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

Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

Gastronomically yours,

September 28th, 2017

Hearty Bud the Spud Soup

The average Canadian consumes 60 kg or 130 lbs of potatoes annually mostly as fries or chips. Potatoes are indigenous to Peru and since their discovery they have been distributed throughout the world and have become a staple in many cultures diets. The International Potato Center in Peru has over 7 500 known varieties of potatoes 63 of which were developed in Canada. One of the most famous Canadian bred potato varieties is the Yukon Gold. This potato was created at the University of Guelph in conjunction with Agriculture Canada in 1980.

A single medium sized, skin on potato contains more potassium than a banana, 45% of your daily needed vitamin C and 20% of your daily vitamin B6 needs. Spuds are also praised for being cholesterol, fat and sodium free. The unhealthy reputation of potatoes has nothing to do with the potato but everything to do with the amounts of butter, sour cream and salt that we slather our potatoes in before eating them.

Currently last year’s potato harvest has been resting in cold storage deprived of light for a few weeks now. This method of storage promotes a change in the potato’s enzymes creating the perfect balance between the naturally occurring sugars and starches in the potato. This metabolic shift creates a fuller and somewhat fruity flavoured potato.

By spring the extended storage of these potatoes will cause a further metabolic shift in which the starch will further break down and turn to sugar. As these sugars become more concentrated, we will find that these older potatoes will take on a overcooked or burnt appearance especially when we fry them, as the sugars will quickly caramelize and burn on the outside of the potato, resulting in a bitter-tasting exterior and an undercooked interior.

To avoid this situation, one should store potatoes in the dark at temperatures from 7 and 10°c for up to three months.

Potatoes fall into one of two categories — mealy or waxy. Mealy potatoes (russets, purple) have thick skin and high starch content, but they’re low in moisture and sugar. Waxy potatoes (red, new) are just the opposite. They’re low in starch with a thin skin. They’re high in both moisture and sugar. Choosing the right type of potato to cook with can make or break a recipe.

Mealy potatoes are best for deep-frying. Because they’re low in sugar, they can be fried long enough to cook them fully in the center without burning the outside. They’re also the best choice for mashed potatoes because they fall apart easily when they’re boiled which makes them the perfect choice for making the following hearty potato soup recipe.

 

Chunky Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6 slices smoked thick sliced bacon, cut in bite size pieces

1 cup of diced cooking onion

1 ½ cups diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

5 cups peeled and diced Russet Potatoes

2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. minced parsley

1 cup aged cheddar cheese

 

Method:

In a large soup pot over medium heat cook the bacon until cooked to desired doneness, Remove some of the bacon fat but leave some in the pot and add the onions, carrots, and celery. While occasionally stirring the vegetables let them cook until the onions begin to become transparent about 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue cooking in the bacon fat for 5 more minutes

Stir in the stock and increase heat to medium-high, letting it come to a gentle boil. Cook the potatoes until they start to get tender and reduce heat to low. Using an immersion blender pulse the soup until it is pureed but not smooth as you still want it to have some chunky bits in it. Stir in milk, cream, and parsley and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately topped with the grated cheese.

Gastronomically yours,

October 28th, 2016

 

It is definitely soup weather and this recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is a great way to warm up! Be sure to pick up some “Mexican Kitchen Cartel” from any of The Spice Co’s retail partners to make this soup.  Squash are defined as fruits that are members of the gourd family, which are further classified as either summer or winter squash. They originated in the Americas over 10,000 years ago and were cultivated for their seeds as they typically contained little flesh. The squash were more commonly hollowed out and used as cooking utensils, musical instruments and beverage flasks.

Butternut Squash!

Butternut Squash!

Summer squash which include the zucchini, pattypan and crookneck varieties have a very soft flesh and delicate skin as they are harvested before they have fully ripened, which is why their seeds are also soft and not matured allowing us to readily eat them raw or cooked. Prior to cooking most cooks will remove the undeveloped seeds as they can be quite mushy when cooked with a mucilage like texture. Summer squash varieties do not store well and are usually consumed within a week of being harvested.

Winter squash are harvested only once they have matured. Their skin has toughened up and aged into a hardened rind which protects the fully developed seeds for future use .Fully ripened varieties of winter squash can be stored for three to five months if kept between 8 °C and 12 C ° in a dark, dry and well-ventilated area. Do not refrigerate your winter squashes unless they are cooked or have been cut as this will greatly compromise their shelf life.

Butternut squash is shaped like a vase with smooth beige skin and orange flesh. They are classified as a winter squash which means that they differ from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten as a mature fruit; when the seeds have matured and the skin hardens into a protective rind. Butternut’s tend to contain more water than other squash and tastes similar to sweet potatoes. Winter squash are high in fiber an excellent source of potassium and vitamins B and C. The deeper orange the color of the flesh, the more carotene it contains.

In South Africa these ground nuts as they are called, are often roasted in a fire pit or barbequed. The squash can be cooked whole or peeled and wrapped with foil and seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon. When cooking squash in this manner; insert a fork into the flesh as you would with potatoes to test for doneness. Squash flesh can also be frozen. To freeze in sections, simply blanch the pieces for one minute, cool immediately and place in freezer bags. Once cooked, the flesh can be diced and added to soups, stews, risotto and curries.

We picked up some butternut squash over the holiday weekend from the farm gate and cooked them up in a soup. I especially enjoy this soup served with a rosemary foccacia.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

One pound butternut squash peeled

½ cup diced carrots

One apple, peeled, cored and diced

One medium onion, peeled and diced

One clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp.  Butter

1 – 2 tsp. “Mexican Kitchen Cartel” from The Spice Co., naturally

One litre chicken or vegetable stock

One half cup heavy cream or low-fat milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 350f. Cut the butternut squash in half. Remove the seeds from squash and place squash, carrots and apple on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for five minutes. Over medium heat lightly sauté the onion and garlic in butter in a large sauce pan until translucent. Scoop the butternut squash pulp from its skin and add it to the onion mixture. Now add the “Mexican Kitchen Cartel”, vegetable stock to the pot as well. Cook over medium high heat for 15 -20 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender until velvety smooth. Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt, and pepper.  Yields: 4 bowls

If you have any cooked or candied bacon around… garnish the soup with it!

Mexican Kitchen Cartel is a smoky blend of traditional seasonings and spices!

Mexican Kitchen Cartel is a smoky blend of traditional seasonings and spices!

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