Recap: Swine and Dine at Dogwood Cafe
Chef Stuart Whyte helped give Swine & Dine Edmonton a Latin infusion.  On Wednesday, February 8, 2016, the founder of Original Redhead Condiments served up a five-course Mexican inspired menu featuring Alberta Pork from appetizer to dessert at the Dogwood Cafe in the Victoria Golfcourse. [caption id="attachment_6303" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Dogwood Cafe at Victoria Dogwood Cafe at Victoria - Photo courtesy of Steve Furgiuele[/caption] Before the dinner started I popped into the kitchen to say hello to chef Whyte; the busy chef told me that he felt that he had just enough food to serve to the 50 guests registered to Swine & Dine with him. Boy was that an understatement.   [caption id="attachment_6304" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Dogwood Cafe at Victoria Dogwood Cafe at Victoria - Photo courtesy of Steve Furgiuele[/caption] Dogwood Cafe utilizes the Victoria Golf Course in Edmonton's river valley as a space to serve Nordic brunch as well as dinner on Thursday to Sunday evenings. For Swine & Dine, the fireplace was lit and the room was set with round tables of six.  We were promptly served platters of pork rinds, or piggy puffs as I prefer to call them, to top with an assortment of pickled veggies, sour cream, and Original Redhead Condiment hot sauces on each table. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (1 of 10) Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (1 of 2) Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (3 of 10) The Dogwood Cafe crew helped officially kick off Swine & Dine by passing out a complimentary shot of Jose Cuervo Reserva tequila. Once all were seated, chef Whyte provided an explanation of our upcoming courses. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (2 of 10) For our first course, chef Whyte chose to feature an alternative cut of pork for his Pork Lengua Tostadas. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (2 of 2) The crunchy tostadas were topped with cojita cheese, jalapeño leek sauce, and featured brined Bear and The Flower pork tongue. Next up were Braised Pork Tamales - a handmade labour of love by chef Whyte. [caption id="attachment_6302" align="aligncenter" width="640"]pork tamales Photo courtesy of Steve Furgiuele[/caption] Bear and The Flower slow braised pork shoulder and hock, salsa roja, and queso fresco were sealed alongside masa dough and steamed inside corn husk parcels. In case that wasn't enough pork, chef Whyte plated the dish alongside additional slow braised pork. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (4 of 10) After using the pork rinds to taste all of the salsas, finishing two tostadas, and topping my pork stuffed tamale with more pork, I was stuffed. However, chef Whyte still had his main course to come. The star of the next course for me was the Bear and The Flower Agave Pork Belly.  Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (7 of 10) Plates of grilled smoked cactus, the agave pork belly, and pork stuffed enchiladas were all served family style along with house-made tater tots and salsa verde. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (9 of 10) Chef Whyte explained how he tolled over another time consuming dish - the bacon bit stuffed tater tots.  The photo of these adult tots, or croquetas as they appear on the Dogwood Cafe at Riverside brunch menu, does not do the dish justice. I had one friend in attendance sheepishly confess, they were his favourite bite of the night. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (8 of 10) While I loved the sticky sweet flavoured agave pork belly, I also made room to indulge in the enchiladas. Topped with copious amounts of cheese and crunchy pieces of kale, the pork-stuffed enchiladas were filling enough to be a main course just on its own. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (6 of 10) By the time the family-style dishes were cleaned up I was ready to burst. Thankfully chef Whyte kept things light with a take on a Oreo cookie - the Ibarra chocolate wafers were filled with a vanilla-lard icing. Simple looking yet effective - I watched as one friend collected a few extras that were on the plate and put them in her purse to take home. Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe (10 of 10) The only complaint I heard at the end of the night was that it was too much food, that it was too good to stop eating, and that people were just plain stuffed. In addition to the bounty we enjoyed at Dogwood Cafe, each Swine & Diners went home with a bottle of chef Whyte's Original Redhead Condiments - salsa verde or salsa roja.  
  Swine & Dine- Mexican edition - at Dogwood Cafe  was a huge success. I'd like to extend a heart-filled thank you to chef Stu Whyte for taking on the Swine & Dine challenge and sharing his passion for pork with all of those who attended.  
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Thank you to Brad & Cindy Lazarenko of the Culina Family for hosting Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe, and thank you to all the kitchen and service staff for a great night at the Victoria Golf Course. Take advantage of a unique dining opportunity in Edmonton's river valley. There is still time to try out chef Whyte's Sunday brunch at Dogwood Cafe Riverside, as well as the nordic brunch or dinner at Dogwood Cafe Victoria, but only until the start of golf season.

HOURS Dogwood Brunch at Victoria 9-3pm Saturday and Sunday Dogwood Brunch at Riverside  9-3pm Sunday ONLY Dogwood Supper at Victoria Thursday to Sunday 4-9pm

Visit www.originalredhead.ca for more information on chef Whyte's condiments and where you can pick up a bottle of his salsa.
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Recipe: Spicy Braised Pork Mac and Cheese

Braise pork shoulder mac and cheese

Since we're not quite done with the blustery, bone-chilling portion of winter just yet, one of the things you can look forward to on the dinner table is a delicious bowl of mac and cheese. Whenever I make my mac and cheese at home, I start out with a big portion of a simple cheddar cheese sauce and get creative from there. It's really easy to add-in different ingredients to appeal to everyone's tastes around the table.

Try tossing in some roasted broccoli or cauliflower, sliced ham sausage, pancetta or even puréed root vegetables (sh...the kids will never know!).

What you'll need...

Cheddar cheese sauce: 4 tablespoons butter 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 litre homogenized milk (room temperature) 2 1/2 cups shredded old medium cheddar 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder salt (to taste) Mac and cheese: 2 teaspoons canola oil 1 clove garlic (minced) 1 bunch green onions (ends trimmed and roughly chopped) 2 cups braised pork shoulder meat (roughly chopped) 1 tablespoon sambal oelek 6 cups cooked pasta (cavatappi is type pictured above, but any smaller pasta like macaroni (obviously) or penne works) cheddar cheese sauce (use as much as desired)

Directions:

Sauce: Melt butter in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until a paste forms. Let cook for a few minutes until the paste becomes fragrant and changes colour slightly. Add milk in 1 cup at a time, stirring regularly. Each time the mixture thickens noticeably, add another cup and repeat until all milk has been added. The mixture should be glossy and viscous, but not too thick (add more milk if it is). Stir in the shredded cheese and spices until incorporated. Season to taste with salt, cover, reduce to low heat and keep warm until ready to serve. Mac and cheese: Heat canola oil in a large, deep pan on medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, add scallions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes and then add in the braised and sambal oelek. Once the meat has heated through, add-in cooked pasta as well as desired amount of sauce. Use a large spoon to mix until everything is evenly coated. Portion out into four bowls and revel in your cheesy, comforting dinner.

Serves 4

Total prep and cook time...35 minutes

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Swine & Dine - Feb 8, 2017 at Dogwood Cafe at Victoria
Swine & Dine is an Alberta Pork event which challenges chefs with a Passion for Pork to create a menu featuring Alberta pork from appetizer to dessert. For our next Swine & Dine Edmonton, Culina Family's chef Stuart Whyte, founder of Original Redhead Condiments and chef at Dogwood Cafe at Riverside, will host over 60 people at Dogwood Cafe at Victoria on Wednesday February 8, 2017, for a four course meal featuring pork from Bear and The Flower Farm. Chef Stuart Whyte's Swine & Dine menu:  Pork Lengua Tostada Cojita cheese | jalapeno leek sauce | brined pork tongue from ‘Bear and the Flower’ Braised Pork TamalesBear and the Flower’ slow braised pork shoulder & hock | Salsa Roja | queso fresco Grilled Smoked Cactus & Agave Pork Belly & Enchiladas Housemade ‘tater tots’ | Salsa verde ‘Oreo’ cookie Ibarra chocolate | vanilla-lard icing Tickets for this event are available on Eventbrite for $59, which includes tax, gratuity, and a bottle of Original Redhead Condiments hot sauce. This event is sure to sell out - secure your seat here: Swine & Dine at Dogwood Cafe at Victoria
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