This month on Alberta at Noon I’m talking about a sustainable Community Supported Fishery called Skipper Otto’s CSF. This post will share some of my favourite ways to use the beautiful wild B.C. salmon these fishermen catch when the salmon runs come in off the coast of British Columbia each summer. Salmon is a great ingredient and a favourite ingredient around my home. My family savours it all.
Category Archives: Great ingredients
In this week where sustainable fisheries are on my mind, it’s nice to receive inspiring news that a leader in Calgary’s restaurant scene has firmly anchored his seafood restaurant in the mostly unchartered waters of promoting sustainable fish consumption. I wrote about Catch restaurant’s new buycatch seafood market here. Many thanks to chef Kyle Groves for sharing this beautiful recipe and now we know where to get the “Jet Fresh” halibut we need to make this palate pleaser.
Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea, and Chorizo Ragout
courtesy of Chef Kyle Groves, Catch and The Oyster Bar, Calgary, Alberta
4 X 6 oz. Pieces of Wild BC Halibut Fillet
4 oz. Morel Mushrooms – washed and patted dry
8 oz. English peas – out of the shell and blanched
8 oz. Boiled ratte or fingerling potatoes – peeled and cut into ½” thick disks
6 oz. Chorizo meat – chopped into small pieces
½ oz. Fresh thyme – leaves only
4 oz. Fresh cold butter
1 oz. shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 oz. chives, minced
3 oz. Dry white wine
Salt / Pepper / Lemon juice to taste
1. In a cast iron pan sear the halibut fillets on one side until golden brown
2. Transfer to a 400*F oven and cook until the fish reaches 135*F
3. When the fish comes out of the oven, add a few thyme leaves and cook for one minute
4. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan cook the chorizo until the fat has rendered out of it
5. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook in the chorizo fat until softened
6. Add the Morel mushrooms and sauté until softened
7. Add the fresh thyme leaves and cook until they “pop”
8. Add a splash of dry white wine to cool the pan slightly
9. Add the cooked potato disks and the English peas
10. Bring mixture to a boil and add the cold butter cubes slowly
11. When mixture is thick, season with salt pepper and lemon juice
12. Divide onto 4 warm plates and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives
13. Top with the halibut and serve right away
Some people are born to shop but I was born to grocery shop. I love it.
I am delighted that I get to write about the great ingredients and cool things I find in local grocery stores, markets and kitchen shops. I do this for my Get This (must have kitchen stuff) column in Calgary’s City Palate magazine.
I’ve been writing Get This since the fall of 2010 and I am inspired by the fun things I find for each and every issue. I respect that my publisher and editor never tell me what to write about. They trust that I will write about things City Palate readers will be interested in. That is what City Palate is about first, last and always…for over 20 years…what readers will find interesting.
Thinking about our readers motivates me every time. Along with the products I love to squeeze in a few recipes and news about local farms and businesses, and great chefs and designers.
In this issue I wrote about the following products which will qualify for this blog’s cool things category:
Cool thing #17 – Ruckles – groovy goat cheese from Salt Spring Island
Cool thing #18 – Spiegelau’s balloon decanter and tumbler set – a darling with great hand feel
Cool thing #19 – Tartufo nero – black truffle oil that I think is asparagus’s taste soul mate
Cool thing #20 – DaVinci orange syrup – agent orange as an asset
Cool thing #21 – Lemonaise – lemon lending flavour potential
Cool thing #22 – Village Brewery Growlers – the most chillin’ beer for summer.
You’ll find the full story in this May/June issue.
I have a fridge, freezer and pantry stuffed to the gills with great ingredients and cool things. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s truly a part of what helps me savour it all.
You are never too old for an Easter treat and this tart is my favourite spring dessert.
Lemon is a great ingredient and this tart has major star power. Whether you serve it as the finale of an Easter Brunch or after a fresh spring dinner, it will always be enjoyed and appreciated.
Read on for the recipe.
Half the lamb we eat in Alberta is imported but, the superior taste of our local product means demand for it is on the rise. Lamb producers in the province are responding with a strategy to increase yields by 40% over the next 6 years. A recent Edmonton Journal article chronicled what life on Tangled Ridge lamb farm is like this time of year.
Here’s a link to my visit to Ewe-nique lamb farm and a whole menu of delicious things to make for Easter, spring and beyond.
These are just two farms out of hundreds that need our support if we are to have a strong and secure local system filled with our dream farms. Supporting and finding the farms of our dreams and cravings – our Soil Mates – was the main focus of my Alberta at Noon column today. I hope you’ll help build this potential treasure trove of “local” by asking your favourite farms, farmer’s markets and wineries to register.
Spread the word, like you’d spread manure and we’ll all watch Soilmate dot com grow into a fabulous and powerful consumer and farmer resource. That will truly be something to help us savour it all.
Read on for the recipe for the delicious lamb roast pictured above.
A few of our wonderful Albertan Cheese Makers
Are Albertans are turning into cheese heads?
Cheese head is an affectionate moniker for people who love cheese. We’ve got a growing cadre of artisanal cheese makers in the province. I’ve profiled the 15 Alberta Cheese Makers I could find, I’ve posted on issues in cheese making, I’ve profiled the Make Cheese company that sells cheese making kits and most recently I’ve posted on White Gold’s encouraging story of growth.
Other Albertans might have a beef about being called a cheese head but I guess I’d qualify. I credit several influential visits to Wisconsin, the world headquarters of cheese heads, including one of my best friends Barb Murphy Moore, for forming the cheese head curd in my brain but I never thought my fondness for the stuff would ever lead me to making cheese myself.
Last summer a visit from one of my chef friends changed all that.
This post will demystify basic fresh cheese making and provide a few recipes that I hope will encourage you to give D-I-Y cheese making a try. Many of us, live pretty far from stores that carry fresh local cheeses, but as you’ll see, if you can access fresh milk, you can make fresh cheese.
Here’s the link to my latest piece for City Palate magazine where I wrote about White Gold Cheese Factory owners Frank Fiorini and Paulo Campanella. I love those two generous-hearted Italian guys and admire their dedication. Making a successful venture out of a cheese making factory in Alberta’s tightly controlled Alberta Milk dairy quota system is commendable. I hope you enjoy reading the details of how they did this and here’s a bonus video so you too can visit with Frank and Paulo in their factory.
White Gold are one of 15 Alberta cheese making companies I’ve highlighted previously. They all have such fascinating stories that they all deserve a full piece. I may have to attempt that but later this week, I’ll be posting my column for CBC radio one’s Alberta at Noon where I focus instead on D-I-Y cheese making. That’s right, after hanging out with all these cheese makers, I decided to give it a try myself.
I hope after you read this week’s CBC column you will want to give cheese making a try too. Here’s a little preview eye candy to encourage you to consider doing so.
Cheese…I definitely savour it all. I must have been a mouse in a former life.
Sugar and our health – a little balance might be in order to keep your love alive for Valentine’s Day
Today, the first thing I read on the CBC news is that sugar has become an independent risk factor for Cardiovascular Death. It’s long been established that increased sugar consumption contributes empty calories to our diet and is a direct cause in the obesity and diabetes epidemic sweeping North America. Now sugar has been shown to contribute independent of obesity and diabetes to deaths from coronary artery disease.
National Geographic featured this phenomenon in the summer of 2013.
It’s not just because excess sugar consumption causes obesity and diabetes, there’s something about the effect of excess sugar alone causing the increase in these deaths.
Seems like perfect timing for a short but sweet (couldn’t hep the pun, I mean, this is serious but I refuse to lose my sense of humour) note on balancing what we eat. After all we want to live long and savour it all – as goes the credo of my blog.
Chocolate is a great ingredient. You can eat it on its own and savour every morsel or you can add it to your baking for a loving touch everyone will appreciate.
For my Alberta at Noon Column this month I talked about bean to bar chocolate-made-from-scratch and a company called Choklat. Their’s is the kind of chocolate I eat straight up oe in the over 1000 kinds of truffles they make on site or melted in the cascading bliss of a chocolate fountain fondue for two. I want to savour every last gram of this expensive but exquisite chocolate.
This post will highlight a few recipes that do not call for such expensive and distinct chocolate. Single estate chocolate would be wasted in baking that calls for the alchemy of many ingredients combining to create something new and fabulous as a whole. I hope you’ll read on and see what treats I have in store for you.