This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival which was held at the Granville Island Market. It was a veritable smorgasbord for the senses.
The famous Market is a foodie's paradise and my eyes thirstily drank in the beautiful displays - luscious blackberries piled in a blue-black pyramid; fresh, tender balls of boccoccini; jellied, rosemary chicken confit; and elaborate, exquisite desserts that were too lovely to eat.
My ears tingled with pleasure as they listened to the many authors of various genres share their insightful advice and read from their own works, published and unpublished, but my ears were especially thankful to experience the men's choir, Chor Leoni, perform alongside the author, Jack Hodgins, as he read from his numerous and humorous tomes. It stirred my soul.
The feel of the intermittent, cool, light breeze on my face, as we dined al fresco on the balcony of the Sandbar Restaurant overlooking False Creek, was so refreshing in the otherwise, balmy October air. From this vantage point, we had a most perfect view of the city lights.
And of course, I could not give a sensory account of the weekend without mentioning the cornucopia of tastes and smells - sweet and sour lemon chicken; white-chocolate latte with chocolate whip (oh, em, gee!); warm, cinnamon crepes; deep, rich Shiraz; lemon-zested Dungeness crab cakes; tender, sweet, lightly-battered calamari; crispy bacon and fried eggs with baked beans; tender Chinese dumplings dipped in a light, sweet soy sauce; the salty, sweet air of the ocean breeze (happy place!); fresh, crusty bread dipped in Balsamic vinegar reduction and extra virgin olive oil; globes of creamy chocolate; sharp, herbed, pungent Cheddar cheese; Sockeye Salmon with Red Curry-Coconut Sauce alongside aromatic Basmati rice and delicately flavoured fresh, plump, raspberries in a salad of crisp tender greens and so much more.
Our hotel suite was equipped with a full on kitchen so we decided to stay in for dinner on Saturday night. We enjoyed the view of Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, through the floor to ceiling windows of our lofty suite. The low, sexy strains of Leonard Cohen permeated the room as we supped on fresh Sockeye salmon and sipped on deep, dark aromatic red wine. Very Canadiana don't you think. Hard to take.
Sockeye Salmon with Red Curry-Coconut Sauce
adapted from In the Kitchen The Costco Way
1 13 1/2 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup tomato basil sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 tsp red curry paste
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
4-6 to 8 oz. salmon fillets
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, tomato sauce, ginger, chicken bouillion, and curry paste. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; immediately lower temperature to medium-low and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile brush the salmon with vegetable oil and season to taste with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 3 - 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to taste.
Pour the sauce over the salmon and serve wth rice.
1. I used some leftover Marinara sauce with basil added instead of the tomato basil sauce.
2. For the red curry paste, I used Patak's vindaloo sauce.
3. I baked the salmon in the oven for about twenty minutes.
Photo Credit: Sandra Fiedler