So did anyone else notice that Thanksgiving has suddenly become everyone’s favourite holiday?  Sure it doesn’t have the gifts of Christmas or the cheesy poems of Mother’s Day but somewhere between friends and family getting together, all-day tv marathons and long walks with strangers’s dogs, Thanksgiving has defeinitely taken the….stuffing.

If you are like me, you constantly rely on the the kindness of other to slave away the day preparing and serving the actual Thanksgiving dinner.  Then you swoop in on the festivities provide witty banter, some Fuzion wine and help clean up a few stray napkins.  Before you know it, the evening is over, you’re on your way home and no one even noticed that you didn’t do anything.

But if you are going to be making some yummy food today, why not get a little help, right? I thought it would be great to get two of Calgary’s best chef’s provided their favourite recipes to help inspire you. Executive Chefs John MacLean of Delta Calgary Airport  and Ian Riddick of Delta Lodge at Kananaskis wanted to share recipes for these simple appetizers that are quick and easy to prepare at home, and leave plenty of time for enjoying my witty banter.

The recipes below are designed to add a local twist to the conventional spread while keeping the familiar comforts and tastes of the traditional Thanksgiving feast  –  using local and seasonal products.

If anyone feels like making me some of these yummy appetizers, let me know….I’ll come over and try them myself.

Recipe #1:

Wild Sockeye Salmon on pumpernickel, dill cream cheese, locally grown micro greens
Yield: 5 pieces
* 5 pcs, pumpernickel rounds
* 110g, cured salmon
* 10g, burnoise red onion
* ¼ each, fresh lemon
* 4g, chopped capers
* Pinch of fresh chopped dill
* Cream cheese
* Micro greens
* Cold press canola oil
* Sea salt to taste
1. Place pumpernickel rounds on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.
2. Chop cured salmon and place into a bowl, add red onions, capers, lemon juice and chopped dill
3. Mix all of the above ingredients together, and season with sea salt to taste
4. Mix dill and cream cheese together and spread on pumpernickel rounds, on top of pumpernickel place salmon mixture on each one, 14 grams of mix on each pumpernickel.
5. Cut fresh grown micro greens and toss with basic rice wine vinaigrette and they place micro greens on top on salmon.
6. Arrange as desired on platter, drizzle with cold pressed canola oil and reduced balsamic syrup.

Goat Cheese “Mountains”

  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1 cup Alberta Honey
  • 16 – 9″ x 14″ phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen
  • 1 pound chevre (goat cheese), mild
  • 1 cup wild rosehips
  • 3 ounces of sugar
  • ½ cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Wash rosehips and place in heavy bottom sauce pan, add sugar and water. Gently simmer for 30 minutes. Using a hand blender crush rosehip mix, and strain thru coffee filter or cheesecloth. Set aside.
  3. Mix melted butter and honey keep warm
  4. Scoop chevre into 24 – 1 tablespoon portions and reserve.
  5. Gently unwrap phyllo dough from packaging and unfold. Cover stack of phyllo sheets with plastic wrap followed by a damp kitchen towel. Remove one sheet of phyllo and re-cover the stack. Lay the phyllo on a work surface with the short side in front of you. Brush with melted butter. Lay a second sheet of phyllo on top of the buttered phyllo. Brush with more butter. Cut the stacked phyllo from short side to short side into  even (4″ x 4″) strips.
  6. Place 1 scoop of cheese near the corner of a phyllo then fold over to enclose filling and form a package. Continue to fold the strip like a flag, keeping the triangle shape. Lay pastry on a baking sheet, seam side down. Brush top with butter. Repeat until all the phyllo has been used. Recipe may be prepared up to three days in advance at this point – simply wrap in plastic and store in the freezer).

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan once to ensure even browning. Cool slightly before serving.

Mike Morrison