It’s always the Chefs who take the spotlight when it comes to our local food scene, so I decided to flip that with my SOURCED pop up dinners. The Okanagan has been my secret weapon – I know the people growing my produce and it’s all done with a whole lot of love.
My last post shared how I visited farm after farm to help shape a SOURCED inspired pop up dinner for the farming community in that local area. Here’s what I decided on for the menu:
Canapé: Freshly Shucked Tatamagouche Oyster with Cilantro and Gin Mignonette
Spice Roasted Squash Croquette with Local Tomato and Maple Chutney and Pickled Ontario Ramp; Maple Braised and Glazed Pork, Keralan Style Curry, Foraged Apple, Cilantro Chutney; BC Artisan Sake Maker Rice, General Store Olive Bread, Salad Greens with Maple and Mustard Vinaigrette; Spice Roasted Fall Vegetables
Farm-inspired Cocktail by Melissa Finn using Raging Crow Distillery
Dessert: Sugar Woods ‘Forest Floor’ Poached Local Pears with Green Cardamom Crème Anglais
I believe that for something to truly be craft, it should change as you change. So, to really support local, that means you need to celebrate its imperfections, which I think is beautiful. When I cook I like to riff on what feels right and rely on my palate. It’s not a case of following a strict recipe because ingredients (and especially local ones) aren’t supposed to be standardized, so every time you cook, it should be slightly different.
I thought I’d share a few loose recipes – when these pass from me to you, they become your family recipe, so don’t be scared to tweak to your taste. If you don’t like cilantro, don’t add cilantro. Keep on tasting and tweaking until you’re happy. And don’t forget to add a little love to it because our farmers did that at the start when they were growing the ingredients for us.
- ½ small shallot (small dice)
- ½ oz local gin
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ local chilli (depending on heat)
- 5 cilantro leaves with stems (washed)
- 2 round slices of cucumber (washed, then muddled)
- 1 oz white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
Add all ingredients to a mason jar, shake then let sit overnight. Remove the cilantro, chilli and cucumber, then serve on top of freshly shucked oysters (preferrably Tatamagouche or Malagash)
- 100ml white wine vinegar
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbs. Sugar Moon maple syrup
- 1 tsp. maple mustard
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients into a mason jar, fasten the lid tightly, then shake shake shake until well combined.
- Enjoy on your favourite salad
- You can leave this in the fridge for a week or so, just shake it again before every use
It was a real treat to feed hard working farmers during harvest and spoil them a little by saying thank you for what they do and literally breaking bread together. We’ve been fortunate to meet so many welcoming and supportive people, who were willing to share their stories with us. If this is anything to go by, I can’t wait for my little Nova Scotian food family to continue to grow with every step of my east coast adventure.
I can’t wait to come back for more than 48-hours next time. Ok, back on the road we go.