Basa Fish Tacos

>> Monday, August 29, 2011


Fish Taco

It’s amazing how frozen food stuffs can pile up in the freezer. At one point we were finding it hard to fit in ice cube trays because there was so much of everything in there. I’m not talking about frozen dinners or prepackaged food. Our freezer was filled with items we bought for the week but weren’t able to get through. Somehow this just kept on for weeks until finally we decided something had to be done. Mission clear the freezer started. First went the chicken, followed by meats of all sorts and then there was the fish and seafood.

Having had really delicious seafood all over the world especially in areas that are fortunate enough to be right by the ocean, frozen fish has never really done it for me (frozen anything actually unless it’s meant to be that way…like ice cream). Sometimes you just have to work with what you got and for a land locked Alberta, sometimes frozen fish is all you’ve got (I’m still trying to find a good fishmonger so let me know if you have a good contact).

It can be difficult to make good fish recipes with frozen fish because the texture of the fillets might not hold up well to the method of cooking used. Frying for example could be difficult on frozen fish if you don’t let it thaw out correctly and remove all the moisture from the fish. I couldn’t imagine trying to batter really wet soggy fish. Therefore the usual cooking technique that I apply to frozen fish is by steaming. Adding some soy sauce, green onions, ginger and calling it a day (think Chinese restaurant style).

However, when I read the package and realized I had defrosted some frozen basa fillets, I decided it might be fun to play up the recipe a bit. Plus, I realized I had some left over cabbage and yogurt lying around, nothing like clearing out the whole fridge while you’re at it. So I decided to make some basa fish tacos for the evening.

Since there are several steps in this recipe, instead of the usual way of pan searing the fish (or deep frying which is not exactly the healthiest way to enjoy the fish, plus I find that you lose some of the flavours through frying), I decided that I’d use the oven. This allowed me to set it and forget it so to speak, giving me some time to prep everything else that was required. This recipe seems like a lot, but in actuality only took me a total of 30 mins before everything was ready on the table. So don't let the steps fool you, it really is a quick and tasty recipe!

Basa Fillets
Fish Marinade Ingredients:
2 Frozen basa fish fillets
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
Lime juice

Fish Preparation:
Defrost the frozen basa fillets overnight in the fridge.

Once the fish has defrosted, rinse them quickly and dry off both fillets. Place them in a shallow baking dish and sprinkly on the chili powder, salt and pepper. Lightly squeeze on some lime juice over each fillet.

Do this to both sides of the fish. Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for 15-30 mins while you prep the sauce and fixings.

When ready to cook the fish, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the fish in the oven for 13-15 mins or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Coleslaw
Coleslaw Ingredients:
1/2 green cabbage
3 medium sized carrots
1/2 medium sized onion
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Coleslaw Preparation:
Cut the cabbage, onion and carrots in to thin slices (or put the carrots through a mandolin).

In a small bowl mix together the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour it over the cabbage slaw and let it marinate for 15 mins.

Yogurt Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
Salt and pepper
Tabasco sauce (optional)

Yogurt Sauce Preparation:
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Add in a few dashes of the tabasco sauce for some extra spiciness (I enjoy my tacos a bit spicier. If you’re not sure what level of spiciness your guests can handle. You can also leave the tabasco off to the side and have them add it directly to their tacos instead).

Once all the ingredients are fully mixed, cover it with saran wrap and let all the flavours meld together before serving in tacos.

Corn Tortillas
I love making everything from scratch and decided that I would also try making the corn tortilla wrappers (I recently found a Mexican food store and got me some masa!). So here’s a quick recipe if you’re curious. They were super quick and tasty, better than having to drive to the grocery store!

Corn Tortilla Ingredients:
1 cup masa (ground up corn flour)
2/3 cup water

Corn Tortilla Preparation:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure our the masa and add in the water until the dough starts to come together. If there is left over masa in the bowl, add a bit of water one tbsp at a time until all the extra masa is picked up.

You don’t want to add too much water or else the dough will be too sticky and won’t form a nice textured tortilla.

Once ready, pinch off a small ball of the dough, roll it in to a small circle.

Place the small circle of dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it flat using a rolling pin. The parchment prevents the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. You might have to cut off the excess dough to form a round tortilla. Do so with a small paring knife.

If you have a tortilla press, then you’re set. Place the dough in the press and you’ll get a perfect round tortilla every time.

Heat up a small skillet on the stove to medium. Put each rolled out tortilla on the skillet for roughly 30 secs a side and remove.

Cover cooked tortillas with a cloth to keep them warm until ready to serve.

To Serve Tacos:
Place several small chunks of the fish on to the middle of the tortilla, top with slaw, yogurt sauce and a bit of Tabasco.

Wrap and enjoy!

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Restaurant Review: Double Zero Pizza

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Sign

Work weeks can be long and sometimes painful. So it helps to have little things to look forward to in order to perk it up. Vacations being one of them, but its not every week where one can take off for an exotic locale. Enter in the happy hour. It’s not an azure blue ocean or romantic Paris, but at least it’s something to look forward to and it’s easily accessible. It’s great to know that there are so many different happy hour locations close by offering an array of bevies to make the week that much more enjoyable. Some even offer food specials, like Double Zero Pizza. How could one refuse?

Atmosphere: An open concept lower level dining area, with a laid-back rustic flare.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food and Wine: Since we were there for happy hour, this allowed us to sample a bunch of their appetizers at a special happy hour pricing. Each appetizer is served in a smaller sample plate and only costs $5 each. It reminded me of a tapas menu, which was very exciting. Plus there is nothing better than pairing $5 happy hour drinks (house wine and select beers) with yummy food.

Appies
The Calamari had a nice light batter, which really allowed the calamari itself to be the star. It was served with fried capers, green onions and a very light creamy tomato sauce, not the usual tzatziki, but I didn’t mind it, instead I welcomed the change (so good we ordered it twice). The Shaved Speck had a really nice smokey flavour which paired well with the garlic spread and cherry tomatoes. I’m not a huge cheese fan and found the goat cheese in the Marinated Beets to be quite powerful. The grapefruit, basil and pistachios helped to mellow out the gaminess of the goat cheese, but I stuck to eating just the marinated beets which were perfectly seasoned and weren’t overly acidic. Our last appie dish was the “00” Meatballs. Made from a combination of ground pork and beef and served with a sweet tomato gravy sauce. My husband and I both found the meatballs a bit leaner than average, which ended up making them a bit dry. However, I liked the way they were seasoned and the sauce helped to rectify the fact that the meat wasn’t very fatty.

We couldn’t very well come to a pizza place and leave without trying their signature item….the pizza. So we ordered the Sausage Pizza featuring homemade Italian sausage, green onions and artichoke over a crispy thin dough reminiscent of Italian style pizzas. The artichoke was a really nice addition, bringing a much needed tartness to the dish. Especially since pizzas tend to be on the oily side, the thinness of the dough and the light touch of the toppings balance each other out. As mentioned the dough was pleasantly thin (just the way I like it) with a nice crunch when you bite in to it. The outer crust was a bit thick, but being a carbaholic, I enjoyed it!


Italian Sausage Pizza
Due to it being happy hour, I ended up sticking with the house wine that night, which was of the Negroamaro grape varietal. It is a Southern Italian grape variety, known for its deep dark red color. It tasted spicy and oaky, with a bold finish. Slightly bitter and went very well with the Italian sausage pizza.

My Picks: Calamari, Italian Sausage Pizza

Overall: On top of having a neat happy hour special on appetizer dishes, the service was friendly and welcoming. A much needed respite after a long days work. So even if you’re not headed to Double Zero to try it’s delicious pizza or even for their drinks, the service will win you over.

Double Zero Pizza
751 4 Street SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 265-9559
Website: http://www.doublezeropizza.ca/

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Restaurant Review: Ichi Rock [ra:ku]

>> Friday, August 19, 2011


Scallop

Lately I’ve noticed that there has been a change in the service industry in Calgary. I’ve talked to quite a few people about it and the general consensus is that Calgary as a whole is getting better. Exciting stuff, I’ve had some pretty great experiences (wish I could share them all here), but a recent experience that really stood out for me was at Ichi Rock raku.

Atmosphere: Small homey restaurant with Japanese panache.

Price Range: Mid $10s

Food: Ichi Rock is a izakaya restaurant or what most people know as a place that serves smaller plates (Spanish tapas anyone?). So be prepared to try a bunch of different smaller fusion dishes, which was exactly what we did.

Okonomiyaki
Since I love to google our restaurant menus prior to going, I saw a couple of dishes online that I wanted to try, like this one Scallop Tartare dish. However, I didn’t see it on the menu and when we asked for it, the server mentioned that they were no longer serving it. I was a little disappointed but carried on with ordering the rest of the dishes. To my surprise however, shortly afterwards, the server comes back and tells us that the she spoke to the chef and he was willing to make it especially for us. How accommodating! I was already very very pleased (What made it better was the owner of the restaurant later told us that the dish was on the house! I was flabbergasted! Totally unexpected and a really nice surprise!). The scallops had the perfect amount of dressing especially when combined with the creamy avocados and sweet red peppers. I’m not too sure what kind of chips those were. They definitely weren’t your typical tortilla chips. Delish!

Takoyaki
The restaurant was getting quite busy at this time (always a good sign to see lots of Japanese people at a sushi restaurant), but all the dishes came out at a good pace. The Agedahi Tofu (there is two, one of them has cheese so be careful which one you order, we got the traditional version), was crispy and served with a light soy sauce. It could have used more onions and bonito flakes, but overall the taste of it was good. Our next dish was the Takoyaki, which my friend suggested that I order. I’m not usually one to order this dish, so I don’t really have much of a comparison for it. The deep fried octopus was covered in a creamy mayo dressing. I found it a bit heavy, since each ball also had a rich filling. Next up was the Okonomiyaki or what’s better known as the Japanese pancake. We ordered the seafood version and it came with a mixture of octopus, squid, shrimp, veggies all placed in a batter, pan fried and topped with cheese. I’ve had a very authentic version of okonomiyaki before and remembered it being a lot lighter since it was made at the home of a Japanese friend, so this was quite the contrast. Plus, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about the cheese. It was a bit too heavy for me so I moved on to the next dish.

Dragon Eye Roll
We also sampled several of their house special sushi rolls, the first one being the Haru Fantasy, made with smoke salmon, orange, avocado, roe, scallops, topped with shrimp and a sweet mayo sauce. I really enjoyed this roll because the sweetness of the orange managed to balance out the flavours of the smoked salmon and buttery avocado. It added a brightness to the dish and was a nice break from the heavier dishes we ate earlier. Our second roll was the Dragon Eye consisting of salmon, tobiko, green onion, carrot all tempura battered and deep fried. Unfortunately the deep frying caused the salmon, which was wrapped closer to the outer layer, to be overcooked and a bit dry. I don’t like overcooked salmon, so this wasn’t my favourite. I probably would have preferred the roll on its own without the frying or the batter. The final roll we had a chance to taste was the Sakura Blossom, featuring the new hype in sushi rolls, mango along with avocado, scallop, roe, salmon, all topped with a sweet honey mayo. Due to the mango, it was definitely another lighter sushi roll and also a nice way to end our crazy food filled evening.

Haru Fantasy Roll
My Picks: Scallop Tartare (ask for it so they put it on the menu permanently!)

Overall: I can’t stress how much I enjoyed the service at Ichi Rock, everybody was super friendly. We got a chance to talk to the owners, who stopped by to ask us how everything was (and gave us the scallop tartare on the house!). The servers were attentive and polite, so the good food was really just a bonus. I would come back to Ichi Rock in a heartbeat and haven’t stopped raving about it since!

Ichi Rock [ra:ku]
923 6 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 453-0852

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Julia Child's Croissant Recipe

>> Monday, August 15, 2011


Croissants

The other day I had a really big craving for croissants, but not just any croissant. French croissants. The ones that you could only get from France. The super buttery flaky break-apart-at-the-slightest-touch croissants, that I have yet to be able to find anywhere else. It’s a taste that is hard to describe and must be experienced. As you sink your teeth in to the pastry, it will flake and produce a rush of butter flavour that I can’t compare to anything else I’ve eaten to date. To this day I am still perplexed as to why the croissants in France taste that much better than any where else in the world. Is it there butter? The flour? Could it be the way they’ve prepared it or just because it’s the French air that makes them rise?

So I was on a mission to find out. I went to a French bakery shop here in Calgary and tried their almond croissant as well as the famed Pain au Chocolat. They were definitely up there as being one of the best crossiants I’ve had in Calgary, but unfortunately it isn’t quite the same as the ones from France. Therefore I decided that I would google up a Julia Child croissant recipe. What better recipe to reproduce then one made by the famous Julia Child (it’s so well coveted that there is a youtube video on it, you may watch parts 1 & 2 online).

Off starts my croissant making journey (I call it a journey because it felt that long, almost like a pilgrimage. Almost). Finally after 48 hours from beginning to end, I had my little croissants. What was the verdict you ask? Well, they were good, they looked like croissants, they smelled like croissants and they tasted like croissants, but let’s just say…I was looking at ticket prices to Paris shortly after that. I guess it’s still a mystery as to why those croissants from France so unique that even a French women working with Julia Child couldn’t quite compensate for the real thing. Or maybe it’s just the French butter, but that is a blog all in itself.

Here’s a rough step by step process of the Julia Child Classic French Croissant recipe, maybe you might have better luck ending up with an “authentic” French styled croissant!

Ingredients:
For the Dough:
1 ounce Fresh Yeast (equivalent to3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

For the Butter:
4 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour

For Crossiants:
1 croissant dough – well chilled
1 egg

Preparation:
For the Dough:
Since I used active dry yeast, I had to reconstitute the yeast, which isn’t in the original recipe because Julia used fresh yeast. To do this, you can warm half of the milk in the microwave.

Make sure not to over heat the milk, 15-20 seconds in the microwave should do. Or else you will end up cooking the yeast. Pour the yeast in to the warmed milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Then in a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, the yeast mixture and the rest of the milk. Using the dough hook on the mixer, turn it on the lowest speed and let it mix for 1-2 minutes.

The dough might be a bit dry still at this time, add a bit more milk 1 tbsp at a time until the rest of the flour gets picked up by the dough. I only needed to use 2 extra tbsps of milk.

Turn the mixer to its highest speed and let it work the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should no longer be sticky at this point. Roughly 4-5 minutes. OR to ensure the dough is fully mixed, turn off the mixer. Remove the dough after about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on to high, pinch off a golf ball size of the dough at a time and add it back in to the mixing bowl. When the dough all comes together, it is ready.

Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap it in plastic and place it in a Ziploc bag so it can relax and rise a bit at room temperature. After 30 minutes, place it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.


For the Butter:
Make sure to use cold butter for this step because the butter should not melt during this process.
Cut up the butter in to 1 inch cubes and using the paddle attachment on the mixer, add in the flour. Beat the butter cubes and flour until it becomes smooth and combined. Make sure there are no more lumps in the butter.

Scrape out the butter and wrap it in plastic and shape the butter into an oval that’s 5-6 inches long and 1 inch thick. Chill it in the fridge until required.

If needed the butter can be frozen until needed and defrosted in the fridge overnight.


Incorporating the Butter and Dough:
Sprinkle a bit of flour on the work surface, place the croissant dough on top and sprinkle a bit more flour on the dough.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it forms a 10 inch x 17 inch oval. Brush off the excess flour from the dough.

Place the chilled butter over the center of the oval. Fold the top and bottom layer over the dough (I also folded the sides in to avoid the butter from leaking out).

With a French rolling pin, beat the dough and butter, while holding one side of the dough until it becomes roughly 1 inch think and 14 inches long x 6 inches wide. If it doesn’t quite reach this length, roll it out until it does.

Once it reaches these dimensions, place it on a sheet pan with parchment paper, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

However, if you feel the dough and butter is still cold then you can continue onwards.


Rolling and Folding (Turn 1):
Rolling the dough in to a rectangle of 24-26 inches long x 14 inches wide (with the long side facing you).

Brush off the excess flour on top of the dough before folding. From left to right, fold the dough inward in to thirds (like a brochure). At the end it should be 8 inches wide x 14 inches long.

Carefully move it back to the sheet pan, marking the parchment to remind you of the first turn, wrap it and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Turn 2:
Flour the work surface well. Remove the dough and lay it so you have the 14 inch side running left to right.

Again roll out the dough until it is 24-26 inches long x 14 inches wide. Dust off excess flour.

Fold the dough like before, in to a brochure style. Place it back on the sheet pan, label it turn 2, wrap it and put it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours.


Turn 3 (The wallet):
Flour the work surface, remove the dough from the fridge and again place the 14 inch side running left to right.

Roll it out till it reaches 24-26 inches long x 14 inches wide. This time fold both left and right sides of the dough in to the middle like a book, leaving a bit of room in the middle. Fold the left side over the right side like closing a wallet or closing a book. This is the famous double turn.

Wrap the dough again and put it back in the fridge for another 2 hours. You can also freeze the dough at this point for up to 2 months. When using defrost it in the fridge overnight.

Rolling and Cutting:
Flour the work surface, remove the dough from the fridge and it’s ready for cutting and rolling to form croissants.

Cut the dough in half and put half back in the fridge (we’ll use that afterwards).

Roll out the first piece of dough till it is 24-26 inches long x 15-18 inches wide. Remember to use lots of flour to avoid the dough from becoming sticky.

Carefully fold the top half of the dough down to the bottom, so you have a long rectangle.

Using a knife or pizza cutter measure off a 3-4 inch base and begin cutting triangles. You’ll have scrapes left over but they will be used to fill the croissants later.

Open up each of the folded triangles and cut each of the pieces in half, you should end up with 10-12 triangles.


Shaping the Croissants:
Working with one triangle at a time, gently stretch the base so they widen slightly. Hold the base of the triangle and stretch the dough from base to tip.

Place it on the floured work surface. Add a bit of the left over croissant dough scraps from cutting in the middle of the base of the triangle. Holding both sides of the triangle, roll it slowly to the tip. Put the finished roll on parchment paper, repeat with the rest of the triangles.

Repeat with the second half of the dough. (You could also use the dough to make Pain au Chocolat, where pieces are dark chocolate are placed in to the middle of the dough as opposed to the dough scraps or try almond or even savoury croissants).


Glazing and Rising:
Rive the croissants a last gentle plumping, you can also turn the ends down or leave it straight.

Brush each with egg wash and allow them to rise uncovered for 3-4 hours, until they’ve tripled in size and spongy. You can feel them, they will feel hollow.


Baking:
Preheat the over to 350ºF.

Brush the croissants with egg wash again. Place them in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they turn a golden bronze color.

Remove them and let them cool on racks. Croissants are best eaten when they’ve had a chance to cool completely because the layers within need time to set.

Enjoy your hard work because you deserve it (because I know I felt like I did)!


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Restaurant Review: JAROblue

>> Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ahi Tuna

I have a list, as I’m sure all foodies do. A food list. A list of things to try and places to go. I would be surprised if people didn’t have one, they can’t tell me that they’re true foodies if that’s the case. How could you not have a running list that never seems to end and always seems to grow of all the wonderful things there are to eat in the city..let alone the world. So I have to start small, a list for places to go in Calgary, then a list of things to eat and places to go in the world. I’ve wanted to go to JAROblue for quite some time now but always seem to get sidetracked by other things on my list. So I was pretty excited when I was able to go! Another item checked off the list.

Atmosphere: A petite but cozy dining area, with a nice patio that reaches out to vibrant 17th Ave. Not to mention its elegant décor putting an emphasis on amazing photography.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Mushroom Toast
Food and Wine: We arrived pretty early in the evening because both my friend and I went right after work and pretty much got to pick the table of our choice. The rush hour traffic was still plugging up 17th so we decided on a comfy booth area instead.

Once we got around to ordering, it didn’t take them long to have everything ready (I guess we were still really the only table at that time, quite a nice treat actually). First up were the Mushrooms on toast, they were super creamy and decadent on a crispy toasted baguette. There were three slices of toast to an order, we definitely wouldn’t have complained if there were more to an order (or we should have just ordered another one). It came out with the Nigella Crusted Ahi Tuna, the accompaniment of the seaweed salad was a nice touch. I never would have thought to put nori seaweed in a salad. Now I have to. The tuna itself had a nice crunchy nigella crust giving it a nice “umami” flavour especially with the addition of soy and mirin.

Spaetzl
The next dishes to arrive were the Grilled Pork Tenderloin served with grilled peaches, and a side of pesto. The pork was unfortunately…forgettable, since it didn’t have much flavour, plus the grilled peaches ended up being the star on this plate. It probably also didn’t help that the dish arrived the same time as the Parthena Spaetzle. The spaetzle was slightly pan fried, which gave it a very nice contrast in textures as you’re chewing it. It was very well flavoured and both my friend and I couldn’t stop eating it.

At this point we were debating whether we’d have a bit more or move on to dessert, it was an easy decision (plus that was only meal 1 of the evening). White chocolate pudding with minted strawberry ganache and the Blueberry Crème Brulee (changes daily) were on our minds. The white chocolate pudding is less what we North Americans refer to as pudding but more so a British pudding, where it’s more cake like. It wasn’t overly sweet and paired well with the strawberry ganache. Although the size of the dessert was a bit small, I could have eaten it all in one bite. The crème brulee tasted like a blueberry tea and was a much better size for sharing. The accompanying biscuits were more like sugar cookies, which I used to scoop out the crème itself. Worked pretty well actually!

Pork Tenderloin
Since we arrived so early, the happy hour special was 20% off all alcoholic beverages, so I started with a glass of Jose’s Rose. Nicely chilled and perfect for this summer weather. It was light and crisp with strawberry flavours ending with a dry finish. During the meal I switched to the Punto Final Malbec, which had more earthy overtones, berry flavours and a medium body. The wine list has a great selection of carefully chosen wines, so you’re sure not to be disappointed.

My Picks: Mushrooms on toast, Parthena Spaetzle

Overall: Although I didn’t end up trying as many dishes as I anticipated while I was at JAROblue (means I get to go back, see how this works?), I did however really savour each plate that we ordered. I’m hoping it won’t be too long before I get a chance to go back, so comes the next questions, does that mean I need to put it back on my list?

Desserts
JAROblue
1314 17 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 237-5276
Website: http://www.jaroblue.com/

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Restaurant Review: Holy Grill

>> Friday, August 5, 2011


Mr.Chicken Panini

I usually go to the gym during my lunch breaks at work, what better time to squeeze in a quick workout then the lunch hour. It really helps break up the work day, plus then I have more time after work to enjoy my evening. However, lately I’ve been finding myself wanting to get outside during the lunch hour since its so sunny and warm out. What better motivation to get outside then to make a lunch date with a friend at a place a little farther away. That way at least we got in some walking before and after the meal to make up for skipping the gym.

Atmosphere: Casual self service restaurant that’s quick to order and a great place for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Price Range: $5 - $10

Food: We both wanted the Mr. Chicken Panini, which had grilled chicken, bacon, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions topped with mayo wrapped and pressed. It was simply delicious, literally. The ingredients were fresh and…well simple, yet it was very well balanced. The saltiness of the bacon combined with the sweetness of the onions and roasted red peppers is always a winner. The panini was crispy and crunchy with just the right amount of tortilla wrap compared to filling.

Something different and not seen often was the Beet Chips, which is why I decided to get an order. They ended up being a little chewy and oily. Might be the high sugar content in the beets or they were simply under fried due to the sudden rush of people during lunch. I had a glance at their sweet potato chips and they did look crunchier. So I suggest those if you’re looking for more of a crisper chip. There were several regular fries that ended up in our basket as well and those were definitely crunchy, maybe I’ll get that next time.

Beet Chips
My Pick: Mr. Chicken Panini

Overall: A quick and tasty lunch. It was a little bit off of my usual beaten path with it’s location being on 10th Ave, but worth the effort and a day off from the gym.

Holy Grill
827 10 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 261-9759
Website: http://www.holygrill.ca/

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Peach Crostinis

>> Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Crostini

It’s hard not to notice the amazing array of summer fruits and vegetables at the supermarket lately. Walking in to the produce section, there are just rows upon rows of brightly colored everything and I’m reminded once again why I love summer! I’m at the point where I will buy whatever the people at the store unload (quite literally while I’m standing there picking up each item they put down), go home and then figure out what my meal will look like.

So the other day I had a potluck to attend and couldn’t really figure out what I was going to bring. A couple steps in to the market and I knew straight away that peaches were on the menu that night. They are at their best when fully ripe and tender to the touch, which these ones were. It would have been borderline sinful to have bypassed them and let them go bad at the store. Luckily I had a quick and easy recipe in mind, so I picked up a couple along with some other ingredients and rushed on home.

Peaches
Nutritional Tidbit: Peaches are a great source of Vitamin A (great for your heart and eyes) and fibre, all for barely any calories. The skin is where most of the nutrients are located so don’t be afraid of its fuzzy exterior.

This recipe is a great way to use peaches as a savoury dish rather than its usual place on the dessert menu. Everybody at the potluck loved it and the best part was - it didn’t take very long to put together. It would also be great for a quick snack or possibly used in a sandwich or panini (hm…ideas are churning).

If you didn’t want to go to the supermarket for these particular ingredients, they can always be substituted with similar items. The taste of the crostini might change a bit, but overall it’ll still be delicious, plus you’re enjoying a true summer time fruit.

Peach Procuitto Brie Crostini
Ingredients:
1-2 Peaches (dependent on the number of crostinis required, apricots would work here as well)
Prosciutto
Arugula
Honey
1 loaf French baguette of ciabatta bread
Brie cheese (I enjoy the milder flavours of brie, ricotta is usually suggested or if you want something even milder, cream cheese is always a good one as well)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Preparation:
Slice the bread, making sure that each slice isn’t more than 1/2 inch thick or else it’ll overwhelm the light flavours of this crostini.

Brush a bit of olive oil on each slice and toast for 2-3 mins or until lightly crunchy.

Slice the brie cheese and put one on top of each toast, you can melt the cheese in the oven for 2-3 mins or leave the cheese as is.

Meanwhile, cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Slice them and set them aside.

Remove the toasts if melting the cheese and add a piece of prosciutto on each and top with a peach slice.

Drizzle some honey over the peaches and top with a couple pieces of arugula.

Sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper over each and enjoy!

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