Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morel Mushroom And Roasted Califlower Bistyeeya

This was a pie that I made for a vegetarian pot luck upon my arrival in Golden B.C. Very tasty. As was all the food that was there. The pie consisted of roasted cauliflower, caramelized onions, roasted almonds, turmeric, garlic, cilantro and morel mushrooms. Topped with a sprinkle of sugar, Cinnamon and more roasted almonds.
If I were to do it again I think I will try it with a layer of waxy potato's at the base for a little more savory goodness. Overall a success though.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Birch Syrup

A while back a friend of mine decided that he was going to start producing birch syrup in the Klondike river valley. Im glad he did! Berwyn has been sugaring off every spring just south of Dawson city for a number of years now producing high quality birch syrup. Birch syrup is full of minerals and vitamins and packed with good flavor.

There are now many more producers of birch syrup further south. Quesnel b.c. as well as thunder bay Ontario is home to producers of quality birch syrup. Pick some up and fall in love with this earthy wild treat! Below is one the recipes I made for berwyn for his website.

Birch Pecan Pie (for one 9”pie)(from

2 eggs (Slightly beaten)

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp good vanilla

½ cup corn syrup

½ cup birch syrup

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp flour

1 cup pecans

1 (9”pie shell)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Place pecans in your favourite pie crust. (9”)

Pour filling over pecans and bake @375 for 35-40 mins or until set and crust golden.

Pick up your birch syrup here!

Sweet Tree

Berwyn Birch Syrup

Birch Place Farm

Boreal Birch Syrup

Moose Meadows Farm

Alaska Wild Harvest

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Its been a good two week push in the kichen and now its time for a trip out west and its time to go to Chicago. Alberta>B.C.>Illinois>ontario.
Im looking forward to meeting some new peeps, some old peeps and seeing my fam dam ly.

Baggage includes

10lb Elk
2lb Caribou

5x Guinea fowl legs stuffed with game and wild mushrooms

4x Foie gras and prune stuffed quail

1x 15lb bone in country style Tamworth ham

4x Venison flanks (think tacos here)

Smoked Arctic Char
Candied Salmon bellys
Dry cured chorizo

Various terrines

Various condiments... Mustarda, ruhbarb ketchup, persimmon chutney etc..

Dried morel mushrooms, chilli pasillas, anchos, pequins, chipotle, naga jolokias and new mexicos.


1x block of Le marmirolle

1x wheel triple creme brie

400g bleu Benedictin

Monday, November 30, 2009

Must be November

Salmon and potato pie

Clockwise from top left

Ontario smoked trout terrine

Candied salmon belly

Pacific halibut terrine


Smoked mackerel mousse

Center… Smoked sprats

Clockwise from top left

Wild boar and rabbit terrine with prunes and pistachios.

Heritage breed prosciutto

Rays pork liver pate

Dried boar sausage and Mennonite summer sausage

Stone ground mustard

Foie Gras mousse with black pepper and parsley

Tasso ham with smoked cherries

And in the middle persimmon chutney

Wild boar and rabbit terrine

Wild Boar And Rabbit Terrine With Prunes And Pistachios

The Meat

1lb Rabbit (deboned)

1lb 8oz Wild Boar shoulder

8oz Pork or boar liver (add the rabbit liver as well)


2 cloves garlic (minced)

100g sweet onion (Vidalia or Texas sweets) (finely diced)

Cook onions and garlic till soft and cool. Combine with below and add to meat ready to be ground.

30g salt

5g Tinted Curing Mix

1 tbsp mixed spice (get creative here) Or Google "pate spice"

1g white pepper

200g prunes, sliced

250g pistachios (roasted)


120ml heavy cream

2 eggs (preferable farm eggs)

30ml brandy

70g flour

1 Grind the rabbit, livers and seasonings through the fine plate of your grinder. Switch to coarse blade and grind boar meat.

2 Place combined meats in a chilled kitchen aid mixing bowl.

3 Combine Panada in a bowl, mix well and add to your meats.( you can sub different types of booze if you want)

4 Place meat in kitchen aid and mix on low speed with a paddle for about a minute or till you feel its mixed really well. Turn to med speed till mixture gets sticky to touch, about 5-10 seconds.

5 Test seasoning by cooking a little paddy.

6 Place garnish ingredients in bowl and gently fold in.

7 Place mix into a terrine and place in a vacuum bag and seal at high pressure. Leave in fridge overnight or up to 3 days to cure.

8 Place terrine in a water bath and poach in 177F water in a 300f oven till cooked, about 2 hours. (or sous vide with thermal circulator) Meat will pull back slightly from the sides of the mold.

9 Place terrine in the fridge put a weight on it and leave for 2 days. (the hardest part of the recipe is waiting!)

10 Slice it, eat it! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fresh Black Truffles And Cold Milk

After preparing my truffle preserves, truffle butter and whipped pork fat with truffles I had more than my fill of "nibbles" as I was slicing them up. It was fairly early in the morning so I was having a coffee with cream when I suddenly noticed that the cream in my coffee was starting to taste like truffles! I did not want to eat anything because I wanted to preserve the flavour of truffle on my palette. I then tried a glass of milk and it also taste like truffles. This lasted about 30 minutes after a good feed of fresh truffle slices! Truly awesome!

Today was also terrine production
Wild boar and dried fruit x3
Wild boar, rabbit, prune and pistachio x1
Wild boar, tasso ham and dried cranberry x1

Photos to come!

Some New books,

The Early Canadian Gault Cookbook


The Fat Duck Cookbook

Some New Music

Shotgun Jimmie "still Jimmie"

Tommy Sparda "Specie Differenti"

Joel Plaskett "three"

Bassnector "cozza frenzy"

Dj Decibel "smack my glitch up"

Mmmmm Truffle goodness
Is there such thing as to many webers?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ham I am with green eggs and ham?

How do you make a great ham?

Well you will need.......

half a bone in locally farmed pork leg or shoulder (about 5-8kg)

(I prefer using rare breed or heritage breed pork such as large blacks, Berkshire, Duroc etc..)

For the cure

  • 2kg salt
  • 80g curing salt #1 (optional)
  • 1 litre good apple juice or pear juice or apricot juice etc....
  • 1 litre cider (I use a nice cider from Quebec)
  • 6 litres water
  • 1kg golden brown sugar
  • 1kg dark brown sugar or molasses
  • 20-30 juniper berries (I pick mine myself and use them fresh)
  • 30g black peppercorns, crushed
  • 10 bay leaves, crushed
  • 10 cloves

To cook the ham

  • 1 large onion, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, rough chopped
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme or you can do like me and add 10-15 sprigs of thyme!
  • 1 small bunch parsley stalks

For the glaze

  • 1 generous tbsp grainy mustard
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 8 cloves powdered

Okay how do we do this?

Mix the cure together in a pot. Bring to the boil. Cool completely to 3-4 Celsius. Pour brine into a none metallic tube (plastic or wood). Weight your ham. Its needs to be left in the cure for 2 days/kg. So for a 5kg piece of pork leg it will be in the brine for 10 days. Place ham in brine and place a weight on top to keep it submerged at all times.(get creative with this, I will give you no hints here on how to accomplish this!)

After the time is up in the cure, it needs to be hung in a cool place 2-8 Celsius for 1-2 days to form a pellical for the smoke to stick too. If you are not smoking the ham leave it to hang for about a week then proceed to the cooking part. If your smoking your ham, you will need a gentle fire and a cold day to to maintain a constant cold smoke. Cold smoke for about 8-12 hours with your favorite hardwood (maple and apple are nice) or until nicely coloured. Leave to hang for at least a week. If you don't have a cold smoker you can use a upright water smoker or bradley smoker and smoke it over several days a couple hours a day.

To cook your ham. If you have had it in the bring for longer than expected, you may need to soak it in cold water overnight to draw out excess salt. The following day place it in a pot, cover it with water and cook for a hour at a low temperature around 180-190f. Taste the water. If its still quite salty pour it out and cover with fresh water. After a hour if the water is not overly salty add all veg and aromatics cook till tender on a low simmer about 3-5 hours. Or instant read thermometer reads 150-160f

Pull it out, mix the glaze together. Pull of skin, rub with glaze and bake for about 30 minutes in a 350-400f oven. Enjoy!!!

Served with mash spuds, creamy peppery cabbage and roasted or glazed carrots.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sept is a great month!

Pickles, preserves, charcuterie, ham and cabbage sandwiches, turkeys are getting near slaughter, smoke house filling up. Stocking up, freezing, drying, brewing, vac packing, planning, cleaning, granola, pot pies, matsutakes, honeys, fall tea mushrooms, hard cider, apple pie, pumpkin and bourbon, refreshing rain.........

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back to basics for fall

Some shots of our fall tomato and pickle day. Time to start thinking about eggnog and holiday plum pudding. Ive moved my favourite chili plant inside to hang for the winter in peace. Starting some hard cider and homemade pectin next week. Plus smoking tha country ham! Whats your favourite fall preserve?

I feel like chicken tonight!

September rain brings, ............well chickens! Was on my way back from meeting a fellow shroomer to exchange some fungi news and spotted a "laetiporus Sulphureus" or in other words "chicken of the woods mushroom" These large shrooms "roost" in mature Manitoba maples, Oaks and various other hardwoods in eastern Canada. A texture very similar to chicken and a nice neutral mild flavour makes these shrooms a favourite among fungi enthusiasts.

At the shop we've been busy processing tomatoes for puree and sauce. 400lbs of tomatoes were done this fall, so were ready to hunker down into winter braising and ketchup/chutney production. 16L of naturally fermented pickles have been started (pics of tom production and pickles to come) Ive also started two prosciutto one country style ham, 2 dozen smoked goose breasts, 10kg of pastrami and some more heritage breed pancetta. Happy fall :)

Kobocha Squash Flan

Halibut wrapped with cured pork fat, ready to be sous vide.

"Laetiporus Sulphureus" Chicken of da woods!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New blog at Tulips And Maple Catering + A whole lot of hog!

We have just launched a new blog, brought to you by the good people at T&M! We will update it with more details from on site events and whatever inspires us at the moment.

I just ordered a whole "Large Black" heritage hog from Barbara Schafer at Upper Canada Heritage Meats. The Large Black is recognized as a critically endangered species, not only here but worldwide. When pork production became industrialized in the 1950's, this slow-growing foraging breed was not suitable for the close confinement of factory farms. In spite of its docile temperament and exquisite taste, its numbers have dropped to about 200 registered hogs in Canada today.

Barbara has recently expanded to a new and larger farm where she has plans to do heritage beef as well as chickens! The heritage pork is out of this world in flavour and I can't wait to get some more sausage/hams/prosciutto's going in the next few days!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July Rocks!

The mushroom foray held at greener green acres was well... Pretty dull for mushrooms. Good thing I came prepared with a basket of my own to share with everyone! The week after the chantys started hitting..

Lobsters, boletes and hedgehogs out our bum! I had the chance to sneak out to culinary conspiracy's mushroom dinner on sunday night. Good time, food was great. Chefs Robert Jutras and Kenny Hayden did a good job. Some cool art as well.

At the resturant we were busy doing Jason Spezza's wedding last sat. This was a Itialian wedding, so lots of great food and ya.... More food! Everything went as planned and the event was flawless!

This week is a bit slow, so ive managed to post! I figure we got two good weeks left of summer mushrooms then its all over till fall and the "hen hunt".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And Now Its July?

Wow what happened there, a month just like that?

I prayed for rain, I got it. Now we pray for mushrooms. On Sunday I will be out with Cheryl Wyatt of Greener Green Acres to do a summer foraging tour of limrick forest. We are hoping to find porcini, chanterelles, raspberry's and maby a oyster or two! I will post pics of the hike next week.

Strawberries have been added to my "bachelors jam" as well as a good spoon of sugar and a splash of vodka. Eggnog will be started soon. June was CRAZY busy!

Good thoughts about June: Rhubarb, Oyster Mushrooms, chili plants, green house tomatoes, bass, walleye, reishi, day lily corms, beet greens, micro greens, spring onions, strawberries, asparagus, baby radish and turnip greens!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The busy time!

In the next week we are so busy at the shop that I will have no time for shrooming or foraging. Cochinita Pibil, recipe to come.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sorry been busy shrooming!!! Recipe for pickled ramps..

As you can see Ive been really busy lately! Ive ran across a nice patch of ramps as well and have added recipe below for pickeled ramps!

Pickled Ramps

5 pounds cleaned ramps, green leaves removed
2 cups white vinegar/rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup Demarara sugar
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon whole black
2 all spice berries
One dried chipotle chili (optional)
1 sprig thyme
Salt to taste

1. Pack ramps tightly into clean sterilized jars.
2. Heat up pickle and let cool, set to infuse for 30 minutes.
3. Pour cooled pickling liquid over ramps and store in a container with a tight lid. Process in a water bath to seal(about 10 minutes)
4. Let rest for at least a month before trying.

5. For a less crispy pickle blanch the ramps in boiling water for about a minute and cool in a ice bath, proceed with recipe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The hunt is on!!!

Im out on monday for a full on foray for black/yellow morels! Will post details of my results!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bo Kho

Bo kho has got to be one of the most heart warming dishes of all time. I love making it and love even more eating it!! (click the photo!!)

Bo kho the recipe.......

You need.....
1 beef blade roast (about 1.5kg) (nicely marbled) or boneless short ribs
1 beef shins with bone (beef shank)
Veal or Beef stock
Bo kho spice mix to coat beef recipe below
2tbsp Vietnamese curry powder (i use Indian brand)
2 tbsp annatto seeds
1/4 cup veg oil
3 stalks of lemon grass
I head of garlic peeled and finely diced/minced
1 small can (398ml) of aurora brand pizzettones tomato's
Green or red chili's (as many as you think you need)
5-7 lime leaves (optional)
2 Carrots
1 onion
8 fingerling potato's
Fish Sauce
Palm sugar or brown sugar

(Table Stew Garnish)
1 bunch Holy basil
1 bunch Culantro/fitweed/long coriander or what ever you want to call it
1 bunch cilantro
Mung bean sprouts (optional)

Bo Kho Spice mix
equal parts. coriander seed, cinnamon, aniseed, cumin, annatto, clove and licorice root.
Mix and grind to a fine powder in a spice mill


1: First off, place oil in a sauce pan and heat up, when warm add annatto seeds and cook for one minute. Strain this oil into a clean bowl and discard seeds. Cool oil. Cube beef in 3inch by 3inch pieces, coat with bo kho spice mix (just enough to cover meat) Place in a zip-lock bag or marinating container. Add minced garlic and annatto oil. Cut lemon grass into 3 inch lengths and smash with the back of your knife(dull side), add to beef marinate. Finely dice chilli's and add if using. Leave for 3 hours.
2: Sear meat off in batches, browning all sides nicely and place in your braising vessel. Empty marinate into braising pan (garlic lemongrass chili), add tomato, lime leaves if using, curry powder and enough veal/beef stock to cover meat by 3 inches, SLOWLY bring meat up to a slight simmer and place in a oven at 250 with a tightly covered lid.

3: Braise for 1 hour without opening. Check meat It should be just fork tender. Check meat every 15mins after. When fork tender meat is achieved add potatoes, carrots and onion sliced around the same size for even cooking. Cook till veg is done, adjust seasoning with fish sauce (salt) and a bit of sugar.

4: Serve with fresh basil, culantro, cilantro, green/red chilli's fresh, green onions, bean sprouts and crispy baguette!

Enjoy the best comfort food ever!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The pre morel hunt....

Morel Mushrooms:

Now is the time of year when I dig up all last years photos and maps of hits and misses searching for further clues to this elusive mushroom. Ive only in the past picked "fire burn" morels. Its a natural thing that happens a year after a good hot forest fire. You return to the burn and search shady areas and drainage's and there they are by the hundreds. Its truly amazing! Now on the other hand here I am in Ottawa, rideau valley.. Last year I found three morels!!! Three! After searching for a month in a half straight! This year I plan to change those numbers by a few at least.

Ive learned a lot these last couple weeks about morels, trees, and flora that all occurs at the same time. I plan to use this knowledge this year to collect more morels. I'm not worried about the rest of the mushroom season as I did quite well last year and have many spots to go to. The morels start in the far south west, then progressively they hit the entire west coast to southern Oregon; at this time, Oklahoma gets hit and they start going north of Oregon and east of Oklahoma. The east coast gets hit then they start heading up the east and central states to Michigan, new york etc... Finally they get here in Ottawa/Quebec and the rest of Canada, ending in northern prairies, N.W.T., and the Yukon.

More morel info availible here...

Friday, February 27, 2009

hangin tha meat

Every time a new item is hung to dry in the curing room I get ancy. Do we really have to wait that long for it to finish? What exactly will it taste like? It is a steady rotation of different cuts and kinds of meat, some of which will have finished there time in a week, others may be "hanging" around for a year or more. This photo is a picture of my duck pancetta one of my favorites. Today I've started a celeriac and black pepper cured beef tenderloin.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seville Oranges


Ladies and Gentlemen, Gather your "heavy to hold" Seville Oranges and Brace yourself! For a Marmalade extravaganza! Slice them up! Ohh so nice...

Juice those bad boys!

Slice the peels and piths into desired size. I like mine quite small and thin.
Place them in a non reactive container and cover them with the orange juice and 2.5L of water. Leave for 24 hours. Place the whole works into your pot and cook till peel is soft. About 2 hours. You will have lost about a 3rd of the liquid.

Next, add the lemon juice and sugar and cook to the setting point has been reached. About 20-30 minutes. ( see notes for tips)

Prepare your jars and break out a red strip to celebrate, your almost done!

When setting point has been reached, let it sit off the heat for 15 minutes, then pour into sterilized jars and seal! Drink your beer and go to bed cause you cant wait for breakfast!
The Fine Print

Makes 5-6x 460g jars
1kg Seville Oranges (washed)
75ml lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
2kg demarara sugar (cane) (I used red paths demarara "style" sugar for this recipe and the result was a rich caramelized molasses flavored preserve)
The setting point has been reached when your boiling liquid becomes a foamy mass and your thermo reads 220f (at sea level) You can also put a plate in the freezer and spoon a little on to check the strength of the gel. Remember, "good things come to those who wait" Meaning if its not setting, keep cooking that bugger down!