Friday, 21 June 2013

Recipe: Rhubarb Jus and Sherry Vinaigrette

Working out of Towne Square Orthodontics (at 23rd Ave. & Rabbit Hill Road, 780-434-7144) Dr. Darcy Dietz is our local Terwillegar area orthodontist and a vital financial sponsor of our market. Towne Square Ortho FB (His website is still being created.)

What you perhaps don’t know about him is that he is absolutely passionate about food. He has travelled the world, taking cooking classes from prestigious master chefs, he practices his skills at home in his spare time and he apprentices in the field. 

Cooking is his creative outlet, his passionate hobby and an essential part of who he is. Walk into the waiting area at his orthodontic practice and you'll see cookbooks lining the couches and food photos on the wall. The chef's hands in those photos? Those are his hands. The delectable cooking shots? Yup, those are his creations. 

The photos to the left show him in action... doing what he loves best... apprenticing, learning and perfecting his craft ... shown here at Stella, an top-notch restaurant in the Lake Tahoe area (

Darcy is exceptionally talented, knowledgeable and skilled and he brings these talents to his creative cooking. Lucky for us, he is willing to share his passion and artistic flair. I approached him last week to see if he could create a recipe for our market enthusiasts that was simple to follow and that used market fresh ingredients that were in season and locally available at our particular community market, and he was thrilled to give it a go. 

What he created was not just a single recipe, but an entire meal, complete with stunning final photographs. Each dish is a work of art… almost too beautiful to imagine eating. Follow along, and you’ll see what I mean.

rhubarb jus
Jus is a delectable sauce that is drizzled, sparingly, over a dish. Often made using the juices of the meat itself from the roasting process, it is not a gravy. Instead it is a sauce infused with an explosion of flavour. This one is a creative twist on traditional jus, and is created without meat drippings.

8, 12-14 inch long rhubarb sticks (rough chop is fine)
3 large shallots
15 ml extra virgin olive oil
70 ml balsamic vinegar
30 ml sherry vinegar
zest of 1 large orange
100 ml orange juice
100 g white or berry sugar
50 ml water
3 pats of butter, 10g each (each pat is about 2t.)
*** optional: extra honey or agave syrup to taste

**Note: this recipe is meant for a quality stainless steel pan. Nonstick = non-good. 

Slice the shallots, and cook slowly over medium to low heat in a stainless steel pan, uncovered, allowing them to sweat in the 15ml of evoo (extra virgin olive oil). Then add the rhubarb and sweat some more. A pinch of kosher salt helps the moisture to release. 

Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium heat, while stirring it all together. Then reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to steep for 20-30 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and reduce, if needed, to a light syrupy thickness. Let the mixture cool 10-15 minutes.

Now either puree in a blender, or push through a fine sieve. Discard the rough stuff. He says, "Try not to drink it all at this stage!" If it needs more sweetness, he recommends using liquid honey or agave syrup. Sugar might crystallize and spoil the texture.

As your grilled meat rests, rewarm the jus in a sauce pan, swirling in 3 "pats" of butter (probably about 10 g each) until silky and glistening, swirl them in vigorously, one pat at a time. (It should coat the back of a spoon.) This can be done a day ahead and kept covered in the fridge… but if you prepare it ahead of time, don't add the butter until you are ready to serve it. 

He suggests you serve it alongside/over lamb, pork, just about anything from the market… here it is pictured with roasted Alberta rack of lamb, grilled spring asparagus, wintered "cream puff" red potatoes, and the fresh rhubarb jus reduction.  (He says it's "All Alberta, and the red jus also has some old vine Zinfandel for flavour and colour... that isn't blood on the lamb." Then, he suggests you can drink the rest with the lamb and it will pair perfectly!) He also says, "This would ROCK on some fine vanilla ice-cream, with toasted almond slivers."

Remember, you can order your meat ahead of time from any one of our meat vendors, and then pick it up and pay for it at the market. Contact our meat vendors by clicking on their names here:
Riverbend Gardens will have new, baby potatoes at this week's market! And Dargatz Family Farm has had rhubarb at their stall for the past two weeks and will have it again this week. Hurry! Rhubarb season will end soon (at least we can be thankful for the colder than normal temps and the unseasonable amount of rain for the lengthy season of the rhubarb this year!)

Sherry (hendsbee) shallot vinaigrette
Darcy is clearly toying with me here... but I'm honoured to have this vinaigrette named after me. :) 

Pinenuts and citrus? He says that the “the creaminess of the toasted pine nuts are a perfect foil for the tangy-sweetness of the dressing. You'll see. Your friends may go crazy over that recipe.” This makes enough for at least 10 - 12 salads, and placed in a sealed squeeze bottle, will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Darcy also explains, " I learned this recipe from Chef Jacob Burton at Stella Restaurant in Truckee, California. This recipe demonstrates that a small kitchen scale comes in handy." 

3 large shallots
40 g sherry vinegar
80 g champagne vinegar
50 g orange juice (fresh)
30 g stone ground mustard
50 g honey
15 g salt (Kosher)
10 g sugar
50 g extra virgin olive oil
250 g canola oil

***Both sherry vinegar and champagne vinegar can be found at Sunterra Market and the Italian Market. It makes all the difference. They're some of those things you keep in your pantry for a long time. Sherry Vin is easy to find. If you can't find champagne vin, white wine vin will work. Or chinese rice wine vinegar is also great. 

Slice the shallots. Add to a pan over medium-low heat and sweat or caramelize them in a bit of canola or other neutral oil. Darcy says, "Caramelized shallots are huge flavour bombs!" You can also roast them whole in foil at 350 degrees for 45 min, and then slice them. 

Take the shallots and add them, along with all of the ingredients, into a blender. Start off slowly and gradually increase to maximum speed. You are looking for an emulsion to form that has a smooth, creamy consistency. 

Serve with a butter lettuce, basil and parsley salad with peeled fresh orange segments (supremes) and toasted pine nuts (see last week's pesto recipe for roasting instructions... click here for the link). You can find fantastic quality butter lettuce at T.R. Greenhouses at our market. Holden Colony and Dargatz Family Farm sometimes carry lettuces as well. Honey is at both the Good Morning, Honey and Holden Colony booths.

With these recipes, Darcy has established himself as not only a financial sponsor of the market, but also as a creative inspiration and enthusiastic participator in our market culture… which makes him a great member of our market community! If you have any questions, or want any further recipes or inspiration, he'd love you to contact him through his facebook page.

Recipe from Dr. Darcy Dietz
Towne Square Orthodontics, 2335 Rabbit Hill Rd
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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee & Darcy Dietz

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