Food Musings

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

Fore!

September1

I have had the pleasure of being associated with the 2010  CN Canadian Women’s Open held in Winnipeg this past week at the St. Charles Golf and Country Club.

Many years ago when D was  studying at Ryerson in TO, obtaining his degree in Tourism and Hospitality, he came home one summer to apprentice at the St. Charles.  He had the pleasure of shadowing the renowned Chef Tony who has been on the Canadian Culinary Olympic Team and is a member of the Order of Canada.  Chef Tony as well as many of the food service management team have been loyal to the St. Charles for 35 years.  And it shows.

As a guest of CN I was pleased to sample the Club’s unique fare made from local ingredients.  The Lake Winnipeg pickerel was rolled and simply baked to bring out all the flavour that seems to burst and sparkle with each mouthful.  The freshly baked pie of wild blueberries was also a special treat, the pastry staff knowing that the berries can stand on their own without a high concentrate of sugar.  The sugar topped crust was a nice touch though that my mother- in- law also employs (and she’s the best pie maker that I know).

I’ll get onto the golf,  but not before mentioning that we also sampled Mike Weir’s signature wines. The Cab Merlot was exceptional, holding it’s own with the Chilean Merlots that I am so found of.

Out on the course I had the pleasure of following Michelle Wie on her pro-am practice round.  She has the beauty of a gazelle and her power and concentration is animal-like as well.  I also saw her the next day, coming in on the 18th after earlier hearing the roar from the gallery as she made her notorious hole in one.

The event was first class in every way but especially significant because it raised $800,000. for the babies that I snuggle at the Children’s Hospital.

Kath’s quote: “Berries thrive here. From these they make a wonderful dish combined with syrup and sugar, which is called ‘pai’. I can tell you that is something that glides easily down your throat; they also make the same sort of ‘pai’ out of apples or finely ground meat, with syrup added, and that is really the most superb.”-An immigrant living in Beloit, Wisconsin, wrote to friends back in Norway (November 29, 1851)

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Celebrating Life with Food -Part 3 Recipes

August31

Baked Swordfish Siciliana

1/3 c olive oil

2 T lemon juice

2 1/2 T chopped basil

4 swordfish steaks

60 g pitted black olives, chopped

1 T baby capers

1/2 t finely chopped anchovies in olive oil

14 oz tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped

2 T dried breadcrumbs

Mix half the olive oil with lemon juice and 1 T basil.  Season and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish, large enough to hold the swordfish in a single layer.  Arrange the swordfish in the dish and leave to marinate for 15 minutes, turning once.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the olives, capers, anchovies and tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and basil and season well.  Spread over the swordfish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over top.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the fish is just opaque.  Finish off by placing briefly under the broiler until the breadcrumbs are crisp.

Char-grilled Eggplant

2 large eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 cloves of garlic, crushed, 2/3 c olive oil

red chili flakes (to taste-approx. 1/2 t)

1 t dried basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle a couple of T over a baking tray.  and place the eggplant slices on top.  Drizzle with a little more oil and cook the eggplant until soft.  As you remove the slices from the pan, put them on a plate on top of each other-this helps them steam a little and soften further.  Whisk the rest of the ingredients into the oil.  When ready to serve, roll an eggplant slice into a cilender.  Drizzle the flavoured oil over top.

Kath’s quote:  “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.”    –Bible, Numbers 11

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Celebrating Life with Food- Part 2

August30

This year’s theme was Italian and LB arrived in her Italian made shades, shoes and hip hugging skirt.  M came as the barefoot contessa (bare feet are in evidence in the corner of this pic).  I wore a beach cover up that I bought on the beach in Positano.

As we waited for everyone to assemble we had a selection of cheese and Italian meats from De Luca’s.  The next course was a Caprese salad made from tomatoes and basil from LB’s garden.

I was on deck for the pasta course.  I was taught this recipe by my friend Concheta in her kitchen in Sicily.  We asked her to feed us authentic Sicilian recipes but her family there chided her for cooking “peasant” food for us-we were delighted!

Next step was preparing the veggies as D put the Swordfish Siciliana into bake.

M&R prepared the salad course.  A refreshing and colourful salad of fennel and apple.  The leftovers were equally tasty.

By this time my memory of the evening becomes a little clouded but I do know that we moved out to a large table that I had set up in the backyard.  Limoncell0, fresh figs and many kinds of grapes accompanied what was teasingly called hamburger dessert because they were little amaretti cookie sandwiches filled with a sweetened mascapone that resemble little burgers.

I’ve run out of space to include recipes here.  I’ll do so in part 3.  The hilarity continued to the extent that we forgot to put out the intended espressos and anise candies.  The evening was over way too soon…until next summer, my friends.

Kath’s quote: “We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friends, so we buy ice cream.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ivy-Saskatoon

August27

As I write this snapshot of our time at The Ivy Dining Room and Lounge, I am reflecting upon all the reasons that people gather together to dine (besides the obvious-hunger).  This would be an interesting perspective for servers to think about before they approach a table.  We were pretty wound up.  We were only in town for the day to pitch a very important piece of business.  We had our luggage and presentation materials all around us, so it was pretty obvious.

This building holds a lot of sentimental importance for me as it was the former home of The Keg and I was in the restaurant on opening night.  We had travelled by motor home from Winnipeg in the dead of winter to help celebrate the milestone.  I love that Ivy left the original round fireplace but added contemporary touches that contribute in a calm way to the dining experience.

We sampled crab cakes and the prime rib dip that day.  I “stress” eat and had polished off the shoe string fries before I even knew it.  I do recall that the cakes and sandwich though were carefully prepared and quite satisfying.  Although I could not taste the goat cheese that was promised as part of the topping.  The next time I would like to try the California Baquette.

The Ivy Dining & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man is starving.” -O. Henry

Rosa Mexicano-Part 2

August26

I also sampled the Ceviche de Atun con Camoranes which was citrus marinated (and therefore not cooked over heat) tuna and shrimp.  This was a delicious attempt although I prefer more lime juice and fresh (never frozen) seafood but I was in NY city not the Yucatan Peninsula so what did I expect?  Both these appetizers were part of the featured 3 course dinner menu.  The other untasted offering was Tortilla Soup.

Main dishes of Chicken Enchiladas and Steak Tacos came next.  Although our gang was underwhelmed by the Enchiladas, the tacos were a huge hit.  The skirt steak was grilled to a perfect medium rare and had been rubbed with guajillo and pasilla chiles, garlic, cumin and black pepper.  The mini cast iron pan that it was served in was accompanied by red bean-chorizo chili, corn esquites, chile de arbol salsa and freshly made warm tortillas.  We requested flour over the traditional corn, which they readily provided.  What made this dish exceptional was the bed of gooey Chihuahua cheese that the freshly carved steak was laid upon.

Under normal circumstances, dessert would not have been requested but since the third course was included in the flat price, we dutifully choked it down (lol).  OMGoodness…Pastel de Queso-cheesecake filled with baked apple-cajeta sauce and pecans and Pinquino-a Mexican chocolate cupcake filled with hazelnut mousse and topped with crème fraiche whipped cream and an espresso-piloncillo-chocolate sauce.

Food before drinks $35.-  a deal anywhere, an absolute steal in Manhattan.
Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I’ll have my steak medium rare with no pink.”
anonymous restaurant customer

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