Monday, October 31, 2011

Gold Medal Plates - Sneak Peak Alert!

Here is what's on tap Saturday night at Gold Medal Plates, the most fantastically delicious Olympic fundraiser in the nation. Need tickets? Buy them online.

Anthony McCarthy – Saskatoon Club, Saskatoon
Braised organic beef and cambozola gnocchi, fois gras and black truffle filled morel, corn coating, butternut squash puree, garlic chips, cabernet franc syrah demi glace. Wine: Cab Franc/Syrah – Nichol Vineyards (Naramata)           
Brent  Lloyd – Simple Chef, Saskatoon
Lake Diefenbaker Steel head trout on a walnut and truffle suppli (Italian risotto cake) with beet confit.  Finished with a gremola oil. Wine: Pinot Gris – Haywire Wines (Summerland)       
Derek Cotton – Bliss Restaurant, Saskatoon
Togarashi Sugar Crusted Salmon, Gold Beet Vanilla Puree, Lime Marshmallow, Preserved Grapefruit. Wine: Gewürztraminer – SYL Ranch/Vincor (OK Fals)            
JP Vives –La Bodega, Regina
THE TUNAMI  Seared yellow fin tuna, with a duo of honey/wasabi aoli and chili/lime aoli, spring salad with heirloom tomatoes and a light drizzle of pepper fused sesame oil, finished with fried vermicelli crystal lightly powdered with sweet ginger dust. Wine: Fats Johnson Pinot Noir – Ganton & Larson Prospect Winery (Okanagan)                                                   

Kevin Dahlsjo – Sublime Catering, Prince Albert
Lamb 3 ways. Wine: Blind Trust Red – LFNG (Naramata)    
Leo Pantel – Conexus Arts Centre, Regina
Sous vide Wild Boar loin with Lindeman’s Smooth Lambic apple brewed infused foam, Salsa Verde, Deep Fried Black Mission Fig and Foie Gras Ice cream. Wine: Tantalus Riesling

Martin Snow – Creek Bistro, Regina
Apple cider braised boar on a heirloom 'yellow yellow' potato and cabbage 'bubble and squeak'  in a prosciutto cup served with heirloom purple carrot, mustard and apple sauce, and topped with a prairie cherry dressed pea shoot, sunflower sprout and hempseed salad, garnished with golden beet chips and gingered red carrot. Wine: Orofino Riesling – Dunham and Froese (Oliver)

Ryan Marquis – Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon
Truffle scented sous vide Rabbit saddle, Cauliflower Parfait, red beet and white chocolate puree finished with balsamic truffle reduction and a green onion oil. Wine: Adieu Pinot Noir – La Vieux Pin (Black Sage Bench)
Trevor Robertson – Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon
A deconstructed Osso Bucco with Marrow Foam Buffalo Mozzarella and Italian Sausage stuffed Arancini With Asparagus Mouse and Rosemary cream. Wine: QWAM QMPT Syrah – Nk'Mip/Vincor (Osoyoos)
Vince Lapointe – TravelLodge Hotel, Saskatoon       
Confit of duck with grilled pears sided with a sour cherry compote and Sauvagine cheese.  Sweet bread and pancetta ravioli complemented with a roasted pumpkin sauce.  Apple smoked wild boar tenderloin wrapped with Northern Saskatchewan wild mushrooms.  Accompanied with beet puree and a dried fig port glacé. Wine: Cab Franc Rose – Peninsula Ridge (Beamsville)                                                                                                   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saskatchewan Menu - Comfort Food Sunday

Breakfast, lunch or dinner - our table was set with local comfort food today!

Breakfast: bacon and eggs (farmers' market)

Lunch: Four Grain Soup (wheat, barley, lentils and wild rice) with venison pepperoni and chanterelle mushrooms. Thanks, Rick, for the venison!

Dinner: Reuben Egg Rolls (Kissel sauerkraut)

Reuben Egg Rolls
10 egg roll wrappers
10 thin slices Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
10 thin slices corned beef
1 tsp crushed caraway seeds
1 egg beaten
Canola oil
Russian or Thousand Island dressing for dipping

Place an egg roll wrapper on the counter in a “diamond” shape, point toward you. Place a slice of cheese on the egg roll wrapper. Place a rolled-up slice of corned beef on top. Add about 2 tbsp sauerkraut and a pinch of caraway. Fold the bottom point over the filling and fold in the sides. Brush the surfaces of the wrapper with beaten egg to seal. Complete the roll, sealing the edges. In a saucepan, heat one inch of oil to 350F (medium high heat). Fry each egg roll until nicely browned on each side. Drain on paper towel and serve warm with dipping sauce.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cooking for Gold

I won't make it to the Olympic Games in 2012, but I will make it to Gold Medal Plates.This is the swankiest, tastiest fundraiser in the country for our Olympic athletes. And it's back in Saskatoon on Saturday, Nov 5!
Here's the list of chefs who are competing for gold:

Ryan Marquis - Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon
Anthony McCarthy - Saskatoon Club, Saskatoon
Derek Cotton - Bliss Restaurant, Saskatoon
Kevin Dahlsjo - Two by Dahlsjo, Prince Albert
Vince Lapointe - Travelodge Hotel, Saskatoon
Brent Lloyd- Simple Chef, Saskatoon
Leo Pantel - Conexus Arts Centre, Regina
Trevor Robertson - Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon
Martin Snow - Creek Bistro, Regina
JP Vives - La Bodega, Regina

Lucky me - I'm one of the judges. Also at the judges' table is Chef Dan Walker of Weczeria, last year's gold medalist. Read last year's report and buy tickets at the official Gold Medal Plates website.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sauerkraut, mon petit chou chou?

I didn't grow up with sauerkraut, so it's not part of my culinary tradition. But I think, deep down inside, it is part of my ancestral heritage going back to the "Old Country" in Germany and Russia. So, I was excited to discover we have a thriving sauerkraut industry here in Saskatchewan.

Kissel Cabbage is located in Lumsden. It processes tens of thousands of cabbages yearly, which are grown nearby at Craven. I recently bought the sauerkraut and sour cabbage heads (which are used for making cabbage rolls). You can find them in grocery stores across Western Canada. Check it out: Kissel Cabbage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Vote for Good Food

This election, put your vote where your mouth is!

I Vote Because Food Matters is a non-partisan education campaign to raise awareness about food as an election issue. When you vote on November 7th, we want you to think about the importance of food. Talk to your candidates and tell your friends and family. By taking action on food we can create a Saskatchewan with a healthy economy, healthy environment and healthy people.

For a list of food-related questions to ask candidates, visit I Vote Because Food Matters on facebook.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saskatchewan Menu - Rewards of Canning

I dipped into my "stash" and opened a jar of preserved raspberries. I remember the day in late summer I picked these raspberries on a friend's farm -- hot and dry and blessedly mosquitoes free. Although... I would gladly run a phalanx of mosquitoes for sweet canned raspberries on a crisp fall day.

Today's Saskatchewan menu:
Breakfast: Muesli with yogurt and raspberry preserves.
Lunch: Four grain soup and Christie's rye bread.
Dinner: Rye bread with sliced sausage (Emco) and garden tomatoes (my dad); zucchini chocolate cake.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saskatchewan Menu - Fish and Biscuits

Recycle, reuse and re-enjoy! When it comes to leftovers, that's my motto. Tonight, I took leftover trout and vegetables and turned them into pure comfort food: Fish and Biscuits.

Breakfast: Homemade muesli with yogurt.

Lunch: Chickpea Fruit Salad (leftovers from Friday's Auction Dinner) and Zucchini Chocolate Cake.

Dinner: Fish and Biscuits.

Start with leftover Trout on a Bed of Vegetables. Simmer the fish skeleton for an hour in 3 cups of water with some of the leftover vegetables, adding a bay leaf and a few peppercorns. Drain, reserving the liquid and composting the rest.

Bring the fish stock to a simmer in a large skillet. Whisk in 2-3 tbsp of flour. Add the leftover vegetables -- about 4 cups -- and leftover fish -- about 1 cup. (Crumble the fish and make sure all the bones are removed.) Season with salt and chopped fresh tarragon. Add a bit of water if needed.

While that simmers and thickens, make biscuit dough. I used a recipe from Joy of Cooking. Roll the dough and cut into small rounds with a cookie cutter.

Pour the vegetable mixture into a baking dish. Arrange the biscuits on top. Sprinkle with chopped dill. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, until the biscuits are just slightly turning brown.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dining with the Stars on the Airwaves

If you're hooked on Dancing with the Stars (and even if you're not) you'll enjoy the new hit TV series -- Dining with the Stars.

These 13 episodes were recorded in restaurants around Saskatchewan and feature local chefs cooking with local produce. Each dinner includes a local celebrity and some of the farmers who provided the food. (Also celebrities in my books!)

The series was created by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate -- Food Miles Campaign. It's showing on Access Cable in Regina (Sundays at 7:30 pm) and Shaw Cable in Saskatoon (Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 pm.) Here are the episodes for each week:

#1 October 23rd – The Saskatoon Club - Saskatoon
#2 October 30th – The Creek in Cathedral Village - Regina
#3 November 6th – The Fainting Goat - Regina
#4 November 13th – The Banbury House Inn - Wolseley
#5 November 20th – The Abbey – Regina
#6 November 27th - Two by Dahlsjo – Prince Albert
#7 December 4th - Beer Brothers – Regina
#8 December 11th – The Willow on Wascana – Regina
#9 December 18th – The New Ground Café – Birch Hills
#10 December 25th – Weczeria – Saskatoon
#11 January 1st - Calories – Saskatoon
#12 January 8th – The Radisson Plaza Hotel Saskatchewan – Regina
#13 January 15th - Craik Eco Centre - Craik

Pictured: Chef Moe Mathieu's steak tartare - Episode 13.

Prepare to be hungry!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saskatchewan Menus - Auction Dinner

Last spring, I provided an auction item at a fundraiser for the McClure Foundation that included a copy of my book Prairie Feast and dinner at my house. Yesterday was the big day...

Cold cuts from Emco Finer Foods --
including their award-winning koubassa.
Prunes wrapped in bacon. The prunes weren't local, but the bacon was purchased from Wingeier's at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market.
Sliced tomatoes -- from my garden
Bread from Christie's Bakery -- baguette and German rye

Trout from Wild West Steelhead (purchased whole at the SaskMade Marketplace) baked on a bed of carrots, onions, parsnips and celery. The vegetables came from the farmers' market and my dad's garden. Tarragon from my herb patch. (recipe)

Wild rice. Purchased at the SaskMade Marketplace.

Chickpea and Fruit Salad. (recipe)
Canned chickpeas labelled "Product of Canada." Apples from Petrofka Bridge Orchard. Cumin from a local farmer. Chili powder and garlic from the farmers' market. (Instead of peaches, I used nectarines from the farmers' market and the vendor from B.C.)

Apple pie with cheddar cheese. I picked the apples from a tree in the neighbourhood. Armstrong cheddar made locally by Saputo.
Juliette Cherry liquor from Living Sky Winery.

Thank You Rick and Joy for a wonderful evening!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saskatchewan Menus - One day at a time

I was recently asked, "What do you eat?" Seems some people can't imagine what a local diet looks like. So, now and then, I'll post our daily menus with sources (and some recipes) as inspiration to all Saskatchewan locavores. Starting with...

Breakfast: Cheerios. Saskatchewan is the largest supplier of oats to the big brand name cereal companies, so even though Cheerios are made in the U.S., they are a taste of Saskatchewan.

Lunch: Re-heated wild rice. Leftovers from another meal, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. The wild rice was harvested near La Ronge and purchased at the SaskMake Marketplace

Dinner: Pasta with tomatoes and basil. Purchased pasta labelled "Product of Canada" -- the durum wheat is grown in Saskatchewan. Tomatoes and basil from my garden.

Garden tomatoes ripening in the kitchen.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Community Gardens not just for Good Food

Over the summer, U of S students studied the benefits of community gardens in Saskatoon and found it's not just about good food. Community gardens also feed our social, psychological and cultural well being.

According to the researcher Natasha Haskey:

“After the study I thought, wow! A community garden can have this kind of impact on people. Imagine what we could do with all the empty land around Saskatoon…"

Yes, indeed. Read the full article in On Campus News.