Recipe: Oka Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Alberta Pork is a proud sponsor of Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. For this year’s holiday dinner, Fairmont JPL executive chef Christopher Chafe and his culinary team featured Alberta Pork and Alberta Milk & Dairy Farmers of Canada by serving up an Oka crusted pork tenderloin.

What you’ll need…

1 small pork tenderloin
1 tbsp salted butter
4 slices of Oka cheese (approximately 20 grams each)
a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and/or sage
canola oil, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice tenderloin into four medallions; pat dry with a paper towel and season with oil, salt and pepper. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Sear pork medallions on one side until dark golden crust is formed. Flip and sear on the other side. Add butter and fresh herbs and baste the pork with the melted butter in the pan as the medallion is cooking.
  3. Once pork is seared on both sides transfer to a baking sheet and top with sliced cheese. Place pork medallion s in the oven and cook until an internal temperature of 155F is reached and the cheese is melted, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a few minutes until ready to serve.

Recipe: Cauliflower, Leek and Bacon Gratin

photo (1)

When I received a 2015 Dairy Farmers of Canada calendar from Alberta Milk at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge last month I was overjoyed to see that it had a December 2014 page featuring a Cauliflower, Leek and Bacon Gratin recipe. 

I was very excited to start using my new calendar immediately, and this simple recipe is one I will be making again. I tested it out on a non-cauliflower lover who was instantly smacking his lips and digging for seconds; bacon and cheese can have that effect on vegetables. Watch the video recipe here

photo 1 (9)Cauliflower, Leek and Bacon Gratin
Recipe from Dairy Farmers of Canada

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (7 to 8 cups/1.75 to 2 L)
6 slices locally sourced bacon, cut into thin strips
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped into half-moons
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Gruyère
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan
1 tsp (5 mL) salt

photo 3 (5)
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Canadian Gruyère
2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (2 L) square dish.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook cauliflower for 5 min. Drain; set aside in bowl.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet set over photo 4 (3)medium heat for 5 min or until crispy. Set aside on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tsp (10 mL) fat.

Add leeks to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 min or until very soft and just starting to turn golden. Transfer to bowl with cauliflower; add bacon.

Wipe skillet clean. Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking, for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Whisk in Gruyère, Parmesan and salt photo 5 (4)until cheese is melted.

Pour over cauliflower mixture, stirring until well coated. Transfer to buttered dish.

Topping: In a bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, cheese and butter. Sprinkle over dish. Bake for about 30 min or until golden on top and heated throughout. Enjoy


Recipe: Chef Michael Allemeier’s Tartiflette

photo 5 (2)I first learned about Tartiflette a few weeks ago; the French dish from the Savoie region of France is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, pork lardons, and onions. (Think fancy scalloped potatoes).

This Ukrainian girl was instantly attracted to the list of ingredients, but I wanted to recreate it using as many local ingredients as possible. My first attempt created a decent result, but to make it blog worthy I needed some help. Thankfully I had a trip to Calgary planned and I know that my sister’s neighbour, Chef Michael Allemeier, enjoys sharing his culinary knowledge (and enjoys my Passion for Pork recipe challenges/opportunities).

Always interested in products of Edmonton-area producers, I brought Chef Allemeier cured side pork from Acme Meat Market and La Bianca cheese from The Cheesiry. When I told him I wanted to make something with lardons, he explained that lardons are defined by cubes or matchstick sized-pieces of pork fat; just another part of the pig to love.

photo 2 (3)With just a few simple ingredients, and generous portion of whipping cream (Chef Allemeier is a great friend to Alberta Milk), he whipped up an Albertan-version of tartiflette that was lapped up immediately by our families. I wasn’t the only one at the table looking the empty La Crueset pot wishing we had made more.

photo 1 (4)Chef Micheal Allemeier’s Tartiflette

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
150 g lardons
2 tbsps canola oil
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 round of local/Canadian cheese (La Bianca from The Cheesiry, brie, etc.) or substitute with 3/4 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large cast-iron or oven safe pan over medium heat, heat canola oil and cook onions and lardons, stirring occasionally for approximately five minutes or until they begin to brown. Add cream and cook for one minute more.

3. Remove from heat and arrange potatoes on top in an even layer. Cover and bake until potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes.

4. Cut cheese in half horizontally, and place the half on top, rind side up, or sprinkle grated cheese over top, and bake until cheese is melted into the potatoes. Serve immediately.

photo 4 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (4)photo 1 (5)photo 5 (1)photo 4 (2)photo 2 (5)

My niece Kali and sister Shawna patiently wait to try Chef Allemeier's tartiflette
My niece Kali and sister Shawna patiently wait to try Chef Allemeier’s tartiflette