Yes, this post is pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. Snowboarding, logos, food… yeesh!
First off, I want to share an awesome new logo/graphic that my long-time and good friend Mike M. made! He knows I love surfing and snowboarding, and so he created an amazing new identity for me to make into a graphic for my snowboard. I love it! Thanks Mike!
Before I get to the recipes, I wanted to talk a little bit about our plans for the upcoming easter weekend! Remember that contest that I entered for catboarding? Check out the video entry I sent in below. I was surprised several weeks ago to find out that I won! So we’ll be heading to Mustang Powder for three full days of sweet, sweet catboarding at their remote lodge including food and accommodation! Allan had to pay for himself so I’m going to help out with that… so really it’s more like getting catboarding for half price.
Packing for the trip starts this afternoon, and then we’re off early tomorrow morning for a 7 hour drive almost near Revelstoke into the Monashees mountains where we’ll be picked up by snowcat to get to the lodge. I am extremely excited. You can bet that we’ll be taking lots of photos and videos.
In other news, somehow I got roped into cooking a couple times during this busy week, so I thought I’d post up a couple more photos and two more recipes for you to try out. The first is the arctic char. I actually had this dish at West Restaurant here in Vancouver, but there was no recipe for it in their cookbook. So I created this dish only from taste and memory, but I totally lucked out and it actually turned out almost identical! This is one of my favourite fish dishes because of the really crispy skin but tender buttery flesh, along with the contrast of texture and flavour of the fennel, mushrooms and spinach.
Crispy Arctic Char with Crispy Fennel, Buttery Mushrooms, and Spinach Puree Recipe
2 fillets of arctic char or one whole fish (we found ours at Granville Island)
1 bunch of spinach
1 fennel bulb
1 cup chicken stock
Half a paper bag assorted mushrooms (preferably chanterelles, Portobello or those small clumpy white ones that I’m not sure the name of, they usually come stuck together in a box)
4 tablespoons of butter
Olive oil, salt and pepper
First, make sure the fish is scaled, de-boned and filleted. Leave the skin on. Wash each fillet and then pat dry with paper towel. Salt and pepper both the skin side and the flesh side.
Cook the spinach with a tablespoon of butter in a pan until vibrant green. Place into a blender (but don’t blend yet) and set aside.
Slice the fennel bulp into small strips (peel outside layer).
Cook the fennel with another tablespoon of butter (yes, this is about taste and not healthiness, feel free to substitute for olive oil) at a very high heat until crispy and browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Then cook the mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter until browned, and add salt and pepper.
Start boiling the chicken stock. Lastly, heat the last tablespoon of butter with tablespoon of olive oil and cook the arctic char fillets skin side down until VERY crispy, approximately 3-4 minutes. Then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until the fish is firm yet still soft and flaky inside.
Quickly blend the boiling chicken stock (approx half a cup to a cup, depending on how much spinach you have… you want a creamy texture) in the blender with the spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve! Spoon the spinach puree into the bottom of a large bowl or plate, and then top with the fennel and mushrooms, and lastly serve the arctic char skin side up. Delicious!
Next up… beef short ribs last night. This was heavily adapted from a Mario Batali recipe. This is Allan’s favourite meal in the whole world and he constantly pesters me to make it. It’s fall off the bone delicious, and very rich. It also makes a large batch and heats up great for leftovers. This is a great way to make any man fall in love with you
Tender Beef Short Ribs with Red Wine and Creamy Pappardelle
4 x 12-14 oz beef short ribs with bone, well marbled (we like ours from Tenderland Meats at Granville Island)
2 cups nice red wine, preferably a Barolo if you’re baller, or a cheaper Cabernet Sauvignon
2 Celery stalks
5 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig oregano
2 sprigs parsley
2 Bay leaves
1 Tablespoon dried juniper berries
1 can Italian tomatoes
3-4 cups veal or beef stock (Stock Market at Granville Island is awesome)
Fresh homemade pasta or dried pappardelle noodles
Assorted wild mushrooms
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
Handful of pine nuts
Olive oil, salt and pepper (also white pepper if you have any)
First, salt and pepper the ribs. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a deep dutch oven or large saucepan (Le Creuset if you have it) over high heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the short ribs about 3 minutes each side until deeply browned, approx 15 minutes. Set the ribs aside on a plate.
Now cook the shallots, carrots, celery, and garlic in the same pot, making sure to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan until the vegetables are slightly soft and browned. Crush in the Italian tomatoes by hand but do not add the juices. Add the wine and stir.
Now add the veal or beef stock. Try adding 3 cups and see how the levels in your pot look. Would it cover the ribs? If so, that’s enough. Otherwise — add another cup. Then add the herbs, juniper berries, and any extra spices. Cover and place in the oven, cooking for approximately 2 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, make your fresh pasta or ready your dried pasta. When there’s about half an hour before you take out the ribs, start by placing 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and on medium-heat, melt until bubbly. Add the whipping cream and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until slightly thick. Meanwhile, in a separate pan cook the mushrooms in a little olive oil or butter until soft. When the cream mixture is thick, add some white pepper (or normal pepper), salt, and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Stir in until smooth and creamy.
Check on the ribs. At 2.5 hours, take the pot out and let sit uncovered for a few minutes. Take the ribs out to cool.
Scoop out and discard excess fat and oil from the pot. Strain the rest of the mixture through a sieve. Shred the beef and then place into the strained sauce.
Just before serving, mix the mushrooms into the cream sauce and stir in the cooked pasta noodles.
Enjoy! Serve the noodles up and then place pieces of beef over the noodles. Sprinkle some pine nuts and slices of Parmigiano Reggiano over to finish. Yum!
And that’s it… see you guys on Tuesday when we are back from our trip! What are your plans for the Easter long weekend?