an af­fair to re­mem­ber

Food & Drink - - EN­TER­TAIN­ING WITH KIDS -


Th­ese rolls are all about the dip­ping sauce and the fresh­ness of the veg­eta­bles. You can add car­rots, bean sprouts, green onions and radishes in­clud­ing daikon, and they all add some­thing dif­fer­ent to the roll. Brown rice ver­mi­celli has more flavour than white but ei­ther works. Sam­bal oelek is an Asian chili paste that is spicy but rounded in flavour. You could use sriracha in­stead. Use a medium rice pa­per wrap­per, about 8½ inches (21 cm) in size. Rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and kept well wrapped. Longer means they dry out slightly.

4 large king oys­ter mush­rooms, halved length­wise 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated ginger

2 tsp (10 mL) sea­soned rice vine­gar

½ tsp (2 mL) sam­bal oelek

2 oz (55) brown or white rice ver­mi­celli

8 rice pa­per wrap­pers

¼ cup (60 mL) mint leaves

¼ cup (60 mL) basil leaves

¼ cup (60 mL) co­rian­der sprigs

16 chives

2 Per­sian or small cu­cum­bers, cut into 4 spears each

1 cup (250 mL) radish sprouts

1 cup (250 mL) sliced ten­der let­tuce, such as Bos­ton or bibb


2 tbsp (30 mL) wa­ter

¼ cup (60 mL) sugar

½ sweet red pep­per, stem re­moved, chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) minced gar­lic

1 tsp (5 mL) Asian chili sauce such as sam­bal oelek (or more to taste)

3 tbsp (45 mL) fish sauce

¼ cup (60 mL) lime juice 1 Gen­tly score a cross-hatch pat­tern into cut sides of each mush­room half. Com­bine oil, fish sauce, ginger, vine­gar and sam­bal oelek. Brush over the mush­rooms. Pre­heat grill over high heat. Grill mush­rooms, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til ten­der and charred in spots, 6 to 8 min­utes. Cool. Cut mush­rooms halves into quar­ters, each mush­room will now be in 4. Re­serve.

2 Place ver­mi­celli noo­dles in a wide, heat­proof dish. Cover with boil­ing wa­ter and soak un­til ten­der, about 5 min­utes. Rinse un­der cold wa­ter and drain well. Re­serve.

3 Cover a sec­tion of your coun­ter­top with plas­tic wrap. Work­ing with 1 piece at a time, soak rice pa­per wrap­pers in cool wa­ter un­til they are just pli­able, about 30 sec­onds, then lay on plas­tic wrap.

4 Ar­range 2 mush­room pieces, 2 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, 2 sprigs co­rian­der, 2 chives, 1 cu­cum­ber spear, noo­dles, sprouts and let­tuce along bot­tom third of rice pa­per. Lift rice pa­per edge near­est you around fill­ing. Fold in sides, then con­tinue rolling to form a tight log. Cut in half and place on plat­ter. Re­peat with re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents. If mak­ing ahead, don’t cut in half but wrap in a damp tea towel and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed. Cut when needed.

5 Com­bine wa­ter and sugar in a pot to make dip­ping sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir­ring un­til the sugar is dis­solved. Boil for 2 min­utes or un­til slightly syrupy. Re­move from heat and al­low to cool com­pletely.

6 Place red pep­per, gar­lic and chili sauce with ¼ cup (60 mL) of sugar syrup in a food pro­ces­sor or blender and purée. Add fish sauce and lime juice. Taste for sea­son­ings, adding more syrup to thin it down if needed.

7 Serve rolls with sauce.

Makes 8 rolls WHAT TO SERVE

New Zealand Sauvi­gnon Blanc has a savoury char­ac­ter that aligns well with veg­etable dishes, and its wide­spread ap­peal makes it a good choice for en­ter­tain­ing. The iconic Cloudy Bay Sauvi­gnon Blanc (VIN­TAGES

ES­SEN­TIALS 304469, $35.95) was the gen­e­sis of New Zealand’s world rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cit­ingly flavour­ful white wines. Vi­brant cit­rus and herbal notes echo the roll’s herbal flavours.

France’s Sancerre re­gion is also renowned for Sauvi­gnon Blanc—ex­pect a lit­tle more re­straint in the de­liv­ery of fruit, and an em­pha­sis on min­er­al­ity. Henri Bour­geois Les Baronnes Sancerre (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN

TIALS 542548, $28.95) brims with cit­rus and flo­ral notes, mak­ing it an in­spired pair­ing for ap­pe­tiz­ers and veg­etable dishes.



Of­ten a first course whets the ap­petite for the rest of the meal, so it does not have to be large. Serve just one huge scal­lop per per­son. The lime but­ter can be made a few days ahead of time and re­frig­er­ated un­til needed.

3 leeks, white and light green part only, about 3 cups (750 mL)

3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, di­vided

Salt and freshly ground pep­per GINGER LIME BUT­TER ½ cup (125 mL) un­salted but­ter 2 tsp (10 mL) grated ginger 2 tsp (10 mL) grated lime rind Salt and pep­per

8 jumbo scal­lops, about 10 per lb/455 g (u 10 size)

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped pars­ley

1 Pre­heat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 Halve leeks length­wise. Cut each piece into half-moons on a bias. Toss with 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil on a bak­ing sheet. Sea­son with salt and freshly ground pep­per, and spread in an even layer. Bake, stir­ring a few times, un­til the leeks are crispy and golden brown, but not black­ened, about 20 min­utes. Re­serve.

3 Com­bine but­ter, ginger and lime rind in a food pro­ces­sor or by hand. Sea­son well with salt and pep­per and leave on the counter to re­main at room tem­per­a­ture.

4 Heat re­main­ing 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the lime but­ter in fry­ing pan over high heat. Add scal­lops and sear 3 min­utes on the first side, flip scal­lops over and sear 2 min­utes or un­til just opaque. Re­move from pan and keep warm. Toss in half the leeks. Stir in any juices from scal­lops and the re­main­ing but­ter. Cook, stir­ring un­til but­ter melts. Spoon leeks and sauce onto 8 plates. Place a large scal­lop on each plate. Top with re­main­ing leeks and dust with pars­ley.


Ries­ling, with styles from bone-dry to lus­ciously sweet, is the most ver­sa­tile of white va­ri­eties when it comes to match­ing a di­verse menu. In this dish the per­fumed char­ac­ter of Tawse Quarry Road Or­ganic Ries­ling

VQA (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS 198853, $24.95) lets it stand up to the ginger and lime notes in the dish. A touch of sweet­ness coun­ters the heat of ginger, and en­hances the nat­u­ral sweet­ness of the scal­lops.

Ries­ling lovers now have a wealth of choice with the LCBO’s on­line Des­ti­na­tion Col­lec­tion port­fo­lio (see page 24). From Ger­many’s Mosel re­gion, the Von Hövel Oberem­meler QbA Fein­herb 2016 (LCBO 585629, $31.10) of­fers su­perb bal­ance and del­i­cacy.


This is a per­fect make-ahead main be­cause you can slow-roast the fil­let about eight hours ear­lier in the day. Re­move the beef from the oven when the tem­per­a­ture reads about 120°F (50°C). Let it cool. When you are ready to serve, bake on high heat to sear the out­side and warm the in­side. This method of roast­ing results in an evenly coloured and very juicy roast. Omit mar­row bones if you can­not get them but the fat that they leave in the pan is great for roast­ing po­ta­toes an­other time. To re­duce miso mar­row sauce prop­erly you re­ally need home­made or butcher-bought stock. If all you have is store-bought do not re­duce as much and thicken with a lit­tle paste made from 1 tbsp (15 mL) corn­starch and wa­ter.

1 beef fil­let, 3 to 4 lbs (1.36 to 1.81 kg) 1½ tsp (7 mL) kosher salt

2 tbsp (30 mL) veg­etable oil

2 cloves gar­lic, grated

2 tbsp (30 mL) wasabi pow­der

4 bay leaves

2 cups (500 mL) sliced onion

8 small mar­row bones


2 cups (500 mL) un­salted beef or chicken stock, prefer­ably home­made or butcher-sup­plied

1 tbsp (15 mL) white miso

1 tsp (5 mL) bal­samic vine­gar

1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 mL) un­salted but­ter, in small pieces

1 Pre­heat oven to 250°F (120°C).

2 Rub the fil­let with salt and let sit un­cov­ered in the re­frig­er­a­tor overnight. This helps to flavour it. Com­bine veg­etable oil with gar­lic and wasabi. If it is too dry, add a bit more oil. Paint it over the fil­let about 2 hours be­fore cook­ing.

3 Place 4 bay leaves in the roast­ing pan. Scat­ter over onions and place the fil­let over­top. Ar­range the mar­row bones around the fil­let. Mea­sur­ing at the thick­est part of the roast, mea­sure height and slow roast for 30 min­utes per inch (2.5 cm) for medium-rare. If you want it rarer then roast 25 min­utes to the inch.

4 Re­move roast­ing pan from oven and let fil­let rest un­cov­ered at room tem­per­a­ture while you heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). You can re­serve the fil­let and bones at this point and roast it again up to 8 hours later. Re­frig­er­ate if re­serv­ing for more than 2 hours. Bring back to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore roast­ing. 5 If re­serv­ing, drain any juice from roast into a jug and re­serve. Skim fat from juices and save for an­other use.

6 Be­fore serv­ing, re­turn roast­ing pan to oven and roast un­til fil­let is browned and heated through, 25 to 30 min­utes. Re­move from oven and let rest on a carv­ing board for 10 min­utes while you make the sauce. Re­serve mar­row bones and onion on a plat­ter cov­ered loosely with foil.

7 Add stock to roast­ing pan, scrap­ing up any bits from the base. Whisk in the miso, bal­samic, soy and re­served juices (if roast was re­served). Bring to a boil and cook un­til stock is re­duced enough to coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 min­utes, de­pend­ing on the size of your roast­ing pan. Stir in but­ter. Keep warm.

8 Slice beef into thick or thin slices, what­ever you pre­fer. Add a mar­row bone with a lit­tle onion to each plate along with some beef and sauce.


This dish pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore the time­less wine pair­ing of Bor­deaux and roast beef. Lean cuts do best with wines that have softer tan­nins, so a wine from Bor­deaux’s right bank would be a good choice. In the Chateau Pi­peau (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS 302018, $40.95), Mer­lot dom­i­nates the blend, re­sult­ing in a wine that is sup­ple, fruity and spicy.

From Ni­a­gara, the iconic Trius Red VQA (VIN­TAGES

ES­SEN­TIALS 303800, $24.95) has Caber­net Franc in the lead, giv­ing this Bor­deaux-in­spired blend a uniquely savoury char­ac­ter.


Asian sweet po­ta­toes are white in­side and red­dish pur­ple on the out­side. They are sweeter than reg­u­lar sweet po­ta­toes but es­pe­cially de­li­cious. They tend to brown quickly, so drop them into acidu­lated wa­ter as you slice them. This dish works well with reg­u­lar sweet po­ta­toes or a floury white potato, if you pre­fer. For a less rich dish use milk in­stead of whip­ping cream. Tog­a­rashi is a Ja­panese spice mix­ture. You don’t want the po­ta­toes spicy hot, just with an edge of heat to bal­ance the sweet­ness. If tog­a­rashi is un­avail­able, use chili flakes.

5 Asian white sweet po­ta­toes, scrubbed, about 3 lbs (1.36 kg)

2 tbsp (30 mL) but­ter

Salt and freshly ground pep­per to taste

1 can (400 mL) co­conut milk

½ cup (125 mL) whip­ping cream

1 tsp (5 mL) shichimi tog­a­rashi, or more to taste 1 Pre­heat oven to 400°F (200°C). 2 Thinly slice sweet po­ta­toes with a man­do­line or the slicer blade of the food pro­ces­sor. Add to a bowl of wa­ter with a splash of lemon juice or vine­gar to pre­vent brown­ing. But­ter a gratin dish large enough to hold the po­ta­toes. Re­serve any re­main­ing but­ter. Place a layer of sweet po­ta­toes, over­lap­ping, on base. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Re­peat with re­main­ing po­ta­toes, sea­son­ing each layer.

3 Com­bine co­conut milk, cream and tog­a­rashi. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Pour over sweet po­ta­toes. The liq­uid should come about three­quar­ters of the way up. Cover with foil and place on a bak­ing sheet to catch any drips.

4 Bake un­til bub­bling around edges, 30 to 40 min­utes. Re­move foil and care­fully press down po­ta­toes with a spat­ula to sub­merge in co­conut milk. Dot with any re­main­ing but­ter. Bake un­til po­ta­toes are ten­der and gold on top and most of the liq­uid is ab­sorbed, an­other 25 to 35 min­utes.


With its crunchy peas and pretty greens, this dish is the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to the beef and gratin. The se­cret is to cut most of the stalk off the pea shoots and toss the green tops in with the other peas. Save a few tops for a fresh gar­nish.

2 tbsp (30 mL) veg­etable oil

1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce

1 tsp (5 mL) grated ginger

8 oz (225 g) snow peas, trimmed

8 oz (225 g) sugar snap peas, trimmed 2 tbsp (30 mL) but­ter

3 cups (750 mL) pea shoots, stalks trimmed Salt and freshly ground pep­per


A hand­ful of pea shoot tops

1 Heat veg­etable oil in wok or large fry­ing pan over high heat un­til very hot. Com­bine soy sauce and ginger, set aside. Add snow peas and sugar snap peas to pan and stir-fry un­til crisp­ten­der, about 2 min­utes.

2 Sprin­kle in soy mix­ture and stir in but­ter. Cook un­til but­ter melts. Stir in pea shoots and toss to­gether un­til pea greens barely wilt. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, gar­nish with pea shoot tops and serve.

Serves 8



You can buy crème fraîche or make it. Mak­ing it is easy if you re­mem­ber to start three days be­fore you need it, as it should mel­low in the fridge for a cou­ple of days. It keeps for a long time and is al­ways use­ful to have. The caviar can range from orange-coloured sal­mon roe to the less ex­pen­sive white­fish roe or you can blow the bud­get and go with the won­der­ful Aca­dian stur­geon caviar from New Brunswick. Al­ter­na­tively, swap out the caviar for flakes of smoked trout or sal­mon and gar­nish with onion, chives or ca­pers. The tarts keep for a week re­frig­er­ated. 1 cup (250 mL) all-pur­pose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped red onion ½ tsp (2 mL) salt

⅓ cup (80 mL) cold un­salted but­ter, cut in pieces

3 tbsp (45 mL) cold sour cream


1 cup (250 mL) crème fraîche

1 oz (30 g) caviar or more if you wish 2 grated hard-boiled egg yolks

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped chives

1 Stir to­gether flour, onion and salt in a large bowl. Cut but­ter into flour un­til it re­sem­bles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the sour cream and com­bine to make a pas­try. Al­ter­na­tively place in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor and add sour cream once the pas­try forms a coarse crum­ble.

2 Di­vide pas­try into 20 even pieces; in a small­muf­fin pan place each piece into a muf­fin cup. With your fin­gers, press dough into base and up sides of each muf­fin cup. Chill 30 min­utes.

3 Pre­heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake pas­try un­til golden around edges, 15 to 20 min­utes. Cool and re­move from pan.

4 Just be­fore serv­ing, fill with crème fraîche, top with caviar, a lit­tle grated egg yolk and a sprin­kle of chives.

Makes about 20 lit­tle tarts WHAT TO SERVE

Set the mood for a spe­cial din­ner by serv­ing Cham­pagne with hors d’oeu­vre. The dry and re­fined Louis Roed­erer Brut Premier Cham­pagne (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS

268771, $74.95) is a su­perb pair­ing, and the pre­mium price re­flects Cham­pagne’s pres­tige.

From other re­gions of France, the bot­tle-fer­mented bub­bly known as cré­mant of­fers great value. Chateau de Montgueret Cré­mant de Loire Brut (LCBO 217760, $20.00) has racy acid­ity and lemony notes that pre­cisely cut the rich­ness of crème fraîche.

On­tario’s ris­ing rep­u­ta­tion for fab­u­lous fizz is driven by our cool cli­mate, cre­at­ing wines with verve and com­plex­ity. Made ex­clu­sively from Chardon­nay, the Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs Brut Sparkling VQA

(VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS 213983, $29.95) has a no­table bal­ance that makes it ideal for ap­pe­tiz­ers.


By us­ing veg­etable stock, this soup is both glu­te­nand dairy-free. You can buy pick­led red onions or make a quick pickle your­self. You can also omit it, but the tang bal­ances the soup beau­ti­fully. The curry paste lifts the soup from good to ex­tra­or­di­nary.


1 medium head cau­li­flower, about 2 lbs (905 g) 1 large fen­nel bulb, about 1 lb (455 g)

2 tbsp (30 mL) veg­etable oil, di­vided

Salt and freshly ground pep­per


1 tbsp (15 mL) veg­etable oil

1 cup (250 mL) chopped onions

1 tsp (5 mL) Thai green curry paste 8 cups (2 L) veg­etable or chicken stock 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed fen­nel seeds 4 cups (1 L) packed baby spinach

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon zest


½ cup (125 mL) pick­led red onion 8 fen­nel fronds

1 Pre­heat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 Cut cau­li­flower into flo­rets. Trim stalks off fen­nel bulb. Cut in half, length­wise, then cut ½-inch-wide (1-cm) wedges length­wise through root. Ar­range cau­li­flower on a bak­ing sheet and toss with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Ar­range fen­nel on an­other bak­ing sheet and toss with re­main­ing 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Roast un­til browned and ten­der, ro­tat­ing bak­ing sheets af­ter 15 min­utes, about 25 to 30 min­utes to­tal. Chop fen­nel and com­bine with caulilower. Re­serve.

3 For soup, heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté un­til ten­der, about 4 min­utes. Stir in curry paste and cook 30 sec­onds. Add cau­li­flower, fen­nel, stock and fen­nel seeds. Bring to boil, re­duce heat to medi­um­low and sim­mer un­til all veg­eta­bles are ten­der, about 10 min­utes. Stir in spinach and lemon zest. Cook just un­til spinach wilts, about 1 to 3 min­utes. This keeps the colour, giv­ing the soup a beau­ti­ful green hue.

4 Purée with an im­mer­sion blender or a reg­u­lar blender. Taste for sea­son­ing, adding salt and pep­per as needed. Re­heat when needed and gar­nish with pick­led red onions and fen­nel fronds.


Pinot Gris and Pinot Gri­gio are one and the same in terms of grape va­ri­ety. Whether Gris or Gri­gio, this va­ri­ety has broad ap­peal, mak­ing it an easy choice when en­ter­tain­ing a large group. Veg­etable dishes are com­ple­mented by the cit­rus and herbal char­ac­ter in the

Cave Spring Pinot Gris VQA (LCBO 522979, $16.95). Tor­rontes is an aro­matic white that has be­come a spe­cialty in Ar­gentina. With for­ward peach and cit­rus flavours, it is an ideal pair­ing for Asian-in­spired dishes and spicy cur­ries. Like Pinot Gri­gio, it is a crowd pleaser— don’t let the fruity aro­mas mis­lead, the Su­sana Balbo Crios Tor­rontes (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS 1834, $14.95)

is bone-dry and very food-friendly!


This chut­ney is an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to a cheese board or ac­com­pa­ni­ment to cold meats. Re­move kumquat seeds and place in a metal tea egg or cheese­cloth. They help to thicken the chut­ney and are ed­i­ble although some­times bit­ter. If the sauce thick­ens too much, then add in some wa­ter to thin it out. Re­frig­er­ate for up to a month. I usu­ally make dou­ble quan­ti­ties to give some away.

1½ cups (375 mL) wa­ter

1½ cups (375 mL) sugar

½ cup (125 mL) ap­ple cider vine­gar 3 cups (750 mL) kumquats, cut in half length­wise, about 1 lb (455 g)

2 star anise or 6 car­damom pods

1 Place wa­ter, sugar, vine­gar and kumquat seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stir­ring to dis­solve sugar. Boil for 2 min­utes then stir in kumquats and star anise or car­damom. Re­duce heat to medium and sim­mer chut­ney un­til kumquats are trans­par­ent and liq­uid is thick and glossy and coats a spoon, about 25 to 35 min­utes. It will con­tinue to thicken af­ter it cools. Re­move seeds and dis­card.

2 Trans­fer to a dish and cool com­pletely, about 30 min­utes. Re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL) WHAT TO SERVE

Sweet wines round out a din­ner menu, and make an out­stand­ing pair­ing with a se­lec­tion of fine cheeses. The con­trast between sweet and salty is mag­i­cal, pro­vid­ing your guests with an ex­pe­ri­ence of one of On­tario’s sig­na­ture wine styles. Mar­malade and apri­cot notes in the Reif Vi­dal Icewine VQA (VIN­TAGES ES­SEN­TIALS

544791, 200 mL, $24.95) pick up on the lively flavours of the chut­ney.

For those who pre­fer a drier op­tion, Pelee Is­land

Light­house Semi-Sweet Ries­ling VQA (LCBO 470526, $13.45) is less sweet, with a del­i­cate cit­rus bou­quet and a long and slightly sweet fin­ish.



This has the com­po­nents of a lemon meringue pie but torn apart to make a vis­ually stun­ning dessert. When we were de­vel­op­ing this recipe, the meringues had been in the oven for 10 min­utes when sud­denly the power turned off. We left the meringues in the cool­ing oven for 1½ hours or un­til the oven cooled com­pletely. Not only were they per­fect, they were even bet­ter af­ter be­ing left in a cool place for a few days. This can be made with a hand-held mixer, but that makes the beat­ing time longer.


4 egg whites

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL) white vine­gar 1 tsp (5 mL) corn­starch

Lemon Cream (recipe fol­lows)

Ginger Short­bread Cook­ies (recipe fol­lows) Mint (op­tional)

1 Pre­heat oven to 275°F (140°C).

2 In a stand mixer on medium-high, beat egg whites and salt un­til soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Grad­u­ally add in sugar, beat­ing well the whole time. Keep beat­ing un­til mix­ture is thick and glossy, about 2 to 3 min­utes. Beat in vine­gar and corn­starch un­til stiff peaks form, about 30 sec­onds more. Mix­ture should be thick enough that you can turn the bowl up­side down.

3 Line a cookie sheet with parch­ment pa­per. Us­ing an ice cream scoop or 2 large spoons, scoop ovals of meringue onto the bak­ing sheet. You should have 11 or 12.

4 Bake in oven for 10 min­utes. Turn oven off and leave for 1½ hours. Do not open oven. Meringues should be set and peel eas­ily from parch­ment pa­per. Re­move from oven and set aside in a cool place un­til needed.

5 To as­sem­ble, on a dessert plate, place 1 meringue, a dol­lop of Lemon Cream plus scat­tered bro­ken Ginger Short­bread Cook­ies. Gar­nish with mint, if de­sired.

Makes 11 or 12 meringues, serves 8

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