Gold Medal Plates competition Saskatoon 2013

COMPETITION TIME What are Gold Medal Plates?basically its an event designed to raise funds for the Canadian Olympic effort and is held in 12 cities across Canada. Ten Chefs from each city design a tasting plate to accompany a Canadian wine which is served for between 5-600 guests as well as a panel of judges made up of Chefs, food writers, guests etc http://goldmedalplates.com/site/?p=6125 Here are this years entrants- Robin Andreas – Sheraton Cavalier Hotel Kevin Dahlsjo – Two By Dahlsjo Mike Link – Western Concessions Moe Mathieu – White Birch Catering Anthony McCarthy – The Saskatoon Club Mike McKeown – Prairie Harvest Cafe Rusty Penno – Dakota Dunes Casino Simon Reynolds – Simon’s Fine Foods Trevor Robertson –...

Brown sugar roasted parsnips

Brown sugar roasted parsnips

What an amazing vegetable, the humble parsnip can be baked, boiled, steamed, roasted , braised, fried and turned into numerous dishes including soups, purees or as in this recipe roasted for a side. They also make great chips just shave with a peeler and deep fry in hot oil till crispy. The benefit of this vegetable is it likes winter and the low temperatures actually enhance the flavour giving them a sweetness unlike anything else. Parsnips are commonly used to accompany roast meats such as beef or pork but are great in stews where you want a little sweetness, I like to enhance the sweetness with either brown sugar or honey and if at hand fresh thyme or rosemary. Brown sugar roasted parsnips INGREDIENTS 4 parsnips peeled 2 tbsp soft butter 1 tbsp soft brown...

Roast Monkfish with Chorizo sausage

Roast Monkfish with Chorizo sausage

Today I took a trip to the local fishmongers and after wandering around I found a stash of monkfish tails in the freezer section, now although its frozen this wasn’t going to stop me grabbing a deal as the price was very reasonable and I’m assuming due to the fact I’ve never seen monkfish on any menu in town that most people haven’t heard of this treasure. Monkfish is one ugly fish with a huge head, huge mouth comparative to its body and a protruding fleshy growth coming from its head which hangs in front of the mouth and acts as a lure to other fish enticing them into the path of the huge mouth hence the other name they are known is the anglerfish. They have one thing going for them and is they taste just great! the flesh is meaty and...

Sauteed fingerling potatoes

Sauteed fingerling potatoes

My Chef’s apprenticeship was three years long and twelve months of that time was spent on the vegetable section in a 120 seat hotel restaurant making three vegetable dishes and two potato dishes every day for the TDH menu (Table d’Hote) as well as a number of side dishes on the A la Carte menu which included saute potatoes. I must have served thousands of portions of these little golden potatoes scooping them into silver dishes taken to the table and “silver” served by the waiter onto the customers plate, which looking back seems an odd way of serving food but was a common practice back then. Saute basically means “cooked or browned in a pan with a small amount of butter, oil or other fat” so this is exactly whats in this...

Goats cheese gratin potatoes

Goats cheese gratin potatoes

WARNING-These potatoes are addictive eat at your own peril! Gratin dauphinoise are a creamy garlicky potato dish that sits well with pretty much anything and are extremely easy to prepare. You can switch the potatoes for sweet potatoes or Yams and it will turn out the same delicious mound of goodness. In restaurants I make large trays which involves slicing potatoes on a mandolin flavouring cream with thyme and garlic and baking slowly until tender, then the tray is placed in the fridge with parchment paper on top and another tray s placed on top of this and weighted with anything at hand to gently press the potatoes over night. The next day the potatoes are compressed enough to allow the Chef to cut out shapes with pastry cutters or knives to finish in the oven...

Salad leaves

Salad leaves

Something so that should be so simple yet ruined by the advent of prepicked “mesculin” salad leaf mix found in restaurants and grocery stores everywhere. Lettuce is not just a carrier for dressing it should be a mix of colourful, flavoursome, crunchy leaves that are to be lightly dressed and not drowned. My most intense experience with lettuce was at a Michelin starred kitchen in the UK where the training began from the delivery, we had 15 heads of various lettuce delivered every morning and hand inspected one by one, I don’t think there was ever a bad one delivered as the grocer knew the Chef wanted perfection and nothing else. The next stage was to fill a very deep sink with cold water (not ice cold) and add a good handful of salt to kill any...

Pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple upside down cake

Retro or classic? In my opinion pineapple upside down cake is both, something most of us got to taste while growing up and is still being served to children today sparking their taste buds and creating a memories that one day will be “retro” to them. The first time I made this was in a school cooking class and I can still remember gathering the ingredients from the ingredient trolley and having no idea what they all were and how we were going to make a cake upside down! Well after a couple of hours somehow the class had produced 12 cakes and we all tasted our work and packed the remainder away to take home, well in theory anyway as my home was a 10 minute walk away so before I’d reached the gate I somehow managed to eat the whole thing and had to...