Summer Lobster Salad
August 24, 2012 @ 12:44 pm
Lobster Fridays are back at the Aubergine Grille, and one of my favorite appetizers on this special menu is this refreshing summer lobster salad. The combination of slightly sweet lobster meat along with a tart mango gives this salad a smooth but complex taste and a perfect balance. All our lobster is served fresh from our kitchen aquarium. Lobster Fridays are a very popular night for us so don’t forget to make a reservation!
1.5 oz cooked Lobster Meat
3 slices of Cucumber
1 small bunch of Tatsoi
½ Mango, diced
1 Tomato, roughly chopped
3 Basil Leaves, chiffonade
3 Mint Leaves, chiffonade
1 Green Onion, sliced
Small piece of Ginger, diced
1 small bunch of Frisee
75ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lay down cucumber slices.
Toss everything else together in a bowl.
Top with the avocado, lobster and grape fruit.
Visit from a Food Critic
August 10, 2012 @ 10:11am
Recently we had the pleasure of welcoming Richard Wolak, founder of the popular food blog Vancouver Foodster, on assignment to review The Aubergine Bar and Grill. A visit from this kind of VIP guest can really put on the pressure in an already fast-paced kitchen. Usually we know about these visits well in advance, so I can prep my team to ensure we’re ready to go. Most critics prefer to order their own selections from the menu, but I always insist on serving them a specially created amuse bouche (a small taster plate that is served upon seating to give them a preview of what’s to come). This makes an important first impression and also gives me an opportunity to personally greet and welcome the guest when they arrive.
Accompanied by his family, Mr. Wolak sampled several different dishes and was feeling inspired to focus on our vegetarian options (we actually have an entirely separate vegetarian menu!) You can read his full review on Vancouver Foodster here. Needless to say we are very pleased that he enjoyed himself so much.
Mr. Wolak’s favorite dish from our menu was the Sundried Tomato Polenta. This has been one of our favorite vegetarian dishes on our menu. The sundried tomato with the spinach sauce bring a wonderful combination of Superfoods. Not only do they bring excellent health benefits but it also makes for rich layers of complex flavours. Finish the dish with wonderful roasted Mediterranean vegetables from the garden and you have a healthy and fantastic dinner. Switch the vegetables with the season and this dish is a year round hit.
¼ cup Sundried Tomatoes
1 cup Cornmeal
1 cup Hot Water
1 cup Milk
1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter
Salt & Pepper
Soak tomatoes in hot water until soft. Finely chop the tomatoes, reserve the fragrant liquid
Heat the milk and tomato water to a boil and slowly add polenta while whisking to avoid lumps
Cook over a low heat, until polenta is cooked tender
Whisk in butter and parmesan
Season to taste
Pour into a 9 inch baking dish, place in fridge and cool
Once cool cut into 8 pieces
Ingredients (Roasted Vegetables)
1 Red Onion
1 Red pepper
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Method (Roasted Vegetables)
Pre heat a oven to 450 degrees
Zest the orange into a bowl and juice the orange into the same bowl
In the same bowl add olive oil and balsamic vinegar whisk together
Slice the zucchini and eggplant on an angle, peel and slice the red onion and cut the red pepper into 8 pieces and de-seed
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper
Toss all the vegetables in the olive oil mix and lay flat on your baking tray
Place in the oven for 8-10min or until golden
Ingredients (Spinach Sauce)
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Cream
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
Method (Spinach Sauce)
Heat a small pot on the stove
Add butter, once melted add in spinach and cover with cellophane straight away, give it a quick wilt
Cool with cellophane on
Once cool place in a bar blender with cream and maple syrup and blend till smooth
Black Quinoa Risotto
Posted July 12, 2012 @ 10:11am
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is gaining popularity as one of the healthiest foods in the world. Though considered a grain, it packs way more of a nutritional punch than any other. It is low in fat, high in fiber and calcium, and has an extremely high amount of protein. Learn even more nutritional info about it here. When using it in cooking, qunioa has a mild nutty flavor and a wonderfully light and fluffy texture. I also like to substitute it for rice or couscous when serving a stir fry or curry dish.
1 cup Black Quinoa
1 ½ cup Vegetable Stock
¼ tsp Salt
½ Sweet Onion, small dice
1 cup Butternut Squash (blanched) cut in 1cm cubes
¼ cup diced fresh Tomato
¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Toasted Walnuts to garnish
Rinse quinoa well with cold water to remove its bitter flavor.
Bring to a boil quinoa, vegetable stock and salt, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork.
In a sauté pan, sauté onion and squash then add quinoa with olive oil for 2 minutes on med heat.
Add a splash of vegetable stock to prevent from sticking, then mix in tomato and parmesan cheese. Garnish with toasted walnuts and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Summer Beet Salad
Posted June 21, 2012 @ 11:55am
This past Sunday was the opening of the Whistler Farmers Market, one of my favorite parts of the summer. Walking through the market gives me great inspiration from all of the beautiful and fresh produce that’s sourced locally. The humble beet is a common sight at the market, usually hailing from the Pemberton Valley. The bright colors and fresh taste of a beet salad make this recipe the perfect summer choice.
Ingredients – Beet Salad
6 medium beets (mix of regular, golden or candy cane)
Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
3 Bay Leaves
4 sprigs of Thyme
8 Black Peppercorns
Ingredients – House Dressing
20g Confit Shallots
2.5g Grainy Dijon Mustard
2.5g Chopped Parsley
5g Dijon Mustard
2g Chopped Thyme
100ml White Wine Vinegar
250ml Canola Oil
50 ml Olive Oil
1 Lemon Zest & Juice
Salt & Pepper
Add beets in a pot of cold water with almost enough to cover. Keep the skin on, they will be easier to peel once cooked.
Add orange juice to bring theliquid level 2 inches above the beets and a splash of red wine vinegar to balance the natural sweetness.
Add salt, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and black peppercorns.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 45 – 60 minutes, or until beets can be easily pierced with a knife.
Cool the beets off in the liquid you used to cook them. (This will infuse the beets with the sweet salty flavour of the cooking liquid)
Peel and thinly slice your golden beets and arrange in a circle on a plate.
Peel and dice the red beets and put in a mixing bowl.
Toss the beets with some house dressing (see method below) and Salt Spring
Island goat’s cheese.
Toss some local greens in house dressing as well. Lay a bed of greens on the ring of gold beets, and
top off with the red beets and goat’s cheese.
House Dressing Method
Cover the Shallots in canola oil, cook at a low temperature for 30 minutes.
Place all ingredients in a blender except the oil.
Turn on the blender and puree for 1 minute, then slowly add the oil to the blender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Guest Request: Salmon Tartare
Posted June 7, 2012 @ 11:15 am
This post is dedicated to Mr. & Mrs. Ralph, a couple visiting us from Australia earlier this month who sent me an email asking me to share this recipe after tasting it in the Aubergine Grille. I hope this satisfies their craving! Enjoy this dish on a nice summer afternon with a glass of chardonnay. This recipe will also work well with a classic beef tenderloin (and classics are classics for a reason – because they are so good!)
200 g line-caught Coho salmon
20ml extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon (juiced)
5g chopped capers
5g minced dill pickle
½ minced shallot
5g real mayonnaise
5g dijon mustard
5g chopped chives
Finely dice the salmon.
Add the remaining ingredients, mix well in a bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice if you like.
Serve with your favorite crustinni or flat breads.