A Master Chef Shares His Passion O L A F M E R T E N S John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. Copyright © 2008 by Olaf Mertens All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means— graphic, electronic or mechanical without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any request for photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems of any part of this book shall be directed in writing to The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright license, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll free 1-800-893-5777. Care has been taken to trace ownership of copyright material contained in this book. The publisher will gladly receive any information that will enable them to rectify any reference or credit line in subsequent editions. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data Mertens, Olaf Olaf’s kitchen : a master chef shares his passion / Olaf Mertens. Includes index. ISBN 978-0-470-15566-0 (bound).—ISBN 978-0-470-15565-3 (pbk.) 1. Cookery. I. Title. TX714.M467 2008 641.5 C2008-900608-9 Production Credits Cover and interior design: Ian Koo Typesetting: Natalia Burobina Interior photo-imaging: Jason Vandenberg Front cover photo: Satravath Pradalokaew Back cover photo: Morgan Whibley Interior photography: Satravath Pradalokaew (colour photos); Morgan Whibley (black and white photos) Printer: Quebecor World—Taunton John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. 6045 Freemont Blvd. Mississauga, Ontario L5R 4J3 Printed in the United States 1 2 3 4 5 QW 12 11 10 09 08 To my lovely wife and best friend: Jennifer, a.k.a. my food critic. To the greatest boys any dad could have: Nicolas, Taylor, and Owen. Will one of you please consider becoming a chef? To the rest of my family: You are a component without which all of this would not be nearly as good a journey. I come from generations of foodies whose talents range from being a German cook in eighteenth- century English manors to running a small, local butcher shop in the west end of Toronto during the Depression. It is through these past generations that food and cooking have become part of my roots. I cook because food is, and always has been, an integral part of my being. It’s what brings my family and friends together around the table to share the day’s events, tell stories, laugh, and live life. For me, food is the real magic of life. Contents Say No to Fast Food! …49 Faster-Cooking Foods …51 Veal and Mushrooms …52 Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken …53 Spicy Peanut Chicken …54 Bourbon Chicken and Shrimp Risotto …55 Mushroom and Spinach Strudel …57 Bratwurst-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin…59 South Beach Sandwiches …60 Olaf’s Wiener Schnitzel …61 Handmade and Delicate …63 Pasta, Noodles, and Dumplings …65 Focaccia Dumplings in Oyster Mushroom Sauce …66 Potato Dumplings and Lobster in Sherry Tarragon Sauce …69 Curried Shellfi sh with Red Beet Spaetzle …71 Spaetzle and Clams in White Wine …72 Whole Wheat Spaetzle with Mushrooms …73 Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Spaetzle and Port Wine Reduction …75 Crab and Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Maple Glaze …76 Veal Ravioli …77 Fresh and Light …79 Fish …81 Seafood Soup …82 Clams Casino Style …83 Salmon with Cucumber Spaghetti and Mustard Mousse …84 Simple Salmon with Crudités Salad …86 Whiskey Maple Salmon with Potato Lox …87 Sole on Fridays …88 Crab-Crusted Cedar-Planked Halibut …90 Italian-Scented Cod with Potato Strings …92 Acknowledgments …9 Introduction …11 Standards …15 Greetings from the Kitchen …17 First Bites …19 Tomato Salad Shooters …21 Tomato Melon Salad with Strawberries and Olive Dust …22 Potato Crisps with Herbed Feta Dip …24 White Asparagus Three Ways …26 Herbal Schnapps–Cured Salmon Sticks …29 Fancy Fish and Chips …30 Duck Empanadas with Salsa Verde …31 Mini Duck Burgers …33 Fresh from the Earth …35 Wholesome Vegetable Cooking …37 Butternut Squash Soup with Muesli Popcorn Clusters …39 White Asparagus Soup with Root Vegetable Crisps …40 Sauerkraut Crème Soup …42 Sweet and Sour Spice–Infused Tomatoes …43 Confi t Vegetable Parcel with Goat Cheese Dip …45 Scalloped Kohlrabi …46 Savory Apple Couscous …47 Seared, Grilled, and Roasted …95 Meat and Poultry …97 Chicken and Veal Involtini …98 Stuffed Cornish Hen …100 Rum-Spiked Jerk Chicken …102 Chicken Stuffed with Orange-Braised Duck …105 All-Canadian Cheeseburger …106 Beef Wellington Burger …107 Beef Fillet Wrapped In Herb Collar …108 My Ribs…My Home-Brewed BBQ Sauce …110 Braised Meals …113 One-Big-Pot Dishes …115 Smoked Pork and Carrot Stew …117 Veal Paprikash …118 Veal in Horseradish and Gooseberries …119 Soured Beef Short Ribs …120 Beef Roll-Ups with Tomato Fondue Sauce …122 Smoked Turkey Thighs with Lentils and Pea Pesto …123 Turkey Thigh Osso Buco …124 Curried Chicken …126 Save Water, Use Beer! …129 Beer Cuisine …131 Spicy Stout Beer Garlic Shrimp …132 Mussels and Smoked Salmon in Wheat Beer…133 Smoked Trout with Wheat Beer Sabayon …135 Beer-Brined Roast Chicken …136 Smoked Pork Baked in Beer Rye Bread …138 Festive Ham with Maple Stout and Brat Apple Marmalade …140 Drunken Soya Glazed Ribs …142 The New Pre-dessert …145 Cheese Courses …147 Baked Saganaki with Date and Fig Salad …148 Baked Brie and Roasted Apples …150 Blue Cheese and Walnut Apple Bake with Peppered Honey …151 Goat Cheese and Gouda Dip with Tomato Jam …152 Pick-Up Sticks with Liquid Parmesan …154 Gratin Cheese Fondue with Red Wine Hazelnut and Quince Relish …155 Goat Cheese Brûlé Cake …156 Belgian Waffl e Gratin with Thyme-Infused Sugar Beet Syrup …158 The Sugar Rush …161 Desserts …163 Nougat Mousse with Rum Balls …164 Chocolate Soup …166 Semolina Mousse with Niagara Fruits …168 Tree Cake and Rum Berries …170 Marzipan Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Wild Blueberry Compote …172 Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Boozy Cherries …174 Butter Cake with Roast Rhubarb and Strawberries …175 No Campfi re S’mores …176 Kitchen Basics …179 Vegetable Stock …182 Sweet Orange Sauce …185 Port Wine Reduction …186 BBQ Sauce …188 Olaf’s Black Spice Rub …189 Braised Duck Leg …191 Basic Spaetzle …192 Whole Wheat Spaetzle …193 Red Beet Spaetzle …194 Basic Risotto …195 Basic Ravioli …196 Strudel Dough …197 Flatbread …198 Blender Dressings and Vinaigrettes …201 Key Components of Dressings and Vinaigrettes …205 Citrus Vinaigrette …206 Red Wine Vinaigrette …207 Wheat Germ Dressing …208 White Raisin, Caulifl ower, and Caper Dressing …210 Index …213 Thank you to… Donna, my “ghost writer,” who for many years has made my recipes make sense. Many thanks. To my family, Mom, Marcus, Gary, Marty, Alison, Louise, Chris, Leah, Jade, Hannah, the Mertens family, the Urquhart clan, the Whiteheads, the Whibleys, the Tischmeiers, the Pfaffs, and Haussner families. To my partner Brian, for his friendship and all the years of support and teaching me to enjoy the journey. To Christiane Cote and Leah Marie Fairbank, and the entire Wiley Publishing team that has made this dream come true. To Rob, who has worked and supported me for so long. Mark, my friend and partner, as well as the entire HIP Restaurants family—all the chefs, cooks, pastry chefs, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, cleaners, and especially to the patrons who come to our restaurants. The Book Makers: the photographers, Morgan Whibley and Max Satravath Pradalokaew (via Thailand)—your creativity and talents show in each and every photo. You put my visions into pictures. My team of chefs: “Desi” Desiree, Nic, Patrick, Alex, “Gorbi” Misha, Christine, Arthur, Luther, Ali, Jonathan, Jackie, Trevor, Andrew, and Logan. Each of you makes me a better chef. My colleagues and friends: Michelin Man Bernd Siener, Ted Reader, Michael and Anna Olson, John Sleeman, Brad Long, and Manny Tsouvallas. For years we’ve kept an eye on each other. Lucky for all of us. To the farmers, local food suppliers, Sean Kelly and the food makers—what would my plates look like without your expertise and working the land to give us the best, right in our backyard? To all the kitchen stewards for keeping our kitchens spotless. This is just a bit of recognition, but you deserve so much more. I would like to thank my friends and anyone I may have forgotten that enjoyed the culinary journey with me. It’s not over yet.