These little berries are definitely getting more and more traction lately and I am loving it. So, what exactly are they? The tart little guys – comparable in taste to a gooseberry – are defined as a ‘superfruit’ being high in a variety of vitamins and antioxidants making an orange seem, well, kind of lame. What’s that orange? Vitamin C is all you’ve got?
The trees these berries grow on can strive in cold weather and poor soil conditions, so you’ll find them all over the Canadian Prairies. The roots of this particular type of tree are also very strong, which made them ideal for creating shelterbelts on farmland across Saskatchewan. Growing up in Saskatoon, I would often see these trees and had I known back then how interesting the berries were, I might have fallen in love with them a little sooner.
I’ve decided to take part in a monthly series with an array of food bloggers across Canada called The Canadian Food Experience Project, led by the lovely Valerie Lugonja of A Canadian Foodie. The whole idea behind this monthly series is to highlight the fantastic things that make our country’s culinary scene what it is. Something to be proud of.
When the sun hits, it’s time for something refreshing. I fell in love with granitas a while back. They are stupid easy to make and always impress people. From wine and vodka, to prosecco and beer, there is a whole mix of things you can throw into a granita. Since I am in love with cold beer on a hot summer day, I decided to turn on into a dessert.
The fresh rosemary and lemon zest add a nice brightness to this chilly dessert, tasting somewhat like a boozy iced tea…not to be confused with a Long Island Iced Tea…I think only 18 year olds drink those things, right?
I am love with mushrooms lately. Roasted, sauteed, whatever the way, they’re god damn delicious! There are some restaurants around Calgary, like Model Milk and Ox and Angela, who are serving up their tasty takes on mushroom toast. I had a craving for some creamy, mushroom goodness, but wasn’t in the mood to leave my house, so tried to come up with a variation myself.
This recipe is not quite as tastebud-exclaiming as the stellar dishes you’d find at Ox or Model Milk, but my home version hit the spot on a cold, winter day just fine. The egg yolks added at the very end, give it a carbonara-like richness, which is what really brings this one home, I think!
There are good potlucks, and then there are awesome potlucks, and then…there’s CHARpopLuck. The co-owners of Charcut, by some miracle of god, assembled a line-up of dozens of chefs to contribute to an epic potluck dinner at The Calgary Farmers’ Market for 100 lucky attendees this past weekend.
In addition to helping raise over $20 000 for the Calgary Food Bank, which is awesome, the event gave food-lovers the opportunity to spend some time with the city’s best chefs and some great out-of-towners too. The list of chefs is too long to list here, but included dishes by Paul Rogalski (Rouge), Kyle Groves (Catch), Roy Oh (Anju), Dale Mackay (Top Chef Canada winner, season one) and many, many more.
I think that, sometimes, pictures can say it better than words could describe, so check out all the happy, smiling faces I captured at Charcut’s CHARpopLUCK event. What a night!
Top Chef Canada season one competitors, Dale Mackay and Connie Desousa, reunited for the night!
As you can probably guess, I’m an avid home cook. I whip up dinners comfortably (usually with the help of a sous chef or two) for groups of friends. I can turn the miscellaneous contents of my refrigerator into some semblance of a ‘charcuterie’ board if I have guests popping by unexpectedly. Yes, it would seem that I am slowly, but surely, becoming a kitchen wizard of Hogwart’s proportions.
Having said that, I can occasionally get so carried away, making something unusual or attempting to meld odd flavours together on a plate that I forget about the tastiness that can come out of the uncomplicated approach to cooking.
I’ve read Bon Appétit for years. I use it for inspiration in my kitchen, staying informed on the culinary happenings in North America and, regardless of the time of day/week/month/year, as an appetite stimulant. The magazine has started off the new year with a “Cooking School” issue. A good chunk of its pages are filled with how-tos and tips to get you cooking more often.
A lot of the pointers, guides and recipes I read through weren’t necessarily things that I did not know how to do, but, rather, things that I forgot to do. I am definitely the type of person that needs constant reminders in all aspects my life, and reading through this January issue of Bon Appétit was my culinary reminder for 2013. ‘Tis the season, so let’s consider this a resolution too.
3 cups fresh pumpkin (1″ cubed)
2 large Italian sausages (casing removed, and Spolumbo’s of course!)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups zucchini (halved, 1/2″ sliced)
3 cups kale (stems removed, loosely chopped)
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TSP lemon juice
1 TSP chili powder
salt and pepper
Once snow appears on the ground and sticks around for awhile, I get a little soup crazy. Not like ‘Soup Nazi’ crazy, but just mildly obsessed with making soup at home. When I had Julie van Rosendaal pop by my Start From Scratch class a few weeks ago (to make Dill Pickle Soup, neat hey?), she reminded me just how much flavour some quality sausage can add to a pot of soup. The spicy, Italian sausage adds a nice heat to this hearty pumpkin, and veg-heavy, bowl of goodness. Best enjoyed with friends.
- The Canadian Food Experience Project: Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Twelve
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 11 (and a contest!)
- Sweet And Spicy Udon Noodles
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 10
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States