New Ingredients = inspiration

Posted on Thursday 24 July 2014

radish top soup
Radish top soup improv: leek, radish tops, green onions, celery and an onion bouillon topped with (and mixed in) lemon thyme. I meant to add a potato for body but forgot. Still good. We had it outside but it was a bit chilly so part 2 of meal, inside.

new spices!
Annatto and Japanese rice seasonings. What to do with these?

A risotto made with some annatto, some onion, salt, garlic, maple syrup Sortilège whisky, and roasted chestnuts. Topped with a sprinkle of rice spice. It has seaweed and sesame so is quite a different note than the sweetish rice. In the background, a little more green: broccoli and zucchini.

How to finish off? We got some gooseberries from the market. I have a fuzzy memory of those. I picked them wild by the river but they had spines all over them. These are not sweet. What color was ripe? I forget.

mostly not ripe
Spreading them all out, they turn red when ripe. That’s the delicate taste I remember.

North Carolina Chocolate
What else, the last crumbs of this.

Escazu is a reminder how marginal other chocolates like Lindt or President’s Choice are. I had it once before in NYC but it is put together in Raleigh North Carolina. It has such a complex floral flavour, not caramelized, not floater beans. Hubby said before all chocolate tasted the same to him but this one tastes different. Small batch Venezualan and Costa Rican made on antique equipment with just 4 ingredients: cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla bean. Fruity, and a balanced bitter, and gone. I stretched out 80 g for 3 months.

11:33 am
Filed under: Chocolate
Making BanPierocchi on the BBQ

Posted on Wednesday 23 July 2014

making BanPierocchi
The turducken of pasta: a gnocchi inside a pierogi topped with camembert inside bannock. It is an Italian/Ukrainian/Scottish/Native/French with herbs. It looks kind of like Scottish eggs, doesn’t it.

making BanPierocchi
It has cuttings of garlic chives around for dipping.

making BanPierocchi
Started with boiling pierogis and letting them cool enough to touch again. Same with the gnocchi.

(Incidentally if you ask at stores for gnocchi pronounced NO key, they don’t know. If you ask for GAH naw chi, they do.) The cheese-potato pierogis contrasted with the gnocchi. If I could have found the tomato or spinach gnocchi I would have used the onion-potato pierogis.

making BanPierocchi
Top those with cheese and go heat up the cast iron pan on the bbq. Alternately I saw recipes saying oil your bbq rack and put it on directly. It seems like a way to lose them into the flame.

herbed bannock
Bannock is a pretty adaptable bread based on what you have.

stir together:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
couple pinches of salt
big pinch sugar
what herbs that could be trimmed: rosemary, sage, a green onion, chives

1/4 cup finely chopped butter

a cup of water

making BanPierocchi
make a soft dough to roll out.

making BanPierocchi
Wrap and roll.

making BanPierocchi
I fried in walnut oil because it’s good to mix up the base oil flavour at times.

making BanPierocchi
They puffed a little.

making BanPierocchi
It makes enough for 3 or 4 people.

And those truffles from yesterday? From Bernard Callebaut at 256 Dalhousie Street. Because Cyclie is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and I forgot to check. These were pretty good tho!

Marvellous ice wine and dark chocolate. (Or maybe that one’s raspberry. They’re hard to tell apart from looking.)

Did you notice there’s The Ultimate Chocolate Blog?

11:29 am
Filed under: Bread andChocolate andPasta andRecipes
Playing for Heaps

Posted on Tuesday 22 July 2014

Appetizer made on the bbq. A za’tar with some fresh herbs as well. The za’tar mix had large crystal salt which I hadn’t noticed when I got it. Too bad. Not enough herb added to offset it.

playing for heaps
And, playing for heaps, a pile of piergogies boiled with corn, peas, mushrooms and arugula added in at the halfway point.

12:19 pm
Filed under: All Posts
Petit Bill’s Bistro

Posted on Monday 21 July 2014

They do crème brulée exceptionally well with one or two special flavours a day, but other than that I’ve skeptically bypassed Petit Bill’s Bistro mostly with such a prevalently meaty menu, claim to fame being Newfoundland cuisine and bourbon, but there with a group there was actually a good option. People all seemed happy with every item got. The vegetarian can also be an afterthought. Not in this case.

bread while waiting
The bread while waiting was decent, a little crisp and warm, but the flavoured butter was excellent with leek and rhubarb.

pecan burger
A vegetarian pecan burger, garlic tahini yogurt, pickled vegetables, spring mix salad. Every item was exceptional. The salad was fresh and dressing very nice. The presentation was lovely from beet springs to pickled turnip and whatnot. If I were to have more than just the bistro main, the burger would be more appropriately portioned for two. But it had many flavours and textures so it didn’t feel like I was only getting to taste one thing. Not overly sugared or oversalted, not overly oily, not overcooked, at the right temperature. The integrity of the ingredients was preserved and it all worked together.

pecan burger
The pecan patty gives veggie burger option a good name. Crisp outside, a little softer inside. Good bun. Huge but well made.

We returned and shared a burger which was just right for two. Forgot to photograph when it came in that golden hour light.

flavoured butter
There was a chipotle maple flavoured butter.

strawberry lemonade
Strawberry lemonade.

strawberry lemonade
Sweet company.

And as much as I’d anticipated crème brulée,

pecan tart with chocolate bourbon sauce
the pecan tart with chocolate bourbon sauce won out. Well done. Fresh. Crust a bit tough and thick but the filling and chocolate just right.

11:48 am
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The Flying Banzini

Posted on Friday 18 July 2014

the personage of the day

Flying Banzini
Easy, Easy, Baby (vegetarian) $7.95 at The Flying Banzini: Roasted red peppers, oven dried tomatoes, spinach, red onion, black olive tapenade, cucumber, and goat cheese.

Seemed to be mostly cucumber and beets not peppers ad . Maybe they were out of peppers.

Flying Banzini
The Steve McQueen (vegetarian) $12.95 personal pizza: Roast beets, fig tapenade, fresh basil, balsamic reduction, goat cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

Yup, seemed to be all that. Forgot that the servings were huge. This was enough for 2 so a meal for two with leftovers became a meal for 4. It warmed up well. The crust was better than last time. This time less basil (but basil crops are doing terribly this year). The sweetness of fig and beet are constrasted to the salt of cheese. A third note of the basil wasn’t quite in balance but it was good.

Consumer’s Reports made an infographic of most common restaurant complaints and by our visit, they got none of them. Fairly fast, right temperature, clean, good service, unrushed.

I’d show you more but Flickr is being a pest again and says I can’t share my own photo. Imagine a picture, if you will of a card with Albert Einstein on it. Now imagine a picture of the bar area and the Collected Books sculpture memento.

the Collected Works book

12:18 pm
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Beach Picnicking

Posted on Thursday 17 July 2014

Over at Westboro Beach some watermelon spread over the manuscript blanket.

with fresh homemade loaf, and a bit of whatnots, arugula and basil from the garden, tomato and pearl cheese not from the garden. a bit of sliced tofurkey and mustard.

Red seedless grapes.

11:57 am
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Posted on Wednesday 16 July 2014

What would be fast in the heat? No, popsicles are all eaten. 4 minutes to boil the squash pasta and with it the frozen corn, celery and white mushrooms with the broccoli steamed on top of it all. Outdoors among the roses.

12:24 pm
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