Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

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An apple a day

Apples, like pears, peaches, and plums are all members of the rose family. The apple tree is believed to have originated in Western Asia and is the oldest cultivated fruit tree on earth. The age of the apple tree might explain why the apple has appeared in many religions, and is considered as either mystical or forbidden fruit. The spiritual followers of the time were probably only further confused by the world language Latin in which the word for evil is almost identical to the word for apple.

Of the more than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown globally the crab apple is the only apple indigenous to North America.  Annually the world harvest of apples exceeds 60 million tons.  China is the world leader in apple production with 35% of the market share while Canada and the US combined have less than 15%. Apples are divided into a few basic categories: Dessert Apples are bred to be eaten fresh, Cooking Apples are to be cooked and Cider apples are for making cider.

Locally “The Apple Route” celebrates Eastern Ontario’s apple growers in southern Northumberland County and Quinte West, who has for 200 years, enjoyed a prosperous agricultural history throughout the rolling hills between Port Hope and Trenton. I recommend taking a drive along “The Apple Route” and take part in Brighton’s Annual Applefest that starts next week. Pick up some apples and try them in the following recipe for Apple Soup when you return home. The McIntosh, Crispin, or Golden Delicious varieties will work best in this recipe keeping in mind the sweeter the apple the less maple syrup you will need to add to the recipe.

 

Apple Soup

Ingredients:

¼ cup of butter

1 cup Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup of your favourite apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

1 cup rutabaga, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, rutabaga, squash, carrots, and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.

Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree the soup until smooth with an immersion blender. If you want an absolutely silky smooth soup, further strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve. Add the cream and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme or sage could be used to enhance the flavour as well. Serve immediately to 4-6 people with fresh baked bread.


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Sizzle Fall  2013

 

Fritter – Batter up!

 

It is believed that the practice of eating fried sweetened dough originated in Rome around the 2nd century. These early versions of the doughnut were made from sourdough and were often small in size. During the Middle Ages cooks began letting the batter run from their fingers into vats of frying oil to form random streaming shapes known as “cryspeys”.

Medical practitioners and theorists deemed the cryspeys, the doughnut and all forms of fried batters indigestible during the Middle Ages and still caution us today about eating such foods.

The fritter came into existence shortly after this time when cooks started coating food with their various batters and deep frying them. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.

As we further became civilized so did our eating habits which lead to the 16th century custom of serving a sweet course at the end of a meal. Originally these were simple preparations of sugared fruits and nuts that were usually lightly spiced with cinnamon, allspice or clove to add a distinctly exotic touch to what slowly became a dining luxury known as dessert. Classic and modern dessert preparations prevail in todays society and have escaped the dessert paradigm by shifting into a food staple served all on their own at rather odd times. Case in point the doughnut and fritter for breakfast.

Most of us are acquainted with the modern day interpretation of a fritter whose rise in popularity came about during the 60’s when many of our quick-service food outlets became influential in our dining choices. These oversized gobs of dough with a smattering of minuscule bits of fruit are often deep fried and served up in artery clogging proportions.

Fritters are cooked the world over and the best example of a fritter for me is found in Japan where it is called tempura. Tempura uses delicate portions of food encapsulated in a thin crunchy layer of flavourful batter.

This week’s recipe for apple fritters was provided by Lakefield area chef Michael Sterpin. It uses locally sourced apples cut in large pieces that have a nice light coating of batter that created a creamy apple centre enveloped in a light crunchy batter.

A note of caution- although the fritter maybe cool to the touch on the outside its internal ingredients can be quite hot. Proceed with caution when these tasty morsels are done cooking.

 

Apple Fritters

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

A pinch of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove

Method: In a medium sized mixing bowl sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

 

Wet Ingredients:

1 large egg beaten

1/3 cup of milk or spiced eggnog

1 tbsp. melted butter

2-3 apples locally sourced, peeled and cored cut into wedges

 

Method: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the egg, milk, and butter. Once evenly incorporated gently stir in the apple wedges.

Next gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being cautious not to overwork the flour.

In a deep fryer preheated to 350F, gently spoon the apple wedges into the oil allowing them to free float without a fryer basket. Using tongs turn the fritters as they begin to brown to ensure even cooking throughout the fritter.

Once cooked, remove the fritter from the oil with a perforated spoon and turn them out onto a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Roll fritters in some cinnamon sugar and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

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