New Book From CBC Food Columnist Andrew Coppolino Emphasizes Sustainable Food Culture of Perth County

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: October 7, 2018

Categories: GoodFoodBites

A new book by CBC Food Columnist Andrew Coppolino, Farm to Table: Celebrating Stratford Chefs School Alumni, Recipes & Perth County Producers, highlights how Perth County chefs, farmers, and producers are influencing food culture through sustainable farming methods and agriculture.

Pairing 25 alumni chefs from Stratford Chefs School with 25 of their favourite food producers and farmers, the book offers recipes from top chefs in the area, while highlighting the region’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and innovative farming practices.

The book also features interviews conducted by Coppolino, and photography by renowned food photographer Terry Manzo.

Farm to Table will be available October 19, 2018.


One recipe from the book has been shared with us and copied below!

Recipe: Seared Duck Breast with Wilted Soiled Reputation Mustard Greens (Makes 4 Servings)

Chef Ian Middleton, Executive Chef of 27 Marketplace
Antony John, Owner Soiled Reputation Farm

About the Recipe:
Antony John and I have known each other for almost two decades, and I have been working with his produce since I moved to Stratford. His products are a revelation, intensely flavoured and beautiful to work with. I love his leafy greens in all their variations, and wanted a dish that showcased his mustard greens, which have an incredible mustard/peppery flavour to them; so something bold was called for and duck for me was a natural pairing.

This dish could be described as a Canadian riff on cassoulet. The beans are cooked with maple syrup to give them a baked bean quality, the wild rice adds nuttiness. The mustard greens give the dish a bit of a bite. By using a pressure cooker to cook the beans, there is no need to pre-soak them, while using a pressure cooker to cook the wild rice keeps it much more flavourful. The sauce is a version of a classic French sweet and sour sauce, a gastrique, to which we have added reduced duck stock to give it lushness. An immersion circulator cooks the duck breast perfectly throughout and all it requires to finish it is a quick sear in a very hot pan to give it colour and render some of the fat.

Traditional cooking methods will also be given for those who do not have the specialized equipment mentioned above. It is important that the greens are gently wilted, to just cook them through, so that they are tender but retain their freshness and piquancy. – Chef Ian Middleton

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup reduced duck or dark
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup dried organic beans
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup Ontario wild rice
3 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
4 boneless duck breasts
kosher salt
8 oz Soiled Reputation mustard greens (227 g)
1 tbsp butter

In a heavy bottomed saucepan pour in the sugar and cook over moderate heat until it is caramelized. Resist the temptation to stir the sugar or you could crystallize it; instead, gently swirl the saucepan to insure an even cooking of the caramel. Once the caramel has been achieved, carefully add the vinegar all at once, it will splutter so caution is required. The sugar at this point will clump together, using a whisk stir to dissolve the sugar into the vinegar, then add the stock. You may need to reduce the gastrique a bit (until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). Reserve.
If using a pressure cooker, place one tablespoon of maple syrup, the beans and the water into the pressure cooker, cook on high for 20 minutes then use the quick release to vent the pot. Drain the beans, drizzle on the remaining maple syrup, season with a little salt and reserve. For the traditional method, soak the beans overnight, drain and place them in 6 cups (1500 ml) of fresh water. Boil until tender, about one hour, then drain, drizzle with maple syrup, season with salt and reserve.
Place all the ingredients into the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Vent using the quick release method. For the traditional method add rice and 6 cups of water (1500 ml) to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the grains have become tender. Drain, season and reserve.
Set the immersion circulator’s temperature to 136F (58C) and use it to warm a container full of water, that is large enough to hold the duck breasts, to the desired temperature. Season the duck breasts with kosher salt then place them in a re-sealable plastic bag and lower into a water bath to push the air out of the bag (or use a vacuum sealer) and then seal. Put the bag in the heated water and cook the duck for a minimum of one hour, up to four. Just before serving, remove the duck from the bag, pat dry, heat a heavy bottomed skillet, that can hold all of the duck breasts without crowding them, over medium heat. Sear the skin side of the duck breasts until some of the fat has rendered and the skin has turned deep mahogany colour.
For the traditional method, pre-heat an oven to 450F (230C). Season the duck breasts with salt. Place a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, place the duck breasts in the skillet skin side down, and then place into the pre-heated oven. Cook until the internal temperature of the duck reaches 130F (54C) (about 10-12 minutes depending on your oven). Let the duck breasts rest for 5 minutes (the internal temperature will continue to rise).
In a large sauté pan, add a tablespoon of butter, the mustard greens and pinch of salt. Sauté until just wilted.
Add the beans and rice to the slightly wilted greens and warm through. Place a tidy mound of the greens mixture onto the centre of a plate. Carve the duck breast into thin slices and place over top of the greens mixture. Drizzle the gastrique around and over the duck. Serve immediately.