|Ratinaud French Cuisine has The Cure, our new newsletter project devoted to giving back to our customers.
So what's the plan? We want to share recipes and news about the store while calling on the food community to contribute. Every issue will include a recipe from Frédéric with a wine pairing suggestion from Bishop's Cellar's Alanna McIntyre, an article from a local food blogger or business, upcoming Ratinaud events and local food event listings. And then there's you. Yes we want you to contribute too! We're asking you to send us photos showing off your culinary pride. We'll include one in every issue!
Why are we doing this? Simple. Because we love good food and believe the culinary scene in Nova Scotia is white hot. There's change in the air and we're proud to be a part of it. When we cook, we share. When we're at the table with family and friends, we share. This newsletter is our way of sharing even more.
Thank you for subscribing to The Cure <<First Name>>. We hope you're as excited about it as we are!
Frédéric & Tom
By Frédéric Tandy
For me, this classic gratin is all about memories. During my childhood my Mother cooked it regularly, and many years ago while on stage at l’Hostellerie Le Fenelon, I cranked out dozens of this delicious side dish during the winter. It's simple comfort food. Rich and easy to make, it goes great with any red meat or poultry.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour to an hour and a half
What you'll need
2 lbs. – Russet potatoes (peeled, rinsed and cut into ⅛” thick slices )
2 tbsp – Unsalted butter (diced)
2 – Garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
2 cups – Milk
1 cup – Heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
How to do it
Preheat your oven at 325° F.
Spread the slices of potatoes in a 2 quart baking dish about 2 inches deep. Place the dices of butter on top of the potatoes.
Add the garlic, milk and cream in a pot and bring to just boiling.
Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Strain the mixture over the potatoes. Gently shake the pan to evenly distribute.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and poke a few holes with a knife to allow steam to escape.
Cook for about an hour. Remove the foil and finish it for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.
Check for doneness by inserting a small knife through the potatoes, they should be very soft.
By Alanna McIntyre, Bishop's Cellar
Wine pairing for Gratin Dauphinois
The sommelier suggests
The comforting creamy texture and soft subtly sweet flavours of a classic Gratin Dauphinois work great with wines that have similar characteristics. Though there are many pairing options for this dish, I am leaning towards a white wine with a rich mouthfeel, delicate autumn fruit aromas and flavours and just a hint of balancing sweetness to compliment the cream and contrast the richness of the cheese in the dish. My pick is the 2008 Rolly Gassman Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France (Bishop’s Cellar retail $23.50).
I’ll admit that Pinot Blanc is not the most popular white grape, but, at home in Alsace it makes a really lovely wine that compliments a wide range of foods. The grape is never heavy handed or overwhelming. It is subtle, sophisticated and generally crowd pleasing - just like the perfect dinner guest! This is a biodynamic wine, so without going into great detail, let’s just say that it is made with minimal human intervention in the vineyard and winery allowing for a very natural and pure expression of the grape. The Rolly Gassmann Pinot Blanc is unoaked, so, though you don’t get any of those buttery flavours, it still has a pleasing creaminess on the palate that will surely pair well with this classic french comfort food.
Alanna McIntyre is the Retail Manager - Sommelier at Bishop's Cellar. Visit their great location and follow them on Twitter.
By Kathy Jollimore
Celebrating our mad love of local
It’s an honour to be part of Ratinaud’s very first newsletter. And just in time for this weekend’s City Harvest! Giddy up.
Doesn’t it just make sense to buy bread from a real baker, your cheese from an expert fromagerie or your produce from a farmer? Just ask your grandparents. It’s how things used to be. Sadly, somewhere along the way, we got lost. Now we tend to shop at mega stores full of imported goods where the minimum wage worker is your produce clerk, baker and fish monger. Stores where cheap reigns supreme and food production is no longer an art. Well, Halifax, I am so happy to say people are changing how they shop thanks to Ratinaud, Meat Mongers, Storehouse Butchery, Fox Hill Cheese, East Coast Organic Milk, Local Source, The Dutchman’s Farm, Ran-Cher Acres, The Fish Shop, Made With Local and Jitterbug Sodas, to name a few. Nova Scotia also has many farmer’s markets, farms, and more restaurants than I could possibly mention who are welcoming in this new era of food production. It’s an era where we’re reverting back to local food systems. Yup, we kickin’ it ol’ school.
What does reverting to local food system mean? Well, for starters, it means supporting our farmers. It means a lower environmental impact, far fresher and often times healthier food with no international shipping so there’s less time from farm to table. But I think the most important point is where your money goes. Buy an apple at a grocery store and the money goes to a huge corporation. Now consider where the money goes when you buy that apple directly from a NS farmer. Surprise, surprise right in his own pocket. It not only pays his wage, but it buys his family food and pays for supplies and tools needed to produce even more apples. Every cent stays right here in NS. Now if that isn’t the best reason to support local, then I don’t know what is. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some lemons and avocados and other products not grown here at home, so I think the grocery store has its place. The key, however, is shifting our reliance on importaed foods that are produced locally. We have a real chance to change our food system, and with everything NS has to offer, I’d say we’re well on our way. And what a delicious path it is.
I’ll leave you with this one last thought. Local food producers have one thing big business will never have. Passion. That’s what makes the farmer rise at the crack of dawn to milk the cows, it’s what drives the butcher to spend hour after hour perfecting their craft, and it’s what motivates the chef to showcase the local bounty. Passion is in every single local food producer in Nova Scotia. Amazing, right? So the next time you need produce, hit up a farmer’s market. Looking for some meat? A local butcher has you covered. And that charcuterie? Well, we all know where you’re going for that.
Kathy Jollimore is a local food blogger and co-owner of The Record Shop, coming soon! Please follow her on Twitter.
By Tom Crilley
Happening at Ratinaud
City Harvest - October 27 & 28
This Saturday & Sunday Ratinaud will be particpating in City Harvest. The delivery door will be open all day so customers can come in the kitchen to see the action.
Our special for the weekend will be roast chicken sold in quarter, half or full portions along with Ratinaud Chips. That's right, fresh potato chips! Everything will be sold and packaged ready to eat. This way you can tank up while you explore City Harvest.
There's more info for the event at ILoveLocalHFX. You can find locations here, and don't forget, youc can track the event on Twitter: #CityHarvest
If you have any questions for us, knock at:
+1 (902) 446-8222 - Email - Facebook - Twitter