Chef Isa: what a ham!

Chef Isa: what a ham!

Yes, after a very busy August and a gorgeous September, Patrick and I have managed to stock the Pantry Shed at the Good Earth with some delicious bits and bites for you to enjoy as we usher in the fall.

Nicolette has also been jammin’ til the jammin’ is through and has come up with some spectacular new tasty treats for you – wonderful Sovereign Coronation grape jam (not jelly) that will truly be a morning treat for you and your toast – or crumpets (for you high-falutin’ types) – in the morning.

We have stocked the shed with plump and sweet oven-roasted tomatoes to serve alongside your favourite crusty bread; in a fresh pancetta and tomato pasta; or perhaps with some cheese.

There are smoked tomatoes, back by popular demand, that are a must in your next risotto. Some of you who are lucky enough to have booked into Chef Tony deLuca or Chef Rob Fracchioni’s classes just might become reacquainted with the steps to making a delicious risotto. Pair a smoky risotto or pizza with a Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir.

Alongside the jams are Sugar Spiced Pecans and some Gingered Almonds for those of you who like the nutty sweetness of almonds and the sweet kick of ginger. A natural alongside some Brie and Blue Cheese for your entertaining season. Serve your cheese and nuts with a Gewürtztraminer Icewine from Malivoire Wine Co.

Finally, The Good Earth Double Smoked bacon is back in the pantry, as is Patrick’s Hot Smoked Salmon.

Use the bacon for classic morning breakfast, in a bacon, cheese, and tomato sangweech (as we refer to them), or dice it and use it in a quiche, on pizza, or on a fresh nacho plate with avocado, tomatoes, crème fraîche. Warm the bacon and slice it onto an appetizer platter alongside Pingue Proscuitto and Good Shepherd Smoked Salami. MMM mmm… (in case your wondering I’m dreaming of the stove top sausage they give you at the Good Shepherd in the wood cabin they call a shop. No debit or credit, just cash. This is good and simple food 🙂 )

O.k, I’m done daydreaming and now I offer you the Hot Smoked Salmon that Patrick has just removed from the smoker. It is warm, salty, sweet, sticky and tasty. (Note the salmon is ready to eat, fully cooked through). I can only imagine the myriad of ways it will come in handy.  Flake it onto a salad for lunch  with a fried or poached egg. Or onto a buttered crostino with softened chèvre cheese , a pickled beet marmalade or caramelized onions. Use it in a  lovely pasta “aglio e olio” with fresh herbs and perhaps a few oven-dried tomatoes (wink wink nudge nudge). Or a classic salmon rillette to be served on a wintery frisée lettuce with bacon lardons, or on dark pumpernickle bread as a canape is a sure winner – especially when paired with Fielding Estate’s Sparkling Riesling.  Heck, I’d plan a get together this weekend just for an excuse to have Sparkling and nibbles.

And how does one enjoy said Salmon rillette and said Sparkling. Well, follow the Twenty Valley map and you’ll find the BEST wineries in Niagara along the bench, and follow the recipe below for the Hot Smoked Salmon Rillette.

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”  ~Doug Larson


  • 1 piece Patrick’s Hot Smoked Salmon
  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • 2 tsp grainy dijon
  • 1/4 cup of celery, very finely diced
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tsp  Lea and Perrin’s Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 pinch of cayenne ( or more if you like a good kick to it)
  • 1/4 lemon zested
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise (full fat)

Flake the salmon apart. In a bowl mix all ingredients ( as you would a tuna salad) until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated. Serve on a lovely bed of greens, or on crackers, on small pieces of rye or pumpernickel. Garnish with a sour cream, or crème fraîche and serve.