South Shore Breaker

Pairing bourbon with fall flavours

- MARK DEWOLF @drink_east

While bourbon may not be as deeply rooted in Canadian culture as rye whiskey, its popularity has been on the rise globally, including Canada. Over the last decade, buoyed by the craft cocktail movement, there has been a growing interest in American whiskey. This has contribute­d to bourbon's increasing presence on Atlantic Canadian liquor store shelves and an increasing number of special releases and premium brands finding their way to Atlantic Canada.

Did you know September is Bourbon Heritage Month? The celebratio­n occurs every September as a tribute to one of North America's most iconic and cherished spirits. The month-long occurrence aims to honour the history, culture and economic impact of bourbon. The significan­ce of Bourbon Heritage Month goes beyond mere appreciati­on of the spirit; it's a nod to the craftsmans­hip and tradition that have been passed down through generation­s. The strict regulation­s that define what can be labeled as bourbon reflect a commitment to quality and authentici­ty. Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels and be made from a mash bill (grain mixture) consisting of no less than 51 per cent corn. Each stipulatio­n adds a layer to bourbon's rich narrative.

While bourbon shines on its own — and in classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned,

Manhattan and Boulevardi­er — it also shines when paired with fall flavours. September marks the perfect time to raise a glass to bourbon and locally sourced foods.

Cherry Wood Smoked Mushrooms

1/4 cup shredded wood chips

1 lb mushroom, cleaned

1 tbsp olive oil

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

Aluminum foil

2 tbsp butter

2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed Toast points, to serve (optional) Caramelize­d shallots*, to serve (optional)

Microgreen­s, to serve (optional)

Directions: Quickly toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place a double layer of aluminum foil on bottom of a pot large enough to hold a colander, strainer basket or large metal sieve. Place wood chips on foil. Place mushrooms in strainer basket/sieve. Place the pot on the stove and turn to medium high

heat. Leave uncovered until you see smoke. Remember to turn on your hood or have a strong fan to dissipate smoke. After you see smoke, reduce heat to medium. Cover and smoke for five minutes. Remove mushrooms. Place sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter is melted, add mushrooms and sauté for five minutes. Finish with thyme leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over toast points, topped with caramelize­d shallots and if desired, garnish with some fresh microgreen­s.

*Add two tablespoon­s butter to pan set over medium-low heat. Add four shallots, finely diced. Sauté over low heat for eight to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Add a clove of minced garlic and a sprinkle of fresh thyme. Finish with two teaspoons of honey. Stir and remove from heat.

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes, Maple Smoked Salmon

Mark’s pairing: Knob Creek nineyear-old bourbon

3/4 lb smoked haddock

3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes

2 to 3 tbsp parsley, minced

2 eggs

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

AP Flour

Panko breadcrumb­s

2 tablespoon­s butter

Tartar sauce, to serve

8 to 10 oz maple hot smoked salmon, crumbled


Steam haddock for 10-12 minutes. Remove and crumble into a bowl. Add mashed potatoes, parsley and one egg. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into patties. Refrigerat­e for 15 to 20 minutes. Place flour in a bowl. Whisk egg with a dash of water in another bowl. Place panko on a plate. Dip a fish cake in flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg wash. Shake off excess. Dip in panko. Repeat. Place butter in large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add fish cakes and cook until golden brown on each side. Place fish cakes on center of plate. Top with a little tartar sauce and finally some maple smoked salmon.

Butter Tarts with Salted Caramel

Pairing: Baker’s seven-year-old bourbon

Ingredient­s (crust)

1 1/2 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup butter (unsalted), chilled cubed

1/4 cup ice cold water

Ingredient­s (filling)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup golden corn syrup

1/4 cup melted butter

Pinch salt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredient­s (caramel)

1 can sweetened condensed milk Sea salt

Directions: Start by making the caramel. Remove label from condensed milk. Place in a large pot of water, making sure the can is covered by at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer for two to three hours. Use tongs to remove from water. Set aside to cool. Once cool, open up can to reveal caramel.

Next, make the pastry crust. Sift dry ingredient­s into a bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter until pea size chunks form. Stir into about 1/2 the cold water and knead the dough until it forms a ball. Add more water as needed. Shape into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerat­e for an hour. Roll out pastry and cut into three-inch rounds. Place rounds in a lightly greased 12-cup muffin tin. Press so the pastry comes up the sides of the cups. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

Set oven to 350 F. Whisk together filling ingredient­s. Remove pastry from freezer and pour filling into muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes. The pastry should be golden and filling set. Test with a toothpick. Remove from oven. Let cool completely. Transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with tarts with caramel sauce and sprinkle caramel with sea salt.

Mark Dewolf, @drink_east, is a nationally recognized sommelier, creative director of Food & Drink at Saltwire Network, and leads food and wine tours to destinatio­ns around the world.

 ?? ?? While bourbon is often thought of as offering a singular flavour profile, this style of American whiskey offers a broad range of aromas and flavours. MARK DEWOLF • SALTWIRE
While bourbon is often thought of as offering a singular flavour profile, this style of American whiskey offers a broad range of aromas and flavours. MARK DEWOLF • SALTWIRE
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada