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Ski Resort Life

Turkey, Schmurkey

With the new cookbook from Island Lake Lodge, B.C., on our desks, we're craving pan-seared miso scallops with leek and bacon. And cherry jus-braised organic beef short ribs. And butter curry free-range chicken....

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Yes, Island Lake Lodge is known to be the epic catskiing spot in the world. But it’s also known for its food—organic, locally grown fare served up by some of the finest chefs in snowcountry. (All that pow makes a skier hungry, after all.) A new cookbook, Island Lake Lodge, the Cookbook (available at Amazon), features the legendary lodge’s finest recipes. Just in time for the holidays, too.

Here’s just a taste of the goods:

Pan-Seared Miso Scallops with Leek and Bacon

Miso Dressing

3 Tbsp miso

1 egg yolk

1 cup light sesame oil

2 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)

3 Tbsp fresh ginger

Mushroom Cakes

3 Tbsp clarified butter

10 shallots, minced

4 cups finely diced fresh mushrooms (button, oyster or shitake)

2 cups dried wild mushrooms

2 eggs

1/2 cup mixture finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley

1/2 cup roasted garlic puree

salt & pepper

Apple Topping

5 slices smoked streaky bacon, finely diced

2 yellow delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

1 leek (white part only), finely diced

Pan-Seared Scallops

12 Digby or other fresh large scallops

1 Tbsp canola oil

salt & freshly ground white pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Miso Dressing

In food processor or blender, combine miso and egg yolk. Process until smooth. With processor running, gradually add sesame and canola oils in a thin stream until well combined. With processor still running, gradually add mirin until well combined. Add ginger and continue to process until dressing is creamy. Set aside.

Mushroom Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots. Cook, stirring for 3–5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for 8–10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and mixture looks dry. Meanwhile, in a clean spice or coffee grinder, grind dried mushrooms in batches until they are ground to a fine powder.

In a food processor, process mushroom-shallot mixture until it forms a paste. Add ground dried mushrooms, eggs, rosemary-thyme-parsley mixture, garlic puree and salt & pepper to taste. Process until well combined.

Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet to form an 8-inch square cake, about 1 inch thick. Bake for 30–40 minutes until cake is set but remains slightly moist. Cut cake into 12 even-sized rectangles or rounds. Set aside and keep warm.

Apple Topping

In a large nonstick skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat for 5–7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Drain all but 1 Tbsp fat from skillet. Add apples to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 3–5 minutes or until apples are tender and caramelized. Stir in leek. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until just wilted. Return bacon to skillet. Set aside and keep warm.

Pan-Seared Scallops

Remove the tough tendon on side of each scallop. Wash scallops well in cold water. Pat dry. In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt & pepper. Sear for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown (do not overcook).

To Serve

Arrange 3 mushroom cakes on each of four plates. Top each with 1 scallop. Spoon apple topping over scallops. Drizzle each plate with miso dressing. Garnish with chives.