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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ontario Craft Brewers and Chef Ezra Title

The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) are teaming up once again with Chef Ezra Title, a accomplished local chef known for his passion in using local products in his incredible creations. I had the opportunity back in October to sample some of his food during the OCB's press conference for the introduction of the Discovery Pack, and let me tell you, it was awesome.

With St.Patricks day fast approaching, the OCB and Title have collaborated to whip up some fantastic dinners and appetizers using some craft beers in the recipes. St.Patty's day brings out all sorts of wannabe Irish drinkers and it's usually difficult to get a spot at the bar. So why not try some of Title's dishes at home? Over the next two weeks leading up to the 17th, I will be posting five of his recipes and tasting notes that the OCB Marketing team has generously provided. Because I am a big fan of cooking with beer, I expect to find myself in the kitchen on the 17th cooking up a storm.

So, without further stalling, here is recipe number 1.

Barley Days Pale Ale Bread with Porcini Mushrooms, Figs & Olives
¾ Cup Barley Days Pale Ale
1 Cup dried Porcinis
½ Cup dried figs, chopped
1/3 Cup black olives, chopped
1 ¾ Cup buttermilk
1 Cup oats
¼ Cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ Cup honey
1 ½ Cups whole wheat flour
2 Cups, plus 2 Tsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Bring the beer to a simmer, mix the porcinis and figs in a bowl and pour beer over top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oats and butter and let stand for 15 minutes until oats soften. In a third bowl mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine mushroom mixture with oats mixture and stir in the honey. With the mixer on a low speed gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix for 15 minutes. Add the olives and mix until incorporated. On a floured surface form the dough into a log and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Make a shallow cut the length of the loaf with a pairing knife and brush a coating of beaten egg on the surface.

Bake the bread for approximately 45 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and cool on a wire rack.

This recipe was created by chef Ezra Title of Chez Vous Dining. Chef Title has learned classical French techniques under some of the most highly accomplished chefs in North America. Ezra is a favourite at the Brickworks Farmers’ Market, where his breakfasts made with ingredients purchased from local vendors are a great success.

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