Restaurant Review: Alloy

>> Monday, June 28, 2010


Alloy

Impressions are formed so quickly nowadays and first impressions are always hard to overcome, especially when it comes to people, places and food. Not surprisingly all are elements of a successful restaurant: the service, the atmosphere and definitely the taste. They are all equally as important and you can’t have a truly great experience when one part is missing. Sadly, sometimes unexpected issues arise and maybe the instance might not be one to rave about because those aspects didn’t align, but as first impressions are formed I also believe that there is room for new thoughts to replace the old ones. So more often then not, I try to give everything a couple shots before I truly define it and one place that sprang to my mind was Alloy.

Atmosphere:
Trendy dining area with an Asian inspired theme, a nice airy patio for the summer and both versatile enough for large groups or a romantic evening.

Price: Mid $20s - $30s

Greek Village Salad with Tempura Calamari
Food and Wine: Alloy provides a complimentary house made hummus, olives and pita platter (if anybody read my other restaurant experiences will understand how this pleased my dining companion greatly), I’m a sucker for pita and dips, so the evening was beginning well. As a starter, we ordered the Greek Village Salad, which essentially is a Greek salad, but the deconstructed form allowed for a stunning presentation. The salad also came with a side of tempura calamari, done perfectly crispy and served this way allowed the calamari to say in its crispy form. Our mains consisted of the Lobster Paella and the Seared Duck. The paella was served with a mixture of seafood including a lobster tail over creamy saffron rice while the duck was seared a perfect medium-rare (just as ordered) with sweet potato gnocchi, root vegetables and a delicious sweet honey truffle glaze.

Seared Duck
At this point we were both quite content, but one look at the dessert menu and seeing the Lemongrass Panna Cotta, how could we not get dessert! Due to the recent menu change, Alloy has decided to bring the dessert back for the summer and I have to agree that it’s quite fitting for this weather. The combination of the cooling panna cotta offset with the lingering heat from the three types of peppers used to create the sauce toppings, along with the sweet fruit flavours, what is there not to rave about? (Except that I could probably have three of them and still want more).

As for the wine, Alloy provides a wide range of both red and white wines to accompany its many dishes. The servers are well versed in this area, so definitely let them guide you if you’re unsure where to start off the evening.

Lemongrass Panna Cotta
My Picks: Lemongrass Panna Cotta

Overall: This wasn’t the first time I’ve been to Alloy and it has been a while since the last time I visited, which was an interesting experience to say the least, so I figured it was time to go back and seeing what has changed I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The service that we received has flipped 180º from the previous occasion and the food was well prepared and presented. Sometimes its a good idea to let first impressions be just that and nothing more.

Alloy
220 42 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 287-9255
Website: http://www.alloydining.com/

Alloy on Urbanspoon

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Lebanese Lamb Koftas

>> Friday, June 25, 2010

Lamb Kofta - Scrumptiously Fit Food
The first day of summer was earlier this week and with it, the flowers are starting to bloom, Calgarians are finally starting to enjoy patio weather and BBQ’s around town are all coming out of hibernation. Every summer we would have people over and throw burgers and hotdogs on the grill while hanging out in the backyard beside the fire pit for hours on end. Nothing defines the quintessential BBQ more than the summer burger, but this year I wanted something different, something that gives us the same satisfaction as grilling burgers but surprises our taste buds evermore. I didn’t have to look far in my recipe book to find one of my favorites, Lamb Koftas, a Lebanese / North African dish very similar to our burger patties, except done on skewers over the grill. The lamb gives the patties a different taste profile and adds that new element of flavour that I was looking for, plus anytime I’m given the opportunity to update the recipe slightly to make it healthier, I gladly rise to the occasion.

The original recipe calls for ground lamb but since I find the gameness of lamb to be overpowering at times, I figured it would work well to mix in ground beef which will mellow out the gamey taste without losing the flavour profile. Since this dish is usually meant to be served with pitas and tzatziki, it would be a nice refreshing way to kick start our summer, plus the yogurt is healthier than mayo and ketchup anyhow.

Lamb Kofta - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Here is my take on Lamb Kofta adapted from various recipes I’ve found over the years:

Ingredients:
1/2 lb lean ground lamb
1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 cups chopped fresh parsley
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Preparation:
If forming skewers: soak skewers in water to prevent them from burning on the grill. Sometimes I prefer to make these in to patties which don’t require this step.

In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika, allspice, cayenne, ground coriander, tumeric, salt and pepper set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb and ground beef. Add in the fresh parsley, onion and egg, continue to mix well. Finally slowly mix in the spices. You might want to taste test the meat mixture at this time to see if there is indeed enough salt and pepper.

Grab about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and form them in to small balls and place carefully on skewers, give them a good squeeze to prevent them from falling apart on the grill. If you’re making patties, just lightly press them flat instead.

Since the koftas are made from lamb and beef they don’t need to be on the grill for long, approximately 8-10 mins depending on the heat of your grill. Keep an eye on them since they’re juicier when they’re not cooked for too long!

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Whole Wheat Pitas with Low Fat Tzatziki Dip

>> Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Tzatziki w/ Pita Bread


Ever since I was young, I’ve always enjoyed eating foods that were very hands on. Ranging from dunkaroos (remember those?), taking the little individual cookies out of their tray and dunking them in to the creamy sugary vanilla icing, to using my fresh piece of bread to soak up all the steaming hot Thai curry that my parents would often make (we’re not Thai, but my parents make a mean Thai curry, maybe it’ll show up on here someday). So it’s really not a shocker that I love any and all dips even to this day.

Whenever I go out for lunch or dinner or even for a light snack, I’m easily sidetracked to ordering the appetizers comprising of various dips and sauces rather than place my focus on the main entrees, but with some nudging along, I eventually get pass just ordering the appies. Basically whenever the words, pita, naan, chips, bread, etc are highlighted, you know I’ll be enticed to try it. Maybe not straight away because not all my dining partners enjoy the dips as much as I do, but I’ll usually keep note to wander back some time down the road to give it a taste. So when I eventually was old enough to have my own kitchen to play in, dips were never in shortage around the house.

Enjoying the original flavours of any dip recipe are beyond what words can describe as being delectable, but due to the amount of how much I consume them, I had to find a way to lighten up my tried and true favourites without losing that taste. Hummus was my first endeavour because I love the creaminess of the chickpeas and the cumin infused flavour, but I couldn’t stop there. Tzatziki rates just as high on my list and although it’s already made from yogurt, the fattiness of the yogurt often made it a little heavy for me. So with some trial and errors, I think I’ve finally found a tzatziki recipe that I enjoy and would like to share with everyone.

Of course I couldn’t forget the pita bread which is used to scoop up the cool tzatziki sauce. Since I enjoy denser breads, I bake a pita bread adapted from Jeena’s that’s more similar to naan bread, which has more of a fleshy interior and gives a better chew, plus the thicker pita allows me to pick up more of that lovely dip in which to savour one bite at a time and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tzatziki Sauce
Ingredients:

1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
½ cup low fat sour cream
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic minced
½ cucumber
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheesecloth

Preparation:
Place yogurt and sour cream in cheesecloth and allow excess water to drain out. Usually takes 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Peel and de-seed the cucumber, cut in to thin pieces, dry with a paper towel to remove all excess water.

Combine cucumbers, garlic, mint, salt and pepper in to yogurt / sour cream mixture. Stir well and place in fridge for flavours to infuse. Best when made in advance and left in fridge overnight before serving.

Naan Bread
Whole wheat pita bread (naan bread)
Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar
3 tbsp low fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp canola oil
1 packet of active dry yeast
¼ cup low fat milk
Hot water

Preparation:
Measure out the milk and place in a small bowl. Add in hot water a couple drops at a time until the milk is lukewarm. Mix in the dry yeast and set aside allowing the yeast to rise.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Make a small well in the centre and add in yogurt, oil and the milk mixture. Stir slowly until it becomes a nice doughy texture. Flour the countertop, place the dough on the counter and kneed for a couple of minutes.

Put the dough back in to the bowl, cover with seran wrap and let rise until it doubles in size (roughly 30 mins).

Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and cut in to 4 equal sized portions. Preheat the oven to 450ºF

Flour the countertop and roll out each of the portions until it forms a small oval that’s ¼ inch think.

Brush a little olive oil or butter over the top and feel free to sprinkle on your favourite types of seeds to give it a little texture. Bake in the oven for roughly 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the bread.

Remove, let cool and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Naan Bread

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Restaurant Review: Involtini Ristorante

>> Friday, June 18, 2010


Scallops

People tend not to want to venture outside their comfort zones, but when it comes to food, for me it’s rare that I stay within my comfort zone. I’d much rather try new things that I’ve never heard of or while I’m at it a whole new type of cuisine. I like going to different parts of town or even different countries to sample their local favorites. That’s why when I read about Involtini, located outside any of Calgary’s better known neighbourhoods, I had to go try it out. Plus, they serve involtini’s which I’ve heard about for quite some time now, but never had a chance to check out.

Atmosphere: Cozy and intimate, perfect for a romantic evening with that special somebody.

Price Range: Mid $10s-30s

Chicken Involtini
Food and Wine: The instant the dining room doors opened and I was presented with the view of the main dining area, I was impressed, but the one thing that really stuck with me about Involtini was how much I enjoyed their bread. I usually lean more towards buying denser types of bread like sourdough and so when I was presented with Involtini’s freshly house made bread (which was filled with a yummy doughy interior) and their olive oil sweet balsamic vinegar reduction for dipping, I was in heaven. I think I downed the whole basket before our server even came to take our order!

When I could finally pull myself away from that bread basket, we did order our dinner for the evening. We started with the daily appetizer special, which happened to be Seared Scallops served with arugula and roasted red peppers, the scallops were slightly smaller than what I had imagined when our server described the dish, but aside from that, the greens were topped with a nice vinaigrette dressing. For our mains, my dinner date ordered the Fisherman’s Stew served with fish, prawns (more so shrimp I’d say), mussels (you get the idea), which he described as being a little under seasoned, but he didn’t mind it because it allowed him to taste the flavours of the seafood. The only minor complaint he did have was regarding the prawns, which seemed to be previously frozen cooked shrimp and not very fresh. Unlike my Chicken Involtini (I could not go to a restaurant called involtini without trying their house specialty), with chicken scaloppini wrapped around jumbo sized prawns and finished with a lovely brandy garlic cream sauce. I definitely had no complaints about the seafood in my dish. The prawns were extremely fresh and succulent and the sauce was creamy but not overwhelming. I can’t wait to try all the other flavours which include veal, salmon and beef tenderloin.

Fisherman's Stew
We decided to share a half litre of Sur Andes Malbec since we both have a preference for red wines. This Malbec was a bit on the drier side than one would expect with this grape variety, but went well with our seafood heavy meal. Since it was a bit lighter than the usual Malbec, it didn’t overpower the seafood flavours but managed to complement them, setting the tone for a great meal.

My Picks: Hands down – the bread, the Involtini’s are definitely worth it as well.

Overall: Involtini would be considered a hidden gem in my books. Located outside the districts of Kensington or Inglewood, it’s nice to know that there’s still fine dining to be had far away from the downtown core and did I mention the great bread?

Involtini Ristorante
Involtini Ristorante
Oak Bay Plaza
2515 – 90 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 281-2482
Website: http://www.involtini.ca/



Involtini Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale - supporting Calgary Meals on Wheels

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale

The food bloggers of Calgary, led by Vincci from Ceci n’est pas un food blog have come together to organize a bake sale this weekend at the Market Collective in Kensington. The sale runs on both Saturday (10am-6pm) and Sunday (11am-5pm) where all profits benefit Calgary Meals on Wheels.

Calgary Meals on Wheels is a charitable organization which provides meal preparation and delivery to Calgarians who are in need of their help including, seniors, convalescents and people with disabilities.

Please come down to the Market Collective, 148 – 10th Street NW – in the old Ant hill building to support a good cause. Admission is $2 (which goes to the food bank) or a food bank donation!

Here is the list of all the participating Calgary food bloggers!

Andrea – Live, Love, Laugh, EAT!
Chelsey – The Crazy Kitchen
Cheryl – Backseat Gourmet
Claire – I Love Alberta Beets
Dan – Dan’s Good Side
Fareen – Food Mamma
Heather – Calgary Restaurant Examiner
Jennifer – Chocolate and Ginger
John & Nancy – ChowTown
Julie – Dinner with Julie
Lauren – Celiac Teen
Liz – Truffle Mutt
Peter – The Celiac Husband
Pierre – Kitchen Scraps
Vincci - Ceci n’est pas un food blog
Vlad – Vlad’s Gonzo Food Blog
Zoey – Vegedible

And lastly Me - Scrumptiously Fit Food!

Thanks for everybody's support in advance!

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Restaurant Review: O Restaurant and Lounge

>> Monday, June 14, 2010

O Restaurant Appetizers
As we get older and older it seems like time is moving ever faster. Months and seasons change with a blink of an eye and years are barely a memory. I’ve always felt that it could be purely personal because I’ve always been the “Toys R Us kid”, the one that never wanted to grow up, never wanted to be 18 when all others around me couldn’t wait to be legal, but after talking to many many other people, it seems like I’m not the only one after all. Well not the only one thinking time is flying by, but maybe more so the only one wanting to be a “Toys R Us kid”. Personally I would have been quite content staying about 16, enough freedom to do what I wanted without the hassle or pressures of an adult life. Of course I know that can’t happen, but only what if. I guess what I’m trying to get at is, maybe we all just need to take time and truly appreciate where we are at now before time fast forwards again and next thing you know we’ll wonder where most of our lives have gone. Therefore taking in memorable moments and truly living and not just existing is vital, but most importantly enjoying the company of good friends along side some wonderful delicious food, which I’m sure, always makes for good memories.

Atmosphere: Both chic booths and trendy stretched tables at O provide a haven for the romantic couple or the stylish crowd, a good place to lounge and enjoy a few drinks, possibly a few bites.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30s


Pan Seared Salmon
Food and Wine: Simply put our experience at O was intriguing, beginning with the restaurant being out of the wine that we initially ordered (O has a good selection of wine, but it could be due to the foreshadowing of the evening that they were of our specific choice) and followed by one of my dining companions becoming quickly unimpressed with the fact that they didn’t serve complimentary bread to satiate him before the arrival of our meal (he mentioned that he would be looking for this specific comment on my post, so how could I leave it out?). Luckily we had two servers to solve our problems (as one was training that day and had to shadow our main server), we’d figured that having two servers would solve our issues in a jiffy! Sadly that wasn’t quite the case, the same breadless dining companion then ordered his appetizer to find out that again they were out, but this time of calamari and so his hopes and dreams of ingesting grilled calamari that day would be denied. To sum things up quickly Mr. Breadless was not having a good dinner so far.

However we did end up ordering several other appetizers that were available including the Tombo Tuna Tartare which was served with an avocado tomato salsa and wonton crisps, the Lamb Flatbread served with goat cheese and Mussels in a creamy leek and parsley white wine sauce. Aside from the lamb being a little too gamey for me, the rest were quite tasty.

With no further ordering mishaps, our mains quickly arrived, where all occupants decided on a different dish. I ended up with the Pan Seared Salmon (which I ordered medium and sadly received well done, am I the only one not liking flaky overcooked fish?) served with lemon chive gnocchi, veggies and a tomato jam, which was quite fascinating but possibly more so on paper, but the gnocchi was nice. Mr. Breadless sampled the West Coast Halibut, which he described as being - not surprisingly - halibut, nothing lost and nothing gained. As for our friends, again there was a conflict, one seemed to have been content with his Braised Lamb, while the other received a well done (ordered medium well) Alberta Steak.

Of course you’re probably all thinking why we haven’t returned anything to the kitchen at this point, all I can say is, has anybody watched the movie “Waiting” not to say that O would do anything of the sort, but to this day, I have yet to return anything to any kitchen – EVER.

West Coast Halibut
My Picks: Tombo Tuna Tartare

Overall: O was great for setting the scene and providing a few tasty appetizer bites, but due to our intriguing experience, it would almost require a redo, a start over of sorts to truly be able to give an overall opinion. Unfortunately I’m not sure if I will be headed back to O any time soon and if so, would there be anyone willing to join me? I’m sure it’ll make for some interesting memories. =)

O Restaurant and Lounge
2018 33 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 249-0605
Website: http://www.orestaurantlounge.ca/

O Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

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Sweet and Savoury Phyllo Pastry – Crab Roll & Apple Raisin Roll Recipes

>> Friday, June 11, 2010


Crab Rolls - Scrumptiously Fit Food

It greatly saddens me to read about the current economic situation in Greece, with all the history and its beautiful landmarks and islands, Greece is an amazing country which one would have hoped to never have to face what they’re facing now. I remember travelling through the country last year, amazed by the pure fact that I was finally in the country that I’ve grown up dreaming about, especially after all those days looking at the blue azure photos contrasting the beautiful stark white buildings. The country was built to be a postcard and those were my exact thoughts when I was standing atop one of those famous white buildings in Oia on the island of Santorini waiting among all the tourists at a local hotspot known for Oia’s beautiful and awe inspiring sunsets, said to be one of the best in the world, which it truly was.

Aside from the feasts for the eyes, Santorini also provides amazing feasts for the ever hungry foodie. Ranging from the succulent roasted lamb on a spit, to the Kakavia – a traditional fish stew prepared with freshly caught fish at least 8 hours in advance, requiring patrons to place an order for the dish the evening before. Although all are beyond delicious, desserts were what I looked forward to every evening. Grecian desserts are decadent but never overwhelming, I could never figure out why since they all encompass a large amount of sugars, but using fresh and natural ingredients could be a big factor, from the home grown honey to the lovely thick yogurt (if you’ve never tried yogurt and honey when in Greece, you don’t know what you’re missing) it’s truly a flavour and texture explosion. My favourite was the use of honey and phyllo pastry to make a well known dessert called baklava. The crunch from the phyllo pastry and the stickiness of the honey oozing out of the baklava when you cut out a piece with your fork is an experience in itself, but when you finally taste it, you’ll know it was well worth flying over a day for it!

Phyllo Pastry - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Since I won’t be flying to Greece anytime in the near future, the next best thing is to try and create a menu utilizing Greek inspired ingredients, namely phyllo pastry. The light fluffy pastry is great for both appetizers and desserts so I figured it would be fun to try and tackle one of each. For the appetizer, I opted to go the route similar to a spanakopita, which combines spinach and feta cheese to give it a creamy and rich taste, but to lighten up the recipe, a creamy crab roll wrapped in phyllo with fat free cream cheese would create the same texture without the fat. In the dessert category, it’s impossible to beat baklava, so since my next go to dessert usually includes apples in some way (apple crisp, apple crumble, etc…) I figured it would be a good test to roll up little bits of apple in phyllo pastry to recreate an apple pie of sorts without the heavy pie crust. Both of these recipes allow phyllo to replace the heavier puff pastries normally used thereby lowering the caloric and fat intake. Hopefully these little bites will help us all remember a beautiful Greece.

Crab Mixture - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Crab Rolls
Ingredients:
1 can of crab meat or if you’re adventurous de-shell half a crab
1/3 cup fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
Phyllo pastry sheets – can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery store

Preparation:
Defrost phyllo pastry sheets a couple of hours before planning to make the dish.

Preheat oven to 400ºC.

Combine all ingredients listed and mix thoroughly, salt and pepper should be added to taste.

Pull out one phyllo pastry sheet and lightly brush olive oil over top, then lay a second piece of the pastry sheet on top, again brush lightly with olive oil.

Cut the pastry sheets in to 6 cm strips. Put a tablespoon of the crab mixture in the middle and fold the bottom towards the right edge of the strip forming a triangle. Fold the triangle up and then over again until it completely rolls up the entire strip. Set aside.

Once all crab rolls are done, place on baking sheet and in the oven for 10-15 mins, until the outside of the rolls are slightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool and serve.
Should make around 6-8 rolls.

Apple Raisin Rolls - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Apple Raisin Rolls
Ingredients:

1 Apple – any kind, I used Gala which is one of my favourite apples
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
Canola oil
Phyllo pastry sheets

Preparation:
Defrost phyllo pastry sheets a couple of hours before planning to make the dish.

Preheat oven to 400ºC.

Peel and slice apple in to 1 inch pieces. Place a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add in apples, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and water. Cook the mixture until most of the water has evaporated, creating a nice thick concoction.

Pull out one phyllo pastry sheet and lightly brush olive oil over top, then lay a second piece of the pastry sheet on top, again brush lightly with olive oil (for more crunch, feel free to layer on another sheet of phyllo).

Cut the pastry sheets in to 6 cm strips. Put a tablespoon of the apple mixture in the middle and fold the bottom towards the right edge of the strip forming a triangle. Fold the triangle up and then over again until it completely rolls up the entire strip. Set aside.

Once all apple raisin rolls are done, place on baking sheet and in the oven for 10 mins, until the outside of the rolls are slightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool and serve with cinnamon, sugar and honey drizzled on top along with some vanilla ice cream!

Should make around 6-8 rolls.

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Sushi Rice and Recipe Ideas

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Sushi Roll - Scrumptiously Fit Food


Sushi has been touted as being healthy for as long as I can remember. Healthy fats in both avocado and fish, being the main ingredients in sushi, along with the antioxidants provided by the seaweed has propelled the raw food generation to explode. Since sushi is not cooked or processed in any way, it is probably the closest to its natural form (except maybe the freezing required to bring fish to land locked Calgary). Recently though, I’ve noticed that a lot of sushi restaurants are becoming “trendier” and have gotten more “westernized” with their special sushi roll creations and new sauces. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ingenuity that’s required to come up with new ideas and is usually enticed to try the up and coming sushi restaurants due to its unique use of ingredients. Although the true sushi aficionado in me does occasionally crave the simplistic sushi served the true original Japanese style, without the mayonnaise created sauces added in to the rolls and sushi.

One of my favourite rolls and it has been the case since the first time I’ve tried it is the spicy tuna roll, which restaurants now serve with a sauce made with a mixture of siracha hot sauce and mayonnaise. Although the spicy tuna roll to some would not be considered true Japanese sushi, since it is more of a westernized version of the sushi roll, but when it’s made with just siracha hot sauce without the mayo, I believe it would classify as being closer to the original style of sushi.

Sushi - Scrumptiously Fit FoodNutritional Tidbit: Spicy food has been found to increase one’s metabolism when ingested. Capsaicin, which is the spiciness that we feel when ingesting hot peppers adheres to our tastebuds causing that all too well known burn eliciting our body to try and regulate the internal temperature by producing sweat, which in turn causes a heightened use of calories to maintain homeostasis. If you’re not one to eat too spicy, adding in fruit does tone down the burn factor a bit, but also lowering the amount of hot sauce used will give you a great taste without being overwhelming and the fruit also provides added antioxidants!

So I figured since it seems harder and harder to find authentic sushi, why not try a go at making sushi at home? It’s fun and definitely economical (I think we ended up eating sushi for 3 meals afterwards)! Here is my recipe for sushi rice and some suggestions on what type of ingredients you can add to make rolls that are considered fancy but still a close resemblance to the traditional Japanese style that we all know and love! Hope you enjoy rolling the sushi as much as I did.

Sushi Rolls - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Sushi Rice Recipe (to make the rice healthier I’ve lowered the amount of sugar used and barely noticed a difference)

Ingredients:
1 cup sushi rice
2 cups water
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Preparation:
Rinse rice once or twice with water to remove the top layer of starch. Add in water and boil rice on medium heat for 15 mins or until all water has evaporated or use a rice cooker if you have one. Fluff quickly with fork and let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt and heat in microwave until sugar and salt have melted.

Add the vinegar mixture in to the rice and use for sushi and rolls.

Sushi Ingredients - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Ingredient Suggestions:
Green onions (chives)
Mangoes
Kiwi
Avocado
Peas
Siracha hot sauce
Be creative and feel free to add in different types of fruit and herbs to make a unique sushi recipe but have it still be good and good for you!

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Restaurant Review: Tango Bistro

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Tango Bistro Tapas


It could be due to the fact that summer is around the corner and I’m coming out of hibernation or the fact that I just enjoy good company, but I’ve found that I am consistently eating out recently. Personally I would like to blame it on the nice Calgary weather that we’ve been getting, but who am I kidding, the words nice and weather doesn’t ever work well together in the same sentence when the word Calgary is involved. So as to make myself feel better, I am going to strike out my first sentence and rewrite the beginning of this paragraph.

It could be due to the fact that our Calgary weather has been the pits lately or the fact that I just need the company, but yes, I have been eating out lots recently.

There we go, so the fact of the matter is still this…that I have been eating out lots recently, which is actually quite a treat with all the nice new restaurants in and around the city (but probably not so much to the waist line). In any case, the weather does perhaps either work for (motivate people to think pass the gloominess) or against (make a few more couch potatoes) people’s will to want to go out plus the restaurants wanting to try new things to keep bringing the crowds out, but I believe that if you’re a true Calgarian you’ll understand that we have to deal with this weather situation probably 50 out of the 52 weeks of the year, so why let the weather stop us from having our fun. Why not tell the weather that we’re better than it and step out and enjoy life? Oh and if you do, I would definitely suggest Tango.

Atmosphere: Fresh, hip and modern, a great meeting place for friends and groups wanting a bite.

Price Range: $10s

Pulled Pork Sliders
Food and Wine: When you’re first offered the menu at Tango, you’ll notice that there’s a number of intriguing items that you can’t wait to try. Yet they’re sectioned in to “Ours” which are marked as shareable and “Mine” meant to be served as single servings. The sections seemed a little perplexing but upon asking our server, she indicated that they’re all indeed shareable, so feel free to order anything off of the menu (as noted by the plating of all the pictures). After we were told that, there was really nothing holding us back at that point, the whole menu was fair game. We decided on a few different dishes, starting down the list with the Pulled Pork Sliders served with cole slaw and a sweeter sauce, which would almost be too much if it wasn’t for the smaller size of the sliders.

Next came the Bacon Wrapped, Chorizo Stuffed Medjool Dates, which was the perfect medley and the sweetness of the dates in this case became the star of the dish, making me look at dates in a whole new light (can somebody say date recipes to come soon to the blog?). The Lime Cured Prawn and Scallop Ceviche was a nice break from the more dominant flavours of the previous two dishes and almost became a nice palette cleanser of sorts. The prawns and scallops were done perfectly with just the right amount of citrus as not to overcome the delicate flavours of the seafood, the plantain chips was a playful touch.

Mushroom Truffle Gnocchi
Finally we decided last minute to order off of the “Mine” list and added the Mushroom and Truffle Gnocchi (people all know how much I love my gnocchi). Truffles are a delight and it gave the gnocchi a nice flavour and definitely works well with the mushrooms, seeing as they’re in the same family. The gnocchi themselves were a little softer than some that I’ve had before, but it could also be due to the fact that the dish was still piping hot when it was served, a feature that I really enjoyed about Tango.

We can’t forget the interesting desserts that were offered to us at the end of our meal. Instead of your conventional dessert platter or plating style, Tango has opted to go for “shots” where the desserts are served in 3 oz shot glasses, allowing you to try several different flavours without the overindulgence (I recommend the Mango)!

We didn’t get a chance to sample their wine varieties, but looking at the list, there seemed to be a good selection for the types of foods served.

Key Lime and Mango Dessert Shots
My Picks: Bacon Wrapped, Chorizo Stuffed Medjool Dates

Overall: Since all the dishes are meant as tapas, I was pleasantly surprised at the portion sizes that were presented allowing a good sized group to share and try as many dishes as possible, plus with all the dishes coming out right after they’re freshly cooked and plated, you can truly enjoy them at their best!

Tango Bistro
6920 Macleod Trail South
Calgary, AB
(403) 252-4365
Website: http://www.tangobistro.com/

Tango Bistro on Urbanspoon

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