Cedar Planked Trout with
Balsamic Reduction Sauce
- 1 Cedar plank
- 1 or 2 2 lb. (1 kg) lake trout fillets
- Salt and Dymond Lake Seasoning (*DLS) to taste
- Soak an untreated cedar plank in water for 24 hours.
- Remove the plank from the water and lay the trout fillets on the plank. Season with salt and DLS.
- Place the plank with the trout on a hot barbecue. Close the lid and bake until the trout is done, about 10 minutes per inch.
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar 250 mL
- 3 tbsp Sugar 45 mL
- In a small saucepan, simmer the vinegar and sugar together for 15-20 minutes, or, until reduced by a third to a half.
- To serve, pour the sauce over the trout or serve the sauce in a small pitcher for pouring over individual servings.
* DLS – Dymond Lake Seasoning is our signature blend of herbs and spices. Appropriate alternatives range from plain or seasoned salt and/or pepper to a combination of oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, celery salt, onion salt, paprika, pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
For more great recipes like this please see our award-winning cookbook series at BlueberriesAndPolarBears.com
Here it is! A Churchill Wild favorite re-posted by special request. A delectable dessert that results in past guests’ mouths watering whenever it’s mentioned. Jeanne Reimer swears the wild cranberries make all the difference but feel free to try it at home. This recipe and many more are available in the Blueberries & Polar Bears Cookbooks. Let us know what your favorite is we’ll post it in the future.
Cranberry Cake – Ingredients
- 3 cups flour 750ml
- 4 tsp baking powder 20ml
- ½ tsp salt 2ml
- 3 tbsp butter or margarine 45ml
- 1 ½ cups sugar 375ml
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla 7ml
- 1 ½ cups milk 375ml
- 3 cups wild cranberries 750ml
Butter Sauce – Ingredients
- ¾ cup butter OR margarine 175ml
- 1 ½ cups sugar 375ml
- ¾ cup evaporated milk OR cream 175ml
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Note: It does not get all creamy and fluffy as it does in a butter cake, as the ratio of butter to sugar is not high enough. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating after each addition, just until it is mixed. Stir in the cranberries. (If you are using large commercial cranberries, chop them up a bit.)
Spread the batter in a greased 9 x 13” (23 x 33cm) pan. Bake in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched.
The secret is in the sauce: combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. A wire whisk is very helpful to keep the sauce smooth.
Serve the sauce warm over the cake. Serves 12.
When Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer’s daughters Kate and Emily invited U.S. President Barack Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia to visit the polar bears in Churchill a few years ago it got us thinking. They probably considered visiting Churchill, but it’s unlikely they knew they could actually walk on the tundra with polar bears, or swim in Hudson Bay with beluga whales.
Churchill Wild eco-lodge owners Mike and Jeanne Reimer say the Obama and Doer families would be more than welcome to do just that at their Seal River Heritage Lodge 40 miles north of Churchill on the Hudson Bay coast.
“It’s the only place in Canada where you can actually go out and walk with the polar bears in their natural environment,” said Mike Reimer, who has been stomping the terra with the polar bears for over 30 years. “We would absolutely love to have the Obama and Doer families visit our polar bear eco-lodges and take part in all the activities we have to offer.”
That of course, would include walking with polar bears on the coast of Hudson Bay and snorkeling with beluga whales in Hudson Bay, not to mention eating gourmet meals straight from the award-winning cookbook series Blueberries and Polar Bears, which were co-written by Jeanne Reimer’s mother Helen Webber of Webber’s Lodges.
Helen is married to Webber’s Lodges owner and former Churchill mayor Doug Webber. She is certainly no stranger to hosting dignitaries at the Webber’s home in Churchill and preparing spectacular feasts for them, including Ambassador Doer when he was Premier of Manitoba,
Helen’s dinner parties in Churchill are legendary, the last of which was held for the top international executives of the Canadian Tourism Commission, who later flew out to see the polar bears at Seal River Lodge. The dinner, and the trip to Seal River Lodge, received rave reviews.
First Lady Michelle Obama, who is promoting healthy eating as her platform while in the White House, would likely enjoy herself immensely in Churchill Wild’s family-run tundra kitchen, which prides itself on utilizing the freshest ingredients available from the surrounding landscapes.
Mrs. Obama launched her Let’s Move initiative to battle childhood obesity and improve the quality of food in U.S. schools in February, 2010 and on March 16, 2011 she reached an agreement with Crown Publishing Group to author a cookbook in which she will talk about the garden she established on the South Lawn of the White House. Due out in 2012, Mrs. Obama’s new cookbook will also explore how improved access to fresh, locally grown food can promote healthier eating habits for families and communities. You can watch the video about the White House Garden here.
“Last year we built the new dining room,” said Reimer. “Right now we’re hauling in a new gourmet kitchen. It was designed by Len Friesen and it will be the first of its kind in the arctic. We’re planning on having a Celebrity Chef Contest at some point with a combination of original creations and recipes from the Blueberries and Polar Bears cookbooks that will feature seal, caribou, moose, goose, arctic char, northern pike, lake trout, local plant garnishes, wild blueberries, cranberries and strawberries. In between cooking sessions we’ll be out on the tundra with the polar bears or swimming with whales. We would love for Mrs. Obama to participate!”
But seriously, fabulous food and cooking contests aside, what about safety and secret service and fighter planes?
“We’ve never had a polar bear problem in the 30 years that we’ve operated our lodges,” said Reimer. “It’s a unique, once in a lifetime experience and our guests love being able to get up close and personal with the polar bears. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can actually go out and walk with the bears, and there are numerous safety measures in place. I’m not sure what the bears would think of secret service agents and jet fighters. They probably wouldn’t even notice.”
While he was Premier of Manitoba, Ambassador Doer persuaded numerous high-profile people to visit Churchill, including Janet Napolitano, who is now President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security; David Wilkins, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada; and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last fall, famous visitors to Churchill included George Stroumboulopoulos, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida and Martha Stewart.
Still, try to imagine the Turbo Beaver taking off from Churchill for Seal River Lodge accompanied by fighter jets. Or the curious looks on the polar bears’ faces when the secret service agents arrive with the Obama family. And what kind of boat would be required if the Obama and Doer families decided to go swimming with the beluga whales? Would the Zodiaks suffice?
“It would something very special for us,” said Reimer. “We would like to extend a heartfelt open invitation to both the Obama and the Doer families to visit Seal River Lodge any time. It would be an incredible honor.”