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Friday, April 28, 2006

And the award goes to...

While the movie Capote was being filmed in Winnipeg, I had the opportunity to provide organic meals in partnership with Julie Fine and her Bright Side Catering company for Academy Award winner, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I guess that I was his personal chef but personal would imply that I had met him. From what I understand in a letter from him, he enjoyed his meals.

This is some of what I prepared for Philip Seymour Hoffman while he was here for 6 weeks.

Honey Miso Grilled Pickerel
Grilled Chicken in a Pomegranite Marinade with Persian carrots, onions and parsnips garnished with dates and raisins
Curried Pumpkin Soup
Bison chilli
Elk kabobs with Saffron Couscous with Almonds
Latkes with Sour Cream and Golden Caviar
Vietnamese Wraps with Chicken
Kashmiri Goat Curry & Basmati rice
Thai Coconut Halibut Curry with Brown Basmati Rice
Korean Ginseng Chicken (Samgetang see blog entry for January 23rd) served with Roasted Nori, Roasted Beets
Pasta with Pesto
Golden Nugget Squash Gratin
Hummus, Baba Ganoush and Imam Baldi (see blog entry March 25th)
Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
Vegetarian Moroccan Stew served with Couscous

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ooey Gooey Callebaut Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup butter
3 oz dark Callebaut Chocolate*
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unbleached white flour

*Callebaut Chocolate available at DeLuca's Grocery Store in Winnipeg

Preheat oven to 350ºF
Butter an 8-9 inch square baking pan or bread pan.
In a heavy large pot, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally. Prepare remaining ingredients separately. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and stir until well incorporated. Add the beaten eggs and stir quickly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Stir in flour and mix until smooth.

Pour into pan and bake for up to 20 minutes. Enjoy hot or cold. Optional to add up to 1/4 cup of your favourite chopped nuts.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sautéed Halibut Cheeks

Sautéed Halibut Cheeks
(Serves 4)

4 medium to large Halibut Cheeks*
1 tbs butter
1 large sprig rosemary
Up to 1/4 cup of Navan or Frangelico
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat large sauté pan to medium high heat and add butter and rosemary. After melting butter, add the halibut cheeks. They cook very quickly. After one minute, turn the halibut cheeks. Allow to cook for one more minute before adding liquor. Navan is a mellow vanilla-infused cognac and Frangelico is a sweet hazelnut liquor. Allow the liquid to cook down for up to one minute. Remove the halibut cheeks from the pan and serve immediately.

*Halibut Cheeks are available at Gimli fish at two locations (596 Dufferin Ave. and 625 Pembina Hwy.)


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Last night I prepared an elaborate 9 course dinner for 10 people. Just a little tired.

Amuse Bouche

1. Elk Tenderloin Carpaccio with Fig/Port dressing
Served with water crackers and baguettes
(paired with Domaine Perrin Cotes du Rhone Red)

2. Wild Mushroom Consommé with Truffle Oil
(paired with Yamhill Valley Pinot Noir)

3. Belgian Endive Leaves stuffed with Pomegranate Walnut Paste
(paired with St. Hallett Eden Valley Riesling )

4. Caramelized Shallots in Puff Pastry with Gorgonzola Mascarpone Cheese Sauce
(paired with Pere & Fils Chanson Chablis)

Key Lime Sorbet (to cleanse the palate)

5. Seared Foie Gras with Frangelico Pear and Hazelnut Confit served on Crostini
(paired with Mumm’s Napa Valley Brut)

6. Tuna Tataki served with soba spoons
(paired with Horin Sake)

Key Lime Sorbet

7. Rock Lobster Tails in a Saffron Cream Sauce, Seared Halibut Cheeks in Rosemary butter, Bulgur pilaf with Afghani Tut *
(paired with Peter Lehman Mentor)

8. Dark Callebaut Fondue
(paired with Grahams Crusted Port and 7 Deadly Zins)

9. Cheese
(paired with Masi Amarone)

Surprises between courses included:
Escargot in Garlic butter were served after the consommé
Serrano Ham was served after the Puff Pastry Shallots
A sip of Navan, a vanilla infused cognac was served with the Halibut Cheeks
Kashmiri Lamb Curry in mini puris was served after the Foie Gras
Homemade Russian Easter Bread was served with the Fondue

*Tut is available at the Halal Meat Centre and Specialty Foods at 206 Maryland St. in Winnipeg
The wonderful Rock Lobster Tails, Halibut Cheeks and Escargot are available at Gimli Fish with two locations in Winnipeg (Dufferin Ave. and Pembina Hwy.)
The baguettes were from Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company at The Forks in Winnipeg.

Wine pairings big thanks to David, Tammy and Sheila, phenomenal Sommeliers from the MLCC

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kashmiri Lamb Curry with ground Cashews

1-2 lbs lamb (cubed)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup ground cashews
2 tbs ground curry spice mixture *
1 inch fresh ginger grated
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 cups plain yoghurt
1 tbs tamarind paste
1 tbs brown sugar
Salt to taste

*Spice mixture: turmeric and roasted cinnamon, corriander, cloves, cardamon, pomegranate seeds, fennel, anise, cumin, chilies)

Wonderful spices and spice blends as well as lamb can also be found at Halal Meat Centre & Specialty Foods at 206 Maryland St. and Dino's Groceries on Notre Dame.

In a large saucepan, brown lamb pieces and then remove from saucepan. Then sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat. Add curry spices when onion is translucent. Add tomatoes and then the ginger and garlic. When spices have softened, add browned lamb, yoghurt and remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until meat has tenderized. Curry can be placed in a slow cooker at this point on low heat.

Serve with rice or naan.
(photo from