May 8, 2013
We could’t be more proud of our own Darling Robin Lavigne – Sous Chef at the Red Apron – who appeared on CTV’s Morning show today demonstrating how to use local ‘Farmer’s Market’ ingredients to make a spectacular Mother’s Day brunch item.
1 9.5″ pie crust – uncooked
We make our own pie crust using butter and lard but you could purchase one or even make a crustless quiche.
2 tablespoons fresh pesto or chopped fresh herb – this time of year we made a ramp pesto
1/2 cup crumbled or shredded cheese – we used Clarmel Feta in our version but your favourite cheese will work
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup of crumbled or chopped smoked salmon or trout
1 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Spread cheese, pesto & green onions on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Whisk eggs & milk and season with salt and pepper. pour into pie shell. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until eggs are set and crust is golden brown. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Join us on Sunday May 26 for our forth in the ‘Hop on the Bus’ series hosted by the Red Apron.
Departing at 10am from the Red Apron store we will first visit Castlegarth Restaurant where husband & wife team Matt & Jenn Brearley, both graduates of the Stratford Chef School, operate their own farm-to-table restarant. They have an onsite vegetable garden and, like the Red Apron, support local growers and producers. This culinary duo has prepared a 3 course brunch menu for us to enjoy. Priced at $35/person (plus taxes, beverages & gratuities) this meal is a mandatory part of this Hop on the bus tour.
Then on to the Herb Garden in Almonte, where they carry a wide selection of potted culinary herbs for planting in your garden. Their Gift Shop and Art Gallery are housed on site in heritage buildings.
The cost of transportation to and from these locations on our ‘Magic School Bus’ is free to Red Apron staff, friends and customers. Bring money or credit cards for the brunch, and purchases along the way. There are only a few spots left. Email the firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
April 17, 2013
The Red Apron has been a member of Savour Ottawa for a number of years. The organization works to develop and promote Ottawa as a culinary destination, with robust offerings of foods and experiences for both locals and visitors to the area. Through this membership we have met many wonderful growers and producers and last night we had a chance to get to know Hans Lindenmann from Trillium Meadows and his amazing Wild Boar and Venison products.
Savour Ottawa is creating a series of cooking videos aimed and encouraging residents and visitors to Ottawa to ship for and cook with more local ingredients. Last night we filmed the first ‘episode’. Hans provided 2 cuts of meat for us to work with: Venison medallions (cut from the leg) and Wild Boar Roast (again cut from the leg). We created 3 recipes (below) and filmed the cooking and plating of all three. Here is the result of our efforts!
Venison Medallions with Gin & Juniper Sauce
1 pound piece of venison backstrap, cut into medallions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup Gin
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon mustard
¼ cup heavy cream
Minced parsley for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear each side. Remove from pan. Place the meat on a plate and cover to keep warm Add the shallots and garlic to pan and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Deglaze the pan with gin, then add stock and juniper berries and reduce by half. Add the mustard and cream, mix thoroughly and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Season with salt & pepper. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn the meat to coat with the sauce.
Serve with sautéed organic mushrooms and sweet potato puree
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ teaspoon minced capers or local organic pickles
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound venison (medallions) small dice
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
handful Italian parsley, chopped
In a chilled mixing bowl or wooden bowl add garlic, shallots and capers and mash them into the paste. Add the egg and whisk it into the paste with the fork. Whisk in the mustard In a slow, steady stream, add the olive oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice.
Add the venison and mix well with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mound some tartare in the center of a small plate. Garnish with parsley.
Serve with Charred Toasts
Crispy Roast Boar
1 heads garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 springs of rosemary, stems removed, chopped fine
2 cups micro brew
1 large onion, sliced thin
3 pound wild boar leg roast, fat on
Mix minced garlic, lemon zest, sea salt and rosemary. Tie roast (if not already tied) and rub garlic mixture all over boar. This can be done a couple of hours before cooking.
Sear the roast on all sides. Position the oven rack in lower third of oven. Place the onions and beer on the bottom of a small roasting pan. Place boar roast on top, skin side up. Roast for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Turn roast over and test for doneness with meat thermometer and continue roasting until thickest part of pork registers 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. (Check temperature every 15 minutes). Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
Slice thinly, drizzle with juices and garnish with onions. Serve with roasted fingerling potatoes, sautéed greens and caramelized applesauce.
This growing season we have formed an exciting relationship with a new Organic Garden Farm. Randi Townsend, a Red Apron Staff member, and her business Partner, Sarah Lawrence have teamed up to form Barefoot Gardens as part of the Just Food Start Up Farm Program . With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the City of Ottawa, this program enables more people in this region to start their own farm business. Program participants receive up to 3 years of on-site support at the Just Food Farm, including access to land, shared infrastructure and equipment, and training, at a subsidized cost.
With 10 years of combined farming and gardening experience between them, they have started Barefoot Gardens on 1⁄4-acre plot of land located in Ottawa’s Greenbelt. The main crops for the 2013 growing season will include heirloom tomatoes, braising greens, bunching onions, herbs, and their signature salad mix.
In addition to their shared passion for growing and eating good food, the two partners also share values such as cooperation, collaboration, and community. They share decision-making, and tasks are distributed according to their respective talents, desires, and interests.
Their goals mesh well with the Red Apron philosophies and we share a farm-to-table vision, where everything grown is carefully tracked along its journey from the seed to your fork. The Red Apron has committed to purchasing everything the Barefoot Gardens grows for the 2013 season. This relationship will allow Barefoot Gardens to focus their efforts during their first season on growing, without having to spend time, effort and money to sell or distribute their bounty.
Spring has sprung and there are some exciting things happening at the Red Apron, both in and out of the kitchen.
Humans began collecting wild honey at least four or five thousand years ago and for most of that time the relationship between bees and humans has been a close one. Honey bees provide food, sweetener, medicine and wax.
When the new world was ‘settled’ by Europeans, they brought the honeybee with them. In 1851, an American named Lorenzo Langstroth invented the beehive, which revolutionized beekeeping forever. This new design with movable frames allowed beekeepers to fully inspect the bees for health, disease and honey production, as well as to easily collect the honey by removing the frames from the box. There are no real wild honey bees left in North America, just bees that have escaped from domesticated hives
Canada has approximately 10,000 beekeepers, operating a total of 600,000 colonies of honeybees according to the Canadian Honey Council. Recently, keeping a backyard hive has become quite popular, especially with all the risks and concern about colony collapse and parasites. It may not always be easy to get honey.
In our retail store we are carrying a new brand of Honey. Class Ouvriere Churned Seashore Honey from the Baie-des-Sables region of
Quebec is a real honey treat. Because the bees are collecting nectar near the ocean, the honey has a subtle saltiness that is lovely with the floral flavours of this premium product. The honey is churned, so unlike any other honey I have ever tasted, it is almost pure white in colour.
But the real BUZZ is that the Red Apron will be getting our own hives this summer. Our good friend, wildlife artist & Old Ottawa South resident Stuart Arnett has tried his hand at beekeeping during the last few years and can now add apiarist to his many titles and accomplishments. In partnership with Stuart, the Red Apron will be purchasing 2 hives which Stuart will care for in his wild flower meadow on the Big Rideau.
The Red Apron uses between 100 and 150 litres of honey in our cooking each year. The honey harvested from our two hives will go first to satisfy the needs of our ever growing kitchen, and then if production is strong, we can look to bottle some honey for sale in our retail store. Last year Stuart produced liquid honey, and these lovely ‘nuts in honey’ which make an excellent accompaniment to a cheese plate, or a delicious garnish for your morning oatmeal.
We hope to visit our hives this summer and if we do, we will certainly post some pictures!
We are Mothers, residents of our community, entrepreneurs as well as active participants in our local economy. We individually have a history of owning and operating successful local businesses.
Our commitment to getting people “back to the table” starts at home and extends to our community through a number of philanthropic endeavours.