Chef Duncan Ly’s Vietnamese Pork Salad Rolls made with Spragg’s pork
photo – Karen Anderson
Humanely raised pork is a great ingredient. Yesterday, I wrote about a few Alberta Pork Producers that are raising their animals humanely. Today, I’d like to share the recipe for the beautiful pork salad rolls pictured above. Consider them an added incentive to go out and find some of these products. You can nourish a new direction for the pork industry as you nourish yourself.
This recipe was created by a wonderful cook that I know; chef Duncan Ly of the Hotel Arts in Calgary. Ly shared this recipe for a PBS television show called Off the Beaten Palate. I was the production assistant for that show when they visited Alberta and one of my jobs was to line up chefs and farms to highlight Alberta’s culture and cuisine. Ly’s food is so beautiful in both taste and style that I was thrilled when he agreed to participate. I had previously guided chef Ly on a visit to Spragg’s Meats pork farm and I knew he loved the taste of their product. We were all thrilled with the beauty of the dish he presented.
This post will share chef Ly’s recipe in both a written and video format.
My friend Greg Spragg of Spragg’s Meats – I call him the Pig Whisperer – he is kind & will only raise pastured, hormone and antibiotic free pigs
Deadly pig virus spurs Alberta Pork to organize farmer meetings.
The United States has an epidemic of porcine diarrhea that has killed approximately three million piglets and cost that country $240 million dollars. I just finished reading this news in the article above by Amanda Stephenson. Stephenson’s piece also reports that Ontario has just seen its first outbreak of the virus and a spokesperson for Alberta Pork says that “the real question is, can we keep it out of the Prairies?”.
I think that question misses the point. I think the real question is not “can we keep it out of the Prairies?”; I think the real question is why did these animals get so devastatingly ill in the first place?
I suspect it has something to do with the industrialization of the hog industry but I’m not a farmer or a veterinarian. This crisis is just one more factor that has me and many consumers asking questions and wishing for greater transparency in our food systems. This post describes what I know about the current systems of how pork is raised and goes on to look at some small trends and ideas that might lead the way back to a healthier pork industry with hopefully healthier animals within that industry.
I appreciate music.
Like art and beauty, taste in music, is totally personal and subjective.
It doesn’t matter what type of music I like or that you like. No matter what it is; the fact that we like it is enough to have a positive impact on our brains and our lives.
This post was inspired by U2′s new song Ordinary Love because in watching the video and listening to the lyrics, I got to thinking about how music affects our lives and our ability to savour it all.
Travelling is a great way to Savour it All
Today on Alberta at Noon I talked about a few recipes from my recent trip to Rajasthan, India. You can listen to that broadcast here. I’m on between the 28:10 to 34:10 marks in the show.
In my column today I talked about the colours of Rajasthan. I tried to convey in words on the radio a few of the images that have stuck in mind. I did not end up feeling that my brief words did this justice so I’ve put together a slide show so you can really begin to see why colour is such a phenomenon in this arid North Indian desert state.
This is a very basic pressure cooker with a red button that rises to let you know pressure has been reached and you can start timing your recipe
photo – Karen Anderson
This week on Alberta at Noon I talked about Rajasthan and the warm and spicy food I found there. I shared a recipe for Lal Moss which is a simple red meat stew that you will see on every menu throughout this Northern Indian State. You can either leave it to simmer or braise in a slow oven or crock pot for a day or you can prepare it in a pressure cooker in about 15 to 20 minutes time. Watching the chefs in Rajasthan do so inspired me to get over my pressure cooker prejudices and demystify them once and for all.
This post will delve a little deeper into the question of whether there’s a place for a pressure cooker in your kitchen and whether or not you, like me, are ready to get to know them a bit better and maybe even buy one.
Lal Moss and complementary vegetables and chapati
A lovely lunch at Rohet Garh in Rajasthan, India
photo – Karen Anderson
This week on Alberta at Noon I’m going to talk about my most recent culinary expedition to India. In November I took 21 guests to explore the food and culture of the capital region of Delhi and two of India’s Northern States: Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
I especially loved Rajasthan which is renowned as the land of colours.
The colours dazzle against the backdrop of landscape’s sandy hues. The tropically hued fuchsia and tangerine saris of the women flow like nectar giving our eyes, like hummingbirds to the flower, a little relief from the neutral tones which though soothing do not tend to be as life-giving. The colours of Rajasthan light up like match tips in the equally bright turbans of the men which change from village to village, occupation to occupation, and perhaps signal that molds that castes were made of are hard to shatter. You see a rainbow of colour in the food markets that materialize on street corners just as the evening meal must be shopped for and of course those were my favourite colours of all: the aubergine and bright green of indigenous eggplants, the scarlet of tomatoes and the muted tones of neatly bundles onions, herbs and India’s own culinary gems; her spices.
The people of Rajasthan truly manifest their culture’s belief that “Guests are Gods”. My business partners at Indus Travels and Hi Tours of India live and breathe this philosophy in every action they take for me and my guests on my annual odyssey to their homeland. They have become my second family and even though we are half a world away for 50 weeks each year I hold them dear and look forward to our yearly fortnight reunion.
This post will share a few of the many recipes that the expert cooks I met in Rajasthan so generously shared with me. I thought they might be just the thing to help us savour it all on cold Canadian January days when we might not otherwise feel quite up to the task.
Lobster in a Crusty Shell makes a nice addition to any party
photo – Karen Anderson
I hope my recent story about my love affair with lobster will inspire you to try making these Lobster in a Crusty Shell appetizers. I came up with this recipe a few years ago when I was charged with bringing the appetizers to a very intimate New Year’s party at a dear friend’s home.
My friend LouLou is an elegant hostess. It’s not just because of the expensive wines her husband pulls from his cellar (that surely is a treat – don’t get me wrong) but rather it’s because of the care she takes in planning her menu and in choosing the finest ingredients. Further refinement comes in the table she sets, the pace she orchestrates and the ease her guests feel as company in her home.
I was very pleased to be included on the rare occasion that all of her grown and far-flung family were present for New Year’s Eve. I wanted to create something memorable for this lovely family and on par with the special treats I knew I would be receiving that evening.
I remembered a friend from Halifax who used to stuff toasted bread croustades with Coquilles St. Jacques on special occasions and how rich and creamy they were. I got to thinking about how lobster might taste given a similar treatment. I played with the recipe and these luscious bites were born.
The evening of the party my new creations disappeared as quickly as the years seem to. I savoured each bite with the mineral notes of the tres elegant Puligny-Montrachet our host chose to pair with my lobster offering. It was an auspicious start to the evening, which led to the elegant end of one year and the beautiful beginning of the next.
As this year comes to an end I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope we are blessed with the gift of being able to Savour it All together.
The recipe follows