The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence – photo courtesy of the centre
Last week, while researching my monthly Alberta at Noon column, I had the opportunity to visit The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence. Beef prices have hit a record high this year. They are up by 36% and drought is a big factor. Ranchers across the Prairies are having to buy feed instead of it growing in abundance. With favourite beef cuts like steaks and prime rib roasts at such high prices, it’s a very good time to explore lesser known cuts of meat.
Necessity is a great incentive program but that doesn’t mean that when the going gets tough, your meat has to as well. In today’s Alberta at Noon podcast I talked about the The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence staff’s emphasis on teaching consumers to use the whole animal in a nose to tail (everything is delicious if you just know how to cook it) fashion. Read on for a more about the centre and its role in the beef industry.
This post is a roundup of inspiration to utilize more than just expensive cuts of beef. The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence and Organic Alberta have the perfect workshop to get you thinking outside the burger box. The “beef connoisseurs” workshop will be Saturday, September 26, 2015. Attendees will learn lots of tips and recipes and have a chance to ask true experts for advice.
Since not all of us can make it to the workshop, this post shares some inspiring recipes from a couple of my favourite cooks – Ede Rogrigues of Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue and Noorbanu Nimji of A Spicy Touch cookbooks. While Canadian cooks are still learning about using more affordable cuts of meat, industry chefs and other cultures have made it their practice to be frugal.
Shish Kebabs with Cucumber Raita from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson photo – Karen Anderson
Summer is a time for family fun and family gatherings. Every family has a few recipes that everyone looks forward to. Whether it’s your great aunt’s hand pinched pirohy’s or your uncle’s smoked brisket – these are the foods that come loaded with great taste and great memories.
This post is about ways to preserve your family’s taste treasury. I’ll also share a bit about a big project I’ve been working on with my Indian cooking mentor – Noorbanu Nimji. Noorbanu is responsible for preserving not only her own family’s recipes but also – the recipes of a whole culture’s cuisine.
Katie Mayer and Christina Mah in the poolside garden at the Hotel Arts talking about Gnome Come Home’s local ingredients – photo – Karen Anderson
Coincidences make for great stories.
One day last week, I went to visit Christina Mah. Mah is the general manager of The Hotel Arts’ “Viet Mod” bistro called Raw Bar by Duncan Lee. She is also the president of the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Professional Bartender’s Association (CPBA).
I interviewed Mah about cocktail making and asked if she would create a summer cocktail that I could share with you. Her creation is fresh and seasonal. Fresh and seasonal might not be words you think of when it comes to cocktails but they are an emerging cocktail trend that – happily – seems to be here to stay.
In this post I’ll talk about how to make cocktails, give you some recommendations for great places to drink them in Alberta and I’ll also share the story of how we named this drink Gnome Come Home after the Raw Bar’s gnome mascot was coincidentally “kidnapped” the day I arrived to interview Mah.
Mug Cakes are included in this VIP – Very Important Pots cookbook – photo – Karen Anderson
I made eight mini Mug Cakes this morning to take to my friends at CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon.
If you’re wondering how I worked Classic French Gastronomy and Mug Cakes into the same segment, you can listen to the podcast here.
If you master the Mug Cake try making this beautiful French menu with recipes from my friends at Succulent Paris.
Today’s CBC column proved that whether you go classic or faddist – you can still savour it all.
little mug cakes cookbooks were everywhere in Paris – photo – Karen Anderson
I don’t think Mug Cakes are new. I’ve found blog posts dating back five years with oodles of recipes for them but they seem to have taken Paris by a chocolate brown cocoa powder storm this year. Everywhere I looked little cookbooks were devoted to them. At Le Grand Epicerie de Paris you could even buy a mug fully loaded with the ingredients for the mere price (I jest) of 13.50 Euros.
This post has a recipe I developed for a deliciously ooey-gooey Chocolat-ey Chocolate Mug Cake. It’s easy and fun and ANYONE can make it. I hope you will. Let me know how it turns out for you.
My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta – photo – Kim Irving
My friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris food tours are wonderful cooks who love to share their passion with visitors to their city. This post will highlight a day where I booked them for a private gourmet tour. We met for coffee, shopped on Rue de Levis near their home and then prepared a seasonal multi-course gastronomic meal
Cooking with Willard and Mahoudeau is a joyous occasion. Sitting down and sharing a meal together even more so. I hope that you’ll see that in the photos I’ll share here and that you’ll try some of the recipes as well. If they all seem a bit too much skip ahead to the next post where I share a ridiculously easy and fun Mug Cake that anyone can make and enjoy. It’s all good.