Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Windows by Jamie Kennedy in Niagara Falls

For over 30 years, Jamie Kennedy has been instrumental in shaping the culinary landscape in Canada, where his innovative approach to gastronomy, commitment to sustainable agriculture and advocacy of local food have been unwavering. From his early days cooking at Three Small Rooms and Scaramouche in Toronto, to becoming Executive Chef and owner of several acclaimed restaurants such as Palmerston, JK ROM, JK Wine Bar and Gilead Café, his food has evolved but his outlook has never wavered. In 2012, he launched his newest venture, Windows by Jamie Kennedy in Niagara Falls. Located on the 14th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Chef Kennedy showcases a seasonal menu championing the rich local bounty from the terroir-based gastronomy of the Niagara region. At long last, visitors and locals can savour the local culinary abundance of Niagara at the hands of a great chef, and not subjugate themselves to the otherwise mediocre fare of Niagara Falls. Respected for his devotion to local, seasonal, sustainable gastronomy, and his relentless pursuit to define and celebrate Canada’s unique regional culinary character, there is only one Jamie Kennedy.

View of Niagara Falls from our table at 'Windows by Jamie Kennedy'

The Windows' menu, inspired by Niagara’s beautiful farmland, skilled artisans and renowned vineyards

Housemade focaccia with maple-infused butter

2013 Garofoli 'Macrina' Verdicchio from Le Marche, Italy

Beets and Stilton with Roasted Nuts and Niagara Field Greens with a Champagne Vinaigrette

Mixed Lettuces & Sprouts with aged Balsamic, Brulée Of Chèvre, Grapes, Golden Tomatoes, Smoked Local Bacon and Candied Nut Praline

Prosciutto Wrapped Turbot with Sweet Pea Risotto and Farm Gate Vegetables

Chicken Two Ways: Housed Cured Bacon Wrapped Breast, Apricot Stuffed Thigh, Mashed Potato, Baby Kale and Chipotle-Herb Sauce

The clean, modern and sophisticated interior of Windows by Jamie Kennedy

The restaurant's see-through wine cellars filled with some of Niagara’s best wines, 
chosen by respected wine columnist and author Tony Aspler

JK: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook

Tourtière Strudel with Mustard Pickle
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Jamie Kennedy

2 tbsp butter
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
2 large eggs
1 cooked potato, cut into brunoise
1/4 tsp roughly chopped sage
1/8 tsp ground clove
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mustard Pickle, for garnish

Strudel Dough: Recipe yields 2 hors d’oeuvres strudel
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp + 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, divided
Pinch of salt

For the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Stir, then add the ground pork and beef. Sauté for 5 minutes, then transfer to a stainless steel mixing bowl. Add the eggs and the potato brunoise. Mix in the sage, the ground clove, and the seasonings. Mix well and refrigerate.

Combine all the dough ingredients in a stainless steel bowl, then transfer to a smooth surface for kneading. Knead the dough vigorously for 10 minutes or until the texture of the dough becomes satiny smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 4 hours at room temperature before use. (Note: This recipe yields enough for 2 hors d’oeuvres strudel; double the tortière recipe or freeze dough for future use).

On a floured surface, roll out the dough as thinly as possible. Paint the melted butter over the entire surface of the dough with a pastry brush. Place the filling along one edge of the dough. Roll. Paint melted butter on the finished strudel. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake the strudel until golden brown. To serve the strudel as an hors d’oeuvre, simply slice it straight across into bite-sized pieces and present it on a serving platter, garnished with the mustard pickle.