If you happen to live under a rock (ha! pun intended), Jeremy Charles 'is easily Canada’s most important chef at this point'. At his restaurant, Raymonds, in St. John's, Newfoundland, Chef Charles is 'using indigenous ingredients and local traditions, but (they’re) mixing these with a new-Nordic-inspired understanding of how best to transform the bounty around them.' Raymonds won 1st place in enroute Magazine's 2011 'Best New Restaurants in Canada', and 1st place in vacay.ca's 2014 Top 50 restaurants in Canada.
Oh. And Jeremy Charles was also named #48 in Maclean Magazine's 2014 Power List of The 50 most important people in Canada.
No big deal.
So when Foodie Pages asked Kathy from eathalifax! and I to make, style, and photograph Chef Charles' recipes for his January CHEF'S BOX, well, to say we were thrilled would be a bit of an understatement. If you're not familiar, Foodie Pages is '...your online farmer`s market where you can buy delicious food and wine directly from Canada's best small-scale local and regional producers'. Every month, they feature a new CHEF'S BOX - '...a monthly subscription service that delivers small batch Canadian foods to your door, hand-picked by a top Canadian chef'.
Jeremy Charles personally selected these 5 artisanal ingredients from FoodiePages.ca to be featured in his CHEF'S BOX:
Orange Rosemary Syrup (200ml) from Tangled Garden (Grand Pré, NS) – Glaze poultry, drizzle on fruits and cheeses, mix into cocktails or soda water.
Bakeapple Fruit Spread (150ml) from The Dark Tickle Co. (St. Lunaire-Griquet, NL) – The bakeapple is Newfoundland's most cherished wildberry and this spread is 100% fruit with no refined sugar.
Dark Birch Syrup (125ml) from Gourmet Sauvage (St-Faustin-Lac-Carré, QC) – Remarkably delicious with scallops, great on meats, fish, yogurt, ice cream and in salad dressings.
Sea Salt (40g) from Newfoundland Salt Co. (St. John’s, NL) – Chef Jeremy’s favourite sea salt, used in his restaurant, these light and flaky crystals are born of sea water collected off the coast of Newfoundland.
Low Sugar Dried Cranberries (100g) from Terra Beata (Lunenburg, NS) – The juice is left IN, preserving the vitamins and tangy taste. Wonderful in baking, salads, trail mix, cottage cheese, pancakes, stuffing, Brie . . . the possibilities are endless. ***pictured below on duck breast***
Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Parsnip Purée, Kale and Orange Cranberry Jus
Recipe by Chef Jeremy Charles, Executive Chef of Raymonds - serves 4
2 large duck breasts, skin on (approx 500g each)
8 large parsnips, chopped and peeled
2 tbsp. honey
1 L milk
2 fresh bay leaves
1 L reduced duck stock (or chicken stock if duck is not available)
4 shallots, chopped
1 cup Terra Beata dried cranberries
6 Tbsp. Tangled Garden orange rosemary syrup
1 bunch fresh thyme
¼ lb unsalted butter
1 bunch dinosaur or black kale
Newfoundland Salt Co. sea salt for seasoning
Pepper for seasoning
1. Score the duck breast (skin side) by breaking through the skin only. Make 5 or 6 parallel marks then do the same diagonally. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Scoring the duck breast for cooking helps to render out the fat from the skin more effectively. It is best to score the skin of the duck breast when cold, as it becomes more difficult once the skin warms up.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Use a medium sized frying pan and place the duck breast, skin side down while the pan is still cold. Cook over medium heat for 7 min to render the fat. Once fat is rendered, the skin should be crispy. Remove the duck and drain the fat.
4. Add 3-4 tbsp. of butter and fresh thyme to your hot pan. Return the duck to the pan and baste for 2-3 min.
5. Finish the duck in the oven for 3-4 min. The duck should be med-rare. Let rest for 5-7 min over stove top (warm area). Do not cut into right away or duck will be dry. Slice to serve.
1. In a medium sized saucepan, add parsnips and cover with milk, bay leaves, salt, and honey. Simmer on low heat (do not let milk come to a boil), for 25 to 30 min until parsnips are cooked through. Strain parsnips while preserving some of the liquid.
2. Add the cooled parsnips to a blender for 3-4 minutes with 2-3 tbsp butter. Add as much of the reserved liquid to reach a smooth consistency. Keep warm and covered.
1. Separate leaves from spines.
2. Blanch and sauté with butter and salt.
1. Sweat shallots in a skillet for 2-3 minutes. Add 4-5 tbsp butter and sauté for another 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat.
2. Add your reduced duck or chicken stock and continue to reduce until volume is reduced by half.
3. Add 6 tbsp. of orange and rosemary syrup, adding more to taste if desired.
4. Drain and add cranberries to the jus.
1. Plate parsnip puree with kale greens beside.
2. Place duck slightly over puree.
3. Top with orange jus.
As if that wasn't enough, Foodie Pages is running a contest to send two lucky Canadians to St. John's, Newfoundland. The grand prize will include a full tasting menu and wine pairing by Chef Jeremy Charles. Click the picture above for details.
Oh! And one more thing - if you enter the promo code KELLYNEIL at check out, you'll receive $10 off of your first Foodie Pages purchase.
East Coast represent!