Cooking with Chef Matt Carmichael
Published Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:40PM EDT
Kumato tomatoes are my tomato of choice, keep them at room temperature. They are readily available at Loblaws now. It's the best tomato I have ever had when ripe and at room temperature.
Slice tomato into four wedges and season, cut side with crunchy salt (very important to use a nice salt), you end up using far less. Drizzle liberally with a nice extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice squeeze, tear soft mozzarella in bite size pieces (not too small as you want to appreciate texture of cheese) goat's can be used as well, local is better.
Balsamic drizzle, Acorn Creek Farms Raspberry vinegar is preferred. It's available at the Ottawa Farmers Market opening May 9th at Lansdowne. Garnish with soft herbs ie. chives, tarragon, basil, chervil.
Asparagus and Mushrooms
Cook asparagus until it is knife-tender. White asparagus should be peeled as outer is tough. Drain and add to shallots and garlic that has been gently sautéed in olive oil or butter, which ever you prefer. Season with salt to taste and chopped tarragon (don't chop your herbs, you should slice them, chopped will turn them black and "juice" them changing the flavour. Also don't slice them to fine!) Separately, add sliced mushrooms (local if possible). Le Coprin at the farmers market is the best source, add olive oil and a touch of butter and sauté on med high heat. Deglaze with sweet sherry or Madeira fortified wine, season and stir in sliced tarragon....plate the asparagus with all the pan juices and mushrooms on top.
Grate Yukon gold potatoes and a small onion (about a 5 to 1 ratio of potato to onion) into a steel bowl, squeeze out all the moisture and add to another bowl. Season with salt and pepper and some fresh picked thyme (lemon thyme is nice if available).
In a non stick pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add potato mixture, flatten out to about an inch thick and in a circle (a rubber spatula is best). Lower heat to medium and watch the sides golden gradually, place a few knobs of butter around the edges for colour and flavour, cook for about 5 minutes, flips and cook other side for half the time
If you can't get Spot Prawns, which is more than likely, try sourcing out a wild Gulf Shrimp from Lapointe's of Pelican Grill.
Sauté chopped ginger, garlic, shallots in butter. Add shrimp and cook until just cooked through about 1 minute per side.
Serve straight up on a plate, sucking the head first to taste the juices and then peel and eat.