or nutritionally superior to a white egg. How the eggs taste depends mostly on what the birds eat.
According to Brian, the chicken came before the egg and so for him it starts with two varieties of laying hens, the Barred Plymouth Rocks and the Rhode Island Reds, about 60 in total. Both types have a storied history originating in New England. The Plymouth Rocks are suited to our cold weather and are very pretty and fashion forward-looking with their zebra feather pattern. The Rhode Island Reds are, you guessed it, deep rich red and very classic looking. Brian says his hens do not have distinctive personalities except at feeding time, I guess they too have to forage in the crowds for their daily nourishment. Most hens will lay an egg a day, but not necessarily when young or as they get older. So with about 55 eggs a day, a little more than the average person can eat, family and friends, and people like me are happy that he has to share! There is an initiative in Edmonton where the University of Alberta has decided to save some heritage birds. To maintain the program they have to find a way to finance it and they are looking into having people adopt hens. A fee would be charged and the University would raise the hens, but you would get the eggs. There have been initiatives in Calgary to allow backyard coops but those have been quashed for now (apparently Red Deer has just decided to allow them). I have no doubt some group will try again.
In Calgary I have our eggs delivered by an old friend who now lives on the outskirts of the city, raising heritage birds, chickens and turkeys. He is dedicated to providing a proper life for the birds, one without steroids and antibiotics. I often get a lesson in chicken and eggs when he delivers my weekly eggs. There are eggs he describes as especially suited for boiling (the small pullet eggs, smaller because they come from a younger bird). culinairemagazine.ca culinairemagazine.ca
Destination Brunches By Cory Knibutat
Calgary attractions offering more than memories at weekends
32 â€˘ April 2013
If you ask a friend or neighbour where s the best place in town for brunch, you’re likely to hear many different answers. Several neighbourhoods in Calgary have become synonymous with great brunch options due, in large part, to the breakfast brigade that lines up out the door every weekend. Oddly enough, some people forget about some of this city’s more obvious landmarks and attractions that bring in waves of hungry Calgarians every week, not just because of where or what they are, but because of the incredible brunches they offer. Here’s a few of our, and soon to be your, favourites.
Calgary Zoo Waffles and omelettes and a chocolate fountain, oh my! Yes, animals are everywhere at Calgary Zoo but after you see the gigantic spread of food offered at Zoo’s breakfast buffet, you may be less impressed by the facility’s furry guests. “We have five hot breakfasts items,” said Catering Manager, Rachelle Robles. “They stay the same every week and we have two lunch hot items that will change up every week. We have all your cold goods like salads and pickled entrees and stuff like that,” Robles added. “A little bit of finger food, your cheese and crudités, devilled eggs and of course our dessert station with our famous chocolate fountain, which the kids absolutely love.” It’s up to the parents to minimize the chocolate in their child’s blood stream, but if the kids happen to indulge a bit too much, you can always have them burn off the energy exploring the zoo after brunch. “We do have a combo rate, so that will get them (visitors) into the zoo plus brunch,” Robles said. “Really in the end, it’s about a $7 or $8 discount off admission and the brunch itself.” A savings that will certainly add up if you bring the whole family for a day at the Zoo. Brunch service runs from 9:30 am till 2 every Sunday, on a first-come-first-served basis. They used to only take reservations but due to increased demand, it didn’t make sense to operate that way. For Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, however, reservations would be the way to go. “That is prepurchased tickets only,” Robles said. “We do a little craft station for the kids. Kids will come after breakfast or before and make a little craft to give to mom or dad.” You don’t have to book in advance for other holiday brunches such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s and Halloween but services are themed. “Halloween is a big deal because the kids get to come dressed up, staff is all dressed up and we theme it according to that holiday,” Robles noted. “Our pastry chef will theme the desserts and we’ll have theme drinks.”
Calgary Zoo South American Quinoa Salad Serves 4
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Question: Name 4 specialty themed brunches the Calgary Zoo Safari Sunday Brunch offered throughout the year?
A zoo favorite, this delicious cold salad features the exotic flavours of South America. This dish is gluten-free, high in fibre, and perfect for summer BBQs and picnics. 2 cups quinoa 1 cup organic micro greens ½ cup black beans ½ cup raisins ½ cup corn niblets ½ cup diced fresh tomato ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup liquid honey 15 mL (1 Tbs) cilantro 15 mL (1 Tbs) fresh parsley 15 mL (1 Tbs) lime juice 5 mL (1 tsp) chili flakes 5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar To taste salt & pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of quinoa and 1 L (4 cups) of water. Cover saucepan with lid and bring to a boil. Set to simmer (same as rice), then let stand to cool for 1 hour. 2. In a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, black beans, raisins, corn and tomato and stir together. 3. In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, chili flakes, vinegar and honey. 4. Pour dressing over salad, add salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with micro greens. culinairemagazine.ca
Lougheed House A beacon of Calgary’s humble beginnings, The Lougheed House is a truly wonderful place to visit and appreciate this city’s rich history. Along with stunning architecture, a museum and gift shop, The Restaurant at Lougheed House offers guests the chance to enjoy a traditional Sunday brunch in cozy frontier surroundings. Bison Meatball Hash and Poached Pear Eggs Benedict show that the menu certainly celebrates ingredients native to southern Alberta and western Canada, while also being innovative and playful. “We started three years ago with the bison and I know it’s not a new thing, but it was new as far as hors d’oeuvres went and as a cocktail meatball, and we love to tell kids afterward that they ate buffalo,” said owner and operator, Kerri Murray. “I love that we have the Bison hash and that we have three different benedicts and one is vegetarian, the pear,” Murray added. If Bison is not your thing, or you want more straightforward breakfast fare, the à la carte menu has the usual suspects, such as eggs benedict and French toast as well as a few lunch items to choose from. While the house was, and is, a mansion, seating isn’t that large so it’s a good idea to call ahead. “Reservations are recommended just so we can anticipate you,” Murray said. “The day you want to come, we may have a bunch of people wandering through the museum wanting to have brunch and we won’t have a table.”
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Go to culinairemagazine.ca for Lougheed House’s Bison Meatballs recipe
Please tell us about the first time you prepared dinner for your girlfriend or boyfriend?
Calgary Tower’s Sky 360 Perhaps Calgary’s most obvious landmark, Sky 360 might be better known for romantic dinners and stunning views of the city with the restaurant’s rotating floor, but unforgettable views and wonderful food can also be found during Sunday brunch hours. Sky 360 offers an à la carte menu with signature twists on familiar items such as their crab eggs benedict and cinnamon bread French toast. “The crab eggs benedict is one of the more unique ones because you usually don’t see a crab eggs benedict on other menus, plus it’s not a normal hollandaise sauce, it’s a red pepper hollandaise sauce, finished with arugula greens on top,” said General Manager, Jon Yumol. “The Rocky Mountain is probably our most popular,” Yumol added. “It’s two eggs, any style, bacon, Spolumbo’s sausage and hashbrowns.” Quite literally a mountain of food to finish that may make you want a nap afterwards, but then you’ll miss out on the scenery. “Obviously people associate our restaurant with the view and the rotating floor,” Yumol said. “On a clear day you can see the mountains. There’s no other restaurant that can offer that. It’s a goal of ours to match the food and the service with the view and if we can do that, we are literally the best restaurant in the city.
34 • April 2013
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Question: What is the best or most unique breakfast you’ve ever had whilst travelling?
Heritage Park Another symbol of Calgary’s rich frontier past, Heritage Park not only offers delicious food to enjoy but also immerses you in an old-west setting as their Home-style Breakfast Buffet hosts visitors in the Gunn’s Dairy Barn. With a spacious seating layout that can accommodate large groups or small families, guests are given a warm, old-fashioned welcome by staff that is decked out, head-to-toe in vintage frontier fashions.
Go to culinairemagazine.ca for Heritage Park’s Butter Tart recipe
Sticking to the western theme, the buffet concentrates on traditional breakfast items, so don’t expect cold lunch items or seafood, understandably. Pancakes, waffles, eggs and bacon are easy to find at the buffet, as well as an omelette station and a beautiful dessert and pastry table. “You don’t have to pay admission to come to the regular Sunday morning buffet, because the historical village is closed, you only pay for the buffet,” said communications specialist, Barb Munro. “However, if you want to, our Gasoline Alley Museum is open year round so guests can choose to pay admission and visit the museum while they are here.” The breakfast buffet runs Sunday mornings from 9am-2pm during Heritage Park’s off-season, starting the weekend after Thanksgiving until mid November. “So this year it starts October 20th and goes until November 17th,” Munro said. “During our ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ event we run the buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets have to be pre-purchased.” The Home-style Breakfast Buffet starts again in January and it goes until the last weekend of April. While breakfast buffet may not be offered during the summer months when the park is open, guests can still enjoy lunch in the Wainwright Hotel, as well as all-day breakfast in the club café. Nestled towards the rear of the park, and out of sight and earshot of the noise and congestion of the city, Heritage Park is isolated enough to almost make you forget you’re still in the city limits. I overheard one table say they couldn’t believe they hadn’t been here before.
Win a pass for four people to enjoy Heritage Park’s breakfast buffet! To enter, go to culinairemagazine.ca, answer the question below correctly and you’ll be entered in a draw to win!
Question: The earliest published butter tart recipe dates back to 1900 and can be found in “The Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital” cookbook. What country did this flakey, buttery treat originate? Go to culinairemagazine.ca for Sky 360’s Capsicum Foyot Sauce recipe
Breakfast Like A Champ By Heather Hartmann and Tom Firth
There’s a reason the phrase “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” has become part of popular culture. Drinking is largely considered an after-hours activity, and by after- hours, meaning after an honest day’s work. But we are here to tell you that it is ok to enjoy an adult beverage at breakfast, or perhaps you call it brunch?
Or maybe the concept of alcohol in the a.m. is not completely outlandish to you – you life-loving “Bon Vivants.” Perhaps you’ve indulged in a little ‘hair of the dog’ when you partied a little too hearty the night before. Or maybe you never went to bed and are thinking about a little tipple at breakfast - we won’t judge you. Perhaps you have a shot of Kahlua or Bailey’s in your coffee at Christmas. But alcohol as a part of the morning when it’s not a special occasion? Why not? While we’re not suggesting you spike your travel mug pre-commute, a well-paired tipple can add to morning meals just as it does to dinner. Pulling out all the stops for an at-home brunch or breakfast feast, perhaps on your weekend, can be just incredible.
36 • April 2013
Let’s start off small – if anything is considered a breakfast drink, it’s a mimosa. In fact, have you ever seen anyone drink one after dark? Heather has personally sipped mimosas at many a bridal and baby shower. Tom cannot speak to either occasion, but has heard of them enjoyed at brunch, or possibly on a yacht by people sporting ascots and white pants. At its core, a mimosa is simply sparkling wine and orange juice breakfast of champions! While any sparkling wine will do, the best suggestion is to pick a reasonably priced bottle and something with a little sweetness and a good amount of acidity. Cava, Crémant, Sekt, and even Canadian bubbly are suitable wines. For the orange juice, natural or fresher juice is always a better idea than frozen or juice from concentrate.
We do enjoy crêpes from time to time (much to the detriment of our waistlines), but there is one thing that elevates an ordinary crêpe to a taste of the divine, and that is where Grand Marnier comes in. Grand Marnier has been around since the 1880’s and is a blend of bitter oranges and cognac. It’s pricey, and there are imitators out there, but Grand Marnier is the superior product here. It’s a common feature in cocktails and desserts, but our favourite use for Grand Marnier has to be in the infamous Crêpe Suzette. It can be served as a dessert or a breakfast treat - plenty of recipes are available and they aren’t too difficult to make for both the novice and experienced gourmand. A good recipe can be found online at Canadian Living. Before you worry too much about a Grand Marnier breakfast, the flambé step burns off most of the alcohol, but leaves the flavour. If you haven’t been to bed yet and flambé is on your mind-careful of the drapes!
claims) proud of his scrambled eggs. Maybe it’s Sunday morning and just maybe you are feeling a little extra decadent - may we suggest opening a bottle of champagne or traditional method sparkling wine? It cannot be said enough - champagne goes with everything. If bubbles at breakfast are not your way to fly, unoaked chardonnay can put the pizazz in your pairing proving an excellent match for omelettes and quiches. If it just isn’t breakfast unless the house smells of sizzling bacon, try pulling the cork on nice Beaujolais or lighter bodied Spanish red. If pure decadence is what you have in mind, take out a chilled bottle of sauternes or late harvest wine as a complement to your platter. The rich honeyed and citrus flavours can set the tone for a wonderful day. However you take your breakfast beverage, for most of us, breakfast comes at the start of the day and moderation is of utmost importance. Try to limit yourself to one or two beverage delights at most - after all, you’ll need a clear head to decide which wine to have with dinner.
Delicious as they are, sometimes mimosas and crêpes aren’t quite what you have in mind. If you enjoy a savoury breakfast, roast some potatoes or make hash browns, fry up some bacon, maybe some sausage and settle in for a treat. At Tom’s house, he is (justifiably, he
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Step By Step: Not The Devilled Eggs Your Mother Made Story and photography by Natalie Findlay
Whatâ€™s old is new again.
Here are the basic steps for making devilled eggs:
1. Hard boil eggs and remove shell. 2. Cut in half lengthwise. 3. Scoop out yolk. 4. Mash yolk. 5. Add your ingredients and mash until everything is combined.
6. Place mixture back into where the
The beauty and simplicity of half a hardboiled egg filled with your favourite ingredients, and just the right size to pop into your mouth, can be enjoyed on any occasion. The devilled egg will surely be the first item to be gobbled up at your next event. With the abundance of ingredients available, we can take the devilled egg from old school to avant garde. The egg is a blank canvas waiting for your inspiration. The process is simple and the flavour combinations are endless. The following instructions will show you the basic technique to make devilled eggs, and provide you with six delicious ideas that will inspire your own creativity in making up your favourite combinations. Bring back the devilled egg! 38 â€˘ April 2013
yolk used to be.
This recipe will give you a delicious, basic devilled egg: Serves 4 4 whole eggs 45 g (3 Tbs) mayonnaise 5 g (1/2 tsp) mustard pinch salt pinch black pepper 9 capers, roughly chopped 1 g (1/4 tsp) paprika
1. Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by about one inch. Do not layer eggs as this increases the probability of cracking during cooking. Place pot on the stove and turn the heat on high, cover the pot. Once the water has come to a boil, turn off heat and leave eggs covered in the pot for 12 minutes. Run eggs under cold water to cool and remove the shell. Let eggs cool completely before proceeding. 2. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks and combine with the rest of the ingredients except for the paprika. Mash together to get a smooth texture. Sprinkle the paprika over the egg white halves and then add the yolk mixture back into the whites. You can do this in one of two ways: use a spoon to place the mixture in the whites or if you have a very smooth filling you can pipe the mixture into the whites using a star tip for decoration. Garnish with a whole caper on each.
Now if you really want to bring life to the party then try one, if not all, of the following devilled egg recipes.
Grainy Mustard Eggs
Boiling and shelling the eggs can be done up to four days in advance. The fillings can also be made ahead of time and stored, and even filling the whites can be done a day ahead of time. For everyone who loves a great egg sandwich, these devilled eggs can be easily adapted to mashing the whole hardboiled egg with the rest of the filling ingredients including the garnish, for the most delicious egg salad sandwiches. A great “make ahead” item for lunches during the week.
Madras Devilled Eggs
Fiesta Devilled Eggs
Pesto Devilled Eggs
4 whole eggs, hardboiled and shelled 30 g (2 Tbs) cream cheese 7 g (1 ½ tsp) grainy mustard 1 g (1/4 tsp) smoked paprika pinch sea salt pinch black pepper green onion for garnish
4 whole eggs, hardboiled and shelled 30 g (2 Tbs) pesto toasted walnuts for garnish
40g (1 cup) basil leaves, packed and stems removed 1 garlic clove 30 g (2 Tbs) toasted walnuts 60 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil salt and pepper to taste
Madras Devilled Eggs 4 whole eggs, hardboiled and shelled 5 g (1 Tbs) celery, fine dice 100g (4 Tbs) cottage cheese 50 g (2 Tbs) cooked chicken, cooled 5 g (3/4 tsp) madras curry paste pinch of sea salt pinch of black pepper diced red onion for garnish
Fiesta Devilled Eggs 4 whole eggs, hardboiled and shelled 10 g (1 Tbs) red pepper, small dice 10 g (1 Tbs) red onion, small dice 10 g (1½ tsp) sour cream 1/4 avocado, mashed 5 g (1/2 tsp) jalapeño, fine dice (or as much heat as you like) pinch of sea salt pinch of black pepper cilantro for garnish
If making the pesto by hand, roughly chop the garlic and walnuts then add in the basil leaves. Keep chopping until everything has been combined and all ingredients are very fine. Place mixture into a bowl, add olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper and mix until combined. If you have a small food processor, then you can place the garlic and walnuts in bowl and give it a whirl for 10 seconds. Add the basil and chop for another 45 seconds or until the basil has been finely chopped and everything is approximately the same size. Add olive oil in a steady stream while the chopper is going. Stop once the olive oil has been incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and give it another 10 seconds to combine all ingredients. Note: if you only have a larger food processor, then triple the recipe. Pesto can be kept in the fridge or frozen and is great to have on hand for a quick and delicious pasta dinner. culinairemagazine.ca
Eggs of the Sea By Gabriel Hall
In 1999, sturgeon in both the Caspian and Black Seas were being fished to point of extinction for their delicate eggs in order to supply the world’s rich, famous and culinary elite with caviar. These little black pearls are dream ingredients for any chef, as a kilogram of high-test sturgeon eggs can fetch up to $6,000. In recognition of the damage inflicted on sturgeon populations, many western countries imposed a ban on the sale, import and production of wild-caught caviar in order to save the species from extinction. Even today, only a limited number of wild sturgeon are allowed to be caught, creating a low supply in the face of constantly growing demand. In response, many entrepreneurs in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and even Saudi Arabia have implemented sturgeon aquaculture operations in order to satisfy this voracious global appetite for caviar. With a strong fishing industry, Canada naturally waded into the waters with 3 major contenders. There is Breviro Caviar, farmed in New Brunswick, and Northern Divine Caviar, which is farmed in Sechelt, BC. Acadian Sturgeon & Caviar, of St John, NB, offers the only wildcaught sturgeon caviar in Canada. In addition to harvesting only 350 sturgeon from the St. John River (a quote set by the Department of Fisheries), they also fertilize and raise sturgeon “fry” (young tadpolelike sturgeon) for transport around the world to help replenish global populations. Meta4Foods is the choice specialty seafood supplier for many of Calgary’s top restaurants. At the helm of Meta4Foods is the
40 • April 2013
prince of bivalves, chef Eric Giesbrecht. Like many seafood gurus in Calgary, Eric’s rise to recognition came from his work with the venerable Michael Noble. By 2003, he was competing in oyster shucking competitions across the country, allowing him to develop relationships with some of Canada’s premier oyster producers and industry professionals. He eventually parlayed these relationships into a supply chain featuring many types of seafood including shellfish and specialty seasonal fish like eel, mackerel, smelts and most recently, a farmed halibut from PEI and the most luxurious of treats, caviar. When asked about how well Canadian product stands up to their international rivals, Eric comments, “Canadian-produced caviar is of high quality and is gaining recognition internationally. In a taste test conducted by Globe and Mail in May of last year, the Acadian and Northern Divine caviars came out as some of the best in the world. When people discover that we produce world-quality caviar right here in Canada, it becomes a top selling point.” It is rare to see caviar on menus in Calgary, particularly because of our meat and potatoes culture. “Some places have been faster than others to embrace caviar - in the end, caviar is still an expensive product and it takes a certain amount of bravado to put it on a menu, not to mention a loyal and well-heeled customer base,” Eric notes, “Most restaurants use it mainly for special occasions but at least then it is still being seen, recognized and talked about.” Considering its unique place in the culinary world, do yourself a favour and indulge in its salty, rich flavour and unique texture. It’s a rare experience you shouldn’t miss.
Open That Bottle By linda garson
Fraser Abbott was born and raised in Calgary, and has worked in hospitality since 1987. At age 11, Fraser played bagpipes at Fort Calgary and Heritage Park. He stills plays bagpipes today as it’s a family tradition, but not to the degree he used to in 1999, when he played 100 gigs. His first job was a bagpiping doorman at the CP hotel, now the Fairmont Palliser, piping in the tour buses, and it’s been in his blood ever since. It’s also where he met Miles Krowicki. Studying Political Science and Latin American politics at university, Fraser’s idea was business development in the Americas, but after contract work in Cuba and research in Chile, he was approached to join the Hyatt team. “I’m very passionate about Calgary and this is where I want to be”, he says. “My home is here, and my friends and family, and I would like to build a better tomorrow for Calgary.” In 2005, John Torode invited Fraser to join Hotel Arts. He and his wife had just welcomed their baby boy and he had a great position with Hyatt that he absolutely loved, even winning sales manager of the year for north America, for properties under 500 rooms. But John persuaded him to take a look, and he, and General Manager Mark Wilson, jumped in tandem, knowing it would be a lot of work, but rewarding to turn a run-down property
into Calgary’s first boutique Hotel. The property had been many different hotels previously, and was one of the better music venues back in the day, with Lenny Kravitz, Nirvana, The Tragically Hip and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing there. It has a part of Calgary’s musical past, and Fraser was intrigued. And then the bottle…. Fraser won the 1967 Crown Royale in May 2011. His close friend, Miles Krowicki was about 44 years old at the time and his father, who owned Smugglers Inn, had bought several cases when Miles was born. The bottle that he is charged with safeguarding until an appropriate occasion, is one of the last bottles in the collection. Miles and his band, Talking Dog, threw a Big C party in Inglewood, on May 18th 2011. He had already been diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer, and they invited others to join them at the Ironwood, hoping to generate enough energy to beat it. “The energy was awesome,” Fraser says, “there’ll never be a concert like that again, it was my favourite, favourite concert of all time.” “My friends and I won this prized bottle by correctly guessing 22 of the 26 songs that Talking Dog & Guests performed at the Big C
concert,” says Fraser. “The set list progressed through the alphabet with songs starting with a letter and so on. Miles told them that they’d won, only as long as they drunk the bottle at a great celebration. Miles passed away in November 2011. “He was a super super positive guy. He was one of the most positive guys you could ever meet and that’s a guy you’d want to hang with, he was like fuel, he could totally energise you. He attracted fun and interesting people that made his life richer, and he did a pretty damned good job of enriching theirs,” Fraser adds. The friendship was solidified even more by the progression into music; it was Miles who suggested that Fraser took up bass guitar. So when will the bottle be opened? “My friends and I will enjoy this special bottle in the spirit of Miles’ Rule #1: Always Have Fun”, confirms Fraser. “The date is to be determined, but it might be a Big C Concert 2, a summer solstice party or Miles’ birthday on August 29. Whatever the occasion, good friends, upbeat tunes and this special bottle will drive a steady beat of fun...a combination that Miles would definitely relish!” Miles Krowicki, 1967–2011. A life exceptionally well lived and well loved.
Soup Kitchen By DAN CLAPSON
Eggs are so versatile, they can be used everywhere – even in soups!
Cauliflower is a vegetable with underutilised potential. When roasted, it exudes a rich, almost meaty flavour, making it a great substitution for, well, meat. Especially for those looking to cut some red meat out of their everyday diet. This soup will definitely hit the spot on a rainy spring evening, no problem!
Rustic Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4-5 Total cook time - 45 min 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups cauliflower florets, chopped 3 slices bacon, chopped 600 mL (2 ½ cups) chicken broth 480 mL (2 cups) half and half 10 mL (2 tsp) smoked paprika 60 mL (¼ cup) Romano cheese, shredded 2 egg yolks, whisked salt and pepper olive oil 120 mL (1/2 cup) bread crumbs, for garnish First things first, preheat your oven to 400º F. In a large pot, cook the chopped onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Next, add 2 cups of the cauliflower florets and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, reduce to low heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, place the remaining cauliflower and bacon into a prepared baking dish, season with ground black pepper and let roast in the oven until the bacon is very crisp and the cauliflower starts to caramelise, approximately 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Now combine the contents of the pot and cream in a blender, pureeing until smooth. Return to pot, adding in the roasted cauliflower, bacon, paprika and Romano cheese. Keep on low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Last, but not least, temper the whisked yolks with a couple of small spoons of the cauliflower soup and carefully stir yolks into the pot, as to not scramble them. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle out into bowls and top with crispy breadcrumbs. 42 • April 2013
I may not be a kid anymore, but I love it when food has a story. Sometimes your kids can be a bit picky when it comes to their vegetables. Never fear, Dr. Seussinspired food to the rescue! I guarantee that a quick reading of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, followed by a serving of this soup with the same namesake, you’ll have your kid eating their share of vegetables before they can even say: ‘Hey, you tricked me!’ Works just as well with picky, grumpy grown-ups too!
Greens, Eggs and Ham Soup Serves 4
Total cook time...35 min
1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup spinach 720 mL (3 cups) vegetable broth 240 mL (1 cup) cream 240 mL (1 cup) edamame beans 360 mL (1 1/2 cups) black forest ham, 1/4” cubed 30 mL (2 Tbs) fresh basil, finely chopped 15 mL (1 Tbs) grainy Dijon mustard salt and pepper olive oil 4 eggs, at room temperature
1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium high and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 2. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender or food processor, puree until silky smooth. Return to pot along with cream, edamame beans and ham, and let soup continue to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. 3. After 15 minutes, season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh basil and Dijon mustard. 4. When you’re ready to serve, fry the 4 eggs on medium-high heat, under they’re sunny-side up with a firm, but runny-in-the-middle yolk. Portion soup out into 4 bowls and top each with a fried egg. culinairemagazine.ca
The Humble Spud
Rösti is a traditional Swiss dish made with coarsely grated potatoes. According to the Swiss National Tourist Office, rösti was a typical farmer’s breakfast in German-speaking Switzerland. The line separating the French and German speaking sides of Switzerland is jokingly called the “rösti divide.” However, today it is a Swiss national dish enjoyed all over the country. There are differing opinions on whether rösti should be made with boiled or raw potatoes. My boyfriend’s mother is Swiss and she said true Swiss rösti are always cooked with boiled potatoes. Since she is an excellent cook, I decided to follow the traditional version and boil the potatoes beforehand.
Recipe and photography by Silvia Pikal
Swiss Rösti Serves 4 1 kg potatoes (8 small potatoes) Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste 45 mL (3 Tbs) vegetable oil or olive oil 4 eggs
1. The night before you want to make rösti, wash
and scrub the potatoes until they are clean. Cover potatoes with water in a large pot. Boil potatoes in their skins for about 10-12 minutes. Test by piercing potatoes with a fork. They should slide off the fork but still be firm. Drain and dry potatoes using a towel if necessary. Place them in the fridge on a plate and leave them overnight.
2. In the morning, peel the potatoes and grate
them using the largest holes of a hand grater. Take handfuls of potatoes and squeeze out as much liquid as possible over the sink before transferring them to a bowl.
3. Season drained potatoes with salt and pepper. 4. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add
the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to sizzle, place potatoes into the skillet. The oil may splatter, so be careful when dropping them into the skillet.
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5. Using a spatula, press the potatoes down into
the skillet until you have covered the bottom. Use a spatula to shape the potatoes into a giant patty that is about 12 mm (1/2 inch) thick.
6. Cook until the bottom is a deep golden brown
and the potatoes on the top start to look translucent, about 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary, being careful not to burn the potatoes. Taste a piece to ensure it is almost cooked.
7. Once it’s ready, flip the rösti. To ensure the rösti does not fall apart, slide the rösti from the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate on top, then flip the plates over so that the browned layer is now on top. Return uncooked side to skillet. 8. Cook this side for 5-8 minutes until bottom layer is browned and potatoes are fully cooked.
9. Slide rösti onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. 10. Serve with a fried egg on top for breakfast, or with a green salad for lunch.
A Pint And A Pickled Egg By Jeff Collins
I encountered my first pickled egg in a tavern in Sudbury, Ontario. The tavern occupied the entire first floor of the old Laurentian Hotel. There were two entrances, one marked “Men” and the other signed “Ladies And Escorts”. Sitting on the busy bar that served both sides was an enormous jar of pickled eggs. It was 1978. Both the signs and the eggs have disappeared in today’s taverns and pubs. I don’t mourn the passing of the former, but the latter is a loss. A well-pickled egg, teamed up with your favourite pint, is a perfect pairing. It is also a pairing mandated by the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission. In its rulebook for bar owners, the Commission states “....licensed premises must provide a selection of hot or cold food items suitable for a light meal or snack”. Then it goes on to say, “Food specials must not be dependent on liquor purchases by patrons” and “Food items, along with a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, must be listed on a printed menu or on a menu display board, with each item individually priced.” “I know the liquor laws pretty good”, says John Erk, the General Manager of the family-owned “Dog And Duck Public House” in Calgary. “You have to have at least something on your menu, at the very least a light snack, or you have to offer some sort of food when you serve alcoholic beverages. So there’s a lot of places out there where they don’t have a kitchen, so then they have to have something that they offer”. The pickled egg is a traditional solution to that legal problem. However, these days, most of our city’s British-style pubs offer a complete food service, so the jar of pickled eggs winds up in the back of the fridge or, eventually, off the menu entirely. Back in the days of the Laurentian Hotel in Sudbury, a passing waiter would dip a bare hand into the big jar, scoop out as many eggs as you wanted and serve them in a cardboard chip dish. That too has disappeared. According to Shannon M. Evans with Alberta Health Services, “Under Alberta’s Public Health Act - Food Regulation, all pubs and bars in Alberta are required to have a Food Handling permit, regardless of the type of food that is served. Pubs & bars are therefore likewise required to operate in accordance with the Food Regulation; ensuring safe food handling practices are in place.” That means the bartender who serves you needs a provincial Food Handlers certificate. Tongs are de rigueur as is refrigeration. When the Erk family first bought the “Dog And Duck”, they made their own pickled-eggs. Now however, they bring in commercial product. John Erk says they do it for the few remaining customers, mostly older, and mostly British, who still fancy, “a pint and a pickled egg”.
How To Make Pickled Eggs The peeling is perhaps the hardest part of making your own pickled eggs. Once you have tediously shelled a dozen of them, combine a cup of water, a cup of vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of pickling spices, and a teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil then take it off the heat and let it cool a little. Put your eggs in a Mason jar, pour the hot liquid over them, seal the jar and put it in the fridge. Wait a minimum of two days and a maximum of six months before sampling. Do keep the eggs refrigerated. These eggs are pickled, not preserved nor canned. They will make you sick if consumed after prolonged storage at room temperature. culinairemagazine.ca
Spring Into Bocks By Meaghan O’Brien
A common misconception with lagers is that they are traditionally light in colour, body and taste. The bock style of beer is a great example of a lager that can be rich all around, and quite different from your typical summer sipper. Bocks are strong lagers that originated in Germany and were traditionally brewed in the late winter or early spring, available to drink in the fall. Bock beer was historically tied to special occasions such as religious events and festivals, and was consumed during times of fasting as a source of nutrition- now that’s something I’ll drink to! 46 • April 2013
THE HoTEl arTs palETTE THE HoTEl arTsgroup group palETTE Contrary to tradition, there are now a large variety of bocks available all year round. Lagers are characterized as beer using bottom fermenting yeast at cool temperatures. Bocks are brewed in this fashion and can range from copper to dark brown or black in colour. The subvarieties of bocks are each unique, and pair perfectly with meaty dishes accompanied with rich glazes and gravies. The strength of these strong lagers complements hefty and flavourful dishes well. The first of the bock variety is the Traditional Bock. This beer has a generous amount of sweetness from Munich and Vienna malt, and low hops, creating an extremely smooth, creamy and balanced body.
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Dopplebock, the darkest of the bock beer, is rich with elegant sweetness but without the heaviness of many stouts or porters. Dopplebocks can vary from deep golden to dark brown in colour and envelop the taste buds with chocolate and caramel notes. These are traditionally low in hops in order to accommodate the pleasant maltiness. A true German style dopplebock, Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock is a great one to try and return to again and again, it is that good! Celebrator is aromatic with hints of chocolate and toffee and has a well-rounded coffee bitterness with a touch of complex fruit notes, reminiscent of raisins or prunes. Enjoy Celebrator with gamey meat topped with flavourful gravy or au jus.
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The paler version of the bocks is the Helles Bock or Maibock. Don’t be fooled by its colour, as this bock style has heaps of complexity with balanced sweetness, and is far from light in taste. The appearance ranges from gold to light amber and has minimal fruit esters. A must try brew of this style is Big Rock Helles Bock at a devilish 6.66%. The beautiful golden blonde brew looks tame but is strong and ravished with sweet malt notes. This hellishly delicious beer is brewed with three different malts and German Hallertau hops, ever so slightly present in the finish. To satisfy your German strong lager fix, reach for one of the suggested bock varieties and pair with a gravy-rich meat entrée or aside a charcuterie platter with a mix of Gruyére, Emmental and Swiss cheese.
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A Spring Fling By Tom Firth
Spring is in the air. Of course, being Calgary, spring may not quite be here, may have been here but only lasted 2 or 3 days before snowing (again), or might be weeks away.
Some people choose their wines like they choose their jackets in Calgary - favouring heavy wines during the winter months and lighter weight wines during the summers. During our brief, snow-free months, it may be the time to try the often-overlooked aromatic white varietals. Which varieties classify as aromatic range from the well known to completely obscure, but generally include such varieties as muscat, gewürztraminer, riesling and viognier. Other grapes, such as torrontés, are a little less familiar to palates but are definitely worth trying. The words that come to mind when describing these aromatic varieties tend to be along the lines of; perfumed, floral, tropical, and intense. For those that dislike oak in their wines, these are also varieties that tend to not be aged in oak, which can mask or mute the desired intensity. Here, in the spirit of spring and our decidedly short outdoor entertaining season are a few aromatic wines to have a little spring fling with.
48 48 •• April April 2013 2013
Viognier is a grape that is easy to love (though sometimes “over the top”), and to quote British wine writer Oz Clarke, it’s a grape that “oozes sex and sensuality”, though so difficult to work with that it almost faded away completely in
the 1960’s. Its traditional home, and where it is generally considered to have the highest quality, is in the tiny appellation of Condrieu in the Rhône valley. A few brave winemaking souls were willing to take a chance with it and planted it outside of Condrieu and their success paid off. Consumers were ready to enjoy it and its many fine qualities. Viognier is now found from Canada to Australia and in other parts of Europe including Spain and Italy. Unlike most wines of quality, viognier doesn’t age that well and even the best examples rarely improve more than 5 years in the bottle. Viognier is generally floral, with honeysuckle, peach, apricots, and often with a slightly oily texture. It’s great on its own but complements curries, seafood, and poultry. Torrontés is Argentina’s flagship white varietal. DNA studies (and I still find it a little weird that DNA profiling happens a lot in viticulture) seem to indicate that torrontés is a cross of muscat of Alexandria and California’s mission grape. Only common in Argentina, torrontés seems to be at
Spring Fling Picks its finest in the northern province of Salta, specifically in the appellation of Cafayete. Descriptions of wines made from torrontés typically use words such as mineral, floral, sometimes soapy, and sometimes a little spicy. It doesn’t mature well and is best consumed young to showcase the lighter, fresher characters. Thankfully, torrontés is rarely pricy and most examples are extremely good value. Pair with lighter poultry and seafood dishes, and well chilled as an outdoor sipping wine. Gewürztraminer, for a while, was a darling of consumers who loved these generous, spicy, and often flabby off-dry examples with the hard to pronounce name. With a name like gewürztraminer (if unsure, it’s pronounced like geh-VURTZ-trahmeen-er) you’d expect a Germanic history, and it’s originally from Italy’s Alto Adige region where it was called traminer. The gewürz part of the name seems to have come into play in the 1870’s in the Alsace region (gewürzliterally meaning “spice” in German, in regards to wine, its meaning is more accurate as “perfumed”). Gewürztraminer is at its finest in cooler climates but fine examples are found all around the globe. It’s almost impossible to find a gewürztraminer that doesn’t smell and taste like lychee, but other common descriptions include orange, rose petal, honeysuckle, and spice. Styles range from dry to sweet with examples having a little sweetness being perfect for entertaining. Most examples mature only about 5 years with rare (and expensive) bottles managing to age for longer. Pairing with food, these are often the perfect match for spicy dishes such as Thai, Indian, Chinese and Fusion cuisine. So go on, have a little spring fling.
Luigi Bosca Finca La Linda 2011 Torrontés, Cafayate Valley, Argentina Exactly right for torrontés with floral characteristics and minerality, along with apple, peach, pear, and a hint of paraffin wax on the nose. Big bright fruit on the palate with all those floral tones you want. A great buy. $13
Terrazas de los Andes 2011 Reserva Torrontés, Salta, Argentina Sourced from high altitude vineyards, Terrazas torrontés is a stunning example of what this grape can do. Floral, mineral, and moderately expressive on the nose, the palate shows green apple, orange, and a long floral finish. $22
Black Hills Estate Winery 2011 Viognier, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia There are a couple of good viogniers coming out of the Okanagan, and the Black Hills is a great example of the quality offerings from BC. White blossom, pear and rose petal on the nose, with a palate that is rich and complex and a slightly buttery finish. Drink now. $30
Yalumba 2010 Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia There are so many interesting wines coming from Australia these days, it’s hard to know where to start. A big and beautiful nose brings all that fruit and intensity viognier is known for, with a palate to match. Buy, drink, enjoy, it’s that simple. $25
Pfaffenheim 2011 Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France Lychee, mandarin orange peel, peach, apple, and mineral character in spades, this is a perfect, classic Alsatian gewürztraminer at a price that won’t kill your budget. With a pinch of sweetness, it’s a crowd-pleasing wine, perfect for the patio or deck. $18
Tinhorn Creek 2011 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia A crisper, leaner style of gewürztraminer, the acidity makes it perfect to pair with foods such as sushi or pork, or a little fusion-style cuisine. Not to worry, all that lychee character is still there along with the apple fruits, mineral and some fresh sliced pears. Serve a little cooler for best enjoyment. $22 culinairemagazine.ca
It’s What For Breakfast? By David Nuttall and Meaghan O’Brien
All I wanna do is drink beer for breakfast All I wanna eat is them BBQ chips Beer For Breakfast- The Replacements
Seen on a t-shirt at a beer festival: “Beer: it’s not just for breakfast anymore”. While there seems to be some sort of social stigma against drinking beer for breakfast, it really shouldn’t be such a big deal. Unless it leads into lunch and then dinner. Then you may have a problem. Yet no one bats an eyelash at the wine gang with their “Champagne Breakfasts”, and their innocent sounding Mimosas (really, the triple sec is optional?), while the hard alcohol sect has The Breakfast Drink, a combination of vodka, peach schnapps, Chambord, orange juice and collins mix.
If you like simply fruit for breakfast, several beers will go well. Many stouts, porters, weizens, hefeweizens, and other beers are fruit flavoured. If you really want a large measure of fruit, then lambics are the way to go. These Belgian fruit beauties come in several varieties, and are made with up to 30 percent real fruit juice. Boon, Cantillon, Mort Subite and Lindemans are all available.
So what’s wrong with an occasional beer for breakfast? Not just beer as breakfast, but certainly a beverage that goes with that nice hearty breakfast we’ve been told to eat since birth, but do so, seemingly, only on the weekends, when people actually have time for something more than coffee and maybe a healthy doughnut or muffin.
Because beer is so versatile, there is a style for whatever breakfast throws at it. Anything from fruit, to cereal, to toast, to pastry, all the way to big breakfasts; beer can match with it all. Not to mention the barley and wheat hit it gives you. Say you have only a glass of milk in the morning; there are milk stouts that have the lactose (milk sugar), which can replace the moo juice on its own or in your favourite cereal, as long as you like your cereals to all taste like Count Chocula. For those in need of a daily portion of oatmeal, there are plenty of oatmeal stouts around. Two new ones in the market are Nelson Brewery’s Blackheart Oatmeal Stout and Fish Tale’s Organic Oatmeal Stout, for those who like to keep it natural.*
50 • April 2013
Pancakes need maple syrup, and there’s beer for that too. On the dark side, Penticton’s Cannery Brewing makes a Maple Stout and Fernie Brewing brews Sap Sucker Maple Porter. If you want it a bit lighter, Edmonton’s Amber’s has Sap Vampire Maple Lager and Granville Island its Maple Ale. If you have the time for heavier fare, as in the full English breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, toast, muffins and countless other unique ingredients which will smell up your kitchen for days, then stouts and porters are the beers with the body to complement the hardy character of this breakfast.
that have been eaten and excreted by an Asian civet - and the most expensive bean in the world. If you’d like a more traditional espresso kick, Switzerland’s Brasserie Trois Dames India Espresso Stout is new here, while Yukon’s Midnight Sun Espresso Stout has long been a
Most people need a coffee injection in the morning and there are several coffee and espresso porters and stouts for them. Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery brews its Coffee Porter with a subtle essence of coffee that is not as full-bodied as San Diego’s Coronado Blue Bridge Coffee Stout. If you like milk in your coffee, Norway’s Haand Costa Rica Coffee Porter has lactose. Because coffee drinkers have become a more selective group, coffee beers come in different varieties too. Mikkeller’s Koppi IPA is made from natural Ethiopian Guji from Sidamo, Ethiopia, and De Molen brew a beer with Kopi Loewak, coffee beans
favourite. If it needs to be twice the bang, then Double Espresso Premio Caffè Birra from Traditional Scottish Ales Brewing and Phillips Black Jackal Imperial Coffee Stout provide even more punch to wake you up. Of course, if you can’t shake last night’s visions in your head, there is Evil Twin’s Wet Dream, a brown ale with Keini coffee, spices and citrus, and a name which gets it banned in British Columbia. Seriously.
There are those who enjoy a bit of the hair-of-the dog in the morning. The Red Eye (beer and tomato juice), Michelada (beer, lime, spices, peppers and more) and the good ole Canadian Beer and Clam (clamato juice) are often purported as hangover cures. Using the lightest lagers or ales that always seem to be at the back of anyone’s fridge, the simplicity of the basic drink allows for any amount of customization. A favourite: add salt, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces to make a great Beer Caesar.
Finally, there are beers with a combination of almost all of the above. Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast is an oatmeal stout brewed with a variety of good breakfast ingredients including chocolate, caramel and smoked malts, flaked oats, and gourmet coffee. It is a creamy, thick beer with not only a powerful roasted coffee zest, but also hints of dark chocolate. Long for your morning dose of hops? Then its cousin, Beer Hop Breakfast, is a stout IPA with the shot of Simcoe and Columbus hops you need. Last, but not least, as mentioned back in October’s issue, the name says it all: Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. ‘Nuff said. *There are more oatmeal stouts listed in the January/February issue of Culinaire. Well, I woke up Sunday morning With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt. And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, So I had one more for dessert. Sunday Morning Coming Down-Kris Kristofferson culinairemagazine.ca
May Contain Fish… By Tom Firth
I’m proud to hail from Alberta with a reputation for top quality meats, but there are a number of people who for religious, dietary, or even ethical reasons don’t eat meat or consume any animal products. Does that even matter for wine? Isn’t wine suitable for vegetarians simply because it’s made from grapes? The answer may surprise you. Wine is made from grapes, but it can also contain a number of other products, some of which can come from animals. In this modern world, we like to enjoy wines that are “clean”. These are wines that are stable, as in they rarely go “bad” in the bottle. They are generally free from microbial contamination and we tend to like wines that are filtered or “fined”. This means that our wines aren’t cloudy or hazy, but are bright, clear, shiny liquids that look good in fancy glasses. Fining agents are positively or negatively charged substances added to the barrels or tanks during winemaking that help suspended solids clump or coagulate in the wine. These solids then settle to the bottom of the container or make it easier to be removed by a filter. The wine is then racked or removed from this sediment and the final result is the nice, clean non-cloudy wine in your glass. Fining agents can be used to clarify a wine or to reduce astringency, tannins, or off-flavours and aromas. There are a few different fining agents wineries can select from, but each fining agent is best for certain substances. Egg whites, isinglass (a protein found in fish bladders), gelatine, and a particular type of clay called Bentonite are all frequently used to clarify wines. Bull’s blood was used in the
52 • April 2013
past, but it is currently out of favour and not permitted for use in winemaking in a number of countries. Time, while it heals all wounds, can also be used to allow the substances to settle naturally, but time is money and some of these undesirable substances take a really, really long time to settle. The amounts of most fining agents used to clarify a wine aren’t that much. Fining with egg whites for example takes about 3 or 4 eggs per 100 litres of wine. The whites will settle out and the wine is racked off the coagulated material and the finished wine contains virtually no egg whites at all. At best, the finished wine in your bottle may contain trace amounts of the fining agent, but that may be enough to cause a moment of hesitation if you have severe allergies or conviction in your beliefs. Worth noting, is that if a wine is organic or even biodynamic, that isn’t a guarantee that the wine is made without the use of animal products. The good news is that quite a few wineries take this seriously and no longer use animal products in their winemaking. The bad news is that most wineries don’t put “suitable for vegans” or similar wording on the label. If having wine that is absolutely, 100 percent, vegan friendly is important to you; your best bet is to contact the winery directly.
A good resource for Vegan-Friendly wines is www.barnivore.com
Some vegan-friendly winery brands: Bonterra, United States Masi,Italy Johan Vineyards, United States Balthazar, Australia Mazzocco, United States Galil Mountain, Israel Nautilus, New Zealand Yalumba, Australia Albet i Noya, Spain Achard-Vincent, France Temple Bruer, Australia
Century Egg: A ‘Special’ Sort Of Egg By Christine G. Louie
The century egg, also known as the hundred year old egg, is believed to have originated from the Ming Dynasty. Duck, chicken or quail eggs were traditionally preserved with a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls. Century eggs are commonly eaten on their own, as a side dish, and in congee (rice porridge). In Canada, the chance that the century egg will be voted the newest ‘it’ food is slim. The century egg isn’t much of a looker. The colour of the preserved egg is a dark, greenish grey, similar to that of a slug. Texture wise, the yolk is creamy and soft, while the egg white itself has a jelly-like texture that springs back when you bite into it. Taste-wise, the yolk has a strong, salty flavour. Preserved eggs have a pungent smell – some people claim it smells
like sulphur or ammonia. Overall, it is safe to say that the century egg isn’t for everyone. My experience eating century egg stems from a favourite childhood comfort dish, congee with chopped up century egg, ginger, pork and green onions. For me, this is the Chinese equivalent of chicken noodle soup. The rice is cooked with water until it loses its original shape and becomes smooth, silky and almost fluffy in texture. Mixed with the century egg and pork, each sip of congee is flavourful, savoury and salty. When my family orders congee during dim sum, we supplement it with a dish of Chinese doughnuts (savoury, deep-fried bread), which is perfect for dunking into your congee.
In Calgary, you can order pork and century egg congee at U & Me, ABC Restaurant and the Calgary Court Restaurant in Chinatown. One of my favourite places is Sun’s BBQ on Centre Street. However, I would advise newbies to order several of Sun’s popular bbq dishes, in case that century old egg doesn’t do it for you. At least this way, you won’t go hungry. Finally, I’d recommend diners not to over chew the pieces of century egg, as you will be unleashing a strong flavour. Rather, gingerly bite into the egg and let the congee wash over your tongue. Luckily, this Chinese delicacy won’t set you back financially. An individual bowl will cost you about $6.00. Besides your appetite, what do you have to lose?
All Cracked Up Story and photographs by Natalie Findlay
The egg is the workhorse of the kitchen. As it maneuvers its way through the menu touching each course, we inevitably land on desserts. The egg greets us with its versatility and stamina, and it provides richness, stability, texture and airiness to all our sweet desires. Custards, cakes, ice cream, flans, cookies; the choices of desserts you can make with eggs are endless. The two desserts below showcase the confidence eggs have in the sweets category, Pavlova and Baked Alaska. These desserts are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and are adaptable to seasons and ingredients. Eggs really are amazing!
Quickâ€™n Delicious...Baked Alaska This is an easy make-ahead dessert that you can keep in the freezer for a couple of weeks. Great for entertaining, or just when you want a little something sweet. There are three components to this dessert: the base, ice cream and meringue. There are many bases that can be used, anything from cookies to cake to brownies. The meringue topping should be light and airy, with the caramelized taste of the bruleĂŠd meringue. The process is easy: 1. Take any container, line it with plastic wrap and scoop your favourite ice cream inside. Fold the plastic wrap over top and freeze.
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Cut shapes out of the product you are using for your base to match the size of the frozen ice cream molds. Once the ice cream is hard, remove from freezer and place on top of the base. Place back into freezer.
Make an Italian meringue (ie: adding boiling sugar syrup, rather than granulated sugar, as in a regular meringue). Remove baked Alaska from freezer and cover with meringue. You can use the back of a spoon to get the texture. Either put back into the freezer at this time for later use or using a blowtorch, toast the outside of the meringue until it has browned.
Rosemary Scented Pavlova with Citrus Curd and Segments Serves 4
45 g (1/4 cup) rosemary granulated sugar 65 g (1/2 cup) icing sugar 4 egg whites pinch of salt 5 g (1 tsp) white vinegar, white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar 15 g (1 Tbs) cornstarch
30 g (2 Tbs) fresh rosemary, roughly chopped 65 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 1. Add rosemary and sugar to a spice grinder and give it a whirl until the rosemary is finely chopped. You can sift out any larger pieces that remain. Store any leftovers for further use. 2. In a medium bowl, sift sugars together and set aside. 3. In the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or handheld mixer), add the four egg whites and salt. Beat on medium speed for approximately 3 minutes until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sifted sugars slowly while continually mixing until all sugar has been added. Turn speed to high and whip for 3 to 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy. 4. Using a spatula, fold the cornstarch and vinegar into the whipped egg whites. 5. Spoon the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in four mounds and form an indent with the spoon in the middle of each. Don’t worry about being perfect. 6. Lower the oven temperature to 200º F. Place tray on rack in middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven to cool. They can stay in oven up to 2 hours. Remove from oven. Meringues should be light golden and lightly crisped on the outside.
Note: If not using the same day, meringues can keep, covered at room temperature, for 3 days. If they soften a bit just pop them back into the oven at 200º F for 10 to 15 minutes, an hour or two in advance of use.
2 grapefruits 5 oranges 1 lemon 6 eggs 250 g (1 cup) granulated sugar Note: You can use any form of citrus juice. The lemon should remain as it adds life to the other citrus fruits. 1. Zest the citrus fruits. Remove skin, including all white pith from each fruit. The easiest way to do this is to slice the top and bottom off. Then proceed to remove the remaining rind and white pith from the sides by using your knife from top to bottom and slicing until you only see fruit. 2. Remove each peg by using your knife to gently slice on each side of the segment and pop out the peg whole (or as close to whole as you can get) from the skin. Set aside for the topping. 3. Take the remains of the citrus fruits and give them a good squeeze into a measuring cup. You will need a total of one cup of juice, including the juice from one lemon. 4. Add juice, zest and half of the sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, add eggs and the remaining sugar to a medium bowl and whisk together. 5. Once the juice has come to a boil, pour slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t scramble. Pour everything back into the pot. Return to stove at medium-high heat and cook, constantly whisking, until the curd starts to bubble (approximately 5 minutes). 6. Strain mixture into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the curd as in the picture so a crust does not form on top. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Can be made 3 days ahead.
2 grapefruits, segmented 5 oranges, segmented 30 g (2 Tbs) gin of excellent quality 7 g (1 Tbs) fresh rosemary, whole 4 stems fresh mint, whole 30 g (2 Tbs) brown sugar 1. Add brown sugar and gin to a medium bowl and mix until sugar has dissolved. 2. Add remaining ingredients and let stand overnight in the fridge.
To Finish: Place Pavlova on a plate and scoop citrus curd on top. Remove mint and rosemary from segments, strain citrus and scoop over top of the curd. Garnish with a chiffonade of fresh mint. culinairemagazine.ca
Headaches And Wine By BJ Oudman
Ogopogo, the vanishing hitchhiker, headaches caused by sulfites in wine are these all myths? As a physical therapist, I work with clients suffering from headaches; my job is to determine the cause for treatment and prevention - is it due to neck muscle tightness, poor posture or a classic migraine? A “headache diary” helps - details of their life for a week and any physical symptoms to see what a possible trigger might be - weather, stressful activity, work hours, food or drinks. Related to wine, there are three possible instigators. The most obvious is excessive consumption, a classic deserved hangover headache! The second, and most likely cause, is sensitivity to tannins or biogenic amines present in wine, usually red, and aptly named a Red Wine Headache (RWH). The third culprit is sensitivity to sulfites. And sulfur smells like eggs... now you can connect the dots! Sulfites are unavoidable. During fermentation, small amounts of sulfites are created naturally; even organic wine contains some amount. As the wine ages, sulfites reduce and once the bottle of wine is opened, they will dissolve in the air. Sometimes sulfites are added to wine, and in this case, it generally is labelled as such on the bottle. Sulfites have an important role - they act as a preservative in wine - an anti-oxidant, stopping oxygen from having a reaction with the wine and changing it to vinegar. They are also an anti-bacterial, sterilizing the wine and destroying any organisms that could be living in it. In a nutshell, without sulfites,
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wine would have no shelf life, spoiling even before it reaches your glass. Approximately one percent of the population has sulfite sensitivity lacking the enzymes to break down sulfites. Drinking wine can result in allergy symptoms such as stuffiness, congestion and on a rare occasion, headaches. More sulfites are found in white wine than red and even more so in sweet wines, differentiating these from RWH. Both generally come on within fifteen minutes of drinking, not the next morning, differentiating from an alcohol-induced headache! On the other hand, RWH is not a myth. Both tannins and compounds called biogenic amines, histamine, tyramine and putrescine (also produced during fermentation), cause blood vessels to dilate, including those in the head, the mechanism of action of a classic migraine. Wines high in amines have an extended exposure to yeast and are often affected by brettanomyces - such as champagne and Old World wines. Some varieties are higher - chianti and riesling; others are lower - pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. There is variance based not only on colour, but grape and even growing region - with both California and Bordeaux wines higher. Wine is complex and any combination of compounds may be at fault. Some suggestions to try if you are susceptible, are a low alcohol malbec from Argentina or a pinot grigio from Italy! The best advice? Monitor how you feel with different wines by drinking only a portion of your glass, keep a journal, drink plenty of water, try taking an antihistamine - and drink responsibly!
Eggs in the Wild By Brenda Holder
Thinking of the dietary habits of my forefathers, and how they were able to survive the harshness of the Canadian landscape, brought about a lengthy discussion between my husband, Dave, and I not long ago. So much was known to me about many of the foods we ate traditionally (and in some cases still do eat) and when I really thought about it, there was a deep understanding of the ability to get food that was highly nutritious and calorie efficient. By calorie efficient, I mean that gathering that specific food would cost fewer calories than it would to benefit from the calorie intake. This makes sense, if you expend a lot of calories to gather and prepare a specific food but get little calorific value, then this is not an ideal food source, and if used continually may eventually cause a severe deficit. Our discussion revolved around hunting and gathering (a lot of our discussions revolve around this since we teach survival with traditional methods) and of course animals were hunted in an easy manner, such as snaring rabbits, using bow and arrow to hunt moose and other ungulates, but when we thought about birds we realized there was a bigger challenge. Yes, many families regularly engaged in hunting and eating Canada goose, turkeys etc, and though it is not impossible to hunt these birds, there was a more obvious use for these winged friends. Geese, ducks, swans of course all lay eggs, a much easier food to procure and so they were gathered as a high calorie food source.
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These were not the only egg source that was used, fish eggs are prevalent in many of the indigenous cultures here in Canada, and much to my dismay, we of course ate these nutritious food sources as well. Yes, to my dismay, anything fishy or coming from fish, just didn’t suit my taste buds too well! Our food procurement discussion eventually led us to think how eggs would have been cooked. Of course these runny delights could have been eaten raw, but also they come with their own cooking pan – the shell. Both Dave and I have a passion for trying out anything we teach before it ever gets in the student’s hands. Dave, coming from England, has a wealth of knowledge of different cooking styles of “olden day foods” which are easily applied over here across the pond. And his suggested method of cooking eggs brought to mind my own grandmother saying that was how she cooked eggs as a young girl. The method: Take a raw egg (or several), build a very hot fire and wait for it to die down to hot coals. Crack the top off the egg (or it explodes) and then add some salt and pepper if you wish, and using some tongs, set it into the coals (upright of course) to cook. Depending on the size of your egg and how hot your coals are, this can take between fine and twenty minutes (ours took five minutes). Modern gourmet method: Hollow out an onion, drop egg, some chopped onion, salt and pepper and cook the same way. Don’t burn your fingers!
Menu Gems We asked our contributors to share their favourite breakfast and brunch hotspots in our city… Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Dan Clapson There are few things in life that I love more than a good brunch. Borgo Trattoria’s ‘Purgatorio’ eggs in a sweet tomato sauce with pancetta - is so delicious it’s almost magical.
The Box’d Gold Digga breakfast poutine at OEB is not an everyday dish, but it’s worth busting your belly for as an occasional breakfast treat. With herbed potatoes cooked in duck fat layered under brown butter hollandaise, cheese curds, crisp pork belly, black truffles, and poached eggs cooked to order, this box of deliciousness takes breakfast to a new level. Christine G. Louie Do you know what is music to my ears? Hearing the pastry crust crackle beneath your fork as you dig into the quiche at Cassis Bistro. Chef Dominque serves a huge slice that looks like it would be too much to eat in one sitting. However, the custard isn’t dense but light and silky. The result is a quiche that is filling but not heavy. I can’t think of a better place to start my weekend.
Karen Miller I would have to say sitting outside at Borgo on a sunny day after a walk, having the “Baked eggs Purgatorio” cannot be beat. Finishing off with a strong espresso to give me energy to get up and walk home!
Fred Malley My breakfast favourite is eggs Benedict, just about anywhere. The proviso is that that the poached eggs must have runny yolks and the Hollandaise has to be the real thing, not a starch-based facsimile. The Greenwood Inn does a Sunday brunch with omelette and carving station. The usual suspects, a lot of variety and last visit they had roast duck and curry available with baron of beef. Casual, good to visit with friends. Check out Eggs Oasis in Crowfoot. Quebec origins, casual, fast service and take an appetite whether its breakfast, brunch or lunch.
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Cory Knibutat Pancakes, for me, are too often overlooked on breakfast menus in this city. Everybody has 6 different types of Bennies, but a good plate of pancakes is hard to beat. The Belmont in Marda Loop is my pancake paradise. Chocolatechip and banana pancakes with eggs, bacon and of course, pure maple syrup slathered on everything. A great way to slap a smile across your face early in the morning.
Silvia Pikla For me, nothing beats a hearty breakfast at Red’s Diner. I like to order the vegetarian version of the fluffy three egg omelette with spinach, red peppers, guacamole and cheddar cheese. The dish comes with perfectly crispy and seasoned hash browns. Red’s was a great comfort to me after allnighters in university, but I still like to pop by on weekends when I’m in the area.
Hands down, the ultimate ooey gooey egg dish is the breakfast poutine at OEB. A layer of herb roasted potatoes topped with poached eggs, cheese curds, slow cooked bacon lardons and brown butter hollandaise. All served in a box so no one else can see the calories you are consuming. They call it The Soul ‘n a Bowl - I call it big workout required!
Vincci Tsui I like brunch with eggs and hash browns as much as the next person, but I must admit that I have a soft spot for what is essentially “Chinese brunch” - dim sum. I recently discovered the Fried Turnip Cake with XO Sauce at U & Me. Instead of the traditional pan-fried turnip cake, here the turnip cake is cut into triangular bites and deepfried with XO sauce, a spicy Chinese sauce full of umami flavour thanks to dried scallop and shrimp.
Janine Eva Trotta My favourite breakfast dish in town is definitely the traditional eggs Benedict served at the Deane House in historic Fort Calgary. The ambiance is quaint, the hollandaise is the right amount of creamy and citrus, and the lovely warm biscuits and fresh fruit bowls are perfect starters.
Linda Garson There’s many noteworthy breakfast dishes in Calgary: Wild mushroom, Truffle, Basil and White Cheddar Scramble on Noble Duck Confit Hash at Big Fish is an enormous plate that somehow I still manage to finish; The One That Did Not Get Away – Pacific smoked black cod and egg scramble, green onions, crisp potatoes, brown butter Hollandaise and vegetarian caviar at OEB, again gigantic but I still licked the plate clean! The variety of delicious surprises in Le Creuset Mini Cocottes at Yellow Door Bistro; and the decadent ‘Blackstone’ at Mission Diner - bacon, Brie, avocado and poached eggs on a whole wheat English muffin topped with hollandaise. Yum!
Advantages of Advocaat by Steve Goldsworthy
So when is the last time you had a glass of Advocaat? Really? A liqueur made from whole eggs. If you’re of English descent it was probably at Christmas time. If you’re Dutch, you probably have it in your liquor cabinet right now. Yet many others are not quite sure what to do with this oddball liqueur. While it is true, most people are familiar with Advocaat in the form of classic eggnog; it’s not just for Christmas Eve anymore. Naturally, it factors in a number of drinks that coincide with the winter months, but there are many drinks and recipes that feature this underrated and under-utilized drink. Advocaat is a rich liqueur made from fresh eggs, sugar and brandy. The Dutch and Belgians have been enjoying this hearty drink since the late 1600s. There, a thicker custard-like Advocaat made from whole eggs is the norm. It is often eaten with a small spoon rather than drunk from a glass. Many British people will remember drinking Advocaat by dipping their little finger into the glass and licking it! Belgians often dollop this heavier version atop their world famous waffles too. The Dutch enjoy it over stroopwafels (waffles made from two thin layers of baked batter with a caramel-like syrup filling). The thicker version is also used in desserts, including ice cream and pastries. Europeans will also take Advocaat as an apéritif served in a wide goblet topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa. There are several international brands that create a thinner, more drinkable recipe. Producers such as Warners, Dwersteg, Verpoorten and Warninks have made it to North America. The most common brand to the Alberta market is the Bols Advocaat, found in most liquor and wine shops. Surprisingly light on the palate, tasting notes include hints of vanilla, honey and of course custard. I remember being introduced to Advocaat by a Dutch friend, in the form of Advocaat “Snowballs”. This tangy and refreshing drink combines Advocaat with sparkling lemonade and a dash of lime juice. A favourite drink for skiers at Italian resorts is the Bombardino. Served piping hot, it is a half and half blend of Advocaat and brandy topped with whipped cream. The Green Monster mixes Advocaat with Blue Curacao, gin and vodka. Add Chambord to Advocaat and you get a drink that tastes exactly like a jam roly-poly. As with most drinks, you are limited only by your imagination. Proost!
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Bitters Makes It Better By Steve Goldsworthy
Whatâ€™s in a name? To the uninitiated, some would say a name like bitters simply says it all. But in the world of bartending and culinary adventure, bitters are anything but simple. Photo Credit: bill blair
gin to make Pink Gin.
Many mixologists consider bitters the “sorcerer’s apprentice” in the alchemy that is cocktail creation. A mere dash from a bottle brings a small explosion of aromatic sensations, not to mention punch and verve to your drink. There was a point in time when bitters were commonplace. No self-respecting bartender could call him or herself experienced without an intimate knowledge of at least a dozen distinct varieties of the elixir. Indeed, bitters were once quite commonly found in the kitchen. And any domestic host or hostess could whip up a mean Manhattan blindfolded.
A Bitter-Sweet History The history of bitters goes back to the early 1800s. Herbal remedies had been around for centuries in Europe. The term bitters was first used in conjunction with the word “cocktail” in an 1803 article in the Farmer’s Cabinet, describing this new mixed drink as “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” Perhaps the most widely known bitter is the one produced by Angostura. In 1824, German physician Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert first mixed up a batch of what would become Angostura bitters, in Venezuela. He recognized the medicinal properties of the various compounds, offering it as a treatment for sea-sick sailors. The good doctor then set up the company House of Angostura and marketed the bitters to anyone suffering from stomach ailments. It was exported to Britain and Trinidad and was soon being added to other alcohol such as rum and whisky. The Royal Navy began adding it to Plymouth
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Angostura have held the Royal warrant to supply the English Royal household since 1912, and continue to supply them with product to this day. The liquid was named after the town of Angostura in Venezuela and not after the angostura bark, which had medicinal properties. Ironically, the bitters do not use the bark at all. Bitters enjoyed several decades of success, lauded as a cure-all for everything from hiccups to excess gas. Though seen as rather dubious, it did make one’s medicine easier to swallow. It was due to the “medicinal status” that bitters survived the prohibition. But inevitably, the axe would fall on the snake oil as well, giving rise to a non-alcoholic form. Following the revival of the liquor business, bitters had fallen out of favour. The rise of the jazz era ushered in the age of the high-ball and its simplistic mix of booze and soda pop. Garden variety bitters such as Angostura were relegated to guest appearances in Manhattans and Champagne cocktails. Bitters have experienced a great resurgence in popularity however, in the past 10 years. As the cocktail scene has grown, they have regained their rightful place in the collections of the world’s trendiest bars and nightclubs. Many liquor cabinets and mirrored back bars look more like an apothecary than a mere watering hole, with dozens of the tiny bottles of brilliance.
Better Than Bitter Contrary to what the name may suggest, bitters do not necessarily make a drink, well, bitter. Bitters consist of an infusion of various aromatic herbs, roots, fruits, and barks. Many bitters like Angostura
and Peychaud are made primarily from the bitter herb gentian. Other ingredients include orange peel, cassia, cascarilla and quinine. Rather than simply being acid, many bitters may add a fruitiness or a flowery element. Like a chef’s spice rack, a wide array of bitters offers a drinker unlimited possibilities. Peychaud’s bitters offer a powerful anise scent and can be substituted wherever Pernod or Sambuca are called for. Cucumber bitters or celery-based bitters are a wonderful complement to gin cocktails. Citrus bitters will punch up a vodka highball. Others, like the Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrelled-Aged Bitters will add another dimension to any rum, rye or scotch mix. Flavours cover the entire spectrum of the palate, from apples, pears and oranges, to pecans, coffee and root beer. The 40-55 percent alcohol level is a bit of a misnomer. While you would quickly and soundly become inebriated after a few chugs of the potent potable, you would undoubtedly turn as green as a jalapeño pepper long before the staggering began. In that regard, bitters have rescued the modern-day designated driver from the boredom of sugary pop or virgin Crantinis. Some drinkers will simply add several dashes of bitters to an ice-filled glass of club soda for a near alcohol-free version of their drinking buddy’s libation.
Bitters have been responsible for a virtual renaissance in the cocktail scene over the last five years. Bartenders are limited only by their imaginations, and their customers’ challenging requests.
Where to Look for Bitters Most liquor stores will have your basics when it comes to bitters. Nonalcoholic types like Angostura can be found next to the vanilla extract at your local grocery store. Visit some specialty wine shops around town to find some of the more exotic flavours. Scan the net and check out the Toronto-based bar and cocktail shop, BYOB Cocktail Emporium at www.byobto.com for a breathtaking selection of bitters. They have everything for the savvy shaker pro and the martini novice alike. You’ll find Bittermens Xocolatl Mole, an intoxicating mix of cacao, cinnamon and spices. You can also pick up a delightful starter kit called Scrappy’s Purple Gift pack, which consists of orange, aromatic, lavender and celery flavours. There are many new bitters now emerging. Ask your local specialty wine shops about Victoria Spirits’ Twisted & Bitter line from British Columbia, or 66 Gilead Distillery out of Prince Edward County in Ontario.
Cooking With Bitters If bitters can revolutionize cocktails, imagine what they can do with food. Spice, acidity, intensity and flavour in liquid form. Bitters seem like an obvious choice for cooking, yet they are often overlooked. If you know your bitters, and take care only to uses dashes, you can easily match them to a variety of dishes. Substitute orange bitters wherever a recipe calls for orange zest, for example. Add the more savoury versions that are herb-based to a marinade. Drop them into tangy soups and garlic-laced sauces to bring balance and texture. Like cocktails, don’t be afraid to experiment. The alchemical art of making your own cocktails is where bitters really shine. Throw a cocktail party. Invite some creative and fun-loving friends and (responsibly) explore the endless possibilities that arise from the world of bitters.
Alberta Cocktail Challenge:
The Results By BJ Oudman
It turned out to be a classic provincial battle - Edmonton versus Calgary - who would win the title of Alberta’s top mixologist?
Edmonton came out on top, with Tarquin Melnyk taking home top prize. The bitterly cold weather on January 29 did not prove a barrier, with one hundred and fifty people showing up to watch the competition at Hotel Arts. In addition to friends and families were supporters of the craft of cocktails, eager to sample the creative juice of some of the most cutting edge bartenders in Alberta. The organizers, Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, were thrilled with the turnout and especially the walk-up traffic, demonstrating the interest and support of cocktail culture. Each guest was welcomed with a Moscow Mule and given the option to purchase pre-mixed competition cocktails. First round was the soda-licious category. Four mixologists per heat were given five minutes to prepare their cocktail for judging. Judge Linda Garson described the drinks as “deceptively delicious”. Winner was Stephen Stewart from Milk Tiger Lounge, with his Fentiman’s Not So Hard Lemonade (see January/February Culinaire for recipe). Second round was the winter warmer, which could be served cold or hot, but had to “warm the cockles” - perfect for the weather of the evening. The judges agreed this was a very close category, with all cocktails deserving the win, but Tarquin won with his Norfolk Flip.
Norfolk Flip 1 part Appleton’s Reserve Rum 1 part cognac 1/2 part Baileys Irish Cream (optional for dairy free) 1 part clove nutmeg syrup 1 whole egg 1 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters Garnished with burnt cinnamon & nutmeg blend
Nutmeg syrup is prepared with 6:4 demerara sugar:water. A healthy amount of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and two star anise are steeped in. All ingredients are put into a shaker and dry shaken, followed by a vigorous wet shake before double-straining over rocks. Freshly ground nutmeg is sprinkled on top, followed by flamed fresh ground cinnamon. The top four aggregate winners - Rebecca Davis, Darren Fabian, Matthew Hendriks and Tarquin Melnyk - competed in the final category, the secret Black Box. It contained Grant’s Scotch Whisky, and a non-perishable ingredient of a choice of four bitters. And who better to judge than Bitter Truth owner Lauren Mote? Rounding out the four judges were Tom Firth of Cowtown Wine and Culinaire Magazine, and Michael Delevante, the Rum Doctor from Appleton Rum. The artists were given twenty minutes to create and produce a cocktail using these two mandatory ingredients plus the variety of products displayed on the table, from pickled mango to dried peppers, or from the adjacent Raw Bar. All competitors are accomplished and creative mixologists, with three of the four regular contributors to www.justcocktails.org. Check out the site to make your next cocktail party step up a level. At the end of the night, Tarquin walked away winner of the Black Box and title of Alberta’s Top Mixologist. His Tea Punch impressed the
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judges with its balance and flavours. He gives one piece of advice: just like with food, good ingredients create good results. Albertans’ good fortune to have access to so many good products resonated once again, with Tarquin sharing that he made a career move back to Alberta from Vancouver for this advantage.
She shares her recipe for Grants Star.
2 parts Grants Whisky 1 part orange marmalade 1 part lemon juice
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 part Grants Whisky
3 dashes Bitter Sling Elderberri Bitters
1 part Bittered Sling Peach Bitters 2 parts chamomile honey tea 5 heavy dashes angostura aromatic bitters 1/2 part clove spiced syrup Stir and strain, with a lemon twist misted over glass before service. Rebecca Davis, another finalist and now behind the bar at the new Market, was inspired for her Black Box entry by the star fruit.
Shake, double strain, and garnish with a thin slice of star fruit. The other winner for the evening was Calgary Affordable Housing. After each round, two drinks from each competitor (eight total) plus restaurant gift certificates were auctioned off. This led to another battle of sorts - the Battle of Calgary’s philanthropic restaurant owners! Jeff Stine of Anejo came away as the winner, buying three out of six auction offerings. But all the winners were not crowned that night. The coveted Culinaire Magazine’s Choice Award was undisputedly Matthew Hendriks of the Balkan in Banff. Good cocktail, good marketing or both? Don’t stop now Calgary. Keep on experimenting - is the Old Fashioned the new Shiraz? Maybe these creative talents will take us there. Cocktail recipes can be found at culinairemagazine.ca click on January/ February issue
Bourbon Sour: 2 oz Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey 1/2 oz Simple Syrup 1 Fresh Egg 1 oz Lemon Juice 1 oz Lime Juice 1. In a Boston shaker, add only the egg white and shake without ice, (dry shake) until frothy. 2. Add juice, simple syrup and liquor to another shaker. Shake over ice vigorously, then strain over an icefilled cocktail glass. (Try double straining with a hawthorn strainer, then a mesh strainer if possible.) 3. Layer the egg white foam on top. The egg white will add texture and frothiness to the cocktail.
Shaking It Up!
By Nicholas Quintillan
Photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
A once popular, but obsolete, trend is making its way back into Calgary. Egg white cocktails are being found in many top restaurants in the city and the trend is growing.
the right use, care and technique, the fear of food-borne illness is limited, which has brought egg white cocktails back into the market.
sugar to sweeten the flavour. For the best results, shake the egg white and sugar in a tin without ice for 20 seconds, then add ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds.
Timo Salimaki, one of Calgary’s premiere bartenders, explains the trend as “a traditional style of cocktail making it’s way back into the market.” He has worked at several boutique trendsetters in the city, including Notables and National Beer House, and has also won several bartending competitions. He describes the method of egg white cocktails as “a slow and careful practice.”
“The reason this drink has made it’s way back onto menus is because of the customers need to experience a well-made beverage, as well as a drink with texture, flavour and a unique flair. Calgary customers are expecting a longer wait for a beverage because they understand the process of building and preparing a great drink,” Salimaki explains.
Often egg white cocktails are made with an acid component to stabilize the egg protein and this inhibits the egg whites from binding with the liquid used for the ultimate cocktail. Properly stored fresh pasteurized eggs and unsynthesized raw sugar are the best to use to get the proper flavour and texture. Try adding a flavoured spirit with an acidic style juice if possible.
Raw eggs have been found in many classic cocktails and food items throughout the years, including Pisco Sour, Egg Nog and Caesar Salad. Salimaki believes that with
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The main protein in eggs (ovalbumin), is a tightly wound molecule, and when shaken becomes unraveled. When shaken in a cocktail tin, this reaction causes bubbles and foam, although it is quite bland. Try adding
Here is a creation by Timo Salimaki to try at home with family and friends. Make sure they are comfortable with a raw egg white cocktail.
CASUALLY ELEGANT. UNIQUELY VINTAGE. DISTINCTLY CANADIAN. From the intimate setting to the vintage details, you’ll instantly be whisked away from the everyday with a visit to the Selkirk Grille at Heritage Park Historical Village. Walk in and see a prominent sandstone bar, feel the warm wood accents, and hear the sounds of music from a bygone era. Then delight your taste buds with a dish from the menu of Executive Chef Jan Hansen and Chef de Cuisine Ian Kennedy, comprised of locally grown, organic foods and Canadian specialities. Our skilled staff will match this exquisite menu with exceptional service, ensuring a truly elegant dining experience.
• Winter Special •
Enjoy 50% off select wines until April 30, 2013
Reservations 403.268.8607 or www.HeritagePark.ca
Open daily for lunch. Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. 1900 Heritage Drive SW Calgary
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