D-I-Y farm tours – Here’s a pitchfork full of opportunities for city folk to connect with farm folk this summer in Alberta

Me and one of my closest farming friends - Penny Marshal of Highwood Crossing Farms presenting at The Calgary Stampede Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen in 2011 - I've learned so much about farming and cooking from Penny! photo credit - Adam Chiasson

Me and one of my closest farming friends – Penny Marshal of Highwood Crossing Farms presenting at The Calgary Stampede Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen in 2011 – I’ve learned so much about farming and cooking from Penny!
photo credit – Adam Chiasson

Visiting Alberta’s farms and farmers – whether urban or rural – has always been a big part of my life in Alberta and summer is the prime time to make a visit. If you’d like to meet some farmers here’s some ideas I’ve collected to help you be “Outstanding in a field” this summer.

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My June @AlbertaatNoon podcast – @skipperotto community supported fishery comes to Alberta weekly for 2014 season

Albacore Tuna is another Ocean Wise ™ offering from Skipper Otto photo -Karen Anderson

Albacore Tuna is another Ocean Wise ™ offering from Skipper Otto
photo -Karen Anderson

I’ve got fish on my brain. That’s a good thing. People who eat fish really are smarter. They have higher IQs and less dementia. Their hearts are healthier.

Here’s my CBC Radio One Alberta at Noon podcast about how you can access sustainable Ocean Wise™ certified fish from Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery if you live in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan. Skipper Otto is casting his net wide this year and will be expanding weekly fish delivery beyond the usual Vancouver drop to land in Calgary and sometimes Edmonton.

Knowing the fish you eat is sustainable and that you are supporting small scale fisheries is a great way to savour it all.

Check out the recipes here and find more info on Skipper Otto here.

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Salmon recipes for my June @AlbertaatNoon column

My Grizzly Bear Salmon with greens and edible flowers photo - Karen Anderson

My Grizzly Bear Salmon with greens and edible flowers
photo – Karen Anderson

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.

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From a small boat in the Pacific Ocean to land-locked Alberta – how @skipperotto #CSF feeds our appetite for @ocean_wise fish

Smoked salmon are on the menu for Skipper Otto's CSF subscribers photo - Karen Anderson

Smoked salmon are on the menu for Skipper Otto’s CSF subscribers
photo – Karen Anderson

In 2011, I did a year of reporting for CBC Radio One’s Homestretch program as their Calgary-based “food finder”. It was my job to find lesser known but great food stories, places and people. What a fun job.

One of the biggest delights of that year was discovering a company called Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery (CSF). This post will describe what CSFs are and provide the story of Skipper Otto then and now. Like most fishing stories, it’s a pretty tall tale – only in this case, it’s all true.

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Bonus: @ChefGroves shares @CatchCalgary @ocean_wise #halibut recipe

Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout photo - Karen Anderson

Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout
photo – Karen Anderson

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

Serves 4
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

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@CatchCalgary – this 100% @ocean_wise Calgary restaurant now introduces 100% ocean wise seafood market

Chef Kyle Groves of Catch and The Oyster Bar at the Hyatt Regency Calgary photo - Karen Anderson

Chef Kyle Groves of Catch and The Oyster Bar at the Hyatt Regency Calgary
photo – Karen Anderson

This week I’ll be talking about sustainable fisheries on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon. In a related story, one of Calgary’s flashier downtown restaurants just announced an interesting new sustainable seafood program.

Catch and The Oyster Bar became the first seafood restaurant in Alberta to offer a 100% Ocean Wise™ menu last year and now they’ve added a completely Ocean Wise™ seafood market called buycatch (its a market by Catch where you buy the fish Catch carries but there’s no harmful bycatch – a term referring to birds and other species of fish inadvertently caught with unsustainable fisheries methods). The menu of offerings will change on a daily basis as their “Jet Fresh” supply arrives from the coasts of Canada. Ocean Wise™ provides consumers with the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean friendly sustainable seafood choice.

Here’s how the buycatch program will work.

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17 Reasons Calgary #yyc is awesome via @CalgaryHerald writer @meghanjessiman

17 Reasons Calgary is awesome.

There are so many reasons I find it easy to savour it all in Calgary. This article speaks to 17 of them.

What are you waiting for? Hop on a plane. Come to Calgary and Savour it All

What are you waiting for? Hop on a plane. Come to Calgary and Savour it All

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