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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pickerel Recipes

Sweet Lake Winnipeg Pickerel is now in Season until July 10th. Recipe as featured on Beverley Watson's CBC Weekend Morning Show.

1. Parchment Paper Fish
Per Fillet:
1 fillet Pickerel – now on sale at Gimli Fish
1/2 carrot, peeled and then peeled into strips
1/2 leek whites, julienned
pinch sea salt
pepper to taste
3-5 basil leaves, chiffonade (use your favourite herb)
parchment paper
spray olive oil*

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place fish on top of very lightly oiled parchment paper. Place basil, carrot, leek and pinch of salt and pepper on top of fish. Lightly spray with olive oil. Seal paper and place in oven or on top of grill for up to 20 minutes in the oven, depending on thickness of fillet. If using a BBQ, place fish on upper level and not directly over the heat. The fish is so delicate. Paper will puff up. Remove and serve immediately.

*I like to use a truffle oil olive oil blend.


2. Tomato Saffron Poached Pickerel

(Makes 4 servings)
1 shallot minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Saffron*
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/2teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup orange juice (makes a very fresh flavour)
4 fillets Pickerel
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in olive oil and cook until translucent. Add tomato, Saffron, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, tomato puree and wine. Cook on medium heat until well incorporated. Add Pickerel Fillets on top of sauce. Cook on high for a minute (varies by thickness of fish) and turn fish pieces over. Continue cooking until fish begins to flake. Remove from heat and serve.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Birthday celebrations menu

Thank you to Ivan from the Pritchard MLCC for the excellent wine and port pairings.

~ Birthday Celebration Menu 60 Guests ~

1. Sashimi Spoons One bite Ahi Tuna Sashimi with grilled Udon, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.
Pairing: Sashimi Spoons.... this is a big flavour opener, with a lot of different textures and power notes, so I would suggest to match this with a lager beer, #8583 Grolsch Lager, or a sparkling white, either # 803361 Willm Blanc de Noir or #7451 Simmont- Febvre Brut. The lager beer has a decent double hopped Euro style to it that would stand up to the spiciness of the dish and the sparklers would contrast the "hot" nature with crisp notes. Personally, the Willm would be my choice.

2. Spanikopita Triangles made with spinach, feta, mushrooms and pine nuts.
Pairing: Spanikopita Triangles.... this is a Greek Mediterranean dish that I think has a lot of earthy tones to it. A nice white dry will do nicely here. Pick either #541185 Sandhill Pinot Blanc or #497248 Trius Unoaked Chardonnay. Two Canadian wines from opposite sides of the country. The pinot blanc has a good fruity aromatic and mouthfeel that would compliment the earthiness of the dish and the fresh melon/apple of the chard will contrast the veggie components.

3. Sautéed Pickerel Cheeks sautéed pickerel deglazed with Vermouth and garnished with Arugula Pesto .
Pairing: Sautéed Pickerel Cheeks.... nothing but a firm German style here! Being on a Canadian kick, I picked either # 234583 Cave Spring Riesling or # 142893 Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer. Here you need, I think, a bit of sweetness to balance the herb and woodiness of the vermouth. Either deliver, but again, my pick would be the Cave Spring. The water that irrigates the vineyard falls over a dolomite escarpment that literally injects the grape with minerals and flintiness. This wine loves fish textures.

4. Cheese platter with fresh Dates A variety of cheeses served with baguettes.
4. Cheese platter with dates....... a different direction. Something from the Iberian peninsula. I would go with either # 270363 Castillo de Alamasa or #7121 Tronco Tempranello reds. I am assuming that most of the cheese will be either mid or old in nature, so a mid bodied, fairly fruity red is in order.

5. Bouché pastries filled with Shitake and Porcini mushrooms

6.Lemon Almond and Gingerbread Orange Biscotti

Pairings: Bouche Pastries and assorted Biscotti.... both these dishes have earthy components, the mushrooms and the almonds, so a "earth Mother" style of wine. A burgundian type. Either #3855 Sileni Pinot Noir or #591313 Malivoire Gamy. The "barnyard", loamy nature of either of the grapes will match the flavours of the dishes but there will be enough acid in the respective wines to add a bit of a bite to the finish. Personally, the Sileni Pinot Noir is my pick... New Zealand is the "hot" area now.

7. Chocolate Sin Torte with ganache icing
Pairings: Chocolate Sin Torte..... here you will need a bit of power and sweet to round out the evening. Three picks... a nice brown ale, #512756 Morocco Ale, #271585 Fonseca BIN 27 porto, or #801209 De Bortoli Tawny Port. The ale has a nutty and slightly tart nature that would contrast the tortes. It would highlight the chocolate flavours. The ports would be ideal. If there are any cigar people there, the tawny is choice. The woody aromatic and finish matches a good Cuban any day!

8. Coffee

9. San Pelligrino Water

Surprises: Golden Caviar and Smoked Salmon
Ahi Tuna, Pickerel Cheeks, caviar and smoked salmon from Gimli Fish

Friday, June 05, 2009

Weekend Morning - Local Asparagus 2 ways

I'll be featuring recipes and sources for local produce and products for the Summer on Beverley Watson's CBC Radio show, Weekend Morning

There is some lovely local asparagus now available. These lovely asparagus spears were grown near St. Malo, Manitoba. The first recipe is my one and only microwavable recipe that can be easily adapted to grilling the asparagus as well.

1. Simple Asparagus

1 bunch Asparagus, washed and bottom ends snapped off
1-2 lemons, zest only (nice alternative is zest of grapefruit)
Healthy drizzle good Sesame Oil
1/2 - 1 tsp water
ground White Pepper
few pinches sea salt or Fleur d'sel

Place washed asparagus in a microwavable dish. Drizzle sesame oil over spears. Zest lemons over asparagus spears and sprinkle on white pepper and salt. Optional: one could also sprinkle sesame seeds over asparagus as well. Add a bit of water and cover dish with microwavable plastic wrap with a small air vent. Cook in microwave for about 2 minutes (each microwave oven is different).

Serve immediately. You can sprinkle more zest over the asparagus spears after cooking as well.


2. Wrapped Asparagus in Phyllo

1 package Phyllo pastry (thaw in package and cut into quarters)
1 bunch Asparagus spears, washed, ends snapped off and cut into appetizer-sized lengths
1/2 cup chevre
White pepper and sea salt to taste
melted butter to brush onto pastry

Options: ground nutmeg, lemon zest, pesto, etc. Have fun with it.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Covering the phyllo strips with a dampened cloth, use one or two sheets at a time, place a spoonful of the seasoned Chevre onto one end of the pastry. Place one or two cut asparagus spear pieces onto the chevre and roll closed the length of the pastry. Place on baking sheet and repeat until finished asparagus spears. The asparagus can poke out of the pastry at either end. Between every few completed rolls, brush with melted butter to prevent pastry from drying out. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until browned, depending on oven.

Serve as an appetizer or party fare.