I don’t know how it came up. I think I asked my friend Gail Norton for a new recipe for a summer dessert. I was bored with my usual repertoire.
Apricots, she said.
Make a Tatin. I’ll send you a recipe.
She did and that’s where this story starts.
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.
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
Here’s my Alberta at Noon Podcast for today. I’m on between the 12 and 18 minute mark in the show.
You can find today’s recipes here.
Happy Cinco de Mayo to the 15,000 Mexican Canadians living in Alberta and to all the Seasonal Agricultural Workers that are returning to share their knowledge and skills on the farms around our province as we begin another growing season here in Alberta. Cinco de Mayo is about finding strength in unity and community. I think that’s a pretty great reason to fiesta and to savour it all.
This week on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’ll be talking about light and lively Mexican food that you’ll find easy to prepare for Cinco de Mayo or any time you feel like refreshing your Mexican cooking repertoire.
I learned these simple and delicious recipes while visiting Zihuatanejo (Zi-wha-ta-nyay-ho – only it sounds much more beautiful when Mexicans say it) Mexico on a recent family holiday.
I took a food tour and Mexican cooking class with chef Mario Miranda of Club Intrawest resort this year and in years past I’ve done the same tour with his predecessor the amazing Edgar Navarro (who has now moved to Whistler to run two restaurants at that bustling resort). Miranda was kind enough to share the recipes included in this post. I hope you enjoy them and the photos of my market tour with him.
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.