Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Yougot Chinese Restaurant

May4

This delightful find is off of my beaten track at 1500 Pembina and so it took a lunch meeting in the vicinity of someone else’s office to get me there.  The menu is huge and I will have to go back to try their Ribbonfish Stew, Quail Eggs and Shrimp Cashew, 4 kinds of lamb, a variety of tripe, tongue, heart, etc. etc.  Okay I lied-I might not try the tripe.

I know the nutritional reasons for consuming organ meat and when you think about it, utilizing every part of the animal is a respectful way to eat.  But there may be some who vehemently disagree with this statement and perhaps I should best not go there.

Our lunch: Unexpectantly, we were served a starter of a light egg drop soup. 

We chose Quick-Fried Octopus with Chili and then played it relatively safe with Chow Mein with Chicken and Vegetables. 

The latter was pretty pedestrian on its own but could be brought to life when some noodles or the bok choy were speared with the chilis or a perfectly cooked sliver of octupus.

The place at lunch was absolutely empty which was surprizing with the quality of the food, prompt service and the pleasant surroundings.  Yougot is sparkling clean, filled with sunlight and maintains a pleasant decor.  If it was my neighbourhood Chinese food option, I would be more than content. 

Yougot Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “Tongue: well that’s a werry good thing when it ain’t a woman’s.”-Charles Dickens (Charlie’s opinion-not that of the writer)

Table-Side Ceasar Salad

May2

There was a time in Winnipeg, when dining meant having someone wheel a cart to your table and rub a bowl with garlic to start the preparations for your Caesar salad.  The classic French restaurants of St. Boniface would carve the beef tenderloin and ladle the hollandaise over the variety of vegetables from their Chateau Briand cart.  Crepes Suzette were often ordered for the show of the flaming liqueurs.

When “Six in the City” ventured to New York last summer we loved the fact that table service in the Big Apple is not a thing of the past.  We had our guacamole en molcajete prepped at table side at Rosa’s Mexicana and the expertise and the resulting freshness was truly memorable.

Our son’s father-in-law was one of Winnipeg’s table-side Caesar salad aficionados and we often reap the benefits of his time in the practice.  At Easter dinner recently, when the automatic start for the ham didn’t activate while we were all at church, they decided to add a salad course. 

Don says that his recipe is very “loose” but he has agreed to share it here:

Crush some cloves of garlic with salt (I have a suribachi for this).  Add one or more egg yolks (depending on quantity).  Add fresh lemon juice and a dash of vinegar.  Blend in olive oil (2-3 times the volume of lemon/vinegar).  Season with pepper, Dijon mustard.

 

Kath’s quote: “Being set at the table, scratch not thyself, and take thou heed as much as thou canst not to spit, cough and blow at thy nose; but if it be needful, do it dexterously, without much noise, turning thy face sidelong.”-Francis Hawkins

Memories of London

April29

I’m tardy with my post this morning because I have been enthralled by snippets of the Royal Wedding.  No I did not set my alarm for a ghastly hour but when I awoke at my normal time, I reached for the remote at the exact moment of the balcony scene.  

I consume a lot of news by osmosis, as my husband is a news junkie.  In fact, he has a newspaper collection and I know that he will purchase two copies tomorrow-one that we will enjoy with our coffee and the second which will be wrapped and put away to pull out in the future and see what the world was like on April 29, 2011.  I spend countless hours with D watching elections and protests and war.   Today I was delighted to witness love and hope and new beginnings.

 

I have been to London on a couple of occasions but most memorable was my post-university excursion to Europe at just this time of year.  I was a picky eater in those days-I mean horribly so!  The first time I had ever eaten a fried egg was on that trip. 

The London leg of our journey held many other first tastes:  -Salty, crunchy crackling from a suckling pig consumed on a floating dining room on the Thames.  -Bangers and mash at a boisterous pub called “The Spread Eagle”.  -Halibut and chips served in newspaper with malt vinegar and nary a bottle of ketchup in sight.  But most memorable of all: we mistakenly found ourselves in an upscale restaurant where Shahs had been reputed to dine and where a plate of  vegetables was ordered on my behalf.  New asparagus and zucchini; green and yellow beans; the sweetest of beets and tiny potatoes-all tasted for the very first time (except the potatoes of course).  I recall the array of lemon slices and cellars of salt and sweet butter that accompanied the dish.  And then I remember the price: a cocktail and a plate of vegetables for 70 pounds which back then represented a huge percentage of my discretionary budget which was to have lasted seven weeks!

The sting of the memory makes it very real even today as I saw Westminster Abbey and the Mall and Buckingham Palace.  London looked her best today.  I add my warmest wishes to Diana’s precious William and his beautiful Kate.

Kath’s quote: “But I will place this carefully fed pig
Within the crackling oven; and, I pray,
What nicer dish can e’er be given to man.”-
Aeschylus

Tortellini Chicken Soup

April27

This is my eldest daughter’s favourite soup and my youngest daughter’s least favourite one.  Its hard being a Mom sometimes.

Even though I and Sister #2 & 3 all make this, I don’t think that a recipe has ever been written down.  You can use left over chicken or turkey if you like.  I find that chicken thighs are a better choice than chicken breasts because there is still a trace of chicken fat on the thighs and the secret to good chicken soup is the chicken fat.  

4 boneless thighs (I know there are 8 in the photo-I was making a double batch), cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

6 small or 4 large carrots, chopped

2 small yellow onions, chopped

2 large ribs celery or 6 celery hearts (I leave the leaves on), chopped

1 small pkg. chopped spinach

10 c chicken stock

1-2  t basil

1-2 t Montreal steak spice (you heard me right)

cheese tortellini, quantity according to taste (I say this because some people like their soup to be brothy and others more stewie), pre-cooked according to package directions

Place all veggies into a soup pot and saute until they sweat.  Add chicken, spices & chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender.  Add pre-cooked tortellini.  Ladle into large bowls and garnish with a sprinkle or shavings of Parmesan cheese. 

 

Kath’s quote: “Poultry is like meat, except when you cook it rare. Then it’s like bird-flavored Jello.”-P. J. O’Rourke

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Sergio’s Playa Sol Revisited-Isla Mujeres

April25

To make the journey from my cozy bed in Winnipeg to my precious Isla Mujeres is sometimes a breeze. It all depends on what times other planes set down and whether you luck out in the correct line for immigration and customs.  On this particular day, the journey was not too onerous but we still required cold cerveza for the ferry crossing and were hungry for lunch.  So after we wheeled our suitcases to the edge of Centro, we changed into our suits and made our way to Casa el Pio where the rest of our entourage was staying.

We were ecstatic to plunk down in the sand at Sergio’s, order more cold cervezas and gaze at the sea.  To top things off, handsome men started to come over and hug and kiss us (Lionel & Roger) and welcome us back to the island!   Why do I love Isla so, you ask?

We ordered breaded fish,

Chicken Maya

and my first taste of Coconut shrimp of that trip (but not the last).

The Garlic fish was so fresh, perfectly cooked and delicious!   We are always amazed by the quality of food that is put out of the little kitchen window right on the beach.

Kath’s quote:  “How good one feels when one is full — how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.”-Jerome K. Jerome

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