On Saturday night we checked out Supply and Demand, which is a well-known, hip Raw Bar in Ottawa. They probably took some pointers from Gordon Ramsay because they know exactly how to feature beautiful ingredients. I heard about it when it was voted one of Canada's Best New Restaurants last year in enRoute Magazine. Frankly, oysters don't appeal to me, so I was glad they had so much more to offer. I guess that's like going to eat at Swiss Chalet when you don't like chicken. One of those things was a magical kale salad with caper vinaigrette, crotonose cheese and bacon. I even happened to be wearing my Kale sweatshirt from Suburban Riot.
The salad was topped with a beautiful cloud of cheese, dressing and bacon and coated the kale nicely to remove its natural bitter taste--one of the reasons I rarely eat it raw at home. The other starter was Albacore tuna crudo with lemon, truffle oil and puffed quinoa. I found it a little too salty after having bread with butter mixed with duck fat and the kale salad to start. The redeeming factor was the squid ink rigatoni with tuna and proscuitto meatballs and the corn and lobster mushroom ravioli. Both dishes elevated pasta to a new level with interesting flavours and textures. Overall, it was a lovely meal and another good introduction to dining in Ottawa.
Cashew Corn Chowder (Dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian)2 stalks of fresh corn (or frozen kernels)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup stock (chicken, or vegetable for vegan)
3/4 cup whole cashews, unsalted
1 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
Fresh thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to season
Directions:1. Soak the cashews in the water for 3-4 hours.
2. Remove the husks from the corn and boil in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes.
3. Add the cashews and soaking water to a blender and blend until smooth.
4. In a large pot on medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Slice the kernels off of the cobs and save a few for sprinkling on top of the soup for serving.
6. Add the corn and additional herbs and cook for a few minutes.
7. Add the stock, milk and cashew mixture and stir until everything is well combined.
8. In a blender or with an immersion blender, blend half of the soup in batches.
9. Garnish with additional corn kernels and cashews.
This soup makes you feel like you're eating a rich, heavy chowder. It's filling, slightly sweet from the corn and nice and creamy from the cashews. I only blended half of the soup because I still like the crunchiness from the corn in there. To re-heat, add a bit of water to the soup as the cashews tend to solidify when they sit. If you're wondering what to do with a dozen husks of corn, don't be afraid to make soup with it. Of course, the corn is wonderful to eat by itself too with some butter and a bit of salt...
On the subject of celebrating local food and agriculture, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place November 7-16 this year in Toronto, Ontario at Exhibition Place. The fair is in its 92nd year and is the largest indoor agricultural fair and equestrian competition in the world. Of course, animals are the focus of any visit--and always were when I visited as a child--with horse jumping, dog shows, sheep herding and petting farms. While the kids love seeing the animals, the grownups may enjoy the food and cooking demonstrations, competitions and exhibits. Master Chef Canada judge Micheal Bonacini will be there to judge the new Royal International Invitational Chef Competition.
I am giving away five pairs of tickets to this year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Enter the giveaway below to be eligible to win ONE PAIR of tickets (a $40 value). 5 separate winners will be chosen. Please make sure you are able to attend on these dates in Toronto, Ontario. No purchase necessary. Open to Ontario residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway