Eating & Drinking

Grey Cup Grub Part I: Ottawa chefs share recipes to cheer on Redblacks

A good number of Ottawa Redblacks fans weren’t yet born the last time a team from the nation’s capital made it to the championship final. And if you’re a longtime Ottawa football devotee, it’s possible you’ve been holding out for a few decades for Sunday’s Grey Cup game. After a last-place finish in their inaugural season last year, it’s no wonder the city is excited as the Redblacks head to Winnipeg to take on the Edmonton Eskimos in their first Grey Cup appearance.

Of course, no football party would be complete without some game-time grub. To make sure you’re well fed while you cheer on our team, we caught up with five Ottawa chefs to find out with what kind of fare they would serve at kickoff. Spicy, crispy, vegan, or meaty, there’s something to please every football fan (and especially those who just come for the food!).

So, no need to fumble in the kitchen — these recipes are sure to score some taste-bud touchdowns.

Today we’re presenting recipes from Chef Joe Thottungal at Coconut Lagoon, Chef Briana Kim at Café My House and Chef Daniela Manrique at The Soca Kitchen.

SATURDAY: Watch for more great Grey Cup recipes from Chef Michael Moffat at Beckta and Chef Phil Denny at Belmont.

From Chef Joe Thottungal at Coconut Lagoon:
Chicken Pakoras with Chili Lime Aioli

These crispy chicken strips are spiced just right, coated in a gluten-free chickpea flour batter, and perfect for dipping. A popular menu item since Coconut Lagoon’s opening a dozen years ago; Chef Joe Thottungal likes to pair the pakoras with a hoppy IPA or a crisp lager – truly, finger lickin’ good.

Chef Joe Thottungal of Coconut Lagoon will cheer on the Redblacks with these tasty chicken pakoras. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Chef Joe Thottungal of Coconut Lagoon will cheer on the Redblacks with these tasty chicken pakoras. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Coconut Lagoon:
Chicken Pakoras with Chili Lime Aioli
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the pakoras:

  • 1 lb (454 g) chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger
  • 3 green chilies, split in half
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 5 litres vegetable oil
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon chat masala

For the aioli:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Chef Joe Thottungal's recipe calls for turmeric, cumin and curry leaves. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Chef Joe Thottungal’s recipe calls for turmeric, cumin and curry leaves. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Instructions:

For the pakoras:

Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric, cumin, asafoetida and salt for 6 hours. Add the onion, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves into the chicken mixture in a large bowl. Add the chickpea flour and rice flour to coat the chicken pieces evenly. Add a small amount of water to make a smooth batter. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the chicken a few pieces at a time until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain the pakoras and place them on paper towel. Sprinkle with chat masala  and serve with the dip.

You might want to pair this tasty chicken dish with with a hoppy IPA or a crisp lager. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
You might want to pair this tasty chicken dish with with a hoppy IPA or a crisp lager. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

For the aioli:

Whip the mayo with the chopped garlic, chili powder and lime juice until it is smooth and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

From Chef Briana Kim at Café My House: Smokey Mac & Cheese

The menu at Briana Kim’s plant-based restaurant is always inventive, and Café My House’s take on this classic comfort food is no exception. Garnished with coconut bacon and walnut parmesan, this creamy vegan mac & cheese is bound to satisfy hungry football fans.

Chef Briana Kim's mac and cheese will please all the football fans at your house, including vegans. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Chef Briana Kim’s mac and cheese will please all the football fans at your house, including vegans. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Café My House:
Smokey Mac & Cheese
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

      • 4 cups pasta, cooked in boiled water for 5-8 minutes. Straine and rinse under cold water. Add 3 tbsp olive oil to prevent from sticking.
Cashews and liquid smoke give this mac and cheese a unique flavour. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Cashews and liquid smoke give this mac and cheese a unique flavour. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Smokey Cheddar Sauce

      • 2 cups potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled.
      • 1 cup carrots, boiled
      • 1 can coconut milk
      • 1 cup nutritional yeast
      • 1 cup smoked cashews (or plain cashews)
      • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (only if you’re not smoking cashews)
      • 3 tablespoons garlic
      • 2 tablespoons salt
      • 3 teaspoons paprika
      • 2 teaspoons black pepper
Mmmm, comfort food. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Mmmm, comfort food. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Blend everything in a blender. Transfer the sauce into a medium pot, and heat it over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the pot and mix until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.

From Chef Daniela Manrique at The Soca Kitchen:
Tortilla Española with Chorizo

Cut into bite-sized squares, this Spanish omelette recipe makes for easy finger food. Soca’s owners Daniela Manrique and Gustavo Belasario serve it alongside a garlicky aioli and flaky sea salt (along with a cold beer, of course) for a game winning combination.

Daniela Manrique chooses Tortilla Española with Chorizo for her Grey Cup party. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Daniela Manrique chooses Tortilla Española with Chorizo for her Grey Cup party. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

The Soca Kitchen: Tortilla Española
Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

Tortilla:

      • 8 cups vegetable oil
      • 1 sprig of thyme
      • 2 cloves of garlic
      • 3 large yellow potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
      • 1 yellow Spanish onion, finely sliced
      • 25 large eggs
      • 1 cup of milk
      • 8 oz (227 g) of Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
      • white pepper to taste
      • Kosher salt to taste
Garlicky aioli and flaky sea salt set off this recipe. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Garlicky aioli and flaky sea salt set off this recipe (as does a cold beer!). Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.

Garnish:

      • 1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
      • sea salt
      • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a small pot, place 7-½ cups of the vegetable oil, thyme, garlic, salt and potatoes. Bring the oil to low / medium heat, and cover for approx. 10 min or until potatoes are soft.

Once the potatoes are soft, remove the pot from the heat, and set aside to cool.

After the potatoes have cooled down, strain all the oil, thyme and garlic leaving only the potato slices for the tortilla.

On a medium sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the thinly sliced onions and cook until translucent; this should take about 8 minutes at very low heat, stirring constantly to avoid any color. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, crack the eggs, add the milk, salt and white pepper to taste and whisk well.

With the remainder of the oil, grease a 9″ by 9″ baking pan (you can also add parchment paper to the bottom of the pan to prevent the tortilla from sticking). Add the egg mixture. Layer the potatoes, Spanish chorizo and onions throughout the mixture.

Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and place in oven at 350°F for 1 ½ hours, or until mixture has set.

Once it has cooled down, turn pan upside-down onto a cutting board and cut the tortilla into bite size squares. Serve warm or room temperature.

To garnish, place the squares on a plate and sprinkle finely chopped chives, sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can also stab the squares with a skewer.

Finger food like these mini omelettes are perfect for a Grey Cup buffet. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.
Finger food like these mini omelettes are perfect for a Grey Cup buffet. Photo by Katie Shapiro, OTTAWA magazine.