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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Chestnut Soup with Crispy Pancetta

Many years ago on a whim I purchased a rather strange cookbook by Lois Anne Rothert dedicated entirely to the various soups of rural France. Normally I don’t pitch in for something so bizarrely specialized but something about this tome’s yeomen charm captured my imagination and it’s survived many cookbook purges over the years when shelf space became scarce.

Now, three months deep into my still-UN-identified illness this book has more than earned it’s keep with such soul-satisfying and sanity-soothing soups as Country Sorrel and Potato, Oyster and Cognac stew, Lentil Potage and this deeply savoury winter soup of pureed chestnuts, aromatics and crispy pancetta. (more…)

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

Tapenade 1Shortly after returning home from our adventure in South-Eastern Ontario I received a request from the new couple (still kickin it in Newfoundland) for the tapenade recipe that appeared at their wedding dinner.

Now, back in Gan I kind of winged it, but do not fear newlyweds! I have a recipe! Like a Platonic Form all of my tapenades spring from a single perfected recipe that I may or may not have stolen from a Jamie Oliver book many years ago. (more…)

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Salmon Wellington with Sorrel Sauce

Salmon WellingtonWhen you are knee deep in pink salmon – So much so that the local markets are selling whole fish from the backs of trucks for five bucks apiece – A particularly fish-friendly herb takes over your zen garden and your cousin Facebooks a picture of a meal you’ve been dreaming of for months and tags you in it… The universe is giving you signs. (more…)

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Miner’s Lettuce Au Lardon

Miner's Lettuce Au Lardon 1Frisee au lardon is a very French salad of curly endive poached eggs and chunks of bacon. Due to the brunch-esque combination of soft, unctuous egg yolk and crispy/greasy bacon ends it is without a doubt the very best sort of salad to nom after a long weekend’s debauchery. The bitter endive gives it just the right herbal kick to wake up the taste buds (jeezus, it’s already noon!) while croutons give it crunch. Pairs damn well with mimosas too! (more…)

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