Sunday, September 11, 2011


I like to cook, that much is clear. Usually I do quick things, salads, wraps, quick stuff on the grill, and so on. Sometimes, when I have more time, usually on winter weekends, I take on larger projects. Last weekend was a long weekend, late in the summer and we had planned a mostly lazy one with Kai's birthday on Labour Day. On that Sunday I decided to do some more elaborate cooking. Something summery. English peas were in season, so was halibut. The book 'Vancouver Cooks 2' has a brilliant recipe by James Walt from Araxi for halibut on pea puree. I have made this a number of times now and it is absolutely delicious. Fresh peas are cooked with some double smoked bacon, potato, onion, mint and thyme, then pureed and finished off with a bit of cream. This creates a wonderfully creamy, smoky pea puree that has a lot of texture and great flavor. Pan fry some halibut in curry salt, serve that on top of the peas and you have a great dish.

I decided to add a starch dish, potato gnocci would do nicely. Making the dough is pretty straighforward, bake two Idaho potatoes, push them through a ricer and add a couple of egg yolks and a bit of Parmesan. That's about it, knead, roll and cut. I made a cream sauce with pancetta and sage, finished it all off in the oven. Kai helped make the dough:

We did all this in the afternoon, at dinner time all I had to do was cook the fish and crack open a bottle of my favorite local sparkling wine, a 2006 Stellar's Jay from Sumac Ridge winery in the Okanagan.

Dinner was great, we all devoured it with much gusto!

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