By Fred Delkin
Home on the Range
Despite (or due to) my mother’s constant efforts to direct my childhood appetite toward all foods that were “good for me”, I entered adulthood averse to products proclaiming themselves as “health food”, “gluten-free”, etc. Thus, it was with trepidation that I accepted an invitation to sample a line of flavored yogurts from Liberte’ of Montreal, who wisely enlisted the efforts of Portland’s nationally acclaimed chef and restaurateur Vitaly Paley to bring attention to a debut in the U.S. market.OK, this product is good! No resemblance to the very few yogurts I’ve had…a rich and silky whole milk and cream blend in seven flavors (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, coconut, peach & passion fruit and lemon. The latter would be sensational in a sauce to accompany your next dish of Oregon salmon or albacore tuna. Add fresh, chopped Dill weed and a soupcon of minced fresh garlic and a bit of freshly ground black pepper to the yogurt, which you can now find in the dairy case at Whole Foods and a growing list of local markets. Stir gently over low heat to warm before serving.
Your palate will thank the Kaparovsky family, which emigrated to North America from Russia in 1936 and set up shop as a fosher dairy outlet in downtown Montreal
Canada. The descendants live up to the family description of their yogurts as “impossibly divine.” By 1980, the Kaparovsky clan began a concentration upon yogurt. Today, in addition to the rich and luscious flavors described above, Liberte’ offers a ‘Greek’ line of fat free, skim milk yogurts in plain and several berry flavors. Well, they just couldn’t resist the call of all those health nuts out there!
We sampled a ‘to die for’ rendition of Quail Tikka Masala whipped up by chef Paley and our tastebuds still quiver (see below)…but you may be handicapped in
producing this dish without Paley’s natural wood-fired open grill at his Imperial establishment. You can call Portland;s Nicky USA to seek out boneless Quail.
Paley Quail Tikka Masala
ingedients–3 tsps. Cumin seeds, 4 tsps. ground turmeric, 2 tsps. garam masala, 6 finely chopped garlic cloves, 5 tsps. peeled & grated ginger, 4 containers Liberte’
Greek plain yogurt, pinch of sea salt, 8 semi=boneless quails, 6 tbsps. olive oil, 1 medium size peeled & thinly sliced onion, 8 smashed cardamom pods, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 small can peeled tomatoes, 2 cups coconut milk, 1;3 cup chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, 1/3 cup fresh mint
instructions–(1) Combine coriander & cumin in small saute’ pan, toast over high heat ’til fragrant (2) Put in blender, add turmeric, masala and grind ’til very fine. (3) put half of spices in bowl, mix w/2 containers yogurt. (4) Coat quail pieces thoroughly, cover & refrigerate 30 min. (5) Heat olive oil in 6 qt. sauce pan over medium heat, add onion, cardamom, red pepper flakes, stir ’til onion softened, add remaining spices and cook another 5 min., stirring. (6) Add tomatoes & juices, bring to boil, stir over medium heat 15 min. (7) Add coconut milk, bring to boil, cook,stirring often ’til sauce thickens (up to 45 min. over medium heat. (8) have grill fired up, grill quail both sides over high heat (5 min.). (9) Transfer quail into sauce, stir in chopped herbs and remaining 2 yogurt containers, bring all to a simmer (do not boil), put on platter, garnish w/fresh green sprigs and serve. Now that was easy, wasn’t it!