Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays Everyone! Xmas ham was stellar this year, as was the turkey. Decided instead of glazing the ham in the oven, to through it out on the rotisserie, basted with maple syrup for a hour and a half. Would have to say, I would DEFINITELY do this again! Also frees up the oven for other things. This year, I brined a organic turkey with black cardamon, mustard and coriander for 24 hours. Removed the legs, wings and back. Roasted the breasts on the bone low and slow for 3 hours at 200-250f. Smoked the legs and wings with applewood for 4 hours, then crisped them up on the grill over high heat and glazed with birch syrup. Made a gravy from the roasted back, neck and pan fried liver. Used the giblets and heart in the stuffing with sage, thyme, chorizo, dried fruit, pecan, sweet onion, pork belly and homemade molasses 9 grain bread. Moistened the stuffing with turkey stock and a bit of egg. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and pickle sides. Made some buns for late night sandwiches.

Been doing a little writing on the side for the local paper the past few weeks as well. You can check out the articles and feel free to comment on them here..
will also be posting some more info and tips for the rappie pie here soon. Until then, enjoy your new years and hope that 2011 will be as amazing as 2010 for you all!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Smoked Venison And Bison Sausage

My sweet jelly bean is buried! I thought that since I wasn't going anywhere today. . I should find something to do with myself this morning. Had pulled some venison and bison a couple days ago.

So I made some heavily spiced sausages. I wanted something I could put on some fresh baked bread and chow down on!
I smoked them for 3 hours with a mix of birch, alder and willow. Air temp outside was -25c at the time. Cold but warmer than last night!

The finished sausages..... This was normal sized batch for at home. I do 5lbs at a time, which is perfect for the size of stuffer and mixer I have . I also made two large "meat" rings.

My lord! soooooo juicy and delish! Im having these tonight, with some fresh baked ciabatta, mustard, caramelized pears, and rhubarb habanero ketchup . I will have to wait a while though.... "product testing" has me full at the moment!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Is Good!

In Canada’s restaurant industry and in some homes we have a strange but good occurrence that only happens once or should I say twice a year. Thanksgiving in Canada is great because we get a double feature. If you mess up Canadian thanks giving you can always make up for it at American Thanksgiving. As we scan the Canadian magazine rack about a month before Thanksgiving we see Halloween and thanksgiving special issues. There’s a bit of a build up, it comes and just when you think its over, you return to the news stand to find now that bon appetite, and the like are starting there Thanksgiving issues.

Seems like a epic harvest year every year in Canada, although by the 4th week of November most of us are curled up to our wood stoves or shovelling snow instead of frolicking in apple orchards and pumpkin patches. For 3 months of the year it seems to be all about ham, turkey goose or large joints of meat. We get a 2 week break and all of a sudden there pounding the Xmas stuff at us. Cookies, cakes, more ham, more turkey, more goose etc…. Tires me out just thinking about it.

One traditional item that could be at the Canadian or Americans Thanksgiving, Xmas or Easter table is pumpkin pie. Now I don’t claim to have the most die hard, rare, family heritage, forget me not, heirloom variety, 100 mile recipe….but I do have one that works and has been receiving minor tweaks multiple times a year.. Feel free to freak out the on the recipe yourself and go bananas. Or play it safe and follow the instructions..

Pumpkin Pie
(the heirloom, family, 50th generation, sustainable, die hard, no fail, Julia Child, jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, Thanks giving, Xmas or Easter version)….with a Yukon twist.. lmao!

The key to my pie is slow roasting sugar pumpkins and processing the pulp in house rather than buying tinned pumpkin puree. But if your in a pinch I would rather see you use tinned than buy those pies at the grocery store that seem to be able to sit a room temperature for years without spoiling. Something is seriously wrong with that picture. Again, as much as I would like you to make your own pastry, use frozen if you must. They don’t ask, you don’t tell!

For one 9-10 inch pie

  • 3 cups cooked pureed pumpkin (or tinned)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Yukon birch syrup (sub molasses if Berwyn has not hooked you up)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger (or 2tsp dried ginger powder)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 beaten free range eggs
  • 1 ½ cups evaporated milk (use full fat versions)
  • 1 9inch tart or pie crust “blind baked” (for instructions on blind baking

Pasty dough

  • 1 ¼ all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp home made lard (or add 2 more tbsp butter)
  • 1 egg yolk (save white for the crust glaze)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water


For the crust:

1. Preheat your oven to 350f.

2. With your fingers rub the butter and lard into the flour till it resembles sandy pebbles.

3. Add sugar and salt.

4. Make well in center of flour and add egg yolk and a bit of water.

5. Mix to from a ball. If necessary add a bit more water to bring dough together. The key is to work it as little as possible.

6. Roll the dough out and fit into your pie or tart pan.

7. Bake to pastry off to a light golden color. Don’t go crazy and cook it till its right brown, the pie is returning to the oven later. Brush with left over egg white and return to oven to set the white.

8. When done turn your oven down to 250f.

For the filling:

1. Place pumpkin puree in your blender.

2. Add everything but the eggs and blend until ultra smooth.

3. Add eggs and pulse 3 or 4 times to incorporate.

4. Pour filling into prebaked pie shell.

5. Bake in a low 250-275f oven till filling has set in the middle when lightly shaken. About 1-1 ½ hours.

6. Cool to room temp or even better fridge temp before serving.

Serve with vanilla flavoured whipped cream and warm birch syrup drizzled over.

From top to bottom: Carving up Thanksgiving dinner, sous vide breasts and smoked legs/wings, one of the dogs at the shelter just saying "Hello!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back In The Home Slice

Park Farm...An amazing setting

After a 3 week journey to England and a 2 week visit to River Cottage Park Farm I am back home. A great trip was had, meeting lots of great people, cooks and chefs. Most of my time was spent in Dorset and East Devon in England's southwest, an area that is known for amazing produce, pork, lamb and organic products. The country scenery was absolutely incredible. It was like living in "the shire" from Lord of the Rings. Not to mention some wicked strong cider and real ales out the pie hole! Most of my time was spent with some great people at River Cottage's Park Farm.

In the kitchen there was various whole animals coming in and out including, Gloucester old spot pigs, wild venison, rabbits, pheasants, and various fish including herring, mackerel and pollock. There was a good amount of charcuterie going on as well which included, various salumi, prosciutto, terrines, pate, bacon, hams and pancetta all of which were amazing. The whole operation is looked after by Chef Gill Meller, who does a great job and has a real touch for good taste and texture combinations and rustic English country style cookery. He is also a master of pork crackling. mmmmm crackling (drooling now) Whole beast cookery is part of the norm at Park Farm so I was not surprised to find myself swimming in pork spleens, livers, heads and trotters and of course copious amounts of caul fat to wrap almost everything in. The produce was world class with a good variety of items to work with and grown by people who really care about what they’re doing in the veg patch.

Although the Brits have a large amount of traditional fair and puddings to choose from, I found it quite funny that some of the boys in the River Cottage kitchen seemed very interested in Canadian and American style pumpkin pies (which recipes are random and so ample that you can argue for days over the "right way" to make one). So I'm putting together a recipe of the pie I made at
Thanksgiving this year that was REALLY good. The boys in the Queens land will appreciate the non complexity and shear simplicity of this "western" dessert/pudding... lmao You never know, they might even give a recipe for rarebit in exchange..??? Post for the pie will come soon!

In Whitehorse, its been snowing and fairly mild so Ive got the x country skies out and I’m waiting for my boots to arrive. Went down to the spruce bog craft sale tonight. Lots of great goods from many Yukon personalities. I got a couple of prints for my wall and left a happy camper. Now to deal with summers bounty of berries etc in full force. More to come on that……

From top to bottom: The good ole wood fired it!, The chicken run, Spleens please!, Some local produce at the washingpool farm in Bridport, The boys "taking care of business"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Slacker Bread ie No knead steez

Been enjoying some time off from the kitchen these last few weeks. Planning and conspiring for next spring work projects, and getting ready for England next week.

On a trip to Dawson City a couple weeks ago I met a master Artisan bread maker/baker who was working a batch of "no knead bread" Watching and pretending not to take to many notes I watched her work her magic on the loaf. Since returning to Whitehorse ive been making alot. Ive termed it slacker bread by actually making it several times!
Using Jim Layhey's recipe from the new york times:
Ive converted it to grams for simplicity's sake, mostly because I hate baking with teaspoons, cups, etc... I also have been tweaking it out in different ways as well. Multigrain, rye bread, ciabatta, pizza dough, etc... Here's the weights that I use.

  • 390g flour

  • 300g water

  • 7g salt

  • 5g traditional dry yeast
Combine all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, let sit for 20hours, shape it, proof it for 2ish more hours and bake it for 30 minutes in a preheated pot with a lid @450f. Uncover for another 15mins if necessary to brown crust some more.
(note the recipe above is not the exact recipe used by the master bread baker in Dawson's back forty)
For more details follow link above. Its good bread that requires very little attention.

I just received 6kg of Manitoba creamed honey from a little town called Anola. A friend of mine from Winnipeg (wink wink) was kind enough to pick it up and mail it out to me. So it comes down to the slacker bread toasted, room temp salted butter, and a huge heap of the most amazing creamed honey. Few things in life make me as happy as this!

Other projects to come include, working my summer harvest of rhubarb, lowbush, highbush cranberries, black currents, red currents, moss berries, alpine bear berry and blueberries. A few angles im thinking of working.
  • Rhubarb ketchup
  • Low brush cranberry ketchup
  • Rhubarb, habanero and sweet onion sauce
  • Rhubarb bbq sauce
  • Various vinegars with all the berries
  • Various schnapps with all the berries
  • Highbush cranberry and alpine bear berry juice reduction
  • various fruit leathers and candy bars
  • Granola bars with semi dried berries
  • Low brush cranberry brownies
Most of this will be done when I return from England as im running out of time here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Done at Dalton Trail Lodge, River Cottage On the Horizon

The season is over at the fishing lodge I was working for the last 4 months. I'm heading up to Dawson for one last low brush cranberry round up and some big potluck feasts. Then I'm off to stage at River Cottage( in Dorset, England for a couple weeks. I have a week and a bit after the stage to do some exploring in London and eat at St.Johns ( etc...

Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall of River Cottage is a culinary icon in the world of seasonal, ethnically produced natural foods that has earned him a tremendous following in England and North America. Ive been following Hugh since his days on the road as "cook on the wild side" a self produced t.v. series where he converted a old land rover into a "gastrowagon" where he planned on leaving the city in search of wild foods and self sufficient living. He also has wrote numerous cook books (all of which I can personally recommend)

I’ve always loved Hugh's philosophy and way of eating, sharing and respect for the food. I’m extremely stoked to say the least to be part of the crew for a few weeks this fall. Counting the days now…..

(Memories form the DTL) From to to bottom, 1) Go fish, 2) scoping out the smoke house, 3) red currents, 4) braised lamb with gnocchi,stunted peppermint and Swiss mountain cheese, 5) Roasted pork belly with uncle berwyn's birch syrup, white sweet potato, grilled wild onions and Dowdell's sweet fennel slaw

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nitro Cavitated Fresh Yukon Truffles

After picking my prized truffles the other day. I let them sit in the fridge wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in a ziplock bag for 3 days. Each day opening and inspecting ripeness so see if I was gonna get any scent at all from this rare form of truffle. The smell is not far off Oregon white truffles and intensified as it sat. Yesterday I had a wiff and knew it was time to shi#t or get of the pot if you know what I mean. After reading this AMAZING article which has opened up a lot of new doors for me. I thought I would try to make some instant truffle oil. Here's what I did.

The first thing you must do is admire your bounty! What a stinker this one was!
I used a mandolin to slice the truffles very thin
Placed them in a whip cream dispenser about (2 ounces of truffle) with 150ml of light olive oil and charged it with N02 (the regular whip cream cartridge) Shook it vigorously for 10 seconds and left it to infuse for 3 minutes. Quickly released the pressure form the canister.

Popped the olive oil and the truffles into a clean sterilized jar for storage. Instant truffle oil. Really good truffle oil. Really Really good truffle oil. Tips....Make sure all ingredient's are room temp. Make sure your using very ripe truffles or you will probably be disappointed.
So far using canister infusion I have infused Klondike distilled vodka with peppermint and I also did some moss berries. Both were very good. I have plans to make some habanero vodka soon!
On another note, there are still boletus edulis to be had, but I woke up this morning and there was ice on the ground! Winter is creepin up on us! I have a whole pig to process in the next week or two into winter delights for my freezer/fridge/cupboard!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yes, there are truffles in the Yukon!

I will not say where, but I will say this.... Squirrels love truffles and mushrooms. If there is a area with a abundant amount of squirrels around. Chances are that there is lots of mushrooms and truffles if you know where to look. I found this truffle on the side of a river at the base of a white spruce tree. It was not quite mature when I picked it, but it is really starting to stink up my fridge today! I'm sure tomorrow it will even more. I will post on flavour, aroma and texture later.
We are reaching the end of our mushroom season in the north, while our friends in b.c. and southern Canada are just beginning there's. This is the time of year I start thinking about Prince Rupert, Terrace, Haida Gwaii and the entire Skeena valley which is famous for there epic fall mushroom crop. Don't think I'll get there this fall, but it will definitely be on my mind.
Rozites caperata or "the gypsy" I get all giddy when I find these. One of my favorite wild mushrooms of all time!!

A pan full of 2 types of chanterelles. Cantharellus cibarius and tubaeformis

Some cooked lacarria, chanterelle, boletus, lactarius and hedgehogs for pizza tonight

Some of the days haul. In plain english, delicious milky, velvet top boletes, butter boletus, belly button hedgehogs, bitter hedgehogs, yellow foot chanterelles, chanterelles, gypsy's and some laccaria's.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Moose Pastrami and "Mocksutake"

Had a friend from dodge, hook me up with a nice moose brisket a few weeks back. With hunting season upon us now I thought it would be a good time to start working the game a few different ways than normal. When I first got my hands on the moose brisket the first thing that popped in my head was pastrami. It didn't take me long to have it corned, rubbed, smoked and transformed into some amazing pastrami. Rubens to come in near future. Guess ill take a crack at making some rye bread now. Any ideas?

The brisket was cured with salt/sugar, spices and sodium nitrate for 5 days. Then rubbed with copious amounts of coriander seeds and black pepper

Into the scavaged dump cooker it goes. lol

After being slowly smoked for 6 hours the brisket is cooked and sliced for samples. It will be steamed later before being sliced for sandwiches. Oh my man....

Went on a hike through a old growth boreal forest north of Haines Junction yesterday. Hoping to sniff out some boletus edulis. I was just thinking I was gonna get skunked, then I seen the troops in the distance......... MUSH RUSH My first thought was, lacterious pepperatus, but as I came up on the troop and noticed no depression on the caps, I knew it was as catathelasma imperiale or imperial cats. When I posted my find on facebook a friend referred to them as "mocksutakes" I like it! No wait... I love these mushrooms. The texture is crunchy and very savory. Cooking these mushrooms requires patience as they like to be braised, stewed or cooked confit. A under rated mushroom worth seeking out if you get a chance to.

The Yukoner's answer to the matsutake. Although, ive herd rumor of matsutakes occurring up here I have yet to find any so far. As of today I'm up to 18 edible species of fungi in the Yukon territory! The list keeps getting bigger!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Botargo part two + projects

One of the many wild blueberries ive gotten this year

Almost forgot about the botargo I finished last weekend. Taste is great and it keeps for a long time vac packed in the fridge. I'm planning to make some taramasalata with it in the near future. I hope to stock up on a bit more of this for the winter.
To make it all I do is make a dry cure, 2 parts salt, 1 part sugar. Cover the entire surface of the roe. Place it on a paper towel. The next day, I replace the rub and paper towel. Continue till the towel remains dry and no more moisture is coming out. Your roe is now fully cured and good to go. Cold smoke it if you want or vac pack it and save in the fridge till needed. If you don't have a vacuum packer, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and dip in paraffin wax to seal it. The roe is curing with the 2:1 salt/sugar cure, till completely dry and below, the finished product ready to be used!
With the caviar I ended up grilling some home made sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil, topped it with a little mayonnaise, sliced smoked coho salmon and a generous pile of caviar on top. Very simple, but very satisfying.

Finshed putting up some of Grant Dowdells amazing beets. I pickled them with some fennel I got from him as well as orange zest and wild junper berries. Five liters of wild blue berry jam has also been put up. Some of the berries I picked while up in dawson for discovery days and the rest I got from the kluane region.

Ive started some, dry cured wild boar loin, fresh moose kielbasa, smoked dry cured moose kielbasa, moose pastrami, elk pastrami and fermented radish tops, turnip tops and green onions kimchi. Projects are what keeps me sane in the kitchen. Love it!

Blueberries are on there last string, low brush cranberries are out but not sweet enough yet. High brush crans look good to go. Crow berries are plump and as sweet as they will get. Raspberries and fire weed are going crazy colours. Trees are turning and loosing leaves. The nights are getting darker and mornings colder. Mushroom will be popping like crazy this week so keep you eyes peeled!

Chilling and grilling guinea fowl on my garbage dump scavaged kettle cooker!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chocolate zucchini bread for Christa and everyone else who asked!

So this recipe is dedicated to Christa my old pastry chef in Ottawa, who is getting married in the fall. Maybe she could make a batch for a late night snack or for Sunday coffee? Over the last 2 years Ive been asked for this recipe numerous times but have never actually got around to writing down what it is that I do when i make it. So low and it is.!!!!

Chocolate zucchini bread (Fatkid style)

Ive made a home version for the blog, I scale mine in the kitchen for ease and accuracy
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon freshly ground
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp clove ground
  • 2 tsp ground ancho chili (you can substitute other chili's if you like) I like to add a bit more chili than this for home!
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Combine the above sifted into a bowl, set aside.

  • 1.5 cups oil (you can play around here with the type)
  • 2 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs (free range is good!)
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 3 zucchini (around 700g)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1.5 cups chopped nuts (use whatever you want here, I like hazelnuts and pecans in mine)
  1. Combine the sugar and oil in a bowl and whip well
  2. Add eggs one at a time until combined
  3. Beat in melted chocolate(I melt the chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 secs till melted)
  4. Beat in dry ingredients till smooth
  5. fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts
  6. pour into greased loaf pans and bake @ 350f for about 1hr 20 mins approx. Check with toothpick till it comes out clean. Melted chocolate does not mean its not cooked so be careful when checking.


Don't get your stuff in a knot if you don't quite have enough zucchini or if you have a bit more, just throw it in the mix( I have added as much as a kg before!) Feel free to add more nuts if you like or spice it how you want. If you like me, put a sprinkle of naga jolika powder in for a extreme slice of heaven! You can also sub squash (butternut or spaghetti) for zucchini or pumpkin. Play around with it and most of all enjoy the slice! I make several batches during zucchini season and freeze a couple whole and slice and freeze a few for a quick snack. Freeze as soon as its cool enough to handle. Wrap tight and when you pull it out, it will be as good as the day you put it in, if its used within 3 months.

The Dry ingredients awaiting there wet companions and zucchini!

The zucchini has been married with the dry ingredients and heads to the oven in the loaf pans!

Happy loafs of zucchini love, brew the coffee, I got this break covered!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cured coho salmon roe and botargo

The sockeye and coho are running in full swing now. So along with fresh salmon everyday, comes my little friend. Roe! Cured a little tonight to bring up to dawson city to share with some friends this coming weekend. I also dry cured one whole sack for slicing.

Botargo is a Italian pantry staple and is made by curing the whole roe sack with salt, turning it daily till moisture is removed, rolled up like a sausage and shaved like salumi. Cause its such a little sack of eggs that im doing, I can do the whole process in a couple days. I also like to cold smoke my botargo Once cured and dried you can use it on anything you like, pizza, grilled cheese sandwich, pastas, taramasalata- a Greek specialty, sushi, alone or in a sauce etc.. I will post pics of the process and finished product in a couple days. ish...

To cure the roe I do as follows. There is lots of different ways to do it, I like this way cause it does not take away from the flavor of the roe.

I make a strong brine.

250g of salt to 1000g of water

I remove the membrane and veins from the eggs and place in the chilled brine for 10-15 minutes or until cured. they go a little transparent as they cure, err on the side of a little less time than a little more time. The best cured roe is not salty at all so be careful.

Rinse and drain them over night.

Store in a clean glass jar till used. There good for a couple of weeks done like this. Eat as much as you can and feel proud to live in Yukon where this hidden gem is often neglected.

This mornings load into the cold smoker. Venison strip loins, apricots, maple syrup and salt