Pork and Chicken Liver Pâté

It’s long past New Year’s and I’m not into resolutions, but I was inspired over the holidays to try my hand at more charcuterie and I’ve decided that trend will continue into 2019 as part of my weekend kitchen routine. The sausages we made over the break (more on that in a bit) were not the first bit of salted meat I attempted and my first foray into this exciting new realm of grinders and guts was quite a hit at our holiday table.

Call it pâté, terrine or fancy meatloaf the concept of salted, pressed, finely ground fat, flesh and offal that is shaped into a mold then slow cooked and served cold is about as old as the concept of “cuisine” itself. If you didn’t pick up the accent, this dish is French, unapologetically oldschool French in the same way that quail with grapes or veal tripe in white sauce is. The process has been streamlined since the days of Grandfather Escoffier, but it’s still got that that slightly fussy way about it that both makes it a joy to execute and a hell of a story for your guests when you drop it on the table.

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2018 Holiday Guide: Gifts for Sausage Making at Home

My wife and I have somehow found ourselves with a bit of time off this holiday season and have decided this is the year to indulge in our strange, shared desire to make sausage. Don’t laugh; I’ve wanted to craft tube meat since I attended the NVICA event back in April and Crystal’s been saying we pay too much for prefabs forever.

So we pooled our meager pre-Christmas funds and went in on a sausage stuffer, not knowing that it takes a wee bit more gear to actually get stuffing. A quick peek through all the charcuterie books on my shelf and a couple eleventh hour Amazon orders later we now have a complete kit for sausage making ready for a holiday sausage party. (more…)

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Edible Vancouver Island Magazine is Here!

After keeping it under my toque for the last couple months, the wait is finally over and I can talk about another of my extra-curricular writing activities.

This week the inaugural issue of Edible Vancouver Island Magazine is available at fine food purveyors island-wide and features a two page article on my friend and garlic guru Brent Garstin, written by your truly. It’s my very first published bit of writing! I feel so legit!

Big thanks to Dawn, the publisher for bringing me on board and Editor Julie ‘n photographer Danika for making my words better than they have a right to be! Hopefully I’ll be able to do an article or two for them in the future.

Check out the EVI website for tons of online content and a map of where the physical magazines are distributed.

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RIPE: Local Fruit – Use it fresh, preserve the rest

A couple months ago Ann Kask got a hold of me through the NVICA grapevine and asked me to contribute a recipe for her new berry-themed cookbook. Flattered as all get out I readily agreed and proffered my classic Blackberry Hoisin BBQ Sauce recipe to add to the already stacked list. Now just in time for Christmas the cookbook of your dreams has arrived: RIPE: Local Fruit – Use it fresh, preserve the rest features recipes from over thirty Campbell River and Comox Valley food service folk that run the gamut of restaurant-ready (lookin at your chicken recipe Ronald!) to simple home kitchen afternoon affairs. The best part is that Ann is donating all proceeds from the cookbook to Diabetes Canada!

So if your holiday shopping for that foodie freak who already has every gadget and tome, pick up a copy of RIPE, I guarantee they won’t have it in their collection yet. The book is available around the Comox Valley at various booksellers and gourmet shops and Ann has a booth at the Saturday Comox Valley Farmer’s Market. Toss some sheckles her way, it’s for a good cause and the recipes are really top-notch… Especially mine. *laughs*

 

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Canning Cabbage Part 2 – Sauerkraut

A full three quarters of a mightily dense cabbage head remains in the fridge so my Mason jar odyssey continues. First came the Korean kimchee, then the Mexican curtido and now I’m going to finish off this great green beast by hacking it up, salting and fermenting it as a classic Northern European sauerkraut.

Now what we in America refer to with the blanket term of “sauerkraut” actually is part of a great Germanic-Scandanavian tradition of fermenting vegetables to keep during hard times thought to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes and spread by marauding tribes such as the Huns, Tartars and Mongols. Nowadays the name is synonymous with Germany, its culture and culinary traditions. (more…)

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