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Monday, 11 August 2014

Knife Skills, Candied Bacon and Lobster 101 - The Kilted Chef Pt 2

Now to the exciting part of my day with The Kilted Chef!  It's time to cook,  there may have been wine involved, but not until we had  learned to use our large, sharp and scary knives. Alain taught us  how to hold the knife, avoid cutting our fingers off and then we moved on to our victims practice pieces which were carrots.  We learned to chop them into different shapes and sizes, a great way to practice using the knives.

Then we were ready for the first recipe: Curried Carrot Soup.  All the carrots we had chopped went into the pot!  I'll be posting the recipes separately when I have made them at home,  I've made some already but for now this is an overview of the fabulous time you can have at a Cooking Class with the Kilted Chef

The Soup is in the big pot that Licia is stirring, later it was blitzed in the Vitamix. Up a the top  Buttery Asiago Bread Sticks (butter soaked bread with a sprinkling of grated cheese then baked in the oven) are being prepared,  these were served with a lobster chowder.   In the pan is Candied Double Smoked Bacon, big chunks of smoked bacon sautéed and coated in maple syrup.

I don't seem to have any photos of the making of the Northumberland Snow Crab Cakes with Dill Remoulade, quite possibly because I had my hands in the crab mixture forming it into cakes and others were up to the elbows in egg or breadcrumbs!

The main course was Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin  with Maple Ginger Sauce.  The beef is rubbed with mustard and seasoned before searing and then slow roasting.  In the top photograph we are all carefully watching the Maple Ginger Sauce, waiting for the right moment to add the sesame seeds, maple syrup, fish sauce and chilli sauce into the ginger and garlic.
Alain is known for cooking with seafood and so it was time for 'Lobster 101'.  We had already learned how to get the lobsters into the pot, removing the rubber bands from their claws and not getting nipped!  Now it was time for a demonstration of how to get the meat out of the lobster as simply as possible. You can watch a video of Alain doing just that on his website How to Break down a Lobster.

We had a few 'moments', top left is Alain demonstrating how lobsters have sex!  Then once the lobster was deconstructed, I was offered one of the thin 'legs' to suck out the the 'sweet goodness' - you can see I didn't believe it and I have to say it really didn't do it for me, my face said it all and we all ended up laughing, I laughed so much I cried.  We really had a ball.
Dessert was something I had never heard of, let alone tried.  Rhubarb and Wild Blueberry au Poivre,  this pan of gently stewed fruit gets 50 turns of freshly ground pepper into it!  It tastes fantastic and not peppery at all.  I chose to make this as my contribution to our blogger dinner later in the trip, so you will see more of it later.

We were each given responsibility for one course of the meal and served each other at the table. Here is the full menu:

Curry Carrot Soup with Candied Double Smoked Bacon
Northumberland Snow Crab Cakes with Dill Remoulade
Lobster Chowder iwth sweet Basil, corn and Brie
Buttery Asiago Bread Sticks
Ferguson fresh Slow Roasted Beef Ternderloin with a Maple Ginger Sauce
Sauted Beet Greens
Candied Roasted Potatoes
Rhubarb Wild Blueberry au Poivre

Served with an assortment of Nova Scotia Wine

I'd like to thank Alain Bosse, The Kilted Chef,  and his wife Joanne for their outstanding hospitality. I'd also like to thank Licia, Angela, Erin, Heather and Sarah for sharing the day with me and being such good fun. The day was relaxed and fun but at the same time I learned skills that I have brought home with me.  I'll never be able to work with a small knife again and I've managed to keep holding it as instructed which has vastly improved my knife skills.   I am not sure I will ever be prepping lobsters, but many of the other recipes have already graced my table and I'll be sharing them with you soon.

This is the sixth in a series of posts about my trip to Nova Scotia.  Read the other posts in my Nova Scotia adventure:

1. The Bridge, The Bison and the Four Poster Bed 
2. The Citadel, Halifax : Sporrans, Rifles and the School Room 

3. A Local Tasting Tour, South of Morris Street, Halifax
4. Crab Cakes by the Ocean at Pictou Lodge
5. Cooking on the Farm with the Kilted Chef Part 1

You can follow me on Twitter: @FarmersgirlCook, Facebook: Farmersgirl Kitchen Instagram: FarmersgirlCook and the Pinterest Board  Atlantic Canada Eats which I share with Lavender and Lovage.  You can also follow the hashtags #AtlanticCanadaEats  #VisitNovaScotia and #ExploreCanada to see photos and posts on all of these social media sites.

Disclaimer: I was the guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and  Nova Scotia Tourism and all my flights, car hire, accommodation and meals were included, as well as all trips, excursions and special cookery sessions with local chefs. I'd like to thank the host organisations and everyone who made this a truly memorable trip.

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At 11 August 2014 at 19:14 , Blogger Unknown said...

oh my friggin gawd... candied bacon... lobster... hello Nova Scotia!

At 11 August 2014 at 19:18 , Anonymous Caroline Taylor said...

What a great thing to do, not only practice knife skills but learn how to make a dish too, sounds like you did have a ball!

At 12 August 2014 at 14:41 , Blogger Traceyr said...

WOW definitely a trip of a lifetime Janice. Glad you learnt some knife skills and that food looks devine especially like the sound of the butter soaked bread and the bacon. yum yum. :)

At 12 August 2014 at 21:59 , Blogger Keep Calm and Fanny On said...

I must track down some of that Buttery Asiago Bread - sounds great! Lovely to read about your adventures, sounds like such a great trip! Thanks...

At 12 August 2014 at 23:22 , Blogger Heidi Roberts said...

Looks like you had a great time, I do so love North Atlantic lobster!!

At 13 August 2014 at 08:43 , Blogger Choclette said...

You look like you were having a great time Janice. Curried carrot soup is sounding quite appealing as I have a large bag of carrots in need of using up and it's quite chilli here today.

At 13 August 2014 at 09:15 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

What a GREAT selection of photos Janice and such a good time was had by all by the looks of things! I have loved seeing what you were up to when I was in Newfoundland and cannot wait to share my Nova Scotia posts where we all met up soon! Karen

At 13 August 2014 at 21:36 , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh wow, that menu sounds amazing and the bacon, mmmm! Looks like you had a fabulous time, I'd love to visit Canada one day.

At 14 August 2014 at 17:13 , Anonymous Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry said...

Those knives look scary but very necessary in the kitchen. Lucky you for the fun time you had in Canada.


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