Recipes from Ottawa Restaurants via the Ottawa Citizen [Cooking]

2008 Mar 5
Years ago, The Ottawa Citizen's Food Section (on Wensday's), had a feature, where readers would write in and request recipes from local retaurants.

I still use two of those recipes, to this day. With some little modification.

They are 1)Zola's Zolas Restaurant recipe for Prosciutto Mushroom Linguini and 2)
The Savana Cafe's Savana Café Pad Thai (International Stylee (i.e. ketchup based) as opposed to Traditional Stylee (i.e. tamarind based).

Does anyone remember the Citizen feature and/or have used any of the recipes ?

2008 Mar 5
This sounds to me like a really good theme for this site! FF could make a form to fill out for requests, and then have a section for any answers he gets back.

2008 Mar 5
Yes! I remember this and still use a recipe for Japanese Village Salad Dressing from the mid 90's. It's great!

2008 Mar 6
CaptainC - Yes I remember this section, it was always a favourite, and have a few clippings tucked into my cookbook, among them:

Fettuccine's Fabulous Mushroom Soup (May 13, 1987)
Skyline Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Crabmeat (May 13, 1987)

I also have an assortment of Citizen clippings from 1981 including "Ring in the Grams and Kilograms"; 1988 "Hot Drinks Enhance Joys of Winter"; as well as Anne DeBrisay's 2003 Dining Guide.

2008 Mar 6
Gay Cook used to get recipes from local restaurants at her readers request. She still writes a weekly column in the food section which seems to appear on Thursdays now and her email address is at the end of the column. If you try a dish at a restaurant and would like the recipe you can fire off an email to Gay and she might be able to get it for you. I'm not sure if she answers all her requests but it might be a shot.

2008 Mar 6
I grabbed a recipe from an LCBO Food & Drink a while ago that was Steve Vardy's Blackened Leg of Lamb. I've made it a few times and it was incredible.

2008 Mar 6
hey Tre,

Are you sure it was from a LCBO Food and Drink ?

I checked the index (goes back to winter 2000), and no Blackened Leg of Lamb.

Here is the link to the recipe index ----> <-----

I would like to try it. I wonder if my 460 cubic feet per minute exhaust fan could take the smoke from blackening such a large piece of meat. No harm in trying, I guess.... or go outdoors with my 'Cajun Cooker' !!

2008 Mar 6
Positive, it was from summer about 3 years ago. The article was on grilling and had Vardy, Mark McEwan (of Bymark in Toronto, now on the Food Network) and Michael Potters from Harvest in Picton.

2008 Mar 6
Captain Caper: Can you post the Pad Thai recipe?!? I have one a friend sent me out of a cookbook for the sauce from scratch, but it failed the first time around.

I did use the Gingerbread recipe from the Citizen from this past Christmas. It was from the Cordon Bleu cooking school. The recipe was meant for gingerbread houses, so they were a little hard. But the taste got great reviews! I'll just have to reduce the amount of flour next time.

2008 Mar 6

I think I found the issue, Summer 2006.

Here is Michael Potters, Bay of Quinte Pickerel Grilled over Vine Cuttings with Fennel.

and Mark McEwan's, Scented Basmati Rice with Sweet Potatoes.

and his, Texas Ribs Hong Kong Style.
and his, BBQ Tomatoes.

BUT .... looks like they left out the Vardy's Blackened Leg of Lamb.... Would it be possible to scan it or copy it into Ottawa Foodies... please.

2008 Mar 6
Yup, I'll transcribe it when I get a chance...

2008 Mar 6
Hey Nanook (of the North?),

Here is a scan of the recipe card (remember those?). It was transcribed by 'the mother of my children' and the artistic embellishments are from said children.

We went to Savana Cafe shortly after it opened. I think they celebrating 20 years , this year .... so the recipe card is circa 1988.

Back then , hardly anyone new what Pad Thai was so, they called it "Thai Spicy Noodles" on their menu. Thus the title on the recipe.

I haven't looked at it for many many years... I 'just make it' now.

Send e-mail (at my profile page) and I'll send anyone a clear scan.

NOTE: Use Memmi Sauce and do not sub in soya sauce.

2008 Mar 6
The other side of the recipe card.

2008 Mar 6

While digging for the Savana Cafe recipe, I also found the Zola recipe for Prosciutto Mushroom Linguini , which was also printed in the Citizen, in 1988.

Again, if you wantb a clear view ... send me an e-mail address via my profile page.

2008 Mar 6
If you're looking for a recipe from a restaurant, in my experience, I find if you flatter the manager/owner they will often oblige. They really want your feedback, and are keen to satisfy. Usually. Upon tasting something really wonderful in their dining room, by all means tell the wait staff and ask if you may compliment the chef in person -- then ask for his/her recipe. Over the years, we've had many requests at the Citizen for recipes from restaurants, and the sad fact is we cannot satisfy all queries.
Anyway, just a suggestion ...

2008 Mar 7
Here you go, Cap'n:

Blackened Lamb


1/4 cup acacia or other honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp grainy mustard
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp toasted coriander seed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
2 tbsp chopped parsley

3 lbs boned and butterflied leg of lamb
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 - Combine the honey, olive oil, mustard, garlic, coriander seed, shallots, bay leaves, rosemary and parsley in a food processor and puree.

2 - Place lamb in a large plastic bag with the marinade and seal well. Marinate in refrigerator overnight.

3 - Preheat BBQ to high

4 - Season lamb with salt and pepper and grill until medium rare, about 10-15 minutes per side. The exterior of the lamb will get blackened - this will help flavour the dish.

5 - Let lamb rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly for serving.

2008 Mar 7
Hey Tre ,

Many thanks for taking the time to transcribe Vardy's recipe.

When I read "Blackened" , I think Cajun Style Blackening. See pic.

WHoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooSH !!!

Looks like ya can BBQ a crust on as well as use a cast iron pan, at high a temperature.

2008 Mar 8
Fresh Foodie, I'd love a copy of the famous Japanese Village salad dressing!

2008 Mar 8
My pleasure... I added it to our wiki:

2008 Mar 9
Thanks, Captain Caper, for the Pad Thai recipe. :)

2008 Mar 11
i really need to find out the bread recipe at Sweetgrass aboriginal bistro. I've told the waiter/waitress a few times that i thought it was good, and i even hinted at getting the recipe, but i guess i should be more direct :)

2008 Mar 11
SteffQC: Sweetgrass serves both Bannock and Navajo Fry Bread. If you Google them there's recipes out there that are probably very similar.