The Cure - April 2013

Welcome to the April edition of The Cure.

It's time to start talking about spring and warmer weather. It's time to start talking sausages. This issue of The Cure has you covered with a tell all article from Fred about our sausages and how to prepare them, on and off the grill. Alanna McIntyre from Bishop's Cellare once again complements the dish with great wine pairings. Next we hear from Jenna Moores, co-owner of the soon to open EDNA, our newest neighbour on Gottingen St. Jenna shares her thoughts on a topic near and dear to our heart, communal dining. Elly, our fan from away, shows her Culinary Pride again this month. Last, we finish with info and teasers of what's going down at the shop.

We really appreciate you reading The Cure. We're always trying to make it better so please let us know if there's anything you'd like to see us cover. We are always open to hearing from you. Happy spring!

Sausages in the pan

By Frédéric Tandy

From what our customers tell us, Nova Scotians like to BBQ all year round. A little snow isn’t going to stop anyone here! But for those of you who don’t have a BBQ, or are looking for another method, this article is for you. 

Seared in a pan with a reduced sauce is another great way to enjoy our sausages anytime of the year. The key is to avoid searing the whole sausage, which can overcook it. They also go great with a nice potato salad. Read on, these recipes couldn’t be easier.

Seared Sausages
Prep time: 0 minutes (No prep!)
Cooking time: 20 minutes (approx.)

What you'll need
Sausages, and plenty of them! We make ours by hand daily, and have offer several traditional varieties:
  • Chorizo - Pork, garlic, smoked paprika, cayen, chili power, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. Taste: Spicy
  • Herbs - Pork, onion, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano and parsley. Taste: Fresh herbs
  • Merguez - Lamb, roasted red pepper, oregano, garlic, chili flakes, paprika, salt & pepper and seasoning. Taste: Sweet and spicy
  • Toulouse - Pork, garlic, onion, white wine, brandy, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and coriander. Taste: Wine, garlic and spices
  • ¼ cup – Chicken or Duck Stock
  • ⅛ cup – White wine
  • ½ tbsp – Butter
How to do it
  1. Heat a fry pan to medium and add a little olive oil (it doesn’t have to be extra virgin). Let the oil get hot.
  2. Place the sausages in the pan and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on one side. You’re looking for a nice browning along the whole side.
  3. Once you have that colour, turn them all over and repeat the searing on the other side, for the same amount of time.
  4. When you have a nice brown “line” on either side, pour in the stock and wine, let it come to the boil and cover the pan.
  5. Cook the sausages in the liquid for about 5 to 6 minutes. What’s happening from this point is the liquid will steam the sausages and prevent over cooking.
  6. Remove the sausages and raise the heat on the remaining liquid to reduce. When it’s thickened you could add a little butter.
  7. Plate the sausages and spoon over the gorgeous sauce.
  8. Serve with salad or a nice room temperature potato salad.
Potato Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes (approx.)
Cooking time: 35 minutes (approx.)

What you'll need
2 lbs – Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 cup – Chicken stock
1 cup – Water
1 tbsp – Sugar
1 tps – Salt
¼ cup – Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp – White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp – Dijon Mustard
¾ cup – Red Onion (minced)
3 tbsp – Pickles (chopped)
2 tbsp – Chives (chopped)
Salt & Pepper to taste

How to do it
  1. Pour broth, water and potatoes into an open frying pan and bring to boil.
  2. Cover and set to medium low for 15 minutes.
  3. Then take lid off and cook for 2 more minutes on high. Strain potatoes into a bowl, keep the liquid. Set potatoes aside to cool. There should be half a cup left. If not you can add a bit more broth or water.
  4. In bowl with liquid, add vegetable oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, Dijon and one half cup of cooked potatoes. Mash the potatoes until sauce is think. Then whisk to incorporate everything.
  5. Added cooked potatoes, red onions, pickles, and chives and gently mix everything together.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wine pairing for Sausages

By Alanna McIntyre, Bishop's Cellar

The sommelier suggests 
I love cooking, but admittedly I am a bit out of my comfort zone when it comes to meat dishes. So usually I eat meat when I go out or go to my mom's for dinner. Sausages, on the other hand are a whole other ball game - they are inexpensive, delicious on their own or to add a flavourful kick to a pasta sauce and, best of all, they are quick and easy to prepare. 

When pairing wine with sausages, you can't go wrong with an uncomplicated fruity (but dry) Spanish, French or Italian red. I like medium bodied wine, with lots of juicy fruit flavours to contrast the spices and heat of the sausages and with enough zippy acidity to cut through the fat. I just tried a great little northern Italian red that would work perfectly; the 2011 Principiano Dolcetto Sant'Anna.

This wine, made from the not so common Dolcetto grape, shows a lot of balance - not too heavy, lots of fresh berry fruit flavours and a modest alcohol level to allow you to enjoy a few glasses without feeling foggy. I also like that this wine is made in a very natural manner, with fermentation occurring thanks to ambient yeasts and without added sulfur. Salute!

Alanna McIntyre is the Retail Manager - Sommelier at Bishop's Cellar. Visit their great location and follow them on Twitter.

The communal table is making a comeback!

By Jenna Moores 

Lately I’ve noticed more and more communal tables making appearances in bars, restaurants and dining establishments. It might seem like a hot new restaurant trend but it’s actually a return to tradition. Long communal tables and communal dining was the norm in the inn’s and eating houses frequented by our relatives of the late 17th and 18th centuries, around the same time as some of the first restaurants.
Communal tables let us sit next to folks we may or may not know and they open up the possibility to share dining experiences. As the popularity of communal tables has grown, so has some hesitation to this new (or old) dinning trend. I can appreciate the hesitation of some, to share what can be an extremely intimate act with someone you don’t know. However, I think that communal dining can also create meaningful experiences that allow us to connect with our neighbours, and as a result, create community.
I fell in love with food and hospitality growing up working in my mom’s restaurant. We didn’t have a communal table, but we did have a long bench, which at the time was a relatively new addition to the Halifax dining scene. One of the most common complaints we got in the beginning was about the bench. However, as years passed many Haligonains came to love the bench. Some of the most memorable moments I witnessed were those of strangers along the bench. Sometimes tables sitting next to one another would chat through their entire meal. And sometimes by the end of the evening they would have their tables pushed together. Laughs were shared, friendships were formed and relationships were built, on the mere foundation of sitting next to one another throughout a meal. Once, we even witnessed someone offer a bite of chocolate cake to an envious on-looker sitting at the table next to them on the bench.
I am excited to include a communal table in the design for EDNA – one of Ratinaud’s newest neighbours – opening sometime early this May. Hope to see you ‘round the table.
Jenna Morres and her partner Andrew Flood are currently renovating 2053 Gottingen St. to open EDNA sometime this May. Please follow them on Twitter for news about the restaurant.


Culinary Pride

Our Culinary pride superstar Elly made these gorgeous brussel sprouts and sent over an equally gorgeous photo. She said it's her favourite way to prepare them. We couldn't agree more. Thanks Elly!  

Steamed Brussel sprouts, shallots and lardons

Please keep the photos coming gang!


Happening at Ratinaud

By Tom Crilley

Ratinaud in the party room! Looking forward to May.

Meet Your Local Spring Gala - On Thursday May 9th, Local Connections Halifax is hosting a spring event like no other at the Halifax Club. The evening will offer seven experiences over seven rooms. It promises to be the best that local has to offer, all in one place. You do not want to miss this event. Ratinaud will be in the party room, mixing it up with over 30 quality local beer, wine, spirits, food, and entertainment partners. We'll be celebrating quality and community. Alex from Local Connections says "Those who missed it will pretend they were there".

Ticket and purchase information can be found here. Hope to see you on May 9th!

May - This may be the April newsletter, but we're so excited about what's coming up in May we just had to offer some teasers.

On the product front, it's going to huge. We have two new cured meat products coming we've never offered before. One of them has been in the making for almost a year! Next is a lunch-to-go option that's a classic in another city. This beauty is smokin' and toasted all the same time. Nothing fishy there right? Common, we just gave you all the clues.

Last but no least, watch for announcements about what we'll be doing May 11th for OpenCity 2.0. A special offer all weekend long, sold right from the kitchen!

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