Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mushroom Season - Newspaper column

Isn't spring just lovely! Morels and fiddleheads kick off the summer eating season. Read more in my monthly newspaper column Home for Dinner, where you'll find the recipe for this lovely leek and chanterelle tart. Chanterelles will be in season in late July, so get ready! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Restaurant Review - Konga Cafe

I don't imagine there are too many teenagers in Saskatoon who go out of their way for curry goat or oxtail stew. Well, my friend Emma, 13, is one of them. We had dinner with her (and sister and Dad) at the Konga Cafe, a taste of Jamaica on the prairies. Read my restaurant review in the Star Phoenix.

Emma Bock loves curry goat.

BBQ ribs with rice and peas.

Peanut shrimp with baked potatoes.

Sunny decor at the Konga Cafe.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slow Food Saskatoon

Yes, we have great food in Saskatchewan and now we're going to "slow" it! Join a group of committed farmers, foodies and food activists for a convivial get together to discuss formation of a Slow Food chapter in Saskatoon (and Saskatchewan's first).

When: Thurs., June 7, 7-8:30 pm
Where: Caffe Sola, #38 23rd St. E. (across from the bus depot)

This meeting is organized by blogger Penny McKinlay of Wanderlust and Words, who recently attended a national gathering of Slow Food in Edmonton and came back inspired. Please let her know by email if you plan to attend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blossom Picnic

Our annual picnic under the apple blossoms at the Patterson Garden -- Lentil salad, Red Fife baguette, cheese, tomato and
just-baked cookies.


We laid on our backs under the blossoms and listened to the honey bees buzz from flower to flower.

The Patterson Garden is a "tree museum" at the corner of Preston and College -- one of my favourite places in Saskatoon.

Soon we'll be back for a picnic under the lilacs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Restaurant Review - Duck Duck Goose

My first visit to Duck Duck Goose -- and I'm hooked. I love eating off the appetizer menu, especially when those apps are created with fresh ingredients and creative flare, so this tapas-style bar is perfect in my books. Read my review in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

French Canadian baked beans with maple syrup and duck sausage.

Bacalao Fritters - Salt cod and potato balls with lemon aioli.

Ricotta gnocchi with sage butter sauce and parmesan cheese.

A cosy nook at Duck Duck Goose.
What's your favourite Saskatoon restaurant? I'll give it a taste!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fiddleheads Anyone?

It's fiddlehead time in Saskatchewan! I bought a basket of freshly-picked fiddleheads from the Nipawin area. If you'd like to sample this wild spring delicacy, let me know. They're $4.50 for half a pound, which is just enough for a stir fry or pasta sauce (or the recipe below).

Fiddlehead and Tomato Gratin
You can use asparagus in place of fiddleheads. Or both! Serves 4

5 large ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
2 tbsp melted butter
2 cups fresh fiddleheads

Cut the tomatoes in a small dice. You should have about 5 cups. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the tomatoes until the juices are released. Add the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are very soft.

In a small sauce pan, simmer the stock and wine, reducing it by about half. Whisk in the cream and mustard. Return to a simmer. Cook until somewhat thickened. Meanwhile, mix the breadcrumbs and cheese. Add a dash of salt. Toss in the melted butter.

Cook the fiddleheads in boiling water for 8 minutes. Fiddleheads should be well cooked, not al dente, as they are reported to contain a mild toxin when raw.

Spread the tomatoes evenly in four individual gratin dishes or one larger baking dish. Lay the fiddleheads atop the tomatoes. Pour the mustard cream evenly over top. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and cheese. Place under a hot broiler. Cook until the top is brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 6-8 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Love Your Lentils - Vote!

Chefs across the country are promoting Saskatchewan lentils by posting a recipe online. We get to vote for our favourite.

Of course, I voted for the entry from Saskatchewan, the lentil burger from Calories in Saskatoon. Vote here. Now I'm going to have to make it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Global TV Good Eats

I had fun this morning on Global TV chatting with host Warren Dean, checking out a few appetizer ideas for the spring bounty. Here's an app that makes the most of the short asparagus season.

Asparagus Frittata
(pictured at the bottom of the plate)
10 asparagus spears
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp fresh thyme
8 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
A few grinds of pepper

Cut the asparagus to 3-inch lengths. Drop into boiling water and cook until tender crunchy (1 minute for thin spears; 3 minutes for thick spears). Remove from water and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a non-stick skillet. Sauté onion and garlic. Add the red pepper and cook until soft. Add the asparagus and thyme. Cook another 3 minutes to blend the flavours. Whisk the eggs with the milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in the asparagus mixture.

Heat the other 1 tbsp oil in the skillet on medium heat. Pour in the eggs. Do not stir. Allow the eggs to cook until they solidify around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, lift the edges of the frittata, tipping the pan so that the uncooked egg runs underneath. Do this several times around the edge until most of the runny egg is incorporated. Try to prevent pieces of asparagus from flowing with the egg to the bottom of the frittata.

When the egg is set over most of the frittata but still runny in the centre, place the skillet under the broiler just until the central egg is set (testing with a knife). Remove before the frittata browns.

Slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Cut into finger-food size pieces. It is equally good served warm or room temperature. When asparagus season is over, substitute thin slices of baby zucchini.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Taste Saskatoon

It's official: I'm the new restaurant reviewer for the Star Phoenix. The new feature is called Taste Saskatoon and it appears each and every Monday. Which means I get to eat out every week!! This Monday, we'll visit my favourite downtown pub...

Do you have a favourite place to eat in Saskatoon? Tell me why...