Butter Chicken Nachos
Employees at a Peterborough, Ont., bike shop were guinea pigs in Colin Hall’s pastry peddling. “I was friends with the ladies and guys at Wild Rock,” Hall said. “I would produce stuff, and then take my samples to them for their feedback.” He joked that he was also trying to mess with the waistlines of those employees so he could beat them on the hills.
Where his samples and work at local farmers markets led was the Pastry Peddler, a café that he and his then-wife (and still co-owner) opened about eight years ago in nearby Millbrook. The café mixes his passion for baking and cooking and bikes. Its logo is a chef holding a culinary concoction in one hand while steering a penny farthing. Upstairs from the eatery, there’s Frog Cycles bike shop. The café is on one of the Peterborough and the Kawarthas road cycling routes presented by Shimano: at kilometre 42 on Route 3 – Hills, Views and Pastries, to be exact. In 2016, a Peterborough Cycling Club gentleman’s ride went by the Pastry Peddler. “It was great. I could stop here and have a beer,” Hall said. “I needed the salt.”
Hall has been a cyclist since age 13. His cousin got him into the sport. One of his cousin’s bikes, a 1979 Masi Gran Criterium with full Campagnolo build, is on the wall. “That was my dream bike as a kid. He let me ride it once or twice, and I was nervous as hell,” Hall said. Hall identifies mostly as mountain biker. His first mountain bike was a Bianchi Grizzly, a rigid hardtail, which he had to save up for. He’s tried his hand in downhill and trials. Now, he mostly rides his monster ’cross bike. “That does everything for me. I can hit jumps with it. I can do pavement. I can do doubletrack and singletrack,” he said. Hall lives in Peterborough and commutes to his café most days, a round trip of about 50 km.
Hall’s butter chicken recipe comes from the Pastry Peddler’s summer menu. It’s a great dish for sharing with friends.
olive oil 1.7 kg chicken breasts 7 tbsp butter ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 medium red onions, peeled and diced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
finely 4 tbsp garam masala 4 tsp paprika 4 tsp cinnamon 5 tsp salt 4 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
with their juice 1.5 l 35 per cent cream 1l coconut milk 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed,
dried and chopped finely Salt and pepper 1 bag of tortilla chips Old white cheddar, grated Sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, place chicken breasts and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Set aside to cool. 3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Melt 4 tbsp of butter and vegetable oil. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for about 20 minutes to caramelize (an important flavour for this dish). Add spices and 5 tsp salt. Continue cooking until fragrant, about 5–7 minutes. 4. Add tomatoes, cream, coconut milk and half of the cilantro. Stir to combine and simmer about 10 minutes. 5. Using a hand blender, blend mixture until smooth. 6. Dice chicken and add to the mixture. 7. Add remaining butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. 8. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and cover with tortilla chips. Top with cheese, and then add another layer of chips and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. 9. Top chips and cheese with the butter chicken. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro. 10. Serve with sour cream.