Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Ways to Boost Your Grain Power 1: Barley!

ice crystals fig. a:  icy

Some days, all you really want for dinner is a bowl of soup--preferably, with a loaf of freshly baked bread, and some butter.  Soup lovers get this feeling throughout the year, of course--even in summer--but during the winter, the pursuit of soup can take on added urgency.  You know the days:  the ones with the snow squalls, the arctic blasts of wind, the temperatures that drop like an anvil in a matter of just a few short hours, possibly even a freak thunderstorm (!).  On days like these (because that's exactly the kind of day we're having here today in Montreal), there are few things as life-affirming as the first spoonful of that steaming bowl of hearty soup.  Sample the right soup, and you'll immediately feel its restorative powers begin to kick in--the very same powers that gave the first modern restaurants their allure (and the name by which these establishments became known).

Obviously, there are many, many soups that can produce this effect, but some of the most satisfying winter soups are those that make ample use of grains, like rice, barley, or oats.  These grains provide flavour, they provide substance, and they also provide comfort.  (Think about it:  why do most variations on the proverbial chicken soup come with noodles or rice, or something similar?)  Serve them with that freshly baked bread and you'll find that your grain power will be amplified.  Serve them with that freshly baked bread and a tasty beer and your grain power will be boosted even more.

Barley soup is one of the classics of the genre, but I'd more or less given up on it until I found a recipe for Grauensuppe, a German barley soup, in an issue of Saveur way back in 2011.  The recipe showed up in a fantastic article on the soup-making traditions of Central Europe, aptly titled "The Art of Soup." This was not the stodgy beef & barley soup found throughout the Anglo-American and Anglo-Canadian worlds.  Here, the barley in question was pearl barley, which keeps its form and its texture better than other varieties; the meat was German-style sausage; the vegetables included one of the staple trios of the German soup-making tradition: carrot, celeriac, and leek; and the barley was sautéed first to toast the grains and give the soup additional flavour.  The results were fantastic--one of my favourite soups of the last couple of years.  Even better:  this soup is quick and easy to make.

barley soup fig. b:  ja, voll!

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley
8 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled russet potato
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celeriac
1/2 cup finely chopped leek
1 tsp dried marjoram, preferably wild
2 German sausages, like bockwurst or bratwurst
1 2-oz piece of smoky bacon
freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves 
Heat the butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the bacon, and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the stock, potato, carrot, celery root, leek, marjoram, and sausages and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausages are tender, about 35 minutes.   
Remove the sausages and bacon from the saucepan.  Thinly slice the sausages and discard the poor hunk of bacon.  Season the soup with nutmeg, salt and pepper, being careful not to overdue it with the nutmeg.   
Ladle the soup into 8 serving bowls, and garnish with parsley and sliced sausage.  Serve hot, with plenty of good, freshly baked bread, and butter.
pumpkin seed bread fig. c:  pumpkin seed sourdough
Serves 8. 
[based very, very closely on a recipe that appeared in Beth Kracklauer's "The Art of Soup" in the November 2011 issue of Saveur]
To your health (and your warmth)!

Note:  while the health benefits of this soup might prove to be lasting, its warming properties will likely prove to be fleeting.  Please remember to snuggle up afterwards.

snuggle up fig. d:  the art of snuggling


Friday, January 11, 2013

Come Cook With Me

(photos by Aran Goyoaga)

The SAT Foodlab is thrilled to present Cannelle et Vanille's Aran Goyoaga for an intimate night of cooking, eating and drinking.

Sunday, January 20th, 20 lucky participants will spend the afternoon preparing a beautiful 5-course feast with Aran, and then join her at the table for an evening of great wine, conversation and eating.

Aran will be joined by sommelière Etheliya Hananova (from Lawrence), who will take care of the wine selections and discuss the ins and outs of pairings.

The meal will be entirely gluten-free, and each participant will receive a signed copy of Aran's book Small Plates and Sweet Treats. Two glasses of wine are also included in the price.

Sunday, January 20th, 2013, from 3:00 pm
At the SAT Foodlab, 1201 St. Laurent 3rd floor (between Rene Levesque and Ste. Catherine)
Cost: $115 (including taxes, $135.72) Tickets can be reserved by emailing or by following this link for direct purchase.

I can't wait for this lovely event. Space is very limited. Reserve soon.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

so long, 2012!


Roy Harper, Stormcock

Roy Harper, Stormcock

Sixto Rodriguez, Coming From Reality

Cat Power, Sun

More (original soundtrack), "music played and composed by Pink Floyd"

Zabriskie Point (original soundtrack), v/a


Fotheringay, s/t

Grimes, Visions

Beach House, Bloom

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Street Survivors

Destroyer, "Leave Me Alone"

Futurisk, "Lonely Streets"

Divine Fits, A Thing Called Divine Fits

Neil Young, Psychedelic Pill + Yuma

bill fay

Bill Fay, Life is People + The Time of the Last Persecution

The Faces, BBC TV special, 1972

The Dirty Three, Toward the Low Sun

Tim Hecker, Live at the Red Roof, Pop Montreal

Sharon Van Etten, Tramp

Fairport Convention, Bouton Rouge session, 1968


manny's mini

manny's 2

manny's 3

Manny's Delicatessen Restaurant brochure, ca. 1970

David Grann, "The Yankee Comandante:  A Story of Love, Revolution, and Betrayal," The New Yorker, May 28, 2012

travels 1

travels 2

Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia

Errol Morris, Believing is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography)

Ariel Levy, "The Space in Between:  Naomi Wolf's Vagina:  A New Biography," The New Yorker, September 10, 2012

Henry James, Portrait of a Lady

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild


Magnus Nilsson, Fäviken

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Eleanor Clark, The Oysters of Locmariaquer

John McPhee, The Crofter and the Laird

Jill Lepore, "The Lie Factory:  How Politics Became a Business," The New Yorker, September 24, 2012

pale fire

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

Jon Halliday, Sirk on Sirk

Mark Kurlansky, The Basque History of the World:  The Story of a Nation

graphic design

David Jury, Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers:  The Printer as Designer and Craftsman, 1700-1914

Jessica Mitford, Hons and Rebels

Hugh Garvey (w/ Chef Andy Ricker), "Simply Thai:  A BA Cooking Primer," Bon Appétit, January 2012

Moving Images

the greatest

Muhammad Ali:  The Greatest, dir. Klein

Treme, season 2

I Know Where I'm Going, dir. Powell

Searching for Sugar Man, dir. Bendjelloul

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, dir. Alfredson

Oslo, August 31, dir. Trier

Moonrise Kingdom, dir. Anderson

stop making sense

Stop Making Sense, dir. Demme

Blank City:  New Cinema, No Wave, New York, dir. Danhier

Museum Hours, dir. Cohen

A Separation, dir. Farhadi

Meek's Cutoff, dir. Reichardt

Monsieur Lazahr, dir. Falardeau

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, dir. Fincher

limits of espresso

The Limits of Control, dir. Jarmusch

Ratcatcher, dir. Ramsay

Detropia, dir. Ewing & Grady

The Wire, seasons 1-5 (all over again)

Food & Drink

padróns 2

Green Chile Summer

Grilled Corn Summer

Hôtel Herman, Montreal, QC

dear Richard

Foodlab, Montreal, QC

Bao Bei, Vancouver

Toro, Boston

zingerman's 3

Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Revolver, Vancouver

danish sandwiches

Montreal bazaars

Santouka, Vancouver

crunchy granola


Neptune, Boston

Toshi, Vancouver


Cream-Nut peanut butter

Hudson's Hamburgers, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Boulangerie Niemand, Kamouraska, QC


summer peaches

The Farm House "Lady Jane" cheese + Les Amis du Fromage, Vancouver

Le Grand Aïoli, Alexandraplatz, Montreal, QC

coq asian

Montreal food enterprise of the year:  Coq Asian

Furco, Montreal, QC

bo, aj, vernon

bo ssäm & ssäm bburritos



escapes to Vancouver

The Cornwallville Summer Social 2012, Cornwallville, NY

This American Life, "What Happened at Dos Erres"

mystery train!

Mystery Train, Gloucester, MA

summer swimming

summer swimming + cottage outings

kamou style 3

Kamouraska, QC

bags by ET

bags by Erin Templeton

Le Creuset cookware (in black)

cornwallville soaps

Cornwallville Soaps

Birdkage waxed canvas aprons

ping pong!

All the best to you in 2013 (?!!), from your friends at " endless banquet."  Thanks for reading!


p.s. And if you're wondering what our most popular post was this year, it was our "Boston Notebook (go figure!)."