August 04, 2017

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How to Throw a Killer Summer BBQ Party

Summer has hit it's peak and it's time for you to celebrate with a Summer BBQ Party! Make yours the talk of the town with these tips for your next get together.

Decorate your space 

String Lights - the perfect way to light up the nightPick some up at your local hardware store, or grab the ones you have left over from the holidays!

String Lights

Bright throw cushions. No need to go out and buy all new patio furniture - just grab some bright accessories like outdoor throw pillows to make your space feel more fun!

Patio Furniture

The right glasses. Nothing makes you seem like a great party host than having the right glassware for your guests. Pull out those wine glasses for your guests to enjoy, but if you're nervous plastic ones will work just as well!

Pouring wine

Get the drinks flowin'🍷 

Here at kwäf, it’s not a party until there’s a drink in our hand. Here are a few of our favourites.

Something for the wine lovers - kwäf ClubK

Choose from an assortment of whites and reds that are perfect to beat the heat.

Summer ClubK

Something budget friendly LCBO Sale Wine

Get something kwäf approved that's easy on the wallet and available at any time, and sign up to receive the picks to your inbox every week!

LCBO Sale Wine of the Week

Food is a must 🍔

Besides the drinks, the food is the most important part of your BBQ. (These also go really well with wine!)

For the kids – Stuffed-to-the-Max Burgers

A twist on the classic burger. Even get your kids involved in the prep work!

Stuffed to the Max Burgers

For the adultsPrime Rib with Horseradish Cream

This is sure to be a crowd pleaser – but make sure you have enough to enjoy the leftovers!

Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream

A little something extraGrilled Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Salad

A nice summer salad to pair with your meat, or eat on it’s own!

Grilled Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Salad

 

Set the mood with some music 🎶

We’ve created a playlist perfect for sitting back and enjoying the summer.

 

Ready to throw your Summer BBQ Bash? Let us know and share your photos with us on social media! Don't forget to follow us for more great tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

July 28, 2017

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Grilled Eggplant & Roasted Tomato Salad with Tahini Dressing

Grilled Eggplant& Roasted Tomato Salad

Step up your salad game!

Pairs perfectly with: Queenston Road Vineyard Co. 2016 Viognier
(Find it in your Summer ClubK, or get yourself a bottle today!)

Serves: 4–6

INGREDIENTS

Salad
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts
6 to 8 Roma tomatoes (about 630 g), quartered 6 Tbsp (90 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
2 medium eggplants (about 910 g), sliced into 1/4-inch (6 mm) slabs lengthwise
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley

Tahini Sauce
1/2 banana pepper (about 35 g) 2 heads garlic (about 60 g)
1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini
1 Tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat. Shaking the pan frequently, toast the nuts until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of olive oil and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of salt. Toss to combine and spread out on half of a baking sheet. To take advantage of the hot oven, you’ll also roast two of the ingredients for the tahini sauce at this point; first, halve the banana pepper, brush with olive oil, and place next to the tomatoes on the baking sheet, skin sides up; then cut the tops off the garlic heads to expose the cloves, brush the tops with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil, and place next to the baking sheet on the oven rack.

Roast the pepper until the skin starts to blister and blacken. Remove from the baking sheet, but let the tomatoes keep cooking. Roast the tomatoes until they’re soft and the edges start to blacken, about 45 minutes. Roast the garlic until soft, about 35 to 45 minutes; once cooled, squeeze out the cloves.

Preheat the barbeque to medium-high heat (450°F to 500°F/230°C to 260°C). While the vegetables are roasting in the oven, generously brush the eggplant slices with the remaining 4 Tbsp (60 mL) of olive oil (or more, if needed) and season with the remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of salt. Once the grill is hot, place the eggplant slices on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the side facing the grill has nice grill marks and starts to blacken. Flip and repeat on the other side. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a dish. Continue this way until all the slices are grilled. You may want to let the grill heat up again between rounds. Cover the eggplant with foil and set aside.

To make the sauce, add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, roasted pepper, roasted garlic cloves, salt, and water to a blender or food processor and mix until combined. Taste and season with more salt if desired.

Gently toss the eggplant, tomatoes, and parsley together. Serve warm, drizzled with the tahini sauce and topped with the toasted pine nuts.

 

*Recipe excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

July 21, 2017

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Summer? There's a Red Wine for that.

Summer, meet Red Wine

Chilling out with a cool red wine is not only an acceptable practice - we actively encourage it.

Just as we like lighter and fresher foods in summer, so it is with wine. Heck, it’s hot out! You don’t want an alcoholic bomb that tastes like prunes, figs and dates with a backbeat of cigar box and Christmas pudding. You want something fruity, light and soft, with a little mouth-puckering zing.

Luckily, there’s a red for that — and choosing a good one is not difficult, whether you’re looking for a casual sipper or something more substantial to go with a light grill or cold meat plate for dinner.

Here’s what to look for when finding your perfect summer red:

Cool it. Red wines should always have a little chill, at least to below 18°C. But for summer reds, you can take it down another notch. But forget the numbers - just chuck the bottle in a fridge for 20 to 30 minutes or freezer for 10. Spin the bottle to mix, then open and serve in whatever glass you feel like (tumblers approved!)

Style council. Read your wine label. You want a young wine with vintage date within the past two or maybe three years. It will have fresher flavours (we call those “primary” flavours). Look for adjectives like fresh, vibrant, juicy, soft and avoid adjectives like deep, dark, complex, spicy and, especially, “aged for 5 years in oak barrels”. Go for lower levels of alcohol, too, in the range of 11 to 12.5 percent.

Wine Regions: You may have heard of “cool climate” wines. No surprises here: they come from cooler regions like Northern France and Italy, Chile (yes, those mountains are chilly! Get it?), New Zealand, Germany and, of course, Canada. All of these make nice light red wines you can serve chilled.

Pale is good. Get a pale wine - something you can see through. That means the wine is either from a thin-skinned grape or the juice spent very little time soaking on the skins during fermentation. Either way, you’ll have a light, refreshing wine with red-berry flavours. You’ll also avoid gritty tannins, which tend to be enhanced when a wine is chilled (you don’t want that!).

Groovy grapes. Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Grenache (aka, Garnacha) are fruit-forward and — you guessed it — thin-skinned. Ergo, they can make lighter wines. Merlot works, if low in alcohol and un-oaked. Remember, it’s about style, not just grapes. Also try Gamay, primarily from France but also Ontario; Dolcetto and Barbera from Italy; and Cabernet Franc, especially from the cool Loire Valley in France.

Still not sure what to buy? Here are a few recommendations from kwäf:

Lucien Lardy Beaujolais-Villages Gamay
Lucien Lardy Beaujolais-Village Gamay
$21.50
Buy Now from kwäf

Grange of Prince Edward Cabernet Franc
 Grange of Prince Edward 2013 Cabernet Franc
Buy Now from kwäf
The Good Earth Gamay NoirThe Good Earth 2015 Gamay Noir
$21.95
Buy Now from The Good Earth

Folonari Valpolicella Classico

Folonari Valpolicella Classico
$8.55
Buy Now from LCBO

Cono Sur Tocornal Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Cono Sur Tocornal Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
$14.00
Buy Now from LCBO

July 17, 2017

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5 Best Wedding Wine Gifts

5 Best Wedding Wine Gifts

It’s wedding season! That means countless hours of looking through the registry, deciding which boring item to buy. Why not spice it up a little and go off the registry with a timeless classic - wine. 

To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of 5 wine gifts that are perfect for any newlywed couple you're celebrating.

1. A Set of Nice Wine Glasses
Every couple will drink wine at some point in their marriage, so get them the good ones.

Wine Glasses

kwäf recommends: A Set from Riedel. Riedel is known for top quality glasses, and this set has the glasses perfect to serve the most common wines.

2. A Decanter
Decanting red wine is important to get all the aromas and flavour from the bottle. Get them one that will look good on the table at their next dinner party.

Wine Decanter

kwäf recommends: A Restaurant Quality Decanter. This style is most used in restaurants, so the newlyweds will be most impressed - and so will guests at their next dinner party.

3. A Wine Gift Pack
Nothing says classy like wine packaged up in a fancy box. GiveWine sells a number of different gifts that are packaged with your personal message, and can be sent right to the newlyweds door. You don't even have to wrap anything!

Best in Class Gift Pack

kwäf recommends: Best In Class Gift Pack from GiveWine. This gift comes with 3 bottles, perfect to celebrate their 1st, 3rd, and 5th anniversaries.

4. A Wine Subscription
Send them the gift of good wine all year long. It's a way to explore and enjoy new wines that they may not have picked up themselves, and will also give them a start to building their own wine cellar.

ClubK Subscription

kwäf recommends: ClubK. ClubK is a quarterly wine subscription of 6 exclusive wines (not available at LCBO) that are hand picked by sommeliers, and delivered to their door with tasting notes and recipes.

5. A Wine Experience

Most couples already have enough "stuff". Send them on a date to wine country, where they can enjoy wines in the vineyard and each other's company as they start their life together.

Winery

kwäf recommends: A Tour and Tasting at Creekside Winery. Enjoy a tour of the vineyard, and a tasting of some of Creekside's amazing wines, then enjoy a meal on the deck with a panoramic view of wine country at In The Smoke Cookery.

 

 

July 14, 2017

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Recipe: Stuffed-To-The-Max Burger

Stuffed-To-The-Max Burger

Burgers are a Summer BBQ Classic, and you can take yours to the next level with this recipe from Diva Q's Barbecue: 195 Recipes for Cooking with Family, Friends & Fire.

Beaujolais and Burgers are a classic pairing - so think Gamay (with a slight chill) next time you fire up the grill. You can also go with a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc; the key here is to have a wine with nice juicy acidity to help wash down all that meaty, cheesy goodness.


makes: 8 servings • prep: 20 minutes • chill: at least 1 hour • cook: 12 to 14 minutes

There are a million ways to make burgers, but this is burger nirvana. Stuffed burgers done my way, with a rolling pin and pizza wheel—really!—are easy to prep. Get your kids to help you and share the burger love.

INGREDIENTS

Burgers
3 lb ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and finely ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil for oiling 8 kaiser buns, split
1/4 cup salted butter, softened

Stuffing
1/2 cup bacon jam
1/2 cup caramelized onions
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Additional cheese for melting (optional)

Toppings
Cooked bacon, sliced cheese, lettuce leaves, good-quality mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s), Homemade Smoked Ketchup and/or mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Gently mix together the ground beef, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.

2. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface. Tip the ground beef mixture onto the plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, flatten the ground beef out evenly on the plastic wrap to form a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.

3. Using a pizza wheel, score the rectangle of ground beef into 16 even-size squares.

 4. Top the 8 squares nearest to you with equal amounts of bacon jam, caramelized onions and cheddar.

5. Grasp the edge of the plastic wrap furthest away from you and fold the top 8 burgers over the ones nearest to you.

6. Peel the plastic wrap off the top of the burgers. Cut through the score marks with the pizza wheel to form 8 square burgers.

7. With your hands, form each square burger into a round patty, making sure the edges of each burger are sealed to keep the stuffing in. Refrigerate the burgers for at least 1 hour before grilling.

8. Prepare your grill for direct cooking and preheat it to medium-high (375°F to 450°F). Generously oil the grill grates.

9. Season the burgers with salt and pepper to taste. Grill, turning once, until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, 12 to 14 minutes. For the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with additional cheese (if using).

10. Remove the burgers from the grill, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 to  10 minutes before serving.

11. While the burgers rest, spread the cut sides of the buns with butter. Grill, cut sides down, until  golden. Assemble the burgers, adding your choice of toppings.

 


Excerpted from Diva Q's Barbecue: 195 Recipes for Cooking with Family, Friends & Fire by Danielle Bennett. Copyright © 2016 Danielle Bennett. Photography copyright © 2016 Ken Goodman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

 

June 30, 2017

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5 Reasons to Celebrate Canada Day with Ontario Wines

Time to raise a glass to our national pride and most precious asset. Wanna know why our wines are the best in the world? Here are a few reasons:

Cooler than Cool
Our wines were cool-climate waaay before it was hip to be chill. With crisp, lively and brightly fruity white wines leading the charge, our Chardonnays and Rieslings kill it at tastings around the world. Let the awards roll on in…!
Who does it best? Norman Hardie, Henry of Pelham, Stratus, Rosehall Run, Adamo
Our Pick: Norman Hardie County Chardonnay (winery direct)

Norman Hardie County Chardonnay

Norman Hardie Country Chardonnay
Price: $45
Buy from Winery

 

Dark & Delicious

There used to be a time when folks would say we couldn’t make “big reds” in Ontario. That time is way past. Folks don’t talk that way in these parts no more.
Who does it best? Domaine Queylus, Stratus, Two Sisters, Hidden Bench, The Grange of
Prince Edward, Bachelder, Malivoire, Creekside
Our Pick: Stratus Red (avail direct from winery)

Stratus Red

Stratus Red
Price: $48
Buy from Winery

 

Think Pink
We embrace our hot summers with plenty of rosé, just like all civilized peoples of the world. Our best come from Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cab Franc in styles ranging from dry and food-friendly à la Provence, to rich and fruity à la California. But each is always uniquely Canadian, eh?
Who does it best? Malivoire, Stratus, Henry of Pelham, Creekside, Hidden Bench
Our Pick: Creekside Cabernet Rosé (just released at LCBO!)

Creekside Cabernet Rosé

Creekside Cabernet Rosé
Price: $14.95
Available at LCBO

 

Sparkle & Shine
We don’t need to import Champagne anymore. We make bubbles just as good. And in a lot of cases, better and cheaper. C’est bon, ça?
Who does it best? Hinterland, Henry of Pelham, Kew, Benjamin Bridge (gotta give a shout out to our East Coast friends), Flat Rock Cellars
Our Pick: Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut or Rosé (they're both deee-licious)

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut VQA
Price: $29.95
Available at LCBO

 

Sweets for the Sweet
Icewine. We may not have invented it, but we sure as hell perfected it.
Who does it best? Peller Estates, Stratus, Inniskillin, Angel’s Gate, Konzelmann, Thirty Bench
Our Pick: Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Icewine

Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Icewine


Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Icewine
Price: $56.95
Buy from Winery

 

So now, grab a glass of a great Ontario wine and raise a toast to Canada! 

 

 

 

 

June 16, 2017

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Recipe: Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream

Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Nothing says "Summer" like BBQ and this recipe from Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller's cookbook Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip, is a "prime" example (see what we did there?)

Cook this up for a crowd or take advantage of days of delicious leftovers. Serve with a medium- to full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Tempranillo.


Though the term “Alberta beef” has become absolutely ubiquitous, one place in Calgary continues to redefine what Alberta beef means: CHARCUT Roast House, led by co-owners and chefs Connie DeSousa and John Jackson. To our great delight, they shared their much-lauded recipe for prime rib.

Dana first tried this recipe out on her family, who are known to voice their opinions loudly and repeatedly, particularly when it comes to meat. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, especially when it came to the horseradish cream, of which they were initially skeptical. Tasting fresh horseradish completely changed their minds, however. CHARCUT cooks their prime rib over a rotisserie, and we’ve included instructions for oven roasting as well.

Serves: 8–12

INGREDIENTS

Prime Rib
8- to 12-pound (3.5 to 5.5 kg) piece beef rib-eye, choice or prime grade, bone-in preferably
Butcher’s Twine, if using a rotisserie
3/4 cup (185 mL) grainy mustard
3 Tbsp (45 mL) salt
11/2 Tbsp (22 mL) freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs rosemary, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

Horseradish Cream
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 cup + 1 Tbsp (265 mL) fresh horseradish, peeled and finely grated
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
3/4 cup (185 mL) white wine vinegar
13/4 tsp (8 mL) salt

For Serving
Arugula, coarse or flaky sea salt, lemon wedges, and extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and thyme together and rub evenly over all sides of the rib-eye. Cover and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, or ideally overnight. Remove the meat from the refrigerator, uncover, and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking.

If using the oven, preheat it to 250°F (120°C).

Place the rib-eye, bone side down, on a grill rack in a sturdy metal roasting pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. For a rare roast, cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the meat reads 122°F (50°C). Timing will vary based on the shape and size of the cut of meat, so it’s best to use a thermometer here. If the meat still has bones, make sure the thermometer is measuring the meat, as the bones will read at a higher temperature. The internal temperature of a rib-eye roasted at low heat will not rise very much once taken out of the oven, so remove it when it has reached the temperature you desire.

While the rib-eye is cooking, make the horseradish cream. The cream is best when made at least 30 minutes ahead of time so the flavours have a chance to blend. In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks with an electric mixer. In a separate medium bowl, mix the grated horseradish, sour cream, mustard, white wine vinegar, and salt until combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

Once the meat has reached 122°F (50°C) (or higher, if desired), remove it from the oven and crank the tem- perature to 500°F (260°C). Create a loose tinfoil tent to cover (without touching) the meat while it rests for at least 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes. Just before you’re ready to slice and serve, remove the foil tent and place the rib-eye in the preheated oven. Roast until the outside has browned and crisped, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, carve out the bones, slice, and serve.

If using a rotisserie, tie the rib-eye with butcher string, looping every 3 inches (8 cm) until secure. Skewer the rib-eye on the rotisserie and cook over medium-high heat, until the internal temperature reads 122°F (50°C). Remove and let rest for 30 minutes with a loose, tinfoil tent covering (but not touching) the meat. Once it has rested, slice and serve.

Serve with fresh arugula, a side of sea salt, lemon wedges, olive oil, and plenty of horseradish cream.


Recipe and image excerpt are copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

May 24, 2017

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Who Makes Ontario's Best Riesling?

Riesling League 2017

UPDATE: THE CHAMPIONS PACK IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

Get the top 3 Rieslings delivered right to your door—order online here for $83 plus FREE shipping »



We're excited to be partnering with our friends at local Toronto wine bar, Skin + Bones, to discover the best Ontario Riesling, as chosen by you, the people.

Skin + Bones has invited some of Ontario's top producers to participate in a weekly showdown of premium Riesling. Each week guests taste 3 different wines with a food pairing from a guest Chef, and then vote on their favourite. The top pick from each round will go through to the Grand Finale on June 6, where the winning winery will receive 6 months on the Skin+Bones by-the-glass wine list + $1000 donated to their charity of choice.

A mixed pack of the champion wines will also be available for sale on our website, with a portion of sales going towards the winning winery's charity. Enter your email address in the form below to be the first to know when the Champions Pack is live.

Sign Up to be the first to find out when the Riesling League Pack is available:

To find out more about Riesling League, how you can participate and to book your spot for the final two rounds, visit the Skin + Bones website.

May 10, 2017

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Recipe: Bison Sausage Rolls with Orange and Fennel

Bison Sausage Rolls with Orange and Fennel. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

These bison sausage rolls are definitely on our menu for afternoon snacks with the cottage crowd over the upcoming May long weekend.

Bison is a delicious and lean red meat that pairs well with a variety of wines, including Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, or even local hybrids such as Foch and Baco Noir. The addition of the bright orange and fennel flavours in this recipe would also make it an excellent partner to full-bodied rosés (think Cabernet or Tempranillo-based pinks).

We'd like to thank Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller for this recipe, which is from their newly-released cookbook Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip.


“You two are insane.”
This is what an Ontario cattle rancher told us after hearing about our visit to a bison ranch in Alberta. We prefer the term “adventurously ignorant.” When we visited Gus Janke’s Maple Hills Bison Farm, just south of Edmonton, he drove us right into the middle of his herd, which he raises for meat and sells to families in the area. While we were somewhat terrified, we were right to trust Gus; he sent us back on the road with limbs intact and some bison pepperoni to snack on—a good reminder that in addition to being enormous, bison are extraordinarily tasty. Many grocery stores now carry bison meat, but if you can’t get your hands on any, you can use lean ground beef as a substitute. We’ve adapted this recipe from one made up by Lindsay’s friends Suzie and Reena. It combines puff pastry with the brightness of orange zest and fresh fennel and has an easy-to-make tomato sauce for dipping.

Serves: 8–10

INGREDIENTS

Rolls
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh fennel, finely diced
2 tsp (10 mL) orange zest
14 ounces (400 g) ground bison or lean ground beef
3 ounces (85 g) ground pork
1/4 cup (60 mL) dried bread crumbs
1 tsp (5 mL) dried chili flakes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
2 sheets pre-made puff pastry, thawed (but kept cold in the refrigerator until needed)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) nigella seeds and/or sesame seeds

Dipping Sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
One 28-ounce (796 mL) can whole or diced toma- toes, with juice
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the sausage mixture, add the olive oil to a large pan and set over low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onions have turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and cook another 5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the zest. Cook a few more minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the bison, pork, bread crumbs, chili flakes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the cooled fennel mixture and gently combine with your hands. At this point, you may want to fry up a small patty of the meat mixture and taste it so you can be sure it’s seasoned as you like. Divide the mixture into four equal parts.

In a small bowl, use a whisk or fork to beat the egg and milk together, then set aside. This egg wash will be used to seal and cover the sausage rolls.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper.

Unfurl the puff pastry on a clean board or countertop. If you have two square-shaped sheets of pastry, cut each piece in half to create four long rectangular pieces. If you have two round sheets, cut each in half and reshape the ends to create rectangles.

With the first quarter of the bison mixture, use your hands to make a sausage-like shape the same length as the longest side of your pastry rectangle. Lay it along one long side of the pastry, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from one edge. Using your fingers or a brush, apply the egg wash along the opposite edge of the pastry— this will work to seal the roll together. Starting with the side closest to the sausage mixture, gently roll the pastry over the meat and keep rolling until it meets the egg-washed edge. Adjust the roll so the seam is at the bottom. Repeat with the remaining three sheets of pastry.

Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each roll with the egg wash, then score the tops with a sharp knife, making shallow cuts about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Sprinkle the tops with nigella and/ or sesame seeds.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the meat is cooked through (the internal temperature should be 160°F/71°C).

While the rolls are baking, make the sauce. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the toma- toes and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or a fork. Once it has reduced to a nice thick sauce, add the honey, salt, and orange zest, then simmer a few more minutes. Taste the sauce to make sure the balance of salty and sweet is to your liking. This can be put in the blender if you prefer it smooth, but we love the chunky, more rustic version. Slice the sausage rolls into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces and serve warm with the dipping sauce.


Recipe and image excerpt are copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

April 26, 2017

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Recipe: Barbequed Salmon with Tree Tip Pesto

Babequed Salmon with Tree Tip Pesto. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

This recipe comes to us from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. If you can't forage for your own spruce or pine tree tips, you can order them from Forbes Wild Foods (or use any other pesto in a pinch).

Ideal wine pairings for this dish include Pinot Noir (ClubK members can enjoy with Tawse 2013 Pinot Noir from the Spring 2017 shipment), or a rich, oak-aged Chardonnay.


What could be more Canadian than eating a tree? As we made our way across the country, spruce and fir tips kept popping up and flaunting their culinary uses. Foraging for them is easy... unless you’re us. On our first attempt, we went too late in the season to a forest with no spruce trees, got caught in a rain-storm, and came home soaking wet with nothing but empty buckets. Though it may take one or two springtime hikes to get the timing right, you want to get the new, bright green buds at the ends of the branches. You can store any excess tips in the freezer for several months. An extra piece of advice: if you just missed the season, head to a higher elevation where the spring’s new growth is slightly later.
We’d like to say thanks to our friend Joel, who happily endured the rainy first foraging trek with us, then later picked the fir tips we used for this recipe. Spruce or fir tips will work for this pesto—whatever your forest happens to provide!

Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

Pesto
1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed fresh (or frozen and thawed) spruce or fir tips, or 2 cups (500 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, grated then measured
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

4 to 6 wild salmon or Arctic char fillets, about 1/2 pound (227 g) each, skin on, scaled and deboned
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Serving
Plain yogurt, 6% or higher

INSTRUCTIONS

Put the spruce or fir tips, cheese, salt, olive oil, walnuts, lemon juice, and garlic into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if desired. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

Preheat the barbeque to medium-high (450°F to 500°F/230°C to 260°C). Brush both sides of each piece of salmon with the olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Let the fish rest a few minutes.

When the barbeque is ready, place the pieces of fish skin side down on the barbeque and close the lid. Let cook for 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the edges of the fish are opaque. Carefully turn each piece over, close the lid, and let cook another 2 to 3 minutes. The fish will be opaque and flake easily when done.

Serve the salmon with several spoonfuls of the pesto over each piece, also adding a dollop of yogurt if desired. Serve with a green salad and/or spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, peas, or even fiddleheads if you’re in the mood for more foraging!


Recipe and image excerpt are copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.