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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Savouring Local Foods with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes at the Grant Park Liquor Commission on behalf of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. The theme focused on local products so I was happy to present our wonderful local golden caviar, lamb, eggs, produce and fresh rhubarb.

Bonnie Tulloch on behalf of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, presented on the plants used and local sources or options for having great local produce while MLCC Product Ambassador, Carol Herntier, presented pairings for each dish.

Reception Beverage: Italian Iced Tea (1part Rosso Vermouth, 2 parts Gingerale, serve over ice with a slice of lemon)

1. Classic Caviar Station
Paired with: Trius Brut VQA - Ontario $ 26.99

Golden Caviar (from Gimli Fish)
Toast triangles or crostini
Chopped hard boiled egg (farm fresh or Vita Eggs)
Thinly sliced red onion/chives (from the garden)
Sour cream

2. Moroccan Lamb Stew
Paired with: Rigby Dry Raspberry - Manitoba $ 17.50 and Half Pints Sweet Nikki Brown Ale - Manitoba $ 12.32

1 lb lamb shoulder, cut into bite-sized pieces (Manitoba Lamb available at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods and DeLuca's)
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly sauté onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

3. Fiddleheads in Brown Butter with Pancetta
Paired with: Canadian Caribou Cocktail (1oz Crown Royall, 1/2oz Yukon Jack, splash of Ginger Ale, lemon slice. Build on ice) and Cedar Creek Pinot Noir VQA - B.C. $ 32.86

3 pounds fiddle head ferns, trimmed and washed (Available at DeLuca's and FOOD)
1/4 lb chopped pancetta
6 tablespoons brown butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly nutmeg
pinch Kosher salt

1. In a large pot bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Fill a medium bowl halfway with ice water. Drop the fiddleheads into the pot and cook for 1 minute. Drain the fiddleheads in a colander, then submerge in the ice water until completely cool. Let the fiddleheads drain well in a colander and wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to dry.
2. Slowly brown butter in a large skillet. Bring up to higher temperature and cook chopped pancetta.
3.Heat for a minute or two until they are warm, then divide the fiddleheads among the plates. Serve at once as a side dish or on Chinese soup spoons as an appetizer.


4. Pavlova with Rhubarb sauce
Paired with: Kermode Saskatoon Berry Wine - B.C.$ 16.75

4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature (Farm fresh or Vita Eggs)
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180ºF.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won't get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk
attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny
peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the
meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with
sweetened whipped cream.

Rhubarb Sauce

3 cups chopped rhubarb (first fresh from the garden)
zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
1-2 tbs corn starch
drizzle vanilla
drizzle Grand Marnier

Cook all ingredients together at one time over medium heat, stirring being careful not to burn the sauce. Cook bubbling for at least one minute to allow the corn starch to fully cook and have a shiny result. Simmer until rhubarb has broken down.



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