I try to never forget how remarkably blessed I am to eat the quality and quantity of food that I do. Today I indulged in a variety of snacks throughout the day. My favourite was balsamic and thyme marinated Alberta bison flank steak. This marinade is beautiful, with dark notes of balsamic acidity tenderizing the meat. Brown sugar and the sugars in the balsamic caramelize as it is seared on extremely high heat. The result is a toasty, sweet crust that gives way to bright, fatty bison. I expected it to be gamey, but the flank is closer to beef than venison. As well I had a sample of various artisan cheeses from Mickey McGuire’s Cheese Shop. I happily devoured a spoonful of Ontario sheep’s milk yogurt from the farmer’s market. I love that “sheep” taste imparted in the milk, which is slightly sweet and acidic. Finally, I ate a bowl of local Koike farm long beet and cilantro salad. Too much goodness!
As I said in my previous post we participated in a food and wine event for charity 2 weeks ago. It’s a wonderful event because you are on a vineyard, surrounded by restaurants and wineries to sample from, and you get to serve food to 500-600 foodies. For our hors d’ouevres we decided to do a celebration of local food. To start, we made local rhubarb flap jacks as the base for the bite-size sample. Next, they were topped with a few slices of fresh sweet and sour pickled Ontario radishes. Topping them off was a half teaspoon full of fresh in-house made lemon ricotta, and a drizzle of the pickling liquid. Here is a shot of the ricotta being made:
We made a few pots of this, which meant there was a LOT of whey leftover. Ken decided last minute to mix the whey with a lovely lemon thyme syrup. What resulted was a second hors d’ouevre: in-house ricotta whey and lemon thyme syrup shooters! People loved it! It was a hot day on the vineyard so having a cold palette cleanser was nice.
A shot of fresh Koike Farm spring onions. These have been served alongside a variety of things the past 2 weeks. They are tender and decadently sweet when roasted.
It may be that I am partial to “tougher” roasts of meat but this local Wagyu eye of round from a few weeks ago was incredible. Wagyu has insane amounts of fat marbling. The eye of round is leaner, but it makes up for that by having a stronger meaty taste.
One final highlight of the week: Yuki from Koike farm brought us beautiful sugar snap peas. I decided to toss these in olive oil, roasted garlic, salt, dill, cumin seed, lemon juice and finish it with lemon zest. Yum!