The Okanagan Table Cookbook | About ‘The Okanagan Table’
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Six O’Clock Solution:  Rod Butters’ cookbook is a feast for the eyes

BC chef Rod Butters advises reaping the rewards of your own region in is cookbook The Okanagan Table

October 17, 2017, Montreal Gazette, Julian Armstrong

Chefs’ cookbooks are more often found on the coffee table than in the kitchen: Most of us don’t have sous-chefs to chop vegetables or make sauces, and essential techniques are only loosely described.

But The Okanagan Table, by Rod Butters (Figure 1 Publishing, $37.95), is an exception. A feast for the eyes, it is user-friendly for any reasonably experienced home cook. Butters, the chef at RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna, B.C., advises reaping the rewards of your own region.

His lively seasonings, combinations of fresh vegetables, use of cheese and condiments are inspiring. Photographs by David McIlvride are exceptional. It’s a good read, thanks to articles by Butters’ fans, and his introductions to the 80 recipes. This lamb dish is shown with chips made of carrots, turnips and beets, and cipollini onions braised in chicken stock. The mint chutney could be replaced with a simple mint sauce.

Lamb T-bones

Serves 4

Lamb chops:

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium dry shallot, chopped

1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh, chopped mint

1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

8 lamb T-bone chops, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick

Mint chutney:

1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped fresh gingerroot

1 cup (250 mL) fresh mint leaves

½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut

1 to 2 pinches dried chili flakes

¼ cup (60 mL) plain yogurt

Juice of 1 large lime

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Lamb chops: In a cup, combine garlic, shallot, mint, vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rub the mixture over the lamb and set meat aside for 15 to 30 minutes to marinate.

Mint chutney: In a food processor, combine gingerroot, mint leaves, coconut, chili flakes, yogurt and lime juice. Blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat barbecue or broiler to medium-high. Use paper towels to pat chops dry. Grill or broil chops for four to six minutes, until slightly charred.

Turn chops and grill another three to five minutes, depending on thickness, for medium doneness.

Serve chops on four heated plates with mint chutney on the side.

Kasey Wilson:  Breakfast bounty for picky eaters

Serve up a delicious start to the day with pancakes and a healthy smoothie from Chef Butters’ cookbook The Okanagan Table

November 1, 2017, Vancouver Sun, Kasey Wilson

The picky eaters — 10-year-old twins Mia and Julien — are coming for the weekend.

Breakfast is going to be easy because they both like pancakes (but not waffles), and the recipe for World-Famous Pancakes from chef Rod Butters’ fresh, approachable new cookbook, The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking (Figure. 1, 2017), “is simply the best,” Butters says.

“I’ve been making them since I was seven years old, and everyone loves them.”

The chef of RauDZ in Kelowna and Terrafina at Hester Creek says his secret is to mix yogurt (he likes vanilla flavoured) with the milk and eggs in the batter. The resulting pancakes “magically puff up and take on a slight sourdough flavour.”

I agree. I tried them last weekend, and they’re now my go-to pancake recipe — served with real maple syrup, of course. Growing up on the Prairies, we had Aunt Jemima syrup, and my mother-in-law always served corn syrup. But once I had a kitchen of my own, I went for the real deal and haven’t looked back.

The twins also like bacon, and I’ll put them to work creating a baking rack by crimping aluminum foil — a technique that Justin Chappell shares in his clever book, Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks and 100 Delicious Recipes (Oxmoor House, 2016).

Frying bacon on the stovetop takes patience and constant attention to avoid raw and burnt spots. Even when you manage that, you’re left with a grease-splattered kitchen to clean up. Preparing bacon in the oven eliminates those pitfalls and produces evenly cooked slices. (It’s how airline flight attendants prepared bacon when they had a working galley and served real meals.)

Baking the bacon is easy — the only tending it requires is rotating the pan halfway through cooking. By elevating the strips, you allow the grease to drip down into the foil crevasses, ensuring a crispier result. And cleanup is a snap: Once it has cooled, just roll up the soiled foil and discard.

The Okanagan Table includes a wide range of recipes, from Oat-Crusted Arctic char to Double Chocolate Mashed Potato Brioche, but I’ll stick to our theme with another breakfast recipe. Butters says he makes the smoothie recipe here almost daily. Once you taste it, you’ll want to as well.

Rod Butters’ World-Famous Pancakes

Do not mix the fruit into batter. Not only will it discolour the pancakes, it will cause uneven fruit distribution. (Adapted from The Okanagan Table by Rod Butters, Figure. 1.)

1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour

1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

¾ cup (180 mL) vanilla or fruit-flavoured yogurt

½ cup (125) whole milk

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

Unsalted butter or grapeseed oil for frying

1½ cups (375 mL) chopped seasonal fruit or berries, plus extra to serve

Your favourite syrup to serve

In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla and mix well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, leaving the batter a bit lumpy.

Using a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or oil. Ladle the batter into the pan to whatever size desired. Scatter 2 tbsp (30 mL) fruit over each pancake and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the bottom is golden. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. (See Kitchen Hack for warming tip.) Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve pancakes with more fruit and your favourite syrup.

Serves 4

“The Okanagan Table” + a Recipe for Pan Fried Pasta

Global Dish/Stephanie Arsenault

Sometimes you come across a beautiful cookbook.

You know the kind. It’s as lovely to flip through and look at the photographs, as it is to read. Its recipes are somehow both approachable and challenging. The ingredients are accessible, yet seemingly exotic. The Okanagan Table is just that. It’s beautiful. It’s approachable. It’s challenging. It’s lovely.

Created by Rod Butters, the man behind the highly regarded RauDZ Regional Table, micro bar + bites, and Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ in Kelowna, BC, The Okanagan Table truly celebrates the craft of creating stunning recipes with local ingredients.

The recipes themselves vary; from drool worthy cocktails {like the sweet and savoury Amante Picante} to show stopping dinners {like the Steelhead Trout with Wild Mushroom Crust and Sauteed Mushrooms}, and simple breakfasts {French Toast, anyone?} to decadent snacks {Duck Fat Popcorn FTW!}, there is absolutely something for everyone.

Now, pour yourself a glass of Okanagan wine, turn on some music, and get in the kitchen. This recipe for Pan-Fried Pasta is all kinds of delicious, and is definitely as easy on the eyes as it is on the palate; in fact, I won’t complain if you make enough to share…

““I learned this technique for cooking pasta from an Italian chef who visited the kitchen back in the 1980s, when I worked for the Four Seasons. The pasta is pan-fried and stock is added, a little at a time, risotto style. The result is a delicious nuttiness that can’t be beat, and it’s my favourite way of cooking pasta.” – Rod Butters.

PAN-FRIED PASTA

Recipe from The Okanagan Table

INGREDIENTS
⅓ cup olive oil
3 cups penne
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3½ cups vegetable or chicken stock {divided}
2 cups spinach leaves 1 cup chopped kale
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

SERVES 3 TO 4

FIRST Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and penne, and stir continuously for 3 to 5 minutes, until the noodles are golden on all sides (Careful not to brown too much—reduce heat if necessary.)

Add the onions, garlic, and butter and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add 1 cup of stock and cook until absorbed. Repeat until all the stock is absorbed and the pasta is cooked al dente. Add the spinach, kale, tomatoes, basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until all the ingredients are heated through and the spinach and kale are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TO SERVE Transfer the pasta to a serving platter, and serve immediately.