Original Recipe: Duck Breast w/ Truffle Jus, Roasted Heirloom Carrots & Parsnip Puree

Original Recipe: Duck Breast w/ Truffle Jus, Roasted Heirloom Carrots & Parsnip Puree

Duck Breasts w/ Truffle Jus & Parsnip Puree (Serves 4)

PETER NEAL ON WINES:
Food memories are a rich and powerful part of many food lovers’ memory bank – they certainly are for me. One of my first ‘fancy food meal’ memories is from a dinner at a very nice French restaurant with my parents when I was about 13 years old. I always prided myself on being the intrepid foodie amongst my two brothers and, on this night, was excited to order the duck breast. It had been done in a simple provencale style and I remember it for it’s beautiful & honest flavours. I have always loved duck and now buy it direct from a producer north of Toronto called King Cole Ducks. My chef friend Bertrand Alpee offers up a similarly simple, honest duck recipe in our cookbook Goodness. I recently paired it with one of my favourite reds; Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2010. This wine is from the iconic Rioja region of Spain and is a beautiful representation of what makes Rioja so special. Robert Parker rates this a 93 and James Suckling gives it 94 points. l believe that you may just create your very own long lasting, rich and powerful food and wine memory with this pairing!

Duck:

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp oil
2 duck breasts (about 1 lb each)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F
2. In a heavy oven-proof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat, heat oil.
3. Season duck breast with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place duck breast in the pan skin side down and cook until skin becomes nice and crispy, about 3 minutes (the duck will render a lot of fat while cooking).
5. Pour off excess fat from the pan (to ensure duck does not boil in its own fat) and transfer the pan to the preheated oven; roast for about 4 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the oven, flip breast over, and return to the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through (when touched, the duck breast should feel like the meaty part of your thumb inside your palm).
7. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes. Slice duck thinly and serve immediately, drizzle with truffle jus, with roasted carrots and parsnips puree (recipes follow).

Roasted Carrots

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb mulitcolour heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into long strips
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine carrots, oil, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread evenly over the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until carrots are nicely browned and crisp-tender.

Parsnip Puree

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups whipping (35%) cream
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a large saucepan, combine cream, parsnips, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until parsnips are soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.
2. Strain parsnips, reserving liquid.
3. Transfer cooked parsnips to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, adding just enough reserved cooking liquid to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Truffle Jus

INGREDIENTS:
½ tsp truffle oil (see tip)
4 shallots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup port
4 cups chicken or duck stock
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
½ cup butter

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat truffle oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are caramelized, about 4 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from heat. Add port and return to heat. If using a gas stove, carefully tilt the pan so port ignites; if using an electric stove, hold a lit match near port to ignite it. Cook until flame extinguishes itself and liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
3. Add stock, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until reduced by half, using a slotted spoon to skim off skin that forms on top.
4. Strain though a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan (discard solids). Bring to a boil, then whisk in butter until completely incorporated. Set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

TIPS:
You can find truffle oil in well-stocked supermarkets or fine foods stores. A little goes a long way.

New Release @ LCBO Vintages: 94 Point Red from Marques de Murrieta

New Release @ LCBO Vintages: 94 Point Red from Marques de Murrieta


PRODUCER:  Bodegas Marques de Murrieta

WINE NAME:  Rioja Reserva (Red)

VINTAGE:  2010

PRICE:  $27.95

BOTTLE:  750mL

GRAPE(S):  93% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo, 2% Graciano + 1% Garnacha

STORE LOCATOR – BUY THIS WINE

EXPERT OPINION


eROBERTPARKER.COM:
“The blend for the 2010 Rioja Reserva varies depending on the growing season. In the warm and ripe 2009 it was 93% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo and 2% Graciano and 1% Garnacha Tinta, always from their own vineyards and hand-harvested between October 2 and 23. Maria the winemaker thinks the Garnacha does not add much to their blend. The grapes fermented separately in stainless-steel vats and the wine aged for 21 months in American oak barrels. There is gob-smacking precision and elegance here. It’s a pure wine with no oak that is super harmonious, floral and fragrant. I simply fell in love with the nose.

Now onto the palate. The entry is really fluid, and then it explodes in your mouth, filling it along a thread of fine acidity making it long and tasty. It has the same astonishing purity and harmony, focus and precision found in the nose. This has to be the best Reserva from Murrieta in recent times. Bravo! One million bottles produced, but all the wine is one single lot and all the bottles you can find are exactly the same just they are bottled continuously for four months. Mind boggling quality for the price asked.

I visited the revamped facilities of Marqués de Murrieta in the outskirts of Logroño. After eight years they finished restoring the historical Castillo de Ygay building, all done with great taste. But the real focus has been on their vineyards and their wines, which are back at the top of the Rioja hierarchy. María Vargas, the winemaker, is ecstatic about the quality of the wines from 2011, which she calls perfect 2011, like 2005 and 2001.

I found all the wines to be showing great, but perhaps the highlight is the 2010 Reserva, which might be the best vintage for this wine ever. The best part of it all is that it’s available in good quantities and at an unbelievable price for the quality this vintage offers. Next time I hope to be able to taste and publish the note on the bottled 1986 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Blanco which should be released in 2016 to coincide with its 30th anniversary.” (Luis Gutierrez / eRobertParker.com)

– 93/100 Points –

JAMESSUCKLING.COM:
“Fabulous aromas of crushed berry and dark fruits with walnuts, hazelnuts, and ginger. Cinnamon and honey melon too. Full-bodied, very tight and firm. Linear backbone of fruit and tannins. Very long and racy. 22 months in American oak (six months new and then racked into used). Beautiful now but needs another two or three years to soften. A triumph.” (James Suckling / JamesSuckling.com)

– 94/100 Points –

THE INSIDE SCOOP


Since 1852, Marques de Murrieta and the Castillo Ygay estate have been home to an important collection of Spain’s most celebrated and sought after wines. This single estate property totals more than 750 acres – which itself sets it apart from practically every other top producer in the Rioja. It is far more common for producers in this region to own and lease vineyards (or purchase grapes from third party growers) scattered across the appellation. This single estate property is unusual both for its mere existence – as well as its incredible size.

With a history dating back more than 150 years, it should come as no surprise that Marques de Murrieta has a profound respect for traditional winemaking practices. To this day, Murrieta releases wines aged two to three times longer than similarly priced wines from other important wine producing regions around the world – spending up to 21 months in American oak barrels before final assemblage and bottling. Once bottled, the wines spends an additional 12 months in the cellar resting before a single bottle is shipped abroad.

There is simply no other way to put it – if you love great wine, then Marques de Murrieta is a name that most certainly needs to be a part of your drinking habits and wine collection. This Reserva, the least expensive red released by Marques de Murrieta, is an unbelievable value, offering complexity, aging potential, concentration and renown that often requires two to three times this price to experience. An exceptional match with red meats, there is perhaps no better wine made anywhere on the planet to serve with a simply rosemary rubbed rack of lamb.

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Latest Release @ LCBO Vintages: Gorgeous + Complex 94 Point White Burgundy

Latest Release @ LCBO Vintages: Gorgeous + Complex 94 Point White Burgundy


PRODUCER: Jean-Baptiste Bejot

WINE NAME: Montagny 1er Cru “Les Bouchots”

VINTAGE: 2013

PRICE: $27.95

BOTTLE: 750mL

GRAPE(S): 100% Chardonnay

STORE LOCATOR – BUY THIS WINE

EXPERT OPINION


JOHN SZABO, MS:
“Here’s a tidy value in white Burgundy, certainly not a grand wine, but a genuinely firm, fresh, minerally and complex expression, regionally accurate, with driving acids and crunchy fruit. This would be highly versatile at the table, and could be drunk now, or cellared a half dozen years. Little more could be asked of it.” (John Szabo, Master Sommelier / WineAlign.com)

– 90/100 Points –

MICHAEL GODEL:
“Tidy, tide and vine Chardonnay the way with oak it needs to be. Unobtrusive and just a sheet between fruit and acidity, enough for warmth and not too much to bring on the sweats. Snug, spruced, agitated, resplendent even.” (Michael Godel / WineAlign.com)

– 90/100 Points –

CAROLYN EVANS HAMMOND:
“Delicate aromas of white flowers, candied lemon, orange oil, macadamia nut, sea salt and crushed oyster shells leads to a silky-cool entry. The attack starts with a veil of lemon and salt then shatters into a mille-feuille of flavours. Lemon oil, lemon tarte, sea salt, granite, orange zest, cool steel, and raw nut fan out into an understated but articulate expression. Incredible value for such a stellar white Burgundy. Pleasing now, but will reward patience. ” (Carolyn Evans Hammond / The Toronto Star)

– 94/100 Points –

THE INSIDE SCOOP


This is a wine I’d pour for anyone who claims to hate Chardonnay. Delivering delicate stone fruit and floral aromatics within a punchy, bright and refreshing frame, this is a wine that showcases why Chardonnay needs to be grown in cooler climates – namely, because it doesn’t taste very good in the absence of good (if not great) acidity and freshness. Thoughtful oak aging imparts a slight toasty complexity without overwhelming the delicate aromatics and minerality that make this white distinctly Burgundian. Sure, it will work just fine with chicken or pork, but this is a wine that will absolutely sing next to richer seafood or white fish dishes.

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Original Recipe: Halibut Crunch

Original Recipe: Halibut Crunch

Halibut Crunch (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:
2 ½ cups potato chips (we prefer Neal Brothers Srirachup Kettle Chips)
2 heaping tbsp spicy mayonnaise (we prefer Neal Brothers Sriracha Mayonaise)
4 halibut fillets, skin-on (4 to 6 ounces each)
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place potato chips in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. (Alternatively, crush them right in the opened bag using a rolling pin.)
3. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet. Spread mayonnaise evenly overtop. Coat fish in chip crumbs (only the top of the fish), pressing lightly so they stick to the mayo.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until coating is crispy and golden brown and fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with parsley, if using.
Tips

TIPS:
If you like, substitute an equal amount of salmon or chicken for the halibut.
Experiment using your favourite varieties of Neal Brothers mayonnaise and potato chips- for example, Lime Mayonnaise and Vij’s Delhi-licious Kettle Chips.

PETER NEAL ON WINES:
Halibut Crunch or our Neal Brothers version of ‘Fish n’ Chips’ is a family pleaser and great way to introduce fish to picky eaters. This recipe is featured in our new cookbook entitled Goodness, Recipes and Stories – a fundraising initiative in support of Community Food Centers Canada. In our house we prefer to use wild, line-caught salmon whenever we can but there is often a good sustainable fish choice throughout most seasons and frozen fish works as well. The real beauty of this dish is that it is super-quick, involves only a few ingredients and is a fun and healthy alternative to your weekly dinner routine. When we serve this at home on weekends we love to accompany it with our favorite local sparkling wine; Hinterland Wines Les Etoiles!

92/100 Points - "There is a nice, youthful edge to this Pommard from Béjot. A lovely peppery nose with notes of Bergamot and fresh tilled earth. Mid-weight with a pretty floral character adding dimension along with nicely ripened tannins providing firm structured without a drying sensation. Solidly built. Excellent length. Best 2017-2013. Tasted January 2016." (Sara D'Amato / WineAlign.com)
6 Insanely Delicious Chicken Recipes

6 Insanely Delicious Chicken Recipes

OK, sure – chicken can be a ubiquitous white meat; it can be dry and bland and uninteresting when treated with culinary disdain. Today we want to dive head-first into a collection of recipes that will take us 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the deep-fried, bread-crumbed, plum sauce dipped atrocities out there masquerading as chicken. Today, we move into a world of chicken cooked on the bone; soft delicate meat braised gently in rich flavourful sauces; roasted birds infused and spiced and seasoned in thoughtful and delicious ways. So come along a cook with us; roll up your sleeves and get ready to take this humble ingredient to lofty – and tasty! – new heights.

#1. Ga Kho (Vietnamese Caramel Chicken) – Recipe

#2. Marcella Hazan’s Chicken Cacciatore – Recipe

#3. Jamie Oliver’s “Hit & Run” Tray-Baked Chicken – Recipe

#4. The Bel Air Sandwich – Recipe

#5. Best Chicken & Waffles Ever – Recipe

#6. Chicken Tinga Tacos – Recipe

=

Best White Wine Matches

When matching wines with chicken dishes, we find that often the best matches come from pairing wines with the spices, seasonings and flavours you’ve used your dish as much as they arise from any particular wine’s affinity for chicken itself. With this in mind, dishes with a bit of spice or heat tend to work well with aromatic whites – especially those with a touch of sweetness, like Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Gewurztraminer. If you’re chicken dish has a rich or creamy sauce, the perfect pick are wines like Chardonnay (either barrel-aged or unoaked), white Rioja (made from Viura grapes) or barrel-aged Spanish Godello (the best examples come from the regions of Bierzo and Valdeorras).

Best Red Wine Matches

You may be surprised to learn that many chicken dishes actually pair up better with red wines than whites. For example, if tomatoes are part of the mix you might want to consider going to an Italian red – Chianti, Barbera or Sangiovese southern Italy all offer the bright acidity and plummy fruit flavours that work perfectly with tomatoes. I also like cool climate reds like Cabernet Franc from France’s Loire Valley or grown here in Ontario on the Niagara Peninsula or in Prince Edward County. Finally, if you’re grilling your chicken, I’d recommend lighter to mid-weight reds – it’s hard to top Pinot Noir as an excellent pairing, but Merlot and Gamay are also solid choices.

 

Brand New @ LCBO Vintages: Stunning 92 Point Pommard

Brand New @ LCBO Vintages: Stunning 92 Point Pommard


PRODUCER: Jean-Baptiste Bejot

WINE NAME: Pommard

VINTAGE: 2013

PRICE: $49.95

BOTTLE: 750mL

GRAPE(S): 100% Pinot Noir

STORE LOCATOR – BUY THIS WINE

EXPERT OPINION


SARA D’AMATO:
“There is a nice, youthful edge to this Pommard from Béjot. A lovely peppery nose with notes of Bergamot and fresh tilled earth. Mid-weight with a pretty floral character adding dimension along with nicely ripened tannins providing firm structured without a drying sensation. Solidly built. Excellent length. Best 2017-2013. Tasted January 2016.” (Sara D’Amato / WineAlign.com)

– 92/100 Points –

MICHAEL GODEL:
“Quite a deep, earthy and rich Pommard, full on fruit exuberance and grit, true grit. The tannins are really fine grained, of atomic particles so, so fine. Such an example answers so many Burgundian questions. Though it may cross the line for some, into territory occupied by immediately gratifying love and hapiness, there can be no denying the balance. In two years it will really begin to sweet talk its way into your heart. Drink 2017-2023. Tasted January 2016.” (Michael Godel / WineAlign.com)

– 91/100 Points –

THE INSIDE SCOOP


This Pommard is an exceptional introduction to the magic of red Burgundy. Delivering bright red raspberry, cherry and cranberry fruit with elegant, refined tannins, this wine demonstrates the manner in which complexity and textural qualities can often trump over-the-top fruit and sweet extract often found in hotter climate reds. Lay this down for 5-7 years (or perhaps even a decade) and then enjoy it over the following 3-5 years. Watch the red fruit flavours evolve and yield to spicy and more savoury aromatic qualities. Pair this Pommard with finer cuts of beef, like a tenderloin steak with a simple side of pan fried wild mushrooms or a mushroom risotto.

BUY THIS WINE

Introducing “Goodness: Recipes & Stories”

Introducing “Goodness: Recipes & Stories”

Goodness: Recipes & Stories celebrates 37 good food fighters from across Canada—chefs, entrepreneurs, growers, and food activists who believe that good, healthy food should be accessible to all. Each of their stories underlines the simple truth: food has the power to enrich lives and build strong communities. From supporting sustainability to championing access, outreach, and education, these individuals serve up tablefuls of goodness every day—and in this cookbook they serve up some of their favourite recipes, too.

Well-known chefs such as Lora Kirk, Brad Long, Jamie Kennedy, and Vikram Vij, entrepreneurs such as Elana Rosenfeld from Kicking Horse Coffee and Mike Fata from Manitoba Hemp Harvest, food activists such as Nick Saul, Lil MacPherson, and Sarah Harmer, community food centre champions such as Kim Fox and Paul Taylor, and growers such as Gillian Flies of The New Farm and Michael Abelman of Fields of Plenty explain why good food matters and what community means to them as well as share personal recipes that are perfect for enjoying with family and friends.

Highlights include Salmon Rillettes; Quinoa Chicken Salad; Wild Leek & Morel Quiche; Dungeness Crab Tacos; Spicy Pork Noodles; Perogies with Caramelized Onion, Braised Beef Shank & Celery; Caramel Apple Butter Rugelach; and Ginger Stout Cake with Orange Meringue & Coffee Caramel, just to name a delicious few.

Peter & Chris Neal believe that everyone should be able to access good, healthy food and eat well. Their food company, Neal Brothers Foods, is a proud supporter of Community Food Centres Canada (cfccanada.ca), an organization committed to bringing people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. When you buy this book, you’ll help in the fight for good food for all—50% of the profits from the sale of Goodness will be donated to CFCC to help support their good work across Canada.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF GOODNESS

Peter Chris2 SPLASH PAGE

91/100 Points - "Quite a deep, earthy and rich Pommard, full on fruit exuberance and grit, true grit. The tannins are really fine grained, of atomic particles so, so fine. Such an example answers so many Burgundian questions. Though it may cross the line for some, into territory occupied by immediately gratifying love and hapiness, there can be no denying the balance. In two years it will really begin to sweet talk its way into your heart. Drink 2017-2023. Tasted January 2016." (Michael Godel / WineAlign.com)

Marques de Murrieta is one of Spain’s most famous wineries – and one of the great wine estates of the world. Get a sneak peek behind the scenes at this iconic Rioja winery.

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