February 26, 2014
March is Maple Syrup Month! Throughout the month of March our menus will feature maple in all components of our fresh meal menu and retail store offerings.
You can find a comprehensive list of sugar bushes in and around town at the www.justfood.ca, but here are just a few to start with:
Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
2452 Yorks Corners Road, Edwards
Cheslock Sugar Bush 224 chemin de la Savane Val-des-Monts, Quebec 819-457-2552 www.cabaneasucrecheslock.ca
Bean Town Ranch 2891 N Plantagenet, Concession 3 Rd Alfred and Plantagenet 613-673-5894
Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush 291 6th Concession Road, Pakenham 613-256-3867 www.fultons.ca
Temple’s Sugar Bush Restaurant & Venue 1700 Ferguson’s Falls Road (County Road #15) Lanark ON, 613-253-7000 www.templessugarbush.ca
Vanier Sugar Shack 300 des Pères-Blancs Ave. 613-580-2424 ext 32001 or 613-859-6382 Their Maple Sugar Festival takes place from March 25 to April 1, 2012 www.museoparc.ca/en
So get outside this month and shake off those winter blues. Enjoy fresh air and eat maple syrup!
And what do you do with all that maple? Here are some recipe ideas!
Maple Mustard Glazed Breast of Chicken
4 chicken breasts
Pinch of dried sage
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coarse grain Dijon mustard
Fresh sage for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Season the breast of chicken with sage, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to an oven proof baking dish and cook until internal temperature reaches 165F, approximately 15 minutes. Leave drippings in skillet.
2. Add broth and maple syrup to skillet. Boil until syrupy and thick, about 3 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to low.
3. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute. Serve chicken with sauce. Garnish with fresh sage. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes
Sautéed Mushrooms in warm Maple Balsamic on Organic Greens
300 grams of Mushrooms diced *
1 small onion diced
1 clove of garlic diced
½ cup of good quality olive oil
1 tbs of butter
¼ cup of good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
4 handfuls of mixed organic greens
Salt and Pepper to taste
*White Button Mushrooms will work well for this recipe but you can also use oyster mushrooms or a mixture of organic mushrooms.
1. Sauté onion and garlic in butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are clear. Add herbs and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown. Season with Salt and Pepper and remove from pan.
Note: Mushrooms like a hot pan and they don’t like to be crowded, otherwise they will release a lot of moisture and not brown.
2. In a medium sized bowl whisk balsamic, maple, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and remaining olive oil. Add to mushroom pan and heat through until the vinaigrette is warm.
4. Toss warm Balsamic & Mushroom mixture gently with Organic Greens and serve immediately.
On Saturday January 18th the Red Apron hosted an in-house cooking workshop featuring Superfoods, as part of our month long tribute to Spa Inspired menus. This workshop was led by our Sous-Chef Robin Lavigne.
4 cups Gluten-free Rolled Oats
1 cup Nuts & seeds
1 cup Dried fruit
1 cup Dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
2 cups Maple syrup
1 ½ cups Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
1 tsp Sea salt
Line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, melt together the nut butter and maple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and salt. Pour the cooled peanut butter mixture over the oats and mix thoroughly until combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing down and smoothing the top.
Refrigerate the power bars for 1 hour or until firm. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into squares.
Walnut Crusted Wild Salmon Filet
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Honey
3 tablespoons Chopped herbs (basil, tarragon, oregano)
1 cup Walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
Zest and juice from 1 orange
Salt & Pepper
4 Salmon filets, each weighing 150-175 grams
Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together walnuts, herbs and orange zest; set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the Dijon, honey, and orange juice.
Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper, then brush on the Dijon mixture. Dip the top of the salmon filet into the walnut mixture; this will make a crust on top of the salmon filet. Transfer the salmon onto the baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 8-12 minutes.
Spinach Salad with Orange, Roasted Squash & Citrus-Tahini Dressing
Baby spinach leaves
1 Squash (butternut, pumpkin, acorn)
½ cup Crumbled Goat Cheese Feta
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Tahini
1 tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Sea salt
½ cup Sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 375F. Put the whole squash on a baking sheet, and roast it for 20-40 minutes. The squash should still be slightly hard, you can pierce it with a knife, but there is still a little resistance. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool completely. Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Dice the squash into bite-size pieces. Toss the diced squash with a little olive oil and some salt. Spread it out onto a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, until completely cooked. Set aside to cool while you make the dressing.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, tahini, honey and salt. Very slowly, and while whisking vigorously, drizzle in the olive oil. The dressing should end up emulsified into a creamy dressing. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or honey if you’d like.
Combine the ingredient in a salad bowl; add your dressing right before you are ready to serve. Toss to coat evenly.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Mole Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup red wine
¼ cup tomato paste
19oz jar or can of roasted red peppers, drained
¼ cup pitted dates
28oz can plum tomatoes
½ cup roasted almonds, finely ground
Salt & pepper
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions, cook over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, spices, cocoa and chipotles, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Deglaze with red wine, and then add the dates and red peppers. Take the pot off the heat, and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender or use a hand emulsion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pot and add in the remaining ingredients. Let the sauce simmer over low heat for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
You can also add in finely ground corn tortilla chips for a thicker sauce.
Quinoa with Black Beans, Roasted Corn and Sweet Potato
1 cup organic quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup organic black beans
½ cup sautéed corn
1 cup diced, roasted sweet potato
¼ cup cilantro, washed and finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Salt & pepper
In a saucepan, toast the dry quinoa over high heat for 1 minute, until it smells nutty and begins to turn golden. Remove from heat and add in the water and salt. Return to the stove, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until tender. Fluff with a fork and leave to cool.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss until thoroughly combined and season with salt and pepper.
As the old year draws to a close, I was flipping through my camera roll today and remembering some of the awesome flavour experiences I enjoyed in 2013. I am embarrassed to admit that, while most people’s camera roll is filled with pictures of friends, family & loved ones, mine is full of food. When asked to produce a recent photo of my own children, I have to flip past hundreds of shots of food before I can find one.
Early in 2013 Jo-Ann and I received a gift from Robin & Maria (Red Apron Sous Chefs, amazing women and very talented cooks) of a multi-course meal they prepared and served up with wine pairings. One of the many highlights of the meal was this raw oyster topped with smoked octopus.
Also early in the year I tried my hand a baking bread, a task I undertake rarely and often with little success. But I do find the process fascinating and enjoy kneading the bread by hand on a lazy winter morning. When this baby came out of the oven, it was honestly one of my proudest culinary moments! Don’t ask for the recipe because I completely forget which one I used so this success will never be repeated, which makes it even more special!
I took my boys to Sayulita in February on Jo-Ann’s recommendation. We had a wonderful time and ate much delicious, fresh, local food, but the morning we enjoyed these breakfast tacos really stands out. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the tacos were freshly made and still warm. They were served up alongside fresh fruit smoothies.
In Paris in April we took a food tour and met this lovely gentleman who treated us to a tasting of Corsican cheeses & charcuterie with a nice bottle of wine. It was a truly memorable moment and I felt grateful that he took the time to share his knowledge with us.
Later that same trip I made the most spectacular meal using the simplest and freshest ingredients purchased that day at the market in Ventimiglia (Italy). My green creation was the perfect blend of fresh pasta (a shape that is unique to the region) paired with fresh asparagus, sweet peas, tuna, parmesan and of course cream. As we gobbled up our plates I was reminded again that the freshest ingredients prepared in the simplest way make for the best meals. This truth was reiterated a few days later when our meal consisted of fresh buffalo milk burrata with vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, local ham, fresh eggs and lemons, enjoyed on crusty French baguette. Each bite was a celebration of terroir.
Each year I visit the Jean Talon market in Montreal a number of times, and without fail we have breakfast at the crepe stand in the market where I have become addicted to the buckwheat crepe with ham, cheese, tomato & egg. After enjoying this savoury combination you will never want to eat a sweet crepe again – trust me!
On that same trip to Montreal this past summer, and on my travel companion’s recommendation, we ate dinner at Restaurant Holder on McGill. Since I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about great places to eat in Montreal, and had never heard of this restaurant, I was not expecting much. Don’t you just love those situations when you have no expectations, and you are blown away by an awesome experience that catches you completely off guard? The entire meal was spectacular and the service was excellent, as was my black cod on risotto with cream.
During the summer of 2013 we were introduced to Ji Li at World of Tea by our good friend Jennifer B. Our evening tea tasting changed the way I would think about tea forever, and led to a partnership that put their teas (custom blended) on our shelves this fall. If you ever have an opportunity to book yourself in for a structured tea tasting at World of Tea, you will not be disappointed.
In the fall I made a road trip to Vermont with my sisters and Mom, and ate much great cheese, drank much good wine, and enjoyed a few great meals. But the highlight of the trip was the discovery of Joey’s Junction Bakery, Cafe & Shop in northern Vermont on our way home. For reasons that can only be explained by serendipity, we veered off the highway and stumbled upon this ‘treasure’ where I enjoyed a sandwich that was made with slowly smoked prime rib of beef, piled high on house made bread with garden grown tomatoes and shaved havarti cheese. There was enough food in this sandwich to feed a family of 4 which would explain why, when I asked if I could get it ‘to go’ I was told, no.
Late fall 2013, Jo-Ann and I spent an extended weekend in London, England, looking for inspiration and ideas for our business. One of our first stops was Neal’s Yard Dairy at the Borough Market. Credited with salvaging the artisanal cheese industry in England, Neal’s Yard was incredibly inspiring. Their staff not only know what they are talking about, but they are truly, deeply passionate about cheese. Not just selling it, but making it, caring for it, storing it, and merchandising it. It was a very special place.
We enjoyed many ‘tastes’ at the Burough Market, but one of the other highlights was a traditional steak pie. Cooked to tender, and swimming in rich juices, the steak was baked into a crispy pastry and served warm. It was heavenly.
In total, we visited 4 city farmer’s markets during our 4 day stay, but at the Marylebone Farmer’s market we sampled hot, steamed, pork filled dumplings, drizzled in smoked chili oil. On a cold, dreary, London day, they were the perfect thing to warm us up and energize us for a day of walking.
The last in my list of ’memorable tastes’ occurred at Chez Edgar in Gatineau. Owner/Chef Marysol, recent winner of the 2013 Gold Medal Plates, is a talented and hard-working business woman who makes food that is legendary, and among her signature dishes is the Dutch Baby. I had heard about the Dutch Baby, but had never had an opportunity to try one until earlier this month when I took my Mother there after a morning of intense Christmas shopping. There are no words to describe how the sweet apple compote and maple syrup combines in your mouth with the fluffy pancake and the salty bacon & sharp cheddar cheese to create…..angels singing in my mouth.
It was a wonderful year.
Brunch du bûcheron au Red Apron ($)
Red Apron, 564, avenue Gladstone, Ottawa
Le dimanche 2 février, à 10 h 30 et 13 h
Soyez encore des nôtres pour fêter le Bal de Neige en prenant part à notre deuxième brunch du bûcheron annuel. Notre menu comprendra des plats aussi copieux que délicieux, comme des tourtières décadentes, des fèves au lard fumées et au whisky, des pommes de terre confites dans la graisse de canard, des gâteaux, des biscuits, des muffins, entre autres délices. Nous recevrons le premier groupe à 10 h 30 et le deuxième à 13 h. Le port de la chemise à carreaux, de la tuque et de la moustache est fortement recommandé!
Billets (en nombre limité, en vente à partir du 1er décembre 2013) : 39 $
www.redapron.ca <http://www.redapron.ca> , 613-695-0417
Lumberjack Brunch at The Red Apron ($)
The Red Apron, 564 Gladstone, Ottawa
Sunday, February 2, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Come celebrate Winterlude at our 2nd annual Lumberjack Brunch with seatings at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The hearty meal, which will fuel you up for a day of outdoor activities, includes griddle cakes, tourtière, maple and whisky baked beans, duck-fat roasted potatoes, baked biscuits, muffins, and much more. Seating is limited. Plaid, toques, and moustaches are strongly encouraged!
Tickets are $39 and are available from December 1 until sold out.
www.redapron.ca <http://www.redapron.ca> , 613-695-0417
Yesterday we held our annual staff cooking baking party. We gather for the afternoon, eat chili, drink beer, and bake. At the end of the day each participant got to go home with one cheesecake, 3 dozen shortbread cookies, 1 dozen ginger cookies, a dozen peanut butter bars, and 2 gluten free loaves. It was a spectacular success!
In the spirit of giving, we are sharing these tried & thoroughly tested recipes with you this Holiday Season.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bar
10 regular size soft chocolate chip cookies (you could make them from scratch or use a store bought cookie)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 cups icing sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter (not natural – we have tried substituting an all natural butter and the recipe doesn’t work)
4 tablespoons butter
2 ½ tablespoons corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Line a 9×13” pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor pulse cookies until crumbed. Add the melted butter and pulse until crumbs are wet. Pat crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Beat together the butter, peanut butter & vanilla until smooth. Beat in all the sugar. The mixture will be stiff. Pat this mixture on the top of the cookie base and place in the fridge to cool.
Combine chocolate, butter & syrup in a metal bowl over simmering water. Stir to melt. Pour the chocolate sauce over the cold peanut butter layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm and slice into bars.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus additional for sprinkling
1 large egg
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat butter with 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy and add egg, beating until combined well. Beat in fresh gingerroot, corn syrup, zest, and orange juice. Into mixture sift remaining ingredients and beat just until combined well.
Halve dough and on a sheet of wax paper form each piece into a 10-inch log. Chill logs, wrapped in wax paper, at least 1 day and up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 350°F. and lightly grease baking sheets.
Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Lightly sprinkle cookies with additional sugar and bake in batches in middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer cookies to racks to cool. Makes about 80 cookies.
Orange Pecan Shortbreads
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Make the dough: In a mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt until smooth. With mixer on low speed, add flour and orange zest; mix just until a dough forms. With a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or your hands, gently mix in pecans.
Freeze the dough: On a piece of waxed paper, form dough into a rectangular log, 12 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Wrap log in the paper, and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 months. If freezing longer than 1 day, wrap log again, in plastic wrap.
Bake the shortbread: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from freezer. (If dough has been in freezer a long time and is frozen solid, let it sit at room temperature 30 minutes so it slices without crumbling.)
With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake until edges just begin to turn golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet; transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Pumpkin Loaf (Makes 2, 9×5” loaves)
2 cups gluten free flour mix + rice flour for dusting
½ tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 orange, zested
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin
juice of 1 orange juice
¼ cup chopped pecans
½ cup dried cranberries or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 2 loaf pans and line with parchment paper. Grease the paper and dust with rice flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, spices, orange zest and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and orange juice. Mix well on medium speed.
Gradually add flour mix while the mixer is mixing on low speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the nuts and cranberries/chocolate chips.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 until a tester comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans for about 10min before turning out and removing the paper from the bottom. Allow the loaves to cool completely before cutting.
Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated zest plus ¼ cup juice from 1-2 lemons
1 ½ pounds cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks at room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup (about 4 ounces) white rice flour
½ cup (about 1 ½ ounces) natural cocoa powder
½ cup (about 1.75 ounces) ground almond flour
1/3 cup (about 2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, sliced into 8 pieces
¼ cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 lb fresh raspberries or 1 (12 ounce) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1 teaspoon kirsch (optional) or 1 teaspoon framboise eau-de-vie (optional)
In bowl of food processor, combine white rice flour, cocoa powder, almond flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter. Pulse until no large pieces of butter remain, about eight 1-second pulses. Add milk. Run food processor until dough comes together, 5 to 10 seconds.
Lightly spray an tart pan with cooking spray. Using your hand, press dough into bottom of pan. Then press dough around edge to form a crust. Use a measuring cup to press dough firmly into pan. Lightly cover pan with plastic wrap and freeze tart for 45 minutes. While tart chills, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Remove plastic wrap from tart shell and bake until aromatic and set, about 25 minutes. Place tart on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
While curst is cooling, process ¼ cup of sugar and lemon zest in food processor until sugar is yellow and zest is broken down. Transfer lemon sugar to a small bowl and stir in remaining 1 cup of sugar.
In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on low to break up and soften slightly. With machine running add sugar mixture in slow steady stream. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until mixture is creamy and smooth. Reduce speed and add 2 eggs at a time. Beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping sides and bottom of bowl well. Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix until just incorporated. Add cream and mix until just incorporated. Give batter a final scrape and pour into prepared pans.
Bake until centre jiggles slightly, sides just start to puff, surface is no longer shiny.
When cheesecake is cooking/cooing, heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the sugar dissolves completely, about 5 minutes. Put the raspberies and the sugar syrup in a blender and puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and stir in the kirsch or framboise, if using.
When cheesecake and raspberry sauce is cooled, pour a thin layer of raspberry sauce over the cheesecake.
We are Mothers, residents of our community, entrepreneurs as well as active participants in our local economy. We individually have a history of owning and operating successful local businesses.
Our commitment to getting people “back to the table” starts at home and extends to our community through a number of philanthropic endeavours.