Archive | fall RSS feed for this section

Savoir Faire’s mushroom, pancetta, grain soup

2 Jul

Calgary Herald
Sun Jun 18 2000

I had the most heavenly soup at Savoir Fare,” wrote Sophia Lang. ”Could you get and publish the recipe?”

Lang, a psychologist whose office is near Savoir Fare, had recently had wisdom teeth removed, and the soup — made with tomato, pancetta, grains and wild mushrooms — left a lasting impression.

The owners of Savoir Fare must be used to compliments by now.

About four months after the Savoir Fare restaurant opened, John Gilchrist, food critic for the CBC and a Herald food columnist, reviewed the restaurant on the radio and give it 9 1/2 out of 10 — the highest score he’d ever awarded.

”You can’t imagine how that felt,” says Peter Fraiberg, who heard the review in his car on the way to work. ”I play the review every now and then for the kitchen people so they don’t forget that people who dine here are expecting a lot,” says Fraiberg.

Of course, Gilchrist’s rave review kick-started the new restaurant. ”The place exploded,” says Fraiberg, who owns and operates Savoir Fare catering and the restaurant with Octavia Malinowski. ”Everyone wanted to come to Savoir Fare.”

It was a dream come true for the partners but it also put the restaurant ”under the microscope,” in the sense that everyone who comes in is expecting 9 1/2 out of 10, says Fraiberg. So, he adds, that’s just what they get.

”We’re going for 10. That’s our philosophy — service, taking care of people.”

”A lot of people think Savoir Fare just happened four years ago” when the restaurant end of the business was opened.

In fact, Savoir Fare has been a going concern for about 12 years, says Fraiberg. It started as a catering business operated from the apartment of one of the owners.

Slowly business grew, until a restaurant seemed like a logical progression — a way to gain some street presence, give people a chance to sample Savoir Fare’s menu, and get out of the kitchen at home and into a great catering facility.

”Catering is what we do — that’s who we are,” says Fraiberg. ”There are a lot of restaurants in Calgary but there aren’t a lot of catering companies like Savoir Fare.”

These days, Savoir Fare has gone one step farther. ”What we’re able to do is to take the restaurant to people’s homes.” During the oil show, for example, the staff was busy doing several dinners at several different homes.

”Our food style is a North American style of cooking, using a global pantry of ingredients,” says Fraiberg. He believes the style suits the cosmopolitan city Calgary is becoming.

”Things have changed in Calgary — we can compete with the world.”

There are two menus at Savoir Fare. Lunch is casual but at night the table linens and candles come out, along with a menu better suited to a special dining experience. (However, favourite lunch items are available on request.)

”We’ve discovered this place is a special place for people — it’s a place people like to come to for birthdays and anniversaries,” says Fraiberg, mentioning there are customers who regularly fly from Edmonton to dine at the restaurant.

Whenever possible, make reservations to assure a table will be available. ”We only have 34 seats, it’s a small place. Big is not always better,” says Fraiberg. ”We work on quality, not quantity.”


Wild Mushroom, Pancetta and Seven Grain Soup

1 clove fresh garlic (minced)

1 oz (28g) pancetta (chopped)

1/2    tbsp (8 mL) olive oil

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Vidalia onions (chopped)

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken stock

3/4    cup (176 mL) chopped Italian plum tomatoes

4 oz (114 g) assorted mushrooms

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grain rice mix (cooked)

1 tbsp (15 mL) Thyme

1 oz (28 g) cabbage

Sugar (to taste)

Chiffonade basil (chopped for garnish)

Preparation: Sweat onions for about 10 minutes. Add pancetta followed by garlic and mushrooms. Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add grains, cabbage, thyme and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serves 4.



Larch lunch

10 Oct

What happens when you search four stores (4! Stores!) in search of butternut squash hummus and end up with bupkis?

When life hands you lemons, you switch to eggplant.

Fall hiking sandwich Exhibit 4:

Smoked turkey, roasted red peppers, pickled eggplant, and eggplant hummus.
Ah. Maze. Ing.

Check the others here.

In like a lion, and into our tummy

10 Mar
Ann Lander's World Famous Meatloaf Recipe

MARCH IS A month at war with itself. Cold, windy evenings eventually give way to promising sunny, spring days only to blow back into blustery darkness.

March is, therefore, the perfect month for meatloaf.

Old-fashioned, warm and comforting dinners transform into hipster-friendly cold sandwiches for lunch the next day. See? Conflict resolution, people.

We were raised on our grandmother’s onion soup staple, and a sweeter, jammy ketchup and bacon-topped home variety.

As teenhood advanced, our household turned to adding oatbran or oatmeal and grated carrot and squash, which turned meatloaf into something entirely different — a little something we liked to call child abuse.

But seriously, our love of this dual dinner-to-lunch staple will never fade.

We flirted with a white wine and lemon scented New York Times version, and an allspice number with a ketchup, brown mustard and steak sauce pan gravy. We love the kitsch of our friend R’s cheeseburger rollup style: a diner-esque jelly roll stuffed with shredded cheddar and grilled onion, topped with mustard and ketchup, and served with cold dill pickles. A classic from L.A.’s The Ivy. And there’s this Pioneer Woman bacon-wrapped goodness.

But we want something that tries a little less, just like us. Because, people – this is meatloaf, not chateaubriand.

We are simply mad for the lashings of red pepper jelly served atop Diner Deluxe’s veal meatloaf alongside Dijon mashed potatoes and Avenue Diner’s AAA beef meatloaf served open-faced on savoury bread pudding.


Recipe by Dwayne Ennest

1.2 kg ground veal
1.2 kg ground beef
4 eggs
1 cup diced carrots, roasted
1 cup diced parsnips, roasted
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp HP Sauce
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, mustard powder, Worchester sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix all ingredients together. Cook a small piece of the mixture on the stovetop to taste and check seasonings.

Place the mixture in two or three loafpans and bake until internal temperature is 120°F, approximately two hours.

Red Pepper Jelly

2 cups pureed roasted red bell peppers
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp red chili flakes and Tabasco sauce each
salt, pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients, except for cornstarch and water, in a stainless steel pot; bring to a boil. Mix the starch and water and stir into the jelly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for two hours until it is thick and jammy with a shiny bright colour. Cool and refrigerate in airtight container. Keeps two weeks and can be frozen. Makes four cups.


1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, shredded
1 cup shredded apples
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl and with a gentle hand, mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil. Add some additional breadcrumbs if the mixture seems wet. Mold into a loaf and place in a standard loaf pan. Spread the olive oil over the top of the loaf (this keeps the moisture locked in) and place in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Allow to sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.



with herb wine jelly

1.25 kg lean ground beef
1 cup onions, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
salt, pepper
3 tbsp combined chopped fresh basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme

Combine all ingredients and pat into a 20 cm  by 10 sprayed pan.

Bake at 325°F for 30 to 45 minutes.

herb wine jelly

1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs: rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 cups sugar
1 bottle of Certo

Combine herbs with boiling water and let steep for one minute. Transfer herbs and water to a saucepan. Add wine and sugar and boil for one minute.

Add Certo and remove from heat. Continue to stir well for several minues, straining any foam from surface.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1 cm at top and seal.

Makes 6 one cup jars.


2 lbs ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 ground pork
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried marjoram
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large mixing bowl gently combine ground sirloin, veal and pork; set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sautéed celery and onions and all remaining ingredients except chili sauce to meat mixture.
Combine well and form into a loaf. Place loaf in a baking dish and top with chili sauce.
Bake 1 hour in a preheated 350° oven.

Jann Arden’s Mom’s Meatloaf

4 large eggs

2.5 kg lean ground beef

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup HP sauce

2 Tbsp. Montreal steak spice

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 Tbsp. crushed garlic

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together and pack tightly into 2 loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove foil, increase the oven temperature to 425F and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before slicing and serving.

To make grilled meatloaf sandwiches, place a thin slice of Havarti or aged cheddar on a piece of bread, top with a slice of meatloaf, another slice of Havarti and another slice of bread, and cook in a generous drizzle of olive oil in a hot pan until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp.

Halloween apples…

2 Nov

God forbid you should find yourself in the dire circumstance of having too much leftover Halloween candy.

Two ways to make do with it:

: Halloween candy-stuffed apples and Candy Pie. We vote for the former!

Halloween candy stuffed apples

  • 4 medium apples, top 1/2-inch removed
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped toffee candy bar (recommended: Skor)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chocolate covered nougat nut candy bar (recommended: Snickers)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toffee candy bar (recommended: Skor)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chocolate covered nougat nut candy bar (recommended: Snickers)
  • 3/4 cup soft apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, accompaniment

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an apple corer and small melon baller, scoop out the stems, cores, and seeds from the apples, leaving the bottoms intact. Cut off the top 1/2-inch of each apple and then stand in a baking dish.

Stuff the roughly chopped candy bars in the apples (2 total tablespoons of candy per apple). Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter in each apple on top of the candy. Stuff the finely chopped candy in the apples (2 total tablespoons of candy per apple).

In a bowl, whisk together the cider and sugar. Pour over the apples. Bake uncovered until the apples are tender, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place the apples on plates and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon the pan juices over the ice cream and serve immediately.



Halloween Howler

30 Oct


Here at Saucy Cherie, we hold two truths quite dear. One: we are saucy! And two: we love Halloween.

This year, we are hatching a plan for a monster movie marathon with friends, complete with a booooffet of horrors d’oeuvres.

We are in full party planning mode and here are our ideas thus far.

UPDATE: we just discovered the ultimate Halloween apple dipper: Dulce de leche made in the slow cooker.

Nothing goes better with movies than popcorn. We can’t decide between these two ideas: pumpkin pie spiced pumpkin seeds tossed with regular popcorn, or caramel apple popcorn. For the latter, we’re thinking of combining two separate batches of flavoured popcorn: tossing caramel corn with a batch from this recipe (thank you Seventeen magazine).

one bowl of fresh, dry white popcorn
one small pkg of green apple Jell-O
one cup sugar
one cup corn syrup
Combine all but popcorn in saucepan and heat until it bubbles-stirring constantly. Drizzle over popcorn, mix well to coat. Pour popcorn onto wax paper to set.


Pink Popcorn
from dinnerwithjulie
15 cups of popcorn

2 cups sugar
1/2 small box red Jell-O gelatin powder
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Put the popped popcorn in a large bowl, carefully picking out any unpopped kernels. Preheat the oven to 250F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with foil.

In a medium saucepan (with room for the mixture to at least double in size), bring the sugar, Jell-O, water and butter to a boil. Once fully boiling cook for 4 minutes without stirring, swirling the bowl occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and soda. Pour over the popcorn and toss with tongs to coat completely. Spread out onto the baking sheets and bake, stirring once or twice, for an hour. Set aside to cool.

Then, we’re on to the savory yummies.

halloween food 1


1 small or 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup clamato
1/3 cup tomato paste or sun dried tomato
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon red dye
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix and chill. We’re going to serve ours with celery sticks, cucumber and fat pretzels for dipping.

While we plan to serve this as a spread for baguette, we are also dazzled by the thought of spreading it on naan and topping it with cambazola to melt in the oven.

Roasted Garlic and White Bean Spread

Prepare the garlic by trimming the top of a bulb and placing it on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the exposed tips, sprinkle a bit of coarse salt, and wrap tightly in the foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour.

Cloves from two medium heads roasted garlic
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp or more coarse kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil for thinning (optional)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
Sliced baguette, toasted pita bread wedges, or crusty Italian bread for serving.

To make the spread: Squeeze the soft, golden cloves out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor. Use the back of a spoon to mash the cloves against the side of the bowl. Add the beans and salt and process until the mixture is smooth and holds its shape. (If the mixture is too thick, stir in a little olive oil.) Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if desired.

To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard.

To serve, mound the spread on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with sliced baguette, toasted pita bread wedges or crusty Italian bread.

halloween food 2


We love the graveyard good looks of exposed bone when you scrape chicken wing drumettes into lollypops. We are going to create a sticky/ burnished/lacquered teriaki version of chicken wings.
Use 3 lbs (1.3 kg or 24 pieces) of chicken wings: Using a paring knife, cut around the bone just below the knuckle, at the skinny end of each drumette. Slice through the meat and tendon. Scrape the meat up towards the fat end of the drumette, creating a ball-like shape at that end. (There is no need to be precise; the cooking process will complete your artistry.) Trim off the bit of fat at the knuckle. Transfer chicken to a large re-sealable plastic bag with marinade for at least two hours.
1 C. soya sauce
1 C. honey
1 1/2 T. ginger  (or more if you like)
1/4 C. lemon juice or Jack Daniels (or other whiskey or bourbon)
3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic

Put on sheet and bake with the marinade on them for about 1 hr. at  400.   Flip wings throughout cooking so both sides are nice and brown.
Just before eating – drizzle honey over top of wings and cook just a bit longer.


What’s easier than threading shrimp onto skewers, grilling and dipping?

We are torn between a pumpkin seed satay sauce and a pumpkin seed pesto. We can imagine how bright tasting a cilantro/lemon/cumin/coriander/orange zest pesto would be — and perfect with grilled shrimp.


Simple. Brush baguette slices with Italian roasted red pepper spread. Top with slices boccocini and green olives for eyes. Eat.