• Black garlic

    Black garlic, an ingredient in P.E.I. muscles (Photo Courtesy of Annie’s Table)

Not everyone has the luxury of trudging through P.E.I backcountry to find the freshest ingredients. But the island chefs who contributed to this menu have them in their backyards.

Try your hand at a locally sourced P.E.I. menu. Or you could just visit the area and let the professionals take care of the hard parts for you!

Appetizer

From Annie’s Table
Black Garlic and Gahan Beer Island Muscles
Serves 4
Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh blue cultured mussels
2 tbsp butter
3 black garlic cloves (smooth to a paste)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lemon juiced and zested
1/2  bottle Gahan beer
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:
Rinse fresh blue cultured mussels in tap water.

Discard any mussels that do not close when tapped. Set aside

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat; cook chopped onion, black garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add  juice from lemon and zest into pan.

Add beer; bring to a boil and reduce by 3\4. About 8 minutes.

Add mussels; reduce heat, cover and simmer until mussels open, about 4 - 5 minutes.

Discard any that do not open.

Sprinkle with green onion and serve.

Serve with crusty bread (optional)

Main

From Chef John Pritchard of Terre Rouge
Crisp Skinned Arctic Char
with Fiddleheads, Pancetta and Rhubarb Beurre Blanc

Serves 4

This dish features sustainable fish and the some of the first signs of spring. If you can, forage the fiddleheads yourself.

Ingredients:

4 x 6oz Arctic Char Fillets (skin on – we use farmed char from NS)
1 lb Fiddleheads, washed and trimmed
1/4 lb Pancetta, sliced 1/4" thick and cut into small dice
2 shallots, petite brunoise (minced), divided in half
2 cloves of garlic – one minced  ­one rough chopped
1/2 c white wine (l'Acadie Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 c rhubarb juice (juice 3 or 4 red stalks in your juicer)
1 fresh bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
2 allspice berries
1 sprig tarragon
1/3 lb cold butter in cubes + 2 tablespoons
A little safflower

Instructions for the Beurre Blanc:

To a stainless steel sauce pan add:
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c rhubarb juice
1 shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 fresh bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
2 allspice berries
1 sprig tarragon

Slowly reduce(evaporate by simmering) the contents by 2/3.

Strain off the aromatics and return liquid to the saucepan.

Over very (very) low heat add in the butter, whisking continually, one cube at a time until it is all used and the sauce is emulsified. Check the acid/fat balance...is it a nice balance...not too acidic?

Season with good salt and set in a warm place until ready to use.

Note: if it is too warm the sauce will split. But if it is too cold the sauce will congeal. It should be at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The sauce will last until ready to serve but it cannot be refrigerated and re­used.

Instructions for the Fiddleheads:

1 lb Fiddleheads, washed and trimmed
1/4 lb Pancetta, sliced 1/4” thick and cut into small dice
1 shallots, petite brunoise
1 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of cold butter

In a pot bring well salted water to a boil.

Fill a large vessel with ice water for shocking the fiddleheads.

Drop trimmed fiddleheads into water and boil vigorously until el dente (about 1­3 minutes).

Strain and shock in the ice water to halt the cooking.

Add pancetta to a sauté pan on medium heat.

Once slightly rendered and taking on some colour, add the shallots and sauté for about a minute.

Add the fiddleheads and garlic. Sauté until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and mount with the butter. Remove from heat before butter separates.

Instructions for the Char:

4 x 6oz Arctic Char Fillets
A little oil (safflower)
1 tbs butter

Heat a sauté pan or even better a well seasoned cast iron pan to medium heat.

Pat dry the fillets with a paper town and lightly oil both sides.

Season with good quality salt on both sides.

Add a little oil to the pan.

Place fish skin side down in the pan and cook on the skin until golden and the flesh on the edges becomes opaque.

Flip the char on the flesh side and add the butter. Swirl the pan and then remove fish from pan after about a minute. Fish should rest from medium to­ medium rare.
 
Assembly:

Place fiddleheads on plate.
Place Char on Fiddleheads
Place Sauce on Char
Add boiled new potatoes if you like.
Eat with vigour and reckless abandon.

Dessert

From Chef Gordon Bailey of Lot 30
Spruce Shoot Ice Cream
with Natural Plum Meringues

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Spruce Shoot Ice Cream
12 yolks
1 L heavy cream
2 cups sugar
10 tender spruce shoots

Plum Meringues
12 small wild plums
1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup
1 cup water
4 egg whites

Instructions for Spruce Shoot Ice Cream
Remove the stem from the spruce shoots and roughly chop. Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar and mix until fully incorporated.

Combine the remaining sugar and 1 L of cream.

Add the spruce shoots and bring to a slight simmer.

Temper the cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Place in refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the spruce shoot flavor to fully incorporate into the cream. 

Remove from fridge, skim and strain the mixture and freeze. Once frozen remove from freezer and allow to soften and churn (using paddle attachment on electric mixture).

Refreeze.

Ready to serve.

Instructions for Plum Meringues

Remove pit and slice the plums. Make a simple syrup combining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar and place on medium heat until it just comes to a boil.  Place the sliced plums into the simple syrup and cook to 220 degrees F. Strain and remove the plums. While keeping the simple syrup at warm temperature, place the plums in the oven on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 200 degree F. Once the plums are dehydrated begin to make the meringue.

Using an electric mixture at high speed with the whip attachment, gradually add the 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites. Beat until frothy and soft peaks form. Slowly pour the plum simple syrup into the egg whites while beating until well incorporated (5 minutes on high) until stiff peaks form.

Rough chop the dehydrated plums and fold into the meringue mixture.
Place meringue mixture into piping bag and on a lined baking sheet pipe 3" diameter discs 1" high. Bake for 2 hours at 175 degrees F.  Allow to cool.

Plate the two components as desired and garnish with spruce shoots.
A decadent and light dessert using foraged ingredients!