From July 2013

Brio Gusto at the Downtown Market Tomorrow

Lindsey Dupuis and Andrew Orde of Brio Gusto.  Photo by Julie Gagne, courtesy of kawarthaNow.
Lindsey Dupuis and Andrew Orde of Brio Gusto. Photo by Julie Gagne, courtesy of kawarthaNow.

When it comes to reviews of the Downtown Culinary Tour, the time spent at Brio Gusto is always listed as a highlight.  Much of that has to do with the skills of Brio’s dynamic duo, Lindsey Dupuis and Andrew Orde.

Dupuis, who took over ownership of Brio last year, has become one of Peterborough’s hottest young restauranteurs — displaying knowledge and style that belie her age.  In her mid-twenties, she has already made quite a name for herself on the Peterborough culinary scene.  Orde is her adventurous wing-man chef — again, young enough to make you look twice, he has been given the green light to go with his uncanny whims and strong sense of menu-creation.

Their menu — which ranges from the hearty to the heavenly — is backed up by an impressive wine cellar.  They can find you a perfect match to whatever you are ordering.

Tomorrow, the Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market is treating patrons to the food and culinary knowledge of Dupuis and Orde.  Market-goers can learn (and sample) creative ways to use local, seasonal produce as it comes rolling off the farms into their fridges, with Brio’s extensive experience to help guide.

I’d highly recommend showing up early in order to sample what they have to offer.  Tell them Donald sent you.

Also at market this week, summer harvest has moved into full swing.

According to Downtown Market Coordinator, Jill Bishop:

“This is bounty season at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. We are seeing cucumbers, beets, greens, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, and even corn come off the farms. Lindsey and her co-Chef Andrew will be using fresh seasonal vegetables as well as bacon from Lane’s End Farms and feta from Cross Wind Farms. Join us at market to discover, and sample what they are making.”

Right downtown Peterborough, every Wednesday between 8:30-2pm, market-goers can find a festive and bustling market full of their favourite vendors selling seasonal produce, meats, cheese, fresh flowers, baked goods, crafts, plants to grow, coffee and lunches to go. All market products are Kawarthas’ Own and Locally Grown!

I hope to see you there!

 

 

Jerk Chicken: The Ultimate BBQ Food

chicken plateI just finished making Jerk Chicken for 25 people.  It’s currently cooling, getting ready to be packed away to be reheated on the BBQ and served to a crowd of hungry teachers and their families.

I’ve just nipped a piece for myself.  I couldn’t resist.

There are a few reasons why I choose to make Jerk Chicken a summer BBQ staple,  First of all, it’s fun finger food that can be enjoyed while mingling on a patio or porch.  Secondly, it’s stupidly easy.  Thirdly, well, 2 1/2 million Jamaicans can’t be wrong.

This recipe makes enough for around 8 people.  If you are bringing it for a BBQ potluck, serve it as is, with a good hot sauce.*  If you are making it as part of a meal, serve it up with some traditional Jamaican Rice and Peas, some cold veggies, and, of course, a good hot sauce.*

I’m not exactly sure where I originally got the recipe for this from.  I do know that it has undergone quite a few changes before it got to the recipe you see now.

And the recipe you see now is one of my absolute favourites.  It’s also impressed the heck out of a number of born and bred Jamaicans — including a couple of older ladies who were convinced I had a secret Jamaican chef to do all my prep-work for me.

Nope.  No Jamaicans.  Just some Farm to Table love.

Jerk Chicken

  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs (you can split whole chicken legs rather than buying separately).
  • 3 green onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (depending on size)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 habaneros, whole (if I’m cooking for those who are used to Jamaican food, I use a couple more)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Place all ingredients (except for the chicken) into a food processor.
  • Process it on “turbo” setting until it is a smooth liquid (or as smooth as it gets — there will probably be a bit of clumpiness).
  • Pour over chicken.
  • Marinate overnight.
  • Preheat BBQ on high.
  • Place chicken on BBQ and reduce heat to medium.
  • Cook — checking and turning frequently — until the chicken starts to brown.
  • Move browned pieces to upper shelf.
  • Once all pieces are browned, cook for another 15 minutes or so on the upper shelf with the lid closed.  If there are flare-ups, turn off one side of the BBQ and place chicken pieces on the upper shelf of that side.
  • Officially, chicken is done when it reaches 165F.  Here’s my deal, though.  I tend to only cook it to 155 and then let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.  It will reach a safe serving temperature.  Note: I do not do this if I am catering/cooking for a crowd.
    Serve with a good hot sauce.

*I have my own homemade hot sauce for jerk chicken.  Sorry, but I’m not sharing the recipe.  I sell the sauce — “The Habarnero Death” — and also use it for Farm to Table prizes.  One day, when I’m old and grey and retired, I’ll share it.  But until then, find your own.  A hint though.  It contains: orange juice, lime juice, habaneros, crushed mustard seed, brown sugar, and my own blend of fresh-ground herbs and spices.  It is very hot.  And very, very good.

Family Campfire Cookout Article in Kids Ink Series of Magazines

54JUN13-PK.inddYou can find my article on family camping cookouts in the current online and print editions of Peterborough Kids, Lakeridge Kids, and Northumberland Kids magazines.

You can also read it right here.

Here’s a snippet from the piece:

Many of the magical memories of family camping trips occur during mealtime. Cooking around – and sometimes over – an open fire makes everything seem more like a wilderness adventure. Kids get to take part in ways they never would at home, roasting foods on sticks, helping to create makeshift kitchens, and even foraging for some of their own ingredients.</em>

And then there is the food itself – oftentimes made up of treats that kids never get at home. From freshly caught fish and handpicked wild berries to fireside hot dogs and smores, camp food can be an exciting part of the whole outdoor experience.

“Food just tastes better when you are camping,” says adventurous mother of two, Alix. “The fresh air and activity make the whole family hungrier. And the smell of woodsmoke adds flavours that you can never recreate at home.”

Mealtime in the bush is also a time when the whole family comes together for a shared activity. While camping often provides sensory overload, breaking for a meal can peel back some of the distraction and offer up some quiet time – which all parents can appreciate. It is the perfect warm-up for after-lunch craft sessions, sing-a-longs, or even an evening “ghost” story.

And when the weather turns wet and keeps you stuck at your campsite, mealtime can truly be the high point of the day.

As a parent who regularly camps with her family, Alana’s favourite cookout memory is of a rainy-day family bonding moment.

“Instead of being miserable about being stuck around the campsite for the entire day, we decided to have fun and make a pretend cooking show,” she recalls. “Kyla and I hosted, and my husband, Kevin, videotaped the whole thing. It was a lot of goofing around, but it was also an opportunity to pass on some cooking tips – and outdoor cooking tips – to our daughter.”

8-year-old Kyla’s fondest rainy meal moment?

“I remember when we were making muffins and our cooking rack broke,” she laughs. “And we had to fix it with a fly swatter! Gross!”

Such is the joy of camping culinary experiences. These family cookouts are sure to offer both learning opportunities and memories to last a lifetime. Just don’t be surprised if some of the memories aren’t the ones you intended.

Many of the magical memories of family camping trips occur during mealtime. Cooking around – and sometimes over – an open fire makes everything seem more like a wilderness adventure. Kids get to take part in ways they never would at home, roasting foods on sticks, helping to create makeshift kitchens, and even foraging for some of their own ingredients.

And then there is the food itself – oftentimes made up of treats that kids never get at home. From freshly caught fish and handpicked wild berries to fireside hot dogs and smores, camp food can be an exciting part of the whole outdoor experience.

“Food just tastes better when you are camping,” says adventurous mother of two, Alix. “The fresh air and activity make the whole family hungrier. And the smell of woodsmoke adds flavours that you can never recreate at home.”

Mealtime in the bush is also a time when the whole family comes together for a shared activity. While camping often provides sensory overload, breaking for a meal can peel back some of the distraction and offer up some quiet time – which all parents can appreciate. It is the perfect warm-up for after-lunch craft sessions, sing-a-longs, or even an evening “ghost” story.

And when the weather turns wet and keeps you stuck at your campsite, mealtime can truly be the high point of the day.

As a parent who regularly camps with her family, Alana’s favourite cookout memory is of a rainy-day family bonding moment.

“Instead of being miserable about being stuck around the campsite for the entire day, we decided to have fun and make a pretend cooking show,” she recalls. “Kyla and I hosted, and my husband, Kevin, videotaped the whole thing. It was a lot of goofing around, but it was also an opportunity to pass on some cooking tips – and outdoor cooking tips – to our daughter.”

8-year-old Kyla’s fondest rainy meal moment?

“I remember when we were making muffins and our cooking rack broke,” she laughs. “And we had to fix it with a fly swatter! Gross!”

Such is the joy of camping culinary experiences. These family cookouts are sure to offer both learning opportunities and memories to last a lifetime. Just don’t be surprised if some of the memories aren’t the ones you intended.

A special thanks to Alana Callan, Alix Taylor, Anna Russell, and Ray O’Flaherty for sharing their stories for this article.

Blast from the (Recent) Past: Cooking with KRUZ Radio

How did I not blog this earlier?

Apparently, I’ve been a bit busy of late, and missed some fairly obvious Farm to Table/Tour news.  But, as they say, better late than never.

Just under a month ago, I spent the morning on 101.5 the WOLF and 100.5 KRUZ FM.  Not only did we talk about local, seasonal food, the local culinary scene, and the Downtown Food Tours, but I also whipped up some incredibly tasty breakfast for the on-air crew.

Catherine Hanrahan and Pete Dalliday of KRUZ FM captured some of the fun.

Radio segment:

Bonus video:

Now, for those of you looking for a recipe, the “Boozeberry” Sauce goes a litle something like this:

1 pint strawberries
1 Tbsp sugar (though I use about half of that)
1 oz orange liqueur (though I’ve been known to increase the booze)

  • Mix ingredients together.
  • Set aside while you make your crepes.
  • Place a heaping spoonful in your crepe — a mounded line works best — and wrap.
  • Top with whipped cream, another couple of strawberries and, if you really want to, pure maple syrup.

Coming Soon to a Table Near You: Peppickions! The New Super Condiment!

coollogo_com-68148900Sick of having to layer condiment after condiment after condiment on your burger, sausage, or hot dog?

Tired of paying grocery store prices for entire fridge-shelves of pickles, relish, and hot peppers?

Well, no more!

Introducing:Peppickions!  The new super-condiment that no-one is talking about!

(at least not yet).

*          *          *

No, really.  Why not have the tartness of pickles, the zing of hot peppers, and the bite of onions all in one condiment?  This lazy cook says it should be done.

The other day, I stumbled upon the idea for a new recipe, simply because I was out of jarred hot peppers — really, our pantry is only so big, and we can only store so many preserves — and also because I wanted to continue my one person revolution against the sweet pickle relish industry.*

Peeking into the depths of the freezer, I found the remains of a mixed bag of frozen hot peppers from last year’s harvest.  I had odds and sods left over after sauce-making and such, so I threw the remainders into a ziplock.  And, sure enough, they came in handy.  I grabbed one of the two last jars of Krista’s pickles from last year (hurray for having a full year’s supply of pickles this year!), and a local onion, and started chopping.

Really, this isn’t a recipe as much as it is just a chopped mess.

Pepppickions2Peppickions

Ingredients:
Dill Pickles
Hot Peppers (I used jalapenos, cayenne, and a bit of habanero)
Onion — whatever kind strikes your fancy

Procedure:
1.  Finely dice your pickles, peppers, and onion into relish-sized bits — the ratio should be based on personal taste, but I went with pretty much an equal amount of pickle, jalapano, and onion (with a bit of cayenne and habanero to add a hotter kick).  You can make whatever volume you would like.  It should last in fridge for a couple of days.
2.  Mix.
3.  Apply liberally to vastly improve the taste of a burger, sausage, or hot dog.

Yes, that simple.

What won’t be as simple is my mission to pickle this mess once harvest time comes.  I do plan on making a preserved version of this — using as many homegrown products as possible.  I’ll keep you updated on that process later in summer.

Also, later in the summer, you’ll be getting fresh hot peppers and onions from market or your garden.  Mixed with some pickles, you’ll have a darned good fresh condiment.

You’ll be able to enjoy your own fresh, local Peppickions!

Enjoy responsibly.

 

* I mean, come on!  How is it that dill pickles are far and away the most popular pickle type in Canada, and yet dill pickle relish brands and products are few and far between?  Is there some kind of relish conspiracy amongst the pickle manufacturers of North America?  Is there a pickle-fixing consortium in the preserving world that we, as relish consumers, just don’t know about?  How long do we have to keep on fine dicing our own dill pickles into relish?  For how long, damnit?!?!

I say it is time for us to stand up.  Raise our voices.  Call out for change on the relish landscape!

Next time you are in the condiment aisle of your local grocer, be sure to ask — nay, demand — that they stock dill pickle relish.

See a 98-year-old woman at Market only selling sweet mixed and chow?  Kick over her stall!  Let her know that she won’t be welcome until she reduces the sugar in her brine and adds dill, garlic, mustard seed, and tumeric!

Stop the insanity, I say!

Or, well…  on second thought… maybe make your own.

You might make fewer enemies that way…