Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Digs!

Ive finally arrived at Dalton Trail Lodge, 40km south of Haines Junction, Yukon. This is where I will be spending my summer cooking and foraging. The other veteran chef Mike has been showing me the ropes the over the last couple days before we get busy with the seasons full wrath. The elevation is quite a bit higher here than in Whitehorse, so you can still see tails of winter about. The smoke house needs cleaning and the bbq pit needs some work but its not by any means in bad shape... Just needs some lovin! The Dalton range is in your face and Dezadeash lake is just behind the lodge where this time of year lake trout are all about! Looks like ill have lots to explore and the terrain should prove to be a bumper spot for ceps and boletus mushrooms! More to come.
Ive suddenly become a bit of a baker since arriving!
From top to bottom, View of the lodge & Country style multi grain bread

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sorry Relocating And Fishing

Have not had any time for blogging with moving in progress. But have had time to get some very nice lake trout! The 6 and 4 pounders were pulled out Moose lake just outside Valemount B.C. only a week after the ice has broke off the lake. Popping them on the webber tonight with some cedar planks and some birch syrup!

I sprinkle the fillets with course sea salt and leave them for 30 minutes to firm up the flesh and push out excess moisture. Rinse the salt off, pat dry, then put them on cedar planks which have been soaked overnight in water. Im using lump charcoal and paper birch for flavor. Finishing it with a glaze of black pepper, coriander and pure 100 Mile birch syrup! Sides will include webber roasted potato gratin and some steamed bok choy on the side.

I'm Yukon bound as of tomorrow! See you in Whitehorse!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Morel Chat On CBC

Here's a short clip of me on CBC radio spouting off about morel mushrooms and having a good chat with Alan Neal on the All In A Day show. The show was aired on April 28th just a few days before the morels started popping in Ottawa.

Morels With Ramps, Nettles And Lemon

This is what may tastes like in the Ottawa river valley! Serves 2 as a starter

  • Good olive oil to coat pan (don't cheap out here!)
  • 15 Fresh morels
  • 5 Ramps finely sliced, tops roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh nettle leaves
  • 1 lemon/zest
  • fleur de sel to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • good chunk of bread (baguette, ciabatta, Belgium or crispy sourdough)

  1. Clean your Morels!!! Morel pores are perfect homes for many interesting small critters! If morels are big slice so they are all the same size. Don't forget to inspect the insides of the mushrooms for friends as well!
  2. Zest and juice only half the lemon. Remove any seeds from juice and add zest to juice. Set aside.
  3. Prep your ramps. Clean them. Remove the bulbs from the leafy tops, slice the bulbs fairly thin and rough chop the tops. keep bulbs and tops separate.
  4. Prep your nettles. Use gloves to remove the nettle leaves from plant. Select young new plants with tender leaves. Wash as you would regular lettuce and dry. Combine with ramp tops.
  5. You should now have one bowl of cleaned morels, one bowl of cleaned nettles/ramp tops, one bowl of lemon juice/zest, one bowl of sliced ramps, fleur de sel, a pepper mill and good olive oil.
  6. Get a large frying pan hot on stove. When hot add olive oil to coat pan. Before oil starts smoking add sliced ramps. Cook for 10 secs, to totally infuse the oil with rampy goodness. Add morels and nettle/ramp mix.
  7. Leave on high heat so that any liquid that comes out of the mushrooms will evaporate as its being cooked. Cook until morels have shrunk by almost half and all the liquid in the pan is absorbed back into the morels about 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add lemon and remove from heat. Season with fleur de sel and a fresh pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Note: I sometimes add fresh red chili with the ramps at the beginning for a little extra kick!