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 behold.....here 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

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Over 1000 visits! Thx for stopping by! + Klondike Kates is "LOCAL"

1000 visitors.. wow. Good times! I just want to thank everyone for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings and I hope you are all enjoying the blog. Its been fun for me, and its been fun to flip back through the posts. Its extremely hot up in the Yukon right now. 30c + Ive got a busy week ahead of me and am looking forward to cooking some great food!
Also a shout out to Klondike Kates Restaurant in Dawson City for participating in food day this year. http://foodday.ca/ They were the only restaurant that participated in the territory! Congrats! Kates was recommended by the owners and operators of Sooke Harbour House in B.C. to join in on the nation wide Canada food day celebration. The Yukon news covered the story. http://www.yukon-news.com/business/19052/