CHEF HOUSE

BY RICHARD MOOREY


WE ALL know about the worthwhile reasoning behind buying local. Creating new jobs, keeping existing jobs, increased local spending, supporting local people and reducing our carbon footprint are all great reasons to buy local not to mention the fact that you are getting high quality local craftsmanship in your purchases. As a small business owner and a chef, our crew whole heartedly believe in this philosophy and try to buy, promote and support local wherever I can. It makes good sense as a business owner and as a consumer to buy local and while it may cost a little more it really has a positive impact on our quality of life here in Northwestern Ontario.

Whether it’s buying direct from farms and markets, purchasing from locally owned retailers or producers that utilize local goods to make value added products, picking up goods from distributors that source from here at home or even restaurants that put local ingredients onto their plates it really pays to make an extra effort to support the companies that support the region. As a friend of mine is so fond of saying it’s all about “We do for we!”

From a chef’s perspective buying local not only benefits the region but it really does up your game in the kitchen. Local ingredients I have found are like so many other local products . . . high quality and made by people that take pride in what they do. When it comes to ingredients for a dish those purchases make for bigger and brighter flavours to tempt your taste buds and textures and tastes that really do deliver some serious tastitude.

This week I wanted to welcome the arrival of summer with something we can all appreciate! With the temperatures rising and the blue skies encouraging more time outside what better way to welcome back summer than with some from scratch ice cream featuring some truly delicious local ingredients!

I thought I would share a couple of these decadent frozen treat recipes with you so that you could share in celebrating some of my favourite flavours that always herald the return of warmer temperatures. These ice creams feature milk and cream from Slate River Dairy, Strawberries from Belluz (although I must admit they were frozen from last year) and of course eggs from Vanderwees. Together they really raise the flavour bar of my Perfect Pistachio and Strawberry Rum Overload Ice Cream recipes.

So this week welcome summer with a little smashmouth frost on your tongue and explore some local flavours and see for yourself some of what Northwestern Ontario has to offer.


Chef House’s Slate River Perfect Pistachio Ice Cream

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio nuts

1 cup sugar

2 cups Slate River heavy cream

1 cup Slate River whole milk

Pinch of salt

8 large Vanderwees egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

Grind the 1 1/3 cups of pistachios in a food processor until finely ground.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the ground nuts and split vanilla beans. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep for about an hour.

Strain the pistachio mixture discarding the solids. Return the milk and cream mixture to the saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the remaining cream in the second bowl. Add the almond extract and stir until combined.

Refrigerate until cold. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once finished churning, fold in the 3/4 cup pistachios.


Chef House’s Slate River Strawberry Rum Overload

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

2 quarts Belluz Strawberries

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cups Slate River heavy cream

1 cup Slate River whole milk

Pinch of salt

8 large Vanderwees egg yolks

1 tbsp. rum extract

   Place the strawberries, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, and the lime juice in a food processor. Pulse until most of the strawberries are mashed up, with a few larger pieces remaining. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a container and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Warm 1 cup of the cream, the milk, the vanilla, the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and the salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Remove and let steep for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the second bowl of cream, then stir in the rum extract. Remove the strawberry mixture from the refrigerator and add it to the cream mixture, stirring to fully combine. Refrigerate until cold.

Once the mixture is sufficiently chilled churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.


Richard Moorey (aka Chef House) can be reached with email to chefhouse@evot.ca, through his website at www.evot.ca, or on his Facebook group Evolution of Tastitude. You can follow him on Twitter @House_74.

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