Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bar B Que class.

We just completed our second in a possible three course summer series on BarBQue. My wife and I entertain alot. And it usually focusses on BarBQue in the summer. It's easy to set out large quantities and it keeps us from heating up the house (NO AC).
Over the years I had been asked to teach some classes on BarBQue basic, and it wasn't until this summer that I figured I'd give it a shot.
Well, thanks to all who have attended the first two classes. I ahev to say they were a real treat to teach. It also did't hurt to eat a whole mess of meat and veg from the Que. Our class focussed around these items:

Smoked ribs (both beef and pork back ribs)
Smoked pork shoulder
Grilled tandoori salmon with cauliflower steaks
Grilled bison flank with two rubs (Ginger cinnamon and North African garlic, cumin and carraway)
Beer can chicken (easy and full proof juicy chicken everytime)
Sesame ginger salmon
Star anise and coffee rubbed beef tenderloin
Grilled carrot and onion salad
Sweet potato mash
grilled portabellas
And last but not least pizza from the grill (my absolute favorite tasting pizzas especially the blue cheese, sundried tomato pesto and fig pizza).

Some minor changes from one class to the other, but basically the same. To those who missed the class, we will host one more this year. For those who have already attended please post your feedback. And keep an eye out for next years advanced class.....The Hawaiin luau (sp?). That is sure to be a BarBQueing day to remember.

I have some notes for those who did not get everything. There was alot of material not covered by the outline. After the second class I put some info together on some of the topics that were discussed either through questions or my own ramblings. I will post them here in the near future.

Thanks to all who made both events a great success. And here's hoping you have all mastered you Ques a little more.


Bordeaux tasting menu

I was fortunate to be asked to do a tasting menu centered around the Bordeaus a group of collectors were going to open. Never to miss and evening of fine food and wine, I jumped at the chance. Working with my customer on the menu was very straight forward with little alterations. They were to open several bottles for a tasting and others with the meal. I had to keep in mind all of the nuances of each bottle for the meal, but provide only a couple of amuses for the tasting.
The bottles being opened for the tasting were:
Cos D'estournel '86,90 and 95
Pavie Maquin '89 and 2000
A white Margeaux (the year I cannot recall)
A nice glass of bubbly to start and a really nice sweet white (again this one eludes me, which is unfortunate as I got to try it and really liked it.)
The '96 Cos Destournel was opened with the main course dish.
Food was:

Salmon tataki
Fried nigiri
roasted tomato and fermented black bean

Seared foie
Grilled peach
Vanilla and port syrups

Pan roasted magret
lemon pepper risotto
fried quail egg

Beef tenderloin
Braised short rib ravioli
Parsnip puree
Wild mushroom ragout

Dessert and a salad course were provided by the customer. I still couldn't resist plating them our way and maybe helping them along a little.

A cheese course consisting of:

Les petit vieux. A great raw milk cheddar with a nice pungent rind
Sauvagine. A beautiful semi soft goat milk cheese. Reminiscent of a very flavourful brie but much nicer.
Cendre de Lune. A very nice vegetable ash covered soft ripened cheese. The rind is nice a bloomy with blue veining.
Fig and port chutney, Art is in Bakery breads.

Of all the dishes the risotto was nota great match with the wine, but a nice dish none the less. But as it was a dinner centered around the wines being opened this dish fell flat. I have taken notes on the parings and would likely not make that mistake again(for those who haven't already figured out the flavor imbalance, it was too much lemon competing with the Bordeaux).

It was a great evening and one I would love to be asked to do again. And to add to the fun for me a local hockey favorite was in attendance. I won't say who, but it was a real pleasure to have served him. Hopefully I can hear from him in the future (you know who you are). A great meal from the grill for a team building afternoon would really make my year. Only I would have to work and not be too hockey star struck.

As for the customer and the rest of the guests, it was a real joy. Thank you again.

Wow it's been a while....

I guess I shouldn't complain that I have been too busy to write much in the past while. But it has pained me not to write here more often. And to not have pictures for long ago posts, very bad indeed.
Well it's time for a change. I really need to devote more time to my blog and on top of that coming up with new dishes to try out. When all you do is production, production, production, a little new inventive creativity is really needed. For the next few weeks I am really going to try and develop some new dishes and ideas. If one looks good to you or you feel you can add to something, please feel free to post.
After a couple of camping trips and some fishing, I feel refreshed and recharged. Because of this, serving some of my stand by faves just won't do anymore this summer. Time to really focus on summer's bounty and go even more local than i currently am.
Hope you all enjoy then next couple of months, I know I am.